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Murtagon

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windemere
Thank you for that interesting survey of the possible heirs to the English throne at Queen Elizabeth’s death. Incidentally, Margaret Tudor was both a paternal great-grandmother (with her second husband) and a maternal great-grandmother (with her first husband) of King James VI and I

In addition to being the great-granddaughter of Margaret Tudor (with her second husband),Lady Arbella Stuart was also King James VI and I’s paternal first-cousin.


You are welcome!

This is all absolutely correct. I do find it curious, however, that while Margaret's first husband was indeed a royal, her second one was not. It was the quite the opposite in Mary's case. Her first one was none other than King Louis XII of France (they had no children), while her second one was an English peer.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #17 

Henry VIII’s elder sister. As he was 12 years old at the time, Henry’s views on his sister’s marriage to the King of Scots are unlikely to have been taken into account, but I know of no record that he objected. He certainly did object to Margaret’s chequered marital career after her first husband died; rather ironically in view of subsequent events, he strenuously disapproved of her obtaining a Papal annulment of her second marriage and promptly embarking on a third. Henry’s number of marriages was one at the time, but as we all know would far from remain so.

The question of foreign-born heirs inheriting the English throne was a tricky one. I have never been able to find a text of De natis ultra mare, the statute of Edward III that supposedly dealt with the issue, but as far as I can glean it was more concerned with inheritance of landed property than succession to the crown. If we look since William I, born in Falaise, Normandy but he did not exactly inherit the throne, William II was born in Normandy though we do not know exactly where. Henry I was born in England, probably Yorkshire though we aren’t certain, but Stephen in Blois, France.

Henry II in Le Mans, in the neighbouring county of Anjou, then we get a sequence of English-born kings (OK, Welsh-born in the case of Edward II) lasting until Richard II, interestingly enough Edward III’s immediate successor, born in Bordeaux, then under English rule but definitely not in England. And his immediate heir at his accession was generally seen as being his uncle John, Duke of Lancaster, known as John of Gaunt due to his birth in Ghent, neither in England nor under English rule.

His deceased elder brother Lionel, Duke of Clarence, from whom the Yorkist claim eventually derived, was known as Lionel of Antwerp for a similar reason, and again Antwerp was never an English possession. Not too much sign of a bar on the foreign-born there. Earlier, Edward I had left a will establishing male preference primogeniture as the succession method from him, with no hint that his daughter Joan of Acre, which is where she was born while her parents were on Crusade, was in any different position to the others.

The will was of questionable legal and no historical effect, but still shows the direction of thinking at the time. The same is true of Edward III’s will establishing semi-Salic succession, but again the fact that far from being excluded John of Gaunt stood at the head of the line after his nephew Richard shows that Edward III had no particular aversion to the foreign-born succeeding.

Moving forward, Henry IV was born in England, Henry V in Wales, Henry VI in England but Edward IV in Rouen, which distinctly was not in either England or Wales. But neither his treacherous brother Clarence (born in English-ruled Dublin) nor his even more treacherous brother Gloucester (born in England, Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire to be precise) ever challenged his right or his children’s right on natal grounds, instead concocting spurious allegations of illegitimacy against first Edward IV himself and then all his children.

Anyway, after the English-born Edward V was usurped and subsequently murdered by Gloucester, now Richard III, the Welsh-born Henry VII overthrew and killed Richard in turn. The next four monarchs, who were Henry VIII and his children, were all English-born, then we have the first and second (and to date last) Scots-born monarchs, James I and Charles I. I will briefly mention that just three monarchs have been born outside England since, William III (Netherlands) and George I and George II (both Hanover), then return to James I, the only one among all these sovereigns whose birthplace appears to have caused any controversy whatsoever.

And actually it didn’t really. The legal issue with his succession was not so much his birth in Edinburgh but that his claim derived from Margaret Tudor with whom we started, and her line was specifically excluded under the final will of her brother Henry VIII, which unlike the wills of Edwards I and III mentioned previously undoubtedly was of binding legal effect, Henry’s second and third Succession Acts having specifically authorised him to leave the Crown by will to whomever he pleased, in default of natural heirs of the body.

His first such Act (1533) excluded his elder daughter Mary as illegitimate and made his second daughter Elizabeth heiress. Its own successor (1536) delegitimised Elizabeth too, leaving no heirs as the future Edward VI was yet to be born, hence the wide latitude given to the King. Then the third Act took note of Edward’s arrival, and left the Crown to him and the heirs of his body, then any issue of the King with his current wife (Katherine Parr, #6) or any future wives he might have, then to Mary, still specifically shown as illegitimate, and her issue, then to Elizabeth, double ditto, and finally in default of all these to whomever it might please the King to name in his will or by Letters Patent.

The King did in fact leave a will, which reiterated the order of succession above then added the descent of his younger sister Mary, specifically excluding that of his elder sister Margaret as foreigners, which they were. And, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth all having died without issue and without altering the succession in any respect (albeit Edward attempted to, but not in any legally binding form) this will, which had statutory force, was in fact the law of England.

How then did James I come to accede? Simple. He was an immensely more qualified and appealing candidate than any of Mary’s various descendants, quite apart from the difficulty of determining exactly which one of these was the senior in legitimate line. So the law was just ignored, and may be regarded as having been superseded the instant these words were pronounced. Which was not the end of succession controversies in these lands, but was the end of the natal question in such controversies. Which, as I think I have shown, never played much of a role anyway.

Murtagon

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks, Peter! I've corrected my mistake and added a note that refers readers to your very informative post.

I have a question for you. How many times has the English/British succession been limited to the descendants of a specific person? 
Peter

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Reply with quote  #19 
Offhand I can only think of three occasions, the first being the Act of Henry VII you already mentioned, with limitation to his own descendants, and the second being the Act of Settlement, which limited it to the descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover (failing issue of first Princess Anne of Denmark and then William III, neither of whom seemed at all likely to have any). The Scottish Act of Union established that situation for Scotland also, with no mention of William II (as he was there) since he was already dead, and I suppose you could say that was the fourth occasion, as an Act of Robert II had limited succession in Scotland to his own sons and thereafter to their sons and their sons' sons and so forth. When those lines failed with James V the infant Mary I succeeded as 'lawful heir', this being the extent to which the succession had been specified in default of qualifying males.

Thanks for your interesting essay, as I neglected to say. I also meant to mention that it was nice to see our friend Windemere reappear. It's been a little while since we've seen him, which I presumed was due to lockdown making computer access difficult (he has several times mentioned that his primary access is through his local library). I was hoping of course that it was nothing more serious than that! Which happily it evidently wasn't.
Murtagon

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thank you for the answer, Peter! I'll see how I can use that information in the future.

Yes, I had forgotten to congratulate Windemere on his return! One more week and the state of emergency in Bulgaria will be lifted and I think I am going to breathe a sigh of relief. I hope for the same for my fellow monarchists from the UK and the US (and anywhere else, really).

Unless anything unexpected happens, the next new project should appear in early June.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #21 
Peter and Murtagon,
Thank you both for your kind wishes. I do very much miss the local libraries, which are closed right now, due to the Pandemic lockdowns that we are all coping with. I don’t have internet access at my home, but I’ve acquired an iPhone, and am trying to learn how to use it to access email and the internet. The post I sent last night in response to Murtagon’s survey of the English succession at Elizabeth I’s death was one of the first I’d sent over the iphone, and I’m happy to see that it went through siccessfully. Oddly enough, I have no idea how to use the telephone feature on the iPhone, and I still depend upon my landline phone for that. But the iPhone is very handy for email and for accessing the internet.

It’s being left up to the individual state governments to decide when to end the lockdowns and reopen. The federal guidelines are recommending 14 consecutive days of a declining Covid daily fatality toll before reopening, although numerous states have ignored this, and reopened early. My own state is taking a conservative approach, which I think is prudent, and is maintaining the lockdown for the forseeable future.

The lockdown is actually quite manageable. Supermarkets, drugstores, takeout restaurants, and parks are open, and we can go outside, walk, and drive, although we are wearing masks and social-distancing.

It will be a pleasure to reread Peter’s comprehensive post concerning the English, Scottish, and Welsh succession issues. Take care, and best wishes to all as we continue to cope with this Pandemic.

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