George I, First Hanoverian King
George I, also known as George Louis, was the King of England from August 1, 1714 until his death in June 11, 1727. George was the first Hanoverian king of Great Britain and King of Ireland as well as Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. Aside from these titles, George also held the title of Archbannerbearer and afterwards Archtreasurer.
George I was born in Hanover, Germany on May 28, 1660 as an eldest son to Earnest Augustus and his wife Sophia. Earnest Augustus was a German prince who was the Elector of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. As the eldest son of Earnest Augustus, George I was the designated heir apparent to his father's German territories. George I also had other relatives who were members of the royalty in England; his grandmother was the sister of King Charles I and his great-grandfather was King James I.
George was married in 1682 to the Princess Sophia of Celle who was his first cousin and an only child, being the daughter of his father's elder brother. The couple gave birth to two children, George (who was born in 1683) and Sophia Dorothea who was born in 1687. The marriage between George I and Princess Sophia was short-lived however, as George spent increasingly more time with his mistress Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg. George later bestowed upon his mistress the titles of Duchess of Munster and Kendal in Great Britain and he sired three children with the Duchess.
Princess Sophia for her part was involved in a relationship outside her marriage as well. She was romantically involved with Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck, who was a Swede. When it became apparent that the two were about to elope, the Hanoverian court intervened and ordered Princess Sophia to cease their illicit relationship.
George meanwhile had begun to hatch a plan to get rid of the Swedish count through murder. It appears that he paid four of his own courtiers to carry out the act, one of which was paid the princely sum of 150,000 thalers, which was a staggering amount of money in those days being equivalent to one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. In any case, Count Philip came to an unfortunate end in July of 1694 and his body was subsequently disposed of in a river.
George was crowned the King of Great Britain in August 1, 1714 under some controversial circumstances. After the death of Queen Anne, there were fifty-two other legitimate claimants to the throne of Great Britain. Furthermore, according to the Act of Union of 1707, for purposes of royal lineage, bloodlines were typically traced through male descendants and not female. In spite of these obstacles however, George I was crowned King of Great Britain.
George I proved to be a fairly unpopular king in large part because of his perceived inability to speak English. His reign in England was also marred by the Jacobite rebellion in which certain factions in England sought to install James Francis Edward Stuart to the throne.
Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 14/08/2008