George II, the only son of George I and Queen Sophia, ascended the throne upon his father’s death in 1727. Although raised at George I’s court in Hanover, by the time his father became King of England, young George was already 30 and had assimilated enough of English culture to be more of a leader of the country than his father had been. George II is famous for his love of his wife, Caroline, who bore him three sons and two daughters and actively participated in government affairs. She revived court life that had withered under George I’s frequent absences and brought dignity and beauty to the monarchy. And it was Queen Caroline who convinced George to retain Robert Walpole as Prime Minister even though George hated the man.
George II holds the distinction of being that last British monarch to actually lead troops in the field (at Dettingen against the French in 1743) and his reign is marked by the final attempt of the Pretender (Prince Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie) to regain the throne of England. The Jacobite Rebellon started in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland and marched as far south as Derby. But under pressure the Scots retreated, and in 1746 were butchered by the Royal Army at Culloden Moor. Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to France and died in Rome.
George II died of a stroke on 25 October, 1760 leaving behind him the beginnings of the modern constitutional monarchy that exists in England today.
© 2004 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.