Figure 1.--This is Prince Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, in 1610. He died 2 years later of typhoid fever at age 18 before he could inherit the throne. The portrait is by Robert Peake and hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Henry Frederick as the elest son became the Prince of Wales. He was born in 1594 at Stirling Castle before his father became king.. His other titles included Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. He was handsome, athletic, chivalrous, candid, and a hater of flattery--the idol of the nation and one of the most gifted members of the Stuart dynasty. He died in 1612 of typhoid fever at St. James Palace in England. Many funeral elegies by such literary giants as John Donne,
George Chapman, John Webster and Henry King were written to mourn his early
Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), the eldest son of James I and Queen Anne (of Denmark). James was the son of Mary Queen of Scotts, but raised a Protestant in Scotland. He acceeded to the British throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth. He was scholarly and interested in theology. He experienced difficulties dealing with Parliament becuse of his concept of monarchy. This was a problem his desendents shared and would eventually lead to the Civil War and the execution of his son Charles. Then later it would lead to the the Glorious Revolution.
James and Anne had nine children, most did not survive infancy. Henry (1594) was the eldest. A stillborn child was born (1595). Elizabeth (1596) was the cloest to Henry. Elizabeth was born in 1596 at Dunfermline. We do know that he was very close to Elizabeth. As a young man, Henry showed a great interest in the selection of Elizabeth's husband, both a personal and diplomatic question. The chouice was Frederick, Elector Palatine. Henry's last world were 'where is my dear sister?'.She married Frederick V, Elector of Palatine of the Rhine, King of Bohemia 1619-1620. She had 13 children and. was known as the "The Winter Queen", Queen of Bohemia. She died in 1662 at Leicester House, London, England. Margaret Stuart (1598) lived only 2 yers. Margaret was born in 1598 and died as a very young child in 1600 at Dalkeith Palace, Linlithgow. Charles was born in 1600 at Dunfermline, Scotland. He acceded to English throne upon death of his father in 1625. I am not sure about the relationship between the two. Charles lived in his older brother's shadow until Henry's untimely death. He proved to have been one of the least successful English king and after the Civil war was executed by Cromwell. James and Anne had another son was in May 1603 born at Stirling Castle, but did not survive. Mary Stuart (1605) lived only 3 years. Sophia was born in 1606, but lived only 1 day.
Prince Henry Frederick was born in 1594 at Stirling Castle. This was before his father had become King of England. James was already King of Scotland with the title of James VI. When he took the throne of England in 1603, he became James I of England and Prince Henry was invested as Prince of Wales. We know nothing about Prince Henry Frederick's childhood at this time nor do we have details on his relationship with his younger brothers and sisters, except that he was very close to Elizabeth.
In the painting Prince Henry wears an elaborately embroidered suit consisting of doublet, trunk hose (stuffed with "bombast" to extend far out around his hips), long silk stockings (notice the Order of the Garter around his left leg), and shoes with rosettes on the instep. The suit has an elaborate collar made partly of stiffened lace. He wears a sword on a beautifully worked "girdle" or "hanger". His high-crowned hat with white plumes rests on a table nearby.
It is interesting that Henry in the full-length portrait here is wearing "trunk hose" (the short bloomerlike trousers worn with thigh-length stockings). This style was an Elizabethan 16th century style for the most part rather than Jacobean. It had largely gone out of style by the turn of the 17th century and the reign of James I. It is curious that Henry chose to be painted in a slightly outmoded style. He was about 16 years old when this portrait was painted and we can thus assume that he would have choen how to dress rather being outfitted by his parents are dressing at the direction of the artist. And we note that Peke painted Henry in more contemprary clothing in the hunting portrait with Sir John Harington when Prince Henry was younger. So we are left with the question of why Prince Henry chose a earlier fashion for this portrait. We have no historical informastion and can only guess. We know that Prince Henry was considered something of a fashion plate in the early 17th century. His father, James I, never wore trunk hose (so
far as I know) and is always depicted wearing breeches that come to slightly above the knee. The fact that James did not wear them may have been a factor in them going out of style. Henry also wore the breeches style, which as we see in the hunting portrait was more contemporary in the early 17th century. It may well be that the Prince wanted to show off his athletic legs which woyld have been covered in the more contemprary knee breeches. This may well be a bit of royal vanity. One thing we are quite sure of, both the trunk hose here and the knee breeches in the hunting portrait were styles worn by boyh boys and adult men. Boys as soon as they were breeched wore the same styles as their fathers. There were no boyish styles.
While we do not know a great deal about Henry's childhood, one of his childhood friends was John Harington. The fact that they were painted together about 1603 by Robert Peake the Elder is a strong indication that the two were very close. The Prince of Wales would not have been painted with just anyone. The painting depicts a hunting scene. This would have been something that young aristocrats would have receled in, especially an athletic young man like Henry. We are not sure, howeverm just how active Henry was. At his age some consideration would had to be take over the prince's safty.
We do not know a great deal about John Harington. We note that the Water Closet is invented by poet Sir John Harington, presumably that was the father of the John Haringtom in the portrait. Sir John was created a Baron--Baron Harington of Exton (1603). Baron Harington the elder died at Worms while returning from the Palatinate (1613). He was there working on the marriage of Henry's brother Elizabeth. His son, the boy pictured in the portait with Henry, died a year later without issue (1614).
Henry Frederick as the elest son became the Prince of Wales. His other titles included Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester.
Henry was extrodinarily popular. Available accounts speak very well of him. He seems to have been an extrodinary young man. Henry was handsome, athletic, chivalrous, candid, and a hater of flattery--the idol of the nation and one of the most gifted members of the Stuart dynasty. He was not only well read, but appears to have been very athletic as well as a patron of the arts. I am not sure what his attitude toward Parliament was. Differences over the roles of the monarchy and parliament were what was to cost Henry's brother Charles his head. Henry was probanly too young when he died to have formed an opinion other than his father's opinion.
Henry was a fervent Protestant. Here his mother as a Danish princess much have been a factor. Had he have become king, the fate of the Stuarts may have been very different. At least he could have not managed affairs any worse than Charles, or at least it is difficult how this would have been possible.
Henry died in November 6, 1612 of typhoid fever at St. James Palace in England. The sudden death of such a healty, verile young man shocked the nation. Many funeral elegies by such literary giants as John Donne, George Chapman, John Webster and Henry King were written to mourn his early passing.
Prince Henry Frederick's younger brother Charles (Charles I) became king in 1625 on the death of their father, King James. Charles' reign proved disaterous for England, resulting in Civil War. Charles himself was executed when he continued to plot, even after his defeat.
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