Friday, April 30, 2010

Not an Heir to Spare

From his berth of safety in France, James published diatribes snarling at his ungrateful daughters, Mary in particular, & tried to get peeps to help him get his throne back.  The Frenchies rolled their eyes & were all BTDT deja vu, didn't we just do this for your bro?  Is it our fault you Stuarts can't grip the arms of your thrones & keep sliding off?  Pffft. 

James II

It was cheaper to keep him (he was a son of a Frenchie princess, after all), his wife, the baby in the warming pan, & soon Mary Beatrice produced another child, Louisa Maria Theresa (twas prolly Louise-Marie-Therese in Frenchieland), that also survived the perils of infancy. 

contemporary engraving of the last Stuart prince & princess

James was 54 & would live to be 67, a prodigious age, & in disgruntled exile just like he'd been prior to the Restoration.  Apparently he was too old & stupid to get it.  Paris had been worth a Mass for Henry of Navarre, who cheerfully changed religions to get his crown, but I reckon London wasn't worth treating w/ those renegade Anglicans anymore than it had been worth treating w/ those pocky Roundhead Puritans for his father.  I blame Henry VIII for this mess LOL

William & Mary were crowned at Westminster Abbey in April 1689 whilst James was busy scribbling, with her sister Anne as heir-presumptive.  Anne had been married to Prince George of Denmark, a younger bro of King Christian V, & had been breeding like a rabbit w/ little success. 

George, Prince of Denmark

At the time of the coronation, 23 yo Anne already had 6 pregnancies in as many yrs of marriage, broken down into 2 miscarriages, 2 stillbirths, & 2 daughters, Mary, who died shortly b4 her 2nd BD, & Anne Sophia, who died shortly b4 her 1st BD.  Peeps shrugged & said hey, if Mary Beatrice can pull it off after all this time, mayhap so can Anne & George.  Ya can't say the newly created Duke & Duchess of Cumberland didn't try, as poor Anne endured EIGHTEEN PREGNANCIES OW OW OW in an effort to produce the desired Protestant Stuart heir.

The orphaned 38 yo William had been jerked around during his regency period (as was normal) & if it hadn't been for the interference of Uncle Charles glaring at those greedy Dutch after his sis's demise, he might've still been in leading strings or just as deposed as Uncle James, his FIL (yknow for being against incest so much, the Catholic Church sure permitted lots of it in these royal marriages LOL).  Willie was said to be mighty arrogant & confident he was destined for great things, so natch conducting what would be the last successful invasion of England & claiming its crown was just an average day's work to him.  Mary was said to quietly defer to him in everything & twas Willie who would take on the kingly duties even tho his DW got a number after her name & was not merely a Queen Consort.

Mary II

Mary was not amused by the influence of Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, on her sis Anne.

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

Lots has been speculated about the sex lives of these last 3 Stuart monarchs.  Tho Willie had an official mistress, Elizabeth Villiers, a cuz of Barbara's, he was also whispered about b/c he had some male favs as well & made a cpl Dutch peeps that he hung w/ a lot into English earls.  Mary didn't seem to have any particular favs, but peeps said meh how come she ain't breeding, huh?  Does she dig chicks?  Anne, however, was so close to her lady in waiting Sarah that they called each other "Mrs Freeman" & "Mrs Morley", making peeps raise eyebrows at such nonsense as ya would.  Despite the fact that Anne was perpetually pregnant, twas rumored she preferred to bat for the other team & Sarah was not just her BFF but her GF.

Natch there was the usual rumors about James's peeps plotting (James is Jacob in Latin & hence these peeps were called Jacobites) & Anne was furious when Mary dismissed Sarah's DH from his offices upon suspicion of such.  The 2 sisters had a flaming row & never spoke to each other again.  Mary didn't get to enjoy her queenship long, as she demised of that pesky smallpox thing at Kensington Palace during the Christimas celebrations of 1694.  Anne was all weepy that she never made up her quarrel w/ her big sis.

Kensington Palace

Anne produced an heir at Hampton Court, William, Duke of Gloucester, not long after W & M were coronated.

back end of Hampton Court, remodled by W & M

However, as an infant William suffered from bouts of convulsions & had an unusually lg head.  He didn't speak a word until he was 3 yrs old, which natch had peeps looking at him sideways thinking o good another inbred idiot.  Despite this, little Gloucester was set b4 a passel of tutors anyway & weren't peeps surprised when he suddenly started to catch up.  Anne & Willie glared at each other lots b/c the king wanted complete charge over his heir's household & his mother was all um NO not my poor little delicate lad!  Willie being king natch won HA HA.  The sickly Gloucester was faskinated by military stuff & had peeps recruit lots of other kidlets to create a little troop that he could drill LOL  The poor brat got the sicks on his 11th BD, coming down w/ a sore throat & a fever, & was demised within the wk, to universal Protestant dismay.

William, Duke of Gloucester

Twas obvs neither Anne nor the widowed Willie were going to spawn another heir by this pt & peeps were nervously wringing their hands as James's boy piped up & said I'M NEXT!

James Francis Edward Stuart, aged 14

What to do, what to do?  Parliament hmmm'd & then passed the Act of Settlement.  This settled the succession upon the Winter Queen's youngest & only surviving child, Sophia, Electress of Hanover.  Reckon they were getting used to queens regnant by now LOL

Sophia, Electress of Hanover, circa 1644

Meanwhile, Willie was rejected as king by the Irish Parliament & went over there to settle some Irish hash.  This is why you never ever walk into a bar on St Patrick's Day wearing anything orange.  The Irish have long memories & Willie wasn't particularly nice to them.  Suffice to say the usual wartime atrocities & then some.  James also went to Ireland b/c he could count on their support against the usurping Orangeman & his ungrateful daughters.  The 2 armies clashed at the battle of the Boyne, which was a spectacular victory for Willie & sent James off screaming RUN AWAY!  RUN AWAY!

The Battle of the Boyne

Once the Irish were suitably cowed, the Scots began uprising in favor of James as well.  This is where we get Rob Roy from & this 1st Jacobite uprising led to the infamous Massacre of Glencoe, a big black blot on Willie's escutcheon as he signed off on it (really, they got his sig on the orders).  Clan MacDonald was decimated by this unsportsmanlike sneak attack, made w/ the assistance of Clan Campbell, & the Scots were so unamused that the entire country became a breeding ground for Jacobite support & propaganda for the next 50 yrs or so.  Them Scots can remember almost as good as the Irish.  Methinks the Campbells & MacDonalds are still feuding about it to this day.  If you are ever in Scotland do NOT make jokes about such things.  Same deal at the St Patrick's Day thing w/ the wearing o' the orange.  Sure way to lose some teeth once ya toss liquor into the equation.

There was the usual Jacobite plotting to assassinate Willie & there was a tad of OFF WITH HIS HEAD once twas discovered.  Really, the ratio of smart plotters v. dumb ones is quite lopsided when you consider just how many plots never came to fruition.  Willie must've enjoyed being a warrior king b/c he joined the League of Augsburg & had a nice Frenchie war in addition to the domestic rebellions.  This was called the 9 Yrs' War & ended when whatever Louis it was recognized Willie's kingship & agreed to not supply James w/ any more soldiers & stuff.

This is round the time when that drooling idiot king of Spain was on the throne & the rest of the European peeps were eyeing the kingdom & hmmm'ing about who should get it.  Willie entered into a nice scheme where Spain would be partitioned up & he'd get a chunk of it.  But despite the fact that Charles II wasn't all there, he had a lucid moment & willed his kingdom to his cousin Philip in France.  This is how there got to be Bourbon kings of Spain & the mighty Hapsburg line w/ all its inbreeding mercifully came to an end.  Ya just can't go round marrying your nieces like that!  See what it gets ya?

Willie fell off his horse & broke his collarbone & b4 ya knew it, pneumonia set in & he was a goner, leaving his kingdom to his SIL Anne as agreed.  This is hilarious b/c apparently the horse stepped into a burrow hole & so the Jacobites, who already were doing the sneaky toast to the king across the water, were then toasting "the gentleman in the little black velvet jacket", a reference to the mole what dug the hole ROFL  Since Willie left no heirs, it meant the end of the despised House of Orange in Holland & a nice power-scramble there as well.  Willie was also technically the last king of England b/c....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Don't Need No Steenking Papists!

The Catholic Duke of York was now James II, King of England.  Peeps muttered about him being a papist, but the transition from bro Charles to him went smoothly at first & James was crowned at Westminster Abbey a cpl mos after Charles had the demises.  Parliament eyed him warily, but since he wasn't attempting to shove any religious tripe at em, they shrugged & dealt w/ him fairly enough.  James & Mary Beatrice had entombed their last surviving child, Charlotte, 3 yrs ago, & the new queen's waistline showed no further signs of expansion, so peeps figured meh a few yrs of him & then we'll get a nice Protestant queen again.

James II

There natch was a disaffected minority round James, Duke of Monmouth, the eldest of Charles's acknowledged bastards. 

James Scott, Duke of Monmouth

For yonks peeps had been urging Charles to legitimicize Jamie & make him the nice Protestant heir.  Mayhap Charles didn't do so b/c those rumors about Lucy Walter's promiscuity were true & he wasn't sure if the kid was really his, just like w/ some of Barbara's brats.  Anyhow, the muttering led to Monmouth's Rebellion.  Jamie got into bed w/ the Scots so as to launch a 2-pronged attack.  The Scots peeps were trounced b4 they ever got started b/c the leader of the rebellion, Archibald Campbell, Earl of Argyll, managed to get himself captured & executed.  Jamie, however, went & declared himself as King James II & launched a sneaky nighttime attack on the royal troops, getting soundly whupped at the battle of Sedgemoor & handed a Tower Fun Pass.  Unks was all OFF WITH HIS HEAD & twas accomplished within a month.  Jamie was just 36.  Tis the chance ya take when ya try to shove peeps off their thrones.

contemporary drawing of Monmouth's execution;
Scarlet is wondering if mayhap this 7 of spades
ain't part of a whole deck of Tower Fun Pass cards LOL

Then followed what was known as the Bloody Assizes, presided over by Judge George Jeffreys, to deal w/ the multitude of captured rebels.  250 more executions took place b/c Judge Jeffreys was worse than Judge Judy LOL & took no prisoners & gave no quarter.

James decided in order to protect his royal arse, he required a standing army.  No more of this pesky running round trying to raise troops thing kings had to do when there was trouble.  Natch peeps looked at him sideways b/c armed Catholics yadda yadda.  Jeez, ya'd think they'd have gotten over this religious nonsense by now, huh?  Nope.  Back in Charles's reign the Test Act had been shoved through Parliament, which said Catholics couldn't hold public office; at the time James had to resign as Lord High Admiral b/c of that stuff.  I reckon "king" didn't count as public office b/c they let him do that.  Anyway, James waived that so that some Catholic peeps could be in charge in his army & muttering commenced.  James said pffft & decided to send Parliament home, never to be called back.  Did he learn nuffin from Pops's debacle?

James as a lad w/ Charles I

James's longtime mistress, Arabella Churchill, the elder sister of the Duke of Marlborough (who was said to have fathered Barbara's youngest), had been retired after 4 royal Fitzjames bastards, Henrietta, James, Henry, & Arabella, & married off to some peep who didn't mind royal leavings.

Lady Arabella Churchill

Even though James had a hot young trophy wife in the person of Mary Beatrice, his new mistress was Catherine Sedley, whom he created Countess of Dorchester, to more muttering.  They had one daughter, called Lady Catherine Darnley, a nod to Great-Grandpa.

Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester

The queen hadn't conceived in yonks after spawning 5 doomed royal brats in 7 yrs & that was how peeps liked it, esp after James decided to dip his toe into religious matters.  He thunk those radical Presbyterians of the Scots Kirk were getting out of control & wanted em to play nicely or get arrested.  The Scots were all o yeah?  What about those mouthy Catholics we got up here?  How come you don't wanna arrest them, King Papist, huh?  The official state religion was Anglican since the time of Elizabeth, so anyone who wasn't should be equally persecuted for their beliefs.  James sighed & backed off some, as natch he wasn't gonna start rounding up rosaries, & decided to violate the Test Act some more by appting Catholics to plum govt positions.  Ya gotta wonder if he was TRYING to get shoved off his throne at this pt, b/c of course the Anglican bishops & such were unamused w/ his whole religious stance to begin w/ & this was like rubbing Protestant noses in holy water LOL

James II

James hmmm'd some & thunk meh, I'll just see if I can't pack Parliament w/ lots of my own peeps & get that whole pesky Test Act thing repealed entirely.  Whilst he was busy attempting to drum up support for that, he was also getting busy w/ the queen, & for the 1st time in over 5 yrs Mary Beatrice had to let out her gowns again.  Peeps were all w/ meh, w/ her track record, we got nuffin to worry about.

Weren't they all shocked when Mary Beatrice managed to produce another lad!  Stories began to circulate that after that lengthy breeding pause she either hadn't been pregnant at all, or that the latest legit royal Stuart had been stillborn & this male infant had somehow been smuggled into the queen's lying-in chambers.  Little James Francis Edward Stuart started life known as "the baby in the warming pan" b/c that was the rumor of just how he'd been smuggled into St James's Palace.

Mary of Modena & her young son James

Had he eventually succeeded his father as James III, he would've been king for a good long time as he didn't demise until the reign of George III & mayhap all you Brits would've been Catholics again.  His birth was no cause for celebration in England, as after 6 yrs they were used to thinking James II was only going to be a temporary Catholic annoyance until he was succeeded by his elder legit Protestant daughter, Mary of Orange.  Unlike the other unfortunate little Yorks, this one was plump & thriving & would undoubtedly be raised in the Roman Catholic Church by his doting parents & grow up to be another annoying Catholic king, cutting his half-sisters neatly out of the succession by virtue of gender.

Meanwhile, James was irking the Anglicans, b/c he had 7 bishops arrested for submitting a protest to him about his alarming Catholic-slanted religious policies.  What w/ all this Catholic nonsense & now a male heir, peeps began sneaking across the Channel to Orange, whispering into the ears of Mary & her DH William.

Mary II

William & Mary, as they're commonly termed, had already been wed 11 yrs by this time & Mary at age 26 had suffered 3 miscarriages, so she wasn't exactly whatcha'd call a good breeder, either.  Despite the lack of little Protestant heirs appearing, peeps were beckoning just the same.  Hey, guys, c'mon over!  Yeah, you!  We don't need no steenking papists in England!  We need nice Protestants.  Sure, we'll give Willie the Crown Matrimonial, even!  Equal powers & all that.  Whatcha say, kids?  Are ya gonna let this brat smuggled into the palace in a warming pan steal the throne right out from under ya?

Um NO was the stern reply.  Mary had been regarded as heir presumptive since the day she was born & her DH considered her crown potential as part of her dowry, plus as the son of that other Mary of Orange, Charles Is daughter, he had a splendid claim himself, right after his DW & her sis Anne. 

Anne of York, aged 17

William gleefully prepared an invasion force like it was 1066 & he was a bastard, cruising up the Strait of Dover & landing in England on Guy Fawkes' Day (remember remember the 5th of November).  This is known as the Glorious Revolution.

William III
commemoration portrait of his invasion

James was all he didn't see this coming I'm sure I dunno....& all come over unnecessary when peeps started declaring for William & Mary.  There were violent anti-Catholic riots in several major English cities.  Anne went over to her sister's side, as did one of James's BFFs, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough.  Mayhap he was unamused w/ James's dalliance w/ sis Arabella & her 4 resulting bastards?

John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough

Natch James was afeared that if William's peeps caught him, he'd be up on a scaffold just like Dad w/ his head falling off into a basket.  William began advancing on London & trounced the royal army at the battle of Reading.  O SHITE, James groaned, this ain't good at all, & sent Mary Beatrice & the infant Prince of Wales off to safety in France.  The next day he deliberately dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, sneering HA!  TAKE THAT, WILLIE! b/c sans such, Parliament couldn't be summoned.  Like they just couldn't make a new one LOL  He tried escaping his good self but was captured & brought back to London to treat w/ his SIL.

Willie was all jeez, I dunno as if I can guarantee your safety, old man MUWHAHAHA  By now the English Navy had come over to his side as well & he could pretty much do as he pleased, but he was reluctant to arrest his DWs daddy, let alone holler OFF WITH HIS HEAD!  He didn't think Mary would be amenable to attempting to create little Protestant heirs if he did that.  Twas a touchy situtation but James was sufficiently scared out of his wits feeling the executioner's cold kiss on the back of his neck, so he gulped & agreed to leave town under Dutch guard.  Willie had him sent to Rochester on the coast of Kent, tempting James w/ the broad expanse of the English Channel & prolly hoping like hell the old man would take the bait & decide twas time to RUN AWAY!  RUN AWAY!, thereby solving the issue of what to do w/ him.

Rochester Castle

Scamper off to France posthaste for Christmas is what James did.  The fact that he was able to so quickly & EZ-ily give his guards the slip means twas likely he played right into his SILs hands.  To Willie's disappointment, a sparkly crown was not immediately hurled at him by what was called the Convention Parliament.  He got all huffy & said, well, if my FIL pops back over, I'm outta here & you peeps are stuck w/ a Catholic king, & dontcha come crying to me about it anymore.  I didn't go to all this trouble just to be made a steenking Lord Protector of the Realm, yknow.  Y'all best make my DW the queen & me the king or we're on the next boat to Orange!

So Parliament hmmm'd & decided that by running off to France, James had essentially left the throne vacant, requiring it be filled w/ a new occupant posthaste.  The House of Commons put it to a vote & said OK William & Mary tis, but the House of Lords said um NO.  Willie stamped his foot & said I AM TAKING MY TOY SOLDIERS HERE & GOING HOME IF I DON'T GET WHAT I WANT & Y'ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!  If he departed, the field was clear for James to return & go nay, nay, my bad, didn't mean to abdicate, so sorry, now where were we about repealing that Test Act nonsense again & o yeah, don't forget to do homage to my Catholic son & heir on the way out.

Mary insisted she'd not be the queen if her DH was not also the king, & she poked Anne to pipe up & temporarily waive her own right to the throne should her sis pre-demise her BIL, since Willie had a decent claim of his own.  There was more hmmm'ing & wheeler-dealing & the English Bill of Rights, sometimes called the Declaration of Right, was composed & passed thru Parliament whilst Willie tapped his spurs impatiently.  Finally in February the English crown was offered to W & M by Parliament (tho it took till May for the Scots to do the same whilst the Irish thumbed their noses at the whole thing & stayed steadfast for James), who accepted & began planning a nice coronation.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fever, Fire, Catholics, & C-C-Cold

W/ the Merry Monarch setting the tone, court was a hoppin' venue w/ lots of action to be had. His pal Rochester (he was an excellent poet, John Wilmot was BTW, but a lot of em ya gotta know the history to realize how funny & satirical they really are) said of him in verse:

God bless our good & gracious king
Whose promise none relies on
Who never said a foolish thing
Nor ever did a wise one

To which Charles replied, too true, b/c my words are my own, but my actions are my councilors' LOL Anyhow, there was so much fun to be had in Restoration London that the Frenchie pox went around rather well & Rochester eventually demised of it.  Twas quite sad as he had such a bad case of it that he was only in his mid-30s when he died, but he'd also given it to his wife, & she passed it along to their son, who was then born w/ birth defects & demised young whilst Rochester had to watch & know twas all his fault & he'd kilt his own son via his sexual excesses.

Rochester also once wrote a long & hugely amusing poem entitled Satyr on Charles II, & ended up being kicked out of court for a while when Charles found it going round, as it made fun of him, his mistresses, & his own licentious habits.  An infamous couplet from it says:

Restless he rolls about from whore to whore,
A merry monarch, scandalous and poor.

And that's the cleanest part of it ROFL  The bit about Nelly striving to bring Charles to full attn is priceless.

Charles II as a cute little innocent lad

Charles II as a dirty old man

2 major events kinda curtailed the fun for a while. The 1st was known as the Great Plague. Everyone was all RUN AWAY RUN AWAY when this started making the rounds. London turned into a ghost town. Carts went round each morning ringing bells & calling, "Bring out your dead!" & they would just hurl corpses into a huge pit.

"Bring out your dead!"

If there was a plague victim in your house then a red cross was painted on your door & sometimes, if the peep doing so was literate, they'd add "May God have mercy on us" to it.  A nurse was sent, a guard was posted & wasn't no one allowed to come out, even if they weren't sick.  Ya gotta wonder how many extra peeps either starved to death or mayhap kilt the guards to get out for food.  The peeps who took the positions of nurse & guard were of the lowest classes & sometimes robbed & murdered the plague-stricken peeps so they could move on to the next place & collect more pay, esp if there were no rellies present to stop them.  The nurses had no formal training whatsoever & not a clue what they were doing.  This sucker was virulent & had a high contagion & mortality rate. Tis usually spread by flea bites from fleas off infected rats that came in on ships from places that had the plague.

So the 2nd thing cured the Great Plague.... crisping all the fleas.

Great Fire of London

This was the Great Fire of 1666, which started on a September Sunday morn in a street called Pudding Lane & spread like crazy. St Paul's Cathedral (where Cath & Art had been wed) went up in it along w/ close to 14,000 houses.  The current domed St Paul's was designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren (he also designed the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg VA) to replace the burnt one.  

contemporary drawing of St Paul's going up in flames

Charles & James got right out there in the thick of it & fought the blaze along w/ the regular peeps, creating firebreaks in hopes of containing it.  This is when you leave enough barren space btwn the fire & other buildings so that it has naught to burn but the ground & will eventually go out on its own.  There was no fire dept, but there were peeps in neighborhoods that volunteered for sich things when they occurred & had things called firehooks to rip down building walls.  Twas soon clear this & the usual bucket brigades were not good enough for this blaze.  Peeps saw it was getting out of control & started going RUN AWAY RUN AWAY & pretty soon London's narrow lanes were clogged w/ refugees. 

another view of the Great Fire;
London Bridge to the L & the Tower to the R

The Lord Mayor of London stood there w/ his mouth open going O SHITE & wasn't much good at organizing, so Charles had to smack him out of the way & take over b/c the raging conflagration was going in the direction of his fav palace of Whitehall (formerly Wolsey's London palace of York Place, which he'd handed over to Henry VIII).  Bro James went & got the militia peeps to help out & took charge of them.  Twas quite windy, which didn't help matters.  

drawing of Whitehall Palace
all that's left of it today is the Banqueting House

Whole blocks were dynamited for the firebreak attempt, using gunpowder stored in the Tower.  Twas inching toward it & if it got there the Tower would've blown up in a spectacular fashion & the thing would've really gone out of control.  Finally, after 3 days of this nonsense, the wind changed direction & started blowing the flames in the direction of the Thames until it had naught left to burn & then it rained some, which helped w/ all the smouldering.  Cost a lot of groats to fix this mess lemmee tell ya; they estimate round a billion in today's currency.

Betcha w/ all tis pestilence & fire peeps thunk twas the start of the Apocalypse, huh? Of course not. They just blamed everything on those darn Catholics.  Of course there was the usual mutterings about suspecting Catholics or foreigners of starting the fire on purpose, so in the midst of the fire there were some beatings & lynchings; anyone sans a proper English accent or carrying a rosary ran & hid posthaste. Afterwards some Catholic peep who was said to be not right in the head confessed to starting it & was hanged, but his story kept changing details & historians think twas merely just an accident in the bakery where it began.

Despite how much the Catholics were hated, James had decided to become one & he was Charles's heir-presumptive b/c the queen wasn't breeding.

James, Duke of York

Charles & Catherine tried harder, but there was just another cpl miscarriages. Peeps were getting antsy about the possibility of a Catholic king, plus James just had 2 legit girls. So his elder daughter Mary was betrothed to their sis Mary's son, William of Orange, who was Protestant, to stop the muttering.

Mary of York

William III of Orange

Meanwhile, Charles had a little war w/ the Dutch over trade stuff, established Carolina Colony & the Hudson's Bay Company in the New World, & the British East India Company was bringing in lots of goodies from Bombay, esp the tea peeps enjoyed so. Things would be going well were it not for that pesky succession thing.

And natch, those darn Catholics! There was a plot to poison the king headed by a peep named Titus Oates. He didn't even get his name on it like the MQOS plotting peeps did. Peeps just sneered & called it the Popish Plot LOL Charles was enraged when Parliament pulled the same thing on him that they'd threatened to pull on Daddy & called for a vote on if the Catholic queen should be banished forthwith after the Popish Plot. Luckily not enough peeps voted OK on it.

Catherine of Braganza

But they did start muttering that 4 miscarriages in 8 yrs was not a good thing when the queen was past 30 & when the heir-presumptive was Catholic & mayhap Charles should pull an Unks the VIII & get a nice divorce. The Anglican Church would sign off on it lickety-split, none of this bribing popes & waiting 11dy6 yrs anymore. Then Charles, who was pushing 40 already, could find a nice new fertile wench 1/2 his age & commence breeding legit heirs instead of all those illegit heirs they had to support along w/ all the mums. There was no time to lose w/ Catholic James standing btwn his Protestant girls as the next set of heirs. Ya gotta like Charles for his classiness in the matter b/c he said um NO. The queen stays.

FINE, his peeps growled, tho nobody got why he wanted to stay married to a homely, unfertile Catholic wench. Charles didn't even have to be like Henry VIII & go HA HA tis Cath's fault not mine b/c he had brats galore every time he turned around.

Barbara Fitzroy, the Duchess of Cleveland's youngest;
acknowledged by Charles as his bastard, but possibly the daughter
of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough

Charlotte Fitzroy, Countess of Litchfield;
bastard daughter of Charles & Barbara Villiers

Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond & Lennox;
bastard son of Charles & Louise de Kerouaille

James Scott, Duke of Monmouth
bastard son of Charles & Lucy Walter

His peeps edged in closer & said well, just b/c he has cojones don't mean we necessarily require your bro, tisn't as if he done his legit breeding duty very well, either.

James Fitzjames, Duke of Berwick;
bastard son of James & Arabella Churchill

Why dontcha just skip over James & pick your own successor peep, like Henry & Edward done? Charles rolled his eyes & said, yes, & THAT worked out so well, didn't it? Quit bugging me!

So Anthony Ashley Cooper (there's rivers in South Carolina named for him), the Earl of Shaftesbury, intro'd a bill into the House of Lords just banning James from the succession outright! It didn't pass, either, but Anne Hyde started hacking up a lung.

The youngest member of the royal family was little Minette. 

Henrietta Anne AKA Minette, Duchess of Orleans

She married Philip, Duke of Orleans (rumor had it he not only batted for the other team but also played dress-up, which had been applied to one of Elizabeth's former Frenchie suitors as well, her Frog's bro Henry). 

Philip, Duke of Orleans

Minette demised suddenly at Chateau St Cloud just a fortnight after assisting Charles w/ successfully negotiating the Treaty of Dover, a seecrud defensive alliance w/ France. At 1st twas rumored Minette was poisoned, as all sudden deaths were, but there was a post-mortem & YUCK, she died of peritonitis from a perforated stomach ulcer. OUCH. I reckon if your DH was stealing your bestest dresses & makeup to wear for his BFs, it might give ya an ulcer, huh?

Rumor had it Minette got back at DH tho by having some snuggle time w/ whatever Louis was on the throne HA HA & mayhap both her daughters, Marie Louise & Anne Marie, were the king's. Twas 10 days past her 26th BD.  It was less than a yr since Henrietta Maria cocked up her toes, also in France & eeriely on the same day her son Henry of Gloucester had died, so not a good yr for the remaining Stuarts personally, alas. HM & Catherine of Braganza BTW had the same BD LOL Who wants their BD shared w/ the MIL?

Catherine of Braganza;
have ya noticed NONE of this chick's portraits look alike?  WTF?

Peeps were mighty irked when the Duchess of York then demised, groaning, WRONG ONE! If it had been Queen Catherine, then Charles could've gotten himself a fresh womb, but noooo, it had to be James's wife who demised!

And of course he wanted a nice nubile Catholic princess to take Anne's place, settling on 15 yo Mary of Modena, even worse than imagined b/c she was not only Catholic but Italian. And over 20 yrs younger than James, putting him into dirty old man territory by modern standards. Charles was all jeez, can't ya just wed one of your GFs, like maybe that Churchill wench? She's a nice Protestant girl. Then he found out she was related to the d'Este banking family & had a fat dowry, so he shrugged & said OK bro, as long as I get my cut, but methinks ya'd best watch your back b/c peeps aren't gonna like this.

Mary of Modena

O just for politicial party trivia purposes, when Shaftesbury intro'd the bill to keep James out of the succession, those who didn't like it were termed "the abhorrers" & somehow this got mangled to Tories. They still got those anymore? Those who DID like it scanned the new Duchess of York's waistline anxiously whilst muttering that those darn Catholics gave their kids 11dy6 names b/c in all its glory hers was Maria Beatrice Eleanora Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este. Yeah, & you thunk Charles Philip Arthur George on the current POW was a lot LOL Methinks b/c she already has a stepdaughter named Mary, I shall just call her by the 1st 2 to avoid further confoozledness so Mary Beatrice she is.

Mary Beatrice got pregnant right quick but produced another pair of York girls, (yawningly) Catherine & Isabella. Catherine demised right after Isabella was born, just shy of age 2, & twas written down as convulsions, which covers a wide range of pediatric ailments & is most unhelpful. But the next yr Mary Beatrice produced a healthy lad, Charles James, Duke of Cambridge.

Peeps were O SHITE WE'RE GOIN' TO THE CATHOLICS AFTER ALL! James was all chuffed & Charles whacked him on the back & said 'bout time, but the common peeps had a case of the mutters. It didn't last long b/c apparently CJ had none of that natural immunity from the mother thing going on & he caught smallpox & demised when he was just 5 wks old.

So Mary of Orange was still the Protestant heir, but her Daddy just kept breathing & breeding, tho Mary Beatrice's next cpl kids were stillborn & then another daughter, Charlotte, demised of that convulsions thing. Must've been something nasty in the collective gene pool. And then Isabella demised age 5 of that annoying smallpox thing (no wonder peeps worked to figure out a vaccination for it) & the Yorks had no kidlets left at all. I just thunk I'd mention all this tedious childbearing Mary Beatrice was up to for yonks b/c no one ever does & it makes it seem like what eventually happened was some kinda scam when she was sighing & pushing out kidlets for England all along.

Ya'd think w/ the sanitizing fire & just how cold it was in England in the 1600s woulda kilt some of the germs.

There are not all that many occasions on which the River Thames has frozen solid b/c of how cold it was, but 4 of these occurred during Charles IIs reign so talk about your global freezing, huh? There's this adorable little book called The Frozen Thames where the author writes a brief short story for every yr the river froze, depiciting some of what went on when it did. Remember it froze when Matilda fought Stephen, & it also froze the last winter Anne Boleyn was alive & she went sleigh-riding w/ Henry (so you KNOW this ice was rock-solid LOL) on it b4 the unpleasantness began.

By Charles's day & b/c it was happening so frequently in the 1600s, they had a system all worked out & held what they called a Frost Fair right on the ice. I mean these peeps ran out & set up bldgs & booths for groat-making purposes b/c natch everyone wanted to venture onto the thick frozen surface so they could brag about it, so there was actual taverns & meat-pie booths & picnic tables & sleigh rides & ice skating rentals, a nice boom for the common peeps' economy, except for the ferrymen, natch. Once a ship got stuck in it, so they anchored to the nearest tavern LOL & became a part of it for a while (unfortunately there was a sudden thaw & the tavern got yanked into the river when the boat started shifting in the middle of the night). Even Charles got suckered out of some pennies by a guy who dragged his printing press out on the ice & sold little souvenir cards what said stuff like "Charles II King of England procured this card on the ice of the frozen River Thames, January 25, 1678" or whatever (I don't recollect the exact yrs save that one of em was the winter Charles demised & bet he was ticked he never got to see spring b/c that was the coldest one so far). If ya Google this stuff there's a HUGE map that shows how the Frost Fair was laid out in Charles's time, which I did after I read the aforementioned book. Tis pretty chill stuff LOL but alas even the cold wasn't killing the germs as I said.

When it was nice & warm, Charles & James enjoyed horse-racing & this is when the Newmarket tradition was established.  Everyone knew the bros Stuart would be at Newmarket for the races & there devolved the Rye House Plot, where some peeps decided it would be a splendid idea to ambush the royal party & assassinate both the king & the Catholic Duke of York.

Charles was shocked to discover one of the peeps involved was his 1stborn son Jamie, the Duke of Monmouth, who was supposed to replace Daddy as king. There was a bit of OFF WITH HIS HEAD (tho one of the dudes cheated the axe by slitting his own throat w/ a razor in his Tower cell), but Jamie was banished to the continent. Tis said he was always Daddy's fav.

Uncle James looked at him sideways & hmmm'd there's a peep I gotta watch out for, b/c Jamie, born when Daddy was just 19, was a grown man, married to a nice heiress & breeding up brats of his own, & he possessed Charles's charisma & somebody's good looks LOL Peeps liked him & there were some murmurings that if they couldn't get Charles to set aside the queen, them mayhap Monmouth could be legit'd & they could set aside James.

Charles said um NO. Peeps glared at him but public opinion had turned on Parliament since that bidness w/ trying to get rid of the queen...OK she didn't do her heir duty but she was a nice chick for a Catholic & the king was fond enough of her to keep her, so what bidness did Shaftesbury have trying to throw out bills to send her off on a slow boat to LIsbon? So Charles hardly had any issues w/ Parliament at all like his Daddy had HA HA & he pretty much ran the joint as he pleased & nobody objected.

Charles came back to Whitehall on what would become Scarlet's BD after checking out the latest Frost Fair & sighed & said yknow I ain't feelin' so perky atm.

Charles II in his early 50s

The next day, Candlemas, Charles had what was noted as "an apoplexy". This could be ANYTHING b/c it was noted for things like heart attacks, strokes, & your general convulsive fits. I'm gonna guess stroke b/c he immediately developed what was noted as "uremic poisoning", a catch-all term for dude's got sumfin amiss w/ his kidneys, & my PCP thunk when my BP shot up for no reason (has since calmed down nicely so barring unforeseen calamity the royal fun can continue LOL) that twas from a kidney infection b/c one's ureters behave in a similar fashion to one's arteries & if they're having trouble functioning it can raise one's BP alarmingly & induce a stroke. Mine was asymptomatic, but the usual symptoms are back pain (& who in their 50s ain't got that?) & pain urinating (which Charles coulda just thunk, if he had such, o shite, did I get me a case of that Frenchie pox b/c Barbara was notorious for cheating on him).

So there was Charles all lollygagging in bed w/ the swells & chills & fever, hardly able to pee, & still cracking jokes even tho he must've felt like death warmed over b/c kidney infections ain't fun, telling his peeps it was taking him too long to demise his good self. Methinks the actual words were sumfin along the lines of sorry to be taking such a time a-dying here. He told bro James "Let not poor Nelly starve", so see, she prolly was his fav GF. He'd been about to create her Countess of Greenwich but alas for Nell, he demised b4 signing off on it, so she never did get a title or the castle to go w/ it. Rumor had it that at the last min, to cover all his bases, he converted to Catholicism & recvd the Last Rites on urging of James & Catherine, but some peeps think he wasn't conscious & they just had it done anyway b/c they were concerned he might be going to the hot place w/o Extreme Unction. Charles demised at age 54 on Feb 6th, 1685, & had one of the fastest royal funerals on record, as he was entombed in Westminister Abbey on Valentine's Day.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Merry Monarch

The royal corpse was hauled back inside Whitehall & do you know Cromwell told peeps to sew Charles's head back ON?

Cromwell Before the Coffin of Charles I

Then the regicides (tis whatcha properly call king-killers) waited until all the peeps had gone home & it got dark b4 trundling Charles onto a barge & poling down the Thames to Windsor, where he was dragged into St George's Chapel & tossed under the floor w/ Henry & Jane!

For about 5 min they debated crowning little Henry, Duke of Gloucester, as the new King of England, even tho he had 2 older bros, just b/c he was handy.

Henry, Duke of Gloucester

Nice regency & all that, since the kid was all of 8, goodies to be had for all. Then they hmmm'd & said yknow there'd be MORE goodies if there weren't any pesky royals to support.....yeah that's the ticket! We don't need no steenking Stuarts no more! So Oliver Cromwell was elected Lord Protector & Parliament decided there was gonna be no more kings, ever.

This is known as the Interregnum (Latin for ooops there was a slight interruption in the cavalcade of royals).

Suffice to say that after a while peeps was remembering kings quite fondly (the Anglican Church even made St Charles the Martyr out of the last one) b/c tain't much fun to be ruled by a passel of religious fanatics. Them Puritans were no fun at all. Do you know they even outlawed CHRISTMAS? Not to mention good times like music, dancing, parties, gambling, dicing, horse-racing, the theater, houses of ill-repute, football, all the interesting stuff there was to do sans TV & internet, pretty much. Peeps got fined & put in the stocks if they missed church on Sundays or did any work on Sundays at all. Sunday dinner wasn't what it used to be b/c it had to be Saturday's leftovers b/c cooking was considered work. There was an inordinate amt of praying to be done & no one could dress up in bright colors & fine fabrics anymore. Merrie olde England wasn't.

in the stocks

Things got mighty dull, except over in Ireland where there was a massacre at Drogheda by Cromwellian troops. They went into all the churches & whitewashed over the murals & busted out the stained glass windows & melted down all the fancy gold stuff so that there wasn't even anything to look at when you were sitting there 1/2 the day on Sundays bored. In fact, in one church where all the Anglo-Saxon kings were buried, they busted open the crypts & used the bones for breaking the windows, so those royal peeps are now all mixed up b/c no one knows which bones go where.  Like, what did Ethelred the Unready ever do to them, huh?

They done that in a lot of churches (who knew 1,000 yr old bones were still sturdy enough to break glass?). Is it any wonder Jemmy'd kicked out the Pilgrims when this whole Puritan thing started? Who wants a religion that don't allow ya to have culture & nice things & dead kings properly arranged in their own tombs instead of being all jumbled together?

Just to be contrary, the Scots decided to declare Charles & HMs eldest kid Charles as King of Scots LOL

Charles II, King of Scots
he's got John of Gaunt's bedroom eyes LOL

He scamped over there from The Hague to get crowned at Scone posthaste. The Scots suited up & high-stepped over the wall to kick Parliamentarian behind & restore the new king in England, too. Only they were trounced at the battle of Worcester. This is where the legend of Charles hiding in the Royal Oak to avoid capture comes from. He had to scurry back to the continent b/c he rather liked his own head exactly where it sat.

He was only 21, but he'd already been making eyes at lotsa chicks & the 1st of his numerous bastards, James Scott, later Duke of Monmouth, was 2 yrs old. Jamie's mum, Lucy Walter, was supposed to be a loose chick & even tho Charles acknowledged paternity, twas joked that the kid couldn't possibly be his b/c Jamie was far too good-looking LOL

Lucy Walter w/ portrait
of son James

Charles was quite tall & buff, but he was universally considered ugly as sin. Despite that, he was said to have the kinda charm chicks dug & he continued to have lots of GFs & bastards. So did his bro James, who was said to have gotten the looks in the family. Ya think maybe twas all that long hair on the guys in those days? Got news for ya....wigs. They were mostly all shaved bald or buzzed under em. Imagine the lice infestation if they weren't. Now picture Charles w/ his little moustache bald as a billiard ball. Not attractive LOL In Elizabeth's day all the chicks wore wigs & now it was the guys' turn. See, fashion trends ain't new.

Charles spent the next 9 yrs in exile whilst those pocky Parliamentarians ran amuck.

Despite HM being a Frenchie & Princess Mary having wed William of Orange b4 all this Civil War stuff started, Charles couldn't get anyone to pony up enough groats to outfit a nice invasion force & oust the Parliamentarians. Their rellies were irked enough at the expense of maintaining the exiles' households. Then little Henry was shoved across the Channel to be one more mouth to feed.

Mary & William II of Orange

7 yrs after Worcester, Oliver Cromwell had the demises & Parliament decided to put his son Richard in Daddy's place. Which was kinda silly, if ya think about it, b/c wasn't this just as bad as hereditary monarchy? Charles was disappointed that peeps didn't invite him back over after the elder Cromwell's death. So were the rellies off whom he was sponging. They all sighed & slumped back in their seats as the Interregnum continued.

Charles was amusing himself w/ a rellie of Buckingham's, Barbara Villiers, Lady Palmer, who was a member of the underground Royalist network in England & popped over to deliver some seecrud msgs.

Barbara Villiers, Lady Palmer

Tho her eldest daughter Anne went by DH Roger Palmer's name & eventually inherited his goodies, she was acknowledged to be another bastard for Charles. The bros Stuart had to just be amused w/ chicks b/c wasn't nobody gonna marry em since they were penniless spongers, ysee.  Royal blood counts for naught sans a fistful of credit cards.

Richie Cromwell proved not to be as ironfisted a ruler as Daddy so peeps began to hmmm. There's the prob w/ primogeniture, sometimes ya get saddled w/ an inbred idiot ROFL Everyone was mighty sick of no longer being merrie & started thinking Parliament had been a little hasty in slicing off old Charles's head. Richie quickly abdicated his position & there was chaos & anarchy w/ no one running the joint whatsoever. So the Govermor of Scotland, General George Monck, brought a passel of blue peeps over the wall to restore order & finally got that Long Parliament dissolved after 20 yrs. New parliamentary elections were held & lots of Royalists got into what was called the Convention Parliament. 1st order of bidness was OK who's gonna be in charge.

They said meh this whole Protectorate thing ain't working out so well, we might as well have the royals back. Lots of em were doing this sneaky way of drinking to Charles's health anyway; they would silently pass their wine glass across a finger bowl at table b/c that was code for "to the health of the king across the water". Clever, huh?

So they voted to invite Charles to come on over & be restored to the thrones of England, Scotland, & Ireland. There was YIPPEE all around as the Stuarts gussied up for the trip. Charles & rellies & pals arrived in London on his 30th BD, May 29, 1660.

Charles II entering London

Nice pressie! This is known as (duh) The Restoration (the period in which one of Scarlet's fav books, Forever Amber, is set).

Charles IIs coronation portrait

He wasn't coronated until the following April b/c there was important stuff to be done 1st. In exchange for a few concessions to Parliament regarding those medieval statutes his father revived to get more groats, Charles had 9 of the peeps involved in Daddy's execution executed, plus he had Cromwell & a cpl other peeps dug up to lose their dead heads, too. Fun times.

That whole Parliament & executions thing didn't take a whole yr, tho. There were some other reasons why the coronation kept getting postponed. Tho twas a grand yr for the House of Stuart w/ the Restoration, alas, it turned out not to be a very good yr for em in the end.

In Sept, after barely 3 mos back home, Henry came down w/ smallpox & had the demises posthaste at Whitehall. He was just 20. In yrs to come peeps would lament his untimely death when they were having yet more royals issues b/c Henry was a firm Protestant after all those yrs as a captive of the pocky Puritans & even argued religion w/ Mum after he was released (HM still Catholic).

Then Christmas was a real bummer b/c on Christmas Eve Mary of Orange, aged 29, demised of the same thing, also at Whitehall. Guess they didn't clean up the germs from Henry's illness properly. Since her DH had demised (of the same thing!) just a cpl days b4 the birth of their only child, her 10 yo son William of Orange got to have a nice regency.

So Charles got his set of crowns, but coming back to England for em kilt 2 of his 4 remaining sibs. It slightly lessened the crush in Westminister Abbey for the coronation. Charles was for some reason the last king who made the traditional progress from the Tower to Westminister to be crowned.

He had to give out some goodies to his peeps. Barbara's DH was created Earl of Castlemaine. This was an Irish title & twas bestowed on Roger b/c everyone knew Charles just wanted to elevate his GF to the peerage & Parliament refused to approve settling on English title on him. So Barbara had to be content w/ what she got & she queened it round the court as my Lady Castlemaine for yonks, already expecting her 2nd kid w/ Charles.

His BFF John Wilmot got his title of Earl of Rochester restored

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

& there was lots of tiresome squabbling over Royalist estates that had been confiscated by Parliamentarians that those who'd run off in exile w/ Charles wanted back. And what are goodies if ya got no fun? So all that borrrring Puritan stuff was repealed & peeps had something to do besides pray & they could dress snappy again & go out to the theatre.

And there was lots of tittle-tattle printed in the Stuart Scandler, too, b/c wouldja believe there was another seecrud wedding? Charles's Lord Chancellor was a peep called Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, & his daughter Anne was seduced by bro James & ooops there was breeding, so they got hitched on the sly.

Anne Hyde, Duchess of York

Charles was vastly amused w/ this when James 'fessed up so there were no Tower Fun Passes written out. Meh it saved the expense of all that negotiating for foreign brides & a huge wedding.

There was seriously sumfin wrong w/ James's little swimmers b/c he got chicks pregnant left & right but there were copious amts of miscarriages, stillbirths, & demised in infancy. Out of the 11dy6 kidlets he sired upon Anne Hyde, only 2, Mary & Anne, would live to grow up, & his track record was just as bad w/ DW#2 later on.  Tis rumored he had the Frenchie pox, which can do such.

James, Duke of York
OK Rupert can carry off the faux Roman thing
.....cuz James, not so much LOL

Since Charles was already in his 30s there was no time to waste in getting him hitched, either. He settled upon a princess from Portugal called Catherine of Braganza b/c she had a humungous dowry that incl the prosperous ports of Bombay (this is how England started getting into India) & Tangiers.

Catherine of Braganza, Charles IIs queen

The treasury was pretty low so he had to get value for the bride. Catherine is credited w/ introducing tea into England, which peeps sucked down like there was no tomorrow. Peeps muttered b/c she was Catholic, but the public wedding was Anglican. However, Charles covered all his bases & had a seecrud one done in Catholic as well. Peeps figured there'd be 11dy6 heirs in no time, given how fast Castlemaine was popping em out (her son Charles was born same yr).

Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine,
posing as Madonna & Child w/ son
Charles Fitzroy

Even in Portugal they'd heard of the notorious Castlemaine, so Catherine was appalled to see her name on the list of her new English ladies-in-waiting. She picked up a quill, dipped it in ink, scratched it out, & said um NO.

Barbara threw a fit so Charles sighed & asked Catherine could she just let her stay on the list & then Catherine threw a fit so Charles sighed some more & asked Barbara if maybe she could be reasonable b/c twas tacky to shove one's GF under one's wife's nose like that & Barbara threw a bigger tantrum & threatened to dump him so Charles groaned & went back to Catherine & said SHE STAYS & THAT'S THE END OF IT!

Charles losing a fight w/ Barbara LOL

Castlemaine was all HA HA I WON & promptly got pregnant again. The 23 yo queen alas did not.

Charles must've had the stamina of a bull b/c in addition to wife & official GF, he often had peeps collect chicks he liked the look of & sneak em up the backstairs at Whitehall to come play w/ him. He & James set up rival theatres & had their pick of the actresses. This is when chicks were finally allowed to go on the stage instead of having girl parts played by dudes in drag. One called Moll Davis became a 2nd official GF of the king's for a while & she had a daughter by him who was inexplicably named Lady Mary Tudor.

Moll Davis

Then there was a 3rd official GF who was also an actress, Nell Gwyn.

Nell Gwyn

Nell was a great comedian as well as a comedic actress, & tis said she snuck a laxative into Moll's drink on an evening she knew Moll was supposed to go see the king HA HA Charles had 2 sons by Nell, Charles & James Beauclerk.

Nell Gwyn's sons w/ Charles,
Charles & James Beauclerk;
how cute are they?

Beauclerk was a pun b/c Stuart used to be Stewart used to be High Steward of Scotland & steward in French is beauclerc so there ya go. Poor little Jimmy died all alone at school in Paris aged 9 from a "pain in his leg", who knows what that was, but Charlie grew up & was a prolific breeder himself.

Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford & Duke of St Albans

There's fun tales about how Charlie Beauclerk got his title.

Nelly was irked b/c Castlemaine's brats got nice titles & her kids didn't. The one story says she hung Charlie by his ankles off a balcony & threatened to drop him on his head if Charles didn't pony up a title. Charles cried, "God save the Earl of Burford!" in response & had the patent drawn up right quick.

The other story about it is that there was a party at Nell's w/ lots of Charles's peeps attending & she called her eldest over by yelling, "Charlie, you little bastard, come say hello to your father!" Charles frowned & said twasn't nice for her to be calling the kid a bad word esp in public. Nelly shrugged & said, "Well, he has no other title by which I may call him, does he?" Later on the kid also got to be the Duke of St Albans.

Louise de Kerouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth

Then there was this Frenchie chick, Louise de Kerouaille, who came over in Charles's sister Minette's train when she came for a visit, & stuck around to be another official GF. She got to be the Duchess of Portsmouth & Castlemaine howled so then she got to be the Duchess of Cleveland, but then Charles retired her after 5 kids.

Nell Gwyn

Nelly called Louise "Squintabella" LOL I reckon she needed glasses. Peeps weren't fussed w/ Louise b/c she was Catholic. Once Nelly was out in her carriage (which now were invented) & peeps thunk twas Louise's & started hurling rocks & insults, so Nell stuck her head out the window & said, "Good ppl, you are mistaken, I am the Protestant whore!" So they cheered & let her pass b/c they liked her the bestest of all Charles's GFs b/c she came from common peeps.

Twas said Charles liked her the bestest, too, b/c she was just so darn funny. Charles ended up w/ a grand total of 12 illegits & has lotsa descendents, incl Diana, Fergie, & Camilla! So Wills could be the 1st descendent of Charles II to sit on the throne some day.

Then there was a chick who, like Anne Boleyn, was famous for telling a king um NO.  This was Frances Stewart, who later became the Duchess of Richmond & Lennox w/ her marriage to Esme Stewart's grandson, Charles.  Yes, both her married & maiden names were the same LOL, but the papacy made naught off any dispensation for it.  Her dad was a distant cuz of the royals & had been HMs personal physician.  Charles the king pursued her for yonks & all the other mistresses were united in their hatred of Frances.  Barbara was mighty irked b/c Charles was about to mint a medal for his Dutch wars & he wanted an image of Britannia on em & natch she thunk she'd be the perfect model, but he selected Frances instead.  If ya got any old Brit coins rolling round, Frances's Britannia head was used on em till the 1970s!

Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond & Lennox

In fact, she had to get hitched b/c Barbara caught her in bed w/ Richmond & tattled triumphantly to Charles that whilst Frances was saying NO to him, she was all over that duke ROFL  Alas Frances came down w/ a wretched case of the smallpox & was disfigured like Mary Sidney had been, all wreathed in veils so no one could see it, & when her DH demised young she never remarried, tho apparently Charles was still nice to her & rumor had it she may have reconsidered that NO once no other peeps could look at her face anymore.

Alas the queen tried to keep up w/ the mistresses in breeding little Stuarts, but all she could manage was a pair of miscarriages.....