King George I
George Louis was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, and Sophia of Bohemia. His great- grandfather was James I of England (James VI of Scotland). In 1682, he married his cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, and they had two children, George Augustus (later George II) and Sophia. The marriage was not a success and Sophia Dorothea spent the last 32 years of her life imprisoned in the castle of Ahlden at her husband’s command.
George I was a reluctant king. He had complete power as Elector of Hanover and, although the title of King of England was far more prestigious, he knew he would have to share his power in Great Britain with parliament. Job security was an issue as well, Charles I had lost his head and James II been exiled, both after losing the support of parliament. George was persuaded to accept the throne by his advisors who pointed out that, as King of England he would have the power to strengthen Hanover’s position.
When he arrived in England, George could not speak English and he knew very little about his new country. He was ridiculed by his subjects for the appearance of his two mistresses – ‘The Elephant’, Charlotte Sophia Kielmannsegge, and ‘The Castle’, Eherngard Melusina von Schulenberg, – so called because of their respective stoutness and thinness.
George I spent much of his reign in his beloved Hanover and he died in Osnabruck in 1727.
My Pinterest board about King George I is here: