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Archive for the ‘Anne Boleyn’ Category

Lady Jane Grey

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey is an oil painting by Paul Delaroche completed in 1833. It is currently housed in the National Gallery in London.

Imagine being sentenced to the block or a traitor’s death in medieval England. What impression would you want to make in your last moments on this side of the grass?

This is a fascinating thesis on the importance of a good death. (It’s a little tedious for about ten pages, but then it gains traction.)

Performing at the Block: Scripting Early Modern Executions
Jennifer Lillian Lodine-Chaffey (The University of Montana)
http://earlymodernengland.com/2013/07/performing-at-the-block-scripting-early-modern-executions/

Scroll down to “Click here to read this thesis from The University of Montana Missoula”

ANNE BOLEYN

Anne_Boleyn_London_TowerOur cousin Anne Boleyn tucked the hems of her skirt so her legs wouldn’t splay after impact. The Tudors series did a beautiful job on her end (haven’t checked to see how factual it was).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6-ThCEeTJU

Natalie Dormer, a historian at heart, was devoted to being as authentic as possible. “The execution scene was especially important to Natalie: “By the end of the season, when I’m standing on that scaffold,” she told Michael, “I hope you write it the way it should be. And I want the effect of that scene to remain with viewers for the length of the series…. Hirst, too, recalls the heightened emotions of shooting that scene: “That was an amazing day. Extraordinary day. After, I went in to congratulate her. She was weeping and saying, `She’s with me Michael. She’s with me.
http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/75175679.html#ixzz2Yqy8sDLz

In this video Natalie is taken to the actual spots where history was made, including Anne’s final resting place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvUV9QwqjoE

LORD THOMAS CROMWELL

Cromwell,ThomasWyatt family friend Lord Thomas Cromwell was hacked to death by an inept executioner as our Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet watched weeping.

This is captured in The Tudors, but not in this strange edit of the scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8uT6oEhGl0

(The Tudors is available on Netflix.)

QUEEN CATHERINE HOWARD

CatherineHowardOur young relative* Queen Catherine (Henry’s fifth wife and Anne Boleyn’s cousin) rehearsed with a block so she wouldn’t make a fool of herself.

According to Wikipedia (not a resource I trust, but ok for these purposes) “She died with relative composure, but looked pale and terrified and required assistance to climb the scaffold.”

I could not find anything on youtube that portrayed her demise with adequate respect.

LADY JANE GRAY

Lady Jane Gray – the innocent pawn known as “the nine day queen” – was blindfolded and needed help finding the block. Although the setting is all wrong, Paul Delaroche captured the emotion in 1833. (See main image, above.)

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

maryqueenofscotsI don’t know – we may be vaguely related – but Mary Queen of Scots went to the block with her small dog hiding in her red petticoats; red was the color of a Catholic martyr. She would have been mortified if she had known how humiliating her end would be.

Wikipedia again … “Mary was not beheaded with a single strike. The first blow missed her neck and struck the back of her head. The second blow severed the neck, except for a small bit of sinew, which the executioner cut through using the axe. Afterward, he held her head aloft and declared, “God save the Queen.” At that moment, the auburn tresses in his hand turned out to be a wig and the head fell to the ground, revealing that Mary had very short, grey hair. A small dog owned by the queen, a Skye terrier, is said to have been hiding among her skirts, unseen by the spectators.”

This is probably a better account: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/renaissancereformation/execution/index.asp

SIR THOMAS WYATT THE YOUNGER

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger gave a final speech that helped save Elizabeth Tudor’s life by denying her complicity in his rebellion.

Bloody Mary was beyond pissed. He was condemned to a traitor’s death where he was drawn, hanged and quartered. I find it too disturbing to describe.

This link provides an excellent explanation:

http://academia.edu/215486/A_Traitors_Death_The_identity_of_a_drawn_hanged_and_quartered_man_from_Hulton_Abbey_Staffordshire

UPDATE

I no longer share original Wyatt content here because I will not give my work away. Cousins – please DO join me/us on Facebook where I share interesting articles from other Tudor and medieval fanatics daily. We are there as Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet. (See Facebook link at right.)

*We are related to all of Henry VIII’s queens through Jane Haute, wife of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger.

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Our Aunt

Our Aunt

Alison Weir – my hero – made an error in her book Henry VIII; it’s on page 398, re: Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet. She wrote “In 1537, his marriage to Elizabeth Brooke was finally dissolved, and he married Jane Haute, a distant connection of the King’s grandmother, Elizabeth Wydeville, queen of Edward IV. Despite his aversion for court life, Wyatt now made a career of diplomacy …”

She got her Wyatts crossed. It’s easy to do.

Sir Tom’s love to the end was Elizabeth Darrell, one of Katherine of Aragon’s most faithful ladies. They openly lived together. So far as I know, Thomas and Elizabeth Brooke never got their divorce; she remarried after his death. And we all know his son married Jane Haute.

There was a bright spot in the disappointment – I didn’t know about the Haute/Wydeville connection. I threw myself into ancestry.com and hope you’re as excited as I am to learn more about this branch of our tree. If memory serves, Edward IV made a somewhat violent pass at (our Aunt) Elizabeth and she resisted. Of course he was smitten by any beautiful woman with morals, so he married her. He was a fun, earthy king – someone we might enjoy having a beer with. He remembered names and treated commoners with uncommon friendliness.

When he died our “Aunt” Elizabeth York scrambled to protect her children from the forces that hoped to seize his throne. Our cousins – the princes in the tower – were probably smothered in their bed by Richard III’s men. (It amazes me that the history that affects me most deeply always winds up involving actual ancestors.)

Henry Tudor’s brilliant mother Margaret Beaufort plotted a match between Elizabeth’s daughter and her son; Richard III was vanquished, the marriage took place and our Haute line joined the Tudor line to Henry VIII himself. Worst cousin EVER.

Imagine what this means to our relation to Queen Elizabeth. Since we’re related to Anne Boleyn through Elizabeth Brooke, we’re related to her mother and her father.

The generational distance shown here is mine and I’m a baby boomer. If you are too, the distance should be fairly close. Add, subtract, or hit ancestry.com to work it out on your own.

(Note that part of this line might be incorrect – see the comment about Joan Woodville below; this warrants further investigation when I have time. )  

OUR HAUTE – WYDEVILLE – WYATT CONNECTION

Lady Joan Wydville/Woodville (1410 – 1462)
(Sister of Queen Elizabeth, Wife of Edward IV)
is our 16th great grandmother

William Haute or Hawte (1430 – 1497)

Son of Lady Joan

Thomas Hawte (1453 – 1502)

Son of William

Hawte, Sir William Knight (1490 – 1530)

Son of Thomas

Jane, Lady Hawte (Haute) (1522 – 1600)

Daughter of Hawte, Sir William Knight

George (Sir) Wyatt (1550 – 1625)

Son of Jane, Lady

Reverend Haute Wyatt (1594 – 1638)

Son of George (Sir)


Elizabeth Wydeville “Queen Consort of England” Wife of Edward IV (1437 – 1492)
Mother of the Princes in the Tower

is our 16th great grand aunt

Sir Richard I DeWydeville/Woodville Constable of the Tower (1385 – 1441)

Father of Elizabeth

Lady Joan Wydville/Woodville (1410 – 1462)

Daughter of Sir Richard I

William Haute or Hawte (1430 – 1497)

Son of Lady Joan

Thomas Hawte (1453 – 1502)

Son of William

Hawte, Sir William Knight (1490 – 1530)

Son of Thomas

Jane, Lady Hawte (Haute) (1522 – 1600)

Daughter of Hawte, Sir William Knight

George (Sir) Wyatt (1550 – 1625)

Son of Jane, Lady

Reverend Haute Wyatt (1594 – 1638)

Son of George (Sir)

Elizabeth York Plantagenet (Queen of England, Wife of Henry VII) (1466 – 1503)

is our 1st cousin 17x removed

Elizabeth Wydeville “Queen Consort of England” (1437 – 1492)

Mother of Elizabeth York

Sir Richard I DeWydeville/Woodville Constable of the Tower (1385 – 1441)

Father of Elizabeth

Lady Joan Wydville/Woodville (1410 – 1462)

Daughter of Sir Richard I

William Haute or Hawte (1430 – 1497)

Son of Lady Joan

Thomas Hawte (1453 – 1502)

Son of William

Hawte, Sir William Knight (1490 – 1530)

Son of Thomas

Jane, Lady Hawte (Haute) (1522 – 1600)

Daughter of Hawte, Sir William Knight

George (Sir) Wyatt (1550 – 1625)

Son of Jane, Lady

Reverend Haute Wyatt (1594 – 1638)

Son of George (Sir)


Henry VIII Tudor
(1491 – 1547)

is our 2nd cousin 16x removed

Elizabeth York Plantagenet (Queen Of England) (1466 – 1503)

Mother of Henry VIII

Elizabeth Wydeville “Queen Consort of England” (1437 – 1492)

Mother of Elizabeth York

Sir Richard I DeWydeville/Woodville Constable of the Tower (1385 – 1441)

Father of Elizabeth

Lady Joan Wydville/Woodville (1410 – 1462)

Daughter of Sir Richard I

William Haute or Hawte (1430 – 1497)

Son of Lady Joan

Thomas Hawte (1453 – 1502)

Son of William

Hawte, Sir William Knight (1490 – 1530)

Son of Thomas

Jane, Lady Hawte (Haute) (1522 – 1600)

Daughter of Hawte, Sir William Knight

George (Sir) Wyatt (1550 – 1625)

Son of Jane, Lady

Reverend Haute Wyatt (1594 – 1638)

Son of George (Sir)

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Catherine_Aragon_Henri_VIII_Wikipedia

R.I.P. – 16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536

I will light a candle for this dear lady tonight. She was a descendant of John of Gaunt – as are we.

Most queens were glorified breeders; prince mills. This princess’ parents raised their girl with love and honor. They were the power couple of their time – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.

Katherine was Catholic, pious and fully prepared to do all that her new Tudor family asked. She had a terrifying journey from Spain to England – and then Prince Arthur died within months of the wedding. His father the king had promised her parents he would treat her as his own child – but he began to treat her as a bargaining chip.

She didn’t fit in on her own. She wore funny clothes and didn’t know how to dance and laugh. Her fate in that strange new land was in his hands and he wasn’t certain she was the best bride for his spare heir. Best bride, of course, meant whichever alliance would yield the most money and power.

Katherine was on the short list because she had already been shipped in by her parents, Henry wouldn’t have to pay her travel expenses. On the downside, if he found a better bride, he would have to return her dowry.

Yes, he was that cheap.

When her parents’ stars began to fade, he sent her to live “in rags” over the stables with not enough money for food nor funds to pay her servants.

When Henry died of tuberculosis, not many mourned. In Cassell’s Illustrated History of England, William Howitt states: “While his father [Henry VII] had strengthened the throne, he had made himself extremely unpopular. The longer he lived the more the selfish meanness and the avarice of his character had become conspicuous and excited the disgust of his subjects.”

After the king’s death, his mother – Lady Margaret Beaufort – chose counselors for her grandson, including our Henry Wyatt; and Katherine found her first (and last) years of true happiness. Henry VIII was a kind and loving husband for a time; but she was older than Henry. Through all the miscarriages she was only able to produce one living princess – not a prince. Henry could barely conceal his disappointment.

Menopause came early in those days. When it was obvious Katherine could not produce a son, the king set his sights on Anne Boleyn. Note that while Queen Katherine was losing Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas was losing Anne Boleyn to his friend Henry VIII. At least our Sir Tom had the good sense to step aside.

He wrote …

Whoso List to Hunt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am
,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Katherine’s days as wife and queen were numbered. Towards the end of 1527 she commanded Wyatt to translate Petrarch’s “remedy of yll ‘fortune’ – or Book II of De remediis utriusque fortunae. It was a massive undertaking that contained 132 dialogues. He completed some of it before deciding to substitute Plutarch’s short essay The Quiet of Mind instead. This would be his holiday gift to the queen.

His signature states that with her encouragement this work might lead “this hande / towarde better enterprises.” He dated it “the last day of Decembre. M.D. XXVII” and presented it to her as a New Year’s gift.

According to Patricia Thomson, author of Sir Thomas Wyatt and His Background, “This was indeed a poignant moment in Catherine’s life, to which both the work she commissioned of Wyatt and the one she got are appropriate.”

Thompson also suggests that “it is quite possible that, coming at this moment, Wyatt’s learned offering marks his swift revulsion of feeling against Anne’s values and in favour of those for which Catherine stood.”

Sir Thomas fell in love with Katherine’s servant, Mistress Elizabeth Darrell. They would be together until his end.

Henry VIII wanted a divorce so he could marry Anne. He hoped Katherine would be compliant – he needed her to be accepting because he feared angering her nephew, Emperor Charles VI. When Katherine stood her ground, Henry viciously destroyed her from within. He prevented her from seeing her only child and sent her to ever distant, colder, damper castles. Katherine wrote her nephew the Emperor:

‘My tribulations are so great, my life so disturbed by the plans daily invented to further the king’s wicked intention, the surprises which the king gives me, with certain persons of his council, are so mortal, and my treatment is what God knows, that it is enough to shorten ten lives, much more mine.’

In May of 1534 Katherine was sent to Kimbolton Castle, where she became a prisoner in the southwest corner. She spent most of her time in prayer and was attended by a few loyal servants – including Lady Darrell; Katherine left her £200 for her marriage, “though none was in prospect.”

(Henry VIII was malicious in preventing Lady Darrell from receiving the funds; she finally received them from Queen Mary after his death.)

“When Catherine’s body was cut open for embalming, the undertakers discovered that her heart had turned black, with a hideous growth on the outside. De la Sa was certain she had been poisoned and the accusation was later used against Anne Boleyn. But no one had access to the queen except for her most faithful ladies. Modern medical historians are certain she died of cancer. Its’ interesting in the light of current ‘new age’ thinking about the relationship between illnesses people get and their emotional condition: Catherine of Aragon died of something very close to a broken heart.” From Karen Lindsey’s Divorced Beheaded Survived; a feminist reinterpretation of the wives of Henry VIII

Henry found Anne Boleyn was more willful than Katherine – and just as unlikely to produce a male heir. I’ve read that Anne thought her life was in danger so long as Katherine was alive; the opposite was probably true. He couldn’t discard her because the emperor would
expect him to take his aunt back.

When Katherine died, Anne was condemned (through treachery) and Henry had already found her replacement. She was waiting in the wings. He nearly slipped the ring on her finger as the French swordsman sliced Anne’s head off her little neck.

Henry arrogantly assumed he was in a favorable position to reopen the lines of communication with the emperor. So guess who he sent as ambassador. Can you imagine calling upon the Holy Roman Emperor on behalf of the monster who killed his aunt?

I can’t.

Please join us on Facebook – Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet

(This was mostly from memory – and opinion – so please write if you note errors.)

 

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My friend Dr Linda Saether is an expert on Anne Boleyn. She’s so passionate about Anne’s life that she recently went to the Vatican to see Henry VIII’s love letters. She wanted to see them and hold them in her hands.

You can imagine the hoops she went through. She shares her experience here.

http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/17571/the-vatican-love-letters-of-henry-viii-linda-holds-them/

Why do we care? Anne Boleyn was Sir Thomas Wyatt’s childhood friend and romantic obsession before she caught the king’s eye.

I’ve always wondered how Sir Tom’s wife felt about all this. Anne Boleyn was Lady Elizabeth Brooke’s second (?) cousin.

Pretty cool to be distant relatives of this famous/infamous queen, eh?

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