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/