My 1820 coin introduces another British king to the line up. This one ruled an incredible 59.2 years and stands as the longest ruling King in British history (3rd overall as Victoria (63.5years) and Elizabeth II (68.5 years and counting) are obviously both women)
I got this shilling in a lot of collection coins, and paid about $2 for it. It was very darkened and looked burned, but underneath could see this coin has almost no wear at all. It is basically EF, some negative norahs might say gVF, but its streets above any coin I have of this era.George III (4 June 1738 - 29 January 1820)
was King of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from 1760 to 1820 (1801 UK).
George was born to Frederick Lewis (1707 - 1751) and Augusta, and was the 2nd child, an elder sister being born in 1737. His father was the son of King George II (1683 - 1760) and relations were poor. His father was a wastrel and a gambler and died of Lung complications aged just 44. This made the 13 year old Prince next in line for the throne. His older sister had already been married off.
George was a shy and quiet child and eager to do well, of average to above average intelligence he spoke multiple languages played instruments well and was interested in global affairs. He was also popular as unlike his father and ancestors, was born in the UK and spoke English as his first language - not German and was a plus at the time.
George II died on the loo on October 25th 1760 and George III was new king and he was known for the first few years of reign being fairly good despite some governmental changes and vacillating between Whigs and Tories. America started to be a thorn in his side, but as late as 1770 he was popular there too.
In 1761, he married Princess Charlotte of a German duchy and she became the queen, The marriage was a long and loving one and she gave birth to 15(!) children, 9 survived to adulthood. The death of his brother Edward in 1767 meant his oldest son George was the heir to the throne, and at least 3 more spares were lined up!
- From - History.com
The American war dragged on until 1783 when the colonies became independent, but Britain added Australia and the new country of New Zealand to its empire along with several Caribbean Islands in the Napoleonic era.
George's reign was characterised by almost non stop wars and campaigns and a lasting peace only arrived in 1815 near the end. However arts and commerce flourished in this era, the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions were in full swing. Cook, Bligh, Vancouver and Flinders amongst others discovered new colonies and places for the Empire. The later 18th century and early 19th century saw some people become very wealthy - but also grew a underclass of industrial workers, vagrants and intinerant people, convicts were shipped out to America and then Australia.
His children also gave him grief with both Prince George and William having broods of children with Catholic mistresses and many of his younger beloved children dying prematurely. George also suffered bouts of madness, most notably in 1788/89, 1800, 1806 and finally 1811 to his death. The Prince regent was a particular thorn in his side with his gluttony, huge debts, rakishness and mistresses along with his designs to overthrow dear old dad finally succumbed in 1811 when the Regent ruled for his father who spent his last ten years at Windsor looking like Rumpelstiltskin (The long bearded portraits)
Despite the rumours, he did pass the Royal Marriages act of 1770 - not over his children, who were juveniles at the time but for his brothers and sisters who had a taste for commoners and Roman Catholics. The rules had to bent for Meghan Markle (A Black American commoner) and Diana (A commoner being only of the gentry - not nobility) - that went well!
George was a popular king most of his reign, he always meant well and was often served poorly by some of his ministers and advisers like the Earl of Bute, Lord, William Pitt and Henry Addington amongst others. George has generally been judged harshly by his critics as England was a changing society then, the king's madness was probably down to Porphyia and arsenic from his wigs he wore. the King did not adopt the natural hair look until his 70s and kept up the Georgian wigg craze all his life.
He was known for his casual attitude and mercy given to people who tried to kill him "This poor wretch has not harmed me, so why should I harm her". George would also walk up to farmers and discuss his knowledge on Agricultural improvement or to mechanics wondering how this steam powered machine works and the like. George also went bathing in the sea and started really the whole British seaside craze.
George was also overshadowed by his inept successors and should be judged more favourably in history.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.