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Archive for the ‘Henry VII’ Category

Henry VIII at Coronation

Henry VII had it all – wealth and connections that helped secure his unsteady throne – and the essential heir and a spare.

Unfortunately Arthur – Henry’s oldest prince – died in 1502. The king’s beloved queen Elizabeth of York died in 1503. She had been a kind and loving wife and mother. Henry, the younger son, had been groomed for a different path and an aging, widowed and grieving father didn’t have many years to prepare him for the throne.

Henry VII died of tuberculosis at Richmond Palace on 22 April, 1509. In Cassell’s Illustrated History of England (with text by William Howitt) the author describes how the English felt about his reign. “While his father 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.”

Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583 to 1648) was much like Sir Thomas Wyatt in that he was a poet, diplomat and soldier. His book England Under VIII was published the year after his death and is still read today.  According to Lord Herbert …

“Nothing is so easie as to reign, if the body of government be well framed.”  

Henry VIII was crowned April 22, 1509 at 18 years of age. He took the throne unopposed, a tribute to his father’s zeal. The Tudor reign was secure.

His father’s stinginess left him very well off but he would need guidance. His grandmother Lady Margaret Beaufort knew what her son Henry VII would have wanted.

Howitt wrote “His grandmother, the countess of Richmond and Derby, was highly esteemed for her virtue and prudence, and Henry appeared quite disposed to be guided by her sage experience in the conduct of national affairs. By her advice he continued in his council the men who had been the counsellors of his father. Warham, the archbishop of Canterbury, the earl of Shrewsbury, lord Herbert, Sir Thomas Lovel, Sir Edward Poynings, Sir Henry Marney, Sir Thomas Darcy, and Sir Henry Wyatt, surrounded his council-board, and occupied the chief offices of the state.”

Lord Cherbury listed the ten men in this order:

William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, Secretary and Lord Privy-Seal
George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Steward of the King’s Household
Sir Charles Somerset, Lord Herbert, of Gower, Chepstow, and Rayland, Lord Chamberlain
Sir Thomas Lovel, Master of the Wards and Constable of the Tower
Sir Henry Wyat
Thomas Ruthal, Doctor of Law
Sir Edward Poynings, Knight of the Garter, Controller
Sir Henry Marney, Lord Marney
Sir Thomas Darcy, Lord Darcy

“The frame of this council was of scholars, chiefly, and soldiers…” These were not “men of the law” – but they called for experts when needed. Their job was to “impartially advise, but often modestly contest with him in any thing for his good… this held up the majesty of the council.” Lord Herbert tells us that “The first office perform’d by these counselors, was mix’d betwixt piety to their deceas’d prince, and duty to their new.”

Lady Margaret expected them to “deliberate well among themselves” so that the young king would not be “distracted by difference of opinions.” They behaved as Margaret expected til her death; which came shortly thereafter.

Henry VIII had lost his brother, his mother and now his father. He was a sensitive young man. He left Richmond, where his father had died, for the Tower of London. There he learned the true state of the kingdom from his council and sought to “avoid those salutes and acclamations of the people … till the lamentations and solemnity of his father’s funeral were past. He thought not fit to mingle the noises.”

Henry Wyatt was knighted – along with others – at Henry’s coronation.

Recommended reading:

Winter King – Henry VII and The Dawn of Tudor England
by Thomas Penn.
http://tinyurl.com/c8xf5y6 

 

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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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“Edward IV used to say that he had three mistresses ‘which … diversely excelled; one the meriest, the other the wyliest, the thirde the holyest’ harlot in the Realm.”

He would have been like a father to his little brother, since Richard was only nine when their father died. In 1483 Edward honored Richard by granting him the city and castle of Carlisle, wardenship of the West Marches and 10,000 marks. Still the king chose to keep his ambitious brother at a distance, “somewhat outside” the official circle.

Edward openly favored his queen’s family – the Greys and the Woodvilles; as a result, they had many enemies.

In March Edward became ill with fever and shivering fits. He was only 41 years old when he took to his bed at Westminster. Authors debate the nature of his illness. Some believed he was upset by the deceit of Louis IX; others said he was suffering the final effects of “drink and debauchery.”

Five hundred archers were on hand to keep the peace, if necessary. Some feared a coup by the queen’s family while others worried about what Richard would do.

Edward IV died April 9.  The once beautiful body of the king lay bloated, naked to the waist, for some hours before being taken for exhibition to several locations. In describing his reign, Sir James Henry Ramsay writes that “twenty-two years of government turned him from the most trustful to the most suspicious of men; yet he was always true to those who served him well.”

Edward died with his kingdom in a good place. He had recovered Berwick in the war against Scotland.  The country had been peaceful since the death of his brother Clarence and his court was filled with faithful, knowledgeable servants.

The transition to his 13-year-old son should have been easy, but it wasn’t. There was a deadlock over who would assume guardianship of the new king. Guardianship of the king was the same as control of the kingdom. The boy was then living in the care of his Uncle Rivers. The lords of the council wanted to establish a Regency Council until he was of age; instead, the queen “unwisely claimed it for herself.” He added “In the deadlock a rush was made to secure points of vantage.” Sir Edward Woodville assumed command of the king’s ships. Dorset invaded the tower and helped himself to the king’s private coffer.

Arrangements were made to bring young Edward to London for the crowning ceremony, which was scheduled for May 4. His Uncle Rivers would arrange for the journey but internal suspicions led to disputes as to how many men the young king could have in his escort. Ramsay writes “Impartial men were amazed at the idea of limiting the number of followers that a King should bring with him to his Coronation.”  The queen settled it by writing a letter telling her son he could bring no more than 2,000 men.

The moment Richard learned of the king’s death he leaped into action. He wrote the queen swearing devotion to her son as king; then he went to York to publicly mourn his brother’s death. He even exacted oaths of allegiance from the northern gentry on his nephew’s behalf.

On his way to London Richard was joined by his powerful accomplice, the Duke of Buckingham. At the same time Rivers and his friend, Sir Richard Grey, were en route with the young king. Rivers left the boy in Stony Stratford and the two men went to Northampton to pay their respects to Richard and “consult his wishes.” A pleasant evening was enjoyed by all.

The next morning Rivers and Grey were on their way back to Stony Stratford when they were seized and sent north. Richard had possession of his nephew.

The queen received the awful news the next day. We can imagine her anguish as she rushed her children into sanctuary at Westminster. Ramsay says the town “was greatly agitated” with men choosing refuge, either with the queen at Westminster or the Lords of the Council in the city.

Surprisingly, Richard’s behavior was impeccable and the boy’s coronation went as planned. Edward wore blue velvet; Richard wore black “like a mourner.” Ramsay writes “Gloucester gained golden opinions by his deferential attitude towards his young charge.”

He had stolen the role of protectorate and nobody had the courage to question his motives. When the privy council met, Archbishop Bourchier told those present that he had taken the late king’s most important effects, including the great seal, the privy seal and the signet.  This move sidestepped Archbishop Rotherham, who was for the queen.

By May 14 members of the court were addressing Richard as “Protector;” his power grew quickly.  He named the Duke of Buckingham Justiciar and Chamberlain of North and South Wales, Constable of all royal castles and more; obviously Buckingham’s loyalty was a priority.

On May 19 the young king’s friends suggested he be moved to a place where he could enjoy more freedom. Several places were recommended, but Richard chose to move him to the Tower. Richard was ready to finish what he had started. On 16 June Richard went “in force” by water to Westminster to take the other boy. “To their endless disgrace” Cardinal Bourchier and Chancellor Russell convinced the queen to surrender her younger son.

Both boys – his nephews, sons of his brother the deceased king – were declared illegitimate.

As of August 1483, they were never seen playing on tower grounds again.

According to Thomas More, Richard had the boys smothered in their bed.

Our Henry Wyatt was probably still in prison in Scotland at the time, but change was in the wind. The assumed death of the boys turned popular opinion against Richard and his days were numbered.

Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Tudor, worked behind the scenes to form alliances on behalf of her son.

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