Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No record of Victoria's baptism

January 13, 1905

The New York Tribune is reporting that "there is one royal christening, and a very important one at that," which remains a "profound mystery" to the present day.

It appears that no record exists for the baptism of the late Queen  Victoria. State papers and archives have been searched for this document, "without success," and there are no references "to the celebration of any religious ceremony" in the "court intelligence of the newspapers" that covered the "infancy and youth" of the late queen.

This omission appears to be the only instance since the Norman conquest, that such a record cannot be found. 

The matter of Victoria's birth is "beyond question" although there is no "official proof."  It is also "by no means certain" that the late Queen was ever baptized, although it is known that her father, the Duke of Kent, invited the Emperor of Russia to be her sponsor and announced his "intention" to name her Alexandrina, which greatly annoyed George IV, who wanted the infant princess to be called Georgiana.

Neither the Duke nor Duchess of Kent were said to be "extremely religious," and both were at the time "on extremely bad terms with other members" of the royal family.  They were in such financial distress, and would never have made it to England in time for "their daughter to be born on British soil," if it were not for their "devoted friend." Alderman  Matthew Wood, grand uncle of the widowed Mrs. Charles Stewart Parnell.  Wood advanced the Duke "enough money to leave Germany and to travel in haste to England."

There may not have been enough money for the baptism, which can be costly for a royal child.   Secondly, "none of their English relatives" would have attended the ceremony.

Perhaps this lack of a baptism, would explain why Queen Victoria remained
until the end of her day so very broad-minded in religious matters."  She was convinced, just as her "friend and spiritual adviser, Dean Stanley," that there are "many doors and gates to heaven," rather than the Anglican view that there is only entrance," the "portal of the Church of England."

[Let's just say,  news research was unknown in 1905.]


Allan Raymond said...

I have been searching for quite a while for the death registration of Queen Victoria without success. No record of her baptism and no record of her death registration - strange. Have you come across her death registration?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Allan, did you read the next story, where I report Victoria's christening. In 1905, the Tribune said no news account of Victoria's baptism could be found as well .. well, the Times had - and makes reference to registration of baptism.

Allan Raymond said...

Marlene - Sorry I hadn't read the follow up report. I only picked up the first story as it caught my eye via Facebook and I don't read all your articles on Royal Musing (but should). Any thoughts on whether Victoria's death was registered since by law it should have been? I would have expected it to be registered in the Isle of Wight registration district.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I did the story because I knew I could follow it up immediately with what appeared in 1819 as I knew the Times reported. As for Victoria's death, perhaps the sovereign's death was not registered at that time. Is there a registration for her son?