Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Question from Danielle - Social impact of layouts of castle and palaces

I've just had a lecture on the interiors and layouts of 15th-17th century houses and it got me thinking about Castles and Manor Houses. Does anything one think that the interior layouts of Henry VIII's Castles/Palaces had any cause and affect on his relationships/marriages. For instance, if there was no secret passageway to his chambers, would he have stayed with Catherine etc or would he have just met the others in his chambers and let them walk through publicly to get there?

Any other interesting thoughts about the role of the palaces/castles in Tudor England? Thanks :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Question from Michelle - Refusing Henry VIII's advances

What - if any - were the likely consequences if a woman (particularly an unmarried lady in waiting) refused sexual or romantic advances from King Henry VIII? He certainly seemed to be a man who had trouble accepting "no"! Obviously Anne Boleyn refused him pre-divorce, but on the other hand, she did not outright reject the king but rather implied that her only resistance was due to her reputation and that she would happily romp around with him if he married her. In her case, the refusals seemed to only intensify his pursuit rather than leading to definitive rejection. I'm interested in learning more about what would happen if someone said a firm and obvious NO.

What were the sexual politics and expectations of a noblewoman propositioned by the king? Was she "allowed" to refuse (i.e. without intimidation or consequences), or did she have to "lie back and think of England" for fear of angering or offending Henry? If she could refuse him completely, under what grounds? I imagine refusing based on chastity, reputation or loyalty to the queen might bruise the royal ego less than, "I'm just not that into you, sire." ;-) If there were problems with refusing him, what kind might they be? Exile from court? Family members being refused promotions? Being married off to some guy with a giant wart on his nose? Or just a subtle but menacing undertone of the king's displeasure?

I'll be very interested to hear what people think about this, particularly about the apparent tension between the importance of female chastity vs. the relative lack of power women had next to the king or male nobles. (I'd also love to hear how the same dynamic played out between the unmarried ladies and the various nobles of court, eg Charles Brandon). Is there any truth to the stereotype of an overly powerful king using his power to basically blackmail or force women into bed with him ("I'm king, do as I say") or could women politely tell him to knock it off, they weren't interested?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Question from Danielle - Dissertation ideas on Catherine of Aragon and/or Anne Boleyn

Hi there.

Firstly I'd like to thank you to the many who have posted before me, I have found all this info so helpful!!

My questions is; I am currently in my second year of university and am hopefully planning to do my dissertation in my history subject. I need to come up with my proposal soon.

I'd really love to do something about Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn or both etc. However I really would like to stay away (if I can) from the obvious choice of "reformation" I know a few people who are doing this and I would love to make something different, and more personal.

Please could anyone help with suggestions on what I could do. These two are my favorite women and I would be in my element if I could write about them.

I am currently studying about Women, Power and Patronage and the works/letters/diary's of women etc so I know how and where to research for any future topics.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks :)

Question from Harry - Child of Thomas Howard and Margaret Douglas

Lord Thomas Howard (1511-1537), son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk Thomas Howard by Agnes Tilney, apparently by some sources had an affair with Margaret Douglas, niece of Henry VIII and daughter of his sister Margaret.

Due to this they were both sent to the Tower and Thomas died there. However, Margeret was released to Scion House in London. Was she pregnet with Thomas's child (Robert) as supposedly there was a Robert Howard born at the Scion house in 1537?

I cannot find any substantial historic reference to this. Various on-line trees have it but their source seems to be other people's trees.

The archives of the Dukes of Norfolk in England would not confirm it so I don't know the original source of this birth (myth?).

There was a succesion problem which caused their imprisonment as Henry had just bastardized his 2 daughters after his marriage to Jane.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Question from Courtney - Mary planning a marriage for Elizabeth

I have a question that I hope hasn't been answered already - I did do a casual search, but got so many hits for "Elizabeth" I don't think I could have gotten through them all! Anyway, my question is this - during Mary's reign, why was Elizabeth not "forced" to marry someone of Mary and/or Philip's choosing? As the only heir, surely Mary would have had the right to match her sister with a man she considered appropriate. Why let Elizabeth have her way and remain unmarried? I'm aware that Mary wasn't anxious to see Elizabeth married for fear that it would build support for Elizabeth, but why not marry her to a Catholic? Especially if Elizabeth was pretending to convert to Catholicism, as I've read was the case? Thanks for any info!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Question from Laura - Political machinations of Court

Greetings, I just found this blog the other day and I have been having a wonderful time reading through the old entries! It seems like this might be the place to ask for help with something I've been looking for.

I'd like to read more about the political machinations/intrigue of the court. That is to say, how the struggle for lands, offices, titles, royal favor, etc., played out. Most of what I have read thus far confines itself to a bare statement about powershifts and a laundry list of awards given -- e.g. "Then the Seymours rose to power and Edward Seymour was appointed..." But what I am interested in is more process than result: how they went about engineering their rise and their rivals' falls.

I'd be particularly interested in cases that don't revolve around putting potential queens in HVIII's bed. Something during the other Tudor reigns, or in the early days when CoA was still secure, perhaps?

I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of Ives' "Faction In Tudor England" which sounds promising for what I'm interested in, but have not run across much else in that direction. Does anyone here have recommendations?

Many thanks!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Question from Barbara - Knowledge of the date and year

Can you tell me how aware uneducated people in late Tudor times would have been about what date/year it was? Is this something they would have known or would they have been largely ignorant (apart, I assume, from church feast days)?
Thanks for any help you can give me!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Reminder about commenting

Since I've had a few comments end up in the wrong post lately, I thought I would take the opportunity to remind everyone to please double-check that they are on the right question before submitting an answer. The easiest way is to click on the question title and it should take you to a page with just that question, so you'll know you're in the right place if you wish to leave a comment.


Saturday, January 05, 2013

Question from Karen - Elizabeth I's cause of death

Do we know what, exactly, Queen Elizabeth I died of?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Question from Howard - William Howard

Hello. I am hoping someone may be able to shed some light on something for me.
I have been able to trace my family history back to Thomas Howard (1690-1753). However, every piece of research done by other people that I come across shows he is supposedly descended from Alexander Howard and Lydia Dubery. Alexander in turn is allegedly the son of William Howard Viscount of Escrick (1633-1694)

In all my extensive research into the Howard family I have never come across an Alexander. Does anybody have any information on this as to whether William Howard was married more than once or indeed had an illegitimate son not mentioned elsewhere.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Question from Celine - Thomas More's death sentence in "A Man For All Season"

In the play "A Man For All Seasons" by Robelt Bolt, should Thomas More have been sentenced to death? From any characters point, what evidences will you use to defend/prosecute him?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for 2013! I hope it is a good year for everyone. Thanks, as always, to everyone who has dropped by and read a post, submitted a questions, and/or commented here over the past seven years!