George III meddles to oust Fox and North
WHY WAS IT CALLED?
Britain’s next snap election was sparked by a constitutional crisis caused by a clash between parliament and king.
In spring 1783, the radical Whig Charles James Fox joined forces with Lord North to overthrow the ruling ministry, headed by Lord Shelburne. This enraged George III, who despised Fox – so much so that the king dismissed the coalition and installed William Pitt the Younger as prime minister.
This interference by the monarch in the affairs of parliament was hugely controversial and Pitt, under pressure from the Foxite majority in the Commons, decided to go to the country to gain a mandate.
DID THE GAMBLE PAY OFF?
Yes. Pitt, who had public opinion strongly behind him, won a majority of more than 100 seats. However, Fox’s notoriety and colourful reputation were greatly enhanced by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who canvassed vigorously for him, allegedly exchanging kisses for votes.
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, canvassing votes for Charlesarles James Fox in exchangenge for kisses