Talk:George III of the United Kingdom

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I am not sure about the accuracy of some of these quotes, I think that "Was there ever such thing as great Shakespeare? Only one must not say so! But what think you — what — was there not sad stuff?" at least (& the ones before it)is from the (fictional) play & film 'the madness of George III', filmed as 'the madness of King George'. I haven't deleted it as I am not certain & I don't know if the film incorporated actual quotations from George III, if anyone knows about this could you please clarify. AllanHainey 08:16, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

The quotation about hours of sleep is also attributed to Napoleon on his page. Since George ascended first, he's probably the correct one, but someone may want to look into this.


  • "'Lord Chancellor, did I deliver the speech well ?' 'Very well indeed, sir,' was the enthusiastic answer. 'I am glad of that,' replied the king; 'for there was nothing in it.'"
  • Six hours sleep are enough for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool.
  • My Lords and peacocks.
  • Was there ever such thing as great Shakespeare? Only one must not say so! But what think you — what — was there not sad stuff?
  • I glory in the name of Briton!
  • When a petitioner Margaret Nicholson attempted to stab the King he told her with the greatest calmness, "This is a fruit knife madam, it couldn't cut a cabbage."
  • I was the last person to consent to the separation (of America and Britain), but I will be the first to accept the friendship of the United States as an independent power.
    • To John Adams, first United States Minister to Great Britain

"...everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor and a scoundrel"[edit]

Is this from a letter written by George, or a remark recorded by someone else? I haven't been able to find a proper source for this quote.--Britannicus (talk) 17:24, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

The attribution is still floating around. From 3rd Oct 2018: --Namangwari (talk) 15:36, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

The source[edit]

Britannicus, the reason you haven't been able to find a proper source is because Robert Ketchum doesn't provide one. In his note on page 480 of Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War, Ketchum says "George III's statement 'I wish nothing but good...' is quoted in my article 'England's Vietnam.'" That's it. The author finds it sufficient to refer to himself for this alleged quote, which is then used by others because Ketchum's book seems authoritative.

The quote did appear in "England’s Vietnam: the American Revolution" in American Heritage magazine on June 1971, but without citation. The original source? English author William Makepeace Thackeray's 1862 book The Four Georges (available online from, page 145. It's pretty clearly a characterization, not a quote, and to give it as a quote in a nonfiction reference work is misleading at best. The full context is below:

And so, with respect to old George, even Americans, whom he hated and who conquered him, may give him credit for having quite honest reasons for oppressing them. Appended to Lord Brougham's biographical sketch of Lord North are some autograph notes of the king, which let us most curiously into the state of his mind. "The times certainly require," says he, "the concurrence of all who wish to prevent anarchy. I have no wish but the prosperity of my own dominions, therefore I must look upon all who would not heartily assist me as bad men, as well as bad subjects." That is the way he reasoned. "I wish nothing but good, therefore every man who does not agree with me is a traitor and a scoundrel."

Remember that he believed himself anointed by a Divine commission; remember that he was a man of slow parts and imperfect education; that the same awful will of Heaven which placed a crown upon his head, which made him tender to his family, pure in his life, courageous and honest, made him dull of comprehension, ohstinate of will, and at many times deprived him of reason.