Rupert Von Der Pfalz

Rupert Von Der Pfalz

Birth
Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Death 29 Nov 1682 (aged 62)
Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 12310517 · View Source
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Bohemian Royalty, Duke of Cumberland. He is remembered for his many accomplishments during the 1600s as a soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor, and artist. He was the youngest of three sons of a Calvinist protestant, Elector of Palatine Friedrick V von der Pfalz, and Elizabeth Stuart, Princess of England, thus he was the first cousin of King Charles II of England. His sister Electress Sophia was the mother of George I of Great Britain, and she made him a member of her family to insure that he received a royal pension. As a result of the outbreak of the Thirty Years War on November 8, 1620, his parents were forced to flee Bohemia in exile one year after his father became King of Bohemia in August 1619. After being educated while in exile in the Netherlands by tutors, he became fluent in languages, mathematics and the arts. He began a career as a soldier at the age of fourteen fighting against Spain in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years War and seeing action at Breda in 1637, and as a protestant, during the Thirty Years War against the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor. In 1638, he was captured by the Holy Roman Emperor becoming a prisoner of war for nearly three years. During his imprisonment, he was given a large white hunting poodle named “Boye, “ which remained at his side constantly until the dog's death on a battlefield in 1643 during the English Civil War. Upon his release, he went to London, England to support his uncle, King Charles I, and the Royalist cause during the English Civil War. He was named General of Horse and was successful in the first major battle of the war at Edgehill in October 1642, and then at Bristol in 1643. For his chivalry, he was given the Knight of the Garter in 1642. The king named him commander-in-chief, but in 1645 after the king refused to sign a peace treaty, he was forced to surrender Bristol to the Parliamentarians. He had gained a reputation of being barbaric, bloody and brutal in his battle strategy; this was common warfare of eastern Europe but not in England. The king abruptly dismissed him and he was banished from England by Parliament in 1646. At this point, he was employed by King Louis XIV of France to fight the Spanish during the final years of the Thirty Years War; he had no income being exiled from England as well as his native country of Bohemia. At one time he was credited with inventing the mezzotint process of printing and did use this process to produce art pieces including “The Great Executioner,” which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. After the Restoration, he returned to England at the invitation of Charles II, who granted him an annuity, appointed him to Privy Council and a member of the House of Lords and named him Admiral of the Fleet. He was appointed the first Lord of the Admiralty serving 1673 to 1679. He became the third founding member of the Royal Society for experimenting in the manufacture of fire arms and other tools. He returned to his homeland once to attempt to gain his Bohemian inheritance with little success and leaving on bad terms. In 1670, Charles II appointed Rupert the first Governor of Hudson's Bay Company after he financed a voyage to North America and returning with expensive furs. Two cities and a river in Canada have been named Rupert in his honor. Also, a street in Bristol, England is named in his honor. Standing six-foot-four-inches tall, he was a dashing prince with long dark curls and brown eyes. During his lifetime, he had at least two mistresses, Francis Bard, daughter of Viscount Henry Bard, and an actress, Mrs. Margaret Hughes. Bard borne him a son, Dudley, who died in battle in the defense of the Hungarian city of Buda against the Turks before his twentieth birthday. Although Bard claimed that she was secretly married to Rupert, this legal marriage was poorly documented. Although land was left to her son, she inherited nothing upon Rupert's death. Hughes borne him a daughter, Ruperta, who married Emanuel Scrope Howe and had four children. Hughes received the bulk of his estate. As he aged, his battle wounds became a chronic problem; he received a leg wound early in his military service, contracted malaria while on a cruise to West Africa and a head injury in while serving in the French army. He died of respiratory failure. His life story has been told in numerous sources including books, songs, plays and movies: Margaret Irwin's 1938 novel, “The Stranger Prince: The Story of Rupert of the Rhine;” Samuel Edward's 1961 semi-fictional biography, “The White Plume;” in the films “Cromwell” in 1970 and “Michiel de Ruyer” in 2015; and the 2008 TV drama “The Devil's Whore.”

Bio by: Linda Davis



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: MC
  • Added: 11 Nov 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12310517
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rupert Von Der Pfalz (17 Dec 1619–29 Nov 1682), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12310517, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .