Anne Boleyn died a Catholic... but why is there so much confusion about her otherwise?

Henry the VIII seemed to be the ultimate misogynist… among other things… :rolleyes:

Sorry m’dear, slip of the tongue. I’ve had legal training, so tend to use secular legal terminology in such matters. In any event the poster I was responding to made the same definitional error of terming Elizabeth as legitimate.

I meant children had within marriages that were recognised by laws of the state - at least at the time of their birth. Though, as you rightly point out, doesn’t make the marriage to Anne Boleyn morally right or sacramentally valid, and I don’t want to imply that it was such.

As contrasted with those children had without even the legal fiction of his having married their mothers, such as Henry Fitzroy and Henry’s children by Mary Boleyn.

i missed that one… that he had a child w/ Anne’s sister… not sure thats mentioned in the bk i read or if i just skipped that part… .a lot of the bk seemed… uh… skipworthy… :rolleyes:

and by the way, you have the distinction of being only the 3rd person on CAF forums to ever correct himself and agree that i was right… :smiley: (not that you were really “wrong” but whatever…)

i see you are a She… Otay… :o

In a nutshell, Anne was executed (less than 3 years after he married her) because Henry got tired of her and lusted after another woman. All the rest is just convenient excuses he made up.

Ironically his true wife Catherine of Aragon had died of natural causes more than 4 months earlier.

Thank you Tantum Ergo for saving me the effort of all the corrections needed for the original post! :smiley:
I too am a “student” of the Tudor history and flinch at all the misinformation.
“Anne of the Thousand Days”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, “The Tudors” (HBO) and "Mary Queen of Scots (Vanessa Redgrave) are all long on entertainment and so historically inaccurate as to be much more fiction than truth.
Read Antonia Fraser or Mary Luke for detailed, well researched and historically accurate information.
To WATCH programming about this period that is accurate, see 1971 PBS productions of “The Six Wives of Henry the VIII” starring Keith Michell and “Elizabeth the I” starring Glenda Jackson. Each is a six episode play and very good.
P.S. Lady Rochford, who was George Boleyn’s wife, WAS executed for helping a Queen with an extra marital dalliance but it was Queen Catherine Howard, Henry’s 5th wife, she helped, NOT Anne Boleyn.

Oh the irony …

I don’t necessarily think Henry merely got tired of her - after all it took him 20 years and repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and children who died very young to ‘get tired of’ Catherine.

I do think, though, that Jane Seymour dangled before Henry the irresistible bait of potential sons and heirs, of which Anne had miscarried at least one and probably two.

Henry was particuarly worried about ensuring the succession, being from a very new and poorly-established dynasty, that actually didn’t have a great claim to the throne.

This insecurity stemmed in part from his own treatment by his father and, more importantly, grandmother, after the death of his older brother leaving him sole male her. They kept him very confined, not allowing him to partake in jousts and other rough sports that most noble boys of the period enjoyed, and at which he later showed himself to be very good (even allowing for the inevitably inflated praise of royal abilities).

He probably remembered that strict and anxious upbringing, and certainly swung very much the other way once his butt was safely on the throne. And doubtless wanted plenty of sons so that they could have more of the freedoms that he had lacked.

Ann B was even accused of her death by some…

and there is evidence she was poisoned… but i doubt AB did it… i wouldn’t be surprised if H VIII did it…

so besides AB and katherine Howard… how many wives did he execute?

Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard - Executed
Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleeves- Divorced (Annulled in CoE)
Jane Seymour-Died
Catherine Parr - Survived
Easy way to remember (yay! for my h.s. history teacher)
Divorced
Beheaded
Died,
Divorced
Beheaded
Survived

He executed two wives which you have already mentioned: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard - who were actually related to each other. Jane Seymour died shortly after giving birth to his son, Edward, who would become king and eventually die without an heir when he was about 16, thus ushering the very short-lived reign of Jane Grey (a plot to keep the Catholic Mary off the throne). Henry divorced Anne of Cleaves and she actually made out pretty well after the divorce in terms of being kept well “like a sister” to the king. Catherine Parr was his last wife who survived him.

Anne of Cleves pretty much lived at Henry’s Mercy. She wasn’t allowed to write to her family…yes she ended up rich but totally humiliated. I won’t repeat some of the things he publicly said about her body. Catherine Parr probably made it out the best of all his wives. He nearly sent her the tower after she tried to advise him on a religious matter. He got so angry he wanted to kill her to but unlike the rest his wives Katherine was able to talk him into believing she was actually trying to learn from his answer to her advice. But she was an author and I believe the most educated of all his wives so she had a way with words. She married Edward Seymour after his death and had a few years of happiness till she died in childbirth…(the biggest killer of women back then). Note: Katherine Parr was also England’s most married queen. Henry was her 3rd husband. She was a foster mother to the future Queen Elizabeth who always referred to her with respect and affection.

I was not aware of that part of history, or at least don’t remember. It has been a few years since I’ve had the time to read more Tudor biographies. :stuck_out_tongue: (Right now, when I have the chance, I’ve been pouring myself into 17th-18th century French history. At the moment reading Antonia Frasier’s biography on Louis XIV. Unfortunately, with a baby, it has been taking me forever to read. haha!)

Yes, that is true. He was one to talk in regards to physical attributes especially at that point in his life. :rolleyes: What a man.

I remember reading about that, but had forgotten. Thank you for the refresher. :slight_smile:

I believe it was Thomas Seymour that she married. Edward was the older brother. I also always thought that is was nice she got a few years of happiness. That said, I think there has been questions with Seymour’s true intentions since the Seymour family were known to be opportunists (Jane Seymour’s brother). Also, the scandal that erupted regarding Seymour and Elizabeth when she was young kind of put a damper on the happy marriage. Have you ever had a chance to see Sudeley Castle where she lived towards the end of her life? We made a point to see it on our honeymoon. It’s a beautiful place.

She was also a large influence on her and Edward’s religious upbringing. I believe Katherine was very religious and devout in her Protestant faith.

He got tired of Cath of A pretty quickly but satisfied himself with adultery with dozens of other women, including Anne B’s sister. When he then made passes at Anne B, Anne B, at her ambitious father’s prompting, said “no dice unless you divorce Catherine, marry me and make me Queen”. Which Henry blinded by lust then proceeded to do, damn the consequences. Because even an absolute monarch couldn’t quite get away with serially raping the daughter of a powerful nobleman.

I do think, though, that Jane Seymour dangled before Henry the irresistible bait of potential sons and heirs, of which Anne had miscarried at least one and probably two.

Henry was particuarly worried about ensuring the succession, being from a very new and poorly-established dynasty, that actually didn’t have a great claim to the throne.

This insecurity stemmed in part from his own treatment by his father and, more importantly, grandmother, after the death of his older brother leaving him sole male her. They kept him very confined, not allowing him to partake in jousts and other rough sports that most noble boys of the period enjoyed, and at which he later showed himself to be very good (even allowing for the inevitably inflated praise of royal abilities).

He probably remembered that strict and anxious upbringing, and certainly swung very much the other way once his butt was safely on the throne. And doubtless wanted plenty of sons so that they could have more of the freedoms that he had lacked.

irony indeed. As scientists discovered in the 20th century, the tendency to conceive sons rather than daughters is entirely the “fault” of the father, not the mother. i.e. whether he has a tendency to produce sperm cells with the Y chromosome rather than the X chromosome.

Henry’s concern about the stability of the government after his death is a furphy. He merely used that as a convenient excuse. As shown by the fact that as he was slowly dying over several years, he had plenty of opportunity to direct who should be the Regent for his sickly young son, and who should succeed if Edward died childless, but he chose to say and do nothing about it. In the event, after Henry died and the 8 year old Edward succeeded, a clique of extrem Protestants grabbed effective control of the country and introduced and enforced a radically protestant church complete with new clergy who were not ordained but simply appointed by Parliament. Something Henry apparently woiuld never have wished to happen. Though he had seized control of the church in England and stolen all its assets, he had insisted during his reign, contrary to the claims of radical protestants, that Catholic sacraments, rituals, dogmas etc must continue as before.

This whole thread is making my blood boil… why are you people reading fiction and then discussing it as if it’s history? The Other Boleyn Girl and The Lady in the Tower, The Tudors on Showtime? These are all FICTION!

Alison Weir is indeed a brilliant historian. Only recently has she begun writing historical fiction. Up until about 5 years ago, all her books were nonfiction. Go find her book The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth for the history of Anne Boleyn and all his other wives.

The Church of England was Catholic in belief and practice until Henry’s death. He separated it from the authority of Rome and made it sort of a “national” Catholic Church with him as its head. Not until his son Edward’s reign did the Church of England become truly Protestant.

And on another topic, I too have often wondered if Catherine of Aragon shouldn’t be a candidate for sainthood. The torture that woman suffered in standing up for the authority of the Church…

I haven’t read through all the posts, but I’m a huge “fan” of that era of history – but I am by no means a knowledgable historian of that era.

I enjoyed reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Phillipa Gregory. While she herself will tell you that it’s fiction largely because not much is known about Mary Boleyn, it is a good suggestion of what might have happened during the marriage of Anne and Henry VIII based on the little that is known – especially how the rumor that Anne had an incestuous relationship with her brother could have gotten started. Her other books in the same series are great, too. “The Constant Princess” is about Catherine of Aragon and then “The Boleyn Inheritance” takes up where “The Other Boleyn Girl” left off.

I also enjoy watching “The Tudors”; however, it has taken a lot of liberty with the facts – some of it understandable such as combining characters otherwise you’d have so many people to follow. But it certainly gives you a glimpse of Henry VIII’s court and how much of a tyrant he became.

Referring to one of the posts about Anne of Cleves not being a good actress at hiding her disgust at Henry VIII – I cannot remember where I read it, but one of the books had Henry VIII sneaking up on her and her not knowing whom he was. He was so used to everyone in his court telling him how good looking he still was, et cetera; that when she reacted to him as he truly was (because she didn’t know who he was) he instantly disliked her. It’s an interesting take on what might have happened.

Well, there is a fictionalised episode in ‘The Boleyn Inheritance’ (yep, I’ve read Philippa Gregory too) where Henry disguises himself, comes into Anne of Cleves’ room and kisses her. Anne, not having met him before, doesn’t realise it’s Henry, just thinks it’s a horrible old drunk taking liberties, and is disgusted and reacts badly, sealing the doom of their marriage.

Henry was known to have a penchant for disguises, so the episode fits in well with his character.

I’ve got to say, Anne of Cleves is probably the least-known and least-studied of Henry’s wives, and the book gives interesting insights into her life in Cleves before marrying Henry as well as their marriage and her life in England after the divorce.

Yes you’re right it was Thomas Seymour. He did try to nab Elizabeth as a future wife too …courting her under his wife’s nose while she was pregnant too. Elizabeth was only 13 but 3rd in line to the throne. He planned to possibly marry Jane Grey ( the future 9 days queen who had a brief reign after Edward) but her parents called her back home in time. He later tried to kidnap the young King Edward but was stopped and later executed. He was known as being handsome very dashing and probably knew how to manipulate people but he wasn’t very cautious and that’s what got him in the end. Elizabeth always had a soft spot for him though and Robert Dudley the man most agree was the love of her life was reputed to be much like Seymour only not as reckless.

In my opinion too from all I’ve read of him I don’t think Robert Dudly was a bad guy…ambitious yes but I do think over all he really did love Elizabeth and she him but when his wife died under suspicious cercumstances that really ended any chance she could have ever married him…her subjects wouldn’t have tolerated it. :shrug:

Catherine was originally contracted to - and did marry - Henry’s older brother. he died before they had children. I believe Henry did not want to marry Catherine but he did so. Catherine was older than Henry.

The children of Queen Isabel and King Fernando did not live happy lives, with one exception. Their daughter Maria married the King of Portugal and lived for many years.

I think Catherine (Catalina) was the youngest. When she left for England she never saw her parents again.

Henry - and Elizabeth - left one legacy that lives to this day. England created and spread the propaganda known as “the Black Legend” - the horrors Spain committed in the New World and the Inquisition. Inherent in this propaganda is the deep-seated anti-Catholicism that exists throughout the English speaking world.

People who pine for a “Catholic monarch” should remember that Henry Tudor started his reign as a “Catholic” monarch.

Considering what is on television with all the stations available, I thought The Tudors a good choice. :thumbsup: And THE OTHER BOLYEN GIRL…never knew about her. Certainly brought home how women were used by their families. And THE TUDORS did go into the conflict with Henry and the Protestant reformers and with the Catholics loyal to the Church. Terrible period.

I would really be interested in knowing where you see more fiction than fact. Did Mary really raise Elizabeth when a baby? She was pretty wild to just settle down in the country with a man below her station. If it is true, that’s pretty interesting.

Yes, Catherine of Aragon is the one I was referring to re. sainthood. I was previously told that it is because of her daughter Mary who ended up persecuting Protestants. Still don’t understand why Catherine should be blamed for that as it happened long after her death.

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