The King's Children - The Spanish Match

In 1612, the king had the misfortune to lose his eldest son, Henry, a youth of nineteen, who was considered as one of the most promising and accomplished men of the age. The second son, Charles, then became the heir-apparent, and James was busied for several years in seeking him out a suitable consort. The Princess Mary of Spain was selected, a match which could not be popular, considering that the young lady was a Catholic and of a family who had long been enemies of England. The prince, attended by the Duke of Buckingham, made a romantic journey in disguise to Madrid to push the match; but a quarrel between the British and Spanish ministers led to its being broken off, and to a bloody war between the two nations. Elizabeth, the only remaining child of the king, was married in 1613, to Frederick, Prince Palatine of the Rhine, who was afterwards so unfortunate as to lose his dominions, in consequence of his placing himself at the head of the Bohemians, in what was considered as a rebellion against his superior, the Emperor of Germany. This discrowned pair, by their youngest daughter Sophia, who married the Duke of Brunswick, were the ancestors of the family which now reigns in Britain.