Friday, December 18, 2015

Double-Dippers in Royal Favourites--

"That Richard determined to follow his own star became clear when he selected those advisers and courtiers who would be closest to him. Sensible Simon Burley remained his main confidante and mentor, providing a link with the Black Prince and the comforting past, but two appointments signified a change of direction and demonstrated the new king's determination to st a personal seal on his court. When parliament appointed Michael de la Pole, a wealthy and influential supporter of John of Gaint, and the Earl of Arundel to 'advised and govern the king,' the intention was to provide tutelage and to place a curb on Richard's wilder tendencies, but the appointments were soon used to the throne's advantage. Shortly afterward, in March 1383, the chancellor Richard Scrope criticized the king for awarding lavish grants to his followers. This rap of the knuckles, however, achieved nothing other than to have the perpetrator of the criticism sacked. Then Richard intervened to show that he was his own man and would not be hobbled by advisors: De la Pole was appointed in Scrope's place, and two years later he was created Earl of Suffolk, a position that gave him enhanced authority at court and direct access to the king. This, too, was a sign of the changing times; the de la Poles were not aristocrats but had made their way up to the world through commerce to gain powerful positions at court. The family originated in Hull, where Michael's grandfather Richard had come to prominence as a merchant financier; by lending large amounts of money to Edward III, Richard de la Pole gained Royal patronage, and in 1333 he left Hull for London, where he was appointed chief butler at court, a post that gave him access to revenues from customs duty on the sale of wine and, more importantly, brought him to public prominence." (Lancaster Against York: The Wars of the Roses and the Foundation of Modern Britain)

Duke of Ireland

"A more pernicious influence was Richard's close relationship with Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, a feckless and widely disliked young man who was solon a recipient of Royal favors and grants of land and titles. In 1485 he was made Marquess of Dublin and then Duke of Ireland, an extravagant title that bore no relation to de Vere's talents or contribution to public life and one that was greatly resented by the king's uncles, who, being Royal dukes themselves, were greatly offended by de Vere's rapid advancement. Without producing any hard evidence, Walsingham hinted that there might have been darker reasons for the elevation. This action demonstrated the depth of King Richard's affection for this man, whom he cultivated and loved, not without a degree of improper intimacy, or so it was rumored. It also provoked discontent among the other lords and barons, who were angry that a man of such mediocrity should receive such promotion, for he was not superior to the rest of them in either nobility of birth or gifts of character." (Lancaster Against York)

"In fact there is nothing to suggest a homosexual relationship between the two men---de Vere had already caused scandal by seducing Agnes de Launcekrona, one of Queen Anne of Bohemia's ladies-in-waiting and making her his mistress---but the closeness of their friendship coupled with de Vere's butterfly personality and his capacity for toadying told against him. It was also an awkward reminder of Edward II's earlier and disastrous infatuation with this favorite Piers Gaveston, although de Vere did not possess the same degree of personal authority over Richard, being more of a close friend and confidant than an actual creator of policy. Nevertheless, the establishment of a Royal inner circle was not popular. Not only was it a foolhardy move---in promoting de la Pole, Richard had used his own prerogative and had ignored the wishes of parliament---but in de Vere's case his frivolous presence at court was a constant reminder of the king's recklessness and extravagance. In that respect, his creation of favorites meant that Richard enjoyed only the briefest of honeymoon periods with those who should have been his closest and most loyal supporters. Among those offended by Richard's actions were the Royal uncles and advisers from the days of the Black Prince, who were now pressing for the emergence of more aggressive foreign policy, particularly toward the French." (Lancaster Against York)
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Eugenio di Savoia-Carignano.

Recapture of Buda Castle
Prince Eugene is on
the white horse

His lovers were:
1) Eleonore StrattmanCountess Batthyany. (1672-1741) 
a.k.a. the Fair Lory

"In later years, Eugene had a most confidential and intimate friend of the other sex. The Viennese simply called her 'the fair Lory.' This lady was Eleanor, the rich heiress of Count Strattman, the all-powerful Aulic chancellor of the Emperor Leopold. She had become in 1692 the wife of the gallant Hungarian, Count Adam Batthiany, Ban of Croatia; but she lost her husband in 1703, just at the time when Eugene, having been appointed president of the Aulic Council of War, resided frequently at Vienna. For a quarter of a century, Eugene regularly passed his evenings at the house of the Duchess of Holstein, where he met the Countess Batthiany (sic) for a game at cards; or also at the countess' own house. . . ." (Memoirs of the Court, Aristocracy, and Diplomacy of Austria, Vol. II: 134)

" . . . But the great friend of Eugene for the last twenty-five years of his life was the beautiful Countess Lory Batthyany. For a quarter of a century Eugene passed his evenings at the Duchess of Holstein's, where he met the countess, or at the countess's own house. His four horses used to find their own way there at last, and have been known to stop of their own accord before her doors, with Eugene asleep inside, the coachman asleep on the box, the heyduck of the steps, and the footman in the rumble; the collective ages of master and servants amounting to 310 years. He passed his last evening with the countess, and played piquet till nine in the evening. It was observed that he breathed hard and had difficulty in forcing himself to appear at ease. On his return home his attendant wished him to take medicine which had been prescribed, but he refused, saying 'to-morrow was time enough.' About midnight his servant entered his chamber, and saw him quietly sleeping; but in the morning he did not rise as usual, and he was found to have passed away quietly in the night." (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 545) 

" . . . He does not appear ever to have contemplated marriage, and is reported to have said that a soldier should not marry. It was suspected that there existed that there existed a tender relationship between himself and the Countess Batthyany, but they always denied it. Nevertheless, the Countess Batthyany had two children, whom Maria Theresa called Eugene's 'codicils.'. . . ." (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 546)

Saviour of the liberties of Hungary: "Immediately after the peace of Passarowitz, he gave notice to his fair friend the Countess Batthyany, by means of a letter from his camp in Hungary, that danger threatened the liberties of Hungary, in these words:---'It is intended to place Hungary on a Bohemian footing.' The countess instantly dressed herself in mourning, and went to the house of the Countess Althann, the mistress of Charles VI. When the monarch came to pay his daily visit to the Countess Althann, he found both ladies in deep mourning. They besought him with tears to do nothing with Hungary until he had heard Prince Eugene. He consented to write a letter to the Prince. The countess's travelling carriage was in the court. Although it was the depth of winter, she travelled day and night, and brought back the Prince, and the liberties of Hungary were saved." (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 543)

Mars without Venus: " . . . Eugene, in the early part of his life at Venice, from his independence of the fascinations of the fair sex, was styled by an Italian, Mars without Venus. Nevertheless, scandal said (without reason, as Voltaire thought), that the loss of the battle of Denain was owing to the presence of a fair Italian whom he took with him in that campaign. Voltaire saw the lady in Holland." (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 546)

2) Maria Franziska Eleonora von Thuerheim.
Eugene's physical appearance & personal qualities: "Eugene was a small man, not at all handsome. His appearance by no means belied the country where he had received his education---it was completely that of a Frenchman. His complexion was dark, but remarkably clear; his face thin, long, and strongly marked by a large prominent nose, with nostrils like those of a horse. He wore his own black hair, with two small stiff curls: between his fiftieth and sixtieth years, when he began to turn grey, he assumed a large flowing wig. The only fine point about his face was his eyes; they were dark and full of animation. His glance electrified his soldiers, and won the heart of the women. It would, however, have been difficult at first sight to recognise in him the great man; he even looked remarkably silly, had a trick of gazing into the clouds, and, like Frederic II, continually took Spanish snuff from his waistcoat pocket; which suggested to Pope the saying, that Eugene took as many towns as snuff. In his movements he showed an incessant restlessness, yet it was tempered by manly vigour and princely, dignified bearing; and in the intercourse with the world, he observed the most measured deportment, and even reserve. His impulses all came from within, and he never allowed them to be overruled by any extraneous cause. At the first meeting, he was, in most instances, of chilly coldness, taciturn, and reserved. His temperament was tender and sanguine; and he was full of plans an ideas, which unceasingly occupied his mind. In the prime of his life, he seldom slept more than about three hours. He possessed a remarkable instinct for reading the future. . . ." (Memoirs of the Court, Aristocracy, and Diplomacy of Austria, Volume 2: 119-120)

Eugene of Savoy's personal & family background.
"Prince Eugene of Savoy, born in 1663, was a scion of the side-branch of Carignan, which was founded by the youngest son of Charles Emanuel, who reigned at the time of the Thirty Years' War. The founder of this side-branch, Eugene's grandfather, and his father also, had been in the French military service, and had married French women. Eugene's grandmother was the sister and heiress of the last Count Soissons of the house of Conde; his mother, Olympia Mancini, was one of the nieces of the Cardinal-minister Mazarin. Eugene's father was, at the court of Louis XIV, commandant of the Swiss Guards and governor of Champagne. He died, after having been married sixteen years, in 1673, leaving Eugene then a boy of ten years. Olympia Mancini, like Maria Mancini, who afterwards was forced to marry a Colonna, head been one of the numerous mistresses of Louis XIV. Having, however, been soon supplanted by Madame La Valliere, she revenged herself by a satire on the inconstancy of the king, and on some secret love-passages in the life of her more fortunate rival. Being, therefore, banished (from) the court, she went to Brussels. . . ." (Memoirs of the Court, Aristocracy, and Diplomacy of Austria, Vol 2: 117)

" . . . His appearance was by no means imposing: he was small in stature, weak in constitution, rather humpbacked, of brown complexion, with a short upper lip,so that his mouth was always open and displayed two great front teeth; his nose somewhat retrousse with large nostrils. Yet his eyes were noticed to be fine and full of fire and intelligence. . . ." (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 506)

" . . . He was generous, true, and above all forgiving. Constant as was the chicanery, jealousy, and spite which pursued him at the Court of Vienna, he always remained true to himself, and his enemies never had the satisfaction of driving him to do or say anything unworthy his reputation. . . . " (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 544-545)
Ferdinando de' Medici
Grand Prince of Tuscany 


a.k.a. the Orpheus of Princes. 

Son of: Cosimo III de' Medici of Tuscany & Marguerite-Louise d'Orleans. 

Husband of: Violante of Bavaria, daughter of Elector Ferdinand of Bavaria & Adelaide de Savoie, mar 1689. 

Physical Traits and Personal Qualities: "...He was handsome, a fine rider, a talented musician. He sang melodiously, and played the harpsichord...." (Wikipedia

His lovers were
1) Domenico Cecchi (1650-1717) 
Italian soprano singer 

a.k.a. Cecchino; Cecchino de' Massimi. 

" . . . There was a long-standing association of castrati with homosexuality, and some had been the lovers of powerful men. Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici, himself an accomplished musician, met the castrato Domenico Cecchi ('Cecchino') at the Venetian carnival in 1687. So enamoured was Ferdinando of Cecchi that he neglected his wife and failed to produce an heir. Since his younger brother Gian Gastone showed similar lack of interest in the female sex, this marked the end of the House of Medici." (The Castrato and His Wife: 17) 

" . . . (H)is longest-standing lover, who wielded 'great influence over hi,' was the Venetian castrato Cecchino...." (Harris, 2001, p. 39

" . . . (S)ome had been the lovers of powerful men. Grand Prince Ferdinando de Medici, himself an accomplished musician, met the castrato Domenico Cecchi ('Cecchino') at the Venetian carnival in 1687. So enamoured was Ferdinando of Cecchi that he neglected his wife and failed to produce an heir...." (The Pig Man Arrives in Monte San Savino, p. 17

2) La Bambagia
Lover in 1696. 

a female vocalist. 

3) Petrillo
a castrato musician. 

"...Prince Ferdinand...pursued both male and female conquests, but an early favorite was the 'young and beautiful' castrato Petrillo...." (Harris, 2001, p. 39

4) Vittoria Tarquini
Italian opera singer. 

a.k.a. la Bombace (the Bomb) 

Wife of: Jean-Baptiste Farinel (1655-?), the composer, mar 1689.

"...In addition to being Ferdinand's mistress, Vittoria was the wife of the composer Jean-Baptiste Farinel (b. 1655), whom she had married in 1689. Electress Sophie's particular interest in the rumored relationship arises from the fact that Farinel was a violinist and composer in the service of the Elector." (Harris, 2001, p. 181)

" . . .[S]he was a fine woman, and had for some time been much in the good graces of his Serene Highness [the Grand Duke Cosimo III of Tuscany; she was his mistress]. But, from the natural restlessness of certain hearts, so little sensible was she of her exalted situation, that she conceived a design of transferring her affections to another person. Handel's youth and comeliness, joined with his fame and abilities in Music, had mad impressions on her heart. Tho' she had the art to conceal them for the present, she had not perhaps the power, certainly not the intention, to efface them." (Queering the Pitch: 164)

"The Venetian singer Vittoria Tarquini became one of the most celebrated singers of her time. Prince Ferdinando de' Medici became enraptured with her and eventually aroused the envy of his future wife, Violante Beatrice (the daughter of the dedicatee of this work, whom he was to marry the following November). The prince's affair with Tarquini also alienated his favorite castrato, Francesco de Castris (also known as Cecchino de' Massimi. . .). From 1699 Tarquini was in the employ of Gian Gastone de' Medici." (A New Chronology of Venetian Opera and Related Genres, 1660-1760: 185)
Ford Frey, 1st Earl of Tankerville
English nobleman, politician, orator & statesman. 

a.k.a. Lord Grey of Wark

Husband ofLady Mary Berkeley, daughter of George Berkeley, 1st Earl of Berkeley & Elizabeth Massingberd.

" . . . Lady Henrietta was a daughter of the first Earl Berkeley, and sister-in-law of Ford, Lord Grey of Werke, afterwards Earl of Tankerville, whose scoundrelism even the depraved courtiers of Charles II were ashamed of.  He made his villainy (sic) in this case even more execrable by his duplicity, for he advised her mother, the Countess, to lock her in her room, as he was afraid she would be eloping with one of the grooms.  This was at the very time he had made arrangements for her abduction.  Lady Henrietta was the fifth daughter of Earl Berkeley, and at this time was scarcely seventeen years of age.  She fled from her home in the summer of 1682, was traced to London, and found living in apartments at Charing Cross, which had been taken for her b Lord Grey.  The scene in Court when this wretch was brought to justice was truly touching.  We see this misguided girl still clinging to her betrayer, refusing to give evidence against him, declaring she had left her home of her own free will, and perjuring her soul to shield him by declaring he was not guilty of the offence charged against him, nay, more, she had anticipated that the Court would have to defer judgment, and had provided herself with his bail.  Even this was not enough.  At the last moment she resorted to the most amazing falsehood, almost impossible for woman to conceive, to throw his prosecutors off their guard. . . . " (The Old Halls, Manors and Families of Derbyshire, Volume 2: 155)

[Ref1:Epsom and Ewell History Explorer] [Ref2:Les Scandaleuses] [Ref3:Court Satires of the Restoration:245]

Duke of Athens

His lover was:

"The Aragonese attempted to reclaim the Duchy, calling Tommaso Beraldo the Duke. However, he failed to dislodge Antonio who left the Duchy to his nephews Nerio II 1435-39 & 1441-51 & Antonio II (1439-45). Although named by Antonio I as heir Nerio II (helped by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II) had initially to fight Antonio’s widow (who was helped by Constantine Palaeologus, Despot of Morea & later the last Emperor of Byzantine Constantinople as Constantine XI). Nerio II was thrown out of Athens by his plotting brother, Antonio II, but returned on his death (1441). He was thrown out by Antonio’s widow, Maria Zorzi. Nerio fought for Constantine XI against the Ottoman Turks, but soon came to terms with Murad. Nerio left the Duchy to his son Francesco I (1451-. The regency was in his mother, Chiara Zorzi’s hands but she remarried to the Venetian Bartolomeo Contarini and the new Sultan Mehmet II was asked by the Athenians to intervene. The young Duke remained at the Sultan’s court. A son of Antonio II, Francesco II (Franco) was placed by Mehmet II on the ducal throne in 1455, but the Duchy was annexed by the Sultan 1456/8. He repudently (sic) became one of Mehmet’s lovers. He started a plot to retake the throne of Athens, so Mehmet had him killed." (Chaletaria, 2006, August 15)
Francesco Algarotti
Francesco Algarotti
His lovers were:
1) Firmacon.
"Spring 1738 brought renewed hopes of Algarotti . . . He borrowed money from his brother to take him to England, citing, almost as collateral, his hopes from rich admirers there. He left Italy in December 1737, travelling with a new friend or lover of his own age, named Firmacon. They did not hurry. Hervey, who had been hopeful of seeing him in March, was less so in April, and was making snide remarks about Firmacon in July. . . ."  (Grundy. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: 379)

2) Friedrich von PreussenCrown Prince of Prussia
later Friedrich II.

3) John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey.

4) Mary Wortley, Lady Montagu.

5) Lugeac.
Secretary of
French ambassador to Venice.

" . . . In 1735 Algarotti was a guest of Voltaire and his mistress, Mme du Chatelet, for six weeks at the latter's chateau. The cosmopolitan count was a handsome twenty-three-year-old Venetian who charmed both his hosts and shared their wide-ranging enthusiasms for science and literature. Voltaire described him as a 'young man who knows the language and customs of every country, who makes verses like Ariosto, and who knows his Locke and Newton.' . . . . "  (Homosexuality and Civilization: 514)
" . . . Like many at the court, he was bisexual, and was the lover of La Mole and Madame de Sauves. . . ."  (Dumas: 474)

His lovers were:

1) Charlotte de Sauve (1551-1617)
French noblewoman, beauty, courtier & royal mistress.

2) Joseph-Boniface de La Mole.

3) Louis de Bussy d'Amboise.

French diplomat, literary man & man of intellect
a.k.a. Abbe Francois de Chateauneuf.

His lovers were:
1)Francois VI de La Rochefoucauld.

2) Ninon l'Enclos

" . . . His (Voltaire) godfather, the abbe Chateauneuf, also oversaw parts of his education. The abbe introduced him to abbe Chaulieu, who in turn introduced him to Deism and the art of writing poetry. Abbe Chateauneuf also introduced his godchild to his lover, the courtesan Ninon de Lenclos, who further encouraged his studies in philosophy and literature. . . ." (Voltaire)
File:Full length portrait painting of Gaston of France, Duke of Orléans in 1634 by Anthony van Dyck (Musée Condé).jpg
Gaston, Duke of Orleans

His lovers were:
1) Louise Rogier de La Marbelliere.

2) Marie Porcher.
George d'Anthes
George d'Anthes (1812-1895)
French military officer & politician.

His lovers were:
1) Jacob van Heeckeren tot Enghuizen
His adoptive father and alleged lover.
Dutch ambassador to St. Petersburg

2) Nataliya Nikolaevna Goncharova (1812-1863)

". . . It was, in real life, the handsome Alsatian rake, Horse Guard lieutenant Baron George d'Anthes, adopted son of Baron Louis van Heeckeren, Dutch minister to Russia. Natalia, young, dazzlingly beautiful, adored and admired, simple and unsophisticated, caught up in the enticing net of glamour and gaiety, in the enchantment of court-life, dance and flirted, and won hearts: and d'Anthes was gallant, an aristocrat, rich. She was married as a matter of harsh expediency, and to a man she did not love, whom she did not understand, and whose genius she could never begin to appreciate. Though she was never unfaithful to her husband, she was not above responding to such adoration as d'Anthes pretended to offer. . . As the d'Anthes courtship of Natalia intensified, tongues wagged, faces leered and smirked. Natalia did little to alleviate the heart-sickening jealousy of her husband." (Ewen: 410)

Georges's personal & family background:  
"Georges d'Anthes, Heeckeren's protege, came from Alsace.  The family fortunes had been established at the beginning of the eighteenth century by Jean Henri d'Anthes, a wealthy ironmaster, ennobled in 1731, whose estate at Soultz, near Mulhouse, became the family seat. . . ." (Pushkin: A Biography: 497)
John, 2nd Baron Hervey

English courtier, political writer and memoirist.
Lord Hervey of Ickworth
Vice-Chamberlain of King's Household 1730
Privy Councillor 1730
Member of Parliament 1711

Son ofJohn Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, & Elizabeth Felton, Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Caroline.

Husband ofMary Lepel, a Maid of Honour, mar 1720

Daughter of Brig. Gen. Nicholas Lepell, Groom of the Bedchamber to George, Prince of Denmark & Mary Brooke.

"His early marriage with Mary Lepel (sic), the beautiful maid of honour to Queen Caroline, insured his felicity, though it did not curb his predilections for other ladies." (The Wits and Beaux of Society222)

"Mary Lepel, Lady Hervey, whose attractions, great as they were, proved insufficient to rivet the exclusive admiration of the accomplished Hervey, had become his wife in 1720, some time before her husband had been completely enthralled with the gilded prison doors of a court.  She was endowed with that intellectual beauty calculated to attract a man of talent: she was highly educated, of great talent; possessed of savour faire, infinite good temper, and a strict sense of duty.  She also derived from her father, a Brigadier Lepel, who was on an ancient family in Sark, a considerable fortune.  Good and correct as she was, Lady Hervey viewed with a fashionable composure the various intimacies formed during the course of their married life by his lordship." (The Wits and Beaux of Society216)

"When God created the human race he created men, women, and Herveys."
-Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Olga de Meyer
Olga de Meyer (1871-1931).
British socialite, patron of the arts, model, writer & fashion figure

Daughter ofGennaro Caracciolo Pignatelli, Duca di Caracciolo & Marie Blanche Sampayo.

Wife of:
1. Nobile Marino Brancaccio (1852-1920), mar 1892, div 1899.
2.dolph de Meyer (1868-1946), mar 1899.

Her lover was:
1) Violet Trefusis.

2) Winnaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac.
(in 1909-1914)

[Bio2:Esoteric curiosa]


His alleged lover was:

Richard I of England
The Richard I England and King Philippe-Auguste of France's relationship has been described as follows:

"Richard, duke of Aquitaine, son of the king of England, remained with Philip, the king of France, who so honoured him for so long that they ate every day at the same table and from the same dish, and at night their beds did not separate them. And the king of France loved him as his own soul; and they loved each other so much that the king of Ebglabd [Henry II] was absolutely astonished at the vehement love between them and marvelled at what it could mean." (The Private Life of Edward IV: lxxiii)

" . . . Philip Augustus and Richard had been lover in their youth, when the English prince was attending the French court as the favorite son of his remarkable mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her efforts to tutor Richard in the knightly art of courtly love, in the pleasure palaces of southern France, had not been entirely successful (Reston, 2001). After their falling out of love, the future kings became entangled in numerous dynastic struggles within and between the two rival domains. . . ." (Johnston, 2008, p. 289)

" . . . According to the 12th-century historian Roger of Hoveden, a passionate love developed between the 29-year-old Richard and Philip, then 22 years of age:  'Richard, duke of Aquitaine...remained with Philip, the King of France, who so honored him for so long that they ate every day at the same table and from the same dish, and at night their beds did not separate them.  And the king of France loved him as his own soul; and they loved each other so much that the king of England was absolutely astonished at the passionate love between them and marveled at it."

"Philip had evidently had a special fondness for Henry II's sons.  Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany, Henry's second son, had earlier stayed with Philip at his court in Paris for extended periods, and had become such a part of Philip's life that he made Geoffrey an official in his court.  When Geoffrey, at the age of 28, was killed during a tournament, Philip's grief at the funeral was such that his aides had to restrain him from throwing himself into Geoffrey's grave." (Neill, 2009, p. 245)

Princely Vendome Brothers

" . . . One must note that a similar treatment was reserved to the two princely Vendome brothers wgo were durect descendants of Henri IV, Louis' and Philippe's grandfather, and who may have also posed a threat to the reigning branch of the House of Bourbon. One was a general who exerted himself---and his aides de camp---on the battlefieds. The other, Philippe de Vendome, who enjoyed immunity as Grand Hospitalier and Grand Prior of Malta, assembled around him a happy circle of libertins, poets, writers, painters---and one should add 'hustlers'---a group that prepared for the Regency. His famous 'nuits' met in the Rue du Temple, in the Marais, a street near today's Parisian gay district. There definitely was a royal policy of letting any possible contender to the legitimate monarch run free, and so discredit himself." (Aldrich & Wotherspoon: 408)