In which I muse about King George I and his mistresses.

Bonsoir!

I’ve always found it so very peculiar that George I was described by his contemporaries as ”A sullen man with a chilly disposition masking a cold heart” yet he kept two mistresses. Granted,they were both different in personality which may have reflected his changing tastes(does that seem saucy?) but which cold hearted person could maintain what essentially was an affair?

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Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg was brought to England alongside George I as she was already his long established mistress from Hanover. That is not the sign of someone who was exceedingly chilly. Then again,perhaps there was more than a degree of truth in that statement. Melusine might have been that one link for him in a new country where the customs,history and language inspired nothing but apathy. Interestingly enough, she was famed for her stoic yet soft manner which goes against all that has been said about the manner of George I.

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Sophia von Kielmansegg, Countess of Darlington

Sophia was a shrewish woman. By most accounts, she was also extremely mercenary but added to this a certain amount of charisma. This ensured that when she followed George I to England upon his assumption of the crown, there would be little trouble with making acquaintances with potentially advantageous courtiers who would secure her land,titles and money. Contrary to popular belief, Sophia was actually the morganatic half sister of George I. Caroline of Ansbach declared her to be ”a wicked woman” who would give herself the air of being a mistress and thus acquire money in exchange for promises to persuade the king to grant royal posts. Her charisma worked. Sophia was created Countess of Leinster, Countess of Darlington and Baroness Brentford as a direct result of cultivating a close relationship with George I.

Once again,this is surely proof that while George I may have been sullen,there genuinely could have been a softer side to him which, granted, only ever emerged when he was truly comfortable and had known the people surrounding him for an exceedingly long time. His reign in England lasted only 13 years – nowhere nearly enough to allow him to shed his chilly exterior.

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1 Comment

Filed under Musings about Georgians

One response to “In which I muse about King George I and his mistresses.

  1. I absolutely adore King George I. Upon reading Ragnhild Hatton’s book about him, I was convinced that he truly was a lovely man. Why others think him to be so cold and heartless is because he was so awfully shy, and because he wasn’t exactly happy about being ripped away from the life he so adored to become king. Still, he did it, and put every effort into his working with Sir Robert Walpole.

    Just look at the treatment of his illegitimate daughters. He adored them. He spent every spare minute with his daughters and Melusine, taking them to the opera, personally tending to his sick daughter (who died of consumption after being ill for two years), I believe he held little tea parties for them every Thursday and sending the most heartfelt letters to his brothers and grandsons back in Hanover.

    I think the biggest problem for his reputation was that his son was a little shit. People only realised after he became king.

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