Monday, August 27, 2012

Question from Stuart - Badges, liveries and standards of Richard de la Pole

I find Richard de la Pole a most interesting character, particularly his military capability as a Captain in the armies of Louis XII & Francis I.

What intrigues me most are his sustained efforts at launching an invasion of England, particularly that which came the closest to fruition in 1514.

I wonder what standard or banner he would have used. I know that in French service it was common for nobles to use their own heraldic banners and it appears that the swallow tailed standards still being used by the English at this time were peculiar to England.

What banner could he have used had he launched the invasion of 1514?

The ideas I have come up with so far are perhaps a Lion rampant (I know his brother used this)and almost certainly with white roses featuring - in many ways it could have borne a resemblance to similar banners used by Edward IV.

Any suggestions?

The only definite sources I have found so far with regard to badges and livery are;

His guard and minstrels at Metz wore white and blue livery.

He referred to himself as the white rose or blancherosee.

Lions rampant feature on his coat of arms.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Question from Marie - Personalities of the Tudors

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what Edward vi (Henry the eighth's son) personality was like. I am also curious as to the personalities of his sisters Mary and Elizabeth.

Question from Mark - Elizabeth on the "Great Harry"

In the movie "Young Bess" Elizabeth was on the ship "Great Harry". I asked if this was in fact? Thanks for any answers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Question from Orla - Katherine Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

Hi, was wondering about Katherine Tudor, the youngest child of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. How long did she live for roughly? And where was she buried? Did Henry VII ever see her, and did Henry VIII or his other sisters visit her?

Question from Michelle - Ladies in waiting spying on Queens

First, thank you for such a helpful and informative blog!

My questions are in regard to using ladies-in-waiting to spy on a queen's doings, particularly Catherine of Aragon, and how such "arrangements" were made.

Firstly, do we actually know of any instances where a lady-in-waiting was known (or at least highly suspected) as a spy who willingly and freely passed on information about her mistress to a third party? Would love some definitive documentation (e.g. letters to/from said spy, financial transactions, arrest warrants, etc), but would also love to hear what courtiers thought or suspected as well (e.g. if someone like Chapuys thought a particular woman was untrustworthy or betraying the Queen, etc) Also, do we know if there's any truth to that habit in period Tudor dramas where the Queen always dismisses her ladies before important conversations, and if so, was this due to fear or knowledge of spies?

Particularly, do we have any evidence of Cardinal Wolsey using Catherine of Aragon's English ladies-in-waiting to spy on her? I remember hearing somewhere that he used his influence to dismiss CoA's Spanish ladies-in-waiting and replace them with English ladies that reported to him (or at least ladies that CoA couldn't trust), but I can't remember if I heard it from a "factual" source or from fiction. It does seem something that Wolsey (or Cromwell) might do, though! What do we know of CoA's ladies informing other parties about her private dealings?

In a more general sense, if someone like Wolsey did wish to use a lady-in-waiting as a spy on the Queen, how would such an arrangement be made? For example, would he approach the woman directly, or would he approach her family so that her father/male relatives could instruct her? Would he likely suborn an existing lady-in-waiting, or might he try to arrange for a loyal family/woman to be placed with the Queen's household? Would these likely be long-term and all inclusive arrangements, or would they likely be negotiated for specific incidents (e.g. "The Queen is meeting with Bishop Fisher tomorrow. Tell me what they discuss.")? What sorts of bribery might be used? Would the lady be likely to use letters to pass on the information, or would she do it person, and if so, how and with who? (meeting in private areas with loyal servants, knocking on Cromwell's office door, etc?) Lastly, what would be the potential penalties for a woman who refused to inform on her mistress, or passed along lies/glossed over important information?

(Thanks so much for your answers! I will likely be back with other questions re: CoA and ladies in waiting. As a side note, if anyone could recommend some good texts about Catherine of Aragon and her ladies-in-waiting, I'd definitely appreciate it. I would even love some fiction recommendations for that topic, as long as they're not too wildly inaccurate.)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Question from Sarah - Attitudes towards animals

Hello. I was wondering where I could read more about Tudors' attitudes to animals?

Related threads:

Comment from Tracy - Mary Tudor Brandon's hair color

I have been following the Tudors since I was 14 years old after having seen "Anne Of The Thousand Days". I'm 57 now so my fascination borders on obsession.

I wanted to add an interesting tidbit to the ongoing discussion about the color of Mary Tudor Brandon's lock of hair. Whether her hair was actually a "reddish gold" or "pure gold" really can't be judged properly because of this little known fact - Did Mary use the old English beauty secret of the common use of lye for making hair more blonde than red? We won't know the answer unless there is a test for lye that can be done without compromising the condition of the lock of hair in the museum. I read this information in Maria Perry's excellent book "The Sisters Of Henry VIII". This is found on page xiv of the Introduction.


Tracy Holt McClary

Related thread: