Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Zaz, May 27, 2009.
As soon as you mention Cromwell, people yell "Ireland" without knowing much about it.
Death and posthumous execution
"Cromwell is thought to have suffered from malaria (probably first contracted while on campaign in Ireland) and from "stone", a common term for urinary/kidney infections. In 1658 he was struck by a sudden bout of malarial fever, followed directly by illness symptomatic of a urinary or kidney complaint. A Venetian physician tracked Cromwell's final illness, saying Cromwell's personal physicians were mismanaging his health, leading to a rapid decline and death. The decline may also have been hastened by the death of his favourite daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, in August at the age of 29. He died at Whitehall on Friday 3 September 1658, the anniversary of his great victories at Dunbar and Worcester. The most likely cause of Cromwell's death was septicaemia following his urinary infection. He was buried with great ceremony, with an elaborate funeral based on that of James I, at Westminster Abbey, his daughter Elizabeth also being buried there.
He was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son Richard. Although Richard was not entirely without ability, he had no power base in either Parliament or the Army, and was forced to resign in May 1659, ending the Protectorate. There was no clear leadership from the various factions that jostled for power during the short lived reinstated Commonwealth, so George Monck, the English governor of Scotland, at the head of New Model Army regiments was able to march on London, and restore the Long Parliament. Under Monck's watchful eye the necessary constitutional adjustments were made so that in 1660 Charles II could be invited back from exile to be king under a restored monarchy.
In 1661, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution, as were the remains of John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton. (The body of Cromwell's daughter was allowed to remain buried in the Abbey.) Symbolically, this took place on 30 January; the same date that Charles I had been executed. His body was hanged in chains at Tyburn. Finally, his disinterred body was thrown into a pit, while his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685. Ironically the Cromwell vault was then used as a burial place for Charles II?s illegitimate descendants. Afterwards the head changed hands several times, including the sale in 1814 to a man named Josiah Henry Wilkinson, before eventually being buried in the grounds of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1960.
During his lifetime, some tracts painted him as a hypocrite motivated by power?for example, The Machiavilian Cromwell and The Juglers Discovered, both part of an attack on Cromwell by the Levellers after 1647, present him as a Machiavellian figure. More positive contemporary assessments?for instance, John Spittlehouse in A Warning Piece Discharged ? typically compared him to Moses, rescuing the English by taking them safely through the Red Sea of the civil wars. Several biographies were published soon after his death. An example is The Perfect Politician, which described how Cromwell "loved men more than books" and gave a nuanced assessment of him as an energetic campaigner for liberty of conscience brought down by pride and ambition. An equally nuanced but less positive assessment was published in 1667 by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, in his History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England. Clarendon famously declared that Cromwell "will be looked upon by posterity as a brave bad man". He argued that Cromwell's rise to power had been helped not only by his great spirit and energy, but also by his ruthlessness. Clarendon was not one of Cromwell's confidantes, and his account was written after the Restoration of the monarchy.
During the early eighteenth century, Cromwell's image began to be adopted and reshaped by the Whigs, as part of a wider project to give their political objectives historical legitimacy. A version of Edmund Ludlow?s Memoirs, re-written by John Toland to excise the radical Puritanical ele
Wow, that's not a bad resume.
2nd Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
3 September 1658 ? 25 May 1659
Preceded by Oliver Cromwell
Succeeded by Council of State
Born 4 October 1626(1626-10-04)
Died 12 July 1712 (aged 85)
Spouse(s) Dorothy Maijor
Relations Oliver Cromwell (Father)
Elizabeth Bourchier (Mother)
Nickname(s) Tumbledown Dick; Queen Dick
Richard Cromwell (4 October 1626 ? 12 July 1712) was the third son of Oliver Cromwell, and was the second Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, for just under nine months, from 3 September 1658 until 25 May 1659.
Cromwell's enemies dubbed him Tumbledown Dick or Queen Dick for his indecisive character.
Early years and family (1626?1653)
"Richard was born in Huntingdon on 4 October 1626, the son of Oliver Cromwell and his wife Elizabeth. Little is known of his childhood. Early biographers claim that he attended Felsted School in Essex. There is no record of him attending university. In May 1647, he became a member of Lincoln?s Inn. He may have served as a captain in Thomas Fairfax?s lifeguard during the late 1640s, but the evidence is inconclusive. In 1649 Richard married Dorothy Maijor, daughter of Richard Maijor, a member of the Hampshire gentry. He and his wife then moved to Maijor?s estate at Hursley. During the 1650s they had nine children, four of whom survived to adulthood. Richard was named a JP for Hampshire and sat on various county committees. During this period Richard seems to have been a source of concern for his father, who wrote to Richard Maijor saying ?I would have him mind and understand business, read a little history, study the mathematics and cosmography: these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for public services, for which a man is born?.
Move into political life (1653?1658)
In 1653, Richard was passed over as a member of Barebone's Parliament, although his younger brother Henry was a member of it. When his father was made Lord Protector in the same year, he was also not given any public role; however, he was elected to both the first and second Protectorate parliaments. Under the Protectorate?s constitution, Oliver Cromwell was required to nominate a successor, and from 1657 he involved Richard much more heavily in the politics of the regime. He was present at the second installation of his father as Lord Protector in June, having played no part in the first installation. In July he was appointed Chancellor of Oxford University, and in December was made a member of the Council of State.
Lord Protector (1658?1659)
Oliver Cromwell died on 3 September 1658, and Richard was informed on the same day that he was to succeed him. Some controversy surrounds the succession. A letter by John Thurloe suggests that Oliver nominated his son orally on 30 August, but other theories claim either that he nominated no successor, or that he put forward Charles Fleetwood, his son-in-law.
Richard was faced by two immediate problems. The first was the army, which questioned his position as commander given his lack of military experience. The second was the financial position of the regime, with a debt estimated at Â£2 million. As a result Richard Cromwell's Privy Council decided to call a parliament in order to redress these financial problems on 29 November 1658 (a decision which was formally confirmed on 3 December 1658). Under the terms of the Humble Petition and Advice, this Parliament was called using the traditional franchise (thus moving away from the system under the Instrument of Government whereby representation of rotten boroughs was cut in favour of county seats). This meant that the government was less able to control elections and therefore unable to manage the parliament effectively. As a result, when this Third Protectorate Parliament first sat on 27 January 1659 it was dominated by moderate Presbyterians, crypto-royalists and a small numb
Tonight we resume with the dynasty-from-hell, the Stuarts.
Charles II of England aka 'Old Rowley' and "the Merry Monarch"
King of Scotland
Reign 30 January 1649 ? 3 September 1651
Coronation 1 January 1651
Predecessor Charles I
Successor The Covenanters
King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (more...)
Reign 29 May 1660 ? 6 February 1685
Coronation 23 April 1661
Predecessor Charles I (de jure)
Council of State (de facto)
Successor James VII & II
Spouse Catherine of Braganza (no issue)
Illegitimate issue only includes (12 acknowedged)
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth
Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland
Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton
George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland
Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans
Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond
House House of Stuart
Father Charles I of England
Mother Henrietta Maria of France
Born 29 May 1630(1630-05-29)
St. James's Palace, London England
Died 6 February 1685 (aged 54)
Whitehall Palace, London
Burial Westminster Abbey
Charles II (29 May 1630 OS ? 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
"Charles Stuart, the eldest surviving son of King Charles I of England and Scotland and Henrietta Maria of France, was born in St. James's Palace on 29 May 1630 (8 June 1630 NS). He was baptised in the Chapel Royal on 27 June by the Anglican Bishop of London William Laud and brought up in the care of the Protestant Countess of Dorset, though his godparents included his mother's Catholic relations, King Louis XIII and the Dowager Queen of France. At birth, he automatically became (as the eldest surviving son of the Sovereign) Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay (along with several other associated titles); at or around his eighth birthday he was designated Prince of Wales, though he was never formally invested with the Honours of the Principality of Wales.
During the 1640s, when Charles was still young, his father fought parliamentary and Puritan forces in the English Civil War. Charles accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill and, at the age of fourteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country. By Spring 1646, his father was losing the war, and Charles left England due to fears for his safety, going first to the Isles of Scilly, then to Jersey, and finally to France, where his mother was already living in exile and his first cousin, eight-year-old Louis XIV of France, sat on the throne.
In 1648, during the Second English Civil War, Charles moved to The Hague, where his sister Mary and his brother-in-law William II, Prince of Orange seemed more likely to provide substantial aid to the Royalist cause than the Queen's French relations. However, the royalist fleet that came under Charles's control was not used to any advantage, and did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist Engagers army of the Duke of Hamilton, before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston.
At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with Lucy Walter, who later falsely claimed that they had secretly married. Their son, James Crofts (afterwards Duke of Monmouth and Duke of Buccleuch), was to become the most prominent of Charles's many illegitimate sons in British political life.
Charles I was captured in 1647. He escaped and was recaptured in 1648. Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and England became a republic. Immediately following the execution of Charles I however, the Parliament of Scotland declared Charles II King of Scotland in succession to his father on 5 February 1649 provided he accept certain conditions. To succeed, Charles was reluctantly induced to make promises that he would abide by the terms of a treaty agreed between him and the Scots Parliament at Breda, and support the Solemn Leagu
I really like the film "restoration" that takes a stab at portraying life in Charles II's court. More interesting for me was the London plague beginning in 1665. The court fled the city of course. But people died at the rate of many thousand a week and it wiped out 20% of the population. It's a good starting point for a study of the history of government responses to pandemics, which have almost invariably not been very good, even well into the age of modern medicine. Back then quarantining was the only semi-effective response, but the local government latched onto any bogus remedy at hand. More than a little of London's official response to the plague reminds me of all the colossal waste and misallocations associated with the H1N1 vaccine. If government response to a fake crisis is so ineffectual, what happens when an actual pandemic comes along? History does indeed repeat itself. I'd just as soon put myself in Charles II's hands as trust a modern public health department to handle a pandemic.
The end of the Protectorate
"The Protectorate, which had preceded the English Restoration and followed the Commonwealth, might have continued if Oliver Cromwell's son Richard, who was made Lord Protector on his father's death, had been capable of carrying on his father's policies. Richard Cromwell's main weakness was that he did not have the confidence of the army. After seven months the army removed him and on 6 May 1659 it reinstalled the Rump Parliament. Charles Fleetwood was appointed a member of the Committee of Safety and of the Council of State, and one of the seven commissioners for the army. On 9 June 1659 he was nominated lord-general (commander-in-chief) of the army. However, his power was undermined in Parliament, which chose to disregard the army's authority in a similar fashion to the post-First Civil War Parliament. The Commons, on 12 October 1659, cashiered General John Lambert and other officers, and installed Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons. The next day Lambert ordered that the doors of the House be shut and the members kept out. On 26 October a "Committee of Safety" was appointed, of which Fleetwood and Lambert were members. Lambert was appointed major-general of all the forces in England and Scotland, Fleetwood being general. The Committee of Safety sent Lambert with a large force to meet George Monck, who was in command of the English forces in Scotland, and either negotiate with him or force him to come to terms.
It was into this atmosphere that Monck, the governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland. Lambert's army began to desert him, and he returned to London almost alone. Monck marched to London unopposed. The Presbyterian members, excluded in Pride's Purge of 1648, were recalled, and on 24 December the army restored the Long Parliament. Fleetwood was deprived of his command and ordered to appear before Parliament to answer for his conduct. On 3 March 1660, Lambert was sent to the Tower of London, from which he escaped a month later. He tried to rekindle the civil war in favour of the Commonwealth by issuing a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill. But he was recaptured by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, a participant in the regicide of Charles I who hoped to win a pardon by handing Lambert over to the new regime. Lambert was incarcerated and died in custody on Drake's Island in 1684; Ingoldsby was pardoned.
Restoration of Charles II
On 4 April 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, which made known the conditions of his acceptance of the crown of England. Monck organized the Convention Parliament, which met for the first time on 25 April. On 8 May it proclaimed that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649. Charles returned from exile, leaving the Hague on 23 May and landing at Dover on 25 May. He entered London on 29 May, his birthday. To celebrate "his Majesty's Return to his Parliament", 29 May was made a public holiday, popularly known as Oak Apple Day. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661.
The Cavalier Parliament convened for the first time on 8 May 1661, and it would endure for over 17 years, finally being dissolved on 24 January 1679. Like its predecessor, it was overwhelmingly Royalist. It is also known as the Pensionary Parliament for the many pensions it granted to adherents of the King.
Many Royalist exiles returned and were rewarded. Prince Rupert of the Rhine returned to the service of England, became a member of the privy council, and was provided with an annuity. George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, returned to be the Captain of the King's guard and received a pension. Marmaduke Langdale returned and was made "Baron Langdale." William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle, returned and was able to regain the greater part of his estates. He was invested in 1666 with the Order of the Garter (which had been bestowed upon him
So Charles, aged 30, was restored to the throne of his fathers in 1660. He ruled Britain for 25 years.
He is much loved by historians who persist in calling him a good king. He wasn't. Laziness was a problem, as was his private life. His religion was, as they say, fluid. And, of course, there was his treason.
Cromwell showed that properly ruled, the UK was a major power; and as soon as the Stuarts were restored, there was instant regression. Britain was humiliatingly defeated in naval wars with the Dutch, and spent most of its time as a pensioner of Louis XIV's France. It didn't know this, of course. Charles II neglected to mention it. He was never caught at it, either; the main difference between him and his father.
Charles professed to be an Anglican in religion. At the time of the Restoration, he angrily berated his younger brother, Henry, because his mother had tried to convert him to Catholicism. But nearly all his other actions bespoke a man who was a Roman Catholic in inclination.
1. His marriage. Learning absolutely nothing by the marriage of his parents, he married a Catholic bride. Catherine of Branganza was a Portuguese princess, whom Charles married because she had a large dowry and he needed money. She had 4 miscarriages, and no children, which became increasingly disastrous, given that Charles' only surviving brother, James, was a Catholic. This caused endless strife, because alternatives were proposed, most notably Charles' eldest illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth. Catherine was the center of the Popish Plot--a political crisis in which an unscrupulous nutbar named Titus Oates alleged that she and the Catholic faction were scheming to murder the King. (Why would they when Charles was the best friend Louis XIV ever had? Of course, Oates didn't know *that*)
On a personal level, though, the marriage was rather successful. Charles couldn't be faithful, and after a passage of arms over his mistresses, Catherine accepted that. She had the qualities Charles liked in one sense: she was quiet and good-natured, the opposite of his shrew of a mother; he liked her. And in one important sense, Charles *was* faithful to her--he refused to divorce her, despite her childlessness. One can see that as admirable, or one can be suspicious. And in Charles' case, suspicion shows that he had plenty of children (12 acknowledged bastards, and many other possibles), no real interest in the political stability of Britain (remember these people had executed his father), and Catholic inclinations.
2. Louise de Kerouaille. Charles'last mistress was a French spy. Charles knew it and didn't care--after all, if she was on Louis XIV's pension list, so was he. Louise was extremely unpopular, which Charles didn't care about, either. A nasty crowd once booed one of Charles' other mistresses, Nell Gwynne, mistaking her for Kerouaille. She opened the window of her coach and cried: "Pray, good people, be civil, I am the Protestant whore!"
3. The second marriage of his brother, James, to Mary of Modena. Charles knew that to allow him to marry a Catholic was disastrous, but did it anyway.
If you ever go to the Tower of London check out Charles 2nd's punch bowl. It tells you everything you need to know about his reign
It certainly was an era of ill-living, as they say. People drank hard, vomited in public, and the Earl of Rochester, who was a talented poet, wrote verses in praise of sodomy.
Charles' vice was women, though. This was not a private matter, because he endowed his numerous bastards with pensions, etc, which the country had to pay. He is, in fact, the ancestor of four extant British Dukedoms: Buccleigh (from the Duke of Monmouth, his eldest son, by Lucy Walter); Grafton (from one of his sons by Barbara Villiers); St. Albans (from his elder son by Nell Gwynne); and Lennox (from his son by Louise de Kerouaille). Diana, Princess of Wales was descended from both Grafton and Lennox; Camilla Parker-Bowles and Sarah, Duchess of York from Lennox. Diana was also descended from his brother James, who like Charles, had an extremely over-active libido, and numerous bastards. Poor James, though, is mocked for it while Charles is praised. That's the difference between a charismatic personality and a non-charismatic one, I suppose. Every historian mentions the story wherein Charles says James' mistresses must have been wished on him as a penance because they were so ugly. Every historian says admiringly what a wit Charles was. As usual they miss the point. It wasn't looks that attracted James: he liked his women domineering and forceful like his mother. Intelligence was a side-effect, for even Catherine Sedley, one of James' mistresses, and famed for her wit, said that James couldn't understand her quips. (This lady said to the two children of her subsequent marriage: "If someone tells you your mother is a whore, you must bear it, for it is true; but if someone miscalls your father, fight 'til you die; for your are an honest man's sons). Charles went for looks, and got a pack of good-looking poodles in consequence (none of his sons did much in the world). James, on the other hand, did have some remarkable children, most notably the Duke of Berwick (a fine soldier) and Mary I.
James first became involved with Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, and secretly married her. He behaved very badly indeed, disowning her when his mother pressured him. But Charles insisted that the marriage stand. Not because he was a nice guy, but because he wished to neutralize his mother, who was trying to emulate the nefarious career of *her* mother, Marie de'Medici, by playing off the younger brother against the elder. Henriette Maria gave up in a huff, and retired to France. Charles was delighted; he despised her.
Charles gets a free ride in most history books, especially when you consider that he had three kingdoms, and is judged on how he ruled just one of them, England (and in which he didn't do much of a job.)
He ignored Ireland almost completely, despite the fact that it could have used some attention.
He was a ruthless tyrant in Scotland, especially on the question of religion. As John MacLeod says: "[Charles] had the brains of three cunning and wicked men at his disposal."
The men were Monck, Sharpe and Lauderdale. He used Monck to execute (and it was a typical Stuart execution) the Duke of Argyll, who was guilty of the same things Monck was, he just did not switch sides quickly enough. Lauderdale passed the Act Recissory through a packed Scottish Parliament--this abolished every piece of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament since 1633, and basically annulled the Scottish Reformation. Charles hated the Scots, and never visited the country as King, content that he had unleashed the furies there.
A third of the Scots abandoned their churches and took to holding services in the fields; these informal churches were broken up by armed troops, the people arrested, frequently tortured, and their leaders executed. The executions included women. Note: Charles had sworn oaths, in 1650 and 1651, to protect the Kirk, which he systematically violated when he got the chance. Scotland became a police state--an incredibly corrupt and ill-run one, into the bargain.
Occasionally the bad guys got their due---in 1679, Sharpe was jumped by nine Covenanters and hacked to death. In Scottish history, this era was known as the "Killing Time" and a painful time it was. Why the Scots ever rose in support of the Stuarts again after this is a total mystery to me; but memories are short, indeed.
Foreign and colonial policy
"Since 1640, Portugal had been fighting a war against Spain to restore its independence after a dynastic union of 60 years between the crowns of Spain and Portugal. Portugal had been helped by France, but in the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 Portugal was abandoned by its French ally. Upon Charles's restoration, Queen LuÃsa of Portugal, acting as regent, opened negotiations with England that resulted in an alliance. On 23 June 1661, a marriage treaty was signed, and in May 1662, Charles married Catherine of Braganza in the parish of St Thomas Ã Becket, Portsmouth. Catherine's dowry brought the territories of Tangier and Bombay to British control. The latter had a major lasting influence on the development of the British Empire in India. During the same year, in an unpopular move, he sold Dunkirk, which (although a valuable strategic outpost) was a drain on Charles's limited finances, to his first cousin King Louis XIV of France for about Â£375,000..
Appreciative of the assistance given to him in gaining the throne, Charles awarded North American lands then known as Carolina?named after his father?to eight nobles (known as Lords Proprietors) in 1663.
Whereas the Navigation Acts of 1650, which hurt Dutch trade by giving English vessels a monopoly, started the First Dutch War (1652?1654), the Second Dutch War (1665?1667) was started by English attempts to muscle in on Dutch possessions in Africa and North America. The conflict began well for the English, with the capture of New Amsterdam (renamed New York in honour of Charles's brother James, Duke of York) and a victory at the Battle of Lowestoft, but in 1667 the Dutch launched a surprise attack upon the English (the Raid on the Medway) when they sailed up the River Thames to where a major part of the English fleet was docked. Almost all of the ships were sunk except for the flagship, the HMS Royal Charles, which was taken back to the Netherlands as a trophy. The Second Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Breda (1667).
As a result of the Second Dutch War, Charles dismissed Lord Clarendon, whom he used as a scapegoat for the war. Clarendon fled to France when impeached for high treason (which carried the penalty of death). Power passed to five politicians known collectively by a whimsical acronym as the Cabal?Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury) and Lauderdale. In fact, the Cabal rarely acted in consort, and the court was often divided between two factions led by Arlington and Buckingham, with Arlington the more successful.
In 1668, England allied itself with Sweden, and with its former enemy the Netherlands, in order to oppose Louis XIV in the War of Devolution. Louis made peace with the Triple Alliance, but he continued to maintain his aggressive intentions towards the Netherlands. In 1670, Charles, seeking to solve his financial troubles, agreed to the Treaty of Dover, under which Louis XIV would pay him Â£160,000 each year. In exchange, Charles agreed to supply Louis with troops and to announce his conversion to Roman Catholicism "as soon as the welfare of his kingdom will permit". Louis was to provide him with 6,000 troops to suppress those who opposed the conversion. Charles endeavoured to ensure that the Treaty?especially the conversion clause?remained secret. It remains unclear if Charles ever seriously intended to convert."
Meanwhile, by a series of five charters, Charles granted the British East India Company the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops, to form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the acquired areas in India. Earlier in 1668 he leased the islands of Bombay for a nominal sum of Â£10 paid in gold. The Portuguese territories that Catherine brought with her as dowry had proved too expensive to maintain; Tangier was abandoned.
In 1670, Charles also granted a royal charter to establish the Hudson's Bay Company. The comp
In 1685, Charles had a stroke, and died shortly thereafter. His heir was his brother, James. He arranged a last 'up yours' to his subjects by being received into the Catholic Church before he died.
If there ever was an English king who could say: "Apres moi, le deluge!" Charles was it. Evidence shows that he didn't in fact really care. His opinion of the three kingdoms he ruled--sort of--wasn't high, and his opinion of his brother was about the same level. The opinion of James was undoubtedly warranted.
Reputation: Absolutely inflated. He was capable of better, had he just cared to exert himself.
Conclusion: Charles' laziness was the real end of the Stuart dynasty.
Now we come to the pivotal figure in the history of England: James II of England and VII of Scotland. Had James instituted an autocratic nation-state on the French model (which he attempted to do, and nearly succeeded), then the history of England and by extension, the United States, Canada, Australia and the rest of the world might have been very different. Macauley dubbed James' failure as "The Glorious Revolution". A great many modern historians have tried to rehabilitate the reputation of this royal dullard. They claim, mainly because they are acutely stupid, that James wanted to institute religious tolerance in Britain. Of course, if you look at James' history as his brother's thug in Scotland, you can see that he delighted in persecuting Protestants. As king, he claimed that he wanted to protect Puritans, but what he really wanted to do is use religious tolerance as a ploy to reinstate Catholicism. The British--no fools they--understood this instantly. What the modern historians can't accept, mainly because they don't understand the religious feeling of the electorate, is that James' attempt at autocracy failed because of what they consider a retrograde reason--religious backlash.
James II & VII
King of England, Scotland and Ireland
Reign 6 February 1685 ? 11 December 1688 (3 years, 309 days) His brother once predicted he wouldn't last as King of England longer than four years. He was nearly right on the money.
Coronation 23 April 1685 (England)
Predecessor Charles II
Successor: William III & II and Mary II
1. Anne Hyde, the last commoner to marry into the royal family until Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923
m. 1660; dec. 1671
2. Mary of Modena, the only Italian Queen of England
m. 1673; wid. 1701
(by Anne Hyde)
Anne of Great Britain
4 sons, died in infancy
2 daughters, died in infancy
(by Mary of Modena)
James, Prince of Wales
Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart
1 son, died in infancy
4 daughters, died in infancy
5 stillbirths, sex not known
By Arabella Churchill, sister of the Duke of Malborough:
Two sons, including James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick; and two daughters;
By Catherine Sedley:
One daughter, two sons who died in infancy.
From his daughter by Catherine Sedley, there are numerous English, Irish and Scottish noble families, and descendants including Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Mitford sisters.
From his sons and one of daughters by Arabella Churchill (the other was a nun) are descended a French Dukedom and two Spanish ones, the Dukes of Alba and Liria.
No descendants by his wives. His two eldest daughters by Anne Hyde had no surviving children, and the youngest by Maria of Modena died of smallpox at 18, unmarried. His son had two sons (we'll get there), neither of whom had any legitimate children.
House House of Stuart
Father Charles I of England
Mother Henrietta Maria of France
Born 14 October 1633(1633-10-14)
St. James's Palace, London
Died 16 September 1701 (aged 67)
The details tomorrow night...
FASCINATING article on BBC History magazine on Charles 2nd this month, get a copy if you can.
As for the Glorious revolution and Good King Billy, plenty to say on that come the weekend
I don't think that's available in Canada. I found the following on the internet, and it's as good a comment on Charles as I've seen:
"No event in the history of England had been attended with more lively and general rejoicing than Charles's restoration, and none was destined to cause greater subsequent disappointment and disillusion. Indolent, sensual and dissipated by nature, Charles's vices had greatly increased during his exile abroad, and were now, with the great turn of fortune which gave him full opportunity to indulge them, to surpass all the bounds of decency and control. A long residence till the age of thirty abroad, together with his French blood, had made him politically more of a foreigner than an Englishman, and he returned to England ignorant of the English constitution, a Roman Catholic and a secret adversary of the national religion, and untouched by the sentiment of England's greatness or of patriotism. Pure selfishness was the basis of his policy both in domestic and foreign affairs. Abroad the great national interests were eagerly sacrificed for the sake of a pension, and at home his personal ease and pleasure alone decided every measure, and the fate of every minister and subject. During his exile he had surrounded himself with young men of the same spirit as himself, such as Buckingham and Bennet, who, without having any claim to statesmanship, inattentive to business, neglectful of the national interests and national prejudices, became Charles's chief advisers. With them, as with their master, public office was only desirable as a means of procuring enjoyment, for which an absolute monarchy provided the most favourable conditions. Such persons were now, accordingly, destined to supplant the older and responsible ministers of the type of Clarendon and Ormonde, men of high character and patriotism, who followed definite lines of policy, while at the same time the younger men of ability and standing were shut out from office...
His ministers he never scrupled to sacrifice to his ease. The love of ease exercised an entire sovereignty in his thoughts. " The motive of his giving bounties was rather to make men less uneasy to him than more easy to themselves." He would rob his own treasury and take bribes to press a measure through the council. He had a natural affability, but too general to be much valued, and he was fickle and deceitful. Neither gratitude nor revenge moved him, and good or ill services left little impression on his mind. Halifax, however, concludes by desiring to moderate the roughness of his picture by emphasizing the excellence of his intellect and memory and his mechanical talent, by deprecating a too censorious judgment and by dwelling upon the disadvantages of his bringing up, the difficulties and temptations of his position, and on the fact that his vices were those common to human frailty. His capacity for king-craft, knowledge of the world, and easy address enabled him to surmount difficulties and dangers which would have proved fatal to his father or to his brother. "It was a common saying that he could send away a person better pleased at receiving nothing than those in the good King his father's time that had requests granted them,"1 and his good-humoured tact and familiarity compensated for and concealed his ingratitude and perfidy and preserved his popularity. He had good taste in art and literature, was fond of chemistry and science, and the Royal Society was founded in his reign. According to Evelyn he was "debonnaire and easy of access, naturally kind-hearted and possessed an excellent temper," virtues which covered a multitude of sins.
These small traits of amiability, however, which pleased his contemporaries, cannot disguise for us the broad lines of Charles's career and character. How far the extraordinary corruption of private morals which has gained for the restoration period so unenviable a notoriety was owing to the King's own example of flagrant debauchery, how far to the natural reaction from an artificial Puritanism, is uncertain, but it is incontestable t
Childhood: James was born in 1633, the third surviving child of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. He had an older brother, Charles (1630) and Mary (1631), and younger sisters Elizabeth (1635), Anne (1637), Henry (1640) and Henrietta Anne (1644).
Mary, James, Charles, Elizabeth and Anne
His childhood was happy enough until the Civil War in 1641 (he was eight years old). He was educated with his older brother and the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham. In 1646, he was captured with his sister Elizabeth and his brother Henry by Parliament, and was imprisoned by them for two years until he escaped to Holland disguised as a woman. Elizabeth died in captivity; Henry was restored to his family in 1652 (the Parliamentarians had raised him as a Protestant, and ironically, he stuck to it, much to his mother's fury; but he died of smallpox in 1660).
James and his father, circa 1645.
If Charles II was very like Henri of Navarre, his maternal grandfather, James also resembled a grandparent---in his case Anne of Denmark, the stubborn Danish princess who converted to Catholicism. He shared Charles' overactive libido (inherited from Navarre), but in nearly all other respects, he differed. He was active, hard-working, conscientious, straightforward; the type that makes a good subordinate and a poor general (as he was to prove). He enjoyed military life, rules and routine reassured him.
He and Charles had an odd, uneasy relationship. Their mother tried divide and rule with them, not successfully, but she did succeed in converting James to open Catholicism. Charles was exasperated by James' inability to hide his religion, but he half admired it, too. They had been through a great deal together in life, and Charles had a certain loyalty to James, as irritating as he found him. Charles may also have wanted to be succeeded by someone less popular than himself (he achieved that). Whatever the reason, he defended James' right to succeed him, all the while realizing it would probably end in Civil War. Which, of course, it did.
As a young man, he was fair-haired and much better looking than Charles. As he aged, his features coarsened.
From the 'net:
"During the Civil War James was taken prisoner by Fairfax (1646), but contrived to escape to Holland in 1648. Subsequently he served in the French army under Turenne, and in the Spanish under Conde, and was applauded by both commanders for his brilliant personal courage. Returning to England with Charles II in 1660 he was appointed Lord High Admiral and warden of the Cinque Ports. Pepys, who was secretary to the navy, has recorded the patient industry and unflinching probity of his naval administration. His victory over the Dutch in 1665, and his drawn battle with De Ruyter in 1672, show that he was a good naval commander as well as an excellent administrator. These achievements won him a reputation for high courage, which, until the close of 1688, was amply deserved."
I think "excellent" administrator is stretching it, but he worked hard and liked order.
"His private record was not as good as his public. In December 1660 he admitted to having contracted, under discreditable circumstances, a secret marriage with Anne Hyde (1637-1671), daughter of Lord Clarendon, in the previous September. Both before and after the marriage he seems to have been a libertine as unblushing though not so fastidious as Charles himself. In 1672 he made a public avowal of his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Charles II had opposed this project, but in 1673 allowed him to marry the Catholic Mary of Modena as his second wife. Both houses of parliament, who viewed this union with abhorrence, now passed the Test Act, forbidding Catholics to hold office. In consequence of this James was forced to resign his posts. It was in vain that he married his daughter Mary to the Protestant Prince of Orange in 1677. Anti-Catholic feeling ran so high that, after the discovery of the Popish Plot, he found it wiser to retire to Brussels (1679), while Shaftesbury and the Whigs planned to exclude him from the succession. He was Lord High commissioner of Scotland (1680-1682), where he occupied himself in a severe persecution of the Covenanters. In 1684 Charles, having triumphed over the Exclusionists, restored James to the office of High Admiral by use of his dispensing power."
So when James ascended the throne in 1685, the Monmouth Rebellion erupted [Monmouth was Charles II's eldest son, a Protestant. He was also illegitimate, which precluded his succession. His faction was willing to ignore it] faction expected the country to rise in rebellion. It didn't. There were minor revolts in Scotland and England, which were unenthusiastic and put down easily.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest than James, like Mary Tudor before him, drew the wrong conclusions from this. Like Mary he was elderly by the standards of his time (just three years younger than Charles), and he had a Protestant heir. Considering these things, the people were willing to tolerate him for a time, as long as he didn't meddle with religion. But asking James to do that was asking the sun not to shine. He supposed that the people of England might be more inclined to Catholicism than had been thought. And he was dead wrong.
"James ascended the throne on the 16th of February 1685. The nation showed its loyalty by its firm adherence to him during the rebellions of Argyll in Scotland and Monmouth in England (1685). The savage reprisals on their suppression, in especial the "Bloody Assizes" of Jeffreys, produced a revulsion of public feeling. James had promised to defend the existing Church and government, but the people now became suspicious. James was not a mere tyrant and bigot, as the popular imagination speedily assumed him to be. He was rather a mediocre but not altogether obtuse man, who mistook tributary streams for the main currents of national thought. Thus he greatly underrated the strength of the Establishment, and preposterously exaggerated that of Dissent and Catholicism. He perceived that opinion was seriously divided in the Established Church, and thought that a vigorous policy would soon prove effective. Hence he publicly celebrated Mass, prohibited preaching against Catholicism, and showed exceptional favour to renegades from the Establishment."
James thought that because some venial aristocrats converted to Catholicism win his favour, it actually meant something. Of course, the main populace remained Protestant, and had no intention of conversion, and be damned to him.
It did not help that James' first cousin and ally, Louis XIV, revoked the Edict of Nantes, making Protestantism illegal in France (October, 1685). About 40,000 Huguenots immediately immigrated, a good many arriving in England.
"By undue pressure he secured a decision of the judges, in the test case of Godden v. Hale (1687), by which he was allowed to dispense Catholics from the Test Act. Catholics were now admitted to the chief offices in the army, and to some important posts in the state, in virtue of the dispensing power of James. The judges had been intimidated or corrupted, and the royal promise to protect the Establishment violated. The army had been increased to 20,000 men and encamped at Hounslow Heath to overawe the capital. Public alarm was speedily manifested and suspicion to a high degree awakened. In 1687 James made a bid for the support of the Dissenters by advocating a system of joint toleration for Catholics and Dissenters. In April 1687 he published a Declaration of Indulgence - exempting Catholics and Dissenters from penal statutes. He followed up this measure by dissolving parliament and attacking the universities. By an unscrupulous use of the dispensing power he introduced Dissenters and Catholics into all departments of state and into the municipal corporations, which were remodeled in their interests.
Then in April 1688 he took the suicidal step of issuing a proclamation to force the clergy and bishops to read the Declaration in their pulpits, and thus personally advocate a measure they detested. Seven bishops refused, were indicted by James for libel, but acquitted amid the indescribable enthusiasm of the populace. Protestant nobles of England, enraged at the tolerant policy of James, had been in negotiation with William of Orange since 1687. The trial of the seven bishops, and the birth of a son to James, now induced them to send William a definite invitation (June 30, 1688). James remained in a fool's paradise till the last, and only awakened to his danger when William landed at Torbay (November 5, 1688) and swept all before him. James pretended to treat, and in the midst of the negotiations fled to France. He was intercepted at Faversham and brought back, but the politic Prince of Orange allowed him to escape a second time (December 23, 1688)."
Mary of Modena had no surviving children, and hadn't been pregnant for some time, so the Protestants were extremely suspicious of her sudden pregnancy. If a daughter, it would come after James' elder daughters; but if a son, the prospect of a Catholic dynasty was assured. It was a son. The populace spread a story that the baby had been smuggled into Mary's bedroom in a warming pan. Nonsense, but it was believed
"At the end of 1688 James seemed to have lost his old courage. After his defeat at the Boyne (July 1, 1690) he speedily departed from Ireland, where he had so conducted himself that his English followers had been ashamed of his incapacity, while French officers had derided him. His proclamations and policy towards England during these years show unmistakable traces of the same incompetence. On the 17th of May 1692 he saw the French fleet destroyed before his very eyes off Cape La Hogue. He was aware of, though not an open advocate of the "Assassination Plot," which was directed against William. By its revelation and failure (February 10, 1696) the third and last serious attempt of James for his restoration failed. He refused in the same year to accept the French influence in favour of his candidature to the Polish throne, on the ground that it would exclude him from the English. Henceforward he neglected politics, and Louis of France ceased to consider him as a political factor. A mysterious conversion had been effected in him by an austere Cistercian abbot. The world saw with astonishment this vicious, rough, coarse-fibred man of the world transformed into an austere penitent, who worked miracles of healing. Surrounded by this odour of sanctity, which greatly edified the faithful, James lived at St Germain until his death on the 17th of September 1701.
The political ineptitude of James is clear; he often showed firmness when conciliation was needful, and weakness when resolution alone could have saved the day. Moreover, though he mismanaged almost every political problem with which he personally dealt, he was singularly tactless and impatient of advice. But in general political morality he was not below his age, and in his advocacy of toleration decidedly above it. He was more honest and sincere than Charles II, more genuinely patriotic in his foreign policy, and more consistent in his religious attitude. That his brother retained the throne while James lost it is an ironical demonstration that a more pitiless fate awaits the ruler whose faults are of the intellect, than one whose faults are of the heart."
I don't think he was sincere about toleration (except for Catholics) but I agree he was somewhat morally superior to Charles II. He wouldn't accept Charles's pension from Louis XIV, for one thing. But given that he mocked Monmouth to William of Orange when Monmouth begged for his life and showed little courage, when push came to shove, he cracked himself, something that probably humiliated him utterly. When his older daughter (Mary I) died in 1693, he gloated about it--his nasty side could be nasty indeed. And very unchristian.
Not a nice man, but had he not brought religion in to the mix, would he have prevailed and turned Britain into an autocracy? And the answer is: it's quite possible. Saved again.
Reputation: Popish idiot. (Deserved)
In popular culture: "James is a character in the novel The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo. He was portrayed by Josef Moser in the 1921 Austrian silent film Das Grinsende Gesicht and by Sam De Grasse in the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs.
He has also been portrayed by Gibb McLaughlin in the 1926 silent film Nell Gwynne, based on a novel by Joseph Shearing, Lawrence Anderson in the 1934 film Nell Gwyn, Vernon Steele in the 1935 film Captain Blood, based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini, Douglas Matthews in the 1938 BBC TV drama Thank You, Mr. Pepys, Henry Oscar in the 1948 film Bonnie Prince Charlie, John Westbrook in the 1969 BBC TV series The First Churchills, Guy Henry in the 1995 film England, My England, the story of the composer Henry Purcell, and Charlie Creed-Miles in the 2003 BBC TV miniseries Charles II: The Power & the Passion."
Rating: 2/10 if you rate effectiveness as a King. If you rate effectiveness as a spur to democracy, he's a solid ten.
So endeth the Stuarts--the Kings at least. James was the last. The record was: three civil wars, endless revolts, one regicide and two dethronings. And that's in 85 years.
Like the Tudors, the Stuarts ended in the reigns of two childless sisters, Mary II and Anne.
The elder, Mary II, reigned in conjunction with her husband, William of Orange. (Mary I had reigned with her husband, too). Anne reigned on her own. As it turned out, their reigns were considerably better than that of their male relations.
William III of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prince of Orange
Reign 14 November 1650 ? 8 March 1702
Predecessor William II
Successor John William Friso
Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel
Reign July 1672 ? 8 March 1702
Predecessor William II
Successor William IV
Reign 13 February 1689 ? 8 March 1702:
Coronation 11 April 1689
Predecessor James VII & II
Co-monarch Mary II
Spouse Mary II of England
House House of Orange-Nassau
Father William II, Prince of Orange
Mother Mary, Princess Royal
Born 14 November 1650(1650-11-14)
[OS: 4 November 1650]
Binnenhof, The Hague
Died 8 March 1702 (aged 51)
Kensington Palace, London
Burial Westminster Abbey, London
William III (14 November 1650 ? 8 March 1702) was a sovereign Prince of Orange by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland, and as William II over Scotland. He is informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy". A member of the House of Orange-Nassau, William won the English, Scottish, and Irish crowns following the Glorious Revolution, in which his uncle and father-in-law James II was deposed. In the British Isles, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. Popular histories usually refer to the joint reign as that of "William and Mary".
A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely because of that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William's victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is commemorated by the Orange Institution in Northern Ireland to this day. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more-Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.
William Henry of Orange was born in The Hague in the Dutch Republic on 14 November 1650. He was the only child of stadtholder William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary, Princess Royal. Mary was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland, and sister of King Charles II and King James II & VII.
Eight days before William's birth, his father died from smallpox; thus William was the Sovereign Prince of Orange from the moment of his birth. Immediately a conflict ensued between the Princess Royal and William II's mother, Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, over the name to be given to the infant. Mary wanted to name him Charles after her brother, but her mother-in-law insisted on giving him the name William or Willem to bolster his prospects of becoming stadtholder. William II had appointed his wife as his son's guardian in his will; however the document remained unsigned at William II's death and was void. On 13 August 1651 the Dutch Hoge Raad (Supreme Council) ruled that guardianship would be shared between his mother, his paternal grandmother and Frederick William, the Elector of Brandenburg, whose wife, Louise Henriette, was his father's eldest sister.
 Childhood and education
William's mother showed little personal interest in her son, sometimes being absent for years, and had always deliberately kept herself apart from Dutch society. William's education was first laid in the hands of several Dutch governesses, and some of English descent, including Walburg Howard. From April 1656, the prince received daily instruction in the Reformed religion from the Calvinist preacher Cornelis Trigland, a follower of the Contra-Remonstrant theologian Gisbertus Voetius. The ideal education for William was described in Discours sur la nourriture de S. H. Monse
After the whole post being filled with politics and genealogies, that last line just cracked me up.
I think William and Mary brought to a close the battles of succession and established the primacy of Parliament and Protestant ascendency. Bonny Prince Charlie aside there would never be another serious challenge allowing Britain to develop peacefully