Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Praise the Lord! Burns Family Studios has reached their $20,000 goal for Beyond the Mask! The final count is $24,010 raised. For more information, look at their trailer on Kickstarter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

James II's Instructions to his Son on Warfare

James II (left) was King of England from 1685 to 1688, when William III of Orange invaded England and took the crown. James fled to France, and then to Ireland, where he waged war against William. The Jacobites (followers of King James) were defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Also in 1690, James II began to draft these instructions to his son James Francis Edward Stuart, who was then two years old. My selections for this article represents James's view on war. Read the full instructions here, along with a multitude of other original documents from James II, James Francis Edward Stuart, and more.

If it please God to restore me (which I trust in his goodness he will do) I may then hope to settle all things so as may make it easier for you to govern all my dominions with safety to the monarchy, and the satisfaction of all the subjects; no king can be happy without his subjects be at ease, and the people cannot be secure of enjoying their own without the King be at his ease also, and in a condition to protect them and secure his own right; therefore preserve your prerogative, but disturb not the subjects in their property, nor conscience, remember the great precept, Do as you would be done to, for that is the law and the prophets. Be very careful that none under you oppress the people, or torment them with vexations, suits, or projects: Remember a king ought to be the father of his people, and must have a fatherly tenderness for them. Live in peace and quiet with all your neighbours, and know that kings and princes may be as great robbers as thieves and pirates, and will receive their punishment for taking anything unjustly from them, at the great tribunal, and be not carried away by ambition or thoughts of glory in this world, to make you forget that divine precept, and never be persuaded to go about to enlarge your territories by unjust acquisitions, be content with what is your own.
. . .
And now I must give you warning not to let yourself at any time be carried away by heat of youth, ambition or flattering interest to embark yourself in an offensive war, none of which can be justified by Christianity or morality. Kings and princes can no more justify their taking from their neighbours, but by way of reprisal towns or provinces, than thieves of highway men their unlawful gains.
Remember that maxim of Christ: "That one must not do ill that good may follow," and the other, "Be content with what is your own," which does not hinder kings and states from preserving and defending what is justly theirs by taking arms and repelling force by force; they owe that to themselves and to their subjects, but it is a terrible thing to begin unjust war.
Consider the consequences of it, both as to this world and the next, no forgiveness without restitution. Besides what desolation does it not bring upon whole kingdoms and provinces, and though armies that are well paid and under good discipline may be hindered from committing great disorders even in an enemy's country, yet what devastations does it not cause in an active war, which cannot be avoided to the ruin of thousands of poor people.

The young James Francis Edward Stuart and his mother, Queen Mary of Modena

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

French and Indian War Gallery by C. W. Jeffreys

Charles William Jefferys is certainly one of my favorite painters of the French and Indian War. Born in 1869 and died 1951, he painted many scenes of Canada, including these five from the French and Indian War.
These paintings begin in Acadia in 1755. The Acadians were French-speaking British subjects, who were constantly fighting the British. In 1755, the British deported most of the Acadians. In the painting, an officer reads the order in a church. The parishoners lament, but several British keep the protestations from getting out of hand.

With the Acadians gone, only one French post remained on Nova Scotia: Louisbourg. In 1758, General Jeffrey Amherst was tasked with capturing it. His subordinate James Wolfe landed at Gaberus Bay in the teeth of some French cannons. With Gaberus Bay captured, the whole British army could land safely, and Louisbourg's fate was sealed.

Louisbourg opened up the Saint Lawrence, but Quebec blocked it. Wolfe was sent to capture Quebec, but it was defended by the Marquis de Montcalm. On September 13, the two armies met at the Plains of Abraham. Montcalm encourages his soldiers for the last time before riding to attack the British line.

The British held their fire until the French were within twenty yards, then they released a volley that cut down many French, including General Montcalm.
After the Battle of Quebec, the British were victorious in the Seven Years' War, but trouble soon broke out in the form of an Indian uprising led by Chief Pontiac. Pontiac's warriors ravaged the Northwest from Michilimackinac to Pittsburg. They were defeated at Bushy Run by a British force with many Highlanders. This picture shows the 42nd "Black Watch" charging and breaking the Indian lines.

With the Indians quelled, the British North American empire would be peaceful for many years...or would it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Queen Marie Lesczcynska

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil--1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Queen Marie Lesczcynska ("Frenchified" into Lezincka) is certainly one of the most forgotten queens of France. She was born in 1702 to Stanislas and Katarzina Lesczcynska, in the midst of international turmoil. In 1700, Peter the Great (of Russia) and Augustus II (of Poland) had devised a scheme to rob the 18 year old King of Sweden, Charles XII, of his Swedish empire. However, they picked the wrong man. In the first large battle of the Great Northern War, Charles XII crushed the Russians at Narva. In 1702, Charles turned against the Poles, and defeated them at Klissow. He deposed Augustus II, and installed Stanislas as King of Poland. Stanislas was king of Poland for four years until 1709, until Charles XII was defeated at Poltava and Stanislas resigned as king.

He and his family (he had two daughters, Marie and Anne) moved to Alsace, a territory somewhat under French control.

King Louis XIV died in 1715, and his great-grandson Louis XV succeeded him. In 1725, the Regent (Louis, Duke of Bourbon) was looking for a suitable queen for the young king, because there was a fear that he would die childless. His choice fell on Marie. When Stanislas heard it, he went to inform his wife and daughter (Anne had died at this time) of the good news:

"Fall we on our knees, and thank God!"

"My dear father, can you be recalled to the throne of Poland?"

"God has done us a more astounding grace, you are Queen of France!"

In 1733, Augustus II died, and Stanislas returned to the throne, backed by France. Russia and Austria put Augustus III on the throne instead, igniting the War of the Polish Succession. Stanislas was forced out of Poland, but France compensated him with the duchies of Lorraine and Barrois (conquered by the French in the war).

Marie was a good wife to Louis XV, but he was a terrible husband to her. However, Marie seems to have borne it patiently. She has the distinction of being grandmother to three French kings: Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X.

She died in 1762, four years before her father died.