Regency Crisis, Madness of George III

(180 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

In November 1788 George III showed signs of mental collapse. (He was suffering from porphyria, an hereditary disease not understood at the time.) William Pitt, the Younger, was George's favourite and disliked by the Prince of Wales (future George IV) so Pitt argued confidence in the king's recovery, and delayed the declaration of a Regency which would have given power to his chief political opponent, Charles James Fox. Throughout the country, the constitutional issues of a Regency were debated in newspapers and at public meetings. Fox came back from the continent to lead the Foxites (which included Edmund Burke and Richard Brinsely Sheridan, the playwright), and took the lead in Parliament, demanding an immediate, total and …

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Editors. "Regency Crisis, Madness of George III". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 September 2004
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]