An Angel Amongst Strange Bears: John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, Blickling Hall, Norfolk
An Angel Amongst Strange Bears: John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, Blickling Hall, Norfolk explores the life of John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire.
These 'Support and Resource' pages extend the scope of the book by providing additional evidence and depth that readers might like to explore.
Aspect 1: Buckingham's varying views on Catherine-Empress of Russia
On his way home from Russia, John Hobart recorded his impressions in his 'Russian Memoranda'. His long acquaintance with the Empress caused him to re-assess his view of the Empress. He states at the end, "let an impartial Man consider the facts and the particular situation at the moment, let him allow some little share of Common sense to the Empress and then condemn her if he can". How could Hobart's assessment of Catherine be seen as evidence of Hobart's attitude towards politics and life?
Aspect 2: Buckingham's other candid observations of Catherine and her Court
Joy Beresford Frye examines John Hobart's observations on Catherine and others in her Court using a number of documents. Do you agree with her assessments?
Aspect 3: Buckingham's views and advice to Catherine following the execution of Mirowitz-Prince Ivan VI's murderer
The execution of Mirowitz was clearly a political act by Catherine to show she was not implicated in the murder of Ivan IV. Does Hobart's comment that is was "indispensably necessary that the first proper opportunity should be taken to put an offender publicly to death" reflect his attitude towards acts of treason against the government, or is it more telling, when in his later role as Viceroy of Ireland, he was prepared to negotiate with those wanting to overthrow the government rather than advocate suppression?
Aspect 4: Robert Murray Keith's letter to Prime Minister Grenville when Catherine Seizes Power
The British Ambassador, Robert Keith, who preceded Buckingham wrote this to Prime Minister George Grenville shortly after the sudden and speedy Revolution in which Catherine seized power from her husband, Emperor Paul. The letter was clearly written whilst Keith was in a state of high excitement and somewhat panicked condition.
Aspect 5: Sir Charles Hotham's letter of advice and guidance on marriage to his fifteen year old daughter Henrietta
Sir Charles eloped with Dorothy Hobart who was pregnant with Henrietta when they married. Was he a hypocrite or a disillusioned husband whose own marriage did not turn out quite the way he had anticipated?