Scottish National Gallery
The Scottish National Gallery is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street; the building was designed in a neoclassical style by William Henry Playfair, first opened to the public in 1859. The gallery houses Scotland's national collection of fine art, spanning Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century; the Scottish National Gallery is run by National Galleries of Scotland, a public body that owns the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Because of its architectural similarity, the Scottish National Gallery is confused by visitors with the neighbouring Royal Scottish Academy Building, a separate institution which works with the Scottish National Gallery; the origins of Scotland's national collection lie with the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland, founded in 1819. It began to acquire paintings, in 1828 the Royal Institution building opened on The Mound.
In 1826, the Scottish Academy was founded by a group of artists as an offshoot of the Royal Institution, in 1838 it became the Royal Scottish Academy. A key aim of the RSA was the founding of a national collection, it began to build up a collection and from 1835 rented exhibition space within the Royal Institution building. In the 1840s, plans were put in place for a new building to house the RSA; the noted Scottish architect William Henry Playfair was commissioned to prepare designs, on 30 August 1850, Prince Albert laid the foundation stone. The building was divided along the middle, with the east half housing the exhibition galleries of the RSA, the western half containing the new National Gallery of Scotland, formed from the collection of the Royal Institution. In 1912 the RSA moved into the Royal Institution building, which remains known as the Royal Scottish Academy Building; when it re-opened, the gallery concentrated on building its permanent collection of Scottish and European art for the nation of Scotland.
In the early 21st century, the National Galleries launched the Playfair Project, a scheme to create a new basement entrance to the National Gallery in Princes Street Gardens and an underground connecting space, called the Weston Link, between the Gallery and the renovated Royal Scottish Academy building. The new underground space opened in 2004. In 2012, the gallery's umbrella organisation, National Galleries of Scotland, underwent a rebranding exercise, National Gallery of Scotland was renamed the Scottish National Gallery. William Playfair's building — like its neighbour, the Royal Scottish Academy — was designed in the form of an Ancient Greek temple atop a stylobate steps. While Playfair designed the RSA in the Doric order, the National Gallery building was surrounded by Ionic columns topped with tetrastyle porticoes; the pair of porticoes at the main entrance reflect the building's original dual purpose, to house the two collections of the NGS and the RSA, these served as two separate entrances.
Playfair worked to a much more limited budget than the RSA project, this is reflected in his comparatively austere architectural style. He may have drawn inspiration from an 1829 scheme for an arcade of shops by Archibald Elliot II, son of Archibald Elliot. Playfair's National Gallery was laid out in a cruciform plan; when the RSA moved into the former Royal Institution building in 1912, the English architect William Thomas Oldrieve was engaged to remodel the NGS interior to house the National Gallery collection exclusively. In the 1970s, when the gallery was under the direction of the Department of the Environment, the building was extended. An upper floor was added at the south end in 1972, creating five new small galleries, in 1978 a new gallery was opened in the basement to house the Gallery's Scottish Collection; the new Princes Street Gardens entrance and underground space opened in 2004 was designed by John Miller and Partners. Construction cost £ 32 million; the area contains a lecture theatre, education area, restaurant, an interactive gallery, a link to the RSA building.
In January 2019, construction work began on a project to alter the lower level areas and to create extended exhibition space. It is planned. Architectural features The research facilities at the Scottish National Gallery include the Prints and Drawings Collection of over 30,000 works on paper, from the early Renaissance to the late nineteenth century; the Research Library covers the period from 1300 to 1900 and holds 50,000 volumes of books, journals and microfiches, as well as some archival material relating to the collections and history of the National Gallery. The Print Room or Research Library can be accessed by appointment. At the heart of the National Gallery's collection is a group of paintings transferred from the Royal Scottish Academy Building; this includes masterpieces by Van Dyck and Giambattista Tiepolo. The National Gallery did not receive its own purchase grant until 1903. In the Gallery's main ground floor rooms are displayed a number of major large-scale canvases such as Benjamin West's Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from the Fury of a Stag, Rubens's The Feast of Herod
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany was the second son of George III, King of the United Kingdom and Hanover, his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. A soldier by profession, from 1764 to 1803 he was Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück in the Holy Roman Empire. From the death of his father in 1820 until his own death in 1827 he was the heir presumptive to his elder brother, George IV, in both the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Hanover. Frederick was thrust into the British Army at a early age and was appointed to high command at the age of thirty, when he was given command of a notoriously ineffectual campaign during the War of the First Coalition, a continental war following the French Revolution; as Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars, he oversaw the reorganisation of the British Army, establishing vital structural and recruiting reforms for which he is credited with having done "more for the army than any one man has done for it in the whole of its history."
Prince Frederick Augustus, or the Duke of York as he became in life, belonged to the House of Hanover. He was born on 16 August 1763, at London, his father was the reigning British monarch, King George III. His mother was Queen Charlotte, he was christened on 14 September 1763 at St James's, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Secker — his godparents were his great-uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, his uncle the Duke of York and his great-aunt the Princess Amelia. On 27 February 1764, when Prince Frederick was six months old, he became Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück upon the death of Clemens August of Bavaria; the Peace of Westphalia stipulated that the city of Osnabrück would alternate between Catholic and Protestant rulers, with the Protestant bishops to be elected from the cadets of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The bishopric of Osnabrück came with a substantial income, which he retained until the city was incorporated into Hanover in 1803 during the German mediatization, he was invested as Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath on 30 December 1767 and as a Knight of the Order of the Garter on 19 June 1771.
George III decided that his second son would pursue an army career and had him gazetted colonel on 4 November 1780. From 1781 to 1787, Prince Frederick lived in Hanover, where he studied at the University of Göttingen, he was appointed colonel of the 2nd Horse Grenadier Guards on 26 March 1782 before being promoted to major-general on 20 November 1782. Promoted to lieutenant general on 27 October 1784, he was appointed colonel of the Coldstream Guards on 28 October 1784, he was created Duke of York and Albany and Earl of Ulster on 27 November 1784 and became a member of the Privy Council. On his return to Great Britain, the Duke took his seat in the House of Lords, where, on 15 December 1788 during the Regency crisis, he opposed William Pitt's Regency Bill in a speech, supposed to have been influenced by the Prince of Wales. On 26 May 1789 he took part in a duel with Colonel Charles Lennox. On 12 April 1793 Frederick was promoted to full general; that year, he was sent to Flanders in command of the British contingent of Coburg's army destined for the invasion of France.
Frederick and his command fought in the Flanders Campaign under trying conditions. He won several notable engagements, such as the Siege of Valenciennes in July 1793, but was defeated at the Battle of Hondschoote in September 1793. In the 1794 campaign he gained a notable success at the Battle of Beaumont in April and another at the Battle of Willems in May but was defeated at the Battle of Tourcoing that month; the British army was evacuated through Bremen in April 1795. After his return to Britain, his father George III promoted him to the rank of field marshal on 18 February 1795. On 3 April 1795, George appointed him effective Commander-in-Chief in succession to Lord Amherst although the title was not confirmed until three years later, he was colonel of the 60th Regiment of Foot from 19 August 1797. On appointment as Commander-in-Chief he declared, reflecting on the Flanders Campaign of 1793–94, "that no officer should be subject to the same disadvantages under which he had laboured", his second field command was with the army sent for the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in August 1799.
On 7 September 1799, he was given the honorary title of Captain-General. Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, in charge of the vanguard, had succeeded in capturing some Dutch warships in Den Helder. However, following the Duke's arrival with the main body of the army, a number of disasters befell the allied forces, including shortage of supplies. On 17 October 1799, the Duke signed the Convention of Alkmaar, by which the allied expedition withdrew after giving up its prisoners. 1799 saw Fort Frederick in South Africa named after him. Frederick's military setbacks of 1799 were inevitable given his lack of moral seniority as a field commander, the poor state of the British army at the time, conflicting military objectives of the protagonists. After this ineffectual campaign, Frederick was mocked unfairly, in the rhyme "The Grand Old Duke of York": Frederick's experience in the Dutch campaign made a strong impression on him; that campaign, the Flanders campaign, had demonstrated the numerous weaknesses of the British army after years of neglect.
Edinburgh Waverley railway station
Edinburgh Waverley railway station is the principal station serving Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It is the second busiest station in Scotland, after Glasgow Central, it is the northern terminus of the East Coast Main Line, 393 miles 13 chains from London King's Cross, although some trains operated by London North Eastern Railway continue to other Scottish destinations beyond Edinburgh. Services to and from Edinburgh Waverley are operated by Abellio ScotRail, including four routes to Glasgow, the Fife Circle, the reopened Borders Railway and services to Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa/North Berwick/Dunbar; the station is the terminus of the Edinburgh leg of the West Coast Main Line served by Virgin Trains and TransPennine Express. Long distance inter-city trains to England are operated by CrossCountry to destinations such as York, Sheffield, Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St Davids and Plymouth. Waverley station is situated in a steep, narrow valley between the medieval Old Town and the 18th century New Town.
Princes Street, the premier shopping street, runs close to its north side. The valley is bridged by the North Bridge, rebuilt in 1897 as a three-span iron and steel bridge, on huge sandstone piers; this passes high above the station's central section, directly over the central booking hall. Waverley Bridge lies to the west side of the station and it is this road which, by means of ramps afforded vehicular access to the station and still provides two of the six pedestrian entrances to the station; the valley to the west the site of the Nor Loch, is the public parkland of Princes Street Gardens. Edinburgh's Old Town, perched on a steep-sided sloping ridge, was bounded on the north by a valley in which the Nor Loch had been formed. In the 1750s overcrowding led to proposals to link across this valley to allow development to the north; the "noxious lake" was to be narrowed into "a canal of running water", with a bridge formed across the east end of the loch adjacent to the physic garden. This link was built from 1766 as the North Bridge and at the same time plans for the New Town began development to the north, with Princes Street to get unobstructed views south over sloping gardens and the proposed canal.
The loch was drained. In 1770 a coachbuilder began work on properties feued at the corner between the bridge and Princes Street, feuers on the other side of the street objected to this construction blocking their views to the south. A series of court cases ended with the decision that the buildings nearing completion could stay to the west of that some workshops would be allowed below the level of Princes Street, further west a park would be "kept and preserved in perpetuity as pleasure ground" in what became Princes Street Gardens. In the mid 1830s proposals for a railway from Glasgow running along the gardens to a station at the North Bridge were set out in a prospectus with assurances that the trains would be concealed from view, smoke from them "would scarcely be seen". An association of "Princes Street Proprietors" who had feued houses in the street, had spent large sums turning the "filthy and offensive bog" of the Nor Loch into quiet gardens opposed the railway and in late 1836 put forward their case against the Act of Parliament for the railway.
The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway opened in 1842 with its terminus at Haymarket railway station, stopping short of Princes Street. In the Railway Mania of the 1840s, the railway sought another Act of Parliament allowing access along the gardens, at the same time two other railways proposed terminus stations at the North Bridge site. By several of the Princes Street properties were shops or hotels with an interest in development, agreement was reached in 1844 on walls and embankments to conceal the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway line in a cutting, with compensation of £2,000 for the proprietors; the North Bridge station was opened on 22 June 1846 by the North British Railway as the terminus for its line from Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway's General station opened on 17 May 1847, on the same day as the Canal Street station of the Edinburgh and Newhaven Railway, serving Leith and Granton via a long rope-hauled tunnel under the New Town; the collective name "Waverley", after the Waverley Novels by Sir Walter Scott, was used for the three from around 1854 when the through'Waverley' route to Carlisle opened.
Canal Street station was known as Edinburgh Princes Street, not to be confused with the Caledonian Railway railway station built at the West End, named Princes Street station from 1870. In 1868 the North British Railway acquired the stations of its rivals, demolished all three, closed the Scotland Street tunnel to Canal Street; the present Victorian station was built on the site, extended in the late 19th century. Waverley has been in continual use since, under the auspices of the North British, the LNER, British Railways and latterly Network Rail. From its opening in its current form by the eastward tunnelled extension from Haymarket, Waverley has been the principal railway station in Edinburgh. From 1870 to 1965 the city had a second major station, Princes Street, operated by the rival Caledonian Railway, but this was never as important as Waverley; as at other large railway stations of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the railway company constructed a grand station hotel beside their station.
The North British Hotel, adjacent to the station at the corner between Princes Street and North Bridge (on the site of the c
The Nor Loch known as the Nor' Loch and the North Loch, was a loch in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the area now occupied by Princes Street Gardens, which lies between the Royal Mile and Princes Street. The depression, along with the parallel one, now occupied by the Cowgate, was formed by glacial erosion during the last Ice Age, when the icepack was forced to divide by the volcanic plug now known as Castle Rock; the Nor Loch was a marsh at the foot of the Castle Rock, part of the natural defence of the Edinburgh Old Town. In 1460 King James III ordered the hollow to be flooded in order to strengthen the castle's defences; the loch was formed by creating an earthen dam to block the progress of a stream that ran along the north side of the castle. The water level was controlled by sluice in the dam, it is thought never to have been deep. Because the Old Town was built on a steep ridge, it expanded on an east-west axis, eastwards from the castle; the Nor Loch was thus a hindrance to both invaders and town growth.
In the winter of 1571, the Earl of Morton suggested an English army would more capture the Castle from the north because the Loch would be frozen and there were no town walls on that side. In 1603, King James VI gave the Town Council title to the land and marshes of the loch; as the Old Town became more crowded during the Middle Ages, the Nor Loch became polluted, by sewage, household waste, general detritus thrown down the hillside. Historians are divided on whether the loch was used for drinking water; the Nor Loch fulfilled a variety of other roles during this period including: Defence: Scotland, Edinburgh, suffered frequent English invasions during the period of intermittent Anglo-Scottish wars from the 13th to 16th centuries. Suicides: The Nor Loch was a common spot for suicide attempts. Crime: The loch appears to have been used as a smuggling route. Punishment: It is a popularly held myth that the Nor' Loch was the site of'witch ducking' in Edinburgh.'Witch ducking' or'the swimming test' was employed by witchcraft prosecutors in some areas of Europe as a method of identifying whether or not a suspect was guilty of witchcraft.
However, according to the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft there is little evidence that'witch ducking' was utilised as a means of identifying witches in Scottish witchcraft trials. However, in 1685 the law of Scotland outlawed drowning as a form of execution. Before many lives were taken. On one day in 1624, eleven women were drowned. Four years George Sinclair confessed to committing incest with his two sisters. All three were sentenced to death, but it was said that the clergy commuted the sentence on the younger sister. Sinclair and his older sister were placed in a large chest with holes drilled in it and thrown into the loch to drown. Two centuries in 1820, the chest was rediscovered by workmen digging a drain near the Wellhouse Tower of the Castle. James Skene of Rubislaw, present at the work in the gardens, reported that the skeleton of a tall man was found between those of two women. 19th-century accounts report only two skeletons being found in the chest. In 1685, Margaret Wilson, aged eighteen, Margaret McLachlan, aged sixty three, were drowned for overheard comments they made about James VII's position on the Church.
Draining of the Nor Loch began at the eastern end to allow construction of the North Bridge. Draining of the western end was undertaken 1813 to 1820, under supervision by the engineer James Jardine to enable the creation of Princes Street Gardens. For several decades after draining of the Loch began, townspeople continued to refer to the area as the Nor Loch. Although the Nor Loch was filled in during the 19th century, neither its legacy nor its name are forgotten. During the construction of Waverley Station and the railway lines through the area, a number of bones were uncovered. Princes Street Gardens were created in the 1820s and now occupy much of the loch's former extent; the Nor Loch is not the only "lost loch" in the city. Another example is Gogarloch in the South Gyle area. Like the Nor Loch, this was marshland, rather than a true loch, it was reclaimed for housing and to build the railway to the Forth Bridge. The Meadows, a large open park to the south of the city centre, was once the Burgh Loch referred to as the South Loch.
Its name is remembered in the street called Boroughloch. Canonmills Loch once stretched from today's Dundas Street to Rodney Street. Robertson and Wood, Castle And Town, Chapters In The History Of The Royal Burgh Of Edinburgh
Alexander Nasmyth was a Scottish portrait and landscape painter, a pupil of Allan Ramsay. Nasmyth was born in Edinburgh on 9 September 1758, he was apprenticed to a coachbuilder. Aged sixteen, he was taken to London by portrait painter Allan Ramsay where he worked on subordinate parts of Ramsay's works. Nasmyth returned to Edinburgh in 1778. Offered a loan by Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, Nasmyth left in 1782 for Italy, where he remained two years furthering his studies. In Italy he devoted most of his attention to landscape painting, is recorded as having copied a work by Claude. Nasmyth returned to Scotland, he painted some works in the style of Ramsay, but most were conversation pieces with outdoor settings. His portrait of Robert Burns, who became a close friend, is now in the Scottish National Gallery. Nasmyth's strong Liberal opinions offended many of his aristocratic patrons in a politically charged Edinburgh, leading to a falling off in commissions for portraits, in 1792 he abandoned the genre, turning instead to landscape painting.
He began painting scenery for theatres, an activity he continued for the next thirty years, in 1796 painted a panorama. His landscapes are all of actual places, architecture is an important element; some works were painted to illustrate the effects that new buildings would have on an area, such as Inverary from the Sea, painted for the Duke of Argyll to show the setting a proposed lighthouse. Nasmyth had a great interest in engineering, proposed several ideas that were widely used, although he never patented any of them. In October 1788, when Patrick Miller sailed the world's first successful steamship, designed by William Symington, on Dalswinton Loch, Nasmyth was one of the crew, he was employed by members of the Scottish nobility in the improvement and beautification of their estates. He designed the circular temple covering St Bernard's Well by the Water of Leith, bridges at Almondell, West Lothian, Tongland, Kirkcudbrightshire. In 1815 he was one of those invited to submit proposals for the expansion of Edinburgh New Town.
Nasmyth set up a drawing school and "instilled a whole generation with the importance of drawing as a tool of empirical investigation". Another successful pupil was the painter, art dealer and connoisseur Andrew Wilson, who had his first art training under Nasmyth. Nasmyth was not only the tutor to the polymath Mary Somerville but he introduced her to the leading intellectuals in Edinburgh. Nasmyth died at 47 York Place in Edinburgh, he was buried in St Cuthbert's Churchyard at the west end of Princes Street. Nasmyth's six daughters all became notable artists, his daughters were Jane, Margaret, Elizabeth and Charlotte. His eldest son, Patrick Nasmyth, studied under his father went to London and attracted attention as a landscapist. Another son, James Nasmyth, invented the steam hammer. Macmillan, Duncan. Painting in Scotland: The Golden Age. Oxford: Phaidon in association with the Talbot Rice Art Centre and the Tate Gallery.online version For an account of Andrew Wilson see "The Scottish Claude" by John Ramm, Antique Dealer & Collectors Guide, July 1997, Vol 50, No. 12 Works in the National Galleries of Scotland
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814, he was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, never visited Hanover. His life and with it his reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence.
Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the part of his life, George III had recurrent, permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established. George III's eldest son, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent until his father's death, when he succeeded as George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them; until it was reassessed in the second half of the 20th century, his reputation in the United States was one of a tyrant. George was born in London at Norfolk House in St James's Square, he was the grandson of King George II, the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.
As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, both Rector of St James's and Bishop of Oxford. One month he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker, his godparents were the King of Sweden, his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Gotha and his great-aunt the Queen of Prussia. Prince George grew into a healthy but shy child; the family moved to Leicester Square, where George and his younger brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, were educated together by private tutors. Family letters show that he could read and write in both English and German, as well as comment on political events of the time, by the age of eight, he was the first British monarch to study science systematically. Apart from chemistry and physics, his lessons included astronomy, French, history, geography, commerce and constitutional law, along with sporting and social accomplishments such as dancing and riding, his religious education was wholly Anglican.
At age 10, George took part in a family production of Joseph Addison's play Cato and said in the new prologue: "What, tho' a boy! It may with truth be said, A boy in England born, in England bred." Historian Romney Sedgwick argued that these lines appear "to be the source of the only historical phrase with which he is associated". George's grandfather, King George II, disliked the Prince of Wales, took little interest in his grandchildren. However, in 1751 the Prince of Wales died unexpectedly from a lung injury at the age of 44, George became heir apparent to the throne, he inherited his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh. Now more interested in his grandson, three weeks the King created George Prince of Wales. In the spring of 1756, as George approached his eighteenth birthday, the King offered him a grand establishment at St James's Palace, but George refused the offer, guided by his mother and her confidant, Lord Bute, who would serve as Prime Minister. George's mother, now the Dowager Princess of Wales, preferred to keep George at home where she could imbue him with her strict moral values.
In 1759, George was smitten with Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of the Duke of Richmond, but Lord Bute advised against the match and George abandoned his thoughts of marriage. "I am born for the happiness or misery of a great nation," he wrote, "and must act contrary to my passions." Attempts by the King to marry George to Princess Sophie Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel were resisted by him and his mother. The following year, at the age of 22, George succeeded to the throne when his grandfather, George II, died on 25 October 1760, two weeks before his 77th birthday; the search for a suitable wife intensified. On 8 September 1761 in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, the King married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he met on their wedding day. A fortnight on 22 September both were crowned at Westminster Abbey. George remarkably never took a mistress, the couple enjoyed a genuinely happy marriage until his mental illness struck, they had 15 children -- six daughters. In 1762, George purchased Buckingham House for use as a family retreat.
His other residences were Windsor Castle. St James's Palace was retained for