Talk:George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
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Hello. the entries for the 1st and 2nd dukes of buckingham (Villiers) are both woefully inaccurate. This is largely because they are based on propoganda and the works of the enemies of the two dukes. For the first Duke, I suggest you read R. Lockyers fine biography which deals with all the witch-hunting and bias of the time around the duke and examines his statesmanship fairly. I am myself writing a biography of the mis-represented and much maligned 2nd duke. I think your quote that his life has been "well and accurately traced " should be removed and replaced with "built on the writing of his ememies and on Hamilton's Gramont memoirs which bear no reality to events at the time." All other biographers have regurgitated these sources so are also way out. (Pope, for example, was not even born at the time of the 2nd Duke, and yet his character of the Duke is given as fact) Dryden was the butt of much of the Duke's wit, and so hated him - hence his own character assasination of the Duke. There is so much wrong with this entry that I don't know where to start, but a few of the major points are:
Buckingham fought for Charles 1 in the civil war and lost all his lands. He refused to apologise to Cromwell after Worcester, as so many other royalists did, prefering to try and remove him and return Charles to the throne. In Scotland. Buckingham warned Charles that the English would not support Leslie (a Scot) at the Battle of Worcester and wished to lead the recruiting army himself, but Charles refused to allow him to d this. Consequently, Buckingham was proved right and very few joined the march from Scotland to Worcester and the king was defeated. Buckingham escaped abroad but after finding Clarendon and the court had no idea how to effect a restoration he decided to return to England to work from the inside. To this aim he was a member of The Sealed Knot and travelled in and out of the country spying and working up ways to bring back the King. Cromwell had such a good spy network that these largely failed. He discovered that his lands had been awarded by Cromwell to Fairfax and whilst attempting to involve Fairfax in bringing back the king, Fairfax's daughter Mary agreed to marry him in preference to the dreadful Earl of Chesterfield (her mother favoured for her. (Chesterfield was later accused of poisining his own wife.) Chesterfield was a notorious letcher and had a habit of seducing 15 year old girls and deserting them. Buckingham believed in religious toleration and was much maligned for it. He was a democrat before that word had any reality in the country and consequently made enemies among those who wished to retain power over the king in the old way. Mary Fairfax always supported her husband and enjoyed a place at court as the second lady next to the Queen after the Restoration. Their mariage was annuled in 1672/3 as there had never been a consumation. Fairfax always thought very highly of his son-in-law and never considered the lands he had been granted to be anyone's but Buckinghams. Cromwell discovered Buckingham was in the country and made several attempts to marry him to his own daugter, and even offered him a poerful place in the country, all of which Buckingham refused. Cromwell was nation building at this time and wished to link with the nobility of the country. Buckingham, however, always refused to acknowledge him, and after his marriage with Mary Fairfax, a furious Cromwell locked him in the tower. Although he escaped he was recaptured visiting his sister/ Bucking was under house arrest but frequently escaped, until he was taken to the tower for plotting to bring back Charles and remained there until Cromwell's death when he was released. Buckingham always swore that he would have died if Cromwell had not done first. With Fairfax, Buckingham worked to bring back the King. Because Charles hated Fairfax, he would not deal directly with him, and so eventually Monke was used as an intemediate, which took an inordinate amount of time as he was famous for refusing to commit himself. Eventually Charles was restored in 1661 and Buckingham met him on his return, carrying the orb at his coronation. Buckingham's lands were fully restored to him and he became a member of the privy council. Buckingham was extrmely popular with the common people because of his belief in their right to be represented by parliament. He made enemies because of his influence with the king and the people, in particular Arlington sought to influence Charles through his weakness with women and saw Buckingham as the greatest obstacle. Charles became a closet catholic in about 1671, and agreed to reconvert the country to this faith in exchange for money from Louis of France. this meant he need not heed parliament. Becasue the catholics were still hated by many of the common people this was extremely dangerous but he signed a secret treaty with the catholic members of the privy council, including Arlington, and deceived Buckingham who had been negotiating the genuine treaty (omiting the roman catholic part with Louis. After this was discovered, Buckingham formed the first real oposition party with Shaftsbury, realising that Charles would always betray the welfare of others for his own desires. The love affair he had with the Countess of Shrewsbury is one of the best kept secrets of the age. In 1658/9 Buckingham had helped the earl's first wife to leave him and go to France. she had come to him because he had a pass out of the country and travelled in and out in disguise. This lady, Anne Conyers, was a friend of Mary Fairfax as both their father's had been soldiers in the army. Sir John Conyers had gone to Holland during the civil war to liquidate his assests for Charles 1st, and died soon after. his daughter was maried as a child to the 11th earl of Shrewsbuty, and was his heiress. Suggestions that Buckingham was a womaniser and debauchee are fabricated. there is no evidence that he is ever connected with any woman but the countess. He was frequently thought to be with women when in fact he was discussing democratic or comonwealth ideas with the great thinkers and statesmen of the time. (Brian Fairfax memoirs). In 1667 Arlington orchestrated another attack nBuckingham, attemtping to have him inpeached for treason. This failed. In 1668 the second wife of the earl of shewsbury (the Talbots belonged to Arlington's faction) discovered the existence of the first wife and of a daugter. This made her roman catholic marriage bigamous in her eyes, even though the earl was legally entitled t cast off his frst wife for her desertion. She left the country after going to Buckingham for confirmation. The scandal erupted and the earl was encouraged to challenge Buckingham, by the Arlington faction, keen to use this as an attempt on Buckingham's life. The three-by-three dual took plae at Barn Elmes and all the players were wounded. Buckingham's second was killed by Sir John Talbot. The King issued a pardon to Sir john Talbot for this murder. The earl was said to be recovering a few days later. (Pepys) He died 2 months later of a heart problem. An autopsy showed the woudn completely clean had healed. His death was unrelated to the duel and Buckingham was never accused of his murder at the time. Sir John Talbot later gained ratification of his own pardon as he had killed the only mortality (Jenkins.) The story that the duke murdered the earl is unfounded and perpetuated by Walpole who added the story of the countess dressed as a page and sleeping with Buckingham in a blood stained shirt. In fact, the "myth" of the countess dressed as a page relates to the earlier duel at cliveden when they were all disgused in order to leave the country. Two months after the earl's death the countess came to live at cliveden having "gone through a for of marriage" with Buckingham. There was no real deivorece at the time, but mary Fairfax released Buckingham to allow him to be married by his own chaplain to the countess and they had a child who died aged 5 nonths and to which Charles stood Godfather. There is lots more but that's a starter! In short, it is laregly due to Buckingham that we did not return to civil war during Charles's reign. My biography will not be published for a while yet as I am completing a Phd, but hopefully soon after that. yours, Jenny Poole. enquiries to: email@example.com
- Wikipedia articles have no single author. Anyone is free to edit them, and that includes you. In the case of this article the original text was taken from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Other users have since amended that text. The original text reflects the attitudes of the times and specifically those of the original author. Please feel free to make any amendments that you feel are necessary. Mintguy (T) 10:50, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm always highly suspicious when people suggest of historical figures that talk of their faults or sensuality is 'put about by their enemies'. Especially in the case of someone like this, whose father's fortune was made simply because he was a pretty boy who caught the eye of a king. To write "Suggestions that Buckingham was a womaniser and debauchee are fabricated" is so hilariously at odds with the historical evidence it would beggar belief -- if I wasn't innured to the whitewashing of historical figures by writers who champion them. David Irving isn't the only one to fall in love with his subject to the degree that it results in distortion. From the get-go the Villiers family had been outrageously indulged (think warped modern celebrities) and on the make -- and that's in addition to the fact that the English upperclass have always been happily opportunistic. Pleasure is the raison d'etre. Which is why, for example, they'll screw anything that moves without a second thought. It's also important to bear in mind that men are beasts...a fuck for them can mean nothing more than wiping their nose...a simple fact that even modern female academics sometimes fail to grasp. For middle class academics the mindset gap is even vaster. As a mere visitor to the court, for example, the Venetian Lorenzo Magalotti would have surely had no personal axe to grind with Buckingham, yet the following passage is extraordinarily blunt for any age: "Courteous, affable, generous, magnanimous, he [Buckingham] is a liberal to the point of prodigality about making gifts...he is adored by the people and liked and applauded by the nobility. On the other hand he is an atheist, a blasphemer, violent, cruel and infamous for his licentiousness, in which he is so wrapped up that there is no sex, nor age, nor condition of persons who are spared from it....Nature, who perhaps forsaw that this lord would abandon himself to the most unbridled sensuality, sought to render him unable to have intercourse with males so cleverly as to make him as much more proper and agreeable to the ladies. But it is clear that this did not serve, for without any consideration he allowed himself to think of other men, as is well known to a male dancer who was finally prevented from exercising his art for some time...They say that at present the Duke is doing no more than taking his revenge for what was done him when he was very young, but with this difference, that nobody ever did anything to him that he did not want, while he often does to others what they do not wish for." Engleham
and that's in addition to the fact that the English upperclass have always been happily opportunistic. Pleasure is the raison d'etre. Which is why, for example, they'll screw anything that moves without a second thought. It's also important to bear in mind that men are beasts...a fuck for them can mean nothing more than wiping their nose...a simple fact that even modern female academics sometimes fail to grasp. For middle class academics the mindset gap is even vaster. ......
When you express yourself in a manner so extreme...... anti-male, anti-upper, anti-middle, anti-academic, anti-B-everything (except perhaps whatever it is that you are yourself) you destroy any credibility whatsoever that your opinions might have. Can't we be just a teeny-weeny bit more moderate?
OK, as an Art Historian, I agree that he was a lecher, a go-getter (well, he didn't have to go very far to get it, did he?) This highly-informed opinion of mine is based on the simple fact that he looks like a real lech in his portrait, and even in the picture in Wndsor Castle of him and his brother as dear little boys in Fauntleroy suits, he has a narrow-eyed, avaricious, nasty expression as if he'd just dropped little bro's kitten down the gardeloo.
This is my debauched academic middle-class opinion. I hope you like it! Here's the link to an article, the neutrality of which is disputed! Physiognomy
See ya round wiki then! ;)
--Amandajm 07:25, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Barony of de Ros
The article says Buckingham angered people by claiming the title of Baron de Ros which was held by Dorchester's son-in-law. The page on the barony of de Ros says he inherited it in the ordinary course. On the page for Dorchester's son-in-law, the Duke of Rutland, it says he was once styled Lord Roos but says nothing about him claiming the barony or disputing it with Buckingham. Can anyone please clear up? Jess Cully (talk) 12:28, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Younger brother Francis
The article says that Buckingham's father died when our subject was four months old, and then says that he and his younger brother Francis were brought up with the king's sons. This younger brother Francis would then be posthumous. Neither the article on the first Duke of Buckingham nor that on his Duchess, in enumerating their issue, mentions this Francis. I suspect he didn't exist. Can anyone clarify? J S Ayer (talk) 01:36, 27 June 2009 (UTC)