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f The Plantagenet succession was hardly an ex- apparent is the first who has derived the title ception; Matilda can be barely counted as a queen- of Prince of Wales from a maternal parent. regnant: and her husband and son were not more foreign to the English nation than the existing royal | And Elizabeth, the greatest of our queens, family.
and one of the greatest of our sovereigns, VOL. XXXIII.NO. II.
It has been remarked by Sismondi, that the the marriage of a queen-regnant, but always effect of the Salic law in the succession of a through that of some princess not in the imkingdom is to render the royal family more mediate line of succession, whose posterity strictly national, while one in which female has appeared to claim the throne after several succession is allowed is perpetually exposed generations. Probably few persons seriously to the chance of receiving a foreign dynasty. dreamed that the union of Margaret of EngOf the long line of kings of France, every land with James of Scotland would lead to one was a Frenchman, while England and that of the two British kingdoms under one Spain have each been more than once trans. sceptrè; still fewer doubtless imagined, when ferred to foreign rulers through the operation the decorous Palsgrave carried off his laughof the contrary law. But it is a curious cir- | ing bride from the court of their first common cumstance, that whenever this has occurred sovereign, that within a century both realms in England, fit has never taken place through would receive as their king the prince of a
German state of which few Englishmen in * 1. The Lives of the Queens of England, &c. By those days had heard the name.
But none Agnes Strickland. Vols. VI., VII. London, 1843. 2. Memoirs of the Life and Times
of Sir Christo
of the queens-regnant who have preceded her pher Hatton, K.G., &c. By Sir Harris Nicolas, present Majesty can be made responsible for G.C.M.G. London. 1847.
the good or the evil of introducing new blood 3. The Romance of the Peerage, or Curiosities of into the royal line. Two, indeed — if we the Family History. By George Lillie Craik. count, as is hardly fair, the second Mary, three Vols. I., II. London. 1848.
4. Lives and Letters of the Devereux Earls of —of their number were married to foreign Essex, dc. By the Hon. Walter Bouchier Devereux. princes, but none left surviving issue, only 2 vols. London. 1853.
one bore children at all. The present heir-The Plantagenet succession was hardly an ex- apparent is the first who has derived the title ception; Matilda can be barely counted as a queen- of Prince of Wales from a maternal parent. regnant: and her husband and son were not more foreign to the English nation than the existing royal | And Elizabeth, the greatest of our queens, family.
and one of the greatest of our sovereigns, VOL. XXXIII.NO. II.
desired no worthier epitaph than that “she | Lewis and Hugh Capet, or more recent date lived and died a Virgin Queen.”
than her descent from the "she-wolf," from But more than this, two among our queens. whom that fantastic claim was originally deregnant have been conspicuously national rived; but this was only because a handsome sovereigns. The last Tudor and the last Welsh gentleman had pleased the eye of a Stuart, the daughter of Henry VIII. and the daughter of France,, the widow of the condaughter of James II., were the last of our queror of Agincourt. In tracing her direct rulers who were English by both parents. royal descent through the contending houses Their maternal ancestry was not drawn from whose claims had centred in her father, we kings and kaisers, but from simple English shall not find a foreign ancestor until the two subjects, and those of no very exalted rank lines converge in a pair of whom any nation or pedigree. Both were indeed the daugh- would have been proud, Edward of England ters of peers, but neither Anne Boleyn nor and Philippa of Hainault. It is impossible Queen Anne was born in the peerage; the to doubt that this thorough nationality of the former indeed was doubtless the cause of her Tudor and later Plantagenet sovereigns had father's elevation. The whole dynasty to something to do with the popularity with which Elizabeth belonged was
which they were almost always surrounded. which royalty was more thorougbly national
Before and after, England bad kings--Northan it had been for many centuries before, mans, Scots, or Germans—ignorant of her or than it has ever been since. The marriage language, or careless of her interests: during of the Duke of York with Anne Hyde was this very period Mary lost perbaps more of looked on as something strange, and almost the national affection by her Spanish marmonstrous; but such was not the feeling a riage, than by a whole hecatomb of martyrs; century earlier. The royal personages of the but Henry VIII. and his younger daughter, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries intermarried whatever else they were, good or bad, were more habitually with Englishmen and Eng. the thoroughly English offspring of English lish women than those of any subsequent age, parents, identified in every point of language, or indeed of any preceding one since the habits, and feelings with the common mass Norman Conquest. It was the point of time of their people, who saw in their ruler only most favorable to such a practice. The last the most exalted of their own number, and vestiges of its foreigh origin had just been did not abhor the despotism of one who was wiped away from the dynasty, and the aristo. felt to be the true impersonation of the nacracy founded by the Conqueror; the system tional character. of modern European politics which regards While both father and daughter were alike all crowned heads as forming a distinct caste, the objects of popular attachment during their intermarrying only within their own august lifetime, the daughter alone has retained the circle, was not as yet fully established. In affection of posterity: In fact, we find it no England again especially, the constant revo- easy matter 10 believe that our eighth Harry lutions and changes of the succession brought could ever have been a popular monarch. the crown within the reach of remote The England, however, of those days was used branches of the royal family, who had no. to see royal and noble blood poured out upon thing but their genealogy to distinguish them the scaffold; and there seems reason to befrom the rest of the nobility of the realm. lieve that the strange compounds of religions Anyhow, the pedigree of Queen Elizabeth which he devised harmonized well with the would have appeared painfully defective in feeling of his day. Men rejoiced to get rid of the eyes of a German herald. She would the never-failing grievance of the Pope's suhave been utterly unable to make out her premacy, and of some of the grosser practical sixteen quarterings of royal or even noble delusions and superstitions; but the mass of dignity. We have oftener to pick our way mankind in all ages are alike attached to the through the obscure genealogies of rustic religious ceremonies to which they are accusknigbts and plodding citizens than along the tomed, and heedless about theological dogmas magnificent series of the Percies or the De which they do not comprehend. Such a state Veres. As if to mock every notion of the of mind was exactly met by the church of kind, when any unusually illustrious name Henry VIII.: national and regal vanity were does appear, it is the result of some strange alike fattered by the erection of an insular mesalliance which drew attention even at the Pope in the royal person; men's senses were time. Elizabeth's grotesque title of Queen of no longer insulted by the Rood of Boxly or France might have been backed up by a the holy phial of Hales; but the divine might lineal, though not male, connection with St. I still maintain the orthodox faith of pontiffs