Researching the American Revolution

Your source for information on the American War of Independence

King George III

King George III - British Ambassador's Residence

King George III as Prince of Wales located at Black Bass Tavern, Solebury PA

Primary Sources – The Georgian Papers Program

“Launched on 1 April 2015 by Her Majesty The Queen, the Georgian Papers Programme is transforming access to papers in the Royal Archives and Royal Library covering the period 1714-1837. By 2020 free digital access will be available to all the material relating to Britain’s Hanoverian monarchs.

At the heart of the Programme is a partnership between the Royal Archives and Royal Library with King’s College London (KCL). King’s both frames multidisciplinary academic interpretation of the material and brings to bear its own track record of leadership in the development of digital access. It also has relevant collections that will feature in the partnership. The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OI) and the College of William & Mary are sharing in this work as primary Programme partners for the USA. The Library of Congress is also contributing to the development of public engagement programming and enhancing digital access.

Including the papers of George I, II, III, and IV and William IV, as well as other members of the Royal Family, politicians, courtiers and the Privy Purse, the Programme promises to deepen our understanding and provide new insights into Britain’s role in the world, its relationships with other European states, colonial America and the United States of America, as well as British politics, the Enlightenment, science, food, art collecting and patronage, life at court and the education of royal children. Careful checking has revealed that only 15% of the 350,000 pages have ever been published before. This will be augmented with a further 100,000 pages of manuscript material from the Royal Library.” From the first annual report of the Georgian Papers Program.

Secondary Sources

Black, Jeremy. George III: America’s Last King. 1. print. Yale English Monarchs. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006.

Black’s biography is a good starting place for those who would like to learn more about the life of King George III.  While the political details can be overwelming, Black provides interesting accounts of George’s religious views, cultural interests and intellectual pursuits.  American readers should have a dictionary handy when reading, as the author uses many words not generally used on this side of the Atlantic.  Despite this stylistic limitation, I recommend this biography for a more complete assessment of George’s life and contributions.

Brooke, J. King George III. American Revolution Bicentennial Program. McGraw-Hill, 1972.

Hadlow, Janice. A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III. Henry Holt & Co., 2014.

Hibbert, Christopher. A Personal History. Basic Books, 2000.

Mumby, Frank Arthur. George III, and the American Revolution – The Beginnings. London: Constable & Company, LTD, 1924.

Plumb, J.H. The First Four Georges. 14th ed. Glasgow: Fontana/Collins, 1978.

Plaster cast but L. Gahagan, 1809
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