This “on this day in history” event always makes me see red! Yes, just eleven days after his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, was executed at the Tower of London on trumped up charges – I think most people would agree with me on that – King Henry VIII married for the third time.

The marriage took place at Whitehall Palace, formerly known as York Place, the very property that Henry had renovated with Anne Boleyn. The bride was Jane Seymour, daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall, in Wiltshire, and his wife, Margery Wentworth, and one of his second wife’s ladies. The couple had become betrothed on 20th May 1536, the day after Anne Boleyn’s execution.

It is not clear when Henry VIII started his flirtation with Jane, but it is clear that it was gossip by the end of January 1536 because Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, mentioned “the treatment shown to a lady of the Court, named Mistress Semel [Seymour], to whom, as many say, he has lately made great presents” in his dispatch to the Emperor regarding court gossip about the reasons for Anne Boleyn’s miscarriage on 29th January 1536. As the king began to doubt his marriage, the flirtation with Jane became more serious. In March 1536 her brother, Edward Seymour, was given an apartment in Greenwich Palace which the king apparently could reach via a private passage. Edward and his wife were obviously meant to play chaperones for Jane and her royal sweetheart.

Chapuys records that Henry VIII was paying court to Jane in April 1536, but as things began to unravel for Anne Boleyn, Jane was sent away from court, to Sir Nicholas Carew’s country home, to prevent gossip about her relationship with the king. Even though this was combined with the king entertaining other ladies, it certainly didn’t prevent gossip. The king wrote to Jane to let her know about “a ballad made lately of great derision against us”, reassuring her that the writer, if found, would be “straitly punished”. On 14th May, twelve days after Anne Boleyn’s arrest, the king sent Sir Nicholas Carew is to collect Jane and to install her in a property in Chelsea, within a mile of the king’s lodgings. There, Jane was treated as if she was already queen – she was “most richly dressed” and “splendidly served by the King’s cook and other officers”. Things moved rather fast.

Then, on 19th May 1536, the dastardly deed was done. Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded at the Tower of London. Henry VIII was free to marry again and he chose to marry the woman he had waiting in the wings, Jane. It’s impossible to know what Jane thought about what happened in May 1536 and how she felt about her former mistress. It’s also unclear what Jane was like as a person. Was she a pawn used by those who wanted to bring down Anne or was she a willing participant? Did she view Anne as a usurper? We just don’t know. What is clear is that Jane was different, both in looks and personality to Anne Boleyn. On the Anne Boleyn Experience 2018, Gareth Russell gave an excellent talk entitled “Anne Boleyn: A profile in brittle brilliance” and in that he said that “going from Anne Boleyn to Jane Seymour is like going from a glass of champagne to a glass of milk” and I think that’s spot on. Is it harsh? Probably. But you can have too much champagne, can’t you? Sometimes you just want a comforting glass of milk. And I expect that Jane was like that for Henry.

Notes and Sources

  • Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume X. 282, 908.
  • Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. Letters of the Kings of England, Volume 1, 353.
  • Beer, B. (2004-09-23). Seymour, Edward, duke of Somerset [known as Protector Somerset] (c. 1500–1552), soldier and royal servant. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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22 thoughts on “30 May 1536 – Tudor king marries third wife soon after dispatching second wife”
  1. All I can say is that the optics look bad now and they certainly looked bad then. Look at the grief Catherine Parr got for not waiting an appropriate amount of time before marrying Thomas Seymour after the death of King Henry. Marrying Jane so soon after Anne’s death must have added to the suspicions some people probably had that Henry had Anne judicially murdered. For a man who wanted to be seen as a ‘victim’, Henry did a terrible job during the entire process of clearing the way to wife #3.

  2. IMO, Henry was seen as a “victim”, not because people really thought that he was one, but because they realized that he wanted to be seen that way — and the people were too scared to see him as anything else. I can’t help feeling sorry for Jane … she must have been scared to death! Anne Boleyn (like Katherine of Aragon) would have thought of Henry as the chivalrous knight he was when they first met … Jane Seymour knew she was dealing with a monster who killed his friends and spouses.

  3. I think Jane was eager to become Henry’s king. She certainly did not discourage his advances. Anne caught Henry with Jane on his knee. They were kissing.
    Ambition will often trump fear.
    Jane was a firm supporter of Katherine of Aragon and probably thought Anne got the punishment she deserved.

  4. I can see both sides to this….

    Women rarely believe that men will do to them what was done to their predecessor, especially when money, titles, and power are involved. Plus, I’d think most women of lower stature would be flattered by Henry’s attentions. At this point, he was still a good catch (though I very much pity his later wives that had to deal with his awful stench and temper)! You have to figure most everyone heard rumor of Anne’s hot temper, her haughty attitude, and her religious beliefs. Didn’t she even wear purple before being crowned? So, I think many people probably thought she did get what was coming to her, though shocked by the swiftness of it.

    Personally, I would be quite fearful of Henry, both of rejecting his advances and of marrying him, as at this point, he has now done three things no previous king had done… divorced his first wife, detached from the Vatican, and beheaded his second wife. He was unpredictable, a wild card!

    He was also a narcissist. He had to play the victim role. He couldn’t let history record him as being the defective one, hence the reason he blamed all his other wives for not producing a male heir. What kind of king would he be if he were the defective one??? Can you imagine what he’d think of his own image today???

  5. Annes day was gone and now it was Janes turn to be Henrys queen and to take her place in the history books, Anne had been Henrys great love and I truly believe he never felt the same about any woman again, he came close to it with Catherine Howard but for Anne he was ready to risk absolutely anything to make her his, their relationship had always bordered on the tempestuous and it had ended violently, reminiscent of Henrys great passion for her, it does make you wonder how he could have wed so quickly after his wife’s death but then his behaviour had been lacking in decency right from the start, wining and dining Jane whilst Anne was locked up in the Tower, his cheerful countenance throughout the whole rotton affair in fact his whole attitude stunk, so when he married Jane Seymour I doubt if any were very surprised at court that is, the citizens of London would have heard rumours there was the unsavoury ballad that Henry came to hear of, and gossip would have passed like wildfire in the streets and taverns, the court now had to bow to a new queen and Annes ladies maybe rather resentfully had to serve a new mistress, one can imagine the scene in her chambers once occupied by Anne as the women stitched silently, making eyes at one another behind the new queens back, Anne had been very vocal everyone had known wether she was happy or sad, but with Jane I imagine she hid her feelings well, first thing she did was to order her ladies not to wear the French hood that Anne had worn and many of her women had also, Jane was later to plead Marys cause which did not go down too well, she took her place on the huge chair of estate next to Henry and smiled and was benign and Henry it was observed was beaming and full of joy, yet how could Henry find his third wife attractive after dazzling Anne, like Gareth said, Anne was champagne and Jane like milk, certainly she was considered so pale the complete opposite of his second fiery wife, but there lay the attraction, Jane would never argue with him in public and ridicule him, she would never berate him if he took a mistress, in fact she was perfect queen material and now all she had to do was provide her husband with a son and heir, how did she feel as she walked about the corridors of Hampton Court Whitehall and Greenwich? As she appeared people bowed and curtseyed before her yet when darkness fell did she see a face peering out at her from the curtains, a white white face that of the ghost queen who had died so she could marry the King her husband? If Jane was superstitious and had she any qualms over the way her predecessor had died then she would have been afraid, fear caused by guilt is very powerful and she had stepped into the same shoes her mistress had occupied, Anne was lying cold in her grave whilst in Henrys new queen the blood was warm in her veins, yet she must have thought with some discomfiture, ( one supposes) that if she also failed to give Henry a son what would her fate be? All of Henrys wives after the execution of his second wife must have seen the shadow of the axe, that dreadful sound of the guards feet outside the door, the ominous knock that foretold doom, Jane willingly married Henry that much we know, the Catholics supported her as she was from a Catholic family and she tried to help Mary reconcile with her father, I think Jane whilst kind and pious she fails in the fact that she appears unsympathetic to Anne Boleyn but then many had not liked Anne and Jane maybe thought she had brought nothing but trouble to the realm, Agnes Strickland says her conduct was shameless in receiving the King whilst her mistress was queen but Anne had done the same to Katherine and really, if the King was interested you was in a difficult position, she was always in the company of a chaperone when Henry visited her, and I don’t believe that tale about Anne finding her on his knee as Janes honour was always strictly guarded, her life as queen was only brief and she didn’t make much impact on the court but through her Mary was able to enjoy a warm relationship with her father again.

    1. Mary did enjoy a warm relationship with her father again with the caveat the she recognize him as head of the church. If she did not do this I fear Henry at this point in his life would have had her executed.

      1. It’s difficult to say but Henry was determined to bend Mary to his will, would he have killed his own daughter is something that Chapyus was afraid of, as he knew the Kings temper and he would have executed anyone who would not bow to his commands, Mary had been wilful far too long in Henrys eye and after Annes death, Mary naively hoped he would welcome her back with open arms, in fact she had to write several letters to Cromwell and with some nudging from Jane before he would have her back at court again, and yes it was only on the condition that the signed the document stating that her parents marriage was invalid and Henry was head of the church, it was an awful thing to expect a loving daughter to do, and under great duress she signed yet it was something which haunted her to the end of her days as she saw it as a betrayal of her mother, but Chapyus was wise and advised her it was for the best, I feel sorry for Mary though having to do this.

        1. Henry could change his beliefs like a hat and assumed everyone else could too.

  6. All Jane had to do was provide an heir. Well Jane achieved that. However I expect Jane was nervous about whether the child would be a son. Anne did know Henry was married but Henry himself declared his marriage to be invalid. Jane’s refusal to be mistress really sealed Anne’s fate. Henry couldn’t have another living wife whilst he married another. I expect advisors from the Catholic families told Jane how to act. Mary was a pawn in her father’s marriage’s.

  7. I think it’s disgraceful of Henry to marry so soon after having his wife killed on trumped up charges, but I guess he was very concerned to get his male heir as soon as possible (also is it possible that he believed the charges against Anne?). Some people might say that Anne got a taste of her own medicine being cast aside and displaced by Jane after what was done to Catherine of Aragon, but I don’t think this is fair as Catherine’s ill treatment was not Anne’s fault. As for Jane, I wonder how she felt about marrying the king. After what happened to Catherine and Anne she might have been nervous for her own fate if she failed to give birth to a son. And it’s not like she would have had any choice in the matter.

  8. I think that Henry believed what he wanted. Jane was a temptation. A new start. Jane in comparison to Anne was dull and moulded herself to please Henry. Jane was the complete opposite and was a breath of fresh air for Henry. Whether that was her true personality is is hard to tell.

  9. Short, plump, quiet, serious, deeply committed Conservative Jane came, for whatever reason at the time, to Henry’s attention; and the Conservative faction must have done a double-take! A Boleyn queen, whispering away in Henry’s ear, was an anathema and indeed, threat to them. Oh, if only they could find a quiet, serious, deeply Conservative substitute now that the King’s love and forbearance for his second wife was waning, one so pliable they could easily manipulate and control her, so that the wifely words whispered to Henry would be theirs. Jane did, it seems, adore Queen Katherine and Princess Mary. So they coached her – as if coaching were needed with this serious and honourable woman – and with Cromwell’s help, everything rolled out as they had dreamed. But then Cromwell would give them a lesson in political reality, and their speculating would come crashing down about them. Because their trump card Jane – just like Katherine and Anne before her – was only as good as her womb and her value dependent upon delivering one son and heir. What did the Conservatives and Princess Mary gain from the fall of one queen and the rise of another? Not so much, really. If at all.

  10. I think Jane had only limited choices. The King’s eye had fallen on her and if she didn’t make the best of it, Henry could turn his anger on her family and their prospects and they would not have supported her had she angered the King. As Anne Boleyn found out there was nowhere to run or hide.

    What happened to Anne should never have happened, it was murder plain and simple but I don’t think anyone saw it coming (except Henry and Cromwell). I imagine most people thought she would be put aside and her marriage declared invalid as Katherine’s had been.

    As has been said we will never know what Jane truly thought about what happened but she must have been scared, everything depended on her giving birth to a son and that was only ever a 50/50 chance.

    I remember reading a quote about Henry VIII (I forget the author) that said ‘Compromise for Henry VIII, was everyone else coming round to his point of view.’ He had decided poor Anne was guilty now so must the world agree. This quote has always seemed to me, to sum up Henry VIII.

  11. I believe Jane Seymour was exactly what Henry wanted and needed now in a wife, a traditional Tudor gentlewoman with good family connections, a normal female education, good at needlework, good at running a household, preparing for marriage and motherhood, she was calm and a peacemaker, she looked as if she would be little trouble, was intelligent, not dim, shrewd, devout and compliant. She was the calm after the storm, not before and she was concerned about his family. For Henry she was the sort of woman who would leave him to rule while she nested and gave him children, just what he needed. However, there was more to Jane than that.

    For one thing she was experienced in service at Court and had served both Anne and Katherine, so she knew the protocols expected of her. She was also more or less a traditional Catholic, although her family had taken the Oath of Supremacy and Succession and her brothers were reformers. She was also very sympathetic to Princess Mary and set out to attempt to reconcile father and daughter. Like Henry and Anne Jane loved hunting and was an expert at it, probably a more natural one than the King and she spent three weeks with him hunting for their honeymoon, she danced, was modest and she was not prepared to give herself to Henry without a ring on her finger. Elizabeth Norton paints her almost on a mission when it came to Mary so this may point to a woman who was as much driven as Anne when she got her teeth into something.

    Jane was well coached on how to keep the King and how to act as Queen and she was the ultimate Queen in waiting, literally being treated as a Queen while Anne was in the Tower. She was orthodox in her religious observance as well and this could also have been part of her willingness to be Queen, maybe Henry would become more Catholic again. She saw herself as helping him to forgive Mary and bring her back into the Succession. She also learned or was wise enough not to push too far and to act as the obedient Tudor wife. She is seen as being demure, but I believe she was more careful and shrewd and handled Henry well by not troubling him too much or arguing with him. I don’t believe she was a doormat or a mouse but conventional. Let us remember, Anne was quite different to the majority of Tudor women and even she had to do as she was told in the end and was powerless. A wife had to obey, a woman was the property of her male protector, father or husband, end of story and although we might not like it, this was what people expected and how a sixteenth century Christian woman should be. Jane was the ideal Tudor Christian wife. Henry wanted a more quiet life after the excitement of Anne and seven years of fighting for an annulment and the Seymour family were ambitious enough to move into place as an alternative faction, with even Cromwell as an ally, in order to give the King exactly what he wanted. By nature Jane seems to have been gentle and comfortable with being obedient, but with the lessons from Nicholas Carew she learned to turn all to her advantage.

    I don’t believe Jane had anything to do with Anne’s death and I doubt that at the end of the day she could refuse Henry’s offer of marriage. Like Katherine Parr later on she saw acceptance as a religious as well as a personal duty. Although Jane failed to get Henry to return to her idea of orthodoxy, he did remain basically Catholic. Jane made contact with Mary virtually straight away and the Princess thanked her for her letters and offered to serve her. Jane, of course could not make progress without the King’s agreement and when she raised the idea of reconciliation he laughed but she said she only thought of his happiness and that of his people. She was clever in her choice of words, but Henry was determined that Mary should obey and submit to him in all things before he received her back into his life and favour. Mary wrote to Cromwell for help and Henry sent a delegation who made threats to her and she was forced to give in. Jane arranged for them to visit Mary and the Princess came back to Court. Jane also pleaded for the rebels in the pilgrimage of grace, but Henry warned her to mind her own business and recall what had happened to her predecessor. Jane complied but by now she was pregnant. She would eventually give Henry his son, Edward and die within twelve days of her triumph. She received a huge funeral and she and Henry Viii share a resting place in Windsor. In the middle of the tempest that shook his realm with violence and rebellion, Jane had provided a haven of relative peace and Henry practically fell apart after her death, withdrawing to mourn for several months.

    1. Henry in his later years would come to regard Jane as the perfect wife out of all of his other spouses, yes she was like the calm after the storm, the great tempest had withdrawn, those who say he had not really loved her are wrong as he did suffer very real bereavement after her death, I think with Jane he had come to enjoy a certain amount of marital bliss and she had also given him his longed for son, I think the bit where he told her to remember what happen to his predecessor was uncalled for, but we know Henry had had enough of Annes meddling and he did not expect Jane to do the same, even so those words must have filled Jane with horror, maybe than when he had threatened her life she began to see him quite differently, although I doubt he meant it but I thought he said that to Jane about the dissolution of the monasteries Bq? Wasn’t the rebels concerning the pilgrimage of grace when Catherine Howard was his queen? Anyway it was no such thing to say to a new bride and further enhances Henrys reputation as the tyrannical Bluebeard of legend, to her merit she was not the meek shadowy queen that history has painted of her, but the driving force behind Henry and Marys reconciliation, she was worried what the effect the destruction of the monasteries would have on the poor and sick and homeless who used them as places of refuge, I think underneath her meek exterior she had more gumption than she has been given credit for, her triumph lay in her son who sadly she never lived to enjoy, she is remembered today for being Henrys third queen who died tragically young in childbirth, the mother of King Edward and the wife who lies beside Henry V111 for all eternity in St. Georges Chapel Windsor, Jane was described as no great beauty and she certainly made no impact on those around her but she triumphed where all Henrys other wives failed, and yes after her sudden death which followed a very difficult birth Henry was quite bereft, it was Cromwell who urged his master to consider remarrying again but as we know that turned out to be a disaster.

      1. Hi Christine, no the Pilgrimage of Grace and the other northern rebellions as well as the other one in Lincolnshire kicked off in October 1536 with a second wave in 1537 mainly because of the dissolution of the smaller monastic houses worth £200 and under as well as a whole host of economic and rumours about taxation. The two issues are linked and Jane wanted Henry to think again as well as be merciful to the rebels. As we know he gave a great show of pardons for the rebels and had Robert Aske as his honoured guest at Christmas 1536 with Jane and Henry making a great fuss of him. When Henry took the opportunity to change his mind after a second rising to order the rebels crushed Jane is believed to have asked him to reconsider. Now whether Henry said this about meddling about the monasteries or rebels, he obviously saw her as trying to move him from a larger plan, the reforms he had in mind, perhaps and he wanted money from the sale and he didn’t want to be distracted. The ironic thing is that due to the reopening of some monasteries such as Sawley in Yorkshire led to the rest of them being closed, the larger ones fell in 1538 to 1540. Henry is reported as behaving erratically during this period, losing his temper, calling able generals cowards, negotiating but building an army, threatening to lead the army himself, yet his leg would not allow it, making threats to utterly destroy those who don’t go home, but also ordering pardon and caution and moaning when Norfolk only hung those found guilty. It was in the middle of all this that negotiations took place in Jane’s apartment to spare one particular convent. I can well imagine that prompted Henry’s threats regarding Anne and if she also tried to ask for mercy for the rebels, I can imagine his temper got the better of him then as well.

        Fortunately for Jane she had the common sense to learn from this and didn’t press the issues. Although her intervention was really the role of a Queen to beg for mercy and try to move Henry to have compassion as an advocate as Queens did, this was far too dangerous a threat to his crown and the policy regarding the monasteries was one the crown wanted to benefit from. He had had enough of women begging him to rethink policy and poor Jane got the lot. Talking about Katherine Howard, however, she was successful in asking for the release and pardon of individuals such as Thomas Wyatt and a man sentenced to have his hand cut off, but then that wasn’t a political move and it was quite harmless. Henry appears to have mellowed by the time he married young Katherine who enchanted and besotted him and then he changed again after her death.

        Henry did mourn Jane truly I think and in the Tudors when they had Henry weep and tell her she was the light in his dark dark world, I think it sums her up nicely. These were dangerous and dark times in a restless Kingdom and Jane made him a haven in the middle of it all, a domestic home he could return to and find peace and retreat from the horrors of the decisions he took and the rebel armies. It was also to his great delight that in early 1537 Jane was able to say she was with child. Henry had something to look forward to.

        1. Thanks Bq I often feel sorry for Robert Aske, I think he was treated as a scapegoat for the rebels and he lost his life because of it.

        2. Yes, although Aske was the lawman of the Earl of Northumberland and an ex soldier, his education was what led to him being the spokesperson for the rebels, but he was more of a moderator than a leader. Having said that he also had a less pleasant side and used it to force reluctant families into the cause. He didn’t approve of the second rebellion and didn’t take part in it either, partly because he thought to trust the King’s word. However, Henry and Cromwell had had him write an account of his reasons for the rebellion and he also wrote something else after the date of the public pardon and that was held against him. So as a leader, he was definitely a scapegoat. You have to blame someone I guess if you are the King as the focus of the trouble but his fate was particularly cruel. He hung for three days in chains from the walls of Clifford’s Tower at York Castle and probably starved to death. The King had given him a fine coat and he had been his guest for twelve days. It must have seemed a bitter betrayal when he returned and was soon afterwards arrested.

  12. Sadly, Jane is like Henry’s brother Arthur: neither was on the scene long enough for history to get to know them.

  13. Jane did the two things which endeared her to Henry forever; she gave him a son and then died before he could get tired of her.

  14. In sorry I just dont have any sympathy for Jane. And I can’t say she is a great Queen “because she succeeded where others failed in providing the king with a son”. In today’s world, we should know better than to say that. It’s not a womans achievement and the Male sperm decides the gender anyways if you refer to science zo no I have no great derision for her just because she birthed a make child that also died before we could even get to know him. The kings bastatd son that the king elevated so much died at 17 directly after Anne’s murder. Henry’s brother died at 17 or 18 as well leaving Henry, unfortunately to take the crown. So , Henry knew all to well how ominous their lives could actually be . He knew Edward could die at any time.

    And no j dont think you can compare Anne’s relationship with the king and Jane’s. Anne truly did not want to be with Henry in the beginning. I dont think for one minute she was playing hard to get with Henry as most believe she played some kind if charade in order to lure and keep Henry. But many if us have not thought about the fact that Anne was as for one different from other women of her times, very intelligent and strong willed , and obviously ahead of her time when it came to being a woman that complied completely or shared her own beliefs. Part of it, I believe the king even encouraged this from her. He enjoyed sharing her opinions and loved having debates with her. She was challenging and Hnery was besotted with her as evidenced by her letters. Many if us dont think that Anne truly neglected his sexual advances because age actually respected herself. Like I said, she was strong willed and she didnt want to be used and discarded or that even involved in sexual activity and not married. She knew she couldnt be his mistress forever (she wouldn’t have allowed that) and then one day she would have to marry and didnt want to waste her virginity on the king if that was the case for her future. I could imagine a mind like Anne, her intelligence and her mental strength must have caused much mental conflict for her own self. She would have mentally wrestled the fact he was a married man, he was not going to just let her go, she couldnt just walk away from him, she was wasting her youth away not knowing if she would ever achieve the marriage for sure, had to hold out sexual advances after she may have developed feelings for him, etc. She didnt hold out on sexual advances for the sole pemurpose of keeping him around either. I believe they most likely became sexual in at least the year prior to her marriage whether it was fully sexually or partial. And as it looked later that she may achieve Queen, she knew and also Henry knew full well
    that they could not afford to have a child outside if wedlock. That would have created all kinds of problems. They both knew they mom be careful and must be legally married prior to having the child. Henry was so concerned with this that he did wait a mo ing time before he just broke with Rome. He had to wait for a significant time before he decided enough was enough.

    As far as Anne and KoA was concerned , I believe Anne did care in the beginning. Anne was KoA mistress prior to Henry’s infatuation with her. I believe that Anne was young and enjoyed the Kings attention just like any woman even in today’s world would probably feel if a King showed their likeness for you. However, I dont think Anne in very beginning expected to be a Queen. I dont bekieve for one minute she thought of that in the beginning. But as his love grew for her and his relentless pursuit of her , she must have thought well it’s all or nothing. I believe Anne had enough respect for herself that she wasnt going to be hard and discarded. I believe she did develop feelings for Henry later on. In the beginning, I believe she first liked the attention then realized the uncertain magnitude of the attention and tried to run from him. And Henry ran after his prey. He was not going to let her go as evidenced by his letters. If you read his letters you will understand that Anne truly did try to distance herself from him at some point and he begged for her to relent I’m which she obviously eventually did. I dont think Anne was so shrewd and mean that she wanted to hurt KoA jn the beginning. I believe the tension among them grew as Henry’s live for Anne grew and when KoA position became uncertain then the tension became hate among the two as well as the two factions developed among one another. The general population is said to have actually sided with KoA but we must look at the reason why and rbats the same reason that people today look at when they take KoA side and a shun Anne as a “homewrecker”. We dont realize that really Anne had no choice besides the other choice of being used and just the “kings mistress”. And obviously we dont think that making Anne his Queen was his own plan and not Anne’s. I’m sure it was Henry’s plan first before it ever occurred to Anne. She didnt enter that relationship and stay chaste for no reason. And its not because she had this elaborate plan to make herself Queen and marry Henry. Anne I believe was like I said different than most Tudor women by the fact that she was so strong willed and had a tremendous amount of respect for herself. And in today’s world , we dont think like that because so many women today just give theirselves away so fast to men. I believe as factions developed and as KoA position grew uncertain the fighting and differences developed among the two. And it only drew more, when Anne attempted several times to make peace with Mary. But you have to think from Anne’s perspective too. Here she is , finally Queen, tries to make peace with Mary (both prior to becoming Queen and after) and she is shunned by this child of the kings. It would create conflict with any stepmother and daughter even in today’s world. I believe it just got worse and worse as Anne realized KoA would never relent and it looked as though Mary qouldnt either and also by the fact of the factions against one another.

    And now to switch to Jane. I believe Jane was not this innocent pawn by her brothers and family. Jane knew exactly what she was doing. I believe she was coached by everyone but the fact she wanted to be Queen as just an much her goal as it was by her families ambition. Henry , I believe as looked at Jane’s mother and she how many children she bore and believed Jane could do the same. Her sister bore many children. And for her mother, Jane had many living brothers and sisters. That was as a huge driving factor I believe for Henry. If we must think , Jane had been part of the court off and on since KoA. Henry never once blinked an eye towards her. So it’s very doubtful he just developed these feelings for someone all of a sudden. I believe Jane through herself in his way acting as though she was this perfect, innocent woman when she saw conflict between Henry and Anne. She would the woman that was their to takw his side when Henry would be livid with Anne. She would be the understanding woman. And Henry needed someone to tell him he was the one in the right. J believe he needed another woman for his ego against Anne. I believe he even may have done it intentionally to make Anne jealous and hurt her because that was the way if Henry. I believe Jane behind doors used Henry’s conflict with Anne and his vulnerability to whisper things in his ear against Anne. I believe she sat their and insisted it was God that punished him because of her or else he would have congratulated their marriage with a son. I believe she whispered much in his ear and she would have jknjwn the right times to do it. She would wait for when they fought and be their to take against Anne and their marriage. Henry was also influenced by the factions at court I believe as well when their marriage had a weakness. And then we dont think that Jane was actually trying her wedding dress on while Anne was awaiting her DEATH. Her DEATH. Not her banishment but her death. True. , many say she bad no choice but for me I just see this cold blooded woman that really was a “homewrecker” that appears held rhe same evilness of her husband to be able to happily wed a man that just MURDERED HIS WIFE AND QUEEN. Anne had many childbearing years ahead of her. KoA did not. Anne could still bear children and KoA could not. Anne dated Henry for nearly a decade before she married and become his wife ans Queen. Anne and KoA had a whole decade to develop bad feelings. Jane jumped into King Henry’s lap in a matter of months, was an active part in playing a charade to marry him and literally like I said was trying on her wedding dress a mere few months later while Anne was getting her head CUT OFF. you tell me now what this woman was really like. Her reaction to Henry when he gave her a gift was dramatic and well thought out. She through herself to the floor begging that she would recieve when she had a good marriage match or something to that affect . Basically she said I wont except this gift from you unless you marry me. I’m sorry but the act was fake, dramatic and mimicked what supposedly they accused anne of doing. But IMO, Anne truly had as self respect for herself and Jane had only the crown in mind. Jane also was caught on his lap. I believe this did happen. I believe it crushed Anne and played a part in her miscarriages as well. I believe Anne also miscarried from certain medicines back then and because of the tremendous amount of stress and pressure she was under. But if you think, when Henry fell from his horse and Norfolk broke the news abruptly to her of his condition that she freaked out and her ladies made her something to calm down. I believe what whatever they gave her had properties that caused her to miscarry. That’s just my thought thiugh . There is no proof of it but if you think each of her miscarriages happened after stressful events I believe .

    Anyhow, I just feel like Anne and Jane’s quest to becoming Queen was very different from one another. Anne waited years to become his Queen faced wirh uncertainty and shadowed by KoA 24 year memory of a Queen and born Spanish princess. Anne was the one that had to wait nearly a decade to marry her lover and achieve the crown and then the pressure of birthing a son because of Henry’s belief she was this son making machine. Anne havin to go through with the turmoil of the two religious factions and the break from Rome. Anne had to endure the relentless pressure from KoA and Mary and their will to remain the true wife and princess of the King. Anne must likely feared mich dir hert unborn child and even more so for her daughter Elizabeth when she was born. Jane didnt bave to endure any if this. Jane came on the scene with KoA passed (so nothing “pricked” her conscious of that) , a dead queen that just got her head chopped off and a shunned princess that was stripped of her title and a dead queen and mother accused if adult. She had none of that stress to worry for her unborn child. She only had to worry with birthing a child and pray it was a boy. No court factions did she really have to worry with because both her predecessors were dead. Both princesses were derailed and shunned. Sure she supposedly helped Mary reconcile with Henry but what kind of woman and queen would not have done for his other daughter regardless if it were Anne’s or not. Anne was dead. Her mother was dead. Their are letters showing clearly elizabeth was not taken care if by the Queen which would have become her responsibility as Queen. Her caretakers had to write and beg Cromwell for clothes to fit Elizabeth. Now how embarrassing. A blood princess or even a “bastard princess” should not have had to worry with clothing that didnt even fit her. She was truly neglected and that shows Janss character as well. And Mary didnt reconcile with Henry until she signed her rights rights away to her noth and rs marriage and her own position as bastard. So really, Jane achieved nothing. Mary was mainly influenced to do this by chapyuis and chapyuis MN his letters really believed she was in danger of losing her head by her own father if she zisnt. Otherwise, j d oi ubt mary qiukd have signed her rights away and that her mother was never Queen. Ahe obviously feared for her life after Anne was beheaded in sure everyone saw how Henry had become unpredictable.

    1. Although I agree with most of what you say, I would just address a couple of points. Your comments on the fact that Jane succeeded where Anne and Katherine failed are fine save for one thing this is the 21st century, not the sixteenth. They didn’t know anything about how male sperm worked and what they actually did believe or at least male doctors and theologians might shock or surprise you. They actually believed the woman produced two forms of sperm, male and female and that when she was fertile she released both and then they formed the child in her womb. It was just recently at this point that the fallopian tube was discovered but how it worked was still a mystery. The sex and the condition of the child could be affected by foods eaten during pregnancy, the air, activities during pregnancy and things the mother saw. It might sound ridiculous to the modern mind but it was all part of the knowledge at that time. We cannot pride ourselves on our knowledge as we have only known much of how fertility and pregnancy and conception works for less than 200 years. Women still died commonly in childbirth until the 1950s onwards. The NHS, the investigation into bacteria disease and inoculation, clean water and the real causes of disease in the 1840s, nursing care and proper medical science are just a few of a long list of improvements into health and living standards which have helped us know everything scientific we know know, but imagine if we didn’t know, our knowledge would be the same as that in Tudor times. We cannot think the same way as we did in the sixteenth century, nor can we understand their world. Women were not thought of as able to rule, although a number did, nor were they equal; hell we couldn’t even vote until 1918 and then only women over 30 who met certain conditions. It took ten more years for all adults to be able to vote. Women accepted that world, it was expected that they should.

      I agree that Elizabeth outgrew her clothes but she wasn’t neglected. In fact for several months after the death of Anne, nothing changed, that was because legally nothing could change before Parliament met and passed legislation on the succession in July. The wheels of state are slow and nothing changed in the household of Elizabeth until later that year. It is indeed ridiculous that nobody noticed her clothes were now too small but that was the reason she needed new clothes, not because she was neglected. Anne was a particularly attentive mother who regularly ordered new things for Elizabeth and in fact owed money for several caps and gowns brought in April 1536. Yes, perhaps the Royal sprog didn’t have as many velvet dresses or rich silks or lace as she had once had, but she was hardly neglected. She wasn’t exactly barefoot or running around in dirty rags which she was forced to wear because her parents were too poor to cloth her or themselves. She still had several attendees to care for her and immediately the note arrived about her clothes money and jewellery was found to provide it.

      Jane Seymour didn’t fail over Mary through her own fault, because as you say, Henry would not have her back until she signed the documents he sent her which demanded her submissions to his will on her new status as being illegitimate because her parents marriage was null and void and on his Supremacy. Jane wrote to Mary from the start of her Queenship and Mary hoped she could come to Court. Jane tried several times and wasn’t merely rebuked for her efforts but the other supporters of Mary were arrested and put in the Tower. They were interrogated but eventually freed. The message was clear, butt out as I will deal with my disobedient daughter as I see fit. It was to Cromwell that Mary turned to help and then the scary delegation was sent to threaten her. Jane tried again but it was Chapuys who finally persuaded Mary to sign. It was Jane who had reached out to her and she didn’t just give up. No, she wasn’t an innocent victim or a pawn of her family, that is a myth, you are right. To paint her as such is a disservice. She was very clever, she was a peacemaker and she was genuinely concerned for Henry’s wellbeing and that of his family. She was also of the traditional Catholic faith and later got into trouble over the monasteries and the pilgrimage of grace, she was well coached but she was also well able to handle Henry and chose the more submissive and traditional role expected of a Tudor wife and Queen. She had watched and learned from both Anne and Katherine, having served both of them and tried not to make their mistakes.

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