Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Who Are All These Kings?: Anne

[An image showing Who Are All These Kings?: Anne]Anne was Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland (and Great Britain during her reign) in the early 18th century.

She was born at St. James`s Palace in 1665, the second daughter of James, Duke of York, and Anne Hyde.

Anne had a less than perfect education, under the supervision of Henry Compton, Bishop of London, but preferred sport and riding to reading and art.

In 1683, Anne is said to have been seduced by the courtier Lord Mulgrave. In the wake of this, it was arranged for her to marry Prince George of Denmark, brother of the Danish King Christian V. George had in theory received a good education, but nevertheless was devoid of the most basic general knowledge.

George, however, was harmless and well meaning, and the pair mirrored each other`s dullness.

Anne`s father the Duke of York became James II in 1685, but was deposed in 1688 at the "Glorious Revolution", at which point Anne`s brother in law and sister (William III and Mary II) became joint monarchs.

Anne and George, despite their attractions to their own sexes, tried hard to do their duty and produce an heir to the throne. But of nineteen children, fourteen were stillborn and only one, William, survived infancy, only to die at 11.

On the death of William III in 1702, Anne succeeded as Queen, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

One of her first acts was the establishment of a fund, known as Queen Anne`s Bounty, increasing the stipends of poor clergy.

The War of the Spanish Succession loomed large in the reign. John Churchill led England`s forces in a number of victories, most notably the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. Anne elevated him to Duke of Marlborough, and helped to pay for his great estate at Woodstock, which he named Blenheim Palace. It did not escape notice that this also benefited Anne`s intimate friend, his wife Sarah Churchill.

Also during the same war, Sir George Rooke captured Gibraltar in 1704, and it has remained a British possession ever since.

In 1707, the Act of Union united England and Scotland into one kingdom, Great Britain.

Once she became Queen, Anne`s health deteriorated, as she suffered increasingly from gout and eye trouble. In the meantime, George became more corpulent and asthmatic.

George died at Kensington Palace in 1708, and Sarah Churchill was dismissed from her duties by Anne in 1711.The increasingly lonely and pain wracked Anne became more and more vindictive towards former friends, but Lady Abigail Masham, cousin of Sarah, stayed with her through the final years of her life.

Anne tried to negotiate with her half brother James Stewart (the Old Pretender), asking him to renounce his Catholic faith so that he could succeed her as king, but he was not prepared to do this.

At the end of her life, Anne was rather more than stout, and gossip revolved around her taste in drink as well as women, and she became widely known as Brandy Nan. The many statues of her around the kingdom are, to say the least, flattering. The well known statue outside St. Pauls Cathedral, pointing away from the cathedral, led to a poem "Brandy Nan, Brandy Nan, you`re left in the lurch, Your face to the gin house, your back to the church".

In the period leading up to her death, Anne`s vast size meant that she could hardly move, and she travelled everywhere in a wheelchair. Her coffin was almost square.

Anne died at Kensington Palace from a stroke in 1714. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, and was succeed by her distant cousin, George the Elector of Hanover, who became George I.

During Anne`s reign, the coffee house movement gained strength, leading to development in trade and commerce, and the establishment of the London Stock Exchange.

Anne was the Queen whom "Pussycat, Pussycat" travelled to London to see.

Of nineteen children, none survived her. Her children were a stillborn daughter, born 1684, buried in Westminster Abbey; Mary, born at Whitehall Palace 1685, died at Windsor Castle 1687, buried in Westminster Abbey; Anne Sophia, born at Windsor Castle 1686,died at Windsor Castle 1687, buried at Westminster Abbey; a stillborn child, born 1687, buried at Westminster Abbey; a stillborn son, born 1687, buried at Westminster Abbey; a miscarriage 1688; a stillborn child, born 1688; William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, born at Hampton Court Palace 1689, died at Windsor Castle 1700, buried at Westminster Abbey; Mary, born at St. James`s Palace 1690, died on the same day, buried at Westminster Abbey; George, born at Syon House 1692, died on the same day, buried at Westminster Abbey; a stillborn daughter, born at Berkeley House in London 1693, buried at Westminster Abbey; a stillborn child, born 1694; a stillborn daughter, born 1695; a stillborn son, born 1696; stillborn twins, born 1697, buried in St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle; a stillborn son, born 1697; a stillborn son, born at Windsor Castle 1698, buried in St. George`s Chapel at Windsor Castle; and a stillborn son, born 1700, buried at Westminster Abbey.