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!!!


Kathy said...

1. Well, in the usual fashion of The Tudors, they got time, place, person, and action all in a muddle. Lord Surrey is Henry Howard, Lord Surrey, son of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. In reality, he was raised with Henry's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, who didn't die as a child as an earlier season of the show had it. And, as far as I know, he never slept with Edward Seymour's wife. One thing they got right -- he was a very accomplished poet. You can check out the Wikipedia article about him for a good short introduction.

2. No. They normally stuck heads on spikes at the south entrace to London Bridge. As far as I know, that was never done in the Tower. And it looked like Katherine was going through Traitor's Gate and the heads were in the underground portion of that, which is quite senseless, as nobody would be able to see them except people already arrested for treason. In any case, I'm not at all sure Katherine was taken in through Traitor's Gate. She may have gone in through the Byward Tower entrance as Elizabeth later did.

Marilyn R said...

“Culpeper and Dereham were drawn from the Tower of London to Tyburn, and there Culpeper, after an exhortation made to the people to pray for him, he standing on the ground by the gallows, kneeled down and had his head stricken off; and then Dereham was hanged, membered, bowelled, headed, and quartered their heads set on London Bridge.”
Wriothesley, Chronicle, I, p. 131

Neither Culpeper nor Dereham was of sufficiently high status to be executed within the Tower or on Tower Hill. Instead, they were taken to Tyburn, the place of common execution, close to where Marble Arch stands today.

Visscher's 1616 map of London viewed from the Southwark side clearly shows heads on spikes.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Ladies, I knew the heads were usually displayed for all to see as a "warning." So I was really shocked when they showed Katherine finding the heads, and wondered if maybe I was mistaken about what I thought I knew.

And Kathy- Thanks for info on Henry Howard! I can't wait to read up!

Elizabeth M. said...

Yes, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was the son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. He was a first cousin of Anne Boleyn AND Katherine Howard, not the latter's uncle, as depicted in the series. Anne's mother, Elizabeth, and katherine's father, Edmund, were the brother and sister of Thomas, the 3rd Duke.
There is no contemporary evidence that Anne Stanhope, Edward Seymour's wife ever slept with either him or her brother-in-law, Thomas Seymour. Edward Seymour and his wife Anne Stanhope had ten children, and not one of them was named Thomas, as is depicted in the series.
The heads of Culpeper and Dereham were stuck up on London Bridge--it is very possible Katherine saw the heads there as she was taken by river to the Tower.