|Queen of Great Britain and Ireland;
prev. Queen of England and Scotland
|Reign||March 8, 1702 – August 1, 1714|
|Consort||Prince George, Duke ofCumberland|
|Prince William, Duke of Gloucester|
|HM The Queen
Princess George of Denmark
HH Lady Anne
|Royal House||House of Stuart|
|Born||6 February 1665
St. James's Palace, London
|Died||1 August 1714 (aged 49)
Kensington Palace, London
Westminster Abbey, London
Anne (February 6, 1665 – August 1, 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on March 8, 1702, succeeding William III of England and II of Scotland. Her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII, was forcibly deposed in 1688; 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. Counting Lady Jane Grey's brief reign, Anne is the fifth woman to rule England in her own right.
On May 1, 1707, the Acts of Union 1707 united England and Scotland as a single state, the Kingdom of Great Britain with Anne as its first sovereign. She continued to hold the separate crown of Ireland. Anne reigned for twelve years until her death. Her life was marked by many crises, both personal and relating to the succession of the Crown and religious polarization. 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 I. Her reign was dominated by involvement in the War of the Spanish Succession. Queen Anne was the last British monarch to withhold Royal Assent from a Bill presented by Parliament. By the end of her reign, Parliament, especially the Ministers of State, effectively governed the nation and the monarch's role was increasingly ceremonial and symbolic. This was not altogether of Anne's choosing but resulted from her chronic ill health. Nonetheless, it aided the process of democratization that eventually turned Britain into a constitutional monarchy. Anne, though, was famously conscientious in performing all her duties. Her name is popularly associated with a phase in English cultural history that saw artistic, literary, architectural and scientific advancement. Known as "Good Queen Anne," she was personally generous (donating to the war budget and compensating soldiers who lost their horses in battle) and appears to have regarded herself as "mother" of all her subjects, suggesting that she brought some feminine qualities to the task of being her nation's sovereign.
Anne was born at Saint James's Palace, London, the second daughter of James, Duke of York, (afterwards James II) and his first wife, the 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 on the latter's death with her aunt, Henrietta Anne, Duchesse d'Orléans. Anne returned from France 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), in course of time 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 strict Protestants. On July 28, 1683, Anne married the Protestant Prince George of Denmark, brother of the Danish King Christian V (and her third cousin 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.
When Charles II died in 1685 (converting to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed), Anne's father became King as James II. But James was not well-received by the English people, concerned about his Catholicism. Public alarm increased when James's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth to a son (James Francis Edward) on June 10, 1688, and a Roman Catholic dynasty became all the more likely. Anne was not present on the occasion, having gone to Bath, and this gave rise to a belief that the child was spurious; but it is most probable that James's desire to exclude all Protestants from affairs of state was the real cause. "I shall never now be satisfied," Anne wrote to her sister Mary, "whether the child be true or false. It may be it is our brother, but God only knows … one cannot help having a thousand fears and melancholy thoughts, but whatever changes may happen you shall ever find me firm to my religion and faithfully yours."
Princess Anne's sister and brother-in-law, Mary and William, subsequently invaded England to dethrone the unpopular James II in the Glorious Revolution.
Forbidden by James to pay Mary a projected visit in the spring of 1688, Anne corresponded with her and was no doubt aware of William's plans to invade. On the advice of the Churchills—Anne's conduct during this period was probably influenced a great deal by them—she refused to show any sympathy for James after William landed in November and wrote instead to William, declaring her approval of his action. Churchill abandoned the king on the 24th of that month, Prince George on the 25th, and when James returned to London on the 26th, he found that Anne and her lady-in-waiting had done likewise the previous night. He put the women under house arrest in the Palace of Whitehall. However, escaping from Whitehall by a back staircase they put themselves under the care of the bishop of London, spent one night in his house, and subsequently arrived on the 1st of December at Nottingham, where the princess first made herself known and appointed a council. Thence she travelled to Oxford, where she met Prince George, in triumph, escorted by a large company. Like Mary, she was reproached for showing no concern at the news of the king's flight, but her justification was that "she never loved to do anything that looked like an affected constraint." She returned to London on December 19, where she was at once visited by her brother-in-law William.
In 1689, a Convention Parliament assembled and declared that James had abdicated the realm when he attempted to flee, and that the Throne was therefore vacant. The Crown was offered to Mary, but accepted jointly by William and Mary, who thereafter ruled as the only joint monarchs in British history. The Bill of Rights 1689 settled succession to the Throne; Princess Anne and her descendants were to be in the line of succession after William and Mary. They were to be followed by any descendants of William by a future marriage.
Soon after their accession, William and Mary rewarded Churchill by granting him the Earldom of Marlborough. Their subsequent treatment of the Marlboroughs, however, was not as favorable. In 1692, suspecting that Lord Marlborough was a Jacobite, Mary dismissed him from all his offices. Lady Marlborough was subsequently removed from the Royal Household, leading Princess Anne to angrily leave her royal residence for Syon House, the Duke of Northumberland's home. Princess Anne was then stripped of her guard of honor, and the guards at the royal palaces were forbidden to salute her husband.
When Mary II died of smallpox in 1694, William III continued to reign alone. Anne then became his heir apparent, since any children he might have by another wife were assigned to a lower place in the line of succession. Seeking to improve his own popularity (which had always been much lower than that of his wife), he restored Princess Anne to her previous honors, allowing her to reside in St. James's Palace. At the same time William kept her in the background and refrained from appointing her regent during his absence.
In 1695, William sought to win Princess Anne's favor by restoring Marlborough to all of his offices. In return Anne gave her support to William's government, though about this time, in 1696—according to James, in consequence of the near prospect of the throne—she wrote to her father asking for his leave to wear the crown at William's death, and promising its restoration at a convenient opportunity. The unfounded rumor that William contemplated settling the succession after his death on James's son, provided he were educated a Protestant in England, may possibly have alarmed her.
During this period, Prince George and Princess Anne suffered great personal misfortune. By 1700, the future Queen had been pregnant at least 18 times; 13 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 11 on July 29, 1700, precipitating a succession crisis. William and Mary had not had any children; thus, Princess Anne, the heir apparent to the Throne, was the only individual remaining in the line of succession established by the Bill of Rights. If the line of succession were totally extinguished, then it would have been open for the deposed King James or his son James Francis Edward Stuart (the "Old Pretender") to claim the Throne.
Thus, to preclude a Roman Catholic from obtaining the Crown, Parliament enacted the Act of Settlement 1701, which provided that, failing the issue of Princess Anne and of William III by any future marriage, the Crown would go to Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and her descendants, who descended from James I of England through Elizabeth Stuart. Several genealogically senior claimants were disregarded due to their Catholicism. Anne acquiesced to the new line of succession created by the Act of Settlement.
William III died on March 8, 1702 and Anne was crowned on April 23.
Almost as soon as she succeeded to the throne, Anne became embroiled in the War of the Spanish Succession. This war, in which England supported the claim of Archduke Charles to succeed to the Spanish Throne, would continue until the last years of Anne's reign, and would dominate both foreign and domestic policy.
Soon after her accession, Anne appointed her husband Lord High Admiral, giving him control of the Royal Navy. Anne gave control of the army to Lord Marlborough, whom she appointed Captain-General. Marlborough also received numerous honors from the Queen; he was created a Knight of the Garter and was elevated to the ducal rank. The Duchess of Marlborough was appointed to the post of Mistress of the Robes, the highest office a lady could attain.
In passing the Act of Settlement, in 1701, the English Parliament had neglected to consult with the Parliament of Scotland or Estates of Scotland, which, in part, wished to preserve the Stuart dynasty and its right of inheritance to the Throne. The Scottish response to the Settlement was to pass the Act of Security; a bill which stated that—failing the issue of the Queen—the Estates had the power to choose the next Scottish monarch from amongst the numerous descendants of the royal line of Scotland. (The individual chosen by the Estates could not be the same person who came to the English Throne, unless various religious, economic and political conditions were met.) Though it was originally not forthcoming, Royal Assent to the act was granted when the Scottish Parliament threatened to withdraw Scottish troops from the Duke of Marlborough's army in Europe and refused to impose taxes.
In its turn, the English Parliament—fearing that an independent Scotland would restore the Auld Alliance (with France)—responded with the Alien Act 1705, which provided that economic sanctions would be imposed and Scottish subjects would be declared aliens (putting their right to own property in England into jeopardy), unless Scotland either repealed the Act of Security or moved to unite with England. Eventually the Estates chose the latter option, and Commissioners were appointed to negotiate the terms of a union between the two countries. Articles of Union were approved by the Commissioners on 22 July 1706, and were agreed to by the Scottish Parliament on 16 January 1707. Under the Act, England and Scotland became one realm called Great Britain on 1 May 1707.
Anne's reign was further marked by the development of a two-party system as the new era of parliamentary governance unfolded and matured. Anne personally preferred the Tory Party, but "endured" the Whigs.
Anne's first ministry was primarily Tory; at its head was Sidney Godolphin, 1st Baron Godolphin. But the Whigs—who were, unlike the Tories, vigorous supporters of the War of the Spanish Succession—became much more influential after the Duke of Marlborough won a great victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. The Whigs rose to power on the strength of Marlborough's victory and almost all the Tories were removed from the ministry. Lord Godolphin, although a Tory, allied himself with Marlborough to ensure his continuance in office. Although Lord Godolphin was the nominal head of the ministry, actual power was held by the Duke of Marlborough and by the two Secretaries of State (Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland and Robert Harley).
Anne's husband, Prince George of Denmark, died in October 1708. His leadership of the Admiralty was unpopular amongst the Whig leaders; as he lay on his deathbed, some Whigs were preparing to make a motion requesting his removal from the office of Lord High Admiral. Anne was forced to appeal to the Duke of Marlborough to ensure that the motion was not made.
Anne was devastated by the loss of her husband, and the event proved a turning point in her relationship with her old friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. The Duchess arrived at Windsor shortly after he died, and forced the Queen to leave the castle and move to St. James's Palace against her will. Anne pleaded to be left alone, and resented the Duchess for insisting that the grieving Queen be attended at all times.
The Whigs used the Prince's death to their own advantage, heartlessly using her weakness to disregard the Queen's wishes and form a predominantly Whig government, led by Lord Godolphin. Their power was, however, limited by Anne's insistence to carry out the duties of Lord High Admiral herself, and not appointing a member of the government to take Prince George's place. Undeterred, the Whigs demanded the appointment of the Earl of Orford, one of Prince George's leading critics, as First Lord of the Admiralty. Anne flatly refused, and chose her own candidate, Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke on November 29, 1709.
Pressure mounted on Pembroke, Godolphin and the Queen from the dissatisfied Junto Whigs, and Pembroke was forced to resign after just a month in office. Another month of arguments followed before the Queen finally consented to put the Admiralty in control of the Earl of Orford in November.
As the expensive War of the Spanish Succession grew unpopular so too did the Whig administration. Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer was particularly skillful in using the issue (of the cost of the war) to motivate the electorate. In the general election of 1710, discontented voters returned a large Tory majority. The new ministry was headed by Robert Harley and began to seek peace in the War of the Spanish Succession. The Tories were ready to compromise by giving Spain to the grandson of the French King, but the Whigs could not bear to see a Bourbon on the Spanish Throne.
The dispute was resolved by outside events: the elder brother of Archduke Charles (whom the Whigs supported) died in 1711 and Charles then inherited Austria, Hungary and the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. To also give him the Spanish throne to which he had aspired was no longer in Great Britain's interests. But the proposed Treaty of Utrecht submitted to Parliament for ratification did not go as far as the Whigs wanted to curb Bourbon ambitions. In the House of Commons, the Tory majority was unassailable, but the same was not true in the House of Lords. Seeing a need for decisive action—to erase the Whig majority in the House of Lords—Anne created 12 new peers. Such a mass creation of peers was unprecedented; indeed, Elizabeth I had granted fewer peerage dignities in almost 50 years than Anne did in a single day. This allowed for ratification of the Treaty and thus ended Great Britain's involvement in the War of the Spanish Succession. It also suggests that while she may have overseen a decline in royal power, she did not lack political acumen and was not merely a tool of others. Faced with a hostile House of Lords, David Lloyd-George would threaten to flood the house with peers loyal to his Liberal Government when passing the 1911 Parliament Act that limited the upper house's powers, perhaps learning a lesson from Anne's example.
She died shortly after the Electress Sophia (June 8, the same year); the Electress's son, George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British Crown. Pursuant to the Act of Settlement 1701, the crown was settled on George as Electress Sophia's heir, with the possible Catholic claimants, including James Francis Edward Stuart, ignored. However, the Elector of Hanover's accession was relatively stable: Jacobite risings in 1715 and 1719 both failed.
The reign of Anne was marked by an increase in the influence of ministers and a decrease in the influence of the Crown. In 1708, Anne became the last British Sovereign to withhold the Royal Assent from a bill (in this case, a Scots militia bill). She is, however, said to have been meticulous in performing her official duties to the best of her ability. Her NNDB entry records that:
Preoccupied with her health (she may have suffered from porphyria), Anne allowed her ministers, most notably Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, as well as her favorites (Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough and Abigail Masham) to dominate politics.
The shift of power from the Crown to the ministry became even more apparent during the reign of George I, whose chief adviser, Sir Robert Walpole, is often described as the "first Prime Minister."
The age of Anne was also one of artistic, literary, and scientific advancement. In architecture, Sir John Vanbrugh constructed elegant edifices such as Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Writers such as Daniel Defoe, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift flourished during Anne's reign.
Her name also remains associated with the world's first substantial copyright law, known as the Statute of Anne (1709), which granted exclusive rights to authors rather than printers.
Although Anne and her reign have no direct bearing on the style personally, at the time Queen Anne architecture style became popular in the late 1800s, her name connoted a sense of Old World elegance and extravagant, ornate details.
The American city of Annapolis, Maryland, which originally bore several other names, was given its present name in 1694 by Sir Francis Nicholson, in honor of the then Princess Anne. Princess Anne, Maryland, located in the heart of Somerset County, and Princess Anne County, Virginia, were named for Queen Anne when she was heiress presumptive to the throne. Queen Anne's County, Maryland was named for her during her reign in 1706.
The BBC TV drama series The First Churchills depicts Anne's life from her childhood to her death, focusing on her friendship with Sarah Churchill. Anne was played by the actress Margaret Tyzack. Anne has also been played on screen by: Anna Kallina in the Austrian silent film Das Grinsende Gesicht (1921), based on the novel The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo; Josephine Crowell in the silent film The Man Who Laughs (1928), also based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Gunnel Lindblom in the Swedish TV drama Ett Glas vatten, based on the play Le Verre d'eau by Eugène Scribe; Judit Halász in the Hungarian TV play Sakk-matt (1977), also based on Le Verre d'eau; Liselotte Pulver in the West German film Das Glas Wasser (1960), again based on Le Verre d'eau; and Elizabeth Spriggs in the BBC drama documentary Wren: The Man Who Built Britain (2004)
The official style of Anne before 1707 was "Anne, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc." (The claim to France was only nominal, and had been asserted by every English King since Edward III, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.) After the Union, her style was "Anne, by the Grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc."
Anne's arms before the Union were: Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland). After the Union, the arms of England and Scotland, which had previously been in different quarters, were "impaled," or placed side-by-side, in the same quarter to emphasize that the two countries had become one Kingdom. The new arms were: Quarterly, I and IV Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England) impaling Or a lion rampant within a tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland); II Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or (for France); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland). She used the motto Semper eadem (always the same).
|Ancestors of Anne of Great Britain|
|Stillborn Daughter||12 May 1684||12 May 1684|
|Mary||2 June 1685||8 February 1687|
|Anne Sophia||12 May 1686||2 February 1687|
|Stillborn Child||January 1687||January 1687|
|Stillborn Son||22 October 1687||22 October 1687|
|Stillborn Child||16 April 1688||16 April 1688|
|William, Duke of Gloucester||24 July 1689||29 July 1700|
|Mary||14 October 1690||14 October 1690|
|George||17 April 1692||17 April 1692|
|Stillborn Daughter||23 April 1693||23 April 1693|
|Stillborn Child||21 January 1694||21 January 1694|
|Stillborn Daughter||18 February 1696||18 February 1696|
|Stillborn Child||20 September 1696||20 September 1696|
|Stillborn Child||20 September 1696||20 September 1696|
|Stillborn Daughter||25 March 1697||25 March 1697|
|Stillborn Child||December 1697||December 1697|
|Charles||15 September 1698||15 September 1698|
|Stillborn Daughter||25 January 1700||25 January 1700|
|House of Stuart
Born: 6 February 1665; Died: 1 August 1714
|Queen of England
8 March 1702 – 1 May 1707
|Acts of Union 1707 united England
and Scotland to form Great Britain
|Queen of Scotland
8 March 1702 – 1 May 1707
|Queen of Ireland
8 March 1702 – 1 August 1714
Acts of Union 1707 united England
and Scotland to form Great Britain
|Queen of Great Britain
1 May 1707 – 1 August 1714
William and Mary
|Heir to the English, Scottish and Irish Thrones
as heiress apparent
28 December 1694 – 8 March 1702
Prince George of Denmark
|Lord High Admiral
The Earl of Pembroke
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