Genealogical Histories

The Anglo-Dutch Moment: the Bentinck dukes of Portland

The year 1688-1689 has been called by historians the ‘Anglo-Dutch Moment’, as the year when the ideas of English and Dutch limited monarchy came together in the person of William, Prince of Orange: King William III. Over three centuries later, one family, the Bentincks, still benefit from this relatively brief merging of national interests. HansContinue reading “The Anglo-Dutch Moment: the Bentinck dukes of Portland”

The House of Lancaster in Portugal: Dukes of Aveiro and Abrantes

Lancaster is a very English place name, and the name used by dynastic historians for one side of the epic struggle for the English throne known as the Wars of the Roses. Curiously, as ‘Lencastre’ it is also a surname used by one of the few Portuguese noble families to hold ducal rank. Aveiro wasContinue reading The House of Lancaster in Portugal: Dukes of Aveiro and Abrantes

Piombino: A sovereign principality for the Appiani, Ludovisi and Boncompagni

Renaissance Italy is known for its complex political geography, with numerous small duchies and principalities punching above their weight in terms of the generation of political and philosophical ideas and staggeringly beautiful works of art. Mantua, Ferrara, Parma are all well known. There were also several much smaller principalities whose histories are not as known,Continue reading “Piombino: A sovereign principality for the Appiani, Ludovisi and Boncompagni”

Princes of Transylvania

(Part I) Transylvania. The name conjures up images of vampires and werewolves, and the most famous vampire of all, Count Dracula. But really, his story is part of the Principality of Wallachia and the Carpathian mountains which separate that region from Transylvania. The potential historic inspiration for Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, thus belongs to anotherContinue reading “Princes of Transylvania”

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