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Posts Tagged ‘Sir Thomas Wyatt’


Henry Tudor – son of Henry VII – was born 28 June 1491. Our Sir Thomas Wyatt was born in 1503.

In 1509 Henry VII died and his son was crowned Henry VIII. Our Henry Wyatt was the new king’s guardian as well as an advisor; his son Thomas became Henry’s friend – even through the Anne Boleyn debacle. It’s hard to imagine how Thomas felt when his childhood friends Anne and George Boleyn were beheaded, along with others of his creative friends.

Henry was openly brutal. He had no one to answer to; he was the head of the Church of England. He had his own damned church, Rome could kiss his ass.

Our Sir Thomas had the unpleasant task of representing the wishes of Henry VIII with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor – nephew of poor dead Catherine of Aragon. I believe Henry killed her too – not with a Frenchman’s sword, but with emotional violence, by moving her to unhealthy places and denying her access to her beloved daughter. With Catherine out of the way, Henry shamelessly pursued an alliance with Spain.

Henry was manipulative, Charles was evasive and Thomas was caught in the middle. After time spent, he begged to be allowed to come home to Allington; but Henry wasn’t a man who cared about anyone but himself. Thomas finally retired to Allington, but was called back on a mission for the king. That’s how he died, leaving poems unwritten and his sister’s son (by Henry VIII??) “unraised.” (He was raising Lady Margaret Lee’s son at the time of his death.)

What happened to Henry? What turned him into a monster? I can’t get enough of the possible answers. Here’s another interesting article on the subject:

“As a young man, he was fit and healthy. But by the time of his death, the King weighed close to 400 pounds. He had leg ulcers, muscle weakness, and, according to some accounts, a significant personality shift in middle age towards more paranoia, anxiety, depression and mental deterioration. Among other theories, experts have proposed that Henry suffered from Type II diabetes, syphilis, an endocrine problem called Cushing’s syndrome, or myxedema, which is a byproduct of hypothyroidism.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42041766/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/king-henry-viiis-health-problems-explained/#.T_w7T0DCqhV.facebook

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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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Friend of Sir Thomas Wyatt
This looks like the face of a friend.

I came upon the poem “Mine own John Poinz” and was intrigued by the poem and the man. This is how Holbein sketched Poinz (or Poins) but who WAS he?

According to Edmund Lodge in Facsimiles of original drawings by Hans Holbein, “John Poins, or Poyntz, of Essex … was, as we have seen, a follower of the court, and, as we may fairly presume, a man of some taste, since the elegant Sir Thomas Wyat deigned to address two poems to him…”

I also found John’s family had a relationship with William Tyndall who started translating the Bible around 1521. Of course Cardinal Wolsey banned the book and demanded his arrest.  In 1530 Tyndall opposed Henry’s divorce, and … we all know how the king felt about those who disagreed.

Meanwhile our ancestor had friends who were close to the man. On 25 August 1535 Thomas Poyns wrote to his “well beloved brother” John Poyns …”It was said here that the King had granted letters in favor of one Wm. Tyndall, who is in prison, and like to suffer death unless the King help him. It is thought now that the letters have been stopped. He lodged with me three quarters of a year, and was taken out of my house by a sergeant-of-arms, otherwise [called] a door-warder, and the procurer-general of Brabant.”

Cromwell (friend of our ancestor and minister of Henry VIII from 1532 to 1540) tried to prevent Tyndall’s death, but failed.

In 1536 Tyndall was “tied to a stake, strangled and then his body burnt.” I don’t know if Sir Thomas met or knew Tyndall, but it becomes clear he could not be witness to the king’s behaviors without paying an emotional price.

That same year Anne Boleyn and her brother George – his lifelong friends – were beheaded by the king. He saw Anne’s death during his own imprisonment in the Tower.  His sister was at her side.

In 1536 Thomas was 33 years old and Simonds* wrote “but from now on his writings become more and more deeply tinged with the sober shades born of experience and reflection. It was impossible for a mind like his, – a mind so responsive to the charms of the new learning, – to pass through the troubled times of which we speak without profoundly realizing the uncertainty of fortune and the vanity of human success.”

In 1540 he wept at Cromwell’s violent death. He had seen too much.

According to Simonds, in 1542 Wyatt “was now once more living in retirement at his pleasant home of Allington; and here he evidently hoped to spend the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of those quiet delights which he pictures in the Satires. He had had enough of the life at Court, and could rightly estimate the doubtful happiness and vain security of those who ‘Stand … upon the slipper top of high estate.’”

He wrote his friend …

“Mine own John Poynz, since ye delight to know
The cause why that homeward I me draw,
And flee the press of courts, whereso they go,
Rather than to live thrall under the awe
Of lordly looks, wrappèd within my cloak,
To will and lust learning to set a law:
It is not for because I scorn or mock
The power of them, to whom fortune hath lent
Charge over us, of right, to strike the stroke.
But true it is that I have always meant
Less to esteem them than the common sort,
Of outward things that judge in their intent
Without regard what doth inward resort.
I grant sometime that of glory the fire
Doth twyche my heart. Me list not to report
Blame by honour, and honour to desire.
But how may I this honour now attain,
That cannot dye the colour black a liar?
My Poynz, I cannot from me tune to feign,
To cloak the truth for praise without desert
Of them that list all vice for to retain.
I cannot honour them that sets their part
With Venus and Bacchus all their life long;
Nor hold my peace of them although I smart.
I cannot crouch nor kneel to do so great a wrong,
To worship them, like God on earth alone,
That are as wolves these sely lambs among.
I cannot with my word complain and moan,
And suffer nought, nor smart without complaint,
Nor turn the word that from my mouth is gone.
I cannot speak and look like a saint,
Use willes for wit, and make deceit a pleasure,
And call craft counsel, for profit still to paint.
I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer
With innocent blood to feed myself fat,
And do most hurt where most help I offer.
I am not he that can allow the state
Of him Caesar, and damn Cato to die,
That with his death did scape out of the gate
From Caesar’s hands (if Livy do not lie)
And would not live where liberty was lost;
So did his heart the common weal apply.
I am not he such eloquence to boast
To make the crow singing as the swan;
Nor call the liond of cowardes beasts the most
That cannot take a mouse as the cat can;
And he that dieth for hunger of the gold
Call him Alexander; and say that Pan
Passeth Apollo in music many fold;
Praise Sir Thopias for a noble tale,
And scorn the story that the Knight told;
Praise him for counsel that is drunk of ale;
Grin when he laugheth that beareth all the sway,
Frown when he frowneth and groan when is pale;
On others’ lust to hang both night and day:
None of these points would ever frame in me.
My wit is nought—I cannot learn the way.
And much the less of things that greater be,
That asken help of colours of device
To join the mean with each extremity,
With the nearest virtue to cloak alway the vice;
And as to purpose, likewise it shall fall
To press the virtue that it may not rise;
As drunkenness good fellowship to call;
The friendly foe with his double face
Say he is gentle and courteous therewithal;
And say that favel hath a goodly grace
In eloquence; and cruelty to name
Zeal of justice and change in time and place;
And he that suffer’th offence without blame
Call him pitiful; and him true and plain
That raileth reckless to every man’s shame.
Say he is rude that cannot lie and feign;
The lecher a lover; and tyranny
To be the right of a prince’s reign.
I cannot, I; no, no, it will not be!
This is the cause that I could never yet
Hang on their sleeves that way, as thou mayst see,
A chip of chance more than a pound of wit.
This maketh me at home to hunt and to hawk,
And in foul weather at my book to sit;
In frost and snow then with my bow to stalk;
No man doth mark whereso I ride or go:
In lusty leas at liberty I walk.
And of these news I feel nor weal nor woe,
Save that a clog doth hang yet at my heel.
No force for that, for it is ordered so,
That I may leap both hedge and dyke full well.
I am not now in France to judge the wine,
With saffry sauce the delicates to feel;
Nor yet in Spain, where one must him incline
Rather than to be, outwardly to seem:
I meddle not with wits that be so fine.
Nor Flanders’ cheer letteth not my sight to deem
Of black and white; nor taketh my wit away
With beastliness; they beasts do so esteem.
Nor I am not where Christ is given in prey
For money, poison, and treason at Rome—
A common practice used night and day:
But here I am in Kent and Christendom
Among the Muses where I read and rhyme;
Where if thou list, my Poinz, for to come,
Thou shalt be judge how I do spend my time.”

To me he sounds sad, tired and defensive. Exhausted by the violence and deceptions.

I read he wanted to devote those years to the education of his sister’s son, Lady Lee. Despite her relationship with Anne Boleyn, some say her son was one of the king’s bastards. How like Henry to cheat on his queen with the sister of a friend. And how like Henry to expect that friend to help raise another bastard son.

We have to wonder how long Sir Thomas might have lived if the king had not called him out of retirement.

*From Sir Thomas Wyatt and His Poems by William Edward Simonds,  D. C. Heath & Company, 1889.

 

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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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I could just stare at these paintings: Anne Boleyn by Frans Porbus the Younger and Elizabeth Tudor, her daughter, by William Scots. I discovered the one to the left in “Elizabeth & Mary – Cousins, Rivals, Queens” by Jane Dunn.

I read online that there is no certainty that Porbus’ painting is of Anne, but the resemblance to Elizabeth seems evident in the eyes, lips and chin. (I want to put images like this in the book, but I’m worried about expense to the reader; I may make two versions.) 

A person could easily have mixed feelings about “our cousin” Anne Boleyn, but not her daughter. Not me, anyway. As a young girl she saw the women who loved her fall to the blade and went on to develop a backbone of steel. She knew when and how to reinvent herself as necessary. She is an inspiration.

I haven’t posted in a while, I have been buried in books. Nothing I have read confirms that Sir Thomas Wyatt had an affair with Ann; it is clear that he loved her.    

When Henry VIII let it be known that Anne was his, Sir Thomas started up with another – Elizabeth Darrel, who was Maid of Honor to Katherine of Aragon; Elizabeth was steadfast to the end and was in the queen’s will.

There’s another lady worthy of respect – Katherine of Aragon.  

Elizabeth had three children by Sir Tom – one who died with his half-brother as a result of Wyatt’s Rebellion. So, Wyatt cousins … there are more of us than I thought. 

Burning questions? Oh, heck yeah.

How did Sir Thomas feel about Katherine of Aragon?
How did he genuinely feel about the king’s Great Matter?
When (and why) did Cromwell develop such a deep affection for Sir Thomas? 
How did Sir Thomas maintain respect for a king who grew increasingly violent towards those he loved? 
How did he maintain relationships with friends who hated each other?

THE BIG QUESTION: Why was Anne Boleyn so important to the Wyatts that – several generations after her death – George Wyatt would become her first biographer? Was it because she was a reformer, or was it more than that?  

So many mysteries, so little time.  If anyone has clues – or has contact information for our esteemed “cousin” the Earl of Romney, let me know! 

Meanwhile, I’m workin’ on it as best I can.

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Sir Henry Wyatt, Knight

Sir Henry Wyatt, Knight

 

These blogs are previews of my book as a work in progress.  This is painstaking stuff, so please honor my copyright – mickisuzanne©

Henry Wyatt was born in Yorkshire, England in 1460. His parents were Richard Wyatt and Margaret, the daughter and heir of William Bailiff.

Both Henrys were born during the War of the Roses – a series of battles between two rival branches of the Royal House of Plantagenet. The houses of Lancaster were later signified by a red rose, the houses of York were later signified by a white rose.

Henry Tudor’s Mother

Lady Margaret Beaufort was 12 years old when she was married to Edmund Tudor – aged 27. She was only thirteen when Henry Tudor was born and the delivery was so difficult she was told she probably couldn’t have more children. Then she was widowed before her son was born. Edmund was captured by Yorkists and imprisoned at Caermarthen. Plague broke out and he died two months later.

Lady Margaret became an intelligent, ambitious woman. Despite other marriages, Henry remained her only child. She would exert a powerful influence on him and his all of her life.

Henry Tudor’s Father

Henry Tudor’s father Edmund and his Uncle Jasper were borne of a scandalous affair between Queen Katherine of Valois and Owen Tudor, her Welsh Clerk of the Wardrobe. It is said that the dowager queen had married him in secret.  Whatever – Henry VI, legitimate heir to the throne, made his half-brothers earls.  Edmund became Earl of Richmond and Jasper became Earl of Pembroke. Both were dedicated to the Lancastrian side of the War of the Roses.

Henry Tudor spent years in exile. Henry’s grandfather, Owen Tudor, was executed by Yorkists. Other Beaufort relations died in bloody battles against the House of York. In 1471 his half-uncle, King Henry VI was captured and murdered after the Battle of Barnet. The next closest heir in the Beaufort line was Henry’s mother Margaret; since a female heir was unacceptable under those circumstances, her son Henry was in grave danger.

The Beaufort Issue

Lady Margaret Beaufort was the great granddaughter of John of Gaunt. (We share this ancestry through Lady Elizabeth Brooke.) John of Gaunt was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called “John of Gaunt” because he was born in Ghent (in today’s Belgium), then called “Gaunt”.

In terms of ascendancy, there was a big problem with the Beaufort line. It started with a young girl Katherine who was made third wife to Hugh Swynford, a Lincolnshire knight. After his death she a widow for many years. During that time she became the mistress of John of Gaunt. Their four children were surnamed Beaufort. After they finally married in January 1396, their children were retroactively legitimized by the Pope and Richard II. HOWEVER: Henry IV had added a provisio that no Beaufort should ever succeed to the throne.

When Edward IV died in 1483, he left his throne to his twelve-year-old son, Edward V. Edward ruled for two months, with the “help” of his Uncle Richard, who was named “Lord Protector”.

The Tyranny of Richard III

Richard would come to be known as one of England’s most irredeemably evil kings.  Shakespeare, Thomas More and others described him as deformed – but that was a time when deformity and evil were thought to be one in the same.
Shortly after Edward IV’s death in April, a propaganda campaign insinuated that Edward’s marriage had been invalid and his sons were therefore bastards, ineligible for the throne.

In June the claims were endorsed by an assembly of lords and commoners. On June 26 – the day after the assembly – Richard began to rule. In July he was crowned Richard III.

In August, both of Edward’s sons disappeared.

If you vaguely remember a story about the two princes who “mysteriously disappeared” from the tower, this is that. The boys were 12 year old Edward V and his nine year old brother Richard, Duke of York. They disappeared in August of 1483, two months after Richard was crowned. It was widely assumed that if Richard didn’t kill them himself, he had it done. Their bodies have never been found.
That same year, Jasper won support for an invasion scheme. The timing seemed right, but the weather was against them. Around this time Henry Wyatt stepped up by taking part in the Duke of Buckingham’s failed revolt against Richard III.

In “A Sketch of the Life of Sir Henry Wiat” (written in 1963 by Eric Norman Simons) the author wrote that Henry was “…remarkable because, though Yorkshire born, he supported the cause of Henry Tudor, the Lancastrian who claimed the throne of England. For this he had been jailed in Scotland in ‘stocks and irons’ for two years by Richard III, who is said to have watched him undergo torture.”

Tortures were designed to allow the prisoner to live long enough to confess pretty much anything they wanted confessed before the individual died. The medieval arsenal for infliction of agony was beyond imagination; in coming years it would play a starring role in the Spanish Inquisition.

Henry was racked; that involved being tied across a board and bound by the ankles and wrists. Rollers would pull the body from opposite directions, resulting in stretching and extreme pain. The severity of the torture depended on the “crime” and social status of the victim.  In prolonged use, limbs would be dislocated or torn from their sockets.  Henry was also tortured with “barnacles”. The victim’s upper lip was pulled through a noose, tightened and twisted until the prisoner was in absolute agony. In some cases, it resulted in mutilation.

Judging from this painting of Sir Henry years later, it appears that may have been the case.

Henry was steadfast through all of it. According to tradition, Richard lamented that his own servants “had not such fidelity.”

Sir Henry’s “Caterer”

During his imprisonment Henry was on the verge of starvation, sleeping in tattered clothing on a thin straw mat in a cold room. Simons shares one account of a family legend. “Among other things, he was forced to swallow mustard and vinegar, and was on the verge of death from starvation. Then, so the story went, he made a pet of and fondled a stray cat, whom he ‘laid … on his bosom to warm him’. Puss grew so attached to him that each morning she deposited at his feet a pigeon pilfered from a neighbouring dovecote, which was later cooked for him by his compassionate jailer.

The family of Wyatt cherished for many years a half-length portrait of Henry in his cell. There in the picture, sure enough, is the cat, dragging through the grating of the cell a pigeon, which she is about to deliver to the prisoner. The painting is, however, not contemporary, having been produced long afterwards. It is, nevertheless, recorded that thereafter Henry Wiat ‘would ever reck much of cats’.

In fact, as a token of gratitude, he introduced to the dovecotes of Allington castle a strain of brown pigeons from Venice, which are as numerous there today as in his own time.”

Henry Tudor had not forgotten his friend.

In August of 1485 Henry Tudor and his forces landed in South Wales and headed east to do battle with Richard. Henry was sorely outnumbered at Bosworth, but Richard suffered a personal defeat – several of his most important lieutenants defected.
One account states: ”When the Standard of the fugitive Earl floated on the field of Bosworth, Wyatt found means to join it. When the Usurper had fallen on Bosworth field, one of the first acts of Henry VII was to liberate Henry and raise him from the private gentleman to the highest honours at Court.”

Agnes Conway describes what happened afterwards in “Henry VII’s relations with Scotland and Ireland”:
“The Earl of Richmond anon after he was crowned King entertained (Henry Wyatt) then coming out of imprisonment and affliction in Scotland first with most gracious words unto himself and then with this speech unto the Lords. Both I and you must bid this Gentleman heartily welcome, had not he above human strength or example also shewed himself our constant friend, neither had I enjoyed now the Crowne, nor you that Peace and prosperitie, and honour which you now possess.”

It is said that the king told Henry “Study to serve me and I will study to enrich you.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Success

In 1492 he was appointed Esquire-of-the-Body, King’s select Bodyguard. He sold “Hall in the Village Solhange” (South Haigh or Upper Haigh) that he had acquired through his first marriage to Margaret, daughter and heiress of Richard Bailiff of Barnsley.
Henry purchased and restored Allington Castle; Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey visited him there.

In 1502 Henry married his second wife, Anne Skinner, daughter of John Skinner of Reigate in Surrey. (One record suggests she was a sister of the Earl of Surrey, but we have no proof.)  At the time of their marriage Henry would have been 43 – that was OLD in medieval times.

His famous son, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet was born the following year.

There’s a lot more to it than this. Over the course of his life Sir Henry received titles and honors from Henry VII and Henry VIII. That information will be in the book.

Sir Henry Wyatt’s tomb in Boxley reads (in part):

To the Memory of Sr HENRY WIAT of ALINGTON CASTLE

Knight Bannert descended of that Ancient family who was imprisoned and tortured in the Tower in the reign of KING RICHARD the third kept in the Dungeon where fed and preserved by a Cat. He married ANN daughter of  THOMAS SKINNER of SURREY Esqe was of the Privy Council to KING HENRY the Seventh and KING HENRY the Eighth and left one Son Sr THOMAS WIAT of ALINGTON CASTLE who was Esquire of the body to KING HENRY the Eighth and married ELIZABETH Daughter of THOMAS BROOKE Lord COBHAM and well known for Learning and Embasys in the reign of that KING Sr THOMAS WIAT of ALINGTON CASTLE his only Son married JANE younger Daughter of Sr WILLIAM HAWT of this COUNTY and was beheaded in the reign of QUEEN MARY Leaving GEORGE WIAT his only Son that Lived to Age who married JANE Daughter of Sr THOMAS FINCH of EASTWELL and KATHERINE his wife Restored in blood by act of Parliament of the 13th of QUEEN ELIZABETH

 

 

 

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