• Erin

Georgian London 1714 - 1837

Updated: May 27, 2018



This is probably the first period in history we can actually relate to, and we can still see lots of influence in London today. Throughout the Georgian era Britain was leaving behind its medieval past and emerging as a country important in commercial trade as wealth grew. A major shift from monarchy power to parliament power had a major role to play in many of the changes. In 1714 George of Hanover came to throne and marked the first monarch from the house of Hanover, but his power was greatly diminished with Robert Walpole becoming Britains first Prime Minister in 1721. His son took over the reign in 1727, and held a strong relationship with the Prime Minister.

The first half of the 18th century came to be known as the Gin Craze - a period when the consumption of gin rapidly increased, especially in London. Drunkenness, crime, prostitution and mental illnesses were all down to gin in the eyes of Parliament, and they passed a series of Acts to control the consumption by increasing tax. One such Act was in 1736, which caused riots on the streets of London.

1756 saw the start of the Seven Years' War where Britain allied with Prussia, Portugal and other countries against France, during this time George III became king (1760). Throughout his rule, which was longer than any other British monarch before him, was filled with conflicts involving Britain and much of Europe. The Seven Years' War was coming to an end when he came to throne, however the American War of Independence, and wars against France including the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 were yet to come.

The Declaration of Independence was in 1776, where thirteen American colonies declaried independence from British rule. There had been much civil unrest during this time, as the people in the colonies were unhappy at not having a voice in their government and still had to pay taxes. In 1775-1783, the colonists were at war with Great Britain - the American Revolutionary War.

The Battle of Trafalgar took place on the 21st October 1805; a naval battle where the British Royal Navy fought against French and Spanish Navies. The battle was won under the guidance of Admiral Lord Nelson, who sadly died in battle, the famous monument in Trafalgar Square was designed by William Railton to commemorate him.

A notable architect of the time who vastly changed the face of London was John Nash, one of his greatest works was the transformation of Regents Street and Regents Park in 1813 to 1832.

The famous Battle of Waterloo took place in 1815, where the British Army led by Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon Bonapartes' French army.

The last monarchs of the period were George IV and William IV, with the Stuart era coming to an end when Queen Victoria comes to the throne in 1837.

What to see in Georgian London? - Buckingham Palace - British Museum - Westminster Bridge - Kenwood House - Syon House - Chiswick House - Horse Guards

Next up Victorian London