Simon Schama TV - David Starkey TV - Lucy Worsley TV - William Makepeace Thackeray - John H Plumb
1714: Queen Anne died with no heir. To make sure of a Protestant successor no fewer than fifty-seven individuals with blood ties to Anne were passed over to arrive at the next king of England. An uncharismatic, middle-aged man who didn’t speak English ... George I of Great Britain ... his coronation was greeted with rioting in twenty towns. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Britannia Incorporated, BBC 2000
But the English parliament was determined not to have a Catholic. So in 1701 they passed the Act of Settlement which handed the succession to Sophia of Hanover and her eldest son George. They were an improbable fiftieth and fifty-first in succession ... It was now the Scots’ turn ... Each parliament now appointed a set of commissioners to try to thrash out an agreement in London ... On 16th January 1707, after three months of clause by clause debate the Scottish parliament voted decisively. Monarchy by David Starkey s3e3: Rule Britannia, Channel 4 2006
A story beginning here in Hanover in northern Germany ... Under George I and George II Britain became the world’s most liberal and cosmopolitan society. Dr Lucy Worsley, The First Georgians: The Germans Who Made Britain I, BBC 2014
Parliament took drastic action: they had the idea of importing a ready-made royal family from overseas. ibid.
Now between father [George I] and son [George II] there was all out war. ibid.
His heart was in Hanover. He was more than fifty-four years of age when he came amongst us. We took him in because we wanted him, because he served our turn. We laughed at his uncouth German ways, and sneered at him ... I, for one, would have been on his side in those days. Cynical and selfish as he was, he was better than a King out of St Germain [James, the Stuart Pretender] with a French King’s orders in his pocket, and a swarm of Jesuits in his train. William Makepeace Thackeray, The Four Georges: Sketches of Manners, Morals, Court and Town Life, 1860
Some historians have exaggerated the King’s indifference to English affairs and made his ignorance of the English language seem more important than it was. He had little difficulty in communicating with his ministers in French, and his interest in all matters affecting both foreign policy and the court was profound. John H Plumb, George I