Author Topic: Arbella Stuart and her father  (Read 6887 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Arbella Stuart and her father
« on: January 21, 2006, 12:33:36 PM »
Hello guys, here's a thread to discuss Arbella Stuart (1575-1615) and her father Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox (1555-1576). Did Arbella have porphyria, as has been rumoured? Also, what kind of man was Charles? Was he like his brother Darnley?

I have a bio on Arbella, 'England's Lost Queen' and tried reading it once, but gave up before long. I just found it very heavy reading and far too dominated by Bess of Hardwick, who doesn't interest me very much.  :-/
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bell_the_cat

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2006, 01:04:33 PM »
Quote
Hello guys, here's a thread to discuss Arbella Stuart (1575-1615) and her father Charles Stuart, Earl of Lennox (1555-1576). Did Arbella have porphyria, as has been rumoured? Also, what kind of man was Charles? Was he like his brother Darnley?

I have a bio on Arbella, 'England's Lost Queen' and tried reading it once, but gave up before long. I just found it very heavy reading and far too dominated by Bess of Hardwick, who doesn't interest me very much.  :-/



...and does anyone know why she was named Arbella? I would have called her Elizabeth for obvious reasons!

I get the impression that Charles was a juvenile delinquent just like his big bro.

I suppose Arbella may have had Porphyria, but lets face it, that was the least of her problems.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

palatine

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2006, 03:27:50 PM »
I don’t think Arbella suffered from porphyria.  I think she suffered from long-term stress, disappointment and clinical depression.

Arbella was orphaned when she was very young.  She was raised by her grandmother, the cold and calculating Bess of Hardwick.  Bess encouraged Arbella to believe that she would inherit the throne of England, since the common law forbade foreigners like James from inheriting the throne.  To freak James out, Queen Elizabeth maliciously encouraged Arbella’s pretensions at times, but did not officially claim her as her heir.  As she came to adulthood, Arbella’s grandmother treated her like a prisoner and Elizabeth refused to allow her to marry.

When James became king, Arbella resigned herself to leading a private life and made no effort to plot against him.  James never trusted her, however, and kept her under his eye as much as possible.  Queen Elizabeth's mischief bore bitter fruit: James was seriously paranoid where Arbella was concerned.  He too refused to allow Arbella to marry, despite the fact that she was eager to do so and clearly had no political aspirations.  

She secretly married one of his courtiers and fled the country.  With the French shore in sight, Arbella’s vessel was captured by English ships.  She was brought home and imprisoned in the Tower.  Her husband, who was aboard a different ship, managed to get away.

Since she hadn’t been charged with anything, Arbella dared to hope that James would let her go and permit her to join her husband in exile.  Arbella spent her days writing letters and worrying, since she was running out of time if she was to have children.  She pinned her hopes on the marriage of James's daughter, believing that once James secured his own succession he would release her.  She even ordered an expensive dress to wear to the wedding.  

When it finally dawned on her that James was never going to let her leave the Tower, Arbella had a nervous breakdown.  Despite her harmlessness, she remained a prisoner until she died.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 03:39:48 PM »
Thanks Palatine, I knew you'd know.  ;)

It wasn't just any courtier she married - William Seymour, Duke of Somerset, descendant of Lady Katherine Grey!  :o
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palatine

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2006, 03:52:38 PM »
Oddly enough, Seymour held no hard feelings against the Stuarts for what they'd done to Arbella.  He gave King Charles a lot of money during the Civil War and served him loyally.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2006, 03:53:49 PM »
Yes, he died in 1660 I believe, having remarried and had several children.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

ilyala

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2006, 09:17:22 AM »
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Thanks Palatine, I knew you'd know.  ;)

It wasn't just any courtier she married - William Seymour, Duke of Somerset, descendant of Lady Katherine Grey!  :o



...and somerset, lord protector of england through his son who married katherine

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 09:53:38 AM »
Arbella's life was certainly not the best. She seems to have found little in life that really interested her. I think her name was unusual, because in most cases more conventional names were given. Bess of Hardwick wanted a son from the marriage of her daughter, and Charles Stuart. A son would have satisfied her ambitions. Instead, it was a girl, Arbella. If it had been on a son, maybe that would have been more of a challenge to James's claim to the throne. But, while she was native born in England, she certainly wasn't much of a challenge, except in theory. I have read, that even apart from the expensive dress she ordered for that wedding she never attended, she generally had a taste for expensive clothing. She was kind of like Lady Jane Grey, a distant cousin. She was punished for having royal blood, despite the fact that she didn't have any interest in the throne.

bell_the_cat

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 02:26:22 PM »
I was reading that in effect she starved herself to death..... :o

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 10:27:32 AM »
She was a very sad figure. She died at a fairly young age, although maybe it was rather old for those times. I think after everything she had been through, she simply lost the will to live. That is understandable.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2007, 04:07:40 PM »
She died at forty. I think for a woman of her class, that was still a little young - her cousin James VI/I lived to be, what 58 or 59?
"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 Romanov_fan

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Re: Arbella Stuart and her father
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2007, 05:31:40 PM »
That seems a bit young to me as well. She was just a rather naive figure, who perhaps didn't understand the dangers inherent in royal blood in that age, and in that country. She never had children, but that was perhaps her main threat, that she would have a healthy son. If she hadn't tried to marry, her life would still have been bad, but that really did it.