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.


kb said...

This depended entirely on the status of her family and her new husband's position. If her husband held an office at court, or was titled, there would have been a formal, yet brief, introduction to the king. For example, if her husband was a gentleman of the chamber she would have been formally introduced to the king. In fact, her husband may have had to ask the king's permission before marrying.

If her husband held no court/household office and his rank was low compared to other members of the court, she may have not been introduced to the king and he may have just seen her about and gone up to ask her name, or have a groom find out her name.

Lucretia said...

I'm not completely certain about this, but I doubt that a woman from the time of Henry VIII would have been named Sarah. Such "Old Testament" names were not popular until later in the Reformation, probably during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Puritans especially liked them.

Liz said...

Thanks! I'm planning on making her husband an earl and was thinking that a formal introduction would be the more plausible situation, but I wasn't sure.

kb said...

Lucretia has a point. Sarah wasn't a very popular name for the elites of England during the early 16th century. It would have sounded a bit Jewish at that time unless it was an old family name - also not that likely.

An earl would have introduced his new bride to the king at an audience.