Our anonymous Tudor spoof writer is back with a vengeance, being inspired by how the likes of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir see Lady Jane Rochford, wife of George Boleyn – enjoy!
Jane Rochford had already popped back to court since 1536, that time to see if she could successfully murder Jane Seymour and make it look like post-birth complications. She could! All it took was a pillow over her head when no one was looking.
Then there was that nasty patch when Henry hadn’t got a wife, but now Jane was back to see whether she could make it three in a row. She was in a particularly festive mood.
She was debating whether to throw Anne of Cleves over the ramparts and make it look like an accident, or possibly whether to spread rumours about a court musician or her brother. “That’s always worked a treat in the past”, thought Jane as she threw a set of darts at a portrait of her dead husband. George had constantly been a disappointment to her, what with looking like Bernard Manning, and not being able to string a sentence together without sounding like a lunatic let out for the day. She thought of all the times she had attacked him with the fire-irons. Really, it was no wonder he had cross eyes and a limp.
George and Anne had often been horrified by her antics; miserable pair. It was not so much that she had thrown that cook into boiling oil which had revolted them as much as the fact she had cooked a roast chicken in the same pot. In fact, both of them had refused to eat it. They had been even more grumpy when she put her name down for the job of chief executioner. They just didn’t understand the nature of a homicidal maniac, which is why they had had to go.
She thought back nostalgically to those heady days of 1536 and of all her successes:-
- She had induced Henry to fall off his horse by putting a burr under the saddle. Pity he hadn’t died, but what had come next was even more fun.
- Everyone had thought it was the shock of Henry’s accident that had caused Anne to miscarry, but oh no. She had ensured Anne had a miscarriage by tripping her up as she walked down the stairs and thereafter hitting her in the stomach several times with a jousting pole.
- She had endured rampant sex with Thomas Cromwell, Nicholas Carew, Francis Bryan and both Seymour brothers in order to blackmail them all into conspiring against the Boleyns. Up to then they had all quite liked Anne and George.
- She had constantly insinuated to the King that George took his role as Anne’s protector a bit too literally. Oh, and how she had enjoyed telling Henry that Anne was always saying he had the sexual drive of a Giant Panda.
- Not many people realised that Jane had built Anne’s scaffold with her bare hands, or that the French executioner was actually in a drunken stupor at the time of the execution and that the real person under that mask was Jane herself. She hadn’t realised how good she was with a sword!
Happy days! But now Jane was back, eager to continue her reign of terror and destruction. Oh yes, they didn’t call her ‘Lady Hades’ for nothing.
She threw a last dart at George, cackled at the moon, and tiptoed down the corridor to see if she could catch Catherine Howard having a quick grope with Thomas Culpepper. Jane herself had already enjoyed the delights of Master Culpepper, but a lot of that had to do with the hallucinogenic drugs she had given him, and which she was cultivating in her privy. Sure enough Catherine and Thomas were busy kissing. Jane was very careful not to get her eye too close to the keyhole. She remembered Anne Boleyn smearing boot polish on a keyhole years before, which had resulted in Jane spending the whole day with a big black mark around her eye. She had wondered why everyone kept laughing at her. Anne and George had been completely hysterical.
Jane remembered with affection that the two of them were now dead. “Ha! Who had the last laugh”, she thought. Nicely satisfied Jane trotted happily off to see if she could poison Anne the second. She was so glad she had suggested to Henry that he should dress up as a beggar to meet his new wife off the ship. She was surprised he had been dumb enough to agree, but then Henry had never been as clever as he thought he was.
She spotted the newlyweds sat side by side at the dinner table looking very glum. And then it came to her; Catherine Howard! All she had to do was set Henry up with Catherine and get Anne beheaded for getting in the way. “Just like before,” Jane thought gleefully.
What she intended to do with Catherine was something to be considered later but would probably involve Thomas Culpepper. One step at a time was Jane’s motto, carnage was her game. She often wondered why she had turned out the way she was. She thought it had all started when her mother dropped her on her head as a two year old. But a lot of what followed had to do with that time she sold her soul to the Devil for a nice frock she had been after for ages. Yes, that must be it.
When Jane returned to her rooms later that evening she had more trouble than usual in removing her bonnet over her horns. She dreaded the day high bonnets would go out of fashion. She was convinced they had grown another inch. She eased herself into a chair, which was difficult to do when her tail kept sticking in her. For a second her eyes gleamed bright yellow as she made effigies of Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpepper. Curiously neither of them had heads!