William Sterling

George I

From being the ruler of an obscure German electorate George I suddenly became king of on the most powerful nations in the world in his fifties. He was never popular in his new kingdom but established a constitutional monarchy which has survived to today.

This course was run at the City Lit on Saturday 16th March 2019. A revised version was run via zoom on 21st and 28th November and 5th December 2020.

We examined George’s German background and experiences as ruler in Hanover, how he succeeded to the throne in the most unlikely manner, his limited knowledge of his new kingdom, his policies, his stormy marriage, unusual mistresses and his love of music, especially that of Handel, the attempts by the Jacobites to oust him and other crises.

These are the handouts on the day in 2019.  Revised slides from 2020 are below.

children and grandchildren rev



16 February 1721

hanover tree

Jacobite Song from the 15

These are the slides shown in a printable format

George I slides 1 2019 printable

George I slides 2 2019 printable

George I slides 3 2019 printable

George I slides 4 printable

In addition you might be interested in these podcasts from Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time

Alexander Pope

Robinson Crusoe

The South Sea Bubble

The Siege of Vienna 1683

George was musical and the music of Handel appealed to him. Here is some of the music played on the day

Steffani’s Henrico Leone March composed for George’s parents

Handel’s Te Deum played to welcome George in 1714

Jacobite Song from the 15 Cam ye o’er frae France

The Water Music Hornpipe

March from Scipione

A revised Timeline

George I chronology rev

The Slides from 2020

George I slides 1 2020 PDF

George I slides 2 2020 small

George I slides 3 2020 PDF

George I slides 4 2020 PDF

George I slides Music PDF

Apart from the pieces already included above, here is the music referred to in the Music Slides

Steffani Henrico Leone Overture

Croft The Lord is s Sun and a Shield for the Coronation

Handel Water Music Hornpipe and Andante

Geminiani Sleepy Body

Aria from Handel’s Rinaldo

Handel Harmonious Blacksmith

Pills to Purge the Melancholy

Thomas D’Urfey Sometimes I am a Tapster New

John Eccles A Soldier and a Sailor

William Croft I Hate a Fop

Aria from Handel’s Radamisto

Aria by Bononcini from Muzio Scevola Act 2

Aria by Handel from Muzio Scevola Act 3

Aria from Bononcini’s Crispo

Maurice Greene The King Shall Rejoice

Maurice Greene O Clap Your Hands Together

William Croft Man That Is Born Of A Woman from the Duke of Marlborough’s funeral

March from Handel’s Floridante

Aria from Handel’s Ottone

Aria from Ariosti’s Vespasiano

Steffani Stabat Mater

Aria from Handel’s Rodelinda

Aria from Ariosti’s Dario

Aria from Handel’s Giulio Cesare