Queen Anne: The Last of the Stuarts

Queen Anne 1702-1714 was the last of the Stuart monarchs. Her life and 12 year reign were overshadowed by the tragic deaths of all 17 of her children. Her failure to produce an heir to the Stuart dynasty resulted in the succession of the Protestant, German Hanoverians, in quite controversial circumstances. The Jacobites, the Catholic heirs to her father, King James II continued to claim the crown of both England and Scotland until defeated overwhelmingly at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Her friendship with Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough proved to be both toxic and controversial. Queen Anne’s reign saw the emergence of the modern parliamentary system based around political parties. Her strong adherence to Protestantism won her many admirers.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Somerset, Anne, (2012) The Politics and Passion of Queen Anne, (Vintage Press) ASIN : BOOAX123FG
  • Field, Olivia, (2002) The Favourite, Sarah Churchill, Ducchess of Marlborough, (Hodder and Stoughton) ISBN13 : 9781474605366
  • Massie, Allan (2013) The Royal Stuarts, A History of the Family That Shaped Britain, (ST Martin’s Griffin) 9781250024923


  • The Stuart dynasty from 1603, brief overview of the Stuart family and dynasty 1603-1702
  • The Glorious Revolution 1688-1689 and the overthrow of Anne’s Catholic father James II, the last Catholic monarch England and Scotland
  • Early death of Anne’s older sister Queen Mary II in 1694 and her joint monarch husband William III in 1702 and the family and political implications for Anne and her husband Prince George of Denmark
  • Reign of Queen Anne 1702-1714 and its significant themes, including the union of England Scotland in 1707, the War of Spanish Succession 1702-1713 and the military successes of the Duke of Marlborough in Europe
  • The emergence of opposing political parties and the beginnings of the modern parliamentary system
  • The virulent politics of religion continued to dominate British politics in the early 18th century and the failure of the Catholic Jacobites to reclaim the throne for Catholic Heirs of King James II
  • Controversies surrounding The Favourite, a 2018 film, directed by Yorgos Lathimos, which has been described as a period black comedy based on the relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. appreciate the serious conflicts which raged during the early 18th century in Britain during the short but eventful reign of Queen Anne.
  2. gain an understanding of the increasing limitations on the powers of a monarch after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Act of Settlement in 1701 as the modern parliamentary government emerged during her reign.

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