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He loved and lost a Queen, but
had a Very Clever Horse!
- William Craven was the son of a
rich merchant who was lord Mayor of London. He inherited his father's fortune at the age of
- He became a soldier and fought
in Europe. Because he was very brave, the King made him Lord Craven.
- The sister of King Charles I of
England was the Queen of Bohemia, but she had been thrown out of her kingdom.
Lord Craven went with a big army to try and get it back for her. He
was kidnapped once and wounded twice!
- He fell in love with the Queen
of Bohemia. He spent a fortune trying to help her, but she never did
get her kingdom back.
- Lord Craven also gave King
Charles lots of money during the English
Civil War, but he stayed in Europe. As a reward, he was made Earl
- When he came back to England,
the Queen of Bohemia came too. There were rumours that the two had got
married. The earl planned to build her a huge palace at Hamstead
Marshall, but she died before work began. He had to live there alone.
- The Earl also had a house in
Drury Lane in Westminster, near London. When the plague came, he fled on his horse to his Berkshire
lands. The horse stopped at Ashdown and he decided to build another
big house there. He also had a big mansion
- The Earl was ashamed of leaving
London though. He went back to the city in 1665, to help people when plague had
spread across the whole city.
- The Earl was very interested in
ways of fighting fire. He became and expert and used his knowledge to
help fight the Great Fire of
London in 1666.
- The Earl died in 1697. His
family continued to be Earls of Craven and to live at Hamstead