Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington
Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, was a British Whig statesman who served continuously in government from 1715 until his death. He served as the Prime Minister from 1742 until his death in 1743, he is considered to have been Britain's second Prime Minister, after Sir Robert Walpole, but worked with the Secretary of State, Lord Carteret, in order to secure the support of the various factions making up the Government. Compton, the third son of the 3rd Earl of Northampton, was educated at St Paul's and at Trinity College, Oxford. Thereafter he was admitted into Middle Temple, he entered the House of Commons for the first time in 1698. Although his family were High Tories, he turned to the Whigs after a quarrel with his brother, the 4th Earl of Northampton. In Parliament he soon stood out as prominent amongst the Whigs and began a partnership with Robert Walpole that would last for over forty years. In 1707 he became Paymaster of Pensions, a post that he retained for the next six years despite leaving Parliament in 1710 when he disagreed with his patron Lord Cornwallis and the taking of office by a Tory government in that year.
It is believed that the Tories retained him as they sought to maintain the support of the Compton family. In 1713 Compton re-entered Parliament for East Grinstead and when the Whigs took power in 1715 he was hopeful that he would enter a high office. Instead of the high office he had hoped for, Compton became Treasurer to the Prince of Wales, shortly afterwards was unanimously elected as Speaker of the House of Commons, he held this post from 1715 to 1727. He maintained the role despite the split in the Whigs in 1717 in which he joined the Walpole-Townshend alliance and found himself in opposition to the government of the day, he managed to maintain his position through until 1720. Compton had a reputation for being a lax Speaker, once telling an MP who complained of being interrupted, "No sir, you have a right to speak, but the House have a right to judge whether they will hear you." When Walpole became the leading minister of the day in 1721 there was speculation about his future should George I pass away and be succeeded by his son, more favourably inclined towards Compton than Walpole and declared that he would replace the latter with the former on accession.
In order to avoid this, Walpole sought to keep Compton on the margins of government, though he was appointed as Paymaster of the Forces, a lucrative post, from 1722 until 1730. In 1725, Compton entered Walpole's government as Lord Privy Seal and was created a Knight of the Bath. In 1727, George II succeeded to the throne and sought to bring about the change in leadership he had promised. However, Compton was not perceived as a man of great ability, he was described by a contemporary as "a plodding, heavy fellow, with great application but no talents". In particular he proved unable to compete with Walpole's proposals for an allowance for the King. At a meeting between the three, Compton declared, he maintained a hatred of Walpole for the humiliation. With this passed his last serious chance of holding real control over policy, his influence declined as a result, he remained on close terms with George, but the era when Kings could select their own ministers in defiance of parliament was ending. In order to remove him from the Commons, Walpole raised Compton to the peerage as Baron Wilmington in 1728.
He became associated with the Patriot Whigs, those most critical of Walpole, but in Parliament stuck to the official line of the ministry. However, during the Excise Crisis of 1733, he failed to carry through a threat to resign, after being bought off with the promise to make him a Knight of the Garter, which he duly was; this further weakened any following. He served as Lord President until 1742, he was involved in the creation of the Foundling Hospital in 1739, an orphanage for abandoned children. This charity became the capital's most fashionable way to prove one's philanthropic credentials and therefore had notable board members, of whom Wilmington was one. In January 1742 he succeeded Walpole as First Lord of the Treasury and head of the Carteret ministry. Wilmington was a forceful Prime Minister, grew notorious amongst his cabinet for taking measures without reaching consensus, his strong work ethic took its toll, his health deteriorated. He remained in office until his death, when he was succeeded by the Paymaster of the Forces, Henry Pelham.
He renamed it Compton Place. He engaged the architect Colen Campbell to rebuild the house, it was completed in 1731. Wilmington died unmarried and without issue, therefore all his titles became extinct upon his death. Over 1110 items from his "large and valuable library" were auctioned by Christopher Cock over 10 evenings, from to 27 February to 7 March 1733, he was buried at his family seat of Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire. Compton Place passed to James Compton, 5th Earl of Northampton; the cities of Wilmington and Wilmington, North Carolina, the towns of Wilmington and Wilmington, the neighborhood of Wilmington, Los Angeles, are named in his honour. In the former, the Compton Towers housing project bears his name, he never married. His brothers both have descendants in the United States and Great Britain, he was the first Prime Ministe
Will and testament
A will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death, names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution. For the devolution of property not disposed of by will, see inheritance and intestacy. Though it has at times been thought that a "will" was limited to real property while "testament" applies only to dispositions of personal property, the historical records show that the terms have been used interchangeably. Thus, the word "will" validly applies to both real property. A will may create a testamentary trust, effective only after the death of the testator. Throughout most of the world, disposal of an estate has been a matter of social custom. According to Plutarch, the written will was invented by Solon, it was a device intended for men who died without an heir. The English phrase "will and testament" is derived from a period in English law when Old English and Law French were used side by side for maximum clarity.
Other such legal doublets include "breaking and entering" and "peace and quiet". The conception of the freedom of disposition by will, familiar as it is in modern England and the United States, both considered common law systems, is by no means universal. In fact, complete freedom is the exception rather than the rule. Civil law systems put some restrictions on the possibilities of disposal. Advocates for gays and lesbians have pointed to the inheritance rights of spouses as desirable for same-sex couples as well, through same-sex marriage or civil unions. Opponents of such advocacy rebut this claim by pointing to the ability of same-sex couples to disperse their assets by will. However, it was observed that "ven if a same-sex partner executes a will, there is risk that the survivor will face prejudice in court when disgruntled heirs challenge the will", with courts being more willing to strike down wills leaving property to a same-sex partner on such grounds as incapacity or undue influence.
Types of wills include: nuncupative - oral or dictated. Holographic will - written in the hand of the testator. Self-proved - in solemn form with affidavits of subscribing witnesses to avoid probate. Notarial - will in public prepared by a civil-law notary. Mystic - sealed until death. Serviceman's will - will of person in active-duty military service and lacking certain formalities under English law. Reciprocal/mirror/mutual/husband and wife wills - wills made by two or more parties that make similar or identical provisions in favor of each other. Unsolemn will - will in which the executor is unnamed. Will in solemn form - signed by testator and witnesses; some jurisdictions recognize a holographic will, made out in the testator's own hand, or in some modern formulations, with material provisions in the testator's hand. The distinctive feature of a holographic will is less that it is handwritten by the testator, that it need not be witnessed. In Louisiana this type of testament is called an Mystic will.
It must be written and signed in the handwriting of the testator. Although the date may appear anywhere in the testament, the testator must sign the testament at the end of the testament. Any additions or corrections must be hand written to have effect. In England, the formalities of wills are relaxed for soldiers who express their wishes on active service. A minority of jurisdictions recognize the validity of nuncupative wills for military personnel or merchant sailors. However, there are constraints on the disposition of property if such an oral will is used. Administrator - person appointed or who petitions to administer an estate in an intestate succession; the antiquated English term of administratrix was used to refer to a female administrator but is no longer in standard legal usage. Beneficiary - anyone receiving a gift or benefiting from a trust Bequest - testamentary gift of personal property, traditionally other than money. Codicil - amendment to a will. Decedent - the deceased Demonstrative Legacy - a gift of a specific sum of money with a direction, to be paid out of a particular fund.
Descent - succession to real property. Devise - testamentary gift of real property. Devisee - beneficiary of real property under a will. Distribution - succession to personal property. Executor/executrix or personal representative - person named to administer the estate subject to the supervision of the probate court, in accordance with the testator's wishes in the will. In most cases, the testator will nominate an executor/PR in the will unless that person is unable or unwilling to serve. In some cases a literary executor may be appointed to manage a literary estate. Exordium clause is the first paragraph or sentence in a will and testament, in which the testator identifies himself or herself, states a legal domicile, revokes any prior wills. Inheritor - a beneficiary in a succession, testate or intestate. Intestate - person who has not created a will, or who does not have a valid will at the time of death. Legacy - testamentary gift of personal property, traditionally of m
Governor of Massachusetts
The Governor of Massachusetts is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Massachusetts and serves as commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth's military forces. The current governor is Charlie Baker. Part the Second, Chapter II, Section I, Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution reads, There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled, The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Governor of Massachusetts is the chief executive of the Commonwealth, is supported by a number of subordinate officers. He, like most other state officers and representatives, was elected annually. In 1918 this was changed to a two-year term, since 1966 the office of governor has carried a four-year term; the Governor of Massachusetts does not receive a mansion, other official residence, or housing allowance. Instead, he resides in his own private residence; the title "His Excellency" is a throwback to the royally appointed governors of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The first governor to use the title was Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont, in 1699.
The title was retained until 1742. However, the framers of the state constitution revived it because they found it fitting to dignify the governor with this title; the governor serves as commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth's armed forces. According to the state constitution, whenever the chair of the governor is vacant, the lieutenant governor shall take over as acting governor; the first time this came into use was five years after the constitution's adoption in 1785, when Governor John Hancock resigned the post, leaving Lieutenant Governor Thomas Cushing as acting governor. Most Jane Swift became acting governor upon the resignation of Paul Cellucci. Under this system, the lieutenant governor retains his or her position and title as "lieutenant governor" and becomes acting governor, not governor; the lieutenant governor, when acting as governor, is referred to as "the lieutenant governor, acting governor" in official documents. The Massachusetts Constitution does not use the term "acting governor".
The Massachusetts courts have found that the full authority of the office of the governor devolves to the lieutenant governor upon vacancy in the office of governor, i.e. there is no circumstance short of death, resignation, or impeachment that would relieve the acting governor from the full gubernatorial responsibilities. When the constitution was first adopted, the Governor's Council was charged with acting as governor in the event that both the governorship and lieutenant governorship were vacant; this occurred in 1799 when Governor Increase Sumner died in office on June 7, 1799, leaving Lieutenant Governor Moses Gill as acting governor. Acting Governor Gill never received a lieutenant and died on May 20, 1800, between that year's election and the inauguration of Governor-elect Caleb Strong; the Governor's Council served as the executive for ten days. Article LV of the Constitution, enacted in 1918, created a new line of succession: Governor Lieutenant governor Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney general Treasurer and receiver-general State auditor When the governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the office of governor remains vacant for the rest of the 4-year term.
The lieutenant governor does not succeed but only duties as acting governor. However, if a vacancy in the office of governor continues for six months, the six months expire more than five months before the next regular biennial state election midway through the governor's term, a special election is held at that time to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired 4-year term; the governor has a 10-person cabinet, each of whom oversees a portion of the government under direct administration. See Government of Massachusetts for a complete listing; the front doors of the state house are only opened when a governor leaves office, a head of state or the President of the United States comes to visit the State House, or for the return of flags from Massachusetts regiments at the end of wars. The tradition of the ceremonial door originated when departing Governor Benjamin Butler kicked open the front door and walked out by himself in 1884. Incoming governors choose at least one past governor's portrait to hang in their office.
Before being sworn into office, the governor-elect receives four symbols from the departing governor: the ceremonial pewter "Key" for the governor's office door, the Butler Bible, the "Gavel", a two-volume set of the Massachusetts General Statutes with a personal note from the departing governor to his/her successor added to the back of the text. The governor-elect is escorted by the sergeant-at-arms to the House Chamber and sworn in by the senate president before a joint session of the House and Senate. Upon completion of their term, the departing governor takes a "lone walk" down the Grand Staircase, through the House of Flags, into Doric Hall, out the central doors, down the steps of the Massachusetts State House; the governor crosses the street into Boston Common, thereby symbolically rejoining the Commonwealth as a private citizen. Benjamin Butler started the tradition in 1884; some walks have been modified with some past governors having their wives, friends, or staff accompany them. A 19-gun salute is offered during the walk, the steps are lined by the outgoing governor's friends and supporters.
James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby
James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby, styled The Honourable until 1702, was a British peer and politician. Derby was the second son of Charles Stanley, 8th Earl of Derby, Dorothea Helena Kirkhoven, he was elected to the House of Commons for Clitheroe in 1685, a seat he held until 1689, represented Preston from 1689 to 1690 and Lancashire from 1695 to 1702. He held the post of Groom of the Bedchamber to King William III from 1689 to 1702. In 1702, he entered the House of Lords. In 1706, Derby was admitted to the Privy Council and appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a position he retained until 1710, was Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1715 to 1723, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire during 1702–1710 and 1714–1736. In 1732, he succeeded his great-niece as sixth Baron Strange. Lord Derby married Mary Morley, daughter of Sir William Morley and Anne Denham, daughter of the celebrated poet Sir John Denham, he died in February 1736, aged 68, without surviving male issue. The barony of Strange was passed on to his first cousin once removed, James Murray, 2nd Duke of Atholl.
He was succeeded in the earldom by his distant relative Edward Stanley, 11th Earl of Derby. Lady Derby died in 1752. Kidd, Williamson, David. Debrett's Baronetage. New York: St Martin's Press, 1990, Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth
Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth PC came of an old Northamptonshire family. He married Hon. Letitia Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Baron Coote of Coloony, Mary St. George, his father Robert was a Cromwellian who made a fortune in Dublin by provisioning Cromwell's army. In 1695 he became a prominent member of the Privy Council of Ireland; the same year he stood for Dublin County in the Irish House of Commons, a seat he held until 1703. Subsequently, he represented Swords until 1715. In the following year, he was created Viscount Molesworth, of Swords, in the Peerage of Ireland. Molesworth's An Account of Denmark, as it was in the Year 1692 was somewhat influential in the burgeoning field of political science in the period, he made a case for comparative political analysis, comparing the political situation of a country to the health of an individual. Through his son Richard, 3rd Viscount Molesworth's daughter Louisa, he is one of the ancestors of Diana, Princess of Wales. Robert Molesworth was born two days after his fathers' death on 9 September 1656.
He was raised by his mothers' family, the Bysses, at Brackenstown, near Swords, County Dublin. His grandfather, John Bysse, was an eminent lawyer who became Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer under Charles II. In 1675, Robert graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a B. A.. On 15 August 1676, shortly before his 20th birthday, he was married in Dublin to Letitia Coote, third daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Baron Coote of Colooney, Mary St. George, daughter of George St. George, Deputy Admiral of Connaught. Letitia's brother Richard was created Earl of Bellomont and served as Governor of New York and New Hampshire for William III from 1697 until his sudden death in 1701. Robert and Letitia Molesworth subsequently settled at the Bysse family seat, Brackenstown House, where according to a letter of 1721 Letitia bore seventeen children, nine of whom were still living at the time. On 7 May 1689, young Molesworth, an active supporter of the Williamites, was attainted by King James II's Catholic-dominated Irish Parliament.
His estate, valued at £2825 per annum, was duly confiscated. James had succeeded his brother Charles II as king of England and Scotland early in 1685. Although fearful of alienating English and Irish Protestant opinion, James came under the influence of the Catholic Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell and determined to make the island of Ireland a Catholic stronghold. Tyrconnell secured the king's agreement to revise the 1662 Act of Settlement, which had confirmed many of the leading Cromwellian planters in their estates. Over the course of the next two years, war raged across Ireland between the rival armies of James II and the Dutch Protestant, William of Orange, invited to take the throne of England by the Parliament in 1688; the decisive victory of the Williamite forces at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, the battle of Aughrim in 1691, confirmed the new Protestant monarchy and secured New English interests in Ireland. The age of the Protestant Ascendancy had begun. Robert Molesworth, an ardent Whig, became a prominent figure in the new Williamite administration.
Contemporaries acknowledged his opinions on politics and economy with considerable respect. From July 1689 to December 1692 he served as British Ambassador to the Court of Denmark, during which time he wrote a spirited attack on Danish absolutism in a treatise entitled An Account of Denmark as it was in the Year 1692. From 1695 to 1698 he stood as Whig MP in both the English and Irish Parliaments, representing Camelford and Dublin City respectively. In August 1697, he was appointed to the Irish Privy Council, an effective cabinet charged with the governance of Ireland and the introduction of the "Penal Laws". From 1703 to 1715 he represented Swords as MP in the Irish Parliament. Between November 1714 and December 1715 he served in the fruitful post of Commissioner of Trade and Plantations. On 16 July 1716, Robert was advanced to the Irish peerage as Baron of Phillipstown and Viscount Molesworth of Swords "in reward for his steadfast adherence to the House of Hanover", he took his seat as such on 1 July 1719.
In his years he established the "Molesworth Circle", a group of eminent scientists and thinkers who met at Brackenstown and are said to have introduced the spread of "politeness" in 18th century Ireland. Other members of this Whig-minded intellectual circle included Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, James Arbuckle, John Toland and Jonathan Swift. Molesworth's pamphlet Considerations on the Agriculture and Employment of the Poor of Ireland prompted Swift to address the last of his celebrated Drapier's Letters to Molesworth in 1724; when the so-called South Sea Bubble burst in 1720, the 1st Viscount was the most vehement of those seeking vengeance against the company directors. He and his grandson, Robert Molesworth, had invested in the company, he advised that, as no law existed for punishing such companies, the government "ought upon this occasion follow the example of the ancient Romans, having no law against parricide, because their legislators supposed no son could be so unnaturally wicked as to embrue his hands in his father's blood
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727. George was born in Hanover and inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father and uncles. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over 50 Roman Catholics were closer to Anne by primogeniture, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. In reaction, Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed. During George's reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister.
Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, he was the last British monarch to be buried outside the United Kingdom. George was born on 28 May 1660 in the city of Hanover in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, he was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate. Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through Elizabeth of Bohemia. For the first year of his life, George was the only heir to the German territories of his father and three childless uncles. George's brother, Frederick Augustus, was born in 1661, the two boys were brought up together, their mother was absent for a year during a long convalescent holiday in Italy, but corresponded with her sons' governess and took a great interest in their upbringing more so upon her return. Sophia bore Ernest Augustus a daughter.
In her letters, Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. By 1675 George's eldest uncle had died without issue, but his remaining two uncles had married, putting George's inheritance in jeopardy as his uncles' estates might pass to their own sons, should they have had any, instead of to George. George's father took him hunting and riding, introduced him to military matters. In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons, Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, with his capital at Hanover. George's surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to legitimise his only daughter, Sophia Dorothea, but looked unlikely to have any further children. Under Salic law, where inheritance of territory was restricted to the male line, the succession of George and his brothers to the territories of their father and uncle now seemed secure. In 1682, the family agreed to adopt the principle of primogeniture, meaning George would inherit all the territory and not have to share it with his brothers.
The same year, George married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, thereby securing additional incomes that would have been outside Salic laws. The marriage of state was arranged as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle, his mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorothea's mother, because she was concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status. She was won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage. In 1683, George and his brother, Frederick Augustus, served in the Great Turkish War at the Battle of Vienna, Sophia Dorothea bore George a son, George Augustus; the following year, Frederick Augustus was informed of the adoption of primogeniture, meaning he would no longer receive part of his father's territory as he had expected. It led to a breach between father and son, between the brothers, that lasted until Frederick Augustus's death in battle in 1690. With the imminent formation of a single Hanoverian state, the Hanoverians' continuing contributions to the Empire's wars, Ernest Augustus was made an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692.
George's prospects were now better than as the sole heir to his father's electorate and his uncle's duchy. Sophia Dorothea had a second child, a daughter named after her, in 1687, but there were no other pregnancies; the couple became estranged—George preferred the company of his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, Sophia Dorothea, had her own romance with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. Threatened with the scandal of an elopement, the Hanoverian court, including George's brothers and mother, urged the lovers to desist, but to no avail. According to diplomatic sources from Hanover's enemies, in July 1694 the Swedish count was killed with the connivance of George, his body thrown into the river Leine weighted with stones; the murder was claimed to have been committed by four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers, one of whom was paid the enormous sum of 150,000 thalers, about one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. Rumours supposed t