18th Century Living History

Election of 1761 Living History

In Events on April 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

We’re returning to Ryedale on the 14th/15th May this year to re-enact the electric atmosphere of the 1761 election. The 1761 election is an interesting one as it was the first election following the accession of George III to the throne!

The poster for our event at Ryedale!

Although during the actual election very little changed, the aftermath would be incredibly interesting. The new kings distaste for Pitt the Elder and the Whig control of government would lead to Tory’s increasing importance at court and the end of Whig Rule. The end of 1761 would see Pitt retire from political life (for the moment) and the Kings favourite, Lord Bute, a Scotsman take a promiment role in government. Bute would eventually become defacto prime-minister in 1762.

This would be the last time any monarch would be able to use their power to chose the leader of the government. This itself would cause controversary around the freedom of government and Whigs declared George III to be an autocrat.The Kings and Butes policy of an end to intervention in Germany and peace with France would be in direct conflict with those of Pitt and divided opinion in the war weary nation.

So it was in the 1762 an unelected Scotsman would end up in charge of the government of the U.K. and deal with the goal of removing British intervention in foreign wars. Sounds familiar doesn’t it!?


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