Henrietta Maria of France (French: Henriette Marie; 25 November 1609 – 10 September 1669) was queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. She was mother of his two immediate successors, Charles II and James II and VII.
Contemporaneously, by a decree of her husband, she was known in England as Queen Mary, but did not like this name and signed her letters "Henriette R".
Her Roman Catholicism made her unpopular in England, and also prohibited her from being crowned in a Church of England service; therefore she never had a coronation. She began to immerse herself in national affairs as civil war loomed on the horizon, and was compelled to seek refuge in France in 1644, following the birth of her youngest daughter, Henrietta, during the height of the First English Civil War. The execution of King Charles in 1649 left her impoverished. She settled in Paris, and then returned to England after the Restoration of her eldest son, Charles, to the throne. In 1665, she moved back to Paris, where she died four years later.
|Henrietta Maria of France|
Portrait by Anthony van Dyck
|Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland|
|Tenure||13 June 1625 – 30 January 1649|
|Born||25 November 1609|
Palais du Louvre, Paris, France
|Died||10 September 1669 (aged 59)|
Château de Colombes, Colombes, France
|Burial||13 September 1669|
Charles I, King of England
(m. 1625; died 1649)
|Father||Henry IV of France|
|Mother||Marie de' Medici|
Henrietta Maria was the youngest daughter of King Henry IV of France (Henry III of Navarre) and his second wife, Marie de' Medici, and named after her parents. She was born at the Palais du Louvre on 25 November 1609, but some historians give her a birth-date of 26 November. In England, where the Julian calendar was still in use, her date of birth is often recorded as 16 November. Henrietta Maria was brought up as a Catholic. As daughter of the Bourbon king of France, she was a Fille de France and a member of the House of Bourbon. She was the youngest sister of the future King Louis XIII of France. Her father was assassinated on 14 May 1610, when she was less than a year old. As a child, she was raised under the supervision of the royal governess Françoise de Montglat.
After her older sister, Christine Marie, married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, in 1619, Henriette took the highly prestigious style of Madame Royale; this was used by the most senior royal princess at the French court. Henrietta Maria was trained, along with her sisters, in riding, dancing, and singing, and took part in French court plays. Although tutored in reading and writing, she was not known for her academic skills; the princess was heavily influenced by the Carmelites at French court. By 1622, Henrietta Maria was living in Paris with a household of some 200 staff, and marriage plans were being discussed.
Henrietta Maria first met her future husband in Paris, in 1623, while he was travelling to Spain with the Duke of Buckingham to discuss a possible marriage with the Infanta Maria Anna of Spain – Charles first saw her at a French court entertainment. Charles's trip to Spain ended badly, however, as King Philip IV of Spain demanded he convert to Catholicism and live in Spain for a year after the wedding to ensure England's compliance with the terms of the treaty. Charles was outraged, and upon returning to England in October, he and Buckingham demanded that King James declare war on Spain.
Searching elsewhere for a bride, Charles looked to France instead. The English agent Kensington was sent to Paris in 1624 to examine the potential French match, and the marriage was finally negotiated in Paris by James Hay and Henry Rich. Henrietta Maria was aged fifteen at the time of her marriage, but this was not unusually young for royal princesses of the period. Views on Henrietta Maria's appearance vary; her niece Sophia of Hanover commented that the "beautiful portraits of Van Dyck had given me such a fine idea of all the ladies of England that I was surprised to see that the queen, who I had seen as so beautiful and lean, was a woman well past her prime. Her arms were long and lean, her shoulders uneven, and some of her teeth were coming out of her mouth like tusks.... She did, however, have pretty eyes, nose, and a good complexion..."
Henrietta Maria married Charles at Notre Dame in Paris by proxy on 1 May 1625, shortly after his accession to the throne, Charles being represented by a French courtier. Charles and Henrietta Maria then spent their first night together at the royal palace of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, Kent, on 13 June 1625. When Charles was crowned in Westminster on 2 February 1626, Henrietta Maria's Catholic religion made it impossible for her to be crowned in an Anglican service; Henrietta Maria had proposed that the French Catholic Bishop of Mendes crown her instead, but this was unacceptable to Charles and the court. Henrietta Maria was allowed to watch Charles being crowned, at a discreet distance. In the end, her failure to be crowned went down badly with the London crowds, although England's pro-French policy gave way rapidly to a policy of supporting French Huguenot uprisings, and then a disengagement from European politics as internal problems grew.
The new Queen brought to England with her a huge quantity of expensive possessions; including diamonds, pearls, rings, diamond buttons, satin and velvet gowns, embroidered cloaks, skirts, velvet chapelles; 10,000 livres worth of plate, chandeliers, pictures, books, vestments and bedroom sets for her, her ladies in waiting, twelve Oratorian priests and her pages.
The marriage took place during a brief period in which England's pro-Spanish policy was replaced by a pro-French policy. After an initially difficult period, she and Charles formed an extremely close partnership and were devoted to each other. Henrietta Maria never fully assimilated herself into English society; she did not speak English before her marriage, and as late as the 1640s had difficulty writing or speaking the language. This, combined with her Catholic beliefs, marked her out as different and potentially dangerous in the English society of the time, which feared Catholic subversion and terrorism like the Gunpowder Plot, and led to her becoming an unpopular queen. Henrietta Maria has been criticised as being an "intrinsically apolitical, undereducated and frivolous" figure during the 1630s; others have suggested that she exercised a degree of personal power through a combination of her piety, her femininity and her sponsorship of the arts.
Henrietta Maria had strong Catholic beliefs, which would heavily influence her time as queen, and particularly the initial years following her marriage. Charles liked to call Henrietta Maria simply "Maria", with the English people calling her "Queen Mary", alluding to Charles' Catholic grandmother. Henrietta Maria was very open about her Catholic beliefs, to the point of it being "flagrant" and "unapologetic"; she obstructed plans to forcibly take into care the eldest sons of all Catholic families with the aim of bringing them up as Protestants, and also facilitated Catholic marriages, committing a criminal offence under English law at the time. In July 1626, Henrietta Maria stopped to pray for Catholics who had died at the Tyburn tree, causing huge controversy – Catholics were still being executed in England during the 1620s, and Henrietta Maria felt passionately about her faith. In due course, Henrietta Maria would unsuccessfully try to convert her Calvinist nephew Prince Rupert during his stay in England.
Henrietta Maria had brought a large and expensive retinue with her from France, all Catholic, primarily her principal lady-in-waiting and confidant Madame St. George. Charles blamed the poor start to his marriage on this French entourage. Charles finally had them dismissed from the court on 26 June 1626. Henrietta Maria was greatly upset, and initially some – including the Bishop of Mendes – refused to leave, citing his orders from the French King. In the end, Charles had to deploy armed guards to physically eject them. Despite Charles's orders, however, Henrietta Maria managed to retain seven of her French staff including her chaplain and confessor, Robert Phillip.
Charles's ejection of the French entourage was also closely linked to getting Henrietta Maria's spending under some sort of control. Henrietta Maria initially spent at an incredible rate, resulting in debts that were still being paid off several years later. Her new first treasurer was Jean Caille; he was succeeded by George Carew and in 1629 Richard Wynn took over. Even after the reform of the Queen's household, spending continued at a high level; despite gifts from the King, Henrietta Maria was having to secretly borrow money in 1627, and the Queen's accounts show a huge number of expensive dresses being bought during the pre-war years.
Over the next few years, the Queen's new household began to form around her. Henry Jermyn became her favourite and vice-chamberlain in 1628. The Countess of Denbigh became the Queen's Head of the Robes and confidante. She acquired several court dwarves, including Jeffrey Hudson and "little Sara". Henrietta Maria established her presence at Somerset House, Greenwich, Oatlands, Nonsuch, Richmond and Holdenby as part of her jointure lands by 1630. She added Wimbledon House in 1639, which was bought for her as a present by Charles. She also acquired a menagerie of dogs, monkeys and caged birds.
Henrietta Maria's marriage to Charles did not begin well and his ejection of her French staff did not improve it. Initially their relationship was frigid and argumentative, and Henrietta Maria took an immediate dislike to the Duke of Buckingham, the King's favourite.
Instead of Charles, one of Henrietta Maria's closest companions in the early days of her marriage was Lucy Hay. Lucy was the wife of James Hay, who had been a favourite of King James and who was now a gentleman of the bedchamber to Charles; James had helped negotiate Charles's marriage to Henrietta Maria. Lucy was a staunch Protestant, a noted beauty and a strong personality. Many contemporaries believed her to be a mistress to Buckingham, rumours which Henrietta Maria would have been aware of, and it has been argued that Lucy was attempting to control the new queen on his behalf. Nonetheless, by the summer of 1628 the two were extremely close friends, with Hay one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting.
In August 1628, Buckingham was assassinated, leaving a gap at the royal court. Henrietta Maria's relationship with her husband promptly began to improve and the two forged deep bonds of love and affection, marked by various jokes played by Henrietta Maria on Charles. Henrietta Maria became pregnant for the first time in 1628 but lost her first child shortly after birth in 1629, following a very difficult labour. In 1630, the future Charles II was born successfully, however, following another complicated childbirth by the noted physician Theodore de Mayerne. By now, Henrietta Maria had effectively taken over Buckingham's role as Charles's closest friend and advisor. Despite the ejection of the French staff in 1626, Charles's court was heavily influenced by French society; French was usually used in preference to English, being considered a more polite language. Additionally, Charles would regularly write letters to Henrietta Maria addressed "Dear Heart." These letters showcase the loving nature of their relationship. For example, on 11 January 1645 Charles wrote, "And dear Heart, thou canst not but be confident that there is no danger which I will not hazzard, or pains that I will not undergo, to enjoy the happiness of thy company"
Henrietta Maria, as her relationship with her husband grew stronger, split with Lucy Hay in 1634. The specific reasons are largely unclear although the two had had their differences before. Hay was an ardent Protestant, for example, and led a rather more dissolute life than the Queen; Henrietta Maria may also have felt rather overshadowed by the confident and beautiful Hay and because she now had such a close bond with her husband, such confidants were no longer as necessary.
Henrietta Maria had a strong interest in the arts, and her patronage of various activities was one of the various ways in which she tried to shape court events. Henrietta Maria and Charles were "dedicated and knowledgeable collectors" of paintings. Henrietta Maria was particularly known for her patronage of the Italian painter Orazio Gentileschi, who came to England with Henrietta Maria in 1626 as part of her favourite François de Bassompierre's entourage. Orazio and his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi were responsible for the huge ceiling paintings of the Queen's House at Henrietta Maria's palace in Greenwich. Another of Henrietta Maria's favourite painters was the Italian Guido Reni, but she also supported the miniature painters Jean Petitot and Jacques Bourdier.
Henrietta Maria became a key patron in Stuart masques, complementing her husband's strong interest in paintings and the visual arts. She performed in various works herself, including as an Amazon in William Davenant's 1640 "Salmacida Spolia". Henrietta Maria also helped to support the musical works of English composer Nicholas Lanier, and was responsible for Davenant being appointed the Poet Laureat in 1638.
The queen liked physical sculpture and design too, and retained the designer Inigo Jones as her surveyor of works during the 1630s. Like Charles, Henrietta Maria was enthusiastic about garden design, although not horticulture itself. She employed the French gardener André Mollet to create a baroque garden at Wimbledon House. She patronised the Huguenot sculptor Le Sueur, and she was responsible for the lavish creation of her famous chapel, that, although plain on the outside, was beautifully crafted inside with gold and silver reliquaries, paintings, statues, a chapel garden and a magnificent altarpiece by Rubens. It also had an unusual monstrance, designed by François Dieussart to exhibit the Holy Sacrament.
During the 1640s, the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were dominated by a sequence of conflicts termed the English Civil War or the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; within England, the conflict centred on the rival Royalist and Parliamentarian factions. Henrietta Maria, as Charles' Queen, was to become heavily involved in this conflict that would result in her husband's death and her exile in France. There have been various schools of thought as to Henrietta Maria's role in the civil war period and the degree of her responsibility for the ultimate Royalist defeat. The traditional perspective on the Queen has suggested that she was a strong-willed woman who dominated her weaker-willed husband for the worst; the historian Wedgwood, for example, highlights Henrietta Maria's steadily increasing ascendancy over Charles, observing that "he sought her advice on every subject, except religion" and indeed complained that he could not make her an official member of his council. Reinterpretation in the 1970s argued that Henrietta Maria's political role was more limited, suggesting that the King took more decisions himself personally. Bone concludes, for example, that despite having a very close personal relationship with Henrietta Maria, Charles rarely listened to her on matters of state politics. A third, more recent model argues that Henrietta Maria did indeed exercise political power and influence during the conflict, less so directly but more as a result of her public actions and deeds, which constrained and influenced the choices available to Charles.
As the 1630s came to a close, relations between the different factions comprising English society became increasingly tense. Arguments over religion, society, morals, and political power were becoming increasingly evident in the final years before war broke out. Henrietta Maria's strong views on religion and her social life at the court meant that, by 1642, she had become a "highly unpopular queen who apparently never successfully commanded intense personal respect and loyalty from most of her subjects".
Henrietta Maria remained sympathetic to her fellow Catholics and, in 1632, began construction of a new Catholic chapel at Somerset House. The old chapel had been deeply unpopular amongst Protestants, and there had been much talk amongst London apprentices of pulling it down as an anti-Catholic gesture. Although modest externally, Henrietta Maria's chapel was much more elaborate inside and was opened in a particularly grand ceremony in 1636. This caused great alarm amongst many in the Protestant community. Henrietta Maria's religious activities appear to have focused on bringing a modern, 17th century European form of Catholicism to England. To some extent, it worked, with numerous conversions amongst Henrietta Maria's circle; historian Kevin Sharpe argues that there may have been up to 300,000 Catholics in England by the late 1630s – they were certainly more open in court society. Charles came under increasing criticism for his failure to act to stem the flow of high-profile conversions. Henrietta Maria even gave a requiem mass in her private chapel for Father Richard Blount, S.J. upon his death in 1638. She also continued to act in masque plays throughout the 1630s, which met with criticism from the more Puritan wing of English society. In most of these masques she chose roles designed to advance ecumenism, Catholicism and the cult of Platonic love.
The result was an increasing intolerance of Henrietta Maria in Protestant English society, gradually shifting towards hatred. In 1630, Alexander Leighton, a Scottish doctor, was flogged, branded and mutilated for criticising Henrietta Maria in a pamphlet, before being imprisoned for life. In the late 1630s, the lawyer William Prynne, popular in Puritan circles, also had his ears cut off for writing that women actresses were notorious whores, a clear insult to Henrietta Maria. London society would blame Henrietta Maria for the Irish Rebellion of 1641, believed to be orchestrated by the Jesuits to whom she was linked in the public imagination. Henrietta Maria herself was rarely seen in London, as Charles and she had largely withdrawn from public society during the 1630s, both because of their desire for privacy and because of the cost of court pageants.
By 1641, an alliance of Parliamentarians under John Pym had begun to place increasing pressure on King Charles, himself embattled after the failure of several wars. The Parliamentary faction achieved the arrest and subsequent execution of the king's advisers, Archbishop William Laud and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. Pym then turned his attention to Henrietta Maria as a way of placing further pressure on Charles. The Grand Remonstrance passed by Parliament at the end of 1641, for example, did not mention the Queen by name, but it was clear to all that she was part of the Roman Catholic conspiracy the remonstrance referred to and condemned. Henrietta Maria's confidant Henry Jermyn, who had himself converted to Catholicism in the 1630s, was forced to flee to the Continent after the First Army Plot of 1641.
Henrietta Maria encouraged Charles to take a firm line with Pym and his colleagues. Henrietta Maria was widely believed to have encouraged Charles to arrest his Parliamentary enemies in January 1642, although no hard proof of this exists. The Marquis de La Ferté-Imbault, the French ambassador, was keen to avoid any damage to French prestige by an attack on the Queen, but was equally unimpressed by Charles' record on relations with France. He advised caution and reconciliation with Pym. The arrest was bungled, and Pym and his colleagues escaped Charles' soldiers, possibly as a result of a tip-off from Henrietta Maria's former friend Lucy Hay. With the anti-royalist backlash now in full swing, Henrietta Maria and Charles retreated from Whitehall to Hampton Court.
The situation was steadily moving towards open war, and in February Henrietta Maria left for the Hague, both for her own safety and to attempt to defuse public tensions about her Catholicism and her closeness to the King. The Hague was the seat of Henrietta's prospective son-in-law, William II of Orange, and the queen was to accompany the bride, her 10-year-old daughter Mary, to her new home. Also, her widowed sister-in-law Elizabeth, mother of the queen's old favourite, Prince Rupert, had been living in the Hague for some years already. The Hague was a major center for banking and finance; the queen intended to raise funds in aid of her husband there.
In August 1642, when the Civil War finally began, Henrietta Maria was in Europe at the Hague, raising money for the Royalist cause. Henrietta Maria focused on raising money on the security of the royal jewels, and in attempting to persuade the Prince of Orange and the King of Denmark to support Charles' cause. She was not well during this period, suffering from toothache, headaches, a cold and coughs. Henrietta Maria's negotiations were difficult; the larger pieces of jewellery were both too expensive to be sold easily, and politically risky – many buyers were deterred in case a future English Parliament attempted to reclaim them, arguing they had been illegally sold by Henrietta Maria. Henrietta Maria was finally partially successful in her negotiations, particularly for the smaller pieces, but she was portrayed in the English press as selling off the crown jewels to foreigners to buy guns for a religious conflict, adding to her unpopularity at home. She urged Charles, then in York, to take firm action and secure the strategic port of Hull at the earliest opportunity, angrily responding to his delays in taking action.
At the beginning of 1643, Henrietta Maria attempted to return to England. The first attempt to cross from the Hague was not an easy one; battered by storms, her ship came close to sinking and was forced to return to port. Henrietta Maria used the delay to convince the Dutch to release a shipload of arms for the King, which had been held at the request of Parliament. Defying her astrologers, who predicted disaster, she set to sea again at the end of February. This second attempt was successful and she evaded the Parliamentarian navy to land at Bridlington in Yorkshire with troops and arms. The pursuing naval vessels then bombarded the town, forcing the royal party to take cover in neighbouring fields; Henrietta Maria returned under fire, however, to recover her pet dog Mitte who had been forgotten by her staff.
Henrietta Maria paused for a period at York, where she was entertained in some style by the Earl of Newcastle. Henrietta Maria took the opportunity to discuss the situation north of the border with Royalist Scots, promoting the plans of Montrose and others for an uprising. She also supported the Earl of Antrim's proposals to settle the rebellion in Ireland and bring forces across the sea to support the King in England. Henrietta Maria continued to vigorously argue for nothing less than a total victory over Charles' enemies, countering proposals for a compromise. She rejected private messages from Pym and Hampden asking her to use her influence over the King to create a peace treaty, and was impeached by Parliament shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Parliament had voted to destroy her private chapel at Somerset House and arrest the Capuchin friars who maintained it. In March, Henry Marten and John Clotworthy forced their way into the chapel with troops and destroyed the altarpiece by Rubens, smashed many of the statues and made a bonfire of the Queen's religious canvases, books and vestments.
Travelling south in the summer, she met Charles at Kineton, near Edgehill, before travelling on to the royal capital in Oxford. The journey through the contested Midlands was not an easy one, and Prince Rupert was sent to Stratford-upon-Avon to escort her. Despite the difficulties of the journey, Henrietta Maria greatly enjoyed herself, eating in the open air with her soldiers and meeting friends along the way. She arrived in Oxford bringing fresh supplies to great acclaim; poems were written in her honour, and Jermyn, her chamberlain, was given a peerage by the King at her request.
Henrietta Maria spent the autumn and winter of 1643 in Oxford with Charles, where she attempted, as best she could, to maintain the pleasant court life that they had enjoyed before the war. The Queen lived in the Warden's lodgings in Merton College, adorned with the royal furniture which had been brought up from London. The Queen's usual companions were present: Denbigh, Davenant, her dwarves; her rooms were overrun by dogs, including Mitte. The atmosphere in Oxford was a combination of a fortified city and a royal court, and Henrietta Maria was frequently stressed with worry.
By early 1644, however, the King's military situation had started to deteriorate. Royalist forces in the north came under pressure, and following the Royalist defeat at the battle of Alresford in March, the royal capital at Oxford was less secure. The Queen was pregnant with the future Princess Henrietta and the decision was taken for her to withdraw safely west to Bath. Charles travelled as far as Abingdon with her before returning to Oxford with his sons – it was the last time the two saw each other.
Henrietta Maria eventually continued south-west beyond Bath to Exeter, where she stopped, awaiting her imminent labour. Meanwhile, however, the Parliamentarian generals the Earl of Essex and William Waller had produced a plan to exploit the situation. Waller would pursue and hold down the King and his forces, while Essex would strike south to Exeter with the aim of capturing Henrietta Maria and thereby acquiring a valuable bargaining counter over Charles. By June, Essex's forces had reached Exeter. Henrietta Maria had had another difficult childbirth, and the King had to personally appeal to their usual physician, de Mayerne, to risk leaving London to attend to her. The Queen was in considerable pain and distress, but decided that the threat from Essex was too great; leaving baby Henrietta in Exeter because of the risks of the journey, she stayed at Pendennis Castle then took to sea from Falmouth in a Dutch vessel for France on 14 July. Despite coming under fire from a Parliamentarian ship, she instructed her captain to sail on, reaching Brest in France and the protection of her French family.
By the end of the year, Charles's position was getting weaker and he desperately needed Henrietta Maria to raise additional funds and troops from the continent. The campaigns of 1645 went poorly for the Royalists, however, and the capture, and subsequent publishing, of the correspondence between Henrietta Maria and Charles in 1645 following the Battle of Naseby proved hugely damaging to the royal cause. In two decisive engagements—the Battle of Naseby in June and the Battle of Langport in July—the Parliamentarians effectively destroyed Charles' armies. Finally, in May 1646 Charles sought shelter with a Presbyterian Scottish army at Southwell in Nottinghamshire.
With the support of the French government, Henrietta Maria settled in Paris, appointing as her chancellor, the eccentric Sir Kenelm Digby, and forming a Royalist court in exile at St-Germain-en-Laye. During 1646 there was talk of Prince Charles joining Henrietta Maria in Paris; Henrietta Maria and the King were keen, but the Prince was initially advised not to go, as it would portray him as a Catholic friend of France. After the continued failure of the Royalist efforts in England, he finally agreed to join his mother in July 1646.
Henrietta Maria was increasingly depressed and anxious in France, from where she attempted to convince Charles to accept a Presbyterian government in England as a means of mobilising Scottish support for the re-invasion of England and the defeat of Parliament. In December 1647, she was horrified when Charles rejected the "Four Bills" offered to him by Parliament as a peace settlement. Charles had secretly signed "The Engagement" with the Scots, however, promising a Presbyterian government in England with the exception of Charles' own household. The result was the Second Civil War, which despite Henrietta Maria's efforts to send it some limited military aid, ended in 1648 with the defeat of the Scots and Charles' capture by Parliamentary forces.
In France, meanwhile, a "hothouse" atmosphere had developed amongst the royal court in exile at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Henrietta Maria had been joined by a wide collection of Royalist exiles, including Henry Wilmot, George Digby, Henry Percy, John Colepeper and Charles Gerard. The Queen's court was beset with factionalism, rivalry and dueling; Henrietta Maria had to prevent Prince Rupert from fighting a duel with Digby, arresting them both, however, she was unable to prevent a later duel between Digby and Percy, and between Rupert and Percy shortly after that.
King Charles was executed by decree of Parliament in 1649; his death left Henrietta Maria almost destitute and in shock, a situation not helped by the French civil war of the Fronde, which left Henrietta Maria's nephew King Louis XIV short of money himself. Henrietta Maria also was no longer the Queen but the Queen Mother to the young King Charles II. During the ensuing, and final, Third English Civil War the whole of the Royalist circle now based itself from St-Germain, with the Queen Mother's followers being joined by the old Royalist circle who had been with Charles II at the Hague, including Ormonde and Inchiquin and Clarendon, whom she particularly disliked. She also quarrelled with Ormonde: when she said that if she had been trusted the King would be in England, Ormonde, with his usual bluntness, retorted that if she had never been trusted the King need never have left England. Co-location began to bring the factions together, but Henrietta Maria's influence was waning. In 1654, Charles II moved his court on to Cologne, eliminating the remaining influence of the Queen Mother in St-Germain.
Henrietta Maria increasingly focused on her faith and on her children, especially Henrietta (whom she called "Minette"), James and Henry. Henrietta Maria attempted to convert both Princes James and Henry to Catholicism, her attempts with Henry angering both Royalists in exile and Charles II. Henriette, however, was brought up a Catholic. Henrietta Maria had founded a convent at Chaillot in 1651, and she lived there for much of the 1650s.
Henrietta Maria returned to England following the Restoration in October 1660 along with her daughter Henrietta. Henrietta Maria's return was partially prompted by a liaison between the Earl of Clarendon's daughter Anne and Henrietta Maria's son, the Duke of York – Anne was pregnant, and the Duke had proposed marrying her. Henrietta Maria still disliked Clarendon, and did not want Anne as a daughter-in-law, but Charles II agreed and despite her efforts the wedding went ahead. Henrietta Maria did not return to much public acclaim – Samuel Pepys counted only three small bonfires lit in her honour, and described her a "very little plain old woman, and nothing more in her presence in any respect nor garb than any ordinary woman". She took up residence once more at Somerset House, supported by a generous pension.
The restoration year 1660 was also one of many private griefs for Henrietta. Her return had been partially prompted by concern for the welfare of her second son James, who had been in a liaison with Lady Anne Hyde, the daughter of the Earl of Clarendon – Anne had revealed that she was pregnant, and the prince had made known his desire to marry her. Henrietta, who was in the Hague at that time, was horrified; she still disliked Clarendon, and she had no reason to think well of the pregnant Anne, and she certainly did not want the courtier's daughter to marry her son. However, Charles II agreed to his brother's wishes, and despite Henrietta's efforts, a heavily pregnant Anne was married to James in a private ceremony held just after midnight on 3 September 1660. Their child was born only weeks later, in October, but died seven months after birth. Also in September, Henrietta's third son, Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, died of smallpox in London aged 20. He had accompanied his brother King Charles II to England in May and had participated in the King's triumphal progress through London. More death was to follow: on Christmas Eve, Henrietta's elder daughter Mary also died of smallpox in London, leaving behind a 10-year-old son, the future William III of England.
In 1661, Henrietta Marie returned to France and arranged for her youngest daughter, Henrietta to marry her first cousin Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the only brother of Louis XIV. This significantly helped English relations with the French.
After her daughter's wedding, Henrietta Maria returned to England in 1662 accompanied by her son Charles II and her nephew Prince Rupert. She had intended to remain in England for the rest of her life, but by 1665 was suffering badly from bronchitis, which she blamed on the damp British weather. Henrietta Maria travelled back to France the same year, taking residence at the Hôtel de la Bazinière, the present Hôtel de Chimay in Paris. In August 1669, she saw the birth of her granddaughter Anne Marie d'Orléans; Anne Marie was the maternal grandmother of Louis XV making Henrietta Maria an ancestor of most of today's royal families. Shortly afterwards, she died at the château de Colombes, near Paris, having taken an excessive quantity of opiates as a painkiller on the advice of Louis XIV's doctor, Antoine Vallot. She was buried in the French royal necropolis at the Basilica of St Denis, with her heart being placed in a silver casket and buried at her convent in Chaillot.
During his 1631 Northwest Passage expedition in the ship Henrietta Maria, Captain Thomas James named the north west headland of James Bay where it opens into Hudson Bay for her. The U.S. state of Maryland was named in her honour by her husband, Charles I. George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore submitted a draft charter for the colony with the name left blank, suggesting that Charles bestow a name in his own honour. Charles, having already honoured himself and several family members in other colonial names, decided to honour his wife. The specific name given in the charter was "Terra Mariae, anglicize, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana.
Numerous recipes ascribed to Henrietta Maria are reproduced in Kenelm Digby's famous cookbook The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened.
|Charles James, Duke of Cornwall||13 March 1629||13 March 1629||Stillborn|
|Charles II||29 May 1630||6 February 1685||Married Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705) in 1662. No legitimate issue.|
|Mary, Princess Royal||4 November 1631||24 December 1660||Married William II, Prince of Orange (1626–1650) in 1641. Had issue.|
|James II, King of England||14 October 1633||16 September 1701||Married (1) Anne Hyde (1637–1671) in 1659; had issue|
(2) Mary of Modena (1658–1718) in 1673; had issue
|Elizabeth||29 December 1635||8 September 1650||Died young; no issue. Buried Newport, Isle of Wight|
|Anne||17 March 1637||8 December 1640||Died young; no issue. Buried Westminster Abbey|
|Catherine||29 January 1639||29 January 1639||Died less than half an hour after baptizing; buried Westminster Abbey.|
|Henry, Duke of Gloucester||8 July 1640||18 September 1660||Died unmarried; no issue. Buried Westminster Abbey|
|Henrietta||16 June 1644||30 June 1670||Married Philippe I, Duke of Orléans (1640–1701) in 1661; had issue|
The Royal Coat of Arms of England, Scotland and Ireland impaled with her father's arms as King of France and Navarre. The arms of Henry IV were: "Azure, three fleurs de lys Or (France); impaling Gules, a cross a saltire and an orle of chains linked at the fess point with an amulet Or (Navarre)". For her supporters she used the crowned lion of England on the dexter side, and on the sinister used one of the angels which had for some time accompanied the royal arms of France.
Henrietta Maria of FranceBorn: 25 November 1609 Died: 10 September 1669
Title last held byAnne of Denmark
| Queen consort of England,
Scotland and of Ireland
Title next held byCatherine of Braganza
Anne Hamilton, 3rd Duchess of Hamilton (6 January 1632 – 17 October 1716) was a Scottish peeress.
The daughter of Sir James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton and 3rd Marquess of Hamilton, Scottish General and premier peer of the realm, and Lady Mary Feilding, daughter of William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh and Lady Susan Villiers, a sister of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
She was born at the Palace of Whitehall in London, where her mother was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Henrietta Maria of France, wife of King Charles I of Scotland and of England.Anne Stuart (1637–1640)
Anne Stuart (17 March 1637 – 5 November 1640) was the daughter of King Charles I and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. She was one of the couple's three children to die in childhood.Charles Stuart, Duke of Cambridge (1660–1661)
Charles Stuart (22 October 1660 – 5 May 1661) was the first of four sons and eight children born from the marriage between the Duke of York (later James II of England & VII of Scotland) and his first wife, Anne Hyde. He was styled Duke of Cambridge, but never formally created so, because he died so young.Descendants of Charles I of England
Charles I of England was the second King of the then newly enthroned House of Stuart. He was the second surviving son of King James I of England. He became heir apparent to the English, Irish and Scottish thrones on the death of his elder brother in 1612. Later, he married a Bourbon princess, Henrietta Maria of France, after a failed Spanish match.
His reign is known for his conflicts with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings, which was against the belief of many of his subjects, leading to them perceiving his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch. His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, made him an enemy of the Puritans and Calvinists. Most of his actions as monarch ultimately helped precipitate his own downfall, and his eventual deposition and beheading in 1649 and the declaration of the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell.
Many of today's European royalty can claim descent from Charles, such as Juan Carlos I of Spain, Franz, Duke of Bavaria, Philippe of Belgium, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the late Otto von Habsburg and many are related to him via collateral bloodlines, such as Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Margrethe II of Denmark. He is also the ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, mother of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry who are second and sixth in line to the Succession to the British throne after their father Charles, Prince of Wales. This article deals with the numerous individuals who are and were descendants of Charles and his wife Henrietta (Since he is not known to have had any illegitimate children).Diana (Vouet)
Diana is a 1637 painting of Diana by Simon Vouet. It was produced in Paris and sent to England as part of the dowry of Louis XIII's sister Henrietta Maria of France on her marriage to Charles I of England. It is still in the Royal Collection and now hangs in the Cumberland Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.East Riddlesden Hall
East Riddlesden Hall is a 17th-century manor house in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England, now owned by the National Trust. The hall was built in 1642 by a wealthy Halifax clothier, James Murgatroyd. The hall is a Grade I listed building. There is a medieval tithebarn in the grounds.
East Riddlesden Hall perches on a small plateau overlooking a bend in the River Aire on its way downstream from the town of Keighley. Interesting features include well-restored living accommodation on two floors, two Yorkshire Rose windows, walled garden, the ruined Starkie wing and several ghosts (reputedly). A hiding place for Catholic priests was installed during the 16th century.The property was extended and re-built by James Murgatroyd and his wife Hannah, using local Yorkshire stone, in 1648. He also built other stone manor houses throughout the West Riding of Yorkshire. In the great hall, a small fireplace can be seen above the main fireplace, where the floor for the first floor accommodation was not built. James Murgatroyd was a Royalist and this can be seen in royalist symbols and graffiti on and in the building. For example, the Bothy (now the tea room and shop) has the heads of Charles I of England and Henrietta Maria of France carved in the topmost stone work.
According to a NODA National News feature in 2007, the Murgatroyd family are reputed to be the inspiration for the Murgatroyd Baronets in the comic opera Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan, and the opera has been performed at the Hall. W. S. Gilbert is supposed to have often stayed at the Hall. The feature comments that the Murgatroyds became notorious "for their profanity and debauchery". A legend arose that the River Aire changed its course in shame, in order to flow further away from the hall and its occupants(the river does indeed sweep into a wide U-bend to skirt the meadow, giving the building a wide berth). The feature continues "Members of the family were fined, imprisoned and excommunicated". It asserts that the character of Sir Despard Murgatroyd in Ruddigore is based on James Murgatroyd.Elizabeth Stuart (daughter of Charles I)
Elizabeth Stuart (28 December 1635 – 8 September 1650) was the second daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France.
From age six until her death at age 14, Elizabeth was a prisoner of the English Parliament during the English Civil War. Her emotional written account of her final meeting with her father on the eve of his execution and his final words to his children have been published in numerous histories about the Civil War and Charles I.First Lady of the Bedchamber
In British Royal Households, First Lady of the Bedchamber is the title of the highest of the Ladies of the Bedchamber, those holding the official position of personal attendants on a queen or princess. The title had its equivalent in several European royal courts. The position is traditionally held by a female member of a noble family.Groom of the Stool
The Groom of the Stool (formally styled: "Groom of the King's Close Stool") was the most intimate of an English monarch's courtiers, responsible for assisting the king in excretion and ablution.
The physical intimacy of the role naturally led to his becoming a man in whom much confidence was placed by his royal master and with whom many royal secrets were shared as a matter of course. This secret information—while it would never have been revealed, for it would have led to the discredit of his honour—in turn led to his becoming feared and respected and therefore powerful within the royal court in his own right. The office developed gradually over decades and centuries into one of administration of the royal finances, and under Henry VII, the Groom of the Stool became a powerful official involved in setting national fiscal policy, under the "chamber system".Henri-Auguste de Loménie, comte de Brienne
Henri-Auguste de Loménie (1594 – 3 November 1666), Count of Brienne, Seigneur de La Ville-aux-Clercs was a French politician. He was secretary of state for the navy from 1615 to February 1643, and then secretary of state for foreign affairs from 1643 to 1663 under Mazarin during the minority of Louis XIV. From the Loménie family (originating in Flavignac in Limousin), he was the son of Antoine de Loménie, secretary of state to Henry IV and a Huguenot convert.
The Count de Brienne was naturally destined to public office. He traveled to Germany, Poland and Italy, by order of his father, the last as well prepare for his career. He was back in Paris towards the end of 1609, that he was noticed by Henry IV, who allowed him to attend the board sometimes. Marie de Medici, regent of France, commissioned him in 1614 to negotiate with some members of the États généraux, "whose minds were unwell", and his clever response obtained from them the nomination of a president acceptable to the court. This success earned him in 1617, master of ceremonies and provost of king's orders. Until the death of his father, his principal occupation "was to accompany the King and gain the honor of his good graces, to which he succeeds."
The British Embassy, where he was responsible for negotiating the marriage of Henrietta Maria of France with the Charles I of England. However, when he seemed to have met with success in its attempt at accommodatation, he was disowned by Louis XIII and Richelieu.
The kindness of the queen mother of Louis XI to him was also the affection of the princess to Madame de Brienne, his wife, the whole court knew to be the closest confidante of Anne of Austria. This influence kept him in power until the death of Mazarin, but before that time, his influence began to wane.
The impairment of the Count of Brienne was not soon enough for the young and voluntary authority of Louis XIV; high diplomatic capacities should preferably also attract the attention of the king, a great kingdom was coming, and he had to carry and moderate both the ideas of the gigantic new prince, physical strength and moral well above that of the Count de Brienne. Hugues de Lyonne was charged in 1663, with the Department of Foreign Affairs, replacing him.
He died in 1666. Le Tellier, who became chancellor, said in council, when he heard the news: He had never seen a man more intelligent in business, less shaken at the least danger, less stunned by surprises, and more fertile in expedients to disentangle them happily.
And the King Louis XIV said: I lost today the oldest, most loyal and most informed of my ministers.
He wrote his memoirs for the instruction of her children: Memory containing the most remarkable events of the reign of Louis XIII and Louis XIV than to the death of Cardinal Mazarin.Henrietta (given name)
Henrietta is a feminine given name, derived from the male name Henry. The name is an English version of the French Henriette, a female form of Henri. A short version of the name is Harriet, which was considered the "spoken form" of Henrietta, much as Harry was considered the "spoken form" of Henry in medieval England.
All these names are derived from Henrik, which is ultimately derived from the Germanic name Heimiric, derived from the word elements heim, or "home" and ric, meaning "power, ruler." The male name Henry was first used in England by Normans. Henrietta Maria of France (born Henriette-Marie de France), queen consort of Charles I of England, first inspired wide use of the name in England in the 17th century. Authors Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran noted in their book Beyond Jennifer and Jason, Madison and Montana that Henrietta is one of the most "thoroughly upper-class names" in use in England.Henrietta is no longer a widely used name in English-speaking countries, though its short form Harriet was the 73rd most popular name for baby girls born in England in 2007 and Henrietta was the 85th most popular given name for girls born in Hungary in 2005, perhaps inspired by Henrietta Ónodi, a top-ranked Hungarian gymnast. Both Henrietta and Harriet were ranked in the top 1,000 most popular names for girls in the United States during the 1960s. Henrietta was the 446th most common name for females in the United States in the 1990 census.Henrietta of England
Henrietta of England (16 June 1644 O.S. (26 June 1644 N.S.) – 30 June 1670) was the youngest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Fleeing England with her governess at the age of three, she moved to the court of her first cousin Louis XIV of France, where she was known as Minette. After she married Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, brother of King Louis XIV, known as Monsieur, she became known as Madame. Her marriage was marked by frequent tensions. Henrietta was instrumental in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover, in June 1670 – early in the same month as her unexpected death. Jacobite claims to the throne of Great Britain following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart descend from her through her daughter Anne Marie, Queen of Sardinia.Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester
Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester (8 July 1640 – 13 September 1660) was the youngest son of Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. He is also known as Henry of Oatlands.Isabel Stuart
Isabel Stuart (28 August 1676 – 2 March 1681), also called Isabella, was a daughter of the future King James II of England and his second wife, Mary of Modena.
Isabel was born at St James's Palace in London. She was the second daughter of James and Mary, after her sister Catherine Laura who died eleven months before Isabel's birth. Isabel had two older half-sisters from her father's first marriage to Anne Hyde: Mary and Anne; both would become reigning Queens of England. Isabel's paternal grandparents were Charles I of England and his wife Henrietta Maria of France, her maternal grandparents were Alfonso IV d'Este and Laura Martinozzi.Lady of the Bedchamber
The Lady of the Bedchamber is the title of a lady-in-waiting holding the official position of personal attendant on a British queen or princess. The position is traditionally held by a female member of a noble family. They are ranked between the First Lady of the Bedchamber and the Women of the Bedchamber. They are also styled Gentlewoman of Her Majesty's Bedchamber.
The equivalent title and office has historically been used in most European royal courts (Dutch: Dames du Palais; French: dames or Dame de Palais; German: Hofstaatsdame or Palastdame; Italian: Dame di Corte; Russian: Hofdame or Statsdame; Spanish: dueña de honor; Swedish: statsfru).Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Mary, Princess Royal (Mary Henrietta; 4 November 1631 – 24 December 1660) was Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau by marriage to Prince William II, and co-regent for her son during his minority as Sovereign Prince of Orange from 1651 to 1660.
She was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Her only child, William succeeded her husband as Prince of Orange and later reigned as King of England, Ireland and Scotland. Mary was the first daughter of a British sovereign to hold the title Princess Royal.Mistress of the Robes
The Mistress of the Robes is the senior lady in the Royal Household of the United Kingdom.
Formerly responsible for the queen's clothes and jewellery (as the name implies), the post now has the responsibility for arranging the rota of attendance of the ladies-in-waiting on the queen, along with various duties at state ceremonies. In modern times, the Mistress of the Robes is almost always a duchess. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this role often overlapped with or was replaced as First Lady of the Bedchamber.
In the past, whenever the queen was a queen regnant rather than a queen consort, the Mistress of the Robes was a political appointment, changing with the government. However, this has not been the case since the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and Queen Elizabeth II has only had two Mistresses of the Robes in more than sixty years' reign. Queens dowager have their own Mistresses of the Robes, and in the 18th century Princesses of Wales had one too.Portrait of Olivia Boteler Porter
The Portrait of Olivia Boteler Porter is an oil painting on canvas by Anthony van Dyck, showing Olivia Boteler Porter. Olivia, daughter of John Boteler, 1st Baron Boteler of Bramfield, and niece of the Duke of Buckingham, was a zealous Roman Catholic and a lady in waiting to Henrietta Maria of France, queen consort to Charles I of England. It was discovered on the Your Paintings website by Bendor Grosvenor after being documented by the Public Catalogue Foundation.Robert Phillip
Robert Phillip (died 4 January 1647 at Paris) was a Scottish Roman Catholic priest, the confessor to Henrietta Maria of France.
|Ancestors of Henrietta Maria of France|
|1st generation (Henry IV)|
|2nd generation (Louis XIII)|
|3rd generation (Louis XIV)|
|4th generation (Louis, Grand Dauphin)|
|5th generation (Louis, Duke of Burgundy)|
|6th generation (Louis XV)|
|7th generation (Louis, Dauphin)|
|8th generation (Louis XVI)|
Spouses of debatable or disputed rulers are in italics