Henry VIII had a secret daughter who should have taken English throne before Elizabeth I, historian claims | Henry VIII | Forum
August 17, 2009
What do you think?It is interesting to consider the historical implications of such an event. However, Elizabeth (Anne's daughter) was Henry's legitimate child (at least considered so after Henry's death), while Bessie's daughter was illegitimate full stop. Henry was never married to Bessie so I do not see how she would have had precedence, even if she was older.
What do you think?
February 24, 2010
Henry didn’t want any woman on the throne of England. Females were not good enough for him. He named Elizabeth and Mary as his heirs towards the end of his life. They were his daughters by two of his wives; and as much as he wanted to deny them, in the end he didn't. Give the man a gold star. IMO, Henry would never have claimed Bessie’s daughter as his. He was unhappy in his marriage to Katherine because she had given him only one child and that child was a female. I can’t see him claiming a mistress’ daughter. I’m with you…Bessie’s daughter is illegitimate…full stop!
December 8, 2011
May 16, 2011
I've only ever heard talk about Henry fitzroy, when did Bessie's daughter come in the picture? They weren't in an affair that long, were they?
Are they confused with Mary Boleyn's children? Cause i've only ever heard about the speculation of her two children, not Bessie's.
• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.
November 18, 2010
Ugg! It's the Mail errors are to be expected…
Henry never acknowledged her….so she had no claim on the throne. Henry didn't need to recognise any illegitimate children, though Henry Fitzroy was seen as proof that Henry could father a son.
The claim of Henry Fitzroy, on the other hand, is a more intereasting case. IIRC, there were talks about legitimating him but nothing came of it.
In the same way if Mary's children were Henry's , they had no claim as they weren't recognised as Henry's.
It's always bunnies.
May 16, 2011
August 17, 2009
Well, I think that Henry did not acknowledge Mary's son because it could be interpreted as a tacit acknowledgement of the daughter as well. As Sharon had pointed out, Henry didn't want a woman on the throne of England. Acknowledging Henry Fitzroy was enough to lay the blame for lack of legitimate sons on CoA.
Another reason could have been that Henry simply did not know. Mary was married in 1520 and the children were born c1524 and 1526 respectively. They may well have been her husband's.
August 12, 2009
Mya Elise said:
If Mary Boleyn's son was the King's, though, why didn't he just make him legitimate like Fitzroy? More proof he's capable of making a son, right?
I can think of several reasons, chief of which would be that he wasn’t his son. Also, proving he could sire a son (FitzRoy) was a way of throwing all the blame on KOA for their son-less marriage and salving his wounded pride, before he got the idea to dump her and try again for a legitimate son. By the time he’d given up on Anne giving him a son, he had his sights set on Jane. And Jane gave him one, so then he wouldn’t/couldn’t recognize a son who might challenge Edward for the throne. So even if Mary’s son was his, the timing was never right for Henry to recognize him.
"Don't knock at death's door.
Ring the bell and run. He hates that."
February 10, 2010
I think the interesting thing about Henry's will is that by acknowledging Mary and Elizabeth's place in the succession he was acknowledging that he had been through a marriage ceremony with their mothers even if he had decided to have them annulled afterwards. At the time of his death he thought Edward would go on and have sons so he was really giving Mary and Elizabeth value in the marriage market which would help Edward make alliances.
No other child, however much he protected their interests, had any pretence towards legitimacy. He did consider legitimising Fitzroy but he wouldn't have done it for a girl. It's interesting to discover Henry may have had another child (emphasis on the word 'may' – protecting her interests may have been done in memory of her half brother who died in 1536) it would be interesting if she had descendants but it has no impact on English or British history whatsoever.
It reminds me of another history-changing discovery a few years ago – there was a TV programme that Tony Robinson presented which argued that Edward IV was illegitimate and therefore the true kings of England were the Hastings family who were descended from his brother George, Duke of Clarence. The eldest line of descendants emigrated to Australia. It was of passing interest to me because the Hastings family were very important landowners where I live. In fact, if one of them hadn't started a blast furnace and some mines to pay his gambling debts it's arguable I wouldn't be here because I'm descended from the workers who were among the earliest residents of the village he founded to house his workers. But back to the TV show – the thing that had me throwing stuff at the TV was that the entire show completely ignored the fact that Henry VII was king by conquest! He married Elizabeth of York to try and stop the Yorkists from continuing the civil war not to legitimise his claim.
And I shall dismount from my hobby horse now…
August 12, 2009
June 7, 2010
I found this article to be misleading, and I guess its intention was to get people’s attention.
Perhaps if the child (with Bessie Blount) had have been a boy, Henry may have acknowledged him. But, she was just another useless girl. However, like everyone has pointed out, none of Henry’s illegitimate children had any claim to the throne. There was talk of him legitimizing Henry Fitzroy, but nothing ever came of it. His son, Edward was born, and he finally had his heir apparent.
It does seem Fitzroy was used as a mechanism to prove Henry’s ability to father a son, and of course, to throw it into KOA’s face.
From Henry’s stand point, placing Mary and Elizabeth in the line of succession (and them succeeding their brother), must have seemed a stretch. Henry believed that Edward would have children and the Tudor line would continue. It seems some vindication for Mary and Elizabeth (and their mothers) to finally succeed to what seemed impossible.
"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn
June 3, 2013
DuchessofBrittany said …From Henry’s stand point, placing Mary and Elizabeth in the line of succession (and them succeeding their brother), must have seemed a stretch. Henry believed that Edward would have children and the Tudor line would continue. It seems some vindication for Mary and Elizabeth (and their mothers) to finally succeed to what seemed impossible.
i’m not so sure that the recognition of Mary and Elizabeth has anything to do with Henrys views on the validity of his marriages – Henry’s personal family history tells him that you do not base the security of your dynasty on one single child: his father was, at the battle of Bosworth in 1485, the last male member of the house of Lancaster/Tudor and had he been killed the Dynasty would have ceased to exist, his brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales, was the great shining hope of the Tudor dynasty but he died aged 15, and the house of Lancaster proper died out with the death at Tewkesbury of Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales.
all of this is within Henry’s lifetime or his fathers lifetime – the fragility of life would have been something that was as familiar to him, and as much a part of his thinking, as broadband and mobile phones are to us: he might not have cared for Queens Regnant, but he would have believed that a Tudor Queen (however distasteful he found her mother) was far better than a York or Stewart King. Dynasty trumps all.
thred necro, but hey…
August 17, 2014
I have seldom seen anything so stupid than this article and it is difficult to believe that any historian could have such a views.
The whole society was based on the principles that only children born of the wedlock had a right to inherit and the sons got more than daughters and the eldest son more than the younger ones.
An illegitimate child born to a mother not wed with the child’s father could be donated something by his or her father but it was fully up to the father if he choose to do it or not, or if indeed he acknowledged him or her.
This may sound wrong or harsh to us, but in any case it (mostly) prevented the people from using violence to decide who had right to inherit. The War of Roses showed that the principle was once broken, it could be broken again and violence continued till finally the house of York struggles with themselves.
Henry VII’s ascendancy to the throne did not stop the struggle, as there were pretenders claiming to be one of the princes in Tower as well as many more who thought they had a better claim to the throne than him. Therefore Henry and his son put many of them to death.
Therefore, it would have been extremely risky to Henry VIII to try to put even his illegitimate son to the throne. Before, only bastard on the English throne has been William he Conquerer who won the throne by conquest. In any case, such a son should have been raised to became a king and generally accepted as a such long before Henry died.
Henry’s illegitimate daughter by his mistress (if she indeed was his) would have been a quite hopeless case to make a Queen. And as Henry had not even acknowledged her, the case was closed: she had no rights whatsoever.
March 26, 2015
What do you think?It is interesting to consider the historical implications of such an event. However, Elizabeth (Anne’s daughter) was Henry’s legitimate child (at least considered so after Henry’s death), while Bessie’s daughter was illegitimate full stop. Henry was never married to Bessie so I do not see how she would have had precedence, even if she was older.
The article implies that Mary and Elizabeth were in the line of succession because they were acknowledged as Henry’s daughters, but I think he specifically named them. This implies he chose not to name anyone else. Although one can imagine the shock value of Henry on his death bed suddenly saying “Oh, by the way I’ve got another bastard daughter too, let’s slip her in the line of succession while we’re at it.” I suspect that the provenance of Bessie Blount’s daughter is more murky than the article makes out, it’s a long way from showing that she cannot be Bessie’s husband’s child (and I’m not convinced of that) to saying the king must be the father. Bessie Blount had one affair, why not another? Such evidence as I have seen is that Henry lost interest in Bessie as a woman once she had borne a child, although he continued to be concerned about the welfare of his son and his son’s family.
January 3, 2012
Henry fathered a few illigetimate children Alexandria, but he only ever acknowledged 1 and that was Henry Fitzroy, by Bessie, the reason he excepted this child, was quite simple, Henry Fitzroy was proof that he was capable of fathering sons, therefore proving that the lack of Children from his marriage to K.O.A, had something wrong with it, that was his belief anyway. His doubts about his marriage to K.O.A began in 1512/13 alledgely although I do find it strange that he failed to act upon them at that time?
I do feel that perhaps at that time his mind was wanting the crown of France and that he needed Ferdinand (K.O.A’s dad) to do it. After the French Farce all came to a sorry end, he was simply to busy trying to save face. To divorce K.O.A because her father had betrayed him would have been seen possibly as very churlish.
If bessie had had a child after Fitzroy, her husband would have said that it was his even if they both knew it wasn’t. All it needed was her husband to say “Yep that mine and isn’t she like me” and that would be the end of the matter. If anyone tried to put this child on the throne after Mary, it would suggest that the child was born after Mary, it would seem to imply that Bessie and Henry’s relationship continued long after Henry Fitzroy was born..
I don’t believe that to be true, once Henry had satisfied his lust he generally made a point of seeing that his now ex mistress was sent packing, in Bessie’s case I believe she was married off once it was confirmed that she was pregnant. If she had had a girl or K.O.A gave him the son he wanted, he would have never acknowledged the child.
You notice that he never admitted paternity of Mary B’s daughter Catherine (she is believed to have been Henry’s.)
Acknowledging Fitzroy had nothing to do with his feelings about Bessie, because he hadn’t got any it was all down to proving a point. He did that, but that point was only reinforced when Edward was born.
It was no one’s fault that the sons, (there was more than one) were either stillborn, miscarried or shortlived (52 days) by Katherine, nor was it Anne’s fault that she miscarried a male child in Jan 1536. (this may have been a second miscarriage as there are some schools of thought that Anne had 2 miscarriages before her downfall in 1536).
You can understand K.O.A’s obvious annoyance as Henry’s acknowledgment of Fitzroy was insulting to say the least.
I think this story is a case of Clutching at straws personally, Henry may or may not have fathered another child with Bessie but he would have never acknowledged it, not for all the tea in china.
Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod
February 24, 2010
There seems to be a discrepancy in the year in which Bessie married Tailboys. Some say it was 1520, others say it was 1522. Bessie’s daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1520. That is where the speculation comes in that this girl may have been Henry’s. It doesn’t matter much. The only illegitimate child Henry would ever claim was Fitzroy. We will never know what would have happened there. Fitzroy died in 1536. Even if he had not died, Edward’s birth would have squashed any plans that there may have been for Fitzroy. (if there were any)
What the story implies is that this illegitimate girl had just as much right to the throne as Elizabeth. Henry may have claimed Elizabeth as such, but darn it, he was married to Elizabeth’s mother, and he realized it at the end. Like Ann Fan said, by placing Elizabeth and Mary in the succession he was acknowledging a marriage ceremony had taken place with their mothers. Nothing like that happened with Bessie.
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