British Monarch, American Revolution, and King George III (1738.06.04)

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KING GEORGE III ON CROSSCURRENTS, 6/4:  The British monarch presiding over the loss of the American Revolution, King George III was born on this day in 1738.  Including a playlist of some of unusual British 60’s mod musicians, America’s last monarch has a birthday party to which you are welcome is celebrated on Crosscurrents, 6/4 at 8 am.

  1. HOME GROWN:  George III became heir to the throne on the death of his father in 1751, succeeding his grandfather, George II, in 1760. He was the third Hanoverian monarch and the first one to be born in England and to use English as his first language.

  2. BUSY MAN:  George III was devoted to his wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. They had 15 children, 13 of whom reached adulthood.

  3. GEORGE, THE SCIENCE GUY:  George III was the first king to study science as part of his education (he had his own astronomical observatory), and examples of his collection of scientific instruments can now be seen in the Science Museum.

  4. WIN SOME, LOSE SOME:  The American War of Independence ran from 1775 to 1783 and resulted in Britain’s loss of many its colonies in North America. France was eager to retaliate against Great Britain following their defeat during the Seven Years’ War.

  5. HE LIKED A GOOD RIDE:  In 1760 George III commissioned the Gold State Coach is an enclosed, eight horse-drawn carriage still used by the British Royal Family today.

  6. FOLLOW THE MONEY: George III’s accession in 1760 marked a significant change in royal finances. In 1760, it was decided that the whole cost of the Civil List (judges and embassadors etc.) should be provided by Parliament, in return for the surrender of the hereditary revenues by the King from the Crown Estate for the duration of his reign.

  7. ROYAL REAL ESTATE KING:  George III bought Buckingham House (now known as Buckingham Palace) in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held. Buckingham House became known as the Queen’s House.

  8. PAPER BACK WRITER:  One of the most cultured of monarchs, George III started a new royal collection of books (65,000 of his books were later given to the British Museum, as the nucleus of a national library) and opened his library to scholars.

  9. DUKE OF DIRT:  During his reign, George III acquired the nickname ‘Farmer George’, in part due to his agricultural interests and in part as a playful pun.

  10. HOSPITALIZATION;  After serious bouts of illness in 1788-89 and again in 1801, George became permanently deranged in 1810. He was mentally unfit to rule in the last decade of his reign; his eldest son – the later George IV – acted as Prince Regent from 1811. Some medical historians have said that George III’s mental instability was caused by a hereditary physical disorder called porphyria.

 

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