Princess Anne County

Princess Anne County existed between 1691 and 1963, when the county was merged into the city of Virginia Beach.

Princess Anne married Prince George of Denmark in 1683. They supported William and Mary's invasion of England, rather than her father James II, in 1688.

Part of the Glorious Revolution deal (when Willam and Mary took the throne as co-equal rulers) was that Mary's younger sister, Princess Anne, would be next in line for the throne. William and Mary had no children before Mary died in 1694 at age 32 from smallpox, but Princess Anne had to wait eight more years as a princess until William III died before she became queen.

In 1691, after 22 years without creating a new county, the General Assembly created counties named after the King and Queen and Princess Anne. Princess Anne ended up with four rivers (Rivanna, Rapidan, North Anna, South Anna) and two counties (Princess Anne and Fluvanna) being named after her. At one point the upper James River was also called the Fluvanna.

Princess Anne became Queen Anne in 1702. She knew she was to be the last of the Stuart family to rule England. Her one child, William, had died less than a week after his eleventh birthday in 1700. Parliament then passed the Act of Settlement to prevent her half-brother, the Catholic son of King James II by his second wife, from becoming king. Queen Anne knew that the next English ruler would be from the German descendants of James I.

The Catholic side of the family did put up a fight, but did not succeed. The grandson of James II, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," generated a small rebellion in Scotland in 1745, but the Hanover (German) line has been in control ever since Queen Anne died in 1714 and George I became king of England.

the counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk, and Nansemond are now parts of the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk
the counties of Princess Anne, Norfolk, and Nansemond are now parts of the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk
Source: Library of Congress, A map of the state of Virginia, constructed in conformity to law from the late surveys authorized by the legislature and other original and authentic documents (1859)


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