Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Question from Miranda - Jane Rochford's testimony against her husband

I am curious about everyone's opinions on why Jane Rochford would have testified such horrible things against her husband, which hardly could have been true. She had to have known it would result in his death. Was she bullied into it, or intimidated? Did she fear for her own neck? Did she hate her husband? And if so, why might she hate him?


Anonymous said...

According to what I have read,Jane wasn't the only one to give testimony against Anne and her brother George. Cromwell had question all of Anne's ladies in waiting about the men who were seen visiting the queen's chamber. All of them were question,and all were intimidate by Cromwell. I do not think Jane gave testified because she was jealous , or hated her husband. Jane had too much to lose by doing so. She stand to lose her status,money and her reputation (the embarrassment of incest charges against her husband. Plus everything George owns go to the king)So what exactly would she had gain by making up stuff about anne and George? However, I do believe that Jane might not have known that what she was saying would be switch around and use against Anne and George. According to some historian, Jane testimonial might amount to her seeing George visiting his sister in her bedchamber . No one knows what Jane said for sure, since her testimony was written (maybe Jane couldn't read,or write?) down by Cromwell and read in court.

djd said...

Jane is a hard one to figure out. She has certainly been a scapegoat throughout history as a jealous, bitter, self-centered woman whose testimony sealed the fates of Anne and George. There are others, like Julia Fox (wrote a book), who feel that Jane has been misunderstood and unfairly judged throughout history. When Jane went to her execution for being involved in the whole Catherine Howard thing, she said that she was sorry for her false testimony against Ann and George, and for that she deserved to die. I do believe that Jane worshiped both George and Ann, while at the same time was very jealous of their relationship. I have read that George was quite a womanizer in some books, and others, like "The other boleyn girl", a fictional novel, would have you believe that George was gay, while Julia Fox suggests that Jane and George were quite happy and living high on the hog due to Anne becoming queen. Of course, we will never know what really made Jane tick. I think she was used and manipulated by some powerful people who advised her on what to do and say at the time of Anne and George's trial, and further when she was attending Catherine Howard. I think Jane's life was very tragic. If I have any details wrong, feel free to correct me Tudor Historians! :)

Anonymous said...

Given George's religious beliefs, I doubt very much that he was homosexual or a womanizer. All of those reports come from after his death or from unfriendly sources during his life. I believe that Jane was bullied into testifying and that whatever she said was going to be twisted to the worst possible angle. Like the others said, Jane had too much to lose by actively working against her husband, whatever her personal feelings were towards George and Anne. The general consensus was that she was jealous of the relationship the siblings had, but Julia Fox, Jane's biographer, seems to think Anne and Jane were quite close. If Jane did have an active role in the demise of her husband and sister-in-law, she did not seem to show remorse for it. The two accounts of her execution do not mention her specifically naming George and Anne among the "sins" she committed. Although, it's possible she wouldn't have named them anyway, given that Henry VIII was still king and that would have raised too many questions. But, since Jane didn't have a legacy to protect (ie: children), why wouldn't she have confessed her most grievous sin, if she had really given spiteful testimony?