King George I Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1698 – 1727 *** Full Name: King George I was also known as George Louis *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on May 28, 1660 *** Place of Birth: King George I was born in Hanover *** Family background: His father was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Ernest Augustus *** Early life and childhood: King George I grew up and spent the majority of his life in Hanover *** King George I died on June 11, 1727 ***
King George I Fact 1: King George (George Louis) I was born on May 28, 1660 in Hanover, Brunswick-Lüneburg, Holy Roman Empire.
King George I Fact 2: In 1698, he became ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1714, he became the first Hanoverian King of Great Britain and Ireland.
King George I Fact 3: The Holy Roman Empire can be described as a major political institution which consisted of multi-ethnic territories in Europe. It began during the Middle Ages and lasted until the 19th centuries.
King George I Fact 4: His father was the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his name was Ernest Augustus. His mother was King James I and Elizabeth of Bohemia's granddaughter, and her name was Sophia of the Palatinate.
King George I Fact 5: He was the eldest child in the family, having a number of younger brothers and sisters. He was closest in age to his brother, Frederick Augustus, they spent a lot of time together as children. Their mother, Sophia of the Palatinate, spent time in Italy when the two boys were small. During this time, they were left in the care of their governess. Their mother made regular contact to check on the well-being on her sons.
King George I Fact 6: His future became uncertain when one of his uncles died. His two surviving uncles were childless which meant that George was first in line to inherit his uncles' estates. However, his uncles had founds wives which meant that things could be set to change.
King George I Fact 7: His father became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen (Hanover) in 1679 following the death of one of his brothers (King George I's uncles). This left only one surviving uncle, George William of Celle. He had a daughter but no sons. As inheritance was restricted to male members of the family only, it was to be passed on to George and his brothers. However, the family adopted the principle of primogeniture in 1682 which meant that George would inherit the entire territory.
King George I Fact 8: His father introduced him to hunting and riding at a young age. He also involved him in military matters to prepare him for his future. In order to train the future King in battle, he took him on campaign in the Franco-Dutch War at the age of fifteen.
King George I Fact 9: He didn't marry for love, but rather for financial gain. He married Sophia Dorothea of Celle, his first cousin, in order to secure additional incomes. His mother opposed the marriage initially as Sophia's mother was not of royal birth. However, she understood the financial advantages that were promised to her son upon marrying his cousin.
King George I Fact 10: His marriage to Sophia Dorothea of Celle was not a happy one. They had two children together, their names were George Augustus and Sophia. George Augustus became King George II of Great Britain.
King George I Fact 11: He had an ongoing affair with Melusine von der Schulenburg, they had two daughters together in 1692 and 1693. Sophia Dorothea of Celle also had another love interest with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck.
King George I Fact 12: His family were concerned that Sophia Dorothea of Celle's affair might cause scandal and damage their reputation. The Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck was killed in July 1694. It is though that four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers were paid a grand sum of money for his murder.
King George I Fact 13: He had Sophia Dorothea imprisoned for over thirty years until her death on 13 November 1726. His marriage to her was dissolved on the grounds that she had abandoned him. During her imprisonment in Ahlden House, Celle, Sophia Dorothea was not permitted to see her children nor her father.
King George I Fact 14: In 1698, following the death of his brother Ernest Augustus, he became Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archbannerbearer and a Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
King George I Fact 15: Following the death of Queen Anne on August 1, 1714, he became King George I of Great Britain and Ireland. He was crowned on October 20, 1714 at Westminster and reigned over Great Britain until his death on June 11, 1727.
King George I Fact 16: King George I used the following official style in Great Britain: 'George, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc.'
King George I Fact 17: The following list of titles and styles provides details of dates and titles held during the lifetime of King George I:
May 1660 to December 1679: His Highness Duke George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg
December 1679 to October 1692: His Highness The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg
October 1692 – January 1698: His Serene Highness The Electoral Prince of Hanover
January 1698 – August 1714: His Most Serene Highness George Louis, Archbannerbearer of the Holy Roman Empire and Prince-Elector, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
August 1714 – 11 June 1727 (Date of Death): His Majesty The King.
King George I Fact 18: He was fluent in German and French but was unable to speak little English. He wasn't very popular with the people of Great Britain as a result of his inability to speak English during public appearances, he was also disliked for the scandal and treatment of his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Celle.
King George I Fact 19: During his reign over Great Britain, he made six trips to his beloved hometown of Hanover. It is estimated that he spent approximately 20% of his reign in his homeland. After his death, he was succeeded by his son who became King George II of Great Britain.
King George I Fact 20: He died on June 11, 1727 during a trip to Hanover as the result of a stroke. He was 67 years old when he died at the Prince-Bishop's palace at Osnabrück. He was buried in Leine Castle in the chapel. Following WWII, his remains were moved to the chapel at Herrenhausen.
Influence & Legacy of King George I: King George I became the first Hanoverian King of Great Britain and Ireland when he succeeded Queen Anne in 1714. He reigned for nearly 13 years until his death in 1727.