Tudors & Stuarts

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(Reigned 1702-1714)

Battle of Blenheim

The Battle Of Blenheim 1704
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For most of Queen Anne's reign, Britain was embroiled in a war with France known as The War of Spanish Succession (1701-1713). This war erupted when King Charles II of Spain died without an heir and the crown was passed to the King of France's grandson, Philip. Britain, and several other European powers, were afraid this would unite France and Spain and make them too powerful. They wanted Archduke Charles of Austria to be King of Spain instead. The war lasted over a decade and was fought all over Europe. The British won significant victories at the Battles of Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708) and Malplaquet (1709). The conflict also infected the American colonies in what became known as Queen Anne's War (1702-13). Here the British fought French, Spanish and some Native American tribes over territories.The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) helped to bring an end to The War of Spanish Succession. Philip was allowed to remain King of Spain so long as France and Spain did not unite.

Like all monarchs, Anne had her favourites, but in her case her favourites were women. For many years she was close friends with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, (1660-1744) but after a quarrel the duchess was supplanted in the queen's affections by Baroness Abigail Masham (c.1670-1734).

Anne was a popular queen, and always took a keen interest in matters of state, but was easily influenced by others. The Queen was very fond of liquor, which earned her the nickname 'Brandy Nan'. Anne was the last monarch to touch for Scrofula and the last monarch to veto a Bill of Parliament (1708). She was also the last Stuart monarch. When Anne died heirless in 1714, the crown passed to George Louis Hanover (1660-1627), a Protestant descendant of King James I, and the rule of the Hanovers (1714-1901) began.

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