Thursday, December 31, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Did Anne Boleyn and Kathryn Howard ever meet

Has there ever been any documentation found that Anne Boleyn and her cousin, Katherine Howard, ever met?

[I thought this one had already been asked, but I couldn't find it in the archives. It's possible that I'm thinking of a thread on my email list though. - Lara]

Question from Hayley - Meaning of Anne Boleyn's motto


Im very interested in Anne Boleyns history and have read many books on her. One thing i cant seem to find is one definate definition to what she meant by her motto "The Most Happy". Could be please explain what Anne's motto meant and why she used it?

Thank You

Word verification now required for commenting

I apologize in advance to anyone who hates these things, but I had to turn on word verification for comments. I was starting to get a LOT of spam comments lately, so it was a choice between banning anonymous comments or turning on word verification, so I decided to go with the verification step. Thanks for your understanding!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Question from Katlyn - Follow-up on previous research help question

Hello everyone! I'm Katlyn; I posted a question here a few months back with questions for preliminary research for a big Henry VIII-oriented paper I'm doing this year in college. Now, with Lara's leave, I would like to ask about sources again, but this time I am looking for more ideas about primary sources for my narrowed-down focuses.

My paper will be a comparison between the careers of Wolsey and Cromwell, comparing specific aspects of their careers and their relationship with Henry, and in the context of this I want to examine the downfall of each man and relate it to historiographical questions about faction and the king's displeasure.

So in general, primary sources that I already have include:
Life and Letters of Cromwell in 2 Volumes (Merriman)
Life and Death of Wolsey (Cavendish)
Tudor Royal Proclamations
Some letters from the Pilgrimage of Grace participants
Random accounts found in secondary source books.

Specific topics I want to examine in my paper include:
Wolsey: the nature of his ambition, his changing relationship with the king, his hand in foreign politics and his French persuasion (i.e. Field of Cloth of Gold), his participation in the Duke of Buckingham affair, the failure of the Amicable Grant, his extravagance, his failure in the Great Matter and his subsequent actions prior to the treason charges.

Cromwell: the way in which his career in government began, the nature of his service to the king, his relationship with and affinity to the king, his part in the fall of Anne Boleyn, his religious reforms - I would like to try to examine his religious persuasions but realize that this is probably out of my reach! - his efforts to find Henry a wife, his involvement in investigating the Pole conspiracy, and his very sudden disfavor and downfall.

In each case I want to examine the presence of political faction and what sort of role it played under the specific circumstances. From this I think I want to draw some conclusions about the political atmosphere, the presence of the New Men, the nature of Henry when it came to protecting or sacrificing an advisor, and whatever else seems to come up. (I realize I may not have enough room for all!)

So far I have been using the following secondary sources:
In the Lion's Court (Wilson), The Cardinal and the Secretary (Williams), Henry VIII and the Mask of Royalty (Baldwin Smith), The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s (can't remember the author), and plan to use Ives' biography of Anne Boleyn for the basis of Cromwell's involvement in her career). I have heard that McEntegart's book on the Cleves marriage would probably be useful. Should I maybe add Scarisbrick on Henry VIII?

Any suggestions for what primary sources I might be able to utilize for the topics listed above would be quite useful. In addition, if anyone knows where I might be able to find some of the rarer ones (chronicles, ambassadors' accounts - I don't read Italian, Latin or French, unfortunately), that would be useful as I am new to searching out such things. I'm sorry for asking so many questions! Feel free to just pick one and answer it if you have the time. I would appreciate the help so much. Thank you all!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Question from Haven - Jane Boleyn and the Field of of Cloth of Gold

I've been reading to my mother the book about Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox. MY mother wants to know what picture there are of the Field of Cloth of Gold and if there's any surviving fabric from the tents. What I want to know if this book is a reliable source. Thank you.

[Related threads linked below. - Lara]

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Question from Jacque - More on wardship

I often see references to aristocratic children in Tudor times going to be brought up or raised in the household of another aristocratic family or person. Was this the same thing as wardship or is there a difference? Also, regarding wardship, if a child was made a ward while their parents were still living (I'm thinking of a situation like Lady Jane Grey's where I think she became Thomas Seymour's ward while her parents were still living) could the guardianship of that child ever be legally returned to their parents even if their guardian was still alive? Or could they only go back to their parents if their guardian died?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Question from Rosa - Wardship of orphans

In the 1520's, if a child of a knight was orphaned, would that child become a royal ward? And if so, who would have control over her wardship? Was it automatically the King or could the child be a ward to a noble associated with her family?

[Related thread linked below - Lara]

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Question from Victoria - Sources for essay on Protector Somerset

I am writing an essay on 'What was the significance of Protector Somersets actions in provoking disorder and rebellion?' I am an A Level Student and am 17 years old.

Im looking at things like the religious reform, economic issues as well as things beyond his control like harvest failures and the fact that in regards to foreign policy it was not necessarily his own actions that provked problems but instead was the situation left by Henry VIII.

I have to include a variety of Primary and Secondary sources in this and am having a great deal of difficulty in finding relevant onces.
I would appreciate any general help in this.


Question from James - Denny biography of Anne Boleyn

What is the general view on this site of Joanna Denny's biography of Anne Boleyn? the critics slated it but i thought it was well written and researched.

[Previous related thread linked below. - Lara]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Question from Christine - Dudley's relationship with and proposal to Elizabeth

Would someone please explain in simple detail what happened during the marriage purposal between Elizabeth and Robert Dudley? Why was Spain needed to give approval? and later in her reign what did Robert do to her to loose favor,he loved her why would he become involved in treason and why didn't he get executed? Thank you. I love to study this time period but some things are hard to understand the way it is written.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Question from Alex - Army recruitment and feudal lands


I'm confused about the how recruitment for the army worked in tudor times and what was the main military unit?

Was the fuedal system still broadly in place? And how was land delegated, could one take land by force?

I know thats a lot of questions but any help would be appreciated.

Question from Jacque - Sidesaddle riding

I have heard conflicting statements on when the side saddle came into common use in England and I was wondering how Tudor women would have ridden horses during ordinary travel? Could they have ridden astride by themselves, in a side saddle on their own, or did would they have sometimes ridden with a man astride?

[There is a semi-related thread linked to below - Lara]

Question from Jenny - Crossbow assassination attempt on Elizabeth

was there ever an attempt to kill Elizabeth I with a crossbow?

Question from Nicole - Fashion of pale skin of males

Was paleness considered a desirable trait for men in Tudor times? Or just for women?

Question from Renee - Farm labourers, marriage rules, etc.

Hello there!
I am trying to source information for a novel I am writing (fiction) in which I have a small section based in tudor-stuart eras (around 1605). Any help would be greatly appreciated, I live in Australia so I am mainly relying on internet sources, I have ordered a few books from my local library that people have suggested here so thankyou for the information I have so far received on this site! I have several questions...sorry!! I'm desperate!:

1. My central character is the daughter of a wealthy yeoman (farmer). If the farm estate had labourers employed seasonally would they have stayed in the same house as the yeoman and his family? Would they have 'socialised' such as at supper or about town?

2. Would said daughter of the yeoman been able to marry without the father's consent? Would it have been faesible that he would disapprove of a farm labourer as a husband for his daughter?

3. Would people have travelled long distances (say from northern England to London) on foot, were there "roads" the whole way? If so, where would they have stayed along the way?

Thanking you in advance, I know I have asked a lot but I have been searching for weeks and I am no closer to knowing the answers! Cheers,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Question from Lily - Wives taking husbands' surnames

Was it customary for women to use their husband's surname in the upper, middle, or lower classes? I have seen a portrait titled, "Anne Stanhope.." painted around the time that she was married to Edward Seymour. On the otehr hand, I see references to names like Mary Boleyn Carey. Is that what she would have been called during her time or is that how modern historians refer to people?

[The previous related discussion was specifically on the royal surnames, but I'm not sure that the topic in general has been discussed. Related threads linked below. - Lara]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Proxy marriages v. pre-contracts

I am not sure if this question has been answered before--if so, please forgive the repeat. I am confused about the difference between pre-contracts and proxy marriages made through alliances and how subsequent marriages are effected. I am currently reading John Ashdown-Hills biography of Eleanor Talbot Butler, in which he argues basically for Titulus Regulus--saying that Edward IV either married Eleanor in secret, or at the least, made a promise and then they had sexual relations, which according to the laws then, amounted to an actual marriage. As a result, his subsequent marriage to Elizabeth Wydeville was bigamous and its issue bastards. This was the argument Richard III used to "claim" the throne for himself when he imprisoned Edward's young sons, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York. Anne Boleyn may have had a pre-contract with Henry Percy, but it is unknown i she consummated the relationship. In marriage contracts which were arranged by alliance, say for example, Princess Mary Tudor's to the future Emperor Charles V, or her niece Mary's contracts to the same Charles and later the Dauphin of France--were there similarities to a pre-contract and was the only difference a lack of physical consummation? In the elder Mary Tudor's case with Charles, and in her niece's case with the Dauphin, were not proxies used to exchange rings? The elder Mary Tudor was considered to be, or at least thought of herself, as Charles's "wife." How did the church deal with these "marriages"?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Question from David - Studies of intellect and metal stability of the Tudors

According to my grandmother (who died in 1979) she was told as a child that our family is descended from a daughter of the 'Duke of Bedford' who lived "over 400 years ago". This ancestor was said to be the source of the "family curse" ... a "mental instability" with associated very high intelligence that resulted in many family members "ending their lives in institutions" (as my grandmother did).

Helen Tudor seems to be a possibility as the family came from a locality close to Bury St Edmunds ... where some sources say she married a local merchant ... and her son, Stephen Gardiner's intellect fits the pattern. My opinion is that this presumably genetically driven trait is a form of Autism (Asperger's?). I think I remember reading a book a while back in which the author (a woman?) claimed that Henry VIII was "schizophrenic". Does anyone know of any studies of the Tudors' that examines their intellect/mental stability?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Question from Lindsey - TV Renaissance documentary from the 80s or 90s

I have a question regarding a television documentary on the Renaissance which I saw back in the 90s (possibly the late 80s). I distinctly remember a segment on Elizabeth I as a Renaissance queen: there is a re-creation scene in which she is being carried in a litter and greeting her subjects in the good ole Elizabeth I fashion. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

I also believe that a companion book was published at the same time the series was broadcast here in the U.S. I am trying to find out if the series was ever available on VHS or dvd because I would very much like to see this well-done documentary again.

Question from Julia - Servants in wealthy Tudor households

I am writing a children's book set in Tudor times and this blog has already been a great source of information, so thanks!

I have a couple of questions about servants in wealthy Tudor households:

Would there have been a head servant in charge of the others? Something like a butler? This is for a character in the book, so it would be really helpful if you could also describe the way they would dress.

Could you tell me where the servants would sleep. Would their rooms be at the top of the house as in Victorian times?

Also, I'd really like look at a floorplan of a large Tudor house, do you know of any sites on the internet where I could see one?

Your help will be very much appreciated.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Question from Alexandra - Sources for medieval and early modern ideas of kingship

I've been keeping an eye on this excellent blog for a couple of years now (I usually pop up in the comments when there is a question about Latin), but now I have a question of my own.

I'm planning a paper for my Honours History of Medicine course in university about how attitudes towards kingship in medieval/early modern times made the king touching the neck of an afflicted person an acceptable cure for scrofula.

There are several primary source documents online that have to do with treating and curing scrofula, so I'm pretty much covered there. However, I have no idea where to start searching for primary sources on medieval/early modern ideas of kingship. I've found a lot of websites with a lot of primary sources; I just don't know what kind of documents I should concentrate on. Does anybody have any suggestions for sources I could use?

Question from Rachel - Opinions of Jane Boleyn

I just started reading the only book I could find about Jane Boleyn. It is by Julia Fox. I have never been a fan of The Lady Rochford, yet I try to see all the members of the Tudor Court as individuals. True people who actually lived through it and how they dealt with it on that individual basis. I would like to know what others here think of Lady Jane Boleyn Rochford.

[There have been various discussions on aspects of Jane before. Just search on "Jane Boleyn", Jane Rochford" and "Jane Parker" in the archives for the previous threads. - Lara]

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Question from Hazel - Advice on Tudor History PhD dissertation proposal

I am beginning to think about a PhD proposal for an area of Tudor history. However, I am having problems narrowing down a research area as the topic is so vast and there is so much research already carried out on the Tudor era that a new contribution or addition to the field may be difficult. I a lucky enough to have a UK passport so I am of course going apply to UK universities. I am leaning towards Warwick and checking programs in Scotland.

I am increasingly interested in the pregnancies of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as well as midwifery at the Tudor court. I am wondering if there is a connection between their numerous miscarriages and stillborns and the lying in period and birthing chamber environment and if anything changed in midwifery practices by Jane Seymour's reign - although Jane did die of infection brought on by childbirth so there may be another connection between all three's pregnancies and deliveries. Although Henry is often said to have been impotent, he was able to impregnate all of these women as well as Bessie Blount and possibly Mary Boleyn. Even if Henry and Catherine Carey were not King Henry's children, Mary Boleyn was obvously very fertile having four children in total so I think it may be possible to rule out a genetic problem or the possibility of Anne being RH-. Mary Boleyn was also not in the court's birthing chamber and I wonder if this had an influence on the survival of her!
children and lack of stillborn delivery.

Another track would be a comparison of these two Queens, as both had their hands in politics and diplomacy, a definite influence on religious activity, were intelligent and educated and both were stripped of their titles in the end as the only means of getting them out of court. They were both women ahead of their time and I would be interested in showing a similarity between the two rather than the contrasts which are the norm when writing/researching these two Queens. In many ways, Henry essentially married a woman similar to Queen Catherine when he wed Anne (apart from her class)and he gained power and influence in Europe and England due to his marriage to both - a twist on the idea that it was only Catherine and Anne who gained from the marriages, although on the surface this is definitely the case.

If anyone has any suggestions on research areas that have not been really explored surrounding these topics or other areas involving the period between 1485 - 1540 I would be most grateful. Or if you think I am way off base, let me know as well. I just need some help narrowing it down.

Thanks in advance.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Question from Emilia - Cold baptismal water and childhood illness

This summer i visited Torpa Stenhus, the home of Gustav Wasas third wife Katarina Stenbock. It´s from the 15th century and located in the south-west of Sweden. At Torpa there´s a very old baptismal font, made of stone.
The guide there told us something I find very hard to believe. She claimed that when children were baptised in this font, they didn´t bother to heat up the water, not even during the cold (very, very cold in sweden!) winter. The font was placed in the chapel wich was never heated so sometimes the baptism-water was frozen so they had to remove the ice covering the water. She said that on very rare occasions, and only for boys, they could place a heated stone on the bottom to warm it up, but that hardly ever happened. The guide said that this could be part of the explenation to why so many children died in infancy.
Now to my question: Could this possibly be true? Has anyone heard of anything about this custom, or is it maybe something that only took place in Sweden? I find it hard to believe because even though people didn´t now as much about causes behind deseases, it should still have been well known how dangerous icecold water is for anyone, especially an infant.
Sorry for the long text, but the question needed som background explenation!
Sincerly / Emilia

Question from Maria - Mother of Henry VIII's son Edward who died young

With whom did Henry VIII have the child Edward who died young ie was it Mary Boleyn or Catherine of Aragon's lady in waiting

Question from Eva - Online resources

I have just finished reading Alison Weir's "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and decided to look in the bibliography to see where she got her information on Anne Boleyn. I searched "Calendar of Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII" on the internet and also anything by George Wyatt, but I could not find much. Is there anywhere (online) where I could find these things?

[There has already been some discussion on the State Papers online (see the links below) but not the availability of the George Wyatt papers. - Lara]

Previous State Papers threads/posts:

I think there are some volumes available through Google Books and the Internet Archive as well.

And there is the Gale Cengage State Papers Online project that some might have access to through university or other library subscriptions.

Catching up with this week's questions

I'm finally catching up from the busy end of a busy month - new posts coming momentarily!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Question from Lee - Northwick Park portrait of Jane Grey

Hello, does anyone know anything about the "Northwick Park Portrait" thought to be of Lady Jane Grey? Eric Ives has just printed a picture of it in his new book. Does this have any connection with her?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Question from Jacque - Drinking water in Tudor England

I understand that in Tudor England people mainly drank wine and ale, usually diluted with water, but did anyone ever drink just straight water? Or was it so bad that they couldn't, even if they were wealthy people? (I read somewhere that the wealthy did sometimes drink water, but I think it was an unreliable source, so I thought I'd check.) I know that Margaret Beaufort said Catherine of Aragon should get used to drinking wine since the water in England wasn't good for drinking, but I've also heard that Prince Arthur called for water the morning after his wedding night.

Question from Diane - Poetry of Mary Queen of Scots

I've got a question about the poetry of Mary Queen of Scots. In the 1971 movie, "Mary Queen of Scots," Vanessa Redgrave sings a song during the opening credits as Mary and Francois are running from the castle to the river. The song is called "Vivre et Mourir" and the lyrics are from a poem by Mary herself. Does anyone know what specific poem this is and where I can find it? The English title would be "To live and to die."

Question from joycem - Monuments to and writings of Jane Grey

Have any statues, or monuments etc ever been erected to commemorate Lady Jane Gray ? afeter all she did pretty much die a mayter to the Protestant faith. I also lived for a while in Leicester and apart from visting the remains of Bradgate Hall in Bradgate park I dont recall seeing anything their either. Also why is she not commemorated as a Queen at the Tower displays? one of the Beefeaters told me it is because she was never officially crowned , but Catherine Howard wasnt either and she is refered to as a Queen there.
I think Jane gray never received the recognition she deserved.
Also raed somewhere , dont know if fact or fiction that after Janes execution Frances Brandon took some of Janes writings and they were published what happened to those? if they existed

New posts coming shortly

Sorry to the people who submitted questions this week - I had one of the busiest work weeks possible, and I get to do it all again next week! So I took today off to give me a long weekend to catch up on a lot of stuff, including Tudory things. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Question from Brittany - Three Blind Mice

I was recently told by one of my teachers that the rhyme "The Three Blind Mice" had a reference to Queen Mary as the farmer's wife and that three protestant nobles were the three blind mice. Is this actually true or just a story believed to be true? And if true, then would the tone be more positive or negative to Mary? I think that the line "they all went after the farmer's wife" could be that the nobles might've wished to marry her or could be that the nobles "went after" her in a plot to put Elizabeth on the throne. Any help to clear my confusion would be helpful.

Question from Sarah - Executions in Edward VI's reign

I was wondering mainly if Edward VI executed any people during his reign and if so under what orders and sentences were they punished for.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Question from Merlin - Hoods and fabrics

I have a few questions about dress.

Firstly, hoods- I've read several times that Anne Boleyn was responsible for introducing the French hood to the English court. I'd be interested to know when the French hood started to replace the English gable hood and what role Anne really played in popularising it.

Secondly, all those heavy fabrics (brocade and velvet, cloth of gold, etc) worn over petticoats, stomachers, etc...whilst England isn't renowned for its hot summers and whilst I'm sure most palaces and large houses were pretty drafty, there must have been times in fine weather when court ladies were absolutely sweltering. Was there an equivalent of light-weight, summer clothes?

Question from Faith - Rapidity of Anne's fall

I have read a good bit about Henry VIII and his court, his wives & advisors, etc., butI've never understood the reasons for Anne Boleyn's swift fall and why Henry had her executed. I know that Cromwell turned against her,which also gave the enemies she had always had more of an opportunity to do her harm. But I don't understand why that was enough for Henry to end the marriage after so short a time, after courting Anne devotedly for 7-8 years, breaking with the Catholic Church and basically turning his kingdom upside down to marry her.

And even if he was willing to end the marriage, why not allow her to retire to a convent, or agree to the divorce (on the basis of her pre-contract with Thomas Wyatt or whatever)and live quietly in the country, like Anne of Cleves did.

What do others think? Thank you.

[Related thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Lisa - Tudor understanding of the world

My daughter aged 12 had to catch up on a missed lesson - she has to draw the 'tree' that represents the Tudors understanding of the world - like a ladder apparently going from top - God in Heaven, Angels, People, Birds, Sea/Fish, Animals, Land, Planets, Devil in Hell
We have been unable to find any info/pics could anyone point us in the right direction
Thanks so much, Lisa

Question from Diane - News on the Bothwell re-burial effort

Three years ago there was a effort by the Hepburn family and various members of the Scottish government to have the body of Mary, Queen of Scots' third husband. James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, brought back to Scotland from Denmark.
Apparently, Queen Margrethe II was not opposed to the idea. Has Bothwell been returned to Scotland? If he hasn't, what happened?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Question from Kaity - Tudor constitutional documents and heresy laws

I am doing a project and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Tudor Constitutional Documents.
I was really wondering about the medieval heresy laws that were re- introduced during Mary's reign and what exactly they were. I know about what they were but I am more interested if anyone knows anything about the wording or what the laws actually stated.


Question from tudor fan - Freedom of travel for Mary, etc.

If this question has already answered, I aplogize, please just direct me into the correct archives.

When Cathrine of Aragon was dying, Henry VIII would not let their daughter Mary visit her.
Why could she not just take a few trustworthy friends and go for a little trip? Henry VIII would, I'm sure find out, but so what, he would have been upset but would have forgiven her later.
Why were they not allowed to travel freely? Also, same for Anne Boleyn, when the noose was getting tight why not sneak off and start a new life elswhere?

Thank you for any comments that will help me understand tudor times.

Question from Helen - Catherine's first pregnancy

Was Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Arthur Tudor ever consummated? Alison Weir's book 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII" implies that the marriage between Catherine and Arthur had not been consummated: "she was a religious woman of sound principles; it is far likely therefore that she was guilty of deception than she was telling the truth". However, Joanne Denny provides some evidence that the marriage was consummated "for clearly somebody [Arthur] had been worried enough about the fact that the bride was not yet pregnant to write to Rome" about her excessive "religious" practices that might have prevented pregnancy ('Anne Boleyn: A new Life of England's Tragic Queen'). Denny also mentions that Catherine might have lied to Henry VII and the court about her first pregnancy - is it possible that Catherine was not truthful?

[The majority of this question was answered in previous threads (see below), but I wasn't sure about the last part on Catherine's first pregnancy. - Lara]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Question from Emily - The Tudor period

Hi I was just wondering what period the Tudors lived in. I was wondering wether it was 1600's or 1500's or both?????



Question from C. Leach - Jane Grey V. Elizabeth to succeed Edward VI

Why didn't the people who plotted to get Lady Jane Grey on the throne after Edward VI's death, plot to get Elizabeth on the throne instead, when she was a protestant, too. (As she was more closely related to Henry VIII).
I am 8 years old - but this is not homework. Thank you.

Question from Vonya - Romanov royal jewels

I know this is not exactly about the Tudors, but I hope someone can help me with my question. I would really appreciate any information and/or assistance anyone can offer me.

Have all the Romanov royal jewels been found and/or accounted for? Is there any reliable record of the items in their possession when they were taken into custody? I realize this may be morbid, but were any jewels found with their remains? I've always found it troubling that several items known to have been owned by the Romanovs somehow showed up on other "royals" after their horrible deaths....I can't help wondering how those pieces survived when their former owners had been so brutally murdered.

Thank you so very much for your help.....

[I don't post very many off topic questions, but I thought there were a few people here who have researched the Romanovs who might be able to help? - Lara]

Question from Kate - Ideas for dissertation on Anne Boleyn

Hi, I'm in my second year at university and have to start thinking about my dissertation for next year already. I'm not usually very organised but I really want to get a head start where I can. I would like to do something about Anne Boleyn, although what exactly I don't know. Maybe something about her role within 16th century England and her influence upon Henry VIII. I find her absolutely fascinating and know I will be able to keep up my interest in her throughout the next two years. I was just wondering if anyone could perhaps point me in the right directions regarding to reading, where to find appropriate information, places to visit etc? Any ideas on a more precise question? I really would appreciate any help I could get, and have found this site very useful already!
If you'd prefer to message me that's fine :)
Many thanks, Kate.

Question from Helen - Autopsy of Catherine of Aragon

It has been written in various sources that Catherine of Aragon had some kind of growth on her heart, or discoloration after her death. This has led some reseraches to believe that she might have died from melanoma rather than some other kind of cancer. My question is - why was an autopsy performed on Catherine? Was there any suspicion as to the cause of her death, or was it a common thing to do - although I've never heard of the autopsy results for Elizabeth I or Mary Tudor, for example.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Question from Deanna - Jane Rochford and Thomas Cromwell

Did Lady Jane Rochford have a child with Thomas Cromwell and in the book Vengence is Mine?

Question from Daniele - Info on Tracy Borman

Hello! I am a long time reader and first time question-asker.

First, thanks for the amazing site, Lara!

My question is this: How trustworthy of a writer is Tracy Borman? Is she an actual historian, or more of a popular history writer a la Alison Weir? I ask because her newest title, Elizabeth's Women, looks interesting, but I don't want to waste my time if she is a "fake" historian and likely to mess up the details. Thanks!

Question from Mary Ann - Accuracy of "Wolf Hall"

I read on the New York Times web site that Hilary Mantel has won the 2009 Man Booker prize for her novel "Wolf Hall". I know that it's a good read; I was wondering if anyone knows how accurate it is. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Question from Analisa - Sources for the economy of England after the Dissoluion

What sources are out there concerning the economy of England, in particular, the villages surround monasteries, after Henry VIII closed them down?

[This is in follow-up to Analisa's previous question regarding a research topic, liked below. - Lara]

Question from Kaity - Punishments for heretics and additional resources

I am completing a project for our major year 7 english grade
(70% ) called IRP (independent research project)- its based on historical fiction.

My question and area of research is based around Tudor Religion and Heresy and if the treatment of heretics was morally justified.
During the process I am gathering several different branches of information.
The main thing that I am focusing on at the moment is the punishments for heretics. I know mostly about burnings and hangings,executions but was wondering if there were any other forms of punishment and if anyone knew any information that is specifically relevant to my topic or think that could be of use!

Thanks so much!


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Question from Shannon - Mary and Cromwell's conspiracy against Anne Boleyn

I read in one of the Alison Weir books, I think, that Cromwell plotted to bring down Anne Boleyn and that Chapuys knew this. The book also mentions that Princess Mary approved of the plot before it was put into place. Can you shed more light on this? Was Mary actually in conspiracy with Cromwell?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Question from Jennie - Elizabeth I's burial place

why wasnt elizabeth 1st not buried with her mother anne boleyn?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Anointing and status of Queens

I have a question about anointed queens, specifically Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII divorced Catherine and had Anne tried and convicted and executed for treason. In the latter case, she lost her title of marquess of Pembroke and her marriage to the king was also declared invalid. Could the fact they were both anointed queens ever be taken from them? Did they have to be considered to be legally married to the king to be crowned and anointed? Henry tried to say Catherine was never his legal wife, and only the Princess Dowager of Wales. Anne was a convicted traitor. But did this effect their status as anointed queens, no matter what Henry or the courts did?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Question from Laura - Origins of Edward VI grave rumor

I've come across one or two passing mentions of Edward VI's grave not holding him, and the real king being buried somewhere in a field. I'm trying to source out any original mentions of this, or at least a place where the rumour might have started?

[We discussed the subject of this rumor in the thread below, but not the origins of it. Anyone know more about it? - Lara]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Question from Jacque - Keepers and bailiffs of manors

I noticed that in Letters and Papers there are sometimes grants given to favoured courtiers where they are to be the "keeper" of such and such a manor. What does this mean? Also what does it mean to be the "bailiff" of a manor? What would keepers and bailiffs have had to do?

Question from Marilyn R. - Info requests from Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse

I shall be going to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse shortly. Has anybody any questions they would like me to ask, if there is an opportunity?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Question from Analisa - Research paper topic suggestions

Hello! I love this website and all of the people that contribute, so thanks in advance for all your help :)

I am taking my first college class (though I am still in high school) and I have to do a research paper. (its English 131 for those who are curious)

I need a very narrow research topic. I will have access to a large university library system, so sources shouldn't be a problem. I want to do something related to Henry VIII or Elizabeth I.

Any suggestions?


Question from Kirsty - Primary sources for representations of 16th c. aristocratic women

Hello there,
I am about to start back at uni in my final year and I am thinking of doing my dissertation on: Representations of aristocratic women from the 16th century.
As it is a dissertation it must use primary sources and it is here where I have been struggling.
I have only really found one which would be of use which is the The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by John Knox.
I want to talk about how this period although being male dominated witnessed the coronation of two queens and a few women holding significant power/influence and being at the forefront of society.
Therefore I would really appreciate any ideas about other primary sources that may relate to the topic and any books would be great too!

Thank you very much.

Question from Lindsey - Help with Latin translation

I have at long last gotten around to reading the late John Dent's "The Quest for Nonsuch" (1962, 1970 2nd ed. reprinted 1981), and I am also looking forward to seeing Martin Biddle's book on Nonsuch as well. Palaces which no longer exist tantalize me to no end (especially when drawings and paintings of some of them still exist).

Now, my question: would someone out there be kind enough to translate the following Latin couplet which is included in the John Dent book (he included the following two lines which have been attributed to John Leland, librarian to Henry VIII, without giving non-Latin scholars a translation). The couplet reads:

Hanc quia non habent similem, laudare Britanni
Saepe solent, nullique parem cognomine dicunt.

I'm happy to say that most authors these days include translations from the original language of lines or paragraphs they include in their writings and do not assume that all their readers are multi-lingual! Thank you--

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Question from Pamela - Stillbirths and miscarriages

Why were there so many stillborns and miscarriages during the 1400's and 1500's? Why did so may infants die withing a few months of their birth? It appears that King Henry VIII's wives had much trouble giving him living heirs..Was this true of the general population and of other Kings before and after Henry?? What was the problem??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Question from Rachel - Edward Tudor, son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how old Edward Tudor the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York lived to be. I thought he died in infancy but Wikipedia states he lived to be 15 years old. I know Wikipedia is not always reliable but I could not seem to find this information in any of my books or online. Thanks!

[Update Sept. 29 - I've now closed this thread since a lot comments have strayed pretty far from the original subject. - Lara]

Question from Jacque - Edward Seymour's annulment from Catherine Fillol

I understand that Edward Seymour's first marriage to Catherine Fillol was annulled because she had an affair with Edward's father. Was this (adultery/incest) an actual grounds for an annulment? I know there has been previous discussion on this blog about grounds for an annulment, but this was not given as one of the reasons. Also I have heard before that Catherine Fillol entered a nunnery after her marriage was annulled. Is this true? If so, was it absolutely necessary for her to do this or just a "good idea" for a woman who has had her marriage annulled to do so?

[Related threads linked below]

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Question from Duncan - Builders of Oatlands Palace


Do you know where I should start searching for information about the building of Oatlands Palace at Weybridge.

I'm trying to research the people who actually built it as I've got fed up with reading "Henry VIII built his palace at Oatlands...", etc.

Whatever Henry is noted for, bricklaying doesn't appear in the list...

I guess that there should be accounts that should list some who were paid directly by the exchequer for their labour and may be other documents as well.

Researching Tudor times is well outside of my expertise - I tend to fall away before the 1840 census but I'm looking at the local history of Oatlands and the Palace is obviously very significant - hence getting fed up with "Henry built.."


Duncan Amos

Question from Carole - Buying meat in Tudor times

Where did people buy their meat from in Tudor times. Was there such a thing as a butcher's shop?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Question from Katlyn - Recommendations for resources on the men of Henry VIII's court

Hello! I have been reading this site for a long time but post only occasionally. I am in my junior year of college and working on a year-long, thesis-style research project about Henry VIII. My topic, though not completely narrow since I haven't done the appropriate amount of research for it to be thus, is a study of male members of Henry VIII's political / personal circle. These will include Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Howard, Thomas Cromwell, and Charles Brandon. My aim will be to evaluate each man's relationship to Henry and each of their downfalls, save Brandon. From this I hope to be able to make conclusions about the political and social atmosphere at the time, factionalism, and so on.

There is available work on each of these men, but I am hoping that someone could recommend the most applicable books, be they biographies of one of the above (or anyone you can think of that I should add to the list?), something on Henry pertaining to this topic, or a general book on faction or these types of relationships. I would love to go all out and just buy anything that I think is related, but that would not be wise. I am hoping that you all could help me choose some appropriate sources. I would appreciate it! Thank you!

Question from Colleen - Elderly household servants

What would happen to household servants once they became too old to properly do their jobs? Was some sort of retirement an option, or did they work basically until they dropped dead? Thanks!

Question from Lindsey - Cousins of Anne of Cleves

I have a question regarding the cousins of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife. I recently read John Guy's Queen of Scots: the True Story of Mary Stuart (entitled "My Heart is My Own" in Britain) which in turn led me to Leonie Frieda's very fine bio Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France. Interestingly enough, I discovered in the Catherine de Medici bio that Henri, Duke of Guise (Mary Stuart's cousin) was married to Catherine of Cleves and that Catherine's sister, Marie of Cleves, was married to the Bourbon prince Henry, Prince de Conde.

Now Catherine and Marie must have been cousins to Anne, but how? Was Anne of Cleves' father the brother to the grandfather or even the great-grandfather of the aforementioned Cleves sisters? Biography and genealogy, whether royal or of the nobility, holds a great fascination for me and I read everything I can on these subjects like a crazy man! Any enlightenment will be welcome.

Question from Diane - Elizabeth I and the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley

How did Elizabeth deal with the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley after she became Queen? Did she allow any sympathy for them to be expressed in her presence because of their age and the reasons why Jane was compelled to take the throne? (Mainly, King Edward's Devise for the Succession)? Would her opinion of Guildford at least be softened by her friendship with his sister, Mary; her regard for his brother, Ambrose; and most importantly, her love for his brother, Robert?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Question from Zoe - Atheism in Tudor England

First of all, thanks to Lara for this amazing resource and to all the knowledgable contributors.

We all know that conforming to the Anglican church was required by law but does anyone have any examples of people who denied the very existence of God?
The only person I can think of who comes close is Christopher Marlowe but he would probably have denied it had be been questioned on his beliefs before his murder.
I just wonder how widespread atheism might have been amidst all the turmoil of the Reformation, and if there could have been a significant underground of unbelievers - folk more concerned with the daily chore of survival than with what distant churchmen were telling them to believe?
I realise these people would usually be undocumented but I thought it was worth asking anyway!
Thanks for any input

Monday, September 07, 2009

Question from Jacque - First cousin marriage

Prior to the Reformation in Tudor England, was it okay to marry your first cousin with no generations removed? Are there any examples of this and did they require a dispensation?

Question from Laurence - Alison Sim

I have to complete a fact-file on the historian Alison Sim for homework but cannot find anything on her. I am an upper sixth student studying A2's.
The reason for the homework is practice for an interpretation piece of coursework where we are supposed to look at historian's interpretions of certain aspects of Elizabeth I.
Do you know where I may find any of this information on Alison Sim? I hope you can help me but no worries if you can't or the question is not quite what you're used to!

Question from Tracey - Fraudulent sources and rewriting books

Sorry...this isn't Tudor related, but it seems to me this subject was brought up months ago...mainly 'cause it had to do with historical research and how careful the historian/writer needs to be.

Veronica Buckley's bio "The Secret Wife of Louis XIV" is now finally published. It was delayed due to a major source Ms. Buckley used being found to be a fraud. My understanding is that she had to go back into the book and delete any information added that came directly from that supposed journal of King Louis'.

My question(s)...did the author 'rewrite' the book and are the chances of picking up details from the bad source still between the pages? I can find nothing referencing this episode and I'd rather not read a book where it's known from the get-go that information is going to be incorrect.

Thanks! Tracey

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Periodic reminder about email addresses and searching the archives

Since I've received a couple of questions that have already been addressed previously and I don't have email addresses to reply to the submitters, I thought it might be time to run this reminder again. I purposely don't require anyone to put an email address on the submission form, but I do encourage it. I'm the only person who will see the address and it is helpful to me if you submit a question that has already been discussed or needs to be clarified. Also, since there are now 1000 posts on the site, the odds are getting good that your question may have already been asked. So, I would encourage people to use one of the search boxes on the left side of the blog. The top box searches only the Q&A blog and the bottom one searches the whole site. Thanks!

Question from Jacque - Men wearing wedding rings

I understand that it was common for married women to wear wedding rings, but I have never heard that married men wore wedding rings in Tudor times, but in this picture, for example, (link is below) of William Carey, husband of Mary Boleyn, he appears to be wearing a wedding ring as there are no other rings on his visible fingers. Is it probably a wedding ring? If so, did some men wear them?,William01.jpg

Question from Lee - De Lisle article on the Spinola letter

De Lisle has written an article for The New Criterion where she argues that the Spinola letter containing the only detailed description of Lady Jane Grey is a fake does anybody know anything about this?

[Note from Lara - Ms. de Lisle emailed me about this earlier this week, but I haven't had a chance to read the article and write a post for the news blog yet. Feel free to discuss it here and I'll just link back to this discussion when I finally get that post done.]

Question from Trezza - The Princes in the Tower

I have a question about the so-called princes in the tower. Is there a general consensus as to their fate? If they were murdered, who is the most likely suspect? And is it possible that they did not die, but were possibly taken elsewhere?

[This topic has been touched on in other threads, but hasn't had a thread of its own.]

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Question from Heather - Online Tudor History courses

I love Tudor history! I am wondering if anyone knows of a University that offers classes online that you can take on this subject or Early British History? I have found the University of Exeter but wondering if there are others? (The online Tudor class is full this term).

Friday, August 28, 2009

1000th post

Wow - 1000 posts since November 2005!

Thanks again to everyone for the interesting questions and informative answers. You guys made this blog the success I hoped it would be when I started it. Here's to the next 1000!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question from Livvie - Sign or marker at Tilbury

I'm very curious - is the place at Tilbury where Elizabeth I made her famous Armada Speech marked in any way?

Are there commeratative markers, interpretive signs, etc.?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Question from Jacque - Pregnant ladies in waiting

I was wondering, when a lady-in-waiting was pregnant, what did she do? I mean, did she continue to serve the queen the whole time and give birth at court or did she leave court temporarily and go to her husband's country estate or...?

Question from Annabel - Possible Tudor building ritual

Whilst replacing the original front door of our 16c house, the builder found small bones (possibly cat) embedded in the door surround. Could this be some sort of ritual during the building of houses in tudor times?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Question from Nicole - Horse breeds

I was wondering what horse breeds were commonly used during Tudor times. I know that Henry VIII was fond of Brabs, but what horses did other people use for pleasure riding and hunting?

Question from Chuck - Identification of signature

Hello and thanks in advance for a minute of your time! I have a very old vellum signature which, to me, seems to be penned "Pax la Royne, Regina". Does any one have any suggestions on which Queen this may be? I am happy to provide a scan.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Question from Jacque - Amelia of Cleves

Does anyone know anything about Amelia of Cleves (Anne's older sister)? I know she also sat for Holbein and that she never married, but is anything else known about her? It seems strange to me that she never married because on Wikipedia (I am well aware that Wikipedia should not be taken at its word) it says she was 68 when she died, so if that's true she would have had plenty of time to get married, and being a Duke's daughter, it seems strange that she didn't.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Question from Kathy - Enclosure of Greenwich Park

With what was the Greenwich Park enclosure enclosed during Henry VIII's day: hedgerows, wooden fences, stone walls, polite notices?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Question from Colleen - Layouts of castles and palaces

I am looking for information on the layout of Tudor homes - specifically castles, but anything the nobility might have lived in would be great. I did Google as many different terms as I could but came up with far too many links to floor plans for Tudor Revival houses, which is NOT what I'm looking for. If anyone knows of any books, websites or even has the ability to explain things to me (like where the Great Hall was exactly, lol) I would greatly appreciate it!

Question from TudorFan - Barons vs. Earls

I was wondering what is the difference between a baron or an earl? I was also wondering which title would have been more likey NOT to have to court but could just stay on thier estate.

The reason that I am asking is that I'm writing a story for a fiction writing class. I want the main character to be a nobleman in the Elizabethan era, but I don't want to write about court life...the reason mainly being that I don't care for historical fiction novels with "real" people in them. If my character was at court, it would be reasonable that he would meet up historical figures and I feel like my writing skills aren't up to the task of protraying historical figures at this moment.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Question from Manon - Source for statement by Francis I

Hello Lara and all Tudor History blog contributors! I have a primary sources question for Foose, or anyone else here, who has done research on King Francis. I am curious about the background of an apparently disparaging statement he made to the Duke of Norfolk about Anne Boleyn's time in France. I have seen it quoted most recently in the "Six Wives" by Weir (p. 154), but her bibliography simply lists all her primary sources together and doesn't include foot or endnotes. Did it possibly come from Francis' interaction with the Bishop of Faenza?

I have been able to track down primary sources for his statements on Queen Katherine, Thomas and Mary Boleyn, but not this particular one. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Question from Jill - The two Henry Brandons

First Lara, I want to thank you for this forum. I find the Tudors endlessly fascinating and it's nice to see that I'm far from alone!

My question regards Henry Brandon, the son of Mary Tudor Brandon. I just finished reading Maria Perry's biography of the Tudor sisters, and was surprised to see that she listed 2 sons with this name belonging to Mary. Unfortunately Ms. Perry did not elaborate on this, which would have been helpful as every other biography I've seen on Mary Rose lists only one Henry (1516-1534), the earl of Lincoln. I'm surprised that there could be confusion on this issue, since Tudor males were in such short supply and I would think that it would be well documented! What are some other people's thoughts on this?

[Note from Lara - You're welcome!!]

Question from Emilia - Normal day for a Queen

I´ve previously sent in a question and was very pleased by the answers i recieved, so i thought why not ask another one that has been occupying my thoughts..
I would like to know how a completely normal day could look like for Henry and his wife´s (im perticularly interested in Anne B)?
I can only imagine how completely different their everyday lives must have been compared to our modern living!
When did they get up in the morning?
What did they have for breakfest, dinner, snacks and so forth?
How about hygine (toothbrushing, bathing, make-up etc)?
How did the queen(s) interact with her ladies in waiting?
(feel free to add to my questions)
I basically want to know everything that a normal day included..
Thank you in advance!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Question from Denise - Google books recommendations

I am curious whether anybody has looked at the free Google books that are available electronically. There are now free ereaders from Sony and Barnes & Noble.

Are there any Tudor nuggets here - history or fiction? I am even interested in reading "bad" history if it is culturally relevant to the time period it was written in.

I was happy to finally find Agnes Strickland who was a reference to many books I read as a child, but unavailable in our old library :-)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Question from Lovey - Documentation on Elizabeth Boleyn

I thought it was awful that Thomas Boleyn have never said anything in defense of his children Anne and George Boleyn. But neither did their mother Elizabeth. But the it dawn on me, that I haven't came across one single quote from Elizabeth Boleyn in regards to Anne and Henry VIII's relationship. In the ten years that Anne and Henry VIII were together, has there been any documentation of Elizabeth Boleyn's feeling towards Anne &Henry? Mary Boleyn? Anne's beheading? Has anyone came across one single quote from Elizabeth Boleyn?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Question from Alex - Tudors use of "France" in their titles

I've read in difference places the Tudor's being referenced as King/Queen of England, Ireland, Wales, and France. Why were they considered monarchs of France when there were already French kings and queens? Thank you.

Question from Jacque - How common was it for husbands to beat their wives

I know that Elizabeth Stafford said her husband, Thomas Howard the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, savagely beat her when she complained about his mistress, Bess Holland, but was it the norm for most husbands to beat their wives? I am assuming there was nothing legally wrong with this at the time, but as this particular incident is the only one I have heard of, I was wondering if it was indeed a common occurrence?

Question from Loretta - Portraits of unknown ladies in Queen Claude's court

There are many portraits of unknown ladies that date from the time of Queen Claude of France.
These portraits are very realistic, being of the school of Clouet. Are any of them suspected of being Anne Boleyn? I suspect that Anne might have been painted by Hans Holbein, and that any portrait of her was destroyed after her beheading. Henry seemed to hate her as much as he loved her and tried to erase her from his past life.

Why hasn't someone unearthed the bodies buried under the floor of St Peter ad Vincula? Forensic reconstruction of Catherine Howard, Jane Grey and Anne would be a wonderful boon to Tudor history fanatics around the world.

[Note from Lara - many discussions about the burials in St. Peter ad Vincula has already occurred in past threads, so I would just refer you all to the search box to the left for more on that topic.]

Question from TudorRose - Queens' surnames

What was Catherine of Aragon's surname?

I would like to know the Surnames for Catherine of Aragon Anne of Cleves and Christina of Milan.Does anyone know? If so I would appreciate that you tell me.As someone who has long been interested in Tudor history but does not know the surnames to theese foreign princesses.For example Elizabeth of York is Elizabeth Plantagenate.Elizabeth Plantagenate of York.

[Note from Lara - this was mostly answered in the thread linked below, but I don't think Christina of Milan was discussed before.]

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Question from Tudorfan - Edward VI and secrets from his sister Mary

Hello! I have been a big fan of your site for some time. I love Tudor history and I think that this is a fabulous site that gives people so much information on Tudor history.

I've learn so much reading other people's posts, I wanted to write my own. Anways, I was reading Alison Weir's Children of Henry VIII and states that Edward wrote to is sister Mary that he would keep any secrets she wished to confide to him. Does anyone have any speculations to what kind of secrets Edward would wish to hear from his older sister?

[Note from Lara - Thanks for the kind words!!]

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Question from Liz - Elizabeth mentioning her siblings after becoming Queen

As Queen, did Elizabeth ever mention her brother or sister again? Or did she forget them when she rose to fame?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Question from Diane - Serious requests for marriage to Mary after the divorce

Were there any serious requests for Mary's hand in marriage after her father repudiated Catherine of Aragon and declared their daughter illigitimate? I know Henry and later Edward's Council would have rejected most, if not all, unless it served their own interests: and Mary herself would never have considered marriage with a "heretic," but did any serious offers come before she became Queen?

Question from Jacque - Katherine Parr's first husband

I've noticed that on lots of Internet sites it says that Katherine Parr's first husband, Edward Borough, was a man in his sixties when they were married. However, I recently read in Antonia Fraser's "The Wives of Henry VIII" that Edward Borough was really only a few years older than Katherine (who was seventeen, I believe) when they were married. The book says this confusion is due to the fact that Katherine's husband's grandfather was also called Edward Borough and at the time his grandson and Katherine were married, he was in his sixties. Is this true? Does anyone know the approximate year of birth for Katherine's first husband if he wasn't in his sixties?

Question from Esther - Elizabeth I's health issues and Elizabeth's Christmas Court

Hi there,

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Elizabeth Tudor had problems with painful menses and also had pain in her face and jaw sometimes, which made me think of TMJ. I really wish I had written down WHERE I had read that, as it may have been a completely unreliable source, but I didn't, and now I can't find any information about these health issues Elizabeth may or may not have had.

Would you happen to have any idea if this is accurate information, or if I was just reading something utterly fabricated?

I'm also trying to find descriptions of Christmas celebrations at Elizabeth's court.

Thank you so much for your time!

Esther in L.A.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Question from Erin - Court and Boleyn book recommendations

In short I guess you could say that I've found other things to do than read my most favorite novels. I can't wait to find more to read about Henry VIII, Anne and Mary Boleyn, and Catharine of Aragon. Each time I buy a book I find myself diving head-first into the text. Each story captures my mind and heart-it's an addiction!
Unfortunately, I've been neglecting my hobby. I was wondering a few moments ago where Henry VIII kept his court at. That is to say, which castle? I'm sure it's an elementary question, but I've fallen out of my routine readings, and I just can't remember!
It would help me know this so that I don't feel so crazy anymore!
Oh, and if you could recommend books on the Boleyns, or suggest some that you especially liked, please do!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Question from Nancy - Tudor teeth

I recently read Alison Weir's Children of Henry VIII. She mentioned a few times that both Mary and Elizabeth had bad luck in the tooth department. Elizabeth even stuffed her mouth with cotton to fill in the gaps. I read on this site of another q&a that perhaps her black teeth may have been something of a trend. My question is this: How many teeth were missing in these ladies?! What did the artists have Mary and Elizabeth do so their portraits wouldn't come out with them looking like they have "bitter beer face?" And, if having black teeth was en vogue, why did Elizabeth 'stuff' with white rags?
P.S. I'm so glad this blog exists. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

[Note from Lara - you're welcome Nancy!]

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Question from Diana - Frances and Eleanor Brandon in the succession

Why were Frances and Eleanor Brandon passed over in the line of succession to the throne in favor of their "heirs of the body" in both Henry VIII's will and Edward VI's Devise for the Succession?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Question from Anonymous - Contemporary perception of Thomas More

I am a Sophmore in High School and I am doing a summer project about Sir. Thomas More. I was wondering how the Tudor society precieved More. From reading the book "The Daughter of Time" and "A Man for All Seasons", I think they liked More, but I am uncertain. Furthermore, if they did like More, why was he put to death?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Question from Mark - Additional sources on the last two years of Henry VIII's reign

I am studying, in depth, the last two years of Henry VIII's reign. I've exhausted secondary sources and the main primary sources, such as Letters and Papers. Where else should I look? I'm particularly interested in the role of Catherine Parr and her relationship with, and influence on Henry VIII, and the truth about her possible arrest. Thanks in advance for any answers.

Question from Marie - When did adultery of a Queen become treason

In most Anne Boleyn biographies, it seems that historians suggest adultery was a treasonous offense for a queen and that the irony in Anne Boleyn's case was that she signed away that her marriage was never valid, thereby making it a non-treasonous offense.

I just noticed in Allison Weir's "Six Wives" she claims that even adultry by a queen was not yet at that time consider treason and that's why Cromwell added in the additional charges of conspiracy to murder.

Which is accurate?

Question from Marie - Period poetry of the Sweating Sickness of 1528

Does anyone know if there is any period poetry written dealing directly with the Sweating Sickness that hit England in the summer of 1528?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Question from Macy - Titles of younger sons of kings

I have a question about the royal sons. I know the eldest is naturally the Prince of Wales. But is the second always destined for the church? What titles do they traditionally hold of any? And third or fourth sons? I would assume they hold dukedoms but are their wives have a princess title?

Question from Tyler - Medal of Anne Boleyn vs. painting of her sister Mary

Im new to the this site, and i wanted to ask a question. Im once did a history report on this peroid and i loved it ever since. I have seen many supposed "authentic" portraits of Anne Boleyn, but i believe one is right in front of us. if you compare the image in her medal struck to honour the birth of a son (that sadly never happend) and of a portait thats called her sister Mary Boleyn, in my opinion the portraits of Anne and NOT Mary. the coin seems to confirm my beliefs, the only differnces are the necklace and maybe the brooch. The dress in the actual portrait also fits the description of Anne's gown she wore to her execution in May and i also believe she wore a Gable Hood to show the People she was still the english Queen after Henry had her marriage anulled by Cranmer on the 17.

So alls i ask is what is your opionion and what not.

Sorry it took me so long.. by the way im 14.

Question from Teja - Treatment of women of various classes

Hi I am doing a history project on Tudor England(particularly Elizabethan times) and need help with a few questions.
Q. To what extent were women treated differently in various classes of society in Tudor England?
Q. How were women/men in lower classes disadvantaged to those in upper classes in the legal system in Tudor England?

I need as much help as possible and any type of helpful would be much appreciated. I'm an Yr 13 student(NZ) and am 17yrs old.

Question from Zoe - Drinking habits of Tudor people

I've just read a book by Anthony Burgess on Shakespeare in which he says that people in Tudor times were walking around half tipsy due to the fact that they drank nothing but beer and wine.
Is that right? I wouldn't have thought it was possible for anyone to function like that - although it might explain some of the wackier Tudor behaviours.
They must have drunk at least some water!
Also, while we're on the subject of health and hygiene - how did women manage with their monthlies?
My curiosity has just gone into overdrive!

[Note - related threads listed below]

Question from Tracey - Attendance of Henry VIII events this year

With all the hoopla surrounding Henry VIII this year in England, how many Englishpersons are actually participating in the festivities?

Do most events seem to be geared towards visitors, or are the ancestors of the people Henry ruled just as interested?

Has "The Tower" reported an increase in tourists since the focus has shifted to Hal? How about The British Library, the country homes which have scheduled events, or art/portrait galleries? Is Hampton Court inundated with lookie-loos?

All things Tudor seems to be overwhelming the U.S. so just wondered if all things Henry in England were driving the natives crazy (grin).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Question from tudor fanatic - Catherine Howard's connections with Dereham and Culpepper

I am a bit confused as the connections that Catherine Howard had with Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpepper. I read in one book that Dereham was a distant relation of Catherine's, and that Culpepper was her first cousin on her mother's side (which I know could be possible in view of the fact that Catherine's mother's maiden name was Culpepper). On the other hand, another book says that Dereham had no connection with Catherine at all and that Culpepper was only very very distantly connected to her. Which is more correct? Does anyone know?

Question from Jana Pac - Tudor English

I have already ask for help on this web page but it was long time ago.Unfortunately I still haven´t found any material about the topic of my Bachelors theses so I would like to ask for your help again. I am supposed to write about English language in Tudor times, how it was used at schools, in the offices, church... It would be great if someone could give me a hint. Thank you so much for help.

Previous thread linked below -

Cross-post from News Blog: Kathy's report from Steven Gunn's lecture

Just in case you guys don't read the news blog, here is a link to Kathy's write-up of the lecture on Charles Brandon by Steven Gunn at Gainsborough Old Hall.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Question from Brittany Ann - Opinions on two Tudor books

I picked up two Tudor-related books at a used bookshop this week, and would like to know some opinions on them...

"A Tudor Tragedy: The Life and Times of Catherine Howard" by Lacey Baldwin Smith

"Tudor History and the Historians" by F. Smith Fussner

How accurate should I expect them to be?

Brittany Ann

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Question from salve radix - Descriptions of Henry VIII's medical issues and examinations

I'm investigating HenryVIII for my graduation in a branch of alternative medicine, and I need to find records with description of his symptoms, as detailed as possible, physical examination ( ie. urine, etc)as well as treatment prescribed. Can anyone point me in the right direction? thanks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Question from tudor fanatic - Tudor wedding ceremony

Can anyone tell me anything about the Tudor style wedding ceremony? I read somewhere that the bride would have bridemen as well as bridesmaids, and that it wasn't traditional for the bride to wear white as it is now, but I was just wondering if there were any specific customs/traditions etc. that have got lost through time. Also, if anyone knows the actual words of the ceremony, then that would be great. Thanks!

PS This isn't for a homework or anything; it's just out of interest.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Question form Laura - Henry VIII doubting Elizabeth's paternity

First of all, I want to thank you so much for this site. I'm obsessed with Tudor England and being homebound (with Lupus and a few other fun conditions) it's hard for me to get to a decent library to research all that I want to know.

I've read nearly every post on the site and I haven't seen this question...Did Henry VIII ever truly doubt Elizabeth's paternity? I know that Mary I believed or said she believed that Mark Smeaton was Elizabeth's father, but did Henry? I can't imagine him ever putting her back in the line of succession if he had doubts, but then, as is often mentioned, getting into Henry's head is a difficult task.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Question from Haven - English control of Calais

When did England gain and lose Calais? And is it still around now, or does it go by a different name now?

Question from tudor fanatic - Henry Carey and the Lord Chamberlain's men

I was looking in a book about Shakespeare, and I found a reference to Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon (presumably meaning Mary Boleyn's son, though they had his birthdate wrong by a couple of years). Apparently, he became Lord Chamberlain a few years before his death, and he helped to organise and fund the Chamberlain's Men, which was the early name for the company of players (actors) that Shakespeare belonged to and wrote his plays for. I was just wondering if anyone else knew anything about this, because I haven't seen a reference to it anywhere else.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Question from Winnie - Efficacy of Tudor medicine

Hi, I am currently doing a project on Tudor medicine.
I was just wondering.. how effective was the medicine used in that period?

Question from uk lady - Position of Anne at her execution

After finally watching the last episode on Video of the Tudors season 2 , I know Anne was executed by the sword , was it a samurai type of execution where the person is standing or did she lie on the block, obviously a sword is used differently to an axe so I was curious

Question from Elizabeth M - Autopsy or embalming of Anne Boleyn

After the execution of Anne Boleyn, was there any record of an autopsy being done? After the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, an autopsy was performed and the body was embalmed. Was this standard procedure, or was Anne just buried with no post-mortem examination of her remains?

[Note from Lara - I'm adding in the embalming to Anne's body in the question subject heading, since I was kind of wondering about that myself!]

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Question from Liz - Mistresses of the nobility

I was wondering if it was common for nobility in the Elizabethan era to keep mistresses. If a man's infidently came to light, would that hurt his repuation like it does today?

Question from Nikki - Weir's "The Lady Elizabeth"

I just read the first few pages of Alison Weir's, "The Lady Elizabeth." I just picked up the book in a store and assumed it would be a true account of Elizabeth. I didn't realize it was fictional until I started reading!

I'm only 12 pages in and Weir has Mary telling Elizabeth of her mother's death. Who really told Elizabeth?

Has anyone read this, and what are your thoughts?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Question from Katie - Anne's coat of arms

I'm curious about the origin's of Anne Boleyn's coat of arms. I understand that this comprised of a falcon wearing a crown on a blue background, is this correct? Is it known whether she chose/designed this herself or was it perhaps inherited?
I also understand that she herself chose her motto "The most happy", again any confirmation/comments on this would be greatfully received.

Question from Ann - Anne and Henry's secret marriage ceremony

Hello, I have another question for all you sparks out there.
I have been researching Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn and somewhere I read that Thomas Cramner officiated at the secret ceremony, yet other sources say it was an unnamed priest who performed the service. Do any of you know? Thanks.

Question from Ann - Relationship between Anne and her uncle Norfolk

I have had help from these pages in the past, as I am writing what I hope will be a published novel eventually, so thank you everyone for your assistance.
I now need to know, was the Duke of Norfolk friend or foe to Anne Boleyn? I have conflicting information on this subject, and I would like to know whether there was any friction between uncle and niece.
Thanks everyone.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Question from Marilyn R. - Questions for Gunn lecture on Charles Brandon

I'm meeting up with Kathy for the Steven Gunn lecture on Charles Brandon at Gainsborough Old Hall on Friday. My own interest is in the earlier Brandons rather than Charles, so if anyone has a question for Dr. Gunn I'd be glad to ask it on your behalf.

Question from Elizabeth M - Food for prisoners

I know this is an unusual question. I enjoy watching The Tudors, despite its inaccuracies. When Anne is kept in her Tower room, her waiting women throw out her food--some fruit, bread and cheese. Was that staple fare for imprisoned people. As Queen, would she not have been given something a bit better? Granted, she probably did not eat much, but as a high ranking prisoner, wouldn't she have received better sustenance than ordinary prisoners?

Question from Bron - Construction of horse litters

We read regarding Tudor times that the elderly, the unfit and the recalcitrant were sometimes transported by horse litter. I wonder how these litters were constructed? I suspect they had wheels towards the rear, and were a little like modern trotting vehicles, with two long shafts going up either side of the horse. I would be most interested to know how a horse litter actually was made.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Question from Abby - Joan v. Jane

I love Tudor history and love to look at the picture galleries on this site. While browsing through pictures of Jane Seymour, I came across a sketch of her with her name given as "Iohanna." (it is the bottom picture in her gallery.) I know from studying latin myself that the letter I is often used instead of the letter J, but using the J instead so the name reads Johanna sounds more like the name Joan instead of Jane. Were the names Joan and Jane interchangeable or am I interpreting the name wrong?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Question from Sharon - Websites with photos of Tudor artifacts

I have not yet been to England but when i go I plan on visiting historic Tudor sites. In the meantime, I have been trying to find websites that have photos of Tudor artifacts (jewels, clothing, writing) much like what is included in this site. The only thing I have found so far is the Showtime Series "The Tudors" website. Does anyone know of any other sites?

Question from Jean (Anne's Fan) - Comments on the Bell "St. Peter ad Vincula" book

I have been reading the Bell book about the chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula, in the Tower of London. I understand that while the bones of several people were not able to be identified were co-mingled for re-burial. Some remains were found buried where it was said they were. Among those identified were those of Anne Boleyn. The bones that were identified were put in their own containers with their name on it and reburied where they were found.
Therefore not co-mingled.

It is also interesting to note that there appeared to be evidence of the "extra" nail, that Anne was supposed to have had.

Question from Gervase - Princess Diana's vs Prince Charles' royal blood

Can anyone tell me how Princess Diana had more royal blood than Prince Charles. I had read and heard that many times. I am curious as to the bloodline she had from the royals.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Question from Diane - Darnley's claim to the English throne

I'd like to learn more about Lord Darnley's claim to the English throne. I know his ties to Scotland's throne were much stronger but he was also a grandson of Margaret Tudor through her second marriage to Archibald Douglas. Thus he was descended from Henry VII and after the death of Edward VI was, to the best of my knowledge, the sole legitimate male relative on the Tudor side to Queens Mary and Elizabeth. With Darnley also being a Catholic did Queen Mary ever consider making him her heir? He would have been 13 in 1558.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Question from Nikki - Location of Jane Grey's execution scaffold

Another question from my David Starkey book from the previous post.

In Chapter 21, Retribution, Starkey states that the scaffold on which Lady Jane Grey would die upon was in front of the Chapel St. Peter ad Vincula.

"The scaffold on which she would die had been built on Tower Green, within the walls and directly in front of the chapel."

I thought in a previous post it was determined that the scaffold was in a different spot? If it was built in front of the chapel as Starkey states, then the memorial might be in the right place. I am so confused!!

Question from Nikki - Elizabeth's arrival at the Tower in Mary's reign

I am reading, "Elizabeth: The Struggle For The Throne," by David Starkey. In Chapter 22, The Tower, he claims that Elizabeth did not arrive through Traitor's Gate, as is famously proclaimed.

"Bearing in mind the lowness of the tide, it would anyway have been impossible, since Traitor's Gate was a water-gate. Instead, Elizabeth landed at Tower Wharf and entered the Tower across the drawbridge, to the west of the fortress."

Is this true?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Question from Catharine - Choice of Edward VI's name


I have a personal question that has always puzzled me. I hope you can give me an answer.
Why did Henry VIII and Jane Seymour name their legitimate son Edward, when his (supposed) two illegitimate sons (with Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn)were named Henry?
I know this question may be asked on hearsay that I have read but I hope you can enlighten me one way or another.

Catharine Gauden

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Question from Paula - Mary Queen of Scots' accent

Hi – any linguistics experts here?

I wonder what Mary Queen of Scots’ spoken English was actually like after she learned the language while in prison in England? I noticed that in ‘Elizabeth I’ (with Helen Mirren) Mary speaks with a French accent. In ‘Elizabeth – The Golden Age’, she speaks with a Scottish accent. Which do you think is more historically accurate?

Mary did spend her formative years in France, so her English was probably ‘very French’, but on the other hand, one of the English ambassadors who met Mary as an adult, said she had a ‘pretty Scots’ accent. (By the way, how close was the 16th century Scottish language to their neighbors in the south)?

Of course, we’ll never really know how Mary spoke, but I would be interested in others’ opinions nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Question from Stephanie - Infant buried with Henry VIII

I always thought the infant son of Queen Anne buried with Henry VIII was that of Anne Boleyn, not Anne Stuart. Which is it? And if it is Anne Stuart- Why buried with Henry?

Question from Nikki - Alison Weir's new book and tour

Any thoughts on Alison Weir's new book launch? To launch her new book, The Lady in The Tower about Anne Boleyn, Weir is kicking off a Tudor tour! The dates are April 6 - 16, 2010. It leaves from the US and tours The Tower, The Abbey, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, Winchester Cathedral and other places. Total price is just under $5700! Here's the link.

I know some of you aren't Weir fans, so I am anxious to see if you think this would be worth it to hear her lecture on Tudor history at each stop.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Question from Kristian - Jane Seymour's heart

Combining two topics recently posted, I have a question about removal and burial of Jane Seymour's heart.
When I visited the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace last month, I saw a plaque near the altar (facing the altar - it was free-standing on the floor to the right) that said Jane's heart was removed and buried there at Hampton while her body was, of course, buried with Henry.

I can find nothing else written to verify or contradict this.
Does anyone know more?
Has anyone else seen/read that plaque?

Bell book on St. Peter ad Vincula

A few months ago I went looking at the various book scanning efforts by Google and others to see if the Bell book that has been discussed here often was available yet and didn't find it. So, I requested it though Interlibrary Loan and scanned the first part (with the actual notes from the restoration) to make a PDF for you all. And, of course, now that I've almost finished cleaning up my scans, it shows up at Google Books! Oh well, I guess it is the thought that counts. :)

For those of you who want to read the book, you can get it here.

Question from Nikki - Mary I's heart and burial

I just finished reading "Bloody Mary," by Carolly Erickson. Not a bad book, actually. I was suprised that the book didn't focus much on the Protestant burnings since that's what she's most remembered for. (But then again, English history isn't kind to Catholicism!)

My question is this. The end of the book states that Mary's body was buried in the Henry VII chapel in Westminster Abbey, in a grave on the north side. "Her heart, 'being severally enclosed in a coffin covered with velvet bound with silver,' was separately interred."

I had no idea that this was where her body was originally buried. When was it moved to the current spot, with Elizabeth? Also, where is her heart?

Question from Annina - Political impact of Henry's wives

hello, i need your help!

for my oral exam i need informations about the political impact of the first two wives of Henry VIII! i hope you can help me!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Question from Antonia - Henry's burial with Jane, etc.

Hello all,

The recent question regarding the burial of Henry VIII has got me thinking...

Is there any particular reason Henry was buried with Jane Seymour? I remember being told this as a child, and believing it because he "loved her most" as it were. Having since learnt more, I can't believe that was necessarily true, though she was perhaps the one he was most satisfied with at the time of her death.

Did Henry stipulate he wanted to be buried with Jane, and if so, is there evidence of this? On the flip side, if he did not say so and the decision was therefore made for him, does anyone know on what basis this might have been on?

Also, why was Katherine Parr not interred with Henry upon her death? (Perhaps the marriage to Seymour?) She was his last wife and (by Henry's standards) it was a fairly good union, so I've always wondered how she felt about him being buried with Jane.

And finally (yes, I am coming to an end...), PhD Historian mentioned in the same thread I mentioned above that the bones of (I believe) Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Katherine Howard were discovered at St. Peter's in the 19th century. These were then put together in one container and reburied. I've heard this before but it's always seemed odd to me - why mix them together? Why not separate them and bury them accordingly? While they were all technically executed criminals, it nevertheless seems extremely disrespectful.

I have perhaps focused on these burial quibbles too much over recent days, to the extent where I am becoming macabre, so any final thoughts would be useful!

{PS from Lara - you're welcome re: the RSS feed!)

Question from Kristian - Queen's Apartments at the Tower

I am curious (and confused) about the Tudor half-timber apartments at the Tower of London. In my reading, they have been variously identified as the Queen's Apartments (built by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn's coronation), the Lieutenant's Lodgings and the Governor's Quarters.
I have also read in a couple of books that these are not the queens apartments and that the real apartments were destroyed.
Even after visiting in person, I am confused (that may just be my personal issue :o)
Can anyone shed some light on this?

Question from Beryl - Anne's influence on Henry's religious beliefs

I am wondering what evidence there is for the ammount of influence Anne Bolyen may or may not have had on Henry's religious beleifs?
I have to do a university assignment about it
Thank you
Beryl Martyn

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Question from Entspinster - Other crimes Anne may have been guilty of

Bouncing off a previous question-- Anne the Queen was charged with specific acts many of which, as she herself pointed out, could not have taken place at the time and places given. She was demonstratably elsewhere. The only actual confession of intercourse with her was Smeaton's, and he was surely at least threatened with torture. And her marriage to Henry was declared (retroactively)invalid, not dissolved. No marriage, no adultery.

But because a person was not guilty of the specific crimes for which she (in the case of Anne B.) was tried and sent to execution does not mean that she was not guilty of other things. Reports of Anne's last speech say, very plausibly, that she confessed to treating Henry with less love than she should have, and to being jealous. (It would not matter that Henry was, to our eyes, was being unlovable and giving her cause for jealousy.) The reports that she and her circle joked and gossiped about Henry's failings and the possibility of Anne outliving him are very believable. Can anyone coment on disrespect toward the King being a capital crime? Would "lese majestie" be the right term?

She certainly threatened both Katherine of Aragon and Mary the future Queen with execution, and tried to get Henry to carry this out. Incitement to murder?

Is St. Peter's not consecrated ground? There is no record of a funeral at the time, but does the COE consider a funeral a sacrament in any case? And could one not have been held for her (in absentia, so to speak) in secret by those who cared for her? Elizabeth her daughter did not pursue the matter in public. Perhaps she was privately satisfied that what needed to be done had been done.

Question from Joanna M - If Jane Seymour had lived

Just out of curiosity really and i know difficult to answer but.... How do you think the course of history and the life, actions and personality of Henry VIII would have differed (if at all) had Jane Seymour lived?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Question from tudorfanatic - Photos of Henry VIII's vault, parts of surviving palaces, etc.

1)I would like to know if there are any photographs of inside the vault where king henry and queen jane are resting, Ive seen the sketch but ide like to know if theres a modern photograph?

2) I would also like to know if there is anything at hampton court/st james palace today that would of been there in king henrys reign and what he would of seen that we see today? I know he built it but theres been alot of alterations havent there?

3) How many palaces,Castles,Houses is there that were built in the time of king henrys reign is there today that are of its origanal form that it/they were back then?

4) Is there anything on for publuc viewing that would of personaly belonged to king henry or any other tudor monarch?

5) Is it possible that anne boleyns body and the other bodys that are in st peters be removed and exhumed and be given a proper burial?

[Note - #5 edited slightly at the request of the submitter]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Question from Janet - Women and the Oath of Succession

Hello, I am very curious, when Henry VIII enacted the 'oath of succession' where people had to swear to be loyal to Anne Boleyn and her heirs, instead of Catherine of Aragon and Princess Mary, were women required to take the oath as well? Or was it just men?

Since women weren't even allowed to vote (members into Parliament that is), were they excused from swearing?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Reversal of Anne's attainder

I am not sure if this has been answered before. Has there ever been any talk about legally reversing the attainder on Anne Boleyn? True, a lot of the evidence used at her trial is long gone, there is still the evidence that her supposed trysts on certain dates and places were completely fabricated, as she was not at those places on the times given. In today's legal system, she would be acquitted on that fact alone, due to reasonable doubt. Based on just that, could she have her attainder and conviction reversed legally, and has there ever been a thought to doing so? Would it go through Parliament, or would the Queen have a say?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Question from Kathy - Requests from England

Does anybody want anything from England? I am leaving on June 22 for three weeks there. My main purpose is to go to as many of the Henry VIII exhibits that I can make in London and day trips to Greenwich, Portsmouth, Canterbury, Windsor, Hampton Court, and especially Lincoln/Gainsborough to attend Steven Gunn's lecture on Charles Brandon at Gainsborough Old Hall on July 10.

I have already promised Lara that I would take a picture of the plaque on the model of the Tower of London that is on display in the White Tower so we can see what date they say it represents as well as to take copious notes on the description of the wall mural in the Vistors' Center at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich that I got a picture of the last time I was there. (I also plan to harass them them to make that mural available as a wall poster. I've never wanted a poster of anything more than I want that one!)

Does anybody else have any requests as far as pictures/brochures/information or anything else I can reasonably get? I'll be more than happy to try to help. This includes postcards. If anybody wants a specific postcard from anywhere (including the National Portrait Gallery) ask Lara for email addy and tell me what you want. I'll try my best to get it for you.

Question from Diane - Jane Grey and royal rituals

If Jane Grey had lived and remained Queen, would she have participated in traditional royal rites such as the blessing of the cramp rings on Good Friday, the King's Evil ceremony and the washing of the feet of the poor? Obviously, washing the feet of the poor is following Jesus's example, but would she, as a Protestant, consider the other rites superstitious?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Morley relationship to Henry VIII

I have read that Lady Jane Rochford's father, Lord Morley, was a distant cousin of Henry VIII. Does anyone know the familial connection?

Question from Elizabethan - Revocation of Anne's title of Marquess of Pembroke

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anybody knows if Anne Boleyn's title of Marquess of Pembroke was revoked at the same time as her marriage was annulled and she lost her status as Queen, or was she technichally still Marquess/Marchioness when she was executed? Thanks for any help you can give.

[Comments closed on this post in August 2018 because it started randomly getting a whole lot of attempted spam comments on it!]

Question from Vanessa - Dismissal of Mary's ladies in France

I'm wondering about Henry's sister Mary's marriage to Louis of France. In one of David Starkey's books he mentions a row between king Louis and Lady Guilford who was Princess Mary's Head Lady, which resulted in all of the queens retinue being sent home. Does anyone know anything more about this?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Question from Nikki - Mary's restoration of the tomb of Edward the Confessor

Hi everyone! I came across an article today that states that Mary I restored Edward the Confessor's tomb in Westminster Abbey. If that is true, what was done to it? Thanks!

Question from Michelle - Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick

I have been looking for more information on the 17th Earl of Warwick, Edward Plantagenet, and have not been able to find anything. Specifically, I am looking to learn more about his stay in the tower as a child, and what evidence there is to indicate that he may have been mentally retarded.

I have asked this question on another forum, and the general consensus was that he was not actually mentally disabled, but intentionally kept ignorant so that he would not take advantage of his claim to the throne. I am curious as to which scenario experts believe is more probable. I can't imagine that if he were, in fact, mentally retarded that he would pose much of a threat to the throne. It was also my understanding that someone who was mentally ill/ disabled would not be executed as it was against the law. However, I do realize that Henry VII was pretty ruthless, and I don't belive that this would have been much of an obstacle.

Any information or source recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Question from Haven - The Empress Matilda and female succession in Tudor times

I heard somewhere that Henry VIII didn't want his daughters to rule because of something that happened with the first queen of England Matilda. Who is Matilda, and what did she do?

Question from Jacque - Marriage expectations for men

I understand that women, particularly ones of higher class were expected either to marry or enter into convents. But what about the men? Was it considered acceptable for men to remain single and yet not enter into a Church profession?

Question from Elizabeth W. - Henry's rape of Anne in "The Other Boelyn Girl"

Looking for a little clarity for an assignment... After viewing the newest version of Philipa Gregory's movie version of "The Other Boleyn Girl" I was struck by the the scene that depicted King Henry raping Anne Bolyen, is this at all historically accurate (I cannot recall the book mentioning this, although it could have) is there any informtion on this issue? I am in my 30's and am writing a paper for my undergrad. History class, assigned to watch the film and pull fact from fiction. Please excuse all errors! Thank you for your time.

[Note - for other threads related to this book and film, just put "Other Boleyn Girl" into the search box to the left, since there has already been a lot of discussion on it]

Question from Lynda - Middle names of the Boleyn children

Did Anne, Mary & George Boleyn have middle names and what were they?

[Edited to add: Below is a link to the previously discussed topic of Mary "Rose" Tudor's name that has been referenced in the comments]

Question from Stephanie - Blanchett vs. Mirren movies on Elizabeth I

Hello everyone! In your own opinion, which is the more accurate portrayal of Elizabeth I between Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren? (By accurate I mean which movie had more actual quotes, etc.)

This question may be a little open ended, but I was wondering and figured I'd get everyone's opinion.

Question from Courtney - Unanswered questions and secret artifacts of Henry VIII

Do you think that there is and or any Questions that have not been not ansrwed or artifacts that are kept secret from the public from the monarchy, ABout HenryVIII and his time?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Question from Jacque - Gentry boys education

What would have been included in the education of a boy of higher rank (e.g. gentry)? What would they have been taught that girls were not? Was French considered something that ought to be learned?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Question from Marilyn R. - Elizabeth's effigy crown, etc.

I spent a large part of last Saturday in Westminster Abbey. We lingered at the tomb of Elizabeth I whose effigy sports the latest crown, the third since the tomb’s completion in 1606. Apparently the previous two were stolen – does anyone have any information about when and how?

We returned for evensong; it was a wonderful experience to be seated in the quire where so many great moments have been celebrated; the choristers were in good voice as well. The day before we took in the Henry exhibition at the British Library, which was excellent and is to be recommended. Lara, you need to get yourself over here!

One of the things that surprised me most was the amount of minute detail on the Mary Tudor/Charles Brandon portrait, especially on his Order of the Garter collar. The objects Mary is holding are very clearly an artichoke and a caduceus, as discussed on earlier post on this site. The British Library is slightly off the beaten tourist track and there were few visitors to the exhibition, so we could have the luxury of reading all the information at our leisure. I’m from Lincolnshire and felt rather emotional at being so close to the Pilgrimage of Grace documents and those dealing with the killing of the carthusians at Tyburn, one of whom was the prior from the Epworth Charterhouse, a few miles from where I live.

Although all the documents were a joy to see, if I could have brought anything home it would have been the Sittow 1502 portrait of the young Katherine of Aragon, much smaller than I had expected but beautifully painted. Is the halo-like object behind her part of her headdress?

Question from Elizabeth M - Marriage plans for Jane Seymour before Henry

Does anyone know if there were any marriage plans for Jane Seymour before she caught King Henry's eye? She was nearly 30 when she became queen, and that was awfully old for the time to make a first marriage. Her mother had a good family tree. Was there a stigma on the family because of her father sleeping with his son's wife and fathering children by her that made his own daughters damaged goods? Was there anything reported to be physically wrong with Jane, apart from the fact she was rather plain? It just seems odd that she remained single for so long, and might have remained so had not King Henry snapped her up.

Question from Haven leigh - Thomas Boleyn defending his children

I have a question on anne boleyln's father- Did he try to defend his children at all? Did his wife? Also, what happened to them?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Question from Lovey - Rape case against the Earl of Northumberland

I have a couple of question,that I can't seem to find the answer anyone. I read that in the year of 1515 (I'm not sure about the year)That Thomas Wolsey had the Earl of Northumberland charge with raping his royal ward, and the Earl of Northumberland was found guilty,and serve time in prison for the crime. I want to know , which Earl? was it Henry Algernon Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland , Henry Percy's father? or another Earl of Northumberland ? Does anyone know who the royal wards was who was supposedly had been rape by the Earl?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Question from Katie - Change from Bullen to Boleyn

I have another question regarding Anne Boleyn. I'd just like to clarify what her actual surname was - I was always led to believe that originally the name was Bullen and that it was later changed to Boleyn, posibly when she went to live in France. In a childhood visit to Hever castle I also remember seeing a sign referring to her brother as Geroge Bullen so I'm curious as to if, when and why the name change occured. Many Thanks.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Question from Jacque - Young children of courtiers

Where did young children of courtiers live while they were growing up? I don't ever remember hearing that children ever grew up at Court, but was it like this in every case? What if both of their parents had positions at Court and therefore had to live there all/most of the time?

Question from Colleen - Sleeping furniture for children

I came up with kind of a weird question a few minutes ago. What did Tudor children sleep in? Specifically early-ish Tudor (as in, not Elizabethan)...I got to thinking about this when doing a little research on the last 10 years of Henry VII's reign. I'm pretty sure that cribs weren't around then, but what about cradles or bassinettes? And when did a child begin sleeping in an actual bed?

Also, I'm aware that royal and noble children slept in nurseries. Were boys and girls separated or just all lumped in together?

Thanks for any info...I Googled but couldn't find anything that answered my specific questions.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Question from Bron - Jane Boleyn's position in 1538

Clarification sought re Jane Boleyn/Rochford nee Parker's situation in 1538.

Two questions, please:
Who was Sir James Boleyn?
And what does 'a recovery' in the context/s below mean? 'Appointment by Sir James Boleyn of John Gelley and William Kelsall of Aylesbury [co. Buckingham] to enter into the Manors of Aylesbury and Berton [Bierton, co. Buckingham] to make Jane, Lady Rocheford, tenant, that a recovery might be had against her.

We know that Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn died in early 1538 ... or am I confused about the dating system which was in place at the time?

1538 Anne Boleyn’s father Thomas Boleyn dies 12 March 1538, aged 61, at Hever, Kent and is buried there.
1538 Anne Boleyn’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Howard, dies 3 April and is buried 7 April.

Why then is there a 'Bargain and sale' in October, 1538? See below:

705:349/12946/498729 12 October, 30 Hen. VIII 1538:documents @ Worcestershire Record Office

Bargain and sale from the Rt. Hon. Thomas [Boleyn], Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, Dame Margaret Boleyn, widow, his mother, and Lady Jane Rocheford, late the wife of Sir George Boleyn, knt., late Lord Rocheford, to Sir John Baldwyn, knt., Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and William Baldwyn, esq., his son, of the Manors of Aylesbury and B[i]erton, co. Buckingham, with lands, tenements and appurtenances in Aylesbury and B[i]erton. With covenants for a recovery in consideration of the said bargain and sale to the use of the said Lady Jane of the Manor of Swavesey, co. Cambridge.

And a little later,705:349/12946/499476, 9 November, 30 Hen. VIII 1538:

Appointment by Sir James Boleyn of John Gelley and William Kelsall of Aylesbury [co. Buckingham] to enter into the Manors of Aylesbury and Berton [Bierton, co. Buckingham] to make Jane, Lady Rocheford, tenant, that a recovery might be had against her.