14 May 1536 – Jane Seymour is Moved Nearer the King

May14,2011 #Jane Seymour

Queen Jane SeymourAccording 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

  1. L&P x.908, Letter from Chapuys to Charles V, 19th May 1536
  2. L&P x.901, Letter from Chapuys to Antoine Perrenot, 18th May 1536

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7 thoughts on “14 May 1536 – Jane Seymour is Moved Nearer the King”
  1. It never ceases to astonish me how transparent the king’s motives were — a show trial and state-sanctionned mass murder simply so he could marry another mistress and try again for a son.

    These events are the moments where I wonder most about Jane Seymour. Regardless of her opinion of Anne Boleyn, she must have felt some disturbance concerning the obvious railroading of Anne and the gentlemen accused of conspiring with her. Jane was lady-in-waiting to Anne. While she may not have been privy to all Anne’s activities at all times, she must have been present enough to find the accusations levied against Anne and the others quesstionnable.

    1. Not to mention, frightening. She might have remembered this while she was married to Henry, and sweated buckets until she actually got the information she had given birth to a healthy son. Had she not, there was the examples of the two Queens before her who were destroyed for that little flaw.

    2. Well said, I completely agree that the murder of Anne and these innocent men just for the fickleness of the king was selfish and unnecessary, but the King was not completely to blame for this, as the plot was created also by Cromwell.

      And I am sure Jane Seymour thought the situation with Anne was wrong and she disagreed with it, but if King Henry VIII had just beheaded his wife for you, you would not question or refuse him.

      Jane was never close to Anne – they were rivals – so why would she risk her life to defend a doomed woman?

      1. Lilly, we really don’t know what, if anything< Jane might have requested of Henry on Anne's behalf. True, Jane had no reason to love Anne Boleyn, but she appears to have been a compassionate person. She must have known the death would leave a lasting impact upon Elizabeth, an innocent child.

        Sadly, there's not a lot of information indicating Henry and Jane's private life prior to Anne's execution.

  2. It was all planned and pieced together from start to finish, Cromwell backed the Seymour’s and the Lady Mary even though funny enough he never shared the same religion as them, to begin with before the reformation, yes but not after. Cromwell was just a reformer like the Boleyn’s were and had been. So to side with the opposition is strange, it is a strange thing to do. I suppose because he was still living amongst a lot of catholic’s he had to try and get on with them somehow did he not? and also if the King’s new amour was catholic then he would have had to have got on with her whether he liked it or not. He used Jane and Mary against Anne, as he sided with the catholic’s he should have recanted to and gone back to the old faith along with them should not he have but he did not though.

    I do not think that Jane was worth Anne Boleyn loosing her head, I can understand the “Son and Heir” part of it but Jane, no. I think that it more or less the son that he wanted anyway and like the post says above made by Claire and Tim that probably was the reason that he chose Jane over Anne afterwards because she had been the opposite of Anne Boleyn in every way, not just in one way but in many ways, in more ways than one and also she probably reminded him of his first wife that he divorced just years before Katherine of Aragon for example the english dress and the gable hood and the fair mild meekness of her as well both physically and mentally.

    1. Cromwell was on the side of Cromwell. Whatever his religious leanings, he was always most interested in his own power and position. Cromwell did Henry’s dirty work. As an outsider, he was also an easy scapegoat for the nobility.

      I think Henry’s behavior towards all his wives is reprehensible. I can understand Henry’s disenchantment with Anne Boleyn over time. Their involvement was extremely dysfunctional. Anne’s one chance would have been to bear a healthy male child, and even then I’m unconvinced Henry would have remained with her if he truly wishd to marry someone else.

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