Monday, December 27, 2010

Question from Louise - Elizabeth Tilney

A question about Elizabeth Tileny lady-in -waiting to Lady Jane grey who is apparently my ancestress. I would love to know if Elizabeth is related to Philip Tilney or Agnes Tileny of Shelly and possibly a cousin of Anne Boleyn or Madge Shelton. Does anyone know?

Question from Ria - Entertainment in Henry VIII's reign

i am in year 8 and i wanted to know about entertainment at the time of king henry the eighth, particulary acting and plays. i do know that later on a globe theatre was build but during therein of elizabeth I. thank you

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Question from Lindsay - Sources for background on Anne of Cleves

I am preparing a paper to present as a writing sample for a Graduate level history program I am attempting to enter come Fall of 2011, and am looking for information on the atmosphere in which Anne of Cleves grew up, specifically her home life after her fathers death. Also, any documentation on her brief marriage to Henry VIII would be good as well, as this is a comparative study of the two countries and their courts at the time just before, during, and just after this marriage took place. Books or website information would be helpful, the more specific the better. Please do not include Wikipedia information, as I need legitimate sources for a bibliography. Thank you!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Question from Nancy - Thomas Becket in Tudor times

Why is Thomas Becket sometimes called Thomas a Becket? Is that how people referred to him in Tudor times?

Question from Sarah - Arthur Tudor's birth date

Arthur, Prince of Wales was born 8 months into his parents' marriage. Is there any possibility that they consummated the relationship before the official wedding day? Or even that Arthur had a different father? Was it ever suggested by contemporaries or those later?

I was wondering because I was reading about the Princes in the Tower being declared illegitimate, and thinking that someone could have used Arthur's premature birth as an excuse to depose him, if he had become king.

[Most of this question was covered in the thread linked below. - Lara]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Question from Charli - Mr Colley and Mr Thorp and sumptuary laws

In the inventory of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey in 1546, there is an addition that 'a Robe with a hood of crymsen vellut' was delivered to Mr Colley and Mr Thorp by Sir John Gates.

I have hunted high and low for Mr Colley and Mr Thorp and I still can't find who they are. I was wondering if you knew who these people were!?

Also do you know what the earls could not wear under the sumptuary laws?

Thank you!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Question from Elen - Info on book "The Private Lives of the Tudor Monarchs"

Hi guys,

I stumbled across a book called "The private lives of the Tudor Monarchs" by Chrsitopher Falkus (it's available on
Has anyone read that book and can recommend it? I'd love to hear what you know about it!


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Question from Amanda - Items shown in a first season episode of "The Tudors"

I have been re-watching Season 1 of the Tudors and during the Sweating Sickness episode, when the sickness has ended and the so a church service the show pillows with what look like spurs or some type of bells on them. I have looked and can not find what they are to represent and if there is any historical accuracy in this part of the show. Do you know any information on this?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Question from Brianna - Sources for Elizabeth's decision not to marry

I'm looking for more information on Elizabeth I's decision not to marry, I am in 10th grade taking AP European history and I am writing a paper on this subject, I would like to organize my paper by personal, political, and religious reasons why she did not marry. I am having trouble finding specific sources about this particular subject because there is such a vast amount of information out there about Elizabeth and this topic is pretty narrow. Thankyou so much in advance! Your help will be much appreciated.

[Related thread linked below. - Lara]

Monday, November 29, 2010

Question from Marie - Witchcraft and Paganism in Elizabethan/Stuart England

I just wanted to ask a few questions:

1)How did people view witches in Elizabethan/Stuart England?

2)Did anyone really practice witchcraft or was it just people’s paranoia?

3)Before England was Christianized, the religion was Pagan. Did anyone worship Pagan deities in Elizabethan/Stuart England?

4)Was there any aspect of Elizabethan/Stuart culture that was influenced by Paganism?

This is not for a school project, I am just curious and can't find any anwers at the library

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Question from Emma - Channel 5 program on the Death of Amy Robsart Dudley

Hi Lara and everyone

Did any one else catch the UK channel 5 programme last night on Elizabeth and Dudley and who killed his wife? I must admit when they came to the conclusion that it could have been Cecil, I nearly fell off my chair,he was the last man on my mined.

I would love to hear what you all thought about it

Friday, November 19, 2010

Question from Tracey - Marriages at Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey...can 'regular folk' be married there? I can't see the entire structure being closed to the public unless a Royal Wedding takes place inside...but perhaps a private ceremony in a side chapel?

Question from Patricia - Sir Thomas Stewkley

what i would really like is as much information
on henry the viii children who were born out
of wedlock. i would like the information
on sir thomas stewkely of affeton. i want to
know who his real parents were and his children
and his grandchlidren. was sir thomas stekley
the child of henry the viii.

thank you patricia

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Question from Sam - The Brandons choice of their daughter's names

A question regarding names. Have often wondered- why did Mary & Charles Brandon decided to name their daughters Frances and Eleanor? The names seem rather unusual for the time especially in view of the predominence of Marys, Elizabeths and Margarets in the royal house.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Can you believe it? This blog is five years old today! Thanks to everyone, once again, for all of the interesting questions and helpful answers. It's really been a help to me personally since there was no way I would have been able to respond to all of these questions personally over the past five years (we're at 1,285 posts as of today).

Thank you all!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Question from Michael - Humphrey Barroll, page to Elizabeth I

Does anyone have anymore details on Humphrey/Humffrey Barroll/Barrell who is recorded as page to Queen Elizabeth 1 at his marriage at St. Mildred (Bread Street) and St Margaret Moses church, London on 7 January 1596/7 to Martha Boteler. He was buried at All Saints church, Isleworth, London in May 1627.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Question from Nancy - Investigating a murder in Henry VIII's reign

When there was a murder in Henry VIII's time, who investigated it: the coroner, the justice of the peace or the constable? How did these officials work together or overlap--if they did?

Question from Orla - Henry VII's coloring

Just started reading Garrett Mattingly book on Catherine of Aragon and I came across a description of Henry VII (on page 29) anyway Mattingly states that he had 'blond good looks' I always thought Henry VII was dark haired from his portriats, anyone else come across the description of Henry VII as a blond?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Question from Lesley M - Origins of court dwarves

Can anybody tell me if court dwarves were born, or 'produced'. I seem to recall hearing at a lecture that there used to be a village in Sussex or Suffolk that was the centre of 'production'! I think it may have been done using herbs eg knot grass or daisy.

Question from Audrey - Margaret Plantagenet and Margaret Tylle

Are Margaret Plantagenet and Margaret Tylle the same person,if notwhy is she listed as a child if Elizabeth of York and Henry 7th-

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Question from Ann B. - Number of heretics killed in Henry VIII's reign

How many Heretics were killed during Henry VIII's reign??

I'm currently writing a paper on Mary I and i wanted numbers for how many heretics were burned during her father's reign. I know he had a bunch of people killed, such as the Carthusian Monks, but they were not killed for Herecy but left to starve to death for not compiling with the Act of Supremacy.
Everywhere i look it just says 'numious' or 'countless' if you can give me a soild (or approx) number.

IF YOU CAN PLEASE give me a source i would like to look it up myself.

Question from Colleen - Places to travel to for consumption "cures"

Does anyone know if there was a place people traveled to when suffering from consumption (tuberculosis)? I know that in later years it became common for people who could afford it to travel to the Alps, where it was thought that the air would heal their lungs. But in the 16th century, was there a common destination for wealthy people who were afflicted with the disease to go and be "cured"?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Question from Lee - Jane Grey portrait off display at the NPG

Does anyone know why the national portrait gallery has taken the lady jayne portrait off display? It seems such a shame that all that money was spent on it and its not on public display. Are more tests or conservation work being done on it?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Question from Emma Leigh - Henry VIII refered to as "King Harry"


I do have a feeling that these questions have already been answered, however the link that answers my question isn't available anymore.

I am looking for a picture of Amelia Cleves, and also the older Cleves sister Sybilla.

Also just been reading some Alison Weir books, and Henry is refered to as King Harry, never read this before or maybe I have and just havent noticed. But am just curious to why this is..
Thank you
Sorry if the questions have been answered/asked before.

[Links to the answers on the first question posted below. - Lara]

Question from G D'oca - Details of Philip and Mary's wedding ceremony

Have we any detailed reports of Mary Tudor and Philip's wedding ceremony?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Question from JHGirl - Someone at all or most of Henry VIII's weddings

Is there anyone (besides Henry himself) who was present at all or most of Henry VIII's six wedding ceremonies? This would imply there was at least one person with whom Henry remained on good terms for most of his life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Question from Melissa - Catherine of Aragon and the painting The Wedding of Cana

I stumbled across a painting of The Wedding of Cana by Flemish artist David Gerard and was struck by the resemblance of the bride in the painting to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first consort. The painting can be seen here:
I know other artists painted Catherine as the Madonna so it seems possible Gerard stuck her in this painting, and he is a contemporary of hers so the time periods would match up, but I can't find any additional information. Does anyone know if this is indeed a representation of Catherine of Aragon?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Question from Marie - Jane Austen's dislike of Elizabeth I

I was watching a documentary on Jane Austin last night. When Jane was a little girl, she wrote a satirical history booked entitled "The history of England." The commentator mentioned that she must have not like Elizabeth I much, because she drew a very unflattering portrait of her.

My question is, why did Jane Austin dislike Elizabeth I so much? Obviously, they lived in different times, so I wondering if in the Regency period of England's history, did people not think of Elizabeth I as "Gloriana" anymore? Why did her memory fall out of favor at this time? Why this change of view?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Question from Marilyn R - Oliver Cromwell and Jasper Tudor

Justin Pollard, writing in this month’s BBC History Magazine, says that Oliver Cromwell’s ancestor Morgan ap Williams “was the son of Joan Tudor, a woman who was probably the illegitimate daughter of Jasper Tudor". I have not heard this before – is it likely that Joan was Jasper’s daughter?

[See below for a previous thread that included info on a rumor of an illegitimate daughter of Jasper. - Lara]

Question from Fred - Thomas More at Catherine of Aragon's coronation

Was Thomas More at the coronation of Catherine of Aragon?

Question from Stephen - Tudor England autobiographies

Autobiographies - any for Tudor England?

Not contemporary puff piece biogs, but personal accounts with insight and observation, written by the person's own hand.

The best link I could find is a bit odd, with a strained academic interpretation:

My favourites are from Europe - they read like picaresque novels:

Italian artist Cellini -

Medical student Platter -

Spanish Armada disaster story by de Cuellar -

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Question from Sara - Relationship of the Boleyn siblings

A few questions regarding the Boleyns.

Did George actually have affairs with any men? Are there any oil paintings of George Boleyn, and Mary Boleyn? Also what was the relationship between Mary, George and Anne? Is there evidence?

I have read a lot of different books that all suggest differently from another, just wanted people's opinions on these matters. :)

[Related previous threads linked below. - Lara] (see comments)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Question from shtove - Deathbed quote of Elizabeth I

Deathbed quote by Elizabeth I - reliable?

"I find that I sent wolves not shepherds to govern Ireland for they have left me nothing but ashes and carcasses to reign over."

My citation for this is F.Chamberlain, The sayings of Queen Elizabeth (London 1923) p.308.

Magnificent (and truthful), but smells of propaganda!

I wonder if this book is worthwhile, and whether anyone has a view on the reliability of the quote.

Quick google yielded a flash of critical invective from JE Neale:

Here on Amazon:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Question from Cara - Westhorpe Hall

Does Westhorpe Hall, where Mary Rose Tudor and the Duke of Suffolk lived, still exist?

Question from Orla - Close friends of Margaret Beaufort


Just wondering if Margaret Beaufort had any notable close friends? (asides from her son)

Question from Liz M - Anne Boleyn poem

Can anyone help me to find a poem about Anne Bolyne pleading to Henry for her life, I heard the poem over fifty years ago and one of the lines went something like this:-

'Her little feet in scarlet shoon they made a pleasant sound across the pavement where the moon made patterns on the ground'

Question from Liz - Forms of address for a queen consort

Forms of address for a queen consort. I have a few questions about this. I'm writing a novel set in the period and want to use the correct terminology where possible. Was 'Majesty' reserved for the king or Queen regnant alone? Did they use 'Ma'am' or is it a more recent development? Was 'Highness' used for a queen consort? How would a servant address for example Jane Seymour when she was queen and how might her brother have addressed her in public?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Question from Jim in St. Louis - Descent of Henry VIII's wives

Were ALL of Henry VIII wives decended from the same ancesestor - namely old Edward III?
I can find that Anne and Katherine Howard are easy (!) to trace back to Edward III, but the others- I'm not so sure.

Question from Robert - Murray Gray claim to the throne

i recently listen to a program on the radio where the subject was about a gentleman called murray gray who he was the rightful heir to the crown due to his lineage from the Tudors true or false

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Question from Stacey - Elizabeth asking about execution

I recently read online that Elizabeth asked Mary that if she was going to be executed to be beheaded by a swordsman from France like her mother, Anne Bolyen was. Is this true?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Question from Laura A - Note from Cromwell to Rochford at trial

In Alison Weir's King and Court, it is stated that, during the trial, Lord Rochford was given a note by Cromwell regarding Anne Boleyn accusation of Henry VIII's impotence (as denounced by Lady Rochford).

I have read elsewhere that Anne Boleyn's brother would have saved his life if he had not read it aloud as this was a great embarrassment for the king.

What can you tell me about this? Is there any truth in it? What are the sources?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Question from Scarlet - Margaret Tudor's annulment from Angus

Was looking for annulment info & a link brought me to a Q & A here regarding the Seymour-Filiol fun, so I said o! why didn't I think of inquiring here first? (probably because I enjoy clicking historical links to see where they lead, but that's beside the point....)

Annulment, in particular, as it relates to Margaret Tudor's from Angus. I'd thought (& as the Seymour question replies bear out) that while Catholics could get what we'd today term a legal separation, one of the parties involved would have to take religious orders or die to free up the other to remarry. Why Campeggio nudged Catherine of Aragon with the convent notion prior to Blackfriars, right?

Angus outlived MT by 6 yrs & married Margaret Maxwell after MTs 1541 demise, so OK, his remarriage seemed in line with the church. But how did MT marry Methven in 1528 while Angus was still breathing, not in a cassock, & in custody of James Vs person? What was the trick to MT taking another spouse after her annulment was granted?

You always see that they got a "divorce", which was impossible under existing canon law at the time, but I never see grounds for it mentioned; not that any of the ones that existed for an annulment would've permitted MT to remarry in the haste that she did. If that was invalid, surely it was cause for MT to kick Methven to the curb rather than bothering to reconcile with him yrs later.

That was after Henry's break with Rome, & I've seen some English muttering that JV married "French papists" & Mom was an "even worse papist" (can't recall where I saw this, & not surprising as I read too much history), so apparently MT was considered a good little Catholic lass. Angus was busy sucking up to Henry (hypocritically frowning at Sissy's "divorce", likely jealous he couldn't get one himself), not returning to Scotland until after both MT & JV were dead, to kick off the Rough Wooing on Henry's behalf.

So if there was no divorce & the rare possibility of remarriage after getting an annulment didn't apply here, how did MT pull this off?

I'll feel really stupid if I've missed something glaringly obvious, but this is bugging me. Thanks in advance if you know anything!


Question from Jo - Life expectancy in early 16th century

What was the life expectancy during Henry VIII's reign?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Question from Dawn - New Year's gifts for Henry VIII in the 1540s

Hello. I am looking into who Henry VIII particularly esteemed in the 1540s (especially the last three years) and was wondering where I could get hold of the list of his New Year's Gifts for these years, which I thought might be a good indication. Where also could I get hold of a list of the gifts he gave throughout the year to his courtiers?

Also, were the New Year's gifts a solid indicator of favor? Was he expected to spend more on let's say a duke than a knight? Was he expected to give gifts to people outside his Household, e.g. ladies of the court and children?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Dawn Fenwick

Question from Afroz - Ideas for Henry VIII-related Sociology dissertation

Hi, I am an undergraduate Sociology student at the University of Nottingham. I am extremly fascinated by the court of Henry the Eight especially the relationships, lives and roles of the women around him. I want to do a dissertaion which is based around his queens. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how I could do a disseration on his Queens but relate to Sociology? I was thinking of maybe doing a comparative study on the roles of the women in that period in comparison to the roles of women in more contempoarary society?

Any reading lists and ideas will be most helpful.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Question from Ella - Henry VIII expressing regret for treatment of Cromwell and Wolsey

I have read that Henry VIII expressed regret that he had allowed the arrest and execution of Cromwell. Is this true? And did he ever express regret over Wolsey?

Question from Zoe - Cromwell's motive for plotting Anne's fall

I'm reading the Eric Ives book on Anne Boleyn at the moment and am having a little difficulty understanding some of his conclusions.
It's not a light read (so correct me if I'm wrong!) but as far as I can make out Ives says that Cromwell fabricated the adultery charges as a way to get rid of Anne - I get that. But he did it because he found her a threat due to their difference in opinion about the dissolution of the monasteries. Anne was angered by Cromwell diverting the proceeds to the king -she had understood that the money would go to charitable uses like schools and hospitals. But how did this difference in opinion make her a threat to Cromwell? I don't get it - am I missing something?!

Question from Rachael - Wolsey's children and Thomas More's head

What happened to Wolsey's children?

Is it true that Thomas More's head is buried in Canterbury?

[Previous thread with information on Thomas More's head linked below. - Lara]

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Question from Lewis - Electronic resources

Lara, there are now many more electronic resources being added to the Internet all the time, especially with GoogleBooks, and also there's EEBO etc. A couple of my recent questions have highlighted ones which are not yet in your electronic resources section. I was wondering if you thought it worth adding the resources suggested in answers to my questions, and perhaps putting a shout-out for people to suggest any other Tudor electronic resources they know of? Just a suggestion. Can I also say that I love your website, it has been a lifesaver.



[Just a reminder, if people want to contact me directly you can just send me an email, you don't have to send it through the Q&A submission form. I'll address the rest of this in the comments. - Lara]

Question from Michelle - Divorce from Anne Boleyn in 1534

Hi Everyone:

I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with the rumor that Henry questioned Cranmer and Cromwell about the possibility of a divorce in late 1534? I found a reference to it on Wikipedia. The citation came from Henry VIII and His Court by Neville Williams.

Does anyone have any info on this rumor?

Thank you for any info you can provide.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Question from Sharon - Other Boleyn relatives

Did George Boleyn have any known illigitimate children?
Did James Boleyn, Thomas' brother have any children and what were their names?

Question from Lewis - Edward VI sick while Henry VIII was alive

Did Edward VI ever become seriously ill during Henry VIII's lifetime?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Question from Harry - Illegitimate children of Charles Brandon

I read on Wikipedia that Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, had at least 3 illegitimate children. Is this true and if so, were any of them during his last two marriages?

Question from Anonymous - Consummation of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr's marriage

Robert Hutchinson describes Katherine Howard as Henry VIII's 'last sexual love'. Do you think this was right and Katherine Parr was just a nurse to him?

Previous related thread:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Question from Joseph - Literacy at Henry's court

What percentage of Henry VIII's courtiers were illiterate/semi-literate? Was it different for men and women?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Question from Aoife - Other queens suspected of witchcraft

I've read that Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Woodville were suspected of witchcraft. Were any other queens of England suspected of this? Or was this just Tudor queens?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blog design update coming soon

I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that I'm going to be changing the blog design soon, probably tomorrow. I want to be able to take advantage of some new features at Blogger and to do it I have to upgrade to the new templates. The blog has basically looked the same for nearly five years, so an update is due anyway (even though the new design is going to look more like everything else on the site, so it's not like it's going to be all that "new" to regular readers). Hopefully I won't muck things up too badly. :)

Question from Monica - Wolsey and syphilis

Did Wolsey have syphilis? I read that he was accused of trying to infect Henry.

Question from Monica - Elizabeth Boleyn's reputation

Elizabeth Boleyn had a 'suspect reputation' according to Weir in The Lady in the Tower. What is she basing this on? She gives no references.

Question from Lewis - Spanish Chronicle

Can you get The Spanish Chronicle online?

Question from Orla - Jasper Tudor


Very interested about Jasper Tudor and with a lack of biography on him, except being mentioned in Alison Weir's Lancaster and York. I was just wondering if there were articles on him and how to access them? Would they be accessible through any electronic journals?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Question from EborWin - Sources for rules governing women entering a religious house

Question from EborWin

[Sorry for the length of this question, but the submitter had several good related questions so I've combined them in to a single post. - Lara]

My first questions to this forum, although I’ve been a reader for a while. Getting up the guts….

I was driving this afternoon and it occurred to me that I didn’t know much about the requirements of procedures for the admission of girls or women into pre-Dissolution religious houses in England, say from 1500. (And they think texting while driving is bad?)

Each order, of course, would have their own specific admission rules and, probably, there were many intra-order variations and traditions as well. That’s interesting in itself, but I also would like to know what the official canonical requirements were at the top level. I’ve been running through the decrees for the various Western councils for another question, and but haven’t seen anything relevant yet on women in religion. I’d be surprised if there is anything there at all, really. I do have access to briefs and decretals, but my Latin is lackin’ some if its ve-ve-verve these days, and I am reluctant to commit several days to an exercise which will yield, I know, a lot of interesting information that I wasn’t looking for, and nothing of what I wanted. That is unless some kind fellow Tudor traveler gives me hope and then I will go off happily with shovel and pick.

Likewise, I’d like to understand the position of the candidate for admission under English law. I’m guessing that under normal conditions the head of house, abbess, prioress, would assume the role of the father, in locum parentis, but that’s just a guess. And how was the transfer done? This is a lazy question on my part, because I have read about this somewhere. I have a personal memory from when I read about this -- the postulant was put on a sort of revolving door and, whoosh!, a Nun! Strains from Sound of Music. End.

What I guess I’m really interested in is what people think about how Henry's peeps might have structured her settlement. What would Catherine of Aragon’s legal position be, should she have chosen to enter a religious house (which I don’t think was ever on her radar). She must have been offered, at the very least, an ‘anything you want’ deal, but how might that deal have worked? Would she be subject to an abbess? Might she just be a wealthy paying guest who prays, gets to travel to other convents (like a timeshare package with Ritz-Carleton)? [Unlikely, I think. Henry, even post an agreement, would not want Catherine wandering around, having people shout ‘God save the Queen’ to her.] Or, might she really be a prisoner like Queen Elizabeth (Woodville) at Bermondsey Abbey?

Has there been any work done on what actual canonical settlements might have looked at?

[It's a very technical question and so I'm really looking for a source that I can trust. The arcanity of it all is one thing, and so there could many plausible approaches the curia might have taken. I'd rather not fiddle with arcanity that is just plain wrong.]

Finally, is there a resource to get an idea of how the process might have worked in case, say, the Queen did decide to take the offer? Presumably, a papal dispensation or a 10-pack (charge by the bull, singles at full price, discounts for numbers greater?) would have been required to dissolve (or set aside, or annul (unlikely)) or some other magic word that escapes me at the moment regarding the marriage of Henry and Catherine of Aragon, complicated to the nth to begin with. [The interest here I think would be in the complexity of enterprise.] Or, are the examples of type of transaction so rare that it really was one case at a time? I will to go back to my L&P to see the proposal that Catherine consider a convent was ever fleshed out in letters to and from Rome – how it might work – what the pretenses (reasons) necessary to be given to make the separation valid canonically (because it couldn’t just be “because”, could it?). I don’t remember it, but that’s because I have memory issues.

What kind of frequency are we talking about regarding the 'get thee hither to a nunnery, wife'; was this kind of thing used as an alternative when an annulment was just not possible, and divorce, was a last resort, with terrrible consequences for everyone?

When the convent option was offered to Catherine, would she have had a general understanding of what such an offer would entail (standard procedure)? Might Wolsey have had a draft plan of what that exit might look like. [Or, did he have such a plan and Catherine stopped him after the first sentence because it was all a non-starter. I think the last is at least plausible. I’m certain that Catherine didn’t agree on principle so would have been entirely uninterested in useless details. Catherine was the daughter of Isabella, one of most renowned rulers of the age, and a woman. I believe Catherine saw Mary as the future “Isabella” of England. After that, there was Henry, and his issues (I’m over marginalizing here, pray), and her belief that God works his own ways and he worked it to be Mary. End of story. Don’t need to mention Anne Boleyn because it wasn’t about Anne; it was about no any 2nd wife. The heir, in her mind, was to be Mary. You can certainly see her point, I think. She traveled with her parents – saw some of the Re-conquest at near hand. [And, incidentally, I believe Henry knew that he could not allow Catherine to be reunited with her daughter because the combination of the two of them, even as a peaceful grouping at or near court, would be a permanent, in his face, reminder of not getting is own way.] There is nothing so daunting to a monarch as an heir with an eager following. His decision to separate them was fundamentally cruel, of course, and as time went on, increasingly and deliberately meant to be so; however, at bottom it was a sound political calculation from his perspective, at any rate.]]

That’s a lot. I must say asking the questions helped to shape my thoughts a bit better than they did this afternoon sitting in traffic. I promise any future submissions will be shorter.

I’m grateful for any feedback.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Question from Stacey - Grave markers in St. Peter ad Vincula

If these questions may have already been answered, I apologize. Does Kathryn Howard have a grave marker? And the others that were executed-Thomas More, George Boleyn, etc-are they in the chapel & do they have markers?

[Some of these have already been addressed, but I'm going to piggy-back a broader question on. Does anyone know if there is a "master list" of all the markers and memorials in the chapel? - Lara]

Question from Lewis - Rutland Papers

I see you can buy the Rutland Papers cheaply, but I can't find any information on what they contain and how useful they are. Can anybody help?

Question from Leslie - Queens dying in childbirth

I read that the only queens of England to die in childbirth were Elizabeth of York, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr. Were the doctors doing something especially wrong at this time or were the Tudors just unlucky?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Question from Kate - Attractiveness of Anne of Cleves

Holbeins portrait of Anne of Cleves shows a sweet faced girl, in my estimation the most attractive of all of Henry's wives, however as we all know Henry rejected her citing among other things that she was horse faced and smelled badly and did not have a maidens body. Do we have any actual proof that she was unattractive,and wouldn't Holbein have been punished for depicting her as something she was not? Is it more likely that at his first surprise visit Anne offended his vanity in some way?

[This is one of those questions that I could swear we had before but I couldn't find it in the archives. If I missed something, please post it in the comments! - Lara]

Question from Marilyn R - Form of address for Kathryn Howard before queen

I am doing research on the old Dowager Duchess of Norfolk’s household in Lambeth. As the daughter of a younger son of the late Duke of Norfolk, what would have been the correct form of address for Kathryn Howard when she lived with her step-grandmother, before her marriage to Henry VIII? She seems always to be referred to as ‘Mistress Kathryn’ in the documentation relating to her relationship with Henry Manox etc.

Question from Lewis - Places associated with Katherine Parr

I want to visit every place associated with Katherine Parr. Where should I go?

Question from Lewis - Pronunciation of Blount

Was Bessie Blount's name pronounced Blount or Blunt?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Question from Sarah - Romeland Castle

I read on here that Henry VIII had a castle called 'Romeland'. Is this right, and if so, how can I find out more about it?

Previous thread listed below:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Question from Robin - Books authored by Henry VIII's courtiers

Which Henry VIII courtiers wrote books and where can you get them? I've heard Gardiner wrote 1 and Catherine Parr wrote 2.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Question from Tyler - Anne's path to barge after arrest

I've gotten the book on Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives. I ve noticed however, he only mentions that they took her to the barge awaiting her. After Anne's arrest, was she taken to the barge "publicly" I.E. through the court rooms such through the Throne room. Basically, was Anne taken to the barge through a crowd of courtiers or through a passage of some sort.

Question from Sarah - Other Tudor figures needing biographies

This is inspired by the Margaret Douglas question. Which Tudor people do you think most deserves a biography and doesn't have one?

Question from Elizabeth - Other ladies in the Shrove Tuesday entertainment of 1522

The Chateau Vert Entertainment of 1522

If Mary Boleyn was "kindness" and Anne Boleyn was "perseverance", which rolls were played by the other ladies? I am thinking mainly of Jane Parker and possibly Jane Seymour or anyone else for that matter?

I have always wondered how much contact Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour would have had during the time they were both single ladies.

Many thanks


Question from Jacqueline - Handling of Anne Boleyn's body after execution

I have always been intensely interested in Henry viii and his 6 wives, since visiting Hampton Court as a child. I was wondering if anyone knows why Anne Boleyn's parents didn't pick up her body after her execution and bury her properly. I've read that her ladies in waiting put her in an arrow box and buried her, i've also heard that a man working within the tower was the one who placed her body in the arrow box, after she was left there for quite some time.
I'd also like to know if there is any evidence to suggest the Henry regretted his decision to have her executed.
Thank you.

Related previous thread below:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Question from Kate R. - Source material on George Boleyn

In general, I am interested in sources on George Boleyn. I am familiar with the occasional mention of him here and there in the LP and so forth, but is there a chunk of material on him somewhere that I am missing? Any pointers would be much appreciated :)

Question from QA - Anne Boleyn's portraits

Hello, I was wondering which portrait of Anne Boleyn is the most authentic?

[This question has basically already been addressed in the threads below, but I didn't have an email address for the submitter so I'm going to go ahead and post it. - Lara]

Question from Jorge - Anne Parr

I saw the name 'Anne Parr' in a book about Katherine Parr mentioned once or twice. The only info I could find on her was that she was Katherine's sister and that she served all six of Henry VIII's queens. Does anyone know anything else?

Question from Sarah - Elizabeth's eye color

What colour were Elizabeth I's eyes? I've read different answers from Googling.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Question from Robin - Cleanliness of the palaces

How clean were the palaces? I've read that Henry VIII ordered Prince Edward's rooms to be scrubbed three times a day, yet I also read that there were rushes all over the floors in the palaces and that people would urinate on them, the rushes not being changed often but simply more put on top. What is the truth?

Question from Robin - Gardiner's "A Detection of the Devil's Sophistry"

Does anyone know where I can get hold of Stephen Gardiner's A Detection of the Devil's Sophistry, preferably to read online and in modern English if possible

Question from Jerusha - Late medieval medical practices

I am in the medical field and also very interested in 14th and 15th century history. I would love to find books about medical practices of that time but don't know where to start looking. Suggestions would be appreciated!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Question from Alia - Elizabeth Audley and lesser nobles

I stumbled across a portrait, painted by Hans Holbein in 1538, of Lady Elizabeth Audley. I have never heard her name before. Does anyone know who she is, or any other lesser nobles during the Tudor period? I want to learn more about them. Thanks!

Question from Alia - Mary Grey

Hi. Does anyone know anything about Mary Grey, married to Thomas Keyes? I have heard her name many times in researching her more famous sisters, Jane the Nine Days Queen (though she ruled for thirteen) and Katherine, who mfamously married the Earl of Hertford in secret.

See related threads below:

Question from Iona - Washing and dental hygiene

How often did people wash during the reign of Henry VIII? What about brushing their teeth?

Related previous thread below:

Question from Iona - Jane Seymour biographies

I'd like to read a book on Jane Seymour, but Elizabeth Norton's has such bad reviews. Can anyone recommend one, even if it's a section of a book rather than the whole thing?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Question from David - Comptroller of the Pipe Roll

My question literally begins in the Tudor era and runs to the Stuarts. My 10th gr-grandfather Robert Barham was appointed as Comptroller of the Pipe Roll, an Exchequer office, in 1596. Sources show him still in that position as late as 10 years later, though after that, I've no proof. The problem is the lack of any enumerations of office holders for that position, at least that I've been able to locate. Was this a lifetime appointment? He is known to have died in late 1630, which would mean 34 years of service in this capacity. He was in his 20s when first appointed, so it's not impossible.

I've seen several calendars of appointments for Wardrobe and Royal Household positions, but Exchequer, including Comptroller of the Pipe Roll, remains elusive. Can anyone help?

Question from Stefanie - Charles Brandon's mother

I have a question regarding Charles Brandon's mother, Elizabeth Bruyn. claims she died in childbirth /year not known), but that site is so riddled with mistakes that I don't trust it as a source (it's also falsely claiming Charles Brandon had two younger brothers named Thomas and Robert for example)

Does anyone here have any information on her death that can confirm or refute her dying in childbirth?

Question from Jacque - Tyndale's English New Testament

About what year did copies of Tyndale's English New Testament start circulating in England? Also, a somewhat related question: if someone was found in possession of an English New Testament, what exactly would happen to them? What was the procedure for dealing with heretics? Would they be imprisoned (where?), tried (by whom?) and then burned at the stake?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Question from Tyler - Henry and Anne's relationship in early 1536

I was wondering how Henry treated Anne Boleyn from January 29th to May 1st. Did they speak at all? Did they have "spousal relations"? I've read somewhere( I need to find where) That the Kig didn't know about the plot until the 27th of April. Which in turn means that Cromwell started to investigate with out Henry's apporval. Isn't that treason in it's own right?

Question from Stuart - Use of the term cousin

I read a letter from Henry VIII where he refers to Lady Margaret Douglas as his cousin. Was it common then to use cousin to mean any relative or did the person scribing for Henry make a mistake? Was cousin also used for people you were not related to at all?

Previous related thread:
(See comments for a general discussion of the term "cousin")

Question from Andrew - Later relationships of Anne of Cleves

I have read that Anne of Cleves was thought to be a lesbian and had affairs with men and women after the annulemtn fo her marriage. Is there any truth in this?

Previous related thread:

Question from Anon - Thomas and Oliver Cromwell

What was the relationship between Thomas and Oliver Cromwell?

Question from Anon - Henry VIII using a wheelchair

Did Henry VIII use a wheelchair?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Question from Iona - Tudor ideas of beauty

What was considered beautiful in men and women during the reign of Henry VIII? What kind of make-up did women wear and did men wear any? What beauty treatments did they use? Did they bother with hair removal?

There seem to have been a lot of pale redheads at the Tudor courts. Was it just more common then or was it just the way they were painted? Anne Boleyn looks auburn-haired and pale in one portrait but that doesn't fit descriptions.

Question from Ee - Source of Mary Queen of Scots quote

I found a quote that was listed as being from Mary Queen of Scots, "No more tears now, I will think of revenge"

I had hoped to use the quote in a short story I am writing, but when I went to verify the quote (and hopefully find when and why it was said) I was not able to find any reference to it at all.

If anyone has any info for me I'd really like to track this quote down.

Question from Tabitha - Anne Boleyn party dress

I have a question about anne boleyn maybe you can help.I am haven a party and I am dressing up as Anne.What I would like to know is what do you think Anne boleyn would have dressed in for partys lets say christmas or king henrys brithday?
I know she had the b necklace and she did wear pearls and the frech hood but is there any thing else?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Question from Stacey - Illegitimate children of Queens

Other than the rumors about Elizabeth, has there ever been a child born of a queen that people were "sure" was the product of an affair?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Question from Sarah - Numbers and correspondence of ambassadors

How many ambassadors were at court? I've read about the French, Venetians and Spanish. Were there more and if so does their correspondence still exist and is it translated into modern English?

Question from Sarah - Ralfe Lyons

Does anyone know anything about Ralfe Lyons, a boy who was 'given' to Henry VIII in 1546? There is a tiny amount of information about him in Robert Hutchinson's 'The Last Days of Henry VIII' and he says it's a mystery.

Question from Meg - Information on importance of Aragon, Boleyn and Parr households

I am a university student doing my dissertation on different aspects of Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr. I have decided to do one section of this on the importance of their households, but am having problems finding comprehensive information on this. Does anyone know where to find this information as it would be a great help to me?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Biography of Margaret Douglas

Has there ever been a biography of Lady Margaret Douglas? She is such a fascinating character. Her life was one of foiled love affairs, intrigue, and ambition. Are there any rumors of a forthcoming biography of her. There really should be, as she is one of the more colorful characters of the Tudor period.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Question from Mark - Opinions on David Starkey

What do people think of David Starkey? Is his work accurate or a bit sensationalist?

He recently criticised female historians for focusing more on the personalities of Henry VIII and his wives than in Henry VIII's historical significance. Do you think this is fair?

[For some related threads, just search on "Starkey" on the site since his name comes up a lot here! - Lara]

Question from Anon - Eye glasses

Did Henry VIII wear glasses?

Question from Ella - Jousting

What was jousting?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Question from Carlyn - Elizabeth's make-up and mirrors in old age

Hi everyone,

I am researching Elizabeth I’s wardrobe, and cosmetics for a future children’s book project and I came across something that has got me stumped. In one of Ben Johnson’s antidotes of Queen Elizabeth he wrote, “Queen Elizabeth never saw herself, after she became old, in a true glass : They painted her, and sometimes would vermilion her nose.” (The “they” he is referring to are her ladies-in-waiting)

Obviously, Johnson was no fan of Elizabeth. Could he be the source for the rumor that Elizabeth I destroyed all her mirrors in her old age? Is that really true? A clueless Elizabeth with a red nose would sure make a funny illustration, but I find it hard to believe that her ladies-in -waiting would dare to mock their queen. Plus, I really can't trust Johnson as a source. Does anyone know of any other sources mentioning Elizabeth or any other Elizabethan lady putting red on her nose?

Or was putting vermillion on your nose considered attractive?

Question from Anon - Opinions on "Early Loves of Anne Boleyn"

What do people think of the book, 'The Early Loves of Anne Boleyn'. It sounds like a great topic but has bad Amazon reviews. Has anyone read it?

Question from Ella - Henry VIII talking during Mass

Is it true that Henry VIII would talk during mass, even having meetings? If so, was this normal or considered rude?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Question from Orla - Possible portrait of Henry Brandon Earl of Lincoln

I was recently looking up info on Mary Tudor Brandon's son Henry Brandon Earl of Lincoln, the second one who was meant to marry Katherine Willoughby but his father did. Anyway I came across a website that said her son has a portrait. It's the one that has been identified as Edward VI by Hans Holbein the one with the boy holding the monkey. It stated that recent scholars have now identified it as young Henry Brandon. I did always think it was odd that a boy that close to the throne and a nephew of Henry VIII by his favourite sister, didn't have a portrait. But I was wondering if anyone came across this also and if they knew who these scholars are or if it's written in a book. The website had no source.

Question from Tracey - Author Elizabeth Norton

The author, Elizabeth Norton. She seems to crank-out Tudor-related biographies about every three months. It's just been noticed that two more biographies by her are slated for publication- one dealing with Margaret Beaufort.

What sort of writer is she? Can her 'facts' be believed? Is she 'scholarly', or of the Alison Weir mode? Is there depth to her work, or just general information? I have never read her works, none are available in my local library, or for inter-library loan.

I will admit to being interested in the Margaret Beaufort publication, but would like to have some idea of what to expect.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Question from Nella - Tudor sites to visit in Suffolk

this seems to be a very good site to ask my question.
I will go to England in the summer (I'm from Italy)and want to know which places you would recommend me the most. I have never been to England before but I am deeply interested in the Tudors (especially Henry VIII and his sisters).
I'll spend most of my time arouns Ipswich/Suffolk. Are there any good Tudor places nearby?
Thank you very much!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Question from Kelly - Similarities among the wives of Henry VIII

I am a big fan of the Tudor Era in England, and especially of King Henry VIII and his six wives. Were there certain wives thats behavior was more similar to others? Were any of them alike???

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Question from Sarah - Tudor fertility remedies

Does anyone know what treatments women may have had for fertility problems during the reign of Henry VIII? And do we know of any of the women at the court using them?

Question from Drew - Doctor Harman

I have been told that there is a portrait of Henry VIII with his physicians in attendance.
In this portrait the physicians/doctors have names of which one, I'm led to believe, is "Harman".
Could you shed some light on this portrait and are there any historical details of "Doctor Harman"
Sharing a common surname both myself and family have an interest in this subject.

Question from Anonymous - Birthdate of Laetitia Knollys

First of all, I'd just like to say a massive thank you to Lara for creating this site - it's absolutely brilliant! I've been using it for a while now and I'd just like to say how amazing I think it is. It's an absolute goldmine of information. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

My query is just regarding the birthdate of Laetitia Knollys. I'm a bit confused because I always assumed that it was impossible to pinpoint an exact birthdate for her, but then I came across a site saying that she was born on 8 November 1543. It was on Wikipedia (which I know is unreliable) but also several other sites as well. I've always thought Laetitia was born before then anyway - maybe c.1540-41. I'd just like to know everyone else's opinions about when she was more likely to have been born. And does anyone know of any substantial evidence to support the birthdate given by Wikipedia?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Question from Anne - Henry VIII's and Katherine Parr's religious beliefs

Just found your site. Very interesting!

I have been watching The Tudors (yes, I know...fiction...but loving it all the same) and I'm really confused.

Henry broke from the Rome and formed the English church. Surely Katerine Parr and he were on the same page religiously? She was a protestant was she? Wouldn't Henry also have become a prodestant when he broke from the catholic church?

Why was KP charged with heresy?

Many thanks,


Question from Carol Anne - Quote from Henry VIII on the pardon of a murderer

I am doing research to determine if the following account is true or fictional. It has been said that at one point during his reign, King Henry VIII pardoned a murderer. The man was set free, but committed another murder.
Someone asked King Henry to pardon him again. He is purported to have said, "No. I will not pardon him again. He killed the first man. But by pardoning him, I killed the second."
Do you have any information on whether or not this is a true story?
Thank you so much. this is definitely not a school assignment! I am 63 years of age.

Question from Patricia - Information on Thomas Stuckely and Henry VIII's will

i would like as much information as i can. on
thomas stuckely. son of sir hugh stuckley. of
affeton. what i want is the proof of sir
thomas steuckelys background. i need the
information on his illegimacey.

has anyone got any proof that sir thomas was
the son of henry viii and mary berkeley.

did henry the viii leave a will. i did
try for a medieval post mortem. but i don't
think there is one on sir thomas stucleky.

can anyone help me and give me suggestions
on how to find henry viii will. and how
to find out about sir thomas stucley
iiegtmatecy. what do i look for and where do i

thank you for your help patricia

Question from Colleen - Pre-Elizabethan banking system

I'm looking for specifics on the banking system (if there was one) in pre-Elizabethan England. Namely, did rich people and nobility keep their money in banks or stored within vaults (or other storage methods) inside their homes? Did they keep it in gold form, or did they invest it in valuable items such as jewelry? I haven't been able to find much information on this so any help is appreciated!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Question from Stacey - Thomas Tallis

I recently watched season 1 of The Tudors. I am fascinated by all Tudor things & recognize that the series is grossly inaccurate. My question today is about the character Thomas he supposed to be Mark Smeaton? If not, who is he supposed to represent?

Question from Sharon - Kathryn Howard's final speech

I found Katherine of Howards fianle comment before her beheading in which she states she wishes she were dying as the wife of Thomas Culpepper brave and heartfelt and also heart breaking.Are they in fact recorded as to what she actually said?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Question from Bron - Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

The Mariage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Several modern historians suggest the wedding was in London on the 25th January 1533.

However, the Tudor chronicler, Edward Hall, says:

“The king, after his return [from Calais] married privily the Lady Anne Bulleyn on Saint Erkenwald’s Day, which marriage was kept so secret that very few knew it, till she was great with child, at Easter after.”

When, in your opinion, would a woman who gives birth early in September be deemed to be ‘great with child’?

Ives points out that St Erkenwald’s Day was the day after the couple returned to Dover, Thursday the 14th November 1532.

Protestants preferred this date, as it meant that Elizabeth, born 7th September 1533, was conceived within marriage.

A birth on 7 September would imply a conception in December. What are the parameters here?

A wedding date of the 25th January would mean a gestation of only some 7 months, presuming conception took place immediately. Even Nicholas Sanders dates Henry and Anne’s marriage as the 14th November, so Ives wonders if Henry and Anne made some kind of formal commitment in November, prior to another wedding ceremony in January.

It is said that ‘At the wedding on 25 January 1533, we have William Brereton, recently married to Elizabeth Somerset, the widow of Sir John Savage, younger sister to Henry Somerset, 2nd earl of Worcester. Sir John Savage’s sister, Anne Savage, lady-in-waiting and companion to Anne Boleyn, attended the wedding and carried the bride’s train.’ William Brereton’s recently acquired brother-in-law, Henry Somerset, 2nd earl of Worcester, who was not present, had married Elizabeth Browne as his second wife (before 1527), and although Elizabeth Browne was a lady in waiting, she was not invited either. It was Elizabeth Browne’s evidence regarding Anne’s alleged promiscuity which would later destroy most of the people present.

In your opinion, are these details fanciful? Do we know anything at all about the January wedding?

[Previous related thread linked below. - Lara]

Question from Alex - Comparing Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn for project

I am doing a group project about the six wives of Henry the VIII for grade 11 English. My job is to cover the first two wives of Henry VIII; Catherine and Anne. I want to be able to compare them...their differences and similarities but I am having a difficult time finding any information. I was also wondering if you would have any suggestions on an interesting topic or main theme I could base these two historical figures on? Furthermore, do you recommend any other great websites besides this one(which is awesome):)

Thank you so much:) Your help will be greatly appreciated:)

Question from Julia - Renaissance architecture sources

Hi! I wonder if you now any information (books or webpage) about renaissaince on england related to architecture. Thank you.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Question from Katie - Steven Gunn's bio of Charles Brandon

Hi everybody,

I am deserately looking for the book "Charles Brandon. Duke of Suffolk" by Steven Gunn.
Unfortunately it is out of print.
Has anybody an idea where I can get the book from?

Thanks :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Question from Alexandrea - Another George Boleyn

I've been reading through this Q&A blog for a few days (and I've looked through the main site for basic info) and I have to say how much I appreciate what you've done! First off, I have to admit that I've only read basic info and fictional texts about the Tudors.

My question is a two-parter. I've seen it said around several non-reputable sites that George Boleyn (Viscount of Richmond) and his wife had a son, also named George Boleyn who was around during Elizabeth I's reign. I've never read anything dealing with Richmond's son before, so I wondered if it had any truth to it. Other sources say that he was a distant relative of Elizabeth I's. So would be it be possible if he were a descendant of Mary Boleyn's? I know little to nothing about Mary Boleyn or her children.

[Just a note of correction/clarification - it should be Rochford, not Richmond. - Lara]

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Mary QOS' options for dealing with Darnley

I am wondering about Mary, Queen of Scots and her options to be rid of her degenerate spouse, Lord Darnley. She could not get a divorce based on their close relationship, being first cousins, or because they married before the Papal dispensation arrived, because that would have made her son, James, illegitimate. She and Darnley could not legally separate, because then neither could remarry. And the law in Scotland then had no provision for charging a king with treason (even though he deserved it, being an accomplice in the murder of Mary's secretary, David Rizzio, and the Queen being held captive immediately thereafter by the assassins, not to mention his correspondence with France and Spain in a possible aim to grab the Scottish crown for himself. My question is this--why could Mary not have, after Darnley had attended the christening of James (which she wanted him to attend, as there would be foreign ambassadors there and it would have been awkward to not have the baby's father attend)--why could Mary not have banished Darnley back to England and let Queen Elizabeth deal with him? Elizabeth would have been within the law to charge him with treason against England, as he married Mary without her permission, which he was supposed to get, being close in blood to the throne.

Question from Nikki - More on Anne wearing red at her execution

I asked the question before about Anne Boleyn wearing red to her execution. I actually found it written on this site first! (I am sure Lara can find the post.)

Here it is suggested again in these two articles. Are these false?

[And yes, I did find the previous thread. :) - Lara]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Question from Alia - Thoughts on Anne Boleyn's execution anniversary

As some of you probably know, today is the anniversary of Anne Boleyn Queen of England and Marquess of Pembroke's execution day. Join me in honoring her with any GOOD opinion, cool info, anything you want to say really. Queen Anne Boleyn, RIP.

Question from Caroline - Differences in titles of the nobility


I am doing a project for school and I was wondering if someone could help me. I'm trying understand what the difference between a Duke, Earl, Baron, Viscount and (I don't know if I'm spelling this right but) Marquess.

What does each title mean? How do responsibilities differ and does each area (like Warwick) for example have a Duke, Earl, Viscount ect. of Warwick? And how would someone's standing at court be affected by their status.

Question from Stacey - Anne Boleyn honored at Elizabeth's coronation

I was reading an earlier question about Anne's remains & in the answer it was talked about how Anne was featured in Elizabeth's coronation. I've read that she was featured, but how was it done?

[This was touched on in the comments to the question linked below, but if anyone knows of more, please leave a comment! - Lara]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Question from Queenie - Moving Anne Boleyn to Westminster in Elizabeth's regin

I always wondered why didn't Elisabeth move her mother's grave to W.Abbey? Just like it was done for the Queen of scotts by her son? After all she was once the Queen of England and mother of a great monarch! I just find it terribly sad that she continues buried in St. Peters almost nameless. Considering the power she had once and noise she made? Why didn't her daughter do anything to get her buried there?

[I thought this question had been asked before, but for the life of me I couldn't find it. It might have been touched on in previous threads about Anne's burial, but I don't think it was asked outright. - Lara]

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Question from Alia - Opinions on Catherine of Aragon

Hi. I want to hear everyone's opinion on Catherine of Aragon. What do you think? My favorite historical figure EVER is Anne Boleyn, so I have to admit that I'm a little prejudiced against her...but I'm eager to hear new thoughts. Thanks!

Question from Teresa - Katherine's age vs. Princess Mary's age

Hello everyone, I am trying, for no reason other than its been annoying me that i can't find out, if Katherine "kitty" howard was older or younger than Lady/princess Mary tudor? I know they were close in age but who was older?

Question from Bron - Anne Boleyn as proxy at Frances Brandon's christening, etc.

Anne Boleyn apparently served as Queen Katherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary’s proxy, when they were asked to be godparents @ the christening of Lady Frances Brandon in 1517 and were unable to attend. Lady Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Mary Tudor, dowager Queen of France and sister of Henry VIII. Frances went on to become the mother of Lady Jane Grey.

The christening may have been @ Hatfield.

How is it possible that Anne Boleyn could have served as a proxy for the Queen of England and the Princess at the christening of a daughter of the Dowager Queen of France? Surely Anne was no more than a lady in waiting at the time, and a very young lady at that?

This raises some questions.

We are often told that the Boleyn family was mercenary, low-bred and ambitious: Anne has been described as a grocer’s daughter. But there is a most interesting web site, classing people throughout history on a comparative and contemporary scale of monetary worth. I include the following snippet:

Sir Geoffrey Boleyn
Richest of the Rich position (in the whole history of the world): 206
Birth/Death: died 1463
Origin of wealth: Land
Wealth: £10,000
Net National Income: £3.5m
Net National Income Percent: 0.28%
In Today's Money: £3.107 billion

He died 'a great rich man' according to Leland, a contemporary chronicler. The official extent after his death showed that, apart from his London property and Norfolk manor, he had other manors in Kent and Sussex.

See: The Richest of the Rich, by Philip Beresford and William D. Rubinstein, Harriman House, 2007.

So, it may have been that Anne was an extraordinarily wealthy young lady in waiting. But, while she may have been a member of a particularly wealthy family, there is no indication that her family was politically prominent at that time, above and beyond all other young ladies in waiting. Why would Anne have been nominated at a proxy for the Queen and the Princess?

My question is, is this story true? And if it is true, I may have to rethink how I see Anne Boleyn within the context of the Tudor court.

There has been some debate about which sister was the elder. It seems to me Anne may have been the elder sister. Various birthdates have been given for Anne, from 1499, 1500, 1501, 1502, 1503, 1504, to 1507. Much of this debate is based upon speculation regarding at what age a girl might have had the strength of character to withstand the King’s advances. It is unlikely a very young girl would have had these skills. An Italian historian writing in 1600 suggested 1499 as a birth date.

Mary c.1499/1504 -19/30 July, 1543
Anne c.1501-19 May 1536 @ Tower of London: (M. Pembroke/Queen of England)
George, 2° Viscount Rochford c.1504/06-17 May, 1536 @ Tower of London
(Also a Thomas and a Henry who died young)

So, if Anne were the Queen’s representative at this christening in 1517, she must then have travelled abroad, prior to her return in 1522. I add, without confidence, the suggestion that when Mary Tudor married the 52-year-old King Louis XII at Abbeville at the age of 18 on 9 October 1514, that one of her Maids of Honour who attended her in France was Anne Boleyn. Mary was described by the Venetian Ambassador as "a Paradise—tall, slender, grey-eyed, possessing an extreme pallor". Was this prior relationship between Mary and Anne influential?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Question from Teresa - Katherine Howard's age

Hello everyone, I am a very big Tudor fan and have been trying to find out how old Katherine "kitty" howard was when she married king henry VIII and when she was beheaded. I tried googling it but i got three completely different answers saying she was 15, and then saying she was 17 and finally saying she was 19 when she married the king. I was hoping someone might be able to help me find the right age. Thanks for all the help and god bless.

[There was an old discussion about this from about three years ago, but I figured it couldn't hurt to have a new discussion on it. - Lara]

Question from Alia - Anne Boleyn's favorite color

Hi, I'm an Anne Boleyn fanatic, and I'm wondering if it is known what her favorite color was. Google left me with more questions, as I got about 5 different answers. Thank you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Question from Stephanie - Seymour's wife and Culpepper's head on "The Tudors"

Hi Everyone, I have a 2 part "The Tudors" TV show question:

1- Who is the man that is sleeping with one of the Seymour's wives? I looked it up and I believe his name is Lord Surrey? But I can't find any information on him as that was just a title. He seems very treacherous!

2- Is it true that Katherine Howard saw Thomas Culpepper's head on a spike in the tower of London, or did they just take artistic license? (I have a feeling it's artistic license!)

Thanks Everyone!!!

Question from Stephanie - Katherine Parr's involvement in Elizabeth's cut dress incident

Hi Everyone, I have a rather disturbing question but I am wondering if anyone has any information on this. Recently, I was reading about Katherine Parr, Thomas Seymour and Elizabeth. I already knew that allegedly Thomas and Elizabeth had a rather inappropriate relationship, but in one article there was a story about Katherine being a part of the "games" that Thomas and Elizabeth played together. Namely one story where Katherine held down Elizabeth while Thomas cut open some "black dress" with his sword. This shocked me because I didn't think Katherine had any part of this relationship, let alone participated in something this twisted. Does anyone know anything about this?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Question from Lori - Elizabethan military

I am in grade 9 and am doing a school project on the warfare of the Elizabethan era. I am having trouble finding information on the military and how they fought, specifically on land (i.e. did they fight on horses, behind forts,with what wepapons, etc.). Thanks in advance.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Question from Lucy - Duties and positions in the Queen's household

Were the Queen's Apartments just like the King's in everyway? Did she have a Master of the Stool, Lord Chamberlain and everything else.

How many of the Queen's "people" were women? Was the Master of the Stool a woman or was it different title? The Queen had Ladies in Waiting and Maids of Honour but what's the difference?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Question from Jacque - Mother of Gertrude Courtenay, Marchioness of Exeter

I have seen conflicting information regarding Gertrude Courtenay, Marchioness of Exeter (the daughter of William Blount, Lord Mountjoy)'s mother. Apparently Lord Mountjoy was married four times, to Elizabeth Say, to Inez de Vanegas, to Alice Kebel and to Dorothy Grey. There appears to be some confusion regarding which of his children had which mother, but I am mostly interested in who Gertrude's mother was, since I have seen her listed as both Elizabeth Say and Inez de Vanegas. In Weir's "Henry VIII: The King and His Court," it says Gertrude's mother was Maria de Salinas, but I think she must have mixed Maria up with Inez de Vanegas because as far as I know Maria de Salinas was never married to Lord Mountjoy!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Question from Ally - Purpose and effects of images of Elizabeth

hi, currently in our NCEA level 3 class (7th form) we are studying Elizabeth I reign. i wanted to know if you had any information on images of Elizabeth that were created during (and after) her reign. what was the purpose and the effects of these images?

Question from Gabby - Privy Council v. Members of Privy Chamber

What's the difference between members of the privy council and members of the privy chamber? Are they the same?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Question from Liz- Introductions at court

I'm attempting to write a novel set in the Tudor court. My main character, Sarah, wasn't known at court until after she married her husband, John. What I've been trying to find out is, would Henry have seen her around and asked for an introduction, or would there been more of a formal introduction, or possibly even some other mode of introduction? I've been doing research on my own and this is something I haven't come across yet.Thanks for the help.

Question from Mona - Castles v. types of houses

Hi! I have a question about what defines a castle v. greater house v. lesser house.

I know that greater houses housed the entire court and lesser houses often time only had room for the King and a few choice companions. But is that all the seperates them? Also is a lesser house also considered a manor?

I also did some reading that mentioned when Greenwich was built it was considered revolutionary for it's time because it was the first royal household that was first and foremost a residence. Is castle just a greater household with fortifications? Did the rooms and apartments differ in a castle?

Sorry I know that that's really more than one question!

Thanks :D

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Question from Helen - Lady Rochford's motivation in helping Kathryn Howard

Lady Rochford was mentioned in Katherine Howard's letter that showed the queen's relationship with her lover. Lady Rochford helped to organize secret meetings. I wonder what motives would lady Rochford have to do so? Why was she helping the queen? She knew that it was criminal and punishment would follow if that was discovered. She was familiar with punishments for treason, as in the case with her ex-husband.

Question from Nikki - Choice of Kathryn Howard's method of execution

As a final act of "kindness", Henry allowed Anne to be beheaded by a sword instead of an ax. Why didn't he do this for Katharine Howard?

Question from Lillie - Use of the term "Protestant"

My understanding is that original term for protestantism is as follows:the term "Protestant" historically referred to those who broke their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. And I know that Martin Luther started the movement in roughly 1517.

What am I wondering is during Tudor times were protestant people refered to as Lutherans or Protestants? Techincally is anyone who broke with the catholic church was protestant then lollardy would be protestants too?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Question from Emily - Records of Catherine of Aragon's annulment trial

I was recently researching Catherine of Aragon, while preparing to audition with the "Sir, I desire you do me right and justice" monologue from Shakespeare's Henry VIII. I saw in several places (the infamous wikipedia being one of them) that the speech as it appears in Shakespeare's play is almost exactly what Queen Catherine said during the Legatine Trial. However, I have been unable to find the "historical records" alluded to in these references. Does anyone know if this is true, and if so, if these records are available?

A curious Shakespearean actress.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Question from Raven - Henry and Anne hearing news of Catherine's death

I'm doing research on a book I'm writing but I can't seem to find the exact palace where Henry and Anne received news of Queen Katherine's death in January 1536. I know where the festivities and the joust that injured him on the 24th of that month took place but I want to verify they were still at the same residence or had they moved? It seems highly unlikely during a harsh winter they would've been able to move their entire court a mere two weeks after her death but I have been unable to find any precise information on where they where when they heard the news. Anywhere you can direct me would be most helpful.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Question from Jacob - Oranges in Tudor England

I'm having trouble finding an accurate answer to the following question: approximately how many oranges, both bitter and sweet, were imported into Britain yearly during the first 50 years of the 16th century?

I'm also looking for an early English description of the orange.

Question from MsMeli - Henry VIII not being buried in Westminster Abbey

I'm wondering why wasnt King Henry buried in W. abbey? Why did he choose to be buried with Jane Seymour when he had a 6th wife?

[Related thread re: burial with Jane linked below. - Lara]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Question from Stacey - Documentaries on Mary I

I have 2 questions - one, was Anne Boleyn pregnant when she was executed? I have read & seen several things that say she was & then there are others that don't mention it.
Also, does anybody know of a documentary on Mary I? Other than her parts in other documentaries, I can't really find one on her.

[The first question was addressed in the thread below. I think someone has said that Weir has since changed her mind on the hypothesis. - Lara]

Question from Jo-Anne - Properties confiscated from Margaret Beaufort under Richard III

Does anyone know the names of the castles and estates that were confiscated from Lady Margaret Beaufort under Richard III and subsequently restored to her by her son Henry VII?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Question from Bron - Practicalities of Fleeing Protestant England

I have been reading about Doctor John Clements, who married Sir Thomas More’s adopted daughter, Margaret Giggs, in 1526. Margaret and John seem to have lived at Bucklersbury in London and, from 1545, to have also had a country house at Hornchurch in Essex. They had one son, Thomas, the godson of More; and five daughters, Winifred, Bridget, Helen, Dorothy and Margaret. The eldest girl, Winifred, married Thomas More's nephew, William Rastell.

Following the accession of Edward VI in 1547 Clement left the country for Louvain in July 1549, being joined there by his wife in October. Clement was one of those who were specifically exempted from the general pardon later granted by Edward.

There are two fascinating inventories of the Clement’s family possessions resulting from various court cases he undertook to regain them, after returning during Mary’s reign. The library at Bucklersbury alone contained 302 books.

It appears the Clements just walked out. That got me thinking about the logistics of such departures.

I note also that in 1550 the wealthy Italian merchant and More family friend, Bonvisi, with his family, "against his allegiance," as the inquisition taken shortly after recites, "went and departed out of England into the parts beyond the sea, without license, and against the force, form and effect of a statute and certain proclamation in that behalf made, published, and proclaimed.'' It would appear also that at the same time Bonvisi’s leaseholders in Crosby Place, the Rooper and Rastell families, were likewise "departed beyond sea," by which means, and ‘in pursuance with the effect of the above-mentioned statute and inquisition, their estates and effects became forfeited.’

So, my questions are as follows:

Was absolute secrecy essential? What would you do with your moveable possessions in such circumstances? (There don’t appear too many options.) How would you survive financially while you were overseas? Obviously you could only carry so much coin and jewellery. Were you searched on your departure? Alternatively, were there ‘letters of credit’ redeemable at your destination? Why the tendency to go to Louvain, and why was Portugal not a popular destination?

Question from Ryan - Book recommendation on details of court life

I am looking for a book and I was hoping someone here could help me. I'm looking for a book that would give detailed information about court life. The various Lords, their duties, the break down of households and how positions were made available. I'm looking for something very detailed and very accurate. I want to understand not only how the goverment broke down but how a royal household broke down for Kings, Queens, Dowager Queens, ect.

I was also looking for a book the gave an overview of all of England during Tudor times. Political and Religious climate, agriculture.

I know these are probably very different books :)

Any help is greatly appreciated

Question from Sara Jane - Scandal of Kathryn Howard's age on "The Tudors"

Also on the show. they make it a mini scandal that Catherine is only 17 but at that time is that really considered that young for marriage?

Question from Sara Jane - Spanish ambassador at Henry's court

On season 4 of the tudors-the spanish ambassador is still there even though the King is on is second to last wife. Is this historically accurate? why is he still there I know he is an ambassador but it seems he was there mostly to help katherine

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Question from Taryn - Inevitability of Anne Boleyn's execution

Hi, I'm a long-time lurker first-time questioner. I love the Tudor period of history but I'm very much an amateur, and my question is more opinion than anything else.
Knowing what we know of Henry VIII's personality and behavior (through letters and first-hand accounts and whatnot), can anyone speculate whether there was anything that Anne Boleyn could have done differently during and after the divorce process to save her head (short of having a son)? Or was her beheading inevitable?

Question from Amy - Children of Elizabeth I

Has it ever been established if Elizabeth I ever had a child, because it was rumoured that she had?

[This question has been asked before, but it's been a while and I know that people might still be having trouble searching this blog due to the switch-over last month. See previous thread below. - Lara]

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Mentally challenged son of Mary Boleyn

I recently read in Tracy Borman's book, Elizabeth's Women, that Mary Boleyn supposedly gave birth to a mentally challenged son whom his aunt, Queen Anne Boleyn, could not suffer to be at court. I have never heard this before. I believe Anne assumed the wardship of Mary's son, Henry Carey, for a time. Mary was banished from court after marrying William Stafford without permission. There is no evidence that Henry Carey was mentally challenged, and there is some speculation that Mary and Stafford may have had two children--a son and a daughter named Anne. Does anyone know about the supposedly mentally challenged son of Mary Boleyn?

Question from Eric - Catherine of Aragon and the convent

I keep finding it asserted that Catherine of Aragon was advised to enter a convent, in order that she may retire honorably and allow her husband, Henry VIII, to remarry lawfully. I first came across this watching The Tudors, and now again watching the BBC miniseries "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"

I feel this needs to be corrected - Catholicism does not, and never had, taught that a CONSUMMATED marriage might be dissolved by one spouse having entered a convent. Once a Christian marriage is consummated, it may only be dissolved by death - a spouse may consent to his mate entering into religious life, but the spouse "left behind" in the world is not thereby free to remarry. He is still married, if continent, to his wife in religion.

Does anyone know that I am wrong on this, and if so, where is the documentation? I can't seem to find any documentation for Catherine having been told her marriage can be dissolved by entering a convent, just passing references to it, from sources apparently oblivious to Catholic doctrine.

In terms of my own sources, I cite my former seminary education, along with this from St Thomas Aquinas:

Also, see the old Catholic Encyclopedia articles, "Sacrament of Marriage" and "Religious Profession".

Religious profession only dissolved a marriage that has not been consummated, which would not apply to Catherine.

PERHAPS it was the case that Cardinal Campeggio and other hierarchs meant simply for Katherine to retire to the convent, take vows, and not dispute Henry's case for annullment? Which IS what happened to her contemporary St Joan of France, and which is something VERY different from saying her religious profession would have dissolved her marriage.

Do I have this right/

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Question from Brittany - Martin Luther and support for Katherine of Aragon

I was in the process of writing a paper on my favorite wife of Henry the 8th, Katherine of Aragon, when I searched her on wikipedia to get reference links from the bottom of her page to check out. I would never use anything from wikipedia in a paper because it isnt always reliable, but I came across a part of the page that said that Martin Luther supported Katherine in the king's Great Matter. This little fact did not have a note at the bottom to verify it, so I'm not sure if it's true or not. I tried googling anything about Luther and Katherine to see if anything more would come up, but I'm still not sure. Is there anything that either Luther or Katherine wrote that mentions his support of her? And if so, where might I find it so I can cite it in my paper?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comments glitch

Blogger seems to be having trouble with comments tonight (I keep getting an error message when I try to approve them), so if you submitted a comment today and it hasn't shown up, that's why. Hopefully it will be resolved soon!

Update: It looks like everything is working properly now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Margaret Lee and Anne's imprisonment

I'm not sure of this has been asked before--if so, please forgive the repeat.
I have just finished Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower, The Fall of Anne Boleyn.
I am curious about Margaret Wyatt Lee. Weir states there is no contemporary evidence that this lady attended Anne Boleyn in the tower or on the scaffold. I have read several places that Margaret Lee was the chief mourner at Anne's funeral--such as it was. Ms. Weir states that since her coffin was not interred until after noon, mass could not be said, and so only a blessing was said over the coffin. I was just wondering of anyone has any thoughts on whether Margaret Lee was there? It seems so strange that with nearly everything about Anne's days in the Tower being noted so copiously, why the identities of the ladies who attended her in her last few days and on the scaffold are so sketchy.

Question from Elizabeth M - Boiling of Cromwell's head

After his execution, why was the head of Thomas Cromwell boiled before being put up on a spike?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Question from Bettina - Anne of Cleves' household after the divorce

I'm wondering about Anne of Cleves after she was divorced and retired to Richmond, or more specifically, her household. It seems her old household was dissembled after the split from Henry and some of her ladies went on to serve Katherine Howard. But what about Anne? Did she still enjoy the full household a member of the royal family would have, just made up of new people (or a mix of old and new ones), at Richmond? And what happened with that huge castle after it became her residence? Even with a full-size entourage and the number of servants that entailed, wouldn't a big part of it have simply stood empty?

Question from Jessica - Mary Seymour

This is a question about Mary Seymour.
There is some information on your site about her. Alison Weir wrote in the Six wives of Henry the Eighth that she more than likely died in infancy. As someone else asked, why wasn't her death officially recorded then? Even if she did reach adulthood, her death wasn't recorded. Why not? Given the friendly relationship between Queen Mary I and Katherine Parr, (hence the namesake of Mary Seymour) it doesn't seem like she would be a target needing to live a secret life as someone had suggested. Queen Mary also enjoyed a warm relationship with Mary Seymour's aunt, and Queen Mary's step-mother, Jane Seymour.
Can you point me in the right direction about where to find more information?

General Curiosity.

Previous related thread:

Question from mobrien - Cleves and Anne's dowry

H8's fourth wife Anne of Cleves -- where exactly is Cleves? Was any sort of dowery involved with this marriage?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Question from Bron - Alice More

Where can I find out more about Alice More/Middleton nee Harpur, please? I have just read R. W. Chambers' biography of Sir Thomas More and Alice simply disappears from the account just prior to his execution.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Questioning of Jane Seymour in Anne Boleyn investigation

During the investigation into Anne Boleyn's alleged crimes of infidelity before her trial and execution, was there any contemporary source that mentioned whether or not Jane Seymour was asked questions? She was a lady-in-waiting to Anne. I have never seen anything that says she was questioned. Was that because she was known to be King Henry's paramour and it was decided it was best to leave her alone? As a lady-in-waiting, she would have been in a position to know if Anne had had liaisons of the intimate kind. Is there any evidence she offered what she may or may have not known to anyone?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Question from Shirley - Sir Walter Raleigh's head

I am writing a piece about Sir Walter Raleigh's head! After he was beheaded his wife was given his embalmed head. She kept it at her side for 29 years.
What I want to know is how would it have been embalmed? What would it have looked like? I can't find anything about emmbalming in the 1600s.
Can anyone help please?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Question from Michelle - Letters and Papers

Hi, I have a question about 'The Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII', 1910 (?). I've searched online, and am a bit confused as to what this is. While I know this, or at least part of this is available for view online/National Archives, I've seen references to it as a 21 volume set of books. Does anyone know if this exists? If so, is it basically a volume of copies of the primary sources, etc.? Also, is it available for purchase?
Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Question from Antonia - Law and history dissertation ideas

I am currently in my second year of a law degree and needing to think of a topic for my dissertation next year. i thoroughly enjoy english legal history especially the tudor period and would very much like to do my dissertation on this area but i am struggling to find a topic that is going to be relevent to law and not just history. i would be greatful if anyone had any ideas for me thanx Antonia

Not everything went as planned (big surprise)

Emma already mentioned this in a comment to the previous test post, but I discovered that not all of the recent comments have made it over to the new address. I'm looking through the Blogger help to see if anyone else has reported this. I have a back-up of everything though, so I can manually restore them if necessary.

Update: Blogger's migration FAQ says that it might take a while for comments to migrate through the upgrade, so I'll check back later tonight to see if that's the case. Right now everything after April 21, 2008 seems to be missing.

Update to the update: I've found posts after April 2008 now showing up with comments, so perhaps everything is working its way over. I'll give it a little more time before I totally freak out. :)

Yet another update: Looks like the comments are showing up correctly now and the ability to comment on old posts seems to be working okay (it wasn't working at one point yesterday). I noticed that the new search box isn't returning results for the new address yet ( so it probably hasn't been indexed yet. The whole site search box will still give you results from the old address ( so just use that for now.

Testing... testing...

Just testing post-migration.

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Migrating the blog today

As I mentioned in a previous post, due to changes at Blogger I have to make a change to this blog's address. I did the process with another blog earlier today and it seems to be working okay, so I'm going to take the plunge and do this one. If all goes well, in the next hour or so there will be a message here saying that the blog has moved and you will be automatically forwarded to the new address. There will also be a new feed address (which I will also update on the sidebar when it has all finished). All in all, this move is a good thing since publishing should go a lot quicker and it will be easier for me to update and adjust the design of the blog, which I've been wanting to do for a while.

So.... catch ya on the flipside!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Question from Mary - Children of Thomas Wolsey

I am curious about Thomas Wolsey. I believe he had 2 children and was wondering what became of them and are there any descendants living today.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Margaret Clifford

I am curious about Margaret Clifford, a first cousin of the Grey sisters. She earned Elizabeth I's ire for something and was kept under house arrest for a number of years? What did she do? Can anyone tell me about her? I know she was Ferdinando Stanley's mother, but that is about all. Judging from her portrait, she was quite attractive.

Question from Sara - Quote from "Utopia"

I have a question about a quote from Thomas More's Utopia. He says: “For this is one of the ancientest laws among them, that no man should be blamed for reasoning in the maintenance of his own religion.”

I'm a little confused about what this quote is saying. Is he advocating a kind of religious tolerance in this quote? Also, I believe there is some question about whether Utopia is some kind of parody, or if it is really More's beliefs in what society should be (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)? More doesn't seem like the type who would call for religious tolerance, unless it was because he had already sensed a threat to the Catholic Church?

Any insight you can give me on this topic is much appreciated!

Question from Neela - Sleeping arrangements for royalty

I was wondering if anyone would know about sleeping arrangements for royalty. For example, when Elizabeth was a young princess (around 12 or 13) where would her ladies-in-waitng sleep?

Question from Meg - Possible dissertation topic on Tudor consort queenship

Hi, I'm in my second year at university and am in the middle of thinking of a topic for my dissertation next year. The Tudors is my favorite periods in history and I am particularly interested in ideas of Tudor queenship (I am talking the six wives here rather than the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth). I'm not really sure where I want to go with this yet, but I like the idea of the influence that they had over Henry. If anyone has any suggestions that would narrow down my topic, these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Meg.

Question from szatek-tudor - Chart of Tudor royal bastards

Does anyone have a lengthy geneological chart of tudor royal bastards? My husband, last name Tudor, is much interested in his lineage. Or, would anyone have a good site I could search? One personal note: I'm a Shakespearean by trade and married a Tudor who writes plays! Very cool.

[There has been a lot of discussion of Tudor bastards (usually of Henry VIII) but I don't know if anyone has compiled them into one place? It's something I would like to do, but haven't gotten around to. - Lara]

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Question from Merlin - Name of Ferdinando Stanley

I have a query about Ferdinando Stanley (great grandson of Mary 'Rose' Tudor via her daughter, Eleanor). Why the name 'Ferdinando'? It seems most un-English and unusual. Does anyone have any information about how or why the name was chosen?

[I have to admit that I've always wondered about that too! - Lara]

Question from Hope - Passing of estates to sons or wives

I have a question on inheritance laws. If a lord died would his estate pass to his wife or his eldest son? And if the wife wasn't the son's mother, would she be sent back to her family? Or stay with her stepson?

Question from Haven - Bothwell's kidnapping of Mary Queen of Scots

I'm reading "The Other Queen" by Philippa Gregory, about Mary Queen of Scots. She mentions her husband Bothwell kidnapping and raping her, and yet she writes a letter to the king of Denmark demanding him to release her husband. I'm very confused about the relationship they had.

New posts in a moment - possible small blog address change in a few weeks

Sorry to the people who submitted questions in the past couple of days - they'll be posted shortly.

As for the address change... Google/Blogger is going to be dropping the ability to publish blogs via FTP, which is how I publish all the blogs that I run through their service. So, this presents me with a couple of choices - use their migration tool or move all the blogs to WordPress. Either option has its own pros and cons, but I think I'm going to try the Blogger tool first (which will change the URL for this blog, but the tool is supposed to include auto-forwarding). I'll experiment with it on one of my other blogs on my personal domain before I try it here, since this blog has a lot more traffic. The tool was originally supposed to be ready this past week, but now it looks like it won't be available until next week. Since they won't be cutting off FTP support until May, I'll probably wait until spring break to mess with it since I'll have time to fix anything that goes pear-shaped!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Henry VIII's interest in marriage potential of Jane Grey

I am currently reading the new biography of Lady Jane Grey by Eric Ives. It seems that interest in Jane as a marriage pawn really started up after the death of Henry VIII, when Thomas Seymour and her father, the Marquis of Dorset, were hoping to marry her to the young King Edward. While Henry VIII was alive, did he ever express any interest in the marriage potential of his great-niece? She was nearly ten when he died, and so were there any possible matches bandied about that King Henry had a hand in?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Question from Lee - Lost Faces catalogue

Hello, I have been trying to get hold of the 'Lost Faces: Identity and Discovery in Tudor Royal Portraiture' catalogue however have been unsuccessful on ebay and amazon. Does anyone have an electronic copy of the chapter regarding Lady Jane Grey they could email me. This would be much appreciated as I have been dying to read it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Question from Orla - Books or websites on Arthur Tudor

I was wondering if anyone knew of a book or website about Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Most things I read on the internet it says he was both weaker and less attractive than Henry VIII while in some books about Arthur and Henry's family the authors say he was tall and was good looking. I'm hoping to find some research which will actually tell me about the forgotten prince.

Question from Rachel - Catherine of Aragon and the excommunication of Henry VIII

In the Tudors series on Showtime it is depicted that Katherine of Aragon wrote to the Pope personally to have Henry VIII excommunicated if he did not send Anne Boleyn from court and take Katherine back as his true and rightful Queen. Now I know Henry VIII was actually served with a letter stating exactly this from the Pope but I am not so sure that Katherine put was brazen enough to send the Pope a letter asking for this and cannot find this info anywhere. Does anyone here know if this is true or just another Showtime inaccuracy?

Question from Rachel - Death of Anthony Knyvett

I have a question concerning Sir Anthony Knyvett. He has said to have died in 1549 and I had read somewhere on a message board that he died in a shipwreck. Does anyone know if this is true? And if so was it a war ship? I have tried to research this but have been unable to find out much information about him using the internet.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Question from Elizabeth M - Full-length bios of Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII)

Has there ever been, or are there any plans in the works, to publish a full-length biography of Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII's sister? She led an amazing life, and it seems there is enough material for her to have a bio just on her. I have the two books, The Rose and the Thorn, and the book by Maria Perry, in which she and her sister Margaret are written about in the same volume. But she is surely deserving of her own volume.

Question from Jessica - Lord's Prayer in England

I am curious about the Lord's Prayer in England. Was it changed during the 1530s, and if so, how? How was it phrased before this time? Thanks!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Question from Evelyn - Anne Boleyn's intentions

So I have seen the movie ''The other Boleyn girl'', and read the books, Mary, bloody mary''
and ''Doomed queen Anne''. What is everyone's veiw on what Anne Boleyn's actual intentions were? It seems to m like she wanted to be queen, but some have told me it was completly the king's idea. Thanks!


Question from Helen - Touching prisoners on their way to execution

I've been watching "The Tudors" show and have a question re: the execution of Anne Boleyn. In the series when she was taken to the execution block people from the crowd were trying to touch her dress. Why were the crowds eager to touch the person to be executed? Some were trying to hand the accused the cross, etc.

Question from Memory - Travel and children of ladies in waiting

When a lady in waiting to the Queen wanted to go home to see her family, how did they travel? Who was responsible for arranging and paying for the trip. Also, if they lady was married and had children, where did the children stay when the lady attended her duties with the Queen?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Question from Sarah Anne - Tudor clothing recommendations

In need of suggestions!

A friend of mine, who is a costume designer (we are both college theatre majors) has asked to make a Tudor style gown for me since she knows how much I love the Tudors.

In order to help her, I have decided to buy a french hood that she can use as a concept for the dress' color and accessories/ornamentations.

Does anyone know of any websites/stores where one can buy accurate/quality french hoods? (style Anne Boleyn/younger Elizabeth wore) Or websites that sell particulary good Tudor clothing?

Thank you!

Question from Marilyn R. - Portrait of Catherine of Aragon as Mary Magdalene

Wikipedia is showing a portrait it claims to be of a young Katherine of Aragon as Mary Magdalene, and Wikimedia Commons also shows this and another of the same sitter as the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child. They claim both are by Michael Sittow around 1501, but to my mind this is not the girl in the famous 1502 Sittow portrait of a rather pensive young Katherine wearing a magnificent gold chain and necklace, although it could be said there are some facial similarities.

I think the second one, the Virgin & Child, dates from a few years later and is now in a museum in Berlin. Can anyone shed any light on a Katherine connection with these two paintings?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Question from Kayleigh - Website recommendations

This is a pretty non-specific question. Basically im a web browser, in the sense that i use it to look at things that interest me regularly, so here im wondering if anyone has any Tudor site recommendations aside from this one (which is fantastic by the way Lara). My particular areas of interest are Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Elizabeth I, but anything Tudor related grabs my interest.

[Thanks Kayleigh! - Lara]

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Question from Sasha - Living descendants of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

I know there are no decendants of Henry VIII on record. I would like to know are there any direct decendants of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York? Birth records seem to cease at a certain piont. If there are do they hold any titles?

Question from Katlyn - Henry VIII and Cromwell's letter from the Tower

This may be common knowledge, but I just want to make sure: Henry VIII read Cromwell's letter from the Tower (the famous "mercy, mercy, mercy" one), yes? I was under the impression that this was established but I just realized that I don't know where I got that idea, and I could not find an answer online. Thanks!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Question from Melissa - Statue of Anne at Blickling Hall

Hi. I was just reading Agnes Strickland's book on the queens of England, and when she talks about Anne Boleyn, she mentions a statue of her at Blickling Hall. Does anyone know if this statue is still extant? None of Anne's other biographers mention it, which leads me to believe it either turned out to be a fake, or, more likely, has since been destroyed or lost. Any info? Thanks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Question from Jessica - Monopolies cancelled by Elizabeth I

It is claimed that Elizabeth I cancelled some monopolies after much lively debate in the Parliament of 1601. Do you know which onopolies (or who held them) were cancelled?


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Question from Thamina - Tudor horse tack

I am setting up a dollhouse Tudor Inn, what kind of tack,(saddle, bridle, etc.), would the horses wear? A merchant and minor noble would be what i am looking for.

Question from Elizabeth M - Sources for Ethelreda, possible daughter of Henry VIII

I have just started reading AFTER ELIZABETH, by Leanda de Lisle, and I have found something I have never come across before. She mentions very early on that Henry VIII had an illegitimate daughter named Ethelreda. I knew about Henry Fitzroy, and the arguments that Mary Boleyn's two children may have been fathered by Henry. But I have never heard of Ethelreda. Henry never acknowledged her? What is known about her? Were there other children fathered by Henry that were not acknowledged by him? Where did Ms. de Lisle find out about Ethelreda?

[She has popped up in other threads about possible bastards of Henry VIII, which I've linked to below. There are a lot of other discussions on this site about unacknowledged children of Henry VIII which can be found by searching on "bastard", "illegitimate", "mistress", etc. - Lara]