Saturday, September 26, 2009

All about Anne - Part II

As I mentioned in a previous post, Anne had many pregnancies - most ending in tragedy. And the one child who lived past infancy – William – died when he was 11. Below are all the recorded series of births and miscarriages:

1684 May 12 Stillborn Daughter
1685 June 2 Mary or Marie (died February 8, 1687)
1686 May 12 Anne Sophia (died February 2, 1687)
1687 Miscarriage January 1687
1687 Stillborn Son October 22, 1687
1688 Miscarriage April 16, 1688
1689 William, Duke of Gloucester 24 July 1689 (died July 30, 1700)
1690 Mary October 14, 1690 (two months premature, lived two hours)
1692 George April 17, 1692 (born at Syon, lived a few minutes)
1693 Stillborn Daughter March 23, 1693
1694 Stillborn Child January 21, 1694
1696 Stillborn Daughter February 18, 1696
1696 Double Miscarriage September 20, 1696 (‘a son of 7 months growth, the other of 2 or 3 months’)
1697 Stillborn Daughter March 25, 1697
1697 Miscarriage December 1697
1698 Charles September 15, 1698
1700 Stillborn Son January 25, 1700

All of Anne's children bore the titles of Prince(ss) of Denmark and Prince(ss) of Norway.

I am reading a book called Queen Anne by David Green published in 1970 by Scribners. There is an appendix dealing with the health of Anne over the years. It’s pretty darn depressing. As a 5-year old child she developed some kind of eye ailment which troubled her for the rest of her life. When she was 12, she had smallpox. After marriage at 18 to Prince George of Denmark in 1684, she had the terrible list of pregnancies shown above.

Green says, “In 1698, when Anne was 33, we have the first mention of gout which, from then on, begins to affect various parts of the body: both hands, both feet, elbow, knees and eventually ( as then diagnosed) stomach and head. In 1701 she was ‘extremely afflicted with gout’, and the following year, at the age of 37, she had to be carried to her coronation.”

Later Green says, “The remedies prescribed for Queen Anne were typical of the time: ass’s milk, hiera picra, oil of millipedes, spa water, steel, quinine, Sir Walter Raleigh’s Cordial and for pain laudanum. She was quite often bled, but preferred cupping.”

Who knows what “hiera picra” is – sounds a bit nasty. Actually, this is what I was able to find (but who knows if it's accurate) – "Priestly bitters", a name given to many medicines in the Greek pharmacopoeia but especially to a purgative drug composed of aloes and canella bark, sometimes mixed with honey and other ingredients.

And as far as “oil of millipedes” goes, you wouldn’t get a drop of that past my lips, I can tell you! Don’t you love “Sir Walter Raleigh’s Cordial” – it probably had a wee drop of alcohol in it. But, for me, laudanum’s the ticket – just stay doped up for the whole time.

And then, this benighted lady lost her husband in 1708. More in the next post.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All about Anne - Part I

I am, again, grateful for Wikipedia for the information below.

"Anne was born at St. James's Palace, London, the second daughter of James, Duke of York (afterwards James II), and his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde. Her paternal uncle was King Charles II and her older sister was the future Mary II. Anne and Mary were the only children of the Duke and Duchess of York to survive into adulthood.

"Anne suffered as a child from an eye infection; for medical treatment, she was sent to France. She lived with her grandmother, Henrietta Maria of France, and with her aunt, Henrietta Anne, Duchess of Orléans, following her grandmother's death. Anne returned to England in 1670.

"In about 1673, Anne made the acquaintance of Sarah Jennings, who became her close friend and one of her most influential advisors. Jennings later married John Churchill (the future Duke of Marlborough), who was to become Anne's most important general.

"In 1673, Anne's father's conversion to Roman Catholicism became public. On the instructions of Charles II, however, Anne and her sister Mary were raised as Protestants.

"On 28 July 1683, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark-Norway, brother of King Christian V of Denmark-Norway (and her second cousin once removed through Frederick II), an unpopular union but one of great domestic happiness. Sarah Churchill became Anne's Lady of the Bedchamber, and, by Anne's desire to mark their mutual intimacy and affection, all deference due to her rank was abandoned and the two ladies called each other Mrs. Morley and Mrs. Freeman."

Apparently, letter writing was a big thing in those days and women wrote letters to their best friends with amazing intimacy. I put this down to the fact that many were married for reasons of state and not love, so they had to have some kind of emotional outlet.

Sir Winston Churchill, apparently a big fan of Queen Anne, said of her relationship with Sarah Church (his ancestor, by the way) that it was "perfervid." I sure had to look that one up - "adjective - very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned".

I've included a picture of my business card - I love it. It was designed by Jim Todd of TODD graphics at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning about Queen Anne

Since I was going to be this new personna in 2010, it seemed like a good idea to find out as much as I could about this queen across the sea. My first foray took me to Wikipedia. While internet information isn't always totally accurate, I thought the information below seemed pretty straight forward -

"Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702, succeeding her brother-in-law, William III of England and II of Scotland. Her Catholic father, James II and VII, was deemed by the English Parliament to have abdicated when he was forced to retreat to France during the Glorious Revolution of 1688/9; her brother-in-law and her sister then became joint monarchs as William III & II and Mary II, the only such case in British history. After Mary's death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until his own death in 1702.

"On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, England and Scotland were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne became its first sovereign, while continuing to hold the separate crown of Queen of Ireland and the title of Queen of France. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death in August 1714. Anne was therefore the last Queen of England and the last Queen of Scots.

"Anne's life was marked by many crises, both personally and relating to succession of the Crown and religious polarisation. Because she died without surviving issue, Anne was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by her second cousin, George I, of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James VI & I."

When they say Anne's life "was marked by many crises" they weren't kidding. For me, the most tragic was the fact that this poor woman "had been pregnant at least eighteen times; thirteen times, she miscarried or gave birth to stillborn children. Of the remaining five children, four died before reaching the age of two years. Her only son to survive infancy, William, Duke of Gloucester, died at the age of eleven on 29 July 1700, precipitating a succession crisis."

And last today, above is my favourite picture of the Lady Anne painted in 1683 when she was married.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Start

In early October 1710, the tiny French fort of Port Royal on the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia was surrendered to the British and was renamed Annapolis Royal. And while that may not seem like a big deal, especially given this tiny speck of European humanity in North America, it is a big deal to folks who live around here.

In the spring of 2009, I was asked if I wanted to participate in some fashion in the commemoration of the renaming of Port Royal to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia in 1710. I have been involved in various projects in and around this beautiful part of Nova Scotia for some time and went to a meeting.

My idea was to have a picnic dedicated to all those whose name was Anne or a derivative of Anne - E.G. - Ann, Anita, Anna, etc. And then my mind started churning and I thought it would be kind of fun to have the Queen herself be at the picnic. And then, and then...

So here I am - portraying Queen Anne for the year 2010 - 300 years after Her Majesty named this place. It helps that my name is Anne. It helps that my name is Anne with an E. However, I was named by my mother for Anne of Green Gables (written by L.M. Montgomery over in Prince Edward Island). But that's OK.

Right now, I'm in preparation mode. A wonderful "costumier royale" and great friend Millie Hawes is making my gown. It is going to be fabulous! The great unveiling will be on January 1, 2010 at a levee in Annapolis Royal kicking off lots of events taking palce throughout next year. I have my shoes and the jewels are on order. And then there's the wig - something drastic needs to happen to it before I appear in public - believe you me!

The events for 2010 will either be specifically 1710 events or they are regular goings-on that will take on a 1710 flavour. More about that as we move along.

I thought it might be fun to keep track of how it all turns out - hence this blog. More as we go along.