When Anna met Henry: The German Account (Guest Post)

 

By Heather R. Darsie, J. D. 

Anna von der Mark’s travel to England to meet her new husband took much longer than either side expected. The Hereditary Duchess of Cleves and King Henry VIII of England mutually hoped that she would be in her new country and officially married to Henry by Christmas. The couple were originally to wed in Canterbury Cathedral, but those plans were thwarted by the unrelenting bad weather on the English Channel. 

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Jane Seymour Character Study (Guest Post)

Jane Seymour Character Study
Guest Post by Hunter S. Jones

When I began thinking of what I could write about the Tudor era. I wanted to write a story unlike anything I had ever read before. The artistic seed was there, but what would trigger the growth of a concept which led to Phoenix Rising?

Let’s examine Jane Seymour. What do we know of Jane Seymour, really know of her? She was the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. Jane was the oldest daughter of ten children, six of whom lived to adulthood. In that era, six surviving children was no small feat.

Was Jane Seymour born at Wulfhull or Wolf Hall as it is now known, in Wiltshire, England, the family seat? We do not know. What we do know is that the Seymours were an old family, tracing their roots to one of William the Conqueror’s men. Through Jane’s maternal grandfather, she was a descendant of King Edward III of England.

Due to Jane’s pedigree, Jane and King Henry VIII were fifth cousins. Sinister enough, but get this – Jane was a second cousin to none other than Anne Boleyn. That’s when the story of Jane took a turn for me. What type of female, now or five hundred years ago, is fitted for her wedding dress at the very hour her cousin is to be executed by beheading? The concept for my story, Phoenix Rising, was beginning to take root. Then, when I discovered that Jane was presented at court by none other than Sir Francis Bryan, the story began to reveal itself to me.

Victorian depiction of Jane Seymour

We read about ‘Plain Jane’ or how fair she was, so we perceive her as homely. True, her pictures do not translate well into our millennium, but let’s look at the time period and the concept of feminine beauty in the Tudor era. The archaic meaning of fair is a beautiful woman, as in Who’s the fairest of them all?

Jane motto was ‘Bound to Obey and Serve’. She was the epitome of the Tudor female. She even had Henry VIII’s longed for male heir. This was the real reason women were important at that point in time, right?

There is so little known about Jane Seymour. The story of women vying for the attention of a powerful man is timeless. Add in family intrigue, Jane was known to be haughty. Is it that difficult to imagine he felt her station above that of Anne Boleyn. A bit of encouragement from her family and Sir Francis Bryan and she became a force to be reckoned with. Would she stop at nothing less than becoming Henry’s wife through schemes and power plays?

Jane served Katherine of Aragon and openly supported Princess Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII and Queen Katherine, even before Queen Anne was beheaded. Was Jane out for revenge? Once Katherine was deceased, did she truly believe that Henry was free to marry and love again and that she was a better choice for England than her cousin Anne.

The mystery of Jane Seymour is even more enigmatic than that of her glamorous relative, Anne Boleyn. She is a true chimera. Do we know for certain this is by her hand?

What we do know is that Jane Seymour gave Henry VIII the one thing he wanted most, a male heir. As with the majority of Henry’s wives, she paid for his decisions with her life.

~~~

Sources:

Magic & Mystery in Tudor England, Hunter S. Jones.

The Tudors: King Takes Queen, Michael Hirst, Elizabeth Massie.
The Six Wives of Henry VII, Antonia Fraser.

Photos: Public Domain.

~~~

Now Available!

Read the book here: getbook.at/TudorMagic

~~~

About The Author

Author and historian Deb Hunter writes as Hunter S. Jones. She publishes independently as well as through traditional platforms. Recently she revealed that she is a Stage IV cancer warrior. She is passionate about the history of romance, science and music, a.k.a. sex, drugs and rock & roll. She is also a historian for Past Preservers Casting. When she isn’t writing, talking or tweeting about kings, queens and rock stars, she’s living the dream in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband.

She is the author of the international best-seller. PHOENIX RISING, a fictional story of the last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life, as revealed through a Tudor astrological star chart.

She has been involved in academic projects at Harvard University, The University of Texas, UCLA, Vanderbilt University, University of The South, University of Notre Dame, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been associated with the prestigious Society of Authors founded by Lord Tennyson, Royal Historical Society, Atlanta Historical Society, American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Society of Civil War Historians (US), Dangerous Women Project, Romance Writers of America (PAN member), and Historical Writers Association.

www.AllThingsTudor.com

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The Procession for the Christening of Edward, Prince of Wales

The crying of a newborn babe echoed through the bedchamber where Queen Jane had finally given birth to the new Prince of Wales, Edward Tudor. King Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth’s lives would change forever because of that crying baby boy – and it would shorten the Queen’s.

The Monday following the birth of Prince Edward a grand display of succession was displayed when a glamorous christening ceremony was held for the new heir to the English throne.

While the actual procession took place in October 1537, the images shared belong of his christening procession were not made until 1560.

Setting the Stage

The christening was held on a platform – here is the artist’s interpretation of what it looked like in 1537:

The College of Arms, London

The platform, or font, was tall enough so that all who came to witness the christening could visibly see it happening. It was like a stage in that sense.

Procession

The College of Arms, London

“The procession was led by 80 knights, gentlemen ushers and squires, walking two by two and carrying candles. Behind them came the staff of the Chapel Royal, the choir, the dean and the chaplains.” It is stated that there were at least a dozen choir boys instead of the four shown above.

More nobles making their way in the procession. The College of Arms, London

As the procession continued, the members walking in the procession only became more and more important. In this image we see the Council of the King and some foreign ambassadors.

The King’s Council The College of Arms, London

In the above image we see at the end of the line Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who would be the man christening the young prince. As the procession continues we have an interesting image of a woman and a man. The woman is actually the four year old Elizabeth alongside Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp. The image drawn in 1560 clearly depicts the future queen as much, much older than she was at the time. Here is a report from the christening:

Then the crysome richly garnished borne by the lady Elizabeth, the Kings daughter: the same lady for her tender age was borne by the viscount Beauchamp with the assistance of the lord.

A pair of covered basins borne by the earl of Sussex, supported by the lord Montague. A taper of virgin wax borne by the earl of Wiltshire in a towel about his neck. A salt of gold similarly borne by the earl of Essex. Then the crysome richly garnished borne by the lady Elizabeth, the Kings daughter: the same lady for her tender age was borne by the viscount Beauchamp with the assistance of the lord. The College of Arms, London

Then the Prince borne under the canopy by the lady marquis of Exeter, assisted by the duke of Suffolk and the marquis her husband. The lady mistress went between the prince and the supporter. The train of the Princes robe borne by the earl of Arundel and sustained by the lord William Howard. The nurse to go equally with the supporter of the train, and with her the midwife. The canopy over the Prince borne by Sir Edw. Nevyll, Sir John Wallop, Ric. Long, Thomas Semere, Henry Knyvet, and Mr. Ratclif, of the Privy Chamber. The tortayes of virgin wax borne about the canopy by Sir Humph. Foster, Robt. Turwytt, George Harper, and Ric. Sowthwell. (Letters and Papers)

The College of Arms, London

Lastly in the procession is the King’s daughter the Lady Mary, followed by her ladies.

Next after the canopy my lady Mary, being lady godmother, her train borne by lady Kingston. All the other ladies of honour in their degrees. The College of Arms, London

When the Prince was christened all the torches were lighted and Garter King at Arms proclaimed his name. This done, this service following was in time the Prince was making ready in his traverse, and Te Deum sung:First, to the lady Mary the lord William to give the towel and the lord Fytzwater to bear covered basins, and the lord Montagew to uncover. Item, to the bishop that doth administer, the lord Butler to bear the towel, the lord Bray to bear the basins and the lord Delaware to uncover. To the duke of Norfolk and abp. of Canterbury, godfathers, the lord Sturton to bear the towel and the lord Went worth to give the water. To serve the ladies Mary and Elizabeth with spices, wafers, and wine: the lord Hastings to bear the cup to lady Mary, and the lord Delaware that to lady Elizabeth; lord Dacres of the South to bear the spice plates to both, lord Cobham the wafers, and lord Montagew to uncover the spice plate. The bishop that doth administer, the duke of Norfolk and abp. of Canterbury, godfathers at the font, and the duke of Suffolk, godfather at the confirmation, to be likewise served by knights appointed by the lord Chamberlain. All other estates and gentles within the church were served with spice and ypocras, and all other had bread and sweet wine.

The going homeward was like the coming outward, saving that the taper, salt and basin were left and the gifts of the gossips carried, i.e. Lady Mary, a cup of gold borne by the earl of Essex; the archbishop, 3 great bowls and 2 great pots, silver and gilt, borne by the earl of Wiltshire; Norfolk, ditto, borne by the earl of Sussex; Suffolk, 2 great flagons and 2 great pots, silver and gilt, borne by Viscount Beauchamp. Lady Elizabeth went with her sister Lady Mary and Lady Herbert of Troy to bear the train. Sounding of the trumpets. Taking of assayes. The Prince was then borne to the King and Queen and had the blessing of God, Our Lady, and St. George, and his father and mother; and the same day the King gave great largess.

In Attendance

Take a look at the list and note all the well known Tudor names who attended. This was a huge event and anyone who was anyone would wish to attend the coronation of the heir to the throne.

The lord Chancellor. Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk. Marquis of Exeter. Lord Cromwell, lord Privy Seal.(fn. n15)Earls of Arundel, Oxford, Essex, Wiltshire, and Sussex. Viscount Beauchamp. Lords Howard, Admiral, Delaware, Sandes, Bray, Montagewe, Sturton; Hongerforth of Hechbury,(fn. n15)Cobham, Dacre of the South, Montjoye, Fitzwater, Hastings and Butler. The abp. of Canterbury. Bishops of London, Lincoln, Rochester, Chichester, St. Asse, and Carlisle. [Abbots of Westminster, St. Albans, Waltham, Towerhill and Stratford].(fn. n16)Mr. Henage, Sir John Russell, Sir Francis Bryan, Sir Nich. Carowe, Sir Thomas Cheyny, Sir Ant. Browne, Sir John Walloppe, Ric. Long, Thos. Semere, Hen. Knyvet, Peter Meutus, Sir Humph. Foster, Geo. Harper, John Welsborne, Rog. Ratclif, Ant. Knyvet, Rob. Turwytte, Sir Humph. Ratclif, Sir John Sentjohn, Sir Thos. Rotheram, John Williams, Ralph Verney, Sir Wm. Essex, Sir Ant. Hongerford, Sir Wm. Barnden (in another hand“ou Baratyn”), Sir Walt. Stoner, Sir John Brown, Sir John Bouchier, Sir Edw. Baynton, [Sir Henry Bayngton],(fn. n17)Sir Hen. Long, Sir Wm. Kingiston, Sir John Briggis, Sir Nich. Poyntes, Sir Walt. Deynis, Ant. Kyngston, Sir John Sentlowe, Sir Hugh Paullet, Sir Giles Strangwishe, Sir Thos. Arundell, Sir John Horsey, Sir John Rogers, Sir Wm. Paullet, John Paullet, Sir John Gage, Sir Wm. Goryn, Sir Edw. Nevill, Sir John Dudley, Sir Willm. Haulte, Sir Edw. Hutton, Sir Wm. Kempe, Sir Thos. Poynynges, John Norton, Sir Ric. Weston, Sir Ric. Page, Sir Giles Capell, Sir John Rainsforth, Sir Thos. Darcy, Sir John Sentleger, Sir John Turrell, Wm. Sailiard, Sir Chr. Willoughby, Sir Ric. Sandes, Sir Geo. Somerset, Sir Arth. Hopton, Sir Ant. Wingfeld, Sir Wm. Drury, Edw. Chamberlain, Ric. Sowthwill, Sir Hen. Parker, Sir Griffith Dunne, Sir Ph. Butler, Sir Rob. Payton, Sir Giles Alington, Thos. Meggis, Thos. Wriothesley, Ric. Manners. The dean of St. Stephen’s, archd. of Richmond, dean of Exeter, dean of Windsor, dean of Sarum, Dr. Bell, Thurlbee, Dr. Turryt, Mr. Patte, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Skippe, and Dr. Daye.


Note:

FutureLean -A HISTORY OF ROYAL FOOD AND FEASTING, UNIVERSITY OF READING

Reference:

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 2, June-December 1537

FutureLean -A HISTORY OF ROYAL FOOD AND FEASTING, UNIVERSITY OF READING


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Understanding the Man: Henry VIII (Part One)

As many of you may already know, King Henry VIII is my favorite monarch of the Tudor dynasty. If it wasn’t for his reign I do not believe the Tudors would be as popular as they are today.

With the creation of Showtime’s THE TUDORS, many of us were aware of the name Henry VIII but really didn’t know much about him. In the show we were able to see that there was more to the man than the execution of two of his six wives. While I understand that THE TUDORS tv program had a bunch of historical inaccuracies, it also got people (like myself) to look deeper into the history by reading and absorbing as much as we possibly could. Over a decade later I feel like I have a fairly good grasp on the infamous king and would like to share my understanding of him with you all. Henry VIII was a man, well…maybe a man-child, but he wasn’t just the tyrannical ruler that many see him as today. There was much more to him than most understand. I hope with this series on his life that you will look at Henry in through new eyes.



Understanding the Man: Henry VIII

As stated previously, many of you may already know that Henry VIII is my favorite of the Tudor monarchs. My opinion isn’t always in the majority and I’m okay with that. Henry ruled England from 1509 until his death on the 28th of January 1547 and has helped to make the Tudors as popular as they are today.

As the second son of King Henry VII, young Henry was not expected to become King of England and so he was sent to Eltham Palace to be raised with his sisters. While at Eltham, Henry would have most likely had constant contact with his mother, Elizabeth of York.

When you consider Henry’s relationship with women in his life one must wonder if he was constantly on the search for a woman like his own mother. Elizabeth of York had a great influence on her son and may have helped educate her children during her lifetime.

Born at Greenwich Palace on the 28th of June 1491, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. His parents marriage had put an end to decades of fighting between the Yorks and Lancasters in what we know as the Wars of the Roses.

For the most part, Henry’s childhood would have been idyllic, but not without occasional bits of drama. The fact that Henry’s father claimed the throne on the battlefield against Richard III did not sit well with supporters of the Lancasters…and for that matter the Yorks were not pleased either.

In 1487, a young man named Lambert Simnel was coerced to play the part of Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick to raise arms against the new Tudor king, Henry VII. At the same time, the real Edward Plantagenet was sitting in the Tower of London. It did not take long before Simnel was discovered as a pretender.

At some point around 1494, Perkin Warbeck came on the scene. The reason I say 1494 is because in 1494, young Prince Henry was given (by his father) the title of Lieutenant of Ireland.

This would not be the last time that Henry VII gave a title to his second son in an attempt to show control.

In July 1495, Warbeck took fourteen ships, funded by his supposed aunt, Margaret of York, along with 6000 men across the channel to England in hope that he could claim the throne of England. Things didn’t quite turn out the way he had planned and he and his men fled to Ireland. Before long they had moved to Scotland where Warbeck gained the assistance of King James IV of Scotland.

Warbeck was claiming to be one of the lost princes in the Tower, the younger of the two brothers, Richard, Duke of York. Many believed he was truly the young prince and that the throne of England should be his by right.

Henry VII would not have another pretender using a title that was meant for his son, and in 1494, three-year old Prince Henry was titled as Duke of York. There could not be two and Henry, at the moment, was the true title holder, not Warbeck.

At a young age Henry would have known that a monarch’s throne is never 100% secure. It also must have been a bit confusing for him and his sisters to understand that some of their mother’s family wanted to remove their father.

Everything changed in April 1502 when Henry’s older brother, Arthur, died unexpectedly at Ludlow Castle. Henry went from a mostly carefree childhood to a life that led to him being overly protected as sole heir to the throne of England. Gone were the days when he could run “freely” and have unrestricted fun – to feeling like a prisoner of his father’s.

Henry had been betrothed to Katherine Aragon in 1503, he was twelve years old. As stated previously, Henry’s life, once Prince of Wales, was thoroughly controlled by his father, the King. The betrothal to the dowager princess of Wales was something that would evolve with the ever-changing politics of the day.

While his brother Arthur had been, practically from birth, trained in the ways of kingship, Henry’s training did not begin until he was eleven years old. The young Prince of Wales was not used to the rigorous training he received to prepare him for the throne and he only had seven-year to cram for the biggest role of his life.

At Richmond Palace, on the 21st of April 1509, King Henry VII died. He was fifty-two years old. His son, who was only eighteen years old was now King of England.

When he came to the throne, Henry VIII was described as exceptionally tall, well-proportioned, had the features of a Greek god and moved gracefully. His complexion was fair, had auburn hair and a rounded face with the features so delicately formed that they ‘would become a pretty woman’. This new, young king naturally commanded attention and authority by appearance alone.

Henry had always been fascinated by Katherine. She was beautiful and he was enchanted by her. After the death of his father, Henry decided that he would marry Katherine of Aragon. And he would claim it was his father’s wish, on his deathbed. The couple was married six weeks after Henry accession at the chapel of the Franciscan Observants at Greenwich. Henry would also be quoted as writing to her father, Ferdinand of Aragon that, “If I were still free, I would still choose her for wife before all other”. They would have a double coronation, or crowning, thirteen days later, on Midsummer Day, 24th of June 1509.



It was the coronation that set the tone for Henry’s reign – it was the beginning of the Renaissance period in England. It had also been a long time since a King came to throne with such approval and adoration. It was a new era – one of education, music, jousting and overall fun. The court was full of young people, which was the opposite of the reign of his father. Henry was eager to open his father’s coffers (which were overflowing) to celebrate his new role.

Lord Mountjoy wrote to Erasmus only weeks after Henry’s accession and had this to say:

If you could see how everyone here rejoices in having so great a prince, how his life is all their desire, you would not contain yourself for sheer joy. Extortion is put down, liberality scatters riches with a bountiful hand, yet our King does not set his heart on gold or jewels, but on virtue, glory and immortality. The other day he told me ‘I wish I were more learned’. ‘But learning is not what we expect of a King’, I answered, ‘merely that he should encourage scholars’. ‘Most certainly’, he rejoined, ‘as without them we should scarcely live at all’. Now what more splendid remark could a prince make?

William Roper, the son-in-law of Thomas More also remembered how the young King was eager to learn. He recalled how More and the King would discuss astronomy, geometry, divinity and other worldly affairs all hours of the night. Henry truly enjoyed conversing with More and enjoyed learning from him and having discussions with him as well.

Henry VIII wasn’t always the tyrannical monarch who would execute you if you looked at him wrong – at the beginning of his reign he relented to public outcry against his father’s tax collector, Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. While the public wanted to see the men put away Henry was eager to spend the fruits of their labor.

The mood at Tudor court had changed drastically since the changing of the guard – now there was laughter in the corridors at court and continuous festivals to enjoy. Under the new administration both high-born and low-born men had the same opportunities. While Henry understood the importance of having men of noble birth and experience in key positions he also appreciated men of ambition, like Thomas Wolsey – a man who would soon become pseudo king.

That’s where we’ll end Part One of this series on Henry VIII – next we will continue you on with the story of the life of Henry VIII and understanding him a bit better in Part Two.


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The Life of Lady Jane Grey (Part Three)



We ended Part Two of the series with the death of Edward VI on the 6th of July 1553. In this, the final article in the series, we will observe the short reign (13 days, not 9) of Queen Jane and discuss her execution.

If you’d prefer to listen to me discuss the topic you can do so here:

Heir to the Throne

On the 21st of June 1553, the Letters Patent was signed by 102 noblemen, London aldermen, bishops, archbishops and councillors – this was pretty much every politician that was available.These letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir would be Lady Jane Grey, the daughter of Frances Brandon. Frances was the daughter of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon.But before we go too deep into that lets look at what had happened before Edward became King of England.

Will of Henry VIII

In the Will of Henry VIII it was laid out exactly how the King wished for it to be for his son as a young monarch. It was obvious that he wanted his son to have the best, and to continue on with the Tudor dynasty.

Here is the succession part of his will:

As to the succession of the Crown, it shall go to Prince Edward and the heirs of his body. In default, to Henrys children by his present wife, Queen Catharine, or any future wife. In default, to his daughter Mary and the heirs of her body, upon condition that she shall not marry without the written and sealed consent of a majority of the surviving members of the Privy Council appointed by him to his son Prince Edward. In default, to his daughter Elizabeth upon like condition. In default, to the heirs of the body of Lady Frances, eldest daughter of his late sister the French Queen. In default, to those of Lady Elyanore, second daughter of the said French Queen. And in default, to his right heirs. Either Mary or Elizabeth, failing to observe the conditions aforesaid, shall forfeit all right to the succession.



Edward’s Devise for Succession

When Edward VI created his Devise for Succession he wasnt trying to overthrow his fathers 1544 Act, he was merely trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, Bluff King Hal.

Edwards Devise for Succession had been sent to Parliament, just as his fathers had, unfortunately there would not be enough time for it to be passed prior to his death. If it had been passed things may have turned out differently.

Here is Edwards Devise for the Succession: Grey Inheritance

  1. For lack of [male] issue of my body to the male issue coming from this female, as I have after declared. To the Lady Frances male heirs if she have any such issue before my death, to the Lady Jane and her male heirs, to the Lady Katherines male heirs, to the Lady Marys male heirs, To the male heirs of the daughters which she shall have hereafter. Then to the Lady Margarets male heirs. For lack of such issue, to the heirs male of the Lady Janes daughters. To the heirs male of the Lady Katherines daughters, and so forth until you come to the Lady Margarets daughters heirs males.

There are four more paragraphs, if you’re interested in reading more I recommend using Google and searching “Devise for Succession” and you will fin your way around.

It wasnt even clear that Edward even had the authority to alter his fathers will, particularly as Parliament had granted Henry the right to dispose of the crown. Even the Chief Justice, Sir Edward Montague, had a hard time believing that Edwards devise would overthrow his fathers 1544 Succession Act – however, with a bit of royal and political pressure Sir Edward Montague was convinced to change his mind, and was given a pardon for his attempt to stop the Kings wishes.

Reluctant Queen

When the Duke of Northumberland informed Lady Jane Grey that Edward VI had died and that she would be his successor, Jane collapsed weeping and declared The crown is not my right and pleases me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir.Northumberland and Janes parents explained Edwards wishes to their anguished daughter; Jane accepted the crown as her duty: Declaring to them my insufficiency, I greatly bewailed myself for the death of so noble a prince, and at the same time, turned myself to God, humbly praying and beseeching him, that if what was given to me was rightly and lawfully mine, his divine Majesty would grant me such grace and spirit that I might govern it to his glory and service and to the advantage of this realm.



Mary Tells the Council She is Queen

Here is part of the letter from the Lady Mary that is dated the 9th of July 1553, and it was sent to the Lords of the Council but arrived to them on the 10th. At the beginning she discusses that she had heard of the death of her brother, the King and how much it saddened her. Then she dives right into the issue:

But in this so lamentable a case,/ that is to write, now/ after his Majestys departure and death, concerning the Crown and governance of this realm of England/, with the the title of France/, and all things thereto belonging, what hath been provided by Act of Parliament and the Testament and last will of our dearest Father, besides other circumstance advancing our right, you know, the realm, and the whole world knoweth, the rolls and records appear by the authority of the king our said Father, and the king our said brother, and the subjects of this realm, so that we verily trust that there is no good true subject, that is, can or would pretend to be ignorant thereof, and of our part we have ourselves caused, and as God shall aid and strength us, shall cause our right and title in this behalf to be published and proclaimed accordingly.

Queenly Proclamation

Unfortunately, for Mary the preparations for Janes proclamation were already under way and the following day Jane was proclaimed queen.

It was between four and five in the afternoon, Lady Jane Grey, her husband, Guildford Dudley, her parents and mother-in-law arrived by barge to the Tower of London. As the large Tower gates closed behind them, a blast of trumpets grabbed the crowd’s attention. It was there, that two heralds then proclaimed that Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England.

A Genovese merchant by the name of Sir Baptista Spinola, described the situation as such: Jane was wearing a green gown embroidered with gold, large sleeves and a very long train. Janes headdress was white and heavily jeweled. By her side was her young, tall and blonde husband, Guildford Dudley, dressed in white and gold – he appeared attentive to Janes needs. Spinola was apparently close enough to notice that Jane had small features and a well-made nose, the mouth flexible and the lips red. The eyebrows are arched and darker than her hair – which is nearly red. He also described her as thin and very small even though she was wearing platform shoes to increase her height. He was so close that he stated her eyes were sparkling and reddish-brown in color. It’s almost like he was standing right next to her.Unfortunately for all of us, that description by Sir Baptista Spinola was a work of fiction – literally. The first evidence of this observation goes back to a book by Richard Davey and Patrick Boyle in 1909 – men who were obviously not present at the time of the event. Because of that statement many portraits have been modeled after his fictional description.

Leanda de Lisle, author of The Sisters Who Would be Queen says that actual witnesses at the event reported that Guildford walked by Jane with his cap in his hand and that her mother was carrying her train.

I need to take a minute to address the train carrying. It was highly unusual for someone with the pedigree of Frances Brandon to carry the train of her own daughter. What on earth did Frances Grey do to upset both Henry VIII and Edward VI – to be removed from the succession and be replaced by your daughter? I have no idea…if you know, let me know, because I dont know.

After making the announcement at the Tower, the heralds then moved on to proclaim their message throughout London. From the beginning, there were many who felt an injustice had been done.

A boy lost both of his ears when he shouted out that it was Mary who was the rightful queen and not Jane. The reception Jane received was a cold one, for the most part, after the proclamation was read.

Here is part of the proclamation:

Jane by the Grace of God Queen of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, & of the Church of England, & also of Ireland under Christ in earth the supreme head. To all our most loving, faithful, and obedient subjects, and to every of them greeting. Where our most dear cousin Edward the Sixth, late King of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, and in earth the supreme head under Christ of the Church of England and Ireland, by his letters patentsigned with his ownhand, and sealed with his great seal of England, bearing date the 21st day of June, in the 7th year of his reign, in the presence of the most part of his nobles, his councillors, judges, and divers others.

It then goes on to explain the legitimacy, or lack there of for both Mary and Elizabeth. The truth was that Mary was a Catholic and Edward and his men had done all they could to rid England of Catholicism during his reign. Allowing Mary to inherit the throne after his death was seen unfavorably.

All throughout London, notices were hung to announce the new Queen for those who were not present for the hearlds announcement.

In The nine days queen, Lady Jane Grey, and her times by Richard Davey and Patrick Boyle – it says:

From every point of view, Queen Janes proclamation was ill-advised. It was very long-winded, even for that period, and the manner in which it dealt with the claims of Mary and Elizabeth, brutal in frankness, was well calculated to offend the Catholic powers, and cruelly wound the personal feelings of the late kings sisters.

As we continue with this timeline we cannot forget the Spanish – they were, of course, very interested in how things played out in England. Dated the 11th of July 1553, a letter was sent from the ambassadors in England for the Emperor – it said:

By way of news received since our last letter, we have heard that the Lady Mary, in spite of the considerations we submitted to her, has caused herself to be proclaimed Queen in Norfolk, and is continuing to do so in the neighbouring districts, both verbally and by means of letters. She has also written letters to the Council, which they received yesterday, declaring herself Queen. We have been told that when the letters arrived the Council were at the table, and were greatly astonished and troubled. The Duchesses of Suffolk and Northumberland, it is said, began to lament and weep. The Council commanded my Lord Grey to go and bring in the Lady Mary. They told him he would ride out the following day with a good number of horses.”

As we now know, Janes father did not go – he grew ill with fits that would weaken him for months – it is believed he suffered from stress and anxiety. I also need to address the part about the duchesses of Suffolk and Northumberland is most likely a made up story, as they would have never been allowed into the meeting.

The Council Pushes Back

The Council then responded to Lady Marys letter on the 11th of July by saying:

Madam, we have received your letters the ninth of this instant, declaring your supposed title, which you judge yourself to haue to the Imperial crown of this Realm, & all the dominions thereunto belonging. For answer whereof, this is to advertise you, that forasmuch as our sovereign Lady Queen Jane is after the death of our sovereign Lord Edward the sixth, a prince of most noble memory invested and possessed with the just and right title in the Imperial Crown of this Realme, not onely by good order of olde ancient laws of this Realme, but also by our late soveraigne Lordes Letters patentes signed with his own hand, and sealed with the great seal of England in presence of the most part of the Nobles, Counsellors, Judges, with divers other graue and sage personages, assenting & subscribing to the same: We must therefore as of most bo?nd duty and allegiance assent unto her said Grace, and to none other, except we should (which faithful subjects can not) fall into grievous and unspeakable enormities. Wherefore we can no lesse do, but for the quiet both of the realm and you also, to advertise you, that forasmuch as the divorce made between the king of famous memory K Henry the 8 & the Lady Katharine your mother, was necessary to be had both by the everlasting lawes of God, and also by the Ecclesiastical lawes, & by the most part of the noble & learned.

Crown Jewels and Coronation

The following day, on the 12th of July 1553, Mary traveled roughly thirty miles moving from Kenninghall to Framlingham Castle. It was at Framlingham that she really began to rally support. On that same day, the Lord Treasurer William Paulet, brought Jane the crown jewels, even though she claimed she never asked for them. It was decided that her coronation would not be for at least a couple of weeks, so there was no need. at the moment, for her to have the crown jewels in her possession.

It makes me curious, why would the Duke of Northumberland not push Jane for a quicker coronation. Had the ceremony been performed immediately there would have been no question who the Queen was – she may have been considered a usurper but she would have been anointed by God. When Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, inherited the crown of England it took her so long to return to England from the continent that her cousin Stephen jumped at the chance and was crowned King Stephen before she had the opportunity to claim it. Things like that actually happened. This is the very reason the Duchess of Northumberland wanted Jane in London while the king was dying, so she would be ready. Why didnt Northumberland schedule an immediate coronation? It makes me curious. With that question in mind I contacted my friend Claire at The Anne Boleyn Files – Claire knows a lot about the time period and it generally my go to person when I have nagging questions. Claire said that a coronation took much time to plan and that is why she believed it wasnt done immediately. In my opinion, if they were worried, they could have rushed the plans and made it less of a spectacle.

While the stories we are often told of Jane are of her weeping at the thought of being queen, the truth is that she was performing the duties of a monarch. And every day,Jane signed letters and papers with her name – Jane the Quene If she was reluctant I do not believe she would have signed it as such. Ive always believed that she may not have wished the role at the beginning, but once she was in it she would fulfill her duties properly.

Jumping Ship

For the next three days Mary’s supporters and forces grew. She gained support from men such as Sir Edward Hastings; Henry Radclyffe, Earl of Sussex; Sir Thomas Cornwallis; Thomas, Lord Wentworth; Sir Henry Bedingfield; John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. These men are big names for Mary to have on her side. In addition to them were many prominent families of eastern England. Mary was proclaimed Queen in various counties and towns due to her efforts.

On the 15th of July the tide really began to turn against Jane when the royal ships guarding the Eastern coast for ‘Queen Jane’ swapped their allegiance to ‘Queen Mary’. Their crews had not been paid, and they received a visit from Sir Henry Jerningham (grandson of William Kingston – that name should sound familiar) asking them to support Mary instead, so it was an easy decision. It makes one wonder why they hadnt been paid.

Now, you are probably interested in hearing more about these ships and what happened:

A man by the name of Robert Wingfield accompanied Jerningham who had heard about the ships off the coast by a drunken sailor, and the following morning (15th) found the ship beached at Landguard Point. Wingfield documented what happened:

Very early the next day Jerningham, accompanied by Tyrrell and Glemham, rode up to inspect the ships thus brought to the haven by a lucky tide and wind, as they say. When they had reached the haven he ordered Richard Brooke, the squadrons commander, a diligent man and skilled in seamanship, to be called to him, and took him to Framlingham castle to bring news of this happy and unexpected arrival to the queen.

I dont know anymore than that. They brought the commander of the ship to see Mary and then the ships switched allegiance. Could it have been because Mary paid him the money that had been owed by Queen Janes establishment? Or maybe she just offered to pay in the future. Either way, they turned sides.

The Spy Talks

On the 15th of July 1553, a letter was sent from a spy in France to the Emperor. The emperor had great interest in the events at English court. His cousin, Mary, was supposed to be Queen. France was looking at aiding the Duke of Northumberland in securing Jane.

The letter said:

“The present courier, who is returning in haste to Italy,will only give me time to write a few words; but it will be enough if your lordship learns the most important news. The King of England died on the 7th, and the wife of the son of the man who was formerly governor (i.e.Northumberland) was suddenly elevated to the throne, and took possession of London Tower with great pomp. The Emperor’s cousin retreated to some place in England. The said governor’s son followed her with 300 horse; and it is thought he will arrest her if he can. The said governor has written post-haste to the King here, and if there is trouble in England I am sure the King will not fail to help him with all his forces, both from here and from Scotland. Within two days’ time he is going to send M. de Gy (the French ambassador) and the Bishop of Orleans to encourage the said governor, and offer him all the help he may need. There is some hope that this sudden change may give rise to an alteration for good in religious matters. God grant it may be so!”

Jane Fights Back

In the meantime, Jane continued to send letters to sheriffs and Justices of the peace and demanded their allegiance, saying: Remain fast in your obeisance and duty to the Crown Imperial of this realm, whereof we have justly the possession. Jane was determined to maintain her role.

The Chronicle of Queen Jane also reports that at around 7pm on 16th of July “the gates of the Tower upon a sudden were shut, and the keys carried up to the Queen Jane”. Jane had ordered guards to be setup all around the Tower to help her maintain her possession of it.

A couple of days later, on the 18th Queen Jane began to raise more troops. She had been upset and sent letters to those who would betray. She was sure that these rebels lacked the heart to continue on with their mission. She said these men should receive such punishment and execution as they deserve. But unfortunately her show of force was too little too late, the tide had turned and all appeared lost.

A Change From Within

While the Duke of Northumberland, and his army made their way from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds to stand against Mary’s men, the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel called a council meeting and then betrayed Northumberland and Queen Jane. The men persuaded many council members that Mary’s claim to the throne was legitimate.

It was after the council had turned that men began to run through the streets shouting, the Lady Mary is proclaimed Queen!

Enemies of the State

With Mary now considered Queen of England, Jane, her father, the Duke of Northumberland and Guildford Dudley were now enemies of the state. There had to be consequences for usurping the throne.

So the Councils soldiers arrived at the Tower, and Janes father, Henry Grey was there to speak with them. They informed him that all was lost and that he must have his Tower guards put down their weapons. Grey complied. They also told him to he must remove himself from the Tower at once. Also, if he did not read the proclamation that Mary was his Queen in public he would be arrested. Henry Grey once again complied.

Queen No More

Grey had the unfortunate duty of informing his daughter that all was lost and that she was no longer Queen of England. Jane gracefully held her composure and reminded her father that it took much convincing at the beginning for her to accept the crown.

The Duke of Northumberland was quick to pledge his allegiance to the merciful Queen Mary as well. If this had been Marys father, all those involved would have easily been executed for treason.

Jane was moved from the royal apartment to a small house next to the royal apartments within the Tower. Her husband was placed in the Beauchamp Tower close by.

Northumberland may have believed himself safe but on the 25th of July 1553, he and his sons Ambrose and Henry arrived at the Tower. The following day his son Robert Dudley and William Parr both arrived as well. On the 27th of July, Janes was saddened to see her father arrive at the Tower – they had all hoped that Northumberland would take the fall for the entire event.

Fighting for her Family

On the 29th of July, Janes mother and cousin to the Queen, Frances Brandon paid a special visit to Queen Mary. It was at this meeting that Frances pleaded with Mary that her family were the victims of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. Mary agreed to release Henry Grey the following day, but Jane was charged with treason had to stay in the Tower – it was too dangerous for Mary to release her.

Queen Mary

On the 3rd of August, Queen Mary made her formal entry into London. With her procession of nobles and courtiers took claim of the Tower of London.

While this battle for the throne was shrouded in religion, Queen Mary made a point of issuing a conciliatory proclamation which promised a settlement of religion by common consent – and said that people, in the meantime, should live under the religion they thought best. This was a smart move by Mary. Most people were terrified that she would immediately return England to Catholicism.

Treason Trial

On the 13th of November, Jane, her husband Guildford and his brothers Ambrose and Henry were tried for treason. The trial was public and was held at Londons Guuildhall. Jane Guildford were charged with high treason for taking possession of the Tower and proclaiming Jane as Queen. Jane was also charged with signing her name as Queen.

They were all found guilty as charged. The men were to be hanged, drawn and quartered and Jane was to be burned alive or beheaded. It was reported that Jane remained calm during her trial and sentencing. Jane was determined that her death would have meaning. During her time in the Tower as a prisoner she truly devoted herself to her religion and found comfort in it.

Eric Ives states in his book (Lady Jane Grey – A Tudor Mystery) that:

Jane faced imprisonment in the Tower positively. The loss of liberty was irksome, but the more she could, by Gods grace, triumph over hardships, the more confident should be be of her eternal destiny.

Even though Jane had been condemned to die there was no date given for her execution. It appeared at the time that her cousin, the Queen, might spare her life.

Wyatt’s Rebellion

Unfortunately for Jane, the year 1554 brought trouble, by way of Thomas Wyatt and Wyatts Rebellion. The point of the rebellion was to remove Mary from the throne and win it for Elizabeth (another Protestant) because Mary was looking at marrying a foreign prince, Philip of Spain. However, many believed at court that the intent was to place Jane back on the throne of England. But, as history tells, Wyatts Rebellion a failure – the only thing it succeeded in was the execution of Jane and her husband.

Executions

A resident in the Tower wrote this about the day of their execution:

The Monday, being the 12th of February, about ten of the clock, there went out of the Tower to the scaffold on Tower hill, the Lord Guildford Dudley, son to the late Duke of Northumberland, husband to the Lady Jane Grey, daughter the Duke of Suffolk, who at his going out took by the hand sir Anthony Brown, master John Throckmorton, and many other gentlemen, praying them to pray for him.

Guildford was led to the scaffold, where he said few words, kneeled down and said his prayers.

Then holding up his eyes and hands to God many times, and at last, after he had desired the people to pray for him, he laid himself along, and his head upon the block, which was at one stroke of the axe taken from him.

The same witness made account of Janes execution as well:

First, when she mounted upon the scaffold, she said to the people standing thereabout: Good people, I am come hether to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same. The fact, in deed, against the queens highness was unlawfull, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my half, I do wash my hands thereof in innocence, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day, and therewish she wrung her hands, in which she had her book. Then she said, I pray you all, good Christian people, to bear me witness that I die a true Christian woman, and that I look to be saved by none other mean, but only by the mercy of God in the merits of the blood of his only son Jesus Christ; and I confess when I did know the word of God I neglected the same, loved myself and the world, and therefore this plague or punishment is happily and worthely happened unto me for my sins; and yet I thank God of his goodness that he hath thus given me a time and respite to repent. And now good people, while i am alive, I pray you to assist me with your prayers.

After reading a psalm from her book she stood up, and gave her gloves and handkerchief to Elizabeth Tilney, and her prayer-book to Master Thomas Bridges. She then untied her gown. The executioner went to assist her but she adamantly declined his offer and turned to her ladies. It was after all that that her eyes were covered with a blindfold.

The executioner then knelt down and asked for her forgiveness in which she willingly forgave the men for what he must do. She said to him, I pray you dispatch me quickly.

Blindfolded, Jane was unable to locate the block in front of her. She had a moment of panic and said, what shall I do? Where is it? A person nearby (it does not say whom) guided the frightened young woman to the block.

Her final words were, Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!


Notes:

https://allthingsrobertdudley.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/edward-vi-the-wills-of-a-king/)
’Spain: July 1553, 11-15′, inCalendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, ed. Royall Tyler (London, 1916), pp. 80-90.British History Onlinehttp://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/spain/vol11/pp80-90 [accessed 18 March 2018]

Sources:

De Lisle, Leanda. ‘Three Sisters Who Would Be Queen‘.
Ives, Eric. ‘Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery‘.
Tallis, Nicole. ‘Crown of Blood’.
Jane Grey – The Tudor Society Monarch Series (Book 4)
Green, Mary Anne Everett Letters of royal and illustrious ladies of Great Britain, from the commencement of the twelfth century to the close of the reign of Queen Mary; Published 1846
Nichols, John Gough The chronicle of Queen Jane, and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt
Letters of royal and illustrious ladies of Great Britain, from the commencement of the twelfth century to the close of the reign of Queen Mary; by Green, Mary Anne Everett; Published 1846; pages 274-279
Tudor Society: Edward VI Chooses Lady Jane Grey as Heir
https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2014/07/my-devise-for-the-succession/
https://archive.org/details/lettersroyaland06greegoog
http://www.ladyjanegrey.info/?page_id=10900
https://archive.org/details/fursfurgarments00daveuoft


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The Tenth and Eleventh Love Letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn (Guest Post)

The Tenth Love Letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

Guest post by Heather R Darsie

Henry VIII wrote this letter in June 1528 to his beloved Anne Boleyn during an outbreak of the sweating sickness, showing his characteristic nervousness about Anne. It is unknown whether this letter truly does follow the previous, although it seems that this letter came before the one the author understands to be the ninth letter. In the ninth letter, Anne is already ill. In this letter, Henry writes using the royal plural,

The uneasiness my doubts about your health gave me, disturbed and alarmed me exceedingly, and I should not have had any quiet without hearing certain tidings. But now, since you have as yet felt nothing, I hope, and am assured that it will spare you, as I hope it is doing with us. For when we were at Walton, two ushers, two valets de chambres and your brother [George Boleyn, later Viscount Rochford], master-treasurer, fell ill, but are quite well; and since we have returned to our house at Hunsdon, we have been perfectly well, and have not, at present, one sick person, God be praised; and I think, if you would retire from Surrey, as we did, you would escape all danger.

The English Sweating Sickness was a very serious disease, and could kill a person displaying symptoms within as little as three hours. One of the symptoms was profuse sweating. An outbreak of the disease in 1528 was particularly deadly, and even reached onto the Continent. It is still not entirely known what exactly the Sweating Sickness was.

Henry was reportedly afraid of illness. Grasping at straws, perhaps to comfort himself, Henry goes on to tell Anne,

There is another thing that may comfort you, which is, that, in truth in this distemper few or no women have been taken ill, and what is more, no person of our court, and few elsewhere, have died of it.

A person did not die within the first twenty-four hours of showing symptoms, he or she was very likely to survive. The disease frequently infected the young and wealthy, and it is unknown how the disease spread. Given that the outbreaks typically occurred in the spring and summer, insects were likely vectors.

Henry tries to comfort her and reassure Anne of his love for her, despite him flitting about the countryside to escape the Sweat,

For which reason I beg you, my entirely beloved, not to frighten yourself nor be too uneasy at our absence; for wherever I am, I am yours, and yet we must sometimes submit to our misfortunes, for whoever will struggle against fate is generally but so much the farther from gaining his end: wherefore comfort yourself, and take courage and avoid the pestilence as much as you can, for I hope shortly to make you sing, la renvoy [the return].

It seems that Anne Boleyn herself was terrified of falling ill, and that the distance from Henry for an unknown length of time was eating away at her.

Henry closes the letter by telling Anne of his desire to be with her, and that he wishes Anne were less afraid,

No more at present, from lack of time, but that I wish you in my arms, that I might a little dispel your unreasonable thoughts. Written by the hand of him who is and always will be yours, Im-H.R.-mutable.


Sources & Suggested Reading

Luce, John W. and Company, with designs by Florence Swan (1899). Love Letters of Henry Eighth to Anne Boleyn. Pp. XXV-XXVII. Boston and London: John W. Luce & Company (1906).

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sweating Sickness. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. Published 5 July 2017. https://www.britannica.com/science/sweating-sickness Accessed 10 February 2018


The Eleventh Love Letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

Guest post by Heather R. Darsie

The tone of this letter from late June 1528 is in stark contrast to Henry VIIIs previous two letters to Anne Boleyn: not only is he overjoyed that Anne has escaped death from the Sweat, he is also quite flirtatious. From the contents of the letter, it seems the two lovebirds have been apart for quite a length of time. The amount of time could have been made to feel even longer because of Annes sickness and what must have been their mutual fear over whether she would survive. Henry begins,

The cause of my writing at this time, good sweetheart, is only to understand of your good health and prosperity; whereof to know I would be as glad as in manner mine own, praying God that (an it be His pleasure) to send us shortly together, for I promise you I long for it.

Henry had resumed some of his regular pastimes, including hunting.

The bloodlust of the hunt may have reminded Henry of other lusts by which he was frequently taken. He gifts Anne a deer (hart), and wishes that she think of him when eating it. Even more to the flirtatious point, Henry wishes that Anne could enjoy Henrys own flesh. With Gods grace, of course. He says to Anne,

How be it, I trust it shall not be long to; and seeing my darling absent, I can do no less than send her some flesh, representing my name, which is hart flesh for Henry, prognosticating that hereafter, God willing, you may enjoy some of mine, which He pleased, I would were now.

Those are provocative words coming from the King of England.

Henry then sharply changes topics, addressing the situation of Annes sister Mary Boleyn. Marys first husband died during the 1528 outbreak of the Sweat. He was very much in debt, leaving Mary in a difficult situation with two young children for whom she had to provide. Anne brought the worrisome state of her widowed sister to Henrys attention, and he tells Anne,

As touching your sisters matter, I have caused Walter Welze (Welsh) to write to my lord my mind therein, whereby I trust Eve shall not have power to deceive Adam; for surely, whatsoever is said, it cannot so stand with his honor but that he must needs take her, his natural daughter, now in her time of extreme necessity.

What interesting contents in this letter; first, a bold flirtation, then second, talking about Annes sister. One must wonder how Anne Boleyn reacted to the hasty change of subject.

Henry closes the letter in a similar way to his others,

No more to you at this time, mine own darling, but that with a wish I would we were together an evening. With the hand of yours, H. R.


Sources & Suggested Reading

Luce, John W. and Company, with designs by Florence Swan (1899). Love Letters of Henry Eighth to Anne Boleyn. Pp. XXVIII-XXIX. Boston and London: John W. Luce & Company (1906).

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sweating Sickness. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. Published 5 July 2017. https://www.britannica.com/science/sweating-sickness Accessed 10 February 2018.

Weir, Alison. Mary Boleyn: the Mistress of Kings. New York: Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks (2012).


Heather R. Darsie

Heather R. Darsie lives in the United States with her family and three parrots. Heather is writing a new biography calledAnna, Duchess of Cleves, which she hopes to submit to the publisher in late 2018. Heather is an apprentice bowyer, who also enjoys knitting. She holds a BA in German languages and literature, as well as Juris Doctorate.

Read Letter Nine:https://maidensandmanuscripts.com/2018/01/31/love-letter-nine-from-henry-viii-to-anne-boleyn-anne-has-the-sweat/

See more work by Darsie at Maidens and Manuscripts!

 

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