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Posts Tagged ‘Sir Francis Bryan’

He liked soft beds, hard harlots and beautiful clothes.

(The photo is Alan Van Sprang, who played Bryan brilliantly in the Tudors series. Enjoy the series but note that casting and timing constraints forced them to distort facts.)

As a soldier, diplomat and poet it’s easy to understand that Sir Francis Bryan had everything in common with our Sir Thomas Wyatt. Henry VIII liked both men and yes, they were friends. (Wyatt’s writings to/of Bryan survive to this day, but Bryan’s writings have been lost in time.)

Most important, they were business associates; the king’s business. I think the difference between Wyatt and Bryan was that doing the king’s business was a heavy burden to Wyatt’s conscience whereas … well, Sir Bryan didn’t seem to have one.

This story tells us how Bryan got his nickname. “N. Sander, Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism ( 1877), p. 24, records that Sir Francis Bryan ‘was once asked by the king to tell him what sort of sin it was to ruin the mother and then the child’. Bryan replied ‘that it was a sin like that of eating a hen first and its chicken afterwards’. The king burst forth into loud laughter and said to Bryan, ‘Well, you certainly are my vicar of hell’.”

Bryan was also a cousin of Anne Boleyn – who he betrayed. Note that our Lady Elizabeth Brooke was also a cousin of Anne Boleyn. I haven’t been able to establish whether our lines attach to Sir Francis Bryan in any way, but this morning I received this FASCINATING comment from Bryan descendant William Jones and wanted to share it with everyone.

“It’s so that great grandfather loved to do contests and hone his skills with the sword but he endeared himself in his works of poetry. He indeed wore a patch but something you may not know is this. In the writings of the Three Musketeers, the villain that challenged them was developed from the character and looks of grandfather Sir Francis Bryan. The evil and eye patch wearing character was developed from the image of ‘The Vicar of Hell.’

None the less in later generations of his lineage the town of Smithfield North Carolina was founded and layed out by his grandchildren of which two were by grandparents and the other a great uncle….Needham Bryan 1 and sons William ( my lineage) and Needham Bryan II ( a great uncle) were founders of that town.  Grandfather William Bryan and his brother Needham Bryan married daughters of Joseph Smith who by so marrying them proved Joseph Smith to be an indirect great grandfather that gave the land for the town of Smithfield.

Also it must be noted that another great grandson of Sir Francis Bryan, namely Morgan Bryan had two daughters and a son that married two children of Squire Boone. Rebecca Bryan married the great frontiersman of America, Daniel Boone.”

(Please note a descendant’s comment/correction to this quote below.)

I share this because – besides being FASCINATING – it may help some of you develop your trees. It may help me flesh out my line also because they also lived in this area and talked about a relationship with the Boones.

How wonderful it would be to learn – all these generations – that the descendants of old friends  had connected again.

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