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Rating the Monarchs of Britain: Now Disc. George III

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Zaz, May 27, 2009.

  1. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    It wasn't as simple as that. Britain now embarked upon a series of wars with France and the rest of Europe in what is called "The War of the Spanish Succession" but also concerned the English Succession, as we will see.

    The Hapsburgs in Spain were about to die out. Philip II of Armada fame had four wives and one surviving son by the fourth wife, Philip III. Philip III had one son, Philip IV, who had numerous children, who all died except two daughters, and one son, Carlos II.


    Too many cousin marriages, quite obviously. Carlos was married twice but never consummated either marriage.

    So what happens? The eldest of Philip IV's daughters married Louis XIV of France, and Louis proposed that his second grandson, Philippe D'Anjou, become King of Spain. The Austrian Hapsburgs wanted to reunite Spain with the Austrian Empire. There was also another claimant, the descendant of Philip IV's younger daughter. He was an obvious compromise, but Louis couldn't resist it. Spain was in the middle of a long decline, but it still had a very rich and extensive overseas Empire. Louis' mother had been a Spanish Infanta (Philip IV's sister) and his wife was Philip IV's daughter. So he believed he had the best right. Strictly in dynastic terms, he did, but both his mother and wife waived their claims to the Spanish throne upon marrying into France.

    Nobody wanted the Austrians to win, either. The Hapsburg Empire had been divided by Carlos I (Charles V), Philip II's father. He deemed the Empire too big and diverse to be ruled by one person, and so he gave the German and Austrian lands to his brother, who became Holy Roman Emperor, and kept Spain, the colonies, and Holland and Belgium. Thus the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs were separate, though they intermarried to a very unfortunate degree. (Philip II's last wife was an Austrian princess, and his own niece. Carlos II was the end result--he was mentally and physically retarded)

    So: stand-off. England, Portugal and the Dutch Republic weighed their options, and decided that Louis was the bigger threat. They joined the Austrian side. The war was fought in Europe mostly, though there was some fighting in the colonies.

    England sent troops under one of the most famous generals in their history, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. The Austrians also had a really brilliant general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. The result was that Louis XIV's hegemony in Europe was destroyed, and a balance of power in Europe ensued, and basically held, with adjustments, until the rise of Prussia in 1870 pulled things permanently awry. One thing Louis wanted did occur: Philip D'Anjou did become King of Spain. However, the countries had to be governed separately. Philip was unpleased by this, but it has held to date. The French Bourbons, descended from Louis XIV's older grandson, have died out, though there is a claimant descended from his brother, Philippe d'Orleans. But the current Kings of Spain are descended directly from Philip D'Anjou.
  2. saturn5

    saturn5 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 28, 2009
    By which I mean Britain at home had peace, we obviously fought everyone else in the entire world. William of Orange is still fondly remembered to this day, still celebrated every 12th of July and in countless murals all around Britain
  3. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    William should be venerated in Britain, and I'm glad to hear he is. He overcame a tremendous handicap...Stuart become basically the saviour of the Europe from the ambitions of Louis XIV of France. He got scarcely any gratitude for it in his lifetime, either in Holland or England. The Brits of the day invited him to become their ruler and then--typically--despised him because he accepted the invitation.

    But Louis XIV knew William was his biggest enemy (at the time). He knew his cousins, Charles II and James II, were lightweights at best and buffoons at worst, but once said William and he could rule Europe between them if they were allies. He wished.

    I doubt William really wanted to become King of England, but he did it because it prevented England from being allied against him. His wife should have become Queen in her own right, but William pointed out that he did the heavy lifting, and should be co-ruler. Mary, who loved him, agreed.
  4. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    "The reign of Mary II and William III marked the end of royal prerogative. Parliament, with the authority of the oligarchy, came into a position of prominence regarding the governing of England. William spent the greatest part of the reign embroiled in continental battles against Catholicism. Evelyn, in her Diary, made mention of Mary's lack of remorse concerning the abdication of her father, but Evelyn also accurately assessed the characters of the king and queen: "She seems to be of a good nature, and that she takes nothing to heart; whilst the Prince her husband has a thoughtful countenance, is wonderfully serious and silent, and seems to treat all persons alike gravely, and to be very intent on affairs: Holland, Ireland, and France calling for his care."

    Mary died young in 1693, of smallpox. William was devastated by her death, and reigned alone--he didn't remarry--until 1702, when he died of pleurisy after a fall from his horse. He was succeeded by his sister-in-law, Anne.

    Reputation: Dour Dutchman

    Rating: 8/10; William saved the day when the Stuarts nearly instituted autocracy in Britain.

  5. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Anne of Great Britain
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Coronation 23 April 1702

    Predecessor William III & II

    Successor George I

    Spouse Prince George of Denmark

    Prince William, Duke of Gloucester
    14 other children

    House House of Stuart

    Father James II & VII

    Mother Lady Anne Hyde

    Born 6 February 1665(1665-02-06)

    St. James's Palace, London

    Died 1 August 1714 (aged 49)

    Kensington Palace, London

    Burial Westminster Abbey, London

    "Anne (6 February 1665 ? 1 August 1714)[1] became Queen regnant of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her brother-in-law and cousin, William III of England and II of Scotland. Her Catholic father, James II and VII, was deemed by the English Parliament to have abdicated when he was forced to retreat to France during the Glorious Revolution of 1688/9; her brother-in-law and her sister then became joint monarchs as William III & II and Mary II. After Mary's death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until his own death in 1702.

    On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, England and Scotland were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became its first sovereign, while continuing to hold the separate crown of Queen of Ireland and the title of Queen of France. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death in August 1714. Anne was therefore, technically, the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.

    Anne's life was marked by many crises, both personally and relating to succession of the Crown and religious polarisation. Because she died without surviving issue, Anne was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by her second cousin, George I, of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stewarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James VI & I.

    Early life


    Anne was born at St. James's Palace, London, the second daughter of James, Duke of York (afterwards James II), and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde. Her paternal uncle was King Charles II and her older sister was the future Queen Mary II. Anne and Mary were the only children of the Duke and Duchess of York to survive into adulthood.[2]

    As a child, Anne suffered from an eye infection; for medical treatment, she was sent to France. She lived with her grandmother, Henrietta Maria of France who resided near Paris at the Château de Colombes which Henrietta Maria had bought in 1650; Anne later lived with her aunt, Henriette Anne, Duchess of Orléans, following her grandmother's death in 1669. She grew up with her cousins Marie Louise d'Orléans and Anne Marie d'Orléans, future maternal grand mother of Louis XV. Anne returned to England in 1670, at the death of her aunt Henriette Anne.

    In about 1673, Anne made the acquaintance of Sarah Jennings, who became her close friend and one of her most influential advisors.[3] Jennings later married John Churchill (the future Duke of Marlborough), who was to become Anne's most important general.[4]

    Sarah Jennings:


    In 1673, Anne's father's conversion to Roman Catholicism became public. On the instructions of Charles II, however, Anne and her sister Mary were raised as Protestants.[5]

    On 28 July 1683, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark-Norway, brother of King Christian V of Denmark-Norway (and her second cousin once removed through Frederick II), an unpopular union but one of great domestic happiness.


    Sarah Churchill became Anne's Lady of the Bedchamber, and, by Anne's desire to mark their mutual intimacy and affection, all deference due to her rank was abandoned and the two ladies called each other Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman.[4]
    [edit] Accession of James II

    When Charles II died in 1685 (possibly converting to Catholicism on his deathb
  6. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    The problem was that despite the fact that her marriage was a happy one, and she had eighteen (and possibly more) pregnancies, Anne had no surviving children.

    Name Birth Death
    Stillborn Daughter 12 May 1684 12 May 1684
    Mary 2 June 1685 8 February 1687
    Anne Sophia 12 May 1686 2 February 1687
    Miscarriage January 1687 January 1687
    Stillborn Son 22 October 1687 22 October 1687
    Miscarriage 16 April 1688 16 April 1688
    William, Duke
    of Gloucester 24 July 1689 29 July 1700
    Mary 14 October 1690 14 October 1690
    George 17 April 1692 17 April 1692
    Stillborn Daughter 23 April 1693 23 April 1693
    Stillborn Child 21 January 1694 21 January 1694
    Stillborn Daughter 18 February 1696 18 February 1696
    Miscarriage 20 September 1696 20 September 1696
    Stillborn Daughter 25 March 1697 25 March 1697
    Miscarriage December 1697 December 1697
    Charles 15 September 1698 15 September 1698
    Stillborn Daughter 25 January 1700 25 January 1700

    Note the terrible year 1687, when Anne was 22. Her two infant daughters died, she had a miscarriage and a stillbirth. Though one of her children, William lived to the age of eleven, he too died.

    According to modern doctors: "And what did in Queen Anne in 1714 was her case of lupus, not gout as was thought, says Dr. Frederick Holmes, a physician at KU Medical Center. A big clue was that out of her 18 pregnancies, only three babies were born alive. Those three died within 10 years, and with them the House of Stuart that had ruled Britain for a century." The children born alive were the second, the third and the seventh. The first two died of smallpox and the later from a fever.
  7. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    That left the throne without an heir. Anne did, of course, have a paternal half-brother, James Francis. Her father had died in 1701, when JF was 13 years old. But JF was a Catholic, and Anne professed to believe he was a changeling. Therefore, if she named him her successor, she would have branded herself (and her sister Mary) as usurpers, which she was not prepared to do. Also she was genuinely religious and a committed Protestant.

    That meant finding someone else. William and Anne looked at the possibles--they had to go back to James I's daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen of Bohemia. Elizabeth had 13 children:

    1. Frederick Henry von der Pfalz (1614-1629); drowned
    2. Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine (1617-1680); married Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel, had issue; Marie Luise von Degenfeld, had issue; Elisabeth Hollander von Bernau, had issue
    3. Elisabeth of Bohemia, Princess Palatine (1618-1680)
    4. Rupert, Duke of Cumberland (1619-1682); had two illegitimate children
    5. Maurice (1620-1652)
    6. Louise Marie of the Palatine (18 April 1622 ? 11 February 1709)
    7. Ludwig (21 August 1624 ? 24 December 1624)
    8. Edward, Count Palatine of Simmern (1625-1663); married Anna Gonzaga, had issue
    9. Henrietta Maria (7 July 1626-18 September 1651); married Prince Sigismund of Siebenbuergen on 16 June 1651
    10. Johann Philip Frederick (26 September 1627 ? 15 December 1650); also reported to have been born on 15 September 1629
    11. Charlotte (19 December 1628 ? 14 January 1631)
    12. Sophia, Electress of Hanover (14 October 1630 ? 8 June 1714); married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, had issue including King George I of Great Britain
    13. Gustavus Adolphus (14 January 1632-1641)

    Ironically, some of Elizabeth's descendants were Catholic, too. They finally settled upon Sophia, Electress of Hanover, Elizabeth's 12th child. There were about 43 people ahead of Sophia's claim, but several were Catholic, and some were unsuitable. William favoured Sophia because she had a son and grandson, and because her son, George of Hanover, had fought in his armies and was a decent soldier. Anne knew George--he had courted her back in the day--and she disliked him. But she went along, possibly still hoping for a child of her own to cut Sophia out.
  8. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    "Thus, to preclude a Catholic from obtaining the Crown, Parliament enacted the Act of Settlement 1701, which provided that, failing the issue of Princess Anne and of William III by any future marriage, the Crown would go to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and her descendants, who descended from James I of England through Elizabeth Stuart. Dozens of genealogically senior claimants were disregarded due to their Catholicism. Anne acquiesced to the new line of succession created by the Act of Settlement.[18]
    [edit] Anne's reign

    William III died on 8 March 1702 and Anne was crowned on 23 April 1702.[19]
    [edit] The War of the Spanish Succession

    Almost as soon as she succeeded to the throne, Anne became embroiled in the War of the Spanish Succession. This war, in which England supported the claim of Archduke Charles to succeed to the Spanish Throne, would continue until the last years of Anne's reign, and would dominate both foreign and domestic policy.

    Soon after her accession, Anne appointed her husband Lord High Admiral, giving him control of the Royal Navy. Anne gave control of the army to Lord Marlborough, whom she appointed Captain-General.[20] Marlborough also received numerous honours from the Queen; he was created a Knight of the Garter and was elevated to the ducal rank.[21] The Duchess of Marlborough was appointed to the post of Mistress of the Robes, the highest office a lady could attain.
    [edit] The Act of Union
    Portrait of Anne in 1702 the year she became queen, from the school of John Closterman

    In passing the Act of Settlement, in 1701, the English Parliament had neglected to consult with the Parliament of Scotland or Estates of Scotland, which, in part, wished to preserve the Stuart dynasty and its right of inheritance to the Throne.[22] The Scottish response to the Settlement was to pass the Act of Security; a bill which stated that ? failing the issue of the Queen ? the Estates had the power to choose the next Scottish monarch from amongst the numerous descendants of the royal line of Scotland. (The individual chosen by the Estates could not be the same person who came to the English Throne, unless various religious, economic and political conditions were met.) Though it was originally not forthcoming, Royal Assent to the act was granted when the Scottish Parliament threatened to withdraw Scottish troops from the Duke of Marlborough's army in Europe and refused to impose taxes.

    In its turn, the English Parliament ? fearing that an independent Scotland would restore the Auld Alliance (with France) ? responded with the Alien Act 1705, which provided that economic sanctions would be imposed and Scottish subjects would be declared aliens (putting their right to own property in England into jeopardy), unless Scotland either repealed the Act of Security or moved to unite with England. Eventually the Estates chose the latter option, and Commissioners were appointed by Queen Anne to negotiate the terms of a union between the two countries. Articles of Union were approved by the Commissioners on 22 July 1706, agreed to by an Act of the Scottish Parliament passed on 16 January 1707 and an act of the English Parliament passed on 6 March 1707. Under the Acts, England and Scotland became one realm, a united kingdom called Great Britain, on 1 May 1707.[23]
    [edit] Two-party politics

    Anne's reign was further marked by the development of a two-party system as the new era of parliamentary governance unfolded and matured. Anne personally preferred the Tory Party, but "endured" the Whigs.

    Because of Anne's personal preferences, her first ministry was primarily Tory; at its head were Sidney Godolphin, 1st Baron Godolphin and Anne's favorite John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, both moderate Tories, but it also contained such high Tories as Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and Anne's uncle Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester. Marlborough and Godolphin kept up connections to the Whigs through the Speaker of the House of Commons, Robert Harley.

    But the Whigs, who unlike the Tories were vigorous supporters of the War o
  9. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Death of her husband

    "Anne's husband, Prince George of Denmark, died in October 1708.[24] His leadership of the Admiralty was unpopular amongst the Whig leaders; as he lay on his deathbed, some Whigs were preparing to make a motion requesting his removal from the office of Lord High Admiral. Anne was forced to appeal to the Duke of Marlborough to ensure that the motion was not made.

    Anne was devastated by the loss of her husband, and the event proved a turning point in her relationship with her old friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. The Duchess arrived at Windsor shortly after he died, and forced the Queen to leave the castle and move to St. James's Palace against her will. Anne pleaded to be left alone, and resented the Duchess for insisting that the grieving Queen be attended at all times.

    The Whigs used the Prince's death to their own advantage. With Whigs now dominant in parliament, and Anne overbowed by the loss of her husband, they forced her to accept the Junto leaders Lord Somers and Lord Wharton into the cabinet. Their power was, however, limited by Anne's insistence on carrying out the duties of Lord High Admiral herself, and not appointing a member of the government to take Prince George's place. Undeterred, the Junto demanded the appointment of the Earl of Orford, another member of the Junto and one of Prince George's leading critics, as First Lord of the Admiralty. Anne flatly refused, and chose her own candidate, the moderate Tory Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke on 29 November 1708.

    Pressure mounted on Pembroke, Godolphin and the Queen from the dissatisfied Junto Whigs, and Pembroke was forced to resign after less than a year in office. Another month of arguments followed before the Queen finally consented to put the Admiralty in control of the Earl of Orford in November 1709.

    Later years

    As the expensive War of the Spanish Succession grew unpopular so too did the Whig administration. Harley, now in opposition, was particularly skillful in using the issue (of the cost of the war) to motivate the electorate. The Queen, increasingly disdained by her ministry's policy of "no peace without Spain", finally took the opportunity to dismiss Godolphin in August 1710. The Junto Whigs (Sunderland, Somers, Wharton, and Orford) were also removed from office, although Marlborough, for the moment, remained as commander of the army. In their place, she appointed a new ministry, headed by Harley, which began to seek peace with France. Harley and the Tories were ready to compromise by giving Spain to the grandson of the French King, but the Whigs could not bear to see a Bourbon on the Spanish Throne.[25] In the parliamentary elections which soon followed, Harley used government patronage to create a large Tory majority.[26]

    The dispute was resolved by outside events: the elder brother of Archduke Charles (whom the Whigs supported) died in 1711 and Charles then inherited Austria, Hungary and the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. To give him also the Spanish throne to which he had aspired was no longer in Great Britain's interests. But the proposed Treaty of Utrecht submitted to Parliament for ratification did not go as far as the Whigs wanted to curb Bourbon ambitions.[27] In the House of Commons, the Tory majority was unassailable, but the same was not true in the House of Lords. Seeing a need for decisive action ? to erase the Whig majority in the House of Lords ? Anne created twelve new peers. Such a mass creation of peers was unprecedented; indeed, Elizabeth I had granted fewer peerage dignities in forty-four years than Anne did in a single day.[28] This allowed for ratification of the Treaty and thus ended Great Britain's involvement in the War of the Spanish Succession.[29]
    [edit] Death

    Anne died of suppressed gout, ending in erysipelas, at approximately 7 o'clock[clarification needed] on 1 August 1714. Her body was so swollen and large that it had to be buried in Westminster Abbey in a vast almost-square coffin.[30]

    The reign of Anne was marked by an increase in the influence of ministers and
  10. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    The Crown now passed to Anne's distant cousin, George Louis, Elector of Hanover (his mother, Sophia, had predeceased Anne by three months). Scotland, because of the Act of Union, had little choice but go along--initially.

    The Hanoverians are the dynasty in British history that can get no respect. The historians recite their rote preconceptions about them--George I was a boor, George II was a philistine, George III was mad; George IV was a sybarite; William III was a fool, and Victoria was...well, the only Queen regnant in the bunch tends to get a sui generis pass on criticism.

    The history books keep using 'boorish' about the Hanoverians, though there were certainly not as boorish as James I, for one instance, or Bonnie Prince Charlie, for another. They complain that George I did not speak English, but then George didn't really expect to succeed to the British throne. He wasn't sure he wanted to, for one thing; and he expected Anne to find a way to cut him out, because he knew she disliked him, for another.

    Of course, had James Francis, James II's son and heir succeeded, the historians would probably be talking about 'oily Italians'. They think in terms of cliches. One of the most annoying cliches bruiting about the Hanoverians was that they were poor parents. Yes, yes, but. Being King and Queen of a country rather interferes with successful parenting. No Hanoverian did as Henry VIII did and threaten to execute his teenaged daughter; no Hanoverian did as James IV of Scotland, and Mary I and Anne of England did, and dethroned their own father. So shaddup with the 'bad-parent' schick; it's endemic in the role.

    The Hanoverians were long-lived in general (George III reigned 60 years, and Victoria, 63 years, the two longest reigns in British history, though Elizabeth II is bidding fair to match them). They did, however, have uncertain health, and this element caused more trouble, as we shall see.

    But the Hanoverians main problem was that they lived during a period when the first mass media (newspapers) got started. If you imagine that the British press was politer at the beginning, banish it. Some of the caricatures from those days are mean-spirited and almost insanely vulgar...the press was just as nasty, judgmental, and intrusive then as it is now.

    There is little material on George I--most of the information is in German, and God forbid that any British historian take the trouble to consult it. A book I read noted that the early Hanoverian papers were voluminous, and generally unread, because they were in Germany.
  11. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998

    Hanover was in Northern Germany, and was a medium-sized German state.


    The second map gives you some idea of the patchwork of little, medium and big states in the German area. Austria was the original large German state, and eventually Prussia rose to prominence in the north to match it, uniting most of the small German states outside Austria in 1870. Prussia was originally ruled by the Elector of Brandenburg; Hanover by the Elector of Hanover, and Saxony by the Elector of Saxony. All these Electors later became kings: Brandenburg of Prussia, Hanover of Britain, and Saxony of Poland.

    By 'Elector' they mean a person who could elect the Holy Roman Emperor. There were several, and they varied from time to time.

    Ironically George I was an autocrat in Hanover, and a constitutional ruler in Great Britain.
  12. Rogue_Ten

    Rogue_Ten Chosen One star 7

    Aug 18, 2002
    vs. [image=]
  13. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    I never said Carlos II was unusual, just inbred.
  14. Rouge77

    Rouge77 Jedi Knight star 5

    May 11, 2005
    One thing about the Hanoverians and bad publicity is that the Hanoverians were at best mediocre people on an era when, yes, increasingly the lives of the high and mighty became to the public sphere. It's the same with Louis XV and Louis XVI. Throw the lot of them back several hundred years and our and the contemporary view of them would have been better, because the expectations would have been different and the public knowledge about their lives, manners and capabilities would have been different. But: The Hanoverians had bad publicity partly because there were so little positive AND interesting things to report about them to the reading public. Mediocre people are interesting to the yellow press only when they become targets for such nasty news - or are buying the newspapers in question. ;)

    The Hanover males at least lacked in a charismatic character, so they became more defined how the public saw them, "German who doesn't speak English", "boor", "mad" etc, than would have been case if some of them would have been charismatic, if dividing figures. It's pretty much the problem with the current UK royalty too: Why would anyone be interested in persons like Princes Edward and Andrew when they don't do anything embarassing? At their best, they are mediocre men, only important because they are Princes. Once can't get much positive AND interesting press from them, and it was the same with the Hanoverians. The nice things that people tend to say about George III are about his marriage and family life, which isn't terribly interesting compared to his supposed madness or the fact that in 1818 he had several dozen living grandchildren, all of them illegitimate.

    George I had about a dozen years to learn English after he became presumptive future king after last of Anne's children had died. He could have learned the language, but he didn't. Like the Saxon kings of Poland, it was the title of the king that was most important to him, not what he did with it (beyond getting increased income).
  15. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998

    You seem acutely sure they were 'mediocre'. Based on what?

    They lacked a charismatic character? George II commanded troops in battle, quite successfully. George I was also a decent soldier. George III was generally popular with his people despite his illnesses, and had a famous and well-chosen library. Even George IV's numerous enemies agreed he could be extremely charming.

    Actually a recent biography of George I says that he actually could read and write English, and some of his writing of same survives in the archives. This is my point: historians would rather regurgitate cliches rather than find out for themselves.
  16. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Okay, here we go...

    George I of Great Britain

    [image=]George I[/link]

    Reign 1 August 1714 ? 11 June 1727[1]

    Coronation 20 October 1714 (aged 54)

    Predecessor Anne

    Successor George II

    Prime Ministers Robert Walpole

    Elector of Hanover

    Reign 23 January 1698 ? 11 June 1727[1]
    Predecessor Ernest Augustus
    Successor George II
    Consort Sophia Dorothea of Celle
    m. 1682; div. 1694

    George II
    Sophia, Queen in Prussia (mother of Frederick the Great)

    Full name
    George Louis
    German: Georg Ludwig
    House House of Hanover
    Father Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover
    Mother Countess Palatine Sophia of Simmern
    Born 28 May 1660(1660-05-28)
    Osnabrück or Hanover
    Died 11 June 1727 (aged 67)
    Burial 4 August 1727
    Leineschloss, Hanover; later Herrenhausen, Hanover

    "George I (George Louis; German: Georg Ludwig; 28 May 1660 ? 11 June 1727)[1] was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698.

    George was born in Lower Saxony, in what is now Germany, and eventually inherited the title and lands of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, and in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of Queen Anne of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over fifty Catholics bore closer blood relationships to Anne, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. George, however, was Anne's closest living Protestant relative. In reaction, the Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed.

    During George's reign the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual power was held by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.

    Early life

    George's mother Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through her mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia. [image=]

    For the first year of his life, George was the only heir to his father's and three childless uncles' German territories. In 1661 George's brother, Frederick Augustus, was born and the two boys (known as Görgen and Gustchen within the family) were brought up together. Their mother was absent for almost a year (1664?5) during a long convalescent holiday in Italy, but she corresponded regularly with her sons' governess and took a great interest in her sons' upbringing, even more so on her return.[3] After Sophia's tour she bore Ernest Augustus another four sons and a daughter. In her letters Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters.

    By 1675 George's eldest uncle had died without issue, but his remaining two uncles had married, putting George's inheritance in jeopardy as his uncles' estates might pass to their own sons, if they had any, instead of to George. George's father had taken him hunting and riding, and introduced him to military matters; mindful of his uncertain future, Ernest Augustus took the fifteen year old George on campaign in the Franco-Dutch War with the deliberate purpose of testing and training his son in battle.


    In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons and Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, with his capital at Hanover. George's surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to leg
  17. saturn5

    saturn5 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 28, 2009
    The georgian period was very important to Britain, the clear and uninterrupted accession of the Georges giving a period of stability and calm to Britain after the turbulance of the war of the three kingdoms and Glorious revolution
  18. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Accession in Great Britain


    "Though both England and Scotland recognised Anne as their Queen, only the English Parliament had settled on Sophia, Electress of Hanover, as the heir. The Estates of Scotland (the Scottish Parliament) had not yet formally settled the question over who would succeed to the Scottish throne on Anne's death. In 1703 the Estates passed a bill that declared that their selection for Queen Anne's successor would not be the same individual as the successor to the English throne, unless England granted full freedom of trade to Scottish merchants in England and its colonies. At first Royal Assent was withheld but the following year Anne capitulated to the wishes of the Estates and assent was granted to the bill, which became the Act of Security 1704. In response the English Parliament passed measures which threatened to restrict Anglo-Scottish trade and cripple the Scottish economy if the Estates did not agree to the Hanoverian succession.[24][25] Eventually, in 1707, both Parliaments agreed on an Act of Union which united England and Scotland into a single political entity, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and established the rules of succession as laid down by the Act of Settlement 1701.[26] The union created the largest free trade area in eighteenth century Europe.[27]

    George's mother, the Electress Sophia, died on 28 May 1714[28] at the age of 83. She had collapsed after rushing to shelter from a shower of rain in Herrenhausen gardens. George was now Queen Anne's direct heir. He swiftly revised the membership of the Regency Council that would take power after Anne's death, as it was known that Anne's health was failing and politicians in Britain were jostling for power.[29] She suffered a stroke, which left her unable to speak and died on 1 August. The list of regents was opened, the members sworn in, and George was proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ireland.[30] Partly due to contrary winds, which kept him in The Hague awaiting passage,[31] he did not arrive in Britain until 18 September. George was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 20 October.[2]"
  19. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    "George mainly lived in Great Britain after 1714 though he visited his home in Hanover in 1716, 1719, 1720, 1723 and 1725;[32] in total George spent about one fifth of his reign as King in Germany.[33] A clause in the Act of Settlement that forbade the British monarch from leaving the country without Parliament's permission was unanimously repealed in 1716.[34] During all but the first of the King's absences power was vested in a Regency Council rather than his son, George Augustus, Prince of Wales.[35]

    Within a year of George's accession the Whigs won an overwhelming victory in the general election of 1715. Several members of the defeated Tory Party sympathised with the Jacobites, and some disgruntled Tories sided with a Jacobite rebellion which became known as "The Fifteen". The Jacobites sought to put Anne's Catholic half-brother, James (whom they called "James III" and who was known to his opponents as the "Pretender"), on the Throne. The Pretender's supporters, led by Lord Mar, an embittered Scottish nobleman who had previously supported the "Glorious Revolution", instigated rebellion in Scotland where support for Jacobitism was stronger than in England. "The Fifteen", however, was a dismal failure; Lord Mar's battle plans were poor, and the Pretender arrived late with too little money and too few arms. By the end of the year the rebellion had all but collapsed. Faced with impending defeat, Lord Mar and the Pretender fled to France in February 1716. After the rebellion was defeated, although there were some executions and forfeitures, George acted to moderate the Government's response, showed leniency, and spent the income from the forfeited estates on schools for Scotland and paying off part of the national debt.[36]"
  20. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Sidebar: the Old Pretender


    When I was a kid, I always envisaged the Old Pretender as a guy with a white beard to his knees, but the term was actually used to distinguish him from his elder son, Charles Edward, who was known as 'the Young Pretender'.

    James Francis was, of course, the 'warming pan baby'; the only surviving son of James II, and the only one of his legitimate children to have children.

    James Francis Edward
    Prince of Wales
    James Francis Edward Stuart, "The Old Pretender"
    Jacobite pretender
    Pretence 16 September 1701 ? 1 January 1766
    Predecessor James II and VII
    Successor Charles III
    Spouse Maria Klementyna Sobieska


    Charles Edward Stuart


    Henry Benedict Stuart


    Full name
    James Francis Edward Stuart
    House House of Stuart
    Father James II and VII
    Mother Mary of Modena
    Born 10 June 1688(1688-06-10)
    St. James's Palace, London
    Died 1 January 1766 (aged 77)
    Palazzo Muti, Rome
    Burial St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

    James was whisked off to France as a baby and hit landfall in the UK only one other time, in 1715, which was the first Jacobite (Latin for 'James') rebellion. The rebellion started in Scotland among disaffected Tories, and some of the Scots--the ones who were idiots. Certainly the Stuarts had treated Scotland very badly indeed, and the country had no reason whatsoever to be loyal to them. But memories always fade quickly (vide the people who thought that the US Republicans would never win another election after 2008), and in Scotland, there was much resentment about the Act of Union, though economically, it would prove a boon to the country.

    James had grown up in France, with his increasingly religiously fanatic father (hair shirts and the like), who died when he was 13. Thereafter, Louis XIV took over his education, and tried to broaden his horizons a little. It was possibly too late. James Francis would never have any charisma, and very little initiative. In fact, he was a colossal bore, and unfortunately, this problem would invade every aspect of his life. Unlike George I, who was a professional soldier, and had plenty of solid experience governing a country, James spent most of his life in Rome as a pensioner of the Vatican, not a circumstance that endeared him to Protestant residents of the Three Kingdoms.

    James could not make a go of a rebellion in Scotland; the Scots didn't like him. (The usual reaction with him, alas.) They dubbed him "Old Mr. Melancholy" and asked sarcastically if he could speak. Part of the problem was that he was genuinely appalled at suffering caused by his political ambitions. He never made a serious try again.

    The Jacobites liked to make fun of the failure of George I's marriage, but the same thing happened to James Francis. He married Clementina Sobieska, a Polish semi-royalty. A pretty little thing, Clementina grew so dreadfully bored by James Francis that she became a raving religious nutbar, fasting so much that she became anorexic, and eventually dying of scurvy. She accused James Francis of an affair with the wife of a Jacobite supporter (he wasn't capable of anything so interesting) and fled to a nunnery. Naturally James Francis was humiliated and irritated, but he could do little. They had two sons, Charles Edward and Henry.

    James was pretender 64 years; if he had been King, he would have been the longest reign in British history. Or maybe it would have only seemed that long. A lot of historians dismissively say that he would have been a good constitutional King; I doubt it. He had a sort of anti-charm, which is deeply unfortunate.

    He was 5/8 Italian, and looked it. The canard that he was not James' son is just that. He was just as stubborn, just as irritating, and just as Catholic. He woul
  21. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    Back to George:


    "George was ridiculed by his British subjects;[78] some of his contemporaries, such as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, thought him unintelligent on the flimsy grounds that he was wooden in public.[79] Though he was unpopular due to his supposed inability to speak English, such an inability may not have existed later in his reign as documents from that time show that he understood, spoke and wrote English.[80] He certainly spoke fluent German and French, good Latin, and some Italian and Dutch.[33] His treatment of his wife, Sophia Dorothea, became something of a scandal.[81] The British perceived him as too German, and in the opinion of historian Ragnhild Hatton, wrongly assumed that he had a succession of German mistresses.[82] However in Europe he was seen as a progressive ruler supportive of the Enlightenment who permitted his critics to publish without risk of severe censorship, and provided sanctuary to Voltaire when the philosopher was exiled from Paris in 1726.[78] European and British sources agree that George was reserved, temperate and financially prudent;[33] George disliked to be in the public light at social events, avoided the royal box at the opera and often travelled incognito to the house of a friend to play cards.[34]

    Despite some unpopularity, the Protestant George I was seen by most of his subjects as a better alternative to the Roman Catholic Pretender James. William Makepeace Thackeray indicates such ambivalent feelings when he writes, "His heart was in Hanover. He was more than fifty-four years of age when he came amongst us: we took him because we wanted him, because he served our turn; we laughed at his uncouth German ways, and sneered at him ... I, for one, would have been on his side in those days. Cynical, and selfish, as he was, he was better than a King out of St Germains [James the Pretender] with a French King's orders in his pocket, and a swarm of Jesuits in his train."[83]

    Writers of the nineteenth century, such as Thackeray, Sir Walter Scott and Lord Mahon, were reliant on biased first-hand accounts published in the previous century such as Lord Hervey's memoirs, and looked back on the Jacobite cause with romantic, even sympathetic, eyes. They in turn, influenced British authors of the first half of the twentieth century such as G. K. Chesterton, who introduced further anti-German and anti-Protestant bias into the interpretation of George's reign. However, in the wake of World War II continental European archives were opened to historians of the later twentieth century and nationalistic anti-German feeling subsided. George's life and reign were re-explored by scholars such as Beattie and Hatton, and his character, abilities and motives re-assessed in a more generous light.[84] As John H. Plumb noted, "Some historians have exaggerated the king's indifference to English affairs and made his ignorance of the English language seem more important than it was. He had little difficulty in communicating with his ministers in French, and his interest in all matters affecting both foreign policy and the court was profound."[85] Yet the character of George I remains elusive?he was in turn genial and affectionate in private letters to his daughter, and then dull and awkward in public. Perhaps his own mother summed him up when "explaining to those who regarded him as cold and overserious that he could be jolly, that he took things to heart, that he felt deeply and sincerely and was more sensitive than he cared to show."[4]

    Whatever his true character, he ascended a precarious throne, and either by political wisdom and guile, or through accident and indifference, he left it secure in the hands of the Hanoverians and of Parliament.[33]"

    What 'uncouth' German ways? Europeans considered the English uncouth, not the other way around, and George I was a European. A lot of historians relied on Hervey, a spiteful man with an axe to grind instead of looking for better evidence. I always liked George's response to a nimrod who asked him to 'touch' for the King's Evil (ie. the touch o
  22. darthdrago

    darthdrago Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 31, 2003
    Why was the Old Pretender buried in the Vatican? Just because he was Catholic?
  23. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    All three of the Pretenders, James Francis Stuart, Charles Edward Stuart, and Henry Benedict Stuart (always known as 'the Cardinal of York') were buried at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome under an expensive tomb paid for by George III.


    From the guidebook:

    "This is a stupendous work by the young Antonio Canova; It may seem to be a pagan monument as it recalls the funeral steles of ancient Greece. However, it is a Christian monument to the last three members of the royal house of Stuart who, because they remained faithful to the Catholic church were removed from the throne of England.

    The monument is dedicated to James III (1688-1766) son of James II (1633-1701) the last Stuart to reign over England, Scotland and Ireland, and to his sons Charles Edward (1720-1788) and Henry (1725-1805). Henry, Cardinal Duke of York was the bishop of Frascati (1761) and of Ostia and Velletri as well as archpriest of the Vatican Basilica and Deacon of the Sacred College. After the death of his brother Charles, he took the name of Henry IX and proclaimed himself King of England.

    The monument is in line with the underlying tomb in the Vatican Grottoes. The small fronton on top is embellished with a carving of the Stuart coat of arms of two lions rampant. On the lower part, in front of a closed door, symbol of the old unfortunate dynasty stand two angels whose incomparable beauty blends with their pain. The folded wings and bowed heads express resigned sadness over the mystery of death. All this sadness, however, is dissipated by the comforting words of the bible over the closed door "Happy are those who fall asleep in the Lord".

    George III, king of England (1738-1820) wanted to forget all monarchical and dynastic rivalry, so he generously financed the cost of this monument."

    Henry was the last survivor, but all three of them lived in Rome at the time of their deaths.

    When the monument required restoration, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother ponied up the money to do so (she was descended twice over from the early Stuarts--Robert II & Robert III)
  24. darthdrago

    darthdrago Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 31, 2003
    Interesting. So was there no complaint from Parliament that George III used crown/state money to pay for a Catholic burial in the very heart of Catholicism? Just seems that somebody would have griped... unless George paid the bill out of private family funds? :confused:
  25. Zaz

    Zaz Jedi Knight star 9

    Oct 11, 1998
    He used his own money. He also arranged a pension for Henry when (due to the Napoleonic invasions) Henry fell on hard times.

    The English populace didn't object. Having Henry destitute make them look bad, in their opinion. So in a very English manner, the country supported a good many old Jacobites (Henry needed the money to support himself & a lot of loyal supporters of his father & brother). When he died, Henry left some Stuarts jewels to the British Crown by way of acknowledging the gesture.