Category Archives: Henry VIII

Birth of the Tudors!

On this day, 22nd August (1485), we celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth and the birth of the Tudor Dynasty! I know the times to come aren’t great but the world would be just so different without the Tudors and I can’t help but get a little excited!

Also on this day, the death of Charles Brandon in 1545, which isn’t quite as nice…

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under General, Henry VIII, On this day..., Six Wives, The Unknown..., Tudor

The friends of King Henry VIII

Firstly, my apologies for not posting for ages. I’ve been kept very busy…  And just to prove the point, it’s been exactly a month since I worked on Thy Kingdom Come, which I think may be the longest I’ve ever left between writing. I’m hoping to post more frequently over the next few weeks and hopefully pick u where I left off!

Back to Henry VIII now though… We all know about Henry’s women- the legendary six wives, multiple mistresses, two daughters who would cause much fascination later on and two surviving sisters who are attracting more and more attention just to name a few (and that’s not even mentioning his ancestors!)- but how much do we really know about the men who served him company? Today (by this I mean the day I started this post before my laptop started acting very weirdly) marks the anniversary of the execution of Thomas Cromwell in 1540, so I think it’s a good time to start learning…

It is now agreed by most historians that in his early years, Henry was kept int the same household as his sisters, headed by his mother, Elizabeth of York. As the second son, it was expected that Henry would be granted an important clerical position and for the first decade of his life he was educated as such whilst Henry’s elder brother, Arthur, was being prepared for kingship. Henry’s only other brother, Edmund, died just after his first birthday. Henry had four sisters, of whom two lived into adulthood (Margaret and Mary), with one, Elizabeth, dying aged three (when Henry was four) and the other , Katherine, dying at just eight days old. This meant that Henry started life under much female influence, which would perhaps affect some of his choices later on. However, when he was ten years old Arthur died, quickly followed by the birth and death of Katherine and of Elizabeth of York, who fell victim to a post-birth infection and died just a day after Katherine. This completely changed Henry’s life and sent him into the very male-dominated world of the crown.

Henry found much support throughout his reign by many people, the most famous of which are perhaps: Wolsey, More, Cranmer and Cromwell. Here are the basics…

Thomas Wolsey was born in Ipswich around 1475 and was in fact the son of a butcher. He received a good education and went on to study at Magdalen College, Oxford. Wolsey was ordained in 1498. He became chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury and later chaplain to Henry VII, who employed him on diplomatic missions. He son became known as a highly efficient administrator, both for Church and Crown and quickly established himself in Tudor politics. When Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509, Wolsey’s rapid rise began. Five years into his reign, Wolsey was created Archbishop of York, Cardinal and Lord Chancellor in quick succession. Wolsey’s power and influence was undisputed, with some even calling him ‘the other king’. He controlled almost all of England’s foreign policy and arranged the Field of Cloth of Gold. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the building of Hampton Court Palace, which was given to Henry by Wolsey at the height of his power. He also founded Cardinal College (now Christ Church), Oxford. However, he was also gaining many enemies and was extremely unpopular at Court.  His failure to give Henry his annulment triggered his downfall. He died in Leicester on his journey south to face trial.

Thomas More was born February 1478 in London. His father was a successful lawyer and as a boy More spent much time in the household of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He later studied at Oxford and qualified as a lawyer. In 1517 he entered the King’s service, becoming  Henry’s most trusted civil servant, advisor, friend, interpreter and diplomat. He was knighted in 1521 and in 1523 became speaker of the House of Commons. He was a close friend of Erasmus and wrote ‘The History of Richard III’ and ‘Utopia’. He quickly gained a reputation as a scholar and pious Catholic, defending the papal orthodoxy and writing many pamphlets against heresy, even taking responsibility for the interrogation of heretics. More replaced Wolsey as Lord Chancellor in 1529, at a time when Henry was determined to get his divorce and was coming very close to breaking with the Catholic Church, all of which More strongly disagreed with. When Henry declared himself supreme head, More resigned the chancellorship. He was arrested in 1534 after refusing to swear the oath of succession. He was executed on Tower Hill on July 6 1535.

Thomas Cranmer was born July 2 1489 in Nottinghamshire. Thomas and his younger brother joined the clergy as their father only had enough land for their elder brother to inherit. Cranmer was given a fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge in 1510, which he lost when he married the daughter of a local tavern-keeper. She died in childbirth and he was re-accepted by the college. He took an active role in the beginnings of the Reformation, presenting the case for the divorce to Rome in 1530 and was made ambassador to Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in 1532. At one point he was sent to Germany to learn more about Lutheranism. It was then he met Margaret Osiander, a niece of a reformer, who he married. In 1533 he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. He declared Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon void and married him to Anne Boleyn four months later. He survived Henry VIII and headed many religious reforms throughout the reign of Edward VI. He supported Lady Jane Grey as Edward’s successor. However, when Mary I was declared Queen, Cranmer was presented with quite a problem. In the Act of Supremacy, Cranmer had argued that monarchs are appointed by God and therefore must be obeyed. But would he stretch as far as his faith? At his heresy trial he recanted his Protestantism and publicly acknowledged his error in accepting it. However, Mary owed Cranmer a strong grudge for his role in the Reformation and how he had personally divorced her parents and decided that he should burn, although it was against Church law. It was planned to be quite an event, with a public reenactment of the recantation before being taken to the stake, intended to humiliate Cranmer further. Instead, Cranmer repudiated the recantation and for the last time expressed his beliefs and declared the Pope as antichrist. On the stake, he put his right hand, which had signed the recantation, into the heart of the fire, saying that it had sinned so should be punished first. It was just one act which would work as propaganda against Mary, giving the basics for her reputation as ‘Bloody Mary’.

Thomas Cromwell was born in London in around 1485. He spent much time in Europe working as a merchant, accountant and soldier, returning to England in 1512 to study Law. In 1520 he became legal secretary to Cardinal Wolsey and became a MP in 1523. He quickly rose to favour under Henry VIII and was made the King’s Chief Minister in 1532. He played a great role in the Reformation, accompanied by Cranmer. He led the dissolution of the monasteries with a great efficiency and was rewarded by Henry VIII when he was created Earl of Essex in 1540, despite being a target for much hatred in England and a key cause of the Pilgrimage of Grace. In 1540, Cromwell triggered his downfall by helping to persuade Henry to marry Anne of Cleves, which was a complete disaster. Henry had an increasingly ill temper and blames Cromwell for the marriage. He was executed July 28 1540, the exact same day Henry married Kateryn Howard.

In conclusion, I think Henry just used men  to get what he wanted. If they failed in doing Henry’s bidding, the chances are they’d be charged with Treason and executed. If they dared to disagree with him, he’d fly into a rage. I certainly wouldn’t want to know him!

1 Comment

Filed under Henry VIII, The Unknown..., Tudor

Treason Under Henry VIII

I light of the 475th anniversary of the downfall of Anne Boleyn I thought I’d talk about High Treason under King Henry VIII and the Treason Acts passed in his name. When Henry ascended the throne in 1509 High Treason was basically an act against the King which was punishable by death (Hung, drawn and quartered for men unless the sentence was commuted and burning alive for women).

The first major change Henry made was his Act of Supremacy, followed by an Act of Treason to make opposition to it punishable by death in 1534. This made Henry the ‘only supreme head on Earth of the Church in England’  and that he should receive all ‘honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity.’ The careful wording of this made sure that Henry was never official named as Supreme Head in the Act, but rather that it is an acknowledged and recognised fact. It was Treason to oppose this. One of Henry’s closest friends and servants, Sir Thomas More was executed under this as he refused to denounce Rome as he was a devout Catholic. This also made it Treason to oppose Elizabeth’s position as Henry’s heir apparent (unless Henry did have a son who would then receive to title of heir apparent).

A slightly less important Act of Treason was made in 1535 which made it Treason to counterfeit the King’s privy seal, signet ring or royal sign manual.

Slightly contradictory to his Act of Supremacy and First Succession Act of 1534  in 1536 Henry passed a second Act of Succession. This barred both Elizabeth and Mary from the succession and declared them both bastards. This also made it Treason to acknowledge Henry’s marriage to either Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn or to deny his marriage to Jane Seymour. The Act also made it Treason to question the death sentence of (Saint) Thomas More. Finally, the Act made it Treason to repeal the Act (which Henry later did!) It’s shocking how changeable this man was!

In the same year was The See of Rome Act. This completely extinguished all power of the Pope in England and made it Treason to think or say otherwise. It was yet another violent attack on the Roman Catholic Church.

If any person or persons…shall, by writing, ciphering, printing, preaching or teaching, deed or act, obstinately or maliciously hold or stand with to extol, set forth, maintain or defend the authority, jurisdiction or power of the bishop of Rome [the Pope] or of his see, heretofore used, claimed or usurped within this realm…or by any pretence obstinately or maliciously invent anything for the extolling, advancement, setting forth, maintenance or defence of the same or any part thereof, or by any pretence obstinately or maliciously attribute any manner of jurisdiction, authority or preeminence to the said see of Rome, or to any bishop of the same see for the time being, within this realm…that then every such person or persons so doing or offending…being thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws of this realm, for every such default and offence shall incur and run into the dangers, penalties, pains and forfeitures ordained and provided by the statute of provision and praemunire made in the sixteenth year of the reign of the noble and valiant prince King Richard II against such as attempt, procure or make provision to the see of Rome or elsewhere for any thing or things to the derogation, or contrary to the prerogative royal or jurisdiction, of the Crown and dignity of this realm.

Next, two Acts of Parliament gave Treason more definite rulings in Ireland and Wales and gave the King authority to try to execute people in Wales and Ireland. I suppose this kept Henry happy as he had the power to kill even more people (over 70,000 is the estimated figure of people executed under Henry or his laws).

The Royal Assent by Commission Act of 1541 made the execution of Catherine Howard happen in the way Henry wanted it. Catherine was to be convicted by a bill of attainder rather than a common court of law. However, Royal Assent could only be granted by the King himself in a ceremony in which Henry would read out the whole bill. But Henry being his awkward self decided that ‘the repetition of so grievous a Story and the recital of so infamous a Crime’ in his presence ‘might reopen a Wound already closing in the Royal Bosom.’ Don’t you just love Henry? After the Act was passed commissioners specially selected could grant the bill of attainder rather than the monarch. This meant that Henry would feel less guilty about executing his wife. The Act also made it Treason for any future Queens or wives of the King’s sons to hide their previous sexual history for any more than twenty days after the marriage or for any third-party to hide any information. This made Catherine’s execution double-legal which I guess was to make Henry feel a little better about executing her.

In the Crown of Ireland Act of 1542 Henry declared himself and his successors as King of Ireland rather than Lord of Ireland.  Lord of Ireland had been used since 1171.

The Third Succession Act was passed in 1543. This restored both Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession after the Prince Edward and any future legitimate children. This was later reinforced in Henry’s will. Edward VI would later break this in his ‘Devise for the Sucession’ when he made Lady Jane Grey his successor instead of Mary, which of course failed within a few days of Edward’s death.

Henry VIII really was a most changeable man!

Just quickly now a reminder of today’s events. Today is the anniversary of the five men accused of incest/adultery with Anne Boleyn. These were George Boleyn, Francis Western, William Bereton, Henry Norris and Mark Smeaton. They are often the forgotten people in Anne’s downfall and I think it’s only right for us to remember their deaths too.

But on a more positive note, my B-necklace arrived today! Thanks so much to the team at the Anne Boleyn Files for it! And back to the past, yesterday it was happy wedding anniversary to Louis-Auguste (Louis XVI of France) and the Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria (Marie Antoinette)! Think of how differently history could have gone if Louis and Marie were never wed… It’s an interesting thought methinks!

2 Comments

Filed under Henry VIII, On this day..., Six Wives, The Unknown..., Tudor

Who’s been maligned..?

So you should remember a while ago I asked if you’d be so kind as to write the first thing that came to your mind when you thought of various women of history. I know it’s been longer than I first thought, but I’ve just put it all together and here are the results. They’ve been most interesting to take a look at…

And a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated and thanks so much to Claire at http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/ for including the popular stereotypes associated with the women. It was very good to compare!

Marie Antoinette

  • spent ridiculous amounts of money on gambling
  • Didn’t she say something about cake and wasn’t she a nymphomaniac?
  • excesses in spending and frivolousness
  • spent lots and lots of money
  • Young bride, spent lots of money
  • Victim of a sham trial.
  • French queen who wore purple shoes at her execution
  • a queen from years ago
  • Beautiful name
  • money

 

2. Katherine of Aragon

  • One of henrys wives and had a strong character
  • tragic pregnancy incidents
  • Henry’s ex wife
  • Devout Catholic
  • The boring wife.
  • A woman of faith and with an amazing strength of character.
  • Henry viii’s first wife
  • Henry VIII’s wife. Mother of Mary I
  • Divorced, beheaded, died!!
  • Henry viii

 

3. Kateryn Howard

  • another one of the wives and was Anne Boleyn’s cousin
  • Henry’s ‘rose without a thorn’
  • Anne Boleyn’s cousin
  • Flirty young girl, who liked fashion and to have fun
  • Tart.
  •  A young woman who had no idea of what she was getting into.
  • Henry’s last wife
  • Giggling and immature one on The Tudors
  • Beautiful
  • pretty

4. Jane Seymour

  • another wife and she was number 3
  • hard working, caring lady
  • Lady who cares / caring
  • Quiet shy lady
  • Either the boring meek and mild one or the woman who trapped Henry and played games.
  • A woman who made the best of the situation and tried to bring Henry stability.
  • Buried besides Henry viii because she gave birth to the heir to the throne
  • Mother of Edward. Died.
  • Good actress
  • Eddie
5. Margaret Beaufort
  • I think she became the countess of Richmond and derby
  • Henry viii’s granny
  • Henry VIII’s gran
  • Henry VIII grandmother?
  • An overbearing woman and the mother-in-law from Hell.
  • A strong woman with an incredibly strong will.
  • the red queen!
  • who’s that?
  • Don’t know
  • not a clue
 

6. Elizabeth Wydvillie

  • born in 1437 I think
  • the slandered queen
  • I think she was born in 1438
  • Henry VIII mother?
  • Witch, seductress.
  • Wife of Edward IV who tried desperately to protect her family after his death.
  • the white queen!
  • who’s that?
  • Don’t know
  • not a clue

7. Anne Boleyn

  • think she had 6 fingers on one hand
  • had 6 fingers in one hand
  • Was married to Henry VIII
  • Henry VIII second wife who was found guilty of treason, witchcraft, adultery and incest and was sentenced to death
  • Six fingered witch and whore.
  • A misunderstood and maligned queen with strength, courage, wit, magnetism and faith.
  • Henry viii’s second wife and one of your favourite people!
  • Love of Henry’s life and mother of Elizabeth. Clever.
  • feel sorry for her.
  • BE HEADED

8. Elizabeth I

  • she almost died of small pox in 1562
  • died of blood poisoning
  •  Died of poisoning (blood I think)
  • Daughter of Anne Boleyn, one of the great queens on England, ruled for over 50 years
  • Scottish/French cousin, kept imprisoned for many years and then was beheaded
  • Virgin Queen and Gloriana.
  • A woman who put her country first.
  •  greatest monarch ever-the golden age of Britain
  • Very powerful Queen. Proved women can rule.
  • Virtuous
  • red head

9. Lady Jane Grey

  • no idea who she is sorry
  • the nine day queen
  • Haven’t heard of her before
  • The 9 day Queen
  • Tragic victim.
  • Still a tragic victim but one who was prepared to fight for her crown.
  • was supposed to rule after Edward vii and was executed by queen Mary
  • Reigned a few days.
  • Nine day Queen
  • not a clue

10. Mary, Queen of Scots

  • she was crowned in 1543
  • Mary i’s cousin, i think
  • Crowned queen in 1543 I think
  • The foolish one who plotted.
  • A woman who followed her heart and who had a weakness for bad boys!
  • Elizabeth 1′s cousin
  • Queen of Scots that was locked in a Tower. Elizabeth’s rival.
  • Feisty
  • bloody

11. Mary I

  • no idea sorry
  • bloody Mary
  • Bloody Mary
  • Bloody Mary, burned many Protestants at the stake
  • Bloody Mary.
  • A woman who was psychologically damaged but who paved the way for Elizabeth’s reign and was a strong queen.
  • Elizabeth 1′s sister
  • Don’t know
  • Elegant
  • not a clue

12. Anne of Cleves

  • another boring wife of Henry
  • apparently smelly and ugly
  • Another wife of Henry
  • “The Kings Dear Sister” & “Flanders Mare”
  • Flanders Mare.
  • A pragmatist who made the best of her situation
  • henrys wife who he divorced because she was ugly
  • Henry conned into marrying her. Never really liked her.
  • Unlucky
  • divorce

13. Katherine Parr

  • another wife? I think and oh was there 3 Catherine’s??
  • surviving wife of Henry viii
  • Another wife
  • The wife that outlived Henry VIII
  • Old nursemaid.
  • An incredibly intelligent woman and published author who was clever enough to survive a plot against her. A good mother to her stepchildren.
  • another of Henry viii’s wives
  • Outlived Henry
  • Had the worst of Henry
  • survived

14. Elizabeth of York

  • and again no idea
  • no idea :/ sorry
  • haven’t got a clue sorry
  • don’t know
  • The Queen of Hearts.
  • A good woman, queen and mother
  • the white princess
  • Is that our Queen now?
  • Influential
  • not a clue

15. Catherine de’ Medici

  • never heard of her.. sorry
  • Haven’t heard of Catherine ” ”
  • Don’t know sorry
  • don’t know
  • I don’t know much about her I’m afraid. She’s one I’ve never really researched.
  • don’t know but is she related to the posh guy on the cbbc programme leonardo?
  • Never heard of her.
  • Never heard of her?
  • not a clue

 

Okay, so I don’t feel quite as bad about knowing hardly anything about Catherine de’Medici now! I’ll post some research that I do later on maybe..?

I think here are the main points that I’ve drawn from this little experiment ( and I know the things I’ve picked out aren’t for everyone and I apologize for that!):

  • People do judge on the bad moments people have
  • People pay more attention to bad than good
  • People know Henry’s Wives as just being another wife…
  • The Six Wives are known by their number and what Henry did to them
  • Our opinions are influenced by popular culture! Just because people appear in a way in TV and book portrayals doesn’t meant they really were like that!
  • Some women are, as they were seen at the time, known for being the mere mother or wife of someone
  • Most people seem confused by family trees…
  • People get confused between people with the same name
  • We are still victims of historical propaganda

Now, I suppose it’s only fair if I answer the questions too…

1. Marie Antoinette- Dignified and courageous to the bittersweet end

2. Katherine of Aragon- A woman with a great sense of faith and destiny

3. Kateryn Howard- Heart over head and just needed some love

4. Jane Seymour- So much controversy I’m not sure any more!

5. Margaret Beaufort- A woman who would always fight

6. Elizabeth Wydvillie- The woman who defended her honour only to be slandered

7. Anne Boleyn- Henry’s one true love

8. Elizabeth I- Put her country before all else

9. Lady Jane Grey- If only she wasn’t Royal…

10. Mary, Queen of Scots- Elizabeth’s complete opposite

11. Mary I- A woman who never forgot who she was

12. Anne of Cleves- Found herself with the wrong man

13. Katherine Parr- Wife, mother and Queen of great excellence

14. Elizabeth of York- Mother of a Monarchy

15. Catherine de’ Medici- The person we really should know far more about!

So once again thank you to everyone who participated (And I’m sorry if this is dodgy- it’s late!)

1 Comment

Filed under General, Henry VIII, In the media..., Misjudgment debate, Mistreatment of women, Six Wives, The Unknown..., Tudor

The National Portrait Gallery

Having a great time here in London. We came down yesterday for the wedding and though that we may as well make a mini holiday of it! So today we went to the National Portrait Gallery…

It felt completely indescribable to see all of the portraits that I’ve  known for all of these years and keep prints of on my bedroom wall in reality. The things one can notice when looking at the real thing is unbelievable! It’s been a truly excellent weekend so far indeed!

I walked into the NPG to see this…

Queen Victoria, replica by Sir George Hayter, 1863 (1838) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Then I cried…

Also in the gallery which may be of interest to Tudor-buffs…

Queen Mary I, attributed to Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte), circa 1521-1525 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonCatherine of Aragon, attributed to Lucas Horenbout (or Hornebolte), circa 1525 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, LondonKing Henry VII, by Unknown artist, 1505 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London Anne Boleyn, by Unknown artist, late 16th century (circa 1533-1536) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London King Henry VIII; King Henry VII, by Hans Holbein the Younger, circa 1536-1537 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London Queen Mary I, by Master John, 1544 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London  Catherine Parr, attributed to Master John, circa 1545 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London 

Thomas Cranmer, by Gerlach Flicke, 1545 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London King Edward VI, by Unknown artist, after  William Scrots, circa 1547 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London Queen Mary I, by Hans Eworth, 1554 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London Catherine of Aragon, by Unknown artist, early 18th century - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London 

And for the Plantagenets…

    King Edward IV, by Unknown artist, circa 1540 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London King Richard III, by Unknown artist, late 16th century (late 15th century) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London Elizabeth of York, by Unknown artist, late 16th century (circa 1500) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

And there is so much more!

Only problem is, half the portraits on the website aren’t actually there which is rather annoying…

Well worth a visit if you’re in London- the place is stunning!

But be warned- The National Gallery is NOT the National Portrait gallery! So be careful about which one you go in because I got the wrong one first time! Hope you enjoy if you ever go down there- so much fun and incredibly fascinating!

3 Comments

Filed under General, Henry VIII, Six Wives, Tudor

Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour.

I just re-watched  Starkey’s Six Wives Episode 3 (Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves) and it really made me rethink Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. Although they contrasted dramatically I think Jane did try to copy some of Anne’s actions. But with how much success?

Firstly the contrasts.

Anne was a radical reformer and Jane a pious conservative.

Anne was quick-tempered and witty. Jane was often very demure and submissive.

Anne could be mistaken for a French lady, Jane was the very traditional English beauty.

Anne was bold and daring, a stark contrast to the expectations of women in Tudor England. Jane was submissive and hardly ever spoke out against her ‘male peers’, much fitting the Tudor idealism of women.

Even in appearance, Anne was very boldly dark with the famous inviting charcoal eyes. Jane was the mousey ideal of Tudor virtue.

I think the factor that Jane was more traditional and fitted neatly into her time compared to Anne’s boldness and the sense that she was far ahead of her time stand out most to me.

But how much of the differences between them were intended by Jane? I think that fact that she was a physical opposite to Anne was probably the first reason that the Seymours and their allies paraded her around the King’s nose…  And yes, I do think that some of her submissiveness was put on. No lady of Anne’s could have really been that much of a doormat. But then again, Anne did try to throw Jane out of Court and I’m probably rather biased as I’ve never been a fan of Jane. She had vigorous coaching as it became apparent that Henry was tiring of Anne, mainly from Nicolas Carew. Incidentally, a Catholic. Hmm…

Then, there are the similarities in catching Henry.

Both women refused to sleep with Henry until marriage. This was a highly effective tactic that hadn’t really been seen other than when Elizabeth Woodville held a dagger to herself and said that she’d kill herself if Edward IV touched her… Which worked quite well…  Considering how perfectly it had worked with Anne I certainly think that Jane stole the idea, which Anne probably stole from Elizabeth Woodville (although Anne’s original intentions are very debatable) and she probably stole it from someone else who was the first woman who made a real effort to defend her honour.

Next, neither of them particularly cared about what happened to their predecessors. I know it sounds harsh but I don’t think either of them really did. But then again, I’m not sure if they really had the option when faced with Henry. Anne fought for her throne and Jane and Henry were betrothed a day after Anne lost her head.

Also, both tried to push their faith into Henry’s head and kingdom. Anne had triggered the Reformation after all. Without Anne, we may still be a Catholic country today. Jane had tried to reverse what Anne did. Anne had succeeded. Jane did not. But why?

Personally, I do not think that Jane was as strong a woman. Although I do not think she was such a doormat as one might first think.  And in truth, I do not believe that Henry did love Jane anywhere near as much as Anne. In fact, Jane had also ended up in quite a self-destructive position when she tried to interfere in politics which the restoration of the Lady Mary.

We still can’t be sure of people’s motives at the time. Which I think is what makes history so fascinating to me. But think, did Anne influence Jane despite their complete contrasts? Why did Anne succeed where Jane did not? It certainly makes one think… I find it strange how both women’s plans eventually backfired after some time. And yet Jane was better in Henry’s eyes because of one thing. She gave him a son and Anne had given him a daughter. That simple. Okay, so this is not intended to be a feminist blog, but if you read about my book, you can see that I am a complete feminist and am rather passionate about this.

What’s your opinion about these two women?

And I would greatly reccomend the Starkey docomentary.

Leave a comment

Filed under Henry VIII, Six Wives, Tudor

The Tudors- Season 4

I know this was on Saturday, but I’m still really excited about it! For those who follow Showtime’s The Tudors you will know that we saw the season finale with the death of Henry VIII on Saturday (for those in the UK) and I just thought I’d post about the series. Season 4 is the only one I’ve watched through so I’m not 100% sure about it…

I’m in two minds about The Tudors. I think that the characterisations were rather accurate mostly but there were some slip ups. I know many people ignore the show because they hear of the BIG inaccuracies but there are some quite surprisingly accurate details. I know the costume really isn’t at all suitable to the era but there is no denying that it is completely beautiful… Also, I think it does inspire people to find out more about Henry and his Six Wives. So, I’m really not that sure.

When watching series 4 I noticed that the characterisation of Kitty Howard was particularly bad. I don’t imagine Kitty as being quite that silly or frivolous.  I didn’t like her being so bitchy to the Lady Mary either. I don’t think that would really be allowed to happen in the public eye. However, when it came to her downfall and execution I was shocked at how accurate it actually was. For example, Cranmer did pass Henry a note with the charges against Katheryn on the All Souls’ Day Mass, many of Katheryn’s servants and Derham were taken to the Tower together for questioning, Dereham was tortured before confessing and named Culpepper as his successor in the Queen’s affections, Kitty was dragged back along the ‘Haunted Gallery’ at Hampton Court screaming that she wanted to see Henry and she was then placed under house arrest at Syon Abbey/House. Katheryn did become hysterical and when Cramner questioned her he did offered her the easy way out of simply annulling the marriage after admitting the precontract and being sent into exile. She refused this and did tell her questioner that Dereham had in fact raped her. Dereham and Culpepper were both executed whilst Kitty was still in Syon House. She then did find a sense of maturity and sat in rest at the House. All of which was in The Tudors… They then let themselves down with the execution scene itself… Kitty was executed before Lady Rochford, in fact they weren’t even on the scaffold at the same time… Kitty did not ever say ‘I die a Queen, but would rather die the wife of Culpepper.’ But then again, it’s fiction. We’ve got to allow it some liberties I suppose.

Okay, do I admit to getting very excited when the last episode came on and was actually quite disappointed to find that I’d already watched half of it… (I blame YouTube…) I did enjoy it though, even if it was a bit brief. I’m really not sure about The Tudors. I watch it and enjoy it, but I do often find myself screaming at the TV when there is a really obvious inaccuracy.

Any opinions?

Anyway, here’s a fan video I like from YouTube using clips from all four seasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9FmBBwJyo

Leave a comment

Filed under Henry VIII, In the media..., Misjudgment debate, Six Wives, Tudor