First glances of digital images of George III’s papers

The Royal Archives have commenced their large scale digitisation of the Georgian papers. The initial phase of digitisation will cover the full chronological span, and comprise a range of types of documents, from the political to the financial and the domestic, and they include the important collection of essays by George III and some items from the Royal Library.

The gallery below displays some of the earlier digitisation work undertaken as part of the 2014 exhibition, ‘Treasures of the Royal Archives’, held in Windsor Castle in May 2014-January 2015. The Royal Archives have generously granted us permission to showcase some of the papers in the collection. They include images of essays and memorandum from George III (1738-1820), King of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; dairy extracts from his consort, Charlotte (1744-1818), Queen of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and business papers from the Warden of Windsor Castle, dating from 1689.

As the project progresses the site will include regular updates on the digitisation and further galleries and samples of the papers from the Royal household.

Memorandum on the improvements to Windsor Great Park, c. 1791
The landscape of Windsor Great Park as it is seen today was largely created between 1746 and 1765, under the Rangership of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The Duke’s nephew, King George III, employed Nathaniel Kent (1737-1810) to improve the conditions and running of the Great Park in 1791. Nathaniel Kent had studied Flemish husbandry during his early career as a diplomat in Brussels, and on his return to England in 1766 he was persuaded to abandon his career as a diplomat to become an agricultural adviser. His book, Hints to Gentlemen of Landed Property, published in 1775, which recommended the enclosure and drainage of land, and the rotation of crops, made Kent famous, and contributed to the agricultural revolution of the period. This document lists recommendations for improving the ‘picteresque beauty’ of the Park by the removal of certain trees in the valley between Cooks Hills and at Snow Hill, to improve the views, with sketches illustrating Kent’s points. Although undated, it must have been written in 1791, for in November that year Kent wrote in his Journal that, having obtained the King’s approval, he had issued orders for the removal of the trees he had identified near Cooks Hills, ‘that the full effect of these Alterations may be at once seen, and afford a fair sample of an Hundred other similar improvements’. (File Reference: RA GEO ADD15 373 Copyright: Royal Archives/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016)
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