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How many children did Henry VIII father?
March 26, 2011
10:12 am
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Anyanka
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Plus Fitzroy was “proof” that H8 could father sons and the “fault” wasn't with him.

It's always bunnies.

March 26, 2011
9:35 pm
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MegC
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I think Philippa Jones indicates in The Other Tudors  that it is difficult to determine which of Mary Boleyn's children were born first as accurate records were not kept.  For reasons that escape me at the moment, the first child born could be Henry's, but the second child was less likely (once I locate that book in one of my many boxes of books, I will check that).  

She also suggests that, after Bessie Blount, Henry was very careful to make sure he had affairs only with women who were all ready married.  He did this, intentionally, so that any illegitimate children could be attributed to the woman's husband.  It seems that if you look at the women he was known to have affairs with, the ones who were unmarried just prior to the affair or immediately after the affair began, were quickly married off.  Even Bessie Blount's pregnancy seems to have been a “mistake”.  This would sort of make sense as Henry knew the threat that illegitimate children could be to the throne and any legitimate sons he may have had in the future…so Henry, it seems, was still optimistic that he would, eventually, have a legitimate prince.  He claimed Henry Fitzroy because he kind of didn't have any other choice…everyone knew that he'd been taking up with Bessie, that she wasn't married, and that the child was his.  It just so happened that said child was a male.

And it benefitted Henry to do so…

"We mustn't let our passions destroy our dreams…"

March 27, 2011
7:25 am
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Boleynfan
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I think I've read the same thing, MegC. Like you, though, “where” is the question…

Henry Fitzroy, like Anyanka said, was Henry's proof that he could sire sons. I think he wanted to prove that as much to himself as he wanted to prove it to the world.

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

July 11, 2014
11:02 am
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Anastasia
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This is actually hard to know. I haven’t read the answers above so I might say things already mentioned but:

Catherine of Aragon – Mary and like five stillborn babies

Anne Boleyn – Elizabeth and two/three stillborn babies

Jane Seymour – Edward

Elizabeth Blount – Henry Fitzroy

Mary Boleyn – two children?

In all Henry must have fathered 12 children, however, I just read that Henry VIII had an illegitimate daughter named Etheldreda Malte by a mistress of his called Joan Dyngly and I have never heard of her before. Is there any evidence supporting that?

July 11, 2014
1:54 pm
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Boleyn
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Anastasia. I believe of Mary Boleyn’s children it was only Catherine who was assumed to be King Henry’s. Henry Carey was born in 1526, by which time the king had moved on, to her sister. The strange thing is that it’s been said that Henry Carey who found much favour in Elizabeth’s household, had a passing resemblance to the King when he was older.
It’s possible that the King fathered him but I don’t think so.
Catherine of Aragon also had a number of miscarriages, although strickly they can’t be counted as they never went to term, but in all I think there were protentionally 16 children.
You are quite right about 2 or 3 with Anne, but it depends on where you read it Some scholars say Elizabeth and 2 miscarriages, other say Elzabeth and 1 miscarriage. I’ve read somewhere, that Anne got pregnant as soon as she was churched, (genrally I believe that was around 6 weeks after childbirth) and that she carried the child a son, to term, only for it to die at a few hours old. I’m still in 2 minds over this.
John Malte Henry’s tailor claimed he was Etheldreda’s father and Henry gave him land and properties as a reward, or perhaps as a bribe to make sure the truth never got out, about who her father actually was. She accompanied Elizabeth to the tower when she was imprisoned there, and was also at Elizabeth’s coronation, dying later that same month. She married John Harriton who was in Thomas Seymour’s household, and had a daughter in 1550 called either Hester or Esther. Her husband remarried 2 months after her death to Isabella Markham who I believe was one of Elizabeth’s ladies in waiting.
If Etheldreda was Henry’s child it kind of backs up the theory that Henry had moved on, from his “relationship” with Mary Boleyn. Henry was the sort of man to be faithful to either his mistress or his wife. As soon as the mistress got pregnant she was really of no further use, and it was time to move on to pastures new. The only mistress as far as we know he stayed loyal to 100% was Anne, but once they were married things were very different. As it happens, thinking about this did Henry actually have any mistresses at all when he was courting Anne? I find it a little difficult to believe that he could hold out for 7 years before he got his way with Anne.
Etheldreda’s mother was believed to be a laundry maid in the royal household, but little is known about her save her name. Joan Dyngly or Dobson as it sometimes believed.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

July 12, 2014
2:34 am
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Anyanka
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Anastasia said

This is actually hard to know. I haven’t read the answers above so I might say things already mentioned but:

Catherine of Aragon – Mary and like five stillborn babies

Anne Boleyn – Elizabeth and two/three stillborn babies

Jane Seymour – Edward

Elizabeth Blount – Henry Fitzroy

Mary Boleyn – two children?

In all Henry must have fathered 12 children, however, I just read that Henry VIII had an illegitimate daughter named Etheldreda Malte by a mistress of his called Joan Dyngly and I have never heard of her before. Is there any evidence supporting that?

Henry’s son by KoA Henry Duke of Cornwall lived for around 7 weeks( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…..f_Cornwall..s). Several other pregnancies resulting in living children who died shortly after birth, so saying ther were 5 still-births is pushing the defination somewhat..

It's always bunnies.

August 4, 2014
3:53 pm
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Sharon
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I don’t count Mary Boleyn’s children as being Henry’s. For me the affair with Mary was short and sweet and much earlier than the birth of her children. That’s just my personal opinion though.
Richmond, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward. Those are the children Henry acknowledged, and the only ones who lived. (at least into their teens) The rest is all speculation. The only other child that may have been Henry’s is Etheldreda. Again, that is speculation because Henry did not acknowledge her either. According to Philippa Jones, Etheldreda was born in 1535. Is this the book you are reading Anastasia? It should be taken with a grain of salt. Henry wasn’t really the type of man to bed anything in a skirt. That dubious honor falls to King Francis of France. It is possible I suppose, but I doubt all the children she claims are his in her book were actually Henry’s children.

August 4, 2014
9:14 pm
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Boleyn
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I agree Sharon. I’ll give Henry a little tiny bit of merit (With much reluctance I hasten to add) that he did at least manage to keep those few mistresses he did have very discreet. It was really only Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn that we know as his known mistresses during his entire reign. If there were others they were quickly disgarded and forgotten. To be honest I think Henry was a born flirt he liked the thrill of the chase, but quickly tired of it when his quarry gave in to his charms, so to speak… Anne was different in that respect she continuely kept him at arms length, and never gave him an inch, which was perhaps part of the reason why he persued her so ardently. I think if the situation with K.O.A hadn’t of been so dire I.e at least 1 healthy son in the nursery, he would have perhaps given up chasing her, when she has rebuffed him a few times.
Elizabeth inherited both of these traits from her parents, like Henry she was a born flirt, but like Anne she also knew exactly how to keep a man dangling on a hook, without him getting bored and wondering off elsewhere.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 4, 2014
11:15 pm
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Anyanka
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I’ve never really given credence to ethier of mary’s children being Henry’s not William’s.

I know a lof of people point out the resemblance of Lettice Knollys to Elizabeth.
However looking at our 3 children , our oldest daughter looks more like her paternal cousins while the younger 2 look more like my sister’s sons. There s a similarity in the the facial features of all 3 but that’s all. Their colouring and and most recognisable features aren’t the same though.

However the 2 eldest, both girls are now growing up are starting to get similar heights and body shaes are starting to look more alike from a distance..Especialy now they have coloured thier hair over the summer holidays..

It's always bunnies.

August 4, 2014
11:52 pm
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Anyanka
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New thought..

If Henry had impregnated another Boleyn * who bore a son by him, that would make the “fact” that Anne needed another bloke do the deed a further point against her during her trial. That Henry was able to father a Boleyn son would show the fault was Anne’s..

* I mean by Mry and not Elizabeth/George/Thomas/Dobbin the WonderHorse.

It's always bunnies.

August 5, 2014
10:10 am
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Boleyn
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LOL Anyanka, and actually you do make a very valid point. The pressure on Anne to produce a son, must have been unbearable at times. I do think that when they were first married and she was pregnant, their marriage was one of all hearts and flowers, and the old Carl Porter moments.
If you think about it his whole case for his divorce/annulment from K.O.A, was hinged on a Leviticus text. If Anne produced a son first time around, he would have rubber stamped his arguement that he was right or should I say that is arguement was right and his actions fully justified in putting K.O.A aside. As it was the people had already pointed and laughed at him a hundred times or more with his Leviticus twaddle, in the first place. Anne producing Elizabeth, just made him and the whole arguement a bigger joke. All his divorce/annulment and ripping apart the whole fabric and foundations that England was for Anne, had simply put him right back where he had started from. A wife (younger model) and a useless girl, and no sons save bastards.
Dobbin the Wonderhorse LOL Perhaps Anne was after a stable relationship. Well it worked for Catherine the Great of Russia alledgely…

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 18, 2014
2:55 pm
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Hannele
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Boleyn said
You are quite right about 2 or 3 with Anne, but it depends on where you read it Some scholars say Elizabeth and 2 miscarriages, other say Elzabeth and 1 miscarriage. I’ve read somewhere, that Anne got pregnant as soon as she was churched, (genrally I believe that was around 6 weeks after childbirth) and that she carried the child a son, to term, only for it to die at a few hours old. I’m still in 2 minds over this.

I find this impossible, as nobody seems to know what happened to the second pregnancy – if it was a miscarriage or a phantom pregnancy. If there had really been a delivery, it would have to the Queen a public happening – her ladies present and all the court knowing it.

Henry was the sort of man to be faithful to either his mistress or his wife. As soon as the mistress got pregnant she was really of no further use, and it was time to move on to pastures new. The only mistress as far as we know he stayed loyal to 100% was Anne, but once they were married things were very different. As it happens, thinking about this did Henry actually have any mistresses at all when he was courting Anne? I find it a little difficult to believe that he could hold out for 7 years before he got his way with Anne.

Ives seems to believe because Henry wanted a legitimate sons by Anne, more bastards also by others could only be hindrance.

Maybe Henry wasn’t a very sexual man and sex was to him chiefly for procreation? Or he was so in love that he could not think about anybody but Anne and did not want demand from her anything he was not prepared to do himself for her. In any case, they did not know how long they had to wait for and especially in the beginning they believed that waiting would be short.

Of course, that lefts a mystery: if Henry could be chaste 7 years for Anne, why could he not wait for some months when she was pregnant? Because he had had her and he was tiered of her and/or he was disappointed that she was not so good in bed? Because once he was married and Anne pregnant with the son he hoped for, it didn’t matter if there was more bastards. Or were those “mistresses” only flirts?

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