Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don Your Pointy Historical Thinking Caps, Peeps!

I am a mere 5 (methinks) monarchs away from being done & dusted.  We don't want the historical fun to end, do we?

So use the comment thingy at the end of this post to pick new historical topics for the future!  Prolly not any of the major royals as they've been rather exhaustively covered for the most part, but any other historical peeps, place, or things ya want Scarlet to discourse about?  Do bear in mind that Scarlet knows the mostest about (in order) England, Scotland, Wales, USA, Ireland, & the Frenchies, tho twould mayhap be amusing to branch out.  I can natter on for yonks about most anything LOL

Suggestions as to what should be featured after I finish the epic saga, please!

OK so trying to organize Victoria is taking 4ever ROFL....don't want y'all to get bored.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Short Reign, Then a Short Queen

In case you're all a-flounder in that sea of hasty Hanoverian begatting, allow Scarlet to simplify a tad.  The 4 eldest sons of George III were George, Frederick, William, & Edward.  Prinny succeeded Pops as George IV, but w/ the demise of Princess Charlotte & her son, he had no legit descendents.  By the time George IV had a fatal case of the demises, his next-in-line bro Frederick had predeceased him.  Tho married, Frederick wasn't too fussed w/ his own wife & they had zero offspring.  This meant upon George IVs death, the throne went to the bro after Frederick, William. 

William IVs coronation portrait

As noted, William IV & his queen Adelaide lost both their daughters in infancy, & she also had at least 2 miscarriages & gave birth to stillborn twin sons b4 William's little swimmers retired.  Natch his 9 surviving bastards had no throne claims.  The next bro, Edward, had demised right b4 George III. 

William IV, aged 13, w/ bro Edward, aged 11

So even though there were a pair of legit Georges to spring from the loins of Ernst Augustus & Adolphus, being the 5th & 7th sons put them & their ilks further down in the succession than DS #4, Edward.  Edward demised not long into his late-life marriage, leaving behind just one child, a baby daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria. 

Victoria, Duchess of Kent, & her young daughter Alexandrina Victoria

Having gotten completely over that we won't have no steenking females on our throne thing via the later Tudors & Stuarts, thus 11 yo Drina, as she was nicknamed, was considered Uncle William's heir apparent.  In the event of her demise prior to Unks's or sans offspring, only then would peeps look to Ernst &/or his son George.  Caught up nicely now, are we?  If they had followed it this way in medieval times, wouldn't that have saved a whole lot of trouble w/ those Wars of the Roses?

At age 64, William still holds the record for oldest peep to ever succeed to the throne (tho if the current queen keeps breathing a bit longer, Chuckles may give him the boot to #2).  W/ those 3 older bros, William was permitted by his parents to go on practically a lifetime of active naval service & in fact was hanging round New York City & very nearly kidnapped by the rebels during the American Revolution.  He was Lord High Admiral during those pesky Napoleonic Wars, too, tho he didn't get into any actual battles there.  When he 1st married Adelaide they lived in Hanover b/c he had all those bastards to support, Parliament wouldn't increase his allowance, & the cost of living was cheaper there.  But when Frederick demised in 1827, William, George IVs heir, got a nice increase & they returned to London to take up residence in Clarence House. 

Clarence House

Today this is the official residence of Charles & Camilla, plus it was the Queen Mum's pad for yonks (she did live to be 101 yknow).

William was liked by the British peeps simply b/c he wasn't his brother George LOL  George was all about the rock star aspect of being king, whereas William knew how to economize & live a great deal less ostentatiously.  Sans all the pomp & circumstance, William had the groats to polish up Buckingham Palace, which Prinny had ignored & let fall apart b/c meh, he didn't like it & never lived in it.

Buckingham Palace

Queen Adelaide was well-liked, too, b/c she refused to have court be as amoral as it was in her BILs day & that fashion for scandalously low-cut gowns went straight out.  Betcha you thunk that was Victoria's fault, huh?  Peeps also felt sorry for her b/c of her tragickal childbearing history & even tho she was pushing 40 when DH finally got to be king, there were periodic rumors saying the queen was preggers again.  She was a nice chick & peeps wanted her to have a nice heir to the throne.  Hardly no one ever got to see Drina & didn't no one like her Mummy, so twas a lot of wishful thinking.

True to Hanoverian tradition, once the young FitzClarence lads were grown up, their father glared at them.  They were greedy for titles & money & precedence, all of which they got, but then natch they thunk that as king's sons they could do better & wanted more.  Parliament was all um NO you kids got enough stuff pfffft.

William had never been known for exercising tact & thus had lots of feisty run-ins w/ Parliament & his ministers, at one pt muttering that he would rather have the devil to dinner than those peeps LOL  They looked at him sideways when he insisted on making nice w/ those Americans & also when he gave more freedom of government to Canada & Hanover.  They're gonna get swelled heads & rebel like those Americans did, he was warned, to which William was all pffft they will not, & they didn't.  It was during his reign that the Abolition Act was passed, getting rid of slavery in all of the wide British Empire.  He also revamped the Poor Laws so that peeps wouldn't starve & pushed thru the Factory Act prohibiting child labor in them.  The politicians sneered & called him a reformer but the common peeps were rather fussed w/ William.

He & Adelaide tried to make nice w/ their niece & heir Drina, but the princess's mother had airs above her station.  W/o even asking she took over most of Kensington Palace & roundly snubbed not just all the bastard FitzClarences, but ignored the queen as much as she could manage.  William was irked at her right there just for her disrespect to his wife.  The duchess sniffed & whispered to her cronies that the king was just an oversexed oaf ROFL b/c of the whole Mrs Jordan affair w/ all those resultant kidlets.  Ya gotta chortle at the alliteration there & wonder how long it took her to come up w/ it.  Her secretary, Sir John Conroy, was said to be a bad influence & probably her BF (at one pt twas rumored he could be Drina's daddy), & the king & queen liked him not. 

Sir John Conroy
well, c'mon, he was a huge improvement over that bald, tubby Edward LOL

The duchess restricted their access to Drina as much as she could get away w/ doing whilst she & Conroy planned for a regency in which they would be the power behind the throne, figuring William would shuck off his mortal coil posthaste being already so old & leaving Drina as a minor monarch.  William knew all about their scheming & he was determined to keep breathing until Drina was old enough to govern on her own LOL

Drina was raised under what Mummy termed the Kensington System, which was remarkably like what one can see abusers doing to this day.  The girl was kept completely isolated from other children & was not allowed to do anything or go anywhere w/o Mummy &/or her governess, Baroness Louise Lehzen, helicoptering. 

sketch of Louise Lehzen, done by Queen Victoria

The kid did not so much as get an hr a day to herself & her bed was right next to Mummy's.  Where Mummy went to knock boots w/ Sir John I am sure I dunno ROFL  Guessing she prolly had Lehzen hover whilst she went off for a quickie in his rooms.  The kid didn't even speak English, as she was spoken to in German by her mother & governess, a further way to keep her isolated.  Who'd wanna play w/ a kid ya couldn't talk to?  Later on she was tutored in French & then English, & tis said her command of the English language was less than perfect, it not being her primary language.  Drina was kept away from all her Hanoverian rellies as much as possible.  The Kensington System was designed to make her weak & dependent upon Mummy & Mummy's ilks so that she would never be aught but a puppet queen.  It had the opposite of the desired effect & merely served to make Drina rebellious & really pissed off.

William was so fed up w/ his SILs silly antics, he got aggravated & had a rant about it at his last BD party.  This is how we know he vowed to keep breathing (he'd developed a bum ticker despite not being lardy like his bros) until Drina came of age, b/c when it came time for him to make the obligatory speech at the banquet, he actually said to the assemblage that he hope he survived 9 mos longer until his niece turned 18 so that the Duchess of Kent could never ever become Regent, terming her incompetent & growling that she was surrounded by evil advisors.  17 yo Drina was so mortified that she burst into tears & had to prevent Mummy from storming out in a regal fashion b4 the king was done speechifying.  That just wasn't done no matter how rude the king was to ya.  You sucked it up & sat nicely until you were dismissed & woe betide you if you didn't.  Well, not really, as they'd pretty much stopped giving out those Tower Fun Passes by then, but it still didn't do to have the king & queen snub ya or mayhap tinker w/ your allowance.

Coming to the throne so late, William only got to be king for not quite 7 yrs & demised of heart failure at Windsor Castle 2 mos b4 his next BD, when he would've turned 71.  The Hanoverian kings actually had some splendid genes b/c they all lived into their 70s, which was considered a pretty good age for the time. 

B/c Hanover still had that Salic Law thing going on, Princess Alexandrina couldn't become Queen of Hanover as well as Queen of the United Kingdom, so the next bro in line, Ernst, scampered over there to get a nice crown.  Since William demised in the middle of the night, Drina was poked awake by Mummy at 6am & told she had company.  Likely she whinged something along the lines of jeez Mummy 5 more minutes LOL but Mummy yanked off the covers, threw a robe at her, & pushed her thru the door into the sitting rm, where Drina was astonished to see the Archbishop of Canterbury & the chamberlain of the king's household awaiting her jammie'd, bed-head presence.

Victoria Receiving the News of Her Accession

And that is how Drina learned she was now the big cheese.....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Knocking Up Princesses

George IV gave Henry VIII some good competition in the lard dept, weighing at at round 17 stone (that's 245 lbs) & sporting a 50 in waist.  This is how creaking corsets on men got to be popular b/c Prinny there kept trying to hide his girth.  He invented high collars to hide his double chins & popularized trousers as opposed to breeches as those were looser & more flattering to one of bulkiness.

George IVs coronation portrait

Tho he was supposedly seecrudly married to Maria Fitzherbert, his parental units knew naught of such & frowned at him for yrs to find a nice princess & commence breeding heirs.  Finally the POW agreed to do such in 1794, as he was heavily in debt from all that roistering & w/ a wife came an increase in his allowance.  He was betrothed to a German cuz, Caroline of Brunswick.

contemporary engagement announcement of Caroline of Brunswick to George, Prince of Wales

From the start this did not appear to be an auspiscious match.  It was rumored George's current mistress, Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey, approved of Caroline b/c she knew George would despise her & thus hang w/ the mistress more.  Prinny had a thing for older women.

miniature of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey
take a moment & imagine Prinny crushing this little stick girl in bed ROFL

Lady Jersey was appointed the chief lady of the bedchamber.  This is not the same Lady Jersey who could getcha vouchers to Almack's in those Regency romances & ruin ya socially if she declined to do so; that was Frances's DIL, Sarah. 

Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
the dragon of Almack's

The British peeps who went to fetch the intended Princess of Wales on over were appalled at her slovenliness.  Apparently Caroline washed infrequently & would wear the same dirty clothes for days on end.  She also was said to be tactless, spouting off the 1st thing that came into her head w/ little regard for the consequences, & pretty much did as she pleased.  I mean, what's the pt of being royalty if ya can't, huh?  But this behavior, plus the poor hygiene, did not sit well w/ Prinny, who took one look at Caroline & pulled an I LIKE HER NOT!

Unlike Henry VIII, he really really meant it.  He rocked up drunk for the wedding in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.  Caroline was neither amused w/ this, Lady Jersey, or the fact that Prinny was fat & no longer resembled his handsome portraits.  Unlike Henry w/ Anne of Cleves, however, Prinny attempted to do his duty.  He wrote a letter to one of his peeps whinging about it & stating the humungous amts of intestinal fortitude it took to overcome his "disgust & aversion of her person" & said they only did the deed 3x in their 1st 2 days of marriage.  Then he had no more intestinal fortitude left for the job LOL  The POW & his bride maintained separate households from Day 3 onwards.  Luckily Caroline got pregnant from Prinny's paltry efforts & produced a royal infant 9 mos later, to much excitement.

Princess Charlotte

Alas, twas a princess, christened Charlotte Augusta.  Since the Brits had gotten over that whole being ruled over by a wench thing, she was regarded as next in line for the throne after her father.  Peeps nudged Prinny & said aintcha gonna try for a son?  Prinny was all um NO, I wouldn't bang my wife again if you pd me!

Caroline got lots of sympathy from the common peeps b/c Prinny was so publicly nasty to her.  3 days after their daughter was born, he made out a new will where he left Caroline the sum of one shilling & everything else to Mrs Fitzherbert.  His mistress, being in charge of Caroline's household, spied on her for Prinny & was said to open her mail, even, & tell peeps what was in it.  Charlotte was immediately given her own household & George insisted Caroline had to have supervised visitation & no more than an hr a day.  He, however, rarely visited his daughter at all.  Little Charlotte, being the sole legit grandchild, was a great fav natch of Queen Charlotte & King George, who had her over often.  She was said to be very close to her grandfather & distraught when he went permanently whacko.

The POW was frowned at & Caroline regarded as a wronged wife.  Prinny was aghast at how his popularity ratings plummeted merely for liking his wife not.  He was glared at for his extravagant lifestyle during wartime, while Caroline was seen as a mother spitefully denied raising her only child (which was zackly the case) & cheered by the crowds when she went out, as the common folk liked how she'd wave & stop to have a natter w/ them.  Picture Princess Diana, circa 1800 LOL  Caroline was the original People's Princess & Prinny was furious.

Caroline of Brunswick, 1804

B/c access was restricted to her own child, Caroline made a habit of picking up stray kidlets & adopting them, having at one pt about 8 or 9 of em hanging round the house.  Prinny's peeps started rumormongering that Caroline was a terrible slut & mayhap one or more of these orphan brats were really her bastards.  So Prinny set up a seecrud commission to investigate, hoping he could prove it & get a nice divorce.  Incompatibility hadn't been invented as grounds yet & while he himself was a notorious adulterer, his wife wasn't filing on it.  Natch the seecrudness was leaked to the press, but it gained Prinny naught as all the kidlets had mums who were present & accounted for & could prove parentage of Caroline's growing brood.  Even author Jane Austen stuck her nose in & said she would support the princess "because she is a woman & I hate her husband" ROFL  That's the last time you'll hear Scarlet chortle over Jane Austen as methinks she's vastly overrated & I don't get this whole Darcy fascination thingy.

Once George IIIs madness made his eldest son the Prince Regent, Caroline wasn't able to visit Charlotte, now 14, at all.  After Waterloo, once the continent was a nice place to visit again, Caroline negotiated herself a nice allowance & left the country, traveling round & settling finally in Italy.  There were rumors that the majordomo of her household was also her BF.  George Gordon, Lord Byron, who hung out w/ her, certainly thunk they were lovers, but they were discreet if they were b/c again, no adultery score for Prinny.

Meanwhile, 19 yo Charlotte, who was also very popular w/ peeps & a patron of Byron & Mozart, was married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Saalfield.

Princess Charlotte & Prince Leopold

This took place at her father's primary residence of Carlton House in May 1816.

contemporary drawing of Carlton House
tres Palladian

Within a yr it was announced the new royal couple were expecting HUZZAH!  All eyes were on their residence of Claremont House awaiting the outcome.  Charlotte's water broke & started FIFTY HOURS OF LABOR OW OW OW.  Turned out the royal infant was a transverse lie.  This is never good, not even in modern times where we got stuff.  Kidlets generally pop out headfirst.  Occasionally ya get the irritant like Scarlet's 2nd DS what decides to pop out arse over teakettle OW OW OW breech is NOT fun.  But a transverse lie is impossible to pop out w/o a) a C-section or b) doctors greasing up, sticking their whole arm up in ya, & attempting to turn the kid around.  This is b/c it's lying sideways in the uterus & therefore way too wide to slither into the birth canal.  Finally they got it turned & it stayed turned this time (see, they dunno any better LOL & keep moving on ya sometimes) b/c by now twas demised & Charlotte's ginormous 9 lb son OW was stillborn.  5 hrs later Charlotte herself had the demises from a slow leak hemorrhage.  You're bound to break sumfin after such an ordeal, I'm sure.

This was a tragedy of Diana-like proportions for the House of Hanover, not only b/c Charlotte was much-loved, but b/c NONE of George IIIs lg family of kidlets had produced ANY legit offspring, save for poor demised Charlotte there.  There weren't even any Stuarts left to call back & offer a throne.  The Duke of York, the 2nd son, was sans offspring (not to mention estranged from his duchess as well), as were the married princesses.  Prinny & Caroline weren't going to be copulating anytime soon & he had no grounds for divorce to get a fresh bride.  Ernst Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland & the 5th son, had married at age 44 a widowed cuz, 36 yo Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, about a yr b4 Charlotte & Leopold got hitched, but had no brats as of yet even tho she had 8 of em by her 1st DH.  Eventually they had one son, George, but Ernst had allllll those brothers ahead of him in the throne queue.

Ernst Augustus, Duke of Cumberland & later King of Hanover

Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchess of Cumberland & later Queen of Hanover

So Charlotte's demise was followed by a spate of royal weddings in a race to get an heir.  1st Princess Mary, tho she was already 40, married her cuz the Duke of Gloucester.  Nuffin.  Then 50 yo Edward, Duke of Kent, the 4th son, also married a widow w/ 2 kids, Prince Leopold's older sister, 31 yo Victoria.  Reckon the bros had an eye out for proven breeders LOL  They had one daughter, christened Alexandrina Victoria, b4 Edward demised of pneumonia a mere 6 days prior to George IIIs demise; the baby was just 9 mos old.

Edward, Duke of Kent

Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, Duchess of Kent

Just 3 days after the Kent nuptials, Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the 7th son, married Augusta of Hesse-Cassel.  He was 43 & she was 21, & they had 3 children, George, Augusta, & Mary Adelaide.

Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

Augusta of Hesse-Cassel, Duchess of Cambridge

The 6th son, Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, had married Lady Augusta Murray sans permission, which violated the Royal Marriages Act, so their pair of royal brats, also Augustus & Augusta, were out of the throne line b/c of that.  I'd imagine there was a lot of "What?  Who?" going on in that household w/ everyone's name being the same ROFL

Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

The 3rd son, William, Duke of Clarence & Lord High Admiral, had spent 20 happy yrs living in sin w/ his actress mistress, Dorothy Jordan, by whom he had 10 little FitzClarence bastards; a descendent would be the last British Governor-General of Australia.  Certainly there was naught wrong w/ William's little swimmers even if he was 53.

William, Duke of Clarence, in naval dress uniform

actress Dorothy Jordan

After seeing all his sibs rush to the altar, William decided he needed to get in on this race for the heir, as barring a miracle he would succeed bro George as king if Mad Dad ever demised.  Augusta of Hesse-Cassel spurned his proposal b/c he didn't come over in person but sent his bro Adolphus instead, & as ya saw, she apparently liked him better & married the Duke of Cambridge.  Undaunted, William finally got an OK out of 25 yo Adelaide of Saxe-Meningen, being the last of the Hanoverian tribe to get hitched.

Adelaide of Saxe-Meningen, Duchess of Clarence

Adelaide was unfussed w/ his passel of bastards underfoot, always a plus in a wife LOL  Their 1st child, Charlotte Augusta for her deceased cuz, only lived a day, & their 2nd, Elizabeth Georgiana, demised at barely 3 mos old.  Apparently William's little swimmers ceased firing after that b/c that was a mere 4 yrs into the marriage.  Despite the lack of legit brats & the age difference (plus the ginormous fortune it cost to pension off Mrs Jordan), the Clarences were said to have an affectionate marriage.

Lest we forget Prinny in all this wedding & bedding LOL, now king, he was all about the pomp & pageantry, throwing himself the bestest coronation ever & spending lots of groats to do it.

Caroline came dashing back to GB to assume her place as queen, but George said pffft & had all the Westminster Abbey doors guarded w/ strict orders not to let her in & ruin his speshul moment.  Banging on the doors didn't help none & at one pt Caroline was threatened by a member of the king's bodyguard w/ his bayonet.  Caroline was publicly humiliated & peeps were outraged on her behalf.  There were riots, even, & DH decided ENOUGH OF HER SHITE! & that he was gonna get a divorce posthaste.

Queen Caroline, 1820

This was known as the Trial of Queen Caroline & Parliament had to hear DHs evidence of DWs alleged adultery w/ her Italian BF.  Caroline joked that she'd committed adultery once, w/ Mrs Fitzherbert's husband LOL  The House of Lords approved of the evidence & said OK you can get divorced, but Caroline had so much support from the lower classes that the divorce bill failed to pass the House of Commons.  George was apoplectic when he heard.  And you thunk Charles & Diana had a rough marriage ROFL

He didn't have to wait long to be rid of her, as Caroline got the sicks & began chugging milk of magnesia like it was going out of style.  Historians think she may have had stomach cancer or an intestinal obstruction.  Natch the usual poison rumors began to circulate.  Whatever twas Caroline had, she was demised in less than 2 mos after the 1st symptom hit.  Sounds more like pancreatic or liver cancer to me b/c those are sometimes right quick even nowadays, but I ain't no doctor, I just like to speculate on demises LOL

George gave order that her funeral procession was NOT to go thru London, but there was more rioting & more outraged peeps & pretty soon there was brick-throwing & namecalling & shots fired & the dude in charge of it all said SCREW THIS & let the common folk steer Caroline's cortege wherever they pleased.  The king fired him after but meh he was prolly happy not to get kilt by the pissed-off Londoners.

George IV only got to be king for 10 yrs & didn't do much of anything save eat, drink, & be merry once he no longer had a wife he loathed.  He got even fatter & was mocked in the press.  By then political cartoons had been invented & he was the subject of many unflattering ones b/c of his personal habits. 

contemporary cartoon giving George IV the mocks
note the knife & fork as his family crest PMSL

There were rumors he was an opium-eater; this would be a peep addicted to laudanum, which is that stuff they're always dosing peeps w/ in novels as a pain-killer or sleep aid.  That whole India & China trade thing was booming, no thanks to the king.  He suffered from gout, cataracts, hardening of the arteries, & towards the end he spent entire days lollygagging in bed trying to catch his breath.  I'm gonna diagnose him w/ congestive heart failure, whatcha think?

George demised at Windsor in the middle of the night of June 26, 1830, after a spectacular career of having fun & doing nothing much of importance.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Madness of King George

George III was rather a dull fellow but inexplicably popular w/ the British peeps nonetheless.  He was admired for his faithfulness to Queen Charlotte, his piety, & his strong moral code.  He attempted to shove it all down his sons' throats & they all promptly rebelled against it as soon as they were able, drinking, gambling, consorting w/ actresses & other low wenches, & just generally carousing & having a good time.

George III

George's idea of a good time was hanging out w/ the wife & kidlets, at least until they got too old to mind him LOL

Queen Charlotte

But shortly after that whole colonial debacle, it became apparent George might not be all there.  In 1788 he suffered from a bout of madness, attributed by some historians to porphyria.  He would ramble on quickly & endlessly for hours, until he would lose his voice & start foaming at the mouth, & then he would ramble some more LOL  He was EZ-ily agitated & thunk he was in love w/ one of the queen's ladies, most shocking considering he'd never had a mistress.  Nobody knew what to do w/ him when this dragged on & so a Dr Francis Willis was recommended to the queen as having made great strides in the infant medical specialty of psychiatry.

Poor old George got slipped into a straitjacket & gagged when he started his incessant discourses, & plasters hot enough to blister his skin were applied to draw out the evil humours.  Willis made him get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, & even being king was no exception to the proscribed programme of physical labor.  Every time it seemed George had a grip on reality he would go bonkers again.  When this had gone on for several months, the POW decided meh the old man's nuts & went to Parliament & said I WANNA BE THE KING NOW!

George, Prince of Wales

Parliament decided that wouldn't do, but they did introduce a Regency Bill that would make young George just as good as king.  He sighed & said OK I'll take it, & can ya throw in an increase in my allowance, BTW, b/c I wanna build me a nice chinoiserie pavilion at Brighton.  Alas for Junior, just like w/ Richard of York, the king suddenly made a miraculous recovery & didn't remember a thing about being a whack job.  Prinny went & sulked, tho he perked up some in 1801 & 1804 when his father had more madness, only to have his hopes dashed once again when the old man recovered.

Even crazy, peeps still liked George.  There were 3 assassination attempts on him btwn the 1st & 2nd bouts of madness by, ironically, insane peeps, & George acted mercifully toward em & didn't yell OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!  There was a final Act of Union passed in 1800 that added Ireland into the mix.  George used the op to drop that pesky King of France thing from his titles that had been hanging there since Edward IIIs day, b/c even a nutty king knew he didn't wanna be no steenking king of the Frenchies what w/ all that guillotining & stuff that was going on there lately.  He did hang onto Henry VIIIs silly Defender of the Faith thingy, tho.  They made loads of fun of his sons in the political cartoons of the day, but peeps were always nice to George.  Well, OK, except for the Americans, who called him "Farmer George" (for his interest in agriculture) & branded him a "tyrant".

The youngest princess, Amelia, grew sickly in her teens, prolly w/ some lingering Tudor gene of tuberculosis.  She was Daddy's fav & he was quite upset as her health continued to deteriorate.  Amelia put a huge bummer on Christmas by demising, aged 27, near the end of 1810.  George had developed a bad case of the rheumatiz, was half-blinded w/ cataracts as well as getting increasingly deaf, & he himself took to his bed, overcome w/ mourning for his daughter. 

This turned into his last & final bout of madness & a Regency Bill was passed thru Parliament in 1811, giving Prinny's ever-widening rump the powers of kingship if not the title.  The queen was named the guardian of the king's person.  George was kept in seclusion at Windsor & no one even told him when Charlotte demised in 1818, as he didn't seem to notice she'd gone missing.  By Christmas of 1819 he started yammering again & wouldn't shut up, but no one had to worry about him becoming violent anymore b/c his arthritis was so bad he couldn't walk & by then he was totally blind & just about deaf.  Kinda pathetic, really.

Finally he demised at age 81 in January 1820, having set the bar for longest-lived monarch & longest-ruling monarch, as he was on the throne for not quite 60 yrs.  Elizabeth II & Victoria have since smashed his records FYI.  George III was the 1st of the Hanoverian monarchs to be born in England, speak English as his primary language, & never once toddle over to Hanover to check it out.  He was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

The Prince Regent, 1816, in his Garter robes

Prinny was pushing 60 & prolly thinking the insane old man was gonna never demise & let him get his pudgy mitts on the crown, so he likely jumped up & down as much as his bulk would allow LOL when he got the news that the Regency was over & he could FINALLY have a nice coronation.....

Look What Those Revolting Colonists Done!

Asides from all these royal scandals, George III had the usual kingly stuff to do. 

George III w/ Queen Charlotte & some of the elder royal kidlets

Bute no sooner got him out of all those pesky wars than he was tossed out by the Whigs & rebellion started brewing in the 13 American colonies b/c of incendiary legislation.  The Navigation Acts taxed the heck out of imports to & exports from the colonies that didn't come from or go to GB, which sorta strangled free enterprise & trade & all that stuff.  The Writs of Assistance meant crown govt-type peeps didn't have to bother getting search warrants on colonial peeps.  The British Royal Proclamation said colonial peeps couldn't go settle on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains, which they were not amused w/ as twas getting mighty crowded on that whole Eastern Seaboard thing.  This was actually done to designate that area as Indian Territory in an attempt to avoid those irksome Indian wars, but colonial peeps didn't pay it no nevermind & so there was some anyway.  The colonial peeps were expected to assume part of the burden of their own defense & got taxed for that, so lots of em started muttering "No taxation w/o representation" b/c there were no colonials allowed in Parliament & they weren't fussed. 

The Sugar Act taxed stuff like molasses, instrumental in making the rum sucked down by the vast British Navy.  The Currency Act said the colonies couldn't make their own money.  The Stamp Act taxed every little piece of paper.  Twas sorta like those little excise stamps we got on the bottom of packs of smokes nowadays & if any piece of paper, even decks of cards, newspapers, magazines, books, etc., didn't have it, then twas considered smuggled goods just like tis today, & peeps could get in trouble.  The colonials were all pffft & boycotted it.  The British were not amused & then they passed the Townshend Acts, taxing glass & tea.  Y'all may recall Catherine of Braganza brought that over & peeps slurped it up like gangbusters, so this was highly unpopular as well.  There was a riot that became known as the Boston Massacre when British troops fired on civilian peeps, but twas rather an exaggerated name b/c only 8 peeps were kilt, so not much of a massacre.  A group called the Sons of Liberty did the Boston Tea Party & dumped a whole shipment of tea into Boston Harbor rather than pay taxes on that nonsense.  I'm guessing this is when Americans started slurping up coffee w/ no tea available.

contemporary lithograph of the Boston Tea Party

George was all WTF is wrong w/ these peeps that they can't just play nicely?  To punish the New Englanders, what they called the Intolerable Acts were passed.  No more town meetings to discuss politics were allowed under the Massacushetts Governing Act, any British soldiers who got in trouble could no longer be tried in the colonies but had to go back to GB under the Administration of Justice Act, & the port of Boston was closed until someone coughed up repayment for all that wasted tea under the Boston Port Act.  The Quartering Act really got peeps' knickers in a twist, b/c that one said peeps had to let British soldiers come live w/ em free of charge.  Pretty soon the colonists were all pffft we don't need no steenking Mother Country & forming the Continental Congress & ignoring George's peeps entirely.  Most peeps were whatcha call Patriots, whilst mayhap 20% of em were whatcha called Loyalists or Tories, who wanted no part of glaring sternly at GB.

Wasn't George shocked when he found out the 13 Colonies had gotten together & signed the Declaration of Independence.

Signing of the Declaration of Independece, 1776

George was all wot? wot?  WTF?  They can't do that!  Send some peeps in red coats over there & show em who's boss!  This led to "the shot heard round the world" when the British Army exchanged fire w/ rebellious colonials at the battles of Lexington & Concord, followed by the battle of Bunker Hill, all in Massachusetts.  The colonials were all O SHITE & decided to send George what they called the Olive Branch Petition, basically saying oops our bad so sorry, what say ya just tinker w/ them taxes a little bit & we'll all put down our muskets & go home?

George III

Pffft said George, firing back his Proclamation of Rebellion & sending over more peeps to crush those pesky colonials.  Then he started to get a tad worried b/c the Frenchies, never one to lose a chance to irk the English, started funnelling over some aid to the rebels.  There was a nice raid on Fort Ticonderoga & the cannon were dragged back to Boston & aimed at the British, who were all RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! when they seen that.  They managed to occupy New York City & Philadelphia & it was starting to look as if George's peeps were going to be successful in putting down the rebellion, tho they were a trifle gobsmacked at how long it was taking em, what w/ some rebel victories here & there like when colonial commander George Washington crossed the Delaware River & trounced some roistering Hessians at Christmas.

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Then the British got creamed at the battle of Saratoga in New York.  This made peeps in Europe sit up & take notice.

Surrender of General Burgoyne to General Gates at Saratoga

The Frenchies signed the Treaty of Alliance w/ the Americans & sent over some nice naval assistance after that, which trounced the British real good in the battle of the Chesapeake & was instrumental in ending the war there entirely.  Both France & Spain decided to declare war on GB & sent troops to help the colonials in the southern campaign.  George started banging his head on the palace wall going what the hell just happened here?  Twas even worse than that 7 Yrs' War thing!  The British couldn't possibly be fighting a war on 2 continents again & hope to win either one of em, & the Frenchies were a lot closer to London than the Americans were.  There was fighting in the West Indies & sieging in Gibraltar & those damned Americans just didn't fight fair & the bright red British coats made splendid targets for snipers & the Dutch stuck in their noses & war had to be declared upon them, too.

After the naval engagement in the Chesapeake, British troops were trounced splendidly at the battle of Yorktown.

Surrender of Cornwallis to Washington at Yorktown

Parliament was all OK THIS SHITE NEEDS TO STOP!  Twas mighty embarrassing to keep getting trounced every time the Brits turned round, esp by a passel of upstart Americans.  So after Yorktown they sighed & put together the Treaty of Paris & said pffft take your steenking independence, we're busy here.  George was so humiliated he thunk about mayhap abdicating the throne, but he wasn't fussed w/ young George Jr as a successor & so he didn't.

miniature of George, Prince of Wales

No sooner was all this mess mopped up then there was a revolution against the Frenchies.  Much messier than that whole American one b/c there was lots of OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! & 2 of the peeps who lost theirs were Louis XVI & his queen, Marie Antoinette.

Louis XVI, King of France

Marie Antoinette, Queen of France

So there had to be another Frenchie war posthaste.  It wasn't long b4 Napoleon Bonaparte was calling himself Emperor & trouncing European peeps left & right & soon there was just GB left to oppose what they called "the wily Corsican".

Napoleon on his Imperial throne

This is known as the Napoleonic Wars b/c there were lots of em.  The Americans got the Louisiana Territory for a song b/c Napoleon, like George, realized the impossibility of fighting so far away.  Napoleon was too busy trying to conquer Europe, Africa, & Asia to bother w/ colonial North America.  There were 11dy6 battles & alliances & Scarlet would be stuck on this subject alone until Christmas if she decided to do it justice, so she ain't LOL  The bestest battle for the British in this mess was the naval battle of Trafalgar.

Lord Nelson, hero of Trafalgar

British Vice-Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson, would get a nice square for his efforts at Trafalgar, despite his scandalous relationship w/ Emma Hamilton.

Emma, Lady Hamilton

Twas scandalous b/c not only were both of them married, Emma's DH, Sir William Hamilton, & her mum both lived w/ her & Lord Nelson until the naval hero's demise.  During this period Emma's daughter, Horatia Nelson, was born, w/ none of that trying to pass it off as DHs kid going on at all.

Napoleon was finally superbly trounced once & for all at the battle of Waterloo following his daring escape from imprisonment of the isle of Elba & the British peeps were all YA NO MORE WARS TODAY! when they found out.

Lord Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, hero of the battle of Waterloo

Alas, by this point in time, George didn't much care about such things.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Royal Family Fun

War, war, everywhere was what George III had to contend w/ after his usual nice Westminster Abbey coronation.

George III in his coronation robes

There was fighting going on in India; that was going rather well for the British, who'd taken it into their heads to conquer the subcontinent.  The battle of Pondicherry was the turning pt & the start of the creation of the British Raj there.

There was still fighting going on in Europe b/c that Frederick the Great kept invading peeps & "Sweet William" was roundly booed as his forces lost a portion of Hanover to the Frenchies.  But then there were lots of HUZZAHS! when the British Navy demolished the Frenchie Navy in a battle off the coast of Portugal.  And the Navy was as far afield as the Philippines, bombarding & capturing Manila from the Spanish.  We're talking GB was King of the Seas here, & all b/c Henry VIII had a ship built named after his mistress LOL

The Prime Minister, William Pitt, decided it might be a good idea to attack Frenchie possessions in the West Indies AKA the Carribean, & the islands of Martinique, Guadaloupe, St Lucia, St Vincent, & Grenada were wrested from French control, while in Cuba, Havana was taken from the Spanish.  He also sent British troops to poke round in Africa & they captured Senegal.

William Pitt the Elder

Then natch there was that whole Frenchie thing going on in North America.  After the stunning victory at Quebec the French were trounced in Newfoundland at the battle of Signal Hill & were all RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

Mummy's pal Lord Bute replaced Pitt as George IIIs PM & he was all pffft there are too many bloody wars going on here, kiddo, we need to get out of some of these.  Peeps were all but, we got MORE STUFF!  Bute was all, we sure do, & looky how much all that stuff is costing us! 

So there was the Treaty of Paris whereby GB got most of the North American continental possessions of France in exchange for handing back a couple of the islands.  Good deal, eh?  All of Canada was now a GB colony, plus they got that Ohio Territory so the 13 colonies could expand all the way to the Mississippi.  The Louisiana Territory the Frenchies ceded to Spain, so there went all their hopes of ever having a nice colonial empire in the New World.  Bute decided we don't need no steenking Prussian alliance, so they got out of the continental European fray as well.  Frederick didn't need no steenking British anyway, as he was now allied w/ Peter the Great of Russia & together they forced Austria to the negotiating table as well.  The balance of power in Europe was definitely shifting & France was getting the shite end of the stick.  This is when peeps started bragging that the sun never set on the British Empire.  George was all chuffed as ya would be, tho most everything accomplished in the Eastern Hemisphere was Grandpa's doing.  But Grandpa, as noted, had pitched off his throne, so the young king got all the kudos.

George was def of marriageable age so his peeps began scouting for a nice bride.  They settled on Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, from one of those little Protestant German principalities like Mummy.

Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Charlotte was 17 when she was collected by George's peeps & brought over to England on a royal yacht that had been renamed just for her.  Just like Freddy & Augusta, her wedding to George was held in the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.

Chapel Royal, St James's Palace

The Prime Directive of Queenship is breed up heirs & Charlotte excelled at this even better than her MIL, as she & George had 15 kidlets, 13 of whom lived to adulthood.  Right out of the gate she gave birth to the male heir, George, followed by a pair of spares, Frederick & William, b4 getting a girl.

Their 1st daughter was named after the queen & given the title of the Princess Royal.  This hadn't been used much in the past after Edward III invented it for his eldest daughter Isabel, but the Hanoverians were bringing it back into vogue.  B/c she shared her name w/ Mum, the infant was called Royal all her life, instead of Charlotte.

Queen Charlotte & her daughter Charlotte, Princess Royal

I'm amazed Augusta didn't have a huge tantrum over the kid's name.  Charlotte did not get along well w/ her MIL, Augusta, whose fav Bute controlled the govt.  Deprived of being queen herself by Freddy's untimely demise, Augusta was determined to act like it & George was rather too much of a Mummy's boy to put his foot down on her neck.  Augusta redefined Margaret Beaufort's antiquated ideas of court etiquette to the pt where Charlotte didn't get to do much of anything unless her MIL said twas OK.  The ladies of her household were not even allowed to approach her sans beckoning & only if Charlotte wanted something; intimate conversation was deemed verboten.  Augusta even banned card playing when she found out Charlotte liked it.

After Royal, the kidlets just kept coming in a steady stream for the next 17 yrs; you can just picture Parliament groaning at all these royal allowances to dole out LOL  There was a 4th son, Edward, then the Princesses Augusta & Elizabeth, Ernest Augustus (named for George Is dad), Augustus Frederick, Adolphus, Mary, Sophia, Octavius (he was the 8th boy so betcha they was fresh outta names LOL), Alfred, & Amelia.  All the royal brats were healthy so twas a shock when little Alfred was born sickly & stayed that way, demising at not quite 2 yrs old.  Octavius was said to be George's fav (by this time the older lads were grown up & irksome as that many princes jockeying for power would be).  The 8th little prince suddenly became ill w/ that catch-all "fever" thing 6 mos after little bro Alfred died, & was demised in 2 days, aged 4.  George was said to be crushed w/ grief at the lad's death.

by Thomas Gainsborough

Darling Billy, who may have batted for the other team as he was sans wife & never expressed interest in getting one or was known to have any mistresses, was generally given the stink eye as royal uncles get, peeps thinking he meant to be the power behind the throne.  Good luck w/ that w/ Augusta in the way LOL  Billy had gotten ginormous despite being a career Army peep & just 4 yrs into his nevvy's reign he demised of a heart attack on Halloween, aged 44.  He got a nice funeral & was hurled under the floor of Henry VIIs Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

Scandal rocked the royal house b/c of George's littlest sister, Caroline Matilda.  Grandpa had betrothed her to Christian VII of Denmark & so at age 15 off to be wed CM went. 

Christian VII, King of Denmark

Christian made the Madness of King George look like a nap & tis agreed upon that he was most likely schizophrenic, suffering from hallucinations, bouts of self-mutilation, extreme paranoia, violent actions, & more interested in debauchery than in kingship or married life.  In fact, he made a public statement that he couldn't love CM b/c twas "unfashionable" LOL  Certainly in a court where the king lowered the standards to consorting openly w/ low-born whores & expecting his peeps to follow suit, twas indeed not moot to express sentiment toward one's bride. 

Caroline Matilda, Queen of Denmark
is it just moi, or does she look like a freakin' Easter egg? ROFL

Christian's stepmother, the Dowager Queen Juliana, was the real power behind the throne, & she was disappointed when CM quickly did her queenly duty & presented DH w/ the heir, Frederick, just over a yr after the wedding.  This is b/c Juliana's son Frederick, who was born w/ something wrong w/ him & couldn't walk sans lurching, tho his brains appeared to be unscrambled (mild cerebral palsy, mayhap?), was the heir-presumptive, so she despised CM just on general principles.

Queen Juliana of Denmark, holding a portrait of
her son, Prince Frederick
I so want that red crown chair!

Twas soon apparent to all that Christian's mental condition was really going downhill.  He returned to his wife & son after a lengthy European tour & the usual dive into Copenhagen's brothels en route home, bringing w/ him a peep he'd picked up in the course of his travels, Johann Friedrich Struensee, who was named his royal physician & soon became his chief minister.  Juliana was not amused, but CM was a tad relieved as Struensee's treatments of her DH seemed to calm him down some & Struensee made Christian behave nicely to his DW.  Soon twas Struensee & not Juliana who was running the joint, w/ CMs full approval, as Christian was kept nicely medicated & fell into a stupor.

Johann Friedrich Struensee, de facto Regent of Denmark

The Danish peeps looked askance at CM, who said pffft to their traditional way of doing stuff & not only liked to take daily walks instead of being trundled round in a carriage everywhere she went as the rest of the Danish ladies did, but liked to ride & did it astride dressed as a man (those irksome sidesaddles had come into vogue).  But at least she was merely eccentric, not a whack job, & so the Queen's Party, w/ Struensee behind the scenes, became popular....until twas bruited about that CM & the PM were having a torrid affair.  When CM gave birth to a daughter, Louise Augusta, no one believed it was Christian's kid & the infant was mocked in the press as la petite Struensee.

Louise Augusta of Denmark as an infant

Juliana & her boy Freddy, tired of being shoved to the sidelines, decided enough was enough here.  Freddy's place in the succession was not going to be usurped b/c CM was going to pass of Struensee's bastard brats as Christian's heirs.  CM & her BF were arrested.

contemporary woodcarving of the Arrest of Struensee

CM, w/ her daughter, were taken to isolated Kronberg Castle, where she eventually confessed to the affair w/ Struensee.

Kronborg Castle

After barely 5 yrs of marriage, CM & Christian were divorced, Struensee executed, & Juliana's boy Freddy installed as Regent for his insane half-brother.  A nice palace coup if I ever saw one.  CM lost her kidlets & was banished to Celle Castle in Hanover, where she demised 3 yrs later of scarlet fever, aged 23.  Kingly bro George was appalled at her admission of adultery & refused to let her return to England.

OK so that wasn't strictly British history, but once upon a time Scarlet read a bionovel of Caroline Matilda called The Lost Queen by Norah Lofts, so deal w/ it LOL

In the meantime, the Old Pretender demised in Italy.  Had he been permitted to succeed Daddy in 1701, his reign would've been longer than Queen Victoria's, as he didn't shuck off his mortal coil until 1766.  He was buried at the Vatican in St Peter's Basilica. 

Tho his claim as James III, rightful king of England, Scotland, & Ireland, had been approved by the papacy, Bonnie Prince Charlie was not given the same courtesy as Charles III, despite having a cardinal bro. 

Cardinal Henry Stuart

BPC did not have as good a rep as Daddy.  The Frenchies had decided to mount a full-scale invasion of England during the 7 Yrs' War & thunk meh, we'll put those Stuarts back on the throne while we're there.  James, who was mighty old by then, sent BPC as his representative to the mtg, & BPC turned up drunk & belligerent.  The Frenchies were not amused & decided meh, who needs this shite, & withdrew the idea entirely.  The British Navy repulsed the invasion, anyway, & so it wouldn't have worked.

After Daddy's demise, BPC thunk meh I should get me some legit heirs, mayhap, & married at age 52 to 20 yo Louise of Stolberg-Gedern.

Louise of Stolberg-Gedern

Louise's sister had married the Marquess of Jamaica & Duke of Berwick, of James IIs bastard Fitzjames line, & that was when her rellies decided to throw her at BPC.  BPC thunk if he settled down & produced an heir, he'd get papal recognition & some invasion assistance, while Louise was led to think she was going to live the life of a queen.  Neither's expectations were met.  After half a dozen yrs of living w/ a drunken old fart who prolly couldn't get it up anyway, Louise indulged in a very discreet affair w/ an Italian dude, & 2 yrs later left BPC, claiming he'd been physically abusive to her.  This was supported by BPCs bro & the pope, so likely true he was a drunken wife-beater, b/c  the pope agreed to a legal separation, even (still no Catholic divorce alas).  Louise remained shacked up w/ the poet Vittorio Alfieri until his demise in 1803 (tho when BIL Henry found out, he was not amused & never bothered w/ her again), & then shacked up in Florence w/ a Frenchie artist until her own demise in 1824.

Bonnie Prince Charlie in his 60s
see what too much likker does to ya? LOL

Peeps gave BPC the stink eye & w/ it went the last slim hopes of the Jacobite succession.  He did get his bastard Charlotte legitimicized & bestowed upon her the meaningless title of Countess of Albany, but Charlotte was such a huge slut & had round 4 bastard brats of her own, so she was not considered a viable successor to Daddy.   BPC demised in Rome in 1788 (prolly of cirrhosis LOL) at age 67 & was tumbled in w/ his parents at St Peter's.  His bro styled himself as Henry IX, but as a cardinal of Holy Mother Church w/ no offspring, twas merely nose-thumbing at the firmly entrenched Hanoverians.

George was having more woes w/ his own rellies.  His bro Henry, Duke of Cumberland, was pilloried in the press for carrying on an adulterous relationship, & then to make matters worse, he seecrudly wed a commoner, Anne Horton.

Henry, Duke of Cumberland

Anne was a widow & said to be of a rather slutty bent, so George was not amused, even tho she & Hank never bred.  Then he about tore his wig out LOL when he found out another bro, William, Duke of Gloucester, was also seecrudly married.

William, Duke of Gloucester

Bill had wed Maria Walpole, who was a bastard granddaughter of the former PM Sir Robert Walpole, also a widow & the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave.

Maria, Duchess of Gloucester

This prompted George to cram thru Parliament the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, made retroactive to incl his bros' hi-jinks, what said absotively posilutely NO ONE remotely connected w/ the royal family could get hitched sans the king's permission.  Yeah, the Tudors did that, too, but there was no real law against it, peeps were just afeared of Tudor wrath LOL  Now there was & anyone who did so forfeited not just their own claim to the throne, but that of any offspring.  Bill & Maria had 3 kidlets, 2 of whom lived, who were out of the running.  These wives & kidlets were never received at court & George ignored their existence.  Later on Bill would take an Irish mistress, Lady Almeria Carpenter, & sire a bastard daughter, Louisa, who was even more scandalous as she lived w/ her Scots DH for yonks b4 they were married & had 3 bastards of her own. 

As if this wasn't bad enough, then the Princes of Wales went & contracted a seecrud wedding w/ another widow, this one Catholic!

miniature of George, Prince of Wales, 1780
2 yrs b4 his seecrud wedding

Maria Anne Smythe continued to be known by her 2nd DHs name & was called Mrs Fitzherbert & merely thunk of as the POWs mistress. 

Maria Fitzherbert

Under the Royal Marriages Act, their marriage was totally illegal & if the king got wind of it, the POW would be out of the succession, so twas kept all hush-hush.  She was 6 yrs older than young George & they never had any kidlets w/ which to muddy up the succession & shacked up happily for over 20 yrs.

George II & Charlotte for some reason were reluctant to let their 13 remaining brats get hitched, esp the girls.  The 2 youngest princesses, Sophia & Amelia, as well as their older sister Augusta, never got married at all. 

miniature of Princess Augusta

Princess Sophia

Princess Amelia

Royal was 30 when she married King Frederick of Wurttemberg & never bred, while her poor sis Elizabeth was 47 when she married Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. 

Charlotte, Queen of Wurttemburg

Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

Mary was 40 when she married her cuz, Bill's son William, Duke of Gloucester. 

engraving of Mary, Duchess of Gloucester

engraving of William, Duke of Gloucester

Only the king's fav son, Frederick, Duke of York, married relatively young & w/ parental approval, at age 28, to Princess Frederica of Prussia. 

Frederick, Duke of York

Frederica, Duchess of York

None of these marriages produced any offspring, tho Frederick was a skirt-chaser from the word go & reportedly had at least 5 bastards by various GFs.  One avaricious mistress, Mary Anne Clarke, used her position to illegally sell Army commissions, causing a scandal, & when Frederick dumped her he had to pay her a pretty penny to get his indiscreet love letters back.  This is what happens when a guy's too cheap to keep a mistress in the style to which she'd like to become accustomed ROFL  Even sluts gotta plan for retirement.  Tho they had no kids together, Mary Anne's daughter by her DH is an ancestress of novelist Daphne du Maurier.  Begats trivia LOL

Mary Anne Clarke

The rest of the boys didn't even bother getting hitched at all until they were in their 40s & 50s, b/c there was a fun race to see who could produce an heir to the throne....