Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina, its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines; the cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m; the mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi
James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward Stuart, nicknamed The Old Pretender, was the son of King James II and VII of England and Ireland, his second wife, Mary of Modena. He was Prince of Wales from July 1688, until just months after his birth, his Catholic father was deposed and exiled in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II's Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Catholics from the British throne. James Francis Edward was raised in Continental Europe. After his father's death in 1701, he claimed the English and Irish crown as James III of England and Ireland and James VIII of Scotland, with the support of his Jacobite followers and his cousin Louis XIV of France. Fourteen years he unsuccessfully attempted to gain the throne in Britain during the Jacobite rising of 1715. Following his death in 1766, his elder son, Charles Edward Stuart, continued to claim the British crown as part of the Jacobite Succession.
James Francis Edward was born 10 June 1688, at St. James's Palace, he was the son of King James II of England and Ireland and his Roman Catholic second wife, Mary of Modena, and, as such, was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, among other titles. The prince's birth was controversial and, coming five years after his mother's last conception, unanticipated on the part of a number of British Protestants, who had expected his sister Mary, from his father’s first marriage, to succeed their father. Mary and her younger sister Princess Anne had been raised as Protestants; as long as there was a possibility of one of them succeeding him, the king's opponents saw his rule as a temporary inconvenience. When people began to fear that James's second wife, would produce a Catholic son and heir, a movement grew to replace him with his elder daughter Princess Mary and his son-in-law/nephew, William of Orange; when the prince was born, rumours began to spread that he was an impostor baby, smuggled into the royal birth chamber in a warming pan and that the actual child of James and Mary was stillborn.
In an attempt to scotch this myth, James published the testimonies of over seventy witnesses to the birth. On 9 December, in the midst of the Glorious Revolution, Mary of Modena disguised herself as a laundress and escaped with the infant James to France. Young James was brought up at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which Louis XIV had turned over to the exiled James II. Both the ex-king and his family were held in great consideration by the French king, they were frequent visitors at Versailles where Louis XIV and his court treated them as ruling monarchs. In June 1692 his sister Louisa Maria was born, his military education was overseen by Richard Hamilton and Dominic Sheldon, two veterans of his father's old Irish Army. On his father's death in 1701, James was recognised by King Louis XIV of France as the rightful heir to the English and Scottish thrones. Spain, the Papal States, Modena recognized him as King James III of England, Ireland and VIII of Scotland and refused to recognise William III, Mary II, or Anne as legitimate sovereigns.
As a result of his claiming his father's lost thrones, James was attainted for treason in London on 2 March 1702, his titles were forfeited under English law. Though delayed in France by an attack of measles, James attempted invasion, trying to land at the Firth of Forth on 23 March 1708; the fleet of Admiral Sir George Byng intercepted the French ships, combined with bad weather, prevented a landing. James served for a time in the French army. Between August and September 1710, Queen Anne appointed a new Tory administration led by Robert Harley, who entered into a secret correspondence with de Torcy, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which he claimed to desire James's restoration to the throne should James convert to Protestantism. A year however, the British government pushed for James's expulsion from France as a precondition for a peace treaty with France. In accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht and Lord Bolingbroke, the Secretary of State, colluded with the French in exiling James to the Duchy of Lorraine.
Queen Anne became ill at Christmas 1713 and seemed close to death. In January 1714, she recovered but had not much longer to live. Through de Torcy and his London agent, Abbé François Gaultier, Harley kept up the correspondence with James, Bolingbroke had entered into a separate correspondence with him, they both stated to James. However, James, a devout Catholic, replied to Torcy: "I have chosen my own course, therefore it is for others to change their sentiments." In March came James's refusal to convert, following which Harley and Bolingbroke reached the opinion that James's restoration was not feasible, though they maintained their correspondence with him. As a result, in August 1714, James's second cousin, the Elector of Hanover, George Louis, a German-speaking Protestant, the closest Protestant relative of the now deceased Queen Anne, became king of the created Kingdom of Great Britain as George I. James denounced the new King, noting "we have beheld a foreign family, aliens to our country, distant in blood, strangers to our language, ascend the throne."
Following George's coronation in October 1714, major riots broke out in provincial England. The following year, Jacobites started uprisings in Scotland and Cornwall aimed at putting "James III and VIII" on the throne. On 22 December 1715, James reached Scotland after the Jacobite defeats at the Battle of Sheriffmuir
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony–Poland–Lithuania. Frederick IV and Augustus II were defeated by Sweden, under Charles XII, forced out of the alliance in 1700 and 1706 but rejoined it in 1709 after the defeat of Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava. George I of Great Britain and of Brunswick-Lüneburg joined the coalition in 1714 for Hanover and in 1717 for Britain, Frederick William I of Brandenburg-Prussia joined it in 1715. Charles XII led the Swedish army. Swedish allies included Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish magnates under Stanisław I Leszczyński and Cossacks under the Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa; the Ottoman Empire temporarily hosted Charles XII of Sweden and intervened against Peter I. The war began when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia, sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles XII, declared war on the Swedish Empire and launched a threefold attack on Swedish Holstein-Gottorp, Swedish Livonia, Swedish Ingria.
Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Travendal and Narva and in a counter-offensive pushed Augustus II's forces through the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth to Saxony, dethroning Augustus on the way and forcing him to acknowledge defeat in the Treaty of Altranstädt. The treaty secured the extradition and execution of Johann Reinhold Patkul, architect of the alliance seven years earlier. Meanwhile, the forces of Peter I had recovered from defeat at Narva and gained ground in Sweden's Baltic provinces, where they cemented Russian access to the Baltic Sea by founding Saint Petersburg in 1703. Charles XII moved from Saxony into Russia to confront Peter, but the campaign ended in 1709 with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive Battle of Poltava and Charles' exile in the Ottoman town of Bender; the Ottoman Empire defeated the Russian-Moldavian army in the Pruth River Campaign, but that peace treaty was in the end without great consequence to Russia's position. After Poltava, the anti-Swedish coalition revived and subsequently Hanover and Prussia joined it.
The remaining Swedish forces in plague-stricken areas south and east of the Baltic Sea were evicted, with the last city, falling in 1710. The coalition members partitioned most of the Swedish dominions among themselves, destroying the Swedish dominium maris baltici. Sweden proper was invaded from the west by Denmark–Norway and from the east by Russia, which had occupied Finland by 1714. Sweden defeated the Danish invaders at the Battle of Helsingborg. Charles XII opened up a Norwegian front but was killed in Fredriksten in 1718; the war ended with the defeat of Sweden, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region and as a new major force in European politics. The Western powers, Great Britain and France, became caught up in the separate War of the Spanish Succession, which broke out over the Bourbon Philip of Anjou's succession to the Spanish throne and a possible joining of France and Spain; the formal conclusion of the Great Northern War came with the Swedish-Hanoverian and Swedish-Prussian Treaties of Stockholm, the Dano-Swedish Treaty of Frederiksborg, the Russo-Swedish Treaty of Nystad.
By these treaties Sweden ceded her exemption from the Sound Dues and lost the Baltic provinces and the southern part of Swedish Pomerania. The peace treaties ended her alliance with Holstein-Gottorp. Hanover gained Bremen-Verden, Brandenburg-Prussia incorporated the Oder estuary, Russia secured the Baltic Provinces, Denmark strengthened her position in Schleswig-Holstein. In Sweden, the absolute monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII, Sweden's Age of Liberty began. Between the years of 1560 and 1658, Sweden created a Baltic empire centred on the Gulf of Finland and comprising the provinces of Karelia, Ingria and Livonia. During the Thirty Years' War Sweden gained tracts in Germany as well, including Western Pomerania, the Duchy of Bremen, Verden. During the same period Sweden conquered Norwegian provinces north of the Sound; these victories may be ascribed to a well-trained army, which despite its comparatively small size, was far more professional than most continental armies, to a modernization of administration in the course of the 17th century, which enabled the monarchy to harness the resources of the country and its empire in an effective way.
Fighting in the field, the Swedish army was able, in particular, to make quick, sustained marches across large tracts of land and to maintain a high rate of small arms fire due to proficient military drill. However, the Swedish state proved unable to support and maintain its army in a prolonged war. Campaigns on the continent had been proposed on the basis that the army would be financially self-supporting through plunder and taxation of newly gained land, a concept shared by most major powers of the period; the cost of the warfare proved to be much higher than the occupied countries could fund, Sweden's coffers, resources in manpower, were drained in the course of long conflicts. The foreign interventions in Russia during the Time of Troubles resulted in Swedish gains in the Treaty of
Jacobite rising of 1745
The Jacobite rising of 1745 known as the Forty-five Rebellion or the'45, was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. It took place during the War of the Austrian Succession, when the bulk of the British Army was fighting in mainland Europe, proved to be the last in a series of revolts that began in 1689, with major outbreaks in 1708, 1715 and 1719. Charles launched the rebellion on 19 August 1745 at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands, capturing Edinburgh and winning the Battle of Prestonpans in September. At a council in October, the Scots agreed to invade England after Charles assured them of substantial support from English Jacobites and a simultaneous French landing in Southern England. On that basis, the Jacobite army entered England in early November, reaching Derby on 4 December, where they decided to turn back. Similar discussions had taken place at Carlisle and Manchester and many felt they had gone too far already.
The invasion route had been selected to cross areas considered Jacobite but the promised English support failed to materialise. The decision was supported by the vast majority but caused an irretrievable split between Charles and his Scots supporters. Despite victory at Falkirk Muir in January 1746, the Battle of Culloden in April ended the Rebellion and significant backing for the Stuart cause. Charles escaped to France, but was unable to win support for another attempt, died in Rome in 1788; the 1688 Glorious Revolution replaced James II and VII with his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William, who ruled as joint monarchs of England and Scotland. Neither Mary, who died in 1694, nor her sister Anne, had surviving children, which left their Catholic half-brother James Francis Edward as the closest natural heir. To ensure a Protestant monarch, the 1701 Act of Settlement excluded Catholics from the succession and when Anne became queen in 1702, her heir was the distantly related but Protestant Sophia of Hanover.
Sophia died in June 1714 and when Anne followed two months in August, her son succeeded as George I. Louis XIV of France, the Stuarts' main backer, died in 1715 and his successors needed peace with Britain in order to rebuild their economy; the 1716 Anglo-French alliance forced James to leave France. Rebellions in 1715 and 1719 failed, the latter so badly its planners concluded that it might "ruin the King's Interest and faithful subjects in these parts." Senior exiles like Bolingbroke now accepted pardons and returned home or took employment elsewhere and while many remained sympathetic, the Stuart cause seemed at an end. The birth of his sons Charles and Henry helped maintain public interest but by 1737, James was "living tranquilly in Rome, having abandoned all hope of a restoration."In the 1730s, French statesmen began to see the post-1713 expansion of British commercial strength as a threat to the European balance of power and looked for ways to reduce it. A Stuart restoration would be expensive, risky and of little value, since they were unlikely to be any more pro-French than the Hanoverians.
A low level, ongoing insurgency was far more cost-effective and the Scottish Highlands an ideal location, due to the feudal nature of clan society, their remoteness and terrain. An opportunity was provided due to unhappiness with the London government, resulting in the 1725 malt tax riots and 1737 Porteous riots. In March 1743, the Highland-recruited 42nd Regiment or Black Watch was posted to Flanders, contrary to an understanding their service was restricted to Scotland and led to a short-lived mutiny. However, mutinies over pay and conditions were not unusual and the worst riots in 1725 took place in Glasgow, a town Charles noted in 1746 as one'where I have no friends and who are not at pains to hide it.' Trade disputes between Spain and Britain led to the 1739 War of Jenkins' Ear, followed in 1740–41 by the War of the Austrian Succession. The long-serving British prime minister Robert Walpole was forced to resign in February 1742 by an alliance of Tories and anti-Walpole Patriot Whigs, who did a deal that excluded the majority of their Tory partners from government.
Furious Tories such as the Duke of Beaufort now asked for French help in restoring James to the British throne. While war with Britain was only a matter of time, Cardinal Fleury, chief minister since 1723, viewed the Jacobites as unreliable fantasists, an opinion shared by most French ministers. One exception was the Marquis D'Argenson. In 1745, supporters of the exiled Stuarts, or Jacobites, remained a significant element in British and Irish politics but with different and competing goals; these divisions between the Scots and Irish, became apparent during the 1745 Rising, which demonstrated estimates of English support confused indifference to the Hanoverians with enthusiasm for the Stuarts. Charles' senior advisors included Irish exiles such as John O'Sullivan, who wanted an autonomous, Catholic Ireland and the return of lands confiscated after the Irish Confederate Wars. James II promised these concessions in return for Irish support in the 1689–91 Williamite War, only a Stuart on the throne of Great Britain could ensure their fulfilment.
A prominent factor in Tory opposition to th
Duke of Atholl
Duke of Atholl, alternatively Duke of Athole, named after Atholl in Scotland, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland held by the head of Clan Murray. It was created by Queen Anne in 1703 for John Murray, 2nd Marquess of Atholl, with a special remainder to the heir male of his father, the 1st Marquess; as of 2017, there were twelve subsidiary titles attached to the dukedom: Lord Murray of Tullibardine, Lord Murray and Balquhidder, Lord Murray and Gask, Lord Murray and Gask, in the County of Perth, Viscount of Balquhidder, Viscount of Balquhidder and Glenlyon, in the County of Perth, Earl of Atholl, Earl of Tullibardine, Earl of Tullibardine, Earl of Strathtay and Strathardle, in the County of Perth, Marquess of Atholl and Marquess of Tullibardine, in the County of Perth. These titles are in the Peerage of Scotland; the dukes have previously held the following titles: Baron Strange between 1736 and 1764 and 1805 and 1957. From 1786 to 1957 the Dukes of Atholl sat in the House of Lords as Earl Strange.
The Duke's eldest son and heir apparent uses the courtesy title Marquess of Tullibardine. The heir apparent to Lord Tullibardine uses the courtesy title Earl of Strathardle. Lord Strathtay's heir apparent uses the courtesy title Viscount Balquhidder; the Duke of Atholl is the hereditary chief of Clan Murray. The Dukes of Atholl belong to an ancient Scottish family. Sir William Murray of Castleton married daughter of John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl. Sir William was one of the many Scottish noblemen killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, his son Sir William Murray lived at Tullibardine in Perthshire. The latter's grandson, Sir John Murray, was created Lord Murray of Tullibardine in 1604 and Lord Murray and Balquhidder and Earl of Tullibardine in 1606. All three titles were in the Peerage of Scotland, he was succeeded by William Murray, the second Earl of Tullibardine. He married as daughter of John Stewart, 5th and last Earl of Atholl. Charles I agreed to revive the earldom of Atholl in favour of Lord Tullibardine's children by Lady Dorothea.
Tullibardine resigned his titles in favour of his younger brother, Patrick Murray, created Lord Murray of Gask and Earl of Tullibardine in 1628, with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever and with the precedence of 1606. John Murray, son of the second Earl of Tullibardine by Lady Dorothea Stewart, was created Earl of Atholl in the Peerage of Scotland in 1629, he was succeeded by the second Earl of Atholl. In 1670 he succeeded his cousin James Murray, 2nd Earl of Tullibardine, as third Earl of Tullibardine. In 1676 he was created Lord Murray and Gask, Viscount of Balquhidder, Earl of Tullibardine and Marquess of Atholl, with remainder to the heirs male of his body. All titles were in the Peerage of Scotland. Lord Atholl married daughter of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby. On his death the titles passed to the second Marquess, he had been created Lord Murray, Viscount Glenalmond and Earl of Tullibardine for life in the peerage of Scotland in 1696. In 1703 he was made Lord Murray and Gask, in the County of Perth, Viscount of Balwhidder and Glenlyon, in the County of Perth, Earl of Strathtay and Strathardle, in the County of Perth, Marquess of Tullibardine, in the County of Perth, Duke of Atholl, with remainder failing heirs male of his own to the heirs male of his father.
All five titles were in the Peerage of Scotland. His eldest surviving son and heir apparent, William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine, took part in the Jacobite rising of 1715, he was attainted by Act of Parliament. An Act of Parliament was passed to remove him from the succession to his father's titles. William was, on 1 February 1717, created Duke of Rannoch, Marquis of Blair, Earl of Glen Tilt, Viscount of Glenshie, Lord Strathbran in the Jacobite Peerage; the first Duke was succeeded by his third son, the second Duke. In 1736 he succeeded his kinsman James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby as 7th Baron Strange and as Lord of Mann. On the death of his brother William in 1746, he succeeded to such as they were; the Duke's two sons both died in infancy. His eldest daughter Lady Charlotte succeeded him in the lordship of Mann. Atholl died in 1764 and was succeeded in the dukedom and remaining titles by his nephew, the third Duke, he was the eldest son of Lt-Gen Lord George Murray, sixth son of the first Duke, the same year he succeeded the House of Lords decided that he should be allowed to succeed in the titles despite his father's attainder.
He married the aforementioned Charlotte Murray, Baroness Strange. They sold their sovereignty over the Isle of Man to the British Crown for £70,000; the Duke and Duchess were both succeeded by the fourth Duke. In 1786 he was created Baron Murray, of Stanley in the County of Gloucester, Earl Strange in the Peerage of Great Britain; these titles gave him a seat in the House of Lords. Atholl sold his remaining properties and privileges in the Isle of Man
Planned French invasion of Britain (1759)
A French invasion of Great Britain was planned to take place in 1759 during the Seven Years' War, but due to various factors was never launched. The French planned to land 100,000 French soldiers in Britain to end British involvement in the war; the invasion was one of several failed and defeated French attempts during the 18th century to invade Britain. Fighting broke out between France and Britain in 1754, but war was only formally declared in 1756 when France went to war with a British ally, Prussia. From 1757 the British government was dominated by William Pitt, who orchestrated a series of British military expeditions to attack French colonies such as Senegal and New France. Pitt saw the war in Europe as a holding action, which allowed Britain to make gains on France around the world. French strategy was the opposite; the French concentrated the bulk of their efforts on Continental Europe and neglected the colonial sphere. By late 1758 they had made numerous advances against the Prussians, who they believed were only kept from collapse by British support.
The invasion was planned by the Duc de Choiseul who became French foreign minister in December 1758 and served as Prime Minister during the period of the mooted invasion. He wanted to launch a bold initiative. French pride had been stung the previous year by the ease with which the British had captured Louisbourg and launched amphibious raids on the French coast during 1758, such as that against Cherbourg. British financial subsidies and military aid to her only ally Prussia had kept that country afloat since 1756. Choiseul's brief as foreign minister was to overturn this situation. Choiseul was interested in the concept of a French invasion of Britain, he perceived. He saw that if a large French force managed to cross the Channel without being intercepted, it could triumph over the weak British land forces. Choiseul ignored perceived wisdom that any invasion would have to involve French warships, he believed that trying to bring warships out of the blockaded port at Brest would cause unnecessary delays, could be disastrous.
A mixed force as he saw. A previous attempt by France in 1744 had to be abandoned, his conception was simple: a massive fleet of flat-bottomed transport craft would carry an army of 100,000 troops across the Channel where they would be landed on the coast of southern England. An essential component of the plan was speed; the French would cross the Channel quickly. Once they landed, they believed they would overpower the small army Britain retained on home soil and end the war. Choiseul managed to overcome opposition in the French cabinet and the invasion was approved as the cornerstone of French strategy for 1759 along with an attempt to capture Hanover; as part of the scheme the French considered trying to start a Jacobite rebellion, as they had in 1745, by sending the heir apparent of the Jacobite movement Charles Edward Stuart with or ahead of the invading forces. A secret meeting was arranged with Charles Stuart in Paris in February 1759. Charles turned up late and drunk, proved surly and uncooperative.
Convinced that the Jacobites were of little material help, Choiseul dropped them from the plan. From on, any French landing would have to be accomplished by French troops, he did however consider sending Bonnie Prince Charles to Ireland where he could be declared King of Ireland and lead a rebellion. The French decided to try to recruit Jacobite supporters without involving Charles directly in the operation – as he was considered a potential liability. France sought support from Denmark and Russia to provide troops and naval stores for the expedition, but both declined to participate. Sweden agreed to take part in the scheme by sending an invasion force to Scotland, but backed out of this arrangement; the Dutch Republic, traditionally a British ally but neutral at the time, was alarmed by the French actions, demanded assurances that the French were not planning to place the pretender Stuart on the British throne. The French ambassador assured them; the British were well aware of these developments through a well-established network of secret agents.
On 19 February the British war cabinet met at Lord Anson's house to discuss the potential invasion. Both William Pitt and the Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle, were bullish about the prospects of the campaign. A few proposals were made, such as stationing troops on the Isle of Wight, but the consensus was that existing strategy was sufficient to deal with the invasion threat. No plans were made for the withdrawal of British troops in Germany or to request that Hanoverian troops be sent to defend Britain. Pitt was committed to despatching expeditions to French colonies around the world, a policy that had proved successful, it had, deprived Britain of necessary troops to defend itself from a European invasion. In response to this the government had pushed through a Militia Act which created a large militia to defend Britain; the fighting capabilities of this force were untested, though it provided the British with a much larger force on paper than her regular troops alone. General Ligonier estimated that he would have only 10,000 regular troops available to resist any French landing.
A tight blockade was maintained on major French ports throughout 1759 under the command of Admiral Edward Hawke. It proved crippling, as it deni
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers