Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday Quote: George 11

“I hate all Boets and Bainters!” 

- George 11 

George 11 (1683-1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, and Elector of Hanover, from 1727. The last British monarch to be born outside Great Britain, he was born and raised in Germany, becoming the second in line to the British throne after the Act of Settlement limited the line of succession to Protestants. 

His father, George 1, inherited the British throne after the death of Queen Anne, becoming the first monarch of the House of Hanover. There had been about 50 persons related to Anne higher in line to the throne but they had been excluded by the Act of Settlement, leaving George 1 as the closest Protestant relative.  George 1 was not a popular king.  He did not speak English and remained living in Hanover.

George 11 became King in 1727 after his father, with whom he had had an abusive and poor relationship, died of a stroke. George 11 subsequently also had a poor relationship with his own son, Frederick, who sided with the parliamentary opposition. As king, Charles 11 had little control over domestic policy, that being the province of an increasingly powerful Parliament. He did however exert influence in foreign policy, having greater power in Hanover, where he spent 12 summers. He was the last monarch to lead an army into battle, at Dettingen during the War of the Austrian Succession, and quashed a rebellion seeking to put the Catholic James Stuart (“The Old Pretender”) on the throne, led by James’ son Charles (“The Young Pretender”, aka “Bonnie Prince Charlie”). 

His son Frederick died in 1751.  A daughter, Louisa, died in the same year, causing him to state "This has been a fatal year for my family. I lost my eldest son – but I am glad of it ... Now [Louisa] is gone. I know I did not love my children when they were young: I hated to have them running into my room; but now I love them as well as most fathers."  On his own death in 1760 his grandson George 111 (“The Madness of King George”) ascended the throne.

George 11 spoke English with a heavy German accent. He was also very little interested in the arts and artists. Asked by a poet to be allowed to dedicate a poem to him, he replied in his German accent “I hate all Boets and Bainters.”

Despite his hostility to boets and bainters, George II, like his father, was a patron of Handel. He was so moved whilst listening to the 'Hallelujah Chorus' in The Messiah in 1743, that he spontaneously rose to his feet.  This started the tradition, observed ever since, that whenever the Hallelujah Chorus is performed the audience rises and remains standing.

By the way moment: 

George 11's wife, Queen Caroline, as she lay dying, urged him to marry again. 

He tearfully replied “No, I’ll have mistresses.”

1 comment:

  1. becoming the second in line to the British throne after the Act of Settlement limited the line of succession to Protestants. settlement quotes


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