over. Grenville was indignant, and reproached the king, and when George promised that nothing of the sort should happen again, dryly answered that he hoped not. He insisted on Bute's retirement from London, and refused to allow the king to give the office of keeper of the privy purse, which Bute vacated, to one of Bute's friends. ‘Good God! Mr. Grenville,’ exclaimed the humiliated king, ‘am I to be suspected after all I have done?’ Bedford joined the administration; Bute left London, and for a time the king and his ministers were on better terms (Grenville Papers, ii. 197, 205, 210; Life of Hardwicke, iii. 278). George approved of their depriving military officers of their commands for voting against the government on the question of general warrants. ‘Firmness and resolution,’ he said, ‘must be shown, and no one saved who dared to fly off.’ He was much annoyed by the hereditary Prince of Brunswick, who came over in January 1764 to marry his sister Augusta, and who openly sympathised with the opposition. The king's unpopularity was shown by the enthusiasm with which the prince was received, and king and prince behaved rudely to each other. George disliked his ministers more and more; the administration was thoroughly bad, and was marked by want of concert, slackness, and haste. Grenville did his duty, but made himself personally hateful to the king by lecturing and thwarting him. Still George agreed with the chief measures taken by the ministers, and fully concurred in the Stamp Act, which became law on 22 March 1765. Meanwhile on 12 Jan. he was attacked by a serious illness, which lasted more or less until early in April, and during which symptoms of derangement appeared (Mrs. Papendiek, i. 33; Quarterly Review, cxxxi. 240).
On the king's recovery he wished that parliament should make provision for a regency in case of his death or incapacity, and proposed that he should be empowered to name from time to time the person he desired, keeping the nomination secret to ‘ prevent faction’ (Grenville Papers, iii. 126). The ministers brought in a bill limiting his choice to the queen or any other person of the royal family. Bedford, out of dislike to Bute, was anxious to shut the king's mother out of any chance of power, and Halifax and Sandwich told George that unless this was done the bill would not pass the commons. He yielded to the representations of his ministers, apparently without grasping the full import of their proposal, and the princess was pointedly excluded. He soon became conscious of what he had done, had an interview with Grenville, in which he was much agitated, and even shed tears, and besought the minister to replace her name. Grenville would only promise to yield if pressed in the commons, and the king's mortification was increased when, after a ludicrous exhibition of his ministers' weakness, the house insisted on replacing his mother's name. On 6 May, the day after his interview with Grenville, he asked his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who had considerable influence with the opposition, and whom he had from his boyhood treated with neglect and suspicion, to negotiate with Pitt, Temple, and the great whig families as to the formation of a ‘strong and lasting administration’ (Duke of Cumberland's Statement, Rockingham Memoirs, i. 189). On the 18th he cavalierly announced to Grenville his intention of dismissing his ministers (ib. p. 203). Bedford, who believed that Bute was at the bottom of the intended change, scolded the king (Bedford Corr. iii. 280). Meanwhile Pitt refused the offer of the court, and the king sent Cumberland to Lord Lyttelton, who also refused to attempt to form an administration. During these negotiations the Spitalfields weavers were raising riots, on account of the rejection of a bill intended to benefit their industry. They marched to the king's lodge, and not finding him there followed him to Wimbledon, where he listened to their complaints, and persuaded them to return to their homes. But disorders broke out afresh, and were perhaps only checked by the vigorous action of the king, who personally gave orders that troops should be in readiness to prevent disturbance. He was anxious not to appear to avoid the rioters, and declared his willingness to ‘put himself at the head of the army, or do anything else to save his country’ (Grenville Papers, iii. 177). When Lyttelton refused the king's offer, Cumberland advised George to recall his ministers. He had a humiliating interview with Grenville on the 21st. The ministers compelled the king to promise that he would neither see Bute nor retain Bute's brother, Stuart Mackenzie, as privy seal in Scotland, though George had promised that he should keep the office (ib. p. 187). Although the king was in after days constantly suspected of acting by Bute's advice, it seems perfectly certain that he kept his word, and that he never willingly saw Bute again, or had any direct or indirect consultation with him after this. Grenville used his power mercilessly. ‘When he has wearied me for two hours,’ George once said, ‘he looks at his watch to see if he may not tire me for one hour more.’ The king allowed his dislike of his ministers to be seen, and on 12 June Bedford scolded him for not allowing his authority and his favour to go together, and accused him of listening