George Villiers, primeiro duque de Buckingham

George Villiers, primeiro duque de Buckingham

George Villiers, o segundo filho de Sir George Villiers, nasceu em Brooksby, Leicestershire, em 28 de agosto de 1592. Villiers não era um erudito natural ", mas se destacou em habilidades como dança, esgrima e equitação, e uma vez que estas foram combinadas com aparência excepcional e charme de maneiras, ele estava bem equipado para a vida como cortesão ". (1)

Em 1611, Villiers conheceu Sir John Graham, um cavalheiro da câmara privada, que atuou como seu mentor e promotor. Ele providenciou para que Villiers fosse apresentado ao rei Jaime I, que imediatamente gostou de Villiers. Ao longo de seu reinado, ele se relacionou com jovens atraentes e, de acordo com Maurice Ashley, ele havia desenvolvido sentimentos homossexuais em sua juventude. (2)

Embora ele tenha se casado com Ana da Dinamarca em 1589, e ela tenha dado à luz Henrique (1594) e Carlos (1600), o Rei Jaime passou pouco tempo com sua esposa e "se recusou a viver no mesmo lugar que uma mulher mais do que ele poderia ajudar .. . e logo após sua ascensão, a rainha foi estabelecida na Casa da Dinamarca, raramente o acompanhando em seus progressos contínuos. " (3)

Como Jenny Wormald apontou: "Há quase o perigo de esquecer que, mesmo que a atividade homossexual em oposição ao sentimento homoerótico seja atribuída ao rei, no mínimo, Tiago era bissexual e conseguiu, onde seus três antecessores falharam , na concessão de herdeiros ao trono, que depois do meio século anterior veio como um alívio bem-vindo ". (4)

Um de seus cortesãos, Anthony Weldon, afirma que James tinha vários "homens adoráveis" e era culpado de expressar seus sentimentos em público: "O rei está beijando-os depois de um modo tão lascivo em público, e no teatro, por assim dizer, do mundo, levou muitos a imaginar algumas coisas feitas na casa de repouso que excedem minhas expressões não menos do que minha experiência. " (5)

James achava Villiers extremamente atraente e era considerado "bonito como um leopardo caçador". (6) O bispo Godfrey Goodman comentou que Villiers era "o homem de corpo mais bonito de toda a Inglaterra; seus membros eram tão compactos, e sua conversa tão agradável e de temperamento tão doce". (7)

Na época em que conheceu Villiers, o rei estava romanticamente envolvido com Robert Carr. Ele se tornou o favorito do rei quando tinha 20 anos e no ano seguinte tornou-se o cavalariço do quarto. O rei, foi relatado, "beliscava a bochecha de Carr em público, alisava suas roupas e olhava para ele com adoração, mesmo enquanto falava com os outros". Ao longo dos oito anos seguintes, Carr acumulou continuamente as recompensas materiais da paixão real e recebeu grandes propriedades em toda a Inglaterra. (8)

Em 1613 Carr começou a fazer planos para se casar com Frances Howard, filha do almirante Thomas Howard, filho de Thomas Howard, 4º duque de Norfolk. A família Howard estava tendo uma influência crescente sobre o rei James. Isso incluía Henry Howard, primeiro conde de Northampton, Thomas Howard, conde de Arundel e Charles Howard, senhor de Effingham. Todos simpatizavam com a Igreja Católica Romana e queriam uma aliança com o rei Filipe III da Espanha. De acordo com John Philipps Kenyon, autor de The Stuarts (1958): "Eles (os Howards) incitaram Tiago a casar seu filho com a filha de Filipe III da Espanha e usar seu enorme dote para pagar suas dívidas, com o objetivo final de reconciliar a Igreja inglesa com Roma." (9)

Sir Thomas Overbury se opôs veementemente ao casamento, pois estava preocupado com a crescente influência da família Howard. Ele revelou seus sentimentos a James. Ele rejeitou suas reclamações e ofereceu-lhe o cargo de embaixador, o que significaria que ele morasse no exterior. Quando se recusou a assumir o cargo, foi preso em 21 de abril de 1613 e levado para a Torre de Londres. Overbury ameaçou, em uma carta escrita a Carr, que revelaria informações sobre a vida passada de Francis Howard. Overbury morreu em 15 de setembro de 1613. Dez dias depois Carr casou-se com Howard. (10)

Em 1614 nomeou Carr como Lord Chamberlain e concedeu-lhe o título de Conde de Somerset. No entanto, ele também mostrou seu amor por Villiers, dando-lhe o emprego de copeiro real e em 1615 foi nomeado cavaleiro e se tornou o cavalheiro do quarto de dormir. Ele também recebeu uma pensão anual de £ 1.000. Carr reclamou de seu novo rival. James respondeu escrevendo uma carta que deixava claro que ele não estava disposto a desistir de seu amor por Villiers. Ele repreendeu Carr por suas "estranhas correntes de inquietação, paixão, fúria e orgulho insolente" e por "retirar-se de deitar em meu quarto, apesar de muitas centenas de vezes solicitando fervorosamente o contrário". (11)

Em agosto de 1615, Villiers e James ocuparam a mesma cama no Castelo Farnham, onde o rei estava em progresso. Roger Lockyer argumenta que isso por si só não prova que os dois homens estavam tendo um relacionamento homossexual: "Compartilhar a cama não era incomum no início do século XVII e não implicava necessariamente em intimidade física. No entanto, havia todos os indícios de que o relacionamento entre os o rei e Villiers haviam entrado em uma nova fase, e que os dias de favor de Somerset estavam contados. " (12)

O autor do The Stuarts (1958) apontou: "Aos 22 anos, George Villiers tinha aquela atração masculina madura demais que treme à beira da feminilidade: alto e de belas proporções, ele tinha um rosto em forma de coração emoldurado por cabelos castanhos escuros e barba curta, uma boca primorosamente curvada e os olhos azuis escuros dos altamente sexuados ... Sua inteligência, embora existisse em um nível baixo, sem dúvida existia ... O flerte infantil de Buckingham permitiu-lhe contrariar James impunemente. " (13)

Villiers também ganhou o apoio de Sir Francis Bacon, o lorde chanceler do rei. Ele também temia a crescente influência da família Howard e encorajou James a ordenar uma investigação sobre a morte de Thomas Overbury. Por fim, Robert Carr e sua esposa, Frances Carr, compareceram ao tribunal para enfrentar a acusação de assassinato. Frances fez uma confissão completa, mas Robert afirmou que não tinha nada a ver com a morte de Overbury. O tribunal não acreditou nele e o casal foi condenado à morte. James se recusou a permitir que seu amante fosse executado e os dois foram presos na Torre de Londres. (14)

Villiers estava em uma boa posição para se beneficiar da remoção de Robert Carr do poder. Em janeiro de 1616, James o fez mestre do cavalo e em 27 de agosto, ele o criou Visconde Villiers e deu-lhe terras da coroa no valor de £ 30.000. Ele também se tornou secretário-chefe para o registro de apelos no tribunal do banco do rei, no valor de cerca de £ 4000 por ano. Em 6 de janeiro de 1617, foi elevado ao condado de Buckingham e, no mês seguinte, tornou-se membro do Conselho Privado. O rei não escondeu seus sentimentos por seu favorito. (15)

Em setembro de 1617, o rei defendeu sua amizade com Buckingham: "Não sou Deus nem um anjo, mas um homem como qualquer outro. Portanto, ajo como um homem e confesso que amo aqueles que me são queridos mais do que os outros homens. Você pode ser certeza de que amo o conde de Buckingham mais do que qualquer outra pessoa, e mais do que vocês que estão aqui reunidos. Desejo falar em meu próprio nome, e não que isso seja considerado um defeito, pois Jesus Cristo fez o mesmo, e portanto, não posso ser culpado. Cristo teve seu John, e eu tenho meu George. " (16)

James estava profundamente apaixonado por Buckingham, que o chamava de "Steenie" (uma referência a Santo Estêvão, que na Bíblia descreve como tendo o "rosto de um anjo"). De acordo com John Philipps Kenyon, ele também o chamou de seu "amor", sua "doce filha e esposa". Em uma ocasião, quando Buckingham estava de férias curtas, James escreveu a ele pedindo-lhe que voltasse: "Meu único e querido filho. Rogo-te que te apresses para voltar para teu pai ao pôr-do-sol o mais longe ... e então, Senhor, envie me confortável e feliz com você esta noite. " (17)

James simpatizava com a Igreja Católica Romana e chegou à conclusão de que seu filho, Carlos, deveria se casar com Maria Anna, a filha mais nova do rei Filipe III da Espanha. Buckingham apoiou essa política, mas foi contestada pelo Parlamento inglês e, em 1621, pediu a aplicação das leis de não-conformidade, uma campanha naval contra a Espanha e um casamento protestante para o Príncipe de Gales. (18)

Francis Bacon, o lorde chanceler, liderou a campanha contra o casamento proposto e, junto com outros parlamentares, sugeriu que Carlos deveria se casar com uma princesa protestante. James insistiu que a Câmara dos Comuns se preocupasse exclusivamente com assuntos internos e não deveria se envolver na tomada de decisões sobre política externa. (19)

Os partidários do rei responderam acusando Bacon de suborno e corrupção e ele foi acusado perante a Câmara dos Lordes. Desde o século XV, nenhum grande oficial da coroa havia sido deposto no Parlamento. (20) Bacon foi multado em £ 40.000 e "prisão conforme o desejo do rei". Ele também foi barrado de qualquer cargo ou emprego no estado e proibido de sentar-se no parlamento ou de se aproximar do tribunal (12 milhas). A multa nunca foi cobrada e sua prisão na Torre de Londres durou apenas três dias. (21)

James se recusou a aceitar a derrota e providenciou para que Charles fosse ensinado em espanhol e nos últimos passos da dança continental. Em fevereiro de 1623, Carlos viajou incógnito com o duque de Buckingham, para Madrid, para se encontrar com membros da família real espanhola. Ele foi descrito como tendo "crescido e se tornado um bom cavalheiro", mas também foi observado que ele parecia indistinto e tinha apenas um metro e meio de altura. (22) Durante este período, Charles foi fortemente influenciado pelas idéias políticas de Buckingham. (23)

John Morrill destacou: "A decisão de Charles de iniciar um namoro pessoal como forma de romper o impasse diplomático foi uma indicação de sua crescente autoconfiança. Ele agora agia comumente como um agente político, encontrando-se com conselheiros particulares, embaixadores estrangeiros , e o duque de Buckingham, às vezes sob as instruções de seu pai, às vezes de forma independente. A decisão de viajar para a Espanha e conduzir negociações cara a cara para concluir seu casamento foi mais um passo em seu amadurecimento. " (24)

Os negociadores espanhóis exigiram que Charles se convertesse ao catolicismo romano como condição para a partida. Eles também insistiram na tolerância dos católicos na Inglaterra e na revogação das leis penais. Após o casamento, Maria Anna teria que ficar na Espanha até que a Inglaterra cumprisse todos os termos do tratado. Charles sabia que o Parlamento nunca aceitaria esse acordo e voltou para a Inglaterra sem uma noiva. (25)

Agora estava decidido mudar a política externa e Jaime abriu negociações sobre a possibilidade de uma aliança com Luís XIII da França que envolvia o casamento de Carlos com Henrietta Maria, irmã do rei. Não havia precedentes para uma princesa católica se casar com um protestante. O papa Urbano VIII só deu permissão quando foi garantido que o tratado incluía "compromissos sobre os direitos religiosos da rainha, seus filhos e sua família; enquanto em um documento secreto separado, Carlos prometeu suspender a operação das leis penais contra os católicos". (26)

Em fevereiro de 1624, o duque de Buckingham conseguiu persuadir a maioria dos membros do Parlamento à nova política anti-espanhola e negociar um tratado com a França. No entanto, não foi explicado ao Parlamento que o casamento proposto envolveria maior tolerância para os católicos romanos. (27)

Essas negociações resultaram na perda de confiança do Parlamento no rei James. Eles não confiavam mais nele e ele foi forçado a fazer várias concessões. Isso incluiu uma Lei de Monopólio, que proibia concessões reais de monopólios a indivíduos. James também concordou em trabalhar em estreita colaboração com o Parlamento para lidar com a crise econômica que o país estava passando na época. (28)

Jaime I morreu em 27 de março de 1625. Buckingham tornou-se agora o conselheiro mais importante do novo rei. Charles casou-se por procuração com Henrietta Maria, de quinze anos, na porta da igreja de Notre Dame, em 1º de maio. Charles a conheceu em Dover no dia 13 de junho e foi descrito como tendo ossatura pequena e pequena e "sendo um pouco pequena para sua idade". (29) Outra fonte disse que ela era "uma adolescente desajeitada, olhos enormes, pulsos ossudos, dentes salientes e uma figura mínima". (30) Caroline M. Hibbard fornece uma imagem mais positiva argumentando que ela tinha "cabelos castanhos e olhos negros e uma combinação de doçura e sagacidade observada por quase todos os observadores". (31)

Muitos membros da Câmara dos Comuns se opuseram ao casamento do rei com um católico romano, temendo que isso prejudicasse o estabelecimento oficial da Igreja reformada da Inglaterra. Os puritanos ficaram particularmente infelizes quando souberam que o rei havia prometido que Henrietta Maria teria permissão para praticar sua religião livremente e teria a responsabilidade pela educação de seus filhos até a idade de 13 anos. Quando o rei foi coroado no dia 2 Fevereiro de 1626 na Abadia de Westminster, sua esposa não estava ao seu lado, pois se recusou a participar de uma cerimônia religiosa protestante. (32)

Nessa época, o rei Luís XIII estava envolvido em uma guerra civil contra os protestantes (huguenotes) na França. O Parlamento queria ajudar os huguenotes, mas Carlos recusou, pois não queria incomodar sua esposa ou cunhado. Eventualmente, concordou-se em enviar uma frota de oito navios para a França. No entanto, no último momento, Carlos enviou ordens para que os homens lutassem a favor, e não contra, Luís XIII. Os capitães e tripulações se recusaram a aceitar essas ordens e lutaram contra os franceses. (33)

Carlos estava disposto a declarar guerra à Espanha. Em vez de envolvimento direto na guerra terrestre europeia, o Parlamento inglês preferiu um ataque naval relativamente barato às colônias espanholas no Novo Mundo, esperando a captura das frotas de tesouro espanholas e apenas concedeu um subsídio de £ 140.000, que era uma quantia insuficiente para os planos de guerra de Charles. (34)

Charles ficou desapontado com esta decisão e então convocou outro Parlamento. Desta vez, o duque de Buckingham fez um longo discurso onde "defendeu a sua política, assegurou-lhes o seu compromisso com a guerra, incluindo um ataque naval à Espanha, e deu-lhes detalhes das obrigações financeiras do rei". No entanto, eles destacaram que o país não poderia pagar mais impostos em um momento de recessão econômica. Charles respondeu dissolvendo o Parlamento. (35)

No verão de 1627, Buckingham tentou ajudar seus novos aliados huguenotes sitiados em La Rochelle, na França. Em 12 de julho, uma força inglesa de 100 navios e 6.000 soldados chegou a Sablanceau. Uma força francesa de 1.200 infantaria e 200 cavaleiros sob o comando do Marquês de Toiras, governador da ilha, resistiu ao desembarque por trás das dunas, mas a cabeça de ponte inglesa foi mantida. O cerco continuou até outubro, durante o qual ele perdeu mais de 4.000 de uma força de 7.000 homens. (36)

Sir John Eliot, o principal crítico de Buckingham na Câmara dos Comuns, instigou um processo de impeachment contra o principal conselheiro do rei. Em maio de 1626, Charles nomeou Buckingham como chanceler da Universidade de Cambridge em uma demonstração de apoio, e mandou prender Eliot na porta da Câmara. Sua prisão resultou em muitos protestos e o rei foi forçado a ordenar a libertação de Eliot. No entanto, Charles se recusou a demitir Buckingham e, em vez disso, dissolveu o Parlamento. (37)

Embora o rei continuasse a proteger Buckingham, ele era odiado pelo público e, em 23 de agosto de 1628, foi morto a facadas no Greyhound Pub em Portsmouth. O assassino era John Felton, um oficial do exército que havia sido ferido na aventura militar anterior e acreditava ter sido preterido para promoção por Buckingham. No entanto, ele deixou claro que seu ato foi baseado em sua crença na Câmara dos Comuns e que "matando o duque ele deveria prestar um grande serviço ao seu país". (38)

Aos vinte e dois anos, George Villiers tinha aquela atração masculina madura demais que treme à beira da feminilidade: alto e de belas proporções, ele tinha um rosto em forma de coração emoldurado por cabelos castanhos escuros e uma barba curta, primorosamente ... boca curva, e os olhos azuis escuros das pessoas altamente sexuadas ...

Sua inteligência, embora existisse em um nível baixo, sem dúvida existia ... O flerte infantil de Buckingham permitiu-lhe contrariar James com impuunidade, emergindo com maior influência; suas cartas borbulham com charme absurdo e conversa de bebê de namorados, mas há atrevimento mesmo em sua despedida invariável.

Eu, Tiago, não sou Deus nem um anjo, mas um homem como qualquer outro. Cristo teve seu John e eu tenho meu George.

Táticas militares na Guerra Civil (resposta ao comentário)

Mulheres na Guerra Civil (resposta ao comentário)

Retratos de Oliver Cromwell (resposta ao comentário)

(1) Roger Lockyer, George Villiers, 1º Duque de Buckingham: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(2) Maurice Ashley, As vidas dos reis e rainhas da Inglaterra (1975) página 182

(3) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 41

(4) Jenny Wormald, King James I: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(5) Anthony Weldon, A Corte e o Caráter do Rei Jaime I (1650)

(6) Diane Purkiss, A Guerra Civil Inglesa: A História de um Povo (2007) página 15

(7) Pauline Gregg, Rei charles (1984) página 49

(8) Alastair Bellany, Robert Carr, Conde de Somerset: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(9) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 47

(10) John Considine, Thomas Overbury: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(11) Peter Ackroyd, A guerra civil (2014) página 45

(12) Roger Lockyer, George Villiers, 1º Duque de Buckingham: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(13) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 50

(14) Peter Ackroyd, A guerra civil (2014) página 46

(15) Roger Lockyer, George Villiers, 1º Duque de Buckingham: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(16) Rei Jaime I, discurso na reunião do Conselho Privado (setembro de 1617)

(17) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 50

(18) Christopher Hibbert, Charles I (1968) páginas 49-50

(19) Richard Cust, Carlos I: uma vida política (2005) página 8

(20) Roger Lockyer, Tudor e Stuart Britain (1985) página 225

(21) Markku Peltonen, Francis Bacon: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(22) Maurice Ashley, As vidas dos reis e rainhas da Inglaterra (1975) página 187

(23) Richard Ollard, Clarendon e seus amigos (1988) página 24

(24) John Morrill, Rei Carlos I: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(25) Pauline Gregg, Rei Carlos I (1981) páginas 85-87

(26) Caroline M. Hibbard, Henrietta Maria: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(27) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 60

(28) Barry Coward, The Stuart Age: England 1603-1714 (1980) página 158

(29) John Morrill, Rei Carlos I: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(30) John Philipps Kenyon, The Stuarts (1958) página 63

(31) Caroline M. Hibbard, Henrietta Maria: Dicionário Oxford de Biografia Nacional (2004-2014)

(32) Charles Carlton, Carlos I: o monarca pessoal (1995) página 76

(33) Gerald Howat, Stuart e Cromwellian Foreign Policy (1974) página 35

(34) Pauline Gregg, Rei Carlos I (1981) página 129

(35) Roger Lockyer, Tudor e Stuart Britain (1985) página 233

(36) Mark Charles Fissel, Guerra e governo na Grã-Bretanha, 1598-1650 (1991) páginas 123-125

(37) Charles Carlton, Carlos I: o monarca pessoal (1995) páginas 149-151

(38) Roger Lockyer, Tudor e Stuart Britain (1985) página 238


A publicação em janeiro deste ano de The House of Lords, 1604-29 representa o culminar de dez anos de escrita e pesquisa por uma equipe dedicada de quatro estudiosos liderados pelo Dr. Andrew Thrush. Composto por dois volumes de biografias com mais de 1.600.000 palavras e uma Pesquisa Introdutória separada, esta última adição à série História do Parlamento complementa e aprimora o conjunto de seis volumes na Stuart House of Commons e seus membros publicado em 2010 .

No cerne dos últimos volumes da História do Parlamento estão as biografias de 277 pares que tiveram direito a se sentar na Câmara dos Lordes entre 1604 e 1629. (Outras nove biografias de pares que foram incapazes de se sentar antes de 1629 e que morreram antes de outro O Parlamento reunido, em 1640, aparece em dois apêndices.)

A maior quantidade de espaço é naturalmente dedicada às principais figuras políticas do período, incluindo Robert Cecil, 1º conde de Salisbury, que tentou em vão resolver os problemas financeiros da coroa com a ajuda do Parlamento George Villiers, 1º duque de Buckingham, o Parvenu cujo domínio da política inglesa como favorito e ministro-chefe de dois reis sucessivos enfureceu membros da 'antiga nobreza' e levou ao seu impeachment em 1626 George Abbot, arcebispo de Canterbury, que ajudou Buckingham em sua ascensão ao poder e viveu para se arrepender e Thomas Howard, 21º conde de Arundel, o principal membro da 'antiga nobreza' # 8217, que inicialmente se considerava um dos principais aliados de Buckingham. Muito do que há de novo será encontrado nesses estudos individuais. Por exemplo, na longa entrada sobre o Príncipe Charles - o futuro Carlos I - que sentou-se na Câmara dos Lordes como Príncipe de Gales em 1621 e 1624, afirma-se que a famosa gagueira de Charles foi resultado não de trauma psicológico, mas de uma língua dilatada, um condição conhecida como macroglossia, que tornava difícil falar em público.

Os volumes das biografias não são preenchidos exclusivamente por figuras elevadas como Charles e Buckingham, ou Salisbury e Arundel, mas também incluem muitos pares leigos que, por razões de pobreza ou menor importância política, escaparam da inclusão no Dicionário Oxford de biografia nacional: homens como o nobre de Hampshire, William, 3º Lord Sandys e o nobre anglo-irlandês, George Tuchet, 11º Lord Audley e 1º conde de Castlehaven.

No entanto, esses alevinos menores são tratados tão completamente quanto seus irmãos mais ilustres. Ao lado da carreira de cada homem na Câmara dos Lordes (supondo que ele se sentou, é claro), os leitores encontrarão detalhes de sua carreira política, assuntos financeiros, convicção religiosa, interesses culturais, caráter geral e sexual costumes. Na verdade, esses volumes são ricamente coloridos em seus detalhes. Aprendemos, por exemplo, que Buckingham voltou da Espanha em 1623 com gonorréia e que seu irmão mais novo, Christopher Villiers, primeiro conde de Anglesey, era um bêbado lascivo que Basil Feilding, Lord Newnham Paddockes, foi um anticalvinista em sua juventude, em vez de o calvinista convicto que todos pensávamos e que Henry Clinton, segundo conde de Lincoln, tinha uma disposição tão violenta que James I opinou que era governado pela influência do submundo. Também descobrimos que William Paulet, 4º marquês de Winchester era supostamente tão obscuro que, em sua noite de núpcias, ele evidentemente "não sabia por que lado começar" que Thomas, 4º Lord Cromwell, gostava de vendedoras de Dublin e que Henry, 7º Lord Berkeley era tão dominado por sua esposa que seu próprio administrador lhe deu o apelido de "Henrique, o Inofensivo". Historiadores não parlamentares encontrarão nesses volumes tanto interesse quanto estudiosos parlamentares.

Complementando os dois volumes de biografias, há uma monografia de 400 páginas sobre a própria Câmara dos Lordes. Dividido em seis grandes capítulos, ele vê os Senhores através de lentes mais amplas do que Elizabeth Read Foster em seu estudo de 1983 sobre a Câmara Alta. Enquanto Foster se baseou quase exclusivamente em fontes parlamentares, este novo estudo vai além do Parlamento para examinar os desenvolvimentos nos Lordes. Várias descobertas importantes emergem. Entre as mais importantes está que os Lordes experimentaram uma espécie de renascimento durante a década de 1620. Antes dessa data, a Câmara foi cada vez mais eclipsada pelos Comuns, cujos membros controlavam sozinhos as finanças parlamentares.

No entanto, começando em 1621, uma nova vida foi soprada para os Senhores. Em parte, isso foi devido ao súbito ressurgimento dos poderes judiciais há muito esquecidos dos Lordes, mais notavelmente o poder de conduzir julgamentos de impeachment, que colocou a Câmara no centro do palco e despertou a inveja dos Comuns. No entanto, também era atribuível a temores entre a nobreza de que seus privilégios estivessem sendo minados. Liderados pelo conde de Arundel, os Lordes estabeleceram seu primeiro comitê de privilégios, transformando-se assim em uma espécie de sindicato para a nobreza. Outro fator no renascimento da sorte dos Lordes foi o crescimento do partidarismo, que se espalhou para o Parlamento. Antes da década de 1620, os Lordes consideravam seu papel principal a defesa dos interesses do rei. A ascensão de Buckingham e a venda de títulos aristocráticos mudaram tudo isso. Isso levou ao surgimento do que se poderia chamar de política de "oposição" nos Lordes. Na mente popular, muitos membros da Câmara Alta, como os condes de Essex e Warwick e o visconde Saye e Sele, passaram a ser vistos não como subservientes à coroa, mas como campeões do bem-estar comum. No final da década de 1620, ninguém poderia prever que vinte anos depois a Câmara Alta, como a monarquia, seria abolida.

A Câmara dos Lordes 1604-29 já está disponível para compra na Cambridge University Press. Clique aqui para obter mais informações.


George Villiers, primeiro duque de Buckingham

Em 1614, Villiers, então considerado "o homem de corpo mais bonito da Inglaterra", [1] foi apresentado ao rei Jaime, que logo desenvolveu uma forte afeição por ele, chamando-o de "doce filho e esposa". Ele foi inicialmente apoiado por aqueles que se opunham ao atual favorito do rei, Robert Carr Earl of Somerset. Nos anos seguintes, foi rapidamente nomeado cavaleiro, barão, visconde, conde, marquês e, finalmente, duque.

A restauração de Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire, em 2004–2008 revelou uma passagem até então desconhecida ligando o quarto de Villiers ao de James. [2]

Villiers assumiu um papel de liderança em muitos dos eventos políticos e militares do reinado de James, muitos dos quais acabaram muito mal, e ele se tornou muito impopular. De acordo com alguns relatos, ele se tornou amante de Anne da Áustria, Rainha da França (cujo marido, Luís XIII, teria sido gay).

Após a morte de James em 1625, Villiers permaneceu nas boas graças do filho de James, Charles I, mas ele foi assassinado em Portsmouth em 1628.


Hoje é o primeiro de um trio de blogs para comemorar LGBT + Mês da História. Paul M. Hunneyball, Editor Associado da Câmara dos Lordes 1604-1629 projeto, começa com uma sequência de seu blog do último LGBTHM, & # 8216James I e seus favoritos: sexo e poder na Corte Jacobina & # 8217. Neste novo blog, ele explora a evolução da posição do duque de Buckingham & # 8217 na corte nas décadas de 1610 e 1620 e as complexidades de seu relacionamento com James I & # 8230

George Villiers, primeiro duque de Buckingham, é provavelmente mais conhecido hoje por sua ligação de uma década com Jaime I. No entanto, em termos históricos, ele é igualmente notável por ser o principal favorito da corte de dois monarcas sucessivos, Jaime e seu filho Carlos I, um feito incomparável na Europa durante aquela época. Quando se considera a natureza muito diferente de seus relacionamentos com os dois reis, a realização de Buckingham parece ainda mais notável. Ele inicialmente ganhou destaque porque o homossexual James o achou fisicamente e emocionalmente atraente, e esta permaneceu a consideração vital que sustentou seu caso. Charles, em marcante contraste com seu pai, compartilhava dos preconceitos homofóbicos convencionais de sua época, desaprovava os namoros gays de James e, a princípio, antipatizou profundamente com Buckingham. O papel que o duque acabou assumindo com ele foi o de confidente, conselheiro indispensável e ministro-chefe. O emocionalmente reservado Charles desenvolveu uma afeição profunda e inabalável pelo duque, mas sua amizade tinha um caráter firmemente platônico. O fato de Buckingham ter sido capaz de efetuar essa transição com tanto sucesso levanta algumas questões interessantes sobre a verdadeira natureza de seu relacionamento com James.

Na corte jacobina, facções rivais buscavam abertamente influência com o rei, promovendo jovens bonitos que esperavam ganhariam seu favor. O próprio Buckingham começou sua carreira na corte como cliente de George Abbot, arcebispo de Canterbury e William Herbert, 3º conde de Pembroke, que explorou seus encantos para substituir o anterior favorito real, Robert Carr, conde de Somerset. O jovem Villiers, que teria ido ao tribunal em busca de um casamento vantajoso, assumiu seu novo papel com desenvoltura. De acordo com Godfrey Goodman, mais tarde bispo de Gloucester, "ele era o homem mais bonito da Inglaterra, seus membros eram tão compactos e sua conversa tão agradável e de uma disposição tão doce" (G. Goodman, Corte do Rei James o Primeiro, i. 225-6) Outro observador, Sir Simonds D’Ewes, o achou ‘cheio de delicadeza e traços bonitos, sim, suas mãos e rosto me pareceram, especialmente, afeminado e curioso’ (J.O. Halliwell (ed.), Autobiografia e correspondência de Sir Simonds D’Ewes, i. 166-7).


  • George Villiers, 1º Duque de Buckingham, c. 1616 (W. Larkin?)

  • George Villiers, 1.º duque de Buckingham, 1625 (Peter Paul Rubens)

Podemos ter uma noção dessas características em um retrato pintado para marcar sua criação como um cavaleiro da Jarreteira em 1616, que mostra Buckingham barbeado e com suas longas e elegantes pernas bem expostas. Nove anos depois, no entanto, após a ascensão de Carlos como rei, o duque fez questão de promover uma imagem bastante diferente, como pode ser vista neste retrato equestre de Rubens. Aqui, um Buckingham barbudo projeta conscientemente um ar de machismo e força, e foi assim que ele escolheu se apresentar pelo resto de sua carreira.

O que essa transformação pode nos dizer sobre seu relacionamento com James? Durante sete ou oito anos, convinha a Buckingham cultivar uma personalidade mais frágil. O rei permaneceu completamente apaixonado por ele e, de fato, tornou-se emocionalmente dependente dele. A julgar pela correspondência que sobreviveram, Buckingham desenvolveu um afeto considerável por sua amante real. Mas havia um problema fundamental. Esta não era uma parceria gay de estilo moderno. James era, em certo sentido, o pai de açúcar definitivo do século 17, cobrindo sua amante com riqueza, títulos e influência. Buckingham, que pertencia a uma pequena nobreza, ascendeu ao topo da sociedade, os ducados nessa época normalmente sendo reservados para membros da família real. Ele alcançou um grau de intimidade informal com o rei que foi negado a outros cortesãos. No entanto, ele nunca pôde esquecer que James controlava o relacionamento deles. O rei gostava de se gabar de Buckingham como sua melhor criação, o que, por implicação, significava que ele poderia desfazê-lo novamente. Os generosos agradecimentos do duque por todos os benefícios que recebeu refletiram sua consciência de que tinha muito a perder se as circunstâncias mudassem, e ele estava dolorosamente ciente de que seus rivais na corte buscavam sua queda tentando James com outros jovens bonitos. Over time Buckingham assumed the role of a surrogate son, and James took to signing his letters as ‘thy dear dad’. But the duke knew his place, and invariably described himself in reply as ‘your Majesty’s most humble slave and dog’ (D.M. Bergeron, King James & Letters of Homoerotic Desire, 177, 182) There was surely an element of humour in that moniker, but it also reflected the fundamental imbalance in their relationship, and Buckingham’s perennial insecurity.

The duke’s success in finally winning over Charles offered him a way out of that situation. Exactly how the two men became such close friends has never been fully explained, but by 1623 Charles and James were effectively competing for Buckingham’s attention. Charles gained the upper hand that year when he travelled to Spain in a misguided bid to finalise his marriage to a Spanish princess, and the duke went with him. Once there, Buckingham adopted a flamboyantly heterosexual image, and acquired a reputation for womanizing. By the end of that trip, he and the prince were virtually inseparable, the proof coming a few months after their return to England. Charles, smarting from his treatment in Madrid, had abandoned any thought of a closer alliance with Spain, and was now intent on war. James, who had spent his entire reign promoting Anglo-Spanish peace, naturally opposed this strategy. Buckingham, while as solicitous as ever of his royal master’s wellbeing, sided with Charles. The now ailing king complained loudly about his favourite’s behaviour, but, as Buckingham had no doubt calculated, could not bring himself to dismiss him. These conflicts further enhanced the duke’s standing with Charles, and when the latter finally became king in March 1625 it was generally acknowledged that, in political and social terms, Buckingham’s position was now stronger than ever. Indeed, it was only an assassin’s knife that finally ended his dominance three years later.

Assessing same-sex love and desire in the early modern period is fraught with difficulty, and Buckingham’s case is no exception. His ability to switch between two radically contrasting modes of behaviour may seem strange to a modern eye, but such sexual fluidity was arguably less exceptional at the time. The undeniable warmth of his correspondence with James indicates a fair degree of genuine mutual affection, and indeed it’s hard to see how the duke could have sustained his role as royal favourite for so long without this. Nevertheless, when he had to choose, Buckingham valued his long-term security above loyalty to James, and this suggests that for him, ultimately, their relationship was based not on love but on the pursuit of power and wealth.

R. Lockyer, Buckingham (1981)

M.B. Young, King James and the History of Homosexuality (2016)

Biographies of Buckingham, Prince Charles, Archbishop Abbot, the earls of Pembroke and Somerset and Bishop Goodman will appear in the History of Parliament’s forthcoming volumes on the House of Lords 1604-29. A biography of Sir Simonds D’Ewes is being prepared for the volumes on the House of Commons 1640-60.


3. His Friend Became Famous

Though the public did not yet know either of their names, the teenage traveling buddies would prove to be a duo for the history books. The young Villiers’ partner-in-crime, John Eliot, grew up to be an influential statesman famous for his support of the rights of Parliament—an opinion for which he was repeatedly imprisoned as an adult.

But of the two, Villiers would make the biggest splash by far.

Wikipedia

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About George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (28 August 1592 – 23 August 1628) (surname pronounced /ˈvɪlɚz/ ("villers"))[1] was the favourite, claimed by some to be the lover, of King James I of England[2] and one of the most rewarded royal courtiers in all history.

5 Relations with Parliament, 1621-1624

6.1 War with Habsburg Austria, France, and Spain

He was born in Brooksby, Leicestershire, in August 1592, the son of the minor gentleman Sir George Villiers (1550-1604). His mother, Mary (1570 - 1632), daughter of Anthony Beaumont of Glenfield, Leicestershire, who was left a widow early, educated him for a courtier's life, sending him to France with Sir John Eliot.

Villiers took very well to the training he could dance well, fence well, and speak a little French. In August 1614, Villiers, reputedly "the handsomest-bodied man in all of England," was brought before the king, in the hope that the king would take a fancy to him, diminishing the power at court of then-favourite Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset.

Following Villiers' introduction to James during the king's progress of that year, the king developed a strong affection for Villiers, calling him his 'sweet child and wife' the personal relationships of James are a much debated topic, with Villiers making the last of a succession of favourites on whom James lavished affection and rewards. The extent to which there was a sexual element, or a physical sexual relationship, involved in these cases remains controversial. Villiers reciprocated the king's love and wrote to James: "I naturally so love your person, and adore all your other parts, which are more than ever one man had" and "I desire only to live in the world for your sake". Villiers gained support from those opposed to the current favourite, Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset. However, restoration of Apethorpe Hall, undertaken 2004-2008, revealed a previously unknown passage linking the bedchambers of James and his favourite, George Villiers.

Under the king's patronage he prospered greatly. Villiers was knighted in 1615 as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and was rapidly advanced through the peerage: he was created Baron Whaddon and Viscount Villiers in 1616, Earl of Buckingham in 1617, Marquess of Buckingham in 1618 and finally Earl of Coventry and Duke of Buckingham in 1623. After the reductions in the peerage that had taken place during the Tudor period, Buckingham was left as the highest-ranking subject outside the Royal Family.[3]

In the 1620s, Villiers acquired York House, Strand, which, apart from an interlude during the English Civil War, remained in the family until George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham sold it to developers for ꌰ,000 in 1672. He made it a condition of the sale that his name and title be commemorated by George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street, Of Alley, and Buckingham Street, some of which have survived into the twenty-first century.

Buckingham with his wife Katherine Manners, their daughter Mary and son George, 1628Buckingham married the daughter of the 6th Earl of Rutland, Lady Katherine Manners, later suo jure Baroness de Ros, on 16 May 1620 despite the objections of her father. Buckingham was happy to grant valuable royal monopolies to her family.

From 1616, Buckingham established a dominant influence in Irish affairs, beginning with the appointment of his client, Sir Oliver St John, as Lord Deputy, 1616-1622. Thence, he acquired control of the Irish customs farm (1618), dominated Irish patronage at court, particularly with the sale of Irish titles and honours, and (from 1618) began to build substantial Irish estates for himself, his family and clients - with the aid of a plantation lobby, composed of official clients in Dublin. To the same end, he secured the creation of an Irish Court of Wards in 1622. Buckingham's influence thus crucially sustained a forward Irish plantation policy into the 1620s.

The 1621 Parliament began an investigation into monopolies and other abuses in England and extended it later to Ireland in this first session, Buckingham was quick to side with the Parliament to avoid action being taken against him. However, the king's decision in the summer of 1621 to send a commission of enquiry, including parliamentary firebrands, to Ireland threatened to expose Buckingham's growing, often clandestine interests there. Knowing that, in the summer, the king had assured the Spanish ambassador that the Parliament would not be allowed to imperil a Spanish matrimonial alliance, he therefore surreptitiously instigated a conflict between the Parliament and the king over the Spanish Match, which resulted in a premature dissolution of the Parliament in December 1621 and a hobbling of the Irish commission in 1622. Irish reforms nevertheless introduced by Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, in 1623-1624 were largely nullified by the impeachment and disgrace of the pacific Lord Treasurer in the violently anti-Spanish 1624 parliament - spurred on by Buckingham and Prince Charles.

In 1623, Buckingham accompanied Charles I, then Prince of Wales, to Spain for marriage negotiations regarding the Infanta Maria. The negotiations had long been stuck, but it is believed that Buckingham's crassness was key to the total collapse of agreement the Spanish ambassador asked Parliament to have Buckingham executed for his behaviour in Madrid but Buckingham gained popularity by calling for war with Spain on his return. He headed further marriage negotiations, but when, in 1624, the betrothal to Henrietta Maria of France was announced, the choice of a Catholic was widely condemned. Buckingham's popularity suffered further when he was blamed for the failure of the military expedition under the command of Ernst von Mansfeld, a famous German mercenary general, sent to the continent to recover the Palatinate (1625), which had belonged to Frederick V, Elector Palatine, son-in-law of King James I of England. However, when the Duke of York became King Charles I, Buckingham was the only man to maintain his position from the court of James.

Buckingham led an expedition to repeat the actions of Sir Francis Drake by seizing the main Spanish port at Cฝiz and burning the fleet in its harbour. Though his plan was tactically sound, landing further up the coast and marching the militia army on the city, the troops were ill-equipped, ill-disciplined and ill-trained. Coming upon a warehouse filled with wine, they simply got drunk, and the attack was called off. The English army briefly occupied a small port further down the coast before reboarding its ships.

This was followed by Buckingham leading the Army and the Navy to sea to intercept an anticipated Spanish silver fleet from Mexico and Spanish Latin America. However, the Spanish were forewarned by their intelligence and easily avoided the planned ambush. With supplies running out and men sick and dying from starvation and disease, the fleet limped home in embarrassment.

Buckingham then negotiated with the French regent, Cardinal Richelieu, for English ships to aid Richelieu in his fight against the French Protestants (Huguenots), in return for French aid against the Spanish occupying the Palatinate. The aid never materialised, and Parliament was disgusted and horrified at the thought of English Protestants fighting French Protestants. The plan only fuelled their fears of crypto-Catholicism at court. Buckingham himself, believing that the failure of his enterprise was the result of treachery by Richelieu, formulated an alliance among the churchman's many enemies, a policy which included support for the very Huguenots whom he had recently attacked.

When the Commons attempted to impeach him for the failure of the Cฝiz Expedition (1625), the King dissolved Parliament in June to prevent his impeachment.

In 1627, Buckingham led another failure: an attempt to aid his new Huguenot allies besieged at La Rochelle in France. He lost more than 4,000 men out of a force of 7,000. While organizing a second campaign, he was stabbed and killed at Portsmouth on August 23, 1628 by John Felton, an army officer who had been wounded in the earlier military adventure. Felton believed he had been passed over for promotion by Buckingham.[4] Felton was hanged in November and Buckingham was buried in Westminster Abbey. Buckingham's tomb bears a Latin inscription translated as: "The Enigma of the World."

The memory of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, is held sacred by the Villiers Club, an exclusive dining and debating society at Oxford University.

A fictionalised Buckingham is one of the characters in Alexandre Dumas, père's The Three Musketeers, which paints him as a lover of Anne of Austria and deals with his assassination by Felton. In Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novel, El capitán Alatriste, Buckingham appears briefly while on his expedition to Spain in 1623 with Charles I. He is also a central character in novels by Philippa Gregory, Earthly Joys, and Evelyn Anthony, "Charles, The King. He also appears, played by Marcus Hutton, in the Doctor Who audio drama The Church and the Crown, in which he leads an aborted English invasion of France in 1626.

Buckingham's daughter, Lady Mary Villiers, was the wife of the Royalist 1st Duke of Richmond. Richmond was the grandson of the 1st Duke of Lennox of the Seigneurs d'Aubigny Stuarts. His elder son Charles (1626 - 1627) died as an infant and the title was inherited by his younger son George.


George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

George Villiers, Earl of Buckingham, became the favourite of James I after they first met in 1614. Villiers succeeded Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, as the king’s favourite after Carr’s fall from grace after the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.

Villiers was born on August 28 th 1592 at Brooksby in Leicestershire. His father was a minor noble who had remarried and Villiers was born to his second wife, Mary Beaumont. He knew that in future years he would have to compete with his half-brothers for a share of his father’s modest estate. His mother was an ambitious woman and she saved enough for him to be educated in France. Here Villiers learned to dance, duel and ride with a degree of expertise. By all accounts Villiers was an athletic and well-built man. One contemporary described him as “no one dances better, no man runs or jumps better.”

James first met Villiers at Apethorpe in August 1614. James was forty-seven.

“He (James) was of middle stature, more corpulent through his clothes than his body, yet fat enough, his clothes ever being made large and easy, the doublets quilted for stiletto proof, his breeches in pleats and full stuffed……his eye was large, ever rolling after any stranger that came into his presence, in so much as many for shame have left the room, as being out of countenance….his legs were very weak….and that weakness made him ever leaning on other men’s shoulders his walk was ever circular, his fingers ever in that walk fiddling about his codpiece.”

James was immediately taken in by Villier’s appearance. In 1615, Villier’s was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. His advance after this was swift. In 1616, Villiers was appointed Master of the Horse, made a Knight of the Garter and became Viscount Villiers. In 1617, he became Earl of Buckingham and in 1619, he was made a Marquess.

Such a swift advance up the social order was bound to provoke negative thoughts with regards to both James and Buckingham and the latter certainly made enemies. It was not unusual for a king to have favourites – but the speed with which Villiers climbed the social ladder and was promoted was too much for many.

Their public displays of affection only served to bring the court into more disrepute. James referred to him as “my sweetheart”, “my sweet child and wife” and “my only sweet and dear child”. In response to this, Buckingham flattered the king at every opportunity. There can be little doubt that Buckingham knew what he was doing (he ended his letters to the king with “Your majesty’s most humble slave and dog”) and that by pandering to James he knew that he was enhancing his own position within the royal court. In 1617, James explained to the Lords why he was making Villiers Earl of Buckingham:

“I, James, am neither God nor an angel, but a man like any other. Therefore I act like a man, and confess to loving those dear to me more than other men. You may be sure that I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else, and more than you who are here assembled. I wish to speak in my own behalf, and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had his John, and I have my George.”

One casualty of the rise of Buckingham was the demise in political terms of the Howard’s. In 1618, the Star Chamber, spurred on by Buckingham, prosecuted the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Suffolk, leader of the Howard faction, for embezzlement. It ended any political influence the Howard’s may have had – but it also removed from power one of the few rivals Buckingham had in 1618. Buckingham used his influence over James to get Francis Bacon appointed to be the country’s senior law officer as Lord Chancellor. This suited James as Bacon was a strong supporter of the royal prerogative and he was now in a position to support the king when James had to justify its use. It also suited Buckingham as Bacon had the Duke to thank for his social and political advancement.

Buckingham was a shrewd manipulator of the king. He also knew the value of patronage – appointing his own men to positions of responsibility. They would support him and be grateful to Buckingham for their elevated status in society. One described Buckingham as thus:

“(A man of) a kind, liberal and free nature and disposition – to those that applied themselves to him, applauded his actions, and were wholly his creatures.”

In 1620, Buckingham married Lady Catherine Manners, the daughter of the Duke of Rutland. He swiftly became a very rich man as he built up a large clientage network of office holders and monopolists. He put his own supporters and family in positions of responsibility and during all of this self-advancement he had the full support of the doting James. Christopher and John Villiers both benefited from their brother’s position in society despite their own limitations. Buckingham’s mother became a countess in 1618, a marchioness in 1619 and a duchess in 1623.

However, far more damaging to James was the fact that he allowed Buckingham to involve himself in policy matters and decision-making. This was bound to alienate powerful groups in Parliament who felt more and more alienated from both the king and decision-making.

The Parliament of January 1621 to January 1622 started to reverse the trend towards Buckingham’s ever-expanding power base. Two men who had gained office via the patronage of Buckingham – Sir Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Mitchell – were impeached by Parliament for monopoly offences. Lord Chancellor Bacon was also impeached for accepting bribes.

Buckingham was also a supporter of a marriage between Charles and the daughter of Spain’s Philip III – a policy that the majority of Parliamentarians did not support. In December 1621, Parliament produced the ‘Protestation’. This was deemed by James to be a sign that Parliament believed that it had the right to discuss foreign policy issues – something that he was adamant that they did not. James physically tore out the ‘Protestation’ from the House of Commons Journals with his own hands such was his anger.

Buckingham accompanied Prince Charles to Spain (1623) on what was to be a failed marriage mission. From this embarrassing failure, the nation witnessed a complete volte-face by James. War was declared on Spain and in May 1625 and Charles married Henrietta Maria of France.

The influence Buckingham had over James did not decline even in the king’s final months. In one of the last letters written by James to Buckingham in December 1624, James signed off with:

“And so God bless you my sweet child and wife and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear dad and husband.”

James died on March 27 th , 1625. This could have left Buckingham in a void both socially and politically, but he had spent time winning over Charles when he was a prince. Now that Charles was king, Buckingham neatly moved over to his new master and became his chief minister.

Charles and Parliament fell out nearly from the start of his reign. Whereas Parliament had been happy to give James a clean start, the same was not true for his son. Parliament attacked the religious policies of Charles – especially the relaxation of the penal laws against Catholics. With regards to Buckingham they vented their spleen at his foreign policy. His foreign policy was openly criticised as incompetent. Buckingham had signed treaties with Denmark and Holland for English participation in the Danish phase of the Thirty Years War where 8,000 men out of 12,000 died on board their ships without even landing in the Netherlands he had also masterminded the marriage of Charles to Henrietta Maria, a French Catholic, that was far from popular he had also lent Cardinal Richilieu eight boats which were used to attack the Huguenot stronghold at La Rochelle. However, he failed to get France to commit herself to greater involvement in the Thirty Years War. Parliament voted through only limited taxation to finance Buckingham’s foreign policy and this lack of money was a major reason for its failures. As an example, Buckingham wanted an armada to attack Cadiz. 15,000 men were gathered together for this venture in October/November 1625. It was a dismal failure due to the poor training that was given and the poor equipment. Buckingham took the blame for this.

In 1626, Parliament, led by radicals such as Sir Edward Coke, became even more critical of the king’s chief minister and started impeachment proceedings against him. Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. Buckingham reversed his previous foreign policy. Now in support of the Huguenot defenders at La Rochelle, he led 6,000 men to the Isle de Rhé in July 1627. He left in November 1627 having achieved nothing except the loss of nearly half his force. “Since England was England, it received not so dishonourable a blow.” (Denzil Holles)

In 1628, Parliament continued to attack Buckingham and Coke called him the “grievance of grievances”. Parliament sent a remonstrance to Charles in 1628 that declared that they feared for England’s religion, her standing in Europe and her success in the Thirty Years War if Buckingham continued in power. Charles merely prorogued Parliament (June 1628).

Clearly protected by the king, Buckingham confidently went to Portsmouth to start organising another sea-going venture. Here, John Felton, who had taken part in the disastrous Cadiz and Isle de Rhé ventures, murdered him on August 23rd, 1628. Buckingham’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey where soldiers formed an armed guard to protect the coffin from the cheering crowds.


George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

This highly ambitious son of a Leicestershire knight rose to be the favourite of James I, and of his son Charles I, on the strength of his charm and good looks. He was full of brave schemes, but lacked the good sense to carry them out effectively. As Lord High Admiral he bungled expeditions to Cadiz and La Rochelle, and his diplomatic incompetence led him to become the House of Commons' 'grievance of grievances'. At the age of 36 he was assassinated by a fanatic while in Portsmouth. This portrait, which shows him in his garter robes, almost certainly commemorates his installation as a Knight of the Garter in 1616.

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Handsome and ambitious, George Villiers became the most notorious of James I's favourites. He was a younger son from a minor Leicestershire gentry family and caught the king's attention during a hunt at Apethorpe in Northamptonshire. Opponents of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, saw an opportunity to replace him with Villiers in the king's favour and secured Villiers' appointment as Royal Cupbearer. He flourished and was elevated by the king with astonishing speed through the ranks of the aristocracy, being made Duke of Buckingham in 1623. He became one of the king's leading ministers but was widely regarded as corrupt and extravagant, and although his influence continued under Charles I, he was blamed for a number of military failures while serving as Lord High Admiral he was assassinated in Portsmouth in 1628 by a soldier who had served under him in France. This portrait celebrates Villiers' installation as a Knight of the Garter and elevation to the peerage in the summer of 1616, which was an important indication of his intimacy with the king. His luxurious robes are drawn back to focus attention on his legs, and he wears the garter, bearing the Order's motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Shame be he who thinks evil of it'), below his left knee.

This splendid portrait has undergone some changes. Acquired by the Gallery with the background curtains painted green, it was so displayed until 1985, when close examination revealed fragments of paint of the present colour which under analysis proved to be the original. Skilfuly restored to its full glory, by removing the green paint and matching the garments, we can now enjoy the voluptuous splendour of its original colour scheme.

George Villiers was the most notorious of James I&rsquos favourites: men admired by the King, with whom he developed what some regarded as unhealthily close and dangerously dependent relationships. Handsome and charming, Villiers was promoted rapidly at court and as a duke and one of James&rsquos leading ministers, he had considerable power. An effective administrator in some areas and a knowledgeable collector of art, he was widely regarded as corrupt and extravagant, and was blamed for various military failures. He was assassinated by a disenchanted soldier at the age of thirty-six.

William Larkin (d.1619) was one of the most accomplished portrait artists of the Jacobean period. He and his studio painted a large number of dramatic full-length portraits, often including spectacular textiles, as well as more intensely focused head-and-shoulders portraits. Buckingham is depicted here in his lavish robes as a Knight of the Garter.


Meet the English nobleman who may have been King James’ boyfriend

What it’s about: Born in England in 1592 as the son of a “minor gentleman,” George Villiers may have gone through life as merely a handsome rich guy, had he not attracted the notice of James I (also called James VI, as he was the king to unite the Scottish and English crowns, and was the sixth King James of the former, and first of the latter). Villiers was a favorite of the king, and shot through the aristocratic ranks, becoming a knight, baron, viscount, earl, marquess, and then duke in rapid succession between ages 21 and 30. (The title of duke had been retired some time earlier, so this promotion made Villiers the highest-ranking person outside the royal family.) His close relationship with the king sparked speculation, then and now, that the two men were lovers, despite the 26-year age gap.

Biggest controversy: As James heaped title upon title upon Villiers, he also gave him jobs of increasing importance at court. At age 21, members of the court pushed for Villiers to become Royal Cupbearer, hoping he would supplant the King’s previous favorite, Robert Carr . (He did). The following year, Villiers was knighted and named Gentleman Of The Bedchamber . (There’s nothing ambiguous about the name of the role, which was to serve in intimate duties like helping the king dress.) A year after that, Villiers became Master Of Horse and a Knight Of The Garter . The year after that he was made an earl, and the year after that he was named Lord Admiral Of The Fleet. And that’s when the trouble began.

In 1623, after becoming the official Duke Of Buckingham, he was charged with helping arrange the Prince Of Wales’ (the future Charles I ) marriage to Maria, the Spanish Infanta. The plan collapsed, and “Buckingham’s crassness” may have been the cause. The Spanish ambassador insisted Buckingham be executed for his (unspecified here) behavior, but Villiers called for war on Spain instead. He tried to shore up relations with France by betrothing Charles to Henrietta Maria, King Henry IV’s youngest daughter, but the idea of the English king marrying a Catholic was wildly unpopular. To make things worse, Villiers gave military aid to France’s Catholic Chief Minister, Cardinal Richelieu , against his Protestant enemies, in return for help attacking Spain.

That attack failed—an attempt to burn down Spain’s main port was aborted when the sailors captured a warehouse full of wine and got drunk instead of attacking. The Spanish fleet escaped a planned ambush. And Villiers had to retreat from a naval skirmish he fought alongside the French. He blamed Richelieu, and soon sided against him and with the French Protestants he had only recently been fighting against. Through the whole mess, Villiers’ popularity with the English people plummeted, although he never lost the support of James or Charles.

Strangest fact: We don’t know for certain whether Villiers and James I were lovers because of 17th-century England’s love of flowery prose. Our ideas on masculinity have changed dramatically in the last 400 years. It wasn’t uncommon for platonic male friends of the era to speak and write of their friendship in ornate language that, in modern times, would only be used for a romantic overture, and even then seen as a bit much. The King ended a letter to Villiers with, “God bless you, my sweet child and wife.” The Duke responded, “I naturally so love your person, and adore all your other parts, which are more than ever one man had.” Apparently we weren’t doing “phrasing” in 1623.

Thing we were happiest to learn: Villiers was quite a patron of the arts , commissioning paintings (including two Rubens ), financing plays, and buying collections of rare books (including the first book in Chinese to be donated to Cambridge’s library). However, a good deal of his patronage seems to be self-serving—the play he financed was an anti-Spanish satire he intended as propaganda. And the paintings he commissioned were mostly of himself, looking regal, in an attempt to impress and remind people of his standing.

Thing we were unhappiest to learn: Villiers was corrupt as all get-out. He almost immediately used his various positions of influence to “prodigiously enrich his relatives.” He had his friend Francis Bacon appointed Lord Chancellor, but threw him under the bus when Parliament investigated the bribery and “financial peculation” the two men engaged in.

Villiers also abused Britain’s habitual abuse of Ireland, selling Irish titles, controlling Irish customs (the import/export kind, not the step-dancing kind), and prolonging England’s plantation policy (more on that in the next section) for his own financial gain. Twice, Parliament tried to impeach Villiers, but in both instances, he convinced the King to dissolve Parliament for ostensibly unrelated reasons.

Three years after James’ death, Villiers (still supported and employed by the new king, Charles I) was stabbed to death by John Felton , an army officer who had been wounded in one of Buckingham’s campaigns, and believed he had been passed over for a promotion unfairly. Villiers was so disliked by that point that Felton was a national hero, even after he was hanged for murder.

Also noteworthy: Britain’s plantation policy toward Ireland had devastating short- and long-term effects. While ruling over the Emerald Isle, Britain seized property from Irish landowners and gave it to English settlers, creating an English, protestant ruling elite, and an Irish population who were essentially serfs who weren’t allowed to own land in their own country, and in some cases weren’t even allowed to rent it as tenant farmers. At one point, less than 10 percent of the island was owned by Irish Catholics, and Parliament once proposed moving the entire Irish population to the western third of the country, an idea that failed only because of a lack of willing English settlers to re-fill the other two-thirds.

As it is, so many Irish were forced out of the northern part of the country, mostly to be replaced by Scots, that upon Irish independence, those Protestant-majority counties remained part of the U.K., which led to partition of the island and a 30-year guerrilla war .

Best link to elsewhere on Wikipedia: So, back to Villiers’ job as Gentleman Of The Bedchamber . From 1650 to 1837, it was an official office, usually held by a member of the peerage (according to the timeline here, the positions seems to have originated with Villiers, although his own page doesn’t mention that). Duties included attending to the king when he ate in private, helping him dress, and insuring he wasn’t disturbed while asleep or using the bathroom. As unglamorous as this all sounds, it was a sought-after position, as it naturally made the office-holder a close confidant to the monarch. But just so we’re clear on how unglamorous it was, it was quickly combined with an older title, the Groom Of The Stool , who was, as Wikipedia delicately puts it, “responsible for assisting the king in excretion and ablution,” although in practice, the Groom Of The Stool acted more as the king’s personal secretary.

Further down the Wormhole: Villiers was a notorious figure in both history and fiction. He’s met Doctor Who (in 2002 audio drama The Church And The Crown , not the TV series), has appeared in numerous historical fictions of the era (most recently in Howard Brenton’s 2010 play Ana Bolena), and shows up as a character in Les Trois Mousquetaires , known to American audiences as The Three Musketeers. The book describes him as “the favourite of two kings, immensely rich, all-powerful in a kingdom which he disordered at his fancy and calmed again at his caprice,” and called his life, “one of those fabulous existences which survive, in the course of centuries, to astonish posterity.” No less astonishing was the life of the book’s author, Alexandre Dumas , the grandson of a slave, the son of one of Napoleon’s generals, and one of the most widely read French author of all time. We’ll hear his story next week.

Host of the podcast Why Is This Not a Movie? His sixth book, The Planets Are Very, Very, Very Far Away is due in fall 2021. He tells people he lives in New York, but he really lives in New Jersey.


English Historical Fiction Authors

Katherine Manners was the daughter of Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland and Frances Knyvett. After the death of his first wife Rutland married Cecily, the daughter of Sir John Tufton, who bore him two sons who died in apparently mysterious circumstances which were the centre of a notorious witchcraft case. Their deaths resulted in Katherine becoming the heir not only to the Knyvett property from her mother, but also to the unentailed estates in Yorkshire and Northamptonshire.

Portraits of Katherine show her to have been a rather plain woman, but doubtless her inheritance more than made up for her lack of beauty, and Buckingham and his mother opened negotiations. However, there were complications: Rutland was a Roman Catholic and the king would only permit his favourite to marry a Protestant, therefore pressure was brought to bear upon Katherine to abandon her religion. Rutland may well also have heard the talk and speculation about the exact nature of King James’s intense relationship with his handsome young favourite the Earl was often at court and must have witnessed the very public display of kissing and caressing. The amount of dowry demanded, too, was exorbitant and Rutland was offended. The negotiations floundered, but Buckingham and Mary’s solution to the deadlock was a plan which reflects badly on them both.

In March 1620 Mary visited the Countess of Rutland in the absence of the Earl, and invited Katherine to dine with her, promising to bring her back home before night-fall. It has been commonly assumed that the invitation was to Mary’s Leicestershire home at nearby Goadby Marwood. However, Mary brought the innocent girl to her lodgings at the Gatehouse in Whitehall. Even worse, Katherine stayed overnight, and so did her suitor, despite the fact that his own lodgings were within walking distance. The next day Katherine was returned home, but her outraged and furious father refused to receive her at Belvoir. The fact that Buckingham had also slept under the same roof ensured that Katherine’s reputation was ruined. Rutland was now forced into the position of insisting that Buckingham marry his daughter to save both her and the family’s honour.

The affair caused great scandal and despite Buckingham’s importance, the marriage did not take place at court with the usual lavish and lengthy entertainments, instead the couple were married privately in 1620, witnessed only by the Earl and the King.

The Buckinghams lived a lavish life-style, but it seems clear that this was not the fairy-tale life which Katherine had imagined. Perhaps she had unrealistically believed that Buckingham would leave his life at court and devote himself exclusively to her, and in a bitter, reproachful letter in 1627 she told him that, ‘… there is none more miserable than I am, and till you leave this life of a courtier which you have been ever since I knew you, I shall think myself unhappy.’

Buckingham again outraged convention and stretched Katherine’s devotion to the uttermost when he travelled to Paris in May 1625 to escort England’s new Queen, Henrietta Maria, to her new home. The English favourite scandalised the French court by blatantly making love to the French Queen Anne of Austria, giving scant thought to his pregnant wife at home. The Duke’s obsession with Anne, which he did not try to disguise, must have caused Katherine great heartache, and he made determined attempts to see the queen again.

The evidence suggests that although Buckingham was never in love with his wife he nonetheless genuinely cared for her, and notwithstanding his inability to remain faithful, treated her well. When he discovered that Katherine had been ill, perhaps seriously, while he was in Madrid, he seems to have been genuinely alarmed, confessing his adultery and asking for forgiveness, and even telling her he would return home if she was still sick. Katherine was aware of her husband’s weakness, and comforted by his concern for her, she was able to be sufficiently magnanimous to tell him that he was a good man save for his one sin of "loving women so well."

The increasing attacks upon the Duke during the first three years of Charles I’s reign, and the attempts by Parliament to impeach him in 1626 caused Katherine serious alarm. The Duke survived because of the King’s deep attachment to him, but Katherine and his mother and sister were devastated to hear that Buckingham intended to command a naval expedition to La Rochelle to relieve the Protestant Huguenots in the summer of 1627. Such was Katherine’s distress that Buckingham promised her that he would not accompany the fleet, and she wrote to him several times reminding of his promise to her, telling him in one letter that, "I hope you will not deceive me in breaking yours, for I protest if you should, it would half kill me."

However, Buckingham lied and left without saying goodbye. When she realised that he had really gone, Katherine told him she could almost wish herself dead, but although she had failed to keep her husband at home, her letters indicate her continued attempts to control his behaviour.

Buckingham and Charles planned another attempt to liberate La Rochelle, but this time Katherine refused to allow him to quietly slip away, determinedly accompanying him to Portsmouth in August 1628. Fortunately she was still in her bedchamber when the Duke was stabbed to death by John Felton.

The Duchess returned to her Catholic faith after Buckingham’s death. The king, whose devotion to the Duke had matched her own, removed his beloved friend’s children from her care and had them brought up with his own children. Katherine again occasioned the king’s wrath when she married the Irish Randal MacDonnell, then Viscount Dunluce, in 1635 to general censure. Katherine’s second marriage was equally eventful but seems to have been a far more equal partnership, with Katherine playing a leading role. MacDonnell was deeply distressed when she died in November 1649.

Living through a time of political upheaval and the tumultuous events of the Civil War, Katherine Manners was fiercely loyal and passionately devoted to her two husbands, even to the extent of defying convention and incurring the displeasure of her father and the king to marry the men of her choice.

Pamela J. Womack is the author of Darling of Kings, published by Hayloft Publishing Ltd., an historical novel which tells the tragic story of the friendship between Charles I and George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham. She has also written An Illustrated Introduction to the Stuarts, published by Amberley Publishing Ltd. She is currently writing the Duke of Buckingham’s biography.


Assista o vídeo: ES AJEEB defends, GEORGE VILLIERS grinds, AL MODAYAR impreses u0026 LADY PARMA beats the boys!