Saturday, April 24, 2010

No Apparent Heir

Essex fancied himself quite the swashbuckler. Previously he'd begged Elizabeth for letters of marque to go a-privateering & he made a daring raid on Cadiz, tagging along like a puppy after Drake when Elizabeth told him not to, & stole lots n lots of treasure from Philip. Elizabeth was irked at this (tho natch she took the huge share to which she was entitled & tipped Drake a wink) b/c Philip was mad enough at her for the Armada thing & she was afraid there'd be retaliation, but the Armada was still too broken & there wasn't. 

Defense Against the English at Cadiz

Old Phil was getting busy w/ DW#4, Anna of Austria, trying to breed up a sane son on a NIECE TWICE OVER (her maternal grandparents were Charles V & his wife Isabella of Portugal, who were Philip's parents, while her paternal grandparents were Charles's baby bro, Philip's Uncle Ferdinand, & his wife Anna of Bohemia)....o the inbreeding!.....& the papal dispensation fees!  Can you imagine being told ya gotta marry old Uncle Phil?  Jeez!  She did spawn him 3 male heirs, Philip Jr, Ferdinand, & Diego, which was good as Don Carlos was such a frothing at the mouth kinda froot loop by now that rumor had it Philip himself kilt the kid.  But o that Catholic incest!  Arentcha supposed to go to Hell for stuff like that?  No wonder yrs later there was that King of Spain who was a drooling idiot.  Tis a wonder none of em had 2 heads!

Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain

But regardless of his hot young wifeniece, Philip was still meddling in Ireland & now her Anglo-Irish earls were in open rebellion, not just the regular pesky common Irish who were always in rebellion. Elizabeth was annoyed b/c she'd had the O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, to court even, & he promised her he'd make everyone there play nicely.

Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone

Now he was like the ringleader! So she glared at Essex & said yknow, if you hadn't aggravated Philip so much, I wouldn't have this problem! Here's your Daddy's old Lord Lieutenant title back....go fix it!

Pffft no prob, I'll be done & dusted b4 ya know it! Essex said w/ confidence, & hied across the Irish Sea to kick Irish behind.

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

Only Elizabeth was funneling coin into the Navy, not the troops, & it was soon clear the pittance she was allowing him to go on the offensive wasn't near enough. Those Irish were clever & tenancious & prolific Catholic breeders & there was always a whole 'nother troop of em over the next hill to harass the English.

Elizabeth I
the Ermine portrait
no, that ain't a rat LOL tis an ermine

So Essex came back to court & said listen up missy I ain't got enough groats to accomplish this! Elizabeth was outraged that he'd left his post & tho she did give him a tad more money, she told him he best not dare cross the Irish Sea again unless she specifically ordered him to do so, & that wasn't gonna happen until he was done & dusted, so get busy!

an actual Elizabethan shilling

Essex stormed off & gave it a shot, a whole lot less cocky now that he'd seen what he had to deal w/. Elizabeth was not amused at word of his reverses & grudgingly increased his pittance a little more. Still didn't work. He was hemmed in on all sides & not in a mood to fight to the death for that old biddy queen who couldn't even be bothered to maintain a decent supply line for the effort, so he made lots of truces & parleyed w/ the revolting earls & signed off on a peace treaty w/o even consulting Elizabeth. Then he further disobeyed her by returning to England, disgusted w/ the whole mess & not planning on going back.

There's a fine story connected w/ Essex's unexpected homecoming....

Tis said Essex arrived early in the morn & swaggered his way to the queen's apts. Elizabeth's peeps were alarmed at this male intrusion b/c the queen had just finished brekkie & was still in her jammies. He was told he couldn't go in until the queen said she was ready to receive visitors, which natch she wasn't. Essex said pffft she'll see ME anytime, I'm just that darn special, & pushed his way in. Tis said his jaw dropped when he saw Elizabeth w/o her camoflauge on. Like MQOS, she had short grey hair w/o one of her fab red wigs, but she was also a good 20+ yrs older than MQOS had ever gotten & mighty wrinkly w/o that inch-thick lead paint to spackle it all in. And sans a snug corset & stomacher, there was gravity to contend w/ as well. Nope, old Elizabeth in her jammies was NOT an appealing sight to a man LOL

Elizabeth in old age

She was infuriated that he should intrude upon her extensive toilette b4 she was done w/ it & immediately had him hauled off kicking & screaming to be placed under house arrest. Of course, if the tale of her revealed age ravages is just that, it could've just been b/c he showed up, period, when he was supposed to not leave Ireland.

Essex's timing was really bad either way, b/c his monopoly on sweet wines was all set to expire. That was when the queen granted a peep the right to collect the taxes on imported stuff for his own pockets & sweet wines was a lucrative monopoly to have b/c peeps drank lots of those, didn't nobody drink the water & stuff like tea & coffee weren't invented in England yet, so your choice was wine or ale. It was also his main source of income & she let it expire & refused to renew it. She also refused to reply to his steady stream of begging, pleading letters, which ticked him off & turned said letters into wild rants instead, displeasing her further. So he summoned some of his peeps (b/c he was under guard & couldn't go out), incl the demised Wriothesley's grandson Henry, Earl of Southampton, & began whinging incessantly about what an ungrateful old hag she was & who needed her ugly bony behind on the throne anyway? Let's get rid of her! I'LL be the king! We don't need no steenking Tudors or Scots to govern Englishmen YEAH! Let's take her down!

This is known as Essex's Rebellion (obvs).....

Essex busted out of his house arrest & he & his peeps took to the streets to rouse the Londoners against the queen & make him king. They all looked at him sideways & said um NO. It wasn't long b4 he was slapped w/ a Tower Fun Pass. Lettice tried to get in & plead w/ Elizabeth for 2 lives b/c her stupid boy-toy DH was her stupid son's roomie there, having been sucked into the rebellion idea, but Elizabeth was still all um NO when it came to Lettice. Her very presence outside her doors prolly irked her even more. This time there was no dillydallying at all when it came to signing the death warrants. Groats were made on Tower Hill's latest entertainment, w/ Essex all arrogant & unrepentant to the bitter end.

Twas said Elizabeth was never the same after that. All her old peeps were long gone (even Cat Ashley demised, I forgot her b/c there were so many demisings LOL) & she was a doddering old hag compared to the rest of em. Her elaborate costumes & flash wigs & inches of makeup weren't fooling anybody; they all knew she'd been perched on that throne 40+ yrs by now. Even Christopher Hatton, who was younger than she, came down w/ a fatal case of the demises. The position of queen's favorite fell permanently vacant.

Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury

Robert Cecil began secretly messaging James VI up in Scotland, hoping to make himself indispensible to the most obvs & sensible solution to the succession.

James VI, King of Scots

Elizabeth still wouldn't name an heir & the choices were either Jemmy or Arabella at this pt, & Arabella was nuts LOL so twas an EZ choice for Cecil Jr to make. Besides, Arabella was getting to be a dried-up old spinster & even more nuts; Bess begged Elizabeth to take the wench off her hands & Elizabeth said pffft to that. Jemmy had married Anne of Denmark & already had an heir & a spare to put an end to all this succession uncertainty.

Anne of Denmark, Queen of Scots

Elizabeth had a very weird demise. One day in March 1603 she got up & dressed & went to stand by the window chewing on her finger. She said NO when peeps wanted to come in & see her, NO to signing paperwork, NO to breakfast, lunch, & dinner, just stood there staring out the window & gnawing. Twas a tad unnerving for peeps to watch.

When it got to be dark her ladies attempted to get her undressed & put her to bed. Elizabeth said um NO. They said, huh? Elizabeth said, I'm not going to bed b/c if I lie down now, I'll never get up again, so I'm just gonna stand here TYVM & quit pestering me jeez! Who's the queen here?

Ohhhhh-K they said, looking at each other sideways & getting progressively irked b/c couldn't no one retire until the queen did. So her ladies all plopped themselves in chairs & snoozed on & off in their clothes & waited for her to change her mind. She didn't.

Next morn she was still standing there leaning on the windowsill telling peeps to buzz off. Since this was getting a tad ridic, sundry peeps tried approaching her all day long to see what her prob was & if she was sure she didn't want a nice lie-down or mayhap at least a chair. NO! she bellowed, irritated, & kept standing there until she couldn't stand no more & had a case of the swoons.  Even them she was all meh just toss me down some cushions willya?  I wanna meditate LOL 

The Death of Queen Elizabeth

So she lollygagged down there a bit & just gave peeps the glares when they attempted to disturb her.  Finally she passed out cold.

Peeps swept in & scooped her up & got her into her jammies & settled her in bed. She was mighty aggravated when she came round but she couldn't get up out of bed by herself & nobody would help her do it b/c twas clear she had some kind of sicks going on. Cecil Jr came & hovered & asked her if she was ready to name her heir yet. Elizabeth glared at him & wouldn't say a word except, "Little man, one does not say MUST to princes".  Cecil took it upon himself to announce to peeps that Elizabeth had moved her hand when he specifically asked if she wanted Jemmy (she prolly was just trying to give him the finger LOL) & toddled off to start the transition of power. 

Somewhere in all this, Elizabeth supposedly had a case of the sighs & said, "All my possessions for a moment of time". Finally she just closed her eyes & demised.

OK tell me that ain't weird....

Elizabeth's funeral procession

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