Aolib.comFragment of Photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany (ca. 1897)

A History of the Four Georges, Volume I »


By Justin McCarthy

having gained him a medal and introduced him to the society of the

University wits.“ After the death of this poor child it was thought

necessary that some new steps should be taken to cut off the chances of

the Stuarts. The Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, excluded the sons

or successors of James the Second, and all other Catholic claimants,

from the throne of England, and entailed the crown on the Electress

Sophia of Hanover as the nearest Protestant heir, in case neither the

reigning king nor the Princess Anne should have issue. The Electress

Sophia was the mother of George, afterwards the First of England. She

seems to have had good—sense as well as talent; her close friend

Leibnitz once said of her that she was not only given to asking why,

but also wanted to know the why of the whys. She was not very anxious

to see her son George made sovereign of England, and appeared to be

under the impression that his training and temper would not allow him

to govern with a due regard for the notions of constitutional liberty

which prevailed even then among Englishmen. It even seems that Sophia

made the suggestion that James Stuart, the Old Pretender, as he has

since been called, would do well to become a Protestant, go in for

constitutional Government, and thus have a chance of the English

throne. It is certain that she strongly objected to his being compared

with Perkin Warbeck, or called a bastard. She accepted, however, the

position offered to her and her son by the Act of Settlement, and

appears to have become gradually reconciled to it, and even, as she

sank into years, is said to have expressed a hope many times that the

name of Queen of England might be inscribed upon her coffin. She came

very near to the gratification of her wish. She died in June, 1714,

being then in her eighty—fourth year–only a very few days before Queen Anne received her first warning of the near approach of death.

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