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What influence did each wife have of Henry’s life, and later behaviour?
May 2, 2012
8:05 pm
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Boleyn
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Catherine of Aragon…
It was generally believed that Henry married COA as a favour to his dying father, but somehow I seem to doubt that, don’t know why? I just think Henry married COA because she was there, and that he wouldn’t have to fork out money to find another Bride. Henry 7th death was kept secret from all those save his mother I believe for a few days, I guess this was to allow the reins of government to pass smoothly from father to son, but why was this deception necessary?
I have often wondered why Henry 7th named M.B as regent too. Did Henry 7th have so little faith in his son’s abilities to take the role of Kingship properly?
Henry married COA , and perhaps he enjoyed playing the role of being her saviour, and I believe that he did have some affection for her. Their marriage for the most part in the early years was happy, but her failure to produce a living son was one of many problems that they had within their marriage. I also believe that he wanted to be married to show M.B and the rest of England that he was old enough to rule and have children.
COA good hearted through she was had a habit of making Henry feel inferior and treated him rather like a child. I don’t think she intended to but perhaps it was something she did without thinking about it. Being that she was older than him perhaps she thought she knew better than him, and to a certain degree she probably did. I believe she could be quite domineering sometimes and that is perhaps what Henry got annoyed with.
Henry as we know went to France in 1513 in what I believe was a pathetic attempt to recapture the victories of Henry 5th but put simply he hadn’t got the balls or the courage that Henry 5th had, plus he was going up against a King although he was old wasn’t stupid and was an ardent fighter. The only real victory Henry achieved in France was the Battle of the Spurs, so called because the French army simply ran away when they saw Henry and his crew coming down the hill at them.
The battle was won without so much of a drop of blood spilt from either side. So I wouldn’t call this anything major.
Although Henry did capture a few French Nobles sending 1 or 2 to England as his prisoners among them the Duke to Longville, who played a part in 1514 when Mary (Henry’s Sister) married the French King Louis. I’m not sure but I believe he was Louis’s proxy at their wedding and accompanied her to France.
In the meantime COA had to deal with James 4th of Scotland who decided to have a bash at taking the English throne, after all Henry had left a woman in charge and what did woman know, that was James’s reasoning I think, but of course COA showed Jimbo and the Scots Army that she wasn’t Isabella’s daughter for nothing and completely destroyed him and his army. Instead of being humble etc. she chose to rub it in Henry’s face that she was better than him, because she had killed a King, whilst he was just a silly boy playing at soldiers abroad.. In her letter to him she states you have sent me a live Duke and I have sent you the coat of a dead King that must have narked Henry.
COA however good a Queen was forever promoting the good graces (or so she thought) of her nephew and of the Spanish alliance, even though her nephew had let England down again and again.
England to COA nephew was just a vast bank a way of getting money to pay for their war with France so they didn’t need to bankrupt their own resources. In short England was a laughing stock in the eyes of COA’s nephew and I rather think that French King was laughing at England too.
Although Charles did triumph over France none of the promises that he made to Stinky about him having France’s throne ever came to pass, nor did England gain any wealth from it.
Stinky I believe started to turn against COA even before Leviticus reared its head, as COA always seemed to be trying to say she was better than him, and for the most part treated him like a petulant little boy. (Although to be fair to COA he did rather act like that sometimes). Once Mary was born I think she got a lot worse, as she started to dictate what she wanted for a her daughter, and because Stinky had decided that it would better for him and for the country in general that Mary should marry into France, this was something she found abhorrent, and I rather think she blamed Wolsey for it, as he was forever trying to keep the middle path between all 3 countries. I can’t say I blame him, as wars were costly and there were still people who believed that the Tudor dynasty was upstarts. So laying a tax on the people to fund a war with very little hope of success could be the straw that would break the camel’s back and say sod this for a lark we would be better off with so and so for King at least he would promote peace and harmony and we wouldn’t have money robbed off us by a butcher’s cur.
In conclusion I think that COA brought out Stinky’s petty spite, malice, and deep distrust and arrogance of the Spanish and French people.

Anne Boleyn
Stinky fell passionately in love with her and it stayed with him all his life, and I think that of all the wives, what influence Anne brought out in him was something that shaped the rest of his life. He never forgot her or forgave himself for her death.
COA’s influence was a mere formality.
Anne brought out a whole range of emotions and feelings from him which perhaps was what affected his mind mentally.
Firstly there was jealously. Stinky was jealous of any other man’s attention of Anne. We know that when he discovered her arrangement with Percy he literally went off the deep end. Why?
Stinky conveniently found a way of getting rid of Wyatt from the scene. It was then and only then that he declared he was interested in her. I’ve got to admire her stance here as she made it quite clear that she would never be his mistress. Anne is not to blame for Stinky’s mindscape, as I believe he had made his mind up to get rid of COA even before Mary was born. Anne’s statement just made him make his mind up that COA had to go. At this stage I don’t believe that Stinky had planned to make Anne anything more than a mistress.
Wolsey had been banging on to Stinky about forming a marital alliance with France and I think Stinky was giving it serious consideration. Anne was to be a pleasant pastime, until Wolsey had done his bit with France.
Anne of course proved cleverer than her sister and made it clear that she would be everything to him or nothing, so Stinky decided that he wanted her above a French bride and told Wolsey, to by all means conclude a peace deal with France but he would not marry a French princess.
Anne fell in love with Stinky once she realised that he was deadly serious in making her his Queen, but I think there were times when even she began to doubt his sincerity, which is why I think she took herself off to Hever sometimes, basically to make sure that she wasn’t wasting her time chasing her tail. I think the book she gave him was the last act of desperation to make him see that see wasn’t going to messed around any longer by him. If he truly wanted her then he was to get off his arse and fight for her. This also brought out the passionate side of his nature and not just for her.
Thomas More once said “if the Lion knew his own strength it would be hard for any man to hold him” and that was certainly true.
Tyndale’s bible brought out the vindictive side of Stinky, and as a result of his vindictiveness the religious houses suffered; I also think that some of this vindictiveness was directed towards COA, who was known by all Nuns and Monks for her extreme piety.
Stinky’s greed also came out as he simply wait to get his hands on all the money that these religious houses brought in, although I don’t think he actually got as much as he thought he would, as I feel that Cromwell embezzled some of the money away for himself, it was also perhaps Cromwell’s way of keeping Stinky under control, to a certain degree.
Anne I think saw through Cromwell, she was no fool and saw what Cromwell’s little game was, and Anne tore him off the appropiate strips when he needed it.
Anne’s failure in giving Stinky a son killed the love he had for Anne, or did it? Stinky started getting very paranoid and I think that the tiltyard accident affected the balance of his mind to such a degree that he believed that every problem he had from something to a headache to a toothache was Anne’s fault. So in that respect that brought out Stinky’s fear and anger, which Cromwell used to good effect, and whispered rumours that Anne had done the dirty on him which played on Stinky’s paranoia. Jane being around didn’t help Anne any and she must have voiced an opinion or 2 about her to Stinky, rumour has it that Anne tried to send her up to Northumberland and was actually on route when Stinky found out and sent a handful of his men to fetch her back?
COA’s death and Anne’s miscarriage in 1536 sealed the fate of Anne, and nothing she did or said would have saved her. Stinky wanted her dead and nothing would stop him. I wonder though if she hadn’t of miscarried and had gone on to have the child even if it had been a boy, and by all accounts the physicians at the time who examined the foetus said that it bore the chartaristics of a male. Would she have lived? Or would Stinky still got rid of her? Rumours about her had started back in the late summer or even before 1535. Stinky believed or chose to believe that she drove him to execute More and Fisher, and people believed that she was responsible for the bad Harvest of 1535 too. Which lead me to believe that it’s possible that Stinky was suffering from Ergot poisoning, sorry about using a twee word, but it’s something which I believe is wholy possible and would go a little way in explaining Stinky’s attitude towards Anne at this time.
As for executing Anne with the sword I don’t really know how to explain this one? I’m inclined to think that it’s possible that Anne herself asked for the swordsman, although there is no documentary evidence from her to suggest this, it could have been a verbal request brought to Stinky by Kingston, or maybe Anne herself may have mentioned to Stinky early on in their relationship that she had seen executions done by sword when she was in France. I know that she was mortally afraid of fire, as she as a child at Hever she allegedly witnessed a servant burned to death in a stable fire. Burning at the stake was the general method of executing woman, so at least she was spared that. But I also believe that she knew just how clumsy the axe could be, and if she was to die she wanted her death to be swift and as pain free as possible. If Anne did indeed witness a fire in Hever when she was young, one actually has to ask how young? Again this questions her DOB.. It was said that she went to France at the age of 7, with Mary Tudor’s entourage, in 1514, yes I agree very young, but her father must have held some amount of power to actually manage to wangle a position in Mary Tudor’s household at that time, making Anne’s DOB at 1507.
In conclusion Anne brought out Stinky’s Jealousy, Suspicion, Greed, Paranoia, Anger, vindictiveness and Passion.

Jane Seymour.
Well she was Queen for so little time, you may ask “well what possible influence could she have had” actually I think she brought out the fearful side of his nature when she died it hammered the point home that he wasn’t getting any younger, and that the grim reaper could strike at any time, and not just at him now of course he had a Son to think of and that again I believe intensified his paranoia, as well. I also feel that Stinky’s self-pity started rear its ugly head too during Jane tenure or should I say after her death.
In conclusion Jane brought out Stinky’s Self- pity and Paranoia and fear to full effect.

Anne of Cleves
Again one has to ask as she was only Queen for 6 months “What influence did she bring out?”
The answer here is complete loathing, and again self-pity. It also brought his spite and vindictiveness to the fore again, as his behaviour towards Cromwell during this whole debarkle proved. Cromwell yes made a mistake in choosing AOC, but for whatever reasons, he only did what he felt was best for Stinky and for the realm. Cromwell isn’t solely responsible for this screw up with AOC, Holbein must share some of the blame for using his poetic brush licence and going too far, in making AOC appear more than she was. Actually I think she wasn’t too bad looking. I think Anne actually had a lucky escape as she did live a relatively happy life although I think she was rather lonely at times.
In conclusion AOC brought out loathing, self-pity spite and vindictiveness. With Cromwell paying the price of the spite and vindictiveness

Katherine Howard.
Poor Katherine just a silly little kid who couldn’t control herself. But hey she was a teenager all teenagers make screw ups.
Stinky saw her through rose coloured spectacles and believed that she was his perfect wife, when she betrayed him a whole Niagara falls of emotions fell out. Poor Katherine paid a terrible price
In conclusion the influence Katherine had was Hatred, Self-Pity, heartbreak, self-loathing Anger bitterness Spite vengefulness vindictiveness and perhaps the fact that he had made a fool of himself over Katherine brought his paranoia out too, as he knew that people would be laughing at him for his stupidity with marrying KH in the first place. In fact Francis of France wrote a letter to him stating that “he was sorry to hear of the wanton and naughty behaviour of the Queen “Stinky must have felt like Francis was rubbing his face in it , well I suppose he was so I think we must also include embarrassment here too.
Katherine Parr
She was perhaps the calming influence that Stinky needed although she did push things a little too far and almost lost her head for being a little too vocal in her opinions, but somehow she survived Stinky’s emotions and kept her head.
In conclusion K.P was the calming influence and perhaps helped to except that he wasn’t as all powerful as he first thought he was when he tossed Wolsey out on his ear, in short K.P exposed him for what he really was a silly little boy, who was frightened of his own shadow. I also think that she influenced to except that he would never again be or have what he once had, he was no longer the Golden Boy of his youth, and nothing could alter that, she also taught him humility and to her credit got him to except the children for who and what they were. Too little and too late to change any feelings towards their father, but at least things were cordial and sunny between them. K.P also made Stinky except that he had made mistakes in his life and executing wives willy nilly and people he had called friends was the wrong thing, his only real friend was Charles Brandon, and when he died Stinky just gave up, there was nothing left for him now, all the friends he knew in his youth were either dead or had been executed by him.
The people hated him and that the only forward now for the Tudor Dynasty was Edward and the poor kid had some pretty big shoes to fill too. Stinky knew that the Seymour boys would control and use Edward for their own gain, but he also knew that his time on Earth was limited and there was nothing he could do or say to Edward to help him take responsibility for what was going to happen.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

May 2, 2012
8:35 pm
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Maggyann
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What a post Boleyn. I will have to read it again before I say anything. Really well put together.

Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves - Boudica addressing the tribes Circa AD60

May 4, 2012
2:31 am
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Mya Elise
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Okay let’s see….(love the topic btw, something new and different for my mind to ponder).
Katherine #1: I think there’s one word: Impatience. Henry was extremely impatient with her and the fact she couldn’t give him a living son. Maybe in the beginning he wasn’t so uptight about it because he was a new King and life was good so when their first son lived then died shortly after he probably was in the state of mind of maybe he got sick or maybe someone touched him the wrong way..if that makes sense. Then he just got completely over the waiting and the dead babies. I don’t think he wanted to be patient with any of the others wives after being with Katherine, granted he and Anne did wait 6 years to get married but during that time he wanted Katherine gone and fought for it like a bull.
Anne #1: Henry didn’t want to play the cat and mouse game again, it was exciting with Anne but then he realized after everything going bad after marrying and waiting for her then it’s wasn’t really worth it (for Henry) to play that game ever again. So from this marriage it was not to ever spend that much time wooing and that he was done playing games.
Jane: Ummmmm……Maybe that he wanted more sons? He finally got his long awaited son from Jane and after that he probably felt obligated to get another just in case.
Anne #2: He probably learned how old he’s getting because of Anne’s replusive reaction towards him. This probably made him paranoid. Or maybe he learned that he didn’t want to settle with someone he doesn’t find attractive and needed someone 10X younger than he.
Katheryn #2: He didn’t want another playful fiesty woman, he had Anne and he got his taste of Katheryn, I think in marrying Katheryn he was looking for the exciting relationship he had with Anne but instead little Kitty ended up breaking his heart and he did the same thing to her as he did with his previous young & exciting wife.
Catherine #3: Um in his final days he probably thought Catherine was perfect, she was more of a friend to him than a wife which I personally think he needed, Brandon had died and he was depressed about his death approaching so he probably wanted someone there for him to talk to and trust.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

May 4, 2012
1:31 pm
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Maggyann
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KOA – I think Katherine ‘mummied’ him for a time when he went through so many changes, becoming King and husband at a reasonably early age. He would have been grateful for her more mature support as he went from Prince in waiting to ruler and young chappie to married man with a regular companion in bed and out. In time though this would have grated on him a bit once he found his own pace and it would have been hard for her to change her attitude to him as he became more confident in himself.
I don’t really get the stuff about her ‘defeating the Scots’ as it is referred to, she just happened to be on her own in England while he was in France, the actual trouble being dealt with by the men whose job it was after all.
In a way I think on a personal level, putting aside all the miscarriages and what have you, that Henry began to feel as most’ teenagers’ do that he wanted to spread his wings and do for himself. He was not a teenager granted but he had gone from living under his father with his every move being dictated to him – to living with a ‘mummy’ type character who also tried to lead him so in time he wanted to break those shackles.
As for what he actually gained from his association with Katherine I’d say he learned that women could be a right pain in the fundament even when they had the right of things, ever trying to spoil his fun and make him ‘grow up’.
Anne – he discovered that a woman could actually match him in many things. A woman could be passionate, not just loving and caring but rip the sheets and bite the pillows passionate. A woman could also have thoughts and ideas that were ‘new’, could talk up a good argument, could silence men and give them food for thought, could be soothing and tempestuous, could stand up for what she believed in and most of all could fire him mentally, physically and spiritually. I think from Anne he got the means to really ‘grow up’.
Jane – from Jane he got a son and learned just how the men around him could find it quite easy to use their womenfolk for their own betterment. Learned just what a manipulative crowd they were and realised how they actually saw him. The episode with Jane opened his eyes to the fact that he was not after all the great Bluff Harry beloved of all, whose every wish was their command that they told him he was. I think from this time he realised that they played him more than honoured him.
Anna – I think with her he let them have their heads, married because they wanted it and felt quite sorry for her. He saw her okay in the end but was even more aware of how he was not quite the all powerful ruler. From Anna he got friendship which he needed.
Kathryn – Lit up his days but was yet another example of how he was manipulated by those around him. I think by this time he was a quite depressed chappie who didn’t really care much one way or the other. He just went with the flow, a piece of balsa wood on the tide.
Catherine – gave him peace in his home and few quiet years before he died.

So with Katherine he went from lad to man, Anne he experienced being the man he thought he was and the man he thought others saw in him, Jane he began to see himself truly as he was and more importantly as others saw him, with Anna he found a depth of compassion compounded with real a dislike of those around him, in Kathryn he found fun but knew his own youth and best times had gone, then in the end with Catherine he settled down in his comfy slippers till his shroud was ready.

Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves - Boudica addressing the tribes Circa AD60

May 4, 2012
7:55 pm
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Sharon
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Katherineof Arangon…
Under Katherine’s influence Henry the young knightly boy, who believed he could save the damsel in ditress, turned into a man. A man who realized as much as he had thought he loved her, he was not going to get the son he most desired from her. Done. Some knight in shining armour he turned out to be.
Anne Boleyn….
Her influence was the passion she brought into his life. A passion he had not felt before, and one that he searched for the rest of his life. She brought out the lion in him that Thomas More had feared would appear one day. Henry loved falling in love. He loved how passionate and lusty love could be. But…actually loving someone, not wanting her to ever leave his side, and the need to always protect her no matter what…a genuine lifetime lasting love…Henry did not understand, nor did he try to understand it. Anne could have brought him the world, but if she did not give him a son, she was failure to him.
Jane….
Her influence was the son she gave him. She gave him what he had always wanted from a wife. Had she lived longer, who knows how she could have influenced Henry. Maybe she would have brought him peace.
Anne of Cleves…
I think she influenced him by taking the offer to become his sister. In doing so, she became a very close female friend, and Henry needed real friends. His court was a snakepit.
Katherine Howard…
Her influence was her youth. She made Henry feel young again. She also brought out that passion he had been searching for since Anne died. She made him forget his pain for a time. She brought him joy, which I don’t think he had felt in many years. She brought a smile to his face. For however brief a time it lasted, Henry was happy. Later she brought him nothing but pain. She made a fool out of him. And then he was old again.
Katherine Parr…
Her influence was her companionship. She also influenced his sense of family. Katherine was his equal intellectually. She brought all of his children together and made a cozy family for him in his last days.

May 4, 2012
8:14 pm
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Sharon
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Maggyann,
Just a little bit of info on Katherine and the war with Scotland.
Katherine was left in charge of England when Henry went to fight in France, and she was very involved in raising troops when the first sign of fighting broke out on the border. She sent two advanced troops to Scotland, and she rode with the third. She was on her way to the front when Flodden happened. So she wasn’t just there. She was taking the fight to James. If Henry had been there, I don’t think he could have done a better job, or would he have done anything different than Katherine did.
This win for Katherine had to rankle Henry. She had raised troops and had defeated the enemy. He had won a battle by default in France.

November 18, 2012
1:06 am
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Jorja05
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KOA: I think this was a won over marriage. All his life Henry was pushed away for his brother and by marrying her as King, he had everything his brother would have had. What influence did she have? At the beginning, she had every influence. She was companion and intellect as he was establishing his rule and before Wolsey, she was his advisor. She was the first female ambassador in history at that point so she obviously had a good head for politics. With her father, she brought an ally so Henry would have relied on her for that. I also think that towards the end, KOA influenced him to be as stubborn as she and ruthless. By not obeying him and feeding his ego, she made him determined and, to a point, cruel. He kept her away from her daughter and let her die alone. She made him distrusting, a characteristic that would follow him throughout his reign.
AB: Anne influenced him to be God, to a certain extent of course. She influenced to create the power that he would hold throughout the rest of his reign. She influenced him to be passionate at the beginning, he was not passionate so openly with his first wife and she influenced him to be his own master. People argue that she influenced him to be cruel and hard but I believe that even with out Anne, he would have found another wife and those who opposed him would have met the same end. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He may have turned into a tyrant and become suspicious and cruel and demanding but I feel that he would have become that way anyway and I think his childhood had something to do with it- the way that he was treated as second best by Henry VII.
JS: Although I have little time for her, I do believe that Jane Seymour influenced Henry in one particular way. He had never grieved over his other wives and when Jane died he did not marry for a long time nor show any inclination to. She gave him a son, so thats some brownie points for her, so obviously when she died he was disappointed, it was the first marriage he believed to be true so he could grieve. If Anne had given him a son and then died, I believe his grief would have been more intense for there has never been such an infamous or intense love affair. Jane was the submissive that she was told to be and although she did influence him to bring Mary back to court, this was not before he made her sign the act, so he got his own way in the end anyway. I believe her influence was limited.
AOC: I feel for Anne but I do not believe that she influenced him very much. Like Jane, she was too submissive and her Queenship too short a time that there was no influence to have. Yes, she obeyed him and stepped down quietly but other than that there was little she did.
KH: Little Kitty Howard. She influenced him in one way: he became softer again. After all his bullying, when Henry married Katherine he mellowed. Yes, he felt passion again (but he had felt this before) and yes he felt young again but in the end, she influenced him to be soft. It is often argued that if KH had been allowed to see the King at Hampton Court before he went to the Oaklands around the time of her arrest then he would have given in, set her aside maybe, and left her alone. So that was the influence she had over him, to be soft and gentle again.
CP: After five marriages, it would have been hard for her to influence such a mighty King. But I feel that in the end she did. She could not press her religion on him as she had hoped but she did influence him to become a family man, to finally except his children and build a kind of normal life. He became a semi father figure in all his children’s lives again after so much of their childhood was spent up in the air. CP influenced Henry to have and to love a family.

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