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. http://alisonweir.org.uk/news/index.asp

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.

Question from Marjorie - Elizabeth I's reluctance to marry

Elizabeth I was so guarded about her right to the English throne. I've always wondered why she did not marry and have children to secure her royal line. She knew if she did not have children her successor would be the child of Mary , Queen of Scots, who was her royal antagonist for so many years. Are there any theories as to her refusal to marry?

[Note - I thought this had come up already, but I couldn't find it in the archives. Perhaps I'm confusing the discussion here with threads on my email list? I know it is a topic that has come up several times, so maybe that's what I'm thinking of.]

Question from Haven Leigh - "The Autobiography of Henry VIII" and "The Tudors"

Hello all
I have decided to start reading "The autobiography of Henry VIII" . My question is this: the book and the tv show "the tudors" are so similar! Does anyone 1) notice this too? 2) or know if the tv show was directly based on the this fiction book?

I know the author Margret George used lots of history books, researched her facts, etc. But I am just curious if it is just a coincidence the similarities between his book and the Tudors or the producers and authors both just used common known facts. Thank you.

PS- I truly enjoy this book and am wondering how accurate it is.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Question from Katie - More on pearls from Anne's "B" necklace

I've got a real interest in Anne Boleyn and have been really fascinated by some of the things some light research has shown up. One thing I'm really curious about is that as I understand it the 3 pearls from Anne Boleyn's famous "B" necklace today reside in the Queen Elizbeth crown. Does anyone know how they came to be there, i.e. who chose that they should be included? or if they were previously anywhere else? Many Thanks.

[Note - related previous threads below]




Question from Nanette - Season Three of "The Tudors"

Has anyone seen the new season of 'The Tudors' (covering Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves)? I don't have cable tv, so all I know of the new episodes are the clips I've seen here and there.

My question is - what are your impressions of the new season? Is it historically accurate (I know, that's can be a silly question considering how many liberties the writers have taken), how are the new queens, do you like it/hate it, and so forth?

And about the Anne of Cleves episodes, how does the script handle the controversy about her supposed ugliness?

Question from Holly - Talk of Henry's marriages in other countries

I'm wondering if anyone knows what was being said in other countries as Henry's wife count stacked up. It seems like some eyebrows would have been raised, in particular after Anne of Cleves became Henry's "sister". Was England an important enough ally to just ignore Henry's "quirks"?