Monday, April 18, 2011

Question from Lauren - Godchildren of the Tudors

How many godparents did Tudor people have? Were they always named after them?

Was Mary Tudor, Queen of France the godmother of Mary I of England, or was that another Mary?

I read that Elizabeth I had over 100 godchildren. Is this true?

Did she ever turn people down who wanted her as a godparent? Did other Tudor kings and queens have a similar number of godchildren? Did the Tudor monarchs favor their godchildren over other courtiers?

And lastly, is there a list of each ruler's godchildren anywhere? Do we know who any of them were?

[I combined two related questions from Lauren together for this post. - Lara]


kb said...

Quite a few questions here....

During Elizabeth's reign elite, non-royal children generally had 3 god parents - 2 the same sex as the child and 1 of the opposite sex. Naming rights generally went to the senior god parent of the same sex as the child. For more on this you might want to look at the work of R. Houlbrooke, "The English Family, 1450-1700" (1984).

Queen Elizabeth was godmother to a great many children including James the VI of Scotland. She was godmother to several of the Carey/Knollys clan.

tudor princess said...

Mary Tudor was godmother to her brother, Edward VI, along with Anne Stanhope, Edward Seymour's wife. I believe she also had other godchildren.

Having 3 godparents, 2 the same sex as the child and 1 of the opposite sex is still the norm today in England.

Foose said...

Regarding the question about Mary "Rose" Tudor being the godmother of her niece, Queen Mary Tudor, Strickland claims the duchess of Norfolk (I think this would be Agnes Tilney, as it is 1516) and Katherine Plantagenet (Elizabeth of York's sister, the countess of Devonshire) were the child's godmothers. Linda Porter's biography of Mary confirms this but also states that the the christening ceremony was followed "as was the custom" by a confirmation ceremony, "and this required a third godmother. The lady chosen was Margaret Pole, countess of Salisbury." Most biographies agree that the child was named for her aunt, though.

Guy said...

Many biographies state as a fact that she was named after her aunt, but I've never seen anything to back this up. It could have been after Katherine of Aragon's friend, Mary Willoughby, or the Virgin Mary, or just a name they liked; it was a common name.