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Would Jane Seymour have Survived?
October 15, 2009
1:23 pm
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Belle
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I read that he chose Jane because she was so plain looking and basically the exact opposite of Anne in every aspect. 

I agree with you Claire-Jane seemed like more of a snake.  Like in The Tudors Season 2 when Henry gives Jane a necklace with his potrait in it and she basically parades around in front of Anne, that was very devious-although I don't know how accurate that part was.  Speaking of Henry taking a mistress if he had stayed with Jane, does anyone know how many mistresses he had?  

Do you think Anne is one of the first documented cases of a woman with high authority who was so strong and independent?  She didn't take take any crap from anyone and then there was her daughter Elizabeth, with the same essence.

October 15, 2009
11:45 pm
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Melissa
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That part of the Tudors was accurate.  Anne cut her hand in real life yanking the necklace off her neck.  I hated that Madge returned it to Jane though!  Show some loyalty to your cousin, who let you sleep with her husband!  I've also read that Anne and Jane came to blows on occasion, and I just love the thought of Anne beating the snot out of Jane.

Ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne.

May 1, 2010
5:31 pm
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aurorarorrie
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Yes, definitley.

Jane's “job” as queen was to provide England with an heir. Would Henry have likely cheated on her with mistresses? Yes, but more likely than not she would stay a queen for as long as she lived because she did her “job”.

May 2, 2010
6:02 am
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Lexy
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Just a thing I was thinking of: after her dreadful labor, Jane would probably have suffered from gynecological problems, like torn perineum or something like that. She would have remained barren, or presented difficulties for lovemaking. A theory about katherine of Aragon's “beginning of the end” is that she suffered from obstetrical problems who ade intercourse unpleasant, and made Henry deserting her bed. Jane would have suffered the same fate, left alone except for state occasions and maybe put aside if her son had died.

May 2, 2010
5:08 pm
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HannahL
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I think that Jane would've survived IF Edward had lived and she had completely bent to Henry's will and stayed out of state affairs.  He made it clear that he wanted a sweet, compliant mother of his sons who would not bother with politics as Anne had done.  Lexy, that's an interesting point about the health conditions.  Had Jane suffered from those that “made intercourse unpleasant,” it would have been paramount to her security that Edward stayed healthy and strong.

May 2, 2010
8:36 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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HannahL said:Had Jane suffered from those that “made intercourse unpleasant,” it would have been paramount to her security that Edward stayed healthy and strong.


Ding! Ding! Ding! And there were enough factions ready to claw her right off that throne if anything happened to the heir and she also had a problem that would make him an only child. It could have KOA all over again. UG-LY.

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

May 3, 2010
4:34 pm
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Lexy
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Another big point would have played against Jane had she survived with some obstetrical problems: we all know how Henry react meeting the smelly and un-raffined Anne of Cleves, but would he had endured a wife suffering from incontinence? It can be a result of a torn perineum, in extremecases, and Jane's was surely extremely torn.  The very idea of having a  ridiculous queen would have made Henry ready to everything in order to  erase  her from his life.

And, by the way, the problem I spoke of isn't comic. Nowadays, in Africa, woman experience it, mostly teenagers whose body is not ready to give birth; since they are seen as soiled, unhygienis and cursed, they are repudiated, made parias by their community and reduced to live on charity, leaving a life of humiliation and shame.

May 3, 2010
7:18 pm
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HannahL
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Impish, I agree!  And Lexy, I don't find it comic at all.  It's very sad that anyone has to go through that, and it's almost a certainty that Jane had some severe problems after such a difficult birth.  As awful as this sounds, Jane may have been fortunate to go when she did.

May 6, 2010
3:25 am
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allison
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She would have survived only as long as a male heir survived.

No doubt he would have taken mistresses. It was and still is the done thing.

They'd be living a bit like the present Queen and Philip are doing now.

VINCERE VEL MORI

August 7, 2010
8:49 am
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Boleynfan
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Their marriage would probably not have been happy (as Claire said), because they were so different and unmatched and Henry originally wooed her only because she was the opposite of who I believe was most like him and his true soulmate, Anne. Still, Henry would not have risked his only legitimate son and heir being declaired a bastard, so I firmly believe that he would have kept his marriage valid, if only for the sake of Edward.

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

November 2, 2010
5:19 am
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MegC
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I think one thing that we all know is that no one in Henry VIII's court was “safe”–male heir or no male heir, Jane Seymour was in as much danger as any of the other queens.  And, honestly, the closer you were to Henry, the more dangerous it was for you.  And, let's be honest, Henry had the attention span of a fly when it came to women.  Would he have tired of Jane?  Absolutely.  And probably very soon after the birth of Edward.  Jane certainly didn't have the sparkle or passion of Anne and I think he would have gone looking for that again.  

Some of this depends on your personal view of Jane Seymour:  If you believe that Jane was this naive, virtuous, kind, doe who was merely the victim of fate and the whims of those more powerful than her, then the marriage probably would have survived and Jane Seymour along with it.  Unhappily, but Jane would have been very accepting of her fate and ignored any of Henry's transgressions.

However, if you believe that she was conniving and that her virtue and innocence were nothing more than fantastic acting jobs, I contend that suppression of one's true nature is impossible.  I think if Jane had been forced to continue with her acting in light of Henry's wandering eye, then eventually her true nature would have revealed itself and she would have started raising a stink.  And once she started making waves, then the end would have been near.  Henry expected his women to be complicit.  There are ways to eliminate one's wife and still maintain the legitimacy of one's heir, and by this point in history Henry had come to realize that his power was limitless.

Either way, Jane was fortunate to die when she did.

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

March 1, 2011
7:32 am
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Sophie1536
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Definitely as she'd given Henry his ultimate desire and if she'd have given him more sons then yes I think he would have adored her as his Queen and mother to his sons but as for the intimate side of the marriage I think once she'd produced the heirs then he wouldn't want her sexually, he'd definitely taken endless mistresses and Jane would have put up and shut up as was expected in that era.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/nicksbabe28/Backstreet%20n%20Graffix/Image4-1.jpg

March 1, 2011
7:32 am
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Sophie1536
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Definitely as she'd given Henry his ultimate desire and if she'd have given him more sons then yes I think he would have adored her as his Queen and mother to his sons but as for the intimate side of the marriage I think once she'd produced the heirs then he wouldn't want her sexually, he'd definitely taken endless mistresses and Jane would have put up and shut up as was expected in that era.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/nicksbabe28/Backstreet%20n%20Graffix/Image4-1.jpg

March 3, 2011
11:09 am
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Sharon
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Jane could have survived as queen as long as Edward stayed healthy.  If Jane walked in on Henry with another woman on his lap as Anne had done with her, Jane would politely excuse herself.  “Oooops, so sorry your majesty!”  There would be no tears, and no yelling.  Jane's position as queen would be more solid than Anne's because of Edward.  I don't think it would be a loving or happy life with Henry, but she would have the title of Queen, with all the accolades that entails, and she could give her love to her son. She would have made due.

However, I do agree with Meg. Jane was fortunate to die when she did.  Better that than take her chances with Henry at this time in his life.  You never knew which way the wind would blow his sails.

March 3, 2011
3:17 pm
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DuchessofBrittany
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I would not wish Jane's fate on anyone. Dying such a horrible death meant she left a newborn son in the hands of a meglomanical father. She must have feared, in her last few hours, what his life would be like for her son. I also feel for Edward who, like Elizabeth, had to grow up without a mother.

Jane's survival was predicated upon her ability to birth a son, which she did and that's her legacy. She succeeded where others failed. As long as Edward survived (if Jane lived), her future was secure. As many other Queens who gave sons, their position as Queen and mothers to the heir made them untouchable, unless they pulled an Eleanor of Aquitaine.

If Edward died, and Jane could not provide a son, her position would be more precarious. She may have met the fates of KOA and Anne Boleyn.

Here marriage to Henry was never based upon romantic love, it was an adventageous marriage for the Seymours, and Jane was who Henry wanted. He was no doubt sick of independent wives. Henry would have taken mistesses, but Jane was a women who knew better than to pull an Anne Boleyn temper tantrum. She would shut up and endured.

Sadly, Jane's life was cut short and I feel sad for her. She never got to live and enjoy life. Posthumously her legacy is one Henry and his Tudor propaganda machine created. The perfect Tudor wife, the English rose, and mother of Henry's heir. In life, Jane was more complex than that. She is a woman, as I read more, am coming to respect in a way I did not before.

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

March 8, 2011
11:29 am
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MarkM
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HI All,

 

I agree, she would have survived since Edward outlived Henry. I agree he wouldn't have “gotten rid” of her without the risk of brining Edward's legitimacy into question. I think as long has he had his son she would be fine. I do agree that he probably would have become bored. But as long as he could have his son, queen, and as many women on the side he wanted, he'd have been happy. I really don't think he like the prospect and effort of going through marriages. I think if Mary had been a male, he'd have stayed with her and just had the Boleyn girls on the side.

There are good logical arguments for her being safe, however to play Devil's advocate, if he was truly changed by his jousting accident and he had some of the diseases proposed, it's hard to say what insanity would have made him do.

March 14, 2011
10:09 pm
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La Belle Creole
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Claire said:

It's quite funny that Henry looked back on her with his rose-tinted glasses and called her his \”true wife\”! When she was alive, he spoke of how he wished he hadn't married her and threatened her, he did not treat her as his true love or true wife. The fact that she gave him a son and died doing so (well, shortly after) made Henry sentimental over her memory, AB was definitely the love of his life.


My theories:

I think Katherine of Aragon was Henry's true love. He wed her first and stayed wed to her longest.  

Anne seems more an obsession and “forbidden fruit.”  Once he had Anne her star waned quickly.  I think a touch of desperation stirred in Henry's interest in Anne as well; he hoped this younger, lively, intelligent woman could bear sons for him.  When that didn't work out, he killed her and several other innocent people without compunction. 

Henry's mourning and chronic fond reminiscence of Jane Seymour was politically expedient.  His authorizing a family portrait featuring Jane Seymour as his wife/queen years after her death, his will specifying his desire to be interred with Jane, etc. were all intended to emphasize Edward's legitimacy and to cement his position as heir to the English crown.  By the same token, his virtual abandonment of Elizabeth designated her illegitimacy and insignificance.  His more amiable relationship with Mary Tudor, IMHO, represents residual affection he held for Katherine of Aragon BUT it probably also reflected a wish not to offend Mary's powerful relatives.

Given Henry's obsession with providing a legitimate male heir for the succession and his bizarre beliefs that his marriages to Katherine of Aragon and to Anne Boleyn were “cursed” (no living male issue) it seems likely to me he believed Jane was his “true” wife in the eyes of God.

Ironically, I think his first and last wives are probably the only two spouses he took based on genuine unconditional love.  When he married Katherine of Aragon, he likely took it for granted they would have many children together.  When he married Catherine Parr, I'm sure he still hoped for children, but it was no longer the urgent priority it was when he sought Anne, Jane, and Catherine Howard.  Anne of Cleves was a political alliance and quickly discarded, although she and Henry enjoyed a cordial friendship.

March 16, 2011
1:05 pm
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Anyanka
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Undoubtly, she would have survived. I think she modelled her behaviour on KoA and would have treated Henry's mistresses as lights-of-love and showed her feelings  in private.

She would have had more children, too. Not many since Henry was  impotent  to a degree and Jane was no spring chicken either.

It's always bunnies.

March 17, 2011
7:32 pm
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La Belle Creole
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Claire said:

I agree with you, Belle, about Anne Boleyn, she was definitely Henry's match. Anne was Henry's equal in so many ways and the two of them were very alike, too alike probably.

I think that with Anne you probably knew where you stood – she said what she thought – whereas I think Jane was a consummate actress and a snake in the grass. I love the fact that even Chapuys wonders if “no scorpions lurk under the honey” – she's just too good to be true and Weir talks of \”her tacit – and cilling – complicity in Anne's destruction\”. Perhaps Henry would have got to know the real Jane and not liked her one bit, perhaps the guilt that he had got rid of Anne to marry her would have eaten away at him and destroyed the relationship. I'm not sure but I'm convinced that even if their marriage had lasted it would not have been happy for either of them.


You know, Claire, I think Jane Seymour was probably no more or less “snakish” than the average courtier.  Reports suggest she was an introverted woman with conservative, traditional values.  I think individuals like this are (often unfairly) perceived as “trouble” or “devious.”

One of my oldest, closest friends is a very introverted lady.  I find her very likeable, intelligent, and pleasant.  She has a great sense of humor and is usually well-informed on current events.  But many people — people not part of her pretty limited “inner circle” — perceive her as rude, cold, and unfriendly.  

In a way, I can see how Jane's coolness and introversion may have been a relief for Henry.  Anne was very … shall we say “high-maintenance?” During their courtship, I'm sure this excited him.  After their marriage, it got to be a bit much.  Jane didn't expect much of Henry and appreciated his notice and his attention. 

I don't think Henry would have entertained guilt for Anne's murder or made Jane responsible.  God have provided the “sign” that Henry's marriage to Jane was “true:”  the longed-for male child.  I don't believe Jane could have held Henry's attention indefinitely, but I doubt he would have put her away unless she graciously agreed to retire.  

April 4, 2015
10:00 pm
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Alexandria
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Gina said

I don’t think that King Henry would have gotten rid of her because she did give him a male heir, his hearts deepest desire!  I do think that he would have tired of her and treated her very similiarly to the way that he treated Catherine of Aragon.  I read somewhere that he made mention shortly after he married her that he had wished that he had chosen a “fairer” mate, alluding to her plain looks. I definately believe he woulda have taken on a mistress (or three or ten!)

 I think that her obvious ability to conform to the will of the king would have protected her.  The only way that I think she would have been in serious trouble would be if she tried to force her will regarding the Catholic Church or maybe her family may have caused her trouble (especially her two brothers.)   

I agree that Jane would have remained Queen for as long as she lived, any attack on her position as queen was an attack on the legitimacy of Edward and any other children she had. Henry was also worried about his status as a ruler without powerful allies abroad, vulnerable to rebellion within. Moreover, although Henry would doubtless have fancied other women and acted on that fancy, he would have no reason to wish to make them queen, and they wouldn’t have expected it. Jane would have acted with dignity, as KoA had done before her, and would probably have lived a quiet life apart from Henry but in the same buildings. The normal situation was in any case that king and queen had their own courts and did not necessarily spend a lot of time together. Later in Henry’s life we do of course have lots of evidence of political factions within his court trying to replace one queen with another, and Henry himself being to some extent the tool of these manipulators (look at the death of Cromwell, which Henry allowed himself to be talked into and was very soon regretting having allowed) KH was to suffer from this as was KP to escape it by the skin of her teeth, but I think this really only came to be serious after the death of JS. IMHO too much is often made of Henry’s sexual appetite – he has fewer recorded mistresses than many contemporary monarchs. I don’t think he was as much led by the codpiece as is often thought.

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