Monday, October 26, 2009

Question from Lee - Northwick Park portrait of Jane Grey

Hello, does anyone know anything about the "Northwick Park Portrait" thought to be of Lady Jane Grey? Eric Ives has just printed a picture of it in his new book. Does this have any connection with her?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Question from Jacque - Drinking water in Tudor England

I understand that in Tudor England people mainly drank wine and ale, usually diluted with water, but did anyone ever drink just straight water? Or was it so bad that they couldn't, even if they were wealthy people? (I read somewhere that the wealthy did sometimes drink water, but I think it was an unreliable source, so I thought I'd check.) I know that Margaret Beaufort said Catherine of Aragon should get used to drinking wine since the water in England wasn't good for drinking, but I've also heard that Prince Arthur called for water the morning after his wedding night.

Question from Diane - Poetry of Mary Queen of Scots

I've got a question about the poetry of Mary Queen of Scots. In the 1971 movie, "Mary Queen of Scots," Vanessa Redgrave sings a song during the opening credits as Mary and Francois are running from the castle to the river. The song is called "Vivre et Mourir" and the lyrics are from a poem by Mary herself. Does anyone know what specific poem this is and where I can find it? The English title would be "To live and to die."

Question from joycem - Monuments to and writings of Jane Grey

Have any statues, or monuments etc ever been erected to commemorate Lady Jane Gray ? afeter all she did pretty much die a mayter to the Protestant faith. I also lived for a while in Leicester and apart from visting the remains of Bradgate Hall in Bradgate park I dont recall seeing anything their either. Also why is she not commemorated as a Queen at the Tower displays? one of the Beefeaters told me it is because she was never officially crowned , but Catherine Howard wasnt either and she is refered to as a Queen there.
I think Jane gray never received the recognition she deserved.
Also raed somewhere , dont know if fact or fiction that after Janes execution Frances Brandon took some of Janes writings and they were published what happened to those? if they existed

New posts coming shortly

Sorry to the people who submitted questions this week - I had one of the busiest work weeks possible, and I get to do it all again next week! So I took today off to give me a long weekend to catch up on a lot of stuff, including Tudory things. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Question from Brittany - Three Blind Mice

I was recently told by one of my teachers that the rhyme "The Three Blind Mice" had a reference to Queen Mary as the farmer's wife and that three protestant nobles were the three blind mice. Is this actually true or just a story believed to be true? And if true, then would the tone be more positive or negative to Mary? I think that the line "they all went after the farmer's wife" could be that the nobles might've wished to marry her or could be that the nobles "went after" her in a plot to put Elizabeth on the throne. Any help to clear my confusion would be helpful.

Question from Sarah - Executions in Edward VI's reign

I was wondering mainly if Edward VI executed any people during his reign and if so under what orders and sentences were they punished for.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Question from Merlin - Hoods and fabrics

I have a few questions about dress.

Firstly, hoods- I've read several times that Anne Boleyn was responsible for introducing the French hood to the English court. I'd be interested to know when the French hood started to replace the English gable hood and what role Anne really played in popularising it.

Secondly, all those heavy fabrics (brocade and velvet, cloth of gold, etc) worn over petticoats, stomachers, etc...whilst England isn't renowned for its hot summers and whilst I'm sure most palaces and large houses were pretty drafty, there must have been times in fine weather when court ladies were absolutely sweltering. Was there an equivalent of light-weight, summer clothes?

Question from Faith - Rapidity of Anne's fall

I have read a good bit about Henry VIII and his court, his wives & advisors, etc., butI've never understood the reasons for Anne Boleyn's swift fall and why Henry had her executed. I know that Cromwell turned against her,which also gave the enemies she had always had more of an opportunity to do her harm. But I don't understand why that was enough for Henry to end the marriage after so short a time, after courting Anne devotedly for 7-8 years, breaking with the Catholic Church and basically turning his kingdom upside down to marry her.

And even if he was willing to end the marriage, why not allow her to retire to a convent, or agree to the divorce (on the basis of her pre-contract with Thomas Wyatt or whatever)and live quietly in the country, like Anne of Cleves did.

What do others think? Thank you.

[Related thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Lisa - Tudor understanding of the world

My daughter aged 12 had to catch up on a missed lesson - she has to draw the 'tree' that represents the Tudors understanding of the world - like a ladder apparently going from top - God in Heaven, Angels, People, Birds, Sea/Fish, Animals, Land, Planets, Devil in Hell
We have been unable to find any info/pics could anyone point us in the right direction
Thanks so much, Lisa

Question from Diane - News on the Bothwell re-burial effort

Three years ago there was a effort by the Hepburn family and various members of the Scottish government to have the body of Mary, Queen of Scots' third husband. James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, brought back to Scotland from Denmark.
Apparently, Queen Margrethe II was not opposed to the idea. Has Bothwell been returned to Scotland? If he hasn't, what happened?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Question from Kaity - Tudor constitutional documents and heresy laws

I am doing a project and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Tudor Constitutional Documents.
I was really wondering about the medieval heresy laws that were re- introduced during Mary's reign and what exactly they were. I know about what they were but I am more interested if anyone knows anything about the wording or what the laws actually stated.


Question from tudor fan - Freedom of travel for Mary, etc.

If this question has already answered, I aplogize, please just direct me into the correct archives.

When Cathrine of Aragon was dying, Henry VIII would not let their daughter Mary visit her.
Why could she not just take a few trustworthy friends and go for a little trip? Henry VIII would, I'm sure find out, but so what, he would have been upset but would have forgiven her later.
Why were they not allowed to travel freely? Also, same for Anne Boleyn, when the noose was getting tight why not sneak off and start a new life elswhere?

Thank you for any comments that will help me understand tudor times.

Question from Helen - Catherine's first pregnancy

Was Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Arthur Tudor ever consummated? Alison Weir's book 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII" implies that the marriage between Catherine and Arthur had not been consummated: "she was a religious woman of sound principles; it is far likely therefore that she was guilty of deception than she was telling the truth". However, Joanne Denny provides some evidence that the marriage was consummated "for clearly somebody [Arthur] had been worried enough about the fact that the bride was not yet pregnant to write to Rome" about her excessive "religious" practices that might have prevented pregnancy ('Anne Boleyn: A new Life of England's Tragic Queen'). Denny also mentions that Catherine might have lied to Henry VII and the court about her first pregnancy - is it possible that Catherine was not truthful?

[The majority of this question was answered in previous threads (see below), but I wasn't sure about the last part on Catherine's first pregnancy. - Lara]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Question from Emily - The Tudor period

Hi I was just wondering what period the Tudors lived in. I was wondering wether it was 1600's or 1500's or both?????



Question from C. Leach - Jane Grey V. Elizabeth to succeed Edward VI

Why didn't the people who plotted to get Lady Jane Grey on the throne after Edward VI's death, plot to get Elizabeth on the throne instead, when she was a protestant, too. (As she was more closely related to Henry VIII).
I am 8 years old - but this is not homework. Thank you.

Question from Vonya - Romanov royal jewels

I know this is not exactly about the Tudors, but I hope someone can help me with my question. I would really appreciate any information and/or assistance anyone can offer me.

Have all the Romanov royal jewels been found and/or accounted for? Is there any reliable record of the items in their possession when they were taken into custody? I realize this may be morbid, but were any jewels found with their remains? I've always found it troubling that several items known to have been owned by the Romanovs somehow showed up on other "royals" after their horrible deaths....I can't help wondering how those pieces survived when their former owners had been so brutally murdered.

Thank you so very much for your help.....

[I don't post very many off topic questions, but I thought there were a few people here who have researched the Romanovs who might be able to help? - Lara]

Question from Kate - Ideas for dissertation on Anne Boleyn

Hi, I'm in my second year at university and have to start thinking about my dissertation for next year already. I'm not usually very organised but I really want to get a head start where I can. I would like to do something about Anne Boleyn, although what exactly I don't know. Maybe something about her role within 16th century England and her influence upon Henry VIII. I find her absolutely fascinating and know I will be able to keep up my interest in her throughout the next two years. I was just wondering if anyone could perhaps point me in the right directions regarding to reading, where to find appropriate information, places to visit etc? Any ideas on a more precise question? I really would appreciate any help I could get, and have found this site very useful already!
If you'd prefer to message me that's fine :)
Many thanks, Kate.

Question from Helen - Autopsy of Catherine of Aragon

It has been written in various sources that Catherine of Aragon had some kind of growth on her heart, or discoloration after her death. This has led some reseraches to believe that she might have died from melanoma rather than some other kind of cancer. My question is - why was an autopsy performed on Catherine? Was there any suspicion as to the cause of her death, or was it a common thing to do - although I've never heard of the autopsy results for Elizabeth I or Mary Tudor, for example.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Question from Deanna - Jane Rochford and Thomas Cromwell

Did Lady Jane Rochford have a child with Thomas Cromwell and in the book Vengence is Mine?

Question from Daniele - Info on Tracy Borman

Hello! I am a long time reader and first time question-asker.

First, thanks for the amazing site, Lara!

My question is this: How trustworthy of a writer is Tracy Borman? Is she an actual historian, or more of a popular history writer a la Alison Weir? I ask because her newest title, Elizabeth's Women, looks interesting, but I don't want to waste my time if she is a "fake" historian and likely to mess up the details. Thanks!

Question from Mary Ann - Accuracy of "Wolf Hall"

I read on the New York Times web site that Hilary Mantel has won the 2009 Man Booker prize for her novel "Wolf Hall". I know that it's a good read; I was wondering if anyone knows how accurate it is. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Question from Analisa - Sources for the economy of England after the Dissoluion

What sources are out there concerning the economy of England, in particular, the villages surround monasteries, after Henry VIII closed them down?

[This is in follow-up to Analisa's previous question regarding a research topic, liked below. - Lara]

Question from Kaity - Punishments for heretics and additional resources

I am completing a project for our major year 7 english grade
(70% ) called IRP (independent research project)- its based on historical fiction.

My question and area of research is based around Tudor Religion and Heresy and if the treatment of heretics was morally justified.
During the process I am gathering several different branches of information.
The main thing that I am focusing on at the moment is the punishments for heretics. I know mostly about burnings and hangings,executions but was wondering if there were any other forms of punishment and if anyone knew any information that is specifically relevant to my topic or think that could be of use!

Thanks so much!


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Question from Shannon - Mary and Cromwell's conspiracy against Anne Boleyn

I read in one of the Alison Weir books, I think, that Cromwell plotted to bring down Anne Boleyn and that Chapuys knew this. The book also mentions that Princess Mary approved of the plot before it was put into place. Can you shed more light on this? Was Mary actually in conspiracy with Cromwell?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Question from Jennie - Elizabeth I's burial place

why wasnt elizabeth 1st not buried with her mother anne boleyn?