George III

King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

King George III (born George William Frederick, 4 June 1738 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 to 1 January 1801, when he became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was also Elector of Hanover, which made him a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

During George's reign, he lost control of the United States of America however the British Empire made major gains in South Asia. His two kingdoms, Great Britain and Ireland, were merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Also during his reign, the British were at war with republican and Napoleon I's France. The Electorate of Hanover eventually became a Kingdom.

George suffered from periodic bouts of mental illness. One of them caused a crisis in 1788, and attempts were made to nominate his son George IV as regent. The king quickly recovered and prevented that from happening.[1]

George signed the Quebec Act of 1774, which abolished William III's anti-Catholic laws in the American colonies.[2][3] Also during his reign, George III signed legislation abolishing some of the anti-Catholic Laws in Great Britain and Ireland. For example, the Catholic Relief Acts of 1772 and 1774 allowed Roman Catholics to have land leases in Great Britain. In 1793, Hogart's Act allowed Roman Catholics to vote in Irish elections, but George blocked a proposal in 1800 to allow Catholics to sit in the British Parliament.[4]

In the later part of his life, George suffered from recurrent mental illness, which was eventually permanent. Although it has since been suggested that he suffered from a genetic blood disease, porphyria, the cause of his illness is not certain. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. On George III's death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George IV.

Because of "his plain, homely, thrifty manners and tastes", George III has had the nickname of Farmer George.