Queen Eglantine I
Queen Eglantine I (1682-1751), was Countess of Penge when she was elected queen by the noble houses of Wiwaxia when it gained its independence from Ingerland in 1722. She reigned until her death in 1751 and was succeeded by her daughter, Queen Margalin. The current Queen Cornelia II is a descendent.
The oldest daugher of Ursula, Countess of Penge and Irwin, Lord Barrowby, the future Queen Eglantine was raised as heiress of one of the richest demesnes in the colony of Wiwaxia, though it was not very large by Wiwaxian standards. Taught by the best tutors, she excelled in languages, philosophy, statecraft and mathematics. When she was only 16, her mother died and initally with assistance from her father, she took over the Penge properties that included Wiwaxia's most profitable quarries, the Penge Limestone Quarries; a large farm producing black pepper; and huge walnut orchards; all of which were shipped back to Ingerland and sold at huge profits. By age 19, she had taken over completely and represented Penge in the Governor's Council of Nobles.
Independence from Ingerland
In 1715, a heavy royal tax was imposed on Wiwaxian imports to Ingerland, which was used to fund the Royalists in the ongoing civil war in Ingerland. The tax, and the further difficulties imposed by the war, which sometimes resulted in the loss of full shiploads of goods, was the impetus for the formation of the Council of Nobles Intra Muros (in secret). Eglantine was the chief instigator of the Council, and through her influence, a majority of the countesses eventually joined in. Ultimately, it was both her powers of persuasion and her clever timing - she had a network of spies in Ingerland reporting back exactly how dire things were there - that guaranteed the success of Wiwaxia's declaration of independence from Ingerland on May 14. The King of Ingerland ignored the declaration completely; Kalm and Pretany, which Eglantine had cultivated relations with, quickly took sides with the Wiwaxian nobles and the Kingdom of Wiwaxia became a reality in 1722.
Eglantine was 39 years old when she was crowned Queen in the Great Church in Wiwaxmouthe on August 1, 1722. She moved into the LIttle Mother Palace, which had been vacated by the Governor on May 15, with her husband, Edmund Lord Petherick and three daughters, Princess Margalin, Princess Ranulpha and Princess Rosine.
Among her first acts as monarch, Queen Eglantine established the Royal Admiralty and the Royal Army using some of her own vast fortune, and began construction on the Excelsior Palace. The Council of Nobles Intra Muros became the Royal Council, and nobles flocked to Wiwaxmouthe to be part of her court and the city quickly doubled in size to 5,000.
She spent much of her time securing treaties with a number of countries in Uletha, although she never managed to sign anything with the Great Sultan of Padjadjaran, to her great disappointment. Instead, she was forced to reinforce the borders to the east and throughout her reign, several of the smaller towns endured periodic raids from Padjadjaranian mercenaries.
In order to wean the country from its dependence on Ingerland, Queen Eglantine encouraged the establishment of plantations in south-central Wiwaxia, and farms in Counties Lossinia, Charnia and Halkeiria, which proved to be excellent farm land, with knighthoods attached to land in remote areas, a policy that was followed by her successors and was key in the development of the country.
Queen Eglantine died in 1751, at the age of 69, in her sleep, leaving behind a stable and relatively prosperous kingdom. She was succeeded by her eldest daughter, Queen Margalin.