Happy Birhtday Margaret Beaufort!!! :D For those who don't know today, May 31 is Margaret Beaufort's birthday! I decided to take a break from my series "The Early Tudors" to write about her. Since her story is so strongely linked with that of the early Tudors, it makes sense :).
Margaret Beaufort, showing her famous piety.
Margaret was born in 1444 (some people say 1445) to John Beaufort and his wife, Margaret Beachump. John was the son of the elder John Beaufort who desecends from John of Gaunt as his illegitmate son by Katherine Swynford, whom he later married. Since John of Gaunt was the son of King Edward III, Margaret had a remote claim to the English throne. But, this was before Elizabeth I, so people didn't think women could successfully rule a country. Margaret's father died in battle not to long after she was born. Margaret lived then in her mother's household where she was educated. Once she was 9, Margaret was betrothed to John de la Pole. They were never really married though.
As mentioned in yesterday's post, after Edmund died Jasper was relatively the only Tudor left. (their younger brother Owen became a monk, so that doesn't count :) !) Jasper became guardian of Henry VII and was like a lifelong mentor to him. Once Henry VII was four, Edward IV stripped Jasper of all of his titles, including the wardship of young Henry. Henry VII then was placed in the care of the Herbert family. (more on this on Friday) and Jasper i believe stayed in Wales. He remained close to Margaret and i believe Margaret was allowed to visit Henry VII once or twice. (maybe Jasper came with her) Jasper had a lot of support in Wales, being mainly Welsh. Did i ever mention that one of the Tudors ancestors was a high esteemed servant to the medieval Welsh king, Llywlynn the Great? Yup, so that means the Tudors were pretty important although, not well known. about a decade later, when Henry VII was 14, he and Jasper set sail for Brittany
(In case you didn't know Thursday, May 31st is Margaret Beaufort's 568th birthday and I will be decidcating a post to her life story. That is why this post will focus mainly on Edmund)
Young Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor was born in the 1430's and was the eldest son of Owen Tudor and Katherine of Valois. Some have doubted the legitmacy of the marriage but, i think it really happened. When he was old enough Edmund's half-brother the insane yet saintly Henry VI granted him the earldom of Richmond. A title which, for generations to come has been associated with the Tudors. Henry VI also made a big deal out of Edmund's marriage and found him a suitable bride in the young Beaufort heiress, Margaret.
Before Elizabeth I was England's "Virgin Queen" and "Gloriana" and before Mary I was "Bloody Mary" and Henry VIII had six wives, there was the little known Welsh family of Tudor. And, the early Tudors led just as dramatic and scandalous lives as the desecendants. It all started when a commonor servent named Owen ap Mareduddd ap Tudor (or simply Owen Tudor) met a beautiful young French widow named Katherine of Valois.
As we all know, movies, TV, and books have shaped the way people view Tudor History. Only when one loves the subject as much as I (or you!) do, that they realize what REALLY happened is nothing like what the movies, TV, and books tell you! Let's take for example the show "The Tudors": Just look at who they got to play Henry VIII! :) And if that's not bad enough, I've heard it's soooooooooooooo innaccurate! (i've never seen it because the innaccuries would anger me but, I've heard things of it from the Anne Boleyn Files) Or, for example, the movie, "Elizabeth: the Golden Age"
I have seen the recently popularity of my post "Misconceptions of Anne of Cleves" and decided to post a sort of follow up post on Anne of Cleves' siblings. Didn't think Anne had siblings? Think again! :)
Sybille of Cleves: Anne's eldest sister was Sybille, who late become the Duchess of Saxony. She and Anne grew up in the same household, their mother, Maria of Juilch-Berg's. Sybille was always considered to be the beauty of the family. It was hoped that Anne would resemble her by the English. I believe that Sybille was much like Anne in personaility and they were best friends, despite their age differences. She is about age 14 in this portrait
You've heard of Catherine of Aragon right? (who hasn't?) But, have you heard of Jean Gordon who shared a similiar fate in Mary Stewart's Scotland? Yup, Jean was the first wife of James Hepburn, better known as the earl of Bothwell. She was also the sister to the earl of Huntly, another important Scottish noble.
Maybe if your a Boleyn fan the surname "Butler" sounds vaguely familiar but this post is in no way about the Boleyns but rather, a different girl who helped bring about the Tudor Dynasty. (wether she knew it or not) How so? Well, this story begins in the 15th century, Edward IV is not yet king and has fallen for a young girl by the name of Eleanor Butler. Edward had been betrothed to Eleanor but that's as far as things went.
Happy (belated) Anne Boleyn Day!! :) (sorry it's late but this post was supposed to be posted yesterday but i was busy and didn't get around to it.) May 19th is a very VERY sad day for us Boleyn fans, Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded. :( Since just everything important happened to Anne in May (for example; her coronation and fall from power and even historians believe her to been born sometime in May or June of 1501) May 19th is considered "Anne Boleyn Day" when Boleyn fans and faction members celebrate her remarkable life. So, even though it's belated, HAPPY ANNE BOLEYN DAY! (unless your Aragonese, in that case I don't think you really care)
Random Fact about the Fall of Anne Boleyn: Contrary to popular belief, Henry VIII did not marry Jane Seymour the day after Anne's execution, he waited 11 days!
Today my post is about a very sad event for Boleyn fan around the world that happened on this day in 1536, the execuation of Weston, Norris, Berereton, Smeaton, and George Boleyn. All 5 were arrested with Anne Boleyn for false crimes that they NEVER EVER did commit (you Boleyn fanatics know what i mean) May 17th was the set date for their execuations which Anne probably didn't watch (or want to watch for that matter). The 5 men were to be beheaded by the axe in order of their status, so that means even the commonor Smeaton got a more regal punishment. (contray to what Agnes Stickland said he was not given the standard punishment for commoners, hanging.) George Boleyn went first as he was the Queen's brother and gave a short speech professing his innocence. Then Norris Weston and Berereton (not neccessarily in that order) and after all 4 of them came Mark Smeaton, who under torture, confessed guilty (which we know he wasn't) It must have been a gorey sight as they didn't "clean up" after each execuation. And poor Anne knew that tomorrow this same thing would happen to her. (but it actually didn't happen until the 19th)
Random Fact: Contrary to what some of you may have thought, research shows George Boleyn's wife, Jane Parker "Lady Rochford" did NOT supply the evidence agaisnt George and Anne. Trust me, i've studied into it!
In case you're new to the realm of Tudor History or simply don't know the Tudor's got their claim through a minor branch of the Royal House of Lancaser. But, as any Wars of the Roses fan (including me!) will tell you, By the time the Tudors were of importance the rival House of York was in charge. It started with Edward IV, the first Yorkist king
People in the Tudor era just loved to name each other after each other huh? It seems like there were just too many Elizabeths, Katherines and Edwards! Here's are just some samples of how uncreative these people were
Margaret Beauchump's daugther was named Margaret, who's granddaughter was then named Margare who went on to have a daughter, Margaret Douglas.
Franics Walsingham named his daughter Frances
Elizabeth of Hardwick had a daughter named Elizabeth (bess of hardwick) who had a daughter named Elizabeth Cavendish and a granddaughter named Elizabeth Pierriepoint
Darnley had two servents who were siblings and both named Anthony Standen
James I had a son named James II then James III then James IV then James V than Mary Queen of Scots :) than James VI/I
The Yorkists have always been Tudor haters, let's face it. Their claim may have been more direct but who cares? the Tudor's are better right? :) Why them might i be doing a post on Tudor haters? Simply because they are! (and they caused a lot of trouble for my favourite Tudor king, Henry VII) Now these Yorkist are no other than the siblings and relatives of our first Tudor Queen, Elizabeth of York (who's Lancastrian, i swear!)
Elizabeth of York, was the eldest child of King Edward IV and his queen Elizabeth Wydeville. She had plenty of silblings, after Elizabeth herself came:
Many of our favourite Tudor characters have at least one portrait we can relate their identity with, others don't and we mainly have to guess. Amy Robsart is one of these people. For all we know she could've been short with curly brown hair and green eyes or tall and blonde with brown eyes! But, we do have one slight prespective into her appearence, a miniture portrait by Levinia Terlinc.
When it comes to Henry VIII's six wives no one get less attention than good 'ol Anna von Juilch-Kleve-Berg (aka Anne of Cleves) Thanks to the media (*ahem* that show "The Tudors" but, not to name names :) ) our conception on who Anne of Cleves was has been mixed with fictional misconceptions. Here's just a few
It's common knowaldge amongst Tudor fans that Robert Dudley was married to Amy Robsart. But, she died after a fall from the staircase at Cumnor. Later, as we know, he married Queen Elizabeth I's cousin, Lettice Knoylls (and yes, Lettice was really her name). But i bet you didnt know Lettice was could've been his 3rd wife! How so? you may ask... well, let me explain. Years after Amy died, Robert Dudley had an affair with the lady Douglass Sheffield.
And now the final letter, Casket Letter number 8, another abduction letter. This letter was said to have been written on the eve of the abduction. It is a relativly short letter, (especailly when compared to letter #2!) Like the other letters it was most likely that this one is a forgery, completely. The confederate lords were wrong, Mary didnt even write it at all, they did! :) So, in conlusion...
Letter #1 "the Short Glasgow Letter" is likely to be a draft or copy of one of Mary's letters, redated by the Confederate lords, who wanted it to be read in a different context
Letter #2 "the Long Glasgow Letter:" is likely to be a combanation of different letters. Some parts may be genuine, some are forged. This is the most important letter
Letter #3 is likely to be a real letter from Mary to Bothwell but, written at a totally different time and at a totally different context than what the Confederate Lords say.
Letter #4 is likely to be a letter from Mary to Darnley with some forging, not a geniune letter from Mary to Bothwell
Letter #5 is likely to be forged, completely, defiantly not a letter from Mary to Bothwell a day or two before Darnley's murder.
Letter #6 an "abduction letter" is likelly to be a real letter from Mary to Bothwell written after the abduction that the lords redated
Letter #7 an "abduction letter" is likely to be a dublicate of letter 6, again, not written in the context the Confederate lords say.
Letter #8 an "abduction letter" is likely to be a complete forgery.
Today we will discuss Casket letter #7. Letter 7 is another abduction letter and is very similair in context to letter 6. Why so similair? What's most likely is that Letter 7 is just a duplicate of the core of letter 6. Why duplicate it if Letter 6 was already tampered with? Well, As already metioned in yesterday's post, Letter 6 was probably a genuine letter from Mary to Bothwell that the Confederate lords redated to make it all the more incrimanating. After writing that letter, Mary probably translated it in Scots, thus, the Lords used it as more evidence that Mary and Bothwell were in love. Therefore it may not have been tampered with but, it wasn't written in the same context as the lords assumed it to be. So, it cannot be used as evidence for Anti-Mary fans. But, don't fret you Pro-Lennox fans! There's still one letter left!!
And now we begin the study of the final three letters, commonly referred to as the "abduction letters" since they refer to Mary's abduction by Bothwell. (this is after the Darnley murder of course) Do keep in mind that the Confederate Lords and pro-lennox propaganda writers want us to believe Mary was a willing partisapent in her abduction, and that it wasn't really an abduction at all! Letter six referres directly to this acusation. If it were genuine it would give solid proof to the lords theories. But, like just about every other letter, it's been tampered with. What most likely happened is it really was a letter from Mary to Bothwell, but, was from a totally different time and written in a totally different context! (like say... AFTER THE ABDUCTION!!) and all the Confederate lords had to do was redate it, (which they did)
But, dont give up hope you firm believers in Pro-Lennox propaganda! There are two letters left! Could they possiably be genuine??
Letter 5, like every other letter, is suppossedly written by Mary to Bothwell. This one is said to have been written a day or two before Darnley's murder. Much has been speculated about if Mary knew and was a part in Darnley's murder (thus will be a topic of an upcoming post). If she was aware of it and actually partook in it, this letter would be proof! Sadly for you pro-Lennox fans out there, this letter was more than likely forged, completley. All it took was someone like..let's say...Maitland of Lethington, who knew the queen well enough to reproduce a letter in her writing style.
Coming next... The Abduction Letters! (also known as letters 6,7,8,)