George II of Great Britain

George II
George sitting on a throne
Portrait by Thomas Hudson, 1744
King of Great Britain and Ireland
Elector of Hanover
Reign11/22O.S./N.S. June 1727 –
25 October 1760
Coronation11/22O.S./N.S. October 1727
PredecessorGeorge I
SuccessorGeorge III
Born30 October / 9 November 1683O.S./N.S.
Herrenhausen Palace,[1] or Leine Palace,[2] Hanover
Died25 October 1760(1760-10-25) (aged 76)
Kensington Palace, London
Burial11 November 1760
Caroline of Ansbach
(m. 1705; died 1737)
Full name
George Augustus
German: Georg August
FatherGeorge I of Great Britain
MotherSophia Dorothea of Celle
SignatureGeorge II's signature

George II (George Augustus; German: Georg II. August; 30 October / 9 November 1683O.S./N.S. – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.

George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain: he was born and brought up in northern Germany. The Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707 positioned his grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, and her Protestant descendants to inherit the British throne. After the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father, the Elector of Hanover, became George I of Great Britain. In the first years of his father's reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, until they rejoined the governing party in 1720.

As king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy. He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle. In 1745 supporters of the Catholic claimant to the British throne, James Francis Edward Stuart ("The Old Pretender"), led by James's son Charles Edward Stuart ("The Young Pretender" or "Bonnie Prince Charlie"), attempted and failed to depose George in the last of the Jacobite rebellions. Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, so George II was ultimately succeeded by his grandson, George III.

For two centuries after George II's death, history tended to view him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper, and boorishness. Since then, reassessment of his legacy has led scholars to conclude that he exercised more influence in foreign policy and military appointments than previously thought.

Early life

Sophia Dorothea and her two children
George as a young boy with his mother, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, and his sister, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover

George was born in the city of Hanover in Germany, followed by his sister, Sophia Dorothea, three years later. Their parents, George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg (later King George I of Great Britain), and Sophia Dorothea of Celle, both committed adultery. In 1694 the marriage was dissolved on the pretext that Sophia had abandoned her husband.[3] She was confined to Ahlden House and denied access to her two children, who probably never saw their mother again.[4]

George spoke only French, the language of diplomacy and the court, until the age of four, after which he was taught German by one of his tutors, Johann Hilmar Holstein.[5] In addition to French and German, he was also schooled in English and Italian, and studied genealogy, military history, and battle tactics with particular diligence.[6]

George's second cousin once removed, Queen Anne, ascended the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland in 1702. She had no surviving children, and by the Act of Settlement 1701, the English Parliament designated Anne's closest Protestant blood relatives, George's grandmother Sophia and her descendants, as Anne's heirs in England and Ireland. Consequently, after his grandmother and father, George was third in line to succeed Anne in two of her three realms. He was naturalized as an English subject in 1705 by the Sophia Naturalization Act, and in 1706, he was made a Knight of the Garter and created Duke and Marquess of Cambridge, Earl of Milford Haven, Viscount Northallerton, and Baron Tewkesbury in the Peerage of England.[7] England and Scotland united in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and jointly accepted the succession as laid down by the English Act of Settlement.[8]

Other Languages
تۆرکجه: ایکینجی جرج
български: Джордж II
brezhoneg: George II
eesti: George II
فارسی: جرج دوم
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: George 2-sṳ (Yîn-koet)
한국어: 조지 2세
ქართული: ჯორჯ II
lietuvių: Jurgis II
Gagana Samoa: Siaosi II
संस्कृतम्: जार्ज २
српски / srpski: Џорџ II
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: George II od Velike Britanije
Türkçe: II. George
粵語: 佐治二世