My quest to find as much information as I can about (and surrounding) the year 1642 has brought new information to me today. For a while now, I thought that I had reached a ‘brick wall’ in my search, as only information that I was already aware of was finding it’s way to me. I have still been keeping my eyes open, however, as there is still a lot of information out there.
My quest to find information began its life in two ways. Firstly, for many years, I have been seeing an image in my mind’s eye of what I think is a galleon, a large wooden sailing ship, and whenever I saw this image, I had a very strong feeling of familiarity with it. Lately, I haven’t noticed the image as much, and maybe this is because I have started to look more deeply into things. The second, and most probably, main reason why I began my quest was due to a dream I had. The dream involved the ship, and somebody (who I don’t really remember seeing in the dream) mentioned the year 1642. And that gave me something to ponder on.
1642, like many years in history, has it’s fair share of stories, events and people, and the more you look into history, the more interesting it becomes. I find it fascinating reading about past times, and my quest has taken me way back in time, to before the year 1000 in fact. At present, information is the only way we can time travel, and we can only look back on what has gone on before – but it is a fascinating journey to take, and you meet some very interesting characters along the way!
1642 is the year that the first English Civil War started. King Charles I was on the throne, and commander of one side of the battle (The Royalists or Cavaliers), and Oliver Cromwell commanded the other (The Roundheads or Parliamentarians). This war eventually was to see England become a republic for a few years.
King Charles I and his wife Henrietta Maria (of France) had seven children, six of whom survived infancy (Please remember seven). The seven children were Charles (who became King Charles II), James (who also became a king), Henry, Mary, Henriette, Elizabeth and Anne (who died aged three years old).
The present-day Princess Anne holds a title (or style) which stems back to it’s creation back in 1642. The Princess Royal. It’s a style that is given to the oldest daughter of a British monarch, and is for life, which means that there can only ever be one Princess Royal at any one time – and not all princesses who are eligible for the title receive it.
The Princess Royal that started the ‘tradition’, back in 1642, was Princess Mary. She held the title for eighteen years, until she died in 1660.
Seven Princesses Royal have existed since 1642:
- King Charles I’s daughter, Mary, 1642 – 1660
- King George II’s daughter, Anne, 1709 – 1759
- King George III’s daughter, Charlotte, 1789 – 1828
- Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, 1841 – 1901
- King Edward VII’s daughter, Louise, 1905 – 1931
- King George V’s daughter, Mary, 1932 – 1965
- Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter, Anne, 1987 onwards
The Princess Royal is also the name that has been given to five ships of the British Navy, the first one being a 90 gun second rate ship launched in 1682, although she began with a different name. Launched as HMS Ossory, she was renamed as HMS Prince in 1705, HMS Princess in 1716, and finally became HMS Princess Royal in 1728. She was eventually broken up in 1773. The last ship to hold the name saw service in a number of battles at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, but was also broken up in 1922. (Both of these ships, I must add, do not look like the ‘galleon’ I see in my mind’s eye!)
So, where does all this information leave me with regards to my quest? The answer is I still do not know! However, seven years (I asked you to remember seven for a reason!) after the last HMS Princess Royal was broken up, a Hungarian author named Frigyes Karinthy was the first person to theorise the concept of the Six Degrees of Separation (in a story called ‘Chains’). This theory is the idea that everyone on planet Earth is six steps or less away from any other person, by means of introduction. I wonder whether this works with information too? Maybe I am within six steps of finding my connection…