Saturday, November 7, 2009


On this day in 1619, Elizabeth Stuart, Electress Palatine (through marriage), eldest daughter of King James VI of Scotland and I of England and Anne of Denmark, and granddaughter of Mary Queen of Scots, was crowned Queen of Bohemia, just a few days after her husband Frederick had been crowned King. 

Elizabeth Stuart

Frederick’s reign was unfortunately short, and two were driven into exile at the Hague.  Because of her brief reign, Elizabeth was nicknamed the “Winter Queen.”  After Frederick died in 1632, Elizabeth remained in Holland; but after the English monarchy was restored in 1660, Elizabeth returned there and remained in England until her death in 1662. 

Sophia of Hanover

Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, Sophia of Hanover, ultimately became, through a series of developments too convoluted to detail in a “fragment,” heiress presumptive to her cousin Queen Anne of England and Ireland.  Sophia never became Queen because she died a few weeks before Anne, but her eldest son became King George I. All British monarchs since then have been descendents of Elizabeth Stuart.

On this date in 1916, Jeannette Rankin (1880 – 1973) became the first woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. Rankin is the only woman to have ever been elected to Congress from Montana.

A social worker by training, Rankin was also suffragist and devout pacifist.  She voted against United States entry into both World Wars; her extremely unpopular vote against World War II ultimately resulted in her retirement from Congress.

Both as Congresswoman and later as a lobbyist, Rankin was a champion of legislation to provide government funding for health clinics, midwife education and visiting nurse programs, with the goal of reducing infant mortality.  Rankin was a founding officer of the American Civil Liberties Union, and later became a leader in the anti-Vietnam-War movement.  The foundation created in her name still provides scholarships for low income women.


  1. Excellent, Moon! Ever notice, though, it was practically de riguer among the Stuarts to end up stripped of their thrones, dead, or spending a long while in exile? Her brother Charles, her nephew Charles, she herself, her other nephew James, her great-nephew Bonnie Prince Charlie--weird family history there. Love this--especially the pictures; I'd never seen any of her. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My guess is that it was the pollution that crept into the line from the Darnley-Stuart branch of the family. My recollection is that he was a very dissolute bad boy.

    By the way, don't expect me to know all the details. You're the history major -- I'm only the wannabe. There's a reason why I call these little pieces "fragments." <3

  3. LOL--no doubt. Darnley was a wrong 'un and no mistake.

    PS Sorry--I'm incurably pedantic and have been called on it more than once. Just slap me down if I get too bad.

  4. Well, I'm incurably romantic, so it all balances out. You have to do something worse than this to provoke me to slap. ;)