Friday, February 13, 2009

Question from Erin - Elizabeth at court after Anne's execution

After Anne Boleyn was executed did Elizabeth remain in Henry's "custody"?
Was she sent away like Mary, or did she remain at court? Or maybe she went back & forth?


Elizabeth M. said...

Pretty much she had her own household and was kept away from court except for short visits.

Foose said...

J.L. McIntosh, in her book From Heads of Household to Heads of State, points out:

"Indeed, there is no evidence to suggest that Henry even saw his younger daughter from January 1536 [the year of Anne's execution] until September 1542 [when Elizabeth was 9]. Thereafter, they encountered each other only during Elizabeth's infrequent and short visits to court from 1543 to Henry's death in 1547. This paternal neglect combined with her mother's early death resulted in Elizabeth experiencing very little interaction with her biological parents."

McIntosh is making an argument that Elizabeth was essentially reared and molded and socialized by her servants -- committed Reformers all of them, with a fair number of Boleyn kin in significant positions -- so she is highlighting evidence that supports her view. Still, I think it's a fairly convincing interpretation of the extant records on the subject.

kb said...

Both Mary and Elizabeth were at court for the christening of their half-brother Edward and took ceremonial roles. Elizabeth was so young that she had to be carried herself as she carried the chrisom-cloth.

Most of the time she spent with her sister Mary and her brother Edward at a variety of royal houses in Hertfordshire including Hatfield and Hunsdon.

There is some evidence that Elizabeth was given some tokens in person by Catherine Howard, Henry's 5th wife and that they traveled together on a barge. (See Starkey, Apprenticeship, p.28)

In 1542, the king had dinner with both his daughters at Pyrgo. In June 1543 Elizabeth and Mary came to court to meet Katherine Parr and were guests of honor at the wedding in July. It is unclear if they stayed the intervening month at court or came back just in time for the festivities.

In June 1544, Mary and Elizabeth were at a court dinner with their father after Parliament confirmed their position in the succession. They were still there at the end of the month when Henry was getting ready to sail to France in one his 'channeling Henry V' moments.

Elizabeth joined Katherine Parr's household in late summer of 1544. She appears to have gone on progress with Katherine's court through the fall of that year. Henry wasn't there.

Both Mary and Elizabeth were considered ladies of the Queen's court although they weren't much in attendance. They visited in November 1545 and got new clothes from the royal wardrobe.

In 1546, Elizabeth was also at court. This was when the Admiral of France came to sue for peace.

There were other times, some of them ceremonial when she appears in the records although these are mostly during Katherine Parr's time as queen.

kb said...

Where did you get Jeri McIntosh's book?


Foose said...

kb, it's on Amazon available for order. That's where I got it.

Your point about Elizabeth being present for Edward VI's christening appears to contradict McIntosh's statement. However, could it be possible that she attended in her allotted role but did not encounter Henry? I know that the king did not usually attend funerals but I am uncertain of the etiquette relating to his children's christenings.

kb said...

Foose -

I just searched and came up dry on the book. I didn't even find it in the state library system for an ILL. I'll try again in the morning.

RE: christenings. It is quite possible as you suggest that Henry did not attend the christening. Or that he was in another room nearby.

Foose said...

kb, I just checked both Amazon US and Amazon UK, and it's listed on both. Try typing in the title in the search field at the top ... the British one is listed with the author as JL McIntosh, the American one as Jeri L McIntosh.

kb said...

Thanks foose,
I found it. I must have been very tired last night. Have asked for it via inter-library loan as $60 is a bit steep this week.