Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Four deaths

Four deaths dramatically changed the political landscape at home and abroad.
(a) Anne’s only surviving child, the duke of Gloucester (from smallpox), 30 July 1700. (See the post headed Act of Settlement)The Act of Settlement was further cemented by the Union of the English and Scottish Parliaments in 1707, which created the nation of Great Britain and committed both countries to the Hanoverian succession. 40+ MPs and 12 peers came south to Westminster.
(b) Carlos II of Spain, 21 October 1700.
(c) James II, 6 September 1701: Louis XIV immediately recognised his son as James III and VIII. In effect, this was a declaration of war.
(d) William III, 23 February 1702. He was thrown from his horse when it stumbled on a molehill in Richmond Park. He caught a fever and died on 8 March. The duke of Berwick, James II's son by Arabella Churchill, stated: ‘I cannot deny him the character of a great man, and even of a great King.’