v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

The Stuart Monarchy

1James Stuart0
(19 Jun 1566 –
27 Mar 1625)

James I
Anne of Denmark Henry Stuart1
(19 Feb 1594 –
6 Nov 1612)

Charles Stuart
(19 Nov 1600 –
30 Jan 1649)
2Charles Stuart
(19 Nov 1600 –
30 Jan 1649)

Charles I
Henrietta Maria of France Charles Stuart
(29 May 1630 –
6 Feb 1685)

James Stuart
(14 Oct 1633 –
6 Sep 1701)
2Oliver Cromwell
(Old Ironsides)
(25 Apr 1599 –
3 Sep 1658)

Lord Protector
Mrs Cromwell Richard Cromwell
(Tumbledown Dick)
(4 Oct 1626 –
12 Jul 1712)

(briefly Lord Protector but relinquished the position)
3Charles Stuart
(29 May 1630 –
6 Feb 1685)

Charles II
Catherine of Braganza no legitimate offspring

James Fitzroy
(9 Apr 1649 –
15 July 1685)

eldest natural son,
1st Duke of Monmouth

(1685 Rebellion)
4James Stuart
(14 Oct 1633 –
6 Sep 1701)

James II
Anne Hyde,
Duchess of Albany
Mary Stuart
(30 Apr 1662 –
28 Dec 1694)

Anne Stuart
(6 Feb 1665 –
1 Aug 1714)
Mary of Modena James Stuart
(10 Jun 1688 –
1 Jan 1766)
Arabella Churchill  
Catherine Sedley  
4James Stuart2
(10 Jun 1688 –
1 Jan 1766)

"James III"
(The Old Pretender)
(1715 Uprising)
Mary Sobieski Charles Stuart
(Bonnie Prince Charlie)
(31 Dec 1720 –
31 Jan 1788)

"Charles III"
(The Young Pretender)
(1745 Uprising)
5Mary Stuart
(30 Apr 1662 –
28 Dec 1694)
William of Orange
(4 Nov 1650 –
8 March 1702)

William III
& Mary II

(dual monarchy3)

William III
(King Billy)
No offspring
6Anne Stuart
(6 Feb 1665 –
1 Aug 1714)

Prince George of Denmark No surviving offspring

0Henry IV of France or perhaps his chief minister, the Duc de Sully, described James as "the wisest fool in Christendom".

In the words of Sir Walter Scott, "He was deeply learned, without possessing useful knowledge; sagacious in many individual cases, without having real wisdom...He was fond of his dignity, while he was perpetually degrading it by undue familiarity; capable of much public labour, yet often neglecting it for the meanest amusement; a wit, though a pedant; and a scholar, though fond of the conversation of the ignorant and uneducated...He was laborious in trifles, and a trifler where serious labour was required; devout in his sentiments, and yet too often profane in his language ..."

Also described as "A man of medium height and somewhat corpulent, [he] managed to make his figure seem absurdly fat and clumsy, by having his green velvet dress quilted, so as to be dagger-proof, for he was both timid and cowardly. The ungainly protuberance thus artificially acquired was accentuated by a pair of weak legs, which caused him to roll about rather than walk, and to lean on other men's shoulders when standing...".

Yes, good choice as absolute monarch. He does get a couple of Likes, however – his counterblast against tobacco, and his commissioning of the Authorised Version of the Bible.

1One of the greatest disasters ever to befall the English throne, apart from the Battle of Hastings, was the unexpected death of Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales and Heir Apparent, who would otherwise have become Henry IX. Able, handsome, valiant, immensely popular, and a resolute Protestant, he died of typhoid after going for a swim in the Thames. So in due course we got the appalling Charles I instead. The National Gallery in London mounted a fascinating and eye-opening exhibition of Henry's life and times some years ago.

2It is said that the infant heir to the throne, James (Francis Edward) Stuart, was the baby to whom the nursery rhyme Rock-a-Bye, Baby referred (see Pop Goes the Weasel, Albert Jack, Penguin 2010, p 184).

3Or more logically a diarchy. Or biarchy, though this doesn't get Wikipedia's buy-in. A dual monarchy is a constitutional assertion that 1 + 1 = 1, similar to the Athanasian theological assertion that 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. For word-nerds such as myself, it's interesting to discover that between unity and trinity there does come binity (to rhyme with finity), a rarely used term of the doctrinal art these days, but frequently employed long ago (so I now understand) in debates as to the possible nature of Christ.