Did Anne Boleyn survive and is there a new King of England?

Posted By on June 19, 2020

I can’t quite believe that I’m even handling these two questions, but this is 2020 after all!

Yes, my inbox, my Messenger box and my YouTube channel are full of emails regarding a ‘theory’ (see how polite I’m being there!) that Anne Boleyn survived her execution and that a man is claiming to be descended from her and has laid claim to the British crown. Yep.

Now, I’ve happily ignored the ones written in capital letters and insulting me for the information I share, which apparently is incorrect and I’m closed-minded, but I’ve also received some rational messages and emails just asking me for my thoughts on this, so here you go…

Oh, and by the way, the answers to those questions are no and no.

And I know I’ll have at least one person saying that I need to provide evidence disputing each of his claims, so here’s my answer to that: No, I don’t. Hallett’s making outlandish claims which go against accepted historical fact, so it’s Hallet who needs to back up his claims with evidence. My books, articles and videos put forward evidence regarding Anne Boleyn’s execution from contemporary sources and his ‘documents’ are not evidence in any shape or form.

Hallett’s website can be found at https://www.kingof.uk/, but do be warned that you’ll be going down a rabbit hole of craziness – Holy Grail, prophecies, predictions, sang real, outlandish claims, bad history….

If you prefer articles to videos, there is a transcript at the bottom of this post.

As you probably know, as well as running the Anne Boleyn Files, producing history videos and writing history books, I also run the Tudor Society, a membership website. As part of that, I do talks on Tudor topics three to four times a month. I’ve shared this week’s one on YouTube as an example, so here it is. You can test out membership of the Tudor Society, which also includes, magazines, expert talks, live chats and lots of resources, with a 14-day free trial at https://www.TudorSociety.com


Did Anne Boleyn survive and does the UK have a new monarch?

Ok, for those of you who just want short and straight answers, no and no.

For those of you wanting slightly longer answers, no, poppycock, no, absolute rubbish.

And for those of you wanting to know what on earth I’m on about, keep on listening…

I’m receiving quite a few comments, messages and emails at the moment regarding a man named Joseph Gregory Hallett, who has proclaimed himself the UK’s true monarch, King John III. According to the emails and comments I’ve received, the pope has recognised him as king and the queen has gone into hiding and Prince William has abdicated in favour of Greg Hallett. Now this is not new, he’s been around a while and I came across him a few years ago, but he’s re-emerged and renewed his claim to the throne.

In the past, I’ve just ignored him and his claims, and I must say that I’ve been ignoring all the YouTube comments I’ve had about him as I really didn’t want to give him any air time, but enough’s enough and I’m going to address his claims in this video, as they relate to Anne Boleyn, and then I will move on.
What on earth am I going on about? You may well ask.
Well I won’t even get into the religious predictions, Holy Grail, Book of Predictions mumbo jumbo, and that’s the most polite term I can think of to describe it, I’ll just focus on the bit surrounding my favourite Tudor personality, Queen Anne Boleyn, and how Greg Hallett claims to descend from her and be King of England.
In a document on his website, which is a rabbit hole of completely bizarre stuff, he has a scan of what is described as a “Certified declaration of Queen Anne Boleyn’s royal lineage in Joseph Gregory Hallett”, which he appears to have sent to members of the royal family, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the pope and several world leaders – Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and which is stamped “Common Law Courts Great Britain” and Prince Regent Duke Governor Joseph Gregory Hallett. In this huge document, which made me want to prick out my own eyes, he writes the following:

  • That Queen Anne Boleyn ruled 1532/3-1536, which she didn’t, her husband was the monarch
  • That she was the highest Queen of England possible, erm, no, she was a queen consort not queen regnant
  • That she avoided her execution – erm, it was witnessed and her ladies dealt with her very dead remains. But no, she lived to breed again, reinvigorating the Royal Holy Grael lineage… I’m thinking Da Vinci Code here… And, according to Hallett’s documents, Anne, her relatives and friends, many of whom also had their executions faked, were granted 94% of England to occupy. Now, Henry VIII may not have noticed this, because apparently he was mad, but you’d think someone would have noticed Anne being alive and taking over that much of the country. Perhaps they were all mad or Anne put something in their drinks.
  • That her grandson became Sir Walter Raleigh and was born with the title Christ and earned the title Christ in July 1596 and 1609-10 “creating the legitimate independent posthumous Royal Holy Grael lineage”, and obviously Hallett is descended from this line, and Hallett pulled the sword from the stone, joined kingdoms and time, and he is the fulfilment of predictions and a prophecy come true… – can you see why I wanted to prick out my eyes yet? I was constantly snorting coffee on to my laptop screen reading his claims.
  • That Anne Boleyn carried the titles Roman Emperor and Pontifex Maximus from Rome and France to England, “providing enough leverage to end the Papal Vassal State, reclaim a quarter of the land of England, develop and publish the first complete Old Testament and New Testament Bible in English, and establish the Church of England” dot dot dot, lots more mumbo jumbo.

Oh boy, I really don’t know where to start. I love Anne Boleyn, I think she played a part in the Reformation and was a patron of religious reformers and supported the dissemination of the Bible in English, but this is all just such rubbish and I hate that her name is being brought into this. But, according to Hallett and his documents, the royal family, Archbishop of Canterbury and everyone important, all accept his claims, so I must be the one who’s stupid.
Even if Anne Boleyn could have survived her execution and bred again, having a child whose son was Sir Walter Raleigh, how does that have anything to do with a claim to the throne? Anne wasn’t the monarch. Hallett doesn’t really explain that. And how does this have anything to do with the present queen’s claim? Well, it doesn’t.
Other outlandish claims on Hallett’s website, just to put his claims regarding Anne in context, are:

  • That King Juan Carlos of Spain is Prince William’s father – Untrue
  • That Grace Kelly was executed by her former lesbian lover, Queen Elizabeth II – Untrue
  • Quote: “The Coins of the United Kingdom spell “Elizabeth to Greg” over ‘11,011’ days, which spells “MoM”, which renders a Son.” – Nope, I don’t understand that one either.
  • Elizabeth II wasn’t George VI’s daughter, but was actually conceived using sperm donated by Winston Churchill, she sat over a fake Coronation Stone, and her acceptance speech backwards sounds: “Someone’s making it up”. Now you’re all going to dash away and play her speech backwards, aren’t you? I think you’ll find that Hallett is the one making it up.
  • Quote “Monty Python and the Holy Grail literally spells out: “Gregory Hallett Holy Grael, Give him Holy Grael, 777”. This translates as ‘Gregory Hallett will represent the End Times and New Age and Times of the End, and the Shin’ … just as it happened.” Ok… Nope, I can’t make sense of that one either.
  • That the queen actually abdicated to Greg in 1981 – Nope, don’t get that one either.

And I won’t even go into how the movies My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday, X Men, The Wolverine, The Mummy and others all connect to Hallett and his claim.
And why does he call himself John III and not John II? Well, according to him, Queen Victoria’s eldest son by her first marriage to Blind Prince George of Cumberland – remember that marriage? No, nor do I? – was Marcos Manoel who was exiled to Portugal but who was made King of England, as John II, in 1869. So that clarifies that, obviously. Well, nope!

I went and had a look at his Twitter account and that’s just as mad, but I did love a tweet from a man named Colin who declared Hallett the “rightful hare of England”. That just about sums it up.

It’s all so wacky. Is he mad or just trying to make some money from books and videos, who knows, but I don’t expect to see his coronation any time soon. I find it sad that people are encouraging him in his pursuit.

And, yes, this is 2020, a year that nobody will forget, so we might as well have a madman trying to claim the throne of England as well.

99 thoughts on “Did Anne Boleyn survive and is there a new King of England?”

  1. Carol Hornby Clements says:

    What a load of rubbish. How someone can spout such things Is beyond me. English historical past is well documented. We do not need anything else. Hope Hever Castle or Sudely will open before long as I need a Tudor fix.

  2. Linda Klostermann says:

    What a nut case! Thank you, Claire, for all your hard work.

  3. Anne Rhodes-Butler says:

    Claire This is so funny I just can’t stop laughing. Especially the bit about the ‘hare’ of England.
    When Queen Anne said’If anyone should meddle with my cause’ I don’t think she meant this.
    Donald Trump might invite him for dinner though!

    1. Kat says:

      Lolol Trump would definitely have dinner with this guy! I can totally understand wanting to be related to Anne Boleyn in some way, because she is so incredibly fascinating, but at least come up with a remotely credible claim that doesn’t also some how make him sound like king Arthur. But hey, like Claire said, it’s a crazy year, at least this is entertaining craziness!

  4. Elizabeth Mannox says:

    Even without looking at evidence, the events of Anne’s trial and execution ring true. Henry needed an heir whose legitimacy was beyond reproach. He had doubts that Mary was legitimate and many people had similar doubts about Elizabeth. The only way for his next child to have no detractors was if both his previous wives were dead when he re-married. No one who may have sympathised with Anne would have risked trying to save her so she died on the scaffold.
    I think we live in a time where we’re questioning the official narritive in lots of areas but logic has to play a part. Feel sorry for Hallett but he’s causing ridicule for many who do ask questions and think outside the box who might have a point.
    Keep on providing us with evidence and a rational history of Tudor times please Claire and we’ll soak it up with much appreciation.

    1. Nalaine Bersia says:

      What a CrAZy FoOl!

      Anyone that listens to his nonsense are just as foolish. Those of us living in reality know what really happened and you should never feel compelled to have to defend your knowledge of that truth. Just ignore the madman and maybe he and his followers will just go away. Even if he doesn’t go away, anyone with a brain will know he is crazy.

      You keep doing your thing, I appreciate you and I am thankful for all you do and teach us here at the Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

  5. KEN HOSICK says:

    Lunacy obviously but there are some out there who will believe almost anything unfortunately On an unrelated but similar vein i watched a ‘documentary’ a few nights ago that claimed that Susan Atkins was actually the mastermind behind the Charles Manson murders and that it was she, and not Manson, that orchestrated everything. Ummm…

  6. Cassidy says:

    Omg!!! This made me laugh so hard. In 1536 a man like Greg Hallett would be executed for treason. Which explains his claims – he does sound like a headless chicken.

    1. Carole M Pluckrose says:

      Please don’t compare him with a chicken, headless or otherwise, our Ladies get so upset

  7. Carole M Pluckrose says:

    Ah, another imposter. We’ve had several of those down through the century’s, here is another one. This one obviously wasn’t in class when Tudor history was the topic of the day at school. He should be thankful he wasn’t around when imposters were executed, or got to work in the King’s kitchen!

    I wonder if there are any who can claim blood lineage to MARY Boleyn. Test this DNA against that of this crackpot. I rather suspect he’d be disappointed. Only after his 15 minutes, he’s not worth 15 seconds, of fame.

    Carry on what you are doing. Thank you for all that you do.

    1. Gillian Aldus says:

      MARY Boleyn has lots of descendants, including our current (actual) royal family. ANNE’S line ended with Elizabeth I, sadly. But this loony’s claims are so ludicrous they’re not worth dignifying with a DNA test.

      1. Carole M Pluckrose says:

        I totally agree with you, he’s not worth a DNA, but it would shut him up for once and for all..

  8. Michael Wright says:

    First off Claire thank you for not harming yourself but I certainly understand why the temptation was there. Each claim he makes doesn’t even make sense within his own framework. Maybe he just has a wheel he spins to spout out words. That method would be just as coherent. As long as he’s only writing and not acting on his crazy ideas he’s probably harmless.

  9. gayle robinson says:

    I’ve just had a quick look and all I can think of is ”I’m Spartacus…. no I’M Spartacus and so’s my wife..!!”

  10. Pamm Whittaker says:

    Holy moley. As much as I love historical fiction and alternate historical fiction, this one even outdoes the books Laura Andersen wrote, which are very good 🙂

    How is this man not in the loony bin?

  11. Laura says:

    Wow! That’s just nuts.

  12. Jane Morris says:

    Well Claire, you certainly brightened up my day with this. The man’s delusional and I can certainly see why he made you want to prick your eyes out because I felt exactly the same way after reading his claims. Hopefully he’s harmless and just a little bit strange (actually more than a little bit).

  13. Ellen Wolf says:

    Love the part about snorting your coffee. Yes there are nut cases out there. And there are people who will buy into this crap. At least you got a good laugh out of it. Just keep producing your usual wonderful articles and videos!

  14. carrie Sjoholm says:


  15. Michael Wright says:

    I just heard that Ian Holm has passed away. He was 88. For those who don’t remember or may not know in addition to all of his other incredible work he also played David Rizzio alongside Timothy Dalton’s Lord Darnley in the 1971 movie ‘Mary Queen of Scots’.

    1. Dawn says:

      I just saw that news too.

    2. Claire says:

      Yes, it’s so sad, and author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. 2020 is horrid.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        So sad at such a young age. I agree. 2020 sucks.

      2. You and others have blessed people by educating them and helping them to see the beauty of the life our ancestors have created for us. We just tend to forget when so much trauma, etc. is in front of us. Personally, I think that we can overcome that trauma and we will. Our ancestors are amazing in the fact that they overcame much much more trauma.I don’t agree at all with the way people were treated in the past but I personally would much rather be alive in 2020 then in the 1500’s. I think life would be better if we could each look inside and see the beautiful, amazingness of not only ourselves but everyone. The beauty we each hold inside makes this world absolutely stunning. Namaste

    3. Christine says:

      We lost one of our national icons yesterday Dame Vera Lynn, she gave such a lot of pleasure to millions around the world, at 103 she was a great age, may she RIP.

  16. Lisa H says:

    ‘Prince Regent Duke Governor Joseph Gregory Hallett’? Why not add Grand Oompah High Mucky Muck Royal Doolally while he’s at it?

    I love the intense irony of acknowledging the supposed John II while ignoring the ‘fact’ that if the rightful line descends from Anne Boleyn neither Victoria not her heirs would be legitimate rulers… and ignoring the Act of Parliament that made Sophia of Hanover and her heirs the line regardless of anyone else’s supposed bloodline… oh, and if everyone in power high and low has legally accepted this eedjit, why are they still in power?… and the completely illogical internet-midwifed argument that it’s everyone else’s responsibility to prove this yahoo’s mad ‘theories’ are wrong instead of him holding the responsibility of proving his nut-whackery right–with real actual historical evidence. Pierre Plantard at least made SOME effort to make his Priory of Sion look legitimate.

    I used to go down rabbit holes like this for the sheer fun of seeing idiocy on parade, but it’s too exhausting these days. Claire, I admire your strength and coffee snorting talents in bothering to delve into it even this much.

  17. Charlie Palmer says:

    Dear Clair,

    I know how you feel. I live in Philadelphia and we, too, have a Hallett; we call him, tRump. He lies, he fabricates, and he insults your intelligence.

    We plan to pull an Oliver Cromwell on his ass this November. If you should need the services of a removal contractor contact me, I’m confident South Philly has a few looking for an opportunity.

    Yours (in anger),


      1. Michael Wright says:

        This is not the place to be bringing in modern politics and hatred.

        1. Abby says:

          He made a valid comparison of the same situation happening in the US, so yes, it’s the place.

        2. Abby says:

          Your opinion Michael. And our opinion is the US. Glad it’s your “final word.”

        3. Marge says:

          I agree with Michael. Leave American politics in America. This isn’t the place.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Michael is perfectly right, this isn’t the place for perpetuating the chaos being allowed to explode all over the world. This is a history site and sane debate is welcome, off topic or on, not hatred. Please refrain from making such statements.

      1. Abby says:

        Well if you don’t allow opinions and facts then that’s ridiculous. I can get history elsewhere. But I won’t be silenced for commending someone on making a RELEVANT comparison. Censorship is sad and unwelcome in my life.

        1. Claire says:

          To all on this thread,
          I’m Claire the site admin I don’t mind politics as history and modern politics are often intertwined and so politics can be relevant, but we can discuss these issues politely and without resorting to aggression and threats towards a politician or each other.

    2. Dorothy Willis says:

      This is a peaceful discussion group. Let’s keep it that way and keep current politics out of it. Fight in your own time and place.

  18. Anne Wren says:

    Claire! I never had you down as a secret coffee snorter?!! but I can quite see what drove you to it. The man is quite delusional, but has a very vivid imagination!
    It reminds me of the man that came forward claiming to be a surviving Prince from the Tower, sorry, I can’t remember his name. He was very plausible, apparently, and who knows how history would have altered, had his claims been believed.

  19. Banditqueen says:

    Oh and the Royal Family are actually lizards who drain our brains. Is David Ike around?

    There are genuine alternatives to the current Royal Family, the descendants of Ursula Pole but we know their stories and have seen the credentials of her family in Australia, but they are not interested in the crown, despite having a better claim. Lord William Hastings in the nineteenth century went to Australia and they are his descendants as he was the last of the Pole family. Ursula was either the daughter or granddaughter of Margaret Pole, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, third surviving son of Richard, Duke of York. That is a genuine claim, not a cookoo one.

    I am actually amazed Claire didn’t just ignore this, its that daft. Anne Boleyn unfortunately was definitely executed and even if she wasn’t, she had no claim to the crown and was only a Queen consort. Her father was a knight, the descendent of a merchant. Even her mother’s royal blood by now was well and truly watered down, not that the Tudors were polished royalty, but Anne wasn’t even a Princess as Katherine had been. So even if Anne did survive and this guy was a descendant, he has no legitimate claim to the throne. Olivia de Longuville has written a book on Anne surviving and becoming Queen of France, if one wants an entertaining novel. This, though is just poppycock. That’s really all I can say, poppycock.

  20. Christine says:

    There’s a man living who claims to be Princess Margaret’s son I read a few years ago, I think he was born during one of her affairs so he claims but his claims are not taken seriously by the royal family and government, this guy who claims to be descended from Anne Boleyn sounds seriously wacky unless he’s just doing it for attention seeking.

  21. Georgia Coalson says:

    Several years ago we entered an era of ” make it up as you go along” so I proclaim that the moon really is made of creme cheese… And I’m the queen of Saturn… Got to feel good and sad for those souls compelled to believe the drivel that crowds out reason and just plain old common sense these days… I’d give a dollar for just 24 hours of common sense… I’ll bet this “gentleman” owns a hat made out of tin foil!

  22. Charity says:

    My family has been traced back to Queen Victoria but you don’t see me saying “I’m the Queen of England.” I am so far removed from that line and I just think it’s cool. But this wacko truly does not understand the line of succession, even “IF” it was true. What a nut job. Lol, he probably thinks that being King being waited on hand and foot. He doesn’t understand the hard work it takes to be Royal. Geesh , what a nut job!!

  23. Pamm Whittaker says:

    Now that I think on it, wasn’t it decided to never have another King named John after John Lackland?

    1. Michael Wright says:

      I believe you’re right. I don’t know if it was formally stated but I have heard that because John was so terrible it’s just kind of agreed that no one who becomes king wants to be associated with that name.

  24. Nancy Lee Piccirilli says:

    Interesting but idiotic! I descend from Mary Boleyn through her daughter Catherine Cary, who is said to have been the daughter of Henry VIII. Therefore I hereby declare myself Queen Nancy of Great Britain. Easy, isn’t it?

  25. Anyanka says:

    I thought the man who claimed to be a descendant of Anne’s son, fathered by George Boleyn and born in 1538, was strange enough.

  26. Jenny says:

    What the heck have I just read? I cannot believe you actually had to write a post for this. I’m just trying to figure out if this guy is a troll or genuinely mentally unwell.

    Thank you for your logical and well written, well researched rebuttal! But I doubt that logic, research and evidence will work with this guy and his fans…surely this has to be a troll. It just cannot be real.

  27. Ceri Creffield says:

    It makes me wonder what this guy does for a living and why on earth he hasn’t been sectioned yet.

  28. jan says:

    1: have never understood folks who want to take over famously horrendous jobs: King/Queen/President…..why in the world would you want to take on these terrible and thankless tasks?

    2: If Anne had survived and had further issue (issue with a valid claim to the throne), I’m quite certain that you’d be the first one to be delighted.

    3: this man owes you a new pc at the very least (re the nose-snorting of beverages in disbelief)

    He might well be crowned King of Trolls and Duke of Fools, but naught else. thank you for your lovely and much suffering blog!

  29. Michael Wright says:

    Hi Abby. I completely disagree with both of you. That’s my final word

    1. Marge says:

      Can’t even escape to 1500s England without some obsessed Americans bringing up American politics. SMH

  30. Banditqueen says:

    Well perhaps you should tell that to the idiots out there who are demanding we stop singing songs at sports venues, should rename streets and remove historical monuments instead of using them as part of a dialog and education. We are merely asking people to refrain from the politics of hatred. Nobody is censoring you or anyone else but we have every right to disagree. However, this isn’t Twitter. By all means go and flag wave all day if you wish, it isn’t relevant here.

  31. Banditqueen says:

    As President Trump has been compared very favourably to Henry Viii maybe his endorsements are with his own future in mind. The website looks a complete mess, mostly a lot of odd stuff from his Facebook pages strung together, but he really does seem to be serious. If not it’s a good self promotion campaign for his own ego most certainly. Definitely reminds me of someone. Is he certain he isn’t descended from Henry Viii? That would fit his image perfectly. Oh well, its entertainment if nothing else.

  32. Maggie Boleyn says:

    Wouldn’t the better argument for “King John” be that he was a direct descendent of Elizabeth I? She, not Anne Boleyn, was Queen in her own right.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      If nothing else his claim seems a bit of an insult to the child that we know Anne did have. As you said, a claim of decent from Elizabeth would make much more sense.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        We did have another Prince John, the fifth and youngest child of George V and Queen Mary who had epilepsy. John Charles Francis was kept protected by his parents although he had children chosen to be his companions. He received official visits as well and his apparent seclusion brought allegations of cruelty, which we now know not to be true. He was cared for by a nurse and nanny and he wasn’t totally secluded, not even when his condition became worse. Letters from him and by his nanny prove he still received visitors and his father was actually affectionate to him. It’s just that the general public didn’t know that at the time. He died in his teens from a very bad seizure. He was a lovely little boy, very open and friendly and his story is heart breaking.

        I think this King John Iii fellow is very odd. He is totally self obsessed on his site. It would have been good if Anne did escape her execution of course, but we know that’s not possible. Yes, if someone claimed descent from Elizabeth I, although she had no official children, it might make more sense. She was rumoured to have had more than one illegitimate child, but there was no evidence that the stories are true. The Spanish had one Arthur Dudley who was shipwrecked on their shores in custody who claimed to be the son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, but then one might to cause a stir at the Spanish Court. Another outlandish popular claim is the Earl of Oxford being her son, oh and the real Shakespeare by the way. There isn’t any real evidence to support either of those allegations and it was difficult for Elizabeth to conceal a pregnancy in any event, not without her ladies knowing, vanishing for several weeks and having a private Churching. The rumours would have been rife. But let’s be generous and suppose one story is true and this guy is a,descendant of QEI and therefore Anne Boleyn, it was Elizabeth who was the Sovereign Queen, not Anne. Let’s be even more generous and accept his story has something to it, he is just confused about the history, then we have questions. Where is his genealogy? I assume he has had one investigated and authenticated. Where are the DNA results? Can these be done again in public and authenticated? What about the psychological evaluation? I don’t want someone insane on the throne. If he really was a claimant he wouldn’t need to invent anything. His history would certainly be spot on. There are plenty of real claimants around, we really don’t need a complete idiot to make any totally ridiculous ones. I suppose he is good for a laugh, though.

        1. Michael Wright says:

          Thank you BQ for the information on Prince John. I had only ever run across him very occasionally and very little info at that. It is so bizarre that Mr. Hallett ignores a descendant of Anne who could at least have possibly had a child and who was queen regnant (Elizabeth I) that he could claim an inheritance from and instead claims descent from a queen consort whom history absolutely knows lost her head May 19, 1536. If you want to be the monarch shouldn’t you have at least a tiny bit of knowledge of English history? If he just wants people to talk about him he has certainly accomplished that.

        2. Christine says:

          Yes there was a drama series on tv with Gina McKee playing his devoted nanny, I never watched it but I think it was said to be very good.

        3. Banditqueen says:

          I totally agree with both of you, really is bizarre. I know some people at the time considered Elizabeth I as illegitimate, but any children she had could only be illegitimate as well without a husband and he doesn’t even give that a thought. To be honest I think Mr Hallett is just seeking self glorification and recognition and self promotion. I haven’t heard of him before, but reading the article he has obviously got a fan base and been at this for some time. Well as the Queen of Mossley Hill maybe I’ll see how rich he is and we can run off together lol.

          Utter poppycock but he must have a bit of cash to do all this.

  33. Queen Elisabeth would have been proud to be a mother. She would not have hidden that fact because she was like her mother Anne to a point. Anne was proud of her and that fact has been documented. There is proof of it as far as Queen Elisabeth being a mother, etc. if there is no proof, it is not truly known. No, Queen Elisabeth wanted to be remembered as the virgin queen. That there is proof of. She would not have taken the risk of having a child in private. Even she knew that you can not control what others write about you or defend yourself when you are no longer here to do anything about it. She would have wanted to do what she could, when she could and not taking the risk of having a child in private was her doing just that. She was smart enough to know that. Arguing that fact is simply arguing the fact of Queen Elisabeth’s ability to figure that out. That is something that I truly can’t see any point in arguing over. Queen Elisabeth was extremely smart and able to stand with the people. There is also documented proof of that fact. The people were her children and the loves of her life.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Hi Angela, I agree, especially as she was a Sovereign in her own right, it was her rules. Nobody will ever really know if she really was the “,virgin” Queen or Virgin Queen, as in her image, but there was nothing secret as a ruler. Everything was monitored, the ins and outs of her body, her stools were monitored, she was regularly examined to see if she could have children, her doctors knew everything. It would be impossible to have children without someone knowing, but she probably wouldn’t have hidden the fact, despite the scandal. Let’s face it men had them and although it was a different standard for women who were expected to be without any touch of scandal, if Elizabeth wanted a child, she would have one, although it would be more likely she would marry and have chidren. But of course a female ruler was a rare thing, especially a Protestant one in a Catholic world, whose parents caused scandal all over Europe so any rumours were delighted in by her enemies. I believe she was very careful to avoid any such scandal, she was too smart to take the risk and she hated the thought of marriage to a man she would have to promise to obey. Not that she was against the idea altogether, even though her youth had given Elizabeth reasons not to want to marry. Her own letters indicate her participation in marriage negotiations was sincere, but she became part of the international game and chose not to wed. Anyone who claimed to be her descendent should know how Elizabeth saw her image and promoted it. It was part of who she became. That’s part of the allure of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth, they were both extraordinary. They both lived outside of the female norms of their day. Again, I doubt very much Elizabeth had any illegitimate children, despite the numerous claims to the contrary, she couldn’t have kept it secret, and had she wished then she would have married and had an heir or recognised any illegitimate child and educated them. Taking the example of her sister, Elizabeth used the same speech about her people being her children and that she was married to England. She also herself stated she was content to be remembered that she had lived and died a Virgin. She promoted this image in her portraits, her writing and her speeches.

      Michael, the entertainment value is truly priceless.

      1. Roger Beckingham says:

        Queen of Mossley hill….in Liverpool ? I lived near the library ! Small world among boleyn

        1. Banditqueen says:

          Aye, Roger, I am down the Penny Lane end of Elmhall, by Saint Barnabas Church, small world indeed. I grew up near Rose Lane.

  34. Michael Wright says:

    Hi BQ. The content and ‘substance’ of what he has to say may not be worth much but the entertainment value it provides is priceless.

  35. Michael Wright says:

    New Talking Tudors podcast episode: ‘Thomas Cranmer and the Boleyns’

  36. Michael Wright says:

    The Tudor Travel Guide blog has a new posting on Thomas Cromwell. It is accompanied by a color pencil sketch that appears to be by Holbien that I don’t recall having seen before.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Hi Michael, its a great sketch of the older Thomas Cromwell, I think I have seen it once in McCullough, I have never seen it otherwise. Its a very thoughtful older man who looks as if he has all the concerns of the world. The Blog on Austin Friars is wonderful; I knew a bit about it from his biography but this sketch is very detailed as is the entire history. His Italian neighbours were very influential at the Court as artists and couriers and contacts with Rome and Europe. Really is very detailed. I haven’t read it all yet as I am researching something else at the moment: Junipero Serra, and I mean serious research, not just the opinion of Mendoza whose father hated the missions for unknown reasons and indoctrinated his son with the same hatred. Hardly someone with an unbiased opinion. The resources online are wide and the original sources paint a different picture to either the saint or the fanatic who is being wrongly blamed for the ills of 500 years of colonialism, much of which happened 200 years before his birth and was a tragedy 50 years after his death, nobody had any control over, disease. Yes, he was controversial as was the mission system, but no he wasn’t brutal, he didn’t enslave anyone or torture or kill them and no he didn’t commit genocide, encourage it or supervise it. On the contrary the man did the opposite. Yes, he and his contemporaries believed in corporeal punishment for stealing, assault and certain crimes, but that was typical of his day. It was rare and on many occasions he prevented it. He was popular, well loved, he stood up to the military, made the system fairer, was a great charismatic preacher and boy did he walk a lot, travelling miles and miles and the natives and brothers worked side by side and lived together and benefited from their shared labours. He even stopped the execution of a group of soldiers who had been absent without leave. His diary is available online, it contains sketches of local lives and villages he visited, it showed the costumes and customs and he learned their language and made translations. There are several museums and several letters and reports around him from the people he had difficult relationships with, such as the military governor who praised and criticised him because Serra often stood up to him, there are many experts who disagree on some points, but most are very favourably inclined and deny the allegations against him, there are academic sites and numerous local sites on him and his work. People can read those and make a more educated assessment of him, instead of listening to a few angry birds who are destroying history. I haven’t had much sleep for the last four days and have a,lot more to read but I certainly know a lot more than I did about a man who was merely a name in California a few days ago to me: the toppling of his statue which is ridiculous by the way, has now made him world famous. Anyone who studied him seriously will come to a more balanced and valuable understanding of the missions and their times.

      I will be looking at the blog further, later on. Thanks again for the information.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        Hi BQ. As to the Cromwell sketch, I don’t know if this makes sense but in my mind since the drawing is informal and not in a stylized setting it seems a more realistic portrayal.
        I had not heard about the statue of Junipero Serra being knocked down. I don’t know a lot about him except he was a huge part of early California history and I don’t remember reading a whole lot of negativethings about him. He was a man of his time.
        Here’s some more crazy: I didn’t hear where this was but some want a statue of General/President Ulysses Grant torn down because prior to the Civil War he was gifted a slave whom he freed immediately. Apparently that was enough to taint him.
        I wonder what they’ll do about Yale University. Mr Yale wasn’t only a slave owner, he was a slave trader!

        1. Banditqueen says:

          That’s were it really starts to get crazy, everything and everywhere has a connection to the unacceptable face of colonialism. When you look around any town or city, especially a port over the last 500 years, you might as well just erase every history reference because its bound to cause someone from our century to be upset and cause a controversial problem. It’s totally crazy. The statues of George Washington and Jefferson are under attack, the statue of saints, the statue of founding fathers and even writers are under attack. What for example has Cervantes done for goodness sake? He was a slave himself of pirates and anti establishment. Wasn’t his work or himself questioned by the Inquisition? Anne Boleyn upset a lot of people, so did Henry Viii and Mary and Elizabeth and even the Reformation martyrs have detractors. Should we go and knock them down as well? What about the statue of Charles I at the end of Whitehall? A lot of people at the time blamed him for all the death in our own Civil War. He only has a statue because a section of society think of him as a holy martyr and although I think that’s daft as well, I wouldn’t be asking for his statue to come down any time soon. You could really go on and on forever and it’s very dangerous because what happens when people have had enough and fight back? I know this isn’t really relevant to this article but its no wonder we have nut cases claiming to be the next King. The asylum is open and the lunatics our out.

          Yes, the drawings are very informal, I think many were. They may not be for the finished item, they may be a first draft or foundation or just personal. It’s really striking though to see a well-known painting of someone from Tudor times like Thomas Cromwell or Thomas More in their prime and then see a painting or drawing from many years later which is very much a contrast and older person. People may only have had one or two paintings done in a lifetime, they were time consuming and very expensive. You might choose to commemorate special landmark moments, such as being married or engagement or children or being made Lord Chancellor or Master Secretary or something else important. Its funny that we can today take our image instantly with a selfie, which are not usually that great and record every event almost, which we then share with the world, that we take even portraits for granted. Yet, the amount of work and hours and weeks a sitter may have to spend, and yes, I know they used props and tricks, but the time put into those works of art is amazing. That’s another reason I get really angry over the destruction of statues and painting, the work that went into making them. They took a good part of someone’s life and skill just to be slashed or bashed up by angry birds. I was so concerned on Twitter the other day that when someone said sarcastically about the statue of Henry Viii near them probably being next as he was a tyrant, I had to ask them to be careful saying such things as it might give these crazies ideas. That’s how local street names started being attacked, someone asked innocently if that was next. Really these people have very little respect. But portraits really did take a lot of planning and hard work and sketching was one of the early steps and allows us to see the evolution of a portrait into the finished item. You can see the changes made and the cartoon as the artist transferred his subject from sketchbook to parchment. I enjoy watching how experts analyse paintings and what the X-Ray scans reveal, something missing from the modern portraits, the original ideas, the pigments and colours, things which may have been added, the techniques used, the brushstrokes and so much more. When they are cleaned they are so much brighter. You can see skin tones properly. One thing I liked about this drawing is that Cromwell looks like a human being, not a statesman. The lines on his face show the years of service but also the toil of life. Even in an informal way, he is still using that great brain of his and yet he is at rest. I imagine him wearing slippers and yearning for grandchildren. It’s a drawing which says “home at last” .

  37. HelenH says:

    One of the most insane things, I think , I have ever heard. I understand your frustration and finally a need to answer. I never heard of this, but what a great delusion on his part. Thank you Claire for your insights , wonderful posts, and of course one of my favorite people in English history Anne Boleyn.

  38. Hilda Hilpert says:

    I went to his facebook page, what a crazy.Saw a photo of him standing on a balcony draped with his flag, holding a beer. Yeah, I don’t think so. If this was say the Duke of Northumberland or any of the ancient noble peer families who really may have very distant claims going back centuries past, I might believe it. Otherwise no way in hades is this true. Andt hat a horrible flag it was. It was a grey union jack, with some round type of shield in the center with a weird tooth like design? who designed that thing? I could do a much better one, and i don’t even work for the College of Arms.why I could claim to be the Queen of Bavaria,. Is it true, who knows. My father’s family in Nuremberg keeps the family history book,and have discovered that in a couple of german archives, they also have copies of it. Anything to make a buck as we yanks say, and some people believe anything.

  39. Speaking as an artist, I must admit that this was extremely interesting to read. I tend to have mixed feelings on art myself. Some people tend to take art and make statements, etc. with it. That’s fine if the art is not used to make hateful statements that harm.
    If they did not have the art in the first place, people would not have the option to harm others with it.
    At the same time, art is often not created to harm and in fact is often created to help. It also often holds meaningful, beautiful, historical stories that are harder to share when harm is done to them.
    I understand wanting hate to end but harming artifacts that often helped create hate does not kill the history behind them. It does not save lives that may have been taken, etc.
    Those stories may often hold some form of hate but if you think about it they also hold the stories of those strong enough to stand up to that hate. People who often helped make this world a better place!
    Harming artifacts makes it harder to share stories that may let people know that it’s ok to be strong. To stand up for what you believe even if everyone around you seems to make it harder. They make it harder to share stories that people should keep trying. To believe for the next generation and remind people that everyone matters!
    Art is one of the huge things that I personally believe Henry and Anne had in common. I’m still learning about them though and am unsure if they got into visual art? If anyone knows that I would be extremely grateful to learn it.
    Anyway, this makes me wonder what their take on this subject would be if they had been influenced over the years by what has gone on. What do you guys think it would be?
    I know that in The Tudors there was a scene that caught my attention. Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) told someone to paint his portrait, as was done for his father. It was interesting to me because of his reaction.He hated that it showed his age and complained like a unhappy child.
    Did he REALLY react like that? Probably…people ALWAYS seem to find something that they don’t like about portraits and complain big time. That’s why I never got into them personally.
    As far as history goes, I don’t think access to historical artifacts whatever they may be should be given freely for all to see.
    Why? Some just can not put the past in the past and know that historical artifacts do not remain to harm. Taking artifacts, etc. away can not change the past. It can not take away the pain certain event caused or save family and friends.
    I feel this way as someone who probably would not have access to what would no doubt truly grab my heart. It’s very easy to say access should be given to all simply because of my own interest. Should EVERYTHING in the world be about MY own personal interest though? Am I THAT important? Personally, I can’t say that I believe it should because I believe EVERYONE’s interests matter just as much as my own. I don’t believe I’m nobody but I don’t believe the person reading this is either.
    If people truly want hate to stop, while keeping what has every right and should be remembered alive, they should put artifacts in historical museums.
    Personally, I believe exceptions should only be made for family members, etc.so that even historical artifacts can stay in the families they started in. Even if that is the case, paperwork should be made to allow historians, etc.access to see them. That may cause issues though, so I’d test that out before it actually was to happen. Either way, historians would no doubt see that historical artifacts get the care they deserve and are not used in any way that can be seen as emotional abuse.
    When museums give access to all, they give access to everyone who may wish to tear others down or threaten them with stories of harm that come from past events.
    At the same time, beautiful, historical artifacts should be protected.
    That is my view, I wonder what Anne and Henry’s would be. Now there’s a conversational starter!!!

    1. Michael Wright says:

      Hi Angela. I agree with you. I don’t think most statues or memorials are put up to offend or hurt anyone unless they are erected by a communist or dictatorial regime. They are usually put up to commemorate a notable event or personage be they good or bad in order to teach a part of usually local history. I am now convinced that the destruction no longer has anything to do with the original cause as a statue of Gandhi was pulled down. Why? He was certainly one if the greatest and most peace loving men who ever lived. He gave his life to free his country from colonialism. I’m sorry to say that it has become violence and destruction for their own sake.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        I agree with you, Angela, very beautifully said. We just can’t allow this to continue. It’s time to start protection of history, no matter how painful. Information could be added in order to educate, but nothing like this madness is going to change anything. The people the commemorated also did good, which is why the statues are there in the first place. It doesn’t wipe out the bad stuff, but they obviously had a balance of both. Yet, offensively they are all male. Very few women were ever cimmemmorated. That doesn’t mean we should attack them and people don’t understand the context or full story. Some of the claims are lies. Yes, it’s not good to have things with open access, this is how destruction is allowed.

        The Holbein paintings of Henry in 1537 are the iconic images that we all know, the way he wanted to be seen, despite his huge size… It portrayed magnificent and majestic power and was meant to really over impress in every sense of the word. Its full faced, stern, exaggerated and stretched. Yet the image, in all versions became his template and the young Henry is forgotten about. You see it today, one may be impressed or as one visitor to the Walker version said “He looks like a right ponse” In 1537 people seeing any of the original paintings would have been overawed. That was the whole idea, the full presence of the King meeting you in his presence chambers was meant to intimidate. I know what I think, I was intimidated the first time I saw it; I am still intimidated several decades later. I think those destroying such things that haven’t been told to do so, would be suffering harsh punishments with bits of them decorating the gates of London. Henry did of course allow destruction of religious art in Churches and monasteries, although not the great masters, but state art, the image of those in favour and the King was very much to be encouraged. I am not sure how he would think about the great men and women of the past being destroyed, but he would probably be appalled at the totally random and wide spread attacks by mobs of people currently going on.

        1. Michael Wright says:

          You’re right, unfortunately most of the statues are of men but they were erected in a very misogynistic era. I notice that changing. For instance the very beautiful modern statue at the Alhambra I believe, of Katherine of Aragon or the statue of Anne Boleyn at Hever. A decade or two ago at Gettysburg cemetery a statue of Jenny Wade was erected. She was killed by a stray bullet that came through the door of her sister’s house while she was baking bread for Union troops. She was the only civilian killed in the battle. She is buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery with the American Flag flying above. The only civilian with that honor. Another much newer statue is of a woman whose name I do not remember. She and her husband were German immigrants. They were the caretakers of Gettysburg cemetery at the time of the battle. They lived in the gatehouse. Her husband was off fighting for the Union so she was alone there and heavily pregnant. After the battle she was digging graves for the soldiers in humid, rainy 100° weather while with child. The bronze statue shows her pregnant, with a shovel at her side wiping her brow. I certainly hope more memorials and commemorations are erected honoring women. However, let’s not tear down what we have. Let’s learn about the people and events they highlight, the good and the bad and then not do the bad stuff anymore.

        2. Banditqueen says:

          Hi Michael, thanks for that wonderful information, especially about Jenny Wade. I would love to see a statue to Josephine Butler, the woman who fought against the way young prostitutes, in fact any young woman, out after dark were arrested and subjected to forced examination under the Infectious Diseases Act, which cover sexual transmitted disease. Any woman could be stopped, arrested, stripped and submitted to intimate medical examinations, then detained under the law for treatment or forced hospitalization if it was suspected. Even innocent women, walking home from work in shops until 10p.m were taken in. There was a double standard of course as the men were never stopped or examined. Prostitution was also a notorious institution which held captive the poor and very young girls, ten, eleven and twelve were sold into prostitution and to brothels. Josephine Butler was determined to do something about it and there was also a campaign to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16. Josephine and a friend from a national newspaper did an illegal and highly dangerous thing to expose this sale to the authorities. They purchased a girl of about 12_or 13 and set up a safe environment and lured a man to her room but set it up so as nothing happened. The kid was removed and he was exposed. The papers revealed the full story over six months of further work but the police, while arresting those involved, they also charged the journalist and Josephine with indecency. He went to jail for some time but she was let off, due to her family background, her father was an attorney. She then campaigned against Parliament to change the laws and the Act was repealed and the age of consent raised to 16. It was the start of a number of reforms to help young girls caught in prostitution because of abuse or poverty, a fight which unfortunately is still going on. Our University Law School is called Josephine Butler House but unlike several male counterparts, no other memorial to her exists in Liverpool. Women like Octavia Hill, who really began social housing and Ida Margaret Marsh are known to the City in various site names as Octavia Hill is in Birmingham her home town. The more famous Suffragets have plenty of statues but some of our social reformers have been forgotten. No wonder women in history are often called invisible.

          I love that Anne has a statue in Hever and of course Katherine has one in a,University in Spain, but I have to ask why she has one in Alhambra? That’s very interesting.

  40. HelenH says:

    Thank you for your sane advice, this is no place to be nasty about politics. i

  41. Thank you so much for your wise and kind words.
    I have to admit that I do not know a lot when it comes to history or the meaning behind many statues, etc.
    I have studied art for years though so know some art. I have not studied history and am simply an artist. I do learn fast but I honestly don’t know why. I was not always blessed with some options, so I love learning from others who were. I am no historian, politician, etc. In fact, I try to leave that information to those in that profession.
    Still, what you have said sparks interest in me. As you can see, I tend to get rather passionate about certain issues. Who knows where that comes from but I DO know I can only be who I am. Anyway, Thank you for sharing what you do.
    I have learned many things from those (like you) who share on this site and the historical movies, etc. that I have seen. Although most things need to be thought of as fiction as many lack proof and are simply guesses, others are facts I would not have known if it were not for the kindness of those who share. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who do share here, etc.
    Although I do not agree with a lot of the things that I have learned from that time and can’t believe how people treated others, I am extremely proud of the strength that many showed. If I were not taught about that strength, I would not even know anyone ever had it. Honestly, many (myself included) need that strength.
    I did not see strength in just Anne and Henry although truly in my opinion they did show strength. Learning their history means more to me than I could ever, EVER put into words. I hope that it is forever known that some forms of strength I see as a huge, HUGE blessing.
    Anyone in as much pain as Henry had to have been in his later years would most likely be rather hard to handle. I can only imagine what that pain must have been like without the things made today. Although, cutting off heads, etc. is completely uncalled for if you ask me. Even being in great pain is absolutely no excuse for such behavior. It’s sad to me that he was the way he was. Those who may have many more reasons then even historical ones may wish to have seen more of his earlier years. Due to his disrespect, they won’t have that option now. Some of his actions may have been amazing and commendable but others are extremely belittling and shameful. Like many, I am still learning them.
    Personally, some of the strength shown at that time can only be amazing and inspirational to me. Mainly in females, no offense intended men. The female strength was AMAZING! I honestly wonder if some would have lived without it. I’m sure they can also be hugely inspiring and help future generations know that they can too.
    Anyway, thank you again for your kind words. 🙂
    P.S. Out of curiosity does anyone know where the name the Anne Boleyn files came from?

    1. Claire says:

      The name “Anne Boleyn Files” comes from me, Claire Ridgway. I actually had a dream about Anne Boleyn’s execution and woke up knowing I had to start a blog called the Anne Boleyn Files. That was in January 2009 and I began work on this site in February 2009.

      1. jan says:

        Wow, Claire. That’s really amazing. It could have turned into One Big Nothing, but you have made it absolutely glorious and fascinating, full of wonderful and thought-provoking content and users who are equally as keen to share their own insights and knowledge. thank you so very much.

      2. Claire, I wasn’t sure so had to ask. Thank you for replying. I know that some may disagree with me but I believe it’s a choice to follow such things. I personally am not a Religious person, everyone believes so differently but I truly believe that dreams can often help in many ways. Thank you for following yours and I love your tattoo! 🙂 <3

  42. Michael Wright says:

    I put this info on the wrong post:
    The Gettysburg cemetery caretakers were Peter and Elizabeth Thorn. The statue is of a pregnant Elizabeth.

  43. Michael Wright says:

    Hi BQ. Your probably right about the location of the KofA statue being at University. I wasn’t sure.
    Those women you mentioned are amazing and in the times they lived their battles Must have been so difficult in a male oriented society. Each deserve a proper commemoration. Things like that could be very inspiring to other young women or anyone else wanting to take up what may seem an impossible social cause dearv o their hearts. It would certainly have a more positive societal impact than tearing stuff down. Thank you for informing me about those remarkable ladies.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Thanks Michael, that statue is my other Avatar but I had enough of a problem getting this one back, I might disappear altogether if I try again lol. Yes, there are many inspirational men and women who just went about trying to improve conditions for ordinary people. Eleanor Rathbone lived just a mile or so from here and her home is inside the grounds of the University Hall of Resistance. It was recently restored and its really beautiful, one front looks semi colonial with a balcony, like it belongs in New Orleans and the other has Victorian towers. The front is pink. Eleanor was an M.P in the 1930s who introduced Family Allowance, that’s a benefit paid to the mother for their children, rather than via a pay packet or husband. That really helped a lot of women trapped in poverty or domestic violence. She was an inspirational speaker and the Archives in Liverpool hold a collection of papers by her and her letters. O.K sometimes people doing good could be a but patronising but that was the mindset they grew up with and of course most of them insisted on a strict moral code with no drinking.

      Mary Seacole was a British Afro Caribbean nurse from Jamaica during the Crimean War who did the same work as Florence Nightingale and was later honoured. She ran a less formal mess and hospital and provided rum and brandy and tobacco to the recovering soldiers. She was very popular. She set up several hospitals and centres in Liverpool and the rest of the country and in 2004 was in the top ten of Greatest Britains. Many centres for domestic violence, poverty, health and other social issues exist today bearing her name. She is very inspirational still.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        Hi BQ. A trend that has been going on for a while now that I really appreciate is the increase in books by women historians. (Claire Ridgway, Elizabeth Norton, Amy License, Helen Castor et al). Growing up most of the books on historical figures seemed to be written by men about men. Now we not only have books on historical male figures covered by all historians but finally we are hearing and learning about the other half of the population that the established old guard didn’t seem to see as important enough to talk about. Sad that that was the case but I so welcome the change. Hope everyone is starting to realize how important and interesting the women’s stories are.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          I can just hear David Starkey mumbling about the feminization of history in my head. Of course he is referring to the 2000 books and documentaries on Henry’s wives, which of course is an exaggeration but it’s good so many talented female writers coming through over the last couple of decades. I do find that Amy License tends to waffle a bit, especially when she speculates or decides to describe something and talks about how people might have felt, without any reference. I mean, four pages just to say King Henry Vi stayed in the manor not the castle. I do otherwise like her work. There are so many really good works now by female writers, who do have a different feel for people, can maybe empathise with their subjects, who can maybe give a gentler or deeper understanding of historical people, the subject of Women’s History has grown very strong as an international discipline. It’s amazing how many are well known now. Some of our more recent additions include Miranda Kaufmann, who has shred incredible light on Black people in Tudor England and their achievements, Nichola Tallis and Sarah Bryson and Sarah Beth Watkins. Female writers of different ethnic backgrounds have broken into areas previously dominated by male writers, such as Ruby Lai a talented Indian historian who lifted the myths away from Nur Jahan, consort of Jahangir, father of the great Shah Jahan, to reveal her as a powerful and independent ruler and her status as India’s only Empress. She had to endure virtual castigation and discrimination from several male historians who dismiss Nur Jahan and her influence. Ida Bell, Sojourner Truth, Jung Chang and most recently Angie Thomas author of The Hate U Give have all rightly inspired women and young people to shake of the stereotype and to be strong against the world of hate which they knew over the last two centuries. I could probably list three dozen more, including Margaret Straud and Melanie Clegg and of course the great Elizabethan expert Susan Doran.

          You are right about growing up. At school it was all swashbuckling and knights and Francis Drake and English royalty. Not that I didn’t appreciate Tudor and Medieval history, but what did the women do? I discovered a whole new world of female heroes at University and the wives did far more than pray, sow and have children. With these heroic knights off fighting all the time, it was the women running the shop and estate and even wielding the odd bit of power and political influence. The Middle Class Victorian Angel of the Home was a complete fabrication or ideal and the men were practically lost without busy wives behind the scenes. I don’t know if you have ever seen any cartoons or idealistic pictures from Victoria’s times of how the family was supposed to be. There is a classic of a weak swooning woman, looking all done in and delicate and very fragile, her hands and body are very limp and she is fainting and on the sofa most of the day. And of course this dainty flower is meant to safely deliver a dozen healthy kids and run a large household. This is the Middle class not the over burdened working class woman who was overwhelmed by children, poverty, work, cramped living, disease and drunken husbands. It was from this class in which women were expected not to use their brains but make the home into some elusive paradise, that the many social reformers emerged. They were either bored stiff or unmarried or married and able to balance life because of the number of servants they had and they filled the time with social campaigns to improve living conditions, conducted surveys on poverty and disease, organised the fight for the vote, tried to end underage prostitution and then the trade altogether, became abolitionists, reformed prisons and opened coffee houses instead of pubs, marched on Parliament and turned the male dominated world upside down. History in school tickled the surface of life, it was only lifting the lid and peering inside that one got to the truth of the worlds of the past. I have to admit I was a complete nightmare in history classes. Not only did I know more than one poor teacher, but I challenged everything that was being taught. I practically lived in the local library, my dad was a complete history enthusiast as well as football nut like me and I was always after extra homework. I had two very knowledgeable history teachers, then poor Miss Pink who couldn’t remember dates and actually saw Shakespeare as a reliable source. Unfortunately, she nearly put me off doing history at a more advanced level. We had an alternative track for O and A levels which meant a more detailed curriculum for Tudor and Stuart history and international history in the eighteenth century, so Russian history and Napoleon. We looked at original sources as well which wasn’t the norm at the time. It was taught because in the lower sixth we had some girls come from another school and they had a different curriculum. You obviously need more than half a dozen people in the class so some of us took it up. Boy it was history heaven and I really enjoyed the next two years. I didn’t go to University straight from school, I actually went back into education as a mature student in 1991/2 and due to an accident in 1994 after two changes of school and subject, I graduated in 1999,_because I was part time. The accident was on University property, I fell down half a flight of stairs on the first day of the new trimester. I really enjoyed the social aspects of history as I really had not in school and particularly the medical history, in which of course ladies and the poor were usually guinea pigs. There were some really strange ideas like if women were thought to be a bit emotional, their husbands could have them diagnosed with some kind of hysteria and the cure was to remove her ovaries. This diabolical practice went on until the Second World War. The rights of a married woman over her children still didn’t exist until the end of the 1920s. A woman could leave her husband or get a separation but she couldn’t see her children without his permission. Children belonged to the father. Family history and women’s health and history as well as the history of any particular ethnic group are whole subjects in themselves with hundreds of books and original research on them. There is always something new to read, some new theory, some new papers, some documents found in history, its an exciting minefield.

  44. Michael Wright says:

    Wow BQ, glad you survived your fall down the stairs. That’s an awful thing to have happen.
    As to David Starkey, I like David Starkey, I’ve learned a lot from David Starkey, he’s a very good host of the programs of his subjects. I also disagree with him occasionally. He seems too established and unbending in his ideas which is not a good place to be when studying an historical subject. New facts or old ideas of something may change from the accepted norm and I don’t think he always reflects that. But that’s ok. That’s why we read multiple authors. And the topic at hand is just that.
    Thre way history was taught here when I went to school was very cursory. Almost entirely American history: Columbus, first Thanksgiving, the colonies break with Great Britain, WWI, WWII, a little more recent stuff. No history on England and what we did learn was not very detailed and as I found out later usually wrong. Although I’ve always loved historical subjects my interest didn’t really spark until my sophomore year of high school 1976/77 with a history teacher who really made it interesting. She was teaching about the causes of the second world war and how it impacted our country still in the 1970’s. Wish I could remember her name. As I’ve said earlier not a single one of my family members had/has an interest in history nor any of my friends. I grew up in North Bend Oregon on the south coast. Very small school library and small public library so I wasn’t able to really indulge myself until I moved to Portland 235mi north in 1987. Lots of books! My introduction to Anne Boleyn was in 1986 when my not yet wife rented ‘Anne of The Thousand Days’. Up till then my knowledge on Henry VIII was that he was a fat English king. After we moved to Portland I checked out every book I could find on him in the Portland library system but the well went dry quickly so I just read about whatever historical subject peaked my fancy. Somehow in 2011 I ran across the ABF while doing an internet search. After just reading posts for a while I decided to chime in. This site got me interested in all English history from the earliest times. I started seeing the connections to America especially starting with Elizabeth I. I better preface my next statement by saying that I love my country and am glad that the revolutionary war turned out the way it did but something we never learned or was even hinted at in school was that those we call the ‘patriots’ were full blown traitor’s. Of course we heard George III was a tyrant but from what I’ve read about him he was not and was far more patient with the colonies than most would have been. He was absolutely in the right to react to rebellion the way he did. The history being taught in American schools now is that we’ve always been evil. There was a congressman or senator last week who said publicly that the U.S. invented slavery! Is that what’s being taught? What about the Jews who were slaves a couple of millenia ago, or those enslaved under the Romans. This list can go on ad infinitum.
    I don’t know what Starkey means by ‘feminization’ of history. That doesn’t make sense. Does he mean female voices and opinions don’t matter or that females who lived in the past aren’t important? Either way he’s way off base. I think he takes the word (his)tory way to literally. Sorry to ramble but as I typed it it all seemed connected. I’ll let you judge.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Hi Michael and thanks for that insightful post and for sharing your journey into history.

      Unfortunately, yes, a one sided view of history is always taught. I don’t recall Black people in Medieval and Tudor England having much impact when at school but we knew about the very violent history of antisemitism in Europe. We knew about the Jews in England and the ways in which they were treated or the lack of interaction but not the economic importance or the schools of medicine and learning they set up. My first real understanding of Jews in European society was a book called The Physician set in early eleventh century. The main character travels to the schools and Courts of Spain and Bagdad, to serve as a doctor in Islamic parts of Europe, but he has to dress as a Jewish doctor in order to be accepted by the Muslims and again as a Christian so as not to be bullied or set upon in Europe. This is before the persecutions which kicked off during the Crusades so there is more integration and cross cultural exchange. This was a period I missed in school but didn’t know much about except for the Vikings, and look how we have misinterpreted them.

      Yes, we all probably learned a very lob sided version of history. If you got a good teacher, a specialist then you really learned more but then a lot of teachers didn’t go to University, they were generalised teachers and only a few were specialist. You couldn’t half tell the difference as well. Yes, I know you don’t need a degree to teach but you still need to take a variety of exams and certification. Most of our history teachers were specialist. The newer ones were not. The curriculum was in flux and the national curriculum was a pipe dream. However, the older system allowed for more flexibility. I remember Mrs Gwen, a Welsh history teacher, who actually swore under her breath in Welsh if she was frustrated, which was quite funny. She was tough and she was lovely and she understood that most kids find history boring. She brought it to life. I am sure she got most of the resources she brought in from her own collection. Our school was well funded but it still had limited resources, so Mrs Gwen would get stuff, copy it and bring it for us. She also taught the classics in Latin and Greek with English translation and she spoke five languages. She would sit and just talk to you for hours if there was time at lunchtime or during the extra periods in the run up to exams. The project I did introduced me to William Marshall and I got my first love of research in her class. She taught us for two years. It was disappointing when we had Miss Pink in year three of senior school. Mrs Gwen was back for one last year before O/A levels. I did the alternative A/O level introduced and was taught by a French teacher who was a real expert on the Renaissance. I was in history heaven. I have been obsessed since. I wanted to teach history, took one look at the new national curriculum and goodbye. I have taught but only at leisure courses and private tutors and I have done many leisure courses on different aspects of history. Learning Egyptian hieroglyphs was good fun. My history is much better! Learning about how to preserve stuff behind the scenes in a museum was fantastic. The Ancient World to the Revolution have been widely absorbed.

      Dr Starkey is what one might call old school. He was a scholar of Elton who was an expert on Tudor England and some very old academic ways of doing things. I agree with much of what he says and his authority is unquestionable, but I think he mirrors Elton and doesn’t interpret new or wider evidence if it’s not saying what the official line is. I don’t quite understand the feminization of history, but what he probably means is the fact that there are a lot of female historians on television, on media and as authors and female subjects are prolific at the moment. In other words where are all the men and the heroes of history? He has a point, actually, they do appear to have disappeared. I met various groups of young teens a few years ago and we were sharing experience of history in schools. The boys faces lit up when I told him we studied Drake and Raleigh and he told me that sounded much more exciting than the welfare state and Victorian England. Do we now just skip whole sections of history?

      I find it sad that English history wasn’t taught in America, although to be fair it was only in relation to the Wars of Independence and the early colonies and the American Civil War that we did anything and even then it was skidded over. It was all myth as well, of course George Washington told lies, he wouldn’t have been much use militarily if he didn’t. I didn’t know his daughter had epilepsy and died when she was about 21 until the series on him. Which reminds me, I think I have recorded one of his battles on Battlefield Detectives. Its programmes on History and Discovery and PSB which help bring history to light. When one considers that our two countries are interlinked, even though our shared history has not always been a pleasant experience, the lack of shared teaching of that history is startling. I actually think George iii was ruthless, but that’s how he viewed the Patriotic people in America, to us they were traitors because they were rebellious and destruction of the crowns authority wasn’t looked on kindly, but it was after a series of tensions which had built up over the years and have complicated roots and causes that many Americans had had enough. It was not an inevitable thing, the American Revolution, but the causes were pushing towards conflict and independence. The reprisals by the crown were brutal and pretty ruthless. However, the man himself had a completely different nature. He was also still a young man in 1776,_still in his mid forties. He was personally interested in science and funded the expedition to measure longitude and the Transit of Venus. We have our national archives because of him and the British Library and he extended the Royal Society and his personal collection of research projects is amazing. Before his long bouts of madness/neurological blood diseases, his mind was exceptional and very sharp. Invariably either side would see the other in different lights and we really need balanced teachings of history from both points of view. Then there was the 1812 War and the diplomatic exchanges between the new America and the involvement of several native tribes on our side especially. It’s a long and complicated relationship even with the early colonies because they still depended on England and Scotland, Holland, Spain and Germany and various countries for supplies. Ideology and religious differences and economic tensions all played a part in growing what were small groups of colonial areas from many nations into one new country or even a federation of states. You know how tragically difficult that was because of the civil wars. I mean there was also New Spain which was independent of future US and belonged to the Spanish Empire. San Francisco and California both made up a great deal of that territory which was also fought over. Until recently the only thing I knew about the history was a bit about the missions and Zoro, which of course is very authoritative lol but actually does touch on tensions and exploitation in the region. Someone pulled a statue down and I did my homework. I just think we need to learn more about the other side of history, especially when two countries have a long and intertwined relationship with each other. We don’t exist in a vacuum.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        As a student of history I’m sure you realize by all rights that England should have won the war for American independence. She had the most powerful military force on the planet at the time and a very professional well trained army. I think a good portion of the blame should go to the attitude of the British commanders on the ground in thinking it would be easy since they were just fighting a bunch of farmers. The advantage we had at the time is the “army” was not professionally trained and faught using gorilla tactics which the English were not used to. Washington had some good success early on but 1776 was a disaster. Up to that point he tried to defeat the English and win. After 1776 he changed tactics and his goal was to not lose. Just lead the British on making them expend time and materiel.
        What really kicked off the revolution is what’s been called The Boston Massacre. Of course in school that’s how it was taught. It certainly wasn’t that. That’s just great propaganda by Paul Revere. It was a group of young, very scared, British sentries being taunted and having stones and oyster shells being thrown at them and one of them fired without orders and then others fired. All over in a few seconds. A handful were killed. One was a free black man named Crispus Attucks. Of course his name was never mentioned in school.
        My introduction to the treatment of certain people by Hitler and the Nazis was probably 1972/73. Just a few houses up the street from mine in North Bend lived an old Catholic priest that I would guess was in his 70’s. One day during the summer he was out mowing his lawn and he stopped to talk to us kids as we walked by. I noticed he had a series of numbers on his arm and I asked him what it was. He said he got it at a place called Auschwitz and I should ask my parents about it. I asked my mom who knew the basics and then did my own research. A few years later the miniseries Holicaust aired with Michael Moriarty and that was my first real introduction to the attempted extinction of the Jews.
        Your teacher Mrs. Gwen sounds wonderful. I would love to have had her.
        I don’t really like categorizing history into men’s or women’s. It’s all what came before. Be you a man or a woman pick a subject you’re interested in, research and write about it. I don’t think there are any gender rules but perhaps I’m just naive.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          Wow. Yes, the story of the Boston Massacre has become famous for the distortion of history and recent evaluations have demonstrated who and where the shots came from, the confusion, the men were in front of the commander but the shots came from one side, meaning someone panicking shot the people. I believe four people were killed, including the Black protestor. He wasn’t the first to die, according to the reconstruction and recent research. However, it was a catalyst. When John Adams was involved in their defence it must have been very difficult because the people of the town were up in arms. It wasn’t a popular finding when the officer was acquitted. Where they all acquitted, I can’t remember?

          The local militia bands who formed American anti crown forces couldn’t have been anywhere near as well equipped as the crown forces, which was a professional army and navy. It didn’t go well for the Revolutionary forces for quite some time. The rifles of choice were also uneven. Mohawk ambushes on the British side were brutal as well. As you say, most people were farmers, they only served for a limited time at the forts or to assist in peacekeeping, they were not trained to take on a well provisioned, large and well equipped British army. When war came, the encounters must have been quite a shock. It was a very hard fought war over a number of years, casualties were high. Did you ever watch Sleepy Hollow the series when it was on, were Iscabod Crane, the school teacher was resurrected through a magic spell 250 years after the Wars of Independence in Sleepy Hollow, which is now a huge burrough town. That deals with the history of that period, as remembered by Crane who served first with the British and then changed sides. The difference is that he is dealing with the undead and unnatural forces, the Headless horseman and of course, the witch wife he left behind who is in the power of this demon who served the horseman and a whole load of spooky stuff from his own time. In the series the reason the British or what he called the “Regulars” are so powerful because of demonic forces that their commanders summon up and George Washington is fighting a spiritual war as well as a real one. The Headless Horseman isn’t a Hessian as he was in the film, but in fact Cranes friend who was once betrothed to the woman Crane married. A fatal duel left him for dead and he was taken over by a group of demonic men who are Hessian mercenaries hired by the British. The crown actually did use Hessian mercenaries in the wars with American revolutionary forces. The Horseman turned up on the battlefield and is killed again. He rose and killed Crane who takes him down and the two end up in the 21st century. Many evil things come after Crane and his female partner, Abigail, who was a cop and they hunt them down. The city had an archive with hundreds of ancient texts and these are the weapons for destroying evil and the Horseman. Crane will go on to free his wife, who joins his quest, discover a son, who is also in the 21st century but who turned against them and calls up a demon worse than the Horseman. There are links back into history and those known to Crane like Benjamin Franklin and others are all working against these armies of demons, hired by the crown. Its all very odd but its really funny when Crane goes anywhere historic and hears someone teaching history, because he jumps in and tells them, no, that’s not right, this is how it really happened. Its all very mad with hidden secrets in George Washington real tomb and his 200 years old Bible, like a passage having extra verses and a letter Washington wrote ten years after his death because some witch brought him back for one day and even more weird is that he finally defeated the Horseman with the American flag. Why the flag? There are hidden patterns in the weave which are interpreted when they find a portrait of Betsy Ross and the whole democratic army are defeated. He then goes to Washington and finds more chaos to defeat in the present and Abraham Lincoln gets melted by a demon, then restored, the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse are raised, but the others are ironically killed with the help of his former friend. The series ended with the freedom of his friend from the curse of being a Horseman. Iscobod has a new partner as his wife was lost again and his original partner killed. The last demon has been defeated, but you never know with Evil. I just found it fascinating how the crown forces were all in league with demons and the Revolutionary forces fighting against them. It gave a unique insight into history of course, because of the links of the characters to the supernatural. There are also a bunch of Freemasons running around protecting history and who become Crane’s secret army. Really good but weird science fantasy series that ran for four seasons and I was very disappointed it ended. I believe a fifth season w planned but it was cancelled. So they extended the last season to bring it to a conclusion.

  45. Michael Wright says:

    Hi BQ. Yes all were aquitted and it led to Adam’s client base dropping off but he was so well thought of and due to his respect for the law he was asked to join the Continental Congress. What really rankled was that after his successful defense of the British troops Parliament declared that ‘all cases whatsoever’ were to be adjudicated in England.
    That program you describe sounds like a lot of wierd strange fun.

  46. Banditqueen says:

    The British Empire was very patronising. It sounds just about right that even though John Adams got a good result for the British that they would take his thunder away and in a patronising manner state that we know best and therefore for your own good are going to control the trials from now on. British justice had evolved by the later eighteenth century but British opinions of the rest of the world had not. George iii was in many ways a fairly enlightened monarch but his Empire had stretched to the extent that our authority was actually slipping away. The House of Hanover is always regarded as being stuffy and foreign and dysfunctional, yet oversaw some of the most important constitutional developments and conflicts in our history. The Stuarts who preceded them had collapsed into Civil War within one generation because King Charles I couldn’t reign with his Parliament and because he couldn’t accept that he needed his advisers and to address the petitions of his people through Parliament. He failed to understand that those petitions were genuine and many issues remained unresolved. That’s why after eleven years of thinking he could do things himself and running out of money he faced so many problems when Parliament was recalled. The parochial attitude of the Stuarts led to King Charles I being executed and almost caused more than the two Civil Wars, it almost destroyed the Dynasty.
    England was a better educated country in the seventeenth century and people understood the need for social reforms and a greater degree of self determination and they faced Kings who thought they ruled through Divine Right. James I had written a book on it for his son, Charles. Neither understood the growing religious differences in their kingdoms and particularly in Scotland that was a problem. The Covenants signed in Edinburgh to form an agreement between the ordinary people and the Puritan leadership to lead a more moral and simple life, challenging the authority of Kings over the Bible led to armed conflict and vicious persecution. They also rejected the English Prayer Book. It was very little wonder then that Charles I ended up in conflict with his own people or James II ended up being removed from the throne and the start of constitutional monarchy developing with William and Mary. The Hanoverians saw their colonies in the same light. They were the government and knew best and the semi independence gained in the colonies was becoming more of a threat than a success story of planting and wealth or expansion. I can see in this action of taking control over legal matters, contrary to the Charters the colonies had, the same confrontational and controlling attitudes which started the English Civil Wars. Those attitudes were no longer acceptable at home. They were even less acceptable in the American colonies were ex patriots had been winning a degree of self government and self determination for some time. People came to America to be more free, to get away from the persecution at home, to set up colonies where they were able to begin to make their own way of life, to own and cultivate land, to be something which was impossible back home and to see a better future. They were not going to be treated like children by the crown, which is what the British government was doing now. The colonies had a number of complaints and did what subjects had done for centuries, they put down their grievances and petitioned the crown for redress. The crown just saw this as a challenge to its authority and acted with scorn and brutality and rejected these legitimate petitions. It was only a matter of time with that attitude that things came to a head, a large fleet was sent to answer the petitions and grievances with the threat of war and the Revolution was launched.

  47. Michael Wright says:

    Beautiful concise summation of some rather complicated history. Thank you BQ. This kind of goes along with it. You know the phrase ‘The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire’ referring to territories all over the globe once held by Great Britain.
    Well, back in 1989 my wife at the time and I drove up to Victoria British Columbia and one of the things we did was take a formal tour of the Parliament building. Something that was pointed out to us by the tour guide was a stained glass window with a representation of the coat of arms of British Columbia. It shows at the bottom a sun and because of it’s placement it looks like it’s setting. And according to the guide that fact wasn’t even thought about until well after the coat of arms was already designed. You can easily find different renderings of the coat of arms online but if you can find a picture of the stained glass window in the Parliament building in BC that’s the one where it really looks like a Setting sun.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Thanks Michael. What a beautiful building! Very impressive. The window is lovely. The ceiling is amazing with the golden dome and the murals around it are also impressive. It’s a magnificent building in a lovely setting. The pictures on the internet allow a good look inside and out. I see what you mean, the sun is sitting on a flag and the line of the window and it looks as if its going down. As a half sun with rays it is a setting sun. The sun sets on all Empires at some point. They are not sustainable. People want freedom and independence and equality and self determination, not to be ruled by what has become a foreign power. That’s the reality of expanding territories.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        I couldn’t agree more.

  48. Michael Wright says:

    I just finished watching a live chat on the Tudor Travel Guide YouTube channel with Tracy Borman. Near the end she announced a television series airing in September on the fall of Anne Boleyn. She described it as a forensic almost hour by hour look at her downfall.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      That will be good. It will be interesting to look at Anne’s fall in detail. I enjoy Tracy Borman. I must get around to reading her Matilda book, on William the Conqueror wife. I was out this afternoon celebrating Steve’s birthday and it was really great to get out and do something normal. Fascinating as the local shops are, they have been our only destination and the odd take out coffee from our favourite cafe at the end of a walk. Now we can go for a coffee and sit down or a drink or into town, down to the river and the museum. The park won’t be so crowded because people are back at work and that’s going to be my destination tomorrow. I can at least walk down there and stop for a coffee. If its busy, I can at least now just have a rest and then come back. I am thinking of going down to Liverpool One or the Albert Dock next week. I will take my own drink and food with me. With the bars open, plenty of places to sit. I can’t wait to go to Waterstones again. At least I can use my radar key for the disabled loo. Actually, funny enough I haven’t found lockdown too bad, a bit down occasionally but not too bad. I have been out walking and shopping most days or for a take out coffee and medical stuff, or just for a walk, but its really great to be able to have a quiet drink or coffee without doing anything else.

      By the way, I have been watching the series on George Washington which has been on our TV, brand new. It was a really good docudrama and the various options well balanced. The reconstruction scenes, the drama, very well done. Wow, he was one disciplinarian. He had to be off course as the guys he was put in command of were militias not professional soldiers, mainly taken from local farms and who in normal times probably only served for a limited period of time before being released in the Autumn or Winter at harvest time. This was obviously a war which wasn’t going to stop for seasonal relief and it was against a larger and more heavily armed British army, which in the eighteenth century was professionally trained and full time. Washington was an audacious young man as well, fighting at that time on the crown side, which was useful no doubt later on as he would of course know British methods. He seems to have been in trouble rather a lot for failing or attacking without orders, but then he was suddenly a hero after a commanding officer was killed and he led some troops to safety. However, he wasn’t exactly treated well by the British and a series of complaints and insults as well as the way the crown was starting to behave in America turned him into a patriotic American. He wasn’t a man who took any nonsense and he stamped his authority on his army. They had it bad at Valley Forge but in some ways it shaped the army into a hard unit. The George Washington who crossed the Delaware was definitely a man to be reckoned with. He also evolved into a man who could listen and change his mind, on using Black freed slave armies as well, which swelled his ranks and integrated them. He didn’t want to do that at first. He wasn’t afraid of harsh discipline when it came to mutiny either. That’s the only way to keep strong discipline under harsh conditions when men are not being paid and are fed up and hungry. It must have been really tough.

      His wife, Martha was a tough cookie as well and of course, he gained land and wealth and 84 slaves by marrying her. Its a shame that she destroyed their letters and the ones we have are only a small sample. Forging a new nation as President was no easy task either and he faced protests and practically a revolt over whisky taxation. But they had no money so they had to tax something. When you think that the states or colonies were not just British, they also had Dutch and French and many other European nations coming together as one nation, with the states still maintaining some form of independent law making process, the federal or central laws and uniting all of these different nations, must have been a nightmare. I think what was achieved by the USA in its infancy was remarkable. The documentary explained how fragile it all was and how it almost fell apart. However, the first version of the USA was formed, and, even with the addition of the South, it all fell apart during the 1860s, to be reformed through Civil War, those early years of the Union endured through the will and hard work of your citizens. The final act of George Washington as a man in retirement, which he didn’t have long to enjoy, was to will the freedom of his slaves and the rest after his wife died. The African American people who served in the American Revolutionary Army were also promised freedom. It shows the enlightenment of a leader who could evolve in his judgements and opinions, and who, was I think a worthy leader, despite his all too human faults. I really thought the three part series was very well done, with excellent scholarship and very balanced experts, who even understood why he kept slaves and acknowledged his decency even here. He was a man of vision, rash youth, grace, determination, harsh discipline, gentleness, love for his wife and family, concerns for those who served with him, strong but evolved leadership and great humanity. I understand that he and Martha inherited slaves and added more, but he never sold them, not even when he was struggling financial hardship. They also apparently were considered to be among the few who treated the plantation slaves with humanity and one was his right hand man during the war. He wrote in praise of the Black men and women who served the cause in military or support services. I would love to watch the drama series which was on a number of years ago to compare it with this documentary. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        What Washington was given as an army was a mess. Militias were designed for quick defense in an emergency but nobtraining as a cohesive unit. Washington had to deal with basic things that he should not have had to such as how to lay out a camp, personal hygiene, where to dig latrines so they’re not close to the food, even teaching officers how to fill out reports. It didn’t help throughout the war that the men weren’t paid as they should have been. The rebels had the Continental Congress but it was not a government body so had no authority to tax. Washington faced 2 mutinies during the war brought on primarily by lack of pay. He dealt with both quite fairly though today it would be considered brutal. In the first 5 of the ring leaders we’re sentenced to hang. The ropes were put around the men’s necks and at the last minute one of Washington’s aides arrived with a reprieve from General. 4 were pardoned, 1 was executed.
        In the second mutiny which was much worse as it involved desertion of a large part of the army. This time the leaders (I forget how many) were sentenced to death by firing squad. Another part of this punishment was that the firing squad was to be made up of their friends. The first squad purposely fired above the heads of the condemned. A second squad was brought in and ordered to do their duty or they would face the same punishment. They obeyed their orders. There was never another rebellion in Washington’s army again. The reason for such draconian action was what was at stake.
        Have you heard about Major General von Steubun yet? A Prussian officer with a bot of a hazy past who came in voluntarily and offered to train Washington’s troops. He did an amazing job. He boiled down complicated military discipline and drill and tactics into something that these citizen soldiers could digest and understand. They were a much more effective force after his training and they could now hold their own against the British army.

        1. Michael Wright says:

          Hi BQ. The quarantine doesn’t really bother me either. As I stated in an earlier post most of the state is beginning to open up but not this county. I live alone and can easily entertain myself. I buy groceries when I need to or take out the trash or go for short walks. My younger brother is my only living family member and he’s 235 miles south. I feel sorry for those who are social butterflies and have to be around people all of the time.

  49. Michael Wright says:

    A precedent set by George Washington was though many assumed he would be president for life he surprised everyone and stepped aside after two terms. That’s the way it has been ever since with the exception of Franklin Roosevelt who was elected to a third term but died a few months later.
    One of those weird synchronicities in history that I don’t think is coincidence is that Adolf Hitler and Franklin Roosevelt came to power in the same year 1933 and both died in the same month and year April 1945. Roosevelt was reelected in November 1944 to his third term. I truly believe that happened so he could finish what he’d started.

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