Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Question from Sylwia - Anne Boleyn ordering genealogical chart


I wanted to ask you something about Anne Boleyn - I remember that I was reading in one of her biographies (which one, I can't remember) that she ordered her genealogical chart/tree and she was displaying it at court. Do you remember perhaps were such information occurred?

Thank you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Question from Lawrence - George Gregory Fiennes

I am questioning the authenticity of remarks about George Gregory Fiennes. It states he had a Bastard daughter Mary Fiennes born in 1566 and married a Wheatley. Other books say he had a daughter that died young and Ann Sackville would not or did not recognize her. How can I contact them about the information? Does anyone have confirmation one way or the other?

Question from Donna - Richard Edwardes and Agnes Blewitt

I am a direct descendant of Richard Edwardes and Agnes Blewitt. I am aware of Richard being the son of Henry VIII and the one son produced by a mistress that lived and had children. I read that Henry secretly married Agnes, it was not recorded as a marriage but records show that it was kept a secret.Does anyone know anything about the marriage? I read a blog from a Angela C back in 2008 that said she is a descendant as well and also she is a Lewis. I also am a Lewis and was wondering how to get in touch with this person for more information. Can anyone Help?

[Related previous thread linked below - Lara]

Monday, April 23, 2012

Question from Michael - Royal burial vault in St. George's Chapel

Hello......I wrote a few months back about the royal burial vaults under the Albert Memorial Chapel in St. Georges chapel. I am still looking for any information about the exact size and location and set up of the main vault. I am curious about how one gains access to the vault....are the caskets lowered? or carried on stairs.....if so, where are those stairs? I would love to see a photo of the vault. There is a sketch on line...but a photo would be invaluable to my research. I am looking for information on exactly who is left down there that has not been moved to Frogmore burial grounds. Are the caskets just lying on shelves exposed to the air and deteriorating or are they maintained somehow.
the lucky custodial staff has a first hand birds eye view into history!! Any information at all on the royal vault would be soooo helpful. I have photos of Henry the 8ths vault...but I am looking for the main vault under the Albert Chapel......Thanks in advance........Mike

(Previous question from Michael here:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Question from Paul - Anglo-French War 1521-1526

I am interested in finding out more details of England's involvement in the Anglo-French War, (1521-1526).

Henry VIII joined the Hapsburg Empire against France but what, if anything did the English troops achieve or do. This period always seems to be brushed over in the general histories. Where can I find more detail about the military campaign


Monday, April 16, 2012

Question from Mary Lou - William Morris/Norris

I have been working on my family tree and have come across either a William Morris or a William Norris who married a Lady Joane de Vere who was the dau of Elizabeth Howard and a John Devere th3e 12th earl of oxford.

I would like to clarify if it is Morris or Norris.

one would make the Howards and Bolyns part, a very removed part, of the family tree and of course one would not.

it appears that the Morris bloodline split between Church of England and Quaker. and came to America early on to escape religious persecutions.

This line also married into the Shattuck line which helped with others to start the Quaker Church in the North Carolina area.

I would appreciate any help that can be given. It has been a lonely search because none of the family is interested and my father never talked about his family to me, the youngest child. My grandmother, his mom, never did either.

thank you

Question from Bron - Bonfire beacons warning of the Armada

I understand that a system of bonfires was set up, which were to be lighted to warn people once the Armada approached. Is there a map of these sites? Was this system used before, in English history? Would it only have been effective at night? What were people supposed to do, once the bonfires were lighted?

Thank you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Question from Paul - Psychology of Henry VIII

Hi, I am trying to compose an article for my magazine assessing the psychology of Henry VIII. Not being a psychology student and little knowledge on the subject, I was wondering if anybody could point me in the right direction.

What aspects of his personality may be considered psychologically abnormal/normal?

Was his behavior un-balanced?

Did his behaviour develop in a radical way over time?

Please show me links to examples of his behaviour

Is there any good references I can easily find (internet if possible) out lining relevant terminology for his afflictions?

I know that is a lot to ask for but thanks in advance for any help

[Previous related threads are linked below. - Lara]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Question from Sylwia - Cromwell and Anne Boleyn's fall

Recently I've been re-reading most of accounts on Anne Boleyn's downfall, reaching the primary sources as well.
And I cannot figure out Thomas Cromwell's role and involvement in AB's fall.

Every historian has his/hers own vision of Anne's fall and there are few possibilities (ok, but here I'm assuming that Anne was indeed innocent);

Two leading theories are;
- Henry VIII, tired of Anne Boleyn and her inability to produce male heirs, orders Cromwell to get rid of her
- Cromwell moves against AB because she posed a threat to himself, so Cromwell acts alone, convincing the king that Anne was guilty of adultery

Considering that it was Cromwell who 'plotted the whole affair' as he later admitted to Imperial ambasador Chapuys,why would Cromwell want to get rid of AB?

Few reasons;
- she was a threat to him ; in 1535 she told him she could have his head chopped off, but Cromwell trusted in Henry VIII ; does it mean that Anne had literally no influence over the king, if Cromwell believed that Henry could protect him from Anne?
- Anne had different vision about the religious reform; where Cromwell (with Henry's blessing) was interested in gaining the wealth from dissolved monasteries, Anne sought a way to improve matters; she wanted the founds to be put to 'better uses' chairty, education, etc.
- Anne was an obstacle in the foreign politics; ok, it is obvious that altough she was pro-French her entire life , she knew that after Katherine's death only Imperial alliance is the one that truly matters and she was pro-Imperial. I think that this is a huge misconception that Anne was against Imperial alliance; but what I don't wholly understand is - how Anne was involved in forming an alliance with the German protestants? Joanna Denny claims in her book that it was Anne's support for the Protestants that led to her downfall.

Cromwell's plot could have been successful because;

- Anne Boleyn failed to give Henry VIII a son;
- she was unpopular among English people
- according to Alison Weir, she was not a good wife (shrewish, outspoken, etc)
- the King developed interest in one of Anne's ladies, Jane Seymour

BUT there is evidence that in the spring of 1535 Anne Boleyn was highly esteemd by the King and - although she failed to give him a son - he still regarded her as his wife and queen and was eager for the Emperor to do the same. When Anne's almoner preached the sermon on 2 April 1536, accusing Cromwell and king's 'bad council' of being greedy and evil, it was a warning sign for Cromwell that the Queen threatens him once again. But Cromwell did not move against Anne until 18 April when - after the audience with Chapus, he stormedout of the chamber excusing himself. Was Cromwell in danger? Was he falling out of king's favour? After all he was secretly meeting with Chapuys many times, perhaps the king did not approve it at all? So from 20 April Cromwell locked himself away (pretended illness) and he was (probably) plotting against Anne Boleyn.

Well, I am trying and trying to figure out - was Cromwell acting with Henry's blessing? Was Henry really tired of Anne and her inabiliity to produce male heirs? Accusations against Anne came to light when one of her ladies after being scolded at her immoral behaviour revealed that the queen herself was not any better. Cromwell's main accusations come from Anne herself (!) and her two fatal quarrels with two courtiers - Henry Norris and MArk Smeaton (some time by the end of April), and Anne's babbling in the Tower (about Francis Weston).

It seems that most of the 'evidence' Cromwell collected late in April and when Anne was already arrested, when she provided the 'evidence' herself. So it means that Cromwell had no plans to get rid of her earlier and thus her was planning Anne's fall all by himself, convincing the king that she was really guilty of adultery,
treason and incest. There was absolutely no evidence (before the fatal April weekend when Anne quarreled with Smeaton and Norris) that could led Anne or 5 men who were executed as her acompices. So it seems that all 'affair' was plotted rather quickly, and it may indicate that Henry VIII was not al all tired of his wife. If the king really wanted to get rid of Anne, would there be any different evidence against her?

I'm just wondering how to put it all together :-)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Question from Paul - Essex's private execution

Is it true that Robert Devereux 2nd earl of Essex request for a private execution?

Question from Jessica - Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden

I have been doing some research on my family tree, and have been lucky enough to find a fairly complete tree done by another family member.

My oldest direct ancestors on this tree are John Ellis, and Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden. This is seven generations back.

I was quite intrigued by the history of the name Howard De Walden, by in all my research I could not find any mention of Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden.

By my calculations, she was probably alive during the 1600s.

The only information I have is that she was married to John Ellis, with whom she had one daughter, Ellen Ellis. Ellen Ellis married George Jackson, but the name Ellis has been popular in my family ever since.

Any information on her or John Ellis, and particularly the family tree, would be greatly appreciated.

I also sincerely apologize if I have gotten the time period wrong (therefore making this question irrelevant for this site).

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Question from Emily - Tudor waking times

What time did Tudors get up in the morning?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Question from Stuart - Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard in 1513

Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard c.1513

I wonder if you could help me, I have been trying to find out who the Captain of the Yeomen was at the time of Henry VIII's 1513 invasion of France.

I have found that the title was passed at some point in 1513 from Sir Henry Guildford to Sir John Gage (I think!) but i'm not sure whether this was before, during or after the campaign, can you help at all?

Best Regards