George was born at his family home in Dysart Castle near Thomastown in County Kilkenny to the noble family of Berkeley - the Berkeley family is an ancient English noble family. It is one of only four families in England that can trace its patrilineal descent back to Anglo-Saxon times (the other three being the Arden family, the Swinton family and the Wentworth family). The Berkeley family retains possession of much of the lands it held from the 11th and 12th centuries, centered on Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, which still belongs to the family.
He went on to tutor as a Greek Lecturer in Trinity College Dublin. In the period between 1714 and 1720, he interspersed his academic endeavours with periods of extensive travel in Europe, including one of the most extensive Grand Tours of the length and breadth of Italy ever undertaken. In 1721, he took Holy Orders in the Church of Ireland, earning his doctorate in divinity, and once again chose to remain at Trinity College Dublin, lecturing this time in Divinity and in Hebrew. In 1721/2 he was made Dean of Dromore and, in 1724, Dean of Derry.
Berkeley was nominated to be the Bishop of Cloyne in the Church of Ireland on 18 January 1734. He was consecrated as such on 19 May 1734. He was the Bishop of Cloyne until his death on 14 January 1753, although he died at Oxford
His most famous theory was immaterialism which argues that "esse est percipi (aut percipere)", which in English is to be is to be perceived (or to perceive). That is saying only what perceived or perceives is real, and without our perception or God's nothing can be real.
His Cathedral Church is still that in use today in Cloyne: the Cathedral Church of St Colman.
The city of Berkeley, California was named after him. His name is also given to Berkeley Divinity School (an Episcopal seminary) at Yale University and to the Berkeley Library at Trinity College, Dublin.
|Date of Birth||12th Mar 1685|
|Date of Death||14th Jan 1753|
|Associated Building (s)||Long Room Library, Trinity College Dublin|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||William Berkeley, a cadet of the noble family of Berkeley|
|Occupation||He was educated at Kilkenny College and attended Trinity College Dublin, where he was elected a Scholar in 1702, being awarded BA in 1704 and MA and a Fellowship in 1707. He remained at Trinity College after completing of his degree as a tutor and Greek lecturer. In 1721, he took Holy Orders in the Church of Ireland, earning his doctorate in divinity, and once again chose to remain at Trinity College Dublin, lecturing this time in Divinity and in Hebrew. In 1721/2 he was made Dean of Dromore and, in 1724, Dean of Derry.|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||In 1728, he married Anne Forster, daughter of John Forster, Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, and his first wife Rebecca Monck|