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If Henry claimed Anne had bewitched him why...?
March 7, 2011
1:23 pm
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Chrystinamarie123
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wasn't his marriage to Katherine of Aragon declared valid again? I know Henry believed she'd consummated with Arthur and all of that but if he truly believed he'd been bewitched by Anne wouldn't his belief that Katherine had been unfaithful been an effect from the “bewitching”? Wouldn't he have turned around to believe that he'd shamed an innocent woman due to the effects of witchcraft? Or do you think he was so prideful that he would have never admited such a thing?

I mean if he had he would have simply just looked like a widower King and tensions between Spain, Rome and England might have cooled. I've never done to much research on the relationships between the countries so I could be wrong.

Did anyone ever make a statement about it? (I know Mary I declared the marriage valid)

March 7, 2011
10:12 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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In my opinion, his statement was self-serving. It blamed all his unpopular actions toward Katharine upon Anne, who was now dead. He didn't 'undo' the annulment because he didn't regret it. He liked doing as he liked, he liked not having to answer to the Pope, etc. He liked being both the political and spiritual head of England and all the power that entailed.

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March 8, 2011
4:12 am
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Nasim
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Chrystinamarie123 said:

wasn't his marriage to Katherine of Aragon declared valid again? I know Henry believed she'd consummated with Arthur and all of that but if he truly believed he'd been bewitched by Anne wouldn't his belief that Katherine had been unfaithful been an effect from the “bewitching”? Wouldn't he have turned around to believe that he'd shamed an innocent woman due to the effects of witchcraft? Or do you think he was so prideful that he would have never admited such a thing?

I mean if he had he would have simply just looked like a widower King and tensions between Spain, Rome and England might have cooled. I've never done to much research on the relationships between the countries so I could be wrong.

Did anyone ever make a statement about it? (I know Mary I declared the marriage valid)


 

We do not know for sure whether Henry actually accused Anne of practicing harmful magic, a main component of which was love magic. G.W. Bernard raises the excellent point that we only have Chapuys to credit for these remarks. And, if these remarks were true, Bernard is equally astute in pointing out that this was the language of an angry and hurt man who thought his wife had betrayed him and therefore could be able to commit any other sinister deed.

 

I doubt that Henry ever sincerely believed Anne had used witchcraft against him. If he thought such a serious thing, then why did he not press for this charge to be included alongside the others? He could not even provide evidence for this supposed witchcraft, further supporting the idea that it was a remark quickly said out of spite, fury and self-preservation (namely to absolve himself of any responsibility for the failure of his second marriage – so basically saying “I lacked free will – I’m not to blame!”).

 

To answer your question, Henry would not have revoked previous legislation and supported his first marriage because he ultimately believed this union was as corrupt as his second one. According to Henry, his marriage to Katherine had defied the laws of God, its disgraceful nature supposedly evident in the fact that it had not been blessed with a living male heir. Anne’s own death did nothing to disturb Henry’s notions.

 

Pressure from the continent would certainly not have changed Henry’s mind. If he could defy Charles V and the Pope in 1533, face excommunication and military intervention, then he could do so again in 1536. Though Charles wanted Henry to recognise Mary’s legitimacy – and he always regarded Mary as Henry’s only legitimate heir – he also showed that he could work with him. Anglo-Imperial talks were even renewed in the last months of Anne’s life, indicating that for all his protests, Charles was ultimately capable of dealing with Henry if it meant keeping him away from his enemy – François I. It should also be remembered that when Lady Jane Grey was made queen in 1553, Charles V commanded his envoy to engage in talks with the Grey party, namely John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, and do everything he could to obtain their promise not to make an alliance with the French. So much for loyalty for his beloved cousin, Mary!

 

After decreeing that his first marriage was invalid, Henry never recanted his views. He refused to recognise Mary as legitimate though coincided that she, along with Elizabeth, should be granted places within the succession. Katherine remained the ‘dowager princess of Wales’, and was buried as such in Peterborough in Jan 1536. Those who continued to support Katherine’s marriage were ruthlessly dealt with. Only a month after Anne’s death, Henry sent to the Tower, Anne, Lady Hussey after she dared to call Mary ‘Princess’ publicly implying the girl was Henry’s heir. The same summer, several men at court got in a lot of trouble for talking amongst themselves about Mary’s elevation. Margaret Pole’s biographer has argued that this figure was destroyed by Henry principally because of her devotion to Mary’s cause, and not really due to her Yorkist blood, a powerful statement that indicates Henry’s absolute stance against the validity of his first marriage and his fury and fear towards those who sought to support it. So even if Henry genuinely thought Anne had lured him with wicked tricks, he did he not hold onto such views long enough to act upon them, nor did he believe this had any impact on the state of his first marriage.

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 8, 2011
9:54 am
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Chrystinamarie123
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Wow, Nasim thanks 🙂 I never knew those things about Mary.

Just to clear something up, I know Henry felt his marriage to Katherine was sinful and that he was glad to have been rid of her. I just seemed like that if the witch charges were taken seriously then I didn't understand how Henry danced his way out of declaring Katherine his legitimate wife.

 I've just always heard “Anne the Witch Queen / Anne Boleyn accused of Witchcraft, Adultery and Incest / Anne Bewitched the King / etc” and it definitely makes sense that it was just Henry acting out of hurt. The way it's always talked about though made it sound like it was a more serious charge but it's good to have it cleared up 🙂

March 8, 2011
10:32 am
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Sharon
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With all the other charges against Anne, Henry didn't need to use the charge of witchcraft.  I think he threw it out there just in case the other charges didn't stick.  Believe me, he would have used them if he needed them.  You have to hand it Henry.  Even though the witchcraft charges were never brought against Anne at her trial, by merely mentioning that Anne had bewitched him, Henry did a number on her reputation that has lasted for centuries. 

March 8, 2011
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Nasim
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Chrystinamarie123 said:

 I've just always heard “Anne the Witch Queen / Anne Boleyn accused of Witchcraft, Adultery and Incest / Anne Bewitched the King / etc” and it definitely makes sense that it was just Henry acting out of hurt. The way it's always talked about though made it sound like it was a more serious charge but it's good to have it cleared up 🙂


 

This is very understandable. Some, particularly a few writers of historical fiction really like to emphasise the supposed witchcraft charges, when in fact there is little to discuss. I really recommend Bernard’s Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions, which clears this up.

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 8, 2011
11:07 am
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Nasim
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Sharon said:

With all the other charges against Anne, Henry didn't need to use the charge of witchcraft.  I think he threw it out there just in case the other charges didn't stick.  Believe me, he would have used them if he needed them.  You have to hand it Henry.  Even though the witchcraft charges were never brought against Anne at her trial, by merely mentioning that Anne had bewitched him, Henry did a number on her reputation that has lasted for centuries. 


 

But he did he even seriously debate such an idea? It seems to me if he even claimed that he was ‘bewitched’ as Chapuys alleged, it was a momentary statement, along with many others (like, for example, claiming Anne had slept around with loads men). Retha Warnicke would have us believe that accusation of witchcraft played an important role, but then she interjects a discussion of witchcraft into nearly everything she writes including her theory about Cromwell’s downfall! I don’t think there is solid evidence to indicate Henry genuinely believed Anne of such a crime or would have used this as a reserve charge had the others failed to stick. It seems to be something he said when angry, if at all, then forgotten. And, given the King’s power, the level of antagonism against Anne, her lack of powerful supporters, and the composition of the jury which was firmly in Henry’s favour, I don’t think he would have had to think up other charges in cases his initial case failed. 

 

Interestingly, Chapuys was promoting the idea of the King being ‘bewitched’ from the get-go. Of course Chapuys believed the King was no innocent, but he was rather fond of emphasising that Anne had bewitched Henry, drawing him away from his ‘true wife’ and the King would one day realise his folly. Could Chapuys have been putting words into the King’s mouth? Perhaps the King said in passing that Anne was a kind of temptress, one of several insults he used against her (the other chiefly being a ‘whore’), and Chapuys led this into a discussion on witchcraft. In a way, Warnicke is guilty of doing something similar for she has taken aspects of Anne’s downfall and readily applied them to witchcraft cases, not recognising that such components could stand alone. However in fairness to Chapuys, even he dropped all mention of witchcraft and focused on the real issues.

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 8, 2011
11:38 am
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Chrystinamarie123
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Nasim said:

Chrystinamarie123 said:

 I've just always heard “Anne the Witch Queen / Anne Boleyn accused of Witchcraft, Adultery and Incest / Anne Bewitched the King / etc” and it definitely makes sense that it was just Henry acting out of hurt. The way it's always talked about though made it sound like it was a more serious charge but it's good to have it cleared up 🙂


 

This is very understandable. Some, particularly a few writers of historical fiction really like to emphasise the supposed witchcraft charges, when in fact there is little to discuss. I really recommend Bernard’s Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions, which clears this up.


Is Fatal Attractions good? Aside from him clearing up the witch charges like you told me I've read a lot of really bad (and really angry) reviews on it. All the reviews seem to scream that all he wants to do is shame Anne and that all his facts are assumptions with no concrete evidence.

I've debated getting Bernards book before but with all the bad reviews I read I didn't really want to pay full price for it, but I know if it comes recommended by the forum then it's definitely got some good quality to it. Everyone on here is so good at giving really great book recommendations lol.

March 8, 2011
11:40 am
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Chrystinamarie123
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I'm sorry I don't know why that bolded. It won't let me fix it either.

March 8, 2011
12:28 pm
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Anyanka
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Nasim said:

Sharon said:

With all the other charges against Anne, Henry didn't need to use the charge of witchcraft.  I think he threw it out there just in case the other charges didn't stick.  Believe me, he would have used them if he needed them.  You have to hand it Henry.  Even though the witchcraft charges were never brought against Anne at her trial, by merely mentioning that Anne had bewitched him, Henry did a number on her reputation that has lasted for centuries. 


 

But he did he even seriously debate such an idea? It seems to me if he even claimed that he was ‘bewitched’ as Chapuys alleged, it was a momentary statement, along with many others (like, for example, claiming Anne had slept around with loads men). Retha Warnicke would have us believe that accusation of witchcraft played an important role, but then she interjects a discussion of witchcraft into nearly everything she writes including her theory about Cromwell’s downfall! I don’t think there is solid evidence to indicate Henry genuinely believed Anne of such a crime or would have used this as a reserve charge had the others failed to stick. It seems to be something he said when angry, if at all, then forgotten. And, given the King’s power, the level of antagonism against Anne, her lack of powerful supporters, and the composition of the jury which was firmly in Henry’s favour, I don’t think he would have had to think up other charges in cases his initial case failed. 

 

Interestingly, Chapuys was promoting the idea of the King being ‘bewitched’ from the get-go. Of course Chapuys believed the King was no innocent, but he was rather fond of emphasising that Anne had bewitched Henry, drawing him away from his ‘true wife’ and the King would one day realise his folly. Could Chapuys have been putting words into the King’s mouth? Perhaps the King said in passing that Anne was a kind of temptress, one of several insults he used against her (the other chiefly being a ‘whore’), and Chapuys led this into a discussion on witchcraft. In a way, Warnicke is guilty of doing something similar for she has taken aspects of Anne’s downfall and readily applied them to witchcraft cases, not recognising that such components could stand alone. However in fairness to Chapuys, even he dropped all mention of witchcraft and focused on the real issues.


My thoughts too. Like attempting to poison KoA, Mary and Fitzroy these rumours were passed around simply to make Anne appear as evil incarnate.

 

And poor Henry as her victim.

It's always bunnies.

March 8, 2011
12:47 pm
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Nasim said:

Sharon said:

With all the other charges against Anne, Henry didn't need to use the charge of witchcraft.  I think he threw it out there just in case the other charges didn't stick.  Believe me, he would have used them if he needed them.  You have to hand it Henry.  Even though the witchcraft charges were never brought against Anne at her trial, by merely mentioning that Anne had bewitched him, Henry did a number on her reputation that has lasted for centuries. 


 

But he did he even seriously debate such an idea? It seems to me if he even claimed that he was ‘bewitched’ as Chapuys alleged, it was a momentary statement, along with many others (like, for example, claiming Anne had slept around with loads men). Retha Warnicke would have us believe that accusation of witchcraft played an important role, but then she interjects a discussion of witchcraft into nearly everything she writes including her theory about Cromwell’s downfall! I don’t think there is solid evidence to indicate Henry genuinely believed Anne of such a crime or would have used this as a reserve charge had the others failed to stick. It seems to be something he said when angry, if at all, then forgotten. And, given the King’s power, the level of antagonism against Anne, her lack of powerful supporters, and the composition of the jury which was firmly in Henry’s favour, I don’t think he would have had to think up other charges in cases his initial case failed. 

 

Interestingly, Chapuys was promoting the idea of the King being ‘bewitched’ from the get-go. Of course Chapuys believed the King was no innocent, but he was rather fond of emphasising that Anne had bewitched Henry, drawing him away from his ‘true wife’ and the King would one day realise his folly. Could Chapuys have been putting words into the King’s mouth? Perhaps the King said in passing that Anne was a kind of temptress, one of several insults he used against her (the other chiefly being a ‘whore’), and Chapuys led this into a discussion on witchcraft. In a way, Warnicke is guilty of doing something similar for she has taken aspects of Anne’s downfall and readily applied them to witchcraft cases, not recognising that such components could stand alone. However in fairness to Chapuys, even he dropped all mention of witchcraft and focused on the real issues.


No, I don't think Henry seriously meant to bring charges of witchcraft against Anne.  What I do think is that he seriously wanted to ruin her.  If he told Chapuys that  he thought Anne had bewitched him, he certainly told the right gossip monger. I wouldn't put anything past either one of them when it came to ruining Anne.  I do not believe witchcraft played any part in Anne's downfall.  I don't believe I said that it did.  (Other than to ruin her reputation through the ages.) Yes, it is my opinion that Henry would have used it, if needed and no, I have no evidence. Just my theory and my gut feeling about Henry.  Good thing I'm not writing a book, huh?  Obviously it wasn't needed.  I don't think Henry said anything and then forgot about it.  In my opinion, Henry said things knowing others were listening and would repeat his words.  

March 9, 2011
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Anyanka said:

My thoughts too. Like attempting to poison KoA, Mary and Fitzroy these rumours were passed around simply to make Anne appear as evil incarnate.

 

And poor Henry as her victim.


Another item used at the trial.  Eric Ives: “The story that Anne had poisoned Katherine and intended to poison Mary was dragged in even though it was not in the indictment.”   

March 9, 2011
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Chrystinamarie123 said:

 Nasim said:

Chrystinamarie123 said:

 I've just always heard “Anne the Witch Queen / Anne Boleyn accused of Witchcraft, Adultery and Incest / Anne Bewitched the King / etc” and it definitely makes sense that it was just Henry acting out of hurt. The way it's always talked about though made it sound like it was a more serious charge but it's good to have it cleared up 🙂


 
This is very understandable. Some, particularly a few writers of historical fiction really like to emphasise the supposed witchcraft charges, when in fact there is little to discuss. I really recommend Bernard’s Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions, which clears this up.


Is Fatal Attractions good? Aside from him clearing up the witch charges like you told me I've read a lot of really bad (and really angry) reviews on it. All the reviews seem to scream that all he wants to do is shame Anne and that all his facts are assumptions with no concrete evidence.

I've debated getting Bernards book before but with all the bad reviews I read I didn't really want to pay full price for it, but I know if it comes recommended by the forum then it's definitely got some good quality to it. Everyone on here is so good at giving really great book recommendations lol.


 

I think it is excellent, even though I disagree with him on many counts. I think some of the negative comments about his book are rather unfair and focus solely on the fact that Bernard thinks Anne was likely guilty, a verdict not popular with many (including myself). But there is far more to his study than that. His comments undermining the idea that there was some conservative faction against Anne Boleyn and that they had a role in her downfall is, in my opinion, spot on. His views regarding Anne and Henry’s early relationship and her faith also are worth reading. Bernard is one of the best historians of this period; his attention to detail is incredible and he is one of the only Tudor historians who has bothered to read Chapuys’s original despatches kept in Vienna. I’m insanely jealous about his thorough research methods!

 

Have you read Eric Ives's study? If so, Bernard's book is excellent to compare it to as they disagree on so much. It can be refreshing to be presented with two completely different approaches!

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 9, 2011
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Nasim
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Sharon said:

Nasim said:

Sharon said:

With all the other charges against Anne, Henry didn't need to use the charge of witchcraft.  I think he threw it out there just in case the other charges didn't stick.  Believe me, he would have used them if he needed them.  You have to hand it Henry.  Even though the witchcraft charges were never brought against Anne at her trial, by merely mentioning that Anne had bewitched him, Henry did a number on her reputation that has lasted for centuries. 


 
But he did he even seriously debate such an idea? It seems to me if he even claimed that he was ‘bewitched’ as Chapuys alleged, it was a momentary statement, along with many others (like, for example, claiming Anne had slept around with loads men). Retha Warnicke would have us believe that accusation of witchcraft played an important role, but then she interjects a discussion of witchcraft into nearly everything she writes including her theory about Cromwell’s downfall! I don’t think there is solid evidence to indicate Henry genuinely believed Anne of such a crime or would have used this as a reserve charge had the others failed to stick. It seems to be something he said when angry, if at all, then forgotten. And, given the King’s power, the level of antagonism against Anne, her lack of powerful supporters, and the composition of the jury which was firmly in Henry’s favour, I don’t think he would have had to think up other charges in cases his initial case failed. 
 

Interestingly, Chapuys was promoting the idea of the King being ‘bewitched’ from the get-go. Of course Chapuys believed the King was no innocent, but he was rather fond of emphasising that Anne had bewitched Henry, drawing him away from his ‘true wife’ and the King would one day realise his folly. Could Chapuys have been putting words into the King’s mouth? Perhaps the King said in passing that Anne was a kind of temptress, one of several insults he used against her (the other chiefly being a ‘whore’), and Chapuys led this into a discussion on witchcraft. In a way, Warnicke is guilty of doing something similar for she has taken aspects of Anne’s downfall and readily applied them to witchcraft cases, not recognising that such components could stand alone. However in fairness to Chapuys, even he dropped all mention of witchcraft and focused on the real issues.


No, I don't think Henry seriously meant to bring charges of witchcraft against Anne.  What I do think is that he seriously wanted to ruin her.  If he told Chapuys that  he thought Anne had bewitched him, he certainly told the right gossip monger. I wouldn't put anything past either one of them when it came to ruining Anne.  I do not believe witchcraft played any part in Anne's downfall.  I don't believe I said that it did.  (Other than to ruin her reputation through the ages.) Yes, it is my opinion that Henry would have used it, if needed and no, I have no evidence. Just my theory and my gut feeling about Henry.  Good thing I'm not writing a book, huh?  Obviously it wasn't needed.  I don't think Henry said anything and then forgot about it.  In my opinion, Henry said things knowing others were listening and would repeat his words.  


 

According to Chapuys, Henry had not told him this directly. The King had supposedly told this in private to a confidante, and Chapuys got it from the marchioness and marquess of Exeter. They may have been reporting the truth, though we also have to bear in mind that the Exeters were not high in the King’s favour by this point, the marchioness in particular was a notorious gossip who even got in trouble for her speech, sometimes fabricated, and both loathed Anne Boleyn. Naturally Chapuys credited their views initially, as he credited every report against Anne, though he chose to never mention it again because it was found to be insubstantial.

 

I understand that you did not claim witchcraft was an important part of Anne's downfall and I was not trying to allege that you did. Rather I was pointing out the whole issue of witchcraft and Anne Boleyn’s downfall has in generally been blown out of proportion. I think both Ives and Bernard are correct in limiting the discussion of witchcraft in their own studies. It is interesting to consider the power of posthumous writings on Anne’s reputation here, for it is principally through Catholic, anti-Reformation treatises and later historical fiction, that the emphasis on witchcraft and Anne Boleyn was really promoted.

 

And there is nothing wrong with gut feeling! I have sometimes found my original take on matters have proved true after research, whilst other times I ended up with radically different views from before. For example, I always believed Anne and Henry did not sleep together until late 1532 but now have become really interested in Bernard's arguements for them possibly having a sexual relationship very early on then stopping this when they decided to marry. Now I am completely unsure about the state of their early relationship.

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 9, 2011
9:45 am
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Nasim said:

Chrystinamarie123 said:

 Nasim said:

Chrystinamarie123 said:

 I've just always heard “Anne the Witch Queen / Anne Boleyn accused of Witchcraft, Adultery and Incest / Anne Bewitched the King / etc” and it definitely makes sense that it was just Henry acting out of hurt. The way it's always talked about though made it sound like it was a more serious charge but it's good to have it cleared up 🙂


This is very understandable. Some, particularly a few writers of historical fiction really like to emphasise the supposed witchcraft charges, when in fact there is little to discuss. I really recommend Bernard’s Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions, which clears this up.
 


Is Fatal Attractions good? Aside from him clearing up the witch charges like you told me I've read a lot of really bad (and really angry) reviews on it. All the reviews seem to scream that all he wants to do is shame Anne and that all his facts are assumptions with no concrete evidence.
 

I've debated getting Bernards book before but with all the bad reviews I read I didn't really want to pay full price for it, but I know if it comes recommended by the forum then it's definitely got some good quality to it. Everyone on here is so good at giving really great book recommendations lol.


 

I think it is excellent, even though I disagree with him on many counts. I think some of the negative comments about his book are rather unfair and focus solely on the fact that Bernard thinks Anne was likely guilty, a verdict not popular with many (including myself). But there is far more to his study than that. His comments undermining the idea that there was some conservative faction against Anne Boleyn and that they had a role in her downfall is, in my opinion, spot on. His views regarding Anne and Henry’s early relationship and her faith also are worth reading. Bernard is one of the best historians of this period; his attention to detail is incredible and he is one of the only Tudor historians who has bothered to read Chapuys’s original despatches kept in Vienna. I’m insanely jealous about his thorough research methods!

 

Have you read Eric Ives's study? If so, Bernard's book is excellent to compare it to as they disagree on so much. It can be refreshing to be presented with two completely different approaches!


Thank you so much! Yea all the reviews I read focused solely on his belief that Anne was guilty, I thought that was pretty much what the whole book was about because of that. It's good to know it has other good information in it too I'll definitely be getting it.

I've got a big bookmark in “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn” right now actually! I love it 🙂 

and I can definitely see where you're coming from on the two different perspectives.

March 9, 2011
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Nasim, I have read that Chapuys received the “confidential information” from other sources.  That is sort of the point I was trying to make.  Henry told Exeter that he had been bewitched by Anne in strict confidence.  Exeter was an enemy of Anne.  Henry would be well aware of that.  I don't believe for a minute Henry would tell this guy something like that and not expect it to be bandied around the court.  Henry would have known that Exeter's wife was a notorious gossip. No doubt he knew that tidbit would be passed along as soon as Exeter left his side.  The fact that they told Chapuys, whether he interpreted it wrong or not, probably put a huge smile on Henry's face.  I think he wanted as much bad press out there about her as he could get.

As to Chapuys dropping the subject of witchcraft, IMO, that was because Henry didn't use that particular charge against Anne. He had 20 (?) other charges that seemed to work pretty well.  When he saw it was not being pursued, he decided Henry wasn't going to use it and he better stop talking before he looked more of a fool than he already was.  

 Chapuys redeemed himself somewhat in my eyes when he did not believe Anne guilty of the the charges brought against her.  'Condemned on presumption and not evidence, without any witnesses or valid confession.'

I too believe Ives and Bernard were correct in limiting the discussion on witchcraft.  In fact, it seems to me that I am talking about it too much.  Embarassed 

I am unaware of evidence proving Henry and Anne had a sexual relationship early on.  They could have I suppose.  Interesting theory.  What's your gut say? Wink

March 9, 2011
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Just my two cents worth about Henry and Anne having a sexual relationship before 1532, and it's my gut reaction since I have no proof. Everything I know of Anne, I cannot rationalize her risking her future position as Queen, and the legitimacy of her children, to engage in full sexual intercourse with Henry. Anne became pregnant quickly after Nov/Dec. 1532.

Not to say she and Henry did not practice other sexual behaviours, such as coitus interruptus. It was a common practice for centuries. Although not 100% full proof (then what is?), it was in the age before modern contraception.

Anne held out for six-seven years, I am sure she could wait a few months longer. She worked so hard to become Henry's future wife, I doubt she would through it all into jeopardy. Anne, for most of her life, was a woman in charge of her own destiny. I am sure committing to Henry physically would only come when she felt the most secure, and it was truly safe to marry.

I would be interested to know more about Bernard's theory. Any recommendations, Nasim?

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

March 9, 2011
12:06 pm
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MegC
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Even if Henry HAD believed that Anne had performed some kind of witchcraft on him, I don't think that Henry gave poor Katherine another thought after their divorce was declared–especially after she was dead.  So, it never would have occurred to him to go back and have their marriage re-legitimized because it would have gained him nothing.  If Mary had been a male, then perhaps, but he clearly didn't feel that women needed to rule anyway, so leaving her illegitimate resulted in no net gain or loss as far as he was concerned.

As for whether or not Anne and Henry had a sexual relationship prior to their marriage…I think there's pretty decent evidence to suggest that they did.  If Elizabeth was born in September and human gestation is REALLY 10 months–not nine like we think it is–then Anne would have had to have gotten pregnant in December and Henry and Anne were technically married on January 25th (though David Starkey suggests in The Six Wives that they were actually married before January 25th at some point during their trip to France).  At any rate, if you are to believe that they truly waited to have sex until after they were married, then there would have been absolutely ZERO possibility for Elizabeth to have been born in early September AND have been a healthy baby, which, by all accounts, she was.  

Also, take into account, that Henry was not exceptionally young and Anne was a little older for a first-time mom.  I refuse to believe that even if Anne and Henry had sex only once before their wedding in January that Anne just miraculously got pregnant the first time around.  I mean, it could have happened, but my gut says no.  Even with modern medical technology, most people take months of unprotected sex to get pregnant. 

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

March 9, 2011
2:25 pm
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Sharon said:

Nasim, I have read that Chapuys received the “confidential information” from other sources.  That is sort of the point I was trying to make.  Henry told Exeter that he had been bewitched by Anne in strict confidence.  Exeter was an enemy of Anne.  Henry would be well aware of that.  I don't believe for a minute Henry would tell this guy something like that and not expect it to be bandied around the court.  Henry would have known that Exeter's wife was a notorious gossip. No doubt he knew that tidbit would be passed along as soon as Exeter left his side.  The fact that they told Chapuys, whether he interpreted it wrong or not, probably put a huge smile on Henry's face.  I think he wanted as much bad press out there about her as he could get.


Just to point out – Henry did not tell Exeter. He supposedly told some unnamed person and somehow the Exeters found out, then Chapuys. The Exeters were not so high in the King’s favour at this point that he would have approached them about such a sensitive subject (specifically after their involvement in the Holy Maid of Kent affair). Therefore the King could not have told the Exeters in the hope that the marchioness would spread it around court. If he said it – and I am become more and more sceptical that he even voiced such remarks – it was something he told a friend in private out of fury and distress, and this figure made the error of telling someone else, eventually getting its way to Chapuys. As we know Henry was very touchy about details from the Privy Chamber being discussed outside this area – a mistake Sir Nicholas Carew later made – then unfortunately we have no guarantee that what Henry allegedly said was indeed something he wanted more than one person to know about. All confusing!

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

March 9, 2011
2:32 pm
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Sharon said:

I am unaware of evidence proving Henry and Anne had a sexual relationship early on.  They could have I suppose.  Interesting theory.  What's your gut say? Wink


I don't know Cry I'm too indecisive! (Says the girl who spent about an hour trying to work out what to have for dinner!).

"Much as her form seduc'd the sight,
Her eyes could ev'n more surely woo;"

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