The Royal Janitor
John G. Precsco
While Starfish salivated over the target rifle that Admiral William Augustus Lee used when he won his first gold medal, Victoria took in the old map that was hung on the back of the display. She had seen it before. In her work at the Royal College of Arms, she had seen many old maps that were provided as evidence of a royal or Baronic lineage. Claims to land – played a huge role in owning a title and cote of arms!
Pressing her nose to the glass, Victoria was now nine years old. When she read the name Charles Preuss, she went into a deep trance. She had looked at a dozen copies of this map filed in the College to back up claims for large chunks of California. Taking out her cellphone, she googled John Fremont. Preuss went on four of Fremont’s expeditions and helped map ‘The Oregon Trail’. But why the exploration of California that led to Bear Rebellion? Lee was a Fremont buff.
What are you doing?” asked Starfish who had crept up like a cat and was peering over her lover’s shoulder. How tall she is – and curious – smiled Victoria.
“I’m traveling on the Oregon Trail with Fremont and Pruess. They made that map together.”
All of a sudden Myriam went into a trance, also. She had seen this map on the wall of the trailer she was raised in.
“My parents had a copy of this map. It was behind their altar.”
Victoria was so moved when two tears appear in Starfishes eyes.
“Let’s go to our room.”
Ignoring the painted of Salvador Dali looking on as they went into their Tandem Trance, they worked their laptops like dueling pianists. Their bond had become a contest of the best kind.
“Check out Senator Thomas Hart Benton the alleged author of Manifest Destiny!”
“But John Astor paid Washington Irving to author a book about the trade in Beaver pelts. Benton was Astor’s attorney who bought and them sold the Oregon Territory to the British.”
“Why? Ah-huh! Here we go. The tutor of William Astor was Christian von Bunsen, who was a close friend of Frederick William of Prussia. Bunsen was a member of a society that built German Colonies in Palastine.”
“It looks like they were founding a New Jerusalem!”
“That’s not all.” Myriam said, with a quaking voice. The Prussians were considering buying California for four million dollars from Mexico. My parents knew all about this plan. They claimed the sale was carried out.”
“How do they know this?”
“My mother descends from Ludwig von Roennes.”
“Why isn’t this in your profile?”
“My parents made me promise to tell no one. Roennes had an affair with Susan Benton in Paris while she was married to Baron Boilleu. It was a huge scandal. There was going to be a divorce. Fremont and Baron were accused of a massive railroad fraud. They were set-up by a powerful group – that I suspect killed my parents.”
Myriam’s story trailed off. She turned to look at Victoria who eyes were boring into her brain. For the first time Starfish felt her lover was capable of hurting her.
“You have been using me?”
“We need to take a break!”
As the author of this novel I am not allowed to reveal the deprogramming technique used the BAD to align information with loyal agents in order to weed out a information spy. Due to Synchronicity, valid suspicion arise, or are net of the Road of Knowledge. David Humes discovered this phenonium. An hour later they are on the same page looking at the two lions in front of the New York Public Library.
“The losy Russian Fairytales are inside!” declared Starfish.
“I believe they are German Fairytales! Victoria corrected.
“We were led on a wild-goose-chase! By Mother Goose!”
“Correct. Queen Victoria – is Mother Goose. There is a lion are in her Cote of Arms! Leo Astor, and Leo Lenox! She has a Unicorn. Richard the Lion Hearted went on Crusade. It is alleged Prussia had no colonies. But when you look at Victoria’s family, there is Prussian Royalty everywhere. This Holstein connection is interesting because it appears the people of this land were destined to live in California. Replace the ear with a lion.”
“You just gave me goosebumps!”
“It appears Preuss was a agent for the Prussian Monarchy – who would want to see what they were purchasing!”
“I was named after that red star!”
“On the Californian flag. That bear is named ‘Monarch’. Starfish is the planet Uranus that was discovered 1846. This signaled the Unification of Germany and the beginning of a European Revolution of 1848. Sixty Americans were chosen to go with Emperor Wilhem of Prussia to help found colonies in the Promised Land. My parents had returned from Israel days before the butane tank blew on their trailer. They were studying the Rossetta Stone. They believe it held a code – a clue within a code! They believe this code is associated with……aliens…….How come you are not giving me – a look?”
“Have you heard of the Persian Comet Kings, better known as ‘The Magi’?
Two hours later;
“I know these songs. I was taught to sing them. I can lower my voice. Want to hear? Do you play the piano. Here is the score. There is Dali’s grand piano. I call this The Sleeping Beauty Song, whose name was Rosamond…..The Rose of the World.”
“The sleeping princess in the Rossetta Stone!”
“They were Templer!”
I promised my daughter and grandson a kingdom. This offer is extended to my granddaughter, Ember Dew. Five days ago I posted these links, then took them down.
“Initially the Templers concentrated on farming – draining the swamps, planting fields, vineyards and orchards, and employing modern working techniques unfamiliar to Palestine (they were the first to market “Jaffa Oranges” – produce from their Sarona settlement near Jaffa).
They operated steam-powered oil presses and flour mills, opened the country’s first hotels and European-style pharmacies, and manufactured essential commodities such as soap and cement – and beer.
In his book The Settlements of the Wuerttemberg Templers in Palestine 1868-18, Prof Alex Carmel of Haifa University observes how the Templers “soon gained a reputation for their skills and their diligence. They built exemplary colonies and pretty houses surrounded by flower gardens – a piece of their homeland in the heart of Palestine”.
Symbols of their fervent religious beliefs are still evident in the Jerusalem neighbourhood where the Templers began to settle in 1873. They named the district Emek Refaim (Valley of Refaim) after a place in the Bible, and verses from the Scriptures, inscribed in Gothic lettering, survive on the lintels of their former homes.
From 1807 to 1809, Sacy was also a teacher of Jean-François Champollion, whom he encouraged in his research.
But later on, the relationship between the master and student became chilly. In no small measure, Champollion’s Napoleonic sympathies were problematic for Sacy, who was decidedly Royalist in his political sympathies.
In 1811, Étienne Marc Quatremère, also a student of Sacy, published his Mémoires géographiques et historiques sur l’Égypte… sur quelques contrées voisines.
There was some rivalry between Champollion and Quatremère. Champollion published a paper in 1814 that covered some of the same territory. The allegations then arose that Champollion had plagiarized the work of Quatremère. Silvestre de Sacy seemed to take the side of Quatremère, according to Champollion.
Antoine Isaac, Baron Silvestre de Sacy
The European probe Rosetta woke up Monday after a 31-month hibernation in a nearly decade-old quest to explore a comet, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced.
“It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter,” it said.
Europe’s most ambitious space mission, the craft was launched in 2004 on a trek of seven billion kilometres (4.3 billion miles) around the inner Solar System.
Its goal is to meet up in August with a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and in November send down a lander to carry out experiments on the icy wanderer.
Comets are clusters of ice and dust which are believed to be remnants from the very birth of our star system.
Pisces, the last sun sign of the zodiac, has Neptune as its ruling planet. The planet of Neptune has been named after the Roman God of Sea and the deep, ocean blue color of the planet perfectly reflects this belief. The planet takes approximately 165 years to complete an entire circle around the sun. This means that it spends, on an average, about 14 years in each sign of the zodiac. Neptune was discovered by astronomers in 1846 and since then been associated with idealism, spirituality, imagination, mysticism, psychic phenomena and empathy.
In 1842 Fremont was preparing an expedition out of St. Louis to map the Pacific Northwest and kept Preuss employed. Preuss was 39 by this time, red-faced and ill-humored. They were a badly matched pair, but Preuss played perfect counterpoint to Fremont. If Fremont saw the poetry in the unfolding landscapes around him, Preuss saw precise longitudes and latitudes. Preuss proved to be an important member of Fremont’s expeditions of 1842–44 and 1848 as well. The Fremont/Preuss maps of this period were the basis for all western maps of the following two decades. One author writing on the mapping of the Transmississippi West said, “The 1845 Fremont/Preuss map changed the entire picture of the West, and made a lasting contribution to cartography.”
“Frémont’s sensational report included an excellent topographical map by Charles Preuss, The large sheet, which depicted the routes of both of Frémont’s expeditions, was a cartographic milestone. By accurately representing the basic features of the new country, Preuss changed the course of western mapmaking. No longer would cartography be based on myth and speculation.”
After completing this map, Preuss was engaged by Congress to create another map. He declined to accompany Fremont on his third expedition and in 1846, Preuss completed the second map, more important for prospective emigrants than the first. On seven sheets he carefully traced the Oregon Trail, using Frémont’s narrative to indicate campsites with essential grass, wood, and water and to show distances, climate, and Indian inhabitants. Widely popular among those who took the Platte River road to Oregon and California, this annotated atlas was one of the greatest contributions Frémont and Preuss made to the development of the West.”
Congress commissioned to Preuss create a third map in 1848, this time using information from records kept by Lt. Kern who was the topographer on Fremont’s third expedition.
Astor belonged to the Freemasons, a fraternal order, and served as Master of Holland Lodge #8, New York City in 1788. Later he served as Grand Treasurer for the Grand Lodge of New York. He was president of the German Society of the City of New York from 1837 to 1841.
The pair of marble lions that sit by the entrance of the New York Public Library Main Branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street were originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, after Astor and James Lenox, who founded the library from his own collection. Next, they were called Lord Astor and Lady Lenox (both lions are males). Mayor Fiorello La Guardia renamed them “Patience” and “Fortitude” during the Great
Prussia, alone among the contenders for California, had no colonies of its own. All but without a navy of its own, and the weakest and smallest of the European great powers, its position as a candidate for the vast state of California upon the other side of the world can seem unlikely at first. Friedrich Ludwig von Roenne, the German ambassador to the United States, was a vigorous proponent of colonies, and wrote the following to Christian von Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador to the United Kingdom, as follows:
I fully agree with you that now is the moment, under the rule of our excellent King, who has a genuine German mind and heart, which beats aloud for everything that is noble, to lay the foundations of the greatness of our beautiful German Fatherland, in a political as well as in a commercial sense. England will always, as you say, see in us an awkward rival, but the time has arrived when we must act in a bold and independent way, and this can only happen if we are united as if we have a Navy and colonies. What a country Germany could become in such circumstances! She would be the equal of any other . . .
Your idea of purchasing California is an excellent one. I would never have thought of doing such an audacious thing, but, nevertheless, as early as the year 1837 I already had the notion, for when I reported on the condition of immigrants- especially with regard to the question of establishing a penal colony- I called attention to the possibility that Mexico might agree to give up a piece of land in California. The idea of buying all California deserves in every way to be preferred to this. The many Germans who go there yearly from the United States very soon cease to be Germans; they adopt local manners and customs and are entirely lost to Germany. On the other hand, a completely German colony, even long after migration, would retain for our German manufactures a permanent market and yield all the profit to the Mother Country. The possession of such a colony would also provide a good training-ground for our army and offer innumerable other benefits.
Upper California- which alone can be considered- if one can trust the many descriptions of it which which have been produced- the [latest] is I believe that by Alexander Forbes,12 published in 1839 in London- is one of the finest countries in the world, and on account of its happy position between the tropical and northern zones, is capable of bringing forth all the products which are suitable for exchange with the Mother Country, and which also would even be sought after by Mexico and the South American states. It is only necessary that it should be in the possession of an active, industrious and energetic people, and who would dispute these qualities to our German countrymen? These are the qualities whereby they earn so much respect here in the United States. No people on earth are better as cultivators of the soil than the Germans.
England, France and the United States would no doubt look at such an undertaking with jealous eyes, but I can hardly believe they would use force to prevent it from happening. Certainly not the United States! But in any case it would be a good thing, before taking any of the contemplated steps, to assure the cooperation of Denmark through her Navy. Only then would we be powerful enough, and have the means to carry out this plan.
The sovereignty of Mexico over California may hardly at be said at present to be more than a paper one-as a matter of fact I don’t exactly know what the situation is. Three years ago independence was declared.13 Nevertheless it would be very important vis-à-vis the other powers that sovereignty should be ceded by Mexico. Actual possession could then easily be secured without the use of very much force being required. Also, I am inclined to think, because of the looseness of the existing connection, that she would be readily disposed to entertain such a proposition. In any case she would prefer to see Germans there to the English, the Americans or the Texans, and I believe that even these two last would prefer to have Germans to the English.
Nevertheless I am not absolutely in a position to say whether this is likely to have enthusiastic acceptance on the part of Mexico. If Denmark appreciated her advantage she would not hesitate for a moment to cooperate in the closest possible way with Germany. The time is past- or at least should be- when smaller nations should see advantage in being hostile to their more powerful neighbours. . . . The smaller states can only reckon on the continuance of their independence if they don’t stand in the way of their larger neighbours. . .
Ludwig von Roenne’s words were not just idle musings. He planned to negotiate with Denmark for the usage of the Danish navy in communications with the colony, and to have his colleague Baroth von Gerolt, a fluent Spanish speaker, conduct negotiations with the Mexicans. However, in December 1842, he Mexican ambassador to the United States in Washington DC. Talking with Mr. Almonte, the Mexican ambassador, he was convinced that the Mexicans saw advantage in ceding Northern California to the Germans, rather than, as rumors put it, to the American or the English. For the Mexicans, the idea was that it would form an effective buffer state between them and the Americans. He would go ahead as well to contact William Hogan, a former US congressman and the equivalent of a lobbyist, who declared his support for the endeavor. This all came to nought : at this points sources differ with either that the Prussian government advanced no further, quietly shelving the project, or that it proceeded as far as negotiations with the Mexicans in Washington and London for the sum of some $6 million to purchase the colony, but then abruptly dropped out of negotiations. Whichever that it was, California would not be painted in Prussian blue.
Rosemary told her sons the Stuttmeisters were Teutonic Knights. Our mother may have confused them with the Templers, a movement that was banned by the Evangelical Church, that they were in good standing with. This is why their tomb is at the entrance of the Berlin cemetary that may have been created to accept the parishioners of this Lutheran Union. A schism would explain why there is no history to be found on this family. The Templers became associated with the Nazis and their records were stored in East Germany. The Templers lived in the Holy Land and were intent on rebuilding the Temple – while wearing the Swastika!
I suspect Rudolph was an envoy who set out in ships to bring the Templers back into the fold – that beheld Kaiser Wilhelm as a Prussian Messiah? The Stuttmeisters may have been court preachers for the royal Prussians, and thus they gave their children their names.
Wilhelm Hoffmann served as one of the royal Prussian court preachers at the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin and was a co-founder and first president of the Jerusalem Association. Americans joined the Templers in the Holy Land.
Envoys of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces successfully proselytised among the schismatics, gaining most of them. Thus some colonies became places of partisans of two different Christian denominations and their respective congregations (Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Sarona).
How could the Stuttmeisters tell their children and grandchildren what they have been up to – around the world. They would talk to their playmates, who would tell their Christian parents, the Germans were Calvinists who believed in a coming Doomsday, and thus the Temple in Jerusalem had to be rebuilt. When my sixteen year old daughter came into my life in 2000, I told her such wild tales, her and her mother called me mad, and ditched me in order to be with Victoria. Dan Brown’s book came out two years later.
Empress Augustus Victoria looks like my kin. Here I am slipping a coin in the crack made by the earthquake of 1989.
Hoffmann and Hardegg purchased land at the foot of Mount Carmel and established a colony there in 1868. At the time, Haifa had a population of 4,000. The Templers are credited today with promoting the development of the city. The colonists built an attractive main street that was much admired by the locals.
After the 1898 visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, one of the Kaiser’s traveling companions, Colonel Joseph Freiherr von Ellrichshausen, initiated the formation of a society for the advancement of the German settlements in Palestine, inStuttgart. It enabled the settlers to acquire land for new settlements by offering them low interest loans. A second wave of pioneer settlers founded Wilhelma (now Bnei Atarot) in 1902 near Lod, Valhalla (1903) near the original Jaffa colony, followed by Bethlehem of Galilee (1906) and Waldheim (now Alonei Abba) in 1907. At its height, the Templer community in Palestine numbered 2,200.[dubious – discuss]
] In 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II made a trip to Jerusalem to personally dedicate the new church. For the dedication of the church, the Kaiser entered the city on horse back through two specially made ceremonial arches, one a gift of the Ottoman Empire and one a gift from the local Jewish community. The church was dedicated on Reformation Day, 1898. At the dedication, Wilhelm said:
From Jerusalem came the light in splendor from which the German nation became great and glorious; and what the Germanic peoples have become, they became under the banner of the cross, the emblem of self-sacrificing charity.
A particular purpose of the travel to Palestine was the inauguration of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. Built on land given to King William I of Prussia (after 1870 Kaiser Wilhelm I) in 1869 by Sultan Abdülaziz of the Ottoman Empire, the church was constructed from 1892-1898. For the dedication of the church, the Kaiser Wilhelm II entered the city on horse back through to specially made ceremonial arches, one a gift of the Ottoman Empire and one a gift from the local Jewish community.The church was dedicated on 31 October, Reformation Day, 1898. At the dedication, Wilhelm said: “From Jerusalem came the light in splendor from which the German nation became great and glorious; and what the Germanic peoples have become, they became under the banner of the cross, the emblem of self-sacrificing charity.”
In 1898 the German emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) and his wife Augusta Viktoria made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem as multitudes gathered at Jaffa Gate to welcome the Prussian King and German monarch. The visitor left his mark on Jerusalem. He inaugurated the German Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and amongst other things donated a large sum of money for the construction of the Bikur Holim Hospital.
During the royal visit to Jerusalem, Wilhelm also laid the cornerstone for the later construction of Augusta Victoria (named after his wife), a complex on Mt. Scopus that would later become a church, hospice and hospital. Until the late 1920s Augusta Victoria also served as the residence of the British High Commissioner for Palestine until he moved to Armon HaNatziv.
The population fluctuated between 300-400 settlers between 1870 and 1914. Sixty of the colonists were American citizens and their leader, Jacob Schumacher served as the U.S. consular agent for Haifa and northern Palestine. Due to their population increase and the on-going urbanisation of Haifa, the colonists searched to buy lands in order to found new settlements. These were to be exclusively monodenominational. Thus the Templers settled in Bethlehem of Galilee and the Evangelical Protestants founded the neighbouring Waldheim.
Employing modern farming methods, the Templers introduced soil fertilization, better methods of crop rotation and new crops such as potatoes. They imported agricultural machinery and engaged in “mixed farming,” combining dairy farming and field crops.
Registering the land was problematic due to back taxes and local boundary disputes, which sometimes turned violent. The Templers thus abandoned farming in favor of industry and tourism. They built hotels, opened workshops and established an olive oil soap factory.
The Royal Janitor
John von John heaved a sigh of relief when Starfish reluctantly obeyed orders to go sit in the car.
“I never saw anyone get so drunk on one beer!” John said.
“There is no history of alcoholism!” Victoria said rubbing her chin with her sleeve, a tell that said she was truly puzzled.
“I think she is faking it. I suspect she has gone off to meet a lover. You know how women are….a lover in every port!”
Victoria was about to take John’s remark under serious consideration. If he had not added “You know how women are” suggesting Miram was a slut. This bit of misogyny would change the course of human history. For indeed Miriam made a beeline for the microfish room at the library of the University of Oregon where a male hand locked the door after she entered.
Now able to carry on a adult conversation, John was able to get at the core of his theory.
“I have uncovered evidence there was a special group of people rescued somewhere on the Russian Swedish border at the beginning of the war. This group may be a cadet branch of the Romanov family, and noble Germans who were invited to settle in Russian by Catherine the great. There is a ancient Viking bloodline in the mix. It looks like another attempt to create a master race. As you know Putin wants to restore Russian nobility and the true orthodoxy. Hitler was hunting for these people in order to install them in the Nazi government in Moscow once Operation Barbarossa was a success.”
“Is that it? Sounds like something you got off the internet. You and your President. Any real leads?”
“Yes. The actor Douglas Fairbanks Junior took part in Operation PQ 17. He and fellow actor, Christopher Lee, appear to have been working the van Rosen family together. Lee was going to marry Henrietta van Rosen. The King of Sweden gave his approval – after offering Fairbanks as a reference. There were investigations going on. ”
“It looks like a double sub-rosa to feel out what the other knows. Did Henrietta spill the beans in a love-making session? You know how women are!”
“Touché!” von John exclaimed. “There is a lead at the Naval station in the old Del Monte Hotel in Monterey. It has been suggested Salvador Dali was secretly smuggling people out of Nazi Germany.
“You’re kidding Dali is one of my heroes. I am a surrealist sculptress.”
“Check out the founders of the WAVES. They say have been processing these people into a relocation program. Don’t take that crazy women with you! You’ll get more done!”
With “done”, Miriam got off the old oak table and looked for her panties.
When Victoria and Miriam approached the Del Monte Hotel, they both exclaimed at the same exact time….”Osborne House!”
Victoria was like a school girl off to boarding school. She was thrilled they would be staying in the Dali Room that was reserved for special guest of the Navy. On the way to see Dali’s strange creations, Miriam came up short, and stood in front of a glass case.
“Oh look! Here’s my and my parents hero!”
Victoria glanced back, and felt faint as the name LEE flashed at her like a neon sign. Creeping towards the display honoring Real Admiral Willis Augustus Lee, she almost fainted – again!
“My parents learned to target shoot from Willey. He holds the record for Olympic gold medals. I’ going to shoot at the 2020 Olympics. I got a silver medal four years ago. I want the gold.”
Victoria wandered in a circle around Starfish, in a daze. She had experienced this when she went to Le Rosey, this getting of second hand information from her best friend who was always in the know long before she was.
“It’s a shame he does not get more attention. It’s the Robert E. Lee curse. My father was a wanna-be Redneck and Civil War buff. He told me all about the pans Britain had to invade the U.S. and win the war for the Confederacy.”
“He’s my kin. I descend from the Lees.” Peeped Victoria.
“Are you shitting me! Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I just found out. I was going to tell you tonight.”
“Damn! We got to go to the range now. You are a natural. I know it!”
“No! I told you – no! I will never pick up a gun. For the record, once again, here……”
“I did it.” Starfish told her best friend.
To be continued
At high noon today I finished reading about my kin, Willis Augutus Lee.
Christian Charles Josias von Bunsen
Bunsen was born at Korbach, an old town in the German principality of Waldeck. His father was a farmer who was driven by poverty to become a soldier. Having studied at the Korbach gymnasium (a type of superior state grammar school) and Marburg University, Bunsen went in his nineteenth year to Göttingen, where he studied philosophy under Christian Gottlob Heyne, and supported himself by teaching and later by acting as tutor to William Backhouse Astor, John Jacob’s son. Bunsen had been recommended to Astor by Heyne. He won the university prize essay of the year 1812 with his treatise De Iure Atheniensium Hœreditario (“Athenian Law of Inheritance”), and a few months later the University of Jena granted him the honorary degree of doctor of philosophy.
During 1813 he traveled extensively with Astor in Germany and Italy. On his return to Göttingen, he and his friends formed the nucleus of a philological and philosophical society, and he pursued a vast system of kindred studies, including Semitic and Sanskrit philology. He studied the religion, laws, language, and literature of the Teutonic races, perfecting his knowledge of the Scandinavian languages on a visit to Denmark and Sweden. He had read Hebrew when a boy, and now worked at Arabic at Munich, Persian at Leiden, and Norse at Copenhagen. At Vienna he met Friedrich von Schlegel; at Munich, Schelling and Thiersch; and he joined the latter in studying Persian, and read law with Feuerbach.
The historian Niebuhr’s work and character had aroused Bunsen’s enthusiasm, and at the close of 1815 he went to Berlin, to show Niebuhr the plan of research which he had mapped out. He remained some months in the company of the historian. Niebuhr was so impressed with Bunsen’s ability that, two years later, when he became Prussian envoy to the papal court, he made the young scholar his secretary. The intervening years Bunsen spent in assiduous labour among the libraries and collections of Paris and Florence, where he again joined Astor. When Astor returned to the United States, Bunsen became the French teacher of a Mr. Cathcart, an English gentleman. In Paris in 1816, he continued his studies of Persian and Arabic under Sylvestre de Sacy.
In July 1817 he married Frances Waddington, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Benjamin Waddington of Llanover, Monmouthshire, an English clergyman. The plan of an improved German translation of the Bible was first suggested to Bunsen by his young wife. Cornelius, Overbeck, Brandis, and Platner were the inseparable companions of the Bunsens. The Bunsens’ lodgings in the Palazzo Caffarelli on the Capitoline Hill, where they lived 22 years, became a resort of many distinguished persons.
As secretary to Niebuhr, Bunsen was brought into contact with the Vatican movement for the establishment of the papal church in the Prussian dominions, to provide for the largely increased Catholic population. He was among the first to realize the importance of this new vitality on the part of the Vatican, and he made it his duty to provide against its possible dangers by urging upon the Prussian court the wisdom of fair and impartial treatment of its Catholic subjects. In this object he was at first successful, and both from the Vatican and from Frederick William III, who put him in charge of the legation on Niebuhr’s resignation, he received unqualified approbation.
Though not within the scope of the great plan of his life, Bunsen contributed largely to the Beschreibung der Stadt Rom (3 vols., 1830–43) the greater part of the topographical communications on ancient Rome, and all the investigations into the early history of Christian Rome. The first visit of the Egyptologist Champollion to Rome formed an epoch in Bunsen’s antiquarian studies. However, his argument in support of Champollion’s priority over Young was based upon an insufficient knowledge of Young’s publication dates. He became himself a zealous auditor of Champollion, and also encouraged Lepsius in the study of hieroglyphics. The Archaeological Institute, established in 1829, found in Bunsen its most active supporter. Bunsen founded the Protestant hospital on the Tarpeian Rock in 1835.
Owing partly to the wise statesmanship of Count Spiegel, archbishop of Cologne, an arrangement was made by which the thorny question of “mixed” marriages (i.e., between Catholic and Protestant) would have been happily solved; but the archbishop died in 1835, the arrangement was never ratified, and the Prussian king was foolish enough to appoint as Spiegel’s successor the narrow-minded partisan Baron Droste. The pope gladly accepted the appointment, and in two years the forward policy of the Jesuits had brought about the strife which Bunsen and Spiegel had tried to prevent. Bunsen rashly recommended that Droste should be seized, but the coup was so clumsily attempted, that the incriminating documents were, it is said, destroyed in advance. The government, in this impasse, took the safest course, refused to support Bunsen, and accepted his resignation in April 1838.
After leaving Rome, where he had become intimate with all that was most interesting in the cosmopolitan society of the papal capital, Bunsen went to England, where, except for a short term as Prussian ambassador to Switzerland (1839–1841), he was destined to pass the rest of his official life. The accession to the throne of Prussia of Frederick William IV, on 7 June 1840, made a great change in Bunsen’s career. Ever since their first meeting in 1828 the two men had been close friends and had exchanged ideas in an intimate correspondence, published under Ranke‘s editorship in 1873. Enthusiasm for evangelical religion and admiration for the Anglican Church they held in common, and Bunsen was the instrument naturally selected for realizing the king’s fantastic scheme of setting up at Jerusalem a Prusso-Anglican bishopric as a sort of advertisement of the unity and aggressive force of Protestantism.
The special mission of Bunsen to England, from June to November 1841, was completely successful, in spite of the opposition of English high churchmen and Lutheran extremists. The Jerusalem bishopric, with the consent of the British government and the active encouragement of the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London, was duly established, endowed with Prussian and English money, and remained for some forty years an isolated symbol of Protestant unity and a rock of stumbling to Anglican Catholics.
During his stay in England Bunsen had made himself very popular among all classes of society, and he was selected by Queen Victoria, out of three names proposed by the king of Prussia, as ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. In this post he remained for thirteen years. His tenure of the office coincided with the critical period in Prussian and European affairs which culminated in the revolutions of 1848. Bunsen had realized the significance of the signs that heralded these revolutions, and tried in vain to move Frederick William to a policy which would have placed him at the head of a Germany united and free. In Berlin in 1844, he had been asked to set forth his views on the question of granting a constitution to Prussia, and he had presented a series of memorials representing the need of a deliberative assembly, and had also made a plan of a constitution modeled on that of England.
With the visionary schemes of Frederick William, whether that of setting up a strict episcopal organization in the Evangelical Church in Prussia, or that of reviving the defunct ideal of the medieval Empire, Bunsen found himself increasingly out of sympathy. He felt bitterly the humiliation of Prussia by Austria after the victory of the reaction; and in 1852 he set his signature reluctantly to the treaty which, in his view, surrendered the “constitutional rights of Schleswig and Holstein“. His whole influence was now directed to withdrawing Prussia from the blighting influence of Austria and Russia, and attempting to draw closer the ties that bound her to Britain. On the outbreak of the Crimean War he urged Frederick William to throw in his lot with the western powers, and create a diversion in the north-east which would have forced Russia at once to terms. The rejection of his advice, and the proclamation of Prussia’s attitude of “benevolent neutrality”, led him in April 1854 to offer his resignation, which was accepted. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1853.
Bunsen’s life as a public man was now practically at an end. He retired first to a villa on the Neckar near Heidelberg and later to Bonn. He refused to stand for a seat, in the Liberal interest, in the Lower House of the Prussian diet, but continued to take an active interest in politics, and in 1855 published in two volumes a work, Die Zeichen der Zeit: Briefe, etc., which exercised an immense influence in reviving the Liberal movement which the failure of the revolution had crushed. In September 1857 Bunsen attended, as the king’s guest, a meeting of the Evangelical Alliance at Berlin; and one of the last papers signed by Frederick William, before his mind gave way in October, was that which conferred upon him the title of baron and a peerage for life. In 1858, at the special request of the regent (afterwards the emperor) William, he took his seat in the Prussian House of Lords, and, though remaining silent, supported the new ministry, of which his political and personal friends were members.