If Henry the 8th had syphilis, why didn’t Mary Boleyn have the same problem?

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17 thoughts on “If Henry the 8th had syphilis, why didn’t Mary Boleyn have the same problem?”

  1. Baroness Von Reis says:

    Thats Rubbage!!!!

  2. M Dageforde says:

    There are any number of reasons that Henry’s wives miscarried. Syphillis is the most common STD. Rhesus factor was unheard of during Tudor times as well as Gonorrhea and HPV. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/whatishpv.html. My best guess for Catherine of Aragon to continually miscarry is genetics. Henry and Catherine were too closely related. It could also have been a factor in Mary Tudor’s lack of progeny. And personal hygiene. Henry took a bath once a year. Would you want to have intercourse with him?

    1. Masami C Rockefeller says:

      Hell no!!!!

  3. Sheila Hamilton says:

    I hadn’t heard the Rhesus negative theory before in connection to Anne Boleyn, it is perfectly possible: the healthy first child, then later miscarriages due to the mother’s blood having contaminated the blood of the foetus. I am Rhesus Negative too, but now women with this (who have a rhesus positive partner) are monitored carefully during the pregnancy, and after the birth of Child No 1 are in any case given an injection which will prevent further problems.

    Henry VIII almost certainly did not have syphilis. If he had it, his wives and mistresses would likely have caught it off him. . there would be some documentary evidence for this.

    I read recently that he might have been Kell positive. Men who are Kell positive are not ill in themselves but any woman whom they father children with is likely to have more than one miscarriage, maybe a whole set of miscarriages. Of course, this condition was not known about in Henry’s day.

    1. M Dageforde says:

      I unfortunately made one of those blanket statements and am now paying for it. Forgive me for using syphilis as a generic STD.

      Henry could have had any number of sexually transmitted diseases. HPV has been probably been around for a long time, but doctors thought it to be harmless. In recent years it has come to light that HPV will cause cervical cancer in women. Recently it has been linked to penal warts in men.

      Mary could have had: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, fallopian tube cancer, or simply not ovulating (Anovulation).
      Mary’s parents were cousins (of what degree I do not know) that can also be genetic Russian roulette
      Stress could have easily exacerbated her problems.

      1. Nora says:

        I think the role of extreme stress during their pregnancies has been widely overlooked for all of Henry VIII’s wives. Whether as a prime cause or contributing factor, I imagine his consorts experienced a virtual living hell in that hotbed of scandal, intrigue and violence.

      2. LaLaLara says:

        M Dag. Don’t be daft. There are only 4 strains of HPV that are harmful. These are the smaller variety. “Will cause cervical cancer in women”? That’s all you needed rto say for me not to care a thing about anything you just said. If it’s not a fact, or if you can’t state opinion as opinion, then probably you should shut your yap & let people who actually want to learn a thing or two get on with matters. Practice not to lie, & then let’s see what you come up with.

        1. Claire says:

          I love hearing people’s different opinions in comments but I do ask that people are polite and friendly in their comments, there really is no need to tell someone to “shut your yap”. Thank you!

        2. Mary says:

          What? HPV does cause cervical and penile cancer. We knew this in 2015, as well, so even though it is an old post, I am still baffled by this response. HPV also can be transmitted even by places not covered by a condom, meaning that you need the vaccine if you want to have sex without exposing yourself.

          It horrifies me to think someone might believe HPV is no big deal. Getting the vaccination and pap smears can save lives, whereas ignoring it could kill you.

          My sources are multiple doctors and peer reviewed science.

  4. judith says:

    who cares if Henry had syphilis or not? Why place importance on such stupid rumors?

    Tony Blair looks like he may have the disease!!! LOL

    1. Claire says:

      It’s one of those myths that keeps being repeated, and which appears on many webpages, and I don’t mind people asking me questions about the disease.

  5. Carole Heath says:

    I think he also had a genetic problem regarding male children as his daughter’s seemed to be ok.
    Most of the male children died either at birth or shortly afterwards. But of course with such a big ego like Henry must have had it would have been his wives fault not his. I often wonder did Henry love any of his wives or where they purely just for producing a male heir. Terrible times for women I think.

    1. Jennifer Debassige says:

      But Mary Boleyn had a bastard son that was his

      1. Claire says:

        There’s no evidence to prove that he was the king’s, Henry VIII certainly never acknowledged him.

  6. Elena says:

    Having the same discussion in another group. Seems as though Henry could have suffered from McLeod Syndrome…..which would have accounted for his physical and mental changes later in life. Also, because all of his wives suffered an extremely high rate of miscarriage, researchers are looking at the Kell factor. Very interesting information.

  7. Christine says:

    It’s all interesting to me but it’s also important to remember that Henry was seriously injured during a jousting tournament and the wound never healed properly which is why he couldn’t exercise and then that lead to his obesity, he also may have hit his head quite hard which may have led to his behavior later in life. He claimed that Jane Seymour was the love of his life but that might be because she didn’t live long enough for Henry to have grown tired of her. Syphilis is an interesting hypothesis but there doesn’t seem to be enough evidence or even information to come to that conclusion.

  8. Charlene Robinson says:

    Wow! Such interesting opinions. We have been watching The Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, and you can certainly see the enmity they had to live with. The King, Henry VII’s, mother was a piece of work all by herself!
    I had wondered about the Rhesus Negative possibility, as well as a venereal disease on Henry’s part. The combination of the two may have been overwhelming.
    Thank ou for so much information.

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