Caroline of Brandenburg-Anspach, queen consort to King George II of Great Britain. Engraving by G. Vertue, 1724, after G. Kneller.
- Kneller, Godfrey, Sir, 1646-1723.
About this work
Caroline, princess of Brandenburg-Anspach, queen consort to King George II, wearing an ermine mantle and a dress with ermine and jewels, in an oval frame with insignia of the Prince of Wales above and palms and cartouche below
"What interested her most were religious and philosophical debates. In a role more characteristic of continental than English court culture, she acted as patron and intermediary in the correspondence between Leibniz and Samuel Clarke about Newtonian doctrines and the nature of free will, which was published in 1717. As both princess of Wales and queen, she gathered around herself an eclectic circle of theologians and clergymen, embracing both impeccably orthodox figures, such as Wake, Butler, and Thomas Sherlock, and others suspected of heterodoxy, like Samuel Clarke and Benjamin Hoadly. In the 1730s Pierre le Courayer, the exiled French theologian who had defended the validity of Anglican orders, was a regular visitor at court. Indeed, Caroline consciously projected an image of herself as a promoter of enlightened ideas. In an attempt to publicize the English contribution to science and natural religion, busts of Boyle, Locke, Newton, Clarke, and Wollaston were placed in the hermitage she erected at Richmond, and she gave her support to the practice of inoculation against smallpox. This latter action in particular attracted the attention of Voltaire, who praised her in his Lettres philosophiques (1734) as ‘a delightful philosopher on the throne’ (p. 55)"--Stephen Taylor, 'Caroline (1683–1737)', Oxford dictionary of national biography, Oxford University Press, 2004