Thursday, January 29, 2015

George III Dies January 29, 1820 by Jillian Kent

King George III in his coronation robes
If you're a fan of the Regency then you know that when George III died on this date in 1820 his son, The Prince of Wales, who had served as Regent became King George IV. But before I get ahead of myself I want to share some history with you about this George III who may not have been popular but had the longest reign of all the monarchs who came prior to him.

The Prince Regent
George the III was born on June 4, 1738 and died on January 29, 1820. He had been unable to reign the last ten years of his life and that's where the term Regency comes in to play in this instance. His son ruled in his stead because the King was unable to carry out his duties, thus the Prince of Wales became the Regent and thus was born a span of time from 1811-1820 that has been written about by historians and novelists because the Regent and future King of England led a dissolute life and wasted the taxpayers money.

He's most well known for losing the American Colonies (that was our American Revolution) and losing his mind. But from the British standpoint the man should also be known for many other things including the kindness he showed to his fifteen children and the devotion to his wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was the third of the Hanovarian Monarchs and the first to use English as his first language. George's direct responsibility for the loss of the colonies is not great. He opposed their bid for independence to the end, but he did not develop the policies (such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend duties of 1767 on tea, paper and other products) which led to war in 1775-76 and which had the support of Parliament. 

 Of course The American Revolution took the wind out of George III's sails. I'd always thought that was why he'd probably gone insane but now we know that porphyria or possibly arsenic poisoning from wigs worn at the time could have caused George III's mental instability.

You can read more about his mental illness at my previous post on the subject here and also this month at HHH here. In the extensive biography by Christopher Hibbert, George III looks at the King's life from different dimensions including his love for his country and many interests that covered: architecture, music, literature, astronomy and more.

Did you know that John Adams met King George III? 

I thought these Revolutionary War Facts were interesting. Did you know that John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin were both in London in 1761 and witnessed the coronation of King George III, the same king they would later rebel against?

Jillian is employed as a counselor for nursing students in Cincinnati, Ohio and possesses a masters degree in social work. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and passionate about mental health, wellness, and stomping out the stigma of mental illness. She also coordinates and frequently contributes to The Well Writer within Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Learn more about Jillian and her novels at


  1. Very interesting tidbits here, Jillian. I didn't know that the wigs could have contributed to his mental state.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Amber Schamel

  2. Even more than the arsenic in the wigs and face creams was a medicine prescribed to the King called James' Powders that scientists say contained antimony which has traces of arsenic in it as well. So in that day as in our own sometimes our medicines have dangerous side effects.

  3. Interesting post. I've been watching Sons of Liberty on TV this past week and it has peaked my interest in the Revolution.

    1. The more I study about the Revolution from both sides the more intrigued I become. I haven't seen Sons of Liberty, Janet. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!