If you wanna talk about racist statues, maybe consider King George III in Lincoln

His history ain’t the cleanest, let’s say that

After recent events from this weekend, following the statue of slave-trader, Edward Colston being torn down and thrown into Bristol Harbour, during a Black lives Matter protest, there have been several debates around statues of similar historical figures being taken down across the country.

The movement has also seen a petition arise to take down all slave trader statues in the UK. 

The statue of George III in the City of Lincoln’s castle comes from the celebration of his 59 years reign. However, research shows that “mad King George’s” history is something not worth celebrating.

King George III’s treatment of America fuelled them to be free of him and gain their independence on the famous date of July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies of King George III were no longer owned by him, and now had independence.

Within the United States Declaration of Independence 26 grievances against King George III and his legislature are listed as “repeated injuries and usurpation.”

The declaration stated that “he has abdicated Government here … He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” This saw the removal of King George III’s equestrian statue in New York City.

King George III’s relationship with slavery begs the question as to why we are to celebrate his reign. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database run by researchers at Emory University shows that during his reign, 1.6 million slaves were transported out of Africa to British colonial possessions.

He was known to support the slave trade, as he used it regularly within his colonies. Although he signed the Slave Trade Act of 1807, he and his son, the Duke of Clarence, were against the abolition of slavery. The signing of this act was done under immense pressure from the government, yet it did not see the abolition of slavery.

King George III has been depicted in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” as the villain, in his songs he tells the American people he will “kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.”

Within the Broadway show, “Hamilton” King George III’s character is firmly not celebrated. Within the song “My Shot” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character Alexander Hamilton comments that America should be a “colony that runs independently” and further exclaims:

“Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly
Essentially, they tax us relentlessly
Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree
He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free
So there will be a revolution in this century”

The American’s removed their statue of King George III, and so should we.

Featured image by Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Related stories recommended by this writer:

University of Lincoln to demonstrate solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement

How to support BLM as a Lincoln student without silencing black voices

32 powerful signs from the Black Lives Matter protests across the world