9 Annotations

Paul Timbrell  •  Link

Charles the Second's great aunt, exiled to London, where she died in a house in Leicester Square.

Lynn  •  Link

Charles the Second's Aunt
(correction to above)

language hat  •  Link

She was known as the Winter Queen.
To summarize the story told in Pauline's link: In February 1613 (at sixteen) she married Frederick V, the Elector Palatine (ruler of the Palatinate, a major German state on the Rhine, and one of the seven men who traditionally elected the Holy Roman Emperor); when he was offered the crown of Bohemia by the Czechs rebelling against the Catholic Habsburgs in 1619 he accepted (against the advice of friends and relatives -- how else was he going to become a king?), and after his troops were defeated by the Catholic armies at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620 he and his wife lost everything: mockingly referred to as the "Winter" king and queen (their reign had lasted less than a year), they were forced into exile in Holland where they were dependent on the kindness of their hosts and occasional subventions from other Protestant rulers. The Holy Roman Emperor, who also happened to be the head of the House of Habsburg, stripped Frederick of the Palatinate, transferred the electorate to Bavaria, and allowed the Spanish army to occupy his territories, where he died during a secret visit in 1632.

Meanwhile his wife (who was remarkable for having survived 20 childbirths in just under 20 years of marriage) was left to bring up the half of the children who made it through to adolescence. After the peace of Westphalia in 1648 a part of her husband's domains, the Rhenish Palatinate, was restored to her eldest son, Karl Ludwig, who became an elector like his father, but he didn't want his mom around, and her other children deserted her as well. (Her daughter Sophia married Ernst August, the Elector of Hanover, and their son became George I of England in 1714.) Her Dutch pension ceased in 1650. There was popular sentiment in her favor in England, but Charles II showed no desire to receive her; eventually she sailed for England anyway in May 1661 and was granted a pension. "On the 8th of February 1662 she removed to Leicester House in Leicester Fields, and died shortly afterwards on the 13th of the same month, being buried in Westminster Abbey."

An interesting fact is that if Charles I had been at home in 1641 when plague broke out near Whitehall (he'd just left for Scotland) and had died, Elizabeth would have inherited the throne, and her son would presumably have become King of England rather than Elector Palatine.

language hat  •  Link

The Winter Queen

There is a historical novel by Jane Stevenson, The Winter Queen, about a (non-historical) romance between Elizabeth and "a former African prince and freed slave," Pelagius van Overmeer; it's gotten good reviews and may be worth investigating:

JonTom Kittredge  •  Link

"If Charles I had died [of the plague, in 1641], Elizabeth would have inherited the throne, and her son would presumably have become King of England."
I don't get this. Charles I's son Charles (later Charles II) was ten in 1641 (and had four younger siblings, by my reckoning). Why wouldn't he have succeeded if Charles I had died then?

Bill  •  Link

ELIZABETH (1596-1662), queen of Bohemia; daughter of James VI of Scotland; represented the nymph of the Thames in Daniel's 'Tethys's Festival' at Whitehall, 1610; married, after the falling through of many other political plans, to the Elector Palatine, Frederick V, 1613; her husband chosen king of Bohemia, till then an appanage of the empire, 1619; crowned, 1619; found a temporary refuge with George William, elector of Brandenburg, after her husband's defeat by the Emperor Frederick II at Prague, 1620; the seizure of her husband's dominions by Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, confirmed at the conference of Ratisbon, 1623; named the Queen of Hearts for her winning demeanour; her cause ineffectually championed by her chivalrous cousin, Duke Christian of Brunswick, 1623; her charm immortalised in a poem by Sir Henry Wotton; lost her eldest son, 1629, and her husband, 1632, soon after the death of Gustavus Adolphus at Lutzen; levied a small army on behalf of her eldest surviving son, Charles Lewis, 1633, to whom part of the Palatinate was restored by the peace of Westphalia, 1648; subsidised by William, first earl of Craven; deserted by her children, Charles Lewis allowing his mother to remain dependent on the generosity of Holland; granted 10,000l. by the parliament of the Restoration, 1660; pensioned by her nephew, Charles II, who had at first looked coldly on her coming to England; bequeathed to her favourite son, Prince Rupert, most of her jewellery, 1662; died at Leicester House, Leicester Fields, London, 13 Feb. 1661-2, and buried in Westminster Abbey; long regarded as a martyr to protestantism.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Her son: Prince Rupert http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1357/
Her champion (and alleged husband): William Craven (1st Earl of Craven) http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2937/
Her father: James Stuart (I, King 1603-1625): http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1557/
Her brother: Charles Stuart (I, King 1600-1649) http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/624/
Her nephew: Charles Stuart (II, King) http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/344/
Her nephew: James Stuart (Duke of York, Lord High Admiral) http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/800/

Bill  •  Link

You meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number, than your light;
You common people of the skies;
What are you when the moon shall rise?
--Elizabeth of Bohemia. Sir Henry Wooten, 1624.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.