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earl's funeral and monument; if it expressed admiration of his general conduct, ‘it is,’ he said, ‘an offensive measure to me personally.’ North renewed his entreaties to be allowed to resign, but was overpersuaded, and continued to carry out the king's policy. George showed his gratitude by giving him the lucrative post of warden of the Cinque ports. During the spring he made visits of inspection to Chatham and Portsmouth; on 28 Sept. he made a tour for the purpose of holding reviews at Winchester, Salisbury, and Warley in Essex, and on 22 Nov. reviewed the troops encamped on Coxheath, near Maidstone (Annual Register, 1778, p. 232 sq.) During 1779 he gave several proofs of his determination to uphold the administration. Referring to the debates on the manifesto of the king of Spain, who declared war in June, he wrote that he must know how members voted, and spoke of what might happen ‘if the prerogative is not soon brought into effect’ (Letter to Weymouth, 17 June, Jesse, ii. 243). A protest of the opposition lords against the conduct of the war seemed to him ‘very wicked’ (Letters to North, ii. 259). He was strongly opposed to Keppel, whose cause was maintained by the opposition. The feeling of the nation seems to have begun to change about this time, and the opposition, though numerically weak in parliament, grew more popular. North urged his former entreaties again and again without success, until in November 1779 George allowed him to negotiate with Camden and Shelburne for a coalition under a new first minister. In February 1780 the king, who was watching the debates on Burke's economic reform bills with painful intensity, was annoyed at the smallness of the ministerial majority on the proposal to regulate the pension list, and, as usual, recommended ‘firmness’ to North (ib. p. 305). Dunning [q. v.] carried his famous resolution concerning the influence of the crown in April 1780; George attributed the rising discontent of the commons to ‘factious leaders and ruined men, who wish to overturn the constitution’ (ib. p. 314). He allowed North to make some overtures to the Rockingham party in June, but objected to receive Fox [see under Fox, Charles James] or the Duke of Richmond on account of some personal displeasure. The overtures were abortive. It seems that the king felt keenly the humiliation which was gradually coming upon him; for it is said that he seriously contemplated retiring to Hanover, and that liveries were ordered and other preparations made for his departure (Memorials of Fox, i. 287 n.)

George, however, had other causes for uneasiness. On 6 June 1780 the ‘no popery’ riots reached a serious height, in consequence of the feebleness of the attempts to check them at an earlier stage. All responsible authority seemed paralysed, and the king himself came forward to supply its place. He wrote to North blaming the supineness of the magistrates, and called a special privy council for the next day. At the council it was alleged that the reading of the riot act and other formalities were necessary before the military could be called upon to act. George declared that if there was further hesitation he would lead the guards in person to disperse the rioters. It was ‘black Wednesday,’ and London was almost at the mercy of an infuriate mob. ‘I lament,’ George said, ‘the conduct of the magistrates; but I can answer for one who will do his duty.’ Attorney-general Wedderburn upheld, and had indeed suggested, the king's opinion that soldiers might in cases of necessity act against rioters without the civil power. The council at last agreed, and George promptly sent to the adjutant-general bidding him issue a proclamation that officers were at once to order their men to act (Twiss, Life of Eldon, i. 293; Annual Register, 1780, p. 266). His intrepidity, firmness, and good sense saved London from further havoc. On the 19th his action was declared by Lord Mansfield to have been in strict conformity with the common law. The feeling of the country was now against the administration. This change, though partly due to the failure of the war, must mainly be attributed to the exposure which the opposition made of the enormous and corrupt expenditure of the crown. The majority in the commons which had so long supported the royal policy was broken up, and the fruitless attempt at negotiation with the Rockinghams was followed by an unexpected dissolution. George used every means to influence the result of the general election. He was startled when the bill came in. It amounted to about 50,000l., besides some pensions. ‘The sum,’ he wrote, ‘is at least double of what was expended on any other general election since I came to the throne’ (Letters to North, ii. 423). He was anxious to get Keppel unseated at Windsor, and to secure the election of the court candidate, and is said to have canvassed in person against the admiral, going into the shop of a silk mercer, one of Keppel's supporters, and saying in his usual hurried way, ‘The queen wants a gown, wants a gown. No Keppel; no Keppel’ (Rockingham Memoirs, ii. 425). The elections improved the prospects of the administration. They were ruined by the capitulation of Cornwallis on 19 Oct. 1781. George bore the blow with fortitude, though the fact that his reply to Lord George