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  Hanover (George I), George Ludwig von Guelph-d'Este of
CANDIDATE DETAILS
AffiliationMonarchy  
 
NameGeorge Ludwig von Guelph-d'Este of Hanover (George I)
Address
, , United Kingdom
EmailNone
WebsiteNone
Born March 28, 1660
DiedOctober 11, 1727 (67 years)
ContributorJake
Last ModifedJake
Nov 29, 2004 04:01pm
Tags German -
InfoGeorge I was born March 28, 1660, son of Ernest, Elector of Hanover and Sophia, granddaughter of James I. He was raised in the royal court of Hanover, a German province, and married Sophia, Princess of Zelle, in 1682. The marriage produced one son (the future George II) and one daughter (Sophia Dorothea, who married her cousin, Frederick William I, King of Prussia). After ruling England for thirteen years, George I died of a stroke on a journey to his beloved Hanover on October 11, 1727.

George, Elector of Hanover since 1698, ascended the throne upon the death of Queen Anne, under the terms of the 1701 Act of Settlement. His mother had recently died and he meticulously settled his affairs in Hanover before coming to England. He realized his position and considered the better of two evils to be the Whigs (the other alternative was the Catholic son of James II by Mary of Modena, James Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender). George knew that any decision was bound to offend at least half of the British population. His character and mannerisms were strictly German; he never troubled himself to learn the English language, and spent at least half of his time in Hanover.

The pale little 54 year-old man arrived in Greenwich on September 29, 1714, with a full retinue of German friends, advisors and servants (two of which, Mohamet and Mustapha, were Negroes captured during a Turkish campaign). All were determined to profit from the venture, with George leading the way. He also arrived with two mistresses and no wife - Sophia had been imprisoned for adultery. The English population was unkind to the two mistresses, labeling the tall, thin Ehrengard Melusina von Schulenberg as the "maypole", and the short, fat Charlotte Sophia Kielmansegge as the "elephant". Thackeray remarked, "Take what you can get was the old monarch's maxim... The German women plundered, the German secretaries plundered, the German cooks and attendants plundered, even Mustapha and Mohamet... had a share in the booty."

The Jacobites, legitimist Tories, attempted to depose George and replace him with the Old Pretender in 1715. The rebellion was a dismal failure. The Old Pretender failed to arrive in Britain until it was over and French backing evaporated with the death of Louis XIV. After the rebellion, England settled into a much needed time of peace, with internal politics and foreign affairs coming to the fore.

George's ignorance of the English language and customs actually became the cornerstone of his style of rule: leave England to it's own devices and live in Hanover as much as possible. Cabinet positions became of the utmost importance; the king's ministers represented the executive branch of government, while Parliament represented the legislative. George's frequent absences required the creation of the post of Prime Minister, the majority leader in the House of Commons who acted in the king's stead. The first was Robert Walpole, whose political mettle was tried in 1720 with the South Sea Company debacle. The South Sea Company was a highly speculative venture (one of many that was currently plaguing British economics at that time), whose investors cajoled government participation. Walpole resisted from the beginning, and after the venture collapsed and thousands were financially ruined, he worked feverishly to restore public credit and confidence in George's government. His success put him in the position of dominating British politics for the next 20 years, and the reliance on an executive Cabinet marked an important step in the formation of a modern constitutional monarchy in England.

George avoided entering European conflicts by establishing a complex web of continental alliances. He and his Whig ministers were quite skillful; the realm managed to stay out of war until George II declared war on Spain in 1739. George I and his son, George II, literally hated each other, a fact that the Tory party used to gain political strength. George I, on his many trips to Hanover, never placed the leadership of government in his son's hands, preferring to rely on his ministers when he was abroad. This disdain between father and son was a blight which became a tradition in the House of Hanover.

Portrait is from studio of sir godfrey kneller [Link]

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FAMILY
Wife Sophia Dorothea Hanover Nov 22, 1682- 00, 1694
Son George Augustus of Hanover (George II) 1683-1760
Grandson Frederick Louis of Hanover 1707-1751
Granddaughter Anne of Hanover 1709-1759
Granddaughter Louise Oldenburg 1724-1751
Daughter Sophia Dorothea Hanover 1687-1757
Grandson Frederick Hohenzollern (Frederick II) 1712-1786
Granddaughter Philippine Charlotte Hohenzollern 1716-1801
Granddaughter Louisa Ulrika Holstein-Gottorp 1720-1782
Grandson Augustus William Hohenzollern 1722-1758
Mother Sophia of Hanover 1630-1714
Grandmother Elizabeth Stuart (Queen Elizabeth) 1596-1662
Great-Grandfather James of Stuart (James VI and I) 1566-1625
Grand Uncle Charles of Stuart (Charles I) 1600-1649
1st Cousin Once Removed Charles of Stuart (Charles II) 1630-1685
1st Cousin Once Removed Mary Henrietta Stuart (Princess Mary) 1631-1660
2nd Cousin William Henry of Orange (William III and II) 1650-1702
1st Cousin Once Removed James of Stuart (James II and VII) 1633-1701
2nd Cousin Mary of Stuart (Mary II) 1662-1694
2nd Cousin Anne of Stuart 1665-1714
Great-Grandmother Anne of Stuart 1574-1619

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RACES
  09/29/1714 King Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  06/08/1714 Heir Apparent Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
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