A Christmassy Anne BoleynThere aren’t many more Tudor treats on the Anne Boleyn Files Advent Calendar to enjoy! But today’s is a lovely one as it combines three of my very favourite things – Hever Castle, Anne Boleyn and my dear friend, Dr Owen Emmerson. Thank you, Owen!

You can enjoy today’s Tudor treat from Owen by clicking here, or on the image in this post, or on the website header. You can also catch up with any days you have missed.

Enjoy two further Tudor treats:

  • Today’s video in my “The Tudors in their own words” series – click here.
  • Teasel’s Tudor Trivia – 19 December – Pronouncing Tudor and British names – click here.

Related Post

One thought on “Day 19 of the Anne Boleyn Files Advent Calendar”
  1. Beautiful post by Owen, and the photo of Hever Castle in the snow looks magical, I had not read Henry’s letter to Anne after he had received her gift of the storm tossed damsel, so that was interesting, in it he pledges to love her forever and we can see he sincerely meant it at the time, alas he loved her during the long years of courtship yet after they had wed, he became disenchanted and irritable with her, it is very very sad that this king ever sat eyes upon Anne Boleyn, she would have been content to marry her first love young Henry Percy if obstacles were not put in their way, they could have been happily married till his early death, and we will never know what age Anne would have died, had she been allowed to live her natural lifespan, in ruthlessly pursuing Anne he ruined three lives in the process, Anne young Henry Percy and his first queen, he lost the respect of his own country men and the Christian world, and it all started at Hever Castle this charming little paradise in the garden of England, I believe Anne’s christmases at Hever as an innocent child we’re the best, as all Christmas are, when she newly arrived home from France must also have been happy for her, she was reunited with her beloved mother and George whom she was very close to, Mary her sister and children would have been there with her husband and like all the women of the country gentry, Anne Mary and her mother would have gathered the green boughs and hung it round the castle, also the Yule log which possibly the servants brought in to go in the huge fireplace, maybe they had clove studded oranges or was that a later tradition? Maybe oranges were not available in England in those days, but the cooks would have prepared wonderful pies and pastries and Lady Boleyn would have made the marchpane cake, she would have spent hours grinding the almonds so it was fine enough to put in the cake, this cake was only made by the mistress of the house and when it was finished, it was iced and decorated with roses and other designs, maybe also their close neighbours the Wyatt’s from Allington Castle would have called by and joined in the festivities and the company would have been very merry with the wines and mead ever flowing, games also would have been played and singing and music, there is a set of virginals in existence which Anne used and she also played the lute and sang, she was famous for having a beautiful singing voice and the sound was said to make men weep, at court the company wore Laurel wreaths on their heads, maybe the Boleyn’s did to at Hever, like our modern festivities today there is a lot of feasting drinking and carousing, which makes many nurse sore heads and queasy stomachs the next day, what did they use for over indulgence in Tudor times one can only imagine, maybe Henry V111 concocted his own remedies because he was keen on the subject of medicine, and had his own ideas for staving of plagues like the dreaded sweat and other ailments, it was Henry V111 who first had turkey at Christmas and he must have had a huge bird to feed the many courtiers at his table, games were played and blind man’s bluff is a very old one, they had mummers to and the king of wassail who used to go from town to town with his wassail cup, a lot of early traditions have survived and some were from the Victorian age, after it was Prince Albert who introduced the Christmas tree to the households of Great Britain, the gifting was also done but took place on new year, the beautiful gifts the king exchanged with Anne are fascinating to read about, the sumptuous bed hangings and the huge French bed she later gave birth to Elizabeth 1st on must have been a very costly gift, this beautiful ornate bed was once part of a French kings ransom, he also gave her silk material for a beautiful black nightdress, of course this and many other gifts were given to her during their long courtship, he also gave her a gold clock, an extremely rare and valuable item since clock making was in its infancy, Anne’s New Years gift to Henry one year was a gold cherub urn which she commissioned from Holbein the kings court painter, this urn was lavish and must have cost hundreds of pounds, today it would probably be worth triple figures, he was delighted with it and their commitment to each other was firm and solid, there are records of the gift he gave to Mary Boleyn also, and of the gift she gave to him, unlike the love Henry V111 had for Anne Hever Castle survived, and now she is testament to the sad story of this most iconic king and his most enigmatic wife, it is a museum preserved in time with wax figures of Anne and Henry, there are portraits on the walls of both Anne and her sister and the king, there is the bedchamber where Anne slept and which maybe she shared with her sister when growing up, I will not mention her book of hours as I mentioned it yesterday, but Hever really is an enchanting place to visit, also it is very cosy perfect for a candlelit Yule gathering, and the christmases Anne spent there her walls must have rung with laughter and merriment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *