Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Anointing and status of Queens

I have a question about anointed queens, specifically Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII divorced Catherine and had Anne tried and convicted and executed for treason. In the latter case, she lost her title of marquess of Pembroke and her marriage to the king was also declared invalid. Could the fact they were both anointed queens ever be taken from them? Did they have to be considered to be legally married to the king to be crowned and anointed? Henry tried to say Catherine was never his legal wife, and only the Princess Dowager of Wales. Anne was a convicted traitor. But did this effect their status as anointed queens, no matter what Henry or the courts did?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Question from Laura - Origins of Edward VI grave rumor

I've come across one or two passing mentions of Edward VI's grave not holding him, and the real king being buried somewhere in a field. I'm trying to source out any original mentions of this, or at least a place where the rumour might have started?

[We discussed the subject of this rumor in the thread below, but not the origins of it. Anyone know more about it? - Lara]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Question from Jacque - Keepers and bailiffs of manors

I noticed that in Letters and Papers there are sometimes grants given to favoured courtiers where they are to be the "keeper" of such and such a manor. What does this mean? Also what does it mean to be the "bailiff" of a manor? What would keepers and bailiffs have had to do?

Question from Marilyn R. - Info requests from Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse

I shall be going to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse shortly. Has anybody any questions they would like me to ask, if there is an opportunity?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Question from Analisa - Research paper topic suggestions

Hello! I love this website and all of the people that contribute, so thanks in advance for all your help :)

I am taking my first college class (though I am still in high school) and I have to do a research paper. (its English 131 for those who are curious)

I need a very narrow research topic. I will have access to a large university library system, so sources shouldn't be a problem. I want to do something related to Henry VIII or Elizabeth I.

Any suggestions?


Question from Kirsty - Primary sources for representations of 16th c. aristocratic women

Hello there,
I am about to start back at uni in my final year and I am thinking of doing my dissertation on: Representations of aristocratic women from the 16th century.
As it is a dissertation it must use primary sources and it is here where I have been struggling.
I have only really found one which would be of use which is the The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by John Knox.
I want to talk about how this period although being male dominated witnessed the coronation of two queens and a few women holding significant power/influence and being at the forefront of society.
Therefore I would really appreciate any ideas about other primary sources that may relate to the topic and any books would be great too!

Thank you very much.

Question from Lindsey - Help with Latin translation

I have at long last gotten around to reading the late John Dent's "The Quest for Nonsuch" (1962, 1970 2nd ed. reprinted 1981), and I am also looking forward to seeing Martin Biddle's book on Nonsuch as well. Palaces which no longer exist tantalize me to no end (especially when drawings and paintings of some of them still exist).

Now, my question: would someone out there be kind enough to translate the following Latin couplet which is included in the John Dent book (he included the following two lines which have been attributed to John Leland, librarian to Henry VIII, without giving non-Latin scholars a translation). The couplet reads:

Hanc quia non habent similem, laudare Britanni
Saepe solent, nullique parem cognomine dicunt.

I'm happy to say that most authors these days include translations from the original language of lines or paragraphs they include in their writings and do not assume that all their readers are multi-lingual! Thank you--

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Question from Pamela - Stillbirths and miscarriages

Why were there so many stillborns and miscarriages during the 1400's and 1500's? Why did so may infants die withing a few months of their birth? It appears that King Henry VIII's wives had much trouble giving him living heirs..Was this true of the general population and of other Kings before and after Henry?? What was the problem??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Question from Rachel - Edward Tudor, son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how old Edward Tudor the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York lived to be. I thought he died in infancy but Wikipedia states he lived to be 15 years old. I know Wikipedia is not always reliable but I could not seem to find this information in any of my books or online. Thanks!

[Update Sept. 29 - I've now closed this thread since a lot comments have strayed pretty far from the original subject. - Lara]

Question from Jacque - Edward Seymour's annulment from Catherine Fillol

I understand that Edward Seymour's first marriage to Catherine Fillol was annulled because she had an affair with Edward's father. Was this (adultery/incest) an actual grounds for an annulment? I know there has been previous discussion on this blog about grounds for an annulment, but this was not given as one of the reasons. Also I have heard before that Catherine Fillol entered a nunnery after her marriage was annulled. Is this true? If so, was it absolutely necessary for her to do this or just a "good idea" for a woman who has had her marriage annulled to do so?

[Related threads linked below]

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Question from Duncan - Builders of Oatlands Palace


Do you know where I should start searching for information about the building of Oatlands Palace at Weybridge.

I'm trying to research the people who actually built it as I've got fed up with reading "Henry VIII built his palace at Oatlands...", etc.

Whatever Henry is noted for, bricklaying doesn't appear in the list...

I guess that there should be accounts that should list some who were paid directly by the exchequer for their labour and may be other documents as well.

Researching Tudor times is well outside of my expertise - I tend to fall away before the 1840 census but I'm looking at the local history of Oatlands and the Palace is obviously very significant - hence getting fed up with "Henry built.."


Duncan Amos

Question from Carole - Buying meat in Tudor times

Where did people buy their meat from in Tudor times. Was there such a thing as a butcher's shop?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Question from Katlyn - Recommendations for resources on the men of Henry VIII's court

Hello! I have been reading this site for a long time but post only occasionally. I am in my junior year of college and working on a year-long, thesis-style research project about Henry VIII. My topic, though not completely narrow since I haven't done the appropriate amount of research for it to be thus, is a study of male members of Henry VIII's political / personal circle. These will include Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Howard, Thomas Cromwell, and Charles Brandon. My aim will be to evaluate each man's relationship to Henry and each of their downfalls, save Brandon. From this I hope to be able to make conclusions about the political and social atmosphere at the time, factionalism, and so on.

There is available work on each of these men, but I am hoping that someone could recommend the most applicable books, be they biographies of one of the above (or anyone you can think of that I should add to the list?), something on Henry pertaining to this topic, or a general book on faction or these types of relationships. I would love to go all out and just buy anything that I think is related, but that would not be wise. I am hoping that you all could help me choose some appropriate sources. I would appreciate it! Thank you!

Question from Colleen - Elderly household servants

What would happen to household servants once they became too old to properly do their jobs? Was some sort of retirement an option, or did they work basically until they dropped dead? Thanks!

Question from Lindsey - Cousins of Anne of Cleves

I have a question regarding the cousins of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife. I recently read John Guy's Queen of Scots: the True Story of Mary Stuart (entitled "My Heart is My Own" in Britain) which in turn led me to Leonie Frieda's very fine bio Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France. Interestingly enough, I discovered in the Catherine de Medici bio that Henri, Duke of Guise (Mary Stuart's cousin) was married to Catherine of Cleves and that Catherine's sister, Marie of Cleves, was married to the Bourbon prince Henry, Prince de Conde.

Now Catherine and Marie must have been cousins to Anne, but how? Was Anne of Cleves' father the brother to the grandfather or even the great-grandfather of the aforementioned Cleves sisters? Biography and genealogy, whether royal or of the nobility, holds a great fascination for me and I read everything I can on these subjects like a crazy man! Any enlightenment will be welcome.

Question from Diane - Elizabeth I and the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley

How did Elizabeth deal with the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley after she became Queen? Did she allow any sympathy for them to be expressed in her presence because of their age and the reasons why Jane was compelled to take the throne? (Mainly, King Edward's Devise for the Succession)? Would her opinion of Guildford at least be softened by her friendship with his sister, Mary; her regard for his brother, Ambrose; and most importantly, her love for his brother, Robert?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Question from Zoe - Atheism in Tudor England

First of all, thanks to Lara for this amazing resource and to all the knowledgable contributors.

We all know that conforming to the Anglican church was required by law but does anyone have any examples of people who denied the very existence of God?
The only person I can think of who comes close is Christopher Marlowe but he would probably have denied it had be been questioned on his beliefs before his murder.
I just wonder how widespread atheism might have been amidst all the turmoil of the Reformation, and if there could have been a significant underground of unbelievers - folk more concerned with the daily chore of survival than with what distant churchmen were telling them to believe?
I realise these people would usually be undocumented but I thought it was worth asking anyway!
Thanks for any input

Monday, September 07, 2009

Question from Jacque - First cousin marriage

Prior to the Reformation in Tudor England, was it okay to marry your first cousin with no generations removed? Are there any examples of this and did they require a dispensation?

Question from Laurence - Alison Sim

I have to complete a fact-file on the historian Alison Sim for homework but cannot find anything on her. I am an upper sixth student studying A2's.
The reason for the homework is practice for an interpretation piece of coursework where we are supposed to look at historian's interpretions of certain aspects of Elizabeth I.
Do you know where I may find any of this information on Alison Sim? I hope you can help me but no worries if you can't or the question is not quite what you're used to!

Question from Tracey - Fraudulent sources and rewriting books

Sorry...this isn't Tudor related, but it seems to me this subject was brought up months ago...mainly 'cause it had to do with historical research and how careful the historian/writer needs to be.

Veronica Buckley's bio "The Secret Wife of Louis XIV" is now finally published. It was delayed due to a major source Ms. Buckley used being found to be a fraud. My understanding is that she had to go back into the book and delete any information added that came directly from that supposed journal of King Louis'.

My question(s)...did the author 'rewrite' the book and are the chances of picking up details from the bad source still between the pages? I can find nothing referencing this episode and I'd rather not read a book where it's known from the get-go that information is going to be incorrect.

Thanks! Tracey

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Periodic reminder about email addresses and searching the archives

Since I've received a couple of questions that have already been addressed previously and I don't have email addresses to reply to the submitters, I thought it might be time to run this reminder again. I purposely don't require anyone to put an email address on the submission form, but I do encourage it. I'm the only person who will see the address and it is helpful to me if you submit a question that has already been discussed or needs to be clarified. Also, since there are now 1000 posts on the site, the odds are getting good that your question may have already been asked. So, I would encourage people to use one of the search boxes on the left side of the blog. The top box searches only the Q&A blog and the bottom one searches the whole site. Thanks!

Question from Jacque - Men wearing wedding rings

I understand that it was common for married women to wear wedding rings, but I have never heard that married men wore wedding rings in Tudor times, but in this picture, for example, (link is below) of William Carey, husband of Mary Boleyn, he appears to be wearing a wedding ring as there are no other rings on his visible fingers. Is it probably a wedding ring? If so, did some men wear them?,William01.jpg

Question from Lee - De Lisle article on the Spinola letter

De Lisle has written an article for The New Criterion where she argues that the Spinola letter containing the only detailed description of Lady Jane Grey is a fake does anybody know anything about this?

[Note from Lara - Ms. de Lisle emailed me about this earlier this week, but I haven't had a chance to read the article and write a post for the news blog yet. Feel free to discuss it here and I'll just link back to this discussion when I finally get that post done.]

Question from Trezza - The Princes in the Tower

I have a question about the so-called princes in the tower. Is there a general consensus as to their fate? If they were murdered, who is the most likely suspect? And is it possible that they did not die, but were possibly taken elsewhere?

[This topic has been touched on in other threads, but hasn't had a thread of its own.]