GEORGE III (GEORGE WILLIAM FRED ERICK) , King of Great Britain: b. London, 4 June 1738; d. Windsor, 29 Jan. 1820. He was the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, by the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. On the death of his father in 1751, his education was entrusted to the Earl of Harcourt and the bishop of Norwich; but the formation of his opinions and character seems to have been materially influenced by the maternal ascend ency of the princess dowager, who was prin cipally guided by the counsels of the Earl of Bute. George III, the first of his house to be born and reared in England, who had been previously created Prince of Wales, ascended the throne on the demise of his grandfather, George II, being then in his 23d year. In the following year he married the Princess Char lotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a union which in its result operated materially on the domestic character of this reign. In 1763 the Seven Years' War was concluded by the Peace of Paris under the ministry of Lord Bute. In 1764 George Grenville, who had become premier by the retirement of the Earl of Bute, began those measures in relation to the American colonies, the consequences of which proved so momentous; and the Stamp Act was passed the following year. About the same time, in con sequence of some appearances of the mental derangement of the king, a bill was passed to enable his majesty to appoint the queen or any of the royal family residing in England guard ian to his successor and regent of the king dom. In 1766 the Rockingham administration repealed the American Stamp Act; at the same time passing a declaratory act asserting the right of taxing the colonies. The Rockingham cabinet was dissolved 30 July 1766, and suc ceeded by one formed by Pitt, now Earl of Chatham. In 1768 Lord Chatham, disgusted with the conduct of his colleagues, resigned the privy-seal and was succeeded by Lord Bristol. The same year was distinguished by the return of John Wilkes for Middlesex and the popular tumults attendant upon his imprisonment and outlawry. In 1773 the discontent in America burst into an open flame, and a royal message, in the commencement of the session of 1774, called on Parliament to maintain the English supremacy. Notwithstanding the subsequent loss of an empire, George III, by the steadiness with which he put down the coalition adminis tration, acquired a degree of popularity which never afterward entirely deserted him. The
smooth course of the early years of the admin istration of Pitt materially added to this dis position, which exhibited itself very strongly when the constitutional malady of the king again displayed itself in 1789, and still more upon his subsequent recovery. In reference to the French Revolution, and the important con tests which arose out of it, it is sufficient to remark that George III zealously coincided in the policy adopted by his administration. A similar observation will apply to the domestic and Irish and Indian policy of the Pitt cabinet; as also to the transactions connected with the Irish rebellion. George III was immovable in his opposition to the demands of the Irish Catholics, and, seconded by the influence of the Church and the popular feeling, was enabled to eject the Fox and Grenville administration, which succeeded on the death of Pitt. The pro ceedings of the Perceval administration, until the final retirement of the king in 1810, need not be detailed here; while the insanity of the monarch renders the interval which elapsed from his retirement to his death a blank in his biography. George III possessed personal cour age and steadiness of character in a high de gree, but his aspirations after real kingship and personal rule had disastrous consequences. Of a plain, sound, but not enlarged understanding, he acted upon his convictions with sincerity. His tastes and amusements were plain and prac tical. Literature and the fine arts engrossed but a small share of his attention, and hunting, agriculture (he was half-derisively known by his subjects as "Farmer George), mechanical contrivances and domestic intercourse, seem to have chiefly occupied his leisure. Religious, moral, temperate and somewhat parsimonious, the decorum of his private life was always exemplary. His deportment both as a father and a husband, according strictly with the na tIonal notions of propriety, rendered him and the queen a constant theme of praise; and the throne was regarded as a pattern in respect to conjugal duties. Consult Walpole. 'Memoirs of the Reign of George HP (1894) ; Massey, 'His tory of England During the Reign of George HP (1855) ; 'Grenville Papers' (ed. by Smith, 1852); Lecky, 'History of England During the 18th Century' (1878-90); Trevelyan, 'George III and Charles Fox' (1912).