Author Topic: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'  (Read 3048 times)

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palatine

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Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« on: June 05, 2006, 10:16:27 AM »
Mary Queen of Scots’ chief mourner was the Countess of Bedford.

Arbella Stuart was buried without ceremony, so there was no chief mourner.

The Countess of Arundel was the chief mourner for Anne of Denmark.

The chief mourner for Henry, Prince of Wales, and for James I and VI was Charles I.

James Stuart, the Duke of Richmond, should be considered Charles I’s chief mourner, since he was the only relative allowed to attend his burial.  

James II was the chief mourner for his siblings Mary of Orange and Henry of Gloucester and for his brother-in-law, William II of Orange.

Elizabeth of Bohemia’s chief mourner was Prince Rupert.

Charles II broke with the custom that barred rulers from attending funerals to act as chief mourner for General George Monk.

La Grande Mademoiselle was the chief mourner for Henrietta Maria and for Henriette-Anne “Minette”, Duchess of Orleans.

George of Denmark was the chief mourner for Charles II and for William III.

The Duchess of Somerset was Mary II’s chief mourner.

Prince John of Braganza, later John V of Portugal, was Catherine of Braganza’s chief mourner.

The Duke of Berwick was the chief mourner for Louise-Marie “La Consolatrice.”
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2006, 01:49:46 PM »
At some stage they must have changed the rule hat the chief mourner was of the same sex as the deceased. It could also be that the formalities became less important as time went on.
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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2006, 04:03:52 PM »
Charles II being Monk's chief mourner is the first example I've seen of a reigning sovereign being chief mourner. It also seems to debunk the rumour that when Elizabeth II attended Churchill's funeral it was the first time a monarch had attended a subject's funeral.

The Stuarts also seemed different in that the chief mourner was generally a close relative of the deceased - that didn't seem to happen too often with the Tudors.

About the Countess of Bedford being chief mourner for Mary Queen of Scots - that's a bit puzzling. Francis Russel (1527-1585) was Earl of Bedford, but his wife Margaret St John died in 1562. The next Earl of Bedford was the latter's grandson, another Francis, but he wasn't born till 1593!

The Countess of Arundel who was Anne of Denmark's chief mourner was Alathea Talbot, daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick, which made her cousin of Arbella Stuart!

The Duchess of Somerset who was Mary II's chief mourner was Elizabeth Percy, daughter of Joceline Percy, Earl of Northumberland.
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2006, 01:29:24 AM »
Quote
About the Countess of Bedford being chief mourner for Mary Queen of Scots - that's a bit puzzling. Francis Russel (1527-1585) was Earl of Bedford, but his wife Margaret St John died in 1562.

It would be his 2nd wife: Bridget (d. 1601), daughter of John, Lord Hussey.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

palatine

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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 09:26:13 PM »
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At some stage they must have changed the rule hat the chief mourner was of the same sex as the deceased. It could also be that the formalities became less important as time went on.

I think the Stuarts were forced to break the rule at times thanks to circumstances beyond their control.  Mary of Orange and Elizabeth of Bohemia had despised Anne Hyde and had deplored her marriage to James, Duke of York.  Anne was the best choice to act as the chief mourner for both women, but because of their well-known contempt for her, her appointment would have been considered hypocritical and perhaps disrespectful.  However, if any other noblewoman had been appointed, it would have been seen as an insult to Anne, hence the break with tradition and male chief mourners.  

Louise-Marie died of smallpox, which was raging through the court of the exiled Stuarts at that time.  Some who might have been a better choice as chief mourner may have been too sick to do so or too frightened of exposing themselves to the disease.  Mary of Modena probably didn’t choose a French royal to act as chief mourner because of time constraints and because the rules of etiquette and precedence would have required her to choose a junior royal, such as Francoise-Marie “Madame Lucifer”, Duchess of Orleans; Marie Louise, the alcoholic Duchess of Berri; or Louise, Duchess of Maine, the “Nymph of Sceaux.”   :P  Berwick was the best possible choice under the circumstances.  He was Louise-Marie’s half brother and close friend, and he was a distinguished figure in international society.  As I recall, Berwick's wife did not come from a socially prominent family, which would explain why she wasn’t chosen.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 03:05:02 AM »
I can see why noone from the French court was chosen for L M's funeral - the Court at St Germains was the "English court", and in order to maintain the fiction of it's independence the chief mourner would have to come from the "English/Scottish nobility." You are right though that none of the ladies mentioned would have been the ideal choice!

The Duchess of Berri was however the first lady at court, after the death of the Dauphine. She remined so until her death. I don't think she was actually an alcoholic at this point (1712), just a teenage binge drinker.

Palatine, do you know who the chief mourner for James II was? And who was chief mourner for M B?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

palatine

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Re: Stuart 'Chief Mourners'
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2006, 10:23:09 AM »
The households of James II and Mary Beatrice, as well as members of the French nobility, attended their funerals but no one seems to have been appointed as chief mourner.  

The Duchess of Somerset was Queen Anne’s chief mourner.

Henriette-Anne “Minette”, Duchess of Orleans, was the chief mourner for Anne of Austria, Dowager Queen of France.

I think that William of Gloucester was buried without a chief mourner since he was a child when he died.  

I couldn’t find the chief mourners for Anne Hyde, the Duchess of York; George of Denmark; Clementina Sobieska; the Old Pretender; Bonnie Prince Charlie; Louise of Stolberg; or Henry, Cardinal York.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »