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GEORGE ROBERT SIMS (1847– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 137 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORGE ROBERT SIMS (1847– ), English journalist and dramatic author, was born on the 2nd of September 1847. He was educated at Hanwell College and at Bonn, and commenced journalism in 1874 as successor to Tom Hood on Fun. accept this dignity at the hands of a democracy, refused the offer. Simson, bitterly disappointed at the outcome of his mission, resigned his seat in the Frankfort parliament, but in the summer of the same year was elected deputy for Konigsberg in the popular chamber of the Prussian Landtag. Here he soon made his mark as one of the best orators in that assembly. A member of the short-lived Erfurt parliament of 185o, he was again summoned to the presidential chair. On the dissolution of the Erfurt assembly, Simson retired from politics, and for the next few years devoted himself exclusively to his academical and judicial duties. It was not until 1859 that he re-entered public life, when he was elected deputy for Konigsberg in the lower chamber of the Prussian Landtag, of which he was president in 186o and 1861. In the first of these years he attained high judicial office as president of the court of appeal at Frankfort on the Oder. In 1867, having been elected a member of the constituent assembly of the North German Federation, he again occupied the presidential chair, as he did also in the first regular Diet and the Zoll-parliament which succeeded it. On 18th December 187o Simson arrived at the head of a deputation in the German headquarters at Versailles to offer the imperial crown to the king of Prussia in the name of the newly-elected Reichstag. The conditions under which Prussia might justly aspire to the hegemony in Germany at last appeared to have been accomplished, no obstacles, as in 1849, were in the way of the acceptance of the crown by the leading sovereign of the confederation, and on 18th January 1871 King William of Prussia was proclaimed with all pomp German Emperor in the Salle des Glaces at Versailles. Simson continued as president of the Reichstag until 1894, when he retired from the chair, and in 1877 resigned his seat in the Diet, but at Bismarck's urging, accepted the presidency of the supreme court of justice (Reichsgericht), and this high office he filled with great distinction until his final retirement from public life in 1891. In 1888 the emperor Frederick bestowed upon Simson the order of the Black Eagle. His political career coincides with the era of German struggles towards unity. As a politician he was one of the leaders of modern Liberalism, and though always loyal when appeals were made to patriotism, such as government demands for the army, he remained obdurate on constitutional questions; and he resolutely opposed the reactionary policy of the Prussian Conservatives. On his retirement from the presidency of the Reichsgericht, he left Leipzig and made his home in Berlin, where he died on the 2nd of May 1899. His Life was written by his son, Bernard von Simson, under the title Eduard von Simson, Erinnerungen aus seinem Leben (1900). (P. A. A.)
End of Article: GEORGE ROBERT SIMS (1847– )
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