Monday, July 06, 2009

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.


  1. I dislike seeing a post unanswered so...

    This is an area where your fiction writing talents can take off. The exact emotional relationship between historical figures is difficult to accurately assess - much as our everyday emotional relationships are difficult to pin down. Some days we like members of our family and some days - not so much.

    A generally accepted interpretation of Anne's relationship with her uncle the Duke of Norfolk is that he was a political man maneuvering the chess pieces of his extended family to further dynastic ambitions. When she was high in Henry's regard, he was affectionate towards her, when she fell from grace he distanced himself from her so much that he served as a leading member of the court trying her for treason.

    I would suggest that you consult Eric Ives's book on Anne as it is considered the most current and authoritative text on all things Anne.

  2. I think there was some religious controversy. Norfolk and the Howards were staunch Catholics (though Norfolk's son, the Earl of Surrey and his sister Mary, the Duchess of Richmond may have entertained reformist leanings. Anne was a supporter of the Reformation. Her personality,also,was difficult to deal with. It is basic human nature--when a person who has previously had no real power of their own finds him or herself in a position of enjoying it, it often goes to their heads. I think Anne may have been no different in this respect. Norfolk had been interested in her as a tool to further the family ambitions of the Howards while she was in favor with the King. Once she tasted the freedom of some power of her own, she probably liked using it to I guess, rebel, against her uncle and his ambitions.


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