Tudor Rivals: The Scorned Rose and England’s Precious Jewel

Guest article by Anthony Ruggiero 

The Tudor Dynasty of England, spanning from the late fifteenth century into the early seventeenth century, was a fascinating drama, filled with intrigue, lust and murder. The dynasty’s monarchs were its main characters whose relationships impacted the country socially, economically and politically. Such relationships included Queen Mary I and King Edward VI. Mary Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his first wife, ruled over England from July 1553 to her death in November 1558. Her reign as Queen was marked by her steadfast effort to convert England back to Catholicism from Protestantism, which had been established under her father twenty years earlier and then further intensified during the reign of her younger brother, King Edward VI.

Read More

Revision of Last Will and Testament: Henry VIII

by Rebecca Larson

After the death of an English monarch in the 14th and 15th centuries there was general chaos surrounding the throne. Different factions believed their person should indeed be King of England. This was really highlighted after Richard II handed over his crown to his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, aka Henry IV. The Wars of the Roses then helped to decimate the remaining pool of contestants to only a few.

An act of succession was always an important to a ruling monarch and Henry VIII was no exception. Today we look at his acts of succession and his revision to his will on 30 December 1546.

Third Act of Succession (1544)

In July 1543, Parliament enacted the Third Act of Succession (1544) which overrode both the first and second act of succession. What were those you say? The First Act of Succession was to ensure that the children of Henry and Anne Boleyn inherited the throne after his death and the Second Act of Succession favored the children of Henry and Jane Seymour. The Third Act of Succession which had gained royal assent when Parliament closed in February 1544 determined a new line of succession. This one led with Edward, then Edward’s children. After Edward any son Henry VIII might have with Katherine Parr, and then that son’s children. It didn’t stop there – if Henry VIII married again after Katherine Parr any future wives children by him…of course sons. It wasn’t until then that Mary, any of her children and then Elizabeth and any of her children were included. It would seem a long way before Mary and Elizabeth would get a chance to rule.

Source: http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/actsuccession3.htm

untitled-design First Act of Succession
untitled-design-1 Second Act of Succession

Revision to Henry’s Will

On the 30th of December 1546, an ill Henry VIII signed a revised last will and testament. Historian Eric Ives stated the changes were made to ensure a successful transfer of royal authority to his son and heir, Prince Edward. There has also been speculation that after this version was signed, and after Henry’s death, the will was changed.

Here are a couple of abstracts pulled from Cambridge University – The Historic Journal

The 30 December 1546 date for the finalizing of Henry VIll’s will is vindicated and the text re-established as the king’s own work, namely (1) the supposed priority of a copy dated 13 December is shown to be erroneous; (2) the hypothesis that the will was manipulated by faction is rejected because (a) a reconstruction of the operating procedure of the Dry Stamp Office indicates the strong probability of the traditional date, (b) analysis of provisions allegedly suggesting forgery reveals no valid grounds for suspicion, and (c) circumstantial evidence; (3) the real interest of the Seymour faction in January 1547 is demonstrated as lying in implementing the king’s intentions. An hypothesis is offered as to the king’s motives. The prominence given to reformers is explained as projecting forward a movement from orthodoxy to reform which was inherent in the Supremacy. The conciliar provisions for Edward’s reign are argued to be an attempt to create a closed regency council which would prevent both faction and individual bids for supremacy. The fact that Edward Seymour could become de facto regent only by a coup which jettisoned the will, is a vindication of Henry’s provisions.

Ives, E.W. (1992) ‘Henry VIII’s will – a forensic conundrum’, The Historical Journal, 35(4), pp. 779-804.

In this one the author argues Ives’ lack of mentioning William Paget’s later testimony…

Professor Ives has demonstrated the weakness of some of the grounds for thinking that Henry VIII’s will was tampered with after 30 December 1546. But he has not mentioned Paget’s later testimony suggesting that the ‘unfulfilled gifts clause’ was inserted in the will after 12 January 1547. Even if it was part of the will by 30 December, the gifts implemented by its authority resulted from later skilful and ruthless manipulation of the king. Henry’s ‘unwritten will’ greatly strengthened Edward Seymour and his allies and gave William Paget, who was largely responsible for its final shape, the means of buying off potential objectors to Seymour’s elevation to the protectorship.

Houlbrooke, R.A. (1994) ‘Henry VIII’s wills: a comment’, The Historical Journal, 37(4), pp. 891-899. doi: 10.1017/S0018246X00015144.


Henry VIII’s Last Will & Testament (30 December 1546)

Remembering the great benefits given him by Almighty God, and trusting that every Christian who dies in steadfast faith and endeavours, if he have leisure, to do such good deeds and charitable works as Scripture commands, is ordained, by Christ’s Passion, to eternal life, Henry VIII. makes such a Will as he trusts shall be acceptable to God, Christ, and the whole company of Heaven, and satisfactory to all godly brethren in Earth. Repenting his old life, and resolved never to return to the like, he humbly bequeaths his soul to God, who in the person of His son redeemed it and for our better remembrance thereof “left here with us in his Church Militant the consecration and administration of his precious Body and Blood”; and he desires the Blessed Virgin and holy company of Heaven to pray for and with him, while he lives and in the time of his passing hence, that he may after this “the sooner attain everlasting life.” For himself he would be content that his body should be buried in any place accustomed for Christian folks, but, for the reputation of the dignity to which he has been called, he directs that it shall be laid in the choir of his college of Windesour, midway between the stalls and the high altar, in a tomb now almost finished in which he will also have the bones of his wife, Queen Jane. And there an altar shall be furnished for the saying of daily masses while the world shall endure. The tombs of Henry VI. and Edward IV. are to be embellished. Upon his death, his executors shall, as soon as possible, cause the service for dead folk to be celebrated at the nearest suitable place, convey his body to Windsor to be buried with ceremonies (described), and distribute 1,000 mks. In alms to the poor “(common beggars, as much as may be, avoided)” with injunctions to pray for his soul. St. George’s College in Windsor Castle shall be endowed (if he shall not have already done it) with lands to the yearly value of 600l., and the dean and canons shall, by indenture, undertake:–(1) to find two priests to say mass at the aforesaid altar; (2) to keep yearly four solemn obits at which 10l. shall be distributed in alms; (3) to give thirteen poor men, to be called Poor Knights, each 12d. a day, and yearly a long gown of white cloth &c. (described), one of the thirteen being their governor and having, in addition, 3l. 6s. 8d. yearly; and (4) to cause a sermon to be made every Sunday at Windsor.

Succession Portion of the Will

As to the succession of the Crown, it shall go to Prince Edward and the heirs of his body. In default, to Henry’s 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.

Appoints Executors of His Will

Appoints as executors of this will the Abp. of Canterbury, the Lord Wriothesley, Chancellor of England, the Lord St. John, Great Master of our House, the Earl of Hertford, Great Chamberlain of England, the Lord Russell, Lord Privy Seal, the Viscount Lisle, High Admiral of England, the bishop Tunstall of Duresme, Sir Anthony Broun, Master of our Horse. Sir Edward Montagu, chief judge of the “Commyn Place,” Justice Bromley. Sir Edward North, Chancellor of the Augmentations, Sir William Paget, our chief Secretary, Sir Anthony Denny and Sir William Harbard, chief gentlemen of our Privy Chamber, Sir Edward Wootton and Dr. Wootton his brother. All these shall also be Councillors of the Privy Council with Prince Edward; and none of them shall do anything appointed by this Will alone, but only with the written consent of the majority. Sir Edmond Peckham, cofferer of our House, shall be treasurer of all moneys defrayed in performance of this Will. Debts, with redress of injuries (if any such can be proved, although he knows of none) shall be their first care after his burial. All grants and recompenses which he has made or promised but not perfected are to be performed.

To Edward

To his son Edward he gives the succession of his realms of England and Ireland, the title of France and all his dominions, and also all his plate, household stuff, artillery, ordnance, ships, money and jewels, saving such portions as shall satisfy this Will; charging his said son to be ruled as regards marriage and all affairs by the aforesaid Councillors (names repeated) until he has completed his eighteenth year. And the following persons shall be of Council for the assistance of the foresaid Councillors when required, viz., the present earls of Arundel and Essex, Sir Thomas Cheney, treasurer of our Household, Sir John Gage, comptroller of our Household, Sir Anthony Wingfield, our vice-chamberlain, Sir William Petre, one of our two principal secretaries, Sir Richard Riche, Sir John Baker, Sir Ralph Sadleyr, Sir Thomas Seymour, Sir Richard Southwell, and Sir Edmond Peckham.


Mary and Elizabeth

Bequeaths to his daughters’, Mary and Elizabeth’s, marriages to any outward potentate, 10,000l. (fn. n3) each, in money, plate, etc., or more at his said executors’ discretion; and, meanwhile, from the hour of his death, each shall have 3,000l. (fn. n3) to live upon, at the ordering of ministers to be appointed by the foresaid Councillors.

Katherine Parr

The Queen his wife shall have 3,000l. (fn. n3) in plate, jewels and stuff, besides what she shall please to take of what she has already, and further receive in money l,000l. (fn. n3) besides the enjoyment of her jointure.

Katherine Parr
Katherine Parr

Executors, Councillors and Servants

For their kindness and good service his executors shall receive as follows, (fn. n4) viz.:–the Abp. of Canterbury 500 mks., Wriothesley, St. John, Russell, Hertford and Lisle, each 500l., Durham, Broun, Paget, Denny, Herberd, Montague, Bromley, North, Sir Edw. Wootton and Dr. Wootton, each 300l.

In token of special love and favour, these Councillors and servants shall receive as follows, (fn. n5) viz.:–The earl of Essex, Sir Thomas Cheney, the Lord Herberd, Sir John Gage, Sir Thomas Seymour, John Gates (fn. n6) and Sir Thomas Darcy, each 200l., Sir Thomas Speke, Sir Philip Hobby, Sir Thomas Paston and Sir Maurice Barkeley, each 200 mks., Sir Ralph Sadleyr 200l., Sir Thomas Carden 200l., Sir Peter Meutes, Edward Bellingham, Thomas Audeley and Edmond Harman, each 200 marks, John Pen 100 marks, Henry Nevel, Symbarbe, —-Cooke, John Osburn and David Vincent, each 100l., James Rufforth, keeper of our house here, —- Cecil, yeoman of our Robes, —- Sternhold, groom of our Robes, each 100 mks., John Rouland, page of our Robes, 50l., the earl of Arundell, Lord Chamberlain, Sir Anthony Wingfeld, Sir Edm. Peckham, Sir Richard Riche, Sir John Bak[er] and Sir Richard Southwell, each 200l., Dr. Owen, Dr. Wendy and Dr. Cromer, each 100l., —- Alsopp, Patrick —-,—-A[yliff],—- Ferrys, Henry—-, and —- Hollande. each 100 mks., and the four gentlemen ushers of our Chamber, being daily waiters, 200l.

His executors may appoint legacies to other of his ordinary servants not here named.

Westminster Palace, 30 Dec. 1546, 38 Hen. VIII. Signed with the Kings stamp (fn. n7) at beginningand end.

Signed by witnesses, viz.: John Gates: E. Harman: Wyllyam Sayntbarbe: Henry Nevell: Rychard Coke: David Vincent: Patrec: [Ge]orge Owen: [Tho]mas Wendye: Robert Huycke: W. Clerk.

‘Henry VIII: December 1546, 26-31’, in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 21 Part 2, September 1546-January 1547, ed. James Gairdner and R H Brodie (London, 1910), pp. 313-348. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol21/no2/pp313-348

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,002 subscribers.

The Last Plantagenet

Guest article written by: Alan Freer

Possibly Margaret Pole
Margaret (Plantagenet) Pole

On the morning of 27th May 1541 an elderly, stately woman walked with dignity, as befitted her birth, from her cell in the Tower of London, in to the yard, and to East Smithfield Green, within the precinct of the brooding castle walls. She had been informed earlier that day that she was to die. Her reply had been to say that no crime had been proved against her. In an effort to play down the event, no wooden scaffold had been built, no large crowd of onlookers was to be present; only the Mayor of London and a few dignitaries were to witness her death. She knelt at the simple, low block of wood, which was to be her final pillow, and commended her soul to God. Turning to the thin line of bystanders she asked them to pray for the King and Queen, for young Edward, Prince of Wales, and for Princess Mary, of whom she was Godmother. She asked that she be particularly commended to the Princess. With a final prayer she placed her delicate, royal neck on the block. The executioner, a clumsy novice, hideously hacked at her neck and shoulders before the final decapitation was accomplished. So died the last of the great and mighty Plantagenet family.

Margaret Plantagenet was born at Castle Farley, near Bath, in August 1473. She was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and Isabel Neville, daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker. From both her father and mother she received a generous helping of royal blood and could call two of her uncles King (Edward IV and Richard III). Little is known of her early years but it can be assumed that they were passed as any child close to the throne of England. When she was five years of age her father met his death in somewhat confusing circumstances for plotting against his brother, Edward IV. Her sickly mother had died the year before so Margaret and her little three-year-old brother, Edward, were left orphaned.

Edward, Earl of Warwick
Edward, Earl of Warwick

Young Edward, inheriting the earldom of Warwick from his grandfather, Richard Neville, via his mother, had a particularly tragic, short and star-crossed life. Richard III, realizing that the boy had a stronger claim to the throne than himself, had him shut up in closer confinement in Sheriff Hutton Castle. With Richards defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, Edward was brought to London on the orders of the new king, Henry VII. Unfortunately young Warwicks position remained precarious. He still had the best claim to the crown and Henry kept him imprisoned in the Tower for the rest of his life purely for no other crime than being the son of George, Duke of Clarence.

This injustice was resented by many and there were still supporters of the Yorkist cause in England. Rumours were riff concerning his condition and whereabouts. Some believed he had escaped while others said he had died in the Tower. It was probably the latter that brought about the rising centred on Lambert Simnel. Sir Richard Symonds, a Yorkist, used this innocent, gentle natured, scholar as a substitute for Warwick. Although Simnel was a non-entity, the threat to the House of Tudor was real. One of the supporters was probably Elizabeth Woodville, the Dowager Queen her rapid confinement in a nunnery by her son-in-law speaks volumes for her complicity. More dangerous was the adherence of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, the late King Edwards sister. She raised two thousand German troops and sent them to Ireland. The puppet imposter Earl of Warwick was crowned King Edward VI in Dublin on 24th May 1487. After a meeting of the Royal Council at Charterhouse, Richmond, it was decided that the real Edward, Earl of Warwick be taken from the Tower, paraded through the streets of London and attend Mass at St. Pauls Cathedral. This did not stop the forces of the counterfeit Earl, swelled by Irish soldiers, from landing in Lancashire and marching south. Henry met and defeated the rising at Stoke, killing most of the leaders and taking the hapless Lambert prisoner. He quickly realized that Simnel was an innocent dupe and set him to work in the royal kitchens. There is a tale that he ended up the Kings falconer. The affair did, however, give young Edward one day of freedom it was to be his last. He was returned to the Tower where he was denied all contact with the outside world. It is even said that he could not discern a goose from a capon. Nevertheless, the mere fact that he was alive must have been a cause of anxiety for Henry.

Perkins Warbeck
Perkin Warbeck

The Tudor Dynasty still sat on an unsteady throne. The advent of Perkin Warbeck, claiming to be the younger of the Princes in the Tower, Richard Duke of York, posed a real danger to Henrys power. Warbeck was taken prisoner and lodged in the Tower with Warwick.

In late 1498 or early 1499 a young man by the name of Ralph Wilford, together with his Austin Canon tutor, claimed to be the Earl of Warwick. Both Wilford and his tutor were arrested and executed on Shrove Tuesday, 12th February 1499. This relatively minor incident must have brought home to the King that while Warwick lived he would ever be a thorn in his side.

Warbeck chose this time to make a bid for freedom and take Warwick with him. The plot failed and Perkin, together with his confederates, was tried and condemned at Westminster on 16th November and executed at Tyburn on the 23rd. Henry obviously decided to rid himself of all his dynastic problems. On the 21st November Warwick was arraigned before the Earl of Oxford, the High Constable of England, not for attempting to escape from prison, as many historians would have you believe, but on the manufactured charge of conspiracy, with others, to depose the King. In his naivety, the young man pleaded guilty and was condemned to death. He was beheaded on the 28th November on Tower Hill. Thus, within a week, Henry had freed himself of the two most dangerous threats to his throne.

There is firm evidence that Edwards death was encouraged by Ferdinand, King of Spain, who refused to allow his daughter, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Prince Arthur while there was any doubt over the succession. The Spanish Ambassadors dispatches show that he attached great importance to the execution. Many years later, when Catherine of Aragon was so bitter over Henry VIIIs efforts to divorce her, she confirmed to Lord Bacon that it was a judgment of God, for that her former marriage was made in blood, meaning that of the Earl of Warwick.

Meanwhile Margaret had married Sir Richard Pole in about 1494, son of Sir Geoffrey Pole, whose wife, Edith St. John, was half-sister to King Henrys mother, Margaret Beaufort. The Poles were in high favour and the match, made at the instigation of the King, was a sure way of keeping Margaret close and safely within the royal control. Richard was a landed gentleman of Buckinghamshire and Henry made him a squire of his bodyguard and a knight of the Garter. He was granted various offices in Wales including the constableships of Harlech and Montgomery Castles and was appointed Sheriff of the county of Merioneth. In addition he held the controllership of the port of Bristol, Englands second largest port and a position of trust and authority.

In 1495 Richard Pole raised troops against Perkin Warbeck and in 1497 he served in the Kings army against the Scots with five demi-lances and 200 archers and again 600 men-at-arms, 60 demi-lances and 540 bows and bills. In about 1500 he was appointed Chief Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Prince Arthur and took control of the Welsh Marches on behalf of the King. In 1505 he died leaving Margaret a widow with five children Henry, Arthur, Reginald, Geoffrey and a daughter Ursula.

Henry Vlll
Henry VIII around 1513

Margarets relationship with Prince Henry, later Henry VIII, must have been good. On his accession he granted her an annuity of 100 a year and on 14th October 1513 he created her Countess of Salisbury and gave her the family lands of the earldom of Salisbury. Her brothers attainder was reversed and the Parliament of 1513-14, on the instructions of the new King, made full restitution of all the right of her family. She therefore became an extremely rich lady with lands in Hampshire, Wiltshire, the West Country and Essex. However, Henry did nothing without a price he had learnt that from his father. There was a heavy charge of redemption money claimed by the King. There is a record that she paid Cardinal Wolsey, the Chancellor, 1000 as first payment of a benevolence of five thousand marks for the Kings wars and, in 1528, she was sued for a further instalment of 2,333, 6 shillings and 8 pence a vast amount of money.

In 1516 Margaret took on a role that was to influence the rest of her life. On the 18th February the Queen, Catherine of Aragon, was delivered of a healthy child, a girl. Two days later the royal daughter was borne in pomp and solemnity to the Church of the Observant Friars at Greenwich and baptized with the name of Mary. The Lord Cardinal was her Godfather, the Lady Catherine and the Duchess of Norfolk were her Godmothers at the font, and the Countess of Salisbury was her Godmother at the bishop.

By May 1520 Margaret was head of Princess Marys household. As it was probably dawning on Henry that Catherine would never produce a male heir, this was recognition that Mary was most likely to become Queen of England and that only a person of the highest rank could have charge of his daughters welfare.

Other members of Margarets family benefited from the Kings favour. Her eldest son, Henry, was created Baron Montague and much of the lands originally held by the Neville family were conferred on him (for a fee of course). He was referred to as Lord Montague in official documents and was a witness to the great peace Treaty of London in 1518. Young Henry became a member of the royal household and accompanied the King in 1520 to the Field of the Cloth of Gold and also to his meeting with Charles V of Spain. The family seemed to prosper under the Tudors but what occurred in 1521 was to sow the seeds of disaster and bring the Countess to that morning on East Smithfield Green.

Ursula Pole Stafford
Ursula Pole Stafford

Margarets daughter, Ursula, had married Henry, Lord Stafford in 1518/19. Henrys father was Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. Like Margaret, the Duke could claim royal blood on both the male and female line. His grandmother was Margaret Beaufort (not the mother of Henry VII) descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his grandfather was Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, descended from Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward III. Both Margaret Pole and Edward Stafford had more royalty in them than any Tudor King. With Henry VIII having only a female child the Duke of Buckingham saw himself as heir to the kingdom. Never a prudent man, the Duke freely voiced his intention to of seizing the throne should Henry die. The King patiently had him watched and early in 1521 he pounced. The Duke was arrested. The House of Lords pronounced him guilty of treason and condemned him as a traitor. On Friday 17th May at about eleven oclock the Duke was delivered by the Sheriffs of London, John Kyeme and John Skevyngton, to the scaffold at Tower Hill where he was beheaded. In July the court moved from Windsor to Easthampstead and Margaret was not allowed to accompany her charge, Princess Mary. She had fallen under suspicion due to her close association with the Duke of Buckingham. It would be four years before Margaret was reunited with Mary.

In 1525 Margaret went with Mary to Wales and in the summer of 1526 the King visited her great house at Warblington in Hampshire (a single tower of the house still stands). Unfortunately the reconciliation between the King and the Countess was short-lived.

Henry, desperate for a male heir, broke with Rome, divorced his Queen and married Anne Boleyn. The divorce proclaimed Mary a bastard but Margaret stayed loyal to her Princess. A lady was sent from the court to retrieve Marys jewellery but Margaret refused to hand them over. When she was dismissed from her post she declared that she would follow the Princess at her own expense. Her fidelity was much appreciated by Catherine of Aragon but the King was careful to separate his daughter from a woman she regarded as a second mother.

Cardinal Reginald Pole

Margaret briefly returned to favour in 1536 at the fall of Anne Boleyn but then two things happened concerning her son, Reginald, which was to change everything. Reginald had been a great favourite of the King. Henry had paid for his education even to the extent of financing a years study in Padua, Italy. The King sent him as an emissary into Europe to seek approval for his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and, when he returned, offered Reginald the archbishopric of York or the wealthy bishopric of Winchester, even though he was not yet ordained a priest. The young man realized that with Henry, royal favour came at a price. With the final break with Rome he chose exile. The bombshell came when Reginald published De Unitate Ecclesiae. It castigated everything that Henry had done relating to the Church and the King was never a man to take opposition. In recognition of his work for the Catholic faith Pope Paul created Reginald Cardinal, even though he was still not a priest, and made him papal legate to England.

Henry went through the roof. Margaret could see the danger if her son could not. In desperation she and Henry, Lord Montague, wrote to Reginald a strongly worded reproof (all for the consumption of Henrys spies). She denounced him as a traitor and even expressed her regret that she had given birth to him. Margaret was fighting for her life and those of her family. The previous year such respected men as John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, once Chancellor of England and a close royal friend, had both met their Maker on Tower Hill for offending this King. The years of 1535 and 36 saw the emergence of that monster of absolute power, tyranny.

The letters and protestations from Margaret and her family were all for the benefit of King and Council and Henry was well aware of this. The King, speaking to the French ambassador, stated openly that he would destroy all of those of the white rose referring to the Pole connection to the Yorkist, Plantagenet monarchy.

Geoffrey Pole
Geoffrey Pole

In the summer of 1538 the blow fell. Geoffrey Pole, Margarets youngest son, was arrested and committed to the Tower on 29th August. He lay for two months in prison and, in late October, began his interrogation. He was questioned about private conversations and letters sent to and received from Reginald by himself and other members of the family. Geoffrey was faced with the rack and, knowing that he would inevitably implicate his mother and elder brother, he attempted suicide and seriously injured himself. After long periods of interrogation he broke and supplied the evidence the King required not only against Margaret and Henry but also against Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, Sir Edward Neville and others. Henry had Montague and Exeter arrested and committed to the Tower on 4th November.

It was now Margarets turn. A spy within her household, Gervase Tyndall, was called before Chancellor Cromwell at Lewes and reported circumstances concerning the escape abroad of the Countess chaplain, John Helyar, Rector of Warblington. He also spoke of clandestine letters, sent via a Hugh Holland, to Cardinal Pole. The Earl of Southampton and the Bishop of Ely were sent to Warblington to examine the Countess. They questioned her all day but could not extract and admission. Nonetheless they seized all her possessions and moved her to the Earls house at Cowdry.

Late in November Montague and the Marquis of Exeter were tried before Lord Chancellor Audeley, the Lord High Steward, and a jury of peers found them guilty of treason. A week later, on the 9th December, both lords met their deaths on Tower Hill. Geoffrey, tried with his brother and Exeter, entered a plea of guilty and was condemned to death but was spared. Cromwell informed the French ambassador that he was hopeful of learning more from him. On representation from his wife, Geoffrey received a pardon for reason that he was so ill that he was already as good as dead. A few weeks after his mothers death he went in to a haunted exile.

In the spring of 1539 Margaret was moved from Cowdry to the Tower of London and in May a sweeping Act of Attainder was brought against the dead Montague and Exeter and the Countess. Her house at Warblington was searched and letters and papal bulls found. At the third reading of the attainder bill in the House of Lords Cromwell produced a tunic of white silk, embroidered with the arms of England three lions surrounded by a wreath of pansies and marigolds which the Earl of Southampton stated was found at her house. On the back of the garment was the badge of the five wounds of Christ, the emblem of a recent northern rebellion. Without a trial, the Act was passed on 12th May 1539.

Because of the popularity of the Countess, Henry stayed the inevitable penalty. By April the following year there was hope that Margaret would soon be released. Now 67 years of age, she had suffered through the winter from cold and a lack of adequate clothing. What sealed her fate was another rising in the north, led by Sir John Neville in April 1541. The King was resolved to be rid of her and so, the following month, she died.

Mary l
Queen Mary I of England

Her eldest son, Lord Montague, left a son and two daughters. The son must have died soon after his father for there is no mention of him in official documents. His daughter, Catherine, married Francis, Lord Hastings, later Earl of Huntingdon, and her sister, Winifred, married a bother of Catherines husband. The girls were restored to full honours and property at the accession of Queen Mary. Reginald prospered in the Church and became a chief adviser to Mary. In one of those strange coincidences of history, on 17th November 1558, at 7 oclock in the morning, Queen Mary passed away. On the same day at 7 oclock in the evening Cardinal Reginald Pole died. That tortured soul, Geoffrey, had travelled to Rome when he left England and thrown himself at the feet of his brother, the Cardinal. He proclaimed himself unworthy to be considered his brother as he had caused another brothers death. Reginald obtained his absolution from the Pope and sent him to the Bishop of Liege in Flanders. There he stayed until the accession of Mary. He then returned to England and died a few days before Reginald and was buried at Stoughton. His widow, Constance, died in 1570 and was buried beside him. Geoffrey left five sons and six daughters of whom two married and one daughter became a nun.

Queen Mary killed for religion; her sister, Elizabeth, killed because of political need; but their father committed judicial murder for revenge, pride and in the name of tyranny. Henry died in 1547 having sent so many innocent men and women to their deaths. There was no sadder victim of his vengeful character than that of Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury.


Many years ago in my youth, I attended a school in the village of Warblington, on the Hampshire coast between Portsmouth and Chichester. One of the sports in which the school excelled was cross-country running. The usual route was out the school gate, down the road, across the A27, down a potholes country lane, through a field and down, on to the shoreline. In this field stood a crumbling, almost gothic tower of brick and stone. It was surrounded by a few fallen walls and debris all over run with brambles and weeds. The lower entrance to the tower was block and a notice stated Danger Keep Out.

Even at that tender age I was fascinated by historical mysteries and I began to dig. I wanted to know who had built this strange, haunted folly known locally as Warblington Castle. The eventually result was a piece I wrote several years ago for a US history heritage website.

About the Author:

CaptureI am Alan Freer and live in the small village of Byfleet, Surrey, England. Edward, the Black Prince, spent much of his final years in Byfleet. I have been an amateur historian since the age of seven, when I purchased my first history book in 1955. Indeed, it was anticipated that I would become a history teacher, but a brief conversation just before I was due to go to university directed me to the banking industry more lucrative but, perhaps, not so satisfying! History lead me into genealogy and I have my own website detailing the Descendents of William the Conqueror (www.william1.co.uk ). A never-ending project! When I retired from the bank in 1999 I started to write and have had a number of articles published in US history magazines or on magazine websites. Primarily I wrote for the amusement of my colleagues in my second occupation as a civil servant. I count myself most fortunate to have been born in England and would not wish it otherwise except, possibly, Italy!!

Anne Parr: Witness to History

Lady Anne Parr was sister to Kateryn Parr — sixth wife of Henry VIII. Anne Parr is unique because she was either a Maid-of-Honor, or Lady-in-Waiting to all the wives of Henry VIII, all six.

A Maid-of-Honor was generally a young girl in her teens, just starting out at court. In order to hold the position one had to be part of a noble family. Physical beauty was also requirement, so we must assume Anne was considered attractive. A Maid-of-Honor also had to impress courtiers – knowing a foreign language, and being a good dancer were only a couple of the necessities of holding the position.

A Lady-in-Waiting was a married lady who served the Queen. Some of these ladies had served prior to becoming marriedas Maids-of-Honour. A woman could also became a Lady-in-Waiting when she married a prominent member of the King’s Privy Chamber or Privy Council. These ladies helped dress the Queen, they provided companionship to her and served her during her meals. A Lady-in-Waiting spent considerable time with the Queen. They kept busy with activities like needlework, sewing and embroidery.

There is not conclusive evidence to show when she went from Maid to Lady, but we can assume it was after she married.

Anne Boleyn was a Maid-of-Honour to Katherine of Aragon beginning in 1522, when she returned from France. Anne Parr joined the same household in 1528 when her mother, Maud Green secured her a position with the Queen. Anne Parr would have been witness to theeventsbetween Boleyn and King Henry. She was actually very fond of Anne Boleyn and stayed in the new queen’s household when she was crowned in 1533.

When Henry VIII had his second wife beheaded and married Jane Seymour, Anne Parr was there. She was also one of the few people present at the baptism of Prince Edward, and was part of the funeral processionof Queen Jane – she was with the fourth chariot.

William Herbert
William Herbert

In February 1538, Anne Parr married Sir William Herbert, Esquire of the King’s Body. It is very likely that she met William at court.

When Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves, Anne Parr returned to court as a Lady-in-Waiting for the new Queen. The marriage was short-lived and Henry soon annulled his marriage from Anne of Cleves and wed the very young and flirtatious Katherine Howard. Anne Parr continued as a Lady-in-Waiting to Katherine Howard and was also the “Keeper of the Queen’s Jewels.” Anne left court briefly to give birth to her son Henry. She returned tocourt some time after and her timing coincided with the fall of Katherine Howard. Anne attended to Katherine when she was imprisoned at Syon House and then in the Tower of London.

Katherine Parr
Katherine Parr
Holbein foll Henry VIII em l
Henry VIII

In 1543, Anne witnessed the wedding ceremony at Hampton Court Palace between her sister, Kateryn Parr and King Henry VIII. Anne was Queen Kateryn’s Chief Lady-in-Waiting. The sisters were indeed close and Anne was well experienced at court and in the Queen’s household.

Anne Parr experienced a lot during her time at court – especially when it came to the wives of Henry VIII:

  • She saw the poor treatment of Katherine of Aragon
  • The rise and fall of Anne Boleyn
  • The rise of another fellow lady Jane Seymour and her untimely death after providing the King with a son
  • The quick reign of Anne of Cleves
  • The experience of the downfall of Katherine Howard
  • The reign of her sister, Kateryn Parr

It’s easy to say Anne Parr probably had a lot of good advice for her sister, Queen Kateryn Parr, after all that she had witnessed. If we are to believe Philippa Gregory’s book, The Taming of the Queen(Historical Fiction) to betrue, then we would believe that Anne Parr actually taught her sister how not to become pregnant — because being pregnant and losing the child, or having a deformed child made the king look bad…and we all know how insecure Henry VIII was. But, Gregory writes historical fiction and we should take that statement with a grain of salt. Kateryn had been married before so she surely knew how to not become pregnant, if that’s what she chose.

As the keeper of the jewels she would have seen each of Henry’s queens exchange some of the same jewels – some were made into a new piece, while others stayed the same.

On 20 February 1552, Anne died. At the time of her death, she was one of the ladies of the Lady Mary, the future Queen Mary I.

Anne Parr was one of very few women who served all six Tudor queens. Imagine if she had a diary that survived, or had written a book about everything she saw or heard. That would be priceless.


Get Notified

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,002 subscribers.

The Legacy of Henry VIII


When you think of infamous English monarchs who is the first to come to mind? Henry VIII?

King Henry VIII is popularly known for marrying six times and executing two of his wives, as well as his famous split from Rome. It might surprise you to learn that Henry VIII was considered one of the most prolific builders of the English monarchs. He also helped to increase the size of the English Navy with ships like: Henry Grace a Dieu,The Mary Rose, The Peter and many more.

In this article we’ll provide a list of castles and palaces that Henry VIII built. Included are some some that he made significant additionsto. As an example, Hampton Court Palace – it was Cardinal Wolsey’s property before him but Henry made substantial additions to it to make it suitable to house nearly 1,000 court members.

This list may be missing some — if you see something missing, please comment below and I will add them.

Below are the palaces or castles that Henry VIII built from the earth up — or that he built major additions to making them part of his Tudor legacy (in no particular order):

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle, located in Falmouth, Cornwall, Englandwas built by King Henry VIII between 1539 and 1545 to guard and defend from the perceived French and Spanish threat. During the time that Pendennis Castle was being built Henry VIII married and divorced Anne of Cleves (1540), married and beheaded Katherine Howard (1540-1541) and married Catherine Parr (1543). He was a busy guy with building AND wives.

Image Courtesy: Google Maps

St. James Palace

St. James Palace

St. James Palace was constructed between 1531 and 1536 and was secondary in Henry’s interest to Whitehall Palace. It was a smaller residence to help escape formal court life.

Mainly built withred-brick, the palace’s architecture is primarily in theTudorstyle.The most recognizable feature is north gatehouse;It is decorated with the initials H.A. for Henry and his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

St. James Palace was remodeled in 1544 (some time after Henry VIII married Catherine Parr) and the ceilings were painted by Hans Holbein; St. James was described as a “pleasant royal house.”[1]

Henry’s son, Henry FitzRoy, died at St. James Palace as did his daughter Queen Mary I. It is said that his other daughter Queen Elizabeth I spent the night in St. James Palace while awaiting the Spanish Armada.

St James Palace
Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Oatlands Palace

Oatlands Palace

In 1538, Henry VIII acquired Oatlands and rebuilt it for Anne of Cleves. In 1540 he married his fifth wife, Katherine Howard there.

Oatlands Palace is where Queen Mary I retreated after her phantom pregnancy. It is when she moved from Hampton Court (which housed the nursery and nursery staff) that her subjects knew there would be no child.

Little remains of Oatlands Palace, near Weybridge in Surrey, where Henry VIII loved to go hunting.

outlands palace
Site of Oatlands Palace, Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Nonsuch Palace

Nonsuch Palace

The birth of Henry VIII’s legitimate son, Prince Edward, led directly to the destruction of the manor of Cuddington. To celebrate both the securing of the succession and the arrival of the 30th year of his reign, Henry decided to build a palace which would have no equal – hence the name, Nonsuch. None such palace would compare. It was said to be quite beautiful, and honestly like nothing England had seen before.

Building for Nonsuch began in 1538. It was the greatest of Henry VIII’s building enterprises – it took nine years to build and was completed at a cost of at least 24,000, a phenomenal amount for that time.Henry died before the palace was completed.

Site of Nonsuch Palace, Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Whitehall Palace

Whitehall Palace

In the 15th century, the Archbishops of York built as their London base a palace named York Place, which stood on the site of Inigo Jones’ Banqueting House. When Cardinal Wolsey became Archbishop of York in 1514, he extended the palace, which, like Hampton Court, another of Wolsey’s splendid residences, attracted the covetous eye of Henry VIII. In the late 1520’s his reputation failing and desperately trying to retain the King’s favour, Wolsey gave York Place to Henry. Renamed Whitehall Palace it became Henry VIII’s principal royal residence.” – Quoted from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain

Henry VIII further improved the building to his liking by adding a Privy Gallery, a bowling alley, a tilt yard, a cockpit and real tennis courts. Hans Holbeinpainted many of the ceilings as well.

As per the book, London, Volume 1 (Page 339, Edited by Charles Knight), Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII were married at Whitehall Palace on 25 January 1533.

whitehall palace
Site of Whitehall Palace in London, Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Beaulieu Palace

Beaulieu 1580
Beaulieu Palace

Beaulieu Palace was the first palace Henry VIII built as King of England. In 1516, just a month before the birth of his daughter Mary, Henry ordered construction to begin.

Beaulieu Palace was a favorite for Queen Mary I – her father, Henry VIII granted Mary the palace in his will. Beaulieu Palace is also where Mary I declared (before the sacrament) that she would marry Philip.

Beaulieu Palace
Site of Beaulieu Palace, Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Hampton Court Palace


Hampton Court Palace, from the beginning, was not built by Henry VIII – Henry received it from Wolsey in 1528. Once Henry owned Hampton Court Palace he began expanding to house his large court. He might as well have built it because the additions were major -Henry VIII spent 62,000 (approximately 18 million today) on Hampton Court in just ten years!

Hampton Court
Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Deal Castle


“Henry Vlll built the low-lyingartilleryfort of Deal Castle, in Kent, as one of a string of coastal fortifications built aroundEngland’s south coast in the later 1530s and early 1540s. Following his break with the Church of Rome, he feared invasion by the armies of a Franco-Spanish Catholic alliance brokered by the Pope.” -The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain by Charles Phillips (p.360)

In 18 months, Henry built three forts – one at Sandown, one at Deal and one at Walmer to cover that part of the English coast. They were built using press-ganged labor and stone from local religious houses that were suppressed by Henry’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Notice how from above Deal Castle looks like the Tudor Rose. Henry VIII was in his late 40’s when he build these forts. Anne of Cleves is said to have stayed at Deal Castle after her long voyage from Europe on her way to London to meet her future husband.

Image Courtesy: Google Maps

Sandsfoot Castle

Completed in 1539, Sandsfoot Castle, historically as Weymouth Castlewas built by Henry VIII ’to provide in conjunction with Portland Castle a defence for shipping in the safe anchorage of Portland Roads (Portland Harbour)’. -http://www.sandsfootcastle.org.uk/

This castle had two storeys plus a basement. It was built to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Courtesy: http://www.sandsfootcastle.org.uk/

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain, by Charles Phillips
Video: Time Team Special 40 (2009) – Henry VIII’s Lost Palaces
London, Volume 1 (Page 339, Edited by Charles Knight)

Facebook no longer shows our posts to a majority of our followers - Don't want to miss out on new articles? Get notified! Subscribe to email updates from Tudors Dynasty.

Join 5,002 subscribers.

The Tudor Dynasty

The Tudor Dynasty began when Henry VII took the throne of England, married Elizabeth of York and had children. You could argue that the Tudor dynasty began with Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor or maybe even Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor. For now, let’s assume it began with Henry and Elizabeth.

To make things a little easier to understand I tried to color code:

Green: Children of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York (E.o.Y)

Purple: Descendants of Margaret Tudor

Blue: Descendants of Henry VIII

Orange: Descendants of Mary Tudor, Queen of France & Duchess of Suffolk

Henry Tudor Family Tree

House of Tudor, Coat of Arms
House of Tudor, Coat of Arms









Henry Tudor, King of England (Henry Vll) 28 Jan 1457-21 Apr 1509
 Unknown artist (c. 1500)
Elizabeth of York (E.o.Y), Queen of England; 11 Feb 1466-11 Feb 1503







Children of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York (E.o.Y):

Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales; 20 Sept 1486-2 Apr 1502 (E.o.Y)
Katherine of Aragon
Katherine of Aragon; 16 Dec 1485-7 Jan 1536








Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland; 28 Nov 1489-18 Oct 1541 (E.o.Y)
Husband 1: James lV
Husband 1: King James IV of Scotland; 11 Jun 1488-9 Sept 1513
Husband 2: Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus
Husband 2: Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus;148922 January 1557







Husband 3: Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven
Husband 3: Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven; 14951552






Children of Margaret Tudor:

James Steward, Duke of Rothesay 21 February 1507 27 February 1508 (James lV)







Arthur Stewart, Duke of Rothsay 20 October 1509-14 July 1510 (James lV)
Arthur Stewart, Duke of Rothsay 20 October 1509-14 July 1510 (James lV)







James V (James lV)
James V; 10 April 1512 14 December 1542 (James lV)
Wife 1: Madeleine de Valois, Queen Consort of Scotland
Wife 1: Madeleine de Valois, Queen Consort of Scotland; 10 August 1520 7 July 1537
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scots
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scots; 22 November 1515 11 June 1560







Children of James V:

Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney; 15334 February 1593 (Eupheme Elphinstone)

James Stewart, 1st Earl Moray; c. 1531 23 January 1570 (Lady Margaret Erskine)

Mary, Queen of Scots; 8 December 1542 8 February 1587 (Mary of Guise)

Alexander Stewart, Duke of Ross 30 April 1514 18 December 1515 (James lV)







Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox (Archibald Douglas)
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox; 8 October 1515 7 March 1578 (Archibald Douglas)
Husband 3: Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven
Husband: Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox; 21 September 1516 4 September 1571








Children of Margaret Douglas:

Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley;7 December 1545 10 February 1567 (married Mary Queen of Scots)

Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox;15551576


Henry Vlll
Henry Vlll; 28 June 1491 28 January 1547 (E.o.Y)
Katherine of Aragon
Wife 1: Katherine of Aragon; 16 Dec 1485 – 7 Jan 1536
Wife 2: Anne Boleyn; c. 1501 19 May 1536







Wife 3: Jane Seymour
Wife 3: Jane Seymour; c. 1508 24 October 153
Wife 4: Anne of Cleves
Wife 4: Anne of Cleves; 22 September 1515 16 July 1557
Wife 5: Katherine Howard
Wife 5: Katherine Howard; c.1521 13 February 1542







Wife 6: Katherine Parr
Wife 6: Katherine Parr; 1512 5 September 1548






Children of Henry VIII:

Unnamed Daughter (stillborn) 31 January 1510
Unnamed Daughter (stillborn) 31 January 1510 (Katherine of Aragon)







Henry, Duke of Cornwall 1 January 23 February 1511 (Katherine of Aragon)







Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall, Nov 1513 died shortly after birth (Katherine of Aragon)







Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall 8 Jan 1515, Stillborn (Katherine of Aragon)
Mary Tudor, Queen of England (Katherine of Aragon)
Mary Tudor, Queen of England; 18 February 1516 17 November 1558 (Katherine of Aragon)








Unnamed daughter 10 Nov 1518 (Katherine of Aragon)
Unnamed daughter 10 Nov 1518 (Katherine of Aragon)







Henry Fitzroy (illegitimate) 15 June 1519 - 23 July 1536 (Bessie Blount)
Henry Fitzroy (illegitimate) 15 June 1519 – 23 July 1536 (Bessie Blount)
The wife of Henry Fitzroy - Lady Mary Howard.
Wife: Lady Mary Howard; 1519 7 December 1557







Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England (Anne Boleyn)
Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England; 7 September 1533 24 March 1603 (Anne Boleyn)







Stillborn Son; 29 Jan 1536 (Anne Boleyn)
UnnamedSon; 29 Jan 1536 (Anne Boleyn)







Edward Tudor, King of England (Jane Seymour)
Edward Tudor, King of England; 12 October 1537 6 July 1553 (Jane Seymour)








Princess Elizabeth Tudor
Princess Elizabeth Tudor 2 July 1492 – 14 September 1495








Mary Tudor, Queen of France & Duchess of Suffolk; 18 March 1496 25 June 1533 (E.o.Y)
Husband 1: Louis Xll of France
Husband 1: King Louis XII of France; 27 June 1462 1 January 1515
Charles Brandon Photo Christie's Images Ltd 2011
Husband 2: Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk; c.1484 22 August 1545







Children of Mary Tudor:

Henry Brandon, 11 March 1516 1522 (Charles Brandon)







Frances Brandon, Charles' daughter with Mary Tudor.
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk; 16 July 1517 20 November 1559 (Charles Brandon)
Husband 1: Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk; 17 January 1517 23 February 1554
Husband 2: Adrian Stokes (courtier); 4 March 1519 30 November 1586







Children of Frances Grey:

Lady Jane Grey;1536/1537 12 February 1554 “9 Day Queen” (Henry Grey)

Lady Catherine Grey;25 August 1540 26 January 1568(Henry Grey)

Lady Mary Grey;c. 1545 20 April 1578(Henry Grey)

Elizabeth Stokes (Adrian Stokes)

Eleanor Clifford, Countess of Cumberland; 1519 27 September 1547 (Charles Brandon)
Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland; 1517 January 1570








Children of Eleanor Clifford:

Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby;1540 28 September 1596

Henry Clifford; died in infancy

Charles Clifford; died in infancy


Henry Brandon, Charles' son with Mary Tudor.
Henry Brandon, 1st Earl of Lincoln; c. 1523 1 March 1534 (Charles Brandon)








Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset; 21 February 1499 19 June 1500 (E.o.Y.)








Katherine Tudor; 2 February 1503 10 February 1503 (E.o.Y)