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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

The Stuart Dynasty: A Bible, a Great Fire, a New Nation

Weekend All-Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2163
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$80 - Member
$90 - Non-Member
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Queen Anne with the Crown Jewels at her side

Although less famous than their Tudor cousins, the Scottish Stuarts ruled over a period of growth and chaos that changed England and Scotland forever. Tudor and Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger looks at the eventful hundred years of the Stuart reign, which included the infamous Gunpowder Plot, the publication of the King James Bible, the Great Fire of London, the public execution of a king, the restoration of the monarchy, an invited invasion, and the creation of Great Britain.

9:30 to 10:45 a.m.  The Scottish Kings, the Gunpowder Plot, a new Bible, and the Civil War

The son of Mary Queen of Scots succeeded Elizabeth I on the throne as James I. Explore how James I’s approach to rule led to both the Gunpowder Plot and the commission of the King James Bible. The Stuart belief in the divine right of kings inspired Charles I to challenge Parliament repeatedly and eventually tip the country into civil war.

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Cromwell and the Restoration of the Monarchy, the Merry Monarch, and a Scandalous Pregnancy

The execution of a king of England by Parliament allowed Cromwell to eliminate the monarchy. How this failed, and what happened when Parliament invited the late king’s son to return and take power. This “Merry Monarch” produced no heir, and a new crisis emerged when the birth of a Catholic prince pushed Parliament to the breaking point.

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.  Break

1:15 to 2:30 p.m. An Invited Invasion, a Couple on the Throne, and the Bill of Rights

Parliament’s surprising invitation to William of Orange and his wife Queen Mary to invade England—and the effects of the “Glorious Revolution.” How this couple, jointly crowned king and queen for the first time in history, worked with Parliament to implement the Bill of Rights, which limited royal power and broadened constitutional law—a model for America’s own Bill of Rights a century later.

2:45 to 4 p.m.  Queen Anne, Her Favorites, and the Creation of Great Britain

The final Stuart monarch, Anne, was Great Britain’s first queen. Anne’s relationship with Sarah Churchill and the Duke of Marlborough cast a shadow over her reign and her reputation. Anne’s active support of the union of England and Scotland helped lead to the 1707 Act of Union that brought the parliaments of England and Scotland together to form the Parliament of Great Britain. Anne died without an heir, bringing the Stuart reign to an end.

Lloyd-Stanger is former manager of visitor education at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.