George III, Elizabeth Percy, and Hugh Smithson green plaque in Northallerton

The First Duke of Northumberland.
The first Duke of Northumberland was born here in 1712. Formerly Sir Hugh Smithson, he married Lady Elizabeth Percy & succeeded her father as Earl of Northumberland in 1750. He was made Duke of Northumberland in 1766 being the only Duke created by George III. The Duke retained a lifelong interest in & contact with his birthplaces Northallerton.

George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two Hanoverian predecessors he was born in Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.His life and reign, which were longer than any other British monarch before him, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American Revolutionary War. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.In the later part of his life, George III suffered from recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he suffered from the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. On George III's death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George IV.Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them. Until re-assessment occurred during the second half of the twentieth century, his reputation in the United States was one of a tyrant and in Britain he became "the scapegoat for the failure of imperialism".

Source: dbpedia

Elizabeth Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Seymour; 26 November 1716 – 5 December 1776), also suo jure 2nd Baroness Percy, was a British peeress.

Source: dbpedia

Sir Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland KG, PC (c. 1714 – 6 June 1786) was an English peer, landowner, and art patron.He was born Hugh Smithson, the son of Langdale Smithson and grandson of Sir Hugh Smithson, 3rd Baronet from whom he inherited the baronetcy in 1733. He changed his surname to Percy when he married Lady Elizabeth Seymour, daughter of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, on 16 July 1740. She was Baroness Percy in her own right, and indirect heiress of the Percy family, which was one of the leading landowning families of England, and had previously held the Earldom of Northumberland for several centuries. The title, Earl of Northumberland passed to Hugh Percy, as Elizabeth's husband, when her father died. In 1766, the earl was created 1st Duke of Northumberland and was created Baron Lovaine on 28 June 1784, with a special remainder in favour of his younger son, Algernon. He was created a Knight of the Order of the Garter (K.G.) in 1756 and a Privy Counsellor in 1762.Sir Hugh was one of the most important patrons of Canaletto in England. The other great patron, Lord Brooke (Earl of Warwick, fourth creation), of Warwick Castle was a quasi-brother-in-law. Smithson made a Grand Tour and was in Venice in 1733, where he acquired two large Canalettos for his seat at Stanwick. In 1736 he became one of the two vice presidents of the Society for the Encouragement of Learning. He re-built Stanwick Park c. 1739–1740, mostly to his own designs. He was one of the 175 commissioners for the building of Westminster Bridge, a structure he had Canaletto paint two more large canvases, c. 1747. He built an observatory, designed by Robert Adam, on Ratcheugh Crag, at Longhoughton. Thomas Chippendale dedicated his Gentleman & Cabinet maker's director (1754) to him. He became 2nd Earl of Northumberland (fifth creation) on the death of his father-in-law, Duke Algernon, on 7 February 1750.The duke and duchess were prominent patrons of Robert Adam for neoclassical interiors in the Jacobean mansion Northumberland House, the London seat of the Earls of Northumberland; it was demolished ca. 1870–1871, in connection with the creation of Trafalgar Square. Remnants of the Northumberland House Glass Drawing-Room are preserved at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The greater Adam interiors for the Duke are at Syon House, executed in the 1760s. At Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, the Duke employed James Wyatt, whose work has been effaced by later remodellings. One or other Adam designed Brizlee Tower for the duke.[citation needed]Hugh died in 1786 and was buried in the Northumberland Vault, within Westminster Abbey. The duke and duchess had three children:[citation needed] Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland (1742–1817) Algernon Percy, 1st Earl of Beverley (1750–1830) Lady Elizabeth Anne Frances Percy (d. 1761); buried within the Northumberland Vault in Westminster Abbey.The duke's illegitimate son (by Elizabeth Hungerford Keate), James Smithson (1765–1829), is famed for having made the founding bequest and provided the name for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..

Source: dbpedia

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