So why is this rambling windbag of a tale called Six Kings and Two Queens ?
Well, the hero, John Deane, the entrepreneur, the sea captain, the ex-cannibal, the ex-poacher, the ex-deer stealer and the ex-butcher’s apprentice lived a very long life. And when he eventually succumbed, Captain Deane, as the locals all called him, was buried in the churchyard at Wilford:
He had lived through the reigns of six kings and two queens.
He was born during the reign of Charles II. To me, Charlie looks a real sleeze of a man. He couldn’t keep his hands off Nell Gwynne’s oranges and he appears to me to be just the type to be arrested by the police for having inappropriate images on his computer:
And here is History’s most famous orange seller, Charles’ mistress Nell Gwynne. This was his own personal pin-up:
Next came James II. Here he is. He was chucked out eventually because he was a Roman Catholic, and because of this, the Protestant nobles thought that he would eventually want to be an absolute monarch and then they would all have to work for a living:
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 brought in William and Mary:
Is is just me, or does Mary look like a man?
Queen Anne was definitely not a man. She had seventeen children but, poor woman, none of them survived to become adults:
No silly jokes about her. She is too sad a person for that. All of her weight gains came from what must have been more or less continuous pregnancies.
Enter George I, a German who spoke little or no English:
Like all of the Hanoverians, George I hated his son and his son hated him. Here is George II. He was the last English king to lead his troops into battle, at Dettingen in 1743. He galloped so fast his wig blew off:
George III was mad, mad, mad. He lost the American colonies, of course. Perhaps they thought they would be better off without a registered lunatic in charge?
George III was the last monarch of John Deane’s long life. Six and out, to borrow a cricketing phrase.
Mr Spielberg, I have the film script for all of this nearly half finished…
22 responses to “Six Kings and Two Queens (3)”
I chuckled all the way through this. They are a right mix of oddities and none of them probably fit to reign. Thank goodness we don’t have any nut jobs running big powerful countries at the moment, that would be just terrible wouldn’t it!
It certainly would. The problem is that our system passes the torch from one nut job to another. And their behaviour is never corrected. At least two members of the current Royal Family seem to me to be downright rude and the one I had brief contact with on an official visit was exceptionally good at alienating people. I’m totally in favour of the system of electing our nut jobs for periods of perhaps three or four years during which they enjoy great luxury but are sacked as soon as they make a booboo. And then we just move on to whoever came second in the poll.
Sounds like a brilliant idea. Trouble is, we’d be forever Changing leadership!
Definitely an entertaining list of characters.
Good thing you have Parliment, which as I understand it, much our congress, ensures nothing ever gets done…
Well, Mrs May called the General Election because she didn’t have a big enough majority in the House of Commons to get the things on her agenda done, as she wants them done, particularly Brexit. If she gets that majority, she will have the power, as any ruling party does, to carry out her policies. Alternatively, if the Labour Party win by a landslide, they will be able to nationalise the railways, for example, or to carry out any of the things they have promised to do. We have the House of Lords but I think that they will be reformed soon. They are unelected, pick up £300 a day to attend and there are more of them than in the elected chamber. The Prime Minister also does not have to take any notice of what they decide. Overall, though, if the people vote for something from a particular party…a cut in income tax, for example…. it will get done, or the party will find itself under huge pressure to quit.
You have a unique way of telling history, John. I thoroughly enjoyed this!!
Thank you very much. I think we have a unique way of creating our history over here. How bizarre to just contact an almost random German and ask him to be King! He didn’t even speak English. It’s a bit like you kicking out Mr Trump and asking the President of Slovenia to come and have a go!
Hilarious John! How did we ever build an Empire with such lunatics in charge??
I think it’s because we had very dedicated and shrewd people in the management structure just a few levels down from mad King George. People like Clive of India or Cecil Rhodes or any number of forgotten military commanders in a host of countries.
In addition, we also had a set formula on how to rule third world countries, and if it worked in India it would work in Southern Rhodesia, it would work everywhere. Make sure that there are a number of different ethnic groups or tribes, and then favour one above all others. They will then help you rule the rest, because historically, they never liked them anyway.
And there were good things. You can always introduce justice, peace, adequate food, decent living conditions, a railway system and the rule of law…does every one of our ex-colonies have those nowadays? The ultimate proof would have been around 1998, when the President of Sierra Leone, racked by civil war, asked the Labour Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, if they could rejoin the British Empire.
Thanks John. What you’ve said reminds me of Richard, the Lord Mornington and his slightly more famous brother Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS. Mornington was the Governor General of India in 1797, he administrated the country and the ‘Iron Duke’ raised local forces to initiate cohesion between the Maharajas. What followed, as we know is a country that had infrastructure in the form of a modern banking system, railways and booming trade. It’s a contentious issue with many, but did the British Empire leave their colonies in such a terrible state? When the Belgians left the Congo, they did so using a scorched earth policy.
Thank you for the history lesson sir
My pleasure. As a French teacher day in, day out, I was always a frustrated history teacher, so these posts are an inevitable product of those feelings. I also cannot stand sentimental lies being peddled to excuse the terrible things which happened in the 18th century, most of them as the fault of the inept kings we had then, and the greedy fools who decided the nation’s policies in a totally corrupt Parliament. Let me have your essay by Thursday.
They are without doubt the most pop-eyed and lamentable bunch in the history of our monarchy. At least in the Middle Ages there was a touch of natural selection involved in all the plotting and murder. Having said that, I always feel a twinge of sadness at the thought of Queen Anne.
Well she lost a lot of children, but what never gets emphasised is why she kept having them. It would have been to provide an heir so that the state could continue. It would not have been, as nowadays with ordinary people, because she wanted a child to cuddle. And I do agree with you about the Middle Ages. There was a lot of natural selection involved and most of the kings were world class at promoting the rule of fear, especially William the Conqueror. Stalin in chain mail.
Neat, thee way you, kept us waiting for the link
I have a film scrip for another story but it will have to wait.
PS I have blocked my blog and will start a new one in a different name. I will get to you some other way. I got trolled.
Would be a pretty good story if you could Forrest Gump interacting with them all.
Believe me, Forrest Gump would relish the opportunity to be put in direct contrast with some of those monarchs! Except that they always had the brains to acquire wealth, two of them in the most appalling way. But that, as they say, is a another blog post….
I enjoyed this John, A breezy humourous recap of these monarchs.
Thanks very much. I have decided that as history teachers appear to have bored so many pupils for so many years, any history that I relate will be both flippant and facetious, if possible. Except for the thousands who have died for our freedom and our democratic way of life. That’s different!
A fascinating story. Had Queen Anne produced a male heir then one wonders how different our subsequent history would have been. As it is she merely lives on in a style of architecture and of furniture. Such are the caprices of history.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m actually quite fascinated by those tiny turning points in history…and there are plenty of them. Queen Anne definitely does live on in the way you suggest, perhaps more so than the Georges who can only claim a quarter of the word Georgian!