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from only one, the work of pacification was accomplished by Nevertheless something of the honour due to Walpole must George even more thoroughly than by William.
be reckoned to the king's credit. It is evident that at his acces George I. was fortunate in arriving in England when a great sion his decisions were by no means unimportant. The royal military struggle had come to an end. He had therefore no authority was still able within certain limits to make its own reason to call upon the nation to make great sacrifices. Au terms. This support was so necessary to the Whigs that they ihat he wanted was to secure for himself and his family a high made no resistance when he threw aside their leaders on his position which he hardly knew how to occupy, to fill the pockets arrival in England. When by his personal intervention he of his German attendants and his German mistresses, to get dismissed Townshend and appointed Sunderland, he had no away as often as possible from the uncongenial islanders whose such social and parliamentary combination to fear as that which language he was unable to speak, and to use the strength of almost mastered his great-grandson in his struggle for power. England to obtain petty advantages for his German principality. If such a combination arose before the end of his reign it was In order to do this he attached himself entirely to the Whigowing more to his omitting to fulfil the duties of his station than party, though he refused to place himself at the disposal of its from the necessity of the case. As he could talk no English, leaders. He gave his confidence, not to Somers and Wharton and his ministers could talk no German, he absented himself and Marlborough, but to Stanhope and Townshend, the states from the meetings of the cabinct, and his frequent absences men of the second rank. At first he seemed to be playing a from England and his want of interest in English politics dangerous game. The Tories,whom he rejected, were numerically strengthened the cabinet in its tendency to assert an independent superior to their adversaries, and were strong in the support position. Walpole at last by his skill in the management of of the country gentlemen and the country clergy. The strength parliament rose as a subject into the almost royal position denoted of the Whigs lay in the towns and in the higher aristocracy. by the name of prime minister. In connexion with Walpole Below both parties lay the mass of the nation, which cared the force of wealth and station established the Whig aristocracy nothing for politics except in special seasons of excitement, in a point of vantage from which it was afterwards difficult and which asked only to be let alone. In 1715 a Jacobite in- to dislodge them. Yet, though George had allowed the power surrection in the north, supported by the appearance of the which had been exercised by William and Anne to slip through Pretender, the son of James II., in Scotland, was suppressed, his hands, it was understood to the last that if he chose to exert and its suppression not only gave to the government a character himsell he might cease to be a mere cipher in the conduct of of stability, but displayed its adversaries in an unfavourable affairs. As late as 1727 Bolingbroke gained over one of the king's light as the disturbers of the peace.
mistresses, the duchess of Kendal; and though her support of Even this advantage, however, would have been thrown the fallen Jacobite took no effect, Walpole was not without fear away if the Whigs in power had continued to be animated by that her reiterated entreaties would lead to his dismissal. The violent party spirit. What really happened was that the Tory king's death in a carriage on his way to Hanover, in the night leaders were excluded from office, but that the principles and between 10th and 11th June in the same year, put an end to prejudices of the Tories were admitted to their full weight in the these apprehensions. policy of the government. The natural result followed. The His only children were his successor George II. and Sophia leaders to whom no regard was paid continued in opposition. Dorothea (1687-1757), who married in 1706 Frederick William, The rank and file, who would personally have gained nothing crown prince (afterwards king) of Prussia. She was the mother by a party victory, were conciliated into quiescence.
of Frederick the Great.
(S. R. G.) This mingling of two policies was conspicuous both in the Sec the standard English histories. A recent popular work is foreign and the domestic actions of the reign. In the days of L. Melville's The First George in llanover and England (1908). Queen Anne the Whig party had advocated the continuance GEORGE II. (George Augustus (1683-1760), king of Great of war with a view to the complete humiliation of the king of Britain and Ireland, the only son of George I., was born in 1683. France, whom they feared as the protector of the Pretender, In 1705 he married Wilhelmina Carolinc of Anspach. In 1706 and in whose family connexion with the king of Spain they saw he was created earl of Cambridge. In 1708 he fought bravely a danger for England. The Tory party, on the other hand, had at Oudenarde. At his father's accession to the English throne been the authors of the peace of Utrecht, and held that France he was thirty-one years of age. He was already on bad terms was sufficiently depressed. A fortunate concurrence of circum- with his father. The position of an heir-apparent is in no case an stances enabled George's ministers, by an alliance with the casy one to fill with dignity, and the ill-treatment of the prince's regent of France, the duke of Orleans, to pursue at the same time mother by his father was not likely to strengthen in him a the Whig policy of separating France from Spain and from the reverence for paternal authority. It was most unwillingly that, cause of the Prelender, and the Tory policy of the maintenance on his first journey to Hanover in 1716, George I. appointed the of a good understanding with their neighbour across the Channel. prince of Wales guardian of the realm during his absence. In The same eclecticism was discernible in the proceedings of the 1717 the existing ill-feeling ripened into an open breach. At home government. The Whigs were conciliated by the repeal the baptism of one of his children, the prince selected one god. of the Schism Act and the Occasional Conformity Act, whilst father whilst the king persisted in selecting another. The young the Tories were conciliated by the maintenance of the Test Act man spoke angrily, was ordered into arrest, and was subsequently in all its vigour. The satisfaction of the masses was increased commanded to leave St James's and to be excluded from all by the general well-being of the nation.
court ceremonies. The prince took up his residence at Leicester Very little of all that was thus accomplished was directly House, and did everything in his power to support the opposition owing to George I. The policy of the reign is the policy of his against his father's ministers. ministers. Stanhope and Townshend from 1714 to 1717 were When therefore George I. died in 1727, it was generally supposed mainly occupied with the defence of the Hanoverian settlement that Walpole would be at once dismissed. The first direction After the dismissal of the latter in 1717, Stanhope in conjunction of the new king was that Sir Spencer Compton would draw up with Sunderland took up a more decided Whig policy. The the speech in which he was to announce to the privy council his Occasional Conformity Act and the Schism Act were repealed accession. Compton, not knowing how to set about his task, in 1719. But the wish of the liberal Whigs to modify if not to applied to Walpole for aid. Queen Carolinc took advantage repeal the Test Act remained unsatisfied. In the following of this evidence of incapacity, advocated Walpole's cause with year the bursting of the South Sea bubble, and the subsequent her husband and procured his continuance in office. This deaths of Stanhope in 1721 and of Sunderland in 1722, cleared curious scene was indicative of the course likely to be taken by the way for the accession to power of Sir Robert Walpole, to the new sovereign. His own mind was incapable of rising above whom and not to the king was due the conciliatory policy which the merest details of business. He made war in the spirit of a quieted Tory opposition by abstaining from pushing Whig drill-sergeant, and he economized his income with the minute principles to their legitimate consequences.
regularity of a clerk. A blunder of a master of the ceremonies in marshalling the attendants on a Icvee put him out of temper. the wishes of England. Finding that a French army was about He took the greatest pleasure in counting his moncy piece by to march upon his German stales, he concluded with France a piece, and he never forgot a date. He was above all things treaty of neutrality for a year without consulting a single English methodical and regular. “He seems,” said one who knew him minister. In England the news was received with feelings of well," to think his having done a thing to-day an unanswerable disgust. The expenditure of English money and troops was to reason for his doing it to-morrow."
be thrown uselessly away as soon as it appeared that Hanover Most men so utterly immersed in details would be very was in the slightest danger. In 1742 Walpole was no longer in impracticable to deal with. They would obstinately refuse to office. Lord Wilmington, the nominal head of the ministry, was listen to a wisdom and prudence which meant nothing in their a mere cipher. The ablest and most energetic of his colleagues, cars, and which brought home to them a sense of their own Lord Carteret (afterwards Granville), attached himself specially inferiority. It was the happy peculiarity of George II. that he to the king, and sought to maintain himself in power by his was exempt from this failing. He seemed to have an instinctive special favour and by brilliant achievements in diplomacy. understanding that such and such persons were either wiser or In part at least by Carteret's mediation the peace of Breslau even stronger than himself, and when he had once discovered that, was signed, by which Maria Theresa ceded Silesia to Frederick he gave way with scarcely a struggle. Thus it was that, though (July 28, 1942). Thus relieved on her northern frontier, she in his domestic relations he was as loose a liver as his father had struck out vigorously towards the west. Bavaria was overrun been, he allowed himself to be guided by the wise but unobtrusive by her troops. In the beginning of 1743 one French army was counsels of his wife until her death in 1737, and that when once driven across the Rhine. On June 27th another French army he had recognized Walpole's superiority he allowed himself to was defeated by George II. in person at Dettingen. Victory be guided by the political sagacity of the great minister. It is brought elation to Maria Theresa. Her war of defence was difficult to exaggerate the importance of such a temper upon the turned into a war of vengeance. Bavaria was to be annexed. development of the constitution. The apathy of the nation in The French frontier was to be driven back. George II. and all but the most exciting political questions, fostered by the Carteret after some hesitation placed themselves on her side. calculated conservatism of Walpole, had thrown power into the of the public opinion of the politia classes in England they hands of the great landowners. They maintained their authority took no thought. Hanoverian troops were indeed to be employed by supporting a minister who was ready to make use of corrup- in the war, but they were to be taken into British pay.
Collisions tion, wherever corruption was likely to be useful, and who could between British and Hanoverian officers were frequent. A veil over the baseness of the means which he employed by his storm arose against the preference shown to Hanoverian talents in debate and in finance. To shake off a combination interests. After a brief struggle Carteret, having become so strong would not have been easy. George II. submitted 10 Lord Granville by his mother's death, was driven from office it without a struggle.
in November 1744. So strong indeed had the Whig aristocracy grown that it Henry Pelham, who had become prime minister in the preceding began to lose its cohesion. Walpole was determined to monopolize year, thus saw himself established in power, By the acceptance power, and he dismissed from office all who ventured to oppose of this ministry, the king acknowledged that the function of him. An opposition formidable in talents was gradually formed. choosing a ministry and directing a policy had passed from his In its composite ranks were to be found Tories and discontented hands. In 1745 indeed he recalled Granville, but a few days Whigs, discarded official hacks who were hungry for the cmolu- were sufficient to convince him of the sutility of his attempt, and ments of office, and youthful purists who fancied that if Walpole the effort to exclude Pitt at a later time proved equally fruitless. were removed, bribes and pensions would cease to be attractive Important as were the events of the remainder of the reign, to a corrupt generation. Behind them was Bolingbroke, excluded therefore, they can hardly be grouped round the name of George from parliament but suggesting every party move. In 1737 the II. The resistance to the invasion of the Young Pretender in opposition acquired the support of Frederick, prince of Wales. 1745, the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, the great war ministry The young man, weak and headstrong, rebelled against the of Pitt at i he close of the reign, did not receive their impulse from strict discipline exacted by his father. His marriage in 1736 him. He had indeed done his best to exclude Pite from office. to Augusta of Saxony brought on an open quarrel. In 1737, He disliked him on account of his opposition in former years to just as the princess of Wales was about to give birth to her first the sacrifices demanded by the Hanoverian connexion. When child, she was hurried away by her husband from Hampion in 1756 Pitt became secretary of state in the Devonshire adminisCourt to St James's Palace at the imminent risk of her life, tration, the king bore the yoke with difficulty. Early in the next simply in order that the prince might show his spite to his father year he complained of Pitt's long specches as being above his who had provided all necessary attendance at the former place. comprehension, and on April 5, 1757, he dismissed him, only George ordered his son to quit St James's, and to absent himself to take him back shortly after, when Pitt, coalescing with from court. Frederick in disgrace gave the support of his name, Newcastle, became master of the situation. Before Pitt's disand he had nothing else to give, to the opposition. Later in the missal George II. had for once an opportunity of placing himself year 1737, on the 20th of November, Queen Caroline died. In on the popular side, though, as was the case of his grandson during 1742 Walpole, weighed down by the unpopularity both of his the American war, it was when the popular side happened to be reluctance to engage in a war with Spain and of his supposed in the wrong. In the true spirit of a martinet, he wished to see remissness in conducting the operations of that war, was driven Admiral Byng executed. Piti urged the wish of the House of from office. His successors formed a composite ministry in which Commons to have him pardoned. “Sir," replied the king," you Walpole's old colleagues and Walpole's old opponents were alike have taught me to look for the sense of my subjects in another to be found.
place than in the House of Commons." When George II. died The years which followed settled conclusively, at least for this in 1760, he left behind him a settled understanding that the reign, the constitutional question of the power of appointing monarchy was one of the least of the forces by which the policy ministers. The war between Spain and England had broken of the country was directed. To this end he had contributed out in 1739. In 1741 the death of the emperor Charles VI. much by his disregard of English opinion in 1743; but it may brought on the war of the Austrian succession. The position of fairly be added that, but for his readiness to give way to irresistible George II. as a Hanoverian prince drew him to the side of Maria adversaries, the struggle might have been far more bitter and Theresa through jealousy of the rising Prussian monarchy. severe than it was. Jealousy of France led England in the same direction, and in of the connexion between Hanover and England in this reign 1741 a subsidy of £300,000 was voted to Maria Theresa. The two memorials remain more pleasant to contemplate than the king himself went to Germany and attempted to carry on the records of parliamentary and ministerial intrigues. With the war according to his own notions. Those notions led him to support of George II., amidst the derision of the English fashionregard the safety of Hanover as of far more importance than able world, the Hanoverian Handel produced in England those masterpieces which have given delight to millions, whilst the culties began. The Whig houses, indeed, were divided amongst foundation of the university of Göttingen by the same king themselves by personal rivalries. But they were none of them opened a door through which English political ideas afterwards inclined to let power and the advantages of power slip from their penetrated into Germany.
hands without a struggle. For some years a contest of influence George II. had three sons,-Frederick Louis (1707-1751); was carried on without dignity and without any worthy aim. George William (1717-1718); and William Augustus, duke of The king was not strong enough to impose upon parliament a Cumberland (1721-1765); and five daughters, Anne (1709-1759), ministry of his own choice. But he gathered round himselí a married to William, prince of Orange, 1734; Amelia Sophia body of dependants known as the king's friends, who were secure Eleonora (1711-1786); Elizabeth Caroline (1713-1757); Mary of his favour, and who voted one way or the other according (1723-1772), married to Frederick, landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, to his wishes. Under these circumstances no ministry could 1740; Louisa (1724-1751), married to Frederick V., king of possibly be stable; and yet every ministry was strong enough Denmark, 1743.
? (S. R. G.) to impose some conditions on the king. Lord Bute, the king's · See Lord Hervey, Memoirs of the Reign of George II., ed. by J. W. first choice, resigned from a sense of his own incompetency in Croker (3 vols., London, 1884); Horace Walpole, Mem, of the Reign 1763. George Grenville was in office till 1765; the marquis of of George 11., with notes by Lord Holland (3 vols., 2nd ed., 1847).
Rockingham till 1766; Pitt, becoming earl of Chatham, till GEORGE III. (George William Frederick) (1738-1820), king illness compelled him to retire from the conduct of afíairs in of Great Britain and Ireland, son of Frederick, prince of Wales, 1767, when he was succeeded by the duke of Graston. But a and grandson of George II., whom he succeeded in 1760, was born struggle of interests could gain no real strength for any governon the 4th of June 1738. After his father's death in 1751 he had ment, and the only chance the king had of effecting a permanent been educated in seclusion from the fashionable world under change in the balance of power lay in the possibility of his the care of his mother and of her favourite counsellor the carl associating himself with some phase of strong national feeling, of Bute. He had been taught to revere the maxims of Boling- as Pitt had associated himself with the war feeling caused by broke's." Patriot King," and to believe that it was his appointed the dissatisfaction spread by the weakness and ineptitude of his task in life to break the power of the Whig houses resting upon predecessors. extensive property and the influence of patronage and corruption. Such a chance was offered by the question of the right to tar That power had already been gravely shaken. The Whigs America. The notion that England was justified in throwing from their incompetency were obliged when the Seven Years' on America part of the expenses caused in the late war was War broke out to leave its management in the hands of William popular in the country, and no one adopted it more pertinaciously Pitt. The nation learned to applaud the great war minister then Gcorge III. At the bottom the position which he assumed who succeeded where others had failed, and whose immaculate was as contrary to the principles of parliamentary government purity put to shame the ruck of barterers of votes for places and as the encroachments of Charles I. had been. But it was vejledia pensions.
the eyes of Englishmen by the prominence given to the power In some sort the work of the new king was the continuation of the British parliament rather than to the power of the British of the work of Pitt. But his methods were very different. He king. In fact the theory of parliamentary government, like most did not appeal to any widely spread feeling or prejudice; nor theories after their truth has long been universally acknowledged, did he disdain the use of the arts which had maintained his had become a superstition. Parliaments were held to be properly opponents in power. The patronage of the crown was to be vested with authority, not because they adequately represented really as well as nominally his own; and he calculated, not the national will, but simply because they were parlia ments. without reason,
that men would feel more flattered in accepting There were thousands of people in England to whom it never a place from a king than from a minister. The new Toryism of occurred that there was any good reason why a British parliament which he was the founder was no recurrence to the Toryism of should be allowed 10 levy a duty on tea in the London decks the days of Charles II. or even of Anne. The question of the and should not be allowed to levy a duty on tea at the wharves amount of toleration to be accorded to Dissenters had been of Boston. Undoubtedly George III. derived great strength entirely laid aside. The point at issue was whether the crown from his honest participation in this mistake. Contending under should be replaced in the position which George I. might have parliamentary forms, he did not wound the susceptibilities of occupied at the beginning of his reign, selecting the ministers members of parliament, and when at last in 1770 he appointed and influencing the deliberations of the cabinet. For this struggle Lord North-a minister of his own selection-prime minister, George III. possessed no inconsiderable advantages. With an the object of his ambition was achieved with the concurrence of a inflexible tenacity of purpose, he was always ready to give way large body of politicians who had nothing in common with the when resistance was really hopeless. As the first English-born scrvile band of the king's friends. sovereign of his house, speaking from his birth the language of As long as the struggle with America was carried on with any his subjects, he found a way to the hearts of many who never hope of success they gained that kind of support which is always regarded his predecessors as other than foreign intruders. forthcoming to a government which shares in the errors and The contrast, too, between the pure domestic life which he led prejudices of its subjects. The expulsion of Wilkes from the with his wife Charlotte, whom he married in 1761, and the House of Commons in 1769, and the refusal of the House to accept habits of three generations of his house, told in his favour with him as a member after his re-election, raised a grave constitutional the vast majority of his subjects. Even his marriage had been question in which the king was wholly in the wrong; and Wilkes a sacrifice to duty. Soon after his accession he had fallen in love was popular in London and Middlesex. But his case roused with Lady Sarah Lennox, and had been observed to ride morning no national indignation, and when in 1774 those sharp measures by morning along the Kensington Road, from which the object were taken with Boston which led to the commencement of the of his affections was to be seen from the lawn of Holland House American rebellion in 1775, the opposition to the course takea making hay, or engaged in some other ostensible employment. by the king made little way either in parliament or in the country. Before the year was over Lady Sarah appeared as one of the Burke might point out the folly and inexpedience of the proceedqueen's bridesmaids, and she was herself married to Sir Charles ings of the government. Chatham might point out that the true Bunbury in 1762.
spirit of English government was to be representative, and that At first everything seemed easy to him. ' Pitt had come to that spirit was being violated at home and abroad. George III., be regarded by his own colleagues as a minister who would pursue who thought that the first duty of the Americans was to obey war at any price, and in getting rid of Pitt in 1761 and in carrying himself, had on his side the mass of unreflecting Englishmen who on the negotiations which led to the peace of Paris in 1762, the thought that the first duty of all colonists was to be useful and king was able to gather round him many persons who would not submissive to the mother-country. The natural dislike of every be willing to acquiesce in any permanent change in the system country engaged in war to see itself defeated was on his side, of government. With the signature of the peace his real diffi- 1 and when the news of Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga arrived in 1777, subscriptions of money to raise new regiments poured and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, freely in.
that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United In March 1778 the French ambassador in London announced States as an independent power.” that a treaty of friendship and commerce had been concluded Long before the signature of the treaties Rockingham died between France and the new United States of America. Lord (July 1, 1782). The king chose Lord Shelburne, the bead of North was anxious to resign power into stronger hands, and the Chatham section of the government, to be prime minister. begged the king to receive Chatham as his prime minister. Fox and the followers of Rockingham refused to serve except The king would not hear of it. He would have nothing to say to under the duke of Portland, a minister of their own selection, " that perfidious man ” unless he would humble himself to enter and resigned office. The old constitutional struggle of the reign the ministry as North's subordinate. Chatham naturally refused was now to be fought out once more. Fox, too weak to obtain to do anything of the kind, and his death in the course of the year a majority alone, coalesced with Lord North, and defeated relieved the king of the danger of being again overruled by too Shelburne in the House of Commons on the 27th of February overbearing a minister. England was now at war with France, 1783. On the 2nd of April the coalition took office, with Portland and in 1779 she was also at war with Spain.
as nominal prime minister, and Fox and North the secretaries George III. was still able to control the disposition of office. of state as its real heads. He could not control the course of events. His very ministers This attempt to impose upon him a ministry which he disliked gave up the struggle as hopeless long before he would acknowledge made the king very angry. But the new cabinet had a large the true state of the case. Before the end of 1779, two of the majority in the House of Commons, and the only chance of leading members of the cabinet, Lords Gower and Weymouth, resisting it lay in an appeal to the country against the House of resigned rather than bear the responsibility of so ruinous an Commons. Such an appeal was not likely to be responded to enterprise as the attempt to overpower America and France unless the ministers discredited themselves with the nation. together. Lord North retained office, but he acknowledged to Goerge III. therefore waited his time. Though a coalition the king that his own opinion was precisely the same as that between men bitterly opposed to one another in all political of his late colleagues.
principles and drawn together by nothing but love of office was The year 1780 saw an agitation rising in the country for in itself discreditable, it needed some more positive cause of economical reform, an agitation very closely though indirectly dissatisfaction to arouse the constituencies, which were by no connected with the war policy of the king. The public meetings means so ready to interfere in political disputes at that time as held in the country on this subject have no unimportant place they are now. Such dissatisfaction was given by the India Bill, in the development of the constitution. Since the presentation drawn up by Burke. As soon as it had passed through the Comof the Kentish petition in the reign of William III. there had mons the king hastened to procure its rejection in the House of been from time to time upheavings of popular feeling against Lords by his personal intervention with the peers. He authorized the doings of the legislature, which kept up the tradition that Lord Temple to declare in his name that he would count any parliament existed in order to represent the nation. But these peer who voted for the bill as his enemy. On the 17th of upbeavings had all been so associated with ignorance and violence December 1983 the bill was thrown out. The next day ministers as to make it very difficult for men of sense to look with dis- were dismissed. William Pitt became prime minister. After pleasure upon the existing emancipation of the House of Commons some weeks' struggle with a constantly decreasing majority in from popular control. The Sacheverell riots, the violent attacks the Commons, the king dissolved parliament on the 25th of upon the Excise Bill, the no less violent advocacy of the Spanish March 1784. The country rallied round the crown and the War, the declamations of the supporters of Wilkes at a more young minister, and Pitt was firmly established in office. recent time, and even in this very year the Gordon riots, were There can be no reasonable doubt that Pitt not only took not likely to make thoughtful men anxious to place real power advantage of the king's intervention in the Lords, but was in the hands of the classes from whom such exhibitions of folly cognizant of the intrigue before it was actually carried out. proceeded. But the movement for economical reform was of was upon him, too, that the weight of reconciling the country a very different kind. It was carried on soberly in manner, and to an administration formed under such circumstances lay. with a definite practical object. It asked for no more than the The general result, so far as George III. was concerned, was king ought to have been willing to concede. It attacked useless that to all outward appearance be had won the great battle of expenditure upon sinecures and unnecessary offices in the his life. It was he who was to appoint the prime minister, not household, the only use of which was to spread abroad corruption any clique resting on a parliamentary support. But the circumamongst the upper classes. George III. could not bear to be stances under which the victory was won were such as to place interfered with at all, or to surrender any element of power the constitution in a position very different from that in which which had served him in his long struggle with the Whigs. He it would have been if the victory had been gained earlier in the held out for more than another year. The news of the capitula- reign. Intrigue there was indeed in 1783 and 1784 as there had tion of Yorktown reached London on the 25th of Noveinber been twenty years before. Parliamentary support was cono 1781. On the 20th of March 1782 Lord North resigned.
ciliated by Pitt by the grant of royal favours as it had been in George III. accepted the consequences of defeat. He called the days of Bute. The actual blow was struck by a most question. the marquis of Rockingham to office at the head of a ministry able message to individual peers. But the main result of the composed of pure Whigs and of the disciples of the late earl of whole political situation was that George III. had gone a long Chatham, and he authorized the new ministry to open negotia- way towards disentangling the reality of parliamentary governtions for peace. Their hands were greatly strengthened by ment from its accidents. His ministry finally stood because Rodney's victory over the French fleet, and the failure of the it had appealed to the constituencies against their representatives. combined French and Spanish attack upon Gibraltar; and Since then it has properly become a constitutional axiom that before the end of 1782 a provisional treaty was signed with no such appeal should be made by the crown itself. But it America, preliminaries of peace with France and Spain being may reasonably be doubted whether any one but the king signed early in the following year. On the 3rd of September 1783 was at that time capable of making the appeal. Lord Shelburne, the definitive treaties with the three countries were simultane- the leader of the ministry expelled by the coalition, was unpopular ously concluded. “Sir," said the king to John Adams, the first in the country, and the younger Pitt had not had time to make minister of the United States of America accredited to him, his great abilities known beyond a limited circle. The real “ I wish you to believe, and that it may be understood in America, question for the constitutional historian to settle is not whether that I have done nothing in the late contest but what I thought under ordinary circumstances a king is the proper person to myself indispensably bound to do by the duty which I owed to place himself really as well as nominally at the head of the my people. I will be very frank with you. I was the last to government; but whether under the special circumstances consent to the separation: but the separation having been made
1 See Lord Fitzmaurice's Life of Shelburne, iii. 393.
which existed in 1783 it was not better that the king should nature of the objection. Nor can there be any doubt that he call upon the people to support him, than that government had the English people behind him. Both in his peace ministry should be left in the hands of men who rested their power on and in his war ministry Pitt had taken his stand on royal favour close boroughs and the dispensation of patronage, without and on popular support. Both failed him alike now, and he looking beyond the walls of the House of Commons for support. resigned office at once. The shock to the king's mind was so
That the king gained credit far beyond his own deserts by the great that it brought on a fresh attack of insanity. This time, glories of Pitt's ministry is beyond a doubt. Nor can there be however, the recovery was rapid. On the 14th of March 1801 any reasonable doubt that his own example of domestic propriety Pitt's resignation was formally accepted, and the late speaker, did much to strengthen the position of his minister. It is true Mr Addington, was installed in office as prime minister. that that life was insufferably dull. No gleams of literary or The king was well pleased with the change. He was never artistic taste lightened it up. The dependants of the court capable of appreciating high merit in any one; and he was became in ured to dull routine unchequered by loving sympathy. unable to perceive that the question on which Pitt had resigned The sons of the household were driven by the sheer weariness of was more than an improper question, with which he ought never such an existence into the coarsest profligacy. But all this was to have meddled, "Tell him," he said, in directing his physician not visible from a distance. The tide of moral and religious to inform Pitt' of his restoration to health," I am now quite well, improvement which had set in in England since the days of quite recovered from my illness; but what has he not to answer Wesley brought popularity to a king who was faithful to his for, who has been the cause of my having been ill at all?" wife, in the same way that the tide of manufacturing industry Addington was a minister after his own mind. Thoroughly and scientific progress brought popularity to the minister who honest and respectable, with about the same share of abilities in some measure translated into practice the principles of the as was possessed by the king himself, he was certainly not likely Wealth of Nalions.
to startle the world by any flights of genius. But for one circumNor were there wanting subjects of importance beyond the stance Addington's ministry would have lasted long. So strong circle of politics in which Gcorge III. showed a lively interest. was the reaction against the Revolution that the bulk of the nation The voyages of discovery which made known so large a part of was almost as suspicious of genius as the king himself. Not only the islands and coasts of the Pacific Ocean received from him was there no outcry for legislative reforms, but the very idea of a warm support. In the early days of the Royal Academy, reform was unpopular. The country gentlemen were predominant its finances were strengthened by liberal grants from the privy in parliament, and the country gentlemen as a body looked upon purse. His favourite pursuit, however, was farming. When Addington with respect and affection. Such a minister was thereArthur Young was issuing his Annals of Agriculture, he was fore admirably suited to preside over affairs at home in the existing supplied with information by the king, under the assumed name state of opinion. But ihose who were content with inaction at of Mr Ralph Robinson, relating to a farm at Petersham.
home would not be content with inaction abroad. In time of The life of the king was suddenly clouded over. Early in his peace Addington would have been popular for a season. In reign, in 1765, he had been out of health, and though the fact time of war even his warmest admirers could not say that he was studiously concealed at the time-symptoms of mental was the man to direct armies in the most terrible struggle which aberration were even then to be perceived. In October 1788 he had ever been conducted by an English government. was again out of health, and in the beginning of the following For the moment this difficulty was not felt. On the rst of month his insanity was beyond a doubt. Whilst Pitt and Fox October 1801, preliminaries of peace were signed between were contending in the House of Commons over the terms on England and France, to be converted into the definitive peace which the regency should be committed to the prince of Wales, of Amiens on the 27th of March 1802. The ruler of France was the king was a helpless victim to the ignorance of physicians and now Napoleon Bonaparte, and few persons in England believed the brutalities of his servants. At last Dr Willis, who had made that he had any real purpose of bringing his aggressive violence himself a name by prescribing gentleness instead of rigour in to an end. "Do you know what I call this peacc?" said the the treatment of the insane, was called in. Under his more king; "an experimental peace, for it is nothing else. But it humane management the king rapidly recovered. Before the was unavoidable.” end of February 1789 he was able to write to Pitt thanking him The king was right. On the 18th of May 1803 the declaration for his warm support of his interests during his illness. On the of war was laid before parliament. The war was accepted by 23rd of April he went in person to St Paul's to return thanks all classes as inevitable, and the French preparations for an for his recovery.
invasion of England roused the whole nation to a glow of The popular enthusiasm which burst forth around St Paul's enthusiasm only equalled by that felt when the Armada was but a foretaste of a popularity far more universal. The threatened its shores. On the 26th of October the king reviewed French Revolution frightened the great Whig landowners till the London volunteers in Hyde Park. He found himself the they made their peace with the king. Those who thought that centre of a great national movement with which he heartily the true basis of government was aristocratical were now of one sympathized, and which heartily sympathized with him. mind with those who thought that the true basis of government On the 12th of February 1804 the king's mind was again was monarchical; and these two classes were joincd by a far affected. When he recovered, he found himself in the midst larger multitude which had no political ideas whatever, but which of a ministerial crisis. Public feeling allowed but one opinion had a moral horror of the guillotinc. As Elizabeth had once to prevail in the country—that Pitt, not Addington, was the been the symbol of resistance to Spain, George was now the proper man to conduct the administration in time of war. Pitt symbol of resistance to France. He was not, however, more was anxious to form an administration on a broad basis, including than the symbol. He allowed Pitt to levy taxes and incur debt, Fox and all prominent leaders of both parties. The king would to launch armies to defeat, and to prosecute the English imitators not hear of the admission of Fox. His dislike of him was personal of French revolutionary courses. At last, however, after the as well as political, as he knew that Fox had had a great share Union with Ireland was accomplished, he learned that Pitt was in drawing the prince of Wales into a life of profligacy. Pitt planning a scheme to relieve the Catholics from the disabilities accepted the king's terms, and formed an administration in under which they laboured. The plan was revealed to him by which he was the only man of real ability. Eminent men, such the chancellor, Lord Loughborough, a selfish and intriguing as Lord Grenville, refused to join a ministry from which the king politician who had served all parties in turn, and who sought to had excluded a great statesman on purely personal grounds. forward his own interests by falling in with the king's prejudices. The whole question was reopened on Pitt's death on the 23rd of George III. at once took up the position from which he never January 1806. This time the king gave way. The ministry of swerved. He declared that to grant concessions to the Catholics All the Talents, as it was called, included Fox amongst its involved a breach of his coronation oath. No one has ever members. At first the king was observed to appear depressed doubted that the king was absolutely convinced of the serious at the necessity of surrender. But Fox's charm of mannet soon