English princess
Born 1635 Died 1650

Elizabeth, second daughter of Charles I, was born on the 28th of December 1635 at St James's Palace. On the outbreak of the Civil War and the departure of the king from London, while the two elder princes accompanied their father, the princess and the infant Duke of Gloucester were left under the care of the parliament.

In October 1642 Elizabeth sent a letter to the House of Lords begging that her old attendants might not be removed. In July 1644 the royal children were sent to Sir John Danvers at Chelsea, and in 1645 to the Earl and Countess of Northumberland. After the final defeat of the king they were joined in 1646 by James, and during 1647 paid several visits to the king at Caversham, near Reading, and Hampton Court, but were again separated by Charles's imprisonment at Carisbrooke Castle. On the 21st of April 1648 James was persuaded to escape by Elizabeth, who declared that were she a boy she would not long remain in confinement. The last sad meeting between Charles and his two children, at which the princess was overcome with grief, and of which she wrote a short and touching account, took place on the 29th of January 1649, the day before his execution.

In June she was entrusted to the care of the Earl and Countess of Leicester at Penshurst, but in 1650, upon the landing of Charles II in Scotland, the parliament ordered the royal children to be taken for security to Carisbrooke Castle. The princess fell ill from a wetting almost immediately upon her arrival, and died of fever on the 8th of September. She was buried in St Thomas's church at Newport, Isle of Wight, where the initials 'E.S.' alone marked her grave till 1856, when a monument was erected to her memory by Queen Victoria.

The princess's sorrowful career and early death have attracted general interest and sympathy. She was said to have acquired considerable proficiency in Greek, Hebrew and Latin, as well as in Italian and French, and several books were dedicated to her, including the translation of the Electra of Sophocles by Christopher Wase in 1649. Her mild nature and gentleness towards her father's enemies gained her the name of 'Temperance'.

See Lives of the Princesses of England, by M. A. E. Green (1855), vol. vi.; Notes and Queries, 7th ser., ix. 444, x. 15.

Being the entry for ELIZABETH, English princess in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.

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