Queen Anne's upbringing, education, and their impact on her reign and influence over the Church of England

PhD Thesis


Heffernan, Troy A.. 2017. Queen Anne's upbringing, education, and their impact on her reign and influence over the Church of England. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5c05d9ebd30ce
Title

Queen Anne's upbringing, education, and their impact on her reign and influence over the Church of England

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorHeffernan, Troy A.
SupervisorHarmes, Marcus
Dewhirst, Catherine
Jack, Sybil M.
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages233
Year2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5c05d9ebd30ce
Abstract

Three hundred years of historical study has shaped current understandings of Queen Anne, but little has been written about the influence she believed she held in shaping England’s politics and religion, or how both shaped her actions as Queen and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This thesis begins by examining the implications of Anne’s unremarkable place in the line of succession. It assesses why the Catholic suspicions surrounding her father and uncle (James, Duke of York and King Charles II) unexpectedly shaped the approach of a future queen regnant to her sovereignty. An evaluation of Anne’s upbringing and beliefs concerning the Church’s role in government and society establishes that her political and religious views were defined before and during James II’s reign, leading up to the 1688 Revolution, and continued to mature throughout William III’s rule. The consequence of the political landscape she inherited, and her education and beliefs, is that she was destined to face conflict with the Whig-majority in the House of Lords and Whig-sympathetic bishops in the episcopate. After Anne became queen, she attempted to protect the Church by increasing its voting influence in Parliament and the episcopate by filling the episcopal bench with Tory-sympathetic bishops who shared her vision. She was nonetheless often defeated by her inability to combat the Whiggish strength in Parliament and influence in the episcopate that had grown during William’s reign, but Anne adapted and she represents a new expression of monarchical rule with minimal royal prerogative or authority. This thesis sits within the historiography of English royal history, and the histories of the Stuarts. Anne has not attracted as much modern scholarly attention as other Tudor and Stuart monarchs (including Tudor queens regnant), which this thesis amends by highlighting why Anne’s successes and difficulties merit attention. The work builds on the body of literature that has developed since Anne’s lifetime and following her death when her contemporaries wrote about her, to the substantial foundational works of the nineteenth century and more recent seminal scholarship. The thesis adopts a methodology focused on evidence-based historical analysis of seventeenth and eighteenth-century documents which are largely focused on how Anne’s personal relationships influenced her life and rule in the form of letters, diaries, and memoirs. The sources derive from those who were responsible for her upbringing, and later those who were close to her or part of her interactions with the episcopate and Parliament and provide evidence via personal documents and material contained within political tracts, proclamations, and speeches. These personal and formal sources provide multiple perspectives of the same events that shaped Anne’s life and ability to achieve her goals as Queen and Supreme Governor of the Church. The thesis demonstrates that while Anne faced frequent difficulties in achieving her objectives, she developed strategies to negotiate the politics of religion, and remained constant in her commitment to securing the Church’s role in society and government.

KeywordsBritish history, Stuarts, Church of England, Queen Anne, early modern, Queenship
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020430304. British history
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
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