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Henry and Virginity..
October 30, 2012
6:05 pm
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Boleyn
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Henry had an almost abnormal fixation with virginity.
One of the key issues to do with his divorce from KOA is that he claimed that she wasn’t a virgin when he married her, although at the time it didn’t seem to matter or didn’t appear to matter, being that he was young and wanting to show the people and perhaps Margaret (his grandmother) who acted as regent for a few months that being married etc. was his way of showing her and the people that he was ready and able to take on the duty and burdens of Kingship.

I also feel that being married was also his way of showing off to his sister Margaret, who if anything happened to Henry would inherit the throne, via her husband. I don’t know for sure but I believe that Henry and Margaret didn’t really get on with one another. Margaret perhaps could see Henry for what he was. Shallow and self-centred etc..

Anyway I digress as I said Henry married KOA believing she was a virgin. When Henry decided to divorce KOA, the first thing he said to try and get an annulment of his marriage to her was that she wasn’t a virgin, when he married her.

At the court hearing in Blackfriars he produced evidence which he believed proved this I.e. blood stained sheets, KOA stated that she had pricked her heel and put the blood on the sheets, to spare Arthur’s dignity. But she was still a maid when she married Henry and he knew that. Either way the divorce went through and KOA was shut away and forgotten.

Henry after only 3 years with Anne once again he decided enough was enough and wanted rid of her he accused her of adultery, incest and although he suspected her of witchcraft could find no evidence to support this. Anyway again he used the excuse of Anne not being a Virgin when he married her, well strictly speaking she wasn’t as she was pregnant with Elizabeth when she married Henry.

Putting aside her brother, Norris, Brereton, Weston and Smeaton, who were accused of sexual misconduct with the Queen the one arrest that sticks out in my mind is Wyatt. Yes she was friendly with him when they were at Hever. I believe his parents lived not far from Hever so Wyatt spent time over there, and of course Anne had a great love of poetry and Wyatt was a good poet. In my opinion Henry ordered Wyatt’s arrest to try and prove that Anne wasn’t a virgin when she married Henry, and of course there is also the business of Mary Talbot (Henry Percy’s wife) who made an appeal to the King about wanting to divorce Percy on the grounds that he was pre-contracted to Anne and therefore their marriage wasn’t valid.
It was generally believed that whenever a pre-contract had been agreed sex was permissible between the 2 people as they were for all intense and purposes married but without all the frills and frippery and the I do’s and I declare them bit from the man in a dress waving his hands about.

Wyatt’s arrest I believe was just a general shot in the dark from Henry to try and prove his point of Anne being a whore, and to blacken her name, and perhaps to justify to himself that he was right to chop her up.

Jane well I don’t think there was any doubt she was a Virgin.

Anne of Cleves, Henry said that one of the things that made him doubt that Anne was a maid was because of the looseness of her breasts and that other parts of her felt out of sorts. He also used her pre-contract with the Duke of Lorraine as an excuse to dump her. I can only conclude that he felt that Anne had perhaps had sex with the Duke and therefore that’s why she had loose breasts etc.

Katherine Howard, well there is no doubt she wasn’t a virgin when she married Henry. She definitely had sex with Derham. Mannox however is an open question On what evidence we have and what little I’ve read about Jo Bulmer I don’t believe Mannox did have sex in the conventual sense of the word with K.H I believe it was mainly perhaps oral or possibly anal sex. Culpepper always said he intended carnal actions towards her, and I believe she may have felt likewise, but knew that they would both have to wait until Henry was dead, before that could happen.
However Henry truly believed she was a virgin, and knew nothing about sex other than the fact it was a word. Well they do say there is no fool like an old fool and Henry certainly was. Did Norfolk know the truth about K.H and her dissolute living? Or did he hope that he could perhaps keep her secret hidden.

Let’s face it the Duchess was very lax when it came to looking after the household or should I say making sure that the girls were brought up as they should have been. After all the parents of these girls sent their girls to be educated in the courtly graces so that they would be able to find them suitable husbands of higher standing then just a common garden Sir or Knight.

In some ways the Duchess betrayed not just the girls, but the girl’s parents too, as they trusted her to bring up their children as fitting or what would be fitting for court life. I agree the Duchess did provide tutors for the girls but for the most part the girls were left to their own devices and to make amusement where they could. The stealing of the dormitory key should have told the Duchess something was very wrong, and finding K.H and Derham together should have told her to sort the mess out within the household.

The fact that the Duchess gave Derham a letter of recommendation to enter K.H’s court household tells me at least that she knew that K.H wasn’t as lily white as was believed by Henry.

I therefore find myself quite sympathic towards Henry when he found out the truth about Katherine. But there again surely he must have had some sort of idea that K.H wasn’t as pure and innocent as he believed. I believe that K.H was perhaps well versed for want of a better word in sexual matters.
Generally speaking although women were told about the birds and the bees (although it baffles me on how a bird can breed with a bee given the size difference) woman just lay on the bed and let their husbands do what they will with them. So surely during their sexual encounters Henry must have realised she knew more about sex than he believed.

Katherine Parr well he knew the score there, 2 husbands there could be no way she was a virgin, could there?

Why was Henry so obsessed with virgins? Was it an ego thing with him?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

October 31, 2012
12:34 am
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Anyanka
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In those days, women were virgins, wives or wh0res…

Virgins were umarried women regarless of age so even a 90 yo nun was a virgin unless she had entered a convent following widowhood. wives were marrried women and wh0res were…..the rest.

Women of noble rank were expected to be virgo intacta on thier wedding night Some laxity was common for the lower ranks since a formal bethrowal followed by consumatiion was accepted by the church as being equal to a legally binding chuch blessed service for the higher classes.

It's always bunnies.

October 31, 2012
8:35 pm
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Boleyn
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Yes Anyanka I agree. However Henry took KOA at her word for being a Virgin when he married her in 1509, only for him to turn around in 1527 and say “Do you know what KOA wasn’t a virgin when we married” He more or less did the same thing when he wanted rid of Anne, and stated she wasn’t a Virgin, and AOC he assumed wasn’t due to her body being like a burst bag of broad beans. One has to ask did he actually know the difference or did he just use the question of Virginity as an excuse? if it was an excuse it was one that he used 3 times. Once you can sort of accept. Twice is pushing your luck a little, but three times is extracting the urine..
Which is why I find his behaviour towards K.H difficult to come to terms with when his illusion of her being a snow white Virgin was shattered.
Did he actually know the difference between a maid and woman. If you know what I mean.. or didn’t he care? Surely given the amount of mistresses he had had, he would know the difference when it came to doing the mattress mumbo?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

October 31, 2012
9:39 pm
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Louise
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Where Henry’s concerned I don’t think what he believed and what he didn’t believe is the point. I think the point is what he chose to believe and what he chose not to believe, and that depended on a whim and what was in his best interests at the time. He believed what he wanted to believe. When he married I don’t think he cared whether his wives were virgins or not as long as they pleased him. When they didn’t please him he was prepared to use lack of virginity and alleged pre-contract, against them. I don’t think he was obsessed with virginity and I don’t think his later objections had anything to do with morality. His objections were an excuse and a means to an end when he wanted to end his various marriages. Put simply he was nothing more than an immoral sanctimonious hypocrite.

November 1, 2012
12:27 am
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Anyanka
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Louise said

Put simply he was nothing more than an immoral sanctimonious hypocrite.

too many men are still like that today…Just look at the Purity Culture and Purity Balls phenomena in the USA, where girls as young as 8 are encouraged to place thier virginity and sexuality into the possession of thier fathers who will hand it over to a suitable man when the daughter is old enough…

It's always bunnies.

November 1, 2012
1:22 am
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Anyanka
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Boleyn said

Which is why I find his behaviour towards K.H difficult to come to terms with when his illusion of her being a snow white Virgin was shattered.

I’ve seen several male acquatiences re-act in similar ways on discovering thier lady had fudged the truth about thier pre-relationship lives. Finding out the truth about thier other half and the dis-illusionment that followed was of a similar order. Of course, those men weren’t a medeaval king who could order his wife and her lovers to be executed..

Some men need to believe they were the first, the best, the only…and some women feel that way too.

At the time Henry married KH, he was old by the standards of his time and to have a young, attractive lady dancing in attendance on his flattered both Henry as a king and as a man. He would have expected that a Howard lady would have been brought up as a chaste(not chased) almost cloistered lady with all the attributes that a virgin of a noble house would be expected to have.

The fact KH wasn’t all Henry believed he deserved was as much Henry’s fault as it was KH’s. In retro-spect her follies were youthful indescrections which would have been glossed over by the Howards to some-ne who wanted an advantegous marriage into the Howard clan.

Henry was sooo shocked that his wife wasn’t satisifed by him but worse had played around before his regal attention had landed on her..

It stuck his essential maleness at the most primeval point. Poor KH was doomed as soon as Henry looked at her. Henry would have accepted second-hand goods as a mistress since most royal mistressses were marrried..but this was HIS wife..And Ceasar’s wife should be pure beyond belief..

It's always bunnies.

November 3, 2012
2:35 pm
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Barnettbuff
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Anyanka said

Louise said

Put simply he was nothing more than an immoral sanctimonious hypocrite.

too many men are still like that today…Just look at the Purity Culture and Purity Balls phenomena in the USA, where girls as young as 8 are encouraged to place thier virginity and sexuality into the possession of thier fathers who will hand it over to a suitable man when the daughter is old enough…

I just had to Google “purity balls”, Being a 70 yo American, I’ve never heard this phrase. I found an article in NY Times about the creator, a Randy Wilson, field director for the Family Research Council, a conservative christian organization; (Enough said!) who organized the first ball in 1998 in Colorado Springs, Co.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07……html?_r=0
Even though I’m the father of a wonderful daughter myself; the whole idea of a “father-daughter ball/dance” seems rather “creepy” to me. The idea that “I” was totally responsible for my daughter’s body, once she reached her late teens, seems to be a hidden misogynistic attitude. Perhaps not a true hidden hatred for females, but a feeling of superiority over the opposite sex; a type of “ownership”.
Dr. Christine J. Gardner, a professor at Wheaton College, said in an interview, “They are not a hoax, but I wouldn’t call them a trend. Purity balls seem quirky and even creepy to the feminist outsider, but maybe it’s time to find a new scapegoat for our fears over sexual and religious conservatism.”
And I would agree with Dr. Gardner. This whole idea is just another example of the racist/sexist attitude which is becoming more and more obvious in this country all the time. The campaign advertising in our present election cycle is proving that every day.

November 3, 2012
7:23 pm
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Sharon
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Barnettbuff said

Anyanka said

Louise said

Put simply he was nothing more than an immoral sanctimonious hypocrite.

too many men are still like that today…Just look at the Purity Culture and Purity Balls phenomena in the USA, where girls as young as 8 are encouraged to place thier virginity and sexuality into the possession of thier fathers who will hand it over to a suitable man when the daughter is old enough…

I just had to Google “purity balls”, Being a 70 yo American, I’ve never heard this phrase. I found an article in NY Times about the creator, a Randy Wilson, field director for the Family Research Council, a conservative christian organization; (Enough said!) who organized the first ball in 1998 in Colorado Springs, Co.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07……html?_r=0
Even though I’m the father of a wonderful daughter myself; the whole idea of a “father-daughter ball/dance” seems rather “creepy” to me. The idea that “I” was totally responsible for my daughter’s body, once she reached her late teens, seems to be a hidden misogynistic attitude. Perhaps not a true hidden hatred for females, but a feeling of superiority over the opposite sex; a type of “ownership”.
Dr. Christine J. Gardner, a professor at Wheaton College, said in an interview, “They are not a hoax, but I wouldn’t call them a trend. Purity balls seem quirky and even creepy to the feminist outsider, but maybe it’s time to find a new scapegoat for our fears over sexual and religious conservatism.”
And I would agree with Dr. Gardner. This whole idea is just another example of the racist/sexist attitude which is becoming more and more obvious in this country all the time. The campaign advertising in our present election cycle is proving that every day.

Good grief! I had never heard of this. I have heard of Randy Wilson, however. Enough said is right. I agree with you, this election cycle has brought out some of the craziest, the most racist, sexists people I have ever seen. They come straight out of the Middle Ages.

November 3, 2012
7:35 pm
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Sharon
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Boleyn said

Yes Anyanka I agree. However Henry took KOA at her word for being a Virgin when he married her in 1509, only for him to turn around in 1527 and say “Do you know what KOA wasn’t a virgin when we married” He more or less did the same thing when he wanted rid of Anne, and stated she wasn’t a Virgin, and AOC he assumed wasn’t due to her body being like a burst bag of broad beans. One has to ask did he actually know the difference or did he just use the question of Virginity as an excuse? if it was an excuse it was one that he used 3 times. Once you can sort of accept. Twice is pushing your luck a little, but three times is extracting the urine..
Which is why I find his behaviour towards K.H difficult to come to terms with when his illusion of her being a snow white Virgin was shattered.
Did he actually know the difference between a maid and woman. If you know what I mean.. or didn’t he care? Surely given the amount of mistresses he had had, he would know the difference when it came to doing the mattress mumbo?

I always make a joke about Henry not knowing if women were virgins or not, but the man used virginity to suit his purpose. It was important only when he needed it to be. He wanted Katherine Howard and that was all that mattered. Just like he wanted all of his wives at first. Saying they were not virgins, worked as a way to undermine them and get rid of them once he determined he didn’t want them anymore. He was an immoral, sanctimonious hypocrite! Oh, that felt good. I like that Louise!

November 4, 2012
3:31 am
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Anyanka
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Sharon said

Good grief! I had never heard of this. I have heard of Randy Wilson, however. Enough said is right. I agree with you, this election cycle has brought out some of the craziest, the most racist, sexists people I have ever seen. They come straight out of the Middle Ages.

You should see it from your northern boarder…

The number of (republicans) voters who cry they are coming to Canada if Obama wins so they can escape fromn socialist healthcare, gun restrictions and guilt free, govt funded abortions….

It's always bunnies.

November 4, 2012
6:48 pm
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Sharon
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Anyanka said

Sharon said

Good grief! I had never heard of this. I have heard of Randy Wilson, however. Enough said is right. I agree with you, this election cycle has brought out some of the craziest, the most racist, sexists people I have ever seen. They come straight out of the Middle Ages.

You should see it from your northern boarder…

The number of (republicans) voters who cry they are coming to Canada if Obama wins so they can escape fromn socialist healthcare, gun restrictions and guilt free, govt funded abortions….

Wink That definitely sounds like republican thinking! Won’t they be surprised once they get there?

November 4, 2012
8:46 pm
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Boleyn
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Louise said:
Put simply he was nothing more than an immoral sanctimonious hypocrite.
LOL very apt decription. Henry was a total Gobshite..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

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