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Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library

George III amassed an extensive collection of books and manuscripts

Arts and Sciences

The arts and sciences were of personal interest to George III. As Prince of Wales, he received instruction in architectural drawing and acquired several pieces of scientific equipment. As king, he supported the establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 and he was greatly interested in scientific innovation at the Royal Society. He also had a passion for agriculture; he encouraged the use of new technology and agricultural practices on his estates at Windsor, Kew and Richmond.

The king’s personal collections provide a cross-section of some of the most significant advances made in the eighteenth century. In addition to contemporary editions of works by the great philosophers of antiquity, there are also several volumes by the most important and influential figures of the Scottish Enlightenment and English science.

Benjamin Wilson (1721–88)

Observations upon lightning

Eleazar Albin (c.1680–c.1742)

A natural history of English insects

Sir William Chambers (1722–96)

A treatise on civil architecture