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English Tudor court
June 20, 2013
9:29 pm
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neild
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June 13, 2013
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I would be really interested to know how the Tudor court worked, for example did being called to court by the king mean that you were being given a paid position. In all the films iv seen the court seems to be filled with people standing around and talking or making merry, were their lords and graces expected to be at court each day for a specific purpose or just to pass the time of day. there also seemed to be a lot of jostling to be in the kings favour one way or another or discussion about who would be the next one to fall from grace. so is this how it really was i ask becouse the palace and court would have been a running concern but, iv learned not to believe all you see on film as accurate. secondly would the ladies of the court such as the queens maids have been allowed to mingle freely as shown it seems to me that they were fair game for any body.

June 21, 2013
12:32 pm
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Boleyn
Kent.
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There was a strict rule of conduct governing the court. For the most part there was just a lot of standing about waiting, but bear in mind some of the people that were there, were there to find wives, (well that what I think anyway.)
The closer you could get to the King the more chance there was to inprove your social standing, higher on the social standing meant more wealth and more wealth meant being able to find a better match for yourself. You kind of have to feel sorry for old lard arse in a way because save for Charles Brandon, (although he did push his luck with lard arse a few times) he had very few true freinds, the people around him were always out for themselves and what they could get. If the maids had sweethearts amongst the court they probably did meet in secret at times but for the most part they were I believe usually chaperoned.
A lot of people standing around the court doing nothing did happen but there again if you look at it from another point of view, it all helped Lard arses’s ego too. If there were very few people at the court the rest of the world would want to know why? and would surmise that Henry obvisously was not popular etc, and that it was best to stay away from the court.
But the more people there were at court the more the rest of the world would say “Wow Henry is an amazing guy, his court must be a fantastic place to be etc” So everybody would want to come to couurt just to be seen even if they didn’t get anything from it. Think about it. If you were a gentleman around his court and a lady catches you eye would she like you more if you said “Hey babe do you want to be my girl” and then she asked you what you do and who you are? you answer “I’m Sir Neil I clean the jakes out.” Or “I’m Sir Neil I am part of the in Crowd in King Henry’s court”?
James 1st court was a prime example of how popularity can suddenly take a nose dive, When Anne of Denmark his wife was alive things were ok in court but once she had died people ddn’t want to be at his court anymore. It was said that he was covered with lice, and stunk the place out almost as bad as Henry 8 did. There was a reason for that, basically James never washed and the only time he went near water was when he reluctantly washed his finger tips. He also wore a heavily padded doublet all of his life, because he was mortally afraid of assasination. Can’t blame him for that as most of his predessors had been murdered as well as 3 of his guardians.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

June 21, 2013
2:27 pm
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Louise
Hampshire, England
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There is a great book, which hasn’t been out long, called ‘Who’s Who at the Tudor Court’. It sets out, in an easy to read format, the various different roles within the Tudor court structure. Baldwin Smith’s biography of Catherine Howard also has a useful section about this, as well as his book on Henry’s court (can’t remember the title). Starkey’s ‘The Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics is also helpful.

June 21, 2013
8:28 pm
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Steve Callaghan
UK
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Possibly Weir’s Henry VIII: King and Court too.

On another note, I really looked forward to reading Karen Lindsey’s Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation Of The Wives Of Henry VIII; unfortunately, it was very dry reading – basically a retelling of the story of Henry’s marriages – with the “Feminism” bit tacked-on (as a selling-point, perhaps?). Avoid.

June 21, 2013
10:46 pm
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Bill1978
Australia
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That first book sounds like it mght be the book for me Louise. will have to hunt down a copy, cause i admit I get so confused over what role everybody was meant to play and who was overstepping their mark because of position.

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