Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Anne of Denmark
ANNE OF DENMARK (1574–1619), queen consort, according to the style adopted by her husband, King James I, of Great Britain (France) and Ireland, was born at Skanderborg, in Jutland, 12 Dec. 1574 (not 1575, as sometimes stated; see Resen, Kong Friderichs II Krönjcke, 278). Her father, King Frederick II of Denmark and Norway (of the Oldenburg line of the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein), belonged to a family that had early thrown in its cause with that of the Lutheran Reformation, and was himself an orthodox and persecuting Lutheran. Anne's mother was Sophia, daughter of Ulric III, duke of Mecklenburg, and at that time bishop of Schwerin, and she also came from an orthodox Lutheran stock (Rudloff, Handbuch der Mecklenburgischen Geschichte, part iii. vol. ii.). Queen Sophia was a highly gifted princess, and took an interest in the scientific researches of Tycho Brahe, who was protected by her husband; and after her forced retirement from public life soon after her husband's death (1588), she devoted part of her leisure to the study of astronomy, chemistry, and other sciences. Writing from Roeskilde, 10 Aug. 1588, Daniel Rogers speaks of her to Burghley as ‘a right vertuous and godlie princesse, which, with a motherlie care and great wisedome, ruleth the children’ (Ellis, Original Letters, 2nd series, iii. 149. As to Queen Sophia, see also E. C. Werlauff, Sophia af Meklenborg, Copenhagen, 1841). These children were seven in number. Of the four daughters the eldest, Elizabeth, married Duke Henry Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, who played a more memorable part in literary than in political history; the second was Anne; the third, Augusta, married Duke John Adolphus of Holstein-Gottorp; and the fourth, Hedwig, the Elector Christian II of Saxony, after having missed the hand of the future Emperor Ferdinand II (see Gindely, Geschichte des dreissigjährigen Krieges, i. 183). The eldest son was Christian IV of Denmark (1588–1648), the most famous of her kings. Anne's second brother, Ulric, bishop of Schwerin and Schleswig, is found at the English court in 1604–5, when he urges renewal of the war with Spain (Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, James I, 9 Jan. 1605), and is described as ‘not very rytche any way’ (Lord Lumley to Earl of Shrewsbury in Nichols's Progresses of James I, i. 466), a circumstance which may be connected with his speculations upon the hand of Lady Arabella Stuart (see Miss Strickland, Lives of the Queens of England, vii. 416). The third brother, John, died young at Moscow, ‘when about to marry.’
If the absurd story be authentic, according to which the Princess Anne was carried about in the arms of her attendants without being allowed to walk alone till after she was nine years old, the etiquette of the Danish court must have been as rigorous as the pride of the Danish royal family was high; fortunately, however, as Miss Strickland points out, no ill came of it, since its victim ‘was afterwards very famous for her agile dancing.’ There appear to be no traditions as to the more advanced stages of the training of the Princess Anna (it was thus that she always spelled her name). She probably received a fair education, though her innate frivolity was in some respects proof against its influence. Either in her youth or later she learned to write a singularly beautiful hand; and she had a sprightliness of style which may or may not have come by nature.
Before her childhood had ended, negotiations concerning her marriage had begun. In the year 1585, according to Sir James Melville, Queen Elizabeth of England was, by her intelligence from Denmark, advertised ‘of a gret and magnifik ambassade send be the King of Denmark in Scotland; thre ambassadours, with a sexscore of persones, in twa braue schippis.’ Melville adds that he cannot tell whether she suspected a marriage to be the ultimate purpose of the embassy; but it is obvious that the English council feared that the Danes intended a close alliance with Scotland, and that accordingly Wotton was sent into that country to counteract any such design. From a comparison of Melville's account (in which as usual Melville plays the leading part) with that in the ‘Historie and Life of King James the Sext,’ it seems clear that the primary object of this Danish embassy, sent in July 1585, was to negotiate the restitution of the Orkney and Shetland isles to the Danish crown, which had been pledged as security for the dowry of Margaret, daughter of King Christian I of Denmark, on her marriage with James III of Scotland in 1469. The ambassadors had no instructions to speak of any marriage; but before they took their departure they contrived to let it be known that the King of Denmark had fair daughters, a marriage with any one of whom would, as they supposed, settle the Orkney claim at the same time. Notwithstanding the endeavours of Wotton and his friends to prejudice King James against a Danish alliance, he was in the end, by Melville's eloquence or otherwise, induced to return civil though dilatory answers; and the Danish ambassadors departed, satisfied, in August. King James VI was at this time only in his twentieth year, but he had other and more cogent reasons for hesitating about marriage. Queen Elizabeth, who still kept the mother in durance, assumed to herself the right of controlling to some extent the conduct of the son. Whether or not James was to be her successor, he must be her subservient ally; and she would not hear of the Danish connection. Towards the end of 1585 King James had gone so far as to send his almoner, Peter Young, to Denmark, to make polite speeches and discreet inquiries, and to promise a more honourable embassy. Young and Colonel Stuart, who had followed him to Denmark on his own business, returned in 1586 ‘with sa gud and frendly answers, that ther was little mair mention maid of the restitution of the ylles of Orkeney’ (Melville). Meanwhile Wotton's intrigues continued, growing, if Melville is to be believed, into grave designs against the king himself, the discovery of which led to the English ambassador's flight from Scotland. In the following year, 1587, the Scottish nobility had been roused to vehement indignation against Queen Elizabeth by the execution of Queen Mary; and at the same convention in which the king was called upon to revenge his mother's murder, ‘the nobilitie concludit that the kinge's marriage with Denmarc suld be followit furth’ (Historie and Life, p. 230). In vain Queen Elizabeth had influenced the secretary (from 1588 chancellor) Maitland and others of the dominant party against the proposed marriage; Maitland ultimately proved to be chiefly intent upon securing for himself a slice of the lordship of Dunfermline that would eventually form part of the queen's settlement, and the king was becoming more and more bent upon the match, though still proceeding with great caution. Early in 1588 the laird of Barnbarroch and Peter Young were once more sent to the King of Denmark, who now began to complain of vexatious delay. Possibly he was aware that, shortly after the despatch of these agents from Scotland, Du Bartas (the poet) had arrived there on a confidential mission from King Henry of Navarre to propose the hand of his sister Catharine to King James. But this scheme came to nothing, and Queen Elizabeth, who had favoured it, now counselled the king to suit himself in marriage, but not in such a way as might not suit her (cf. Camden's History or Annals of England under Elizabeth, ap. Kennet, ii. 1706). King Frederick II's death, which occurred in April 1588, doubtless caused further delay; but it seems to be an incorrect statement that his eldest daughter Elizabeth was married before his second daughter (Elizabeth married 19 April 1590; see Cohn's Stammtafeln, No. 86). At last, in June 1589, Earl Marishal, accompanied by Lord Dingwall and a retinue of knights and gentlemen, sailed for Copenhagen; and on 20 Aug. the Princess Anne was duly married by proxy to King James VI. She soon embarked upon her homeward journey with her proxy husband, Earl Marishal; but tempestuous winds drove them upon the coast of Norway, where they stayed for some time awaiting fair weather. ‘Quhilk storm of wind was allegit to haue bene raised be the witches of Denmark, be the confessioun of sindre of them, when they wer brunt for that cause’ (Melville, 369). The bride's own ship was missing for three nights, and in a most perilous condition before it was found by the ambassador's ship (Calderwood, History of the Kirk, v. 59). Meanwhile James was impatiently awaiting their arrival in Scotland, where the weather was likewise stormy, and the chancellor Maitland, whom the king charged with having caused the untoward delay, suggested to him the adventurous project of putting to sea himself to fetch home his bride. James resolved, in Mr. Burton's words, ‘to have one romance in his life,’ and after issuing a most extraordinary proclamation to his people in explanation of his conduct (see Burton, vi. 39–41) sailed from Leith, 22 Oct. 1589, on his chivalrous errand, accompanied by the chancellor Maitland and others. On the 28th he landed at Slaikray, on the coast of Norway, and thence proceeded to Opsloe (on the site of which Christiania was afterwards founded by Christian IV), where Queen Anne was waiting. At their meeting, which took place on 19 Nov., ‘his majestie myndit to giue the queine a kiss after the Scotis faschioun, quhilk sho refusit, as not being the forme of hir cuntrie. Efter a few wordis prively spoken betuix his majestie and hir, thair past familiaritie and kisses.’ On the 23rd they were married at Upslo by David Lyndsay, minister at Leith. ‘The bancket was maid efter the best forme they could for the tyme’ (MS. quoted in Documents relative to the Reception at Edinburgh of the Kings and Queens of Scotland, cited in the introduction to the Maitland Club Letters, p. xvii). The king's intention of speedily returning to Scotland, announced in his proclamation, was once more frustrated by stormy weather; and at the invitation of the queen dowager and council of Denmark the newly married couple spent the remainder of the winter in that country, where Anne appears to have gone through the marriage ceremony for the third time at Kronenborg. According to Archbishop Spottiswoode (History of the Church and State of Scotland, fol., p. 380, incorrectly given by Miss Strickland, u. s. p. 337), the Danish government, on the occasion of the ‘compleating’ of the marriage, abandoned all claim of right to the Orkneys till King Christian IV should have come of age. This was a temporary abandonment only, and the most recent historian of Scotland states it to have been ‘a question fertile in ingenious speculations in international law, whether, if payment of the dower of Margaret of Norway should at any time be offered, Britain would be bound to restore the islands’ (Burton, iii. 166).
On 21 April 1590 the royal couple sailed from Kronenborg, and on 1 May they landed at Leith. Great preparations had been made to welcome them, and the lord provost and baillies of Edinburgh had judiciously resolved to ‘propyne’ the queen with a magnificent jewel which the king had pledged to the town for 4,000l. But Holyrood Palace was, after all, not ready for their reception till the 6th of that month. The queen's solemn entry into Edinburgh was to have taken place on the same day as her coronation, 17 May; but as this was the Lord's Day, it was decided ‘among the ministers’ that, though the coronation might be held upon it, the entry might not, and the latter ceremony was accordingly deferred to the 19th. On this occasion the queen enjoyed a foretaste of that allegorical pageantry which afterwards became one of the ruling passions of her life; and Andrew Melville delivered an oration to the Danish ambassadors which was commended by Joseph Scaliger in the memorable words, ‘Profecto nos talia non possumus’ (Calderwood, u. s. 95–6). Immediately after her arrival in Scotland she had taken legal possession of the three lordships of Falkland, Dunfermline, and Linlithgow belonging to her dowry. She afterwards indulged her love of building in the renovation of her palace at Dunfermline. As late, however, as 1593, a Danish embassy arrived to ‘demand a just rental of her dowry in Scotland’ (Historie of James the Sext).
According to the enthusiastic testimony of the minister who married her at Upslo, Anne was at this time a beautiful girl. Even in later times her white skin and yellow hair were admired, though Osborne, in his ‘Traditionall Memoyres,’ unkindly describes the former as ‘far more amiable than the features it covered.’ But though the world and she might now seem to smile on one another, there were other reasons besides her youth and good looks why it behoved her to move warily in the strange court and country in which her lot had fallen. The ceaseless strife of the Scottish factions was full of perils for her high spirit and inexperience, and she was quite out of sympathy with the dominant religious sentiment of the people. At first she manifested a dislike to the counsellor whom the king had placed in her household; but, if Sir James Melville's account is to be trusted, the successful way in which he fulfilled his delicate functions at length gained him her goodwill. To the charges brought against Bothwell (Francis Stuart) of having been guiltily mixed up with the witchcraft that had delayed her coming, she was of course a stranger. Scandalous rumours arose on the occasion of the death of the Earl of Murray (son-in-law of the Regent Murray), who, being supposed to favour Bothwell's desperate designs, was massacred by the Earl of Huntly and his Roman catholic followers in February 1592. But there is no clear proof that the deed was done by the king's command, and no proof of any kind to show that the queen had given him cause for jealousy (Burton, vi. 59). Nor is there anything to connect Queen Anne with the escapade of her gentlewoman, Margaret Twynstoun, who in the same year enabled Wemys of Logie, accused of intercourse with Bothwell, to escape at night-time out of the window of the queen's chamber (Historie and Life of James the Sext, 253–4). It would, however, certainly seem as if the party which was opposed to the influence of the chancellor Maitland, and which had brought about his temporary dismissal, had found a supporter in the queen, till he contrived to make his peace with her after recovering the royal favour (Melville, 405). To suppose, on the other hand, that she in any way abetted the mad attempts of Bothwell upon the royal palaces and their inmates, would amount to nothing short of injustice. The birth of her eldest son at Stirling on 19 Feb. 1594—the year of the last of Bothwell's exploits—was the best encouragement for the loyalty which had defeated them. There was now an heir to the throne.
Henry Frederick, prince of Carrick, and afterwards prince of Wales, was fondly loved by his mother, whom, at least in the days of his later boyhood, he was said greatly to resemble (Chamberlain to Carleton, 13 Nov. 1611, ap. Birch). When he died in 1612—the young Marcellus of English history—she passionately mourned his premature death; a full month after that event, though her conversation had recovered some of its cheerfulness, she is described as sitting in a darkened room hung with black; nor would she, in 1614, attend a solemnity of which her second son was to be the central figure, lest she should renew her grief by the memory of his brother. In Prince Henry's early days the question of his custody was the chief trouble of his mother's life. Already, in 1595, the king had committed the charge of the prince to the Earl of Mar, solemnly admonishing him, ‘in case God should call me at any time, to see that neither for the queen nor estates their pleasure, you deliver him till he be eighteen, and that he command you himself.’ The queen's wish to have the prince brought up in the castle at Edinburgh was accordingly refused by the earl, with the king's approval. For the present she made no further attempt. On 15 Aug. 1596 she gave birth to her eldest daughter, the admired Princess Elizabeth and Rose of Bohemia of later days. Considering her destiny, it is curious that the care of her should have been committed to Lord Livingstone, whose wife was a Roman catholic. Great discontent was hereby aroused among the ministers of the Kirk, who were at that time greatly exercised by the leniency shown by the government towards the ‘popish lords.’ The occasion of the child's christening was taken advantage of by the general assembly to review the morals and manners of the court, and in particular to express a desire for the reformation of the queen's majesty's ministry, as well as to animadvert upon ‘her company, her not repairing to the Word and sacraments, night-waking, balling, &c., and such like concerning her gentlewomen’ (Burton, vi. 75–77).
Queen Anne can hardly at this early date have entertained the personal predilection for Rome which was afterwards imputed to her. A deadlier antagonism than that between the Lutheranism in which she had been brought up and the Calvinism which now confronted her could not easily be imagined; and in the closing years of the sixteenth century this conflict had reached its climax. Stimulus enough was given to the hopes of the Roman Catholics that Prince Henry too might be placed in the care of a member of their faith by the negotiations which, beyond a doubt, King James was, during these years of expectation, carrying on with Rome or her agents. Queen Anne's second daughter, Margaret (who died in infancy), was born at Dalkeith Palace, 24 Dec. 1598; her second son, Charles, at Dunfermline on 19 Nov. 1600—the same day, as the ecclesiastical historian (Calderwood) pleasantly puts it, ‘that Gowrie's and his brother's carcasses were dismembered.’ It would be futile to dwell on the foul scandals and vague rumours which attributed to Queen Anne the moral responsibility for part or the whole of the Gowrie tragedy, especially as, not long after its occurrence, the king and queen seem to have been on the best of terms with one another. In April or May 1601 a fifth child, ‘Duik Robert,’ was born to them, who died in infancy. A daughter (Mary), born at Greenwich in April 1605, who died in 1607, was the youngest of their children.
On 24 March 1603 Queen Elizabeth died, and King James I was proclaimed in London. Twelve days afterwards he had started on his southward journey, his queen not accompanying him, for the simple reason that the ladies of the household could not wait on her till after the late queen's funeral (Calendar of State Papers, 14 April 1603); though before she left Scotland she received from him the jewels which had been the ordinary wear of her predecessor. Not unnaturally perhaps, Queen Anne appears to have been moved by the increase of grandeur in her position, as well as by the fact of her husband's absence, to give the rein to her self-will, seeking to take the appointments to her household into her own hands, and, above all, resolving to make one more attempt to obtain possession of the person of her eldest son. The Earl of Mar having accompanied the king to London, the prince and his sister had been placed under the care of the old countess, who refused to deliver the prince up to the queen. The latter was so much incensed by this refusal, that she fell into a fever which caused a miscarriage. The king, though approving the conduct of the Mar family, hereupon sent the Duke of Lennox to Scotland with a warrant empowering him to receive the prince and deliver him up to the queen; but she now refused to be satisfied by this, and demanded a public reparation from the Earl of Mar. Finally the difficulty was adjusted by the king, whose letters in this matter (see Maitland Club Letters) show much good feeling as well as judgment, and the queen started for England with her eldest son on 2 June 1603. It is curious to find Cecil protesting to the queen that had he been consulted by her in these ‘accidents of Scotland,’ he would have supported her cause, her interest being with him paramount over all others (Calendar of State Papers, May 1603). In the sequel Salisbury, though on one occasion he felt constrained to disoblige, and received very hard words from her in consequence (Goodman's Court of King James I, i. 37–8), on the whole contrived to render her so many services that she could not ignore her indebtedness to him (Viscount Lisle to Salisbury, Calendar of State Papers, 19 Aug. 1611).
Queen Anne's journey was conducted with considerable pomp, the warrant of charges for her lords and ladies alone amounting to 2,000l. At Berwick there had been some difficulties about the household, and the intended meeting between king and queen at York had not taken place there. But at Althorpe (near Northampton) Ben Jonson's charming ‘Mask of the Fairies’ appropriately welcomed Oriana, while the observant Lady Anne Clifford noted that the queen ‘shewed no favoure to the elderly Las, but to my La. Rich, and such like companie’ (Nichols, i. 174). At Easton Neston the courts joined, and king and queen met; and on 2 July Windsor was reached. It was here that the curious incident of the quarrel between Lords Southampton and Grey of Wilton occurred in the queen's presence, and led to a very hot-tempered letter to the king on the part of the queen herself. On 24 July both were crowned, ‘it being then very bad weather and the pestilence mightily raging.’ It was noted that the queen declined to receive the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England (Birch's State Papers, cited by Miss Strickland, p. 409), but whether from Lutheran dogmatic considerations, or, as was suspected, from Roman catholic leanings, cannot be decided. The entry through the city of London was deferred till 15 March, for which occasion Dekker devised the solemnity. An unusually liberal jointure (5,000l. a year in land) was settled upon her, the chief offices of her household were filled up, and the day of her splendour had begun.
The serious business of Queen Anne's life might almost seem to have consisted in its pleasures. Of these the chief was her participation in the entertainments which, especially of course at court, absorbed so large a share of the time and of the intellectual activity of her generation, and which exercised no inconsiderable influence upon the progress of English literature and art. If the name of Queen Elizabeth is traditionally associated with the greatest period of our drama, that of Queen Anne—Ben Jonson's Oriana, or, as he afterwards preferred to name her, Bel-Anna—links itself in its turn with the history of the English mask, and of cognate entertainments. The details of her patronage of these must be read in Nichols's elaborate volumes; among the authors whose masks were produced by her orders or for her entertainment were, besides Jonson, Daniel and Campion; among the pieces in which she personally appeared were Jonson's ‘Mask of Blackness’ (1604), his ‘Mask of Queens’ (1609), and Daniel's ‘Tethys' Festival’ (1610). As late as the year 1617 we find her dancing in a mask at Twelfth-night with the newly-made Earl of Buckingham and the Earl of Montgomery. By that time it may be supposed that she had begun to eschew apparel for herself, if not for her ladies, which in 1604–5 had struck Sir Dudley Carleton as ‘too light and curtezan-like for such great ones,’ though another observer, about the same time, was enchanted by ‘her seemely hayre downe trailing on her princely-bearing shoulders.’ She was fond of progresses through the country, starting on her first with the king almost immediately after their coronation (in August 1603); that which seems to have given her the greatest satisfaction was her progress in 1613 to Bath, where the Queen's Bath was named in her honour with an inscription in bad Latin, and to Bristol, whence she departed with tears, saying that ‘she never knew she was a queen till she came to Bristol.’ This journey (as to which see Nichols, ii. 640 seqq.) was estimated by Chamberlain as likely to cost 30,000l. A theatrical company of youths was not long afterwards licensed, at the mediation of the queen on behalf of Samuel Daniel, to perform tragedies and comedies at Bristol under the name of the Youths of her Majesty's Chamber there (Calendar of State Papers, 10 July 1615). In addition to her passion for these entertainments and for the extravagance which they entailed in dress and such-like matters (Chamberlain to Carleton, 8 Jan. 1608), in addition to her expensive dealings with her silkman, with purveyors of ‘physical and odoriferous parcels,’ and, above all, with the court jewellers, Herriot and Van Lore—of which the State Papers contain frequent notices—she indulged the taste for building which she had already gratified in Scotland. We hear of her in 1617 ‘building at Greenwich, after a plan of Inigo Jones,’ and she was continually making architectural changes in her London residence, Somerset House, which was rechristened Denmark House early in that year (Birch's Letters in Court and Times of James I, i. 461). Under these circumstances it is not wonderful that Bacon and others should have contrasted the economy of Queen Elizabeth's reign with the expenditure that ensued under her successor; and that Queen Anne, notwithstanding the income which she enjoyed, and the grants and gifts which supplemented it, should have lived and died in debt. In 1605 Salisbury noted her total expenditure at more than 50,000l.; and though in 1610 she held an annuity of 13,000l., besides a charge upon the sugar-duties afterwards estimated as worth 3,000l. a year to her, yet in the year following she is found owing her jeweller 9,000l., and nearly 8,000l. more to Sir John Spilman. In the same year (1611) the delightful estate of Oatlands in Surrey had been granted her; Greenwich House was added in 1614, and the honour of Pontefract in 1616. But she was never clear of difficulties. In 1614 she asks for (apparently without obtaining) a patent of the grant of coast-fishing licenses to foreigners; in 1615 she is unable to go to Bath for want of money, and has to negotiate a loan on some of her jewels with Sir John Spilman. In 1616 her debts are estimated by an auditor at very nearly 10,000l., and a plan is devised by Coke of limiting her annual expenditure to 16,000l. and having her accounts made up regularly once a year. Shortly afterwards the expenses of her household and the officers of her revenue are reckoned at rather over 4,000l. a year; and in 1617 it is resolved to increase her jointure on the death of the king to 20,000l. Finally, late in 1618, quite towards the close of her life, she obtained an ‘imposition upon white cloths,’ variously reckoned as worth 8,000l. and as worth nearly 10,000l. a year, and doubtless not the less welcome to her because it formed part of Somerset's forfeited allowance. A few months before she died she told Coke that she wished her debts paid out of her own revenues, without troubling the king, and her jewels, &c. annexed to the crown. The king appears to have wished these latter to be bequeathed to Prince Charles. Though a large number of them had been sold, yet, according to Howell, she ‘left a world of brave jewels behind.’ Chamberlain states that her jewels were ‘valuably rated at 400,000l., her plate at 90,000l., her ready coin 80,000 jacobus pieces; 124 whole pieces of cloth of gold and silver, besides other silks and linen for quantity and quality beyond any prince in Europe; and so for all kinds of hanging, bedding, and furniture answerable.’ He reckoned that by her demise the king saved in the expenses of her court 60,000l. a year, besides the grants on sugars and cloths, and ‘24,000l. that was her jointure and allowed her own purse.’ It may be added here that of her jewels a large number were said to have been embezzled after her death by her ‘Frenchman’ Pierro and, according to one account, by her Danish maid Anna; the ‘ready’ money was likewise said to be not forthcoming, and a troublesome inquiry took place which deeply exercised the gossips of the day. The queen's debts seem to have been gradually paid, although the pensions promised by her to her servants were said not to have been ratified by the king. (Most of the above details on Queen Anne's income and expenditure, with many others, will be found in the Calendars of State Papers, Domestic, 1603–1619; a few are taken from Birch's Letters in Court and Times of James I).
If Queen Anne inspired, or at least employed, artists and craftsmen of various kinds, her influence was less direct and in general less potent upon affairs of state and church in England. In 1605 it is said of her that ‘she carrieth no sway in state matters, and præter rem uxoriam hath no great reach in other affairs.’ But res uxoria is an elastic term, more especially in the case of a husband such as King James I. There can be no reasonable doubt as to the affection which subsisted between the king and the queen, notwithstanding the sneers of Sir Anthony Welldon and the foul slanders of Sir Edward Peyton. A curious letter from James I to Salisbury in August 1608, of which the original is in the British Museum, certainly suggests that the king was not without his jealous moments, for which the gaiety of the queen's disposition, very clearly recognisable in some of her letters, may have given him some superficial reason (see Introduction to Maitland Club Letters, p. xlix, and compare the facsimile letters 4, 5, 6 in the collection). But, as these letters likewise show, she was really attached to her husband, and Arthur Wilson, who had derived his information from Lord Essex, agrees with Bishop Goodman that they were on good terms together, defending her reputation as warmly as the courtly prelate defends that of her husband. The bishop, indeed, adds that in their later years they mostly lived apart. But she humoured the king's fondness for field-sports, and even, as the well-known anecdote of the dog Jewel's untimely end shows, tried on occasion to enter into them herself. In the last years of her life they were in some measure estranged by her dallyings with Rome; but the affection between them was not extinguished. When, in 1614, James had had a fall from his horse, she begged for leave to see him, but it was thought needless. In return he visited her twice in her illness, two months before her death. At the last he was prevented by a most serious malady from seeing her once more; but he was not unmindful of her death, though the lines which he wrote upon it exhibit no personal feeling of grief (they are cited from the State Papers by Gardiner, ii. 240). The statement that Queen Anne attended the representation of plays in which the king was made ridiculous is uncorroborated, nor is it easy to imagine to what plays it can refer.
The truth seems to be that Queen Anne was possessed of the kind of motherwit which is able to understand character without the aid of caricature. She soon found out that, though extremely jealous of being thought to be really under the control of his wife, the king liked to shelter himself against subsequent complaints on her part by granting her an imaginary influence over his choice of favourites. This rather subtle species of moral obliquity is excellently described by Archbishop Abbot: ‘King James had a fashion that he would never admit any to nearness about himself, but such ane one as the queen should commend unto him, and make some suit on his behalf, that if the queen afterwards being illtreated, should complain of this dear one, he might make his answer: “It is long of yourself, for you were the party that commended him unto us.” Our old master loved things of this nature.’ In this way, as well as by the liveliness of her temperament, the queen was induced to interfere in personal transactions of graver public import than the matrimonial matches to the making of which her energies were largely devoted. She was from the first much interested in Raleigh, and is said to have helped to alleviate his long years of durance by concessions which she obtained for him. Already in 1611 he implored her from prison to represent his hard case to the king, while reminding him of the advantages which might be derived, before it was too late, from the riches of Guiana. Then, in 1612, as the story ran, on the occasion of her eldest son's mortal illness she sent to Raleigh ‘for some of his cordial which she herself had taken in a fever some time before, with remarkable success,’ and which, as the inventor unfortunately assured her, ‘would certainly cure the prince, or any other, of a fever, except in case of poyson;’ so that the queen believed to her dying day that her beloved son had had foul play done him (Wilson, ii. 714, note). Whatever may be the truth of this anecdote, her goodwill towards Raleigh endured to the last. When in 1617 he was starting on his last and fatal expedition across the main, she would have visited his ship, had she not been prevented by Prince Charles. And when after his return his doom was descending upon him, and he had in solemn verse appealed to her to plead his cause, she wrote to Buckingham the letter which has naturally enough been regarded as one of her chief titles to a kindly popular remembrance. Although in her last years Queen Anne became estranged from the Spanish interest, yet it is clear that her efforts on behalf of Raleigh were dictated by personal rather than political sentiment. The fact that Raleigh's legal persecutor, Coke, also solicited the queen's intercession on his own behalf, is explained by the services he had previously rendered to her, and by her liking for his wife (Calendar of State Papers, June 1616; compare March and 6 July 1616). During the earlier part of the reign in England she had shown a predilection for Spain which most strangely contrasted with her birth and connections. Already on her arrival in England the French envoy De Rosni (Sully) reported her Spanish sentiments to his sovereign; and though Buzenval soon afterwards declared that she was wholly for the French alliance (Winwood, i. 31), hope must in this instance have told a flattering tale. In 1605 Salisbury was informed that she was anxious to alienate the king's favour from him, ‘as one who for your owne endes sought to crosse her desires of amitie with Spain’ (Cornwallis to Salisbury, ap. Winwood, i. 159); in the same year, though her brother Ulric was in England urging war with Spain, she refused to see the ambassadors from the States General. In the same way, though her brother King Christian IV was interested in the project of marriage between her daughter Elizabeth and the young elector palatine, it was only gradually that she was herself brought to lend her countenance to the match, to which, according to an apocryphal anecdote, she is moreover said to have objected as below the family dignity, deriding her daughter as ‘goody Palsgrave’ in consequence. A fit of the gout prevented her from taking part in the signing of the marriage contract, but she attended the wedding on February 12, robed ‘all in white, but not very rich, saving in jewels’ (Chamberlain to Mrs. Carleton, 8 Feb. 1613). She was also present at another marriage much talked of at the end of the same year and afterwards—the marriage between the new Earl of Somerset and the divorced Countess of Essex. But though she had favoured the notion of a Spanish marriage for Prince Charles, which was already in 1613 being advanced by Sarmiento (Gondomar), she had too strong an aversion from Somerset to aid the intrigues in the same direction into which he was entering about the year 1614, with the object of recovering the ascendency that he was beginning to lose. Possibly, the visit to England in 1614 of her brother King Christian IV (whose falsely reported death she had in 1612 ‘mourned in white taffeta’) may have helped to weaken whatever Spanish sympathies she retained. He had come this time unexpectedly and—to the gossips—unaccountably, not in magnificent state, as on his earlier visit in 1606, when, amidst the thunder of the navy guns, he had on Windmill Hill told King James that if he had spent half a kingdom on a conquest he could not have contented him half so well. At all events, with the help of the newly appointed secretary of state, Sir Ralph Winwood, the queen began to operate against Somerset, dark suspicions against whom may have had their weight with her; and in April 1615 she was prevailed upon through Archbishop Abbot (see his narrative in vol. i. of Rushworth's Collections) to persuade the king to appoint Villiers a gentleman of the bedchamber—the first step towards the supplanting of the favourite in esse, which was soon consummated by the Overbury scandal. With Villiers, as her correspondence shows, the queen was always on easy and excellent terms, though probably her personal influence over the king was never slighter than during the ascendency of his last favourite. In 1616 the queen was thought to aim at a regency during the king's absence in Scotland—whether for any motive beyond that of vanity does not appear. In her last years she showed a friendly feeling towards the French royal family, even when, in 1618, court ladies were beginning to adopt the catholic religion in expectation of the Spanish match (see Calendar of State Papers, 7 March 1618). Her own coquettings with Rome—for some such term seems, after all, appropriate—had come to an end at a rather earlier date. Their history on the whole forms the most curious chapter in her life, though different historians have put very different interpretations upon it. The hopes entertained by the catholics in Scotland in the years immediately preceding James's accession to the English throne have been already touched upon (Burton, vi. 137). In England rumour began to busy itself with the queen's supposed inclination towards Rome already at the time of her coronation, when she had refused to communicate according to the rites of the church of England. She had communicated on a subsequent occasion, and had accompanied the king to church on Christmas day, 1603. But she refused to do so again. Soon afterwards she received consecrated objects from Pope Clement VIII through Sir Arthur Standen, a catholic whom King James had sent on a mission to some of the Italian states. Standen, who made no secret of the matter, was sent to the Tower, the pope's gifts were returned, and some changes were made by the king in the queen's household. But the chief result of her first communications with Rome was a proclamation, in February 1604, for the banishment of all Jesuits and seminary priests (Gardiner, i. 116, 142–4). Towards the end of the same year Sir James Lindsay went to Rome, with instructions but without a mission, not a paid ambassador but a messenger who had been granted a pension beforehand. He was reported to have told the pope—but he denied the truth of the report—that the queen was already a catholic at heart, and that the king was, on certain conditions, ready to follow her example. At all events the pope had been much gratified by Lindsay's information, had appointed a committee of cardinals for considering the condition of England, and had ordered prayers to be offered up for her conversion (ib. 225–6). With these endeavours may perhaps be connected the journey from Spain to England, contrived by the jesuit Walpole in 1605, of a lady, who is manifestly to be identified with Donna Luisa de Carvajal, ‘with purpose to convert the queen our mistress to the Roman religion.’ Great hopes were entertained of this visitor, but already in the same year her endeavours are said to have met with little success (Winwood, Memorials, ii. 149, 157). The events of this year 1605—the year of the Gunpowder plot—could not but repress any desire in high places to show favour to catholicism; and the queen had special reason to be cautious, as Garnet, in a statement which the king would not allow to be given in evidence, had referred to her as ‘most regarded of the pope’ (Gardiner, u. s., 280, note). Thus it was not till some years afterwards, under Paul V, that Rome, this time in a less sanguine spirit, again took up the English question (Brosch, Geschichte des Kirchenstaates, i. 366). In 1608 the Savoy ambassador at Madrid told Sir Charles Cornwallis that Philip III and the Duke of Lerma had been very hopeful that a toleration of catholicism would within a few years be granted in England, partly because of ‘the great inclination of the queen,’ but that Lerma had now changed his opinion, confessing to having been misinformed about the queen (Winwood, Memorials, ii. 485). In 1612, however, her supposed leaning to catholicism was once more made the subject of speculation. According to Galluzzi (Storia del Granducato di Toscana, lib. vi. cap. ii.) among the courts which in 1611 and 1612 were anxious to secure a matrimonial alliance for one of their princesses with Henry, Prince of Wales, was that of Florence, where the grand duke, Cosmo II, was desirous of marrying his sister Catharine to the English prince, hoping that the prospects of catholicism in England would benefit by the match. The Cavalier Ottaviano Lotti, who represented the grand duke in London, was very popular at court there; and him ‘the queen had admitted to the secret of her catholicism, and he served her in procuring her from Rome indulgences and devozioni;’ and the Prince of Wales desired him for his companion. Pope Paul V, however, could not be prevailed upon to approve of the scheme, and forbade its being carried on further. Lotti was therefore charged to accumulate all possible arguments for persuading the pope of the usefulness of the match for converting the island; and he was further instructed to try to interest Queen Anne in the matter, and to extract from her some documentary attestation of her sincerity in the catholic faith and of the hopes they had to induce the prince to profess it. Lotti did as he was bid, and the queen furnished him with a memorandum in which, while professing herself a catholic and desirous of the re-establishment of catholicism in the island, she showed that this could not be effected unless the pope obtained for her a daughter-in-law of that communion, adding that the prince was not firm in Anglican opinions. She assured his holiness of the desire of all good catholics in England that the marriage should be brought about, and finally, in a letter all in her own hand, declared herself the pope's most obedient daughter, and prayed him to believe what Lotti should have said in her name. But though the principal English catholics all added their instances to those of the queen, the pope was not to be moved; and the grand duke hereupon hit upon the plan of sending his sister to Lorraine, where Prince Henry was to marry her out of hand. But when Lotti returned to England to broach this device, he found things entirely changed at court there—Salisbury dead, and other marriages for the prince on the carpet. The death of Prince Henry in November 1612 put an end to the business. This circumstantial story, which was rather grandiloquently referred to in an article on Ranke's ‘Popes’ in the ‘Quarterly Review,’ April 1837, but which has not found its way into other histories, probably contains a considerable substratum of fact. At the same time what is known of the religious views of Prince Henry conflicts so strongly with one of the statements in the narrative as to throw some doubt upon the others. According to despatches now at Simancas sent by Gondomar in 1613, at the time when he was using the influence of the queen to help him to divert King James from the French alliance, she at that time attended the services of the church of England with the king, but ‘she never could be induced to partake of the communion at the hands of a protestant minister, and those who were admitted to her privacy in Denmark House knew well that as often as she thought she could escape observation she was in the habit of repairing to a garret for the purpose of hearing mass from the lips of a catholic priest, who was smuggled in for the purpose’ (Gardiner, ii. 225). The main influence which had inclined her to catholicism was ascribed to the first lady of her bedchamber, Mrs. (Miss) Drummond, who was in the receipt of a pension from Spain. When this lady married and returned to Scotland in 1613, a powerful influence was removed; but the queen continued to indulge her inclination towards Rome, and at Oatlands had two priests, one of whom said mass daily in her presence. They forbade her accompanying her husband to church, so that angry words passed between the king and queen, and he complained to Gondomar of the change which he found in her (ib. 293). When, in 1615, we find the lady of the archduke's ambassador appealing to the queen to intercede for the release of ten priests, this request might be sufficiently explained by her reputation for kindness of heart (Cal. of State Papers, July (?) 1615, and compare ib. July 14). And there is satisfactory proof that, when her last hour came, she made open profession of protestantism. Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, and King, bishop of London, attended at her deathbed; when not only did she follow their prayers word by word, but in answer to the archbishop she declared that she ‘renounced the mediation of all saints and her own merits, and relied only upon her Saviour’ (Burton, vi. 169, from a paper, ‘Madam the Queen's Death and Maner theirof,’ among Sir James Balfour's MSS.; Abbotsford Miscellany, 81; compare also Sir Edward Harwood to Carleton, 6 March 1619, Cal. State Papers). Thus the Church of Rome could not actually claim as a convert the sister of Christian IV, as she could the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus.
Beyond these traces of her relation to the main currents of English life and opinion in the first quarter of the seventeenth century there is little to be noted in the biography of Anne of Denmark. Among the ladies of her court, Lucy, countess of Bedford, the friend of Donne and the patroness of Jonson, Daniel, and many other poets, had earliest obtained her confidence; another favourite was the well-known Lady Anne Clifford, daughter of the proud Earl of Cumberland, and successively countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery; a third was the Mrs. Drummond, afterwards Lady Roxborough, already mentioned. The voluble Sir Robert Carey was at one time much trusted by her, and spoken of as her favourite. Her partiality for Lord Herbert of Cherbury rests on his own evidence, which is to be found in some of the most delightfully coxcombical passages in the whole range of biographical literature (Life of Edward, Lord H. of C., written by himself, pp. 148–53, ed. 1826). Among the officers of her household were Sir George Carew as vice-chamberlain and receiver, Lawrence Hyde as attorney-general, and Sir Matthew Lister as physician-in-ordinary. She had another physician named Schoverus, who, like her chaplain Seringius, may have been of Danish origin; and she was, of course, likewise attended by the great Mayerne, whose pension of 400l. from her, added to the same sum from the king and ‘many other commodities,’ so deeply excited the jealousy of Casaubon. (Mayerne's sagacious saying of the queen is preserved, that she ‘has the faith in the baths which often leads to a cure.’) To the last, however, she seems to have had about her one if not more of the attendants whom she had brought with her from her Danish home. (‘Beloe, the queen's man,’ is probably mis-spelt for Bülow.) ‘Anna, the queen's Danish maid,’ is frequently mentioned; according to Miss Strickland her name was Anna Kroas; and doubtless she is the person who, under the name of ‘Mrs. Anna Maria,’ is stated to have walked at the queen's funeral. She had attended her mistress at her deathbed; and one would fain disbelieve the story, already referred to, that after the queen's death she was with another culprit ‘clapt up for embezzling of jewels (as it is thought) to the value of 30,000l.’ (Chamberlain to Carleton, 31 May 1619; see Nichols, Progresses of James I, iii. 549).
Queen Anne had suffered for many years—since 1612 at all events—from a malady which had been at first thought to be gout, but which ultimately, after much and at times almost unbearable suffering, declared itself as dropsy. About Christmas 1618 her case was thought dangerous, though not desperate, and she was then still able to attend a whole sermon, preached in her inner chamber by the Bishop of London. Already, in accordance with the habits of shameless greed which characterised court and society under James I, the courtiers began to ‘lay about them,’ and plot for the distribution of the spoils. She lay at Hampton Court, while the king was at Newmarket, where he fell seriously ill. Her condition improved slightly in January and February; nor was it till 2 March that she died. During her last illness she had been free from pain, her vitality having, as the autopsy afterwards showed, wasted away. She had expressed a wish to see her husband, but her death seems after all to have been rather sudden, so that, notwithstanding reports to the contrary, she died without a will, leaving her affairs, as has been already stated, in some confusion. Her funeral, after being long deferred—partly, it would seem, for want of money—took place on 13 May; some thought it ‘very dull;’ according to a more balanced judgment it ‘was better than that of Prince Henry, but fell short of Queen Elizabeth's; the chariot and six horses in which her effigy was drawn were most remarkable’ (Chamberlain to Carleton, Brent to Carleton, Cal. of State Papers, 14 and 15 May 1619).
Between 18 Nov. and 16 Dec. 1618, ‘a mighty blazing comet which appeared in Libra, whose bearded beams covered the Virgin sign,’ had been visible in England; and the common people ‘thought this great light in heaven was sent as a flambeau to the queen's funeral; their dark minds not discovering, while this blaze was burning, the fire of war that broke out in Bohemia, wherein many thousands perished’ (Arthur Wilson). In truth, no mighty life was extinguished when this Anna Regina died (it was in this form that her name and title had been ‘danced in letters’ in a mask at Greenwich two years before). But there is evidence enough that she had been a popular queen; when she had been ill she had been ‘wished well;’ ‘she cannot do amiss,’ it had been trusted, ‘that has so many good wishes;’ and a few days after her decease she was said to be ‘much lamented, having benefited many and injured none; she died most willingly, and was more comely in death than ever in life’ (Sir Gerard Herbert to Carleton, 16 March 1619, in Cal. of State Papers). Simple tributes of kindly feeling such as this have a better historical value than the ‘Lachrymæ Cantabrigienses’ and other occasional sorrowings that were sprinkled upon her grave. (For a bibliographical list of tracts on the death of Queen Anne see Nichols's Progresses of James I, iii. 534.) The people liked her if they did not love her, because of her good humour and high spirits, because of her gaiety and love of amusement; when she had nothing better, she told her husband, she was not a little pleased with ‘practise of tilting, of riding, of drumming, and of musike;’ and when she had first come to England her princely example had taught Arabella Stuart ‘to play the childe again.’ They also liked her because of the shows and the free expenditure which were the natural results of these tastes and qualities. She was a virtuous wife, an affectionate mother, and a faithful friend; she was both generous and compassionate as becomes a queen and a woman; she had the courage of her race as well as its quick temper; and in the midst of her mostly frivolous existence she would seem to have cherished a desire if not to have possessed a capacity for higher things.
[Miss Strickland's Anne of Denmark in Lives of the Queens of England, vol. vii. (1844).—For the period before 1603: The Historie and Life of King James the Sext, printed for the Bannatyne Club, 1825; Sir James Melville's Memoirs of his own Life, printed for the Bannatyne Club, 1827; Calderwood's History of the Kirk of Scotland, edited by T. Thomson, 1844, vols. v. and vi.; Camden's History or Annals of England under Elizabeth; Burton's History of Scotland, vol. vi.—For the period from 1606: Calendar of State Papers, James I, Domestic Series, vols. i. ii. iii.; The Court and Times of James I illustrated by Authentic and Confidential Letters (from Birch's Collections), 2 vols. 1848; Nichols's Progresses of King James I, 4 vols. 1828; Sir Ralph Winwood's Memorials of Affairs of State in the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I, vol. ii.; Camden's Annals in the Reign of King James I; Arthur Wilson, The Life and Reign of James the First, King of Great Britain; Bishop Goodman, The Court of King James I, edited by J. Brewer, 2 vols. 1839; S. R. Gardiner's History of England, 1603–1642, vols. i.–iii. 1883. Miss Aikin's Court of James I, 2 vols. 1822, is full of pleasant gossip; while the Secret History of the Court of James I, 2 vols. 1811, comprises all the malice and slander of Welldon and Peyton. For both periods should be compared the Letters to King James the Sixth from the Queen, Prince Henry, &c., printed from the originals in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates for the Maitland Club, 1835, and the Introduction prefixed to them. Among the portraits of Queen Anne there is a characteristic one in the Master's lodge at St. John's College, Cambridge.]