Sunday, May 31, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M. - Burial of stillborn babies

I have a question about what was done with the bodies of stillborn babies/ I know this is a macabre question. Yesterday, my husband and I went to visit the graves of his parents in a Catholic cemetery in Waukesha, WI. We walked around for a while, as the weather was so gorgeous, and we found a little area of the cemetery we never knew was there--a little burial ground for infants, many of them were obviously stillborn or lived for only a short time, as they had only their birthdate on the marker, some were not even named. What was done with stillborn infants in Tudor times, especially the royal ones?

Question from Bren - If Arthur had succeeded to the throne

If Henry VIII's brother Arthur had not died and had succeeded to the throne would he have been known as Arthur I as there seems to be controversy as to whether the well known King Arthur was either a legend or based on another person ?

Question from Jem - Whipping boys and girls

I heard Edward had a whipping boy. So did Mary adn Elizabeth have whipping girls?

Question from David - Tunnel between Hampton Court and Nonsuch Palaces

I believe there is a tunnel between Hampton court place and Nonsuch Palace (now demolished).
Can you confirm this and point to any sources of info please?

Question from Chloe - Belongings of the rich and poor

Hi im 9 and am doning a school project about the tudors. Im stuck on a question :- What belongings did the rich tudors have and what belongings did the poor tudors have? i have searched on the internet but cant find much infomation.
Please help!
Thanks Chloe

Friday, May 29, 2009

Question from Michelle - Reconstructing accents

Hi. I realize this question is virtually impossible to answer being that there were obviously no recording devices 500 years ago :-) Nevertheless, I'm very curious if anyone has any idea or knows if there has ever been any work done (books/journals/papers) on what type of speaking accent the Tudors/Tudor-era British people would most likely have had? Clearly they used some different words/phrases and certainly different spellings, but is there any insight in to how they would have actually spoken? Would it be similar to any of the regional accents in the UK today? Thanks.

Question from Jacque - Katherine of Aragon's ladies in the 1520s

How many ladies-in-waiting did Katharine of Aragon have around the 1520s and does anyone know all or some of their names?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Question from Bron - Feedback on portrait research

[Note from Lara - I received an email and the document linked below from Bron (a retired art historian) looking for input. This is well beyond my knowledge, but I'm sure some of you would be able to offer some commentary!]

I have been working for some time on two very interesting portraits. One portrait is of Elizabeth Knollys, and I believe the other portrait may also be of her. I have attached a very basic outline of my research, although my documentation runs into many, many pages.

I would so much appreciate input and criticism from others. I have a great deal of research I would like to share, but I didn't want to bore you initially.

Notes regarding the 1577 portrait of Elizabeth Knollys on display @ Montacute, her marriage to Thomas Leighton and possible identification of a portrait of ‘an unknown french noblewoman’ as Elizabeth Leighton, nee Knollys
PDF of the document (4.2 MB)

Question from Jennifer - Henry VIII's seamstress(es)

I was told by a cousin of mine researching our Helton heritage, that one of our great grandmother's was one of his royal seamstresses. Who not only made his attire, but also was ordered to make dresses and such for his queens.
Is there a listing of his seamstresses at the time of his reign, I'd love to know if one of my ancestors served in his court and probably got to see/make some of the finest wardrobe.

Question from Anon - Lambeth

The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk's residence is often referred to as Lambeth, but what was its full name? And was Lambeth an area where there were many grand houses?

Question from Joy - Poem as Margaret is dying in "The Tudors" season 1

I would like to find information regarding a poem recited in The Tudors, Episode 1.8, as Princess Margaret is dying:

"Softly love and to love softly,
dew upon a sycamore branch
by the creaking gate
as my heart hurries off
to wince through the wheat
along the briar to that stone
under which I lie."

I know that the above verse is not correct, it is difficult to hear in the episode. Is this a published poem or a piece written specifically for that scene? I am a lit teacher and have searched several sites for the answer..

[Note - I think it was actually in episode 9, assuming I have my files numbered correctly, but I'm not sure that matters. I made an extract of just the audio of the poem and have posted it at the link below in mp3 format.]

Margaret clip

Monday, May 25, 2009

Question from Analisa - Sources for Wars of the Roses and Bosworth battles

You all might remember a previous thread asking for suggestions for a battle for Analisa to cover in her Military History class project. Well, here's the follow-up:

I've decided on doing my report on the Battle of Bosworth Field and The Wars of the Roses. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for books, documentaries, or websites that I can use to write my report. Thanks so much!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Question from Megan - Stafford family after Buckingham's execution

I read that the Stafford family fell out of favour after the execution of the Duke of Buckingham. Is this completely true? Are they still nobility today? Thanks

Question from Stephanie - Henry VIII's throne, etc.

Does anyone know which throne Henry actually sat on? (And if it still exists) I am also confused about where he actually lived the most, I am assuming it's Hampton but if I'm wrong I'd love to know.

Also- Does anyone know details about the None Such Palace? I'd love to know what personal belongings of his still exist.


Question from Alex - Edward VI and Catholicism

I have another question.

This is about Edward and the Catholic religion.

I was wondering if it was true if Edward hated the Catholic religion. But he wanted to marry Mary quuen of scotts which I can't understand the thing about why he changed religion.

I know I am a Christian but I am a bit mixed up why a sweet child would do a big thing esp when he wanted to marry someone from the catholic religion.

Alot of my friends said it was The Duke of Northumberland who did most of the things.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Question from Hannah - Incident in Richmond Park after Babington Plot

Are there other sources that quote a specific instance in Richmond Park after the Babington Plot?

I'm a sophomore in high school and I'm doing a project for my history class and I need to know if this really happened:
A story tells that Elizabeth, walking through Richmond Park, encountered one of the Babington conspirators. She recognized him from a portrait shown to her by Walsingham. Elizabeth approached the man and said, “Am I not well guarded today, with no man near me who wears a sword at his side”. The man fled and nothing came of the incident. Nevertheless, it shows that Elizabeth was far from secure and perhaps, a more determined conspirator might have taken this opportunity to murder her.

I've only found a reference to this happening on that one site, and a mention on this site that quotes It's a really important aspect of my project, (I'm trying to disprove an event in history based on Elizabeth being killed in this situation) so I need to know if this information is accurate.

Question from Danny - Term of appointments

So after watching the whole new season of the tudors show I have one simple question.

Are the appointments for life? For example Cromwell knew the end is near, can't he just retire or leave instead of chop chop?

Question from Mary Ann - John Ashdown-Hill

This may be somewhat off topic since it involves the Plantagenets but I hope someone can help. There is a book by John Ashdown-Hill about Eleanor Talbot. Can anyone tell me anything about Mr. Ashdown-Hill? I'm seriously considering buying the book and would like to know something about him. Thanks for any help you can give!

Question from Joyce - Commemoration of Anne's execution anniversary

As oit just past the anniversary of Anne Boleyns death do the warders at the Tower do anything to commenmorate ? are floers placed on her plaque etc, do visitors bring flower?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Question from Nanette - Sumptuary laws for ermine

Question: who and who couldn’t wear ermine in Tudor times?

I’m curious about any specific sumptuary laws stating who and who couldn’t wear ermine in Tudor times.

To begin, I always thought only royalty could wear ermine, but I noticed that in a painting of the Duke of Norfolk (Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn’s uncle), Hans Holbein shows him wearing ermine. A picture of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, has her in ermine as well.

That being the case that aristocrats could also wear ermine, I was wondering if wealthy citizens (who were not nobly titled) could do so too if they can afford it? Anyone know? Or were there laws forbidding that in Henry VIII’s time?

Question from Jane - Anne's possible pardon, etc.

Being quite a Tudor fanatic I have devoured everything I can get my hands on, both fictional and historical, to do with the Tudor era and though stories differ from author to author it is fairly easy to discern truth from fiction/heresay however I have come stuck at one point....

In the fictional 'The Other Boleyn Girl' novel by Philippa Gregory the storyline tracts around Anne's execution at the end but also of Henry's possible pardon of her to her sister Mary. I have searched and searched and searched but I cannot for the life of me find anything to suggest that Henry even contemplated such a thing (why would he when he had Jane Seymour lined up in readiness to warm his bed?) but it is something that has puzzled me.....does anyone know whether Anne may have been expecting Henry to pardon her or is it something that the author threw in for a more dramatic end to an already dramatic life?

Also, is there any evidence to suggest that Anne and Henry were intimate with each other after her miscarraige in January 1536?

I am hoping someone on here can put my mind at ease!

Question from Sarah - Skipwith family

Does anyone know any information about the Skipwith family at Henry VIII's court?

Question from Arianne - More on Catherine of Aragon's name

Hello, Lara, and anybody else willing to answer,

I have been wondering about Katherine of Aragon's name and its use. I've been looking through several Q&As here on the topic, and it was brought up on the topic "The Wives' Last Names" that "Katherine of Aragon" was only occasionally used during her lifetime, and mostly by her detractors. On that note, I was wondering:

1) Why was it primarily her detractors who used "Katherine of Aragon?" Was it somehow rude?
2) At what point did "Katherine of Aragon" become the generally accepted term to use?
3) What do modern day Spaniards refer to Katherine of Aragon as, i.e. what term would Spanish textbooks use? Do they say "Catalina de Aragon" (which I suppose would be the literal Spanish translation of "Catherine of Aragon"), the more complete "Infanta Catalina De Aragon y Castilla," or something else?

[Note - link below for the previous thread]

Question from Haven leigh - Recommendations for general Tudor history book(s)

Hello, can anyone please recommend a very good book on tudor history. I know they're many, so if you had to choose for someone who is starting to read history books, but a regular book reader..what should I start with?
p.s. I am 22 yrs. old.

[Note - some previous book recommendation threads below]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question from Rachael - Isabella of Castile's age at Catherine's birth

Hi all. While recently re-reading Alison Weir's "Children of England", I noticed that it is stated that during Mary I's first 'pregnancy', she was reminded that her grandmother, Isabella of Castile, bore a child at 52. To my knowledge, Katherine of Aragon was her last child, and Isabella certainly wasn't 52 when she was born! Frustratingly, Weir mentions no source and I was wondering if anybody knew if there was any truth behind this claim?

Question from Cheryl - Biography of Mary Tudor by Anna Whitelock

Has anyone read the new biography of Mary Tudor by Anna Whitelock? It looks interesting, but I aready have two biographies of Mary in my library (by Linda Porter and David Loades) so I was wondering if it offers anything new. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Question from Stephanie - Helena Bonham Carter as Anne Boleyn

Just would like to take a moment to remember Queen Anne Boleyn today. She has been gone for 473 years today.

I also recently saw a version of Henry VIII with Helena Bonham Carter as Anne. I was wondering if anyone has seen this and has an opinion on her performance? I regret to say I was not a fan, I much prefer the vigor of Natalie Dormer. That is personal preference though. Any thoughts, fellow Tudor Fans???

Monday, May 18, 2009

Question from Lynda - Surviving items of Anne Boleyn

Other than her potrait, prayer book and letters from Henry VIII, what items of Anne Boleyn still exist and where are they?

[Note - we've had a similar thread before, but I figured it couldn't hurt to throw it out again in case anyone had additional information. Previous thread below]

Question from Laura - Changes in lawful punishment

Hi im in 7th form (Yr13) at school doing a project on Crime and Punishment.
i can see that you have had many questions on this before but i can find nothing that quite addresses my question and would be grateful for your help!

What were the changes in lawful punishment between 1558 and 1668?
Also is there any info anywhere on the clandestine torture methods sometimes used by government interrogators etc. obviously it was kept under wrap, but do you think there will be any record anywhere?

Thanks! ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Question from Nina - Witch-hunts and belief in witches

How widespread was witch hunting during the Tudor and Stuart Eras?

Did wealthy people believe in witches or just poor people?

[Ed note - related previous thread below]

Question from Jacque - Addressing as Mister v. Master

When were men without titles addressed as 'Mister' as opposed to 'Master'? Was there any variation on the usage of Master/Mister between different social classes?

Question from Anon - More on Anne's ladies in the Tower

What is known about Mrs Stoner, one of the ladies who attended Anne Boleyn in the Tower? And what about her other attendants, Mrs. Cosyns/Coffin and Lady Kingston?

[Ed. note - previous related topic linked below]

Question from Anon - Henry VIII and Jane's marriage

Where did Henry VIII and Jane Seymour get married?

Question from Monica - Morely Old Hall and Devizes Castle

I see that Morley Old Hall, Norfolk and Devizes Castle, Wiltshire are both up for sale (a spare £2.5m anyone?) Did Henry VIII ever visit these houses? I know that Devizes Castle belonged to Catherine of Aragon, but did she spend any time there? And is Morley Old Hall connected to Jane, Lady Rochford?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Question from Sarah - Margaret Bryan's title of baroness

Wikipedia says that Margaret Bryan, governess to Mary and Elizabeth, 'claimed' to have been made a baroness in her own right. This seems a strange statement; Starkey says that Bryan was made a baroness in her own right (as her husband had died). What is the truth?

Question from Jacque - Naming conventions

Was there a specific way people (specifically the higher classes) named their children? would it be correct to to say that they usually tried to use names that were in their family? If so, would these be names from the father's side only, or might names from the mother's side be used as well?

Question from Jacque - Gentry income sources

From where did members of the gentry get money to live off of?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Question from Alex - Two questions on Edward VI

I got two questions about Edward VI;

I know that the prince and the pauper story is not real history. But I was watching the lady jane movie and when Edward and Jane were walking together. Edward asked Jane if she played with puppets. Is this a sign that Edward would rather be like other boys then a member of the royal family.

I seen lots of verisons of tudor films have have people acting as Edward VI. Mainy Brown, Blonde, Red hair. But mosty Brown hair. What colour hair did Edward VI have in real life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Question from Tracey - Erik of Sweden's letters to Elizabeth I

Erik of Sweden expended a lot of effort over quill and paper wooing Elizabeth I during the early years of her reign. He really seemed interested in having her as his wife, much more so than the Archduke Charles and other members of the Hapsburg family.

Are his letters still around? Perhaps in the British Library?

Thanks! Tracey

Question from Anon - Anne Luke

Does anyone know anything about Anne Luke, Henry VIII's nurse?

Question from Gervase - Recreating faces from skulls

I have always wondered if they ever exhumed the skulls of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I,Mary Stuart etc., what they actually looked liked should they have been allowed to work on their skulls ( sounds horrible of me huh?) recreating their facial features. I sound goory even to myself, but I ,as well as all of you, are fascinated with these people and just to be there once to pay my respects to persons I ac tually feel so familiar with would be a soulful joy!

Question from Stefanie - Knight of the Body

I have been interested in Tudor history for awhile and I'm especially curious about everyday life at court at the time.

Then recently I stumbled over the term 'Knight of the Body', while browsing through Letters and Papers of King Henry VIII's reign and now I am wondering what duties a Knight of the Body had? It is apparently something different from being a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, but I can't find any good information on it. Does anyone know what a Knight of the Body actually did at court?

(I'm interested in the daily life of a Lady-in-waiting and the Gentleman of the Privy Chamber as well, so any book recommendations or further online sources on them are very welcome, too!)

[Ed. note - here is one previous thread kind of related to the last part of the question:]

Question from Sarah - Amount of information on Tudor v. Stuart crime and punishment

Hey guys, why is there sooo much more information on crime and punishment in the tudor period and hardly any on the stuart period ?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Question from Taylor - Graveyard outside St. Peters ad Vincula, etc.

I have a couple questions, I am not sure if anyone can help me. These are all rather morbid questions, I am just too curious...

1. I have read on here there was a graveyard outside of St Peters ad Vincula back in the day, was in torn down? Were the bodies left there? What kind of monarch would authorize the destruction of a graveyard?

2. Are the bones of Anne Boleyn, Jane Grey, Katherine Howard, etc... buried in some sort of vault or are they just buried beneath the floor in the ground?

3. I have visisted Westminster abbey quite a few times, and I just do not understand how that many people can be buried there. Like for example Mary and Elizabeth, their shrine is this big thing above ground, are their caskets buried under ground or are they enclosed within the sculpture?

I think the reason I am so fascinated by this is beacuse to me all of these people from history seem almost... fictional to me, like their stories are so interesting and I've read so many books about them that I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that they are real and they existed... haha that sounds dumb since I know they were real. Anyways, thanks for the help!

[Ed. note - The second and third questions have already been discussed in the threads below]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Assassination of Henry's uncle/ambassador from "The Tudors"

I was wondering about something that was portrayed in the first episode of season I of The Tudors. The murder of Henry's "uncle," the ambassador to Urbino murdered by the French. I know the historical facts are not accurate in this series, but I am wondering if this incident was based on a real life incident?

[Ed. note - The question of who the uncle was came up a while back, but the question about the assassination of an ambassador hasn't been addressed that I know of. In the previous thread it seems that none of the real potential candidates for the "uncle" were murdered, but was there perhaps a real assassination that was rolled into this character?]

Previous thread:

Question from Monica - Katherine Parr as "nurse"

Do you think that Catherine Parr played a nurse's role to the ageing Henry? I have read this so often, I've never questioned it, but I recently heard that it would not have been acceptable at the time.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Question from Cathi - Henry VIII letting Mary wed when younger

Why didn't Henry VIII let Mary marry when she was younger?

He knew Edward would be his only sons, and Mary would be next in line. Hence, she would need to keep the Tudor line going?

Question from Monica - Anne of Cleves' title

Was Anne of Cleves a princess? She is often described as such, but as the sister of a duke, I thought she was 'Lady Anne of Cleves', of an important ducal family?

Question from Zoe - Group portrait of Babington plotters

I have been reading about the Babington Plot and how Anthony Babington had commissioned a group portrait of the plotters to celebrate their mission to free Mary Queen of Scots.
Does anyone know if the portrait still exists and if so, where it can be seen?
I've tried searching Google Images but no luck.
Thanks in advance

Question from Haven leigh - Killing of children after rebellion

Hello, thanks to all who answered my question
I also want to know why or even if Henri killed children during the rebellion against him. On the tv show brandon killed them too. Im not sure the name of this rebellion but I assume it occurred around the same time Jane was pregnant or died.

[Ed note - I'm assuming Haven Leigh is thinking of The Pilgrimage of Grace, which was just recently shown on "The Tudors"]

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Question from Kate - Music recommendations

Hi everyone. I absolutely love everything that has to do with Henry the VIII and the Tudor Dynasty. I've looked around and tried to find music from that era but have not come across anything. I was wondering if anyone knew of any Tudor court music available.
Thank you.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Question from haven leigh - Manipulation of Henry VIII by factions

I have been watching the show The Tudors- I know very fake but JRM is very sexy but I digress
My question is On the show it seems like Henri is so easily manipulated by all the people around him. His friends, advisers, and in laws. The Boyeln men and Seymours. Is this realistic? Was he that stupid not to see that people just used him to score personal scores.
Als0- did he really just "dump" his children as soon as he was done with their mothers- Mary and Elizabeth.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Question from Katlyn R. - Contemporary description of George Boleyn

I know that there are no portraits definitively identified as being of George Boleyn - but are there any that are thought to be "maybe" of him? Likewise, are there any contemporary descriptions of his looks?

Question from Jacquie - List of Henry VIII's palaces

Does anyone have a list or know where I can see a list of all of Henry VIII's palaces?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Question from Lesley - Format of a Tudor wedding

I'm trying to find out the general format of a Tudor wedding. I'm particularly interested in the type and structure of a wedding in 1535. It would be an ordinary couple, living in a small village. For example, where would the wedding have taken place - bride's home? Would it have been a catholic ceremony? Did the bride and groom receive gifts from guests. etc. Thank you.

Question from luvprue1 - Elizabeth's investigations into her parent's marriage

Is was once stated that early years of Elizabeth’s reign she did some investigation into her parent’s marriage to find out rather , or not it was valid. Is that true? Does anyone know what she found out?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Question from Jacquie - Orphans

If a child of noble or gentry rank was orphaned, what would happen to him or her in Tudor times?

Question from Lady Hobby - May Day

Happy May day to you all

I was thinking did the tudors celabrate may day and if so how

was it just in the villages as it is today and was it with morris dancers and may poles

Lady Hobby

Question from Nina - Elizabeth and Mary's burial

Was Elizabeth I buried on top of her sister? Why was this done?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Question from Monica - Shelton-Skelton link

I've been reading that Mary (Madge) Shelton, Henry VIII's mistress, may have been distantly related to John Skelton. Is there a proven link?