Thursday, September 18, 2008

Family Fluff

Over the last few weeks I have been working on what I want to put on the outside of each of the five screens. To do this I started reading about the families. I have decided to focus on one person from the family during the time period of the game. What I found was some fairly interesting parts of 1600th century English history.

In most of the cases it was too bad that I had to reduce the history to a blurb. What will go on the game in some cases are even more condensed.

The high ranking Nobles sought power and money and killed each other to keep it:

Lady Jane Grey – Late 1536 to February 1554

She was also referred to as Queen Jane. She was the grandniece of Henry VIII of England.

Queen Jane ruled England for nine days in July 1553 is the shortest rule of England in its history.

Many high-ranking nobles proved themselves pliable to having Jane as Queen of England. Acting largely out of financial self-interest, they supported her even if only as part of a power struggle to keep Henry's first-born, the staunchly Catholic Mary, from ascending the throne. Jane's rule ended quickly when the nobles abandoned their support once they realized Mary had won the day. Mary pardoned Jane; however after a subsequent attempt by her supporters to seize the crown, Mary had her executed for high treason.

She was Consort to Lord Guilford Dudley.

Lady Jane had a reputation as one of the most learned women of her day.

Mary, Queen of Scots - Late 1542 – Early 1587

Mary Stuart was the first member of the royal House of Stuart to use the Gallicised spelling Stuart, rather than the earlier Stewart. Mary had adopted the French spelling Stuart during her time in France, and she and her descendants continued to use it.

The six- or seven-day-old Mary became Queen of Scotland when her father died at the age of 30. She was Queen for 25 years. Five-year-old Mary was sent to France to spend the next thirteen years at the French court. For about one year she was also the queen consort of France at age of 17.

Under the ordinary laws of succession, Mary was next in line to the English throne after her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, who was childless. In the eyes of many Catholics, Elizabeth was illegitimate, thus making Mary the true heir.

After a long period of custody in England, she was tried and executed for treason following her alleged involvement in three plots to assassinate Elizabeth I of England and place herself on the English throne.

Saint Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel – Mid 1557 to late 1595

Philip was an English nobleman.

Howard, and much of his family, remained Catholics during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when it was very dangerous to do so. They also attempted to leave England without permission. While some might have been able to do this quietly, Howard was second cousin of the Queen. He was committed to the Tower of London on 25 April 1585. While charges of high treason were never proved, he was to spend ten years in the Tower, until his death of dysentery. He had petitioned the Queen as he lay dying to allow him to see his beloved wife and his son, who had been born after his imprisonment. The Queen responded that if he would return to Protestantism his request would be granted. He refused and died alone in the Tower. He was immediately acclaimed as a Catholic Martyr.

The Howard family is called England’s second family.

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester – Mid 1532 to late 1588

Robert was the long standing favourite of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Robert Dudley was temporarily imprisoned, along with his father and brothers in the Tower of London, where his stay coincided with the imprisonment of his childhood friend, Lady Elizabeth Tudor, who had been sent there on the orders of her estranged elder sister, Queen Mary I of England.

He was executed in 1553 for his part in the attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne of England. (Lady Jane was married to Robert's youngest brother, Guilford Dudley.)

He is said to have poisoned his first wife Amy Robsart, and then later killed the Earl of Essex in order to marry his widow. Several leading aristocrats became suspicious of his machinations, perceived as motivated to place him at the seat of power, and moved to thwart him.

Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley - 1508 to Early 1549

The Seymour family's power grew during Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn, to whom his Thomas’ sister Jane became a lady in waiting. Anne failed to give King Henry a son, which gave the Seymour brothers an opportunity to push their sister in the King's direction. In fact, Henry married Jane eleven days after Anne's execution.

Eventually King Henry moved on to Catherine Parr. When Henry VIII died he left Catherine one of the wealthiest women in England.

Though Thomas Seymour's name had been linked to Mary Howard he schemed to marry either Princess Mary or Princess Elizabeth, Henry VIII's daughters. He was unsuccessful, though his secret marriage to Catherine Parr, Elizabeth's guardian, was viewed as an attempt to become close to the young princess.

When Princess Elizabeth had gone to live with Catherine, Thomas therefore acquired the guardianship of Elizabeth and also of Lady Jane Grey, another young member of the household. The overly-ambitious Thomas started to make advances toward Elizabeth.

Thomas developed a plan to kidnap King Edward VI. Guards arrested Thomas, and he was sent to the Tower of London. The council sent agents to question everyone associated with Thomas, including Princess Elizabeth, who by now was suspected of a sexual relationship with him and even of being pregnant with his child, and possibly of being involved with him in a plot to seize the throne from her half-brother, Edward VI. Later, the council officially accused him of thirty-three charges of treason.

After nearly being seduced by Thomas Seymour, Elizabeth learned to be considerably more wary in her interactions with men.

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