British Monarch. Born George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg the son of Ernst August I, elector of Hanover, and Sophia Dorthea, princess van der Pfalz, a granddaughter of King James I of England, through whom his family traced their right to the British throne. In 1682, he married his cousin, Sophia Dorthea, with whom he had two children. In 1694, he charged his wife of infidelity and imprisoned her at Ahlden House. He divorced her, and she died, still under house arrest, over 30 years later. He had a further three children with his mistress, Ermengarde von der Schulenburg. He succeeded his father as elector of Hanover in 1698. In 1701 the English Parliament Act of Succession, enacted to ensure a Protestant succession, made George third in line for the throne after his mother and Anne Stuart. He was appointed Knight, Order of the Garter in 1701, and was naturalized as a British subject in 1705. His mother and Queen Anne died in 1714, and he then came to the throne. He arrived in England at the age of 54 speaking no English, and with no idea how to rule his new country. In Hanover he was an absolute ruler, but in England he was required to work with Parliament. The king was frustrated in his attempts to control Parliament and grew very dependent upon his advisers. He rarely attended meetings with his ministers, however, and they became quite powerful, leading to his minister, Robert Walpole, effectively becoming Britain’s first Prime Minister. Rebellions in Scotland in support of the Catholic claimant to the throne, James II, in 1715 and 1719 were quickly defeated, and James, called The Old Pretender, fled to France. Domestic political dissent led by his detested eldest son, formed an effective opposition movement within the Whig Party against him. Although the dissenters were tentatively reconciled in 1720, the South Sea Company, which had been created to absorb the £31 million national debt engendered by the War of the Spanish Succession, collapsed that same year. Its fall brought down the government and bankrupted investors. The king was tarnished by the scandal but saved from disgrace by Walpole, forcing the king to give the Minister a free hand with the government. He succumbed to a stroke while on a trip to Hanover seven years later, and was succeed by his son, George.
Bio by: Iola
Sophie Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg