Anne of Great Britain

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Anne of Great Britain

Anne of Great Britain (6 February 16651 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.


  • [C]an you beleeve we will ever truckle to that Monster who from ye first moment of his coming has used us ... but Suppose I did submitt & that the King could change his nature so much as to use me with humanety, how would all reasonable people despise me, how would that Dutch abortive laugh at me & please himself with haveing got ye better. ... No my deare Mrs. Freeman never beleve your faithfull Mrs. Morely will ever submitt, she can waite with patience for a SunShine day & if She does not live to see it yet She hopes England will flourish againe.
    • Letter to Lady Marlborough after William III demanded that she dismiss Lady Marlborough from her household (19 March 1692), quoted in Edward Gregg, Queen Anne (2001), p. 89
  • I know my own heart to be entirely English.
    • Anne's first speech to Parliament, contrasting her Englishness with her Dutch predecessor, William III, and the French-raised Pretender (11 March 1702), from Cobbett's parliamentary history of England. Volume VI (1810), p. 1661.
  • I shall be very careful to preserve and maintain the Act of Toleration, and to set the minds of all my people at quiet; my own principles must always keep me entirely firm to the interests and religion of the Church of England, and will incline me to countenance those who have the truest zeal to support it.
    • Speech from the Throne (25 May 1702), from Cobbett's parliamentary history of England. Volume VI (1810), p. 1671.
  • Whoever of ye Whigs thinks I am to be Hecktor'd or frighted into a Complyance tho I am a woman, are mightely mistaken in me. I thank God I have a Soul above that, & am too much conserned for my reputation to do any thing to forfeit it.
    • Letter to Lord Godolphin (12 September 1707), from Edward Gregg, Queen Anne (2001), p. 250.

Quotes about Queen Anne

  • [T]he answer that was returned, ... as I am told, was worthy of Q. Eliz. It was given in the Cabinet without consultation upon it, & in such a manner that there was not a word offered agst it.
    • William Bromley to James Grahme (16 July 1710), on Anne's answer to a request from the States General of the Netherlands that she not change any ministers in her government, quoted in Geoffrey Holmes, ‘Robert Harley and the Ministerial Revolution of 1710’, Parliamentary History, Vol. 29, pt. 3 (2010), p. 294
  • When Anne came to the throne unexpectedly early, in March 1702 following a fatal riding accident to William, the whole country, apart from the most hard-bitten Jacobites, was united in acclaiming her. Most Tories, in fact, openly gloried in their "Church of England Queen", and her accession certainly helped to reconcile them to the new war which broke out in May.
    • Geoffrey Holmes, 'Revolution, War and Politics 1689–1714', in Blair Worden (ed.), Stuart England (1986), p. 203
  • Anne was no cipher. She took a serious view of her functions as monarch. She religiously attended the Sunday meetings of the full Cabinet of 12–14 members. Statesmen who neglected to win Anne over to any desired line of policy, or bullied her into ministerial appointments she disliked, usually had cause to regret it; and where appointments in her beloved Church were concerned, she could be tenacious in the extreme. Another prerogative, that of dissolving parliament, she used with devastating effect against the Whigs in 1710.
    • Geoffrey Holmes, 'Revolution, War and Politics 1689–1714', in Blair Worden (ed.), Stuart England (1986), p. 207
  • [T]o say truth, we are a declining People: destined, I fear, to absolute destruction. We have had our Day. It ended with Queen Ann. Since her time all has been Confusion and Discontent at Home; Folly and False Politics abroad.
    • Lord Orrery to Thomas Carte (5 August 1752), quoted in The Countess of Cork and Orrery (ed.), The Orrery Papers: Volume II (1903), p. 116
  • Here thou, great Anna! whom three realms obey,
    Dost sometimes counsel take - and sometimes tea.
  • She was indeed no picturesque figure. Yet in that part of heroism which consists of endurance, poor dowdy Queen Anne was no less heroic than her ancestress the Prima Donna of Scottish romance. And certainly the last of the Stuart Queens had many more of the qualities required for the wise ruling of a State. For a dozen weary years the invalid daily faced her office work. She did not leave affairs to her favourites or even wholly to her Ministers. In order to do what she thought right in Church and State, she slaved at many details of government. And the ideas that inspired her were those of moderation, good sense and humanity, for which the Stuart line had not always been conspicuous.
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