J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, June 05, 2015

“Now for awhile aside I’ll lay my childish trifles and my play…”

This delightful drawing is from the Royal Collection Trust, the art collection of the British monarchs. It reportedly shows Prince George, grandson of George II, drawn from life one July at age nine.

This prince reading under his chair tent would grow up to be George III. In 1745 his first tutor, the Rev. Dr. Francis Ayscough, wrote to the Rev. Dr. Philip Doddridge:
I thank God, I have one great encouragement to quicken me in my duty, which is the good disposition of the children entrusted to me; as an instance of it, I must tell you that Prince George (to his honour, and my shame) had learnt several pages in your little book of verses, without any directions from me.
The “little book of verses” was Doddridge’s Principles of the Christian Religion, in verse for the use of Children and Youth, published in 1743. Here are pages from a New York reprint.

(The Facebook page of the First Oval Office shared this image yesterday on the anniversary of George III’s birth, and I couldn’t resist sharing it again.)

1 comment:

Chaucerian said...

I love the chair tent -- it makes him one among many little boys --