Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Warming Pan Scandal

James Prince of Wales and Queen Mary Beatrice
From Royal Central:
Nevertheless, James Francis Edward was born on 10 June 1688, in London at St James’s Palace. Although Mary did, in fact, give birth to James, notable Protestant nobles quickly spread the rumour that the baby was stillborn and another child was smuggled into her room in a warming pan. It’s not a particularly plausible theory, given the number of witnesses and the limited size of a warming pan. However, it took hold and people repeated and reinforced the rumours again and again. It got to the point that James had over seventy witnesses sign affidavits stating that they saw the birth, but the damage was done. 

The arrival of a Roman Catholic heir quickly instigated the Glorious Revolution, and Mary took the baby and fled to France to avoid any violence and protect him. Prince William of Orange was invited to invade England and landed with troops in November 1688. James eventually fled to France, where he lived out the remainder of his life.  (Read more.)

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