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?