Friday, 19 November 2010

Victoria's Descendants

Internationally Victoria was a major figure, not just in image or in terms of Britain's influence through the empire, but also because of family links throughout Europe's royal families, earning her the affectionate nickname "the grandmother of Europe". Victoria and Albert had 42 grandchildren. Their hundreds of descendants include Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Harald V of Norway; Carl XVI of Sweden; Margrethe II of Denmark, and Juan Carlos I. (Longford, Elizabeth (1965). Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed. Harper & Row)

Remarkably, Victoria and Albert were 1st cousins!

Victoria and Albert had a common grandfather, Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, who was father both of Albert's father Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and of Victoria's mother (Ernest's sister), Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld.

Duke Francis → Duke Ernest I → Prince Albert
Duke Francis → Princess Victoria → Queen Victoria

Their children went on to intermarry as well.. which is quite a headache if you try to figure it all out.. for a simpler explanation... and wonderful article which has pictures and more information see -- Grandchildren of Victoria and Albert

The Last Commoner

Anne Hyde, Duchess of York

The Last 'Commoner' to marry an heir presumptive or heir apparent to the British throne was this woman, Anne Hyde in 1660. Anne Hyde and James, Duke of York married in secret while the British family was in exile during the English Civil War. After the English restoration of the monarchy, the family returned to London and an official ceremony was held on September 3rd. The Duchess was the daughter of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon and Frances Aylesbury. Anne was not known as a beauty, in fact she was down right plain. She was clever though and had courage.

Anne the 'commoner' went on to give James, Duke of York (the future James II of England) 5 children, two of them Queens, Mary II and Anne. As successful as the two queens were they were unable to secure the line of the Stuarts and thus paved the way for the House of Hanover and George I (see below).

Anne, later in life converted to Catholicism which caused quite a scandal. In her conversion her husband decided to join her. This conversion impacted the country as James eventually took the throne as James II. As the country had gone through religious persecution and constant change through out the years of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I (the Catholic who tried to revert the country back to Catholicism) and Elizabeth I (who brought the country back to Protestant rule), they were not looking to change and cause another war over religion. They wanted to stay Protestant as did James' predecessor, his brother King Charles, who lectured James about it and insisted that his children be raised in the Protestant doctrine. When James assumed the throne as James II a civil war eventually broke out over religion of the nation. In this chaos James was overthrown leading to Anne and James' daughter Mary assuming the thrown as Queen Mary II. Mary, a Protestant, came to the thrones following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II/VII. Mary reigned jointly with her husband and first cousin, William III (William was Prince of Orange, his mother being Princess Mary, daughter of King Charles I and Henrietta of France), who became the sole ruler of both countries upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to the joint reigns as those of "William and Mary".

After James, no British king or queen has affirmed belief in the Catholic faith. In fact to do so forfeits one's line in the succession to the throne.

The House of Hanover - George I of Great Britain?

How did the Hanoverian throne take over Great Britain? One could argue this, but in 1701 an Act of Parliament called the Act of Settlement was passed which barred any chance of a Catholic king or queen taking the throne of Great Britain -- in actuality there were fifty close blood ties to Queen Anne that could have taken over after her death, but that Act of Settlement excluded them due to their religious preference. This of course led to the uprising of the Jacobites who tried to overthrow George I, but by right he took his place as King. Some may ask, "How did a German become King? I thought this was Great Britain." Unless you are up to date on your royal genealogy -- it is indeed a confusing question..

George I of Great Britain was indeed a Hanoverian, hence the House of Hanover, but his lineage took him back to the first Protestant Stuart on the throne, the successor of Elizabeth I, James I of England, son of Mary, Queen of Scots. James was also known as James VI of Scotland as he became King of Scotland on 24 July 1567 before he became King of England on 24 March 1603. It was Elizabeth I who wished that James, her cousin (he was a great-grandson of Princess Mary Tudor by both parents; Princess Mary was sister to Elizabeth's father, King Henry VIII), should inherit the throne of England thus uniting the two countries. Through James I's daughter by Anne of Denmark descended George.

Princess Elizabeth of England and Scotland (19 August 1596 – 13 February 1662) married Frederick V, Elector of Palatine and King of Bohemia (26 August 1596 – 29 November 1632). Frederick was King of Bohemia for a very short period (about a year!) thus making Elizabeth also known as Elizabeth of Bohemia. Their daughter, Sophia of Palatine (also known as Sophia of Hanover; 14 October 1630 – 8 June 1714) became heiress to the crowns of England and Ireland, later Great Britain. By the Act of Settlement in 1701, she was declared the rightful heir presumptive. Before she could become queen though, Sophia died. In thus she passed her claim to the thrones to her eldest son, who at that time was known as His Most Serene Highness George Louis, Archbannerbearer of the Holy Roman Empire and Prince-Elector, Duke of Brunswick-L√ľneburg. On the death of Queen Anne on 1 August 1714, George became George I of Great Britain making way for the Royal House of Hanover.

So in a way -- Anne Hyde had a huge impact on the monarchy even though she was considered a 'commoner'. The conversion to Catholicism must have impacted her husband James as he chose to convert as well causing the nation to outbreak in Civil War resulting in his overthrow and the end of the Catholic rule in England, Ireland, and Scotland.

Although back in those days marriage was usually solely to produce an heir for the continuation of the monarchy; Anne Hyde in a sense did her 'duty' and delivered two monarchs, even though they were both women and they in turn did not produce male heirs.

This failure to produce male heirs and the outlaw of Catholic monarchs meant that eventually the line died out and the Act of Settlement made way for a new royal house and that house had nothing to do with Anne Hyde and her descendants. So in a sense the commonality of the marriage of Anne and James was of no significance as fate turned to another ruler; one of Hanover. This royal house of Hanover continued right up until the death of one of the most powerful women rulers, 2nd to Elizabeth I, the granddaughter of King George III, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom on 22 January 1901.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Parr of Kendal Line

The Parr line of Kendal
Sir John Parr and Maud Leyburne
* Sir William Parr (below)

Sir William Parr and Elizabeth Ros
* Sir John Parr (below)

John Parr and Agnes Crophull
* Sir Thomas Parr (below)

Sir Thomas Parr and Alice Tunstall
* William Parr of Kendal (below)
* Mabel Parr, Baroness Dacre of the North
* Agnes Parr
* John Parr, Sheriff of Westmorland, no children.
* Thomas Parr, no children
* Margaret Parr
* Anne Parr
* Elizabeth Parr
* Eleanor Parr

William Parr and Elizabeth FitzHugh
* Anne Parr
* Sir Thomas (below)
* Sir William Parr Baron, 4 girls.
* John Esq Parr, no children.

Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green
* Catherine Parr, no surviving children
* Anne Parr, Lady Herbert
* William Parr, no children.

All baronies expired and titles were passed on to other families, ie Earl of Essex, Baron Parr of Kendal, Marquess of Northampton.
A genealogical history of the dormant, abeyant, forfeited, and extinct peerages of the British empire by Sir Bernard Burke

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

House of Tudor

The House of Tudor

The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a prominent European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship and Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his father, although ultimately not male line, of the rulers of the Welsh Kingdom of Deheubarth. Through his mother he descended from a legitimized branch of the English royal House of Lancaster. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extirpated. Henry Tudor was able to establish himself as a candidate not only of the traditional Lancastrian supporters, but of discontented supporters of the rival House of York, and rose to capture the throne in battle, becoming Henry VII. His victory was reinforced by his marriage to Elizabeth of York, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty. The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542, (Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542); and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland. They also maintained the traditional (i.e. nominal) claims to the Kingdom of France, but none tried to make substance of it.

In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century (Lady Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary, was declared Queen for a period of nine days in 1553, but is usually regarded as a usurper rather than a monarch). Henry VIII of England was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of majority; and issues around the Royal succession (including marriage, divorce, and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era.

The Tudor line failed in 1603 with the death of Elizabeth I of England, who died without issue. Through secret negotiations with her cousin James, King of Scotland, (whose great-grandmother was Henry VIII's elder sister, Margaret) Elizabeth arranged the succession of the House of Stuart to the English throne, uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in a personal union.

The Tudors descended on the mother's side from John Beaufort, one of the illegitimate children of the 14th century English Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (the third surviving son of Edward III of England) by Gaunt's long-term mistress Katherine Swynford. The descendants of an illegitimate child of English Royalty would normally have no claim on the throne, but the situation was complicated when Gaunt and Swynford eventually married in 1396 (25 years after John Beaufort's birth). In view of the marriage, the church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate by way of a papal bull the same year, confirmed by an Act of Parliament in 1397. A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunt's legitimate son, King Henry IV, also recognized the Beauforts' legitimacy, but declared them ineligible to ever inherit the throne. Nevertherless, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunt's legitimate descendants from his first marriage, the Royal House of Lancaster.

John Beaufort's granddaughter Lady Margaret Beaufort, a considerable heiress, was married to Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond. Tudor was the son of Welsh courtier Owain Tewdr (anglicised to Owen Tudor) and Katherine of Valois, widowed Queen Consort of the Lancastrian King Henry V. Edmund Tudor and his siblings were either illegitimate, or the product of a secret marriage, and owed their fortunes to the good will of their legitimate half-brother King Henry VI. When the House of Lancaster fell from power, the Tudors followed.

Edmund's son Henry Tudor, born in Pembroke, grew up in south Wales and in exile in Brittany, while his mother Lady Margaret remained in England and remarried, quietly advancing the cause of her son in a Kingdom now ruled by the rival House of York. With most of the House of Lancaster now dead, Henry proclaimed himself the Lancastrian heir. Capitalizing on the unpopularity of King Richard III, his mother was able to forge an alliance with discontented Yorkists in support of her son, who landed in England and defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, proclaiming himself King Henry VII. By marrying Richard III's niece, Elizabeth of York, Henry VII successfully bolstered his own disputed claim to the throne, whilst moving to end the Wars of the Roses by presenting England with a new dynasty, of both Lancastrian and Yorkist descent. The new dynasty was symbolized by the "Tudor Rose", a fusion of the White Rose symbol of the House of York, and the Red Rose of the House of Lancaster.