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
Spouse
(m. 1705; died 1737)
Issue
Detail
Names
George Augustus
German: Georg August
HouseHanover
FatherGeorge I of Great Britain
MotherSophia Dorothea of Celle
ReligionProtestant
SignatureGeorge II's signature

George II (George Augustus; German: Georg 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 is the most recent 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.

  1. ^ Cannon.
  2. ^ Thompson, p. 10.