George II

Portrait of George II

Born: 1683
Died: 1760
Reigned: 1727–60

  • Only son of George I; like his father, after his accession continued to spend much time in Hanover
  • In 1705 married Caroline of Ansbach (died 1737); their children included Frederick, Prince of Wales, and William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland
  • From 1715, had the use of Richmond Lodge
  • Used Kensington as his chief London residence, particularly after the Queen’s death
  • At Kensington, Charles Bridgeman designed the vast extension of the gardens into Hyde Park (including the ‘Round’ Pond, and Serpentine), with garden buildings designed by William Kent
  • Fought at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, the last battlefield appearance of a reigning British monarch
  • Particular interest lay in military matters: commissioned regimental and battle paintings from David Morier
  • The Jacobite rising of 1745 was ended at Culloden when the rebel forces were defeated by the army led by the King’s second son, the Duke of Cumberland
  • Patron of Handel whose Music for the Royal Fireworks celebrated the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748
  • Said of poetry and painting: ‘neither the one nor the other ever did any good’
  • Presented the Old Royal Library, accumulated over many centuries, to the newly-founded British Museum

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