This German prince on the British throne was especially interested in the oppressed Mennonites in Switzerland and the Palatinate. Shortly after his coronation he tried to aid the Mennonites who, persecuted and imprisoned by the Swiss government at Bern, were finally released through the mediation of Dutch Mennonites and for the most part settled in the Palatinate. George I issued an urgent invitation to the Mennonites in the Palatinate to settle in the English colonies of America, offering them favorable terms for their transportation. To each family settling west of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania he offered a gift of 50 acres of land and the permission to cultivate as much additional land as they wished without making any payments for ten years, after which period a small rental was to be paid (Cassel, 278). In 1717 a conference of elders at Mannheim decided to accept the offer and settle in America. In March 100 persons, led by Elder Benedikt Brechbiehl, emigrated and were followed three weeks later by 300 more. No further emigrations of Palatine Mennonites took place until after George's death, which occurred on 11 June 1727. He was succeeded by his only son, George II. His only daughter, Sophia, married Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.
Cassel, D. K. Geschichte der Mennoniten. Philadelphia, 1890.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 72.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. I, 2254-56.
Knittle, W. A. Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration. Philadelphia, 1937.
Smith, C. H. Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania. Norristown, 1929.
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||April 2007|
Cite This Article
Hege, Christian and Richard D. Thiessen. "George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland (1660-1727)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2007. Web. 30 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=George_I,_King_of_Great_Britain_and_Ireland_(1660-1727)&oldid=87759.
Hege, Christian and Richard D. Thiessen. (April 2007). George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland (1660-1727). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=George_I,_King_of_Great_Britain_and_Ireland_(1660-1727)&oldid=87759.
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