to power of the Tories she carefully left some Whigs in their employments, with the aim of breaking up the party system and acting upon what was called “a moderate scheme.” She attended debates in the Lords and endeavoured to influence votes. Her struggles to free herself from the influence of factions only involved her deeper; she was always under the domination of some person or some party, and she could not rise above them and show herself the leader of the nation like Elizabeth.
Anne was a women of small ability, of dull mind, and of that kind of obstinacy which accompanies weakness of character. According to the duchess she had “a certain knack of sticking to what had been dictated to her to a degree often very disagreeable, and without the least sign of understanding or judgment.” “I desire you would not have so ill an opinion of me,” Anne writes to Oxford, “as to think when I have determined anything in my mind I will alter it.” Burnet considered that “she laid down the splendour of a court too much,” which was “as it were abandoned.” She dined alone after her husband’s death, but it was reported by no means abstemiously, the royal family being characterized in the lines:—
“King William thinks all.
Queen Mary talks all,
Prince George drinks all,
And Princess Anne eats all.”
She took no interest in the art, the drama or the literature of her day. But she possessed the homely virtues; she was deeply religious, attached to the Church of England and concerned for the efficiency of the ministry. One of the first acts of her reign was a proclamation against vice, and Lord Chesterfield regretted the strict morality of her court. Instances abound of her kindness and consideration for others. Her moderation towards the Jacobites in Scotland, after the Pretender’s expedition in 1708, was much praised by Saint Simon. She showed great forbearance and generosity towards the duchess of Marlborough in the face of unexampled provocation, and her character was unduly disparaged by the latter, who with her violent and coarse nature could not understand the queen’s self-restraint in sorrow, and describes her as “very hard” and as “not apt to cry.” According to her small ability she served the state well, and was zealous and conscientious in the fulfilment of public duties, in which may be included touching for the king’s evil, which she revived. Marlborough testifies to her energy in finding money for the war. She surrendered £10,000 a year for public purposes, and in 1706 she presented £30,000 to the officers and soldiers who had lost their horses. Her contemporaries almost unanimously record her excellence and womanly virtues; and by Dean Swift, no mild critic, she is invariably spoken of with respect, and named in his will as of “ever glorious, immortal and truly pious memory, the real nursing-mother of her kingdoms.” She deserves her appellation of “Good Queen Anne,” and notwithstanding her failings must be included among the chief authors and upholders of the great Revolution settlement. Her person was described by Spanheim, the Prussian ambassador, as handsome though inclining to stoutness, with black hair, blue eyes and good features, and of grave aspect.
Anne’s husband, Prince George (1653-1708), was the second son of Frederick III., king of Denmark. Before marrying Anne he had been a candidate for the throne of Poland. He was created earl of Kendal and duke of Cumberland in 1689. Some censure, which was directed against the prince in his capacity as lord high admiral, was terminated by his death. In religion George remained a Lutheran, and in general his qualities tended to make him a good husband rather than a soldier or a statesman.
(P. C. Y.) ANNE (1693-1740), empress of Russia, second daughter of Tsar Ivan V., Peter the Great’s imbecile brother, and Praskovia Saltuikova. Her girlhood was passed at Ismailovo near Moscow, with her mother, an ignorant, bigoted tsaritsa of the old school, who neglected and even hated her daughters. Peter acted as a second father to the Ivanovs, as Praskovia and her family were called. In 1710 he married Anne to Frederick William, duke of Courland, who died of surfeit on his journey home from St Petersburg. The reluctant young widow was ordered to proceed on her way to Mittau to take over the government of Courland, with the Russian resident, Count Peter Bestuzhev, as her adviser. He was subsequently her lover, till supplanted by Biren (q.v.). Anne’s residence at Mittau was embittered by the utter inadequacy of her revenue, which she keenly felt. It was therefore with joy that she at once accepted the Russian crown, as the next heir, after the death of Peter II. (January 30, 1730), when it was offered to her by the members of the supreme privy council, even going so far as to subscribe previously nine articles which would have reduced her from an absolute to a very limited monarch. On the 26th of February she made her public entry into Moscow under strict surveillance. On the 8th of March a coup d’état, engineered by a party of her personal friends, overthrew the supreme privy council and she was hailed as autocrat. Her government, on the whole, was prudent, beneficial and even glorious; but it was undoubtedly severe and became at last universally unpopular. This was due in the main to the outrageous insolence of her all-powerful favourite Biren, who hated the Russian nobility and trampled upon them mercilessly. Fortunately, Biren was sufficiently prudent not to meddle with foreign affairs or with the army, and these departments in the able hands of two other foreigners, who thoroughly identified themselves with Russia, Andrei Osterman (q.v.) and Burkhardt Münnich (q.v.) did great things in the reign of Anne. The chief political events of the period were the War of the Polish Succession and the second Crimean War. The former was caused by the reappearance of Stanislaus Leszczynski as a candidate for the Polish throne after the death of Augustus II. (February 1, 1733). The interests of Russia would not permit her to recognize a candidate dependent directly on France and indirectly upon Sweden and Turkey, all three powers being at that time opposed to Russia’s “system.” She accordingly united with Austria to support the candidature of the late king’s son, Augustus of Saxony. So far as Russia was concerned, the War of the Polish Succession was quickly over. Much more important was the Crimean War of 1736-39. This war marks the beginning of that systematic struggle on the part of Russia to recover her natural and legitimate southern boundaries. It lasted
- Private Correspondence, ii. 120.
- Hist. MSS. Comm., MSS. of Marq. of Bath at Longleat, i. 237.
- Notes and Queries, xi. 254.
- Vasily Golitsuin’s expedition under the regency of Sophia was the first Crimean War (1687-89).