A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


George III, King of England

4 June 1738 - 29 January 1820

George William Frederick served as King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 to 29 January 1820. He was the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg. During George's early reign, he struggled to find a prime minister that he could trust with the fiscal and political management of Britain's large empire. Due to the high cost of administering the American colonies and debt from the French and Indian War, George III supported the policies of his ministers to tax the American colonies and later to quell their rebellion with military force. These policies failed when the American colonies won the war for independence in 1782. During the second half of his reign, George III suffered from several bouts of mental illness, leading to the establishment of his son, Prince George, as Regent in 1811 until George III's death in 1820.