Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Princess Di's Decapitated Kin

NEHGS is now taking pre-orders for Richard K. Evans' new book, The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales for Twelve Generations, due out in August. I'm impressed by the number of headless ancestors mentioned in the press release alone:

  • A significant twelfth-generation ancestor was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, whose excessive ambition displeased his sovereign and ultimately led him to the chopping block.
  • Another Scots forebear was Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, general of the forces that invaded Scotland in support of Monmouth’s rebellion in 1685. As a result, Argyll lost his head at the same place where his father, the 1st Marquess of Argyll, was decapitated for changing sides one time too many during the English Civil War.
It took three strokes of the ax to detach Robert Devereux's head—probably two more than he had hoped.

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