« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
family were the Princess Sophia of Brunswick, and her son George, Elector of Hanover; and it was settled in parliament that the crown should pass to them after the death of Anne. Sophia was the daughter of Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, and granddaughter of James the First.
Queen Anne was of so kind a disposition, that she was commonly called the "good Queen Anne;" but her nature was too soft and yielding, and she allowed herself to be entirely guided by the people who were about her. Lady Churchill, the friend of her early years, still continued to be her chief favourite; she was now Lady Marlborough-for King William had raised Lord Churchill to the earldom of Marlborough. During several years of Anne's reign, Marlborough and his wife were the real rulers of England; but Lady Marlborough, though exceedingly clever, was of a most violent temper, and the queen grew weary of her violence at last, and turned for relief to an artful, soft-spoken woman, a Mrs. Masham, whom Lady Marlborough had placed in attendance on her.
Amongst the chief events of Anne's reign were the victories of Marlborough. Never, till the great Duke of Wellington appeared, had England seen so wise a general. It was said of him that he never fought a battle which he did not win, or besieged a city which he did not take; but his genius and daring were not more remarkable than the patient perseverance with which he overcame all obstacles, and the sweetness of temper which enabled him to bear with and subdue the most unreasonable persons. He had also a beautiful countenance and the most polished manners. He was greatly beloved by his
SIR GEORGE ROOKE.
soldiers, and quite as much admired by foreigners as by his own countrymen. It is sad to think that with so many brilliant and engaging qualities he had a fault which dimmed them all-the excessive love of money.
The Emperor of Germany had a famous general, called Prince Eugene, a very good man; he loved Marlborough like a brother, and many of their victories were gained together, especially that of Blenheim, August 2, 1704. Blenheim is the name of a place in Bavaria, where Marlborough met the French army and defeated it in one of the greatest battles recorded in history. He was rewarded for his services with a dukedom, and with a splendid park and palace which were named Blenheim, in honour of his victory. But he had some enemies at home, and they contrived to poison the mind of the queen against him, by means of her new favourite, Mrs. Masham.
After nine years of continual success, Marlborough was deprived of his command; all his friends were turned out of office; and the new ministers made a disgraceful peace with France, by giving up almost every advantage which had been won by the bravery of the British army and the genius of its general. This was called the Peace of Utrecht, because the treaty was signed there, March, 1713. But the English kept the fortress of Gibraltar. We had been at war with Spain as well as with France, and in the year 1704, Sir George Rooke, a brave commander, who had greatly distinguished himself in the battle of La Hogue, took Gibraltar by surprise, after a few days' siege. It is one of the strongest fortresses in the world, and England esteems it now as one of her
most valuable possessions; but, at first, the people hardly cared for it at all, and gave Sir George no thanks.
One of the happiest events of Anne's reign, was the Union of Scotland and England, in the year 1707. The two countries had been governed by one sovereign, ever since the death of Queen Elizabeth; but each country had its own parliament. It was now settled that the Scots should send fortyfive members to the English House of Commons, and sixteen peers to the House of Lords, and so in future there should be but one parliament for the whole of Great Britain.
There was so much jealous feeling between the two nations, that the Scots did not, at first, like the thought of the union, but they soon found the benefit of it; for while each country had a separate parliament, the English laws were unfavourable to the trade of Scotland, but now the Scots were permitted to have just the same advantages as the English, and they began to carry on such a brisk trade with the British colonies, that the wealth and prosperity of Scotland increased very fast.
Queen Anne died on the 1st of August, 1714; her husband, Prince George of Denmark, had died six years before. Anne was the last sovereign of the House of Stuart; the crown now passed to the House of Brunswick or Hanover.
Queen Anne restored to the Church a portion of the goods on which Henry the Eighth had seized at the Reformation; the fund which was thus created is called Queen Anne's Bounty; it was given by her to increase the maintenance of the poorer clergy.
Soon after the Revolution, a law was made that all clergymen, and every one who held any public office, must take an oath of fidelity to King William and Queen Mary. Archbishop Sancroft, Bishop Ken, four other bishops, and about four hundred clergymen, did not think they could lawfully call William and Mary their sovereigns while James the Second, to whom they had formerly sworn allegiance, was still living. They gave up their benefices, and William appointed other bishops and clergymen in their stead. The deprived prelates and clergy were called Non-jurors. Ken had spent almost all that he possessed in works of charity, but he carried with him into retirement something better than moneythe love and admiration of every one who knew him. He died in 1711. No name in the English Church is more venerated than his, nor has any Christian bishop left a more beautiful example to posterity.
In the reign of King William were founded the first great Missionary Societies of England,-the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in 1698, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in 1701.
The reign of Queen Anne was distinguished by a number of great writers, and, perhaps, most of all by the poetry of Pope and the prose writings of Addison. At this time too lived Defoe, who wrote the delightful story of "Robinson Crusoe."
The manufactures of the country had greatly. increased during the last thirty years, owing to the settlement in England of seventy thousand French Protestants, who had been driven from their own country by Louis the Fourteenth, on account of
their religion, in 1685. Amongst them were several thousand of the most ingenious artisans in France; they taught the English the manufacture of silks and velvets, of fine glass, and white paper, of the best hats, and a variety of other useful things.
GEORGE L., 1714.-INSURRECTION IN FAVOUR OF THE PRETENDER, 1715. DEATH OF GEORGE I., JUNE, 1727.
(From 1714 to 1727.)
THE Princess Sophia of Brunswick had died a few weeks before Queen Anne; the crown passed, therefore, to her son, the Elector of Hanover. George the First was fifty-four years old when he became King of England. He could not speak one word of English, and was entirely a foreigner; he was chiefly concerned about the welfare of his German dominions, to increase and secure which he repeatedly drew England into war.
His first measures gave great dissatisfaction, because he put himself entirely into the hands of the Whig party, displacing all men who were of different opinions; this provoked some of the Tories, in their vexation and disappointment, to assist James Stuart, the son of James the Second, who was planning an expedition against Great Britain, with the help of Louis the Fourteenth.
In September, 1715, the Earl of Mar proclaimed him king, at Braemar in the Highlands, by the title of James the Third. But the friends of the House