Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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32 Responses

  1. LeeEsq says:

    France almost restored the Bourbons after getting rid of Emperor Napoleon III. Constitutional monarchists were the majority of the French Assembly. Its just that the would be King stubbornly insisted that the flag of France be the old Bourbon flag rather than the Revolutionary tricolor. The Third Republic was something of a default.Report

  2. Burt Likko says:

    It seems a bit surreal to dig around in the Wikipedia and identify the Bourbon/Legitimist pretender to the French throne. He’s younger than me, and better-looking. Likely a good deal wealthier to boot.Report

    • Indeed. I find myself reacting with, “There are people who are still actually keeping track of such things?”Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Once I figured out that there were people keeping track of the history of various area codes on Wikipedia, I came to the conclusion there’s somebody _really_ into everything.Report

      • On further reflection, though, it’s not any stranger than my own retirement hobby, so I don’t really have any room to criticize or make fun. Apologies to people who think tracking the pretender to the Bourbon throne is a reasonable thing to do. And especially to those who think the throne might be retaken, and that it will matter.Report

      • El Muneco in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I’m pretty sure there’s an unofficial “King Ralph” style list of the heirs to the British throne somewhere.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to El Muneco says:

          There is a Jacobite succession that actually would have priority but for British statutory law. It’s derived from one of the daughters of Charles I. IIRC, it runs through some Italian royal family up into some German royal family. James II’s grandson Henry Stuart was the last Stuart to make any sort of public assertion of a right to the throne.

          AFAIK, there never was a legitimate Plantagenet pretender after the Tudors took the throne in 1485.Report

          • J_A in reply to Art Deco says:

            Ignoring for the time being all the mix-up between younger male and older female descendants of Eduard III, and accepting that either Henry VI or Edward IV were legitimate kings, Henry VIII is the legitimate successor of both Lancaster and York claims.

            His York claim was actually stronger, as grandson of Edward IV through his oldest daughter. Henry VII’s claim is only valid if you accept that the Beauforts (his mother) were eligible to the throne, a claim that is far from clear. But there is no doubt that Elizabeth of York’s descendants (which include every king or queen since) are truly legitimate successors to all the Plantagenet branches.

            The succession of George I skipped about 50 people -all Catholics- with a better claim, including the house of Orleans that ruled in France 1830-1848 and who are one of the two pretenders to the French throne (probably with the better claim, the other claimant is a second cousin of the King of Spain, a descendant of an older brother of the King’s grandfather that resigned his Spanish throne claim; this latter claim assumes that the Uthrech renunciation is invalid under French law). The English succession has jumped through different Royal Houses because it allows for female inheritance. It is now vested in the legitimate King of Bavaria, but was formerly in personal union with the Kings of Savoy/Italy, who also bar women from the throne.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I found out a few years ago through hitting a vein of someone else’s Ancestry.com research that my father’s fathers may go back to where one of them was some type of hanger-on to William the Conqueror. (It’s obviously totally possible it’s a bunch of made-up links.)

        Suddenly I was super interested in the Norman Conquest and the period in England somewhat before and after it!

        So yeah, people keep track of whether their ancestors were kings and queens. Or even might have known one.Report

        • I always find myself suspicious that a line of descent that long probably experienced a bit of casual bastardy somewhere along the way. Assume that the cuckold rate amongst the nobility is 0.5%, and 30 generations. The probability that the line actually goes as reconstructed from the paper records is only 14%.

          Me? Well, several branches of my family tree go back to the dockside parish in Liverpool at different points in time. I could be related to pretty much anybody. The parish church burned down in 1895, taking all its records with it, so actually tracing things would be a very expensive undertaking.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      For all their faults, the Bourbons usually had a strong sense of style.Report

  3. Art Deco says:

    There was no real tradition for what to do next, but the French, with their customary respect for the fair sex, decided that as a matter of law not only could a woman not rule, she could not transmit the right to rule

    I think Salic Law dates from Merovingian times and is a common dynastic rule in continental Europe.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Art Deco says:

      Yes indeed this is true. Note, though, that agnatic succession is far from the full extent of Salic law. Other facets of prevailing law were subject to creative lawyering, or Papal dispensation, or whatever other gloss on legitimacy were needed at any given moment. And failing that, someone with enough dudes with swords who would follow his instructions could declare the law changed.

      I’m given to suspect that agnatic succession was invoked in France for explicit political purposes as someone who would have had a better claim to the throne but needed to rely on a female ancestor to invoke it was politically unacceptable at the time of succession. Wikipedia advises that “…upon the death of John I,* the crown would have passed to his half-sister, Joan (later Joan II of Navarre). However, Joan’s paternity was suspect due to her mother’s adultery; the French magnates adopted Salic Law to avoid the succession of a possible bastard.” Seems a probable enough cause to push for enforcing this facet of the law at that time.

      * John I was the unfortunate infant-king who “reigned” for the entirety of his five-day-long life in the early fourteenth century.Report

    • Over in East Francia (AKA Germany), both the Salians (heh) and Hohenstaufen were descended from the previous dynasty via the female line. And in England the Plantagenets’ royal descent was via Henry I’s daughter Matilda.Report

      • I don’t think Salic Law was ever in force in England, even though there was never a Queen-regnant until 1553, Henry Viii was fanatic in his attempts to avoid a contingency wherein one would be necessary, and Margaret Beaufort had been passed over in favor of her son in 1485.Report

  4. Joe Sal says:

    Excellent work Mike.Report

  5. Mike Dwyer says:

    This is interesting and timely. I’ve been watching the current season of Vikings and while they have taken some major liberties with the historical facts, it has still encouraged me to brush up on my early medieval history of Western Europe, including the early French (Carolingian and Norman) kings. This adds some new wrinkles to what I have been learning.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    It raises the question of what their current political philosophical heirs, the House of Saud, is going to do when they run out of siblings of the current generation (which has lasted just a year short of Liz Deux).Report

  7. Christopher Carr says:

    That was beautiful. The idea of someone subjugating a region by force and then that person’s 76th cousin 34 times removed being King 700 years later brings big salty tears to my eyes. Consider me a monarchist!Report

    • J_A in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Gibbon in “Decline and Fall….” discussed the apparent absurdity of field marcshalls and powerful barons kneeling in awe before an infant (he was probably thinking about Louis XV’s succession aged five fifty odd years earlier) and then compared favorably the existence of very rigid succession rules, even when those bring infants to the throne, with the might is right succession rules of the Roman Empire, which was never constitutionally an inheritable throne. He was quite Burkean in be living that stability was preferable than having the right guy in the seat of power.Report