Monday, January 09, 2006

Question from Jennifer - Henry VIII's bastard son

I read that King Henry VIII, had a bastard son with one of his mistresses. Did this son live & what was his name & was the mistrss Anne Boleyn's elder sister? I know Anne's elder sister was one of the King's mistresses before he married her, but am not sure if it was her to whom, the son was born to? Thank you for your help,

Sincerely, Jennfier Reinert

21 comments:

Lara said...

Henry VIII acknowledged one bastard son, Henry Fitzroy (meaning "son of a king") and made him Duke of Richmond. His mother was Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount.
He died in July, 1536 of consumption, I think. He was about 17 years old at the time.

As far as I know there is no direct evidence that Henry VIII was the father of any of Mary Boleyn's children, although we do know that they had an affair.

BritishNut56 said...

The Duke of Richmond's death caused quite a stir in his father's court. Ann Boleyn had been executed two months before and there was talk that she had had a hand in his death...slow poison.

Rumor was quite prevalent that Henry Carey, the daughter of Mary Boleyn (and the nephew of Ann) was Henry VIII's son. There was also talk about Catherine, Mary's daughter. Neither child was ever brought to court and treated as well as Bessie Blount's son, though.

GR said...

The suggestion that the duke of Richmond was poisoned was one of many conspiracy theories which the Tudors loved. It has recently been resurrected by Anne Boleyn's latest biographer, Joanna Denny, who believes he was poisoned by Catholic courtiers who wanted to make sure Mary would become queen after her father, not his illegitimate son. It can't have been Anne Boleyn - firstly, she knew nothing of the poisoners' art and secondly, she had actually been on friendly terms with Richmond and had arranged his marriage to her cousin, Mary Howard.

Richmond was certainly Henry's natural son, but it's almost certain that neither of Mary Boleyn's two children were. Neither children made any claim to be his offspring, when it would have been advantageous for them to do so when they were petitioning for an earldom. Henry would also have acknowledged the children as his own, particularly Mary Boleyn's son. He did not. It also seems likely that Mary's son was born a year or so after her affair with Henry ended and her daughter, Catherine, may have been born as late as 1528/1529.

Anonymous said...

There was just one illigitimate son,
Master Fitzroy, His mother was Bessie Blount. Katherine, Henry's first wife knew all about it as gossip was rife in the Royal Household and obviously was very jealous and bitter as she couldn't give Henry a son. After this Henry had an affair with Mary Boleyn (the prettier sister) but never had offspring with her, the rest is history.......

Anonymous said...

Just a quick question-Did HEnry VIII's illagitamet son, Henry Fitzroy, have any children, legitamet or not ? Is there any evidence to suggest this ?

Lara said...

He was married to Mary Howard, the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk, when they were both young. He was 17 when he died and I've never come across anything about offspring (legit. or not). It would be a fun plot for speculative historical fiction though!

Anonymous said...

Yes. He had Henry Fitzroy by Besie Blount. People still do not know for sure if he had any children by Mary Boleyn bnut I think that both Henry and Catherine Carey are his bastards. They have the last name of Will Carey, Mary
s first husband. She also had another daughtert by her second husband, Will Stafford. Named Anne to please her aunt

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the question needing discussion is whether Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII's daughter. Why this issue is so avoided is puzzling. The evidence in favor of this relationship is plentiful, though largely circumstantial and inferential. Instead of reacting with disdain, why not examine the totality of the facts first and reach a balanced perspective? The consequences of an affirmative answer are great. And by the way, isn't Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale a reflection on Henry and Anne?

Roxanne said...

Henry VIII was born in 1491. Anne Boleyn in 1501 thus she cannot have been his daughter - unless you believe Henry was capable of fathering offspring at the age of ten!

Henry spent his adolescence under the thumb of a very strict father who housed him in chambers that could only be reached through his own and making sure he was always attended when going out. Henry had no opportunity to father bastards until after his accession in 1509.

Chloe said...

It is still unknown which year Anne Boleyn was born in. Some think it was 1501, some say more like 1507 or 1508. If it was the latter, then it is quite possible that Henry was her father. Out of interest, what IS the evidence that she is Henry VIII's daughter?

Anonymous said...

Mary Boleyn definitely had a son. I read about it. But i am quite sure Henry was not his father, or the king would have tried to marry her instead of Anne. Or at least make sure to the best of his ability that son was acknowledged as future king if he knew it was his.
Also, Anne was the one he desired more. So no, i don't think Mary's son was his. And nor do most records you will find.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that Mary's son and daughter were both the children of Henry. Also, the reason he did not recognise them was because Anne had charmed him. Mary was the prettier sister but Anne had wit, fairly good looks and cunning. So Henry fell for her and they were to be married even though Mary supposedly loved the king. If you wanted to get divorced on the basis that your brother married your wife first and the marriage was consumated, would you then go and recognise your fiancees niece and nephew as your children? No you wouldn't, because if you did you would be a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

their are no facts to support the claim that henry fathered mary boleyns children. phillpa gegorys new book and film is fictional.anne did also not sleep with her brother like suggusted which is why her brother had his head cut of by the french swordsman the same as anne. the rumours of her affairs were unfounded most of the dates that she was meant to be having an affair she was either confined of having miscarraiges.henry new this which is why he wanted to make the death quick and painless. henry wanted to be rid of anne as she was not a good wife she was far to crictialy of him she also did not produce a son he also had fallen in love with jane seymore which is why he married her less than a week after anne beheading. these new films and books are all nice for entertainment but if you want factual evidence try a real historian also anne is not henrys daugther but yes henry did sleep with annes mother years before.remember they are english not anceint egypt incious was not aloud and annes mother would not have let her daugther sleep with him if he was her father and also the boleyns and howards would have used any bastard children to advance them selves including any children by mary boleyn.

Katherine said...

If you read Eric Ives' book "Live and Death of Anne Boleyn" (2004) he not only confronts the issue of Anne possibly being Henry's daughter but completely refutes it onces and for all. First off, the source of the rumour is from hostile Spanish sources who wanted to cast Anne in the worst light possible. Second, the rumour was started from an incident in which King Henry was asked if he slept with a close relative of Anne's (her sister), to which he replied, "Not her mother!" Plus, Ives and other historians support the 1501 birth date for Anne (it makes sense that she would have been born then because she was sent to the Netherlands as a maid of honor to Margaret of Austria, a position that is traditionally open for a 12 to 13 year old, in 1513. This makes the earlier date more plausible, she would not have be offered the position at 7!), and as an earlier poster has stated it's unlikely that Henry could have fathered a child at age 10 in 1501.

Claire said...

There is no evidence that Mary Boleyn's son Henry was conceived by Henry VIII but it is widely considered that both her first children were his.

As for an earlier poster saying that neither child were brought to court, they both were very much favoured by Queen Elizabeth who in one of her letters to Henry, signed it as "your kinswoman".

Catherine went on to marry Sir Francis Knollys, Knight of the Garter and their daughter Lettice, was 2nd wife to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (Elizabeth's favourite).

Henry Carey was enobled by Queen Elizabeth shortly after her coronation and later made Knight of the Garter.

Anonymous said...

Yes of course Elizabeth recognized the children of Mary Boleyn as her "kinswoman" and brought them to court. They were cousins since Elizabeth's mother, Anne, and Mary were sisters. This did not however, prove that Elizabeth believed them to be her half-brother and half-sister. Quite the opposite, if Elizabeth believed them to be heir to the throne she would have named them as such upon her death instead of her distant cousin in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

I've read that Catherine and Henry Carey were born during the time that Mary was King Henry's mistress. He gave William Carey many properties around the time the children were born, suggesting that he was thanking him for being the recognized 'father'. There were comments made in reference to Henry Carey being the 'king's son', noting also a resemblance.

Henry would not publicly admit that they were his children, doing that would make him a hypocrite--he annulled his marriage to Katherine based on her consummating her 1st marriage to his kin--he would be admitting that he bedded Anne's sister.

Elizabeth bestowed them with much kindness. They both died before her and she paid for both their elaborate funerals. So, Elizabeth could not have named either of them her next heir, since they were dead before her.

I think they were his kids.

Anonymous said...

Could it be possible that part of the reason Henry became obsessed with Anne Boleyn is because he fathered two healthy children, including a healthy son, with her sister? Think about it, he couldn't acknowledge these children because legitimately they were the children of their mother's husband. And if the King tried to claim them as his own, it would be not only scandalous, but difficult to prove since it could have been said she also had relations with her husband. So now with the birth of little Henry Carey, King Henry had 2 healthy sons and 2 healthy daughters and only one of these legitimate, the Princess Mary. It makes sense to me that King Henry may have thought that if one sister could give him a healthy son, then surely the other could also. And this perhaps was a big part of his obsession with Anne not just her beauty, her intelligence or her resistence to his advances. I read somewhere that Bessie Blount had 4 sisters. I wonder what their marital status was when the King finally realized his wife, Queen Catherine was no longer able to have children? I'm thinking perhaps Anne was the only unmarried aunt of one of his sons who he thought might be able to give him his desired legitimate son. He certainly was obsessed with Anne as much as he was with having a legitimate son as heir. ~Faith~

Anonymous said...

The tv series was fascinating and these comments add to. the lives, scandals, plights and clarities and more plausible questions! Thank you ALL

Anonymous said...

2 sons that lived and one that died
He had affairs that led to women whom conceived dead boys though but because of their disfigured appearance they were never named as sons also because they would have been bastards also because their were witnesses to say witch craft was a Comen practice to curse the king from ever having live sons when these baby's were born recorded were suposed to be distroyed but records were stolen they were concidered unofficial records and so to this day it is un known how many births or cover ups there may have been if there were Serviving sons they were pertected and some say that is what happened that children were kidnaped to be protected from such calmes as being the sons of witches and so on

Anonymous said...

King Henry did have a bastard son and he died of sweating sickness