Monday, October 5, 2015

Biography - Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 - the ups & downs of being married to King James VI & I.

1600 Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James I of England

Anne of Denmark (1574–1619) was queen consort of Scotland, England, & Ireland as the wife of James VI & I (1566-1625).

1578 Queen Anne's mother Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1557-1631) was a German noble and Queen of Denmark and Norway.

The 2nd daughter of alcoholic King Frederick II of Denmark & his wife Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, a descendant of King Hans of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of 14. 

17 May 1590, Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.

Fourteen-year-old Anne was immediately under pressure to provide James & Scotland with an heir, but with no sign of a pregnancy in 1590-93, Presbyterian antagonists felt free to talk of James’s "fondness for male company" & whispered against Anne "for that she proves not with child."

1606 John de Critz the elder (English artist, 1551-52-1642) Portrait of James VI & I 

Anne finally produced an heir, Prince Henry Stuart, in early 1594. The royal couple eventually had 7 children, of whom 3 survived infancy.  Two sons, Henry & Charles (later Charles I), & a daughter, Elizabeth, survived into adult life.

1603 Queen Anne's daughter Princess Royal, daughter of James I & VI. She married Frederick V, Elector Palatine at 16, having many children of which 7 reached adulthood. She was Queen consort of Bohemia only 1 winter. Some called her The Winter Queen.

1605 John de Critz the elder (English artist, 1551-52-1642)  Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James I of England

A lady at court described Queen Anne, "Her features were not regular but her complexion was extremely fair & she had the finest neck that could be seen, which she took care it should be."

1605 John de Critz the elder (English artist, 1551-52-1642) Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I

Fourteen-year-old Anne appears to have cared for James when they 1st married. On 28 July 1589, the English spy Thomas Fowler reported that Anne was "so far in love with the King's Majesty as it were death to her to have it broken off & hath made good proof divers ways of her affection which his Majestie is apt in no way to requite."

Anne was crowned queen in 1590. During the bazaar 7-hour ceremony, her gown was opened by the Countess of Mar for presiding minister Robert Bruce to pour "a bonny quantity of oil" on "parts of her breast and arm," so anointing her as queen. Ministers objected, but James insisted that the rite was from the Old Testament.

1607 Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636) Queen Anne, wife of James I & VI 

Although James had a mistress in 1593-1595, (Anne Murray, later Lady Glamis); in Basilikon Doron, written 1597–1598, James described marriage as "the greatest earthly felicitie or miserie, that can come to a man."  Historians have noted, however, "All his life, except perhaps for 6 short months, King James disliked women, regarding them as inferior beings. All his interest was centered on the attractions of personable young men." The couple gradually came to live apart, though, apparently, some degree of mutual respect & affection survived.

Anne demonstrated an independent streak & was willing to use factional Scottish politics in her conflicts with James over the custody of Prince Henry. Anne would do whatever she had to in order to have a hand in the raising of her children.

1606 Robert Peake the Elder (1551-1619) Queen Anne's daughter Princess Elizabeth (1596–1662), Later Queen of Bohemia 

After 1607, Anne & James lived apart, she in London & he in the countryside at Royston. Anne's chaplain, Godfrey Goodman, summed up the royal relationship: "The King himself was a very chaste man, and there was little in the Queen to make him uxorious; yet they did love as well as man and wife could do, not conversing together."

1612 attr Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636) Anne of Denmark Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I 

In England, Anne shifted her energies from factional politics to parenting & to patronage of the arts. She constructed a magnificent court of her own, hosting one of the richest cultural salons in Europe. She was a considerable force as a patron of the arts during the Jacobean age.

1610 Robert Peake the Elder (1551-1619) Queen Anne's daughter Elizabeth (1596–1662) Queen of Bohemia  

After 1612, she suffered sustained bouts of ill health gradually withdrawing from the center of court life. A bitter confrontation between James & Anne occurred in 1613, when Anne shot James's favorite dog dead during a hunting session. After his initial rage, James smoothed things over by giving her a £2,000 diamond in memory of the dog, whose name was Jewel.

1617 Paul van Somer (c 1577-1621) Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I 

By late 1617, Anne's bouts of illness had become debilitating. John Chamberlain wrote, "The Queen continues still ill disposed and though she would fain lay all her infirmities upon the gout yet most of her physicians fear a further inconvenience of an ill habit or disposition through her whole body." Though she was reported to have been a Protestant at the time of her death, some believe that evidence suggests that she may have converted to Catholicism at some stage in her life.

1617 Paul van Somer (c 1577-1621) Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I. 

At her passing, James honored his late wife with verse:

"So did my Queen from hence her court remove
And left off earth to be enthroned above.
She's changed, not dead, for sure no good prince dies,
But, as the sun, sets, only for to rise."

1606 attr John de Critz the elder (English artist, 1551-52-1642) Portrait of James VI & I 

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