Monday, March 16, 2009

Question from Stephanie - Anne's reaction to Henry and Jane

I don't think I've seen this covered, but I thought of this question and I can't stop wondering: After Anne Boleyn caught Jane Seymour in Henry's lap, what did she say to her? Are there any records of conversations or interactions? I have never heard any opinions of Jane by Anne throughout all my extensive research. I'm also curious to know why Anne didn't just get rid of Jane... (I know it wouldn't be that simple but certainly she had her own political alliances) ... It seems someone as strong willed as Anne would have at the very least issued a warning to Jane. Any thoughts? Thanks to everyone in advance!!!


  1. Ann was furious when she found out about Jane and Henry. She confronted Jane when Jane was wearing a lockett with Henry's picture in it and ripped it right off of her neck. Although Ann was very strong willed, I think at that point in the unfolding drama she also was careful not to anger the king. Others would know more than me about this, but I think at some point Henry sent Jane back to her home so she would not be impacted by the growing scandal of what was soon to come - Ann's arrest, trial, etc. In Hollywood or other works of fiction, Jane is often portrayed as passive and pure, but I read recently that she was just as ambitious and cunning as other courtiers looking for advancement, but perhaps more subtle. I don't have any data to back that up, but if it is true I would love to hear more about it. I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

  2. I seem to remember that locket scene happening in an episode of "The Tudors" last season. Did it happen in real life too, or was that just yet another instance utilizing dramatic license?

  3. According to author Marie Louis Bruce:
    Entering a room one day,Anne discovered Jane Seymour, her maid of honour,sitting on her husband's lap. She went into a fury. Forgetting the dignity and restraint proper to her rank,she resorted not merely to words but to violence, violence that according to reliable source was repeated. "There was often much scratching and by-blows between the Queen and her maid', says the chronicler of the life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria.

    Note: Anne tried to get rid of Jane Seymore. Anne even hatch a plan with her sister-in -law Jane Boleyn to try to pick a fight in which both would claim that Jane Seymore was the trouble maker,and she should be dismiss. Henry saw through their plan,and Jane Boleyn was sent away from court. As much as Anne wanted to dismiss Jane, she knew Henry would just bring her back, or follow her .

    Anne had very few political alliances,and the ones she did have (re: her uncle, Cromwell and the French king) begin to distance themselves from her. Anne also didn't have many (if any) friends at court.

  4. I read about it in several non-fiction books, so I believe that this incident did indeed happen.

  5. Yes, I thank you for your response, but did you actually read that somewhere or were you getting your information from the Tv show The Tudors? I must warn they take artistic license and not everything is historically accurate... If you did read that, could you please share your source?

  6. It was also depicted in the 1971 BBC series THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII in the Jane Seymour episode.

  7. @Stephanie

    You can read about Anne's reaction to Jane in the book "Anne Boleyn", by Marie Louis Bruce, or the the chronicler of the life of Jane Dormer.

  8. If it were that easy for Queens to send the King's mistresses packing I think that Katherine the first Queen would have done so and there never would have been a divorce or a Queen Anne.

    In Luv's statement about Anne not having any alliances or even friends in the King's court makes we wonder why she ended up being purhaps the most talked about Queen and/or what seems to be the most cherished of Henry's Queens? If it is because she was beheaded, there certainly isn't as much written about Queen Catherine Howard.

    I really do believe that Anne's demise was a combination of factors some of which might have been true or at least was presented to King Henry in a way that he believed them to be true. We have to remember that if it was just a case of Henry wanting to be with Jane Seymore, (for birthing or whatever reason) then he could have simply put Anne away just like he did Kartherine of Aragon. There was something more and I sometimes wonder if Anne Boleyn isn't immortalized and Henry scandalized or defamed for sentiment and not for actual facts that were prevalent in the 16th century. That is one reason that I have asked many times in discussions what was the nature or habits of other Kings during this time period?

    From everything that we read it seems that witchcraft, which Anne was accused of, was something that was truly believed in during that era. And for Anne and Henry to have been sooo much in love like is believed and protrayed in books and by Hollywood and even the BBC, there had to have been something that happened for a King who had fought so hard for her to just tire of her within three years. Even if it is something that would not mean as much to us today but would have been huge in 16th century Tudor England.

  9. Jenna, Have you been reading the English Historical Review? There are a number of articles you would find interesting if you haven't already!


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