Saturday, December 29, 2012

Question from Eva - Seymour children birth order

I am hoping to find some Seymour family expert who can advise me on the birth dates of the Seymour siblings. Elizabeth Seymour's DOB, for example, is variously listed as 1505, c.1500-1505, 1510, and 1513. The order of the children seems pretty solidly accepted, but I want to learn more about the lesser known siblings and to start I want to have at least a good idea of their birth dates/relative ages. Can anyone help?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Question from Laura - Elizabeth in the Tower

When Elizabeth was in the tower during Mary's reign, where did she stay? Was she in proper rooms as befitting her station as a princess or was she housed in a cell?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Question from Amber - Elizabeth choice to become "The Virgin Queen"

Almost four years ago I did a high school senior project on Anne Boleyn, and I received such wonderful help from this website. Now, as a senior in college and soon to graduate (in May with a degree in Secondary English Education), I have taken a graduate level course on Renaissance Literature and for my final project I had studied the psychology behind Elizabeth I and her given name The Virgin Queen. I have spent hours in the library, printed articles, and have studied literature that depicts Queen Elizabeth. However, I'm interested in really finding out the impact of Elizabeth's life on her decision to become The Virgin Queen. I know that even today our life experiences as children and teenagers can impact the choices of our adulthood. I guess what I'm looking for is some supporting evidence that through the events of Elizabeth's life (four step-mothers, unsettling experiences with Thomas Seymour, being put in the tower by Mary, etc.) would have impacted her psychologically in some sense. I'm really not asking this for my project, but this project has sparked an immense, sincere interest in learning about Elizabeth's choice to be The Virgin Queen.

I'm really curious in any possible responses, and greatly appreciate them.


Monday, December 03, 2012

Question from Lady Domino - Jane Popincourt

When did Jane Popincourt die? (purely curiosity on my part)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Question from Megan - Causes of death

Has there been any papers published about the illness that caused the death of Arthur Tudor, Henry FitzRoy, Edward VI, and Henry Brandon, Earl of Lincoln. I can't remember where I read it, but diabetes could have been the genetic cause of death, thanks

Monday, November 19, 2012

Question from Lisa - Patrick Williams book on Catherine of Aragon

I am wondering about Patrick Williams' book on Catherine of Aragon, I have not been able to get a copy of it, I am wondering if anyone else has been able to get a copy of it, or if they know how I could get one?

Reminder! Survey and Book Give-away

Go here for the details:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Question from Ben - Evidence of Tudor homosexuality

Tudor Homosexuality - Has My Mum Made an Interesting Discovery?

My Mum enjoys researching local history and I think she may have discovered an interesting reference in a 1547 will.

A noble, Henry Marwood, apparently unmarried leaves various rings and valuable possession to his mother, brothers and a few others. What caught my Mum's eye was when he left:-

Mr. Peter Osborne, my bedfellowe and specyall frynde, my sealynge rynge of golde, whervvythe I have sealyd this my last wyll.

"Bedfellow and special friend" seems a delightful way to refer to a gay partner. As Marwood's mother was executor, presumably the family accepted the relationship. But are such references rare enough to make them interesting?

My Mum was looking at the book it in a local library, but the full text(Charles Worthy, Devonshire Wills 1896.), is online. The Marwood will is on page 2:-

Thank you


A few related threads are linked below. - Lara

Monday, November 12, 2012

Question from Katie - Women's hunting outfits

I have trying to research hunting outfits in early Tudor England. I came across a note in a book that said women occasional would wear men's breeches and boots while hunting or hawking, but I have been unable to find any other reference to support this. Is this true? Would women of standing ever wear breeches or pants of some sort.

Question from Lenora - Perceptions of red hair

I have a questioning regarding red hair--I know that the Tudors were redheads and that red hair became a really popular color during Queen Elizabeth's reign (as she of course was a redhead.)

However, I recently read that redheads in the UK today are often discriminated against and disparaging called "gingers."

Also, the Puritans believed that red hair people were more likely to be witches.

How did red hair go from being a sign of royalty to something considered evil or undesirable?

Also, this is un-Tudor related but I was wondering if people in the UK really don't like "gingers" or if its some kind of odd joke. I read the whole "ginger prejudice" thing on wiki so I am unsure if its true.

Thanks for reading/answering my question!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Question from Stacey - Crown wearing

Lara, just watching the video on Henry's crown, loving it! Thank you for posting it.
How often were the crowns actually worn? Especially for the royal women....the only paintings you see have them in hoods. Also,(men & women), is there a size/design difference based on their rank?

Question from Sarah - Mary Tudor Brandon and Anne Boleyn's Coronation

I've read several times that Mary Rose Tudor died just before the coronation of Anne Boleyn. I have also read that she didn't die until three weeks after the ceremony, and that she did refuse to go. What is the truth?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Question from Jan - The Regale of France

The Regale of France, donated by Louis VII, and purloined by Henry VIII from the Shrine of Thomas Becket, was made into a ring for Henry. Somewhere - and I cannot now find the source - it was mentioned that this jewel found its way into a collar for Queen Mary (Bloody Mary). Does anyone know the whereabouts of the Regale now or did it just disappear.

Also information and description is confusing. The Regale is most often referred to as a Cabuchon Ruby but elsewhere I've seen it referred to as a diamond. Could anyone elucidate please.

Thank you in anticipation.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Question from Caitlin - Burial and mourning customs

Trying to research for a novel set in the late Medieval - early Tudor period. The Duke has died shortly after announcing the engagement of his grandson (then earl, now marquis). I am trying to make sure I get all the details about burial and mourning correct.

First libations are said, then there is a wake, then burial in the church. Black was the color of mourning. Is there a mourning period where celebrations such as a wedding would be put on hold or is that only for a widow to ensure she isn't pregnant. Any other details about how the household would be run or "decorated" (i.e. cloth on mirrors such as in Judaism)?


Related thread linked below. - Lara

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Question from Reyna - Henry VIII's possible divorce of Katherine Parr

I learned that Cathrine Parr was Henry VIII's sixth and last wife. I also heard rumors he wanted to divorce her and marry someone else. Is this true?
Thanks. :)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Question from Courtney - Introductions

I'm trying to find out some information about introductions - namely, how people introduced themselves to each other. My particular interest is in the nobility and how they would have been introduced to each other at court. Did a man just walk up to a girl he liked and say "Hi, I'm the earl of So-and-So"? And how would she respond? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Question from Sarah - Backlash against Spaniards

When Henry VIII was annuling his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, was there a backlash against other Spaniards at Court and in London?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Question from Bron - Men's rings

Men wearing rings in Tudor portraits.

I am intrigued by Holbein's Man with a Lute and I note the young man is wearing a ring on the 'ring finger' of his right hand.

And yet I can find very little information on men's rings at this time. Does anyone have more information, please?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Question from Daire - David Loades' books

I was wondering what the opinion on David Loades is. I have read that he is a well respected historian but I purchased his Mary Rose book and was deeply disappointed. I was thinking about buying his biography on Katherine Howard, and his book on Jane Seymour which is due out in January, but I'm not sure to bother. Has anyone read his other books, and would they suggest them?

Friday, October 26, 2012

New survey and “Anne of Hollywood” book give-away!

[Cross-posted from the News blog]

Another thing that I'm still catching up on from the summer....

I received two copies of Carol Wolper's Anne of Hollywood to give away, so I thought this would be a great chance to run another survey! (If you want to see the one I did a few years back, you can read about it here.)

You can go to the survey here and you'll be directed back to the main page once you're finished (and you won't be able to see the results until I post them, sorry!). You can take the survey without being entered in the contest, just leave the space for your email address blank. I'll leave the survey open through November 30, 2012 and contact the winners shortly after and post the survey results here on the blog!

A little about the book:

Skirts are shorter now, and messages sent by iPhone, but passion, intrigue, and a lust for power don’t change. National bestselling author Carol Wolper spins a mesmerizing tale of a twenty-first-century Anne Boleyn.

Wily, intelligent, and seductive, with a dark beauty that stands out among the curvy California beach blondes, Anne attracts the attention of Henry Tudor, the handsome corporate mogul who reigns in Hollywood. Every starlet, socialite, and shark wants a piece of Henry, but he only wants Anne. The question is: can she keep him?

Welcome to a privileged world where hidden motives abound, everyone has something to sell, and safe havens don’t exist. Henry Tudor has more options than most men, and less guilt than is good for anyone. The two may be in love, but even Anne’s wiles and skill won’t guarantee his enduring passion. With Henry’s closest confidante scheming against her, and another beautiful contender waiting in the wings, Anne is fighting not just for the lifestyle to which she has grown accustomed . . . but for love. Can she muster the charm and wit to pull off her very own Hollywood ending?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Question from Stacey - Separate heart burial practice

Why with some kings & queens are their hearts buried in a different spot than their bodies are?

[We've had some other threads on specific people having their heart buried separately, but I don't think the practice in general has been discussed much. - Lara]

Question from Amanda - Catherine Fiennes, possible daughter of Thomas Fiennes

I was looking into my family's genealogy recently and came across the name Catherine Fiennes. She was apparently a granddaughter of Sir John Fiennes (1447-1484) and Alice Fitzhugh (1448-1516), an ancestor of Catherine Parr. According to the genealogy book I have, Sir John Fiennes and Alice Fitzhugh had a son named Thomas Fiennes 8th Baron Dacre (1472-1533); he married Anne Bourchier. They are said to have had a daughter, Catherine Fiennes (born circa 1490). However, I have tried to research this and have found no record of a Catherine Fiennes. The only female child of Thomas Fiennes and Anne Bourchier that I have found records of is Mary Fiennes, Lady Norris (1495-1531). So, my question would be - Who is this Catherine Fiennes? Could it have been possible for Anne Bourchier to have had an illegitimate daughter whose birth went unrecorded? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Question from shtove - Online Tudor bills of mortality

I've looked online for transcripts of Tudor bills of mortality, but no luck.

The bills are lists of deaths in the city of London for the years 1563 and 1592-94.

Help appreciated.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Question from Michele - Katherine of Aragon quote

I love the quote from Queen Katherine of Aragon: "If I had to choose between extreme sorrow and extreme happiness, I would always choose sorrow, for when you are happy you forget about spiritual things, you forget about God. But in your sorrow, He is always with you." Is this just a great scripted line for the Tudors, or is there proof she actually wrote or said it? I'm currently writing a book and want to get the facts!!! Thank you, Michele

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Question from Jessa - Family politics in early modern Europe

Can anyone recommend any good sources for learning more about family politics / the way the family functioned in private vs. public in early modern Europe? Although I am mainly interested in English families, those from other countries would be useful as well (maybe French and Italian?). Thank you!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Question from Laura - Dissertation ideas for Katherine Parr, etc.

Firstly I stumbled upon this website today and I can't get over how incredible it is. I am a third year history student and am in awe of all the content!

I am about to start my dissertation and believe that the Tudors is a topic that, despite being a topic many have done before, I don't mind spending the next five months researching.

I've been attempting to think of an "original" (to a certain extent!) topic and quite like the idea of Katherine Parr or even Anne Askew (though it is 10,000 words). I wondered if anyone had any ideas on an interesting angle - I was thinking of Katherine Parr and how her religious activities made her a political figure or how she was important not because of just being Henry VIII wife but because her experiences can sort of highlight the aristocratic women in the Tudor Court.

Thank you - I've been looking at all the archive questions and answer and again they are great!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Question from Chloe - Tudor jousting

I am trying to find out any facts about jousting in tudortimes for my year8 (I am 12 years old)homework. Can anyone help me or know of any sites that could help? Thanks

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Question from Amy - Name of and musicians at the Field of the Cloth of Gold

I'm doing research for my NaNoWriMo novel, which is going to be primarily based at the Field of Cloth of Gold and concerning court musicians for Henry VIII. I primarily have two questions:

From what I've read, Field of Cloth of Gold was not a contemporary term for the meet-up between Henry VIII and Francis I. Was there another official title to this meeting?

Secondly, I need to know more about housing for court musicians. Did they live in quarters at the palace, or were they responsible for their own outside dwellings?

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Question from Kay - 16th century medical training

I am curious about medical training in the sixteenth century. What were the qualifications and studies required to practice medicine?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Question from Penelope - Queens paying their executioner

I've heard that traditionally, the condemned paid the headsman for his services prior to their executions - would this have applied to the executed Tudor queens (Anne, Kathryn, Jane Grey) as well, or, being of noble blood, were they allowed to forgo that? It seems so needlessly barbaric!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Question from Orla - John, heir of Sir George Hastings

I was wondering about John, son and heir of Sir George Hastings who was the ward of Thomas Boleyn. Is there any information on him? Did he live with the Boleyns?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Question from shtove - Chocolate in Tudor England

Chocolate: any evidence for it in Tudor England?

Familiar to the Spanish from about 1520, and imported to Spain comercially from the 1580s.

The first English reference to it that I can find is an ad for a chocolate house in London in 1657.

I find it difficult to believe the English were unfamiliar with it for so long.

Wikipedia has some decent articles on the history, but no answer to my question. One passage says Spain sweetened it up and then kept it a secret for almost 100 years, but doesn't elaborate.

As far as I can tell the drink was popular throughout Spain, at all levels of society, but it was only in the 17thC that the taste spread to France & Italy, eventually to England.

The potato popped up in Europe at about the same time, and seems to have spread through ordinary trade.

I suppose trade monopolies and embargos relating to the wars with Spain might explain its sluggish spread. But still ...

Any insights?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Question from Joycem - Richard III burial

I am facinated by the discovery of the remains that may be Richard III in Leicester Ive always been interested in Tudor history and lived in Leicester for a while (Im in California now) so was a fequent visitor to Bradgate. Also worked around the area where the remains were found.
So will Richard be given a grand buriel? what do folks think

Question from Amelia - Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhitt

Could you tell me about Lady Elizabeth Tyrwhitt, the chief lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth. I haven't been able to find anything on her. I was just curious about her life, family background, what she died of and when and what she looked like. I think she might have been an ancestor of mine and I would really like to know everything about her!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Question from Eva - Henry VIII's political philosophy


I am keen to get some opinions on Henry VIII's political philosophy. I find the man fascinating and have just read "The Prince" by Machiavelli for the first time. My impression is that the ideals in this book are certainly applicable to many facets of Henry VIII's reign, but having done some research (admittedly only online thus far) I am not sure I am convinced that Henry actually read this book and absorbed its advice. (I found a note that Cromwell spoke highly of it, but could not trace the source back to a letter or account. Has anyone come across this?)

On the other hand, I feel that the impact of Erasmus' work on Henry is clear. I would like to study more of the political theory that may have shaped Henry's reign, although the very question is tenuous. A book called "The Counter-Reformation Prince" by Robert Bireley came up in a search, and I have never heard of it before. Can anyone shed some light on it or point me in a different direction?

Thanks so much!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Question from Stuart - Badges, liveries and standards of Richard de la Pole

I find Richard de la Pole a most interesting character, particularly his military capability as a Captain in the armies of Louis XII & Francis I.

What intrigues me most are his sustained efforts at launching an invasion of England, particularly that which came the closest to fruition in 1514.

I wonder what standard or banner he would have used. I know that in French service it was common for nobles to use their own heraldic banners and it appears that the swallow tailed standards still being used by the English at this time were peculiar to England.

What banner could he have used had he launched the invasion of 1514?

The ideas I have come up with so far are perhaps a Lion rampant (I know his brother used this)and almost certainly with white roses featuring - in many ways it could have borne a resemblance to similar banners used by Edward IV.

Any suggestions?

The only definite sources I have found so far with regard to badges and livery are;

His guard and minstrels at Metz wore white and blue livery.

He referred to himself as the white rose or blancherosee.

Lions rampant feature on his coat of arms.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Question from Marie - Personalities of the Tudors

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what Edward vi (Henry the eighth's son) personality was like. I am also curious as to the personalities of his sisters Mary and Elizabeth.

Question from Mark - Elizabeth on the "Great Harry"

In the movie "Young Bess" Elizabeth was on the ship "Great Harry". I asked if this was in fact? Thanks for any answers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Question from Orla - Katherine Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

Hi, was wondering about Katherine Tudor, the youngest child of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. How long did she live for roughly? And where was she buried? Did Henry VII ever see her, and did Henry VIII or his other sisters visit her?

Question from Michelle - Ladies in waiting spying on Queens

First, thank you for such a helpful and informative blog!

My questions are in regard to using ladies-in-waiting to spy on a queen's doings, particularly Catherine of Aragon, and how such "arrangements" were made.

Firstly, do we actually know of any instances where a lady-in-waiting was known (or at least highly suspected) as a spy who willingly and freely passed on information about her mistress to a third party? Would love some definitive documentation (e.g. letters to/from said spy, financial transactions, arrest warrants, etc), but would also love to hear what courtiers thought or suspected as well (e.g. if someone like Chapuys thought a particular woman was untrustworthy or betraying the Queen, etc) Also, do we know if there's any truth to that habit in period Tudor dramas where the Queen always dismisses her ladies before important conversations, and if so, was this due to fear or knowledge of spies?

Particularly, do we have any evidence of Cardinal Wolsey using Catherine of Aragon's English ladies-in-waiting to spy on her? I remember hearing somewhere that he used his influence to dismiss CoA's Spanish ladies-in-waiting and replace them with English ladies that reported to him (or at least ladies that CoA couldn't trust), but I can't remember if I heard it from a "factual" source or from fiction. It does seem something that Wolsey (or Cromwell) might do, though! What do we know of CoA's ladies informing other parties about her private dealings?

In a more general sense, if someone like Wolsey did wish to use a lady-in-waiting as a spy on the Queen, how would such an arrangement be made? For example, would he approach the woman directly, or would he approach her family so that her father/male relatives could instruct her? Would he likely suborn an existing lady-in-waiting, or might he try to arrange for a loyal family/woman to be placed with the Queen's household? Would these likely be long-term and all inclusive arrangements, or would they likely be negotiated for specific incidents (e.g. "The Queen is meeting with Bishop Fisher tomorrow. Tell me what they discuss.")? What sorts of bribery might be used? Would the lady be likely to use letters to pass on the information, or would she do it person, and if so, how and with who? (meeting in private areas with loyal servants, knocking on Cromwell's office door, etc?) Lastly, what would be the potential penalties for a woman who refused to inform on her mistress, or passed along lies/glossed over important information?

(Thanks so much for your answers! I will likely be back with other questions re: CoA and ladies in waiting. As a side note, if anyone could recommend some good texts about Catherine of Aragon and her ladies-in-waiting, I'd definitely appreciate it. I would even love some fiction recommendations for that topic, as long as they're not too wildly inaccurate.)

Friday, August 03, 2012

Question from Sarah - Attitudes towards animals

Hello. I was wondering where I could read more about Tudors' attitudes to animals?

Related threads:

Comment from Tracy - Mary Tudor Brandon's hair color

I have been following the Tudors since I was 14 years old after having seen "Anne Of The Thousand Days". I'm 57 now so my fascination borders on obsession.

I wanted to add an interesting tidbit to the ongoing discussion about the color of Mary Tudor Brandon's lock of hair. Whether her hair was actually a "reddish gold" or "pure gold" really can't be judged properly because of this little known fact - Did Mary use the old English beauty secret of the common use of lye for making hair more blonde than red? We won't know the answer unless there is a test for lye that can be done without compromising the condition of the lock of hair in the museum. I read this information in Maria Perry's excellent book "The Sisters Of Henry VIII". This is found on page xiv of the Introduction.


Tracy Holt McClary

Related thread:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Question from Laura - "Secrets of the Virgin Queen"

I recently watched Secrets of the Virgin Queen on NatGeo, and one of the "secrets" was the discussion of a rumor about "the Bisley boy." I had never heard this before, and I while I think it's clear it's a ridiculous rumor, I'm wondering how many people believed it, and whether it was a rumor known during Elizabeth's time, or did it come from a later era?

The show also claimed that Elizabeth wore her makeup to hide pox scars from a bout of small pox. Is it true that she had smallpox? I've never read that before. I was under the impression that she started using the makeup to hide signs of aging (and achieve the desired pale English complexion), and that the use of the white lead makeup discolored her skin causing her to need to use more to cover the effects.

I've focused most of my reading on Henry and his wives so I'm not as familiar with the rumors and common misconceptions about Elizabeth as I am about those of her mother.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Question from Linda - Parr's "Lamentations of a Sinner"

Is there a translation or copy of the book written by Queen Catherine Parr, Lamentations of a Sinner ?

Question from Abigail - Opinions on the causes of the Reformation

Hi all,
I have always had a vast fascination with Henry VIII and his thoughts behind his actions. Having done a large factual piece on the English Reformation. I am fully aware that there are a number of reason for English reform which are all valid and all evidently played a part in the English Reformation. I would just like to get some feedback as to why in your opinion the reformation occurred? I myself believe that it was Henry's desire to be remembered. In the words of Erasmus "Our King does not desire gold or gems or precious metals, but virtue, glory, immortality." and the only way he could secure this was through a Tudor dynasty and the birth of a son.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Question from Marilyn R - Catherine of Aragon or Mary Tudor Brandon?

There is a very interesting article on the Anne Boleyn Files site about Michael Sittow's portrait of the young Catherine of Aragon really being of Mary Tudor, Henry’s sister. What does anyone think about the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna having taken the decision to re-identify the sitter?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Question from Jane - Catherine of Aragon's spare time activities

I'm writing a book with counter factual history. It's about Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, and I stumbled upon a question; What did Catherine do in her "Spare time". i read somewhere that her hobbies where praying and reading the holy word, but was that really all she cared about?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Traveling for work for a few days

I'll be headed out to our observatory in west Texas for a few days and while I should have good internet access, I don't think I'm going to have a whole lot of time to spend on the computer! So apologies in advance for any delays in approving blog comments and the lack of posts until early next week.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Question from Eva - Political confidentiality at Court

Hello all! Thank you for being a continual source of knowledge.

I am working on a historical novel and I am wondering about political confidentiality in Henry VIII's court. How much about, for example, a diplomatic visit from a neighbouring monarch would the average courtier know? The specific episode about which I am writing is Charles V's visit in 1522 which culminated in the Treaty of Windsor, whereby the war plans regarding France were laid. Would a courtier have heard that there was likelihood of war against France? Would he know when Charles V arrived that it was for this purpose? I guess the true nature of my question is how open this sort of information would be. It seems it would be kept confidential for obvious reasons, but then when the treaty was signed, did everyone find out the news at that moment? Was another reason given for such a visit?

Thank you all.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Question from Sarah - Elizabeth titles for MPs

During Elizabeth I's reign, were MPs known as MPs, knights of the shire or something else?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Question from Sarah - Burleigh Papers

How do you access the Burleigh Papers? Are they online?

Question from Sarah - Illegitimate daughter of Bridget of York

Is it true that Elizabeth of York's sister Bridget had an illegitimate daughter when she was 11 (see Wikipedia article "Agnes of Eltham")

Friday, June 29, 2012

Question from Amanda - Tudor women and shaving

Did Tudor-era women shave their legs or their underarms? If so, how did they do this? Was it just not a big deal back then? Thank you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Question from Cheryl - Elizabeth's locket ring

re. the so-called Chequers ruby ring, when unhinged shows two portraits; one obviously Elizabeth and the other a younger woman. There is a supposition that this is Anne Boleyn and I have always assumed it was, but recently I had a thought that, though narcissistic, could it possibly be a younger Elizabeth? Is there definitive proof this is Anne? I would love to think so as if it is and because Elizabeth owned this ring, it is confirmation that the likeness was one accepted by Elizabeth as her mother's. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

I am looking at a marvelous copy of the ring close up; one of the clearest I have seen from one of the articles on your website blog re. the exhibition of The Goldsmith's Company.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Question from Goetz - Tudor references in Henry Holiday illustrations

This question is about possible references to Tudors in Henry Holiday's illustrations to Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark".

I think, the back cover illustration of the book refers to a painting depicting Queen Elizabeth I at old age:

Then there is a less clear discovery - which may not be a discovery at all but just some phantasy in my mind. In Holiday's illustration (the back cover), there also is a pattern which either could depict letters (if mirrored: "Anmi"?) or just stripes in the waves without any special meaning:

Any idea?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Question from Lucy-Kate - Greetings and goodbyes

I am writing a novel set in 1572 in Rye amongst farming and fishing folk. Does anyone know how people would have greeted each other at that time when they met for the first time, met a friend in the street, met formally over business or met a family member? And likewise on saying goodbye? And for bonus points, does anyone know whether the French practice of kissing on both cheeks was around at the time? Thanks.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Question from Stacey - Mary Queen of Scots' imprisonment in England

How was it explained to Mary, Queen of Scots that she was losing her freedom once in England? Who told her & under what conditions was it explained to her that she would be held captive?

Question from Mary R - Children living at the Tower of London

I have been toying with the idea of writing a book for children set in the Tower of London while Elizabeth was a prisoner there. My young hero would be the little boy who used to bring Elizabeth flowers containing messages from Robert Dudley who was also imprisoned there.

Is the name of the boy, if he actually existed, known?

I know that many of the men who worked at the tower had their families with them. I'd like to know approximately how many children were living there at the time and what their fathers' positions might have been.

Can anyone recommend a book or a website that might have some good information?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Question from Easton - Elizabeth on Thomas Seymour's barge

Is it true that Elizabeth Tudor was with Thomas Seymour on admirals barge unccompanied

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Question from Parisa - Literal promise of a son by Anne Boleyn

I love this site! Thank you.

I've developed an obsessive interest in "all things Tudor". One question which bothers me is did Anne Boleyn actually and literally promise Henry a son during their courtship, or did Henry assume this was the understanding between them? Or is it history's assumption? I cannot find any information on this, other than that astrologers and physicians assured the birth of a male heir once Anne was pregnant.

It would seem given her intelligence, the low rate of successful pregnancies, and the number of failed attempts from Henry's 1st marriage, Anne would know her odds of giving birth to a healthy boy weren't 100% in her favor. Wouldn't she have tried to down play the expectation as a precautionary, "better safe than sorry" measure?

Question from Karen - 'Middling height'

Hi. Love the site and find it very informative so hopefully someone here can help with this question.

Whenever you read historical descriptions of people from the era from their contemporaries, you get things like "he/she was of middling height" or he was "above middle height". There is a portrait of Edward VI that hangs in Hampton Court and it is said that it shows him at his full "above middle height".

My question: what is meant by this? What is/was middle height? I have tried to look it up on the web but cannot get an answer. Thanks to all.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Question from Ron - Other jesters of Henry VIII

I am writing in regards to the posts Re: King Henry Viii and his jesters. It was mentioned that there were few, Patch and Will Somers being but two. But is there evidence for more? In researching my family history, I came across a reference for another. In this History of Derbyshire (ca 1715), William Woolley compiling a topographical and genealogical account of his native county, mentioned that one Thomas Thacker, was a jester to good king Henry. Is this history or hyperbole. Certainly Thomas Thacker was a royal servant, mentioned in his inquisition post mortem. He was King Henrys and Thomas Cromwell chief agent in the Dissolution of the monasteries in the Midlands. He was also a Merchant of the Staple as early as 1505. Perhaps significantly, it was through another Staple merchant, that Will Somers came into contact with the monarch. It may have been through this company that Thacker also came into the Kings service. History or Hyperbole, it is certainly interesting. Your thoughts.... regards. Ron Thacker, British Columbia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Question from Courtney - Tudor business ventures

I'm looking for information and examples on the types of business ventures a Tudor nobleman could try. The main character in my book is the second son of an earl, and I've realized that I need to give him something to do rather than just run around London drinking, gambling and whoring. My story starts in 1558, but before Mary's death. Any ideas would be really helpful - thanks!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Question from Laura - Clothing of a Tudor chaplain

My 10yr old son has to dress as a Tudor Chaplain for a school visit to a Tudor re-enactment day. I have not been able to find many pictures apart from Bishops etc. Please can someone let me know what sort of clothes a Chaplain would have worn. Many thanks.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Question from Kris - Illegitimacy and female inheritance

I have a question about illegitimacy and female inheritance among the nobility. I have a story set in 1588 (in Ireland), and I have a barony that passes through the female line.

My question is this: would illegitimacy (out of wedlock birth) be an obstacle to inheriting the title, if the former title holder were a female? In other words, if a baroness (title holder in her own right) had a child out of wedlock, would that child (also a daughter) be able to inherit the title?

To the extent the problem with inheritance & illegitimacy is that you don't know if the title-holding male is the baby's father, that wouldn't be an issue if the title holder were a female, right? If the title holder is the woman, it's pretty certain the child is descended from the title holder, so would it still be an impediment to inheriting the title?

I'm guessing (hoping) it would be an impediment, but realized that's an assumption, and I should find out.

I love your blog--many thanks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Question from Stuart - Sir John Neville

Sir John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer

This is a somewhat layered question;

I'm currently researching Henry VIII's 1513 campaign in France, more specifically the contingent of border horse which was part of Henry Percy's retinue which i believe to have have been led by Sir John Neville but I'm not 100%

At that time that would have made him around 20 years of age so a contemporary of Henry's I guess. I've read that he was knighted during the campaign and was one of the kings spears.

Does anyone know who led the border horse and also, a very nice bonus would be an idea of their heraldry.

Sir Rhys / Rees ap Thomas is mentioned quite a bit in connection to skirmishing and reconnaissance with light cavalry but I can't un-thread whether these were the demilancers or scurrers / prickers or both.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Question from Kate - Royal tombs in London

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a recent work regarding the royal tombs. I will be traveling to London and would like to know where everyone is. I have a general knowledge on this topic but have always been more involved in the study of Tudor lives and not so much their resting places

Monday, May 14, 2012

Question from David - Anne of Cleves' German ladies

Are you able please to let me know the names of Anne of Cleves's German ladies in waiting who came over to England with her?

Thank you

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Question from Jo Joyce - Henry VIII and painting

Did Henry VIII paint? Was Henry VIII taught to paint? If so, who taught him?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Question from Jan - Ship-to-ship signaling and communication

I'm writing a sequel to my children's novel Harry Bone-Thief, and want my hero, now aboard ship & on his way home from seeking a North West passage, to encounter another vessel on its way out from France, and to speak her and learn the news (Henry VIII is dead). They won't have had flag signals yet, so how did they communicate? How wd Harry, away for many months, know whether or not the approaching French boat was an enemy? Dipping into Hakluyt, I find that ships saluted each other with cannon 'in the manner of the sea' - where can I find something more precise?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Question from Ben - Plastering over timbers on Tudor buildings

I have been told that the timbers of Tudor buildings would have been 'plastered' over. This surprised me as the white buildings with their black timbers are so characteristic. It makes me wonder if this is true. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Question from Sylwia - Anne Boleyn ordering genealogical chart


I wanted to ask you something about Anne Boleyn - I remember that I was reading in one of her biographies (which one, I can't remember) that she ordered her genealogical chart/tree and she was displaying it at court. Do you remember perhaps were such information occurred?

Thank you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Question from Lawrence - George Gregory Fiennes

I am questioning the authenticity of remarks about George Gregory Fiennes. It states he had a Bastard daughter Mary Fiennes born in 1566 and married a Wheatley. Other books say he had a daughter that died young and Ann Sackville would not or did not recognize her. How can I contact them about the information? Does anyone have confirmation one way or the other?

Question from Donna - Richard Edwardes and Agnes Blewitt

I am a direct descendant of Richard Edwardes and Agnes Blewitt. I am aware of Richard being the son of Henry VIII and the one son produced by a mistress that lived and had children. I read that Henry secretly married Agnes, it was not recorded as a marriage but records show that it was kept a secret.Does anyone know anything about the marriage? I read a blog from a Angela C back in 2008 that said she is a descendant as well and also she is a Lewis. I also am a Lewis and was wondering how to get in touch with this person for more information. Can anyone Help?

[Related previous thread linked below - Lara]

Monday, April 23, 2012

Question from Michael - Royal burial vault in St. George's Chapel

Hello......I wrote a few months back about the royal burial vaults under the Albert Memorial Chapel in St. Georges chapel. I am still looking for any information about the exact size and location and set up of the main vault. I am curious about how one gains access to the vault....are the caskets lowered? or carried on stairs.....if so, where are those stairs? I would love to see a photo of the vault. There is a sketch on line...but a photo would be invaluable to my research. I am looking for information on exactly who is left down there that has not been moved to Frogmore burial grounds. Are the caskets just lying on shelves exposed to the air and deteriorating or are they maintained somehow.
the lucky custodial staff has a first hand birds eye view into history!! Any information at all on the royal vault would be soooo helpful. I have photos of Henry the 8ths vault...but I am looking for the main vault under the Albert Chapel......Thanks in advance........Mike

(Previous question from Michael here:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Question from Paul - Anglo-French War 1521-1526

I am interested in finding out more details of England's involvement in the Anglo-French War, (1521-1526).

Henry VIII joined the Hapsburg Empire against France but what, if anything did the English troops achieve or do. This period always seems to be brushed over in the general histories. Where can I find more detail about the military campaign


Monday, April 16, 2012

Question from Mary Lou - William Morris/Norris

I have been working on my family tree and have come across either a William Morris or a William Norris who married a Lady Joane de Vere who was the dau of Elizabeth Howard and a John Devere th3e 12th earl of oxford.

I would like to clarify if it is Morris or Norris.

one would make the Howards and Bolyns part, a very removed part, of the family tree and of course one would not.

it appears that the Morris bloodline split between Church of England and Quaker. and came to America early on to escape religious persecutions.

This line also married into the Shattuck line which helped with others to start the Quaker Church in the North Carolina area.

I would appreciate any help that can be given. It has been a lonely search because none of the family is interested and my father never talked about his family to me, the youngest child. My grandmother, his mom, never did either.

thank you

Question from Bron - Bonfire beacons warning of the Armada

I understand that a system of bonfires was set up, which were to be lighted to warn people once the Armada approached. Is there a map of these sites? Was this system used before, in English history? Would it only have been effective at night? What were people supposed to do, once the bonfires were lighted?

Thank you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Question from Paul - Psychology of Henry VIII

Hi, I am trying to compose an article for my magazine assessing the psychology of Henry VIII. Not being a psychology student and little knowledge on the subject, I was wondering if anybody could point me in the right direction.

What aspects of his personality may be considered psychologically abnormal/normal?

Was his behavior un-balanced?

Did his behaviour develop in a radical way over time?

Please show me links to examples of his behaviour

Is there any good references I can easily find (internet if possible) out lining relevant terminology for his afflictions?

I know that is a lot to ask for but thanks in advance for any help

[Previous related threads are linked below. - Lara]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Question from Sylwia - Cromwell and Anne Boleyn's fall

Recently I've been re-reading most of accounts on Anne Boleyn's downfall, reaching the primary sources as well.
And I cannot figure out Thomas Cromwell's role and involvement in AB's fall.

Every historian has his/hers own vision of Anne's fall and there are few possibilities (ok, but here I'm assuming that Anne was indeed innocent);

Two leading theories are;
- Henry VIII, tired of Anne Boleyn and her inability to produce male heirs, orders Cromwell to get rid of her
- Cromwell moves against AB because she posed a threat to himself, so Cromwell acts alone, convincing the king that Anne was guilty of adultery

Considering that it was Cromwell who 'plotted the whole affair' as he later admitted to Imperial ambasador Chapuys,why would Cromwell want to get rid of AB?

Few reasons;
- she was a threat to him ; in 1535 she told him she could have his head chopped off, but Cromwell trusted in Henry VIII ; does it mean that Anne had literally no influence over the king, if Cromwell believed that Henry could protect him from Anne?
- Anne had different vision about the religious reform; where Cromwell (with Henry's blessing) was interested in gaining the wealth from dissolved monasteries, Anne sought a way to improve matters; she wanted the founds to be put to 'better uses' chairty, education, etc.
- Anne was an obstacle in the foreign politics; ok, it is obvious that altough she was pro-French her entire life , she knew that after Katherine's death only Imperial alliance is the one that truly matters and she was pro-Imperial. I think that this is a huge misconception that Anne was against Imperial alliance; but what I don't wholly understand is - how Anne was involved in forming an alliance with the German protestants? Joanna Denny claims in her book that it was Anne's support for the Protestants that led to her downfall.

Cromwell's plot could have been successful because;

- Anne Boleyn failed to give Henry VIII a son;
- she was unpopular among English people
- according to Alison Weir, she was not a good wife (shrewish, outspoken, etc)
- the King developed interest in one of Anne's ladies, Jane Seymour

BUT there is evidence that in the spring of 1535 Anne Boleyn was highly esteemd by the King and - although she failed to give him a son - he still regarded her as his wife and queen and was eager for the Emperor to do the same. When Anne's almoner preached the sermon on 2 April 1536, accusing Cromwell and king's 'bad council' of being greedy and evil, it was a warning sign for Cromwell that the Queen threatens him once again. But Cromwell did not move against Anne until 18 April when - after the audience with Chapus, he stormedout of the chamber excusing himself. Was Cromwell in danger? Was he falling out of king's favour? After all he was secretly meeting with Chapuys many times, perhaps the king did not approve it at all? So from 20 April Cromwell locked himself away (pretended illness) and he was (probably) plotting against Anne Boleyn.

Well, I am trying and trying to figure out - was Cromwell acting with Henry's blessing? Was Henry really tired of Anne and her inabiliity to produce male heirs? Accusations against Anne came to light when one of her ladies after being scolded at her immoral behaviour revealed that the queen herself was not any better. Cromwell's main accusations come from Anne herself (!) and her two fatal quarrels with two courtiers - Henry Norris and MArk Smeaton (some time by the end of April), and Anne's babbling in the Tower (about Francis Weston).

It seems that most of the 'evidence' Cromwell collected late in April and when Anne was already arrested, when she provided the 'evidence' herself. So it means that Cromwell had no plans to get rid of her earlier and thus her was planning Anne's fall all by himself, convincing the king that she was really guilty of adultery,
treason and incest. There was absolutely no evidence (before the fatal April weekend when Anne quarreled with Smeaton and Norris) that could led Anne or 5 men who were executed as her acompices. So it seems that all 'affair' was plotted rather quickly, and it may indicate that Henry VIII was not al all tired of his wife. If the king really wanted to get rid of Anne, would there be any different evidence against her?

I'm just wondering how to put it all together :-)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Question from Paul - Essex's private execution

Is it true that Robert Devereux 2nd earl of Essex request for a private execution?

Question from Jessica - Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden

I have been doing some research on my family tree, and have been lucky enough to find a fairly complete tree done by another family member.

My oldest direct ancestors on this tree are John Ellis, and Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden. This is seven generations back.

I was quite intrigued by the history of the name Howard De Walden, by in all my research I could not find any mention of Lady Eleanor Howard De Walden.

By my calculations, she was probably alive during the 1600s.

The only information I have is that she was married to John Ellis, with whom she had one daughter, Ellen Ellis. Ellen Ellis married George Jackson, but the name Ellis has been popular in my family ever since.

Any information on her or John Ellis, and particularly the family tree, would be greatly appreciated.

I also sincerely apologize if I have gotten the time period wrong (therefore making this question irrelevant for this site).

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Question from Emily - Tudor waking times

What time did Tudors get up in the morning?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Question from Stuart - Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard in 1513

Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard c.1513

I wonder if you could help me, I have been trying to find out who the Captain of the Yeomen was at the time of Henry VIII's 1513 invasion of France.

I have found that the title was passed at some point in 1513 from Sir Henry Guildford to Sir John Gage (I think!) but i'm not sure whether this was before, during or after the campaign, can you help at all?

Best Regards


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Question from Mary R - Anne Stanhope's tomb in Westminster Abbey

On a visit to Westminster Abbey, I was struck by the tomb/effigy of Anne Stanhope (Duchess of Sommerset, and the wife of Edward Seymour, the fist of Edward VI's Lord Protectors). It seemed to me that her memorial was more grand/ostentatious than that of any monarch.

Since she died in 1587, roughly forty years after her husband was executed, I wondered why she was given such consideration. From everything I've read, it seems that she was almost universally disliked by her contemporaries. She was considered excessively proud, even claiming precedence over Katherine Parr (because Katherine had married Thomas Seymour, the Protector's younger brother).

Did Anne pay for her own tomb in advance? Is there an interesting story here?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Question from Georgia - Elizabethan settlement

Hi, i am doing a project at school (im 17, in my final year at college) and need an 'out of the box source' so thought that maybe you could help. One of the questions i'm trying to focus on is how successful Elizabeth's decision to re-establish the Anglican Church was. If you could briefly describe how you think it was successful/ unsuccesful it would be very helpful. Thanks Georgia

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Question from Stacey - Elizabeth's funeral effigy

The funeral effigy of Elizabeht in Westminster Abbey:
Is this a recreation of the effigy that was on Elizabeth's original coffin? Is it accurate as to what she really looked like when she died? Is an effigy a statue? Also, why would James I put Mary & Elizabeth together? (I apologize for asking so many questions)

Some related previous threads are linked below. - Lara

Monday, March 26, 2012

Question from Laura - White cloth in Henry VIII portraits

When looking at paintings of Henry VIII his costumes are clearly elaborate and beautifully made yet quite often he has a piece of random white cloth tied round his waste like a bandage with a knot. What is this? It just seems so out of place!

Question from Vicky - "The Boleyns" by David Loades

I was looking to buy Loades' 'The Boleyns', but the reviews put me off. Has anyone read it? Does it fully explore, and find new information on, Thomas and George Boleyn?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Question from Sylwia - Incident with the King's fool in 1535

I would like to ask something that is bothering me;
In Letters and Papers I found this information:

"The King wishes (a ouyt, qu. a enuye?) to kill his fool because he spoke well of the Queen and Princess "et disoit reb.....(ribaulde?) a la concubine et bastarde a sa fille. "He has been banished from Court, "et le rec.... elle le grand estonnee."
Chapuys to Grenevelle, 25 July 1535.
Lp. Viii. 1106

So the king's fool called Anne Boleyn and her daughter Elizabeth a whore, and he praised Katherine of Aragon and Lady Mary. This happened when Anne was still the king's wife, about one year before her execution.

Eric Ives in "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn" states:
"At court, Nicholas Carewe made no bones about sheltering the king’s fool from Henry’s wrath after he had unwisely praised Katherine and Mary and denigrated Anne and Elizabeth." p. 302

Alison Weir in "6 wives of Henry VIII" states:
"Henry was angry - so angry, in fact, that Somers had to leave court for a while - but he did nothing more, whereas once he would have acted swiftly to punish anyone who slandered his wife" p- 284-5

I wonder why Eric Ives connected the king's anger at his fool with Nicolas Carewe? Did he had anything to do with this?
And also - was mentioned fool Will Somers? Chapuys mentioned only 'the king's fool' and Henry VIII had probably few court jesters.

Thank you :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Question from LH - Under-explored aspects of Henry VIII's reign

I’m interested in doing a research degree on an aspect of the reign of Henry VIII. I’m not interested in wars or laws – any ideas which aspects need further research?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Question from kb - Opinions on Weir's "Mary Boleyn"

Has anyone read Alison Weir's "Mary Boleyn: Mistress to kings"? Of so, I would be interested in your thoughts.


Question from Vicky - Deux gentilhommes-poètes de la cour de Henry VIII

I've just come across this "Deux gentilhommes-počtes de la cour de Henry VIII (1891)" on ( Is it a secondary source, is it in English, and is it useful and trustworthy?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Question from Stuart - Sir Richard Carew

Sir Richard Carew 1469-1520

I'd like to know a bit more about Sir Richard Carew. I am interested in Henry VIII's 1513 invasion of France and believe Carew was captain of Calais at that time though some sources state that he 'accompanied Henry' - does that mean literally, as in he wasn't in Calais already?

I also know that he was in the middle ward during that campaign in command of the artillery, his personal retinue and 1000 men - would these have been from the Calais garrison? would they have marched under his standard or was there a specific standard for the garrison?

That's about it, could anyone add anything else about Carew, his life, background and particularly with respect to his military career.

Thank You.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Question from Eva Maria - Anne Boleyn and Henry Percy

Hello, all-

I am trying to wrap my mind around the Anne Boleyn/Henry Percy affair and get a general sense of the timing. I realize that certainty will elude me here, but I am hammering out a timeline for a historical novel and I want to make sure I am understanding the parameters correctly and building my plot within a reasonable framework.

If Percy was appointed to the Council of the North in 1522 (at the same time as his father, the 5th Earl?), and named Deputy Warden of the East March in October of that same year, would he not have been at court at that time? It seems he would have been in the north (especially as it was mentioned a few months later that he would be a good candidate to take over as Warden - which insinuates to me that he was up there, learning, doing a good job).

Since Anne made her debut at court in March 1522, there would not have been time for the two to meet and develop their infatuation. Thus, if Percy was in the north for a period from autumn 1522 onward (until - ?), they would have met after and the love affair would have begun then, with Wolsey perhaps breaking them up later in 1523. It would be useful to be able to count backward from the Percy-Talbot wedding, but alas, we are unsure of that date as well.

Would much appreciate any input on the appointment and whether it would have taken Percy from court, and also any impressions or theories anyone might have regarding the timing of the whole affair. So many thanks!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Question from Francis - Letter in Thomas Seymour's boot

I would like to ask where did the story after the execution of Thomas Seymour in his boot found the letter is known that the execution was not popular among the people whether it is possible that the letter was just planted that would discredit him as a traitor?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Question from Sarah - Marian exiles

Were the Marian exiles religiously tolerant?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Question from Gail - Duties of a gentleman usher

Can you describe the duties of a "gentleman usher" in Henry VIII's household? Thanks.

Question from Sam - Elizabeth fencing and shooting as a child

Is it true that queen Elizabeth I as a child taught to fence and shoot? Thanks for any response.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Question from Patricia - Anne Boleyn's French

What do you think about Anne Boleyn’s handwriting “Le temps viendra, Je, Anne Boleyn”
Love, wedding, coronation, birth, death: According to you, when did she write it and what was she talking about when she wrote this note?
Anne was English and spoke French. "Je" sounds like a little mistake. She used it like "I" in English. In French, we say “Moi”.
This is a very affecting detail.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Question from Alexandra - Another guardianship scenario

Good afternoon,

I am writing a novel based in Tudor times (1584), and have a slightly convoluted question(s) regarding guardianship, illegitimacy, and inheritance laws.
My research has pointed me here.

I have looked elsewhere on this site, and whilst have found some answers, which have helped a great deal, I am still unsure as to the following points.

I have the following scenario. A young illegitimate child is sent to live with her only living relative – her very rich uncle – on her mother’s death bed.

The child has nothing to her name.
The uncle takes in the child and he becomes her guardian.

The uncle has a wife, a son and two daughters.

Would the uncle have become her guardian immediately, or would he have had to apply to the crown to gain wardship (is this correct term?) over the child?

Could this be done even though the child is illegitimate and the Uncle has no idea who the father was?

Would the Uncle also have to apply for legitimacy for the child?

Would the uncle be able to state in his will that the child is to be provided for, and looked after, by the uncle’s family, after his death? In which case would the guardianship of the child automatically pass to the son? Would the uncle also be able to state if the child was to have a dowry in the same will?

I hope you can help – I imagine this is all very complex – but if you could point me in the right direction, or give me a brief basic outline as to the above, I would be very grateful.

is any of the above likely or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely?

Many thanks in advance.


Question from Maud - Tudor Rose at Holyrood Palace

Silly question maybe but I'm a big Tudor and Stuart freak. I recently visited Edinburgh for the second time and checked out Holyrood Palace for the second time (to show my boyfriend).

He mentioned to me and asked me at the same time "Is that the Tudor rose" when pointing to a big chair. He could be right because it looked almost exactly like the Tudor Rose.

So we went on and I kept seeing it everywhere. The symbol was on chairs, fireplaces, ceilings. So my question is: is this the Tudor Rose? I guess it isn't, I can't imagine it but it sure does look like it.

I tried Googling for a sort of "Stuart" rose but can't find anything. Does anybody know more about this mysterious symbol?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Question from Michael - Burial vault in St. George's Chapel

I am so curious about the royal vault in st. georges chapel. I would love to see a sketch or a photo of the layout,etc.....where exactly is it located under the do you gain access.......what do the niches look like......are the remains of the coffins on shelves lying open to the air,etc......where exactly in the vault was King George the 6th left for 19 years until he was moved to the niche in the main part of the chapel......I have visited Windsor 5 times in the last twenty years and every time I visit the chapel I wonder who I am walking over and where, big is /are the vaults.....when was the last time it was opened.....the lucky custodial staff has a firsthand view into history.....must they sign confidentiality agreements.....ANY information on the vault would be greatly appreciated.....research and curiosity abound......thanks.......Mike

Question from Renee - Differences in punishments between upper and lower classes

Hi there, I am a year 13 student doing an assignment on "crime and punishment in early Tudor-Stuart England". I have 3 questions on this topic that i must answer, but I am having trouble finding information to answer one of my questions;

-Was their a distinguishable difference between the punishments endured by the upper class nobility to the lower class in Tudor-Stuart England?

If anyone has documentarys, photos, websites or books they could refer me too, it would be very appreciated.

Thanks heaps(:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Question from Nick - Elizabeth I's other motto

I wanted to ask about origin of the motto of the queen Elizabeth I "video et taceo". Thanks for any response.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Question from Patricia - Anne Boleyn as Henry VIII's great love

Don't you think that finally, Anne Boleyn was Henri's only great love ?

[Some similar past threads linked below. - Lara]

Question from Jo - Origin of Elizabeth I's motto

How did Elizabeth i took her motto "semper eadem" frome her mother or writes Alison Weir in her book frome lady Tyrwhitt?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Question from Val - Boat Anne of Cleves traveled to England on

Please can any one confirm, conclusively, on which boat Anne of Cleves travelled to England.

I just cannot find confirmation as to the one she was onboard when they actually sailed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my request.

Question from Monica - A Narrative of the Pursuit of English Refugees in Germany Under Queen Mary

Anyone know where I can find online the transcript of "A Narrative of the Pursuit of English Refugees in Germany Under Queen Mary" by John Bret?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Question from Tudor Fan - Henry's potential career in the Church if Arthur had lived

For the past few weeks one matter has been on my mind. Many people claim that Henry VII Tudor wanted his son Henry (later Henry VIII) to become a member of the Church. However Arthur Tudor's death meant that Henry became heir to the throne.

My questions is - if Arthur had lived, and Henry wanted to join the Church - how his career would have looked like? Could he had start from being a simple priest? I assume that Henry would have probably became Archbishop of Canterbury (the highest rank in Church) and Cardinal (appointed by Pope) and perhaps also Lord Chancellor. But as the king's brother (still assuming that Arthur had lived) would he had retained the title of Duke of York?

And also - if Katherine of Aragon bore a son by Arthur while Arthur was still alive, what title this boy would have had? Arthur was a Prince of Wales (usually first son has this title) and Henry was a Duke of York. Would that mean that this child as an heir presumptive also held the title of Prince of Wales?

Thank you for your time :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Question from Monica - MPs in the 1560s

How important was the role of MP in the 1560s? How much influence did it give you, and was the pay good? How much did you have to do?

Question from Ruth - History of the Great Hall at Hampton Court

What is the history of the architecture and construction of the Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace?

Principally, it's the Stained-glass windows I'm interested in: although I realise that they are not the originals, I guess that they are copied from the originals(?) Any information as to who the original artists/designers were and when they were first installed would be of great help.

I have trawled thro' masses of reference material (including Simon Thurley's Thesis), but can find nothing specific. I am awaiting a copy of Jonathan Foyle's paper via JSTOR, but it has not yet been forthcoming (and may not have the desired info!)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Question from Jordan - Henry VIII State Papers online

Hi I'm in my 3rd year of uni at Sunderland in UK and I'm doing my dissertation on Anne Boleyn and need to access primary documents, Mainly the calendar of state papers during the reign of Henry VIII. My lecturer said I could access them on line via national archives however I'm having trouble finding it, any one got any ideas? Thank you

[This is sort of a repeat type of question, but it doesn't hurt to get more input on sources! - Lara]

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Question from Stuart - Henry VIII's banner in France in 1513


I have read reference that Henry VIII took the banner of the virgin mary to France on the 1513 campaign, can anyone offer any suggestion as to its appearance or principal colours?

PS,if you're interested in Tudor vexillology invest in 'Banners standards and badges from a Tudor manuscript in the college of arms'; a great book !

Kind Regards


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Question from Deborah - Katherine Parr not at Henry VIII's deathbed

Why did Queen Katherine (Parr) not see King Henry VIII in the weeks prior to his death at the end of January 1547? I read on line that she spent Christmas at a different palace with the royal children and returned to Henry on Jan. 10, 1547 but the king died on Jan. 28th without her having seen doesn't seem possible...any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you-Deborah Haase

[Edited from original submission to correct dates. - Lara]

Friday, January 27, 2012

Question from Stacey - Incidents with Elizabeth I and her ladies

I read on the Elizabeth files that she once stabbed someone with a fork and that she broke a lady in waiting's finger. Did this really happen & if so, who did they happen to & why?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Question from Jessica - Jane Grey and Edward VI's relationship

I was watching the movie Lady Jane with Helena Bonham-Carter and Carey Elwes. The movie seemed to suggest that Henry VIII's heir Edward and Lady Jane were very close, almost intimate. Is this accurate? I have not found any more information on the matter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Question from Troy - Sir Thomas Tresham

If Sir Thomas Tresham II is the grandson of Sir Thomas Tresham I, then who is Tresham II's father?

According to Wikipedia, Tresham I's sons were George, William & John, but many sites say Tresham II's father was also Thomas.

Question from Bron - Sir Edward Brampton

A mystery man: Sir Edward BRAMPTON (1440-1508)

I have just come across this gentleman and have started to research him. There may be others out there looking for a challenge also: we could work together.

Here are my first notes:

Sir Edward BRAMPTON (1440 1508)

The 1507 will of Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells, refers to the well-known Yorkist, Sir Edward Brampton, also known as Duarte Brandao.

"To Maister Edward Brampton an hope (hoop) of golde to be made for him, to my lady Brampton, my suster, a rynge of golde with a flatte diamonde, and
to eche of their children, i.e., Sir John B, Henry, George, Elizabeth, Mary, and Jane a hope of golde of the value of 20s. with this scripture to be made withinin everyche of the same hoopes, "ye shall pray for Sir Thomas Beamonde" these same rynges to be made and sent into Portingale (Portugal) unto them by some sure messynger as sone as myn executors can make provision after my deth."

We can therefore assume Brampton and his wife and their children were living in Portugal at the time. Thomas Beaumont seems to have died in October of 1507, and Sir Edward died in the following year.

Very briefly, it is said that Brandon was an illegitimate Portuguese Jew who came to England as a penniless young man, whereupon King Edward IV sponsored his conversion to Christianity and acted as godfather at his baptism. Soon afterwards, Brampton distinguished himself @ court and in war; became a confidante of kings (he was an associate of Edward IV, Richard III and of Margaret of Burgundy) and immensely wealthy and powerful, being appointed Captain of Guernsey, Orney, Sark, Orm and Gathoo. The pretender to the English throne, Perkin Warbeck, was a member of his household at one time.

In terms of research, because we are moving between several languages, Brampton is sometimes rendered as Brandam, and Beaumont as Bemonde. Brampton was perhaps a contrived surname conferred upon him when he converted to Christianity. It is also sometimes confused with Brandon, which is quite interesting, and I will discuss this in due course.

Sir Edward Brampton may have left descendants in both Portugal and England. His wife is believed to have remarried in Portugal after his death.

We note, regarding the will, that Brampton was married to a sister of Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells, and that the Bramptons had 6 surviving children in 1507:
Sir John

Portuguese records seem to provide some confirmation, but the chronology is slightly different.
João Brandão
Jorge Brandão
Henrique Brandão
Isabel Brandão married Pedro de Mendonça
Maria Brandão married Lizuarte Barreto
Joana Brandão married Manuel de Sousa Chichorro

Generally, English sources suggest Edward Brampton was born in 1440: Portuguese sources suggest 1430. Let’s look at it this way: he died in 1508. Therefore:

If he died aged 80, born 1428
If he died aged 70, born 1438
If he died aged 60, born 1448

We must be circumspect in our research: Brampton is an elusive character. Let us go, very carefully, step by step. I would like to cling initially to basic information found in primary documents.

Who was Thomas Beaumont, Archdeacon of Wells between 1502–1507?

Thomas Beaumont was at Merton College in Oxford for 15 years as Master of Arts and Archdeacon of Bath. ‘On the 13th July 1499 he was collated to the Provostship of Welles.’ Merton College was self-governing and the endowments were directly vested in the Warden and Fellows. It had a reputation for research. Thomas Beaumont, Provost of Combe, presented one William Bowes to St Nicholas’ Parish Church in 1502. And that is pretty much it, for the moment.

The Archdeacon’s sister’s name is variously referred to as Margaret or Catherine.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Question from Chase - Punishments for coining

What was the punishment for coining in the 16th century? I am in 7th grade and need help for a research project.

Discussion on Elizabeth Norton's Elizabeth Talboys claim

Several questions came in about this recent article, so I'm just opening this up to general discussion.

Daily Mail article (that was in last week's news round-up):

and a version from The Sun:

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Question from Jenni - Influencers on Elizabeth

I am a A Level student doing my EPQ on who influcened Elizabeth I the most to be the Queen she was.

I was wondering what other people's opinions were on who they think influenced Elizabeth the most before she became Queen.

I writing about most people from her tutors who are not as well known, to her sister Mary and to her step-father Thomas Seymour.