Today is the anniversary of the death of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, father of Queen Anne Boleyn. He died at the family home, Hever Castle, in Kent, on 12th March 1539. His servant, Robert Cranwell, informed Thomas Cromwell of Thomas’s death, writing “My good lord and master is dead. He made the end of a good Christian man.”

And a good Christian man he was.

While his daughter, Anne Boleyn, has mostly been rehabilitated, sometimes it has been at the cost of her father. I often read the likes of “She was just a pawn of her family”, “Her father forced her into the king’s bed”, “Thomas Boleyn’s ambition knew no bounds and Anne paid the price” etc. etc. and that certainly is the Thomas Boleyn of fiction and series like “The Tudors”. For me, at least “The Tudors” series makes him intelligent and strong, on top of his ambition, while the Thomas Boleyn of the movie “The Other Boleyn Girl” is a weak man controlled by his wife, Elizabeth, and her brother, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. The three of them pretty much act as pimps for their daughters, Mary and Anne, so that their family can rise at court.

Unfortunately, the mud that has been slung at Thomas Boleyn over the years has stuck. But, I do hope that in the same way you might have questioned some of the myths, stories and assumptions surrounding Anne Boleyn, that you might, just might, have an open mind where her father is concerned.

Thomas Boleyn was a loyal servant of King Henry VII and King Henry VIII, and he was already on the rise and a royal favourite before either of his daughters were linked with the king. He had an amazing career and it was built on hard work, his gifts, his personality and his loyal service. Yes, he was ambitious, as he was expected to be and as was needed for his family. Yes, he did his duty to his monarch, which included dusting himself off after his children’s executions and proving his loyalty to the king. But that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a broken man after the events of 1536. I can’t imagine how he felt when he retreated to Hever in May 1536 and what he and his wife went through.

So, in honour of this gifted man, I share here some videos and articles, and I’d also recommend Lauren Mackay’s book “Among the Wolves of Court: The Untold Story of Thomas and George Boleyn”.

You can read more on Thomas in these articles:

and in our Thomas Boleyn category.

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193 thoughts on “In memory of one of my very favourite Tudor personalities, Thomas Boleyn”
  1. I Know what you mean Claire about him still being maligned. A few years ago I bought a very cheap used copy of The Lady in the Tower and as I always do I was looking at all of the illustrations before I started reading it and when I came across Thomas Boleyn’s pic the description was something like the man who forced his daughter on on the king or words to that effect. The book went straight into recycling without being read and I decided not to read anything by this author.

    1. I was away from home and looking for something to read and bought a cheap used copy of that same book. I also got a copy of The Princes in the Tower from the Free Books table. I assumed it was on that table because the book, a hardback, was twisted a little. I have been trying to “get into” both books for some time, but I am about to give up. I am beginning to realize why that book is twisted, although I have no idea how it was done. It’s almost impossible to tear a hardback book in half, but it looks as if someone tried!

      1. Wow! If you’ve spent any time at all on this site you’ve seen our conversations on and opinions of historical novelists who claim to be historians. We’re obviously not fans. As you have experienced they just make the truth harder to find and get out there.

  2. I have just looked on you tube at St. Peter’s church at Sir Thomas’s tomb and seen the tiny cross belonging to his dead son, opposite is the stained glass window with the arms of the Boleyn family showing the bulls heads, it looks a lovely church, I wondered why there was no inscription of his other son Henry but then was informed he lies in Penshurst Place, another home which was in the possession of the Boleyn family at one time, and which is a close neighbour of Hever Castle, I wonder if Henry was his parents first born child, he was possibly named in honour of Henry V11 and could well have died within his first year, only prominent people had brass inscriptions on their tombs and Thomas’s is beautifully done, I have often fancied the face is similar to his notorious daughter Anne, it is rather long but I do not think a need to have an actual likeness was the intention, the figures on tombs were just to commemorate the person who was interred there, Anne Boleyns falcon badge was also inscribed a nice touch, and really it is a tomb worthy of the man who was the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth 1st, sixty two was not a bad age in Tudor times he had survived the sweat amongst other childhood ailments of the day which sent many to their maker, he had survived the tragedy of his two children who both perished on the scaffold, but it must have left scars and only those who have lost children can understand what he and Elizabeth his wife went through, however he was resilient and just what the king needed, a very intelligent diplomat and linguist he had served both Henry V11 and his son, it is true that down the years his true character has been submerged in myth, why this is so is a mystery, maybe people assumed wrongly that because he still served at court after his children’s death, has created a belief that he was rather callous and this has taken hold of fiction writers and some historians to, but there was little he could do as he was duty bound, the king being his master to continue to serve him, he had to think of his wife who was in frail health and also his daughter Mary and her family to, later evidence has come to light that tells us Thomas was not happy about his daughters involvement with the king and in fact, at one point he had tried to stop their marriage which angered Anne, which shows a most concerned fatherly affection not that of a mercenary man who cared only for his advancement, I am not sure about the tale regarding him and the Lady Margaret Douglas, she was of the blood royal and somehow I do not think Thomas would be considered good enough to be tied in marital harmony, however he must have been in favour and maybe that was due to the conscience of Henry V111 and Cromwell, they had after all been responsible for killing two of his children, he could have been weary of court life and as he survived not long after his wife’s death shows that it could have been grief that killed him, the comment made by his faithful servant is fitting indeed, he made the end of a Christian man, truth that he was held in quite high regard by those closest to him.

  3. Who is Henry V111?

    Roman numerals and Arabic numbers are not mixed. The Romans used a capital I for 1, V for 5, X for ten, and so on: and thus VIII is 8. Monarchs are traditionally numbered using Roman numerals only – a mixture of the two doesn’t mean anything and is just so much nonsense.

    1. It’s acceptable in modern terms and although not correct, everyone knows what is represented so I really don’t believe it matters and it isn’t actually relevant.

    2. It’s a typo. Or perhaps done through ignorance of what is customary in typing Roman numerals. If it was ignorance, you have enlightened whoever wrote the post.

  4. Thomas Boleyn was an ambitious man, that’s just how it was if you entered the service of the King, either directly or via an equally ambitious noble family, the Howards for example. Thomas Boleyn and his brother and their father and his brother were the retainers of the Duke of Norfolk during the 1460s and 1470s, the young Thomas coming to favour during the 1490s at the Court of Henry Vii. By the time his daughters were even born he had been in royal service for almost a decade. By the time they fell under the eye of King Henry Viii Thomas and Elizabeth had served at Court in high favour and a number of positions for more than three decades. They didn’t need either Anne or Mary to sleep with Henry and become their meal tickets. Thomas was particularly intelligent and able and served on diplomatic missions abroad from 1513 when he spent a year almost at the Court of Emperor Maximillan and Margaret of Austria were he was engaged with an Embassy to form an international alliance. At some point during this mission, while the Emperor spent most of his time hunting, Margaret showed friendship towards Thomas Boleyn and he put in a good word for Anne to find a place at her Court. She came to the Netherlands in 1514. Thomas more or less became the King’s man in France and his influence there possibly led to Anne and Mary being added to the young ladies who served Queen Claude in France.

    One could only be ambitious to serve at Court, one didn’t succeed otherwise. A knight and a gentleman had very little choice but to seek a career at Court and represent the King in his local county. Local gentry of standing, these sat as magistrates, raised revenues, kept the Kings peace, raised a militia in times of crisis, oversaw committees for local government business, at Court they had specific tasks, they were trusted advisers and administration, Councillors and among the Kings official friends and officials. The Tudors liked to raise people based on ability as well as privileged birth and Thomas Boleyn was made Controller of the Kings Household. He would benefit from the rise of Anne Boleyn, as would his son George, his title of Earl of Wiltshire was as a direct consequence of Anne’s relationship with King Henry. Thomas was also given the special privilege of being made Lord Privy Seal shortly after the fall of Cardinal Wolsey and played a big part in that. However, it was also partly recognition of his years of loyal and able service. Even if it was merely connected to Anne’s relationship with Henry, it wasn’t unusual to reward families of a royal mistress or in Henry’s case royal wife this way. The family of Elizabeth Woodville dominated the fifteenth century nobility through marriage after she became Queen. Jane Seymour gave Henry his son and her family were handsomely rewarded before and after her marriage, even more after her death. Her brothers rose to become Lord High Admiral of England, Thomas Seymour and Edward became Lord Protector, after the ascension of Prince Edward to the throne. Rewards for the Boleyn and Howard families were therefore for a mix of abilities and their connectivity via the women in the family.

    There is no evidence that either Mary or Anne were forced into the Kings bed by their parents, Henry fell in love with Anne for one thing and it is believed by many historians that Thomas actually may have disapproved of his daughters relationship with Henry. Certainly he appeared to be critical of Anne’s marriage and to have had a distant relationship with Mary. He saw that Anne’s marriage was actually dangerous, and, unfortunately he was to be proved correct. Thomas continued to act on service abroad during her marriage and on the Council and although, he was hit hard by the execution of his son and daughter, Thomas returned to Court after mourning in the countryside. Henry sent him to be part of the baptism of his heir Edward and ordered him to raise horses for services against the rebels of 1536. They were not actually used but he raised them as ordered. After the death of his wife, Elizabeth in 1538,_probably because of her illness being aggravated by grief, Thomas was connected by rumours to the niece of King Henry, Margaret Douglas. However, this was just a rumour and it certainly has nothing to do with him being back in favour. I doubt he would have been permitted to make such a marriage. It seems he was looking to his financial situation and this was a passing fancy to make money, as he would from her inheritance. When he died King Henry complimented his old friend and loyal servant and paid for a number of masses for his soul. He had obviously appreciated those years of service, despite the disgrace of the family and their perceived treason. He probably also felt some remorse for his own acceptance of the false charges which brought down his wife, Anne, and her brother, George Boleyn. That was the price of ambition and the dangers of favouritism in the Tudor Court: it could cost you everything.

  5. I thought this might be a good time to ask you about something. One of the books that sparked my interest in the Tudor period (and in history in general) was Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time. In that book a couple of characters are discussing Elizabeth Woodville and her behavior in the reigns of both Richard III and Henry VII. I was struck by these two sentences in particular.

    “’Where would one have to go to meet a woman who became matey with the murderer of her two boys?’ ‘Greece, I should think,” Marta said. “Ancient Greece.’”

    But it has occurred to me that that is exactly what Thomas Boleyn did! In fact, Elizabeth Woodville seems to have been able to meet either Richard or Henry with at least polite behavior, and it is more than likely one of the two men murdered her sons. Over and over people’s family members are murdered by whichever king happens to be in at the moment, and they just go on serving him or her without missing a beat. How could they? This is a topic I really would like to know more about from someone who will not say something like, “Well, that’s just how it was then.” Frankly, if I had been Anne Boleyn’s mother I would have ripped that red beard right off his face using a nice sharp knife the first chance I got!

    1. Just before you are dragged off to the Tower? The answer is survival. Another reason was family honour and power. There was little else the gentry knew about but power and their birth right. That power came with responsibility, with obligations and with service. It was also about the family name and the family line as well as gaining favour with ones rulers and ambition. Kings were treated as if they had Divine power and were appointed to rule and it was your place to honour your oath of allegiance towards them. People saw their loyalty not merely to one King but to the crown, the institution of monarchy. In the normal process of things one King ruled, passed the crown on to his son and everything carried on. Society was very structured at this time, with everyone knowing their place, although some opportunities opened up to move up society. The problem arose when two Kings declared they were the true monarch and rivals fought for the crown as in the Wars of the Roses, when you had families caught up in the power struggle and bouncing from one side to the other. Yes, you had die hard families who supported York or Lancaster, but you had a number who changed sides before a battle, rather than risk an on the spot execution if the other lot won. Self interest therefore was another reason for supporting the “right” monarch, having already supported someone else. A number of families sat on the fence, waiting for the best play, why, they might get a better reward or more powerful position. The Stanley brothers would begin life in support of York and when Edward iv lost his crown Thomas Stanley didn’t turn up at Towton and didn’t give support at Barnet either, while his brother, William remained committed. Lord Thomas managed to worm his way into favour and went on to serve Edward iv well after his restoration in 1470. He would later serve Richard iii for two years before remaining on the sidelines at Bosworth. His brother used his army to crash into Richard and his men after his famous charge on the battlefield.

      The Beaufort clan having been strong Plantagenet supporters for two generations, made the natural transition to the House of Lancaster, rather than be pushed out because they remained powerful and gained more power by that wise decision. Besides the replacement of Richard ii by Henry Bolingbrook, Duke of Lancaster as Henry iv was accepted as inevitable. The Beaufort family flourished under the three Henrys. When the male line was crushed after Tewkesbury and wiped out, it was for more personal reasons that the future matriarch, the only Beaufort who could regain the family fortunes, stepped into the breach and married a member of the York King’s Council, Lord Thomas Stanley. Margaret Beaufort, having lost her husband, Henry Stafford, saw her son, the 14 year old, Henry Tudor, go into exile with his Uncle Jasper Tudor and wondered if she had lost him for good. However, Margaret was a shrewd and resourceful and wealthy woman and knew the only hope of seeing Henry again was to patiently show loyalty to the House of York and to work for his return. She needed an insider and asked Sir Richard Bray to find her a suitable Yorkist husband. He suggested, Thomas Lord Stanley and the wedding was arranged. Margaret had become a feature of the York royal household and by 1482_had negotiated more or less terms with Edward iv to secure Henry’s return. 1483 saw the end of that with Edwards death and the eventual coming to the crown of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Margaret and Stanley were both present at his coronation but Margaret went off and decided to plot to restore Henry through military action. Whether Stanley was simply enjoying his political power again or playing a part is unknown but he remained in favour and close to the King. He remained without suspicion during his wife’s enterprise. Margaret became the central conspirator in a series of bazaar plots, all of which failed to first of all free and restore Edward v and his brother, then to support a rebellion by the Duke of Buckingham and then to financially support her son and an army. The rebellion quickly collapsed, the first attempt by Henry was a shambles and Margaret was spared any physical punishment but her property was seized and she was placed under house arrest under her husband’s control. She did somehow manage to arrange for Henry to marry Elizabeth of Woodville’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth, whom was now assumed to be the York heir. Margaret could not have done any of this without marriage to a supporter of the House of York.

      Elizabeth Woodville probably had several motives for agreeing to an advantageous marriage for her eldest daughter and to support Henry Tudor. She came to an agreement with Richard iii because he promised her daughters safety and she had no reason not to agree. Nobody knows what she believed or had heard about the fate of her sons and it was her own fault she was still in sanctuary in any case. She had every opportunity to come out in May 1483 and remained there. We don’t know if she believed the rumours because the only source which gives any information, Thomas More is totally unreliable and full of errors. She may or may not have believed them, its possible she did. She came out because she was manipulative. She had achieved her aim, a promise of a future wedding for Elizabeth and Henry and had little reason to remain any longer. Richard had not changed her with treason, although she was as involved in the conspiracy against him as Margaret Beaufort, she was fed up being in sanctuary for so long, her daughters had security promised and it was wise to come out. How could she accept hospitality from Richard if she believed he had anything to do with the murder of her sons? I doubt anyone can really answer that. We don’t have enough information. It is possible that she was shown evidence that they were actually alive. There wasn’t any evidence either way that Richard killed her sons. She had only heard stories. EW however, was given a good pension but remained in restricted house arrest. Her eldest and second daughter, Elizabeth and Cecily came to Court and enjoyed themselves. Her motivation may simply have been their comfort and future. It could have been that the conditions had become too uncomfortable. Although she and her five daughters and son by her first marriage lived in the Bishops Palace, not an actual Sanctuary, it was not suitable long-term. They had been there for several months. EW negotiated a good settlement for herself and her daughters, her son going abroad to join Henry Tudor. She couldn’t have found Richard that bad as she told her son to return home. He was on his way when an agent was sent by Henry to bring him back. Under Henry Vii, a man she hardly knew, Elizabeth was in 1486/7 forced into retirement in a convent. She was given an income, less than that given to her by Richard and could visit Court on special occasions. However, EW continued to devise plots, it has been alleged, although this is hotly debated and was more and more restricted. What did she believe about Henry and her sons? Again, for lack of contemporary sources we don’t have a clue. It has been suggested that she at least thought he had lied and knew Edward V to be alive. That explained her plotting during the Lambert Simnel affair. It is totally speculative. It may indeed sound odd if EW believed her sons to be dead that she had anything to do with a man she might have suspected as killing them, but then again, why remain in exile and risk the future of her other children? This is why after 500 years we cannot really try to understand how someone could make such odd decisions to go on serving Kings who had put their family members to death. In most cases it was the only way to regain confiscated property and titles back by showing outstanding loyalty to that same King or his successor. The best reason unfortunately was that they had little choice, financially or if they wanted to survive.

      1. Your narrative confirms my understanding that, yes, people did manage to live and even prosper by cosying up to someone who had murdered a parent, child, spouse, or dear friend. What I would like to know is how they did it? I know the evidence is scant, but perhaps something might be inferred by studying what people in that position did after the murder. Do we have any written records of what they bought, where they lived, what charities they supported, what books they read, to learn how they coped. Ever since I started learning about Tudor history the answer always is “That’s the way it was. To survived you kissed whatever part of the king’s anatomy was necessary and said whatever would please him. And anyway, parents back then didn’t care about their children, especially the girls.” I think this answer is the easy way out. Perhaps there is no way to arrive at an answer to my question. And in regard to my bloodthirsty plan for Henry if he killed anyone I loved, I would not expect to survive the act. But what a way to go!

        1. I would love to see you smacking Henry across the face or cutting his chin off sorry beard. I am sure many people felt the same way. How did they bring themselves to accept and conform? Well a number didn’t or at least they made a long term plan to get their own back. It could take decades to restore the family name, the Boleyns never did, even with the bottom wiping, it was only briefly that Thomas was back in favour, the last few years of his life. Unfortunately, no we don’t have any records of their private feelings because they withdrew from Court immediately after Anne’s execution until later that Summer. One clue in Lauren Mackay duel biography of his feelings is a complaint he made about Norfolk when a member of his household wrote a rude poem, to have them disciplined. He was also less than pleased about lending Cromwell his garter collar. He told the messenger that he did so to please the King but to go away in their grief. However, he was obeying the order to raise troops from his county i.e Kent for the ordinances to ride against the rebels from Lincolnshire and Yorkshire later that year. How he could do that, yes, I agree it really is beyond comprehension. As a Knight of the Bath Thomas Boleyn was bound by a code of chivalry and personal loyalty, it had its own written code, but these things were taught from generation to generation. He was a humanist scholar who followed the ideals of men like Erasmus and he also followed as with the rest of the family, Scripture. It does make one wonder though how do you suppress your anger and grief and return to your duty? What did they read? It’s an interesting area of research which hasn’t been explored a great deal. Perhaps the answers are not out there. I cannot imagine anything worse than losing two members of your family to the axe, knowing they are innocent and then having to live with the indignity of the stain of treason on your family name, losing your property, inheritance, titles, position, private property and income. It was humiliating, whether it was true or not. I can well imagine wanting revenge, goodness knows how people put their pride and feelings aside and just did their duty, without cutting bits of the Kings face. They could only bury those natural instincts for the sake of surviving family members. It really couldn’t be easy and I would love to know more about any private coping methods, letters, books, etc they used to help them as well. I wonder if any in-depth work has been done. Unfortunately, a small number of people, especially the young and the restless didn’t take things laying down. The Gunpowder Plotters were the sons and grandchildren of families who had taken a pragmatic approach to years of persecution. Not all, but most came from gentry families whose relatives were trying to be loyal while having to put up with persecution. They had far too much time on their hands and time to think and conspire for months and months before they hit on the idea of blowing up Parliament with the King inside and his whole Government. William Catesby had family members who had been imprisoned and executed under the Protestant authorities. He was also one of those who rode with the Earl of Essex in 1601_in his doomed uprising against Elizabeth I. Guy Fawlkes was unknown to the authorities and was baptised in York as a Protestant but converted later in life. He was a soldier of fortune and the gunpowder man, but the majority of the others had form when it came to treason. What do you do when the authorities take everything because the law says a Bill can go through Parliament and you can be attainted and most of your belongings can be taken from you? How should your heirs behave towards the monarch who has taken the life of your father or mother or both? The crown would often take control of the heirs left by traitors, especially if they were minors and raise them, paying for their education, training, putting a roof over their head and making them indebted to the crown for benevolence. At some point the heirs would be given a title and some land and some revenues would be restored to support their new status. Making heirs dependent on the new King cultivated loyalty. I see it as a form of genetic or noble brainwashing. The rules of their class, the books of instructions, the very religious nature of their worldview, the education they received, all played a part instilling discipline and duty into their minds that it was second nature and forced them to put personal desires for revenge to one side when King or Queen X executed a loved one, so as they chose to remain loyal and serve. At the end of the day, regardless of how these families felt, they had little choice. It was go on serving the King or commit regicide and treason, retirement also being a very limited option. How did they do it? I really don’t know. I really would love to do or find some research which focuses on the more personal aspects of family treason and loss for those left behind. You could always plot to overthrow them, but that would result in more loss and condemnation.

          I really can’t get the image of you cutting Henry’s beard with razor sharp knives and taking a bit of his chin along with it out of my mind. It’s definitely much more realistic.

  6. broken= lost all hope according to oxford dictionary. thomas wasn’t broken, but most likely damaged. i’ve read that anne respected her father despite his opposition to her marriage. (i think for her safety, the family and friends’ safety, and ’cause he believed catherine of aragon was telling the truth about her virginity. it says that if a man sleeps w/his wife’s widow, he’ll be childless and catherine obviously childless!)

    i think thomas had some comfort in believing that henry’ll get his just desserts in hell for killing 5 innocent men and anne…. among others.

    1. Yes, I agree Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth were damaged by the traumatic and shameful execution of their son and daughter, who were innocent to boot. The victims of a political coup to bring down the family, Anne was accused of adultery, treason and incest and five innocent men killed with her. Anne was Queen for a mere three years but had waited for seven to get that high honour. It’s beyond belief that she would risk everything for a roll in the hay with a musician or her brother, especially knowing how repugnant that sin was.

      I have to disagree with you on one or two points. Leviticus doesn’t say widow, it says wife, therefore the interpretation isn’t correct. Leviticus was overruled by Deuteronomy which commanded a male relative to marry a widow, to protect her and her first son belonged to the deceased brother. Katherine wasn’t childless, again Henry was advised incorrectly that this meant no sons. I don’t believe it is up to any human being to wish someone to burn in Hell, that’s not for us to judge. I don’t even believe Anne wanted that.

  7. I wonder if something might be done to research coping mechanisms through consideration of family history. For instance, Catesby is a name that keeps popping up. Did the fact that a Catesby was a loyal follower of Richard III have anything to do with the Catesby who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot? Is there a possibility of hatred for the Tudors passed from generation to generation? Just a suggestion. I don’t know enough about these families to say more.

    1. I don’t know if it’s just families. Sometimes it seems to be titles. How many Dukes of Buckingham were executed beginning with Richard III’s associate?

      1. Just in Tudor times? The first creation had 3 holders of the title. One died in battle, the other two executed for treason, one by Richard III, one by Henry VII. The title became extinct and was revived in 1623. Of the second creation, the first holder was assassinated, the second died of a chill and the title again became extinct. Apparently it was revived a couple of times more, but never lasted more than two or three generations. Fascinating!

        1. There is probably enough material in there for several areas of research, an entire department. What a really fascinating proposal. Although a number of authors have looked at our nobility very little personal family history and experience has been recovered. I am convinced there are archived materials that have never seen the light of day which could shed new light on many of our old titled families. Yes, the fact that William Catesby was beheaded immediately after Bosworth a few days into Henry Tudors new reign may have some kind of psychological link down the generations to Robert. Robert was killed of course in a shoot out rather than dying on the scaffold and he was a fanatic in the extreme. Of course England in 1485 was Catholic as was everywhere but by 1605 England was a Protestant country under a Scottish King. It was a very different place, but the underlying family traits may have been there all the time. I mean was it unusual to have an execution in several generations like the Howards or where they just unlucky or given to trouble with a capital T.

          The Second and Third Duke of Buckingham in the Stafford creation both being executed, father and son is fascinating and one wonders did they have similar motivation or was Edward Stafford actually set up? The Second Duke beheaded on the orders of Richard iii for his rebellion is a bit of an enigma to a lot of historians because his motives are uncertain. Henry Stafford was described as a close friend of King Richard but that has been questioned. His attachment to him during the two months of his Protectorate give the impression that he is entirely on his side and he probably was. A few weeks of holding John Morton prisoner changed that. For reasons which are obscure Henry Stafford ends up drawn into an elaborate conspiracy with Margaret Beaufort and co. His own claim to the throne was a real one but was he biding his time until he saw the outcome of the attempt by Henry Tudor to take the crown, the first one that failed or was he on team MBHT? Not that he got to find out. It all quickly came to nothing, his own tenants gave him up and he was taken off to Winchester and executed. His son was raised in the household of Margaret Beaufort and was an early favourite of Henry Viii. The Third Duke was a successful noble, holding numerous important posts under the young King, but there was a very odd rivalry, nothing to do with his claim to the crown, it has been proposed that Henry slept with his sister, but that was years before his execution. He made an enemy of Cardinal Wolsey and again a servant, acting as a spy revealed allegations that he wanted to kill the King. Was there again some kind of generational anomaly or hatred of the reigning monarch, a wish to create their own older Dynasty? What was going on with these two Dukes? The same myths linked the two men. Edward was said to have heard his father wanted to see Richard before he died and kill him, he was going to get an audience with Henry and kill him. This was an accusation so it can’t be taken as historic. Its very interesting that the story apparently was known by father and son, so what had Edward Stafford read or was it invented?

          I absolutely loved George Villiers, 1st Duke in the new creation, because he was a bit of a heroic rogue. He was supposed to have had an affair with Anne of Austria the Queen of Louis XIII and is a character in the Three Musketeers. He brought relief to the French Protestants at La Rochelle and was the more than close friend of King James I and a platonic friend with Prince Charles, later Charles I. He went with Charles on a visit to Spain to Court the Infanta but that was a disaster. His political life made him unpopular and he was assassinated by his servant Felton. His son had a long but turbulent friendship with Charles Ii, a very colourful political and personal life, was imprisoned for casting the Kings astrological chart and was in and out of favour forever afterwards. But again there were odd patterns that crossed the two or three generations.

          It would be a study that would really open up the inner world of our old families and their links to the crown and to each other. Would it not be great to strip away the veneer of noble blood and get down into the dirty washing of some of our most powerful historical families? What did drive them and how could they carry on regardless when it came to continually serving men and women who had judicially murdered members of their family, just because they thought they were Divine? There must be some literature. The Reign of Henry Viii Personalities and Policies by David Starkey gives quite a full look at the interplay between crown and gentry and nobility and how rivalry moved Tudor political changes, depending on who was in and who was out. It is surprising and rich with sources, many of them personal letters.

  8. Just to update people. Steve is doing o.k from his operation but has a lot of pain. They made different pain control and he was feeling a bit better by the time I left this afternoon. Having a lot of wind but that’s because he wasn’t drinking. He wasn’t happy in the bed so they got him up again. He is better up. A long road ahead but making slow progress.

    Now the football is cancelled for three weeks, I will be catching up on my documentaries. There are quite a few. Looking forward to Easter and the Liverpool Passion. Hopefully will go ahead and be up to it.

    1. Thank you for the update BQ, that is very good news. Most sports have been cancelled over here too.

    2. I’m glad he’s improving even though it’s gradual every day makes a difference, hows your hand? It is a nuisance when that happens, as said it doesn’t effect me much when my right hand plays up as I’m a lefty, but last night was at a friends birthday party and my back was playing up, felt very tired to as was suffering from sleep deprivation, luckily my friends who were giving me a lift home were tired to so we left bit early, think it’s our age ! Talking of football I love watching Ronaldo play but not because of any love for the game, I just like watching him he’s gorgeous, I like Easter to, it’s a nice little holiday especially if the weathers nice, I’m going to Clacton next weekend for a few days, was going on a haunted event but the celebrity who was coming with us had to cancel because of film work, so we decided to get a refund and go to Clacton for a little break, we were disappointed but now am looking forward to spending some time at the sea side, it is nice there with plenty of weatherspoon pubs, just hope weathers not too bad as it’s nice to walk along the beach with fish and chips, if it’s raining we can just go in the amusement arcades, and it’s just a nice little break.

  9. The event which I feel must have been the most saddest for Thomas Boleyn was the christening of the birth of Prince Edward, the son of his daughters rival and whose very existence was down to Anne Boleyn’s death, we can only imagine the bleak depression the anger and grief that must have torn at his heart, as had Anne only given the king a prince like Edward she would have still been alive and firmly settled in her position as queen, it seems heartless of the king to have Thomas in attendance at the little princes christening but due to his office he had to be, all of Henry V111’s wives were in a precarious position because their very security and status rested solely on then bearing their king a male heir, Anne in her arrogance must have believed she could do that, but no woman can ever be sure what sex her child would be, if she had promised Henry V111’ s sons then she was being hasty and foolish, but I think she was carried along in her own supreme self belief that she could achieve anything, had not Henry promised to marry her and so he had, from mere knights daughter to Queen of England, she must have felt the fates were with her and she was invincible, her sudden fall from grace was so swift and all the more shocking because of it, how could her family recover from such trauma and how could Thomas as we have discussed carry on working at the court, just months after Anne and George’s death, this was Tudor England, feelings of the bereaved were not taken into account, it must have been heart rending to see another woman in his late daughters place, he had to watch Thomas Cromwell being raised to the peerage no doubt for his service to his master for ridding him of a nagging wife, all his life he had served at court, he was well versed in the rather sordid ways of Tudor machinations, he may have had a sixth sense about Anne’s involvement with the king knowing him to be a man of instability, he had seen after all favourites fall rapidly, Worsley was a prime example, he only failed his master over the divorce, prior to that he had served him faithfully for many years, how are the mighty fallen, Thomas also may have been rather wary after his eldest daughter was discarded by the king, he may have witnessed some tears there and so he would not wish his youngest daughter to be so used then discarded, I think he was a man of high moral standards he was a Tudor gentlemen after all, those three remaining years of Boleyn’s life were joyless, maybe he felt some satisfaction after Jane Seymours death, not out of any enmity towards her maybe but because he relished the kings grief, his family were grieving he had killed their children, now it was the kings turn, he must have been glad when he was allowed leave to return to his family residence of Hever, his wife Lady Elizabeth must have been there as she was struggling with some ailment which eventually killed her, it could have been a number of things TB was common and there were also outbreaks of malaria, after her death he must have found he had no wish to go on, research has shown that men can die from a broken heart and Sir Thomas had plenty of reason to do just that,

    1. Broken heart syndrome is a very real thing. I have friend in Buffalo NY who sends me articles out of her local newspaper and I just received an obit of a couple who had been married 69 years and died 3 days apart. The husband passed first. Or Debbie Reynold’s death. She died the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died. They were very close. I think men succumb to this more than women because speaking as a man, on average were not as emotionally strong, we just pretend we are. Don’t anyone get upset at me. This is just an opinion.

      1. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that the stress of losing a loved one, especially under unhappy circumstances, will put a physical strain on the survivor that may shorten their life. My grandparents’ death dates are 11 days apart. They had been estranged for almost 30 years, but I have always wondered if her death hastened his.

      2. I think you may be correct there Michael, I have known elderly men lose a wife, then not surviving long afterwards, yet in the cases where the men go first it’s more or less after the initial stages of grieving to soldier on and of course, it helps immensely if there are children for support, but yes broken heart syndrome is recognised by doctors in the UK, and in captivity animals also are affected if their lifelong mate dies in the zoo, swans as you know have one mate and have been known to pine away after they die, I think I heard one case where the remain8ng swan died with grief, Sir Thomas had suffered dreadful loss, losing not just Anne but George to, then he lost his dear wife and must have welcomed death so he could be reunited with them all, he must have felt what is the point of going on, the days of glory were over, his family were disgraced and shamed, sympathetic eyes must have looked his way many a time, and he could not vent his rage and grief as he went about his duties at court, he saved his tears for nighttime, although Anne died a traitor he must have taken some comfort in the knowledge that many believed her innocent, the charges against her were too ridiculous to be authentic, and he heard many a grumble against the king, Jane Seymour herself had come in for some criticism herself, the hastiness with which the king had wed Jane barely three weeks after his second wife’s death, made the circumstances of Anne’s demise look more suspicious but as Bq says, what could one do, it was a case of survival, the families of the five men accused with Anne were also suffering, it is easy for us to say how could they carry on at court serving the king as though nothing happened, the answer was they had no choice, trapped by the intolerant age they lived in ruled by a despot who wielded supreme power, they had no choice but to knuckle down and carry on the best they could, it was all about survival, the need to restore the family fortunes to recapture the respect of the family name, for centuries those families who had lost a member by execution lost their titles and some, their family homes, yet they could be restored by the next monarch or by years of good service, Thomas knew Henry to have no beef with him, and the tyrant acknowledged his death by having masses said for his soul and he was mourned, not only by his contemporaries at court, and there was never any incident of hostility towards him but by his faithful servants to, he had served loyally two kings and his late wife had served Queen Katherine in her youth, the king had been his son in law and they must have enjoyed a good relationship, it is not presumptuous to say he must have regretted his passing, I do believe also that there is some modicum of truth in the rumour that Henry V111 regretted sending his second queen to the block, meanwhile far away from the petty jealousies of Henry’s turbulent court in the leafy quietness of Kent, Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond was laid to rest with the dignity and respect that he deserved, his servants and friends mourned him and we must take our cue from them, no one who ever knew Sir Thomas Boleyn said he was grasping and concerned only with his own welfare, not one said he pushed his daughters in the kings path, not one described him as loving ambition more than his family, all he ever did he did for them, his wife and remaining family, truth that over the centuries ones character can be maligned so the real person is lost, his very character and sense of worth, his tomb is quite fine with a beautiful brass inscription, he lost several children, his eldest could have been Henry who lies in Penshurst and then Thomas who was possibly named after his father, there could have been more infants but we have only on record these two innocent mites who were destined never to share in the glory and tragedy of their family, Sir Thomas and Lady Elizabeth who lies with her Howard ancestors knew real heartbreak, they also died long before the accession of their granddaughter Queen Elizabeth 1st, their blood did not run in Anne’s future descendants who could have been a long line of monarchs had Elizabeth chosen to marry, instead their blood flows to this day through their eldest and only surviving child Mary, Queen Elizabeth the queen mother was descended from Mary and who passed on her Boleyn blood to her children our present queen and the late HRH Princess Margaret, the late Princess of Wales Diana was also descended from Mary Boleyn, so today Sir Thomas’s blood still flows in the heart of the British monarchy, having witnessed Anne losing her status of queen and then dying on the scaffold, and the knowledge that his granddaughter Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and lost her position in the succession, I am sure he would have been very proud of that.

    2. This is another example of the place a courtier must be in, in constant attendance upon the King or Queen, at their beck and call, their first duty to obey a summons. Being invited to the baptism of a royal child, the Prince and heir, in particular was not just an invitation, it was a command. Thomas Boleyn was expected as was everyone else to provide a handsome present. It was of course his place to be called by Henry or more probably Cromwell, because at the end of the day he was still a peer of the realm and it was his duty to attend the baptism of Prince Edward and to put a good face on. I agree it was also cruel given the personal circumstances, however, that his daughter was the lady the new Queen now replaced.

      Thomas had been successful in regaining some favour by obeying a call to raise men and arms in his county for the crown to use during the Pilgrimage of Grace the previous year. This was the ultimate test of his loyalty, but personally difficult as Christine wrote because his daughters successor has succeeded where she failed, the production of a male heir. As a result, Anne has been set up on false charges of adultery, incest and treason, was made to look like the woman Queen Katherine of Aragon called her “the scandal of Christendom” and Henry, her husband had her executed. Even though Thomas Boleyn was the father of the disgraced Queen Anne, he must now play the dutiful subject and pay homage to her successor, Queen Jane Seymour, and to that new son and heir. His feelings towards Jane would not be too harsh because it is doubtful he knew her well and his mind I would imagine would be on how things could have been different if this child belonged to his own daughter. His mind and feelings must have been very up and down during those celebrations afterwards, this lady had replaced his beloved Anne, maybe his favourite child, for this lady to be Queen, his own bright and intelligent and remarkable daughter and his only son had been killed. It was very difficult for him, it must have been. There is no record of Lady Elizabeth Boleyn, Anne’s mother being in attendance, and, it is my guess she was too ill to be there and was excused. Thomas could only make himself get through the occasion, do his duty and hide any negative feelings from Henry and the Seymour clan. This was also not the first humiliation he had suffered. In July 1536 Thomas lost his position as Lord Privy Seal to Thomas Cromwell, who was rewarded for his part in Anne’s downfall. Glad to be back in favour or not, swallowing pride or not, this event could only have reminded Thomas Boleyn of the deaths of Anne and George and the causes of them. How he got through it without exploding is a mystery!

      I too believe Elizabeth Boleyn died as a result of the loss of two adult children in such a traumatic and brutal manner, especially as she appeared to be close to Anne. Thomas was a good age for the period, in his early 60s, but even so it does seem likely that his wife’s death contributed to his own.

      1. I think knowing Janes brothers overweening ambition especially Thomas, that had King Henry lived longer they would have eventually fallen from grace under him anyway, the Seymour family’s asset was Jane and Edward became protectorate when the old king died, for his nephew the little King Edward, Thomas the younger was it appears more ambitious and I believe jealous of his brother, he married the kings widow before the year was out and after her death began to woo the lady Elizabeth, one can see he probably was not very enamoured of both ladies but he wished to taste the glory of power, his ambition sent him to the block and then there was his elder brother Edward, he too was beheaded, The Seymour family replaced the Boleyn’s in the kings affections yet as Sir Thomas Boleyn witnessed the pomp and splendour of Prince Edwards christening, and saw Queen Janes parents and brothers and sisters toast their success and happiness, he must have thought how long would they retain their favour? ones fortunes were precarious in the Henrician court and really, the new born baby could die just as easily as his brothers and sisters had done so, Jane herself died not long after the birth, and had Edward followed her than the king would not have found the need to favour his in laws anymore, they had outlived their purpose, it was in their favour that Edward was a healthy baby and they were able to assume power after Henry V111 died, unlike the Boleyn family whose most famous daughter rejected the king time and again for about a year, whose father was not altogether fond of her association with the king, the Seymours actively pushed Jane in the kings favour, I am not sure about her father and mother, but Janes brothers were definitely excited about the kings interest in their mouse of a sister, and they did everything they could to make sure she replaced the present queen, it was Janes brothers Edward and Thomas who were really the ‘pimps’ not Sir Thomas Boleyn.

      2. More research needs to be done but recently I have discovered a link in my family tree to Philadelphia Cary who was a granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, this is very exciting for me, the connection is through the Duke and Earls of Bridgewater, whom my distant great grandmother was a member of, so it may well be that Sir Thomas and his wife Lady Elizabeth are my direct ancestors, I will be sharing my news with you all in the future.

  10. Hi Christine. I’m not so sure of your assessment of the Seymour brothers eventually falling under Henry’s reign. I don’t think either of them would have had the nerve under his rule. And had Jane lived and they tried it could have endagered her life. You know how Henry could be with those close to traitors and at this stage of Henry’s life any and everything seemed to be under the blanket accusation of treason. Henry I believe would have been very capable of execuing Jane. He says he loved her but I believe he loved her for what she gave him, not for herself. Being the mother to his child wouldn’t have mattered, we saw that with Anne.

  11. I do not think Edward would have done anything so rash to incur Henry’s enmity but as for Thomas he was a hot head, this is just speculation on my part, yes I agree with you about Jane, he said he loved her but I believe it was more to do with giving him a son and heir that earned her high esteem, she was queen for only about a year and a half and her sudden death earned her a place in Henry’s heart that his other wives never had, she alone gave him a prince that survived, but I cannot imagining him sending her to the block as he had with Anne and as he was later to do with Catherine Howard, she irked him a little over the monasteries and when she tried to have the Lady Mary restored to the succession, he reminded her rather spitefully of what happened to her predecessor, I felt those choice of words were unnecessary and it shows how angry she had made him, after that she kept her mouth shut, Henry admired intelligent women but his queens were merely there to have sons and not meddle in politics, he had had enough of that with his previous wife, I doubt if her brothers had overstepped the mark with Henry that would have endangered Janes life however, we have to remember she had given him his longed for prince and soon she maybe able to give him another, had she lived and done so, then we may never have had a Mary 1st or Elizabeth 1st,

  12. The two Seymour brothers were not ambitious at first, they were both soldiers, as was their father and rose the conventional way, through service. That of course changed with Henry’s marriage to their sister and the defections to their cause by a faction supporting Princess Mary, including Thomas Cromwell. It was now the Seymour family and supporters receiving all the honours, positions on the Council and title upon title. During Henry’s lifetime any suggestions of over ambition from them was well contained. The evidence is that for most of their years at his Court,,they were in high favour, but Henry was aware of their personal ambitions. When Henry married his last wife, Katherine Parr, who was a widow in love with Thomas Seymour, the King popped him off abroad as an ambassador out of the way for a year.

    It is very doubtful that Jane Seymour ever faced any danger from Henry and her giving birth to his son and heir would have provided her with absolute protection. It’s likely coming from a huge fertile family that Jane would have had other children, sons and daughters had she lived. I have never accepted the assumption that Henry would have become bored with her. That’s based on twenty first century ideas of what a wife should be and prejudices in favour of Anne Boleyn who wasn’t anything like a typical Tudor wife and Queen. On the other hand Jane was. Henry didn’t want excitement anymore, he was no longer the fit and energetic man of the 1520s and his personality was rapidly changing. Its not unreasonable to believe he may take a mistress, but there is no way she was ever in danger of execution. Actually Jane had learned from her own service under Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn how to handle Henry. She wasn’t a doormat. She was politically pro active, well groomed and had a clear agenda. She saw herself as trying to help Mary and to try to win favour for the religious houses. While the former was dependent on the Princesses total submission to her father, it was Jane who opened the door. While Henry wasn’t interested in losing the revenue he would take from the religious houses, Jane at least had to brave his wrath in an attempt to save them. Who knows what he might have granted her has she asked again after provided him with a son or two?

    The real ambitions of Tom and Edward Seymour came to light towards the end of Henry’s life when they were attempting to oust the old nobility and build up a faction of support for their desire to control the heir to the throne, their nephew, Prince Edward, his education and who would rule on his behalf after Henry’s death. As Henry lay dying, his will made to exclude any one man from ruling as Lord Protector, with full Recency powers, fully clear to everyone, Edward Seymour enrolled the help of William Paulet and several others to put him in power. It was part of Henry’s plan to make him Earl of Hereford and Duke of Somerset, but Henry had planned for a Council to rule instead. That was just the beginning of the rise and over ambition of the Seymour brothers, who both committed active treason during Edward VI reign. Tom Seymour looked as if he desired the throne itself when he desired to marry Princess Elizabeth and he was also accused of trying to kidnap the young King. Edward took too many reckless decisions and he was ousted by a coup lead by John Dudley, then Earl of Warwick, later, Duke of Northumberland. The ambitions of the Seymour brothers ended in their executions.

    1. Yes Edward Seymour was deposed by the Dudley’s another family just as ruthless as their own, it is true you do get team Anne and team Katherine of Aragon and team Jane on here,
      , and a lot of the team Anne do deride Jane a lot because of it, also they are critical of Katherine I don’t do that, I try to maintain a balanced view of each wife and whilst I love Anne I also have the sympathy and understanding and admiration for both Katherine and also for Jane, the way some folk deride Jane you would think she wielded the very sword herself which struck off Anne Boleyn’s head, some years ago I was going to purchase Denny’s book on Anne but a book critic declared it was very biased against Katherine and would make sneering comments about her Catholicism, I decided not to buy it and Ives himself, although I think his book on Anne was brilliant he too made a rather derogatory comment about Janes appearance, all three women were unique in their own way they all possessed courage and each tried so hard to please Henry V111, the admirers of Anne do make comments like Henry would soon get fed up with Jane, she was vapid and not as attractive as her predecessor, well Anne’s vivacity and sexual allure did not stop the king from executing her, neither the fact that he had moved heaven and earth to marry her, having loved her for so much and so long, why should Henry get tired of Jane just because she was totally different in looks and character to Anne? People must realise that Janes calmness was soothing to the king and her very demeanour was everything a queen should possess, something g which Anne sadly could never have by her very nature, Henry was middle aged by now and not in good health, he was in a sense slowing down and wanted like all men and women do at some point in their lives, to settle down in marital harmony, this was his third marriage and he hoped it would be his last, he had his little son who was healthy and believed maybe another son would follow, alas it was not to be, Jane died and I have said before I do feel sorry for her and little Edward, but not for Henry V111, there was no need to slay blood just because it was opportunistic to do so, he should have just banished Anne to a nunnery and he also devastated the lives of the men who also perished with her, because of his merciless cruelty Anne’s admirers have little pleasant to say about Jane, she may not have wanted to become involved with Henry, but she saw a chance to help the Lady Mary who had suffered a great deal over the years, for all we know she may have pleaded with the king to spare her life and the others, she could not have believed in the charges against her one time queen and mistress, as she knew being long at court herself, how impossible it was for a queen to commit adultery especially the amount of times Anne was said to have done it, we do not know in the privacy of the bedchamber what kings and queens said to each other, we can only speculate and here is were the sources we have available to us are most valued, we infer the rest ourselves, Jane has taken a battering because she married so quickly after Anne’s death, but she may have been content to wait a year it was the king who decreed when they would marry, Anne herself was not interested in the king at first, and his marriage had long since been dead when he cast his eyes on her, yet team Katherine hate her because the king cast off his beloved queen for her, when all’s said and done it was Henry V111 who was in control the whole time, these women may have influenced him in some ways or other, but ultimately it was down to Henry V111 what course he took.

  13. I certainly agree that Thomas was the most recklessof the two but it seems his ambitious aims after the death of Henry were sparked by jealousy over Edward being made protector. I just can’t see him pulling something as long as Henry lived. He was foolhardy but not stupid. What am I missing?

  14. Thomas was jealous of the power his brother had, and he seduced Catherine Parr into marrying him not long after the old kings death, it was a shocking lack of protocol and both Henry’s daughter especially Mary were dismayed, he had courted Catherine before so I think he was attracted to her, but now she was a widow and queen dowager, so she appeared a much more glittering prize than before, it was said he was Edwards favourite uncle because he was merry and witty and often gave the young king pocket money, Somerset appears rather dour by comparison but he may not have been, certainly he was not a fool like his younger brother, after his execution the lady Elizabeth described Thomas as a man of much wit and very little judgement, he foolishly tried to seize little Edward and amongst the affray the kings pet dog was shot, he caused much trouble for Elizabeth when the council heard rumours he intended to marry the teenager, it resulted in the girl being interrogated and her faithful servants Parry and Ashley being sent to the Tower, however they were later released but Thomas lost his head, Kate Ashley was a favourite of Elizabeth’s as she was related maternally to the girl, and she remained in her service till death, Thomas probably was Elizabeth’s first love and he was known to be charming to women, he also was Admiral which no doubt added to his charm, one can see him regaling his adventures on the high seas fighting pirates and brigands to a group of adoring females, poor Catherine Parr was so beguiled by him hence the hasty marriage, he was one of those men who I believe come out with a load of nonsense, he probably made them laugh and exaggerated his tales somewhat, he was witty and charming, but beyond all that charm and fine talk, he was just an idiot! Regarding the Lord Protector Michael no I think he was too cautious to ever upset Henry V111, but then look at Cromwell, his enemies all conspired to bring him down and the king let them, he was his old favourite but i think the king was still seething over the Anne of Cleves affair, his enemies pounced and his head rolled in the dust, had Henry wanted to get rid of Somerset and or his younger brother, I believe he would have found a way of doing so, Jane Seymours kin they might be.

  15. I quite agree, Christine, particularly about the Denny book on Anne Boleyn, very sympathetic but also has some odd ideas about Katherine. Her two books are very sympathetic towards Kathryn Howard as well. I believe Claire once said she had enjoyed Joanne Denny but found her too Anne Boleyn, meaning too much Anne the religious icon and martyr. Anne might have had a strong personal Christian faith but she was still very human and behaved in very unChristian ways at times, as we all do because we don’t cease to be human. I believe Anne Boleyn suffered from post natal depression in 1534 which is when she was acting very oddly and saying she was going to order the execution of both Katherine and Mary if Henry went abroad. O.K sounds like a woman under a lot of stress, she is believed to have lost a late term now baby that Summer and was also having trouble conceiving again. Her father and brother noticed something was wrong. They warned her to be more cautious in her language.

    It is certainly not realistic to look at Jane Seymour as if she was responsible for Anne’s execution. Jane may have been acting as the head of an actual faction but she was more concerned about promoting Princess Mary than just replacing Anne. It’s claimed that she was telling Henry his marriage to Anne was unpopular but I don’t believe he needed anyone to tell him that. We know also that Jane was coached by Nicholas Carew and her family in how to handle Henry, which makes me suspicious about just how demure she was in reality. Anne was a very passionate and unusually well educated woman, we must remember most gentle women had as much education as was needed to be a good wife, to run a household and communicate effectively. They were taught music and dance, grace and manners, etiquette, household management, to read and write, possibly French and Latin, essential for most things in the sixteenth century, including commerce, they learnt to hunt and needlework and a few other things for their status. A woman had to conduct her husband’s business when he wasn’t home, so a dumbo wasn’t any use. Even Kathryn Howard was intelligent enough to learn music, something beyond most people today and wasn’t the twit of legend. One thing Jane had in common with Henry, she was an expert huntress. The mistress of the house had to know herb lore, had to preserve and store food, managed the animals and servants, the accounts, the tenants, the estate, all kinds of things and yes she had lawyers and people to help, but if her husband was at Court, she was responsible for the community. Demure timid doormat women didn’t make good wives despite the ideal. Henry was looking for an obedient women but he also wanted a companion and a Queen. Believe me a mouse would not have made a good Queen, especially in public. Jane was none of the usual prejudicial things which as Christine says pop up on forums and sadly even here, she was far more intelligent than that. It was her ability to read Henry that made her the type of wife he needed at this point. If Henry wanted passionate he would look for passionate. No he had tried that and ended up executing the woman he was meant to be wild about. I actually believe Henry was getting tired of some of Anne’s qualities. He wanted a son or two, not criticism. Anne refused to look the other way when he had the odd mistress during her pregnancies. Katherine of Aragon was the only woman who was perfect for Henry, but for the loss of their sons, and he moaned that Anne spoke to him in ways she never had and that she didn’t criticise him. Well she wouldn’t. She was raised to be a Queen and that was probably taught to her from a child. Yet, Katherine was more than an obedient wife, she was very much his partner. Henry wasn’t as discreet with his affairs with Anne as he had been with Katherine. That to me shows a lack of respect and that he was taking her for granted. For all of her intelligence, Anne was naive to believe Henry would have no affairs after they were married. Jane had served two Queens, Katherine and Anne, I believe she determined not to make their mistakes. Her role of intercession was traditional for a Queen, so we can be little surprised that she had a go and tried three times to move Henry to mercy. That he wasn’t capable of it anymore was on him. She was courageous and showed she had political ideas. If Henry hadn’t have had the bang on the head, perhaps he might have been more reasonable. A very odd incident did happen during her pregnancy, there was an active negotiation in the Queens chambers to save a particular convent from the chop, and this was after Henry’s angry outbursts over the pilgrimage. Of course the fate of the larger monasteries wasn’t settled fully at that time, so saving some was possible.

    I really don’t believe it is correct to be Team A K or J or even H for Henry as their fates intertwined. The women were not in charge in any event. Henry was. Henry decided he wanted an annulment, Henry decided Anne was the woman who was going to solve all of his problems, Henry decided he wanted another wife after poor Anne had her last miscarriage, Henry decided he wanted a quick way out, Henry decided Jane was his next choice, Henry signed the death warrants of his second wife and five innocent men, Henry married Jane, Henry was King not these three ladies. Even if they did influence him, Henry was a big boy, it was his decision, not theirs. All three ladies wanted to be Queen but it was Henry who chose to believe a load of lies about Anne and who ordered her execution, Jane had nothing to do with it.

    I like your comments, because they are balanced and well thought out. It’s hard to be so when you are deeply involved in a site that concentrates on one historical person. I think one just gets caught up as part of a fan base. It’s difficult to remain neutral. It’s not easy, but one has to try, even with Henry Viii. Let’s face it, the younger Henry yes you might be o.k meeting, the latter Henry not so much. Talk about Henry. There was a programme on tonight on Donald Trump and Henry Viii, making a comparison. I haven’t watched it, but will later. One thing about no football, plenty of documentaries to watch.

  16. Thank you Bq, yes Anne could have suffered fro m post natal depression a malady not recognised at the time, the first miscarriage she is alleged to have had is shrouded in mystery, many have assumed she went through a phantom pregnancy, but it was the aftermath that was difficult to bear, and depression and stress were words not known of in Tudor times, in fact clinical depression and a whole load of other mental issues were just not recognised in early times, and this is where we are lucky today, we have a vast range of medicines there are cognitive therapy and counselling to help those who suffer from mental health, we can sympathise with those who did not, and they just had to try to get over tragedies and disappointments with the support of their friends and family, Anne must have suffered more than most as the onus was on her to produce a son, Henry had not given her a crown for a mere daughter and then the tragedy of a miscarriage, she did start blabbing about killing Princess Mary when the king was leaving for France, so PND was probably the reason for that foolish outburst, she was highly strung to begin with and so we can only imagine the effect the disappointment of a miscarriage would have on her, Henry V111 whilst married to Katherine must have grieved with her as they lost their babies, he must have been loving and kind, but I believe now in Anne’s case he was less supportive, his reaction to her last miscarriage where he blamed her losing his child shows he was totally indifferent to her feelings, in his anger and grief he began to harangue Anne and later muttered to a bystander he had been seduced into marrying her by sorcery, in fact we really have no idea how much Henry V111’s wives suffered in their quest to give him a son, apart from the agony of childbirth without pain relief there was the fear that the child maybe born dead or a girl, anyone who has ever suffered a miscarriage will tell you how devastating it is, when you are queen and it is your prime duty to breed sons, the grief must have been dreadful, no wonder Anne would fly of the handle, on top of post natal depression, which could not have been helped by Henry’s coolness towards her, there was Princess Mary openly defying her and the fact she felt her position to be a lot less secure than when she first married the king, on Jane Seymour Anne’s half cousin in the second degree, it is thought she was taught what to say to the king and how to behave and so on, but we do not really know how much of that is true, certainly if the king shows an interest in the daughter of the house, then the family members will try to advise her, did she drip poison in Henry’s ear I am not sure about that, but she was a loyal servant to Queen Katherine and Mary and she was a catholic to, she defended the old religion, she saw the havoc created by Anne and saw a chance to redeem all that, reverse the dreaded reformation, put away Queen Jezebel who had brought pain and misery to the true queen and her daughter, bring happiness to the king whose eyes had been blinded by this wicked woman and England would be saved, Mary would be accepted by her father again, we do not know if Jane thought like this but when the king asked her to marry him she could have thought of herself as the saviour of the true religion and was gods chosen one, just as Anne herself must have thought god had decreed her worthy of a crown and to give the country sons, and after all we must try to understand how difficult it must have been for any lady to refuse to marry the king once asked, in a sense it would be deemed an insult, years later, Catherine Parr had no choice but to accept the kings marriage proposal and she was in love with another man at the time, that charming rogue Thomas Seymour, how could you refuse to marry the king without insulting him and risking enmity on yourself, Jane did no wrong in accepting Henry’s marriage proposal this is not to say she was oblivious to Anne’s suffering, had his eye not settled on Jane it could well have been another, the fall of Anne Boleyn would have happened with or without Jane as he was determined to be rid of her, Henry believed his first marriage was cursed by god as he had no male sons, he had no luck with his second therefore that to was cursed, we can understand his joy when Edward was born as he must have thought, at long last the almighty had favoured him, his marriage with Jane was blessed, I agree with you about Jane having no need to tell Henry how unpopular Anne was, he knew first hand of that, she had never been popular and her overbearing manner certainly alienated many, Anne gambled with a crown she thought she could give Henry a son, but Mother Nature is a fickle lady, out of all Henry V111’s wives Jane Seymour alone gave him a prince that survived, this rather plain modest little lady shy and retiring, succeeded where the great Katherine of Aragon and the glittering Anne Boleyn failed, his other wives had no luck either, Anne of Cleves was discarded and I do believe Catherine Howard was using contraception as she was sleeping with Culpeper, but by now Henry’s fertility was at an all time low, I dont believe with his sixth queen Henry bothered much about siring sons anymore anyway, Edward was growing into a precocious lad and he was healthy enough, Henry was by now suffering terribly with his legs and I think he just wanted Catherine as a mother for his children all thoughts of sex must have gone out the window, he liked the companionship of a woman and Catherine was intelligent, a bit too intelligent for her own good, but she survived old Bluebeard at least.!

  17. There wasn’t any real evidence of treason during Henry’s reign by the Seymour family but they did show their ambition and Henry was aware of Tom Seymour in particular. They were determined nobody but them would have a say in the government of young Edward. They are believed to have become involved in a struggle with the Howards, then in a weird set of alliances with them, then to have undermined them with the King. Norfolk, probably realising you need to keep in with the in crowd, the rising stars had the idea of a variety of marriages between the Howards and the Seymour family but these came to nothing. Edward Seymour had a personal grudge against Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and became involved in the betrayal which brought him down. Removing the most powerful and richest family in England from favour once and for all certainly benefited the Seymour brothers. It was they who ended up in charge and could more or less do as they wished. Unfortunately, they actually made a hash of everything.

  18. Possibly because they were not used to governing, I always thought the death of Henry Howard was needless, but by then Henry was growing increasingly paranoid and tyrannical.

  19. How are things in your neck of the woods? Because of this virus the governor of Oregon has shut down resturaunts and bars. No idea what the actual situation in the state is bevcause she is one of the least transparent we’ve ever had. I did enough grocery shoppimg for 10 days yesterday. What normally would take me 15-20 mins took 40 because of the lines. All checkout lanes were being used. This is normally a 24hr store. It now has a sign on the door that says it will be closed from midnight-8am for the forseeable future. These are strange times. Hope you are all hanging in there.

    1. Well the government have told the 70’s and over to isolate themselves, very disappointing because my cousin and wife were coming for a meal Saturday week and have had to cancel, they are doing online shopping but now that’s gone into lockdown as they have been told it will take about two weeks to deliver, also they are waiting about thirty minutes before they are put through, I said I can take round some bits for them and leave them on the doorstop, yesterday I went to my nearest town which is about two miles away and no eggs anywhere, i tried to get some for a friend only cheap ones as they were for the foxes, there were only very expensive free range ones left which I bought for myself, now I do get quite dear eggs anyway as the hens live in much better conditions, but there was hardly any cereals pasta, pasta sauces loo rolls painkillers no long life milk either, I’m going to see if there’s any dried milk as that’s always a good alternative also fussells condensed milk, it’s an old product and comes in a tin, good for an emergency, this panic buying is ridiculous as the shops have no problem getting the stock in, my friend told me some lady was mugged for her loo rolls! It actually sounds quite comical but of course it wasn’t for the poor victim, I have a little hardware shop just down the road from me and that’s always stocked with loo rolls, people don’t think of going there only the big supermarkets, the products are the same price roughly, Boris advised folk to work from home if possible and now they are going to scale down the train schedules so during the week they have weekend timetables, I’m of to Clacton this Friday so may start out bit earlier have to see, I have been looking forward to going for some time so dont want any hiccups, in the uk they are thinking of shutting the pubs down maybe for a few hours but they want the trade, god knows but it showed several big cities looking deserted, they looked liked ghost town, but I understand the need to be wary, I just made my own hand sanitiser using aloe vera hand wash and a few teaspoons of gin, as I read that some time ago, the spirits will help kill the germs, I am not sure but I may have had coronavirus years ago, I was in Majorca on one holiday and caught the most terrific sore throat, i have never caught a cold like that and my mouth felt like it was on fire, it hurt to swallow, then I caught it again in Alicante and I stayed in for a few days which was very hard as was on hols, I sipped mugs of hot water with lemon juice and that helped, apart from that I felt rather nauseous and had a bit of a sore throat, I was taking paracetamols and in a few days was fine, the reason why I think it could have been the coronavirus is because in the paper some lady who caught it and survived described the dreadful sore throat she had, she said it was like knives were in her throat and that sounds very similar to the symptoms I had, but my cousin who I was holidaying with never caught it, and it is very virulent, it could have just been a Spanish bug that I was not immune to, not living in Spain, anyway the few times since then when I’ve been in Spain iv been fine, I’m going to see if my local Co Op has any eggs today and I’m going to get extra milk in.

      1. The oddest thing I saw in the store is what appeared to be single people stocking up on fresh produce. How does that work? My friend in Buffalo NY plays piano for church services at two nursing homes and between them there are 3 cases (so far) so she has been ordered to stay home. I’m not going anywhere as there’s nowhere to go. I hope you’re able to stay isolated. This next question is for BQ: how is this affecting you and your husband? For me so far it’s only an inconvenience. Hi Claire. How is your family fairing?

        1. It’s having no effect on Steve as he is in hospital. The only problem is I am the only one visiting. I am having a day off today but my classes are now closed until after Easter. I forgot to bring the milk in and my neighbours came to see if I am o.k.

          The pubs are still doing well. No shops or eating place closed yet but shops running short, no loo paper. I took some I had previously brought round to mum, she is refusing to self isolate. Unfortunately, she can’t go out as she has a bad leg and the nurse told her she has to. She seriously can’t go out without us anyway, so she has no choice. She has not been out since her fall in January save once in the car and she had to remain in the car. She goes down to see Auntie Fran who lives there as well and her hair dresser comes every week and a helper. The problem is we won’t be able to go now either but Steve may be vulnerable if he comes home. Not that he can drive for eight weeks in any case. He will need to go out for a walk. We will just have to see how things go. Its just going to be a walk around the block and back. That’s the problem, I can’t self isolate so I am choosing quite times when people are not around and quiet routes. Just being sensible.

  20. I was thinking about Steve during this because of his health issues. I’m glad to here he’s not affected. I’m sure that there are a lot of people like your mom who refuse to self isolate. That’s not a good thing for them. Don’t let yourself get run down or you’ll be no use to anyone and please be as careful as you can.

    1. I have another cousin who’s 72 and is very active for her age and I cannot see her isolating, be honest I could never do that as I know I would go crazy, as soon as the suns out then I’m out to! A lot of elderly won’t take any notice I know, I have just served an old boy in my charity shop were I work voluntary, Iv taken my hand sanitiser to work and am using that regularly, I hope your ok Bq, at least Steve’s alright in hospital.

        1. I love rainy nights as I feel all cosy tucked up inside, but I love spring and summer, hence the reason why I could never live abroad as I’d miss the seasons too much, though if it rains continuously for a few days and if we have a mini heatwave I hate that, cannot stand humid sticky weather, our continental cousins have a different kind of heat it’s dry and fierce but not heavy, I’m thinking of investing in an air conditioning unit if we have a very uncomfortable summer this year.

  21. I lived in the state of Tennessee for eight months in 1970. Very hot and humid. I can tolerate heat during the day but I don’t like it and I don’t sleep much during the summer when it’s warm. Your weather is an awful lot like ours here in Oregon.

    1. Yes its dreadful trying to sleep when it’s humid, I tend to have a long cool soak in the bath just before I retire, and I have a fan going on my bedside cabinet, last year I bought a tall standing fan and it’s brilliant, wasn’t very dear from Argos, i will drink tea but wait till it’s about a tepid heat, I just live on salads ice cream fruit and yoghurts in the summer.

      1. The summer I moved into my current place (May 2012) my bedroom got the hottest it has ever been 93°! I immediately bought a blackout curtain with reflective material on the back. A couple of years ago a new roof was installed and covered with a white reflective sealant. Huge difference. In the summer now my bedroom barely gets to 80. If it gets too hot at night I open my patio door and have a box fan blowing out while a tower fan in my room pulls in cool air to my room from my open window. Big help. I drink a lot of ice-T or diet soda when it’s hot or ice water which is preferable. The nice thing about Northwest Oregon is it is not humid. Just gets hot but I don’t think much more than what I’ve read about London.

  22. Yes blackout curtains are good, your home sounds very nice Michael well prepared for the heat, I think Iv seen pics of Oregon has it mountains?

    1. The mountains here are part of the Cascades. A few volcanoes in it including Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. There is even an ancient extinct volcano 2-3 miles from me called Mt Tabor. It is a city park. It is very ancient and unless you’re in the right place hardly recognizable as a volcano. If you you want to see something absolutely gorgeous look up Crater Lake on Wikipedia. It is a volcano that erupted many, many hundreds of years ago and the lake is in the Crater of what’s left. It was Oregon’s first state park declared so by President Theodore Roosevelt early in the 20th century. It is almost dead center in the middle of Oregon.

  23. As my mum can’t actually get out without one of us, fortunately she now has no choice as we can’t take her out. I know that sounds mean but that’s the reality of our situation. We won’t be able to take her anywhere for at least eight weeks. I was going to get a shopping service but you don’t know if they are exposed or not. Its far easier to to get what we want and have it delivered. My Aunt will make sure she stays put and with a leg she is still having bandaged by a nurse three times a week, she isn’t going anywhere. She is entitled to be defiant at 92. I was round there yesterday and she is well stocked up with everything she needs and I will be there at the weekend. I am semi self isolating and we are always well prepared because of Steve’s conditions, you never know if or when one is going to be stuck in for a time. I got extra hand sanitizer from Boots, Anti Virus and tea tree face and hand wash, also anti virus. I took mum some round and although she said she had everything, she didn’t, good job I guessed she might need paracetamol and some general medicine. Steve uses that hand towels rather than loo paper and there was still plenty of that in a few shops. If people shopped with common sense there wouldn’t be a problem. These young ones driving round with huge package of loo rolls piled up in their cars, big cars, they wouldn’t have done well during the war. As for people getting out of hand, looters should be shot. Attacking people just wrong.

    On a kinder note, I forgot to bring the milk in this morning, having cancelled it over the weekend. My neighbour noticed it around midday and rang the bell to check everything was o.k. That was very kind of them. Steve will need to rest when he comes home. He won’t be going out for a few days at least and then only for short walks. Our milkman will be able to deliver bread and eggs. Why people don’t use milkman I don’t understand. You never without fresh produce with them. Thankfully we have a lot of small shops. That also helps.

    1. I left my milk at work as I went to the co op first, head like a sieve sometimes, but yes people have gone crazy, as you say how on earth did they cope during the war when rationing was on, I know my parents would have said people have had it too good these days, the shops round my way have started to restrict products at two per customer, but they should have done that ten days ago.

      1. I saw loo paper online for £55.00 for a pack of nine. That’s something the government needs to stop, racketeering. I know Steve won’t be home for a few days but I am going to get some stuff he likes in and if needed freeze it or get a tinned version. The butcher is doing well. I was in our favourite cafe today, recently taken over, very quiet, but at least some customers. Some dumb dude went passed me and then started coughing no tissue, nothing and I shouted at him. What part of cover your face when you cough and sneeze don’t people get? May not be anything but I don’t know that and at least he was passed me. Stupid man! You should do it all the time and then you don’t need to be told. Children are doing it, so what is wrong with a dude in their 50s? Restrictions on visiting now so can only go in the evening. Oh well. He will be home at the weekend or early next week.

        1. He must miss u Bq unless he’s got a sexy nurse ha! Yer Iv been on the bus and kids start spluttering everywhere, the daft parents are usually on the phone quite oblivious it’s madness! I’m holed up at the mo I feel like Iv got the flu, I’m shivering and yet have had the heating on since five, started of with a cough and then it moved to the head, feel dizzy and exhausted had to cancel Clacton, but then it’d probably be a ghost town anyway.

        2. Here a guy purchased a bunch of bottles of hand sanitizer from Costco and outside the store he was selling them for $25.00 each. Reg price is $1.99. He was cited by the police. In NY someone’s car was broken into and the only thing stolen were two 9 roll pkgs of toilet paper. Nuts!

  24. Hey, guys, some of these conversations have strayed a long way from anything about Tudor society, let alone Thomas Boleyn. How about continuing your discussion about daily life through private messages, not on Claire’s site?

    1. Dorothy, Claire doesn’t mind when occasionally we stray from the subject in hand, Bq. Michael and I have been discussing topics on this website for about two years now, if occasionally we stray from the subject matter to discuss other topics, well she has certainly never reprimanded us for it, besides it is interesting to see how how other folk are coping with the coronavirus lockdown.

      1. Yeh! Feel free Dorothy, these guys gave me a lot of support when Steve was in a coma four years ago, no five, and have been great with him back in hospital, its what we do when we run out of Tudors. Join in.

        I know one thing Tudor and any other period related to contagion, the crooks like poachers took advantage during things like the plague, going out because there was nobody to stop them. There wasn’t any police and people just had to fend for themselves. Poaching soared during high plague years, because the game keeper was unable to operate or the sheriff was ill. People had to eat and they couldn’t work so they poached. Rapid rise.

        There is a chat tomorrow if you are on the Tudor Society site members on the Tudors on screen. Usual time. 11 p.m U.K.

        Next door did some shopping for me. The baby was attached to the dog in the pram. It was funny. Most people are doing their best. I am catching up on documentary stuff. Tonight the Crusades. Binge watching daft stuff as well. One needs to laugh.

        1. Yes we support each other on this site, we are all passionate about Tudor history else we wouldn’t be here, but it does not mean we cannot discuss other subjects either, if any of us are worried about something then we share it on here, and as Bq says it’s about supporting each other.

        2. For sheer laughter I dont think you can beat ‘Absolutely Fabulous ‘ that really makes me laugh, the actors were so brilliant and of course it featured the late great June Whitfield, perfect to watch with some chocolate if your feeling down in the dumps.

  25. Wonder if this ever happened during the plague: A man in Spain tried breaking the quarantine by leaving his house in an inflatable T-Rex costume. He was spotted on cc-tv Heard that this morning. I watch documentaries all the time. I’m binging on the Harry Potter movies.

  26. I personally don’t mind if you chat all day over your virtual back gate, but people usually try to keep on topic on a subject-driven site. I thought my comment was pretty mild, but you have all reacted as if I were saying friends should not comfort each other and in general that I am a terrible person. Well, maybe I am.
    Don’t worry. I’m leaving.

    1. Dont be silly we do not think your a terrible person, it’s just we have been on this site for a long time and tend to sometimes go off subject, we are not criticising you at all.

    2. Dorothy, don’t leave, they were simply trying to explain to you what we’ve been doing. You are more than welcome to stay. We’d love to know how you’re doing. But if this is your choice we respect it. I hope you change your mind though.I have really enjoyed your input on Tudor history. You’re another person I’ve been learning from. We’re not ending the conversation on the stated topic. We’ve just run out of input for now. It could start up again at any time. Feel free to get it going again.

      1. I don’t mind at all if things stray off topic as I know how close everyone has become over the years and in these times it’s good to have a support network. I do hope everyone is safe and well. Much love to you all.

        1. Love to you also, and I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say I hope to see Teasel again soon.

  27. Ha Ha bet that looked funny, I have some elderly relations who are currently in isolation, they asked me if I could pick up their prescriptions in a few weeks time, you have to help relations out so of course I said I would, when I asked how they are coping she said not too bad, but I think occasionally they are still shopping close to home, just restricting themselves more, the very annoying thing is as Bq mentioned, the little hardware store near me have priced their loo rolls very high, I think that is such a cheek I just hope no one buys them, the thing is there is no shortage of food or drink or household goods, it is just the people going hysterical over this coronavirus it’s so ridiculous.

    1. Query: people seem to be stocking up on paper more than food. If your not eating what’s the paper for?

      1. My friend recently said to me that toothpaste is more vital than loo paper and I think she’s right, you can wipe your bum on tissue paper, old crumpled newspaper bread paper etc but what can you use in place of toothpaste, yet there’s still plenty of that left on the shelves.

        1. The Romans used urine to wash their clothes, they also mixed it with a paste for teeth and in makeup, it was probably used for centuries so was probably used by the Medieval World as well. Any kind of paper can be used, but is it flushable? You can use flushable Andrex wipes instead. You can’t use newspaper, it won’t flush and it’s bad for the environment. Flushable wipes can be used.

          Dorothy, please stay. You will find a lot of support here. It’s just we have run out of topics until now. I got a lot of support when Steve was in hospital in a coma, and we are not all on social media. You aren’t a terrible person and I don’t believe anyone intended to make you feel like that. I am sorry you felt that way. Do keep us company.

    1. It was of course treated somehow and refined so it wasn’t just pure urine but it had ammonia of course which is a cleaning product and is still used in stuff for bites. Our ancestors knew how to recycle just about everything and we can’t even refill water bottles. A housewife 100 years ago or more would have the servants sift through the remains from the table or do it herself, bones were used for soup and stock, fat reused, even ashes from the fire, egg shells reused, everything had some sort of use. If the servants just threw it all out it was theft as all the remains had a monetary value. Urine was literally collected in bottles and taken away for its many uses. Someone actually had the job of collecting manure from the streets for many centuries as it was fuel and fertiliser. The Worst Jobs In History with Tony Robinson had some eye watering horrible jobs. We think we invented recycling and yet we can’t get it right but our ancestors had no trouble at all. It was also installation, put into window frames and inside outer walls. If we did drop in on the Tudors we would probably learn some interesting tit bits.

      1. As I’m sure you know from earlier posts I’m diabetic. When I first started taking insulin I’d use a very small hypodermic needle and after clip off the needle and put the rest in a sharps container along with the clipper itself which held a couple of hundred needles most likely to be incinerated. Ok, nothing left! For the past couple of years I’ve been using an insulin pen. Very convenient and I only have to do it once a day. Problem is only the needle and cap go in the sharps container and no one will take the pen body which is entirely plastic about 6″ long and 3/4″ in diameter. I haven’t thrown any away, I toss them into a box. I don’t want to put that much plastic in a landfill. I’m sure there are very few doing what I’m doing so think of how many of these are just buried and will be there forever. You’re right . We are not that great at recycling.

  28. I had a real fright today. I have never felt insecure around here, even in the dark but today in broad daylight, there was this creepy guy lurking around and then he started to follow me. Every time I looked around he was stopped and watching me, acting odd. He was getting closer as well, it freaked me out. I crossed the road and pretended to go another way but he was still following me. It didn’t even bother him that I was watching him, he was just staring at me. I got level with my road and crossed and he speeded up as if to head me off. Now I have a stick and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it and a loud alarm, but I was really frightened. I got to our road and asked someone if they could walk me to my doorstep. This was 2 p.m. The guy was still coming along. We pretended to chat while he went by and then she helped me to my doorstep. It was really hair raising. Now he might have just been a creepy guy, but his behaviour was threatening and frightening. I was glad to get back home. I have never experienced anything like that in 25 years around here. The problem is the side roads are empty. I can see the creeps taking advantage of that. I had a coffee and some whiskey and fell asleep for a few hours. I must admit I had a good sleep. My neighbours have been entertained by my singing this evening. I have also got a chocolate cake, wine and a Christmas cake. I have put the Christmas bulbs up in my window. If I am going to be stuck here for the next few weeks I am going to have fun.

    1. Oh poor you that must have been quite unnerving, I had a similar experience in the £ shop once, I was looking at something can’t recall what, and I noticed this customer eyeing me up, he wasn’t English so I thought he was asking me for help, he was muttering something like ‘can you see what you like’, I thought he was a nutter so walked round the next aisle and he was only there as well, he just kept muttering away repeating the same inane drivel, I quickly left wether he was just trying to be friendly I’m not sure, but when your a woman on your own it can be scary, my mum was followed in the street by some creepy guy and he only had his wife with him, we were in the sweet shop and she turned round and he was grinning at her he had no teeth! I laughed when she told me but had no idea till then that he had been following us, I walked home from my club once and was sure this car was following me I hid behind some cars parked in the road, it is scary you poor thing, I’m glad you have your whiskey try not to let it upset you too much, really I’d report him to the police, he’s obviously a sad individual but try not to let it get to you too much

      1. Hi yes, now I have completely reorganised my library. The books in the bedroom will need to be moved as well as Steve will have a bag of best claret attached to his leg so he will need more room when he comes home.

        Yes, thanks, fine, seriously had he come near me I would have hit him with my stick which has a very large handle. And selves him right, behaving like a creep. He was definitely trying to head me off.

        No I haven’t seen him before. My routine routes will be changing for some time. I haven’t had any problems around here, not in over 25 years. This is worrying. What if people are taking advantage of it being more quiet to commit crime? It was broad daylight, you wouldn’t mind. I can’t recall too much what he looked like, but my instincts kicked in the moment I saw him standing around. I kept looking back at him and he was then staring at me. I am not easily frightened, I have taken out two attempts to mug me in the past. I only had to raise my stick and off he ran. Then an aggressive begger went for my bag in 2002. I was in the city centre, just back from holiday, so my guard was down. I knew what this begger was like so tried to go around him. I said no to his really aggressive attitudes and he absolutely lost it. He tried to grab my bag and I screamed at him. While he was surrounded by people pushing him when they heard me, I slipped into a cafe and they called the police. The cops didn’t actually come, so I reported him in the morning. I wrote his description on my computer and what happened so I wouldn’t forget. A month later I was back on Bold Street and there he was up to no good once more. I noted him and saw two cops down the street. He was also on crutches, just to make it easier. I told them what had happened and I had just seen the guy who did it. I had to make another statement. They brought him in and he was absolutely stoned apparently. Eventually, when they did get him to turn up for Court, I wasn’t even needed. He got a 12_months rehabilitation order or jail immediately if he didn’t go, an exclusion order and a drug order. I never saw him again. The exclusion order bans him from the city. I don’t know how long that was for. Maybe the creepy guy approached someone else and came off worse. Surely nobody wants loo paper that badly! Watch out everyone the creepy people are on the loose. No exaggeration, times change, people don’t.

        1. I don’t know what to say. That is unacceptable behavior. Nobody should have to deal with a situation like that. Changing your routine is definitely a good idea.

        2. Hi Michael, I was really on edge going out. I should have gone to the bank but didn’t feel safe so went to get some stuff for Steve for when he is home in a day or two. Here is a good laugh. I went to W H Smith and had my alarm strapped to my wrist. Paid and must have jerked too hard as the next thing I knew the pin had come out, the sonic was going off and my alarm had shot across the shop. I couldn’t find the hole to put it out and the poor assistant was covering his ears. It was very embarrassing and I was all apologises but the supervisor thought it was quite funny. I explained what had happened yesterday and she was very understanding. Well now we know it works. It won’t be strapped to my wrist any more lol. It was really loud. I should have used it yesterday, it was in my bag!!! I managed to charm three soups out of Tesco today as one was a different flavour, the girl said yes, that’s fine. Fruit and bread are running short now. The government needs to get on that. I have ordered a white loaf from the milkman for Tuesday and got a brown for me yesterday from the bakery. From now on its local small shops, the Metro will survive, they won’t. We have a butcher, fish monger and fruit and vegetables on the same block, been there since forever. I try to use them as much as possible. We have a Sayers and three small shops open all hours, an Iceland and Home and Bargain and Poundland all on the same road, a Tesco Metro and Londis and a huge Tesco. Then we have another Iceland, H and B and Asda. Another ten minutes in the car we have Aldi and big Asda. And you still can’t get loo paper after all that lol!

          Thanks for your kind words. It really does help. The police don’t want to know but if I see him again its camera out click and up on Twitter with a warning. As you say, Michael, behaving like that’s unacceptable. If he is ill, he can be held under the Mental Health Act. Oh well getting ready to semi isolate. Ironically that’s what we will need to do for a few weeks in any case, because of the need to rest and recover. Steve will only be able to do short walks to the end of the road or round the block in any case and he can’t drive for up to eight weeks. He certainly will not be going far from a loo and with nobody about it will be quiet for a change. I am looking forward to the rest, although if the weather gets hot, may need to escape via the roof. It’s mother day tomorrow here. Oh boy!

  29. Unfortunately I agree with you, the muggers and creeps will take advantage of the isolation, we just have to be more vigilant, there’s this really annoying black guy who hands around my local high street, pestering you for money, he’s over six foot else I would tell him to do one, sometimes he’s in the local town then he comes back to the high start again, for years we had a local drunk and he was quite comical, he was no creep but the drink made him a nuisance at times, I hope you have recovered well enough Bq it’s a pity women have to be subjected to behaviour like that, you feel worse because Steve’s not at home but he soon will be, don’t let this nasty incident stop you from going out and getting on with your life, iv had to cancel Clacton as been ill with a nasty bug and we decided it was not worth it anyway, as the pubs and cafes would all be shut, itl be like a ghost town, so we are going in September when hopefully the coronavirus will have begun to disperse and life maybe back to normal.

  30. This discussion has made me remember when my late aunt was being harassed by some creep whilst out one day, he was trying to touch her and she hit him over the head with her handbag, it had a bottle of Ponds cold cream in it and my aunt said when she hit him she could hear the bottle go clonk on his head, he must have been out cold as those jars were made of glass, he never bothered her again but we did laugh when she told us.

    1. Hooray for your aunt! I remember those jars, my mom used that stuff. Great weapon, glad she had it in her bag.

      1. Yes my old aunt was quite feisty and she was only about five foot tall, it was funny because we can just imagine the scene, but really though, on a serious note women should be allowed to walk out without being pestered by these creeps, but that’s unfortunately just how it is, every town has a drunk and a tramp, a nuisance to society but they do exist, hope everyone has a nice weekend.

      2. Don’t forget that if you are a member of the Tudor Society or have signed for a trial, there is an informal chat tonight on The Tudors on Film in the chatroom at 11 p.m U.K 7p.m New York and 4p.m Los Angeles. Should be interesting stuff. If your around see you there.

  31. Hi BQ. I think that was a very smart idea to test your alarm under real-world conditions 🙂 it’s terrible that you have to he so cautious as to where you go especially in broad daylight. Is this common in this area?

    1. No, its very rare. Its a very safe neighbourhood. Yes, it has other kinds of crime although its low, but this is very unusual.

      1. My home town was lovely once now it’s changing, it’s very sad, trouble is few years ago they released a lot of mental health patients out from the hospital unit and sometimes they go out without their carer , we had one working with us, he had been convicted of GBH and he worked a few afternoons a week, but one weekend he decided to go on a ‘bender’ and the medical crew had to evaluate the situation, as he was only allowed to work for us as a special treat, he had his home up Chase Farm the local hospital, he was pardoned for that and came back to work, but then I was told he went on another bender again poor lad, he was only in his mid thirties and all men like to do that, but they decided he wasn’t allowed to come into work anymore, he was quite big and hefty looking, about six foot two and he used to carry the heavy items and reach from the top shelf, so he was useful, I never knew he had a history of violence till my boss told me, he was a nice eager to help person in the shop anyway, I do not know why he assaulted the victim but there’s always two sides, we get a group of tinkers on the local bus to, they dress oddly and reek it’s disgusting, I used to get lumbered with them a few times so I changed my timetable, cannot abide folk who do not adhere to normal hygiene standards !

        1. Thirty years ago or so there was this guy who would come into the warehouse where I was working just to visit. He was very friendly and everyone liked him but his hygiene was atrocious. We all assumed he was homeless. He died a few years later and it was discovered he was living in one room of a house that was falling apart and under his mattress was almost $200,000 in uncashed checks. We learned this from the local newspaper. He obviously had some mental issues but they never manifested in his conversation or interactions with us. Odd.

  32. It is very sad when you realise these people do have mental health issues but what can you do, they need to address the issue and get help themselves.

  33. In Tudor times I believe the monasteries provided shelter and help for people with mental incapacity. One theory around fools employed in large households and by royal people may have had mental handicap or even downs syndrome. This is a new and very controversial theory but some research has been done in this area. I disagree that was the case with everyone employed as a fool but it could certainly have applied in some cases. Patch and Will Somers the two fools of Henry Viii both had people appointed to look after them because they were not able to manage themselves. On this basis everything has been interpreted to say every fool had diminished capacity. Until the research is published one would need to be cautious.

    1. Yes I have heard that theory that the fools employed by kings and queens were mentally subnormal, if that were the case then society really did look after them, they were well fed and clothed as they were the companions of the monarch, sunk in grief at the death of his third queen, Henry V111 engaged the services of his fool Will Somer and would only see him for weeks, Somer wether he was backward or of normal intelligence, did really help his master to stave of the very real feelings of depression that the king needed at this time in his life, Anne Boleyn had a female fool called Jane, and she called the London crowds scurvy, when they failed to take their hats of as a sign of respect to the new queen as she travelled her way round London to her coronation, I am not sure of the history of fools, wether they were a later Plantagenet/ Tudor invention but I have not heard of the early medieval monarchs having fools, maybe they derived from the court jester who was there merely to entertain the monarch ? Anne’s fool Jane had a most successful career going onto serve Mary and then Elizabeth.

  34. Will Somer called Anne Boleyn a ribald or vulgar person also meaning prostitute and King Henry had a fit, threatening to kill him. He fled and took refuge in the home of Sir Nicholas Carew, a supporter of Mary and Jane Seymour and a fantastic jouster, who protected him. On the positive side there is some evidence that he had a natural wit and was intelligent in the Art of Rhetoric and that the King included him in family portraits showed a great fondness and trust of his fool. Somers was shown in the Tudors as being the only person Henry would see when he was locked away mourning for Jane Seymour. A keeper was appointed for him in 1551 and he died in 1560. One of the problems with the records is that Somers was often confused with Patch an earlier fool at the Court of Henry Viii. He was indeed well fed, clothed and cared for and his burial was paid for. He was able to address Henry as Hal or Harry or Uncle and may even have intervened for his former master when Richard Fermour was in trouble for stealing from the royal supplies to support the poor.

    Yes, I remember the story of Mary’s fool Jane, who served Anne, Mary and Katherine Parr. She was definitely highly regarded by Mary.

    People with a number of mental health problems and mental handicap or learning difficulties were cared or and given work in monasteries and on their land. They were given a job, education, shelter and a pension and buried there. Some people of course lived in the community and may be treated differently, but the Church encouraged people to support them. By the later sixteenth century and seventeenth centuries unfortunately the provision for them had been taken away by the Reformation and instead they lived on the edge of society. They were the first people to be picked on during times of crisis and in witchcraft crazes. The loss of the religious houses caused much suffering for tenants, monastic farms, workers, the poor, the destitute and sick, those with mental disability and the old because that provision wasn’t always replaced. Medieval alms houses had to quickly take over some social provision and the state and individuals built several thousand during the seventeenth century. However, many fell though the cracks and were feared, avoided and ridiculed.

  35. I remember that event, he was entertaining the court and very foolishly called Anne a ribald and her baby a bastard, no wonder the king was furious, I can imagine Henry was quite terrifying in his anger and in fright Somers left the court, court fool he may have been and the king had a good deal of fondness for him, but there’s a line you don’t cross, and unfortunately he had crossed it with Henry, he was well aware what people thought of Anne she was called an infamous whore across Europe, but as you say he was soon back in favour, people with reduced mental abilities do often come out with crass remarks, and the king realised that Somers did not intentionally mean to insult Anne or her child, later on he is featured in Holbeins family masterpiece along with the then dead Jane Seymour, proof of the high regard the king held for him, I can imagine the stigma attached to these poor fools though, the ones who made it to the court of the king led a privileged life, but for the rest life was a bit of a struggle as you mention the way they were picked on during the witch hunts, it is easy to target those who could not really speak for themselves, society has come a long way thank god.

  36. This is a sad day. This morning at approximately 9:30am my television died.
    I’ve got plenty of podcasts and books so I think I’ll come through ok. This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t stuck inside. Oh well.

  37. For anyone who who’s interested the podcast Astonishing Legends has a two part episode on the lost colony of Roanoke and part 2 was released today.

  38. Enjoy watching Michael I still haven’t been able to shake this cold of, but I’m feeling bit stronger just munching on cheese on toast, haven’t had much appetite so I’m enjoying this, think il catch up on my Star Trek collection later, the original that is, the original was always the best.

  39. Poor Michael, thank goodness for the net. I am going to catch up on my Russian version of Catherine the Great on Prime, followed by the Spanish Princess, free with Starz which is 99 p for three months for now, probably rubbish but better than nothing, followed by the five Bab 5 movies, followed by several downloads on the Sky box, followed by the BBC stuff, followed by anything else on there. Been meaning to watch Anne of 1000 Days again for some time. Then a load of Titanic videos. By the end of that lot it will all be over. See you on the other side.

  40. I really enjoyed watching the Anne movie again, over the weekend ‘A Man For All Seasons’ was shown Scofields portrayal was brilliant as the doomed Sir Thomas More, it is the sort of movie I can watch again and again, he even seemed to resemble Henry’s V111’s chancellor in his portrait by Holbein, everything’s on lockdown now, they say we need 1D to go out, non essential shops are shut which means I won’t be needed in my charity shop for the time being, and police are patrolling the streets to stop groups of people, I still need to go out to get grocery items though, I think I need to get a months worth and hire a cab to come home.

  41. I’m just getting over a cold. Only had it about a week. Last cold I had was back in December and it it turned into bronchitis. The Oregon governor just issued a stay indoors order. This isn’t a lockdown. State parks have been closed and everyone in them must leave. All monies paid will be refunded. Cities will make their own decisions as to close city parks or had been sunny and 60°+ over the lady week. Now rainy and 10degrees cooler.

  42. Not in lockdown up here either, but all the cafe and bars are closing. Still doing carry out and delivery. Had my last big breakfast on Friday. Two ladies only reopened the cafe last Monday, now this. Its a great hub. They are giving free coffee take out NHS and regular customers. Not that I am going about now Steve is home, he has to recouping for three months. It was Mothers Day here over the weekend, that must have been hard. Thank God for Amazon and Moonpig at least one could send flowers. Mum was made up and put hers in the window for all to see. I will need to pop down by taxi later in the week and drop off some shopping. It was funny being out yesterday morning early with the dog walkers, found a tiny shop I had forgotten about on the road I used to live on, down a bit further from our usual local shop, had like hundreds of loo rolls and loads of fresh bread. Probably only selling the odd one as only three people came in. Needed a white loaf for His Highness. Beautiful fresh bread. Will make a note as an alternative shop. It’s very odd, only me and one other person in H and B, when last week it was hectic. I don’t like a lot of people near me anyway, save in a football crowd, because I am on a stick and people like to push you out of the way normally so I shop end of the day normally. Now I am going early or mid afternoon. Smaller shops only. One thing you can get is Easter Eggs. I got extra paper hankies for mum and she is fine for another week. We have plenty of chicken and coffee. Chicken is good for healing. I sang Hallelujah when I saw the fresh bread! The shop keeper had a good laugh. One thing I will enjoy is the quiet. Very little noise ah bliss!

    I did that Christine, had more shopping the other day for me and mum and got a taxi, no bread though which was why it was great to find that little shop. We will certainly appreciate them over the next few weeks.

    I think Man For All Seasons was on about a month ago on one of the zillions of channels, it’s really good. Some people criticised it because it only shows one side of More. That’s because its not a biography, its about his relationship with the concept of the law. Listen to the dialog with Roper on law for all and you can see Robert Bolt’s point that everyone has to be afforded the protection of law, even those who hate it because nobody would have any protection otherwise. It’s an odd conversation about even Satan being afforded the protection of due process otherwise there will be no protection when all of the laws are destroyed and the Devil turned on us. However, it was a play and film which concentrated on the question of conscience because the centre of it is the divorce and More’s refusal to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church. More relied on a legal principle, that of silence signifies consent. In other words if the law was applied against him, he couldn’t be condemned because he had not said he didn’t agree with the Kings title but that he couldn’t sign the oath. He didn’t say why he didn’t sign. It was a battle of wits which lasted fifteen months. Henry was determined to get More because if he consented others would follow but if he refused others would also follow in their defiance. More was one of the most respected men of his age, internationally as well as in England. His writing had a best selling audience. He was also controversial because of his role in the suppression and prosecution of heresy but why? He was doing as his office demanded first under Cardinal Wolsey, then as a Magistrate, then as Chancellor of England. Despite his ardent opposition to heresy, he was only responsible for four heretical condemnation and execution and was not the great persecutor of myth and legend. It would have been remiss of him in any case not to question those who were denounced to his office on allegations of heresy or to shut down heretical writing. That was part of his role. More actually released without charge the vast majority of people brought before him or warned others that the next time the law would fall harder on them. He was acting as Wolsey’s man to prevent the work of Tyndale entering the country, although his denouement of his words in his own dialogue are something which also gained an international fame. More could not move on the divorce and Henry was just as stubborn. The film certainly captures the two men and their views in the wonderful and heated exchange in the garden of his house in Chelsea, frequented by the King on several occasions. Henry went further by breaking with Rome, which to More was an attack on Christendom and he had no authority to make himself head of the Church. To More Parliament had no standing in such a matter because it was determined by Christ on the person of Saint Peter 1500 years earlier. His arguments were sound in law and in theology but Henry was twisting the law to make it impossible for a man of conscience to opt out of the oath. More would not accept his marriage to Anne Boleyn and Henry practically took it personally. His trial speech after his condemnation was outstanding and is one the great speeches of history. It was reproduced in full in the film.

    Schofield and Shaw played their respective roles of More and Henry Viii so well, they were very close matches for the two friends come enemies. It’s a brilliant performance by both men and still a classic.

    1. I loved Robert Shaw in that movie and I thought he was so charismatic as Henry V111 with his pale coloured flashing eyes, when he arrived to visit More and he jumped out of the barge covered in mud, I can just see him doing just that, he glared at everyone and they were all waiting for his cue, he then laughed and the rest of them all followed suit, what a load of toadies! But yes brilliant movie and I loved the bit where Alice took him cakes in the Tower, it gave the film a homely touch, the guy who played Cromwell was every bit as devious, as reptilian as Henry’s evil genius was in real life, if there is one person I detest in Tudor England than that man is Thomas Cromwell, the fact that he later went the same way as his victims does not deserve him any sympathy in my book at least.

      1. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Thomas Cromwell, save that his execution wasn’t clean it was botched because he was deliberately given a drunken or inexperienced executioner. It was probably inevitable that if and when he fell his enemies would gang up on him to bring him down. I really don’t believe he could actually complain, yes, he had served Henry faithfully, but he was plotting to put his own agenda together with the Protestant German Princes. He had a bit of a cull of several royal favourites on trumped up charges, it was only a matter of time that the nobility wondered who was next and headed by Norfolk hit back. Like Thomas Wolsey Cromwell wasn’t from gentle or noble stock with a birth right to hold the top political offices in the King’s service but was a lawyer and soldier of fortune, a self made man, whose father was a criminal. Like Wolsey he was from humble beginnings and was talented. The Tudors promoted such men because of their expertise not because of their family name. That made the old families hopping mad and they looked for opportunities to bring such men down, even though they were true statesmen. Once they made a catastrophic error, displeasing the King, that was it, the circling vultures leapt in and dined on their flesh. Cromwell was the scapegoat for the disaster of Henry’s fourth marriage, although it was far more complex than that and Norfolk and others took the opportunity to strike at him and bring “evidence” of treason . By now Henry had become capricious and was easily persuaded to let his old servant be thrown to the wolves, even though he had done his master’s bidding for years.

        1. I have no sympathy for Thomas Cromwell either. I also believe that what happened to him he brought onto himself by all the enemies he made. But what I have a problem with is of all the charges brought against him treason? There are so many things I’m sure he could have been charged with under Henry’s reign that could have led to the death penalty but I just don’t see him as a traitor. Perhaps in hindsight we can see the things he did that would have led to that but at the time I’m not so sure. Even so the manner of his death was horrible.

        2. His targeting of the five innocent men to bring down a queen I find particularly repugnant, he must have gone over in his mind whom he would like to fall because it was convenient to him, Brereton was not even in the queens circle yet he was a target some say because of his conflicting interests with Cromwell in his northern home town, he was like a dog with a bone when he began his plot to get rid of Queen Anne, Brereton had done nothing to Cromwell yet he was a political nuisance so he would topple, it was very convenient the way he must have run up a list of which men to target, poor poor innocent souls ! His servant stated that if any of the five men were innocent, than it surely was his late master, Weston himself a young man with a baby son was also doomed, Mark Smeton was sacrificed and Henry Norris, though the king tried to save him, also lost his head in Cromwells bloody coup against the queen, the worse of all I feel was young George Boleyn he was necessary for the incest charge, they were all sacrificed, he was as Bq says a self made man, and such men are ruthless he probably did not care that he had enemies, but maybe he should have, he was according to the old families an upstart and any man can be brought low, Norfolk bided his time he must have been irked over the fall of his niece even though he cared little for her, she was still his sisters child, Cromwells fall was quite spectacular but I feel inevitable when we consider the enemies he incurred, in the end he went the same way as many of his victims, Thomas Cromwell really was one of the most fascinating personalities of the Tudor age, brave tenacious with a brilliant lawyers mind and all the more remarkable because of his humble upbringing.

    2. Yes Henry thought he was defying him but he was not, More was only repeating what he knew of the law to the king, he could have let him live, the Christian world was shocked by the execution of such a noble imminent man, Henry was so determined to pass this law through that no one was immune from it, the rest is history I believe the king did mourn his one time friend for the rest of his life though, had he any conscience.

      1. I seem to remember reading that Cromwell had had dealings in the past with each of the men (except) Smeaton over various issues such as rent, property etc and used Anne’s fall as an excuse to get revenge. No matter the reason I agree, Thomas Cromwell’s actions were repugnant.

        1. A number of stains lie on the boots of Thomas Cromwell, the death of the five men who died with Anne Boleyn and the execution of the holy monks and 30 Anabaptist people are the most infamous things which he has to claim part responsibility for. The ultimate responsibility lies at the feet of Henry Viii because even if Cromwell dreamed up these policies it was Henry who approved them, Henry who wanted tough new laws to defend his new marriage and end opposition and it was the job of Thomas Cromwell to implement those laws and to create the legislation to put before Parliament. Henry was ultimately responsible for the fate of Anne Boleyn and others as well even if it was Cromwell who dreamed it all up and invented the charges. It is very true that he had previously dealt with them and had rivalry with them, especially Sir William Brereton. He stood in the way of more state control in Wales and had previously gone up against Cromwell in official business there. Brereton was in the mixing pot which was the gossip heard by Sir Anthony Browne from his sister, Elizabeth which was used against Anne according to Lancelot de Carles as his reckless brother in law. Henry Norris was an old friend of the King and a reformer but I read that he too had some kind of problems with Cromwell and as a man constantly around both the King and Queen he was an obvious target. The talk about dead men’s shoes lit the litmus paper. Henry gave the order but Cromwell may have lined up the victims. It would not be the first or last time someone got rid of his rivals on trumped up treason charges. Cromwell did it over and over again, that’s how he was so vulnerable in the end. Henry turned his back on a man whose faithful services had made him the richest monarch in Europe and the wolves simply went in for the kill.

  43. I found when I went in the co op at the weekend that all they had was ice cream Belgium buns and magazines, I said to the assistant at least you have Belgium buns? Seriously though I do love them, today in Tescos things were looking up, they had fresh fruit and potatoes so I was able to get a bag of Maris Piper was very pleased, now we cannot go out unless it’s vital and not in groups, how is Steve coming along?

  44. We have some real idiots in this state. A man was arrested for stealing 25 cases of face masks from a construction company that was going to donate them to hospitals. Each case holds 400 masks and is worth $2500. Six cases have been recovered. Thanks to our governor being slow so slow in making a decision for people to stay home thousands of people headed to all the little towns along the coast of the state as they do every spring break. They then proceeded to clean out the stores in the small community so there were no supplies for the people who live in the area. The mayor of one of the towns, Tillamook, was on the radio yesterday and she was livid. These people seem to have no regard for anyone but themselves. They were all congregation together in a group on the beach. Most of these small communities are retirement areas so there’s a lotta vulnerable people living there. Also a bunch of people, most of them from the state heading to central Oregon for spring break. Also a lot of retirees. What is wrong with everybody? Forgot to mention: I don’t know if this happened in this state or somewhere else but a man working for a Ramada Inn was caught by a security guard rolling a garbage can with 66 rolls of toilet paper in it to his car that he planned on selling on the black market. Stealing supplies from hospitality establishment like a motel or a hotel is a federal offense which I was not aware of so he is in big trouble and this concludes (for now) my Oregon CoVid19 update.

    1. Yes people are getting panic stricken over here some nurse was on television having just finished her 48 hour shift, when she went to the shop to buy something for her lunch she found stripped deserted shelves, this poor woman was sobbing her heart out, why are people so utterly selfish ? I saw a few masked people out the other day but I have everything I need now so no need to venture out till the end of the week, caught my back in the night so just glad I do t have to go into work, but am missing my little charity shop.

  45. Of course you’re right BQ, in the end the buck stopped with Henry. How horrible though if Thomas Cromwell came up with the names of these five men and what he planned on doing and Henry gave the go-ahead to execute them even though he also knew they were innocent because it would help him dispose of Anne.

  46. Anne did not know it but on this date in 1536 she only had about six weeks left of life to her, the tide of fortune was shifting precariously underneath her and those who would die with her, the way she fell and why she fell is a subject of debate and has been for centuries, but it did have very sinister undertones and all we know is that Cromwell had gathered enough so called evidence to destroy her and her faction, the men who also died with her were no friends of Cromwell and one of them Brereton, was considered a nuisance by the kings right hand man, one of them , Henry Norris was a lifelong intimate of the king so immediately we see how far Cromwell would go to rid himself of his enemy, Norris was offered a way out if he were to confess, which he refused being a man of honour, he was sacrificed by his king and friend and really, this tells us a great deal about the character of King Henry V111 that he was willing to shed more innocent blood to rid himself of an unwanted wife.

    1. To think that by this time the wheels of injustice were probably already in motion. I hope you saw Claire’s YouTube series last year beginning on May 2nd and ending on the 19th. Having Anne’s fall and execution related in real-time really brought home the suddenness of the whole terrible tragedy. Shockingly sudden.

      1. I may have seen it, I know it’s easy at this distance in time to think how dreadful, but to actually have been there when a queen.was so treated, the hasty gatherings of oyer and terminer and the kangaroo court that she was forced to reside over, the way she was bundled off to the Tower and was spied on by those wretched women I feel so dreadfully sorry for her, I feel for the poor men to whose lives were changed forever, and the way their names were shamed just so the king could sire another son on another woman, it was a black black stain on Henry V111’s reign, and it was something till the end of his days he was never able to put right, he did some dreadful things during his reign, the beheading of More was considered shocking and the monks of the Charterhouse, but the judicial murder of his queen made him unique amongst his contemporaries, and makes him stand out in history.

        1. I know what you mean. To have been in London or maybe even closer a witness to the trial it had to have seemed surreal. A Queen on trial for her Life? I think a real good point for her innocence is that Eustace Chapuy who hated Anne with a passion was surprised at the verdict. And like you said those 5 poor men. The doubts ad to their innocence isn’t something new it started immediately after her trial and really took off after May 19, 1536. I’m sure though not much was said out loud until after James came to the throne. I try to imagine Anne’s fear and it is beyond my imagining.

  47. Yes there were grumblings throughout the whole sorry saga, and Henry V111 cavorting about with his wife’s lady in waiting did not exactly help his image either, but I believe he buried his head in the sand and chose to see only what he wanted to, to actually allow his wife and five men be slaughtered in such a horrific fashion and to marry her maid barely two weeks later, shows in what contempt Henry actually held the bounds of decency and good taste in, he really thought he was untouchable and could do as he wished.

  48. I don’t want to repeat the debate about Anne’s fall, it’s long and complicated but the basic theories are

    Thomas Cromwell feared the factions gathering around Princess Mary, the Seymour family, Nicholas Carew, several others, Chapuys representing the Empire and even Jane Boleyn, were becoming too powerful and his lot was thrown in with them. That involved supporting a new rapprochement with the Empire, something which was initially supported by King Henry but which may not be supported by Anne Boleyn who was pro French.

    Thomas Cromwell had fallen out with Anne over how to use the money from the monasteries and took the opportunity when Henry was fed up with her to be a most willing inventor of the evidence.

    Anne Boleyn was the victim of a conspiracy involving more than one faction and Henry heard the rumours about her and ordered an investigation. Cromwell set up the instruments of justice and then everything else fell into his lap. The events of April 18th 1536 when Henry had his meltdown at Cromwell and Chapuys are key and it was afterwards that Cromwell began to set things in motion. The argument with Henry Norris and the arrest of Mark Smeaton who made his false confession which implicated Norris in adultery on 30th April led to the swift destruction of Anne and her friends over 19 days in May. Henry must have given the order but probably he was persuaded by Cromwell of the need for an investigation.

    Henry was the instigator and the chief conspirator to get rid of a Queen he had grown to hate and Cromwell merely did as he was bid and made the case.

    Anne was the victim of a series of misunderstood and misinterpreted events and her own behaviour made her look guilty because she flirted too much with these men and Henry believed the charges against her. Cromwell brought everything together to make his case and invented the dates to fill in the gaps.

    A more complex series of events and motivations combined to bring everything above together in one conspiracy, misinterpreted events and a general miscarriage of justice in order to rid the King of an unwanted Queen. Cromwell and Henry were equally involved.

    Several authorities have gone with one or the other of the theories around everything which led to Anne’s fall and to be honest there are snippets of evidence for all of them. It’s more likely that once things started to go wrong, people and events combined to bring the case. Cromwell certainly had motivation but Henry heard the rumours and could only order any investigation. He could also tell Cromwell to get lost at any point and throw him in the Tower for scandalous gossip against the Queen. The events of 30th April gave the conspiracy the lucky break and it looked as if the prosecution had a case after all. Norris was arrested, Boleyn arrested, the Queen and Thomas Wyatt. The others followed as Anne’s babbling revealed other nonsense conversations which were used as evidence. I believe Cromwell did aim for some of the victims deliberately but others were just there as convenient fall guys. I believe he also thanks to Henry Wyatt intervened to save Thomas Wyatt who was his associate.

    It has blackened the name of both Thomas Cromwell and Henry Viii because the victims were innocent of any crimes. It was a very extreme way to be rid of a Queen, very rare anyway for a King to execute his wife, adulterous though some were. Henry was the first in English history. King John had allegedly hung up the lovers of his first wife above her bed but not her. There are some foreign examples but again very rare. Maria of Brahnant was married to Louis of Bavaria in her early twenties and bore him two children. While he was away she wrote an innocent letter to a soldier as his representative and he believed she had committed adultery. He went nuts and was possibly insane anyway. She was beheaded with three of her ladies. Some noble ladies have been executed as witches by one method or another but not Queens. Herod the Great killed his wife as did Claudius but England is the beheading capital of world history. Anne was innocent as were the others and Henry Viii wasn’t insane, although his mind may have been affected by jousting accidents. Her fall was very swift, especially compared to that of Kathryn Howard. The comments of even her enemies and the public show just how shocking this was and Henry’s behaviour afterwards did him no favours. He was heavily criticised.

    1. The theory I’ve heard put forward most often is Cromwell falling out with Anne. Each of these theories is like a jigsaw puzzle piece and the question is does each represent a different puzzle depicting the same event or are they parts of the same puzzle? I think each is part of the same puzzle but at this point it seems unlikely that the missing pieces will ever be found to connect them together. The one unchanging thing I believe regardless of the scenario is that Henry, whether he admitted it or not was aware of the innocence of all involved and authorized Cromwell to go forward. Anyone else I would not say this about but Henry VIII at this point was certainly capable of making cold irrational decisions that would suit his wants and desires.

  49. Yes once Cromwell had supported Anne he had managed to succeed where poor Wolsey had failed, he had secured the divorce, but a break up of relations had began to occur the previous year, Anne grew resentful because Henry discussed things with Cromwell more than her, she began to fear his influence and there was that sermon at Easter where her priest had made marked references to a biblical story and it was thought he was targeting Cromwell, he began to support the Seymour faction and even allowed Jane Seymour his suite of rooms at Hampton Court, he also disagreed with Anne over the revenues from the monasteries, Anne thinking of more charitable causes wanted the money to go to the poor and needy, but Cromwell and the king wanted it for the treasury, I believe it was certain events that occurred the year before and during the year of 1536 that made Anne and Cromwell fall out, and he was only too aware the king was tiring of her, I think it’s not to much to assume he confided in his lawyer about his cursed marriage and how he wished he were free, but I do believe the king was still hoping for a son from Anne she had after all fallen pregnant again, so he must have been hopeful all through the summer months and as the days turned chillier with autumn, then winter appeared and her belly grew ever bigger, he must have believed she could give him a prince at last, tragically sadly she miscarried in the January and I believe that last miscarriage sounded the death knell on her marriage, yet the king was still seen to be openly supporting her and Chapyus had even been tricked into acknowledging her as queen when they met by chance at chapel, her fall was so swift and shocking it has all the essence of a Greek tragedy.

  50. This coronavirus is like the Black Death, instils fear in people and leaves whole streets deserted, originally I was going to say it reminds me of The Sweat but that targeted mostly English people, the odd foreigner could get it, but only mildly, but it mostly obliterated whole families in its devastation, the Black Death was a dreadful sinister illness and caused untold misery to its victims and their families and it spread all over the Western world, at least we have the luxury those poor souls never had, the fact that our doctors and scientists are hard at work all over the world frantically trying to find a vaccine, how is Steve now Bq I hope he’s getting on fine and your ok to?

    1. I think you’re right in the fact hat it is affecting people worldwide and the streets are quiet but thank heavens unlike the sweat or bubonic plague people aren’t droppimg dead in the streets and we are also not seeing open carts coming to pick up the corpses. Saw. a funny neme today “In WWII they were asked to go to war. Today we are asked to sit on the couch. WE CAN DO THIS!”

      1. Yes at least we are spared those truly horrific scenes, it must have been awful years ago seeing putrid bodies flung in carts and the stench would have been dreadful, as they had a very hot summer, out PM is sending out 30 million letters to homes across the uk telling us to sit tight, that’s all we can do, the year 2020 will be a most momentous year indeed.

        1. And what would have compounded the horror of those terrible sights was the fesr of not knowing the cause. Germ theory didn’t really come into play until the very early 20th century so many thought that these outbreaks were God’s vengeance on a sinful society. Speaking as a Christian that is tar more terrifying than any virus or germ. I heard your PM has the virus but I also heard him say he will continue to work. Good for him. Very inspiring. Everybody in my immediate area seems to heeding the warnings and advice and behaving themselves. As you say the streets are quiet but the creepiest thing is no kids playing outside. The sound of children playing is such a great sound this time of year when my windows are open on a warm spring day.

      2. Yes I’m near a local park and from my bedroom window in the summer you can always hear kids playing, now it’s eerily quiet ah well we are all in the same boat, I’m glad we have this website to support each other.

        1. Oh boy so am I. And since we’re on opposite sides of the globe we can keep each other fairly well informed.

    2. This isn’t the Black Death, most people will get through this without getting ill or minor symptoms or will recover from moderate symptoms. However, a significant part of the world are either suffering it with all of its horrors or have died. I am not playing it down but thanks to sensible measures by everyone and governments the numbers are only a small percentage of the general population. The numbers of people with serious symptoms and who are dying is still very much a concern and many people have heard of somebody suffering in this way. We can only take sensitive and sensible precautions around ourselves and our families and stay in as much as possible. Unfortunately, for the majority of people total isolation is nor possible. I suspect most people have had to go out for fresh bread or milk or medical needs or to help older family members at least once since last week. I don’t see our government preparing food boxes and taking them around to people, that’s been the work of volunteers who are at risk. There are a number of things which can help and thank goodness for local corner shops and taxi drivers and delivery people. What we need to do however is to keep things in perspective. There are no carts shouting “Bring Out Your Dead” and no crosses on the door, the virus is contagious, not dangerous. It’s not air born, thank God or in the drinking water. It is, however, a widespread virus and it isn’t fussy about its victims. New research in Oxford has shown we are turning the corner and may be in the final phase but we still have to stop it from spreading by doing what we are asked. You can see the difference now in the shops. Limited to 3 or 4 in the shops, an orderly queue but they are letting people with disabilities go first in our Metro. Steve has decided he will only eat certain soups so I have to get more every four days. They are Heinz in a tub and only half fill the bowels which is enough with bread and crisps at lunch and a proper meal at night. We are drinking Caramel Latte because w can’t get out to our favourite cafe, not that he could anyway with a drain in his belly. He is actually doing quite well. His two brothers came to put our bins out and had to use the hand stuff at the door and afterwards. Very good of them and they only stayed about 20 minutes keeping their distance, but when Steve is in the way, that’s not easy. Good to see them to be honest but really had to hint that they have to leave as not meant to be a visit. Glad for their help with the bins. It’s important to help each other and care for each other. John is allergic to hospital and is quite the comedian at times and Paul is the youngest and the one he is closest to. Saw a friend from Church on the other side of the road when out for necessary shopping, speaking for a moment to say thanks for the lovely card. Few cars on the road but the ones that are bombing along as if they own the place. Little changes. Not many people otherwise, very odd feeling really. We all must play our part. We have to be home as much as possible, wash hands, stand two meters between people, cover nose and mouth and bin if sneezing or coughing and use sanitizer regularly. Look out for vulnerable relatives and neighbours and be aware of the advice. Remember if you call someone like the council or services that they are short staffed. It’s not the Black Death, it’s not anything like that to be fair, but it’s a virus which needs to be defeated and we don’t have any vaccines against. We have natural immunity but we can only beat it by taking the right precautions. I don’t believe one needs to be frightened, be sensible and follow advice.

      1. One thing that is similar is the measures. The streets would have been scrubbed, places which used meat or produced body products like butchers and the slaughterhouse closed, bodies collected at night and buried, no mourners but some priests did attend from a distance, families in isolation, travel forbidden, rubbish burned outside the gates, towns closed their gates and very few services taking place. They fumigated against infection and used vinegar to warn of infection and they prayed. People scratching things on the benches in the
        abandoned Churches show the fears of those ordinary people and have survived. People turned to anything for hope. A black cross was put on the door of a plague house and those inside had to remain within and live or die. Some towns did have plague hospitals but the care was merely that of the dying and the nuns who cared for them often died also. People would leave food outside the door and all public places were closed. They had no effective treatment and had to battle it through nature, until it ran its course and do what little they could to prevent its horrors. It wasn’t understood and despite our scientists we have been pretty much as helpless against this. All of our technology and we still have diseases we can’t fight with a pill or vaccines. We can bring help and relief in modern hospitals but basically we have to fight it ourselves. We may now be starting to have some naturally building immunity in our bodies and able to fight back but without the current measures how much worse might this have been. I don’t believe Covid 19 is anything like the sweat or the plague but its impact has been just as devastating and frightening, with the numbers lower because we know certainly how to kill the virus on our hands and surfaces. We can stay safe with hygienic washing and at least we have access to clean water, by using sanitizer, something not available hundreds of years ago, they did have herbs which helped, and by covering our faces, something they certainly didn’t know. We should never again laugh at our ancestors and their medical knowledge, we have no more knowledge about this and how to cure it, how to prevent it and spreading it yes, cure it, not yet, we have to rely on the immune system.

  51. I had to pick up some medicine today and in the chemist only two were allowed in at a time, there was a queue outside and in fact it took about 45 minutes including waiting for the prescription just to collect, we had to stand apart from each other and some got confused over which end of the queue to stand, in Sainsbury’s there was a queue outside and my local co op are now letting only two customers in at a time, still, more food and household items are finding their way to the shelves so hopefully, things are looking up.

    1. I went to the bank about 90mins ago through the drive thru and both lanes were open. I don’t know if they were open for inside business but from the number of cars I believe they were. They did change their weekday operating hrs from 9-6 prior to corona virus to 9:30-4 now. Sounds like your pharmacy is doing it’s best to adapt. Waiting for 45 mins sounds like a real inconvenience but I’m glad you can still get your meds. A friend of mine was going to try to make a quick trip to Costco but I’ve heard nothing back yet. When I do I’ll let you know. The reason for the test was I was having trouble posting but I think I narrowed the problem down to Chrome.

  52. There was a small queue at Tesco Metro but allowed to go ahead as can’t stand in the queue with legs. In and out in 30 seconds anyway. Would not normally go at midday on a Monday but was already on my feet. It went down anyway. Our corner shop is very good. We are all learning the art of patience.

    In 1517 and 1528 Henry and his immediate family took off for isolation in the Midlands away from the Court. In 1528 Mary was in Ludlow but Anne Boleyn home at Hever went down with the sweat bad and nearly died. Henry’s love letters to her show the real depth of feeling he had. One is stained with his tears. He was passionate and really in love with her at this time. George Boleyn and I believe Thomas also had it, but her father wasn’t as sick as Anne and Henry sent a doctor to her from Court. Anne recovered but it was touch and go for a time. Norfolk also had the illness as did Cardinal Wolsey and Anne wrote him a letter offering him service and good wishes. Norfolk wrote that he wanted to come to London to consult a doctor but permission was refused. The Court was broken up and courtiers sent home. Henry was obsessed about medicine and terrified of disease in any event, the slightest hint and everyone was sent home, the palace scrubbed from top to bottom and Henry self isolating. He self isolated for two months in 1528 after a servant delivering his meal dropped dead at his door. I really can’t say I blame him. Some of the terrible things around back then could see you off no matter how healthy you were very quickly. Colds and flue were far more deadly and horrible than we generally experience today. Long term killers like TB or consumption were common and this ran in Henry’s family, killing his two sisters and maybe his older brother and maybe even his father. It killed his two sons, legitimate and illegitimate. England was covered by a lot of marshland and had a more tropical climate at times, with hot summer and wet periods, followed by frozen winters. Typhoid and malaria were more common as was tertian fever which almost killed Prince Edward in 1541. The little boy recovered which shows he wasn’t the sickly child of myth as this was a dangerous killer. Henry Viii had malaria in his twenties and the fever returned every couple of years or so. He probably got his first bout when he poll vaulted over a ditch while out hunting with a flag pole. The pole broke and Henry ended up in the ditch head first, his companions laughing at him. A servant realised His Majesty was in trouble and pulled him out just before he choked on the putrid mud. He almost died and was ill in a delirium for several days and it was this which some people believe first made him think seriously about the problem with the succession because in 1518 he had no heir. The fevers returned regularly. We have also the smallpox and Henry and Elizabeth I both had bouts of this, Henry’s was very mild but Elizabeth was ill for 12 days, her doctor wrapped her in scarlet bandages and it was believed she may die. It was even suggested that her cousin would succeed her and she recovered soon afterwards. Henry wasn’t affected by it but Elizabeth was scared for life as was her lady who cared for her. The plague was a constant companion in the stink and over crowded streets of London and the Court got out of the city in the Summer. Ian Mortimer in his time travel histories showed some of the horrors of Tudor influenza and other diseases and they were really terrifying. Henry may have been a hypochondriac but he had every reason to be one, given that one could be hit with something suddenly and dead in hours or days, without being able to do anything about it.

    Christine, ask your pharmacy to put you on the list of people they deliver prescriptions to. They get it electronically, fill it and bring it to you and if out you can ask them to leave with a neighbour. Our pharmacy has delivered ours since 2015 and its free. Some ask for a nominal fee but most are free. If you can’t get there or its a struggle they will add you to the list. The van goes out every day. Give them a call and ask them.

    1. That’s ok it’s not far from me I have no problem collecting the med, but thanks anyway, hope you and Steve are coping.

    2. Yes Mary Tudor is believed to have died from the sweat, it was a miracle Anne her father and brother all survived, you mention the letter Henry sent her stained with his tears, unbelievable when we know this was written in the same hand of the man who would also sign her death warrant, several years down the line.

      1. The sweat is an odd one because its origins are rather obscure. It is believed to have arrived here in England in 1485 with Henry Tudor and his French mercenary soldier whom were recruited from the jails of King Charles Viii and therefore not in the best of health. It may or may not have existed in Europe before this but it was unknown in England. Its also unusual for its short durability over time and its outbreaks are spread out. It returned approximately, without looking it up, 1501/2, 1517,_1528 and 1551 and possibly 1557/8/9. Its more likely that the 1558 outbreak was the dreaded influenza and this is described as being epidemic by most historians. Mary Tudor became ill a number of months before her death, her health had deteriorated after her last suspected pregnancy which was actually some kind of stomach growth or cancer in 1557. Cardinal Reginald Pole also died of the influenza. The sweat, although it officially vanished, may have appeared several later times across Europe and then the New World because a number of similar symptomatic diseases fit its general descriptions. There is a great link on the site somewhere on the Sweat which Claire put together.

        It’s also one of a number of candidates for the death of Prince Arthur, although pulmonary tuberculosis is a more likely cause of death. The latter fitted the pattern because Katherine of Aragon was also ill. His illness lasted several weeks when he was in Ludlow and therefore the Sweat, unless it had a different strain, could be discounted because it acts like a dose of salts and kills quickly or cures within a short period of illness. Katherine was very ill as her young husband passed away. Sean Cunningham believed that cancer of the testicles was another possibility but of course that would not affect Katherine, but it could explain other matters between them. The Sweat, Influenza and several aspects of pulmonary tuberculosis all have similar symptomatic outcomes but Arthur wasn’t ill for months. The Sweat is therefore an excellent candidate here.

        1. The names it was called make me chuckle, ‘know thy master ‘ and several others, I agree it was a very odd illness and decimated families, the Boleyn family were lucky to survive, maybe like most diseases it had a more deadly strain, like Bubonic plague and Covid 19, and the Boleyns were lucky enough to contract the milder one, I’m wondering if it could have been a strain of malaria, Henry V111 had shaken off a bout of that in his youth, yes Queen Mary could have died from the winter flu that we still get these days, probably in her weakened state as it is thought she was suffering from stomach cancer, she would not have been able to survive, anyone who has known anyone who died from stomach cancer cannot fail to notice the dreadful waste loss that occurs with it, the victims literally lose half their body weight, but yes the dreaded sweat was greatly to be feared, and the thought of getting it made people fearful like any virulent disease, ‘merry at dinner dead by supper’ was the morbid saying, no wonder the king grew hysterical at the thought of his dear mistress laying low with it, he fled the court with Katherine and Princess Mary and hastily despatched his second best doctor as his first was not available to tend to Anne, one can imagine his sheer gratitude towards him when news arrived that Anne was over the worse and recovering well, poor little King Edward caught measles or chicken pox and recovered well, but he later contracted TB it is believed because of his weakened immune system, caused by the earlier diseases he had, he had no chance and I have always felt so dreadfully sorry for the way he suffered poor mite.

  53. In almost every account of Arthur’s death I’ve read testicular cancer is memtioned but perhaps it was the sweat. Wasn’t Katherie sick toward the end of Arthur’s life or shortly after his death? If this were the case could Katherine’s obstetric history have been connected to this illness? Anne also had the swea. If Katherin were affected could Anne have suffered the same problem? I’m thinking perhaps screwing up their immune systems. ust throwing this out there.

    1. Could have a point there actually, Arthur had been ailing for some months and as the nuptials drew near, his fragile health did alarm some of Katherines entourage, he was described as very delicate no wonder he felt the need to boast the day after, he must have seen his sickly pallor in the mirror and guessed what many were saying, would he survive the wedding night? Katherine did fall sick also but it could have just been influenza, or as you say maybe it was the sweat, a contemporary described it as a ‘malign vapour which filled the air, iv heard another theory on what killed Arthur he could have been suffering from a genetic illness which was to eventually kill his two young nephews Henry Fitzroy and Edward V1, muscular dystrophy but we do not know, it could also have been typhus I’ve often wondered could it have been legionnaires disease, there was no anti dote to the awful diseases and illnesses that were around then, it really was the survival of the fittest, what I have always considered odd about The Sweat, it was no respecter of persons, rich as well as poor fell victims to its cold grip, so it was not for want of eating well and living in comfort, it claimed the lives of Katherine Willoughby’s two sons within the hour – she lost her two darlings how did she survive the earthly torment which plagued her? How did any of them ?

      1. I know what you mean. How can your heart survive? Losing both of your children so close together on the same day is a pain I pray no parent has to endure.
        The problem with sweating sickness is we still don’t know what it was. As you said it appears to have come over from France in 1485, raised its head a few times over the next few decades and disappeared.

        1. Experts believe it could have been a strain of hantavirus but it certainly was nasty, it only killed English people, oddly enough but it made some foreigners a bit unwell, I think over time we may have become immune to it, I was reading an excerpt from a medical historian who said the death of Prince Arthur had a profound effect on the young Prince Henry who as he grew older, developed an interest in illnesses and as we know, he did like to meddle with herbs and ointments and tinctures in a bid to combat disease, he also went on to found the Royal College Of Surgeons, losing his brother at so young an age must have disturbed him greatly, we have to remember Arthur up till then had been a healthy lad, and nothing prepares you for the sudden death of a sibling, no wonder he did get panicky when the sweat arrived and other plagues like the flu, he must have had a very real fear of dying suddenly and leaving his realm at the mercy of a young girl, even though Katherine would have been made regnant and ruled wisely, Henry feared the squabbling in his council and he knew men were by nature ambitious, he probably feared Katherine could have been replaced and anarchy could follow, Arthur was raised to be their fathers heir, yet by a cruel twist of fate he succumbed to an illness which today is still being debated about, it was something King Henry learnt from an early age, sons could succumb to death easily, his father was lucky he had another son – himself, yet throughout his long marriage to Katherine he only had a daughter, desperately he needed sons to protect his realm if he were to die suddenly, at least two sons would please him one the heir one the spare, just in case the eldest went first, as in the case of his brother Arthur and himself, it is easy to understand Henry’s mindset during his reign as the years went by and still no son, the birth of Prince Edward was greeted by an explosion of trumpets and fanfare and jousting, at last King Henry had a son yet sadly, he too was to succumb to a most distressing illness before he reached his seventeenth birthday, his marriage to Catherine Howard was possibly so he could get another son, but alas she lost her head and I do believe she was taking some form of contraception, as the king was so amorous of her, it would have been rather easy for her to get pregnant, it certainly is fascinating discussing the diseases our ancestors suffered from in the past, what is frightening with Covid 19 is the deaths that have been occurring amongst the young and presumably healthy strong people, on the news recently a thirteen year old lad has just died in Britain and a young woman in her early twenties, contracted the disease, went into cardiac arrest last Saturday and died on the Sunday, and she had no health problems like the young lad, absolutely shocking.

  54. We must not forget that Mary Boleyn was made a widow by the Sweat in 1528 when William Carey died as did another of Henry’s friends, William Compton. Poor Mary was left in a rather desperate state as well because William wasn’t responsible with their money. It is believed he gambled much of it away so Mary wasn’t able to get her marriage portion and other financial assistance she would be entitled to from their estates as a knights widow. Mary had to reluctantly let her sister know that she was struggling and Anne informed King Henry who wrote to Thomas Boleyn in order to secure an income for Mary and her children. Anne also became the guardian of little Henry Carey and paid for him to have a good education and Catherine was also provided for. There is no evidence that Thomas was reluctant to support his widowed daughter, it appears he was unaware of her plight. Mary was an adult and her father had no obligation towards her financially, as a widow she was entitled to provision from her husband as part of her contract of marriage. However, if William spent or lost their money, then she had little recourse and had to later seek assistance from Cromwell. Thomas Boleyn did provide an income for his daughter and she did make her own life afterwards.

    Edward vi got a double wammy with measles and pneumonia plus pulmonary tuberculosis which killed him. Before that he was reasonably healthy but he was very weakened by that double illness the year before he died and couldn’t shake it after his immune system was destroyed. There is a theory around the three younger Tudor boys, Prince Arthur, Henry Fitzroy and King Edward vi that they may have had a genetic disorder but that could only have exacerbated whatever killed them because their symptoms are illness specific. In other words yes gene x did something mysterious but they died of a known disease. Influenza was well known in the sixteenth century and the Sweat was described as a new illness. Does that sound familiar? Convid 19 is a new virus, although its related to two known viruses from the same family. It isn’t the same as influenza, it has mutated into a deadly human attacking and killing nasty piece of work. It has worked out how to attack within the body and we are having to catch up on how to destroy it. However, this new virus is similar to SAARS and that wasn’t as bad as C19. It does however give scientists a clue because its more benign cousins have been around since the 1960s. That at least is a start when working on the DNA of the virus. It can be killed, its a case of what, when and how. The Sweat vanished into thin air almost but a few similar outbreaks apparently were recorded in the nineteenth century and it did spread into Europe but was mostly an English disease.

    I watched the video earlier and it really does sound frightening. Whether or not the numbers were exaggerated it killed a fair % of the population and people were terrified. They didn’t even have the benefit of knowledge being passed on about how to prevent it because not even that was known. It appeared in the hotter months, although in 1517 it was around at Easter. We don’t really know what it was caused by and our knowledge about C19 is limited as well. We might be lucky and learn how to destroy and protect against it next year, it may die off and never return, but our Tudor ancestors had no such hope. Lucky for them it was sporadic in its outbreaks, with a number of years inbetween them.

    The loss of so many loved ones must have been devastating, especially if death struck quickly and against apparently healthy young people like the two sons of Catherine and Charles Brandon. Brandon himself was dead by then, having passed at 61 18 months before Henry Viii and his two brilliant sons were studying at University when the Sweat struck in its final incarnation in 1551/2. Catherine was nursing them when both Henry and then Charles died within three hours of each other. Her loss must have been heart breaking. Two fine young men in their mid teens, barely beyond children. Two very talented young boys. Such a terrible loss. Henry was also a companion to King Edward and had carried the sword at his coronation so it would have brought the fear home to the Court as well. With the variety of fatal viruses and bacterial diseases around and death an almost constant companion it was important for our Tudor ancestors to hold onto their faith. It was their only comfort.

    1. We live in a great era where we are innoculated as children from diseases that killed many people in the past but if for some reason the sweat reared its ugly head again I don’t know how we could deal with it. It appears, attacks, kills and seems to disappear so quickly I don’t know if we could mount a defense. Let’s just pray it’s now only a part of history. How frightening for our forbears who didn’t understand germ/disease theory.

      1. Yes they beloved illness disease and pestilence, atrocious weather conditions a poor harvest was a sign of the Almighty’s displeasure, therefore that would have added greatly to their fear, we are very lucky today, my friends and I have been on the phone a lot bewailing the lockdown, we cannot wait for the lockdown to be lifted and for life to return to normal, so we can just go in the pub and enjoy a nice cold glass of beer.

    2. There is a most charming portrait of the Brandon boys painted when they were only about five I believe or thereabouts ? They look amazingly alike and could almost be twins, their hair colouring is like soft auburn, it really is a lovely picture and unusual that they were painted being so young, as only those of very high status were thus painted, but they were of the aristocracy, their parents being the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, years before the duke had lost a son with Princess Mary, he then went onto to have two more daughters with her, Frances and Eleanor, it was an age when infant mortality rate was very high, and in fact women wrote their wills out before they went into labour, as the event almost nearly killed them, it is true really all these people had their faith to cling onto, it was Katherine of Aragon’s rock and her daughter Mary’s, without their faith they must have felt like they were walking in the wilderness, it got them through very hard times, but I cannot begin to imagine what poor Katherine Willoughby went through, her husband had died and then she lost her two boys in the same day, absolutely heartbreaking.

  55. Hi Christine. The young woman who died of Covid 19 may have had an underlying problem that was never diagnosed. My father died in 1970 from a heart attack while he was driving. He had had a complete physical the month before. I still hear reports of high school kids going out for sports like football (American), track, hockey, basketball etc who died during practice. It doesn’t happen that frequently but the point is when I was going to school, and I would imagine it hasn’t changed is that one of the requirements to participate was a thorough complete physical. These students had them and the problem wasn’t caught because our bodies are so complicated it will be centuries or more before everything about them is known. The radio station I listen to on weekdays has a “corona virus update” every twenty mins or so. I think this is a bit much but as you say the numbers are staggering but keep this in perspective: there are 7.5 billion people on the planet so the percentage of deaths is relatively small. Compare the Earth’s population to plague deaths a few centuries ago. England at one point had lost 1/3 of her population to plague. This isn’t going to happen today. We know what it is and what types of drugs may work on it. Who knows, I could get it and die. I don’t want to but there are just as many ways in my house that I could have an accident and be killed. I just don’t worry about it. Perhaps going through this shared experience as a species will make us start being nicer to each other when it’s over. At least we have internet and phones to keep us in contact with friends and family. Just hang in there. I know it doesn’t seem like it but it will end. Any projects at home you never had the temp to do? No excuses now.

    1. Yes I have got odd jobs to do around the house and I have my miniatures to keep me busy, as you say there’s the phone and the internet, social media etc, I’m so sorry about your father Michael that must have been a dreadful shock, regarding young adults they do sometimes collapse without warning, what they call sudden adult death syndrome it’s happened in this country quite a lot, as you mention most have had a physical yet tests reveal no weakness, then suddenly their gone, very sad very tragic, an ex workmate of mine her nephew suddenly died without warning, he was just fifteen it was revealed he had a faulty heart, but this was unknown to his parents till the autopsy, they must have felt so devastated that they never knew beforehand because then they would have made sure he never exerted himself, he had a white coffin for innocence it was heartbreaking for his family, it’s true I echo that sentiment, maybe this tragedy we are experiencing will make people kinder to each other, of course you always get those whom I call, the dregs of society, there was a nurse going home after finishing her shift and some yobs thought it was hilarious to spit on her, the poor woman being abused by scum like that, when she had been bravely doing her duties as a nurse as well, sadly society will always have low life like that, their not intelligent compassionate people and are usually on drugs and live a life of petty crime, people like that deserve to catch the virus, good thing is they usually catch the scum pretty fast.

  56. I haven’t seen much on the effect of Arthur’s death on Henry. I know Arthur from a very young age was raised at Ludlow Castle with his own household far away from Henry who as I understand barely knew his brother. I posit that perhaps rather than Arthur’s death having a truly profound effect on Henry’s view of disease and sickness that perhaps his father, after the death of his heir drilled into his youngest son the need to stay healthy and have sons at any cost and Henry, with his obsessive personality took this advice to the nth degree? Just a thought. I’ll give this to Henry, he was a smart man.

  57. The beautiful portraits of Charles and Henry Brandon as young children by Hans Holbein dates from about 1540 to 1542 so they will be about five and seven, very lovely and chubby children, so obviously very healthy. In our Picton Library rare book library on the walls are some copies of the drawings and I remember the very first time I saw them while studying there from school. I loved to go every Saturday morning (I had to be home by 12.30 to leave for the football) and every other Saturday most of the day to study. I can recall thinking what handsome children and reading the caption saw they were the children of Charles Brandon and a woman I didn’t know, Catherine Willoughby. That day I discovered her as well. Dad was very anxious when I got home as it was 1.30 and we haven’t yet left for the match. This was pre mobile phones so you can imagine.

    The rate of loss of children was quite high, but there is plenty of evidence that people cared for their children, even for the brief time a baby might be here on earth. The loss of a child is very traumatic but it was common in the sixteenth century. It was actually higher than some earlier centuries. I could name studies on family life and research but they probably wouldn’t mean very much but this was an element of my degree. Documentary evidence shows the grief and loss in dedicated verses to lost little children. These were human beings, they had the same fears and feelings and emotions as us, they shared loss and grief and pain and distress as we do and they weren’t numb to the loss of children. The Sweat was a particularly dangerous disease which is why C19 has not been designated in that same class. Its highly contagious yes, but not as dangerous as some things from the past. One thing that does annoy me, though, Michael, is the anti vaccination brigade. You do have the option here to have single vaccine not just MMR. There is nothing to link it to autistic behaviours, that is junk science. Yet now we have measles again in Britain which was wiped out, we have a human form of foot and mouth and we have mumps. The anti vaccination brigade are responsible and need to be prosecuted. Unless you can provide a medical reason which is rare, you should be forced to have your kids vaccinated. It’s not about your choice, its about the health of your children and other children. It’s about protecting the children in the womb as rubella can cause blindness and deafness to unborn children. My mother refused me permission when I was sixteen and it was offered in school and I was the only one not having it. I got my dad to sign and forged her signature as no way was I being denied it. I wasn’t sexually active and not planning to have kids for some time, but what if I was raped? What is about parents that they think everything is about their ridiculous hang ups? Child health isn’t a pair of shoes, sorry your choice as parents stops when its in the best interest of children to protect them against illness. My stupid niece refused to vaccinate Ned who was perfectly healthy and now he has had three obsolete children illness. He also got minor Autism after the mumps which he wouldn’t have had if he was vaccinated. He was recently hospitalised with something not related but he has problems socially because he wasn’t protected. I don’t say anything as she clearly loves him and he is Steve’s nephew but much could have been avoided. We are struggling now with something we can’t yet stop, but mant things we did stop like measles and now stupid people have brought it back. I have a flu jab as does Steve and my mum, but I know old people who don’t. Sorry its not a choice, it should be compulsory. I am not advocating breaking down doors and dragging people off. No. No. But when the MOT on them is due, give them the jab. They tend to say yes to authority anyway so it wouldn’t be a problem. The pneumonia jab should be more widely available. A vaccine for this needs to be universal and compulsory.

    I doubt the Sweat will ever return but its a frightening thing that we may not be able to cope or would we? There is a theory that people who lived through the plague and Sweat passed on a new super gene with immunity against it down the generations and that we may have herd immunity or natural immunity when the brain recognised it. I am not sure how that works but its certainly one of the reasons these things died out.

    Michael, you are quite right. You have to stay in perspective, this is very contagious but it will be beaten. Stick to the precautions. Everything will be fine. Maybe don’t watch it for a bit, you can’t change it by listening or not, watch something else and stay positive. I am not watching it every day because I suffer from clinical depression. I have to protect my mind as well as my body. Remember also you protect you and family from harm, that is multiplied in the community by everyone, the effect is multiplied around the world. Its not my job or your job to worry about the world, the rest of humanity will worry about each other. Just look out for vulnerable people and contact your council and volunteers to get them help. I don’t want to sound harsh, I care but I don’t have a vaccine. I can only try to reassure people whom I am in contact with. The majority of the population will get through this if they follow the precautions and advice. Stay strong and keep the picture of your friends and you doing something nice when this is over.

    A friend online can’t grasp that it was an accident, he thinks Donald Trump invented it, so at least you haven’t gone down that road just yet. If Trump wanted to destroy the Chinese economy he would have chosen something more targeted, not something which has devastated everything. I honestly think the man is evil personified, no offence intended, Michael, but I also believe he is too thick to come up with this.

    Stay safe and well. Go to the BBC I player or download, just about everything ever on is uploaded there at the moment.

    1. I’m glad you know yourself well enough not to focus on the negative. As to vaccinations of course there are those over here who also believe that they are responsible for autism. I also think that’s junk science. Parents aren’t forced to vaccinate their children BUT if they don’t they can’t attend school with other kids. That sounds fair but the parents have a fit and think it’s only about them and their children not those following the rules.I had ally shots as a kid and was heavily exposed to mumps when my cousin had it but I never did. As a diabetic I get my flu shot each year. The only thing I’ve ever had of any consequence was chicken pox at age 15. That sucked. As an adult I’ve had Bell’s Palsy twice. Once in each side of my face. That was an annoyance more than anything else but goes away on its own. It and shingles are caused from the same virus as chicken pox. If you’re not sure what it is look it up. If you get it it’s quite fascinating and annoying but usually completely harmless.

  58. It’s the Jehovah’s Witness brigade I find totally ridiculous, they refuse blood transfusions as it is against their religion, so if they wish to die so be it, but the fools decide for their children to so they are denying them the chance of a good healthy life, so selfish I think in some cases hospitals have taken cases to court so they can go ahead with surgery, I heard last night my poor boss is battling pneumonia which she contracted after the dreaded Covid 19, she says she’s so weak she has to drag herself to the loo, it’s so sad about your nephew Bq, as it could have been avoided, I recall queuing up at school to see the nurse and have my jabs, it was essential so that’s strange your mum didn’t approve the rubella vaccine, maybe she had heard some old wives tale that it causes illness? I’m glad you and dad got round it though, talking of the sad deaths of children years ago yes the mortality rate was high, no wonder they baptised them as soon as possible, and for high born children they had good education they instilled in them the need to learn different languages, the classics and young girls were learnt how to embroider as well as a high standard of manners and deportment, its as if with death hovering around the corner, the need to educate their little darlings was higher and many of those children were very precocious, the Tudors especially were particularly precocious, Lady Jane Grey was considered a very apt scholar in Greek and Latin as well as in French, she is said to have been more clever than her cousin the Lady Elizabeth, Edward V1 was doubly precocious in fact he could well have been a child prodigy – a little genius, it is doubly sad when we know Janes blood was shed and Edward wasted away to nothing at so young an age, as both these children were highly intelligent, one of Katherine Brandon’s sons was present at Edwards coronation, of course educated or not, brilliant or not, deaths of children are very very tragic, and any loving parent would mourn them, Henry V111 had a lost sister Catherine whom died not long after the perils of childbirth, which also claimed that of her mother Elizabeth of York, death stalked the corridors of power at the Tudor court like it did amongst the hovels of the poorest in the land, no one was immune, at the end of the day it probably was down to the survival of the fittest but a lot of awful things they suffered from then could be treated so easily today, medical advancement is a huge achievement in the history of mankind, more than walking on the moon and anything else, it is life after all that is essential to mankind.

    1. We have Jehova Witness followets here too and othets who only want healing througj prayer. My personsl opinion as a Christian is that God is answering those prayers for healing by giving the men and eomen who are doctors and nurses snd others in the medical field the ability to understand and treat this complicated machine called the human body. Just to stress this is MY opinion.

      1. Yes wether you believe in god or not, no deity would condone the senseless deaths of people just because it’s against their belief to have blood transfusions, the Christian god gave mean and women brains to use to educate themselves, according to the bible, man was given dominion over all other creatures, I recall when IVF was hailed successfully as a breakthrough in medical science, it brought hope to thousands of childless couples, the pope made some statement about only god can give life but he was certainly not against helping life on it’s way, after all as you said, god gave us our brains to use, I cannot understand Jehovah Witnesses’s, occasionally they come round this way and you know who they are as soon as you open the door, one old boy used to target my house he must have thought we were all sinners ha! In the end my mum had to tell him he just was wasting his time, one even followed my workmate to work they can be a nuisance.

  59. Poor Elizabeth of York, she was sacrificed to childbirth because of her duty to King Henry Tudor to provide him with more sons.

    Prince Arthur had just died in April 1502 when the news reached his parents in Richmond, Elizabeth was inconsolable as was Henry who had to go to his wife in order to comfort her. Elizabeth after the period of mourning decided that she would give Henry another son to replace his lost heir as their throne depended upon him having more than one son. The crown now lay upon the shoulders of an eleven year old boy and Elizabeth feared for the future. Another boy Edmund had died in about 1496 aged three. Elizabeth was in her 37th year and thus this pregnancy was a risk but one this courageous and devoted woman was prepared to make. Elizabeth undertook a very long progress that year, across much of the South of England and across mid and South Wales. When she went into labour it was a difficult one and Elizabeth was very weak afterwards. She was ill with childbirth fever and passed away on her 37th birthday in February 1503. The baby was a little girl called Catherine but she passed away within days of her birth. Henry was devastated. He never remarried, although in 1506 he did contemplate a marriage with the Hapsburg Empire.

    The ship carrying Philip of the Netherlands, the Handsome and his wife, Queen Juana, the sister of Katherine of Aragon, was shipwrecked on English soil and came to visit the royal family. Henry Vii took the advantage of their needs in order to get his own political problems resolved. Philip was giving refuge to the last of the House of York claimants, Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk and Henry wanted him returned. He arranged for the return of his fugitive and negotiated the payment of the dowry for Katherine of Aragon to marry Prince Henry, now fifteen. He also betrothed his youngest daughter, Princess Mary to the son of Juana and Philip, Charles of Castile. Henry was also interested in a bride for himself and one or two candidates came to light. The Duke of Suffolk was returned and put in the Tower, but the dowry for Katherine was not forthcoming as Juana lost her authority. Soon this unfortunate woman would lose her husband and her mind. The rumours about her began during his lifetime, spread by Philip himself.

    Ironically it was often the well off who fell victim to some of the more violent diseases rather than the poor or yeoman classes because of their rich and high lifestyle, not eating the right foods and not clearing the rushes on the floors for years. The palaces had to be completely cleaned every three months as the Court moved on but certain aspects of the life of the Court ironically made the upper classes more susceptible to diseases.

    1. Yes the poor actually dined more healthier as they lived off vegetables so they certainly got their fair share of vitamins, also those working in the fields they would have had vitamin d a really essential vitamin, as it is crucial for healthy bones a lack of which led to rickets in children, the poorer offspring would have been fed by their own mothers milk to another crucial determining factor as it is full of nutrients for the baby, unlike their richer brothers and sisters they possibly were not so tightly bound swaddled, (but I am unsure about this), also as they grew their diet was so rich with pastries and pies and sugar, the kings banqueting tables was literally overflowing with gargantuan dishes red meat game fowl and fishes, the red meat the king consumed did nothing for his diabetes which he later developed, also the sugary confections and marzipan tarts and jellies, sugar was also added to the wine if it was found too bitter, although the poor did work hard and eat much more simply, it appears their health was better than those richer members of society as their arteries were not so clogged up with fat and sugar, the changing of the reeds in the nobler households is a good point, they had to be swept regularly to get ride of mice and rats droppings which harboured disease, Edwards and his sisters nurseries would have been swept thoroughly, as of course royal children before and since.

      1. I saw a program on the remains of Richard III. One of the segments was on a study to discover what kind of things he had eaten not too long before his death. A list of things was rattled off and one was peacock. I dont remember the others but they were all things that were more status oriented than healthy

        1. Yes I saw that, they ate swan and all sorts of delicacies woodcock partridge, pheasants I actually tasted woodcock once, it was delicious can understand why it was a delicacy in the olden days, the meat was so lean, yet it’s only a tiny bird they would have needed a lot for a banquet.

        2. Henry ordered the nursery and the rooms and hallways around the apartment Edward was nursed in scrubbed down three times a day every day and people had to remain clean and access was restricted. There was no way this little boy wasn’t going to live. Edward caught a marsh tertiary fever when he was six and Henry was very worried but he pulled through. His own experiences as a child of people dying young had taught him to be super careful and remain as healthy as possible.

          The diet of the middle classes or farming yeoman consisted of meat when available and mostly pottege but that consisted of vegetables, herbs, pulses, perhaps some meat and was a good healthy mix with bread and dumplings. One main meal would be provided for the family, household, including servants and the farm hands at midday or one p.m and would consist of bread and cheese, pottege, meat balls and a pudding. Other things might be added at harvest or on feast days and fish replacing meat during Lent and Friday, etc. Ale would be drunk rather than water and wine was also drunk. They did wash their hands before eating, using herbs and rose petals as cleaning agents of the type we know with anti septic properties. Afterwards any leftovers and spare food was given to the servants and farm hands to take home. Many hands and younger servants slept in their household. They used cross ventilation in the dairy and disinfectant was used by pouring boiling water onto the floor and scrubbing it. Dishes were put in the sun to dry in the ultraviolet light which is antibacterial. They knew it worked, just not how or why.

          I loved all of the documentaries about King Richard iii and you can see how his diet changed from his military years serving his brother as a younger royal Duke to the three years after his coronation. The documentary did read out the list from his coronation and one has to remember Kings didn’t eat like that every day and the dishes on offer were to choose from not for him to eat them all. Having said that his bones showed a marked difference in rich food. Our Medieval and Tudor Kings didn’t balk at eating anything, all kinds of stuff was on offer, dolphin included, all sorts of exotic food. Peacock and swans were the birds of the King and Queen and the discovery of sugar was very popular and the sugar banquet followed most grand meals. If not an entire meal was done from sugar goods and sculpture. It may not be surprising that dentists had a lot of business at this time.

  60. Hi Christine. I’m sure you’ve read contemporary accounts of some of these feasts where you see listed 100 of this, 200 of that nd 75 of the other thing. I don’t know how tasty that food was but there was sure a lot of it. The royal kitchens would have been really crowded and very hot.

    1. Yes incredibly hot sweaty and noisy, the spit boys had it the worst having to stand for long periods of time and they must have got burnt or scalded dreadfully, I saw a documentary on the royal kitchens once and the spit boys jobs were the most dangerous of all.

  61. Hi BQ. People for the most part were pretty smart when it came to health. Though they didn’t know what germs or viruses were through observation they knew that cleanliness certainly helped.
    I heard a program a while back with an archeologist describing her experience in England exhuming old graves. Those who died before sugar was introduced had very good teeth even when dying at an advanced age. After the introduction of sugar well… Elizabeth I is a good example of that trend. And it continues.

    1. I was thinking, had chocolate been around in Henry V111’s day he would have been twice the size he was, if that’s possible!

      1. I did a quick Google search and got a couple of pieces of information. Cortez first brought cocoa beans to Spain in 1528 and it started catching on in England in the 1650’s. This is a good question for BQ. She would also be more accurate than Google.

        1. Yes England started opening up chocolate shops in the 17th century, it was considered fashionable to meet with ones friends over a cup of hot chocolate, that said I am not that hot on the history of chocolate, Cadbury’s of course turned it into an art form, I should imagine it tasted very bitter when it was in its infancy, then Fry’s and Cadbury’s who were a quacker company started making slabs of chocolate, it was so expensive though only the very wealthy could afford it, it’s still disgustingly expensive to buy now, even more so the Easter eggs you actually pay more for the packaging then the chocolate.

        2. Because cocoa beans came from South America it sounds accurate that Cortez would bring it back to Spain around that time. The Aztecs and Inca used them to make powerful drinks for various purposes, they had an hallucinogenic properties which made them perfect for doping someone who was a sacrifice for the gods. A less potent version was used as a drink for courtship. Originally in much of European society cocoa was used as a drink for pleasure, what we know as chocolate. The 17th century in England and Europe saw the coffee and cocoa houses opening to sell hot chocolate and then shops sold it and it was very popular. The affect on people varied because the strength of this very pleasant drink varied from shop to shop. It was almost addictive. It was also very sweet and real Belgium chocolate is the nearest taste you will get to it. Mocha today is half coffee, half chocolate with strong cocoa beans and I have felt a bit happy after one or two. The Church wasn’t too happy with Cocoa houses as people were enjoying themselves too much and were even going there and not to Church. Reports also appeared in the press of the time that people had several cups of cocoa and hot chocolate and apparently acted as if they were drunk. At some point regulations must have come in to make these drinks less heady. We do know that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries coffee and hot chocolate houses were encouraged in order to close down the pubs and discourage drunken behaviour. More chocolate houses existed in Chester at one time, 50 plus than pubs but now only a handful exist, including one now by the Railway Station. They were ironically opened by the Quakers, again to promote none alcoholic drinks and gathering places. One founded in the seventeenth century originally still exists in Kendal and sells beautiful hot chocolate and beautiful original chocolates.

  62. Costco update: still such a huge line Wednesday that my friend turned right around and came home

    1. I wanted to go in Asda’s the other day and there was too much of a queue, I just like your friend turned round and went home, I can understand the wisdom behind it, they do t want too many customers coming into contact with each other, even so, it’s very frustrating.

      1. I went grocery shopping this morning. Same store as last week. No lining up outside this time. Just inside the door is a large piece of butcher paper with a handwritten list of items they’re out of. Got my items and went to check out. Every other checkstands was open with someone guiding shoppers as to which one to go to so that there were no more than 2-3 shoppers in each. Self checkout was open with collapsible fencing guiding you in to keep you single file and apart. Took me all of 15mins and I saw no empty shelves.

  63. I think shops are getting better I see more on the shelves and in the freezers, they are limiting one pack loo rolls per customer which of course helps, I am just glad my local fish and chip shop was open as I just fancied fresh chips for my dinner tonight, mind you I had to stand behind a line but I didn’t mind that.

    1. Doesn’t it feel good to have a bit of normalcy in your life albeit a small one? I parked as far away as I could so I could walk. Great feeling.

  64. Thank you so much for that information on chocolate BQ. I’ve said this before and I am sincere. I would love to have had you as a history teacher. I hope all is well with you and Steve.
    Thank you also to you Christine for asking the question

    1. Your welcome I don’t know as much as Bq she’s a true scholar, but I’m quite well read on some subjects, one thing I do know about chocolate, I am sure it tasted better years ago and there was more variety around to, still nothing stays the same.

      1. The upside is we don’t know what we’re missing. What I do know is the chocolate/cocoa I am aquainted with I am a big fan of.

        1. Chocolate has a feel good effect on the brain scientists believe it can lift the mood, how many times have we said and heard others say, ‘I’m fed up I want some chocolate’, downside is it can add inches to the waistline, I adore chocolate and have to be very careful, in fact iv had some toblerone this evening, that’s always been my favourite since young, I bought the huge bar and just have a few triangles now and then, Cadbury’s whole nut is another favourite and Ferrero Rocher now that is truly chocolate heaven.

        2. Its a scientific fact, ladies, when you are craving chocolate, you really are. Its full of oestrogen, the female sex hormone, which of course you give off every month as well and which pregnant women need more off. No wonder it was a symbol of fertility, sacrifice and mating among the Aztecs. Its no wonder it fills you with pleasure and energy, although the energy boost wears off. So great excuse, girls, we can’t help it, our bodies need the oestrogen. Funny thing is, Steve had to have hormone treatment for cancer a couple of years ago and has a craving for chocolate because the hormones don’t leave for a few years. Very odd. So enjoy, ladies, we really do need chocolate.

          Thanks Christine, for your kind remarks on my brains, just full of useless trivia. Christine is our Medieval scholar. I just enjoy sharing my trivia.

    1. Best thing about staying in Brussels for five days was the chocolate museum on one corner and the beer museum on the other in the main square. I didn’t actually drink beer at that time as I had only experienced rubbish like Carlsberg. We visited the beer museum and got free white Belgium ales. My goodness, my taste buds sat up and sang Hallelujah! Beautiful crisp white beer. I have been drinking only real ale since. Then beautiful Belgian Chocolate, oh boy my taste buds had a party and loads of free samples. A few days later we were in Aachen and I was wondering through the old town in the middle of the day and fancied a light ale. I don’t know how I knew exactly what ale I wanted but I did. The German dark beers and the red beers are the best. But watch out, the Germans are like your coffee servers in the eating places, constantly topping you up. I have never eaten so many varieties of sausages or bread either and as for printen well that’s another story. Eight boxes we brought home and it weighed a ton, and we were travelling by train! I had to purchase another bag to put it in. This corona virus reminds me that in Prague the hotel gave us free beer every night with the evening meal, called Corona. It was awful. They also gave as an alternative the local beer Briterg which was fantastic. Did you know beer was introduced during the reign of Henry Viii in about 1526 when hops were imported into England. Before that ale was made here without hops and strictly speaking if it has hops its beer, if not its ale or larger? Just ate the last piece of the best chocolate cake in Britain. Rays Bakery makes beautiful cakes and we got their last two big round cakes before they closed last week, a lemon and chocolate. So that’s it for now, hopefully they will open again afterwards. Really enjoying their cakes. My goodness they are delicious. I miss Greggs and our local Sayers, I miss going to Bean There and the Corner Cafe, the Interesting Eating Place and oh boy, I even miss Costa but most of all The Allerton Oak. I miss the Other Place, Cafe 23,_Penny Lane Beatles Hotel and Diner and I miss live Boss Nights. Now I need more chocolate.

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