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  #61  
Old 03-30-2009, 07:27 PM
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I think Edward ii and Richard ii are the worst...I'm not familiar with anyone beyond the Stuarts...they fail to interest me.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:59 AM
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I don't know enough about all of them, especially the early ones, to judge them all fairly and as others have said I've heard Richard III was a victim of bad press more than anything. I would have to put Henry VIII up there (sorry Henry fans) just because of all the horrid things he did that were so unnecessary. The people adored Queen Catherine and he sacrificed that to trade in the first wife for a newer model, then accused that poor woman of the most horrid things and murdered her. He took the monasteries (looting on a grand scale) and changed by force the entire religion of the country just to give himself more power and serve his own ends. And I don't think it was necessary. I look at all the religious strife and hatred and wars that followed, bigotry that has lasted to this day, and I can't help but think it was all because King Henry had to have his way on *everything*. His lavishness also left the kingdom in rather poor shape whereas, if I remember right, his rather tight father left it to him doing pretty good.

Queen Mary is one everyone loves to hate I know, but I think that's bad press too. She executed far fewer people than Henry or Elizabeth did and she at least had the excuse of zealous faith. I read a Protestant historian who once wrote how Mary did nothing to anyone she would not have endured herself for her religion whereas Elizabeth I was, at the same time, indifferent and intolerant. Everything I've read about the people who were closest to Mary all said what a kind, compassionate and loving woman she was. She also had a pretty terrible life.

I also cannot be too hard on Charles I because I don't think he ever actually did anything illegal, I think he was a good man (like the only Stuart who was a faithful spouse) and when he lost he took it like a man.
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  #63  
Old 03-31-2009, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
She executed far fewer people than Henry or Elizabeth did and she at least had the excuse of zealous faith.
Of course Elizabeth I executed far more people than Mary I. The former reigned 9 times longer than the latter. More people would be executed during 45-year-long reign of a saint (let alone normal woman such as Elizabeth I) than during 5-year-long reign of Mary I.
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  #64  
Old 03-31-2009, 02:17 PM
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Although dubbed "Bloody", Mary I executed less people than Elizabeth I. The key point here is the reasoning behind executions. Mary I focused on eradicating Protestants through religious persecutions and re-establishing Roman Catholicism. Such actions did not benefit much the country's prosperity much. Elizabeth I executed people for a more noble purpose of building/enhacing the power of England and putting the country on a European map. In other words, executions by Elizabeth I might be justified by the final result, i.e., powerful England.
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  #65  
Old 03-31-2009, 09:42 PM
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Although dubbed "Bloody", Mary I executed less people than Elizabeth I. The key point here is the reasoning behind executions. Mary I focused on eradicating Protestants through religious persecutions and re-establishing Roman Catholicism. Such actions did not benefit much the country's prosperity much. Elizabeth I executed people for a more noble purpose of building/enhacing the power of England and putting the country on a European map. In other words, executions by Elizabeth I might be justified by the final result, i.e., powerful England.
How was having Margaret Clitherow crushed to death with stones for letting a priest stay in her house "building/enhancing the power of England"? How did drawing, quartering, disemboweling and beheading Edmund Campion for saying mass make England magically appear on the european map? Of course, silly me, I thought Brittania had been on European maps since Roman times and had certainly been a major western power when the Angevins ruled directly or indirectly all the British Isles and half of France but I guess I'm mistaken I don't think the massive numbers of Irish killed advanced the prestige of England and the execution of the Queen of Scots by a sister monarch did not make England look to civilized. And what about Henry VIII (who is the one I actually mentioned)? Did the seizure of the monasteries advance the prestige of England? Did the execution of Thomas More who was famous throughout Europe as a statesman? His executions of his wives made him so infamous that tongues were wagging across Europe and no one wanted to marry him. He gave the country a terrible reputation.
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  #66  
Old 03-31-2009, 10:11 PM
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Apart from emotions prompted by deaths of certain individuals ...

My post did not say that Queen Elizabeth I was a tolerant monarch in terms of religion. Moreover, Henry VIII was not mentioned in my post. I am not sure what the reasons of dragging him into the discussion about two Queens might be. Elizabeth I exterminated a considerable number of Roman Catholics in England, Scotland, and Ireland because she was under threat from Vatican plots throughout her life from both outside and within her own country. I believe you have read about Regnans in Excelsis. Margaret Clitherow played with fire and paid the ultimate price for it. The same could be said about Father Edmund Champion. By the way, Vatican used fanatics a lot. While deaths of aforementioned individuals were sad, they do not change the fact that Elizabeth I was a successful monarch.
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  #67  
Old 03-31-2009, 10:42 PM
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My post did not say that you said Bess was tolerant. You said her killings advanced English prestige which is what I was disputing. I will not even respond to the religious bigotry other than to say I have never read of any priest-attacks on the Queen that have been concretely proven. King Henry is what my original post was about -my choice for worst monarch- it only got off course because I dared to say Mary was not the absolute devil and dared to say Queen Bess was not completely flawless.
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  #68  
Old 04-01-2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
I don't know enough about all of them, especially the early ones, to judge them all fairly and as others have said I've heard Richard III was a victim of bad press more than anything. I would have to put Henry VIII up there (sorry Henry fans) just because of all the horrid things he did that were so unnecessary. The people adored Queen Catherine and he sacrificed that to trade in the first wife for a newer model, then accused that poor woman of the most horrid things and murdered her. He took the monasteries (looting on a grand scale) and changed by force the entire religion of the country just to give himself more power and serve his own ends. And I don't think it was necessary. I look at all the religious strife and hatred and wars that followed, bigotry that has lasted to this day, and I can't help but think it was all because King Henry had to have his way on *everything*. His lavishness also left the kingdom in rather poor shape whereas, if I remember right, his rather tight father left it to him doing pretty good.

Queen Mary is one everyone loves to hate I know, but I think that's bad press too. She executed far fewer people than Henry or Elizabeth did and she at least had the excuse of zealous faith. I read a Protestant historian who once wrote how Mary did nothing to anyone she would not have endured herself for her religion whereas Elizabeth I was, at the same time, indifferent and intolerant. Everything I've read about the people who were closest to Mary all said what a kind, compassionate and loving woman she was. She also had a pretty terrible life.

I also cannot be too hard on Charles I because I don't think he ever actually did anything illegal, I think he was a good man (like the only Stuart who was a faithful spouse) and when he lost he took it like a man.
Charles I might have been a good man, but was a bad ruler. He had ideas about the king having supreme power that did not fit in with England's ideas of what the king should be. He certainly did not want to rule with Parliament, because then he couldn't do as he pleased. I doubt the English Civil War ever did any good, and if not for him, would doubtless not have happened.

I believe Mary was a good person who meant well and had a very sad life. What happened to her as a child/ young woman with her mother's divorce from her father and herself being suddenly regarded as a bastard and continually bothered by her father to submit to his will shattered her for life. She killed all those people in the name of religion, as many did in that era. She believed it was for the best, but she did it less for England and more for her own ends, because it was what she believed was right. She did all the killing of the Protestants then for her own purposes. Elizabeth I was personally very tolerant about religion, unlike Mary, but did have people killed in the name of religion to better the state, although whether it actually did or not is another story. Had it been up to her, Elizabeth wouldn't have had those people killed in the name of religion. She did it for the state, as her duty, at least in her mind. Mary I did not not have people killed in the name of religion for the state. She did it because it satisfied her own personal crusade against a religion she didn't understand, one which she knew no longer fit in England, and one that threatened her marriage ( because the Catholic Philip was very unpopular with the Protestant English and people protested his religion and being foreign). Mary I had she had a choice would have chosen to have those Protestants killed. Elizabeth had she felt she was able to rule effectively without the deaths of Catholics, wouldn't have had them killed. Mary I was of her time. Elizabeth was more modern. Both were good people. Mary I meant well, but she wasn't a good ruler, she left England in a bad state.
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  #69  
Old 04-01-2009, 01:08 AM
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All of which is part of the reason why it was Henry VIII I chose as worst monarch, if not for him religion would never have become an issue. This is just my opinion, my standard of judging, and that is I always think more of people who stand by what they believe no matter the circumstances and not tell people what they want to hear just to save themselves. That is one reason why I am not so harsh on Queen Mary. I know Elizabeth is extremely popular, everyone loves her, movies are still being made today celebrating her and I never wanted to get all the Bess fans mad at me.

That being said, I don't see how it is any more noble for Elizabeth I to have killed Catholics and called them traitors than for Mary I to have killed traitors and called them heretics. I also have mixed feelings about the way of thinking that Elizabeth never wanted to kill anybody but that she was forced to; I usually hear that in connection with Mary of Scots. Who ruled England; the Queen or her ministers? I mean that as an honest question because sometimes it really was one or the other. If Elizabeth was bullied into ordering executions she was against how then can she get the credit for the great things about her reign? Does that mean she was a weaker ruler than Mary I because her advisors were telling her not to be so hard on the Protestants from what I have read?

As for Charles I, wars hardly ever seem to me to be the fault of only one man. I think some kind of confrontation between Crown and Parliament was inevitable it just happened that Charles was a man who would not compromise and neither were his enemies.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:16 AM
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I think Charles I was typical of the Stuarts- they all believed in the divine right of Kings except for William and Mary and Anne, whereas the Hanovers especially the first ones, where from Germany and didn't do much ruling of their own accord in England, until George III, because their English wasn't good. So they weren't going to assert their rights, they ruled through their ministers, which in the end was likely the best thing for England. Charles I was perhaps more misguided than a bad ruler.
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  #71  
Old 04-01-2009, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
My post did not say that you said Bess was tolerant. You said her killings advanced English prestige which is what I was disputing. I will not even respond to the religious bigotry other than to say I have never read of any priest-attacks on the Queen that have been concretely proven. King Henry is what my original post was about -my choice for worst monarch- it only got off course because I dared to say Mary was not the absolute devil and dared to say Queen Bess was not completely flawless.
Where did I say in my post that Elizabeth I was flawless? What about religious bigotry? I did not say that her killings advanced the prestige of Englad. I did say that executions during Elizabeth I times were smoothed over because most of Elizabeth's I actions contributed to the might of England. There is no need to add extra meaning to it. Most monarchs had skeletons in their closets, and Elizabeth I was not an happy exception in this respect. She had to survive and fight for the power.
Finally, it would be most kind of you to avoid interpreting my posts in a wrong way. As for British monarchs in general, I have stated that they all were
more or less adequate.
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  #72  
Old 04-01-2009, 03:40 PM
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Sakes alive will you stop responding to accusations I did not make! I never said that you said Elizabeth was flawless, for the second time, I was responding to your words that
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Elizabeth I executed people for a more noble purpose of building/enhacing the power of England


I have said all I am going to say on the subject as it is quite obvious I'm not getting through.
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  #73  
Old 04-01-2009, 03:48 PM
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Anyway, I have explained what I have meant in the post #64. Thus, it is better to stop here since you discerned religious bigotry in my post.
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  #74  
Old 10-23-2009, 07:06 PM
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P'incess Is Three

An article that I read from Time Magazine in 1929 on the occasion of Princess Elizabeth's third birthday changed my mind about Edward VIII. Although I had always thought of his abdication in 1936 as a crisis, this article paints a picture of a man who never wanted to grow up, and never wanted to be king. As such, I would nominate him as one of the worst monarchs because he was never interested in the position.

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Time Magazine: P'incess Is Three
Monday, Apr. 29, 1929

If Death should come soon and suddenly to three men—George V. Edward of Wales, the Duke of York—England would have another Virgin Queen Elizabeth. Last week, romping in a yellow frock, the Princess Elizabeth passed her third birthday. She does not know that she is but three removes from the Throne; in fact she has only very recently discovered that she is a "P'incess." It is barely a fortnight ago that she knocked with chubby fist upon a door, and when her mother called "Who's there?" answered in an important little voice, "Lilybet, the P'incess."

"Lilybet's" mother, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York, is herself only two removes from becoming "Queen Elizabeth"—which title is constantly and teasingly applied to her by Edward of Wales. She would be less than human if she did not sometimes wonder how much truth there is in the story that he once said he would renounce his rights upon the death of George V—which would make her nickname come true. If there is a woman in England who can remain unperturbed by the teasing of Edward of Wales it is certainly the fresh, buxom, altogether "jolly" little Duchess, but with a Throne in the balance it must be a trifle nerve-wracking to be called "Queen Elizabeth" by a man who can make you that.

Like a sensible mother, the Duchess took her daughter into the country for the birthday party. "Are we going to G'annie's or G'anma's?" the baby Princess asked, and the Duchess smiled, "To G'annie's, dear." This was important. Her Majesty the Queen and Empress Mary is "G'anma." "G'annie" is the Countess of Strathmore. The particular one of "G'annie's" estates to which they were going was St. Paul's, Waldenbury, Hertfordshire; a vast, yet cosy rose-brick house in which the Duchess of York was born Aug. 4, 1900. It would have been altogether unsuitable to have gone for a birthday party to "G'anpa and G'annie's" dour, ancestral Glamis Castle in Scotland, according to legend the very same in which, as Shakespeare has told, Macbeth did murder Duncan.

Presents for their daughter are more of a problem to the Duke & Duchess of York than to the parents of most three-year-olds. For example, on their tour of Australia (TIME, Jan. 17, et seq.) they were obliged to accept and bring home "for Baby Betty" no less than three tons of toys and precisely 20 fine squawking parrots. The Duchess cannot appear at a bazaar, lay a cornerstone, or address the Girl Guides (of which she is one) without having pressed upon her—"for Baby Betty, the darling!"—everything from four-leaf clovers offered by grubby children to the historic lace diaper presented by a beaming Irish woman with a shawl over her head. An efficient staff was busy all last week dealing with birthday presents; but to find out which of the vast collection ever reached the "P'incess" would be like probing a state secret. Two sure bets: the mechanical monkey sent by Queen Mary, the Cairn terrier pup from Edward of Wales.

Even in the U. S. there are babes who ape the styles set by "Baby Betty." Several smart Manhattan stores offer imported "Princess Elizabeth prams" (perambulators) at $250 each. Yellow, however, is the "P'incess's" real achievement, or rather her mother's. The test was made last week of strolling into H. Gordon Selfridge's famed "First in London" department store, and asking a salesperson at the baby counter about yellow. "Now two years ago, mind you," said the salesperson, "if anyone wanted yellow things for a baby we should have had to order them specially. Pink or blue or white were the colors then. Now every mother, almost, wants to buy a little yellow frock or a primrose bonnet like Princess Elizabeth's."
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:24 PM
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I think David had a sense of humor and liked to call his sister-in-law "Queen Elizabeth" more as a joke than as an indication he would renounce his birthright but I agree with Pacomartin that in his short time on the throne Edward VIII was not a good monarch and the country was better off after his abidcation.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:10 AM
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I am basing my opinion of Edward on more than just the Time magazine article. Wallis Simpson was only the latest of a series of married women. He seemed to make no attempt to marry someone who could be queen. His father was disgusted by his behavior, and verbally said he hoped that his second son and favorite daughter in law would be the royal couple. I also read that his famous line in the abdication speech, "for the women I love" , was written by Winston Churchill. Although it is admittedly circumstantial evidence I get the feeling that there was less of a crisis, and more of decades of pent-up ill-well. The teasing of his daughter in law seems like humor with an edge.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:47 AM
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I still don't see how a guy who was King for 10 months could be the worst monarch. He didn't even execute anyone.

As for calling Elizabeth "Queen Elizabeth" from what I've read he was a bit of a nickname person and he may not have meant anything by it. It's certainly nicer than some of the things he and Wallis called her in private.
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  #78  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:29 PM
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I still don't see how a guy who was King for 10 months could be the worst monarch. He didn't even execute anyone.

As for calling Elizabeth "Queen Elizabeth" from what I've read he was a bit of a nickname person and he may not have meant anything by it. It's certainly nicer than some of the things he and Wallis called her in private.

I don't think having people executed is a reason to judge a monarch as times have changed and the power that Edward had was so totally different to those monarchs who did have people executed.

His 'badness' as a king is in the fact that he nearly destroyed the institution by walking away from it - fortunately his brother, sister-in-law and neice were able to overcome his destructive decision. Remember that in the previous 20 years the monarchs of Greece, Russia, Germany and Austria had all abdicated and their thrones had gone with revolution and violence to follow.

Henry VIII is one of my favourite kings as he gave England independence from a foreign power. As someone of English blood I will be a great supporter forever that England became great because of his actions.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:20 PM
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[QUOTE=pacomartin;1009261]I am basing my opinion of Edward on more than just the Time magazine article. Wallis Simpson was only the latest of a series of married women. His father was disgusted by his behavior/]
Well, an almost identical post could be made about the present Prince of Wales, which I would agree with. Many Charles lovers would defend him to the death for the same. I find it very ironic that the same posters who villify Edward (and Wallis), who stepped down and put the country first, above his own selfish desire to be King, defend Charles and Camilla and shout how Camilla should be Queen. Most ironic.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:37 PM
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I am having a little trouble understanding what you have written, surely you aren´t saying that Edward was unselfish and doing the best for his country giving up the throne to follow Bessiewallis from one party to another for the rest of his life?
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