Category Archives: Six Wives

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…

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More Dolls & Thank You

I was feeling rather creative in the first few days of the holidays so decided to carry on making some of the dolls. These actually stand up, which I think is a slight improvement at least…

(The felt I used was made from recycled bottles!)

 

And now I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who’s viewed my blog. It is so greatly appreciated. I reached 2000 views today and am pretty excited about that! Just so I know, does anyone want more of Thy Kingdom Come posted on here?

Thank you everyone!

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Queen Anne Boleyn

Today we remember Queen Anne Boleyn as we mark the 475th anniversary of her death. No one knows the date of her birth so on the anniversary of her death I like to celebrate her life as well as mourn her death. Here are two things I’ve done this week (known as ‘Anne Boleyn week’ to some of us):

Here’s a sketch I did of Anne, the fauvist version of it (unfinished!) and my B-necklace which came on 17th and is part of my birthday present for this year… (Sorry- I really can’t work out how to get these picture to come up the way I want and I’ve got revision to do!)

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Filed under General, Mistreatment of women, On this day..., Six Wives

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!

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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