Sunday, August 7, 2011

Something for Sunday

I've been back at the family history research again. The list of my ancestors is amazing. I am running down my Plantagenet side from Henry I of England. Henry is the fourth son of William the Conqueror and as such should never have reached the throne. Amazing what perseverance will get you. Funny thing is that he died from a fall off his horse in Normandy. He was able to reunite Normandy and England for a time. I also find it amazing that his daughter Matilda is his only legitimate heir and she was a great grandmother 21 times removed. It is through her that I am a Plantagenet.

Henry however lost his wife at an early age and had several mistresses who bore him children. So I find him on my family tree as a great grandfather with at least one of his mistresses, Sybil Corbet. King Henry I had at least 18 illegitimate children. He had three legitimate heirs. His son William died young in a fire as did his first daughter. Queen Matilda was his third child. She eventually lost her bid for the throne to her cousin Stephen.

British history is as amazing as it is twisted. Do not think there was not intrigue. There was plenty. They intermarried and had affairs which produced children. The least amount of scandal probably came under Queen Victoria, but I highly doubt the intrigue stopped.

I have no desire to get into a tug-of-war with anyone for any throne. I don't need the headaches. It is amazing to me that I  share ancestors with the current royal family who are Windsors. It amazes me that Lady Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby and believed to be a pious and giving woman was one of the biggest plotters of intrigue and literally stole the throne for her own son, Henry VII. Yet, Lady Margaret shows up in my family tree because of the intermarriages of the royal children.

I don't think Court life was as wonderful as we have been led to believe. I think you had to be very careful what you said and did so that you kept your head. If someone with power over you told you to marry you married. Love never entered into it. Most were marriages of family and fortune. I'd have been the rebellious one. I'd have found my love and made a run for Gretna Green and asked forgiveness later. Wonder if I'd have lost my head??? It's possible.

TTFN

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