In 1701 the Act of Settlement ensured once and for all that Britain would never be ruled by a Catholic Monarch.
Queen Anne, the last Stuart Monarch died in 1714, without an heir. Parliament sought to block any claim by the Catholic James Edward Stuart, by making George successor after his mother; Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I.
Sophia of Hanover died in 1714, the succession past to her son, George, who later that year became the first Hanoverian King of England.
In the beginning the Hanoverian Kings had little going for them in England. George himself could speak little or no English, and few English statesmen could understand German. Although the majority of England’s people were Protestant and approved the Act of Settlement, understandably they wished Anne’s successor could have been someone more congenial. The minority who stilled preferred the Jacobite cause, made things difficult for the new dynasty, for some twenty to thirty years.
Despite these problems, the Hanoverians, worked hard, learning the English ways. George III was born and raised in England, and became a popular King.
In 1837 Victoria came to the throne, but her marriage to Albert, a German prince received much critism. Albert changed the public opinion of him, with the Great Exhibition of 1851, where he proved his worth. By the end of the Hanoverian dynasty, and the end of Victoria’s reign, the monarchy had lost most of its power, whilst still retaining considerable influence.
King George I: George was born on the 28th May 1660 at Osnabruck, Hanover to parents Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick, Elector of Hanover, and Sophia Stuart, the granddaughter of James I of England.
On the 1st August 1714, George ascended to the English throne, and on the 20th October 1714, was crowned King George I of England at Westminster Abbey.
In 1715, the Jacobite uprising began in Scotland. They were not happy with the British crown going to a Protestant, and demanded that the exiled “Old Pretender” James Edward Stuart heir to James II, be crowned King. The rebellion was quashed at the “Battle of Sheriffmuir.” 16,000 Jacobites were beaten by 8,000 soldiers of the union.
In 1720, the stock market crashed, “South Sea Bubble” thousands of investors ruined. George was governor of the South Sea Company, and was accused of aiding in the mismanagement of the company. Robert Walpole came to his assistance.
On the 11th June 1727, King George I of England died at Osnabruck in Germany, and was buried at Leineschlosskirche, Hanover.
King George II: George Augustus was born on the 30th October 1683 at Herrenhausen, Hanover to parents George I and Sophia Dorothea.
When King George I died, his son made the decision not to attend his father’s funeral in Hanover, showing to the people of Britain, where his heart belonged. Truthfully his reason was more likely they didn’t get on when he was alive.
On the 11th June 1727, George Augustus ascended to the English throne, and was crowned King George II of England, on the 11th October at Westminster Abbey.
It was expected, that George would dismiss Walpole and replace him in his government with Sir Spencer Compton. However, Walpole remained, for he held a majority in Parliament, and instability should be avoided at all costs.
Walpole demanded that Britain stay out of the war brewing in Poland of 1733, over succession leaving Hanover to go solo; German states were victorious. Yet George won the right a few years later, as Britain was dragged into the war of the Austrian succession in 1740-1748. Britain achieved nothing; thousands dead and dying.
The Seven Year War, commenced in 1756 when Britain declared War on France, based on the French threat upon the lands of Hanover. Upon its conclusion, Britain’s growth and lands increased, with the seizure of French territory in North America, India, Caribbean and Spanish Florida. Under William Pitt as England’s Prime Minister.
General Wolfe captured Quebec from the French in 1759, and British supremacy in Canada is assured.
On the 25th October 1760, King George II dies at Kensington Palace, and is buried at Westminster Abbey. With instructions, that one side of each coffin, his and his wife’s be removed, so their remains could mingle in death… an act of true love.
King George III: George William Frederick, was born on the 4th June 1738 at Norfolk House, St.James Square, London to parents Frederick, the Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. On the 25th October 1760, George ascended to the English throne upon the death of his grandfather; King George II.
On the 22nd September 1761, George was crowned King George III of England along with his new wife, Queen Charlotte at Westminster Abbey. In 1762 George purchased Bucking House, later known as Buckingham Palace, home to England’s monarchs.
The Earl of Bute is appointed Prime Minister, and in 1763 negotiates the Treaty of Paris, which ends the Seven Years War, which caused patriotic outrage amongst colonists in North America.
In 1772 he introduced the Royal Marriage Act; no member of the Royal family was permitted to marry, without the approval of the then Sovereign.
In April 1775, the relations between Britain and her American colonies would lead to the outbreak of war: The American War of Independence. On the 4th July 1776, American Congress passed the Declaration of Independence; America’s case for freedom.
In 1788, King George III has an attack of porphyria, one of insanity, and his son, George the Prince of Wales had to step in and assist, becoming temporary Regent of England. During his reign George suffered a number of attacks; 1788-1789-1801-1804, but the worst by far was in 1810, when he became permanently deranged. He spent the last ten years of his life, in a fog of insanity, blind and deaf. Death would have been a welcome release for him.
On the 18th June 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated by British and Prussian armies at the Battle of Waterloo. He surrenders to the British on the 15th July and dies on the 5th May 1821, as a prisoner on the island of St.Helena.
In 1807, the Slave Trade Act is introduced by William Wilberforce, which saw the abolishment of slave trading throughout the British Empire.
On the 29th January 1820, King George III died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor.
King George IV: On the 12th August 1762, George Augustus Frederick, was born at St.James Palace, London to parents George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
On the 29th January 1820, George Augustus Frederick, ascended to the English throne, upon the death of his father; King George III.
On the 19th July 1821, George Augustus Frederick, was crowned King George IV of England at Westminster Abbey.
Prince George was now King George IV after living in his father’s shadow, and Regent for the last nine years. He acted as King, but without the title and power.
King George IV was extravagant. John Nash built the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, of Indian Gothic style, and undertook improvements to Buckingham Palace.
In 1828, the Duke of Wellington became Prime Minister, he who had taken on Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo and won.
The Catholic Relief Act was passed in 1829, which allowed Catholics to become Members of Parliament. Initially rejected by the King, but with encouragement, passed by the Prime Minister; the Duke of Wellington.
On the 26th June 1830, King George IV died at Windsor Castle, and was buried at Windsor Castle.
King William IV: William Henry was born on the 21st August 1765 at Buckingham Palace, to parents King George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Aged thirteen he joined the Royal Navy and saw service: In 1780 was at the “Battle of Cape St.Vincent,” served in New York during the American War of Independence. A plot had been sanctioned by George Washington, to kidnap him during his frequent walks around the city unescorted. Once news got out he was assigned a guard.
In 1785 became Lieutenant of the HMS Pegasus, and promoted to captain in 1786, and later that year stationed in the West Indies under Horatio Nelson. In 1788 commanded the HMS Andromeda and was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1789, commanding the HMS Valiant. In 1798 he made admiral, and in 1811 promoted to Admiral of the Fleet.
William’s brother’s died before him, without producing a legitimate heir to the English throne. Princess Charlotte the daughter of George IV died in 1817, Frederick the Duke of York died in 1827, which made William heir to the English throne, something he had never expected.
On the 26th June 1830 William ascended to the English throne, and on the 8th September 1831, he was crowned King William IV of England, and King of Hanover.
The Reform Act of 1832, which abolished abuses of the electoral system, was pushed through when King William created new Whig peers, getting the bill through the House of Lords. It also meant, more people could vote, and a fair redistribution of Parliamentary seats.
In 1833, following years of campaigning by the Quakers and William Wilberforce, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.
The Factory Act of 1833 made it illegal for children under nine, to work in factories and reduced the number of hours worked by women and older children.
In 1834, the Poor Law Act was passed, creating workhouses for the poor.
In 1836 it became a compulsory act of law, that all births, deaths and marriages had to be registered.
On the morning of the 20th June 1837 King William IV died at Windsor Castle and was buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor on the 8th July. With no legitimate children, he was succeeded to the throne by his niece; Victoria who would become Queen of England and Ireland.
Queen Victoria: 19th century England was to see a new Monarch on the English throne, one who would reign for sixty-three years. She would become the second longest reigning monarch, and the last of the “House of Hanover.”
Alexandrina Victoria was born on the 24th May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strashearn, and he was the fourth son of King George III who reigned from (1760-1820), and her German Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
Her early years were met with tragedy when her father Prince Edward the Duke of Kent died on the 23rd January 1820, and six days later her grandfather King George III died on the 29th January 1820.
On the 20th June 1837 Alexandrina Victoria barely eighteen years old had become Queen Victoria from that day forth. Her official Coronation took place on the 28th June 1838, and the people flocked into the streets to see their new Queen.
Victoria was tormented by her mother’s presence, and marriage was the only way she could be free of her mother. So on the 10th February 1840, she married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St.James Palace in London.
One of her first acts that took place a few years after her marriage was to be the first reigning monarch, to ride upon the train as used by the public. Newspapers covered the journey with pictures, spread across the papers pages.
The Victoria Cross was introduced in 1857 to honour acts of bravery during the Crimean War.
On the 22nd January 1901, after a reign of almost 64 years, Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. She was buried at Windsor Castle alongside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum, built for their final resting place.