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???


tudor fanatic said...

I suppose you could say that some wives had similarities with each other. For example, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour both caught the King's eye when his marriage to their predecessor was going badly. Also, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn both displeased him due to their inability to give him a son. I suppose you could also say that Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were similar as they were both beheaded on charges of adultery. And with the possible exception of Katherine Howard, you could say that they were all very devout and loyal to their faith. I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but I hope it helps anyway :)

Alia said...

Some did, yes. For instance, Anne of Cleves and Katherine of Aragon were both put away (at least partly in Catherine's case) for their aging, not-so-lovely looks. Both Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr were devout Protestants, and very strong women. Katherine Howard and Jane Seymour were both young, and Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn both caught the King's eye during their predesessor's failing times. Both Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon bore girls; Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were both beheaded (on the same charges, adultery, though Anne was also accused of incest), and Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were cousins, related through Anne's mother Elizabeth Howard Boleyn. Like 'Tudor Fanatic,' I'm not sure if this is what you want, Kelly, but I hope it helped.

Diane said...

Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr all openly spoke out about Henry's treatment of them or his actions against those subjects who disagreed with him.

Elizabeth M. said...

Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr were definitely the intellectuals of Henry's wives. Both were extremely well-educated and enlightened about the reformist faith.
Catherine of Aragon was also well-educated--as a Renaissance princess of Spain, she would be. But she was bound to her traditional faith and a subservient role as wife. She was also quite self-righteous. Like Anne Boleyn, Catherine was stubborn and strong-willed.
Jane Seymour had more in common with her second cousin Anne Boleyn than has been previously believed. Jane was not the meek and sweet maiden her quiet persona had many people believe. Like Anne Boleyn, she was highly ambitious and ruthless. She set her sights on being queen, just as Anne had done, and had no compunction about going along with the political intrigue that brought down her predecessor. She literally became queen over her former mistress's dead body.
Anne of Cleves seemed like a simpleton, but she was not. She may not have been trained in languages, music and dancing, but she was blessed with common sense. She could have put up a stink when it became obvious Henry wanted to be rid of her, but she backed down, and was treated to an honorable retirement. Catherine of Aragon could have learned a thing or two from her in that respect.
Poor Catherine Howard had really only one thing in common with other wives--namely ambition. She was delighted to become queen. Unfortunately, she had neither the education or intelligence of Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, or Katherine Parr, and none of the steely determination of Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, and none of the common sense of Anne of Cleves. She was sadly a giddy young teenager caught up in a situation she was emotionally too young to handle.

kate said...

Four of the six of Henry's wives were English. He prefered to marry within his kingdom, rather than marry to secure political alliances and the 2 foreign queens he did marry, were both put away.Albiet for different reasons. Four of the 6 wives were mature women with only Kathryn Howard being truely young. 5 of the six wives were eridute, intellegent women, aware and vocal regarding the political climate and 5 of the 6 were devoutly religous. Four of the five wives were considered larger (not by todays standards) in stature than most women of the period.