Sunday, August 31, 2008

Question from Leilani - Elizabeth's family identifications

Did Queen Elizabeth consider herself a Boleyn as much as a Tudor? Is there any record of her talking about or asking about her Mother?

[Ed note - The Boleyns part of this question have been discussed a lot, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss how Elizabeth showed her Tudor heritage in comparison. Previous discussions on Elizabeth and her mother can be found at the link below, which also has links to some other related threads.]

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Question from Paula Fullilove - Possible bastard of Henry VII

I recently read that the very first Tudor was a bastard child of Henry Vll, a son borne by Henry's mother's courtier who went by the name of Bess Fullilove. My interest is obvious as I have the same surname which I have found in the past to be surrounded in a lot of ambiguity. Can you give me any real info on this obscure bit of history?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Question from Tudor Rose - Reconstruction of Kathryn Howard's skull

Do you think that the skull of Catherine Howard should be dug up and reconstructed?
I think that the skull of catherine Howard should be reconstructed then that way everyone will have a clear idea of what she looked like.
Because up until now there has been no authenticated likeness of her.

Question from Kelly - Why were only two of Henry's Queens crowned?

How come only Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were anointed queens?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Question from Christy - Effectiveness of bleeding patients

I am wondering if bleeding people, a common 16th century cure for almost anything, was an effective procedure for helping treat patients. It seems like this would not help a person, only make them more suspectible to infection. However, because it was practiced so widely, I am wondering if physicans during this time era saw positive results to bleeding their patients.

Question from Faith - Why did Anne Boleyn have to be die?

I have read a great deal about Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the ins and outs of Henry's court, but I just do not understand why Anne had to die. Why couldn't Henry have allowed her to enter a convent or find some other,less harsh way to be rid of her?

Question from Mike - Fate of Frances Walsingham, Countess of Essex

Does any one know what happened to Lady Essex I believe her name was Frances daughter of Sir Waslingham after the death of Robert Devereau? I also think they had one or two children at the time of his death.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Question from Leia - Diabetes in Tudor times

I know back in Tudor times they had deadly illnesses they called "the sweating sickness" and of course the plague and childbed fever. I wondered if there was ever any reference to a disease that could have been diabetes. I'm sure type 2 wasn't very prevalent back then, although Henry VIII would have been a prime candidate for it. I have had type 1 for 15 years and am very into 16th century England. I wondered if there was any symptoms in England teens and kids that could have been type 1. In the early 1900's before insulin was invented diabetes was called the "sugar disease". I thought maybe there would be something similar to this that may have surfaced during this time as well. Of course I know that many children perished in these times because of lack of medical awareness and vaccines and such so it may be hard to pinpoint this many years later any symptoms or illnesses that may point to diabetes. Also these children would have lived only a month or two at best so they probably went to quick for anyone to make the connection to the thirst and the "fruity breath" which is characteristic of untreated diabetes. This has been on my mind for a while- thanks for the help!

Question from Sara - Nickname for Essex

I had a question about Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. I know that Elizabeth had nicknames for most of her favorites, but so far I haven't heard of one for him. Did Elizabeth ever give him a nickname? Is it possible that she gave him one, but it wasn't recorded? Or was "Robin" a good enough nickname in her opinion? Thank you for any answers you can give me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Question from Terry - Mary "Rose" Tudor's burial site

Henry's sister Mary was buried at Bury St edmunds in 1533. At the dissolution was she re interred elsewhere and if so, where? He moved Henry Fitzroy, or at least someone did from Thetford to Framlingham.

Question from Elizabeth M. - Dorothea Stuart

Can anyone tell me anything about DOROTHEA STUART? Apparently, she was a daughter of Queen Margaret Tudor? But I have seen a source that says she was one of the short-lived daughters born to Margaret and her first husband, James IV, and I have seen another that says she was a daughter of Margaret and her third husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Methven. Anybody know?

Question from Liz - Ivan IV in England

I have a few questions about the accuracy of the story of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. The story this year is that in 1583 Ivan IV comes from Muscovy to England looking for a bride and he ends up choosing Queen Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, Mary Hastings.

Did Ivan really come to England? And if so, did he propose to Mary Hastings, to Elizabeth, or to anyone else?

I have found conflicting information on the internet and wondered if anyone could help clarify it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Question from Margaret - Comptroller and Surveyor at Woodstock

"Comptroller of the King's Works and Surveyor of the Manor of Woodstock" - One of my ancestors (Owen Whitton) was appointed to this position in 1523 (he died 1554). I would love to know what this entailed.
He was also a yeoman usher of the King's Chamber. Would he have held this position first then been promoted to comptroller? or could one be both at the same time?
Is he likely to have been at Woodstock all the time, or would he have been with the King?

Question from Nikki - Elizabeth I's signal on her deathbed

In the book "Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through The Extramarital Adventures That Rocked The British Monarchy" by Leslie Carroll, it is said that on Elizabeth's death bed she pantomimed a crown above her head with her hands since she was unable to speak. This was to signal that James VI of Scotland was to succeed her. This is the first I have heard of this?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Question from Gervase - Pearls and stones on gowns

Having been looking at 16th century portraits, not only of Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I, etc., but ladies of Court, they all have their gowns adorned with pearls (pearls seemed to be bountiful) and precious gems etc., I wonder, what did they do to remove the gems from the gowns. They couldn't possibly keep those gowns for very long, I don't know if they had deodorant etc. but surely, they must have had stains, etc. on them. What a job that must have been! But I always wonder if the seamstresses' continually made these fabulous gowns, or had to wait until the Queen made up her mind about style etc.. I would love to hear from our group with the answers..........

Question from Kathy - Archaeology at the Field of the Cloth of Gold

Has there been any archeological excavations done at the site of the Field of the Cloth of Gold?

There should certainly be some evidence left of Henry's "faux" castle and the cornerstone of the church that was planned but never built.

Incidentally, the Eurostar route from London to Paris through the tunnel under the English Channel comes out very close to the FCG site and there doesn't appear to be any structures there now at all. I would think somebody would have investigated this.

Question from Kivaldo - Food and costs for a Tudor banquet for school activity

I am a teacher of Y6 children (10-11yr olds). We will be doing a topic on Tudor's again this year and I am planning on tying it in with other aspects of the curriculum. An idea I have been presented with for maths is to plan a Tudor banquet. In order to keep it in context, I was wondering if anybody could give me an idea of some different types of food found at a Tudor banquet, but more importantly the cost of these (either per person or, for example, a leg of pork, the price and how many people it would feed).

I look forward to hearing from you,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Question from Elizabeth M. - Biography of Elizabeth of York

Has there ever been a decent biography written of Elizabeth of York? Tempus Publishing has an England's Forgotten Queens series edited by Alison Weir, and so far they have had Elizabeth Wydeville and Anne Neville and plans for Matilda. Does anyone who might be next in the series?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Question from Nikki - "Britain's Real Monarch"

I was watching a documentary today titled "Britan's Real Monarch." The documentary claims that the current Queen is not really the true claimant to the throne. This dates back hundreds of years to Edward IV, who was claimed to be a bastard.

Edward IV's birthday was April 28th, which would have put him as being conceived in July or August of the previous year. The problem with that is that Edward's father was in France fighting a war during that time. The royal family tried to claim that Edward was conceived a couple months before Edward's father left, which would make him about 8 weeks overdue. There was a lavish christening celebration for Edward's younger brother, but Edward's christening was very low key.

There were rumors of Edward's mother, Cecily, having an affair, which would put truth to the bastard claim. If this is true, that would mean that Henry VII's wife was not of royal blood, which of course is why he married unite the houses of York and Lancaster. They claim that this would've made Elizabeth and Henry VII both illegitimate, which would of course make the royal bloodline completely different.

In the documentary they traced the royal bloodline as it would have happened if Edward was illegitimate. Margaret, Countess of Saulisbury is the blood line that they follow for the descent, as she would've been the true Plantaganet heir since her brother, Edward, Earl of Warrick, was locked up in The Tower where he died. (We know that Henry had her executed because of her claim to the throne.)

Michael Hastings is claimed to be Britain's current monarch and he lives in Australia. He moved in 1960 when he was 17 and would've been King Michael I. He's a Plantaganet descendant. Interestingly, he's in favor of a republic! Haha you think there's any truth to this? I know this is lengthy but I wanted to give you the background in the documentary.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Question from Barbara - Exhibited items related to Anne Boleyn

I have three questions about finding images of or belonging to Ann Boleyn.

1 - I understand that here is a medal minted in 1534 that is a likeness of Queen Ann, and that it is in the British Museum in London. When I look on their web page there is no mention of it. Is this medal on permanent exhibition at the BM?

2 - Is the locket ring (1575) belonging to Elizableth I that has a miniature of her mother on permanent exhibition.? I know that the Chequers Trust loaned it to the National Maritime Museum in 2003, but have they placed it on permanent exhibit?

3 - Does anyone know if the Ecclesiaste belonging to Ann and passed to the Duke of Northcumberland on exhibit? I think it might be at Alnwick castle.

Question from Lynne - Henry VIII coins early in Edward VI's reign

Any idea why Edward VI issued posthumous coins bearing Henry VIII's portrait for the first few years of his reign, in addition to coins bearing his own portrait? Was it convenience?--or perhaps wanting to assert and identify himself, since he was merely a boy, as his father's son? This has always puzzled me.

Question from April - "The Sweat"

When Arthur died they said it was the sweat. I was wondering what the modern day equivalent of the sweat would be. Everyone I have asked says they think it's pneumonia or small pox or even the flu. What is it?

[ed note - this is a repeat, but I wouldn't mind some additional input on it. Here's the previous post on the subject, which I responded to with some of the information I had at the time: ]

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Question from Gervase - Fascination with the Tudors

Friends, has anyone besides myself ever wondered why we are so fascinated by the Tudors? I have pondered on this question over and over again, especially when I see the actual photographs of the castles, letters etc., originating from Henry VIII, or Anne, or any other person involved with them. At times it is very eerie, I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation but I am puzzled by these feelings about all of the characters, especially Anne Boleyn. I believe if her father had not "pimped"(excuse the expression) both she and her sister Mary, she would have been married to Percy and happy. excuse me for rambling but if someone would care to comment, I would like to hear from you all.......Gervase

[Ed note - This seems to be the question I get asked the most when reporters want the opinion of a 'fan site' owner when doing articles on the Tudors (the series or the royals). It always makes me stop and think!]

Friday, August 15, 2008

A couple of quick notes

Hello all!

First up, I'm pretty sure that I'm coming down with a cold, so there is the possibility that updates and comment approvals might be a little slow over the weekend if I'm not feeling well. I despise getting sick in the heat of the summer (not that I really enjoy it in the cooler months, but I'm sure most of you know what I mean). So anyway, depending on how foggy my head is, I may or may not be on the computer much.

And the other note is about people including their email addresses in the question submission form. Although I leave it as optional, I strongly encourage people to put an address in there so I can email you to get a clarification of your question or answer it directly if it is something that is just a quick answer or already has been addressed on the blog. If you don't see your question show up on the blog after a couple of days, it might mean that it was already answered or that I wanted to clarify something, but without an email address I couldn't contact you. It might also mean that I did email you but my message ended up in a spam folder. Messages will come from either tudorhistory or lara

Have a nice weekend y'all!

Question from Jen - Henry's treatment of his children

Ok, so I love reading historical fiction but I really want to know how accurate they are. I just finished Elizabeth: Red Rose of the house of Tudor. Its from a royal diaries series, kinda of like American girl. Anyways, in the book, Elizabeth's father (Henry VIII) is a really mean dad. He neglates both of his daughters (He even seems a little scared of Elizabeth becuase he believes she's a half-witch. Worse, he taunts his son (Edward) and makes fun of him becuase he's fat---even though Henry himself is huge! Was Henry that bad of a father? Was he verbally abusive to his children?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Question from Meredith - Henry's deathbed fears

When henry was on his death bed did he show any indication of fear at meeting his god after all the evil he had done?

[Ed. note: I'm assuming Henry VIII here, but I guess some could see it applying to either Henry?]

Question from Faith - Best likenesses of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I

What do you think is the nearest likeness we have today of Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn?

I have heard that one good candidate for the best likeness of Elizabeth is the Sieve Portrait which hangs in the Board Room at the Folger Shakespeare Library -- would you agree?

Thank you!


Question from Gervase - Rumors that Elizabeth I was a man

Friends, I once spent the summer between school waitressing and I met a young lady from England who told me that her professor in England once, during the study of Elizabeth I, said that there was a rumor that arises once in awhile, that Elizabeth was really a man. Apparently, in an unfortunate accident, the toddler drowned. Panicked, her guardian found a young boy,same age, red hair etc., and raised the child to be the Queen. While I realize that this is probably just a random rumor, in the movie Elizabeth I, the French Prince is complaining about her lack of emotion and he says "some say she is a man". Does anyone know anything regarding this story. I appreciate all the effort given in the blog.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Question from Liz - Religious terms

I was wondering, are Calvinist and Purtians the same thing? What about Protestants? Was that just a blanket term for a Christian who wasn't Catholic? And if you were a Protestant, would you call your self that or would there have been a different name?

Question from Gervase - Sainthood for Catherine of Aragon

I have been wondering, and have inquired, if Catherine of Aragon was ever considered for Sainthood by the Catholic Church? I cannot seem to find any documentation regarding the same, however, I would think she certainly suffered enough thru all kinds of humiliation and still maintained her faith.

Question from Nikki - Layout of English churches

I know this isn't Tudor related, but I cannot find anyone to answer this question so I thought I would see if one of you can!

Why are the church pews in English churches facing each other, rather than the altar? I noticed this in the Temple Church. I also noticed this in Bermuda, which is of course an English territory.

Question from Kelly - Henry VIII's private marriages

How come henry VIII's marriages were done in private? When his father married Elizabeth of York, it was done in public.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Question from Kelly - Elizabeth and Dudley's relationship

Did Elizabeth and Robert Dudley have a serious relationship?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Question from Diana - Mary's betrothal ring

Does anyone know what became of Mary's betrothal ring after it was presented to Elizabeth?

Question from Gervase - Notes from the renovations of St. Peter ad Vincula


Question from Elizabeth M. - Biographies of Catherine of Aragon

I have a copy of Garrett Mattingly's biography of Katherine of Aragon, written in the early 1940s. Has there ever been another biography of her? I am just curious why she has seemingly not been tackled by biographers since Mattingly's work.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Question from Nikki - Possibility of twins for Catherine of Aragon's first pregnancy

I was watching a documentary about Henry VIII and it mentioned that with her first pregnancy, Catharine of Aragon miscarried. Her stomach was still very swollen and they told her she was pregnant with twins & the second child was still alive. She took to her chamber, but after a month her stomach soon went down and they lost all hope that there was a second child. I'm going to assume her stomach was swollen due to infection. This is the first time I've heard of a possibility of twins?

Question from Nikki - "Taking to their chamber"

Why did women "take to their chamber" when they were pregnant?

Question from Olivia - Teaching or studying Tudor history

I've been interested in the tudors since 6th grade, and now i've become extreamly interested in it to a point i want to teach it/ become a historian on the subject. any advice? thank you

Question from Liz - Women on the stage

I've heard that actresses where not allowed on the Elizabethan stage and that female roles were done by males. Why were females barred from the stage and when where they finally allowed to act? What changed that allowed them to do so?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Question from Claudia - Dispensations needed to marry god-children or step-children, etc.

When you married in the sixteenth century, your husband's sister became your sister, rather than your sister-in-law, and any relationship would therefore be considered incestuous and require a dispensation (if I understand it correctly).

Was this the same for your goddaughter, stepbrother etc.? Could you marry them or would you need a dispensation? Is the answer different depending on whether it was before or during the Reformation? I am interested in the time of Henry VIII. Thank you very much.

Question from Krissy - Effect of wine on the Wives

Did the constant drinking of wine effect Henry VIII's wives?

Question from Joyce - St. James' Palace

Iam curious about St James Place I know Henry VIII built it on the site of an old hospital I think, bit as it is so close to Whitehall what was it used for, also is the Chapel Royal there the original one and are there pictures of it anywhere? I have visited St James Place and think the Tudor gatewat is still amazing, are many of the stone window frames around that enterance original? we got to it by way of Duke St , St James I think many visitors miss it becuase it is sort of , away from a main road but worth the trip

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Question from Gisli - DNA for testing of bones

Would it be possible to identify the bones of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour or Katherine Howard, through DNA, if HM were to allow acces to the bones in the Tower Chapel.

Are these families still alive in England today?

The Boleyns, Seymours and the Howards were powerful in their time, but what of today. Is there anyone alive who could donate DNA to be used in determining who is who. Or are the all gone.


Question from Kris - Edwards-Tudor connection

I'm also a direct descendant of Henry Tudor, or Henry the VII, by way of Richard Edwards. I'm interested in getting some corroboration on this. Anyone have any ideas?

[Ed. note - previous discussion of this line is here and here]

Question from Emily - Fashion and corsets after the break with Rome

I am conducting a report on the history of corsets for my BA hons degree (2nd year) and im wondering if anybody has any idea how fashion and particularly corsets developed after the establishment of the Church of England?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Question from Nikki - Henry VIII's early thoughts of divorce

i was reading the bio of henry viii on it states that henry was considering divorce in 1514 as catharine had no surviving children. in 1516 mary was born and the divorce was "postponed."

is there any truth to that?

Question from Nikki - "Defender of the Faith" title

henry viii was given the title "defender of the faith" by the pope before the break of rome. after becoming disconnected with the catholic church, why would a monarch still be able to carry that tile if they had no affiliation with the roman catholic church? i think "defender of the faith" is still in the current queen's title. i'm confused as to why they still carry the title after the break with rome. seems to me like the pope would've taken it back?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Question from Aj - Worst job at the Globe

Hi. Im 14 years old and Im doing an essay on Shakespeare's globe theatre.. I was wondering what was the worst job yu could get at the globe theatre and why was that .. ?? Thanks