Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Question from Lauren - Nicholas Carew

I am interested in Nicholas Carew.

I read that he was very similar to the King and people even suggested that he might be the King's illegitimate brother. Was there anything to support this?

Also, Wikipedia says he fell out with Henry VIII after responding angrily to the King insulting him. Do we know the full story?

Also do you think he was guilty of treason?


Foose said...

Could you identify your source that says Nicholas Carew resembled the king? I couldn't find anything in a trawl through various books - Henry's cousin Henry Courtenay is often cited as a look-alike, and so is Edward Neville.

Carew's great-grandmother was Eleanor Welles, a half-sister of Margaret Beaufort (Henry's grandmother) so a resemblance is not inconceivable. Usually, however, Henry's characteristic traits - height, red hair, etc. - are associated with the Yorkist side, which Courtenay was related to.

It is interesting to hear of a supposed resemblance coming from the Lancastrian side. Edward Neville had a very remote Beaufort ancestry, which wouldn't really account for the alleged similarity to Henry.

Carew's parentage seems unexceptional and Henry VII is not cited as frolicking with Malyn Oxenbridge, Carew's mother (or anyone else, really). So I'm interested in where this assertion appeared.

However, all three men were associated with each other and suffered the penalty for treason in the late 1530s. If Carew's look-alike status could be reasonably proved, it would seem to have perhaps been rather dangerous to be a Henrician double - a fiction writer could work up an intriguing "Man in the Iron Mask" type of plot.

Lauren said...

Thanks for your answer, I'd read it in The Mistresses of Henry VIII, but when I double checked it was Edward Neville it was referring to.