George II of Great Britain

British monarch from 1727 to 1760

George II (November 10 1683October 25 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.

I hate painting, and poetry too!

As king, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had more direct control over government policy. He had a difficult relationship with his eldest son, Frederick, who supported the parliamentary opposition. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, and thus became the last British monarch to lead an army in battle.


  • Non, j'aurai des maîtresses.
    • No, I'll have mistresses.
    • William M. White Emmanuel Swedenborg ([1856] 1867) vol. 2, p. 308.
    • Tearfully answering his wife, Queen Caroline, who as she lay dying had urged him to marry again.
  • I hate painting, and poetry too! Neither the one nor the other ever did any good.
    • John Ireland Hogarth Illustrated (1791); cited from John Ireland and John Nichols Hogarth's Works (1883) p. 122.
    • Later sources usually quote this as "I hate all bainters and boets!", or as "Damn the bainters and the boets too!" The saying is often misattributed to George I.
  • There are kings enough in England. I am nothing there. I am old and want rest and should only go to be plagued and teased there about that Damned House of Commons.
    • Statement made in Hanover (1755), quoted in Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke and His Circle: The Politics of Nostalgia in the Age of Walpole (Cornell University Press, 2018), pp. 113–114
  • If he is mad, so much the better; and if he is mad, I hope to God he’ll bite some of my generals.
    • The New-York Magazine (November 1791) p. 662.
    • On being warned by the Duke of Newcastle, in 1758, against promoting James Wolfe. Often quoted as "Mad, is he? Then I hope he will bite some of my other generals."


  • Who is this Pope that I hear so much about? I cannot discover what is his merit. Why will not my subjects write in prose?

About George IIEdit

  • He had the haughtiness of Henry the Eighth, without his spirit; the avarice of Henry the Seventh, without his exactions; the indignities of Charles the First, without his bigotry for his prerogative; the vexations of King William, with as little skill in the management of parties; and the gross gallantry of his father, without his goodnature or his honesty:– he might, perhaps, have been honest, if he had never hated his father, or had ever loved his son.
    • Horace Walpole Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Second (1847) vol. 1, p. 180

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