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Hanover - King George II

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King George II
Title: King George II
Full Name: George Augustus
Father: George I
Mother: Sophia Dorothea
Born: October 30, 1683 at Herrenhausen, Hanover
Ascended to the throne: June 11, 1727 aged 43 years
Crowned: October 11, 1727 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Caroline, daughter of Margrave of Brandenburg, on August 22, 1705
Children: Four sons and five daughters
Died: October 25, 1760 at Kensington Palace, aged 76 years, 11 months, and 25 days
Buried at: Westminster

George II was born in Hanover the son of George I and Sophia of Celle. He married Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach in 1705 an attractive and intelligent women, and they had 9 children. In 1708 he took part in the Battle of Oudenarde in Belgium against the French.

His father became King George I of England in 1714 and he became Prince of Wales. However his father’s treatment of his mother whom he had imprisoned left son George with a hatred of his father and they regularly quarrelled. He was even put under arrest by his father who excluded him from public ceremonies. When his father died in 1727 he became King George II and set about changing his father’s policies. Walpole was expected to be dismissed but survived on the intervention of Queen Caroline.

The death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1740 led to the European War of Austrian Succession in which the British and Dutch supported Marie Theresa’s claim to the Austrian throne against the Prussians and French. George II personally led his troops at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, becoming the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle. The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, in which Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) landed in Scotland and marched with a Highland army into England, was defeated at Culloden in 1746 and Scottish opposition brutally suppressed by George’s second son Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. Like his father he quarrelled with his eldest son Frederick, Prince of Wales, over his marriage but Frederick died suddenly in 1751.

The final years of his reign saw George retiring from active politics; however it was a period in which British dominance overseas grew. William Pitt became Prime Minister during the Seven years war against France which spread to India and North America. Robert Clive secured the Indian continent for Britain at the Battle of Plassey, and General Wolfe captured Quebec in Canada. George II died in 1760 of an aneurysm while seated on his water closet. He was succeeded by his grandson also called George.

King George II's Signature

Signature of King George II
 
Quotes:

‘No I shall have mistresses’ – King George II (to his wife Caroline on her death bed when she suggested that he remarry)

‘Mad, is he? Then I hope he will bite some of my other generals’ – King George II (about General Wolfe)

‘I hate all Boets and Bainters’ – King George II on the arts (he spoke with a strong German accent).

He did however have a soft spot for music particularly George Frederick Handel who wrote Zadok the Priest for his coronation and Music for Royal Fireworks to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle)


Timeline

 1727 

 George II succeeds his father, George I. 

 1729 

 Charles Wesley founds the Methodists at Lincoln College Oxford. 

 1732 

 A royal charter is granted for the founding of Georgia in America. 

 1732 

 Lord Frederick North born 

 1734 

 Jethro Tull publishes essays on improving farming including the use of the seed drill.  

 1737 

 Death of George’s wife, Queen Caroline. 

 1738 

 John and Charles Wesley start the Methodist movement in Britain. 

 1739 

 Dick Turpin, highwayman, hanged at York 

 1739 

 Britain goes to war with Spain over Captain Jenkins’ ear, claimed to have been cut off in a skirmish at sea. 

 1740 

 -1748 The War of Austrian Succession breaks out in Europe. 

 1742 

 Walpole resigns as Prime Minister. 

 1743 

 George leads troops into battle at Dettingen in Bavaria. 

 1745 

 Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', lands in Scotland and raises his flag for the restoration of the Stuarts. 2,000 Jacobites enter Edinburgh. Scottish victory at Prestonpans. Charles and his Jacobite army march South into England and reach Derby before turning back.  

 1746 

 Scots defeated at the Battle of Culloden. Duke of Cumberland, the King's 2nd son, ruthlessly represses the rebels and Scottish traditions.  

 1748 

 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends the war of Austrian Succession 

 1751 

 Death of Frederick, Prince of Wales. His son, George, becomes heir to the throne. 

 1752 

 Britain adopts the Georgian Calendar. 1st January replaces 25 March as the first day of the year.  

 1757 

 Britain declares war against France. Start of the Seven Years’ War. 

 1757 

 Robert Clive wins the Battle of Plassey and secures the Indian province of Bengal for Britain. 

 1757 

 William Pitt becomes Prime Minister 

 1759 

 Wolfe captures Quebec from the French and establishes British supremacy in Canada.  

 1759 

 First botanical gardens laid out at Kew 

 1760 

 George II dies. 

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