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threequeensBy Mickisuzanne© 

In 1535 Henry VIII – who desperately sought an heir and a spare  – was saddled with a queen and a spare.

Pious and beloved of the people, Katherine of Aragon had denied him a divorce. She managed to survive despite extreme emotional abuse that included the flaunting of Anne and being denied access to her beloved only living child Mary. Henry relocated her to increasingly damp and difficult environs.

Anne Boleyn had been the other woman, Henry’s case of “be careful what you wish for.” Her arrogant behaviors as queen managed to piss off friends and family – even her self-seeking uncle, the powerful Duke of Norfolk. Henry was disappointed because she had failed to produce the promised son. She delivered one healthy girl, Elizabeth, miscarried a second child and was not getting any younger.

All of England was learning that when Henry was disappointed, he was dangerous. William Edward Simonds (Sir Thomas Wyatt and His Poems) wrote that Henry had “alienated the sympathies of the people at large through his cruelty to Catharine and the shamelessness of his relations with Anne Boleyn. All classes were disaffected.”

People were still reeling from the executions of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More. Erasmus wrote, ” Every man bewaileth the death of Thomas More, even they who are not of his faith, so great was his affability and courtesy to all mankind ; so excellent his nature.” The King of France – Henry’s nemesis – suggested offenders should be banished, not put to death. Henry angrily responded “That they had suffered by due course of law, and were well worthy, if they had a thousand lives, to have suffered ten times a more terrible death and execution than any of them did suffer.”

In the fall of 1535 Henry first laid eyes on Jane Seymour at Wolf Hall; it was love at first sight. Jane had been a maid of honor to Katherine and was (I believe, at that time) a maid of honor to Anne. From beauty to sensual style of dress, her ladies were eye candy, a virtual smorgasbord of temptation.

Henry was in his mid-40s, overweight and sometimes impotent. Jane must have lit his fires as Anne conceived upon his return.

1536 – YEAR OF TRAGEDIES

Things were suddenly going Anne’s way. On 7 January Katherine of Aragon finally died.

(Katherine and our Sir Tom had a relationship of sorts; Tom was sensitive to the queen’s plight, probably appalled by Anne’s behavior and in love with one of Katherine’s most loyal ladies – Elizabeth Darrel.)

On her deathbed Katherine dictated this heartbreaking letter for the king.

“My lord and dear husband,

I commend me unto you. The hour of my death draweth fast on, and my case being such, the tender love I owe you forceth me with a few words to put you in remembrance of the health and safeguard of your soul, which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and tendering of your own cares. For my part, I do pardon you all; yea, I do wish and devoutly pray God that he will also pardon you.

For the rest, I commend unto you Mary, our daughter, beseeching you to be a good father to her, as I heretofore desired. I entreat you also on behalf o my maids to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants, I solicit a year’s pay more than their due, lest they should be unprovided for.

Lastly, I do vow that mine eyes do desire you above all things.”

Anne was ecstatic. She is said to have cried out “Now I am indeed a queen!”  According to William Howitt (Cassell’s Illustrated History of England), “She said she was grieved, not that Catherine was dead, but for the vaunting there was of the good end she made; for numberless books and pamphlets were written in her praise, which were, therefore, so many severe censures on Henry and on Anne. Indeed, her open rejoicing on this occasion, and the haughty carriage which she now assumed, disgusted and offended every one.”

Catholic Europe saw Katherine as Henry’s one true wife; they saw the king as a widower, a free man.

Anne was not safe appearing outside the palace gates, “so bitter was the feeling of the common people towards her.” (Simonds)

In London she was attacked by a mob of seven to eight thousand people who sought her death. Henry’s nobles were “ripe for treason” and (Wyatt family friend) Cromwell responded to the dangers by filling the country with spies.

Several weeks after Katherine’s death, Anne miscarried a 15 week old male fetus. One can imagine the cold chill that went down her back when Henry said “I see God will not give me male children” [by you]!

Everyone at court knew about Jane but Anne. Howitt wrote “according to Wyatt, Anne only became aware of it by entering a room one day, and beholding Jane Seymour seated on Henry’s knee, in a manner the most familiar, and as if accustomed to that indulgence. She saw at once that not only was Henry ready to bestow his regards on another, but that other was still more willing to step into her place than she had been to usurp that of Catherine. Anne was far advanced in pregnancy, and was in great hopes of riveting the king’s affections to her by the birth of a prince; but the shock which she now received threw her into such agitation that she was prematurely delivered – of a boy, indeed, but dead. Henry, the moment that he heard of the unlucky accident, rushed into the queen’s chamber, and upbraided her savagely ‘with the loss of his boy.’ Anne, stung by this cruelty, replied that he had to thank himself and ‘that wench, Jane Seymour,’ for it. The fell tyrant retired, muttering his vengeance, and the die was now cast irrevocably for Anne Boleyn, if it were not before.”

THE DIE IS CAST

On 18 April, 1536, Cromwell vacated his apartments at Greenwich Palace so Jane could move in. This allowed Henry to see her whenever he wanted; but she was smart enough to maintain her honor. She had learned Anne’s game – and bettered it.

The Seymour faction was secretly usurping the Boleyns; and the Wyatts had a connection. Our Sir Thomas Wyatt had grown up with Anne and George Boleyn, as Allington and Hever Castles were not that far apart; Anne, George and Tom were part of a circle of renaissance types who inspired art, poetry and music within the Tudor court.

And Tom’s wife Elizabeth Brooke was related to the Boleyns. (As a result, Wyatt descendants are related to Anne Boleyn.)

In April the court was abuzz with excitement about the May Day Jousts. On the last day of the month the king went to Greenwich and Cromwell headed to London. Trouble was simmering beneath the surface.

Cromwell invited Mark Smeaton to dinner. Mark – the queen’s musician – was a friend of Tom’s, part of the tight-knit creative circle.

Mark suspected nothing. Martin Andrew Sharp Hume, English historian (1847-1910) wrote that Cromwell took him by the hand and led him to his chamber, where six men waited. Once he had him, he said “Mark, I have wanted to speak to you for some days, and I have had no opportunity till now. Not only I, but many other gentlemen, have noticed that you are ruffling it very bravely of late. We know that four months ago you had nothing, for your father has hardly bread to eat, and now you are buying horses and arms, and have made showy devices and liveries such as no lord of rank can excel. Suspicion has arisen either that you have stolen the money or that someone had given it to you …”

Of course Cromwell was implying the queen was showering Mark with riches in return for sexual favors.  Imagine the impact of a queen who cheated; kings need to know the heir is theirs.

Cromwell continued “I give you notice now that you will have to tell me the truth before you leave here, either by force or good-will.”

Mark got confused, then frightened. “Then he [Cromwell] called two stout young fellows of his, and asked for a rope and cudgel and ordered them to put the rope, which was full of knots, round Mark’s head, and twisted it with the cudgel until Mark cried out ….”

The Tudors series took liberties with the facts … but we get a powerful visual impression of the dynamic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1SLLn5MOFw

Torture continued until Mark was ready to tell him anything that would make it stop. “When the Secretary heard it he was terror-stricken, and asked Mark if he knew of anyone else besides himself who had relations with the Queen. Mark, to escape further torture, told all he had seen of Master Norris and Brereton, and swore than he knew no more. Then Cromwell wrote a letter to the King, and sent Mark to the Tower.”

toweroflondon

Cromwell wrote Henry “Your Majesty will recollect that Mark has hardly been in your service four months and only has [100 pounds] salary, and yet all the Court notices his splendor, and that he has spent a large sum for these jousts, all of which has aroused suspicions in the minds of certain gentlemen, and I have examined Mark, who has made the confession which I enclose to your Majesty in this letter.”

THE BLOODY MONTH OF MAY

On May 1 Henry read the “confession” and “his meal did not at all agree with him.” It’s upsetting to even read those words; it was the ultimate setup. I sometimes wonder if he convinced himself of his own deceits and saw himself as a victim. (Note that other monarchs of those times managed to divorce or otherwise rid themselves of unwanted queens without resorting to bloodshed.)

The May Day jousts had just begun. Henry ordered his boat to take him to Westminster, but the jousts should continue as planned.

Henry ordered that “when the jousts were over that Master Norris and Brereton, and Master Wyatt, should be secretly arrested and taken to the Tower.

The Queen did not know the King had gone, and went to the balconies where the jousts were to be held, and asked where he was, and was told that he was busy.” She also noticed Mark Smeaton had not come out. She was told he had gone to London and had not yet returned.

“So the jousts began and Master Wyatt did better than anybody. This Master Wyatt was a very gallant gentleman, and there was no prettier man at Court than he was.” After the jousting was done, Norris and Brereton were “carried off to the Tower without anyone hearing anything about it.”

On 2 May Henry VIII sent the Captain of the Guard and a hundred halberdiers to Greenwich to fetch the queen. She expected to be taken to Henry at Westminster, but they took her to the tower instead.

Again, The Tudors exaggerated, but what beautiful, gut-wrenching exaggeration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWOGRKeNeP8

After Henry learned she was in The Tower, he had her brother George arrested.

On 5 May. “Then Cromwell’s nephew said to Master Wyatt, ‘Sir, the Secretary, my master, sends to beg you to favour him by going to speak with him, as he is rather unwell, and is in London.’ So Wyatt went with him.

It seems Henry wanted Cromwell to give Wyatt the third degree. “When they arrived in London Cromwell took Master Wyatt apart, and said to him, ‘Master Wyatt, you well know the great love I have always borne you, and I must tell you that it would cut me to the heart if you were guilty in the matter of which I wish to speak.’ Then he told him all that had passed; and Master Wyatt was astounded, and replied with great spirit, ‘Sir Secretary, by the faith I owe to God and my Kind and lord, I have no reason to distrust, for I have not wronged him even in thought. The King well knows what I told him before he was married.‘ [He had warned Henry against marrying Anne by telling the king she had been less than virtuous.] Then Cromwell told him he would have to go to the Tower, but that he would promise to stand his friend, to which Wyatt answered, ‘I will go willingly, for as I am stainless I have nothing to fear.’ He went out with Richard Cromwell [the nephew] and nobody suspected that he was a prisoner; and when he arrived at the Tower Richard said to the captain of the Tower, ‘Sir Captain, Secretary Cromwell sends to beg you to do all honour to Master Wyatt.’ So the captain put him into a chamber over the door….”

I’m not sure what view he would have had. If anyone reading this knows, please comment. I snagged this photo from TripAdvisor … maybe he looked out of one of these windows?

towerdoor

On 11 May Cromwell wrote Sir Henry Wyatt and assured him his son’s life would be spared.

Mid-May Jane was moved to a house a mile of the king’s residence at Whitehall.

On 17 May George Boleyn and Mark Smeaton were executed. This moving video from The Tudors includes Sir Thomas’ poetry towards the end.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UudjGTPDk7c

On Friday, 19 May Anne Boleyn was executed. Wyatt’s sister Mary – a.k.a. Margaret – Lady Lee – attended Queen Anne on the scaffold. Anne gave her a miniature book of prayers before her death. (I don’t buy their portrayal of our ancestor whimpering in the background; I’m sure he was greatly saddened, but #1, he was still imprisoned and #2, he had been upset by her behavior towards Queen Katherine.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IsCnsYIPVA

On Saturday, 20 May Henry and Jane were secretly betrothed at Hampton Court.

On 30 May Henry married Jane. Jane took care to have her ladies dress more modestly. She caught him, she expected to keep him.

On 14 June, 1536 our Sir Thomas was released from the tower, a changed man.

Five months later his father Sir Henry Wyatt died.

* * *

(I apologize if there are errors or typos in this blog; this topic deserves days of work, not hours!)

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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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Thomas Cromwell

Image from Wikipedia

He died 471 years ago this week.

Thomas Cromwell, Lord Great Chamberlain, Chief Minister of Henry VIII, Earl of Essex – he was feared, hated and envied. Like his predecessor Wolsey, he was a smart, ambitious man from humble beginnings.

He helped Henry rid himself of Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn. He was a passionate advocate for the Reformation.  He provided most of the financial backing to make the Bible available in English.

In his precious free time he invited creative and spiritually inclined people to his home for long discussions.

Most important to descendants, he was a dear friend of our Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet.

When Sir Thomas was imprisoned in the Tower during Anne Boleyn’s last days, it was Thomas Cromwell who assured his aging father he would be OK.

On May 5, 1536 Sir Tom was imprisoned in the tower. On May 11, Cromwell assured his father Sir Henry Wyatt that he would be released without charges. Unfortunately, Tom witnessed Anne’s beheading on May 19 – his sister there with her on the scaffold. He wrote wrote “enemies surround my soul.” He was released, as Cromwell promised, June 14.

Cromwell continued watching out for Tom’s welfare as long as he lived. When the king sent Tom away from home, he paid small debts and resolved household problems on his behalf. Like he didn’t have bigger fish to fry:-)

Cromwell’s downfall came when he encouraged Henry to marry Anne of Cleves; his reasons were political – he felt a German alliance would strengthen England.  A painting of Anne was commissioned and – like match.com – the image was far from reality.  Henry committed to wed a woman he had never seen.

Henry met Anne on new year’s day 1540; he couldn’t stand the way she looked or smelled. I imagine she felt the same. She was a virgin who didn’t understand where babies came from. He was a fat, wife-killing lech whose leg reeked from a chronic oozing infection.

Henry was very vocal about his displeasure. He said her breasts and belly felt soft and old; he couldn’t “perform”.  He was quick to point out the problem was not his – it was hers. She did not inspire his lust. Their marriage was never consummated and he started warning people if this continued, they could not expect he would father more heirs to the throne.

Henry blamed Cromwell; he became verbally and physically abusive, literally smacking his Chief Minister around.

On June 10, 1540, during a council dinner in Westminster Palace,  the Duke of Norfolk (Sir Tom’s godfather ) arrested Cromwell . “My Lord of Essex, I arrest you of high treason.”  The duke tore off the St George medal he wore around his neck and Lord Admiral Fitzwilliam (formerly his friend) snatched at the Order of the Garter.

Cromwell was furious. He responded “This, then, is my guerdon [reward] for the service that I have done. On your consciences I ask you, am I a traitor? I may have offended, but never with my will. Such faults as I have committed deserve grace and pardon; but if the King, my master, believes so ill of me, let him make quick work and not leave me to languish in prison.”

During his time in the tower Cromwell was ordered to give Henry everything he needed to annul his marriage to Anne of Cleves; this was accomplished on July 12.

It strikes me as tragic that Henry killed Cromwell for pairing him with a woman who became one of his few true and loving friends. Based on what I’ve read to date, she may have been his only friend.  Of course – knowing how he had disposed of Anne Boleyn, she had to be grateful to keep her head. She was glad to stay in England, where she had friends and freedom. Henry was generous with her, gave her homes (including the Boleyn’s Hever Castle) and visited often. There were rumors of a romance.

Henry had Cromwell executed July 28.  The king had a nasty habit of mixing endings with beginnings. That same day he left to marry Catherine Howard, the “firm” young bimp who would make a total fool of him. Of course she lost her head in the bargain.

Before the axe fell on Cromwell’s neck he prayed “Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up the eyes of my body, yet the eyes of my soul may still behold and look upon Thee, and when death hath taken away the use of my tongue, yet my heart may cry and say unto Thee, Lord into Thy hands I commend my soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen.”

Remember how Anne Boleyn had a French swordsman who came in to assure her end would be swift? Cromwell was not nearly as fortunate, his execution was performed by an inept butcher. The Tudors series doesn’t hold true to the facts, but their fiction is interesting and their visuals powerful:

“In July 1540 there was much rejoicing at Cromwell’s fall, for he was generally regarded as a tyrant and a destructive force. Few friends dared to speak up for his reputation openly and his constructive work went unrecognized until long afterwards. Yet one contemporary who knew his worth set down his feelings in the jewel of a sonnet. ‘Gentle Master Wyatt’, as Cromwell had so often written to him on public affairs during his service on diplomatic missions, in 1540 at last returned to his native Kent, where he was to enjoy barely two years of retirement before he died.”(Sir Tom died in service to Henry VIII, so this source is incorrect or the king may have called him out of retirement for a special assignment.)This was Sir Tom’s sonnet for Cromwell:

“The pillar perish’d is whereto I leant;
The strongest stay of mine unquiet mind:
The like of it, no man again can find,
From east to west still seeking though he went.
To mine unhap; for hap away hath rent
Of all my join the very bark and rind;
And I, alas! by chance am thus assign’d
Dearly to mourn, till death do it relent.
But since that thus it is by destiny,
What can I more but have a woeful heart;
My pen in plaint, my voice in woeful cry,
My mind in woe, my body full of smart,
And I myself, myself always to hate;
Till dreadful death do ease my doleful state.”

According to The Cardinal and the Secretary, “His [Cromwell’s] fall had made it easier to justify to the courts of Europe his parting from Anne of Cleves, but by the time Catherine Howard had gone to the executioner he had come to realize that Cromwell had been unnecessarily sacrificed.”Henry became his own Chief Minister. “After Wolsey’s fall he had found that he needed Cromwell’s service, but after Cromwell’s disgrace no one of the same calibre offered himself. Indeed the problems were far less pressing now that Cromwell had made him master in his own house.””Seeing in the new men about him no hint of statesmanlike qualities .. the King came to conclude that Cromwell had been condemned ‘on light pretexts’.”

Henry was unable to find any man in his court who measured up to Cromwell and later referred to him as ‘the best servant he ever had’.”

R.I.P. Thomas Cromwell; you are remembered.

(Quotes and sonnet from The Cardinal & the Secretary by Neville Williams.)

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Henry VIII

 

Some Sunday; I spent part of the day defending Henry VIII’s “honor”. I got into it with an English friend who insisted Henry died – and stank of – syphilis.  Pfffft.

Note to self: living in England does not make someone an expert.I haven’t read the syphilis theory in any of my books – so if I’m going to waste time rooting for the best of the latest information, I might as well share.

Mini refresher –

The fate of our Sir Henry Wyatt was tied to Henry VII.  They went to school together and became friends.  As adults, our Henry was loyal to Henry Tudor; he even endured two years of torture at the hands of kid-killer (?) Richard III.

Our Henry was greatly rewarded. (Please see what I wrote about Sir Henry in a previous blog. He is my favorite ancestor.)

The fate of Henry’s son Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet was tied to Henry VIII

Henry VIII was born in 1491; our Sir Henry was made his guardian. 

In 1503 Sir Henry had his own son, Tom. There was too much of an age difference for them to have played together, but the king fancied himself a poet, musician and all-around renaissance man; he enjoyed battles of wits and liked having creative people around. They were friends.

Tom socialized with the king, pissed him off, competed for the same woman (Anne Boleyn) and was sent abroad to serve as ambassador. How convenient; get the competition as far away as possible.

Henry also had him thrown in the tower twice; and then he released him twice. I wonder if that was a record for Tudor times. 

So let’s take a moment to meet Henry VIII.  I’m guessing Henry and Tom could have passed for brothers. Both were over six feet tall, handsome and physically strong.

Check it out …

The psychology of Henry VIII.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3psDbRDACw&NR=1

I have to disagree with Philipa Gregory. She talks about Henry’s privileged childhood and says he started being careful with his money as he got older. 

First of all – based on the research I’ve done, Henry’s childhood was restrictive. His father and grandmother kept him on a very short leash with very little freedom or money.  When daddy died – look out.

Secondly – hello big spender. Henry spent much of his life – and his father’s money – keeping up with the lavish King Francis (of France). Well, of course that kind of spending is going to catch up with you. I didn’t matter that he ransacked the Catholic churches of England – he still had to start cutting back.   

When our ancestor Sir Tom (the Poet) traveled as Henry’s ambassador, he was frequently short of funds and Lord Cromwell had to pay bills in his absence. I need to find out whether that’s because Henry was short on cash or – as Lord Cromwell is known to have warned him  – because Tom was overly generous and lended money to friends. 

OK, back to Henry. If he lived today, what would he have in his fridge?  If yours has beer, lunchmeat and desserts, you have a thing or two in common. Remember – the water wasn’t fit to drink, he could only drink ale and wine. Food was fatty meats and sweets – hold the veggies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbgcDxAQSgQ&feature=related

Henry had significant jousting and tennis injuries. (Note – Sir Tom jousted too!)
This segment even shows Henry’s armour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFyEfXHCZgc&feature=related

Shortly before Henry’s last days, our ancestor Elizabeth Brooke was on the king’s radar for a potential seventh wife. Katherine Parr was getting too smart and too protestant for her own good. She was starting to annoy Henry and she had Catholic enemies at court.

By then he was truly fat and gross and smelled like pus – so Elizabeth dodged a bullet; ok, an axe.  She couldn’t have passed inspection anyway; she left our Sir Tom for another man and they say she lived openly in adultery. She wouldn’t have passed Henry’s new laws that required future queens to be morally upstanding.

Perky young Katherine Howard taught him that lesson the hard way. Her alleged whoring before and during her time as Henry’s fifth queen had made a total fool of the old king; so he had her beheaded – of course.

Rather than his usual fleeting twinge of remorse, he was sad for months.  

Fortunately, Katherine wised up in time to save herself and her ladies. She was a genuinely loving woman who cared about him and comforted him in his old age. By then Henry’s health problems included constipation, gout, insulin issues and problems from his old jousting injuries. 

This segment talks about how they think he died.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me8yqOqAkuw&feature=related
 
After his death, Henry’s body was put in a lead coffin; during  transport, the edges loosened and it burst. That night his bodily fluids dripped onto the floor of Syon Abbey. When plumbers came to make repairs in the morning, a dog came in with them … and licked it up. 

In 1532 – when Henry was trying to divorce Katherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn – there was a prophecy. Friar Peto warned that if he succeeded, the dogs would lick his blood. 15 years later they did.

Henry wanted a monument; well, it’s hard to command your minions when you’re dead. This is where the memorable monarch rests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAenNzP9Y-k&feature=related

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Henry VIII's true wife.

Forgive my rants and ramblings. “The Tudors Wiki” has an ongoing debate about which of Henry’s wives had it worse.  I say it was Katherine of Aragon.  

(The Tudors is a “visually lush but historically loose” series on the life and wives of Henry VIII. Our ancestor Sir Thomas Wyatt is an integral part of it. You can see seasons 1 and 2 on demand via Netflix; seasons 3 and 4 are available on DVD.)

I suspect 80% of “The Tudors”‘ research came from one of my favorite references – Alison Weir’s “Six Wives of Henry VIII.”

The casting is brilliant, but they were a little stuck in stereotypes. They have the Spanish queen played by Maria Doyle Kennedy who has pitch black hair and fair skin;  check it out: http://tudorswiki.sho.com/page/Queen+Katherine+of+Aragon

This actress is awesome in the role but the real queen had fair skin and reddish hair. 

In my research I find myself growing very attached to some of these people. Katherine – like Sir Henry Wyatt – is  a favorite. But it didn’t “feel” right because I’m supposed to be writing about our ancestors and their connections, ya know? So you can imagine my delight in finding she does have a connection to us. 

Henry VIII elbowed our Thomas out of the way so he’d have a clear shot at Anne; then Tom fell in love with Elizabeth Darrel, Katherine’s Maid of Honor. (I’m going off memory so don’t hold me to details in this blog.)

Katherine of Aragon

It’s funny, the English had not yet encountered a strong, capable Queen Regnant but that’s exactly what Katherine’s mother was. Isabella I of Castile was at war and in the saddle the day before Katherine was born; she gave birth and rode off again the next morning, leaving the infant with a wet nurse.

Henry VII saw Isabella and Ferdinand as movers and shakers; he wanted to  strengthen his claim to the throne by marrying his oldest, Arthur, to their Katherine. They were betrothed as toddlers.

I can’t remember how old Katherine was when she finally made the journey to England. I think early teens.  She met with horrific storms en route and it took about three months to get there. I wonder if she saw that as an omen.

When she landed, she was entering prime child-bearing years. Arthur died of sweating sickness shortly after the wedding. Katherine was sick too – but she survived.

Imagine being a young girl, widowed, alone in a strange country. I read somewhere that her parents taught her to drink wine before she left home because the English couldn’t drink their water; it was unfit for human consumption.

Henry VII promised Isabel and Ferdinand that he would treat Katherine as his own daughter, but he used the young widow as a financial bargaining chip instead. He wanted dowry. He arranged for her betrothal to his son Henry, butyears later it was secretly withdrawn. He got stingy with her and she had to beg for clothes and money for the few loyal servants she had left.

Henry VII bears much blame for Katherine’s sad life because he wasted at least six of her prime child bearing years. Maybe if he had stepped aside, his son would have had his sons. Sure he would have strayed, but Katherine might have kept her crown and lived a more peaceful life. 

By the time Henry VII died and the young Henry VIII accepted his brother’s widow as wife, she was 23 years old – he was 18. Her first son was born on New Year’s Eve – a little boy who died in less than 60 days.

More miscarriages … imagine the rush of hormones, the depressions, the grief. Queens were glorified breeders. I read that she gave off an unpleasant odor after every pregnancy and Henry couldn’t stand the thought of getting close. Plus she was getting old quickly. Who wouldn’t? 

The royal couple’s daughter Mary didn’t count in the grand scheme of things because the English could not remember a time when they’d had an effective queen regnant.

Henry VIII’s father cared about money and establishing the Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII cared about putting on a big show and having a legitimate son or two to perpetuate the lineage. 

I think it’s probably true that he felt he had sinned by taking his brother’s wife; but the measures he took to rid himself of this pious woman were despicable.

There is a scene in The Tudors where Katherine takes a nighttime carriage ride to a cathedral to pray for a son. She steps out of the carriage barefoot onto cold wet stones … it’s a powerful visual.   

Katherine was the proud daughter of a powerful queen. Katherine herself was queen regnant for six months at the Battle of Flodden (Henry was busy in France at the time; nobody talks about that because he took credit for her win over the Scots.) 

She was a was a good woman who genuinely loved her God, her husband and her daughter. 

Towards Katherine’s end, Henry told Katherine and Mary they could see each other if they would acknowledge Anne as queen; they would not. Who could blame them?

All those miscarriages, one beloved daughter – then a husband whose affections grew cold to the point where he flaunted her successor.  When they opened her up after her death, they found “something black” on her heart. They say now that was a cancer. Well, abuse feeds cancers. I say any way you cut it, she died of a broken heart.

Yes, I believe Katherine had it worst.

I truly wonder why the Catholic church sainted Sir Thomas More (who burned Protestants at the stake) but not Katherine? Her faith, integrity and loyalty were unshakable.

If you watch the Tudors, you’ll see the scene where Katherine dies and her maid Elizabeth Darrel hangs herself; it didn’t happen that way. Elizabeth D. did not commit suicide.

Katherine wrote Elizabeth D. into her will, hoping she would find a good match. She already had a match – our ancestor, Sir Thomas Wyatt.   He even translated some Latin for Katherine. I wonder how well he knew her.

Anne Boleyn was the victim of her own ambition. I don’t care if we are related, I believe Anne’s karma played out in her lifetime; fortunately it did not extend to her daughter Elizabeth.

Elizabeth D. lived with Sir Tom at Allington until his death. (He died while traveling on behalf of the king.)  She had sons by him; one died with his half-brother Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger at or after the rebellion.

Here’s something cool … last week I learned that Henry VIII gave Anne of Cleves three residences in appreciation for her willingness to step aside as wife. (She had to be giddy with relief!!) One of those residences was Hever, home of Anne and the Boleyns. Anne of Cleves also took an interest in little Elizabeth.

I wonder if the two spent time together at Hever. I can’t wait to learn more.  I have a soft spot for bastards who turn out ok:-)

(I am one.)

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Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger

I apologize for the lapses between blogs, I am deep into my research. These blogs are previews of my book as a work in progress.  This is very difficult work, so please honor my copyright – mickisuzanne©

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger made history by affecting the lives of three queens. He threatened one, hastened the death of the second and quite possibly saved the third.

Thomas Wyatt the Younger was born in 1521 at the Wyatt family home – Allington Castle.

Young Tom’s father – Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet, a.k.a. Thomas the Elder

History describes Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet as friend and diplomat of Henry VIII. He also had very close ties to his father Henry’s dearest friends – Sir Thomas More and Cromwell. Tom is best remembered for being in love with Anne Boleyn. He wisely stepped aside when Henry VIII expressed interest.

When Henry lost interest, young Tom’s Aunt Mary accompanied Anne to the scaffold; Anne gave Mary her prayer book and whispered her last words for Henry. Anne accepted her fate with grace and forgiveness.  

Young Tom’s mother – Lady Elizabeth Brooke

Lady Elizabeth Brooke was a woman whose pedigree was vastly superior to her husband’s. She descended from William the Conqueror, the dukes of Normandy and the epic Vikings of legend who preceded them. He was the third generation of Wyatts to live in the castle once owned by William’s half-brother Bishop Odo.

Elizabeth was a descendant of John of Gaunt, Plantagenet duke – as were Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon.  Most royal houses of Europe are connected through this line.

Most notably for her times, Elizabeth’s husband was in love with her second-cousin Anne.  Tom Senior was not alone in his indiscretions, Elizabeth is said to have lived with another man, although it was never proven. Elizabeth’s husband filed for separation on grounds of adultery in 1525. While that type of blatant immorality was a disgrace among common folk, it was acceptable among the nobles.

It’s even said that Henry VIII was eyeing Elizabeth as a potential sixth wife.

Young Tom’s Grandfather – Sir Henry Wyatt Knight

The Wyatt family’s fate was tied to their relationships with the crown.  It was as it had been for generations.

Young Tom’s grandfather, Sir Henry Wyatt Knight, had loyally helped Henry Tudor wrest the crown from the notoriously evil Richard III. He had even endured two years of torture, including the infamous rack.  Henry was steadfast through all of it. According to tradition, Richard III lamented that his own servants “had not such fidelity.”

When Henry finally vanquished Richard at Bosworth, one of the first things he did was release his friend. Then it’s said he told Henry Wyatt “Study to serve me and I will study to enrich you.” And that’s exactly what happened.  One of his most important purchases was Allington Castle, which was in need of restoration.

I will talk about Sir Henry Wyatt in another post. I’m trying to remain invisible throughout this book-writing process, but at this point I have to say that the pitifully unattractive Sir Henry is my favorite ancestor. Well, some of that probably has to do with “the barnacles” – a medieval torture that nearly twisted your upper lip off your face. That and the rack – two tortures he’s said to have endured.   

Henry nearly died in prison. Have you heard the legend of the cat? While imprisoned by Richard III, he was befriended a cat who eventually brought him birds that were cooked by a “compassionate jailer.” He was essentially starving, so the cat saved his life. After that, Henry would “ever make much of cats”.

Henry suffered medieval torture on behalf of Henry Tudor and was generously rewarded for his loyalty and ongoing service for the rest of his life.

When Henry VII died, the gratitude and riches continued to flow through his son. Henry VII had named Wyatt his son’s guardian and upon Henry VIII’s coronation, Wyatt was created Knight of the Bath. 

My impression is that his son Sir Thomas the Poet was frivolous and overly romantic; and that his son, Thomas the Younger was the typical over privileged rebellious kid there for a time; but he finally leaned to righteous causes as an adult.

Thomas Wyatt the Younger

Like his father before him, Young Tom grew up in Allington castle. At 15 he was appointed Esquire of the Body to Henry VIII, and Joint Constable of Conysborough Castle in Yorkshire, a post that was previously held by both his father and grandfather.

His grandfather died when he was 15 years of age. I haven’t done the research yet, but it’s possible Henry had more influence on young Tom than his father. Henry was old and tired by then, while Sir Thomas was still traveling on behalf of the king.

Thomas the Elder died “on the king’s business” when Young Tom was 21; he inherited substantial properties, including Allington and Boxley in Kent. His father was a bit of a gambler and a rogue, so some of the lands went to payment of debt.

In the 1540s Tom served in the wars against France and was given command of his own troops. In 1547 he was knighted. Henry VIII died that same year, but there was little drama as his crown passed seamlessly to his 15-year-old son, Edward VI. Protestants guided the court and all was well – until the young king got sick. Some say he had TB – others suspect his death was hastened by the Duke of Northumberland who “had an agenda”.

Edward had two older sisters. Mary, Catholic daughter of Katherine of Aragon, was a pious pain in the ass. The protestant Elizabeth was daughter of that whore Anne Boleyn; Edward loved her dearly.

Before his death, Henry VIII had recorded an Act of Succession that preserved his daughters’ access to the throne – but John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland had a better idea. He wanted more power. He convinced the young king to exclude both sisters from the line of succession and replace them with his son’s 16 year old wife, the Lady Jane Grey.

Jane’s pedigree was questionable. She was the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary Tudor, Queen of France.  She was also Mary’s cousin.

Edward died at 15 of a pulmonary infection – poison – or some combination of the two. Lady Jane Grey ruled for less than two weeks before being overthrown by Mary. Young Tom had been part of the movement to put Jane on the throne, but he managed to convince Mary of his loyalty.  

Jane was also spared … for a time. She had two things in her favor. She was Mary’s cousin and Mary realized she had been a powerless victim. Mary had played that role most of her life. Only now she finally had the power she dreamed of. Power to right personal wrongs and return the country to the true religion; Catholicism.

She treated her cousin with kindness. Jane was given decent lodging at the tower and allowed to roam the queen’s gardens. Mary even gave her a generous allowance.  All was well for a time.

Thomas and his Protestant friends watched passively until Mary made it clear she intended to marry Felipe of Spain – described on a Wyatt family site as “that other gloomy bigot.”

The combination of Roman Catholic AND flesh and blood Spanish influence in England was just too much for some.  Understand that Mary’s grandparents were behind Spain’s bloody inquisition.

Young Tom accepted an invitation by Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, to rise up against Mary.  Thomas held a meeting at Allington and ultimately managed to raise 4000 men. They marched on London in late January, 1554, but the English people rose in support of Henry’s oldest daughter.  The rebellion failed and Thomas was imprisoned.

Some say his wife, Jane Hawte, was told Thomas would be spared if he would implicate Elizabeth; he refused. He was sentenced to a traitor’s death on 4/11/1554. He used to scaffold speech to exonerate Elizabeth and some say he may have saved her life. In the face of a violent death he said: 

“And whereas it is said and whistled abroad that I should accuse my lady Elizabeth’s grace and my lord Courtenay; it is not so, good people. For I assure you neither they nor any other now in yonder hold or durance was privy of my rising or commotion before I began. As I have declared no less to the queen’s council. And this is most true.”

In the years to come, Elizabeth would not forget his loyalty.

Wyatt’s head was severed, his body was quartered and his bowels and genitals burned. His head and body quarters were parboiled and nailed up. His head was placed on a post – and later stolen.

Mary didn’t stop at that. She confiscated his estates and titles, causing severe hardships for his widow and children

Shortly thereafter Wyatt’s Rebellion caused the death of Lady Jane Grey. Mary knew Jane was innocent, but she took advice from Charles V of Spain. She made an example of Lady Jane and her husband Guilford Dudley.

Lady Jane’s husband was taken from the tower and beheaded in public at Tower Hill. Despite the fact that theirs was an arranged political marriage, Jane watched in tears as Guilford passed below her window to the tower.

Mary had Jane taken to The Tower Green, within the Tower. This private execution was seen as a gesture of respect.

This account of her execution is from Wikipedia: “The executioner asked her forgiveness, and she gave it. She pleaded the axeman, ‘I pray you dispatch me quickly’. Referring to her head, she asked, ‘Will you take it off before I lay me down?’ and the axeman answered, ‘No, madam’. She then blindfolded herself. Jane had resolved to go to her death with dignity, but once blindfolded, failing to find the block with her hands, began to panic and cried, ‘What shall I do? Where is it?’ An unknown hand, possibly Feckenham’s, then helped her find her way and retain her dignity at the end. With her head on the block, Jane spoke the last words of Jesus as recounted by Luke: “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!” 
 
With Thomas, Guilford and Jane gone, Mary still had to decide what to do with that other threat; Elizabeth. 

***
Please contact me if you find any flaws in my research. Thanks so much – Micki.

 

 

 

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Bloody Mary

Queen Mary, a.k.a. "Bloody Mary"

Why did our ancestor Thomas Wyatt the Younger lead a revolution against Queen Mary, Henry VIII’s oldest daughter?  Watching “Elizabeth” (the Special Edition version) was an entertaining way to get some sense for it.

I believe the portrayal of Queen Mary was accurate; the actress who played her even looked like paintings of the real queen.  From what I’ve read of Mary, her health was never good and my God, what a miserable childhood.   When you think about the family dynamics, this beats anything you’d see on Springer.

Henry VIII thought little of discarding his first wife (Catherine of Aragon) when she was beyond her ability to produce live sons – just as he thought very little of declaring their daughter Mary a bastard.

Henry married Anne and had her crowned Queen of England. Per Wikipedia – “Anne had been crowned with St. Edward’s crown, unlike any other queen consort, while carrying Elizabeth. Historian Alice Hunt has suggested that this was done because Anne’s pregnancy was visible at the moment of coronation and she was carrying an heir who was presumed to be male.”

I wrote about King Edward – St. Edward – in a previous blog. he is another fascinating distant relative. He was succeeded by William the Conqueror – our immediate ancestor through Lady Elizabeth Brooke’s line. 

After Anne Boleyn gave birth to Elizabeth, Mary was forced to SERVE her little sister while being denied access to her own mother. When Catherine of Aragon died, Mary was not allowed to attend the funeral.

Elizabeth’s childhood would be even more extreme. Her mother Anne Boleyn was beheaded when Elizabeth was less than three years old.

Imagine the adult dynamic of Mary and Elizabeth – half sisters, daughters of a violent father who wanted sons.

Henry finally had a son after his third marriage to Jane Seymour – Edward VI.

Thomas Wyatt had served Henry VIII as a volunteer in wars against France between 1543 and 1550. One governor wrote Henry VIII praising Wyatt’s "hardiness, painfulness, circumspection, and natural disposition to the war".  He was given command of troops and knighted in 1547. Somewhere along the line he developed a true hatred of the Spanish.

When Henry died and was succeeded by Edward VI, Thomas returned to England and stopped taking part in public affairs.  Edward was still a child when Henry died, so Protestants ruled the court on his behalf. As Edward grew, he and his half-sister Mary got into it over religion; one record talks about an instance where Mary left an event crying. While it seems Edward had a good relationship with Elizabeth, he didn’t want Mary anywhere near the throne.

John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, convinced Edward to exclude both of his sisters from the line of succession. (This was against Henry VIII’s Act of Succession.) Dudley recommended his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, instead. She was the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister Mary Tudor, Queen of France.

Sir Thomas Wyatt was part of the movement to put Jane on the throne.

Edward died at 15 of a pulmonary infection – and/or poison. Lady Jane Grey – only 16 years old – ruled for less than two weeks before being overthrown by Mary.

Jane was Mary’s cousin and Mary knew she was an innocent pawn in a power play. Her initial treatment was kind. She was kept in decent lodging at the Tower and allowed to roam the queen’s gardens. Mary even gave her a generous allowance.

Thomas and his Protestant friends watched from the sidelines UNTIL Mary made it known that she intended to marry Felipe of Spain. The combination of Roman Catholic AND Spanish influence in England was too much for Thomas.

He accepted an invitation by Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, to rise up against Mary.  Thomas held a meeting at Allington Castle and ultimately managed to raise  4000 men. They marched on London in late January, 1554.

This event is known as “Wyatt’s Rebellion.”

The rebellion failed and Thomas was imprisoned. Some say his wife, Jane Hawte, was approached and told he would be spared if he would implicate Elizabeth; he refused. He was beheaded and dismembered, with his limbs spread across the countryside. His head was stolen; Mary confiscated his estates and titles and his family struggled to survive.

Wikipedia puts the times into one fairly neat package. I don’t always trust the information either, but I do enjoy the squabbling under the “Discussion” tab.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England

Mary didn’t listen to experienced members of her English court; she took her advice from Charles V of Spain. Within five days of Sir Thomas’ rebellion, she did as he suggested; she made an example of Lady Jane and her husband. Mary had Jane beheaded in private at The Tower Green, within the Tower of London. This was seen as a gesture of respect.

This account of her execution is from Wikipedia: “The executioner asked her forgiveness, and she gave it. She pleaded the axeman, ‘I pray you dispatch me quickly’. Referring to her head, she asked, ‘Will you take it off before I lay me down?’ and the axeman answered, ‘No, madam’. She then blindfolded herself. Jane had resolved to go to her death with dignity, but once blindfolded, failing to find the block with her hands, began to panic and cried, ‘What shall I do? Where is it?’ An unknown hand, possibly Feckenham’s, then helped her find her way and retain her dignity at the end. With her head on the block, Jane spoke the last words of Jesus as recounted by Luke: “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!”

Lady Jane’s husband was taken from the tower and beheaded in public at Tower Hill.

With Jane gone, Mary still had to decide what to do with Elizabeth. Mary sent her to the tower for two months under the assumption she was in cahoots with Thomas.

Mary burned nearly 300 Protestants at the stake, sought the love of a husband who “wasn’t that into her” and endured the humiliation of two phantom pregnancies.

Bloody Mary died at 42 years of age and Elizabeth was crowned.  “Good Bess” started turning that sinking ship. Per Wikipedia “Elizabeth set out to rule by good counsel, and she depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers led by William Cecil,  Baron Burghley. One of her first moves as queen was to support the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement held firm throughout her reign and later evolved into today’s Church of England.”

During the time of our ancestor George Wyatt, Queen Elizabeth restored some of the Wyatt estate.

Some say Queen Elizabeth never married because of what she remembered of her mother and father from childhood.  The movie implies she was far more noble than that. Whatever the case, Anne Boleyn’s daughter achieved some wonderful things.

Unbelievably, Mary and Elizabeth were reunited in death. Per Wikipedia we learn … “The Latin inscription on a marble plaque on their tomb (affixed there by James VI of Scotland when he succeeded Elizabeth to the throne of England as James I) translates to “Consorts in realm and in tomb, here we sleep, Elizabeth and Mary, sisters, in hope of resurrection”.

Queen Mary was a descendant of John of Gaunt – as are we.

Anne Boleyn was Lady Elizabeth Brooke’s cousin. We are descended through Lady Elizabeth Brooke, so her daughter Queen Elizabeth would have been our … cousin once removed?

Our first ancestor to set foot in America – Hawte Wyatt – was named after Lady Hawte Wyatt, daughter and heiress of Sir William Hawte of Bishop’s Borne.

This stuff just fascinates me beyond all reason.  While it barely touches on the Wyatt connection, I felt like I was there. I watched the movie three times.

Request Elizabeth, Special Edition from Netflix or order from Amazon: 

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