CollectionGeorge III Essays
TitleGeorge III Essays
DescriptionThese documents are believed to have been created by George III during his schooling and later as King reflecting on various subjects. They comprise both original work - typically in the form of essays - and notes on the work of other writers which may have been used - or intended for use - in the writing of the essays. Where it has been possible to identify the origin of the research notes, this has been recorded in the Description field and the publication name and author in the Publication field. The precise date of creation for many of these records is unclear. In this case the generic date range [1746-1805] has been used - assuming that George III started his schooling around the age of 8 and that no further work was written after 1805 due to the King's blindness. Little attempt has been made to date the work based solely on handwriting.

Political Economy
Revenue and Taxation
Theology and Moral Philosophy
Natural Sciences
Extent9 volumes, 2383 documents (14 boxes)
ArrangementIt would appear that some attempt has been made in the past to organise these records although it is not clear how far this was based on the system used by the George III and other members of the Royal Family. Evidence of this previous structure is still apparent through the use of cardboard markers which were inserted between the folios. These marked the divisions within this previous structure as follows:
"George III. Private Papers Essays I. English History" (folios 1 - ?272)
Essays II. Missing but likely to relate to European History and cover folios 273 - 705
"George III. Private Papers Essays III. Of Laws, Government, etc." (folios 706 - ?)
Essays IV. Missing
"George III. Private Papers. Essays V. On Taxes and Impositions" (folios 1328 - 1647)
"George III. Private Papers. Essays VI. Taxes Miscellaneous" (folios 1648 - 2058)
"George III. Private Papers. Essays VII. School Lessons" also "Vol. V. 1485-1741 And Early French History", "Vol III 1066-1406" (folios 2059 - f 2484)
Paper markers (particularly in the case of the lessons) also indicated the presence of further subdivisions e.g. a paper marker indicated that folios 2427-2427 were part of a bundle labelled "Grammar". The presence of these markers has typically been recorded in the Notes field

It is not clear when the majority of these papers were created or how they were subsequently used.

These documents have been individually numbered - although the date this numbering took place is similarly unclear. Numbers 556-655 have not been used and this would appear to be an oversight in the original numbering. These numbers continue to form part of the document reference number and should be quoted in full e.g. GEO/ADD/32/1041 when citing these records.

On cataloguing, it became apparent that some papers had become detached from their constituent parts. Where it has been possible to identify such dispersed papers, this has been noted in the catalogue entry. For instance, during cataloguing it was found that folios 1023-1024 were a fair copy of part of an essay on the history of England up to the reign of Henry II (f 2 - f 46). Both references are recorded in the Reference Number field and a corresponding note has been made in the Notes field. The current subject-based structure was devised and imposed during cataloguing in Summer 2016.

These records were originally stored at Apsley House and were transferred to the Royal Archives in 1912 as noted in "Author and Curator", the autobiography of Royal Librarian, Sir John Fortescue. As a result of their original storage conditions, some of the documents suffered damp and mould. Once the papers were accepted for permanent preservation, they were repaired with silk and mounted during the first part of the twentieth century in the Royal Bindery at Windsor under the direction of Frank Vaughn, (Vaughn the Younger). Over the last 5 years, these historic silk repairs have been reversed and replaced with Japanese repair paper
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