Saturday, April 24, 2010

Enter the Stuarts

The new Cecil scrambled posthaste to let Jemmy know he now had a spare crown. Elizabeth meanwhile had a grand funeral thrown, & do you know she'd decided she wanted to spent eternity right next to her sis Mary?  Tis true, go find em cuddled up for eternity at Find a Grave.

Arabella Stuart
don't she know Mammy says tisn't ladylike to
show your bosom b4 3 o'clock?  ROFL

Arabella Stuart was not amused when her cuz's accession was universally acclaimed & didn't no one offer HER anything sparkly. By now Arabella was 28 & so unfussed at living in Granny's pockets that she immediately sat down & wrote Jemmy about the possibility of that Lennox title & coming to court, eager to shake the dust of Hardwick Hall from her skirts. Bess was hoping Jemmy would take the wench off her hands as she was getting too old to deal w/ Arabella's histrionics & having them interrupting her building.

James I, King of England

Jemmy, now 37, made a splendid progress from Edinburgh to London, waving at peeps & accepting lots of homage & goodies on his way to the king's coronation apts at the Tower.

Anne, who was 29, followed more slowly w/ 2 of the kiddies. Henry Frederick, the new Prince of Wales, was 9, & Princess Elizabeth (obvs suck-up there) was 6. Princess Margaret, who would've been 5, & Prince Robert, who would've been 1, had died in infancy. Nobody ever writes down of what in such cases.  2 1/2 yo Charles was left behind for a tad b/c he had a bad case of the rickets & couldn't walk very well yet, so he stayed in Scotland until he could LOL

At any rate, peeps was all agog to see the new royals, have the requisite heir & a spare, & relieved that there wasn't gonna be no trouble over the whole thing like w/ Jane Grey. There was a lovely coronation in July w/ lots of celebration & Arabella said YIPPEE b/c she was invited to attend & got a nice allowance & a stylin' wardrobe, too.

Arabella was chuffed b/c she was now seen as a desirable marriage mart commodity & got an offer from the King of Poland. That came to naught & she was quite disappointed & unwisely yelled at Jemmy for not letting her have a hubby. Jemmy said pffft & pointed to Hampton Court's door, banishing Arabella from court for 4 yrs.

Hampton Court gatehouse

In that time old Bess of Hardwick demised. A fortune-teller had once told her if she couldn't build anything that she would die & it was a very cold winter that yr, so cold that the construction peeps couldn't keep the mortar from freezing when they mixed it. Bess was therefore unable to keep building & demised. Fun tale.

Meantime, Jemmy got hit w/ some plots of his own. The Bye Plot was an attempt to kidnap him & force him to repeal anti-Catholic legislation. Jemmy was raised in the Kirk, even stricter Protestantism than Elizabeth's brand, & so there was not only executions but he kicked out all the priests from England. Hey, Longshanks once kicked out all the Jews; kings pretty much got to do what they wanted as long as it didn't upset too many peeps & encourage rebellion.

The Main Plot was to replace Jemmy w/ Arabella, w/ help from those irksome Spanish. Luckily Arabella was rusticated & knew naught, but Sir Walter Raleigh was involved & got a Tower Fun Pass & stayed locked up for 13 yrs b4 Jemmy let him out.

The most famous one is the Gunpowder Plot (remember remember the 5th of November). This was an elaborate Catholic scheme to blow up Parliament on opening day when the king, queen, Prince of Wales, & all the important peeps would be sitting in it, & then Princess Elizabeth was going to have a nice Catholic regency.

Houses of Parliament

Robert Cecil, now the Earl of Salisbury, was as sneaky as Walsingham & had a nice double agent in the plotting. Guy Fawkes & all his pals got to be hanged, drawn & quartered, & Jemmy passed even MORE anti-Catholic legislation as a result.

WHY this continues to be a big holiday in England I am sure I dunno, but Bonfire Night still goes on & peeps made "Guys" (in ref to Guy Fawkes) out of flammable stuff to burn in effigy on the bonfires (twas even done in the colonies for a while). This is now why we have the word "guy" referring to any male or a collections of peeps ("you guys") b/c language evolves like that. All from 36 barrels of gunpowder in Parliament's cellar. One wonders if Jemmy got a little shiver recollecting the events of Kirk O' Fields.

Jemmy was a weird dude. In addition to having guy favs LOL (at the time of his accession his fav was Robert Carr, a Scots dude),

Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset

he wrote several books. One was dedicated to Prince Henry & all about that divine right of kings stuff that Prince Charles was gonna end up taking way too seriously (foreshadowing), one was on the evils of tobacco (tho he happily collected its groats), & another was a denunciation of witchcraft. Jemmy really believed in that stuff & had a chick called Janet of Glamis burnt at the stake in Scotland for allegedly being a witch. This is where that whole witch-hunting craze started & the Office of Witchfinder General established & long after Jemmy was demised there would be the Salem Witch Trials in the colonies.

Like Unks the VIII, Jemmy was gaga over theology & participated in re-writing the Bible (hello, King James Version) in English. Rumor has it that whole part about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" he put in all by himself. He established the East India Company so that the Navy had something to do & even opened trade relations w/ peeps as far away as Japan, plus he sent peeps over to the New World (Jamestown) to establish English colonies. There was that whole Roanoke Colony in Elizabeth's day that Raleigh started, but peeps got spooked when it vanished & didn't want to go there until Jemmy insisted. Alas for his dreams of riches, the Spanish already got all the good parts w/ the gold & silver, but tobacco was invented & peeps started smoking pipes & cigs & there were groats to be made off importing that.  Even Pocahantus came to visit court w/ her DH John Rolfe; alas, she demised of that pesky smallpox whilst in London.

Queen Anne had 2 more daughters whilst in England, Princess Mary & Princess Sophia, but they also both demised in infancy, Sophia after just a day, & that was it for the breeding b/c then Jemmy got all come over unnecessary w/ his new English fav, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, & hurled lots of goodies at him.

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham
how come the cute ones are always gay? LOL

Prince Henry rolled his eyes b/c he was your typical sports & military crazed teenage lad, but Prince Charles liked Daddy's new pal Buckingham. Prince Henry was actually the driving force in getting Dad to set up the Virginia Company & commence colonizing b/c he thunk twas important to grab some of the New World b4 the Spanish snagged it all. Peeps was impressed w/ him & thunk my won't he make a nice king some day.

miniature of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales

Little Charles was unfortunately quite short (must've been in the Danish gene pool w/ how tall MQOS, Darnley, James, & Henry were) & sickly & not athletically inclined like his big bro, so Henry didn't have much use for him & teased him incessantly. Tis said once he plucked one of those ginormous hats off a bishop's head & plonked it on Charles's & told him when he was king he would make him Archbishop of Canterbury so he could wear long robes & hide his spindly little legs LOL Kids.

Prince Charles

Then tragedy struck the royal family. Henry collapsed in the midst of a tennis match & was hauled off to bed, where to their horror twas learned he'd somehow managed to contract typhoid fever. There was demising & a nice funeral & peeps was sad b/c at 18 he was way more kingly than Dad & now they were stuck w/ rickety little 12 yo Charles as heir.

Queen Anne

Anne hadn't spawned in 7 yrs & she was mighty unfussed w/ Buckingham so twas doubtful there would be any more heirs, & peeps were thinking if the sickly brat demised then they'd get another Queen Elizabeth b/c she'd be the only one left standing.

Princess Elizabeth

Elizabeth had just gotten engaged to Frederick V, Elector Palatine of Germany, b/c he was a leading Protestant ruler. Ya just couldn't truck w/ them Catholic Frenchies & Spanish for spouses nowadays. After a suitable mourning period for Henry there was a nice wedding & Elizabeth was packed off to Germany & commenced breeding nicely.

Then there was a tiresome rebellion there.

This turned into the 30 Years' War. Elizabeth & Frederick were offered the crowns of Bohemia. Elizabeth is known as the Winter Queen b/c there was more fussing & fighting & pretty soon it was RUN AWAY RUN AWAY from those dratted Bohemians, so she didn't wear the crown for long.

Elizabeth, the Winter Queen

They hastened off to exile in The Hague & Frederick never did get any of their goodies back. They did, however, produce a smokin' hot son, Rupert of the Rhine (this guy does NOT have a bad portrait! DROOL), in addition to sundry other brats.

Rupert of the Rhine

Charles got invested as Prince of Wales & Duke of Cornwall & all the resultant goodies that came w/. Jemmy was throwing round lots of coin what w/ all these funerals, ceremonies, & the wedding, & Parliament said pffft economize. So he said pffft go home & got his peeps to make him some money w/ some good investments instead.

Arabella got to come back to court, but there was no more talk of finding her a DH & she was getting mighty miffed b/c she was well past 30 already & chicks' eggs are on a timer. So she glanced round the courtiers & started making eyes at one & got tipped a wink back. B4 ya knew it there was another seecrud wedding.

Like Katie Grey b4 her, Arabella couldn't have made a choice more calculated to tick off the monarch....b/c she married Katie's grandson, William Seymour, Lord Beauchamp! Just like Elizabeth, Jemmy was alarmed at another union of heirs w/ Tudor blood when he found out. Didn't these peeps ever learn from experience that seecrud weddings were no good?

Willie got a Tower Fun Pass, whilst Arabella was placed under house arrest. When Jemmy found out they were corresponding against his express order not to, he arranged for them to be moved to different & more secure accommodations. Arabella pleaded illness & then dressed up as a man & snuck off & ran away to flee to the continent. Willie became the 1st peep since Roger Mortimer to successfully escape from the Tower so good on him. They managed to get on separate ships outta there, but while Willie's got away undetected to Flanders, Arabella's boat was stopped & boarded only minutes b4 it would've made landing in Calais, & she was hauled kicking & screaming to the Tower her good self.

And in Arabella's case, you KNOW she was kicking & screaming. She was like that. Betcha the Tower made Hardwick Hall & Granny look mighty good to her LOL She was kept imprisoned for 4 yrs & then demised. Twas said she was anorexic & starved herself to death lollygagging in bed refusing to eat & having episodes of cardiac arrythmia.

Willie didn't mourn overlong; within a yr of Arabella's demise he remarried to Essex & Frances Walsingham's daughter, Frances Devereux, got pardoned by Jemmy, & became the Earl of Hertford & later Duke of Somerset & guardian to Charles's heir. So he made out OK & his descendents are still Dukes of Somerset to this day. England is crawling w/ throne claim peeps LOL

In the meantime, Jemmy was looking round for a potential bride for Charles....

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