Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Questions from Tabitha - Follow up misc. questions

Thank you for your help esp. with the literary works that I can read upon. I have a couple of other questions, I hope someone can help with these.

1.During the reign of Elizabeth I she had attainders reversed for 2 of the decendents that were excuted with Anne Boleyn, who were they?

2.I read that Anne Boleyn had some type stomach problem, what was it?

3.Does anyone know of books written about babies and general childcare in the 16th century.


Anonymous said...

I can answer question #3, books on care of infants and children in the 16th century. The short answer is that there are not any. This is a very much under-studied area, though I have done a little work in it myself (nothing published). There are one or two books that focus on how various Protestant groups' religious beliefs affected their attitude toward childrearing, but these are principally theological studies, not accounts of how children were actually raised (Anthony Fletcher, "Prescription and Practice: Protestantism and the Upbringing of Children, 1560-1700" .. an excellent book, but almost certainly not what you are looking for). Books on the history of childrearing more commonly start in the early 18th century and therefore do not include the Tudor period. There are, however, a few articles in academic journals, but you would need access to a large university library to get at those (V.A. Fildes, 'Infant Care in Tudor and Stuart England,' in the journal "Midwife, Health Visitor & Community Nurse," 22 (1986), 79-84; Barbara Hanawalt, 'Childrearing among the Lower Classes of Late Medieval England,' Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 8 (1977), 1-22). But I'm afraid that is really all there is right now.

Lara said...

Is anyone familiar with "The English Family 1450-1700" by Ralph Houlbrooke? I found a copy used a while back, but I haven't actually read it so I'm interested in any opinions. I'm not sure how much it goes in to care of children, but I'm guessing it at least touches on it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've read Houlbrooke's work. It does have a chapter on infancy and childhood, but as I recall (it's been a few years since I last read it) the emphasis there is on the later Stuart period rather than the earlier Tudor period. And it is less about practical "how-to" issues than about attitudes and beliefs regarding infants and children. The problem is a lack of primary sources. There just isn't a lot of documentation surviving from the Tudor period to answer our questions about how they raised children. Still, Tabitha might benefit from looking over Houlbrooke's book.

There is also Lawrence Stone's "Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800." I did not mention it earlier because it has been so thoroughly discredited over the past decade, especially where it deals with children. But it is worth bringing up here as a book NOT to pay much attention to when it comes to infant and child care in the 16th century.

kb said...

There's also Wrightson, 'English Society 1580-1680' which has a couple of chapters on family including children. There is definitely more for the 17thc than the 16thc.

Unfortunately I don't know of any prescriptive literature on 16thc child rearing. No Miss Manners raises perfect courtiers pamphlets in my back pocket.

In 1571, Robert Dudley had the attainder on his family stemming from their support of Lady Jane Grey reversed. (Hammer, ODNB) I can't remember the other one at the moment....

Anonymous said...

In answer to question 2 - Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norris, was the son of Sir Henry Norris who was executed with Anne Boleyn. He found great favour with Elizabeth I.

From what I can gather from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, George Boleyn, Francis Weston and William Brereton died childless. There is less information on Mark Smeaton, but I have not heard metion of any of these four having children, legitimate or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

There is, actually, a pretty significant body of prescriptive literature on childrearing from the Tudor period. For those with access to the online database Early English Books Online, often available through a large university library's computer network, the books can be viewed page-by-page as jpg scans. Titles include:
Roger Ascham, "The scholemaster ... specially purposed for the private brynging up of youth in Jentlemen and Noble mens houses...," London: John Daye, 1570;
Bathelemy Batt, "The Christian mans closet Wherein is conteined a large discourse of the godly training vp of children...," London: by Thomas Dawson and Gregorie Seton, 1581;
Robert Cleaver, "A godlie forme of householde gouernment for the ordering of priuate families ...whereunto is adjoyned ... the parents dutie towards their children: and the childrens towards their parents," London: Printed by Felix Kingston, for Thomas Man, 1598;
Thomas Elyot, "The boke named the governour," London: Thomas Berthelet, 1531;
Richard Whitford, "A werke for housholders or for them that haue the guidyng or gouernaunce of any company," London: Roberte Redman, 1531.

Anonymous said...

For the ladies....Wendy Wall's The Imprint of Gender looks at a number of female-authored treatises ostensibly written by mothers who feared death (or did die) from childbirth and would no longer be able to rear the children themselves (This reason justified the women "speaking" in public).

I also think that Poetic Resistance by Pamela Hammons may look at some of these as well.

Mary Carey has some very moving poems about her miscarriages (from the early 1600s, admittedly). They might be online somewhere.

kb said...

For anonymous K -

Could you please tell me which Mary Carey you are referencing? Do you know her parents or birth-death dates?


Foose said...

Brereton and Norris had their attainders reversed in the 1570s. Sir Henry Norris the younger was a particular favorite of Queen Elizabeth, allegedly because his father refused to confess to adultery with Queen Anne.

I don't know why Weston's attainder wasn't reversed -- certainly his family was very active at the time of his execution, offering huge bribes to get him pardoned. George Boleyn's attainder probably wasn't reversed because Queen Elizabeth was notably wary about bringing up the Boleyn name and the controversies of the past. Plus, he had no children to clamor for the reversal. I'm not sure Smeaton was attainted; I think he confessed, and consequently would have been someone Queen Elizabeth would have preferred to forget. Retha Warnicke has suggested he was a foreigner, a Fleming, but whether or not his family does not seem to have petitioned for the reversal or a pardon.

Per Anne Boleyn's stomach problem, can you be more specific about what you read? Other than her inability to carry children to term after her first child, I can't find any reference to her stomach. Occasionally, 16th century people would refer to someone's "high stomach," but that just meant they were exceedingly proud.

Anonymous said...

Hi kb--
Its Lady Mary Carey (sorry, I know theres about a bajillion careys) and most of her poems were written in the 1650s. Her manuscript is at the Bodleian: Lady Carey's Meditations, fF Poetry. MS Rawlins D. 1308. Ill check the ODNB when I get a moment.

Also forgot to mention Jane Sharps Midwifes Book (also 1600s).


Anonymous said...

More Carey info:

Carey [née Jackson], Mary, Lady Carey (b. c.1609, d. in or after 1680), author of verse and autobiographical meditations, was the daughter and heir of Sir John Jackson of Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland

kb said...

Anonymous k -

Thanks. She must have married one of the many grandsons. She's later than my period which explains (partly) my confusion. The rest stems from my general descent into myopia brought on by the final push to finish my dissertation...maybe I'll turn back into a normal human being in a couple months.


Anonymous said...


As someone who just finished the diss and defended, I can promise you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I promise that its not the headlamp of an oncoming train (though you may feel like it).

The ODNB explains, I believe, which Carey family member she married.

Not that you probably need more info right now but: there was a noblewoman in the early 17th c. who wrote on the virtues of women brestfeeding their own children. I cannot remember her name, but will try to find it...anyone else have a clue?

Good luck with the diss (not that you need it).


Anonymous said...

I thought I should correct my earlier post. Francis Weston did have a baby son in 1536, according to Weir. I have no idea what became of him.