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Anne's final pregnancy ... or was it?
August 24, 2009
11:03 pm
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Rochie
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Does anyone have any views on a conspiracy theory I have picked up lately on the net …

After Anne’smiscarriage in January 1536, the French King Francois apparently made remarks, not giving away his sources, that Anne’s final pregnancy was in fact a fabrication and all part of a cunning plan to slip in another baby and pretend it was her own (and Henry's). The baby was to be that of her sister, Mary, who was also with child at the time. During this period Anne, it is said, apparently wished no one but her sister to attend upon her. Suspicious? I am not an expert in this period of history (or any period for that matter) so I just wondered what you all thought? Interesting possibility – as AB would have been so desperate at the time to produce that male heir. This might have been her last resort.

August 25, 2009
6:39 pm
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Autumn Star
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this is an interesting theory…though i dont know how factual it is…however we all know her desperation for a son, perhaps its plausable.

*Autumn*Star*
le plus heurex

August 25, 2009
6:39 pm
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Autumn Star
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this is an interesting theory…though i dont know how factual it is…however we all know her desperation for a son, perhaps its plausable.

*Autumn*Star*
le plus heurex

August 25, 2009
9:37 pm
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Melissa
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I looked to Wikipedia to provide the answer, so take it with a grain of salt.  It seems there is no evidence that Mary ever saw Anne in person after her banishment from court in 1534, but Anne did send her a gold cup and some money to ease her financial situation during this time.  I guess if you want to run with the theory and get lurid you could see that money as payment for her child, but it seems unlikely to me.  At the time of Anne's miscarriage in January of 1536 Mary was married to William Stafford.  She bore him a son, Edward, in 1535, and a daughter named Anne.  Wikipedia mentions the daughter first but as there are no dates I assume there is no evidence for the year of birth.  It is conceivable that Mary was pregnant at the time of Anne's pregnancy.  Anne would have conceived around the middle of October 1535, so for Francois' theory to be correct, she either severely miscalculated the timing of Mary's pregnancy with Edward, or Mary became pregnant again almost immediately after his birth.  Either is plausible it's all speculation.

I'm curious, where did you get your information, Rochie?  I couldn't find anything that said Anne wanted Mary exclusively waiting on her (which surprised me since I assumed at least some of The Other Boleyn Girl was true and that Mary was with Anne in her final days) or about Francois's remark.

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

August 27, 2009
10:28 am
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Rochie
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Hi Mellisa,

Regarding Mary attending upon Anne during her pregnancy/miscarriage. I think it was one of the Tudor Show fanclub Wikis where I saw that. I tend to be a bit of a butterfly flitting from site to site, so can't be certain. If I stumble upon it again, I will post my source.

I agree with you that it is all rather unlikely – but it is intriguing nonetheless. I am such a sucker for conspiracy theories. Good material for Philippa Gregory's next offering perhaps, but not to be taken too seriously!

By the way, I remember reading somewhere (oops! no sources again!) that it was thought that Queen Mary, later, did attempt something similar during her supposed pregnancy (around 1555/56, I think). Rumours had it that once it became obvious that she was not really with child at all but was most likely suffering from some terribly illness that made her stomach swell, that they considered smuggling in a baby to Hampton Court and passing it off as the Queen's. Once the word got out that this might happen, they had to abandon the idea of course.

August 27, 2009
9:26 pm
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Melissa
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I heard that about Queen Mary too but I forget where.  Katherine of Aragon lost a child but continued pretending (or thinking) she was pregnant for a while.  Joanna Denny gave that as the point where Henry lost respect for her.  She may have genuinely believed she was still pregnant as she supposedly still looked like she was carrying.  Seems like phantom pregnancies were a Tudor trait. 

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

August 27, 2009
9:34 pm
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Rochie
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Hi again Melissa!

Here is that page that discusses the pregnancy theory:

http://tudorsfanclub.wetpaint……egnancy%3F

Not very convincing. I must have had a mad five minutes when I started this post.

Still, it was good to hear your views!

August 28, 2009
8:24 am
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Claire
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I love conspiracy theories too – think I watched one too many \”X Files\” episodes! The thing with historical conspiracy theories is that they could well be true as we often don't have any evidence to discount them. Don't you just love history!

I can imagine Anne Boleyn being very desperate to have a son and heir (although not desperate enough to commit incest, thank you Ms Gregory!) but I don't see how she could have got away with a passing another baby off as her own.

It's interesting that we even have to take historical evidence/sources with a pinch of salt as letters etc. are so coloured by the writer's viewpoint. Take Chapuys for example, he was forever getting dates and details wrong and having to correct himself in further letters and he was obviously biased against Anne. So, perhaps this rant from Francis about the whole pretend pregnancy thing is just a rumour and rant, nothing more.

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