I think i know the answer to this already but isn’t it wrong that Henry could cheat all he wanted and when rumors of Anne cheating started…she ended up beheaded? I understand things were different then but it’s very unfair.

As 21st century women we find Henry VIII's attitude hard to stomach and hard to understand but they had very different attitudes towards women in the 16th century. Men were descended from Adam who was tempted by Eve, the ancestor of women. Women were therefore seen as temptresses and instruments of Satan and more prone to sin. You can read my posts over at The Tudor Tutor, regarding a talk that Alison Weir did on women in Tudor times, for more information (see http://tudortutor.com/2010/07/22/be-my-guest-claire-ridgeway-part-1/ and http://tudortutor.com/2010/07/23/be-my-guest-claire-ridgway-part-2/) but Weir pointed out that although sex before marriage was forbidden, it was seen as acceptable for men to sow their wild oats and to have a bit of fun before settling down, women, however, were expected to stay chaste and to guard their virtue with their life. As far as adultery was concerned, Alison Weir pointed out that it was a man's legal right to kill his wife on the spot if he caught her in the act and that a wife was a man's property. It really was a man's world!

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1 thought on “I think i know the answer to this already but isn’t it wrong that Henry could cheat all he wanted and when rumors of Anne cheating started…she ended up beheaded? I understand things were different then but it’s very unfair.”

  1. Tudorific says:

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that an unfaithful wife raises questions about the paternity of any children from the marriage. Personally and politically, this would be a huge problem for Henry.

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