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What have you always wanted to know from History but were afraid to ask.....

(67 Posts)
Northernlurkerisbackatwork Wed 19-Sep-12 08:16:55

Thread for odd (in every sense) questions and answers...........grin

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Fri 21-Sep-12 23:11:04

There is a painting of Queen Anne with her son the Duke of Gloucester who looks about 2 or 3 in the picture. So not all died as babies. Could they have had the hereditary illnesses porphyria or heamophilia - a lot of the royal families in Europe were blighted by it (and was this due to inbreeding?)

LineRunner Fri 21-Sep-12 23:12:28

Who would it matter to, if Jesus had been married?

Only the very 4thc+ catholic church.

I think every one else would be relieved.

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Sat 22-Sep-12 23:39:05

The Duke of Gloucester lived until he was 11 and then died of smallpox. Can't imagine how awful that must have been, for the other 16 babies to have died and then her son lived till 11 then died sad

monsterchild Sat 22-Sep-12 23:45:28

I think breaking the law became cool back in the day when empires took over areas and people thought that was a bad idea. How many native British enjoyed sticking it to the man? or anyone conquered for that matter. Think of the religious sects that had to meet secretly for fear of retribution.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 23-Sep-12 00:22:54

I wonder if breaking the law to "get one over" on whomever was in charge could go back to Norman times?

monsterchild Sun 23-Sep-12 00:34:07

Belle I'm sure it went back to Roman times!

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 23-Sep-12 00:37:14

Love this, marking spot and thinking of questions !

herethereeverywhere Sun 23-Sep-12 13:30:25

How did people know the 'rules' of society ? I am thinking of particularly Edwardian times and the social rules dictating class. How do these rules come about? How did everyone know their place? And how did it change?

Greythorne Sun 23-Sep-12 14:10:18

Why are Latin names given the -ius ending in English?

Like Suetonius, Julius etc.

In French, Julius becomes Jules. Why did we adopt -ius?

ByTheWay1 Sun 23-Sep-12 14:20:06

why were we so "backward" - the Egypitians and the Romans seem to have had national governments and societies more related to modern life - but around the same sort of time ( 1BC/AD) we seemed to be in tribes living in huts fishing and farming - and we seemed to be like that for a bloomin long time - after the Romans had been and gone....

R2PeePoo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:22:41


I think location and geography play a big part.

The UK has much worse winters than the Southern Med which took up a lot more effort to survive and affected what plants could grow.

Egypt and Rome are situated on the Mediterranean Sea, a relatively sheltered Sea with access to many civilisations and cultures, including the earlier more developed ones on the Euphrates and the Tigris. Trade and warfare and access to facilities and schools of other countries meant things progressed faster. The UK had fewer 'advanced' cultures to come in contact with.

Institutionalised slavery with vast amounts of bonded people available through warfare and the criminal justice system. They could do all the grunt work, leaving a portion of the population to think about art, science and other lofty pursuits.

Once the Romans left we didn't have access to the trade networks, governmental organisation (taxes, law and order etc), military might etc. Quite a lot if not most of the wealth left with the Romans - why stay on a wet and wild isolated corner of the empire when you could be safe in Rome. When the Romans left the UK was vulnerable to internal strife and external invasion.

ByTheWay1 Sun 23-Sep-12 15:50:47

thanks R2PeePoo

this thread rocks!! going off to think another think.....

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Sun 23-Sep-12 16:30:21

<<cracks knuckles>>

Haemophilia in the Royal Family

Ok - as far as we know the first case in the British Royal Family was Leopold. Queen Victoria's youngest son. Her older three sons were not affected but her older daughters were. Alice certainly carried the gene as did Beatrice.
The fact that this disease appeared with Victoria means that either it was caused by a random genetic mutation (most likely) or her father was a 'secret' haemophilac - unlikely he lived to a good age with no reports of problems - or her father wasn't the Duke of Kent. Also unlikely - whatever you think of her mother, her pregnancy quickly followed their marriage and it's stretching things to think she would have popped off and found a haemophiliac lover so quick hmm. So the modern royal gene starts there.

The daughters of a heamophiliac will always carry the gene - because it's on the x chromosome. The sons will always be unaffected. For the children of a woman carrying the gene - the sons may inherit it and have the disease, the duaghters may carry it and in turn pass it on to their children. It's unpredictable and when the marriages of the descendants of Victoria were happening, the risk was not properly understood or believed.

Alice's daughters married amongst the Royal families of Europe and two turned out to carry the gene. One of these was Alix who became the last Tsarina of Russia. Her giving birth to an heir so seriously incapacitated by this illness critically undermined her husband's throne. Beatrice's daughter Eugenie also married a King - the King of Spain. Haemophilia also afflicted her family though one of her sons was untouched. It destroyed her marriage and also destabilised an already shaky throne. Eugenie's brother had haemophilia but Alfonso, the King of Spain has not believed Eugenie was affected by the gene because she looked so healthy. She was of course completely healthy herself and her children's problems was an awful grief to her. In a 'what would have happened if...' storyline it's worth remembering that the heir to the British throne, the Duke of Clarence, had also wanted to marry Alix. Likewise the German Kaiser had wanted to marry another of Alice's daughters - Ella, Alix's older sister. Ella married a Russian duke and she may or may not have carried haemophilia as she never had any children. So it was Russia and Spain that were touched by this - but it could have been the UK or Germany - and what difference that might have made to the course of 2oth century history...............

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Sun 23-Sep-12 16:31:28

Beatrice was Queen Victoria's youngest daughter - ust read that back and I've made it sound like she was older than Leopold which she wasn't.

susiedaisy Sun 23-Sep-12 16:34:38

Marking my spot, great thread

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 16:37:05

Thanks northern!

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sun 23-Sep-12 17:06:12

OOOOH northern that's fantastic.

MrsjREwing Sun 23-Sep-12 17:15:53

What age were Vic's dc when she was widdowed?

ihatethecold Sun 23-Sep-12 17:24:40

Marking my place cos I bunked off history at school.
I live to regret that now blush

lljkk Sun 23-Sep-12 17:25:50

About Queen Vic & haemophilia: Steve Jones (the renowned biologist) has posited that it was the fault of the advanced age of QV's father: 50+. He reckons it was a random mutation in the sperm (due to Dad's age) that fertilised the egg to become QV, which she inherited & unknowingly passed to her sons.

My question is:
What did Henry VIII expect from his marriage to Catherine Parr? Was he actually just looking for a kindly stepmother? hmm

Seems strange she's the only one he didn't do horrors by.

lljkk Sun 23-Sep-12 17:26:47

ps: and how well did the Princess Elizabeth know her mother Anne Boleyn, at the time of Anne's execution? Was Anne just a remote figure to Elizabeth?

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Sun 23-Sep-12 17:34:34

lljkk - re Catherine Parr, it's hard to tell. She wasn't old - only about 32 and he was at least 20 years older than her. He didn't get really ill until quite soon before his death so they could have had a 'normal' marriage. Some Catholic nobles did try to topple her by telling the king she had contacts with heretics like Anne Askew, but in the end Henry turned on them.

re Elizabeth - she was only 2.5 when Anne died, and was kept at a different palace with her own household from a very young age. Anne did visit her, but was expected to spend most of her time at court with her husband so Elizabeth probably didn't know her very well

MrsjREwing Sun 23-Sep-12 17:35:16

llkk, Henry nearly had her taken to the tower over bible bashing, she then calmed down.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Sun 23-Sep-12 18:11:26

Victoria's dc (I had to look the ages up - don't carry it around in my head - I'm not that obsessive!)

Victoria - 21 (married and away in Germany)
Bertie (later Edward VII) -20
Alice - engaged - 18
Alfred - 17
Helena - 15
Louise -13
Leopold - 8
Beatrice -4

So really very young. Queen Victoria complains a lot in her letters and diary about the awful responsibility left to her after Albert died and it's easy to dismiss that as part of her general gloomy outlook in her bereavement - but tbh I can see what she means. Only one of her children was independently settled and 6 of them were under 18. Alice's marriage took place in 1862 on the day Albert had planned. Everybody wore mourning and the Archbishop cried throughout. Victoria described it as 'more like a funeral than a wedding'

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Sun 23-Sep-12 18:15:45

Sorry - I am inept today! That's their ages in December 1861 when Albert died.

Weirdly enough Alice died on exactly the same day 17 years later.

lljkk - the mutation theory is really the only credible one isn't it?

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