An Affair to Remember

Giacomo Franco, The Doge of Venice with a View of the Piazza di San Marco, c. 1610, Engraving, 253×170 mm, London, British Museum

The print of the Battle of the Amazons shows vividly the armed conflict between the Amazons and the Greeks. Wars were the order of the day in Europe at the time. In 1618 the Bohemian-Palatinate War broke out. In 1619 the son-in-law of the English king, Elector Friedrich V, was appointed King of Bohemia by Protestant rebels, only to be defeated and dethroned in November 1620 by the Catholic League under the Count of Bucquoy in the Battle of the White Mountain.

After the Twelve-Year truce of the Eighty Years’ War, war broke out again between the Northern and Southern Netherlands in 1621. Lady Arundel was preoccupied with the bloody disputes between the denominations on the continent, in which she, like many adherents of the Catholic faith in England, found herself in a special and mediating role.

She herself was a Catholic, while her husband, who also came from a Catholic family, had publicly entered the Anglican Church at Christmas 1616 and consequently distanced himself from the Roman Catholic Church. As a member of the wedding procession she had accompanied Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of Queen Anna, who converted to Catholicism shortly after her marriage to the Anglican James I, and Elizabeth’s husband, Elector Friedrich, via the Netherlands to Heidelberg in 1613.

Part of the political turmoil during this time were the serious allegations against which Lady Arundel had to defend herself in Venice. In the political scandal known as the Foscarini Affair in 1622, Lady Arundel stood alone before the Senate. Her diplomatic skills were severely tested by the scandal and caused international political turmoil.


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