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Seventh wife???
February 6, 2011
7:00 pm
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Lyn1225
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Was there a time that Henry considered a seventh wife. I have read he was interested in Catherine Willoughby while married to Catherine Parr.

 

 

Also when Henry had his head injury in 1536 and there were reports he was unstable of mood- yet any report of his time with Jane Seymour seems that he was gentile.

February 6, 2011
9:58 pm
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MegC
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I had heard that there were reports that during his marriage to CP he had considered ridding himself of CP and trying for CW instead as well, but CP managed to deftly avoid the political plot against her and then H8 died so….

I have heard (though not personally read) that Henry was frustrated when Jane did not fall pregnant immediately after they wed.  Since she didn't get pregnant until January of 1537 and they were married in May 1536, it took her 7ish months to get pregnant which, for a man looking for a male heir, was a lifetime.  I would dare say that if she hadn't gotten pregnant when she did, he would have moved on and looked for a new wife pretty quickly.

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

February 7, 2011
12:06 pm
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Sharon
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Lynn1225… Not too big of a surprise that Henry would want, CW, the recent widow of his best friend Charles Brandon for himself.  Yell 

MegC…Seven months before getting pregnant must have been a lifetime for Jane also.

February 7, 2011
4:35 pm
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Anyanka
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Isn't 7 months about the average time it takes to concieve?

 

I recall a figure around that from when I was involved in preg/parent boards. Not that it would be of any use to JS knowing that.

It's always bunnies.

February 8, 2011
4:59 am
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Nasim
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Lyn1225 said:

Was there a time that Henry considered a seventh wife. I have read he was interested in Catherine Willoughby while married to Catherine Parr.

 

 


 

In Feb 1546, Chapuys wrote to Charles V telling him that there were rumours there would be a new queen for Katherine Parr remained childless whilst ‘Madame Suffolk’ was talked about as a successor. The duchess of Suffolk had proved that she could bear children (she bore the duke of Suffolk two male heirs), and she was a widely liked and respected figure.

 

This does not mean that Henry VIII ever contemplated marrying the duchess. Chapuys, who merely mentioned the rumour and does not state that he believed it to be true, added that the king ‘shows no alteration in his behaviour to the Queen’. In other words there was never a serious chance the duchess would become Henry’s seventh queen. Melissa Franklin-Harkrider, who has done extensive research into the duchess and her role in evangelical circles, mentions nowhere that her subject could have possibly been advanced to that degree.

 

There remains the question of why the rumours were put about. The instant answer is that it was promoted by Katherine Parr’s enemies – by leading religious conservatives. This makes little sense for her supposed successor, the duchess, was just as ardent an evangelical as the queen. In fact, the duchess was far more obvious about her views, even resorting once to dressing her dog up as a bishop and calling him ‘Gardiner’ (after Stephen Gardiner, the leading conservative bishop). Clearly they were not going to replace the queen with someone of similar views.

 

John Foxe, from whom we gain many stories from the time of Henry’s marriage to Parr, recorded that the King rebuked Gardiner for having discussed the Queen’s sterility. Gardiner was accused of having spread such rumours to topple his opponent before deciding to focus upon the Queen’s faith in order to destroy her. We must remember that Foxe, who was not a witness to these events, was purposely attempting to present Gardiner as a deceptive, superstitious and wicked individual who did everything to remove evangelicals, whom Foxe regarded as the righteous, from their positions of power. Additionally, Foxe recorded this in his momentous work, Acts and Monuments, otherwise known as ‘Book of Martyrs’ which contained a detailed account of the Marian martyrs. And who was the man instrumental in seeing the heresy laws revived under Mary I?…….Bishop Gardiner, of course! That it is not deny Gardiner of having tried to remove Katherine – clearly he was appalled by her views and wanted her gone – but to replace her with the duchess of Suffolk was an absurd notion from his POV.

 

Idle and malicious gossip always existed at court. Chapuys told Charles that the idea Parr was to be put aside was owing to her ‘sterility’. She had been married two times previously and bore no children, and there was no sign that she would produce another heir for the King. This was probably no fault of her own, but her inability to have children before becoming queen was going to mean she became the subject of cruel gossip. In 1543, parliament ratified a new Act of Succession that accommodated a place for Katherine’s prospective heirs by Henry. Though Henry did not rely upon Katherine to produce a son the way he did some of her predecessors, the issue of the queen’s fertility was still an important one.  

 

However absurd these rumours were, it did not mean Katherine was unaffected by them. Susan James, the expert on Katherine, mentions that she ordered new locks for her chamber in Feb 1546; clearly she knew that there some out there against her, attempting to find ways to encourage the King to remove her. But her actions should not be seen as an indication of the accuracy of the rumours. Clearly Henry was still attracted to Katherine and found her company pleasing. This may explain why he was readily forgave her following her attempts to patch things up after their famous row regarding religion and her discovery of the King’s decision to have her investigated. Instead of being paranoid about the situation and keeping aloof, Henry was willing to believe she had made a mistake and that she was truly sorry about her actions. His behaviour after the affair is quite telling – he showered her with jewels and fine clothing, and continues to show favour towards her family, especially her brother.

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

February 8, 2011
9:18 am
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MegC
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Anyanka said:

Isn't 7 months about the average time it takes to concieve?

 

I recall a figure around that from when I was involved in preg/parent boards. Not that it would be of any use to JS knowing that.


I do know that for an average couple of “child-bearing age” (not sure what that means, but I assume that means between the ages of the onset of menstruation and, say, 30) there is an 80% chance that they will conceive a child within one year if they use no birth control (and Jane and H8 certainly were not).  Assuming no other fertility issues.  Having said that, and taking into account the following:  

a)  Henry's age at the time that they wed  

b) Henry's supposed impotence

c) General diet and lifestyle of 16th century England  

d)  Various illnesses  

e)  Jane's age.  It appears she was roughly 27/28 when she conceived which was kind of getting up in years back then.  Not to mention that they didn't have all the fun technology that we have now to help us conceive.  Back then, most women didn't know when they were ovulating so they couldn't time it correctly, and doctors certainly didn't have the technology to diagnose men or women with fertility problems.  If a woman failed to become pregnant, then it was assumed that SHE was the problem.

f)  Jane's stress level–which must have been just insane–certainly didn't help her fertility. 

I'd say Jane was a damn-sight lucky to have conceived within 7 months of their wedding at all. 

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

February 8, 2011
11:33 am
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Sharon
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Was Gardiner a kinsman of the Duchess of Suffolk? 

Did Henry ever speak out about the fact that Katherine Parr was not getting pregnant as he did with his other wives? Or did he know why? Was he impotent throughout this marriage? 

February 8, 2011
8:59 pm
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MegC
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Well, maybe Henry wasn't expecting another child at the time he married KP.  I mean, here's the facts:

1)  CP had been married–what?–twice before and hadn't had any children by those previous men.

2)  H8 was getting up in years, and, even though he may have still fancied himself on some level as the virile youth of his earlier days, he surely couldn't have been so daft as to NOT realize that he was getting older.  

3)  H8 vasilliated between fiery passionate women  and mature, demure women.  Look at the pattern:  KoA to AB, AB to JS, JS to AoC–which is the only break in the pattern, Aoc to KH and KH to CP.  After KH, perhaps he was just looking for a low-maintenance woman who knew her place and wouldn't embarass him.  Someone he could carry on an intelligent conversation with, that he was fond of, and who could keep his bed warm when he wanted her there.    

4)  H8 had an heir (finally) that he found acceptable.

5)  AB is said to have commented on H8's impotency as early as their marriage…probably a good 11-12 years before he married CP.  While something was clearly functioning with KH, I doubt things were any better than they had been with AB.  

6)  H8's leg was in bad shape at this point.  I wonder how much he really was interested in sex at that point.  

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

February 13, 2011
5:27 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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wreckmasterjay said:

I think if he had lived to a ripe old age he could have quite easily taken another couple of wives, lets face it he got bored easily and wasnt faithful to any of them!


So true, wreckmasterjay, so true!

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

February 25, 2011
7:39 am
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Nasim
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Sharon said:

Was Gardiner a kinsman of the Duchess of Suffolk? 

Did Henry ever speak out about the fact that Katherine Parr was not getting pregnant as he did with his other wives? Or did he know why? Was he impotent throughout this marriage? 


 

 
Yes, in a spiritual sense. Allegedly she referred to him as 'her gossip' in one piece of correspondence, indicating they were godparents to the same child (regarded as a most sacred bond then). 'Gossip' was a term of affection and freqeuntly used in the early modern period. Obviously their relationship later broke down!

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

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