Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Question from Laurie - Anne's mental state

Has anything been written about Anne Boleyn's mental state during her years with the king and after she'd fallen from favor. I've read the she would laugh hysterically at times near the end and wondered if experts today might call her manic?

Question from Hilary - Tudor contraception

What forms of contraception were available in the Tudor period? How effective were they?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Question from jessaluce - Anne's body at burial

I am curious to find more detailed information about Anne Boleyn's burial. Other traitors executed at the Tower had their heads put on display and bodies were customarily buried naked as the executioner had rights to the clothing.

What exactly was the state of Anne's body when it was buried? What became of her other belongings after her death?

[ed. note - some discussion of Anne's possessions have been covered in the posts below.]

Question from Diane - Essex quote on the Spanish Infanta

When Essex rode through London trying to rouse the people against Elizabeth and her government he cried that they had been sold to the Spanish Infanta. I thought that might have been a hackneyed reference to Catherine of Aragon and the Catholic cause but it seems not. Does anyone know what he meant?

Question from Simran - Why did Henry VIII wish to end his first marriage?

Why did henry VIII wish to terminate his marrige with Catherine of Aragon?

[Ed note - Yeah, I know, this is a pretty basic Tudor history question, but I have a feeling that it will bring around a variety of thoughts and opinions, so I decided to throw it out to you all.]

Related posts:
(and I suppose all of the childbirth/fertility questions are related too, but I don't feel like posting all of those links again, since you can just look at the post before this one for a lot of them.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Question from Emily - Further thoughts on Catherine of Aragon's miscarriages, etc.

This really isn't a question, more so a thought on a possible reason Katherine of Aragon had such trouble delivering live children.

This came to me today while researching a condition that a few of my family members have: a bicornuate uterus.

This basically means that the uterus is malformed into two distinct sections (forming a heart shape) in varying degrees of severity, and this results in:

-high rates of miscarriage
-high risk of premature delivery
-high risk of weak live births (the infant doesn't have enough room to grow, so is stunted in growth and weak as a result)

And I thought to myself, this fits Katherine's situation pretty well. I mean, obviously we will never know, and it's never wise to make a medical diagnosis hundreds of years later, but I think it's a possibility.

At least two of her pregnancies ended in premature births/miscarriages, (there may have been more, as miscarriages in the first trimester were unlikely to have been recorded accurately) and of the three that were born alive, only one (Mary, obviously) survived.

"Prince Henry," I think can be dismissed as a result of high infant mortality, as he did survive for several weeks. Her last pregnancy, however, resulted in a small and weak daughter (although some sources say she is stillborn?).

Healthy infants are possible with this condition, so Mary isn't a problem with this hypothesis.

The only true problem I see with this is that Katherine's mother, grandmother, and sisters all seem to have had no trouble conceiving and bearing live children. Mary, unfortunately, can give us no information either, as she was likely past her fertile days by the time she married Phillip. This condition isn't always an inherited one, but usually there are a few other family members who show symptoms. In my family, for example, my great grandmother and my mother are both good candidates for this condition, and my cousin definitely has it.

Anyway, this is just a thought that came to me.

People always make a big deal over Henry not being able to have children, when in reality he may just have had rotten luck with the women he bedded. Katherine may definitely have had some kind of uterine malformation, in my opinion, Anne's miscarriages were quite possibly the result of the Rh factor, and poor Jane Seymour never had a chance to prove she could continue to bear him children.

[Ed. note - other threads on the reproductive issues of Henry and his wives listed below]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Question from Margaret - Duties of a Tudor bailiff

Roger Whitton received a grant to be Bailiff of Watlington in 1519. Would be grateful if someone could explain the duties of a bailiff in Tudor times.

Question from Diane - Why didn't Mary I execute Elizabeth

I'm new to this site so this question may have been covered before but I have always wondered why Mary I would put someone like Cranmer or Lady Jane Grey to death and not Elizabeth. Elizabeth was the personification of all Mary's troubles yet her life was spared. I feel that as Queen Mary was prepared to overlook personal attacks against herself but never against her faith in the Transubstantiation. Elizabeth never openly "denied the Mass" as Jane, Cranmer and those executed for heresy did. She took instruction and attended Mass (even though she complained in private). I don't mean this question to be a religious debate but only to discuss Mary's personality and motivation. How do others feel?

Question from Kristen - Resemblances among the Tudor generations

I was wondering if I could gauge the opinions of the regular bloggers on this forum regarding the resemblances of two generations of Tudor siblings based on the known descriptions of these people. Who do you think Arthur, Margaret, Henry, and Mary resembled respectively? Likewise, who did Mary I resemble more - Henry or her mother Catherine of Aragon?

Thank you all once again for your help!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

500th post!

We hit 400 on July 16 of this year and now we're already up to 500! Don't worry, I won't keep posting at each multiple of 100... But maybe I'll have to find something special to commemorate 1000.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More possible delays

No hurricanes this time, thank goodness. The house has sold and unfortunately my new place won’t be ready for another couple of weeks, so my stuff is going to be in a couple of friends’ garages and I will be staying with family. I’ll be tied up with getting the stuff out of the old house on Thursday and Friday of this week, but things should be back to something passing as normal after that. There will probably be another break in posting in the first part of October when I move into the new place. I’ll be sooooo glad when all of this is over and done with!

Question from Tracey - Fate of the families of Norris, Weston and Brereton

Norris, Weston, Brereton...what happened to their families?

I haven't been able to find any information that goes past their executions. Weston's wife and mother offered a generous sum to Henry to allow Weston to live, but Henry declined their money. What happened to Weston's wife, for instance?

Did any of these three families continue at court? Were they relegated to the country, either purposely or by their own wish?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Question from Lauren - Quotes from Mary Queen of Scots

Hi everyone! I've been trying to find quotes attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots and am not having any luck (well besides "In my end is my beginning"). Does anyone know of other quotes that I am overlooking? Thank you so much for you help!

Question from KB - More on John Perrot

I am interested to know what the community thinks about Sir John Perrot's relationship with Henry VIII; whether he was Elizabeth's half-brother or not.

I have him listed as the son of Thomas Perrot and Mary Berkeley. I know very little else about him except that his grandson Thomas married Dorothy Devereux, daughter of Lettice Knolls Devereux and sister to Penelope Devereux Rich.

So I geuss the question is whether Mary Berkeley was Henry VIII's mistress 8-10 months before John's birth - a date I don't have to hand.

Any information, thoughts or trivia would be welcome. Thanks.

[Ed. note - This has sort of already been addressed, but I don't think we've had much discussion on John himself.]

Previous threads:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Possible blog posting interruptions and delays

Courtesy of Hurricane Ike --

The odds are good that I won't have much in the way of satellite internet access starting sometime this evening and lasting until sometime Saturday evening given the rain we're expecting from Hurricane Ike. It might just end up being windy with only some light rain in my area, but we'll just have to see. So, there probably won't be any new questions posted or comments approved until Saturday evening or sometime on Sunday.


Well, we ended up with a very breezy day, but no rain in my area. A little rain would have actually been a good thing since we need it, but given a choice between no rain and way too much rain, I'll take no rain!

Question from Charlotte - "Significant decision" topic for essay

Hi im doing an essay on a significant decision in Tudor history and im a bit stuck for a topic so i was just wondering if any one has any ideas?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Question from Jason - Yet more crime and punishment

hi, im researching law and order, crime and punishment in tudor stuart england for history.
just wondering if anybody has any information on

1 what crimes were considered particularly serious, and what laws and actions were passed to control this.

2 'what legal processes were availible in tudor stuart england'

3 what crimes were considerd worthy of long term imprisonment or the death penalty.

any help regarding these questions would be greatly appreciated. thanks

[ed. note - this is obviously a popular research subject in schools, since it comes up every year. Some of these questions area little more specific than we've gotten in the past, which is why I went ahead and posed them.]

Previous related threads:

Question from Kelly - Heavy alcohol consumption

Did any of the Tudors beside Henry VIII drink heavily?

[Ed. note - We've already covered this for the wives, but any other comments are welcome.]

Previous thread:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Question from Nikki - Catholicism and the current Prince of Wales

I know this isn't Tudor related, but I don't know who else to ask. Is Camilla Parker Bowles still Roman Catholic? Andrew Parker Bowles was Catholic and their children were raised as Catholics.

I know that the King cannot be married to a Catholic, so I am guessing that Camilla denounced her Catholic faith before marrying Charles?

Why didn't they have an official wedding within the Church of England instead of the small blessing at St. George's Chapel? Seems to me like the King of England would want it to be as official as possible!

[Ed. note - I generally shy away from modern Royal Family topics, but since the roots of this one go back a ways, I decided to go ahead and post it.]

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Question from Tracey - Francis I biography

Francis I of France...I know he's not a Tudor, but he was a big player in the life of Henry VIII...especially in Henry's wish to marry Anne Boleyn.

My question is the whereabouts of the biography of Francis by Leonie Frieda. It was supposed to be published this month (September 2008), but I have yet to find it listed anywhere.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Question from Judy - Starkey's new biography

Is David Starkey's biography which is coming out in 2009 going to be available in the USA? I see it is already on amazonuk.

[Ed. note - I keep periodically checking for this to come out in the US, but haven't found any info. Anyone else know something?]

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Question from Elizabeth M. - Burials in Westminster Abbey

With Westminster Abbey being a royal peculiar, how did so many non-royals wind up being buried there? Were these people, based on the accomplishments in their lives, offered burial in the Abbey by the monarch, or did they or their families have to ask for permission? Or do not all burials in the Abbey need royal permission?
Also, when and why exactly did Westminster Abbey seem to fall out of favor as a royal burial site, with Windsor being the preferred place for many generations?

Question from Carol-Louise - Image of Elizabeth I as a toddler

I was watching a documentary on Elizabeth I on video, which appeared on the Discovery channel a few years ago and the front cover bears the portrait of her when she was crowned queen at 25.
However, when the voiceover is discussing her early years as a small child, some of the images used to illustrate the points of Elizabeth as a toddler, were of charming portraits of a toddler with strawberry blonde hair and traditional Tudor dress.
I was unaware that portraits of Elizabeth I as a small toddler were in existence. But I have searched for them online and found no such mention of them.
Is it true that there are such portraits in existence or was it artistic license merely for the video?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Question from Nikki - All Hallows by the Tower and Thomas More

I was on the All Hallows by The Tower website and it says that Sir Thomas More has a connection with the church. It doesn't say he's buried there. Where is he buried and what is his connection with that church?

Question from Nolaboy84 - Jane's motto in Latin

Hi, I am a history major at Tulane, and Jayne is my favourite queen, can anyone tell me her motto IN LATIN, not Enlgish.

I know what it is in English but can't remember the Latin. This would mean so much to me for Personal reasons


[Ed. note - I'm assuming Jane Seymour, whose motto was "Bound to Obey and Serve" in English. Unfortunately my Latin education consists of one year in junior high and the stray stuff I've picked up in science and history!]

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Question from Elizabeth M. - Christ Church Greyfriars at Newgate

I am curious about Christ Church Greyfriars at Newgate. I read that Edward I's second wife, Marguerite was buried there, as well as Isabella, wife of Edward II and the heart of Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III. With the plundering of the tombs during the time fo Cromwell, the Great Fire of 1666, and the bombing of World War II, was there anything left to identify the burial sites of these women?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Question from Ron - More info on Anne Pedissiqua, lady to Margaret of Anjou

Re previous query: Anna Pedissiqua, Lady-in-Waiting.

I have recently discovered that Anna was L-in-W to Queen Margaret of Anjou wife of Henry VI. Does anyone know anything about, or have any idea how to search for, info on Queen Margaret's Ladies?
I am a direct descendant of Thomas Berry, husband of Anna Margaretta Regina Pedissiqua, and anxious to further my research of their lives. Any leads or other help will be appreciated.
Thank you,

[Ed note - The previous question can be found here]

Question from Nikki - More Tudor places to visit in and near London

I am lucky enough to be going to London again this year!!!! I will be in London 4 days and then head to Dublin for 3 days. (suggestions for Dublin are also welcome!!) What are some of the "must see" Tudor sites? I've done Westminster Abbey (my favorite place!), Hampton Court and The Tower. Is there anything I could go back and do at those places that aren't in the typical tourist guided tours? I want to get more Tudor history out of those places.

A trip to London is not complete without the Abbey, in my opinion, so are there any graves I should take notice of? I know where Henry VII and Edward VI are, and of course Elizabeth and both Mary's (I and Queen of Scots).

Any other churches or buildings that I can get to without taking a whole day trip to get to and from?

Question from Karl - Possibility that Henry VIII was the cause of the high mortality of his offspring

Henry VIII had little luck in establishing his dynasty. The number of miscarriages and stillbirths that his wives suffered seem excessive, even taking into account the time period when there was a high mortality. This is in sharp contrast to other contemporary royals, and even Henry's mother, Elizabeth of York. Would it be possible for the fault to lie with Henry himself? This would mean that Henry carried a balanced translocation, probably a new mutation. This could explain the miscarriages, stillbirths and possibly early death from cancer of Mary Tudor. If this were considered possible, would there be any way of extracting DNA to check this hypothesis.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Question from Gervase - Henry VIII's fool Will

I have read and seen in documentaries , movies etc., that Henry VIII had a fool named "Will", yet I do not see anything in legitimate print to say he was in fact an actual person who was devouted to Henry VIII. Is he a real person?

Question from Kelly - Royals being dressed by attendants

Did royalty mind being dressed by their ladies? I know this is a lame question, but this has been on my mind for more than 6 years.