PARANORMAL X

 

PRESENTS

ROYAL HAUNTS

The House of Stuart & The

 Commonwealth

 

James I
King of England (Later United Kingdom) 1603 – 1625.
Born : June 16th, 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.
Died : March 27th, 1625 at Theobolds Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Whether or not Elizabeth I actually named anyone as her successor, James was handed the crown by Parliament. Throughout her reign Elizabeth had been so paranoid of plots to overthrow her that she readily got rid of any potential claimants. Henry VII certainly wouldn't have wanted to see a Scottish monarch taking the English throne, though it was through his doing, marrying his eldest daughter to Scotland so he could see himself as having taken their crown with his own bloodline. Henry VIII would also not have wanted such a thing by passing the line in favour of his younger sister Mary, and seeking to produce his own offspring rather than contemplating such a thing.

There were rumours that Elizabeth had done a deal in secret with James VI of Scotland in her over-zealous remorse at having signed the death warrant to have his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots executed. All James had to do was wait for the old queen to die and not undertake any acts of war in revenge.

James was named King of Scotland just after his first birthday when his mother was forced to abdicate.

After the assassination of her second husband, in which Mary was accused of being involved, she could well have been put on trial by her own subjects and executed, but managed to escape, seeking aid from her cousin Elizabeth I rather than a safe exile in France. But Elizabeth saw Mary as a threat to her own crown, thinking she would plot to usurp her and take England back to Catholicism. So instead, Mary was placed under arrest and held prisoner for the next nineteen years, being sent from one cold damp place to another.

James father, an ambitious man who gained many enemies, was assassinated while his son was no more than eight months old, and so James never really knew either of his parents. The country went into regency while James was educated into the ways of the Scottish Presbyterian Church, but even this was a power struggle and James was induced to take the kingship in his own right while still at the tender age of eleven.

After a three-day ride, changing horses enroute, Sir Robert Carey, the grandson of Mary Boleyn, presented James with a ring from Elizabeth I. Though there is no proof, the rumour still persists that to retrieve the ring the finger had to be cut from the dead queen's hand.

Once James was declared King of England, he moved the court to London, seeing the country as more lucrative than his Scottish homeland. Some saw this as a Scottish conquest while others that they were losing their king, and even though he claimed he would return every three years, it was over 14-years before he once again stepped onto Scottish soil.

England allowed James to acquire a taste for the good life with the indelible belief in the Divine Right of Kings, this being that no one was above him but God. His spending over-reached his revenue with parliament attempting to tighten the purse strings, becoming very critical of James, first in his spending and then in his choice of wife for his son Charles.

Since the defeat of the Armada, there was still tension between Spain and England with any catholic match being looked on with suspicion. Though the Spanish match fell through, the ten years of negotiations had the effect of keeping the peace. The Queen was already looked on unfavourably by both Scotland and England, and even her own husband after she had converted to catholicism shortly after their marriage.

For most of his life James had to worry about plots to be rid of him by various claimants, and it was two years into his English reign that a catholic plot was all set to assassinate the king, his family and those in parliament. For Protestants it was enough proof that all Catholics were attempting to return England to papal authority, but James saw it for what it was, a handful of dissidents. It would have been successfully carried out had it not been for one of the plotters taking the risk of writing a letter to Lord Monteagle warning him not to attend parliament. Instead of following the instructions to have the letter destroyed, he raised the alarm and a search was made, including the cellars where they found Guy Fawkes guarding the gunpowder that was to be used to blow up King and Parliament. Being placed under arrest, he was taken to the Tower of London where he firmly stated he was acting alone, though other conspirators were soon rounded up. Having thwarted the attempt, this is something that is still celebrated in the form of Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, held each year on the 5th of November. Though Guy Fawkes was an expert with gunpowder, it is highly unlikely that he was a ringleader, being brought in for his expertise. And though others were arrested and executed, its Guy Fawkes named that goes down in infamy.

James married Anne of Denmark at a relatively late age, being 23-years old to her 14-years. It was a political match with religion being taken into account and the Queen and soon found herself left to her own devices while James spent time with favourites which brought rumours of homosexuality. In this context those seeking to curry favour could also hold great influence as did George Villiers, being bestowed the title Duke of Buckingham, and the King even calling him wife and in turn Buckingham calling the King, husband.

Taking his family to England, his eldest son, Henry was invested Prince of Wales, a handsome young prince favoured by the Protestants in power. And so it was classed a tragedy for both England and Scotland when the 18-year-old Henry died of typhoid, leaving his 11-year-old brother, Charles as heir. Charles had lived in his brother’s shadow and like Henry VIII found himself next in line to the now united countries, adopting the title King of Great Britain. Villiers also held a great influence over the young Prince Charles, accompanying him to meet his future queen with the suggestion that the two men engaged in an affair.

On James becoming King of England, it was seen as a prophecy being fulfilled. The Destiny Stone, a stone said to be imbued with magical powers, was taken by Edward I in 1296. Also named the Coronation Stone, it holds a wealth of history, being used by Kings of Scotland when crowned, as the stone was said to cry out against any usurper. Better known as the Stone of Scone, as that was where it was kept, some think the monks hid the real one, replacing it with a piece of local stone for Edward's soldiers to carry back to London. Whatever the truth, Edward I believed it to be the real thing, and to his mind while it was in his possession, he was King of Scotland. A Coronation Chair was made to house the stone, which was used first by Edward II and each subsequent monarch to the present day. As for the Scots, they believed wherever the stone that it was Scotland that reigned supreme. And when James became King of England, being crowned in the chair and over the stone, the prophecy was fulfilled.

None of the monarchs of the House of Stuart took an interest in returning the stone but over the years with Scottish rule gone, there have been many debates over the return of the relic that was claimed to have been stolen by Edward I.

On Christmas Day in 1950, the stone disappeared from Westminster Abbey, being stolen by Scottish Nationalists. It was discovered the following April in a churchyard at Forfar, though even now some believe this to be a replacement and not the one stolen from Westminster. The stone was finally returned to Scotland in 1996, but only on loan with the agreement that it will be returned to London for the next coronation. It now sits on display at Edinburgh Castle.

The Scots have also set out a campaign to retrieve their queen. Mary was treated no better in death than in life as after her execution the organs, including the heart, were removed and buried in an unmarked grave within the grounds of Fotheringhay, the castle later being demolished. Mary's body was embalmed and placed in a lead lined coffin where it remained within Fotheringhay Castle for over four months until eventually being taken under cover of darkness to Peterborough Cathedral for internment. It was her son James, on becoming King of England that had her moved to Westminster Abbey, but it was her wish, which she set out in writing, to be returned to France where she had, with her first husband, been Queen.

James took an interest in the paranormal and during his youth may well have seen some of the ghosts that abound the Scottish Castles and Houses. He also became personally involved in the witch trials as a plot was uncovered to assassinate him by means of witchcraft.

The trial of the North Berwick Witches found the Earl of Bothwell accused of being the coven leader. It was Richie Graham, a wizard from Devizes that claimed the Earl had held a Black Mass while the king was returning by sea with Anne of Denmark, his new bride.

The winter storm took on a bazaar twist of events as James was convinced it had been brewed up by witches. Obviously, today anyone making such claims, even a king, would be sent to a psychiatrist, but these were superstitious times when witches and witchcraft was deemed a threat.

With one ship sinking with all hands aboard and the king’s ship almost floundering, as soon as James docked at Leith, he ordered that any known or suspected witches and wizards be rounded up and questioned. Whatever James saw, he put it into the perspective of hare-like creatures bobbing on the surf in what looked to be sieves. And it was Richie Graham who concurred. The witches had certainly caused the storm and it was all down to their leader, the Earl of Bothwick. The King, wishing to catch the Earl red-handed set out on a vigil, and with several men hid out at the Church of St Andrew at North Berwick. In what seems a far-fetched tale, the men witnessed 94 female witches and six wizards as they took part in a ritual, dancing around the church. However, as the king's men swooped on the mass, the leader, who was not identified, managed to escape.

Thinking it was Bothwick, who was more catholic than satanist; he was called to give himself up and placed in the dungeon at Edinburgh Castle where he subsequently escaped. In the meantime, James took a keen interest in the witches, even personally conducting an interview. Seeing himself an authority on the subject, James wrote and had a book published entitled "Demonologie." This in turn increased the fear of witchcraft, sparking a witch-hunting frenzy that led to hundreds of innocent Scots being executed in some of the most terrible ways imagined.

The Earl of Bothwick attempted to plead his innocence with the king in person but James feared him more than any other and Bothwick fled to Naples where he died just one year before James.

James I curiosity in the paranormal is said to have sent him on a night's vigil to the vicarage at Wilcot in Wiltshire. It could also have been that there was a wizard involved as the vicarage, which has since been rebuilt, suffered a classic case of poltergeist activity. It brought many from far and wide to witness the phenomena with it being reputed that James was one of them.

Each night a bell would toll continually in one of the bedrooms. It all began after the vicar refused to have the church bell ring late at night. The strangest thing was that the bell could only be heard by those inside the room itself. After the vicar's refusal to toll the bell, it is said a wizard from Devizes was procured to meter out an act of revenge, and it wasn't until the wizard died that the sounds ceased, never to be heard again.

After a reign of 22-years and the good living of the English court, having had a stroke the year before and with the onset of senile dementia, James died with Villiers at his bedside at Theobolds Palace in London on the 27th of March 1625. He had been King James VI of Scotland for 58 years.


Charles I
King of United Kingdom 1625 – 1649.
Born : November 19th, 1609 at Dunfermline Palace, Scotland.
Died : January 30th, 1649 outside the Palace of Whitehall, London.
Interred : Henry VIII vault. St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Like Henry VIII, Charles was a second son, his older brother, Henry dying of typhoid 13 days before Charles became 12-years of age. At his birth his father was only King of Scotland, but by the age of three he was taken to England where the new court was established.

With the dissolution of the monasteries and England turning more Puritan, unlike previous younger sons of the monarchy, there was no religious path to follow. Charles tended to grow in the shadow of both his father and older brother, and it was his father's favourite, the Duke of Buckingham that held great influence over him. His father sought a match for Charles with Spain, but it was a country with strong Catholic ties and Charles would be expected to convert to Catholicism. It wasn't until three months after his father's death that Charles married Henrietta Maria de Bourbon, the youngest daughter of King Henry IV of France. The couple had three sons and three daughters that survived infancy, which was enough to assure the monarchy.

At first Charles didn't pay his wife much attention with rumours that the Duke of Buckingham, having had an affair with one king was now continuing in the same vein with the son. The new Queen was an unpopular choice as she was Catholic and foreign, and she did not get along with the Duke of Buckingham. However, the marriage seemed to progress much more smoothly after Buckingham was assassinated in 1628, something that was a devastating blow to Charles.

Like his father, Charles soon found himself in conflict with Parliament. Long had gone the days when England had been the monarch's personal bank account, but Charles attempted to introduce taxes and found more conflict when attempting to introduce similar taxes in Scotland.

With Parliament taking more power from the crown, tying up funds and blocking laws from being passed that would favour the King, things soon came to a head as Civil War loomed.

After unsuccessful negotiations, in a show of defiance, Charles had the Royal Standard raised at Nottingham while setting up court at Oxford. Parliament held on to London and most of the southern regions in a stalemate with neither side gaining any ground. It was when Parliament put together a more constructive army that they appeared to be the winning side. The Queen, being with child, withdrew to Bedford House in Exeter where she gave birth to a daughter, Henrietta Anne who was known as Minette. The queen then fled the country, leaving her newborn child to follow on.

The army supporting Parliament gained the nickname Roundheads because of the helmets they wore, while Parliament named royalists Cavaliers, more associated with France, giving a more foreign element in people's minds.

It was the Battle of Naseby that tipped the scales in Parliament's favour with the likes of Oliver Cromwell becoming heroes for the common people. Charles negotiated with the Scots, giving way on religious grounds, but when the Scottish clans were defeated at the Battle of Preston all seemed to be lost. Charles was urged to join his Queen in exile but instead opted to approach the Governor of the Isle of Wight. Although Robert Hammond was a parliamentarian, he was thought to be sympathetic to the King's cause. But Charles soon found that was not the case when Hammond had the King confined at Carisbrooke Castle until he was taken to London. If Hammond had known he was sending the King to his death, he may have been more sympathetic. Though monarchs had been deposed, none had been put on trial. Sending a king into exile was one thing, but to put him on trial with no one his peers was a matter that many members of parliament were not comfortable with, and so those that would have voted in the King's favour were ousted from parliament.

It was a mock trial with a foregone conclusion. If some of those who refused to take part had done so, there is no doubt that Charles would not have lost his head.

In times of superstition with a strong belief in omens and the using of plants and herbs to ward off evil, it’s not surprising that there was many things to forewarn the monarch that his reign nor the war would go in his favour.

After dismissing Parliament twice, when the Long Parliament reassembled, a statue of the King at Wolfeton House in Dorset, the home of Thomas Trenchard, dropped the sceptre it was holding in its hand. In another instance a statue, a bust of the King was being delivered to London when a bird dropped blood on the figure and the stain could not be removed.

At the onset of Civil War, the first act of Charles was to raise the standard flag at Nottingham, and when this blew down it was also seen as a bad omen with great concern that it meant something untoward.

There was also the belief that the true monarch had the power of the King's miracle, that some of his blood, like his touch, held miraculous cures. The execution was a sombre affair as the royal houses of Europe and men of standing had attempted to negotiate a pardon for the King. But none was more so adamant than Oliver Cromwell that the King should die, and die in public. After the execution there was many a handkerchief soaked in his blood, either to be kept as a souvenir or used as some form of cure.

Not Charles in particular haunts Edgehill in Warwickshire, but like his father, he did hold a fascination with ghosts and the paranormal. A battle took place at Edgehill during the early part of the Civil War on October 23, 1642. Two months later, on Christmas Eve, shepherds working the area were terrified by the sounds of battle. Their fear turning to curiosity, they watched the battle being replayed in the sky above the actual battlefield. The next evening was the same, going on night after night, and when Charles heard of this extraordinary event, he sent six officers to investigate. The battle once again commenced and the officers openly wept as they recognised friends and allies who had lost their lives back in October. This was obviously a re-enactment, and for those who are lucky enough, the battle is still said to appear on the rare occasion, though many have witnessed strangely dressed figures at the site.

For the manner of the King's death, the only ruling monarch to have been killed under a warrant of execution, there are very few places he is said to haunt. Charles was held at Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire until his removal to the Tower of London, and the heavy footfalls often heard are thought to be those of the King.

Penkaet Castle, Penkaetland, East Lothian, which is also known as Fountainhall House is reputed to be the haunt of several spirits, and among them is Charles I. The haunting seems to have started when a much later resident of the hall took possession of part of a fourposter bed that had been used by Charles I along with his death mask. On numerous occasions the bedclothes were disturbed as though someone had been sleeping there. Even with preventative measures in locking the door and screening off the windows to the room, the phenomena still continued. And of course, Charles I is one of several ruling monarchs to reside at Windsor Castle where he is interred at St George's Chapel.

And so with the King's death Parliament took control of the country but soon they became divided into factions, making it obvious that they needed a figurehead.


Oliver Cromwell
Lord Protector of England, Scotland & Ireland 1653 – 1658.
Born : April 25th, 1599 at Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire).
Died : September 3rd, 1658 at Whitehall Palace, London.
Interred : Originally interred at Westminster Abbey, London.
Oliver Cromwell was born to the gentry class, and attending Huntingdon Grammar School, he went on to college but didn't serve his full-term leaving just after his father's death. Oliver made a good match when it came to marriage, his wife's father being a leather merchant, owning land in London and Essex, coming from a higher class of gentry. Oliver was also related to Thomas Cromwell who rose to great heights of power during the reign of Henry VIII who also had him executed without trial.

Cromwell took up politics in 1628, but Charles I dismissed government taking sole rule for eleven years. Finely returning when Parliament was recalled, Cromwell bonded with those of Puritan beliefs but had little impact on the political scene as a whole. When war came, Cromwell, who had no former military experience, helped establish an army which found numerous successes in the East Anglia region. This brought recognition and he was made Governor of Ely and promoted to Colonel. When it came to the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, Cromwell had risen up the ranks to Lieutenant General in the Earl of Manchester's army. Cromwell fought in the battle and was injured but it was a sound victory for Parliament, and though there was still resistance, most of the northern territories came under Parliamentary control. It was after the Battle of Newbury, when the king's army had escaped a tactical manoeuvre that Cromwell came in dispute with the Earl of Manchester.

Parliament decreed that a new army, known as the New Model Army, be trained in new tactics to surprise and defeat the royalists. This new army was soon put to the test under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax with Cromwell taking second command. They found success at the Battles of Naseby and Longport, just leaving a few garrisons to mop up. This is where Cromwell showed a ruthless and savage nature, especially when taking Basing House where Cromwell was accused of killing over a hundred men after its surrender.

Charles surrendered to the Scots on May 5, 1646, this bringing an end to the Civil War and leaving Parliament to decide what to do. It was while Cromwell was ill and out of the stream of politics for a month that divisions became drastically divided. The vast majority wanted to return Charles to the throne with a Presbyterian settlement, including the disbanding the New Model Army which had gone unpaid.

Cromwell was sent to negotiate terms with disgruntled army leaders, but these failed. It has been suggested that Cromwell was involved in the plot that aided Charles escape from Hampton Court where he was being held under house arrest. The obvious course for Charles was to flee to Europe, joining his wife in exile. This would have been favourable to those who wanted a non-monarchist state but there was also the glimmer of hope that Charles would return as had his predecessors. However, Charles was not in a mood to run away and instead approached the governor of the Isle of Wight who was thought to be sympathetic. Whether the disinformation was deliberate or not, Robert Hammond promptly had Charles placed under guard at Carisbrooke Castle until he could be transported back to London.

Though the war was officially over, there were still those supporting the King and a few of those in Parliament decided the only way to end the war was to put the King on trial with charges of treason. This was a novel twist which Cromwell supported, if he didn't actually instigate. By this time Cromwell was motivated by the Bible, quoting texts in his letters and speeches. Though he accepted men of differing religious beliefs, he was set against Catholics.

Cromwell was the third to sign the King's death warrant and it is said that he was the last to vote on the verdict, it only being by one vote that the King was found guilty.

After the execution, England was declared a Commonwealth, forcing Scotland to be likewise under Parliament's control, but the exiled Prince Charles was declared King.

Having put down uprisings within the Parliamentary army, Cromwell moved on to Ireland where royalists had gathered. Being seen as a threat to the Commonwealth, Cromwell was once again ruthless in his actions. Though this was intended as a bloodless take-over, many lost their lives just because of their religion. There was also good farming land just right for the Puritans, and so a purge began with over 50,000 of all ages being yoked into slavery and shipped to Bermuda and Barbados. Cromwell never took responsibility for the deaths of thousands of civilians, claiming that it was only those carrying arms that were killed in the ensuing fighting.

On receiving news that Prince Charles had landed in Scotland, and claiming his birthright was proclaimed King Charles II, Cromwell left Ireland to take on the Scottish armies.

This time Cromwell was not so harsh. After all, Scotland had been an ally during the Civil War and Cromwell saw them as like-minded in religious matters. Prisoners were taken to Barbados with many dying from disease, though on the whole there was less expulsions and confiscation of lands.

With no monarch, Parliament could not function without some form of head and Cromwell was offered the kingship. That he should even have to consider such a thing makes him seem hypocritical, but it was the army that forced his decision to turn down the offer under the threat of another civil war. Instead, he was king in all but name, holding a coronation style ceremony at Westminster Abbey where he sat on the coronation throne. Naming himself Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, the title being hereditary, Cromwell moved his family into apartments of the royal residences at Whitehall Palace and Hampton Court where they enjoyed the luxuries of royal protocol. Cromwell even began signing his name in the style of former monarch's and was even addressed as "Your Highness".

England may have called itself a protectorate but it was more a dictatorship as Parliament found when trying to bring in new reforms. To block these, Cromwell dissolved parliament as Charles I had done.

Very little changed in the way of equal rights, though taxes were relaxed, but Cromwell had a more pressing urge to bring the country's morals in line with puritan thinking. The theatres which had been a hive of debauchery were closed, and every village that had a maypole was ordered to cut them down.

When Cromwell's daughter, Elizabeth died in August 1658, he followed her in death a month later. The funeral was elaborate, fit enough for a king, where he was laid to rest beside his daughter at Westminster Abbey.

Cromwell is now said to haunt many of the places he visited in his lifetime. There are also tales of him having sold his soul to the devil in exchange for victory, though only such things were said after his death. Whether coincidence or not, on the 3rd of September 1658, a storm brewed to convince the superstitious that it was of evil intent. That Cromwell died during the storm had many believing the devil had come to fulfil his bargain. Cromwell allegedly dealt away his soul seven years earlier just before the Battle of Worcester which was a major turning point in the war, but throughout his military career there was unexpected victories.

It was three years later, on the accession of Charles II that Cromwell was exhumed along with others who had condemned the King and had since passed, while those who didn't manage to flee the country were executed at Tyburn. Cromwell's head was placed on a pike, set up on display to deter others from plotting similar crimes. The final resting place of Cromwell, or least his body, is unknown, but the head remained on the pike until it was possibly stolen in 1688, emerging nearly 100-years later. There are several suggestions as to where the body ended up. It could well be one of the sites he reputedly haunts, though not many return to visit their own grave. His supporters could well have buried him at the battlefield at Naseby, being the greatest victory for the Roundheads. It is also suggested that he may be buried beneath Connaught Place in London, which is situated near the Tyburn gallows. Cromwell is said to be a regular visitor at house number one. He is also said to haunt two other London districts, Red Lion Square along with two other figures that signed the King's death warrant, John Bradshaw, and his son-in-law through marriage to his daughter Bridget, Henry Ireton. John Bradshaw is also thought to haunt the Westminster deanery. Another place for a possible Cromwell sighting is Chiswick Church as his body could well be secreted in the Fauconberg vault along with two of his daughters.

The ruins of Basing House in Hampshire was said to be a one time haunt of Oliver Cromwell. Perhaps this is because his troops were kept from the strongly fortified building for three years before finally blowing it up. This was followed by a mass slaughter that Cromwell tended to turn a blind eye to.

At Morrow in Cambridgeshire, Oliver Cromwell is not far from his old stomping ground if he is one of the many that haunt the Fens area. He is said to be more prominent on the aptly named Ghost Hill.

In what was a former inn on Chortley Road at Walton le Dale in Lancashire, now Pinocchio’s, an Italian restaurant is said to be haunted by Cromwell and he may have even appeared in a photograph taken in September 2005. Cromwell set up headquarters in the town prior to the Battle of Preston in 1648, staying at the inn.

The Hind Hotel on Sheep Street in Wellingborough was used by Cromwell has his headquarters for a few days. Claims were made by a psychic medium in 2002 that Cromwell does indeed haunt the site.

Bendrose House at Amersham Common in Buckinghamshire once belonged to the actor Dirk Bogarde who soon became aware of paranormal occurrences. Footsteps were often heard along one particular corridor, though no one seems to know who they belonged to. It is worth a mention here as Oliver Cromwell is said to have been a guest at one time.

Ham House is said to be the haunt of a former Duchess of Lauderdale. She had previously been the Countess of Dysart, a powerful and scheming woman who was reputedly the mistress of Oliver Cromwell, surviving to see the restoration of the monarchy.

Cromwell's head remained on its pike until it disappeared in 1688 and almost a century later ended up on display at the Wig and Pen Club in the Strand. But this came with the ghost of the Roundhead leader who was said to have followed the gruesome relic. Being the only building on the Strand to survive the Great Fire of London, it was originally the house of the gatekeeper at Temple Bar which eventually became a gentleman's club, patronised by lawyers and journalists, hence the name. The club closed in 2003 presumably with Cromwell's ghosts still inside while the skull itself was acquired by Cromwell's old college and laid to rest in an unmarked grave. The club reopened recently and is now a restaurant.


Richard Cromwell
Lord Protector of England, Scotland & Ireland 1658 – 1659.
Born : October 4th, 1626 at Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire).
Died : July 12th, 1712 at Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.
Interred : Hursley Parish Church, Winchester, Hampshire.
Richard Cromwell was the eldest surviving son, with two older brothers having predeceased their father. Very little is known of Richard until he was thrown into the position of Lord Protector. He doesn't appear to have attended university, and there is no proof that he served in the military. If this was the case, his father didn't favour him with any commissions.

In 1649, Richard married Dorothy Major, a member of the Hampshire gentry, and the couple settled at Hursley in Winchester. They had nine children, though only four saw adulthood. Richard seems to have lived within his father's shadow with his younger brother, Henry, taking a more active interest in his father's affairs. Henry fought under the command of his father during the latter part of the Civil War and when Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector, Henry was made Major-General of the military take-over in Ireland, making him virtual ruler. Henry also advised his father not to accept the kingship offered but to rule as a more moderate leader than under the title of king.

Henry Cromwell would perhaps have been a better choice of successor at the side of his mild-mannered brother. Richard had already been passed over as a Member of Parliament, and it wasn't until his father named him successor, just one year before his death, that he was given more responsibility.

Richard had the problem of lacking any political status, going unproven. And where Oliver Cromwell had found his greatest strength in the army, military leaders looked upon Richard with some contempt at his lack of any military experience. The country was also heavily in debt, even though the crown jewels had been disposed of, melting the precious metal down to place back in the coinage that Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had debased so much.

Parliament was called to redress the financial difficulties, but also began to make other amendments that took away their control of elections when it came to voting members of Parliament. When the first Parliament sat it was made up of a variety of men of varying views and religious beliefs. There were also pro-royalists that soon found the clock being turned back to the old constitution of King, Lords and Commons, the House of Lords having been abolished in 1649.

The army saw the proposed cuts would affect them and going to Richard, who appears to have had little sway over events, presented their grievances to Parliament, but the matter went no further. It was when Parliament ordered that no meeting of any officers should take place without the consent of the Lord Protector and Parliament that things took a turn for the worse where Richard was concerned. The army demanded Richard dissolve Parliament, an act which he at first refused. Remaining at his Whitehall residence it is possible the army had him under house arrest and Richard seems to have willingly taken the easy way out in writing a letter resigning his position as Lord Protector.

It was in July, after negotiating with Parliament to pay his debts and be given a pension, that Richard left for France, his family remaining in England. He travelled Europe under a number of aliases including John Clark. Finally returning to England 20-years later, he lodged with a Thomas Pengelly at Finchley in Middlesex, living off his pension and income from his Hursley estate.

His brother Henry died in 1674 having been recalled from Ireland on the restoration of Charles II. Resigning his post in the military, Henry spent his days at Spinney Abbey in Cambridgeshire. His father's actions did not find any retribution towards him, and though probably not true, it is said that Charles II visited him at least on one occasion.


Charles II
King of United Kingdom 1660 – 1685.
Born : May 29th, 1630 at St James Palace, London.
Died : February 6th, 1509 at the Palace of Whitehall, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Dubbed the Merry Monarch, Charles early life was not so merry. He was the eldest of three surviving sons, his youngest brother, Henry, Duke of Gloucester dying four months after Charles Coronation at Westminster Abbey.

Charles was thrown into the fore of battle at a young age, gaining military experience as most kings of that era. Fighting at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 at the age of 12, by 1646 he was forced to leave the country, seeking exile in France.

After the execution of his father, he was declared King of Scotland, who had effectively lost their monarch, James VI, when he took up court in England with English politicians making decisions for Scotland. Charles returned to Scotland in 1650, and on January 1, 1651, was crowned King Charles II at Scone.

Charles was a serious threat to Cromwell, who having viciously put down threats from Ireland, including a purge of Catholics, set off for Scotland to deal with Charles.

It was at the Battle of Worcester that Charles found defeat only having escaped with his life by hiding in an oak tree. Returning to the exile of europe, living mainly in The Hague, Charles had numerous affairs, fathering around 350 children by all accounts. There were also rumours that he had married Lucy Walter, a woman from Welsh nobility who gave him a son, James Scott. Recognising fourteen illegitimate offspring, James Scott was later made the first Duke of Monmouth. In fact Charles continued to openly have affairs throughout his reign, acknowledging children that may not even have been his.

With the resignation of Richard Cromwell and the unrest within the army, a delegation was sent to Holland to negotiate terms for the Restoration of the monarchy. In return for his title Charles granted amnesty to those who had supported Cromwell, but this did not include those who had signed his father's death warrant. He also lost many of his feudal rights, losing income from wardships, and so to raise extra funding, he sold Dunkirk to France, and in a secret deal was given financial aid in exchange for entering the third Anglo-Dutch War.

Charles marriage to Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese Princess, was not a popular choice. Apart from being of foreign roots, she was also Catholic. Her time in England was not a happy one. She couldn't speak English and though she had several pregnancies, she did not produce any living children to continue Charles line. The problem certainly didn't lie with Charles, who paid more attention to his mistresses than his wife. Some of these women became more powerful than the Queen, influencing Charles that courtiers sought them out, especially Barbara Villiers who Charles found matches to give her the title Countess Castlemaine, and the Duchess of Cleveland. Then there was Nell Gwynne, the total opposite to Castlemaine, she being the pipe and slippers type of girl.

After a 25-year reign in which Charles had been forced to concede a law in an anti-Catholic climate, that none of those of such religion should take official posts, which later included the monarchy, Charles converted to Catholicism on his deathbed. It was more likely that he had been catholic, but unlike his brother James, had hidden the fact.

Being an avid theatre-goer Charles is reputed to be one of several to haunt the Drury Lane Theatre Royal, though other ghosts seem to take more prevalence.

Seen at different times but never together, Charles II and Nell Gwynne are said to haunt Salcey Lawn at Salcey Forest, though it is more likely to be another of Charles mistresses. The king forced his illegitimate son with Barbara Villiers, Henry Fitzroy, onto Sir Henry Bennet, the Earl of Arlington, marrying him to Arlington’s 12-year-old daughter, Isabella Bennet.

Both Charles II and Nell Gwynne are said to haunt Salisbury Hall at St Albans in Hertfordshire. Charles bought the place as a retreat it having been used by Charles I as an armoury during the Civil War. He installed his favourite and most renowned mistress, Nell Gwynne at Salisbury and in the grounds is a cottage aptly named Nell Gwynne's Cottage. Charles first saw Nell at the theatre and began an affair with the orange-seller-come-actress, a friendship lasting 16-years up to the Kings death. The beauty of Nell Gwynne is evident to those who have been lucky enough to see her apparition as she as often been seen at the hall.

Barbara Villiers began her affair with Charles while still in exile with Charles recognising six of her children as his own, even though she had numerous affairs. She was acclaimed as one of the beauties of europe but as she grew old and with dropsy bloating her features; that is how her form is seen at Walpole House which she is reputed to haunt. Another haunt is Chiswick House where she died, but there was still those having fond memories of her as two dukes and four peers acted as pall bearers at her funeral. Becoming a recluse, the heels of her shoes have been heard clicking on the wooden floors, and on dark stormy nights it’s said that Barbara Villiers can be seen at one of the windows, veiled in a desperate sadness at losing the beauty that attracted a prince who against the odds became a king.

After suffering a stroke, Charles died at the Palace of Whitehall having named his brother James his successor.


James II
King of Great Britain 1685 – 1688.
Born : October 14th, 1633 at St James Palace, London.
Died : September 16th, 1701 at Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, Nr. Paris, France.
Interred : English Benedictines Church, Paris.
With Charles II having no legitimate offspring, his brother, James was rightful heir to the throne, though he was an unpopular choice having openly announced himself a Catholic.

Becoming James VII of Scotland, he was no more liked there than England, the last Catholic ruler being James great grandmother, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was forced to abdicate. And for England it was Mary I, these two queens often being mistaken for one and the same. But Mary I of England, like her mother, dying from some form of cancer, was degraded by the propaganda machine of Elizabeth I.

James was no more than a child when civil war broke out and being held by parliament was kept under guard at St James Palace. It isn’t hard to think of the Two Princes in the Tower, and how James could well have ended his fate the same way, but with help he escaped and in disguise travelled to The Hague to be reunited with his family. His only regret was having to leave behind his pet dog.

Joining the French army, James saw active service, returning to England when Charles was restored as King where he reclaimed his title, Duke of York, taking up the post of Lord High Admiral. He was asked to change his faith when an act banning Catholics from taking official positions was introduced in 1673, but unlike Charles, he was not prepared to rebuke his beliefs and so was forced to resign.

James married Anne Hyde in London shortly after the Restoration though it is thought they had married in secret the year before. Anne's father, Edward Hyde was royal adviser to Charles, his family having followed the Stuarts into exile. With infant deaths and miscarriages, Anne produced two surviving daughters, Mary and Anne, and giving birth to another daughter, James queen died a few weeks later while the child, Catherine, lived for only ten months.

James waited two and a half years before remarrying, this time choosing from a higher status in Princess Marie of Medina, the daughter of Alphonso IV. This marriage produced a son that was to be his downfall.

Coming to the throne, James soon found himself with a contender in the form of his brother’s illegitimate son with Lucy Walter, James Scott. Had Henry VIII completed his plan to have his illegitimate son take the throne, the Duke of Monmouth may have had a strong claim to succeed his father and much more support, especially being a Protestant.

James Scott was bestowed the title Duke of Monmouth by his father Charles II, being one of many illegitimate children of the King, his mother being Lucy Walter. He was born three months after Charles I was executed, his mother having followed Charles into exile, he was brought up in the Netherlands until the restoration when he was 11-years-old. There was a rumour that Charles and Lucy had married prior, making their son a legitimate heir, but there are also doubts as to the father with Lucy having as bad a reputation as Charles. Although Charles recognised James, he did not make him heir or acknowledge any marriage, though Lucy had died two years before the restoration.

James was given a lucrative match in the form of Anne Scott with James taking her name, changing it from Crofts. Anne was the 4th Countess of Buccleuch who was also very wealthy.

The Duke of Monmouth was a popular figure, serving in the military under his uncle James. He quickly rose up the ranks and by the age of twenty-one was one of the most senior officers of the army. He was seen by most Protestants as the better choice to take over the succession than the Catholic James and it seems that Monmouth had that same ambition. Taking a tour of the northern counties enhanced his popularity but although he was a leader military-wise, he lacked political abilities and was apt to be used by those seeking power behind the throne with someone that could be easily manipulated.

When Monmouth professed he would never bow down to his uncle, Charles II stripped him of his titles, reminding him of his illegitimate status. The following year, with a plot to assassinate Charles II and rebel against his rightful heir, blocking James from coming to the throne, a number of leading figures found themselves under arrest. Monmouth was also named as one of the conspirators and fled the country, not returning for another two years until the death of Charles II, but this was not to honour the new king but rather to usurp him.

With the aid of the Earl of Argyll, the Monmouth Rebellion was all set, but the earl could not rally enough support and was quickly placed under arrest, leaving Monmouth to face the king's troops with ill-equipped men, most of which had never seen battle.

Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis in Dorset where he declared himself king. He was preceded by weapons being brought over-seas to give harms to his supporters but these were seized leaving Monmouth's army with little more than scythes and pitch forks.

With the King's troops holding down the 5,000 or so rebels at Bridgewater, Monmouth decided to go for a night time attack across the marshes of Sedgemore but the men were quickly cut down, bringing the Monmouth cause to an abrupt end.

Monmouth managed to escape but was found a few days later cowering in a ditch.

Eight days after the Battle of Sedgemore, Monmouth mounted the gallows to a large crowd, mostly those who sympathised with his cause. Declaring he was not there to speak but to die a Protestant of the Church of England, his execution was badly managed. After five strokes of the axe and with the body twitching and the crowd yelling in anger, the executioner threw down the axe in despair, leaving Monmouth's head to be finally removed with a knife. It was then later realised there was no portrait. The body was exhumed and the head replaced to be sat for a portrait that is now in the National Portrait Gallery.

Following the Monmouth Rebellion, those who didn’t die in the battle were rounded up and a series of trials took place known as the "Bloody Assizes" over-seen by Judge Jeffries. He was a notorious man who not only sentenced those who came before him to the noose, but seems to have enjoyed doing so. Though the ring-leaders had been taken and executed, the persecutions continued without mercy as over 300 were sentenced to death, including Alice Lisle, a 70-year-old found guilty of harbouring two rebels. She had formerly been known as Lady Alice Lisle through a title bestowed upon her husband by Cromwell for his support. Many more were sentenced to transportation while others were flogged throughout the market towns of the counties. With these harsh sentences of no more than misguided labourers, the deeds by Judge Jeffries tarnished the king.

Parliament soon began to plot a coup against James to replace him with his daughter, Mary from his first marriage. England already having had two queens, Mary's accession was more acceptable, and she had also married another claimant in William of Orange, a grandson of Charles I through his mother, Mary Stuart, who died shortly after the restoration of her brother.

When the Queen gave birth to a son, a rumour soon spread that the child died and a healthier baby was smuggled into the birthing chamber in a bedpan.

Now James had a male heir, cutting his two daughters out, Mary and William had to act fast. Offering the couple the throne of England as joint rulers, with little support, James fled with his family to Europe where France continued to acknowledge him as King of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Having had a stroke, James died in exile, out-living his daughter Mary by over six years, leaving behind a deposed queen, a daughter born in exile and an embittered son.

The haunting remnants of James reign can be found in many places. The Battle of Sedgemoor in Somerset that ended the Duke of Monmouth’s attempt to usurp the throne; is said to replay the sounds of groans of the dying in the one-sided fight. Figures have also been seen as they fled for their lives on that fateful day, while balls of light that glide towards the River Cary are said to be those poor West Countrymen who lost their lives fighting. And of course Monmouth himself is said to return, even though he didn’t die in the battle, the most auspicious time being the 6th of July, the date of the battle.

In the trials that took place with Judge George Jeffries residing, many were talked into pleading guilty, possibly being told their lives would be spared, but very few found this to be so. The Skirrid Mountain Inn at Abergavenny held a number of trials with many inns often being used for a courthouse, but the inn was also a place of execution where a beam still bares the mark of a hanging rope. Around one hundred and eighty Monmouth Rebels were hanged within the walls of the inn. The inn is said to be one of the most haunted in the United Kingdom with some of the poor spirits being relics of the Bloody Assizes.

The Dolphin Inn at Penzance is another public house also reputed to be haunted by those convicted and hanged after the failed attempt to remove James II. And Taunton Castle is said to still ring with the marching feet of Monmouth’s army as they enter the castle to be tried and sentenced. More than 200 were hanged and in what was worse than a death sentence; over 800 were deported as slaves to work the sugar plantations in the West Indies.

As for Judge Jeffries, becoming known as the Hanging Judge after overseeing the Bloody Assizes, he is said to haunt several places. At Walton-on-Thames the 15th century manor house is said to be the haunt of a judge but the identity is uncertain. Apart from Judge Jeffries another notorious judge also resided there, John Bradshaw lived at the manor prior to Jeffries, being one of those who presided over the trial of Charles I, casting a vote of guilty and signing the death warrant. The haunting could be either or both these men.

Judge Jeffries is also reputed to haunt the Thames riverside at what is known as Wapping Old Stairs, a set of steps leading down to the Thames. Jeffries was a frequent visitor to the nearby pub now named the Prospect of Whitby, and after James II fled, Jeffries made the unwise decision to remain in London. It was at the pub where he was recognised and taken by a mob to the local mayor. Jeffries was placed in the Tower of London for his own protection where he died on April 18, 1689. He was interred three years later at St. Almondsbury Church which was destroyed in 1941 during the German bombings.

The Duke of Monmouth always had his ambitions to be king, even being involved in a failed plot to poison both Charles II and his uncle James, long before Charles death. He was still a young man when executed, having been held at the Tower of London. He is now said to haunt one of the bedrooms at Raynham Hall in Norfolk though why this should be, I have no idea. Another of Monmouth’s haunts is in Dorset where he carries his head in a bag in the Horton Woodlands where he was found in a ditch, the most auspicious date for a vigil being the 15th of July, the date of Monmouth’s execution.

In the final downfall of James II, with William and Mary gaining support as they travelled to London, James made a plea to the staunch Catholic allies of Ireland. His last stand came at the Battle of Boyne. Prior to the battle James was a guest at Athcarne Castle where he is said to still pay the odd ghostly visit to the ruins.


Mary II & William III (Joint rule)
Queen of United Kingdom 1689 - 1694 & King of United Kingdom 1689 – 1702.
Mary Born : April 30th, 1662 at St James palace, London.
William Born : November 14th, 1650 at Binnenhof, The Hague, Holland.
Mary Died : December 28th, 1509 at Kensington Palace, London.
William Died : March 8th, 11702 at Richmond Palace, London.
Interred : Both at Westminster Abbey, London.
Mary was asked to take the throne by a few dissident members of parliament who feared the succession after James II and his queen, Mary of Modena, had a newborn son.

William had always held back his ambition to be King of England, but with the birth of James Francis Edward Stuart, it was slipping through his fingers.

William’s claim to the throne came through his mother, Mary Stuart, a daughter of Charles I who married William II of Orange. Mary was the eldest surviving child of Anne Hyde, the first wife of James II who was then Duke of York, with Anne dying from cancer 14-years before James accession. She left behind two young daughters; Mary aged 8-years-old and 6-year-old Anne. She had converted to Catholicism, much to the dismay of her strict Protestant family. Had Anne lived history would have taken a totally different turn of events as a year after his wife's death James also declared himself Catholic. But Charles, as King, ordered that Mary and Anne be brought up under the Protestant faith.

Mary was given in union to William, her first cousin, in a match to appease the Protestants with a slim chance that either of James daughters would succeed to the throne.

Rebel members of Parliament had tried to persuade William to invade but he declined up to the point of a male heir being born. He also wanted to make it quite clear that the rule with his wife would be a joint one as William would not settle for being a consort, and something that was a bone of contention, in the event of his wife's death that he would continue on as King. With that settled, William set sail for England with a mixed nationality of troops 15,000 strong.

Landing at Torbay with his army, when James found a majority of his troops had deserted, leaving those still loyal demoralised, he decided to flee rather than face the same fate as other kings, being murdered while imprisoned. He had sent his queen and newborn son to France to be out of danger so by the time William arrived in London parliament and its people welcomed him.

Parliament declared that James, having fled the country, was as good as abdicating, inviting Mary and William to take the crown over the legal heir, James newborn son. The couple were crowned in a joint ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The Divine Right of Kings that Charles II and James II had been brought up with was replaced with a Bill of Rights, effectively taking major powers from the crown and allowing parliament to be supreme in making laws, even instigating some that still give amnesty as a diplomatic status to members of parliament.

Parliament also collected taxes, decided if the country should go to war and had a say in the succession. And as parliament had pushed through laws to block Catholics from taking office, a new law was made that no future monarch should be of the Catholic faith.

Calling the take-over the Glorious Revolution, it was not so for Scotland where James religion may not have gone down well, but he was the true heir to the Scottish throne and England was pushing a more foreign King onto them. James had also spent time in Scotland, having been Lord High Commissioner, taking up residence at Holyrood House. His supporters became known as Jacobites from the Latin for James.

James rallied the support of Ireland but William counter-acted, setting sail with 15,000 troops. He met his father-in-law at the River Boyne, and under the sheer weight of William's army, the Jacobites were forced to retreat. James managed to escape, fleeing to France.

Mary had little to do with the running of the affairs of state and only took governorship in William's absence as many previous wives had done in the role of queen consort. Negotiations had begun to marry Mary to the Dauphin Louis, heir to the French throne, but Charles II gave way to Mary marrying her cousin when a Dutch coalition seemed more promising. The couple were married in London, and Mary, who was only 15 and no more than a porn, is said to have wept before and during the ceremony to a man 12 years older and 4 inches shorter. The marriage lasting 17 years up to her death in 1694 was not a happy one as she was neglected by William who continued an affair with Elizabeth Villiers, and she in turn was made one of Mary’s Ladies-In-Waiting.

Though it was Mary who inherited the crown, she allowed William his ambition to be King, revoking the decree of Mary I that only made Philip of Spain King in name only while they were married, and up to Mary's death.

Even though William was older than Mary, he got his own way, being allowed to rule in his own right when Mary died after contracting smallpox.

Mary became pregnant three times and in each case did not produce a living child, leading to the decline of the Stuart line.

On being given the crown, William became King William III of England and William II of Scotland. By the time of his birth, his father had died of smallpox 8-days prior with the House of Orange being in decline.

On marrying Mary, William was already looking towards one-day ruling England and Scotland, so when James II wife gave birth to a son it didn't take much to convince William that he should invade and usurp the crown. Mary was also quick to make her thoughts known, challenging the legitimacy of her new half-brother as a rumour spread that the child was not born to the Queen, but a baby smuggled into the birthing chamber.

When Mary died without issue, still at a young age as she was only 32, it was evident that William would not remarry. In fact, there were already rumours that he had homosexual tendencies, bringing favourites from his homeland which he bestowed with titles.

The rule of William and Mary was taken up by war with France, a fight which continued on after his wife's death.

William died after a fall from his horse and was interred beside Mary who had passed 8-years previous.

In putting down the Jacobite Rebellions, the Battle of Killiekrankie was a sound victory for the Scots but a sad one in losing their leader, the Viscount of Dundee. His rallying the Scots to the Stuart cause, his death demoralised troops and a month later they were crushed at the Battle of Dunkeld.

There are still sightings from the Battle of Killiekrankie of both Scottish and English soldiers, though the English took the more casualties. There have been reports of a strange red glow at the battle site and even a re-enactment of the battle taking place in the skies above.

William’s untimely and unnatural death was said by some to be an act of revenge. When a plot was uncovered in 1696 to assassinate William III and restore James II to the throne, Sir John Fenwick of Wallington Hall was implicated. William never liked Fenwick who was an obvious Jacobite, but Sir John denied the accusations. He was placed on trial along with others who were said to have plotted to kill the king during his usual Saturday hunt in Richmond Park.

Sir John Fenwick was placed at the Tower of London and found guilty of treason. He was beheaded on the 28th of January 1697 proclaiming his loyalty to King James. His family were denied their inheritance and the estates were confiscated. This also included a stud with Sir John Fenwick being noted for breeding the first British racehorse. His favourite, White Sorrel, was taken by William III who enjoyed riding the horse. However, it was in February 1702 while riding through the grounds of Hampton Court that the horse stumbled on a molehill and the King was thrown. Having broken his collarbone, pleurisy set in followed by pneumonia and by March 8th William was dead.


Anne
Queen of United Kingdon (changed to Great Britain) 1702 – 1714.
Born : February 6th, 1665 at St James palace, London.
Died : August 1st, 1714 at Kensington Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Unlike her sister, who on marrying William of Orange moved to the Netherlands, Anne remained in England. The match to Prince George of Denmark was seen as substantial with Anne not being expected to come to the throne. Anne was 18-years-old when she married George, just under 12-years her senior, at Westminster Abbey and the couple finally settled in a house situated where Downing Street now stands.

Anne’s father, James II had told her he would make her heir apparent if she converted to Catholicism but he didn’t press her too hard and Anne didn’t agree. On her uncle’s wishes, Charles II, she had been educated under the Protestant faith and adhered to the Church of England.

When the Glorious Revolution came, Anne’s husband supported William, even though William didn’t like him as George was of higher rank.

It is said that William allowed James II to escape, fleeing into exile and saving his daughters the grief of having their father imprisoned or even put on trial.

Even in exile Anne still had affection for her father and was hurt by her sister’s act to have their uncle, Henry Hyde, arrested for plotting with Jacobites to restore James II. The rift grew even wider when Mary stripped Anne and her husband of all their privileges with the royal palace guards ordered not to salute George in particular.

When Mary died two years later William attempted to make amends by restoring the privileges as Anne was now next in line to the succession through the Bill of Rights. However, he did not publicly recognise her as heir apparent or make Anne regent in his absence. There are tales that he even attempted to block Anne by offering the succession to the son James II on the strict condition that he revoke his faith and convert to Protestantism.

Unlike Mary and William, Anne and George seem to have had a more content relationship, though neither of the daughters of James II succeeded in producing children to secure the line. Anne was pregnant at least eighteen times during her 25-year marriage with most ending in miscarriage. Two daughters did not survive infancy and then came a son, William.

William was made Duke of Gloucester and looked all set to become King, but then in July 1700 tragedy struck. Celebrating his eleventh birthday, he later complained of a chill and sore throat. It was six days later that the boy died, either from smallpox or scarlet fever.

Parliament rallied, looking for a suitable successor without catholic leanings. Going to the descendants of James I through the female line, his granddaughter, Sophia, who married Ernest August of Hanover, was offered the succession after Anne. James II, the exiled king, was recognised by France and his loyal followers up to his death only six months prior to William III, and there was his son who laid claim to the thrones of England and Scotland.

Scotland had grudgingly acknowledged William of Orange, making him William II of Scotland, but fought to keep their identity when Anne became queen. In merging England and Scotland to form Great Britain, sanctions were placed on Scottish subjects that any resistance would financially cripple the country. Although Scotland continued to maintain its own parliament it had very little power and with William losing monarchistic power to the English Parliament, it was no good lobbying the king. A majority of the decisions were made in London with the Scottish Parliament going unconsulted, especially when it came to the line of succession. Anne would have liked a closer line, continuing the House of Stuart in the form of her half-brother, but parliament looked to a more distant claimant and was certainly not prepared to separate Scotland and allow them to choose their own rightful monarch in fear of a Scottish alliance with France.

Anne’s husband, George, was less ambitious than William, supporting his wife as a consort. The mainstay of his career had been a military one in commanding the navy and when he died in 1708, Anne missed him dearly. She continued on alone for another six years, dying at the relatively young age of forty-nine due to suppressed gout. Her successor named by parliament, the Electress Sophia of Hanover had died two months previous, passing the mantle on to her son, George, and so ending the turbulent but never dull House of Stuart.

There is a statue of Queen Anne situated at Queen Anne’s Gate in Westminster. It is said the statue comes to life on the anniversary of the queen’s death (August 1, 1714) and wanders the nearby streets. Until the 1930’s it was thought the statue was that of another queen, the Tudor Mary I. The propaganda of the anti-Catholics turned Mary into a monster, dubbing her ‘Bloody Mary’ and until the statue was cleaned, with a plaque revealing it to be Queen Anne, children would throw stones at the effigy, though the legend of the statue coming to life still persists.

Another version is that it’s the ghost of Queen Anne rather than the statue itself that takes a yearly walk about on the 1st of August, the date of her death.

Throughout the ages it was believed the true monarch could cure ‘The King’s Evil’ which is also known as scrofula, a form of tuberculosis. The cure came in the form of a touch from the king’s hand. The ‘Royal Touch’ began with Edward the Confessor and continued up to the Commonwealth. At the Restoration of Charles II, he touched thousands of hands in a bid from those seeking a cure. James II also continued the tradition but William didn’t believe in such nonsense and refused to comply. When Anne became queen she reinstated the Royal Touch, preparing herself for the task with prayers and a 24-hour fast. She is the last monarch to do this.


Paranormal X 2010

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.