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(FROM WILLIAM THE CONJ t QUEROR TO QUEEN VICTORIA. I THE GENEALOGICAL TABLES. I [The Westminster Gazette says :-It is;? interesting to glance at a genealogical table of? the Sovereigns of England and to see bow, in? spite of what Burke called the aristocraticaljk law of primo-gemtureship," Death and the, Fates have dealt with the descending lines ofi succession. Such a table gives to the eye a suggestive picture of disappointed hopes of. tragedies, of the tangled confusion of civil and ? dynastic wars. Here and there the line seems!" inextricably lost as it zig-zags hither and|| Ithither like a little stream that runs through a Swinding channel. f | This stream of the descent of our Royal KFamily starts from William the Conqueror. Thei first and second channels of the two elder sons,4 Robert and William Rufus, are euls-de-eae; the|| open one is from the third son, Henry I., but itf: runs down straight only as far as his grandson,t Henry II. Here again we tind the first threel ,branches stopped abruptly, the third ending^; c with the tragic name of Arthur Duke of Brittany. And so the line is shifted to the\ Sfourth son John, and downwards through four generations to Edward III. From thence the eye wanders about amidst a maze of confusing <» names, the juxtaposition of which conjures up the dire entanglements of the Wars of thai Roses. The lines of Lancaster and York struggle down towards posterity with the? Ealternate fortunes of the rivals, but we find the ? succession trickling steadily through the.) maze from John of Gaunt to Henry V. Then there comes a break, and Owen Tudor| figures in small type in union with Henry's widow, Katharine of France. This little side stream practically outside the Royal blood l wanders away through a generation, but in that? regeneration it regains touch with the blood of the House of Lancaster through the marriagejj of Owen Tudor's son with Margaret Beaufort, the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt'sa second wife. Next comes Henry VII. of Xich- mond, having in his veins the blood both on Tudor and Lancaster, and by his marriage with f BElizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV., and ai descendant of the youngest of Edward III .'s sons, we find the two streams of the rival Houses! of Lancaster and York running together down toii Henry VIII. I Here, again, fate plays tricks with the stra ightI jlines. Edward VI., Mary and Eliaabeth atuid MM final points having no succession, and we have tofi !seek for the channel through Henry the Sventh's ?eldest daughter, Margaret. There was another? daughter, Mary, and on looking down these two? l vertical lines we find two parallel tragediM. Mar- garet's grand-daughter was Mary Queen of Scots, |beheaded in 1587; Mary's grand-d&agbtM. Jan? Grey, suffered the same fate in 1554. But Mary of Scots, through her marriage with Dam ley, had? left a son, who was James VI. of Scotland, and 1 when the proud old Queen of England g&ve up herfl struggle against Time and closed her w:r Qyes' in her last rest, it was the son of the cousin S whom she had put to death who came from over the Scottish border to fill her throne. I Once more the channel of succession runs in blind alleys, for the Stuart lines are blocked, first with the childless Charles II.; then they wander | into exile or extinction in James II. and his descendants, and they stop again in the fruitless union of Mary with William of Orange. | We have, therefore, to go back to the daughter l of James I., Elizabeth, and from her marriage with the Elector Palatine we get at last on to the | straight line of descent, which brings us down l [through the Georges to the great Queen who has 'just passed away after the longest lifo, the l ? lengthiest reign, and the most glorious and blame- 1 S' less record of any of the Sovereigns wfro have preceded her.







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