According to our informant, the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, the King has sent for the Lady Jane Seymour and has arranged for her to be lodged close to him. Chapuys told our trusty reporter, Sir Tim, that the King “made her come within a mile of his lodging, where she is splendidly served by the King’s cook and other officers. She is most richly dressed.”1
The gossip around court over the past couple of weeks has been that the King is trying to rid himself of Queen Anne Boleyn so that he can replace her with Lady Jane Seymour, but until now the King has been careful to distance himself from Lady Seymour. Gone is the pretence now and it appears that she is being treated like the Queen she may well become. This is shocking!
Chapuys is bemused by the King’s behaviour and his attraction to Lady Seymour. We all know that Chapuys is no friend of the Queen’s, referring to her frequently as “the Concubine”, but he is highly critical of the King’s new flame too, telling Sir Tim that “she is no great beauty”, that she “is not a woman of great wit”, that she is “proud and haughty” and that he doubts that she is a virgin2. She is very different to Queen Anne Boleyn and perhaps that is part of the attraction. Is the Queen doomed? Yes, we believe so.
You can find out more about Jane Seymour in the following articles:-
Note: Before Chapuys heard about Jane Seymour, he heard that Henry VIII was going to replace Anne Boleyn as Queen and his master, Charles V, was putting forward the Infanta of Portugal as a prospective bride! See The Concubine, the Organist and the Portuguese Infanta for more details.
Notes and Sources
- L&P x.908, Letter from Chapuys to Charles V, 19th May 1536
- L&P x.901, Letter from Chapuys to Antoine Perrenot, 18th May 1536