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Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #1 
We all like to engage in games of "what if" when it comes to the succession, and tracing alternative lines and various claimants.  Here is a nice article about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_successions_of_the_English_crown

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Peter

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Reply with quote  #2 
Where these alternative successions are not based on the misapprehension that modern succession law applied centuries before it became established, they are dependent on either the self-serving and disgraceful lies of Richard III (Clarence) or fantasy (High Kings of Britain). The one exception is the Jacobite succession, where even as a convinced supporter of the Glorious Revolution and the amended succession that followed I have to concede a valid and arguable basis of claim. Perhaps also the alternative successions to Elizabeth I, which are arguable albeit unreasonable. Since the High Kings of Britain got coverage I'm surprised that the lineal heir to the House of Wessex isn't traced (inevitably, it is Infanta Alicia of Spain). Post-1688, the claims of Lady Frederica Schomberg and her heirs are neglected.

I wouldn't mind examining each of these claims, or 'claims' as most of them are, in a little more detail. However, I won't have time for a few days, something else to get around to. Or something else to defer returning to the dreaded 1453 intro might be more honest. One illustrative point, the first (Richard II) section describes Edmund Mortimer as heir presumptive. He was no such thing; he would have been, had modern law applied, but it did not. It was just as arguable that under proximity of blood, a determining factor the last time (Richard I) the king had no direct descendant to inherit from him, the heir presumptive was Richard II's uncle Edmund, Duke of York, whom he did seem to be leaning towards as an appointed successor near the end of his reign. The proximity of blood principle was alive enough still to have made Richard II's own succession doubtful, until the dying Black Prince made both his father and his brother John, then heir by proximity after the Black Prince, swear an oath that Richard would succeed.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the interesting posts above on alternate lines of succession and proximity of blood.

Proximity of Blood also came into play in the Great Cause, the debate over the Scottish succession in 1292. King Alexander III of Scotland had died in 1286, leaving his very young granddaughter Margaret, Maiden of Norway, as his only heir. Margaret died in the Orkney Islands while en route to Scotland. Thereupon 14 individuals, known as the Competitors, put forward claims to the vacant throne, based upon their descent from previous Scottish kings. The Guardians of Scotland called upon King Edward I of England to decide among them. Edward set up a court consisting of himself and 104 auditors. (Edward also insisted upon his own recognition as sovereign overlord of Scotland, receiving an ambiguous response from the Guardians). The two foremost competitors were John Balliol of Galloway and Robert Bruce of Annandale. Both Balliol and Bruce were descended from David, Earl of Huntingdon, son of Henry, Earl of Huntingdon, son of King David I.

Balliol was the great grandson of Margaret, eldest daughter of Earl David. Bruce was the son of Isobel, younger daughter of Earl David. Balliol's claim was based upon primogeniture (descent from the elder daughter), while Bruce's claim was based upon proximity of blood (a closer blood relationship to King David I). Ultimately, the court ruled in favor of John Balliol, who became king (the ill-fated 'Toom Tabard'). Possibly politics as well as genealogy were also involved.

A little off-topic, but proximity of blood was also an issue in the Danish succession crisis of 1863. King Frederik VII of Denmark, the last member of the elder House of Oldenburg, despite 2 (or 3) marriages, was childless. The 2 most senior cadet lines of Oldenburg (both descended from previous Danish kings) were the Dukes of Augustenborg and the Dukes of Glucksburg. The Augustenborgs had the senior agnatic (Salic) descent. But King Frederik and Danish nationalists favored Christian of Glucksburg ( a younger son of the Glucksburg line). Danish law no longer required Salic succession, but the Duchy of Holstein, which for hundreds of years had been a fief of the Danish king as well as being part of the Holy Roman Empire/German Confederation, did require Salic succession. The Duchy of Schleswig had always been Danish, but for hundreds of years had been joined administratively with Holstein. The duchies had a population which was ethnically divided between Germans and Danes. German and Danish nationalism were both on the rise at this time, and probably played as important a role in the politics of the time as did genealogy.

The wife of Christian of Glucksburg was Louise of Hesse (who'd been raised in Denmark). Louise was the cousin of King Frederik, and was his closest relative by proximity of blood. (Actually, her mother ,brother, and elder sister, were the closest- related relatives, but they renounced their claims in favor of Louise and Christian).

In 1853, the Danish Law of Succession was promulgated, which awarded the succession to Christian of Glucksburg. Ten years later, King Frederik VII died, and Christian ascended the throne as King Christian IX. Thereupon Duke Frederik of Augustenborg proclaimed himself Duke of Schleswig and Holstein. Prussia and Austria invaded Schleswig and Holstein ,supposedly in support of Duke Frederik, and war with Denmark resulted. Prussia was victorious, and ultimately annexed Schleswig-Holstein.









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jkelleher

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Reply with quote  #4 
Here is a greatly expanded version of the same list of alternate successions, maintained by one particular Wikipedia user on his profile page:
<link>

Among others, I was interested to see that this collection includes the "Titulus Regius" succession, tracing the line from Richard III's eldest sister Anne of York (excluding Edward IV's line via his allegedly bigamous marriage, and the Duke of Clarence's line via his attainder for treason).  This succession passes through the Earls of Rutland and Hunloke Baronets of Wingerworth, passing ultimately to the Viscount de L'Isle (mirroring the results I obtained some years back when I attempted to trace this same theoretical line of succession).

Another interesting possibility I once attempted to trace myself is the line of descent from Elizabeth of Lancaster, second daughter of John of Gaunt by Blanche of Lancaster (Elizabeth's elder sister having married the King of Portugal).  With the failure of the masculine line of descent from Henry IV, and the "legitimization" of the Beaufort line of dubious value for purposes of the succession, the descendants of Elizabeth had a strong potential claim to the Lancastrian succession.  This line passes through the Holland Dukes of Exeter and from thence to the Neville Earls of Westmorland, but I note this author hits the same dead-end I did with the 6th Earl, who died in impoverished exile leaving only a series of daughters who made unremarkable marriages.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for your post. I went to Genealogics, and on this site, the descent from the 6th Duke of Westmoreland did indeed fade out. However, the descent from the 5th Duke (first creation) eventually becomes quite distinguished again, although it isn't the senior line. (The senior line from Elizabeth of Lancaster, or as much of it as is traceable on Genealogics, going by male-preference primogeniture, appears to culminate in the present 8th Earl of Yarborough). Here's one of the lines deriving from Elizabeth, through the 5th Duke, which is traceable on Genealogics:

Elizabeth of Lancaster, mother of:
John de Holand, Duke of Exeter & Huntington, father of:
Anne de Holand, mother of:
Ralph Neville, 3rd Earl of Westmoreland, father of:
Ralph Neville, father of:
Ralph Neville, 4th Earl of Westmoreland, father of:
Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmoreland, father of:
Eleanor Nevill, mother of:
William Pelham, father of:
William Pelham, father of:
Charles Pelham, father of:
Elizabeth Pelham, mother of:
Anne Stringer, mother of:
William, 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam, father of:
William, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam, father of:
Charles, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam, father of:
Frances Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, mother of:
Mary Bridgeman-Simpson, mother of:
Sybil Pleydell-Bouverie, mother of:
Doreen Wingfield, mother of:
Susan Wright, mother of:
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York


There's also a line of descent traceable on Genealogics from Elizabeth of Lancaster to the movie actor Richard Gere.



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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Where these alternative successions are not based on the misapprehension that modern succession law applied centuries before it became established, they are dependent on either the self-serving and disgraceful lies of Richard III (Clarence) or fantasy (High Kings of Britain).


Maybe I have it wrong, Peter, but weren't the children of Clarence not the closest heirs of Richard III, after the Princes in the Tower (leaving aside the attainder against Clarence)?  
Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 
No, the daughters of Edward IV were. Richard III seems at one point to have planned to marry Princess Elizabeth, the eldest of them, himself but gave up the idea. Eventually, as everyone knows, Elizabeth married Henry VII and was the foremother of all succeeding monarchs. Clarence's son Warwick was certainly the male-line heir, but the York claim was based not on agnatic (where Henry VI and his son Edward, Prince of Wales were senior) but cognatic lineage, and Richard III had himself named Lincoln, eldest son of his sister, another Elizabeth, as his heir. And as Warwick had no children claims for Clarence's line pass through his daughter, Warwick's sister Margaret.

It can hardly be said then that succession through females was not allowed, though succession by females was still problematic. Richard's allegations of the illegitimacy of Edward IV's children were an absurd tissue of lies believed by no one including himself at the time, though they amazingly still have currency today. There therefore can be no question that Elizabeth was lawful heiress after the murder of her young brothers.

Henry VII though did not take the throne in right of marriage, but in his own right, confirmed by Act of Parliament that in fact limited the succession to his descendants. Marrying Elizabeth was still a necessity so that future challenges to the lawful occupation of the throne by his heirs would not arise, as indeed they did not after his reign. The deposition of James II and VII was due not to his lineage, which no one doubted made him King by right, but to his religion and more importantly his unconscionable behaviour as monarch.

Anyway, ever since the days of Henry IV, and arguably before that, it has been a principle that Parliament controls the succession. All the alternative candidates discussed here are disqualified by the simple fact that the Acts of Settlement and Union as amended are the governing law in this country so far as royal succession is concerned, and Elizabeth II and no one else is heiress under them and therefore rightful sovereign. Of course, the candidatures apart from the Jacobite one fail on other grounds anyway (as I mentioned above there is an arguable if extremely academic case, not made in the Wikipedia article, for an alternative succession to Elizabeth I, since James VI of Scotland was de jure disqualified, but the universal acceptance of the Scottish monarch, who really was the only feasible candidate, and the centuries that have passed since make the matter irrelevant).
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
No, the daughters of Edward IV were. Richard III seems at one point to have planned to marry Princess Elizabeth, the eldest of them, himself but gave up the idea. Eventually, as everyone knows, Elizabeth married Henry VII and was the foremother of all succeeding monarchs. Clarence's son Warwick was certainly the male-line heir, but the York claim was based not on agnatic (where Henry VI and his son Edward, Prince of Wales were senior) but cognatic lineage, and Richard III had himself named Lincoln, eldest son of his sister, another Elizabeth, as his heir. And as Warwick had no children claims for Clarence's line pass through his daughter, Warwick's sister Margaret.

It can hardly be said then that succession through females was not allowed, though succession by females was still problematic. Richard's allegations of the illegitimacy of Edward IV's children were an absurd tissue of lies believed by no one including himself at the time, though they amazingly still have currency today. There therefore can be no question that Elizabeth was lawful heiress after the murder of her young brothers.

Henry VII though did not take the throne in right of marriage, but in his own right, confirmed by Act of Parliament that in fact limited the succession to his descendants. Marrying Elizabeth was still a necessity so that future challenges to the lawful occupation of the throne by his heirs would not arise, as indeed they did not after his reign. The deposition of James II and VII was due not to his lineage, which no one doubted made him King by right, but to his religion and more importantly his unconscionable behaviour as monarch.

Anyway, ever since the days of Henry IV, and arguably before that, it has been a principle that Parliament controls the succession. All the alternative candidates discussed here are disqualified by the simple fact that the Acts of Settlement and Union as amended are the governing law in this country so far as royal succession is concerned, and Elizabeth II and no one else is heiress under them and therefore rightful sovereign. Of course, the candidatures apart from the Jacobite one fail on other grounds anyway (as I mentioned above there is an arguable if extremely academic case, not made in the Wikipedia article, for an alternative succession to Elizabeth I, since James VI of Scotland was de jure disqualified, but the universal acceptance of the Scottish monarch, who really was the only feasible candidate, and the centuries that have passed since make the matter irrelevant).


Yes, of course you are correct.I had forgotten that Clarence's children were only the heirs if Edward IV was illegitimate or his children were, or both. There is some limited, largely circumstantial evidence for the former (mostly rumours from Edward's early years onwards, alleged dates of his father's campaigns in France compared with his birth date, and the lack of pomp in his christening compared to his younger brothers) but not much for the latter, as you say.

I have Jacobite sympathies but certainly agree that Elizabeth II is the rightful Queen, due to long-standing occupancy of her and her direct ancestors and the acceptance by the nation over that period. I'm not quite so sure I accept the right of parliament to decide the succession though. That is, although I cannot claim my views are as systematically worked out as possible, I would appeal to the fundamental laws and traditions of the Kingdom, like my Royalist forebears. Parliament may, I would say, direct the succession but not do what they wish with it. This is, indeed, what Burke, that great Whig, implies was the position of those who carried out the Glorious Revolution (and he claims his own views on the matter are identical to Lord Somers):

http://www.constitution.org/eb/rev_fran.htm

Unquestionably, there was at the Revolution, in the person of King William, a small and a temporary deviation from the strict order of a regular hereditary succession; but it is against all genuine principles of jurisprudence to draw a principle from a law made in a special case and regarding an individual person. Privilegium non transit in exemplum. If ever there was a time favorable for establishing the principle that a king of popular choice was the only legal king, without all doubt it was at the Revolution. Its not being done at that time is a proof that the nation was of opinion it ought not to be done at any time. There is no person so completely ignorant of our history as not to know that the majority in parliament of both parties were so little disposed to anything resembling that principle that at first they were determined to place the vacant crown, not on the head of the Prince of Orange, but on that of his wife Mary, daughter of King James, the eldest born of the issue of that king, which they acknowledged as undoubtedly his. It would be to repeat a very trite story, to recall to your memory all those circumstances which demonstrated that their accepting King William was not properly a choice; but to all those who did not wish, in effect, to recall King James or to deluge their country in blood and again to bring their religion, laws, and liberties into the peril they had just escaped, it was an act of necessity, in the strictest moral sense in which necessity can be taken.

 

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Reply with quote  #9 
I don't think the limited circumstantial evidence you refer to is worth anything at all. I was going to explain why, but since Wikipedia have covered the question quite thoroughly I will just link to that part of their article on Edward IV. Although theoretically Parliament's power is unlimited in all respects as regards the laws of this country, in practice completely arbitrary and unreasonable alterations to the law would not be well accepted and frankly aren't likely to happen. Changing the succession on a whim, which little as I agreed with it the most recent change did not quite amount to, would definitely be regarded as arbitrary and unreasonable. Baldwin is reputed as having boasted during the Abdication Crisis that he could make anyone he liked King. I doubt he ever said it, and if he did he was theoretically right but in the real world wrong. He could make the Duke of York King, and absolutely no one else. No other person would have been accepted by the people. Or, for that matter, could have been got through Parliament.

So while I do regard Parliament as having the right to decide the succession, with precedents going back to Henry IV as I said, and further back still if you include the elective Saxon and Danish Kings in discussion and consider the Witenagemot as the forerunner of Parliament, in real terms it cannot dispose of the Crown however it wishes. Our views then are not really all that far apart, though I am certainly no Jacobite. Welcome by the way to the forum, which I forgot to say before, and I hope you will contribute regularly.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
I don't think the limited circumstantial evidence you refer to is worth anything at all. I was going to explain why, but since Wikipedia have covered the question quite thoroughly I will just link to that part of their article on Edward IV. Although theoretically Parliament's power is unlimited in all respects as regards the laws of this country, in practice completely arbitrary and unreasonable alterations to the law would not be well accepted and frankly aren't likely to happen. Changing the succession on a whim, which little as I agreed with it the most recent change did not quite amount to, would definitely be regarded as arbitrary and unreasonable. Baldwin is reputed as having boasted during the Abdication Crisis that he could make anyone he liked King. I doubt he ever said it, and if he did he was theoretically right but in the real world wrong. He could make the Duke of York King, and absolutely no one else. No other person would have been accepted by the people. Or, for that matter, could have been got through Parliament.

So while I do regard Parliament as having the right to decide the succession, with precedents going back to Henry IV as I said, and further back still if you include the elective Saxon and Danish Kings in discussion and consider the Witenagemot as the forerunner of Parliament, in real terms it cannot dispose of the Crown however it wishes. Our views then are not really all that far apart, though I am certainly no Jacobite. Welcome by the way to the forum, which I forgot to say before, and I hope you will contribute regularly.


Thank you for the welcome, it looks like an interesting forum.

If you mean that the evidence does not prove, or come close to proving, that Edward IV was illegitimate, then you are correct. But I think it is noteworthy enough to not be dismissed out of hand.

I'm not sure I do agree about the rights and role of parliament. I would deny the doctrine, arising in the latter half of the eighteenth century, that the Crown-in-parliament is absolutely sovereign. I would agree with the constitutional Royalists, Tories, and many Whigs in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (including the American revolutionaries), as well as the great common law authorities (like Coke) of these centuries, up until the time of Blackstone, that there is a fundamental law of England which is superior to parliament. This law is essentially the law of nature as it has been given concrete form through the long, historical experience and institutions of our nation. I don't think the precedent supports the right of parliament to do anything but regulate the succession. As the Burke quote shows, even at the end of the eighteenth century it was only quite radical elements, like those Burke was attacking so fiercely, who saw even in the Glorious Revolution an affirmation that a monarch is (by rights) decided by popular favour irrespective of hereditary succession. Similarly, although I'd also argue they are somewhat obscure and not easily applicable to current circumstances, I doubt the Saxon examples show the monarchy was elective simply. Like Frankish or Byzantine examples, they show a melding of hereditary succession with degrees of popular approval.

It is in practice that I'd say the power is entirely with parliament today, and even more the commons. Besides, I'm somewhat pessimistic about the future of England as a traditional, meaningful entity.

I'm not a Jacobite per se. I acknowledge that Elizabeth II and her ancestors have so long held the crown with the acceptance of the nation that their rights are now a part of our traditional patrimony. My sympathies are more with original Jacobitism (I think I would side with it).
Peter

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Reply with quote  #11 
What then is that evidence? His father was in a different part of the country nine months before his birth? Nine months is a rule of thumb, not an absolute guide. It is impossible to know exactly when conception takes place, since it can be up to two days after intercourse, and pregnancies can last several weeks less or one or two weeks more than nine months and still produce a living child. His baptism was a low-key ceremony? If the infant Edward seemed frail it would have been done straight away, with no time to arrange a great deal of pomp, and that is a far more likely explanation than his father, who fully acknowledged him and had what was universally seen as a loving and close marriage, having doubts over the paternity. He didn't look much like his father? Children don't have to resemble either parent, that is how recombination works. And if his difference in appearance to his father was due to his mother's adultery then it must have been a continuing affair, since Clarence did resemble Edward quite closely. There is no evidence of any kind of Cicely Neville having a prolonged affair or any affairs at all, and to have done so would have been quite contrary to what we know of her character and her relationship with her husband.

We can agree to disagree about the right of Parliament to control the succession. It is an academic argument anyway, since as you acknowledge Parliament does in practice have that control. Yes, in Saxon days while anyone could in theory be elected, the eldest son of the previous king was always going to be chosen if an adult, and sometimes was even if a child, for example both Edward the Martyr and Ethelred the Unready were under age when they became King (Edward still was when he died). Exceptions were generally speaking due to conquering armies being at the gates of London or wherever the election was held. Nevertheless no one could be King who had not been elected; even William I went through the formality, though elections were dispensed with thereafter.

Incidentally I have always felt that the election of Harold Godwinson rather than Edgar Atheling was a mistake. Yes, Edgar was too young to properly reign, but it would have been better to elect him anyway then let Harold control the government. Though Harald Hardrada would probably still have invaded, after all his plans to do so had been laid while the Confessor was still on the throne, William of Normandy would most likely not have moved against a scion of the House of Wessex. He could feel, albeit entirely wrongly, that he had as much right to the throne as Harold, but surely not as much right as Edgar.

I would not have been a Jacobite. I do not feel that it is worth shedding blood over a lineage, but only to remove unjust and oppressive government (or to correct a state of anarchy, such as prevailed in the latter part of Henry VI's first reign). While no doubt troubled by the removal of James II and VII I imagine that I would have seen, like the majority of people at the time, that he had to go and why. I certainly would not have fought in order to replace either George I or George II with James III and VIII. If I fought at all, it would have been for not against the king on the throne. Georges I and II weren't the best monarchs ever but, though George I was a particularly horrible person, they were far from the worst, and far from bad enough to justify their violent overthrow. All the '15 and '45 accomplished was many deaths on both sides, and if either had resulted in a Jacobite triumph that still would not have made the loss of those lives and the anguish caused to so many families worthwhile.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #12 
Don't get me wrong, I agree that the evidence for Edward's illegitimacy does not add up to a convincing case. But I just don't think it can be dismissed, in the sense that there is no evidence at all and the case is entirely frivolous. The evidence is the three pieces you mention, plus the rumours at the time and close afterwards. In particular, the evidence is all of these together. Do they add up to a convincing case? No. But I do think the case is noteworthy.

On Jacobitism, I think the place and role of the monarch never completely recovered from 1688. I do prefer an active role for Kingship, and hereditary succession and the often squalid oligarchy of Whig magnates which succeeded James II, especially after the reign of Anne, I do not find preferable to the Stuart monarchy. James II was foolish, but I think his tyranny is often overstated. In many ways he simply tried to rule as a monarch with real power, as his ancestors had, and found this was not possible, especially because of his religion (it should be said I'm an Anglican but far closer to Orthodoxy and Catholicism than Protestantism).

The popularity of William's invasion (and it should be remembered he seems to have planned to invade before he got an invitation from a handful of members of parliament) would be hard to gauge. Certainly, James II had upset a lot of people, but whether the populace as a whole wanted him overthrown is impossible to say. They were not consulted. James II lrather uncharacteristically lost his nerve and fled before there was a major battle. If he had stood his ground, who knows what the result might have been.

I can understand your point about the death and destruction of war and violence. It's easy for me to say, of course, but I do think there are causes worth fighting for. I think you are right to remind us about the losses and pain, but I don't think that necessarily decides the issue for me. But, of course, this is all whistling Dixie.
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