1893 text

Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest child of Charles I, born July 6th, 16—, who, with his sister Elizabeth, was allowed a meeting with his father on the night before the King’s execution. Burnet says: “He was active, and loved business; was apt to have particular friendships, and had an insinuating temper which was generally very acceptable. The King loved him much better than the Duke of York.” He died of smallpox at Whitehall, September 13th, 1660, and was buried in Henry VII’s Chapel.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

4 Annotations

Pauline  •  Link

Born at Oatlands, Surrey 8 July 1640
Died at Whitehall 13 September 1660
Prince Henry of England and Scotland, Duke of Gloucester

helena murphy  •  Link

Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was born on July 8th 1640, the seventh child of Charles I and his wife, Henrietta Maria. His birth was followed by that of Princess Henrietta Anne on June 16th 1644 at Exeter. At the outbreak of civil war in 1642, his surviving sisters were Princess Mary, the Princess of Orange, and Princess Elizabeth. His fortunes were bound up with those of the latter as both children were parentless throughout the civil war period ,and in the hands of parliament were handed over to tutors and governesses who imposed on them a strict Presbyterian regime.Obviously the most memorable and traumatic event in their young lives was the visit to their father on the morning of his execution. The eight year old Henry was instructed by his father not to accept the crown until it had first passsed to his two older brothers. The King said "Mark what I say,you must not be a king as long as your brothers Charles and James do live.For they will cut off your brothers'heads when they catch them, and cut off thy head too at the last. And therefore I charge you, do not be made a king by them". Henry showed his steadfastness by declaring that he would rather be torn to pieces first than such a thing should happen.
Parliament, in 1653 ,no longer wishing to maintain him ,allowed him to leave England for Holland with his tutor,Richard Lovell. Sadly Elizabeth had died of consumption at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Weight in 1650,laying her head down on the Bible which her father had given her the morning of his death.
The widowed Queen of England ,then living in Paris,
set out to convert Henry to Roman Catholicism,possibly due to her own strong religious convictions as well as to pressure put upon her by the Spanish Queen regent of France, Anne of Austria. Henrietta Maria may also have considered that the boy would have a securer future as a prince of the church than a secular prince in exile. His tutor was removed and he was sent to the Abbey at Pontoise. From there he was meant to study with the Jesuits at Clermont, but his brother Charles II vehemently intervened ,whereby at Henry's firm refusal to change the faith Henrietta dismissed him from her presence vowing never to see him again.
In 1657 he commanded his own regiment in Bruges under the Spanish flag as his brother would enter into alliance with Spain in 1658.
He was on board the Royal Charles which sailed from Holland to Dover on May 25th 1660 conveying Charles II from exile to England.
The Duke of Gloucester's early death on September 13th 1660 is said to have been fatal for the Stuart monarchy. He was a sound, intelligent Protestant prince who most likely would have succeeded his brother James, whose Catholicism was unfortunately unacceptable to the English public and establishment.On the other hand, he may have played little part in the struggle as the Stuarts,men of principle and true monarchs that they were regarding the concept of primogeniture, indicates that Henry may just have been as happy to treasure his father's dying words.

Bill  •  Link

The duke of Glocester was a young prince of great hopes, who possessed almost all the good qualities of his two brothers, without any of their bad ones. The king had an extraordinary love and esteem for him, the effect of his virtues and amiable deportment; and was observed to be more deeply affected at his death, than with any calamity that had ever befallen him. Ob. 13 Sept. 1660, Æt. 20-21.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

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