Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Elizabeth (1596-1662)

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ELIZABETH (1596–1662), queen of Bohemia, eldest daughter of James VI of Scotland (afterwards James I of England) and his consort Anne of Denmark, was born at Falkland Castle in Fifeshire 19 (according to others 15 or 16) Aug. 1596. To the great indignation of the presbyterian ministers, the care of the infant princess was at first entrusted to Lord Livingstone, soon afterwards Earl of Linlithgow, whose wife was a Roman catholic [see Anne of Denmark], and under his care she and her younger sister, Margaret, were brought up, chiefly at the palace of Linlithgow, during the remainder of their parents' residence in Scotland. At the beginning of June 1603 Elizabeth accompanied her mother on her progress into England, where the Countess of Kildare was immediately appointed governess to the princess. In the course of the remainder of her journey south Elizabeth paid her first visit to Combe Abbey, near Coventry, which was soon afterwards to become her home. The interval she spent at court and at Oatlands in the company of her much-loved brother, Henry, prince of Wales. But when the discovery of the plots known as the Main and the Bye led to the arrest of Lord Cobham, Lady Kildare's second husband, it was decided to relieve her of the Elizabeth charge of the princess, whose 'keeping and education' were, by a privy seal order dated 19 Oct., committed to the care of Lord Harington and his wife. After a brief sojourn at Lord Harington's family seat, Exton in Rutlandshire, Elizabeth took up her residence at Combe Abbey, the inheritance of Lady Harington, where, with the exception of a few visits to court from the middle of 1606 onwards, she remained continuously till the end of 1608. No guardianship could have been more happily chosen than that to which she had been entrusted. Both Lord Harington and his wife were 'persons eminent for prudence and piety' (see the Character of their son in Harington, Nugæ Antiquæ, ed. 1804, ii. 307), and the former with characteristic zeal devoted himself altogether to his new duties. He had a worthy helpmate in his wife; their niece, Lady Anne Dudley, became the princess's intimate friend. Elizabeth's establishment at Combe Abbey included, besides her former mistress-nurse, Lady Dunkerrant (a member of the Linlithgow family), various tutors in languages and in other accomplishments. Several childish notes are preserved from the princess's hand, of which the earliest appears to refer to her recent removal to Combe Abbey. They are written in English, French, or Italian, and addressed in affectionate terms to her father, and more especially to her favourite brother Prince Henry (see the Letters to King James VI from the members of his family, printed for the Maitland Club, 1835, and the specimens from Harl. MS. 6986 in Ellis, Original Letters, 1st ser. iii. 89-91). The protestant sentiments which Elizabeth throughout her life consistently exhibited were no doubt largely due to the influence of the Haringtons. Combe Abbey lay in the heart of a district on which the conspirators of the Gunpowder plot materially depended. They had agreed that on the very day of the intended demonstration-in-chief at Westminster the young princess should be seized by a body of gentlemen, who were to assemble on the pretext of a hunting match to be held by Sir Everard Digby at Dunchurch, about eight miles distant from Combe Abbey. If the plot succeeded, either Prince Charles or Elizabeth was to be proclaimed sovereign on the principles of the unreformed church. But a warning had reached Combe Abbey just in time from London, and the princess was conveyed by Lord Harington to Coventry, where the townsmen loyally armed in her defence.

From the end of 1608 onwards Elizabeth appears to have frequently resided at court, occupying a special suite of apartments at Hampton Court, or another in the Cockpit at Whitehall, in addition to an establishment which had been formed for her at Kew. She occasionally performed in masks, such as Daniel's 'Tethys's Festival,' acted at Whitehall 5 June 1610, in which she represented the nymph of the Thames. She was already the frequent theme of poetic offerings, though the most charming lines inspired by her beauty. Sir Henry Wotton's tribute to her as the rose among the violets, were not written till after she had become a queen. Soon overtures began to be made to King James for the hand of his daughter. One of the earliest offers came from Charles IX of Sweden on behalf of his son, Gustavus Adolphus, which seems to have formed part of a general scheme of the Swedish king to negotiate a quadruple alliance with England, France, and the States-General (Getjer, Gesckickte von Schuden, ii. 352). But the Danish interest at the English court easily prevailed against the proposal. On the other hand. Queen Anne warmly supported a plan hatched towards the end of 1611 for a marriage between Elizabeth and King Philip of Spain, which was openly denounced by the Prince of Wales, and in the end, by the advice of Salisbury, allowed to fall through. A directly opposite policy was suggested by the fears of James that in case of a general European conflict the Hispano-French alliance, ultimately cemented by a double marriage, would unduly depress the balance. James I accordingly, in March 1612, concluded a treaty of alliance with the princes of the German protestant union; and on 16 May following a marriage-contract was signed between Elizabeth and the head of the union, the young Elector Palatine Frederick V. When, 16 Oct. of this year, the palsgrave, as he was called in England, arrived on these shores, he was generally welcomed as a handsome and intelligent young prince, as the nephew of the famous warrior Maurice, prince of Orange, and as himself heir to a great though uncertain future. His approaching marriage was universally regarded as a great political event, since it would connect the English royal family with some of the chief protestant courts in Europe. The cold water thrown on her daughter's happiness by the queen [see Anne of Denmark] of course only strengthened this impression. The young elector had made the acquaintance of Elizabeth, and they had, as may for once be safely asserted, fallen in love with each other, when Henry, prince of Wales, suddenly died (6 Nov.) His sister had not been allowed to see him during the last five days of his life, though she had even attempted to visit him in disguise. His last conscious words had been, 'Where is my dear sister?' (Gardiner, ii. 158). The funeral was swiftly followed by her wedding. Mrs. Green is of opinion that the stanzas printed (in Nugæ Antiquæ, ii. 411) as 'written by the Princess Elizabeth,' and by her 'given to Lord Harington of Exton, her preceptor, were composed under the influence of her great sorrow. Her wedding was fixed for the first day of the carnival week of 1613. Nearly every prominent writer of the day contributed to the rejoicings, among them experienced authors of masks, such as Chapman, Beaumont, Campion, and Heywood; besides Donne and Wither, and of course university wits innumerable. Ben Jonson was absent in France, but his co-operation was not indispensable to Inigo Jones, and Sir Francis Bacon and John Taylor, the Water-Poet, 'contrived' their devices themselves. But there was some anxiety in the midst of these festivities; nor was it a wholly idle curiosity which noted that there was missing among the representatives of foreign powers invited to the wedding the Spanish ambassador, who 'was, or would be sick.' (For ample accounts of the wedding festivities and subsequent festivities in England and Germany, and a bibliography of the literature of the subject, see Nichols, Progresses of James I, ii. 463-626, and the other authorities cited by Mrs. Green.)

At last, towards the end of April 1613, the young electress and her husband found themselves on board the Prince Roval, and made a joyous entrv into Heidelberg 17 June of the same year. For many a day afterwards Elizabeth's life continued to be one of festivities, masquerades, banquets, and huntings. The fashions of life which she brought with her, and the rate of her and her husband's expenditure, effected something like a revolution in the social life of the palatinate (see Häusser, Pfalz, i. 270 seqq.) Her personal establishment, numbering 374 souls, was unheard of in its vastness, and her income caused only less astonishment than her extravagance. Her husband had inherited a tendency to self-indulgence, and a love of building in particular. Yet there was much of real refinement in the life of the young electoral couple, who moreover set a consistent example of conjugal affection. On 2 Jan. 1614 their eldest son was born. One sickly life alone stood between this child, Frederick Henry, and the thrones of the three kingdoms; fifteen years afterwards, when his parents were exiles in Holland, he was drowned in his father's presence off Haarlem in the Zuider Zee. Their second son, Charles Lewis (afterwards elector palatine), was born at Heidelberg 24 Dec. 1617, and their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, 26 Dec. 1618. On the death of the Emperor Matthias the Bohemian estates, after deposing Archduke Ferdinand of Styria from the Bohemian throne as successor to which he had been previously accepted, chose in his place the Elector Palatine Frederick V. This occurred 26 Aug., only two days before Ferdinand himself was elected emperor at Frankfort. Frederick afterwards accounted for his acceptance of the Bohemian crown by describing himself as having taken this step in obedience to an inner voice, which he thought spoke the will of God. But it has. generally been supposed that it was the Electress Elizabeth who determined her husband's action. The assumption is altogether unsupported by evidence (see Opel, p. 294; Soltl, i. 153; Feder, Sophie Churfürstinn von Hannover, 2). As to her having taken any part in the deliberations which preceded Frederick's acceptance of the crown, we possess the unexceptionable testimony of her grand-daughter Elizabeth, duchess of Orleans, the most candid of women, to the fact that at the time of the offer of the Bohemian crown to her husband the electress 'knew nothings whatever about the matter, and in those days, thought of nothing but plays, masquerades, and the reading of romances' (see the quotation from her Letters ed. Menzel, ap. Häusser, ii. 311 n.) On the other hand, when consulted by the elector before the step was actually taken, she wrote to him that she left the decision in his hands, but at the same time declared her readiness, should he accept, to follow the divine call, and she added that she would willingly in case of need pledge her jewels and everything else she possessed in the world (Söltl, u.s.)

Her difficulties began at Prague, where she arrived with her husband 31 Oct. 1619 and was crowned three days after him, 7 Nov. There is no direct proof that she had any share in the mistakes of commission by which King Frederick made his mistakes of omission more glaring. Her court chaplain, Alexander Scapman (Pescheck, Geschichte der Gegenreformation in Böhmen, 1844, i. 381 n.), is not stated to have given his sanction to the iconoclasm instigated or encouraged by her husband's spiritual director, Abraham Scultetus (Schulz); in fact, there is nothing to show that she ever adopted Calvinistic views. Though in the days of her exile her children were instructed in the Heidelberg catechism, she had the services of a church of England chaplain (see her Unpublished Letters of 1656, ed. Evans, pp. 242-3). Such offence as she gave at Prague was probably due to an inborn levity which she never learnt altogether to restrain; but for political difficulties this would probably have been forgiven. The hostile annalist (Khevenhiller, Annales Ferdinandei, ix. 662) relates how after the wives of the citizens at Prague had excited the derision of the young court by their traditional offerings of the triumphs of bakery, they were at pains to avail themselves of the next occasion for presenting a more suitable gift. This was the golden cradle presented for the use of Prince Rupert, Elizabeth's third and perhaps favourite child, born. 26 Dec. 1619 amidst rumours and forebodings of the impending struggle.

Naturally enough, when in 1620 this struggle approached its crisis, the queen's spirits occasionally sank, and her husband, writing from his camp, had to exhort her affectionately not to give way to melancholy, but to be prepared for the worst (the letters dated 22 Oct. and 1 Nov. 1620 in Bromley's Royal Letters, pp. 7-11, certainly give the impression that at this time Frederick's mood was firmer than his wife's). But when, 8 Nov., the battle of Prague had been fought, and there only remained the question whether the palatinate could be preserved, Elizabeth showed her courage. From Breslau, whither she had accompanied her husband after quitting Prague on the evening of the battle, she wrote to her father praying him to take pity on her and hers, but adding that for herself she had resolved not to desert her husband (see the letter in Ellis, Original Letters, 1st ser. iii. 112-14). The narrative of an Englishman attached to the Bohemian army, or court (ib. 114), describes both the king and the queen, 'the queen especially,' as exhibiting great self-control and devotion. By Christmas time 1620 she found a momentary shelter, which her husband's brother-in-law, the Elector George William, would have much preferred to deny her, in the Brandenburg fortress of Küstrin; and here was born, on 10 Jan. 1621, her fifth child, Maurice. On the arrival of her husband at Küstrin, where the queen and her followers had hardly been provided with sufficient food, they had to move on to Berlin. Here they found themselves neither welcome nor secure, though a refuge was offered at the Elector George William's court to their children. Thus it came to pass that the early training of Elizabeth's eldest daughter and namesake (afterwards the learned and pietistic abbess of Herford) fell into the hands of her grandmother, Louisa Juliana, a daughter of the great William Orange, and herself soon afterwards a fugitive at Berlin. Frederick and Elizabeth journeyed on separately to Wolfenbüttel, meeting again in Holland, where, 14 April 1621, they were jointly received by Maurice of Orange in the midst of a brilliant assemblage. But the Stadholder had his hands full, and the hopes of the fugitives were still chiefly directed to England, where their cause was extraordinarily popular. While, however, King James contented himself with sending Lord Digby to Brussels and then to Vienna in order to see that in the hoped-for peace provision might, if possible, be made for the restoration of the palatinate, the protestant union was dissolving itself (April 1621), and the emperor was preparing to order the execution of the ban under which Frederick had been placed by him. The greater part of the palatinate was in the hands of the Spaniards, and the upper palatinate was seized by Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, to whom, not long afterwards, Frederick's electorate was transferred at the conference of princes held at Ratisbon (1622-3).

It was about this time that the Queen of Hearts, by which name, according to a contemporary (James Howell to his father, 19 March 1623, see Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ, edition 1754, p. 91), the queen of Bohemia was called 'for her winning princely comportment,' found an unselfishly devoted knight in the person of her cousin, Duke Christian of Brunswick, the administrator of the bishopric of Halberstadt, a young soldier who was her junior by three years. It is possible that he had first met the fugitive queen at Wolfenbüttel, but there is no actual evidence of Christian having ever set eyes upon her before he began his campaigns in her cause. On the other hand, in an extant letter from Elizabeth to her frequent correspondent, the diplomatist Sir Thomas Roe (cit. ap. Opel, 367), she states that 'he hath ingaged himself onelie for my sake in our quarell.' One letter from him to the queen, quoted at length by Mrs. Green, is signed by him as your most humblest, most Constant, most faithful, most affectionate, and most obedient slave, who loves you, and will love you, infinitely and incessantly to death.' It thus becomes superfluous to inquire very closely into the authenticity of the story of his having placed one of her gloves in his helmet, with a vow that he would return it to her within the walls of her reconquered Bohemian capital; which story it appears cannot be traced further back than 1646 (Wittich, whose essay on Christian and Elizabeth in the Zeitschrift für preusstsche Geschirhte, &c., 1869, is cited by Opel, traces it back to the Annales Trevirenses of 1670, but according to Wescamp, Herzog Christian von Braunschweig; und die Stifter Münster und Paderborn, 1884, these Annals are based on Lotichius, 1670). From the evidence of his letters one can hardly doubt that the 'madman,' as he was called, had conceived a genuine passion for the unfortunate queen, and that a kindly regard on her part was not wanting in return. In this it is pleasant to know that her husband shared (see Bromley, Royal Letters, 20). Christian's efforts were ineffective, but his willingness to serve the cause of Elizabeth had by no means been exhausted when in 1626 a fever put an end to his turbulent life.

Neither the tardy awakening of Elizabeth's father to the manoeuvres of Spain, nor the intervention of her uncle, Christian IV of Denmark, brought about the recovery of the palatinate. The accession of her brother, Charles I, brought no help. Frederick and Elizabeth had in the meantime, after remaining for some time at the Hague, found that their supplies ran short, more especially when money was with difficulty obtainable in England. Thus, as their family continued to increase (their seven younger children, of whom Sophia was the last but one, were born in tolerably regular succession between 1623 and 1632),they chiefly resided at Rhenen, a retired place on the Rhine not very far below Arnheim. Evelyn describes their residence there as 'a neate palace or country house, built after the Italian manner as I remember' (Diary, s.d. 29 July 1641). Here Elizabeth's ardent nature and quick temper had to learn to command themselves as best they might. The enthusiasm which in these earlier years of her exile she excited in such persons as Dudley Carleton and Sir Henry Wotton, and the mirth occasionally displayed in her very businesslike correspondence with Sir Thomas Roe, prove her spirits to have remained unbroken; to this healthy condition of mind the strong bodily exercise of hunting and riding which she continued to affect may be supposed to have contributed. All her fortitude was needed, for in 1629 she lost her eldest son. Not long afterwards, in 1631 and 1632, the victories of Gustavus Adolphus aroused fresh hopes. But in the vast designs of the Swedish conqueror the restoration of the elector palatine was a merely secondary incident. Frederick's inheritance was liberated from the enemy, but he wrote despondently to his wife, for he was obliged to follow the Swedish king like a vassal without being allowed a separate command. In 1632 Gustavus Adolphus fell at Lützen, and a few days afterwards (29 Nov.) Frederick himself died at Mainz. In the previous year (1631) Elizabeth had lost another of her children, Charlotte, aged three years.

During the sixteen years following upon her loss of her husband her life may be described as a continual effort on behalf of her children. On receiving the news of Frederick's death, Charles I invited his sister to England, but she for the time declined his hospitality, informing him with much dignity that the custom of her late husband's country demanded that during the course of a year she should make no change in her establishment. She, however, strove to induce her brother to use his influence on behalf of the heir to the palatinate, her eldest surviving son, Charles Lewis, for whom in 1633 she levied a small army, and in 1634 she sent him to England to sue for his uncle's alliance (Sültl, ii. 266). But the peace of Prague (1635) again jeopardised the prospects of her house; and notwithstanding all the efforts of Charles Lewis and his mother (which may be pursued in detail in Sültl, vol. ii. bks. iii. and iv.), it was only in the peace of Westphalia (1648) that part of his inheritance, the Rhenish Palatinate, was definitively restored to him as an eighth electorate of the empire. During this period Elizabeth, to whom the States-General had after her husband's death generously continued the allowance made to him, nevertheless found herself in straits which gradually became less and less endurable. The intermittent aid which she received from England finally, under the pressure of the civil war, altogether stopped. The generosity of the house of Orange came to an end when rather later (1650), the male line of that house was reduced to a single infant; with some of their female relatives of that house the exiled queen and her daughters seem to have been on terms the reverse of pleasant (see Memoiren der Herzogin Sophie, Leipzig, 1879, p. 40). As early as 1645 one of her sons describes her court as vexed by rats and mice, but worst of all by creditors; and her daughter Sophia satirically records that her mother's banquets were more luxurious than Cleopatra's, because diamonds as well as pearls had been sacrificed for the providing of them (ib. 43). And yet she continued to be the recipient of the bounty of the most faithful of her English friends, Lord Craven, who had first come to the Hague in 1632, and had fought by the side both of her husband and her son Rupert, with whom he had been taken prisoner in the action at Lemgo [see Craven, William, first earl of].

Elizabeth's relations to her children are the theme of warm admiration on the part of some of her biographers; but on this head there is room for scepticism. Her daughter Sophia says that she could not abide young children, to whom she much preferred her dogs and monkeys, so that she made it a practice to have her daughters educated at Leyden till they had fairly grown up (Memoiren, 34). This might be interpreted as malice on the part of Sophia. But except in the case of Rupert, for whom she clearly had a warm affection (see e.g. the letter misdated 1655 in Bromley's Royal Letters, 189), little cordiality of tone is observable between herself and the other members of that numerous family for whom she suffered so bravely. A large number of letters remain (see ib.) addressed to her by her son Charles Lewis, but he certainly gave her reason enough for discontent, both in his politic morigeration to the Commonwealth men in England and in his cold-blooded treatment of herself after his recovery of the palatinate (as to her opinion of his conduct in 1655 see Unpublished Letters to Nicholas, 235). Of her younger sons two became members of the church of Rome, and one of these, Philip, in 1646 incurred her deep resentment by his fatal affray with a Frenchman named De l'Épinay, who was in some way attached to her court, and who was suspected of being her lover. The incident moved Charles Lewis to address a letter to his mother craving forgiveness for his brother and implying a solemn reproof to herself (Bromley, Royal Letters, 133), and caused a lifelong breach between the queen and her eldest daughter, Elizabeth ('la Grecque'). Another daughter, Louisa Hollandina, several years afterwards (1658) escaped in secret from her mother's house to become a convert to the church of Rome and an abbess of a tolerably mundane type. The youngest daughter, Sophia, through whom Elizabeth was the ancestress of our Hanoverian line of kings, quitted the maternal roof after a less dramatic fashion, but no less willingly, in 1650 (Memoiren, 44. For a convenient summary of the fortunes of the family of Frederick and Elizabeth see Haüsser, ii. 509 seqq.)

The death of Charles I deeply moved Elizabeth, who is said ever afterwards to have worn a mourning ring containing a piece of his hair, with a memento mori. Two of her sons had fought gallantly in his cause, but her own future, like that of her house, depended on their elder brother, the more politic Charles Lewis, to whom the peace ending the great European war had just restored part of his inheritance. In the peace the emperor had promised a payment of twenty thousand dollars to Elizabeth, and half that sum as a marriage portion to each of her daughters. The Rhenish Palatinate had, however, literally been stripped to the bone; its population was only a fragment of what it had been, and the elector Charles Lewis, who addressed himself loyally to the crying needs of his subjects, had neither money nor pity to spare for his mother. Nothing could be more painful than the correspondence which passed at this time between the elector and his mother (Söltl, ii. 448 seqq.; cf. Bromley, Royal Letters, 148–60, et al.) The states, she wrote, had consented to allow her a thousand florins a month till she could relieve them of her presence, but heaven alone knew when this could be accomplished. Her son, she reminded him, had failed to keep his promise of supplying her with money till he could pay her the whole of her jointure. In reply to her bitter complaints he sent a little money and many excuses; and gradually her hopes of seeing the palatinate again vanished into nothing. Thus she had to remain in Holland, a dependent on the patient good-nature of her hosts, deserted by her daughters, but in friendly correspondence with her 'royal' court, exiled like her own. There was probably a good deal of general resemblance between the two courts at this season, when 'reverent Dick Harding' enlivened the queen's leisure and Tom Killigrew made 'rare relations' of Queen Christina of Sweden, whom for a variety of reasons Elizabeth hated almost as heartily as Cromwell himself, to her mind clearly 'the beast in the Revelations' (Letter to Nicholas, 4 Jan. 1655, in Evelyn's Diary, edd. Bray and Wheatley, iv. 223).

At last Charles II, whom in 1650 she had wished to marry to her daughter Sophia (Memoiren, &c., p. 42), was restored. But Elizabeth had still to wait for many weary months before she was able to follow Charles II to England. Her debts were the first obstacle in the way, though in September 1660 parliament voted her a grant of 10,000l., and in December an additional sum of the same amount. This aid was in all probability largely owing to the exertions of her friend Lord Craven. But no eagerness was manifested at the English court for her reception, and least of all by the selfish king. As late as the beginning of 1661 new overtures were made by Elizabeth to the elector palatine for establishing her at Frankenthal, but they were received as coldly as usual (Bromley, Royal Letters, pp. 228–9). In the end, her Dutch creditors consenting, very possibly with a view to expediting the payment of the 20,000l. voted to the queen, she announced to the Duke of Ormonde that she had resolved to come to England to congratulate the king upon his coronation. It is clear from this letter, dated 23 May 1661 (and quoted at length in Ellis, Original Letters, 1st ser. iii. 115; and by Mrs. Green), that no invitation had reached her from Charles II. When she was already on board, 'betwixt Delft and Delft's haven,' a letter from the king was delivered to her which attempted to delay her journey, but she answered that she could not go back now, but would stay no longer than the king should think fit. She went 'with a resolution to suffer all things constantly,' but with no intention to 'do as poor neece.' At the same time she wrote to Clarendon desiring his help (see her letter to Prince Rupert, ap. Bromley, pp. 188-9, misendorsed 1655). In England no ceremony greeted her arrival about the end of May, and instead of being lodged at court she took up her abode at the mansion hospitably offered her by the Earl of Craven, with its beautiful gardens, in Drury Lane. Charles seems not to have been lacking in politeness towards her. He granted her a pension, and promised that if possible her debts should be paid by parliament. She frequently appeared with the court in public, being on these occasions usually attended by Lord Craven, who acted as her master of the ceremonies (see Pepys, Diary, s.d. 17 Aug. 1661; cf. ib. 2 July 1661. Pepys had waited on the queen at the Hague, 17 May 1660, when he thought her 'a very debonaire, but a plain lady,' and witnessed her farewell to Charles II, 23 May, when before sailing for England he rechristened the Naseby by his own name). With the elector palatine she appears to have had some unpleasant correspondence concerning their respective rights of property in his father's furniture ({{sc|Bromley, pp. 222-4); but clearly Prince Rupert, who now enjoyed great popularity in England, continued to show an affectionate interest in his mother. She seems to have had no thought of again quitting England, for on 8 Feb. 1662 she removed to a residence of her own, Leicester House in Leicester Fields. Here she died within less than a week, 13 Feb. 1662, and four days afterwards Evelyn recorded that 'this night was buried in Westminster Abbey the Queen of Bohemia, after all her sorrows and afflictions being come to die in the arms of her nephew the king.' Her will named her eldest surviving son as her heir; but the residue of her jewellery (after memorial bequests to each of her children) was bequeathed to her favourite, Prince Rupert, while the papers and family portraits belonging to her she bequeathed to her faithful servant Lord Craven, by whom they were placed at Combo Abbey, which became his own property by purchase.

A closer study of the life of the queen of Bohemia fails to leave the impression that she was a woman of unusual refinement or of unusual depth of character, but in other respects accounts for much of the charm exercised over so many of her contemporaries. As is proved by the numerous letters remaining from her hand, she was a woman of considerable mental vigour and of inexhaustible vivacity, who seems never to have either felt or provoked weariness. She was tenacious both of her affections and of her hatreds; her husband and children found in her a devoted wife and mother, whose life was one long self-sacrifice to their interests. In return, though many princesses have been admired with equal ardour, none has ever been served with more unselfish fidelity than she; it was one thing to excite an enthusiasm such as that which on the morrow of the Bohemian catastrophe is said to have led thirty gentlemen of the Middle Temple to swear on their drawn swords to live or die in her service, and another to inspire a life-long devotion of deeds in champions so different from one another as Christian of Halberstadt and Lord Craven. Lastly, amidst all the untoward experiences of her career she remained consistently true to the protestant cause which was dear to the great majority of the English nation, and of which that nation long regarded her as a kind of martyr. And it was their attachment to principles thus steadfastly maintained by their ancestress which raised her descendants to her father's throne.

Among the numerous family portraits by Honthorst, the Princess Louisa Hollandina, and others bequeathed by the queen of Bohemia to Lord Craven and still preserved at Combe Abbey, those of herself, in many varieties of size and costume, but all displaying the same marked features, are the most striking and interesting. The picture, however, which is said to represent her and her husband as Venus and Adonis, shows no likeness to their portraits, and is probably misnamed. Other portraits of her are to be found in the National Portrait Gallery, at Herrenhausen and elsewhere; those in the first named are by Mireveldt and Honthorst. The best collection of engraved portraits of her is stated by Mrs. Green to be in the illustrated Granger in the print-room of the British Museum.

[It is very probable that the papers bequeathed by Elizabeth to Lord Craven and now the property of his descendant would throw additional light upon many passages of her life, although they are known to contain no evidence of any secret marriage between the queen and the earl. In the meantime the biography of Elizabeth by Mrs. Everett Green, forming part of her Lives of the Princesses of England (1849-61, reprinted 1854), is an admirable piece of work, based almost entirely upon documentary evidence, including the Craven Papers, and treating its subject with so much fulness that it has been thought unnecessary in the above sketch to make special references to it or to the sources which it never fails scrupulously to indicate. Mrs. Green's Life has quite superseded the earlier Memoirs of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, by Miss Benger (2 vols. 1825). Söltl's Elisabeth Stuart, forming vols. i. and ii. of his Religionskrieg in Deutschland (3 vols. Hamburg, 1840), is valuable, especially for the narrative of the endeavours and negotiations for the recovery of the palatinate down to the peace of Westphalia. Sybel's Historische Zeitschrift, vol. xxiii. (1870), contains an original and very interesting article on the Queen of Bohemia by J. O. Opel. See also vol. ii. of Häusser's Geschichte der rheinischen Pfalz (Heidelberg, 1856), and Gardiner's History of England from the Accession of James I, especially vols. ii. vii. and viii. (new edition). Sir George Bromley's Collection of Original Royal Letters (1787) contains much of the queen's correspondence, especially with her husband and her sons, Charles Lewis and Rupert, but is disfigured by many wrong dates and other blunders. Some of Elizabeth's juvenile letters are contained in the Maitland Club collection (1835) cited above; a series of fifteen letters written by her to Sir Edward Nicholas from 31 Aug. 1654 to 18 Jan. 1655 is printed in vol. i v. of Wheatley's edition of Bray's Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn (1879); and another series of twenty-five, from the same to the same, 26 April 1655- 24 Jan. 1656, was edited by J. Evans for the Society of Antiquaries (1857). Her correspondence with Sir Thomas Hoe and the despatches of her secretary Nethersole are among the materials used by Mrs. Green.]

A. W. W.