Author Topic: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?  (Read 5372 times)

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Offline LenelorMiksi

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Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« on: August 29, 2005, 03:10:07 PM »
Were they or weren't they?  Just close friends or something more?  I started this over in the IF area on Non-Hetero Royals but decided to move the debate over here.  For previous arguments, refer to pgs 8 & 9 of:
http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=family;action=display;num=1106117720
All argument welcome, especially those that agree with me; that they were!  ;D
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2005, 03:13:26 PM »
Umigon and I started this debate on the 'Mary II and Anne' thread.

Here's my first words on the subject, copies and pasted from the other thread:
nne and Sarah Churchill is a different matter. Sarah certainly beleived Anne was a lesbian - she claimed she was having an affair with Abigail Masham once Sarah was out of favour.

Remember, Sarah was 5 years Anne's senior, and they way Anne listened to her advice implicitly suggests an element of hero worship here too.

Their parting was very bitter. 'I beleive nobody was ever so used by a friend as I have been since coming to the Crown,' fumed Anne, while Sarah retorted 'She meant well and was nobody's fool, but nobody can maintain she was wise, or entertaining in conversation.'

That is certainly true. Being neither a reader nor particularly intelligent, Anne's conversation seemed to consist entirely of petty tittle-tattle.


And umigon says:
Well, yes, could also have been a lesbian, or at least a bisexual. But Sarah's comments... could be true, but she could be also saying that to hurt the Queen, as she had lost her favour, which was now on her cousin's hands and it was her who had presented both off them (correct me if I'm wrong, I often write from memory and I can be wrong!). So it could be what she really thought of Anne, a comment to hurt her because she felt spieful or both!

Still, making those comments was quite stupid of her. You can't pass all of your time with a person of your own sex for more than 20 years being very close in every act of his or her life both phisical and emotionally and then, when that person doesn't want you by his/her side any more go along saying this person is gay and pretend people not to believe you also are!

God, I don't know if you'll understand what I was trying to say above. I hope so!  

Conclusion: Both Mary and Anne had lesbian affairs. That of Anne was probably more intense and real. Mary could have been exploring her newly discovered sexuality (you know, that emotions you feel when you are thirteen!) and she fell obsessively in love with Frances the same way straight girls nowadays kiss between each other just to explore their sexuality. Am I being clear? If you don't understand what I wrote, I'll try again!
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2005, 03:37:04 PM »
OMG, you had a whole discussion without me about Sarah and Anne?  And you didn't tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am wounded  ;)
Umm, I'll go read that thread before I say anything else.
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline LenelorMiksi

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2005, 03:54:46 PM »
So, Anne was supposedly with Adelaide after Sarah?  Strange.  I'm more likely to say that Anne and Sarah had their relationship and then Anne devoted herself to her husband, but that's just a hunch.  This subject is getting as spread out as Victoria Melita and Marie/Missy of Roumania. CONFUSING
Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse:  "Each year brings us nearer to the Wiedersehen [reunion with the dead], though it is sad to think how one's glass is running out, & how little good goes with it, compared to the numberless blessings we receive.  Time goes incredibly fast."

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2005, 04:56:02 PM »
As umigon has said, I think Sarah's accusations of Anne sleeping with Abigail was just plain spite. Sarah was a spiteful woman.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

palatine

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2005, 12:59:06 PM »
I think it is possible that Anne had an affair with Sarah, but I don't think that explains their long relationship.  There is no proof that they had an affair.

The basis of their relationship seems to have been the fact that Anne was emotionally dependent on Sarah, while Sarah and her husband were financially dependent on Anne.  Anne and Sarah's husbands were also friends.  All four had a wonderful time bonding together over their complaints about King William, or "Caliban" as Anne and Sarah called him.

Their relationship worked for a very long time, until Sarah grew too imperious and was replaced by Abigail Masham, her own cousin, in Anne's affections.  Sarah had deputized Abigail to run and fetch for Anne, and in the course of this, Anne grew to depend on the placid Abigail rather than the termagant Sarah.

I think one of the largest factors in Anne and Sarah's relationship was the fact that Sarah could see well but Anne was very nearsighted.  It is possible that she suffered from other eye problems as well; she was sent to France in childhood so her eyes could be treated by doctors there.

Anne could not read easily, which meant that her scanty education was neglected.  Neither Anne nor Mary were well-educated to begin with, and I suspect that Anne was sensitive about her lack of accomplishment in this area.  This might also explain why her conversation focused on trivial things and gossip.

In her portraits, Anne is pretty, but contemporary accounts say that Anne's face was often contorted as she tried to see better.  It is unknown why she didn't try wearing glasses to correct her sight; possibly she wore them in private.  I once read that Louis XVI, who was also nearsighted, was discouraged from wearing glasses in public because they weren't dignified enough for royalty to use.  Perhaps Anne was told the same thing, or perhaps she was simply too vain to wear them.

Since Anne couldn't see well, she may have had to rely on verbal cues rather than facial ones in conversations.  This probably meant that she was shy and socially awkward, and she may have made gaffes.  Anne probably had low self-esteem.  

Sarah was valuable to Anne from the start of their relationship because Sarah was intelligent and better educated, and because she was arrogant enough for both of them.  Sarah was also decisive; from childhood, she made decisions for Anne, decisions which Anne happily went along with.

I have often wondered if the Glorious Revolution would have gone as it did if Sarah and Anne had never met.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2005, 03:12:03 PM »
Hooray! Someone who agrees with me!  ;D

It's an interesting thought, Palatine. I think Sarah certainly wielded a lot of influence over Anne - didn't she have a part to play in encouraging Anne to abandon James in 1688?

I don't particularly like either of these women, I must admit - Anne was a spiteful, vacuous gossip whereas Sarah was a sharp and bossy martinet.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2005, 05:01:20 PM »
Quote
I have often wondered if the Glorious Revolution would have gone as it did if Sarah and Anne had never met.

All of this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.


John Churchill owed his rise to James, ironically - his sister was James' mistress! He betrayed James in 1688, because like everyone else he couldn't see which side James was on. Churchill's nephew, the Duke of Berwick fought on the French side in the War of Spanish Succession.

I think Anne was a lonely and insecure woman who needed sycophantic friends (à la AF). I don't personally think there was much sexual going on there, but who knows?

Trivia: Lady Masham's name is pronounced "Mas'm", as I discovered when I visited this town in Yorkshire.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

palatine

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2005, 09:05:17 AM »
Both Sarah and John Churchill knew that there would be real benefits for them if William became king instead of James II, which is why both of them used their influence with Anne to bring about the Glorious Revolution.  They were not alone; there were many other plotters, but Sarah and John were the most influential where Anne was concerned.

William and Mary were childless, which meant that if they were able to oust James, in time Anne would become Queen and her children would succeed to the throne.  In 1688, no one realized that all of Anne's children would die; she seemed relatively healthy and very fertile.  Sarah knew that if Anne became Queen, she would be able to pry more money out of Anne's increased income, and she also knew that Anne would give titles and estates to herself and John.

As for John, if William became king, he knew that England would in all likelihood go to war on the Continent, which would offer better chances of promotion and plunder.  

Incidentally, before he married Sarah, John had an affair with Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine, the mistress of Charles II.  He was well paid for it, as the king knew.  When Charles II walked in on them one night, Churchill escaped out the window.  Charles II went to the window and called after him that he forgave him, since he "did it for his bread."

Another fun fact:  Mary of Modena, James II's wife, was instrumental in arranging the marriage of Sarah and John.  Sarah was very poor, and John's family thought it would be better if he married a wealthy woman instead.  Mary of Modena intervened, and the two were married.  No doubt Mary later regretted her kindness towards these two.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2005, 02:10:08 PM »
After the Revolution of 1688, Anne and Mary II fell out over the Churchills. Mary disliked and disapproved of them, and Sarah was frankly venomous towards the new Queen, perhaps fearing that now that the sisters were together again (Mary having been in Holland) Mary would influence Anne's opinions (never likely given Anne's stubborn ways but not impossible).

Even Anne eventually exhausted her patience with Sarah. One only has to read their correspondance in Maureen Waller's 'Ungrateful Daughters' to see how shabbily Sarah treated Anne. Anne could never bring herself to rid herself of Sarah - Anne had the plodding, secretive temperament of the Hydes, whereas her sister had the Latin ways of Henrietta Maria's family.

And Anne couldn't even pull rank with Sarah, because of their 'Mrs Morley/Mrs Freeman' agreement, which no doubt she regretted later. Sarah, when recalling their choice of names, said 'my frank, open temperament naturally made me pitch towards Freeman' - an understatment if you like!
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline Modena

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2005, 05:02:57 PM »
Quote
Incidentally, before he married Sarah, John had an affair with Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine, the mistress of Charles II.  He was well paid for it, as the king knew.  When Charles II walked in on them one night, Churchill escaped out the window.  Charles II went to the window and called after him that he forgave him, since he "did it for his bread."

Another fun fact:  Mary of Modena, James II's wife, was instrumental in arranging the marriage of Sarah and John.  Sarah was very poor, and John's family thought it would be better if he married a wealthy woman instead.  Mary of Modena intervened, and the two were married.  No doubt Mary later regretted her kindness towards these two.

All of this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.


Wow!  :D
What I will add to this:
John Churchill apparently got 100,000 pounds out of Barbara Villiers so next time one visits Blenheim, think of where the furnishings came from!  :-X :P He fathered an daughter who grew up, and left a convent to have an illegitimate child of her own.  :-X :o

Yes, John Churchill wanted the "blessing" (er, cash?) of Mary of Modena in order to marry Sarah. Later, the thanks Mary got was her family being driven out of England.  >:(
Also, the intended bride for John Churchill (the bride his family wanted for him) was the very unattractive yet very rich Catherine Sedley, who took her revenge on Mary of Modena by going after James Duke of York during a particularly sad and vulnerable time in their marriage. :(  
Ironically, Mary of Modena was known not to want to hear anyone say anything bad or malicious about John Churchill, despite the grief he must have caused her.

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2005, 02:10:59 AM »
Quote


Ironically, Mary of Modena was known not to want to hear anyone say anything bad or malicious about John Churchill, despite the grief he must have caused her.


Hi Modena! You obviously know your Stuarts!

Do you think this was magnanimity of spirit, or do you think she had a slight "crush" on him?
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Modena

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2005, 07:44:40 AM »
Quote

Hi Modena! You obviously know your Stuarts!

Do you think this was magnanimity of spirit, or do you think she had a slight "crush" on him?


Hi, Bell!  ;D
Oh, magnanimity of spirit, Mary of Modena apparently was a VERY forgiving woman. Too much so, in my opinion.  :-/  :'(
John Churchill was such a slimy, self-serving weasel willing to do anything for his own gain.  :-X The very people who stand up for him and aid him, he turns on.
What a traitor. :(



Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Q.Anne & Sarah Churchill: An Item?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2005, 09:22:26 AM »
Quote
I think it is possible that Anne had an affair with Sarah, but I don't think that explains their long relationship.  There is no proof that they had an affair.

The basis of their relationship seems to have been the fact that Anne was emotionally dependent on Sarah, while Sarah and her husband were financially dependent on Anne.  Anne and Sarah's husbands were also friends.  All four had a wonderful time bonding together over their complaints about King William, or "Caliban" as Anne and Sarah called him.

Their relationship worked for a very long time, until Sarah grew too imperious and was replaced by Abigail Masham, her own cousin, in Anne's affections.  Sarah had deputized Abigail to run and fetch for Anne, and in the course of this, Anne grew to depend on the placid Abigail rather than the termagant Sarah.

I think one of the largest factors in Anne and Sarah's relationship was the fact that Sarah could see well but Anne was very nearsighted.  It is possible that she suffered from other eye problems as well; she was sent to France in childhood so her eyes could be treated by doctors there.

Anne could not read easily, which meant that her scanty education was neglected.  Neither Anne nor Mary were well-educated to begin with, and I suspect that Anne was sensitive about her lack of accomplishment in this area.  This might also explain why her conversation focused on trivial things and gossip.

In her portraits, Anne is pretty, but contemporary accounts say that Anne's face was often contorted as she tried to see better.  It is unknown why she didn't try wearing glasses to correct her sight; possibly she wore them in private.  I once read that Louis XVI, who was also nearsighted, was discouraged from wearing glasses in public because they weren't dignified enough for royalty to use.  Perhaps Anne was told the same thing, or perhaps she was simply too vain to wear them.

Since Anne couldn't see well, she may have had to rely on verbal cues rather than facial ones in conversations.  This probably meant that she was shy and socially awkward, and she may have made gaffes.  Anne probably had low self-esteem.  

Sarah was valuable to Anne from the start of their relationship because Sarah was intelligent and better educated, and because she was arrogant enough for both of them.  Sarah was also decisive; from childhood, she made decisions for Anne, decisions which Anne happily went along with.

I have often wondered if the Glorious Revolution would have gone as it did if Sarah and Anne had never met.

All of this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.


I have not read exhaustively on this topic as you others have, but I think what Palatine says above rings true to me. The prejudice against royalty wearing glasses was universal it seems -  as she says, Louis XVI really needed them but was not allowed, which also contributed to his shyness and lack of confidence, as in the case of Anne.

I never heard that Mary II was a lesbian -that is a new one to me. As I have said, I have not read as many things as the rest of you have on this subject.