Thomas Boleyn’s loss is Thomas Cromwell’s gain

Jul2,2020 #Thomas Boleyn

On this day in Tudor history, 2nd July 1536, Thomas Cromwell, the king’s right-hand man, was formally appointed Lord Privy Seal. The previous holder of the office had been Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, who’d been stripped of the office following the falls of his children, Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford.

But what is a privy seal and what does the Lord of the Privy Seal do?

Find out more in today’s “on this day” video:

You can find out more about Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Elizabeth, in this video:

For those of you who are still stuck indoors and looking for things to do, has 50% off online history courses from now until 11th July 2020 (not 2021 as I say in the video!)

The courses are completely online and are open to everyone internationally. There’s no set start or end date, so you can buy now with the discount and start later. See for details on all the courses on offer. Simply use coupon code JULYFLASH on as many courses as you like.

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118 thoughts on “Thomas Boleyn’s loss is Thomas Cromwell’s gain”
  1. The king and Cromwell have already broken the heart of this most loyal courtier by making false accusations against and then killing two of his children. Now they make a personal attack upon their him? This was unconscionable. To make it worse the position goes to the man who made the murder of his children possible. I don’t know how Thomas Cromwell or Henry could live with themselves.

    1. One thought, Michael, Henry thought he was right and this was ordained. I agree with what you say but Henry Viii was at this moment on a completely different planet. He was always going to reward the man who had gotten rid of Anne for him and the family of convicted traitors always paid the price somehow. Disgraceful, terrible, shocking from our point of view looking in from a distance, but I don’t believe Henry was even batting an eyelid. That’s just how it was, very much a new way ahead.

  2. This shows how it wasn’t a fair world, Monarchs simply don’t remember good service, they reward the person of the moment.

    Thomas wasn’t responsible for the conduct of his children, even if Anne and George had been guilty, which of course they weren’t, but as with all Kings of every realm, past, present and future, when they felt betrayed, they acted as if the entire family had betrayed them. Families of attainted traitors had lost more than Thomas Boleyn, an Act of Attainder would be brought to attaint the condemned traitors and their heirs and remaining family lost property, titles and reputations. Heirs might lose the right of inheritance as well. The Boleyn family escaped most of that at least. It was bad enough though that Thomas and Elizabeth lost two children who were completely innocent to the extent that the King knew they were, but the family of Thomas More lost their homes. At least the Boleyn family managed to regain a small amount of favour and that showed Thomas Boleyn was personally valued as a loyal courtier, even if he now lost his most lucrative position in government. He was also still expected to fulfil his obligations as a member of the local gentry in his county and provide troops for crown defence. He was obliged to show honour of the King’s heir at the baptism of Prince Edward and provide a suitable gift. He regained favour for the survival of the family and it’s all very well us in the 21st century being critical, if you were of his status as a courtier you would have done the same or become a traitor yourself. He could always beg ill health and retire and some people did, but his experience was still valuable and as an old courtier Thomas Boleyn had a courtier instinct. This demotion though must have been devastating. It must have felt personally demeaning, but he still had to get on with it and was back at Court, regardless of his feelings.

  3. I know that was how it worked but usually the condemned were guilty. In this case I believe Henry was aware of their innocence and punished Thomas Boleyn anyway.

    1. Yes, that I could concur with. Well, I did say Henry Viii wasn’t on the same planet as those around him at this time during his life. He had spun everything to explain away the fact that Anne was the demon wife who betrayed him rather than accept the marriage was a mistake. Of course he knew this was wrong as well, that Thomas and his family were loyal, but he went that extra mile to punish them anyway.

  4. Thank heavens in England’s long history there was only one with a personality like Henry VIII.

    1. What do you make of David Starkey? I went off him as a sexist anti female historians a long time ago, but his Six Wives still propping up my TV, literally. I was going to purchase his Henry Viii Mind of A Tyrant if it ever gets published but now, with his racist remarks and ridiculous comparison to Catholic Emancipation, as if that ended discrimination, I will not be buying anything else. His remarks are outmoded, incorrect, unacceptable and show no understanding of the history of race or slavery or discrimination. As an openly bi sexual male one would think he would appreciate the history of discrimination of one group of people by others as homosexuality and bi sexuality was illegal until the 1970s. Yes, the law changed things for enslavement and for Catholics here but the discrimination and exploitation didn’t change over night. He obviously didn’t ever come to Liverpool during the 1960s or 1970s when tensions between Catholic and Protestant was a real problem and many people didn’t get a job because of it. He has obviously never set foot in Northern Ireland. Ireland is still the only part of the U.K were it specifically states you cannot discriminate on the grounds of religion. It was the first to do so. Neither the Anti Slavery Legislation of 1807 or the Catholic Emancipation Act 1842 did anything to change the attitude of either slave owners or those who had an irrational fear of Catholics. People still get away with insulting Catholics despite legislation. People are still racist despite legislation. A legacy of several hundred years wasn’t changed over night and it is still a problem all over the world. David Olusoga has made several documentaries which are enlightening, if hard to watch if people want more information. He also believes we cannot and should not hide or wipe out reminders of history because that is the main problem, the real and full story has to be told, even though it is uncomfortable and has been hidden away in archives for too long. He and many other historians are absolutely horrified. Yes, slavery might not have been intended as genocide but the death rates of the enslaved on the ships and plantations were high. I get part of what Dr Starkey was saying but his choice of words were terrible and unacceptable. His attitude towards female historians is patronising and these interviews just show him in a terrible light. I am not for banning his work, because its not racist and is authoritative but the loss of his links to Cambridge and other institutions are fully justified. I can excuse his ignorance of certain parts of history and his misinterpretation of history, but his denial of it or his abuse of it to express his own misguided racist or sexist nonsense is beyond the pale. It’s a great pity actually because as a constitutional historian, an expert on how the state functions and as a Tudor historian his work is well researched, well respected and he has earned his more positive reputation. I am sadly disappointed that he doesn’t always think more when being interviewed and has come out with such ill informed and disrespectful remarks.

  5. Wow, I hadn’t heard about his comments. I’m with you, I certainly couldn’t support anyone who says such boneheaded things. I think he just lost a lot of credibility with a lot of people. I know he’s not a young man and I think he’s become that old curmudgeon who lives down the street that every one dismisses. I hope he does some soul searching and can redeem himself but it’s going to be hard in a lot of people’s eyes. Thank you BQ.

    1. Yes, Michael, its a shame when someone who should be inspiring young people and educating them loses respect and credibility because of their personal views which are disgraceful and disappointing discrimination. Well, nobody is beyond redemption so maybe you are right.

      Yes, nobody else was ever as Henry Viii, they really did break the mould when he was born. The way Thomas was punished was normal, but his long service could have been taken more into consideration. From Henry’s point of view he couldn’t have someone in an official state and personal private office who he might not be able to trust. It didn’t look good. However, the difference here is that Henry knew the Boleyn family had done nothing to merit their dreadful treatment. Henry was punishing him for being the father of two innocent victims of his own paranoia and cruelty. It wasn’t fair and Thomas had no choice but to accept this insulting demotion. It’s going to Thomas Cromwell compounded that insult.

      Of course Cromwell had done the business by getting Henry the made up evidence and freeing him from Anne, well sort of as yo King Henry, he’s the boss and gave the orders. Henry ordered the investigation, Cromwell did the rest, Henry gave the orders and signed the death warrants. So Henry was going to reward him in the most time honoured tradition with the property or position taken from the family he had helped to destroy. Cromwell was also a supporter of Queen Jane and Princess Mary, whose side he took because of the latter and it was to those supporters of the new Queen that the spoils were going. Now this would actually have made sense if the Boleyns had have actually done something, but they hadn’t. Yet, that didn’t matter. Henry had convinced himself and wanted to convince everyone that the Boleyn family deserved their collective disgrace. Thomas Cromwell now took on this very special and prestigious office for himself, became a knight of the garter and was given the Manor of Wimbledon. (The present tennis Courts sit on the site more or less) Not only that but his son Gregory married the young sister of Queen Jane, the widowed Elizabeth Seymour and he would also get a title.

      The fact that no Act of Attainment or Attainder was used and no loss of main family property or inheritance rights followed because of Anne’s execution, I believe this signifies Henry knew all this was wrong. The fact that the five men were buried with their heads which were not displayed on Tower Bridge also tells me there was something fishy going on and Henry knew it. The only thing he could do was remove this prestigious office and give it to someone more “worthy” of the honour, in his mind. Henry was making the usual displays of reward and censor that comes after a treason trial, but the repercussions were rather limited to what the family could have lost to the crown. Remember what happened to the Howards after the fall of Kathryn Howard. The entire clan practically ended up in the clink (literally this is the name of an actual prison, but I mean the Tower) charged with misprison of treason or hiding knowledge that was treasonous of the Queens personal life. Margaret More came to Court to ask for more time before her step mother lost their home at Chelsea. Homes, titles, inheritance, goods, personal items like valuable clothes, jewellery, it could all go if a member of the family was condemned for treason. As sneezing the wrong way was practically treason now, I am not so confident that those who lost everything were all guilty, but certainly found guilty.

      Thomas was, however, lucky because he was a valuable courtier. He had many talents and was hard working, ambitious, had military skills and authority and was more than willing to kiss the royal posterior in order to serve his family, country and King and new opportunities arose during which he proved his loyalty. He was praised for his swiftness in raising troops in Kent to be ready against the Pilgrimage of Grace and he was part of the baptism of Prince Edward. He was a man who would never be totally away from Court. Just what he thought and felt being present to celebrate the birth of an heir to Henry by the lady who had taken his daughter’s place is anyone’s guess. It must have been very difficult. Anne’s children were his grandchildren. Just pause and think for one moment. Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn were the grandparents of Queen Elizabeth I. Of course that momentous achievement in the future could not be foreseen now but it’s still an amazing fact. Here Thomas had to turn up and smile about the former lady in waiting to his own daughter, Queen Anne had provided Henry with a son and heir. If Anne’s unborn baby boy had have been born, the Boleyn family would have been the proud sponsors of the heir to the throne probably about July. It wasn’t to be. I doubt Thomas had any particular feelings one way or the other about Jane herself and she wasn’t present at the baptism. Her triumph was sadly tinged with great sorrow 12_days later when her own body lay in state in the same chapel as Edward’s baptism in Hampton Court Palace in October 1537. Thomas regained some favour and Henry paid for Masses for the soul of his old friend and retainer and paid homage to him. More proof perhaps that Henry knew full well that George and Anne were totally innocent?

  6. For all the bad press Richard III gets (rightfully so for how he aquired the throne) he was pretty sparing in his executions. Case in point Margaret Beaufort. He would have had every right to see her hang but he only took her stuff and sentenced her to be confined by her husband. His brother Edward was also a very patient man and Henry VIII father executed those who were a threat to the crown but his punishments were usually fiducial. Kinda hard to believe that their blood ran through Henry VIII’s veins as he was so different, and as he aged it seems the lives of others meant absolutely nothing to him, just fodder to deal with and dispose of as he pleased. I wonder for how many years after his death in January 1547 the question hung in the air ‘what’s the next monarch going to be like?’.

    1. Definitely, the tyranny of Richard iii is complete nonsense, invented by William Shakespeare and later Tudor Chronicles. Not that he was a saint, he could be ruthless when necessary and Henry Tudor wasn’t too bad either, compared with the last decade or so of Henry Viii which sees him growing more and more paranoid and with that more and more tyrannical and the numbers of state executions and others increased as that time went on. He as you say Michael had little regard for loyalty and disposed of people became almost routine, with very little evidence at times and he apparently ceased to care. Now whether or not his declining health played a part or he was just turning into that kind of character we don’t really know, but several theories are often put on why Henry changed with age, but after 500 years, its impossible to speculate with any accuracy. He was certainly very paranoid, he was easily angered, he was unpredictable and he was downright dangerous. That sort of man is not one you want to upset and certainly you don’t want them to get any ideas of you betraying them. Add that dangerous cocktail to absolute power and you don’t stand a chance. If Henry turned on you or was persuaded by your enemies because you were falling out of favour that you were up to no good, that was it, your number was up. I agree, Henry was quite unlike his parents and even in many ways his three heirs.

      What now? The uncertainty must have been great as a boy of not yet ten took the crown, surrounded by a Protector and Council who would argue amongst themselves. It must have been quite a scary moment and they just didn’t know. Henry had been around for almost four decades, longer than many people lived as well. The fear of what the next reign would bring and the fear of losing the great and huge monarch himself would leave people with many questions. What next? They could only hope, I think that a young King would be shaped to be new, to be more just, a new Josiah was envisioned by his Protestant supporters, he must have appeared as a hope for the future, such was the difference needed from the reign of King Henry. Unfortunately, the evidence for continuity between all five Tudors, the similarities of father, son and daughters is now far stronger than ever, with new archive material being explored to understand how Mary and Elizabeth had a continuity between their reigns as well as that of their brother. Henry Viii, though, for all that seems to have remained unique and few historians really understand every aspect of this still illusive monarch and probably he always will.

  7. Henry Tudor Jr., as king, had the power of the state at his fingertips and wielded it with terrible results. If he’d been born a private citizen without the state to do his bidding I wonder if the same traits would have manifested perhsps as a very violent criminal, or someone who got in a lot of bar fights, or… I love asking these questions that none of us can answer.

    Hi Christine. You’ve been awfully quiet. Hope all is well.

  8. Hi Michael, yes very possible but without the extra pressure of running the country he might have been more content with his wife and avoid the problems. Who knows.

    Hi Christine, also sending good wishes and hope everything is o.k. Take care.

    Have a great July 4th Michael, American Independence Day. Enjoy.
    Our pubs and eating places are open tomorrow and having hair sorted out. Take care and enjoy. Then booked into local sports bar to celebrate our Champions.

  9. Hi Michael and Bq yes I’m fine thanks, just reading the posts, I will post myself when there’s a subject I’m interested in, yes the pubs are open tomorrow I’m looking forward to having a quiet drink with friends, and il also be paying a visit to my local hairdressers, life is slowly getting back to normal thank god, today I booked a holiday to Zante a group of us are going in October so that’s something to look forward to.

      1. Hi Christine, Michael, glad things are fine. Had to leave the hair until 15th as my hairdresser was booked up.

        Anyway that will give me time to get used to a mask for longer. I am actually exempt but I have worn one for short periods, where absolutely necessary. My ears are also tiny and my masks just fall off. Didn’t someone think we might not all have large ears? I am fine for about five to ten minutes breathing in through the filter with lavender on and then I have a full blown panic attack. I will just have to carry my card. Even a breathing one only really worked properly outside. An hour in the hairdressers will be impossible but I will just show my card. It’s because its not social distance, I guess.

        Not going to the pub, really can’t be bothered. Our sports bar is only open for the game tomorrow anyway, with a special extension outside so booked for that. Waitress service only is better in any event. Just going to see if the cafe is open or not when shopping later.

        Never mind, Michael, the TV and a couple of beers would probably do me as well, but its not the same is it? Not that it actually stopped people from celebrations. Our fans still painted Anfield red last week. It wasn’t official and the next night some idiot was firing rockets at the Liver Building after an unofficial party had been organised and most people were well behaved. It was one twit, his mate and they were not even from here. The press had a field day. 99% of the 2300 people there were families, nobody was doing anything wrong, they came back to remove the offending litter themselves the next morning and until 9p.m when the majority had gone home, there wasn’t any problems. We have a local fan base of almost 700,000 and one or two idiots gets everyone branded. It was actually the fans who took him to the cops but they won’t put that on the news. I was fuming because the celebrations should have waited but when you wait 30 years to win the League again, its natural to want a party. The rest of the day and evening was great and the police for all their moaning the next day actually were not bothered at the time as there were only 12 there. They were even joining in the singing and dancing. It’s one idiotic twit and the entire city are called Scum, totally ridiculous. The only thing anyone did wrong was go to a party which they shouldn’t. That’s it and if this Covid wasn’t around it would have been perfectly fine. In fact family groups are allowed to gather, but of course, a lot of family groups is a crowd, as on the beach and that’s the problem. The protesters are also a problem, being mad and high and angry, it’s something else the government needs to stop. Unfortunately there is a democratic right to protest. Take that away and where to then? People are responsible for themselves I have decided and they are all contributing very sadly to any spikes in Covid and we will be back in lockdown by the end of the month, that’s my prediction.

        Oh well, enjoy a quiet version of life and what you like until then.

        Take care and stay well.

        Up the Mighty Champion Reds! Down with King Henry Viii. Long live Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Claire.

        1. I hate wearing those masks I wear glasses during the day and they get steamed up, it’s ok if I’m wearing my contact lenses, I know there’s some trepidation about the pubs and restaurants opening today, their calling it super Saturday, some pubs you have to pre book can’t be bothered with that, there’s some pubs round my way not doing that which is much better, of course we are told we still have to leave our contact details so they can track and trace you if the need arises, that doesn’t particularly bother me itl just be nice to sit in the pub again, i hope there isn’t another spike Leicester’s already gone into lockdown as Bq says its those idiot protesters that’s caused a surge in the pandemic, hopefully now there won’t be anymore protesters, I must admit I was surprised at what David Starkey said, he can be brusque but you have to be so careful what you say these days and racism is a very sensitive issue, I do like him I loved his six wives series and iv one of his books Elizabeth Apprenticeship, he is a fan of the young Elizabeth 1st like I am, now he’s had to reign from the fellowship of Cambridge it is very sad really.

  10. Hi Christine and BQ. Thank you very much. Not much I can do for the 4th. We started to open things up here in Oregon but there’s been a spike in CoVid19 so we’re still closed. A lot of those cases were caused by the protesters. I’m also rather trepidatious about what’s going to happen across the country this weekend since when fireworks first went on sale earlier this week many have been using them as weapons against the police and some media. I’ll be indoors reading and watching movies as usual. You two have fun. So great that things are getting back to some semblance of normal. Talk to you on the other side. 🙂

  11. Hi BQ. I’m surprised you were able to get into the hairdressers as soon as the 15th! As to your news reporting it sounds as inaccurate and biased as it is here. The Masks I wear are dust masks that I already had that I used for spray painting. There are two elastic bands. One that goes around the neck and one above the ears, not the least bit uncomfortable. And as Christine said yeah my glasses fog up but that’s a minor inconvenience I’m diabetic so I’d rather not get but I just take my glasses off for a minute or so and they’re fine put them back on. By the way I love the little giddy at the end of your post.

    1. Mine are getting red ribbons today so I can tie them around my head as at present even with adjustments they won’t stay on my weird tiny ears. No wonder my glasses used to be uncomfortable. One ear is swollen inside anyway, probably a small infection. Drops and spray at the moment. Anyway its a washable breathing mask so the ribbons will be washed every night as well. I haven’t got round to actually buying an LFC one yet and since it won’t come until August such is the demand, forget it. Satin red ribbons will do well enough.

      By the way Michael, congratulations. America is the most virtuous and righteous country in the world, according to President Trump. What’s the secret? Hope you had a good day yesterday.

  12. Hi Christine. Your post came while I was posting so I only gave it a cursory read. I just finished reading the whole thing and saw that David Starkey had to resign his position from Cambridge. I agree, very sad. You have to really be careful anymore about what you say though because anything can be construed and turned into something as a weapon. Wow this is sounding like Henry the eighth’s court but without the executions. I don’t think those doing the condemning and destroying realize that they could just as easily become victims.

  13. Hi BQ. Aren’t government leaders supposed to use a bit of hyperbole when referring to their own countries?
    Sorry about your ear. That’s a very annoying place to have any kind of pain. The ribbon idea for the mask sounds like a great idea. Not just more comfortable but will look nice and washes easily.
    Had a good quiet day. The neighbors started setting off fireworks at 7pm and they were done by about 11. I also finished watching a 12 part History Channel documentary From 2006 called The Revolution that I started earlier in the week. Everything seemed to be quiet. If we had any problems I haven’t heard about them yet. If I do I’ll let you know.

    1. No, it all looked quite good, with fireworks and merriment. Maybe Donald Trump and Boris Johnson should do a duet. It might be fun. I have just downloaded the three part series on Washington which is showing over the next three nights. Looking forward to that. I think its new, it looks new.

      I don’t know if you heard we have a city back in lockdown, in the Midlands called Leicester. It really looks errie on the news because its a tourist hub normally, ever since they found Richard iii and I got a newsletter the day before the lockdown about the King Richard Iii Centre looking forward to opening up again and a voucher. Oh well its valid until December 2021 so if they come out again in a couple of weeks we can still visit. Typical though, just as everyone else is extending the opening up, poor Leicester has a local spike and is back into lockdown. A lady from a shop with all her new safeguards was very upset and who can blame her? Leicester Football Club started to really do well after Richard iii was found and the following year after his internment in the local Cathedral they won the Football League. Coincidentally their stadium is named after a gentleman called King and a Power Company and is called King Power Stadium. This time of year you can’t move in the town. Richard iii has brought revenue to the town and York are very jealous as they wanted him. Someone from York might tell you he was from there and lived there and wanted to be buried there. They had a Court case to try and claim his remains. Richard founded a large chapel there for family prayers but he didn’t say where he wanted to be buried. More than likely as King if he won and lived on, he would have been buried in Westminster Abbey or Windsor in his brothers Chapel. He did pay a number of visits to York but he didn’t live there. Even I know where Middleham Castle is and its 30 miles from York. He was born in the Midlands in Fotheringhay Castle, which was also the execution spot of Mary Queen of Scots. The Church is dripping with everything House of York and his parents and grandparents are buried there. Elizabeth I paid a visit to Fotheringhay and restored the tombs of Richard, Duke of York and Duchess Cecily Neville. Nobody knows what Richard iii wanted, he didn’t have a will drawn up because he expected to win. In any event the choice was taken from him as was the tradition by the victor, Henry Tudor. His much bashed about body was laid to rest very simply at the Greyfriars Church, literally opposite the Church of Saint Martin, now Leicester Cathedral and buried in the east end of the Church to prevent his shrine being a site for pilgrims. A proper tomb was raised on the site ten years later but removed during the end of the Dissolution in 1539. The fact it was 1539 also tells us this was a sizeable religious establishment, although not as large as the Abbey. The smaller houses with an income under £200 were dissolved first, then the Greater Houses. A private house belonging to the family of Christopher Wren the famous Architect who rebuilt Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London marked the spot for more than 200 years. Various people searched over the centuries so it was quite amazing that the team found Richard at all. There is now the centre, the guild hall, an old castle chapel and the Cathedral and his statue to see, several museums and other sites. Bosworth is less than 20 minutes away and everything is concentrated around that as well. There are three beautiful Medieval Churches around Bosworth and the remains of Mervale Abbey which are all connected to the dead and the camp site. The dead were taken to James the Great at Darlington and Henry Viii and Katherine of Aragon went there and to the Abbey in 1511 and made proclamation for collection for the chapel he dedicated there and at St James, Sutton Cheney for all the dead of Bosworth. Masses and prayers have been said since. The proclamation and documents with Henry’s signature can still be seen today. At Stoke Goulding is the Church of Saint Helen where locals watched from the roof and the traditional site of Crown Hill where Henry Tudor was unofficially crowned by Thomas Stanley afterwards. It was meant to be with the crown Richard wore. One very exaggerated account said it was worth 150,000 pounds, which is highly unlikely as that would mean he wore Saint Edward the Confessor crown, but its more likely he wore a golden circular crown or war crown welded to his helmet. At Bosworth there is another impressive Visitors Centre, trail, guided walks and activities and soldiers camp but the site of the main battle is further over. The route, the killing afterwards of those who tried to flee was along Fen Lane back towards Sutten Cheney and Darlington. Market Bosworth is one mile away and is the market town which gives the field its modern name. I say modern name because it wasn’t called Bosworth in the near contemporary sources, which are actually sparse. Its called Sandford or Redefield or some other names. This is to do with local landscapes on the terrain itself. From the eighteenth century it became more fashionable to call it Bosworth. Battlefield archaeology has shown battlefields normally took the nearest town name. Some were literally fought in the towns themselves like the Battle of Saint Albans and Barnet and even Tewkesbury, spilled through the market town and up to the Abbey. Terrain of course has changed a lot in most places and some battlefields are now under a housing estate but its perfectly possible today to use maps and overlap how things looked and then find the site, especially with regular finds of arrows and shot on most of them. Nobody really knows the spot where Richard died but we do know where Henry was and as he was almost about to kill Henry before his flank was attacked, we know he wasn’t too far away. A marsh is often mentioned in the sources and we have reconstructed the site based on these to work out deployment. From various things they think it was near the marsh which is now part of land opened by Fen Farm. Its obviously not on the farm itself, but their land covers the fields in front of Fen Lane. Reading a recent book by Mike Ingham who is a military historian and who served in the Falklands War Special Forces, you can see on his maps how it all developed during two short hours. Despite the fact Richard might have camped up Ambien Hill, that’s not the Battle site. You can see the Battle site from there but Henry was over the opposite side and the Stanley armies were split to flank both Richard and Henry who was on higher ground than you think and had a good position. It was William Stanley who moved around to clatter into Richard after his charge, not Thomas Stanley and the maps show Thomas Stanley was much further over on the hills now called Crown Hill. Ingham also argued that Northumberland didn’t come to any agreement with Henry but wasn’t able to join battle because he was attacked by the French. Henry had more highly skilled soldiers than he is often given credit for. Northumberland and his men were not equipped to deal with the French. They were forced to retreat and Northumberland left with them. It was because of the indecisive nature of the vanguard in the middle and the changed formation of Oxford, who was struggling which forced Richard to charge. Yes, he probably did see Henry and the intransigence of Stanley and decided to end the battle by killing his rival. His charge was successful at first but was eventually beaten back and Richard found himself in the marsh and a Stanley army galloping to attack his flank and rear. The mash of bodies, fighting on foot was the last stand of the Plantagenet King from the East Midlands. His body showed the real horror of battle, with several head and face wounds and two fatal wounds. Henry had him led through the streets, the bridge is marked by a Victorian memorial bridge, his remains on show for four days, then he was buried in a grave cut too short, but although Virgil says he was buried with little ceremony, that’s not possible. The monks would have said the prayers for the dead and Mass for his soul every day up to the Friary being closed.

      When you look now, the streets in Leicester are very quiet, deserted, shutters up and hardly a sparrow around. It’s very odd. I hope maybe King Richard can work his Kingly power and bring health and life back to the town very soon. Just as the people of Henry Viii time thought Kings had magical powers, it appears we do as well.

  14. Hi BBQ. I did hear about Leicester. A bit disheartening to say the least. We have spikes and reclosures going on like that in parts of the states here too. It doesn’t help that from what I’ve heard the virus has mutated and become a little more contagious and is now attacking other parts of the system besides just the respiratory. It’s also affecting younger people now.
    I never liked the way Richard’s body was treated after he was killed in battle, especially after being thrown over a horse and then stabbed in the backside. That was unnecessary. I was very happy when I heard that they found his remains. Nice to know that his bones were not thrown into the river as was thought by some. A few years ago I watched his funeral and reinterment in 2015. So nice to see him get the funeral and Honors that he should have gotten over 500 years ago. He also has a beautiful tomb in Leicester Cathedral. I read somewhere that the reason he is interred in Leicester has something to do with the law or with decency that the remains could not be moved any further than they needed to be. In the book that was co-authored by Philippa Langley talking about Richard’s discovery they mention that when victorians had done some road work or plumbing work they actually removed his feet in the digging process. Thank heavens they didn’t find his entire remains because they would have had no idea that was him and probably just moved them somewhere else and no one would never know what happened to him. I also remember reading that how they discovered where Bosworth Battlefield proper is is by some archaeological finds of ordinance dating from the period. Sorry if this is a mishmash of thoughts. I typed all this a few hours ago got kicked off and lost it and was a bit disgusted and didn’t feel like typing it again.

    1. Hi Michael, all sounds fine to me. It’s annoying when you type something and it disappears. The way Richard was tied over his horse and stripped naked was dreadful. Bodies were often stripped of their armour because it was valuable and it was taken as a prize. Towton saw some of the worst revenge actions against the person after a battle or during it ever recorded. It also resulted proportionately in the biggest loss of life on British soil, heavier than the World Wars. Many bodies have been recovered from pits there, many skulls studied. Faces are hardly recognizable. Even after the battle the knights and fallen suffered their skulls bashed in, horrible mutilated faces, eyes bashed in, it was dreadful. Richard didn’t suffer that at least, because his face had to be recognised. It was also normal practice to lay the body of an important enemy out naked so everyone saw that they were dead. The body of Warwick was laid out in the old Saint Paul’s Cathedral after Barnet and was naked. Edward the Fourth was also apparently laid out naked even though he died of illness. Edward ii who was murdered made several reported appearances for years after his somewhat mysterious death. However, Richard was treated far worse than that.

      His body had more than one revenge wound, thought to be inflicted after death, which showed his body was either recognised straight away and some angry Welsh or French mercenary took it out on his body or when his corpse was hanging over his horse on the road back into Leicester, some common soldier or witness inflicted those wounds. That’s unfortunately not something science can tell us. He was also badly hurt on his head before death because he lost his helmet. In the middle of the frantic fighting it’s also probable that he received more blows after he was dead because of the continued press of weapons. Two blows were fatal, one sliced into his brain and another, a poll axe, crashed though his bones and left a huge hole. Afterwards he was searched for and pointed out and we can assume his body was brought to Henry, already stripped and identified. Instead of having him treated with some dignity and respect, that is covered and placed on a cart and laid out with respect for the journey back into town, Henry had him put over a horse, his body naked to the world, probably dirty from mud and blood and for the first time his scoliosis was on full view to the world and exaggerated because he was over the back of the horse. The onlookers, most of whom had cheered him as he rode out in full array the day before the battle, would have been absolutely horrified. Richard could hide his condition under the flowing Medieval robes and his armour was specifically made and tailored to him, hiding everything as well. We know that many people saw any deformities as being unnatural and a curse from God and that would have played into the hands of his enemies. To ensure the entire city knew Richard was dead, Henry had him placed in the Castle Church, again naked and all who viewed him would know the King was dead. In the heat of August it was imperative that he had to be buried quickly and Henry wanted to move on to Coventry. After the execution by Henry of William Catesby as a member of Richard’s government, Henry moved on. Richard was only really shown some kindness when he was given to the friars for burial, although the grave was too short because of haste, which meant his head was placed leaning up in the grave, the body was placed in the proper Christian manner and the rest is speculation. We don’t know if Richard had a burial shroud or not or if he was buried in a Franciscan habit. Normally bodies were washed so he probably did have a shroud, but certainly it was a very simple burial. Some people think that because his hands were crossed that his hands were bound but others that they were free and crossed in repose. Either way he was denied the burial he should have had and his body had been abused.

      Yes, it was normal that battlefield bodies were buried where they were killed, in pits or moved to nearby churches and chantry chapels were set up to pray for the souls of the dead. Normally bodies were not moved far because of the risk of infection and the decay in the heat. People were buried with as much speed as possible, but more important battle dead were claimed by families and transportation was in lead for protection. An Abbey or Priory was a normal place of rest in such cases or people were buried as close to the place they died, unless they had family vaults and wished to go there. It’s good that now Richard had the funeral he deserved in 2015. 35,000 people lined the streets of Leicester, his funeral bier went through all the villages and stopped at Bosworth for a ceremony, at the Church of Saint James and in Leicester at the oldest Church in Leicester. The coffin lay in state for three days and was seen by thousands of people. The crown on his coffin was paid for by John Ashdown Hill and based on typical crowns from the time. The fantastic huge stone tomb with the cool cross carved through the centre is from Yorkshire where Richard ruled as Lord Lieutenant for several years. It’s amazing that we now know how he lived, his diet, everything about his life before and after he became King, how the wounds were inflicted, how physical he was despite scoliosis, which is incredible, because we do know for certain that Richard was a seasoned warrior. I have been to the new burial place and the old several times and it’s incredibly moving to make that connection after Richard was missing for 500 years. Yes, the building in the 19th century really did accidentally remove his feet and some people thought his remains were thrown into the river because in the seventeenth century an antiquarian went to find him, but came to the wrong place. Locals who knew the truth told him that story and a plaque was put up on the later bridge. In 2005 a modern plaque corrected that story. It was quite an effort to raise money and persuade the Council for permission to dig and to get the University on board. We might have lost him forever. We still can’t find Henry I or William the Conqueror.

  15. Hi BQ. Do you remember after Richard’s remains were found there was a headline either in an English newspaper or magazine I don’t remember but he was declared hide and seek champion? think even he would have found that funny.
    It’s interesting regarding William the Conqueror and Henry I. My understanding is that William’s bones were purportedly removed from his tomb in the 16th century by the huguenots. As to Henry I I’ve seen pictures of the monastery where he was buried. If he’s there I have no idea how they would ever find his remains.

  16. In 2018 an article was published by Philippa Langley who was asked to help on the excavation of Reading Abbey founded by Henry I in 1121 because they thought they had located the High Alter and hoped his tomb was under it. Unfortunately, beautiful alter stone found and an old plaque about the burial. Henry had a very gruesome embalming before being transported in salt from Rouen to Reading. The burial was overseen by Stephen as Matilda was still in France. That’s how Stephen was able to claim the throne quickly, he got there first while the pregnant Matilda stopped to have her baby. His cousin crowned him. Stephen and his pious wife, also Matilda, founded many Abbeys in England and France. The body of Henry wasn’t found and is now believed to be under one of the modern buildings attached to the ruins. I must admit they look impressive. A Medieval tale also says the body was at some point dug up and multlated and the remains taken to Rouen so that’s cast doubt as well. The experts still believe he is somewhere under a more modern structure. After two years, it seems impossible that they would find him now but now they know far more about the Abbey.

    I don’t know much about what happened to William the Conqueror but he was stripped naked by his servants who ran off with his clothes and he may have still been alive and just left to die. He wasn’t liked and it would not surprise me if the French pinched his remains. The Revolutionary mob broke into lots of Churches including Saint Denis and opened the tombs and threw the bones about. Some were lost, but a number were gathered up and reburied and the tombs later reconstructed. In the Abbey where the early Plantagenets are buried, Fontervrault suffered a similar fate but the bones were recovered and put back. William was buried in his own Abbey of Saint Etienne Abbe de Hommes in Caen in Normandy but in 1632 it was discovered that only one thigh bone survived. In 1951 it was opened again and a modern grave marker marks the original tomb, but sadly no body, just one thigh bone. He also had a very horrible death. I won’t go into details but it wasn’t pretty.

  17. William’s death was a riding accident where he landed on the pommel of his saddle and did some serious internal damage wasn’t it? His wife’s bones are still in her tomb and a new casket was created for them. When examined they confirmed that was very tiny as was reported. Not an easy man to like. Very brutal. Most notably the death and destruction of the north including salting or otherwise spoiling the land so it was unusable. His wife was thought highly of however.

    1. Hi Michael, yes, it was the internal damage that was the problem. His bowels ruptured and I believe the smell was terrible, as it would be and when they put him in the coffin it was too small. They pushed him in and everything burst out causing even more stinking and they had to burn more incense than normal and pack in herbs to stop the smell. It was a bad end, even if he was ruthless and cruel and practically committed genocide in the North. Whole parts of the country disappeared as people were ruthlessly killed or moved out. Still nobody deserves humiliation during their funeral or death.

      Yes, his wife, Matilda of Flanders, was a very intelligent and well educated woman. She brought him prestige and wealth and a valuable ally. The Count provided funds and men for his fleet and Matilda, despite their difficult beginning, was a supportive wife. She was well thought of and the human face of William’s reign. William of course didn’t leave his kingdom of England to his eldest son as his main inheritance was Normandy. That led to conflict with Robert, Duke of Normandy, his oldest son and first his son William Rufus, but mostly with his third son, Henry I. Robert, after 20 years of war ended up in prison and his son went off to found the Kingdom of Sicily in Italy. To the Normans and early Plantagenet Kings England was a secondary realm, their main lands being in what we now call France, but then independently ruled. In fact by the time of Henry Ii they ruled more land in Europe than they did here. They had an Empire from the Pyrenees to the Scottish borders and they had conquered Ireland. Richard the Lionheart would have sold England for his crusade if he could. He spent very little time here, a few months before his crusade and six months on his return before fighting in France to get his lands back. He barely reigned ten years, getting himself killed by a crossbow while taking a French castle. Out of that ten, three were spent in the Holy Land, almost two as a hostage in Germany, and most of the rest at war in France. England was valuable only as a source of income. His brother John was a terrible King but at least he was here. It was only after him that England really became their more important kingdom and you can see that through investment, better laws, building, the expansion of Westminster Abbey, the expansion of lands at home into Wales and Scotland and Ireland, the nobles settling here rather than in France and giving up allegiance to the French King, the building of new Castles to replace the Norman Keeps, the Castles of Edward I and the wars in France of Edward iii onwards. By then they were English Kings, they were everything English, not the conquerors of two centuries earlier. William the Conqueror left a legacy of hate, but his descendants gradually became nationalized, integrated and beneficial to England. It took a long time for the two people to become one, but Norman and Saxon were English within a few generations. Norman rule certainly wasn’t the brutal regime of Robin Hood. In fact certain rights of legal protection actually came with the Normans. Don’t get me wrong, harsher laws on the land and forests such as against hunting deer and other meat, with harsh punishments did come about, but the Saxons had harsh laws as well, especially for perjury. The Normans found that the Saxon system of local laws and taxation and the hundreds system was so effective that they kept it. Under the Normans and Medieval Kings our laws evolved into the justice system that we can still recognise today. The jury system, the local juries in local justice, the judges who travelled the land to bring the Kings Justice and Royal Courts to every parish, what we call circuit judges, the evolution of Parliament, Magna Carta, the High Court, they were all introduced under these Norman and early Plantagenet Kings, even if some were forced on the Kings by their barons. Of course it was also a brutal time, a period of violence and injustice and that is reflected in the drama of those times, especially if you were outside of the law and then life was hell. Outlawed members of community had no protection, could be killed and nobody was allowed to help them. Forget Robin Hood, most of them did anything to survive, rob, kill, burn and pillage and poached. However, the laws under the Normans, although many were ruthlessly enforced, were not as terrible as in popular drama and folk law. In fact they adopted many Saxon ways as well, simply because they were efficient.

      1. Robin Hood was merely the work of Walter Scott but there are records of a man called Robin Hood, but he lived in the reign of Edward 1st I believe, Robin was actually the nickname for a petty thief, but surprisingly his legend endures and his statue stands in Nottingham, there are many people who believe he actually existed, the real Robin probably did and he no doubt was caught and executed but the dashing figure of legend, the Errol Flynn of Hollywood never actually existed.

  18. Hi BQ in Christine. Not just the humiliation that Williams corpse endured but also the pain that poor man suffered. I wish that on no one. Didn’t the Normans also introduced the idea of primogeniture? It seems that I heard that the Saxons at least early on elected their kings. I could very well be wrong about that you can correct me. Have either of you read Tracey Borman’s book on Matilda of Flanders ‘Queen of the Conqueror’? Very well researched and written as everything she writes is. I really have a lot of respect for Williams wife.

    1. William was a very harsh cruel ruler, it was something he mentioned on his deathbed but then it was a cruel age, I have Weirs book on the queens consorts of England’s early rulers, I started reading it last year then put it down, it starts with Matilda, I will have to start reading it again, yes Matilda was extremely loyal to William, she is described as most diminutive and William for the age was a giant of a man, they must have looked very odd together, I love the story when Williams ambassadors asked Matildas father for her hand in marriage , and she being very proud and haughty declared that she was the granddaughter of the King of France and she would not marry the bastard from Normandy, some time after she was riding with her ladies and was confronted by William himself, who not averse to assaulting women dragged her from her horse to her horror and her ladies and those who were watching, and hit her many times, she was left bruised and bleeding in the street whilst he then rode of, something happened to Matilda in that moment who possibly admiring his daring, later declared she would have him for her husband, they married and they were very happy together, she bearing him numerous children, it was a strange beginning to married life, maybe Matilda was secretly a masochist ? William strange though it seems and unlike his descendants was no womaniser, and there are no rumours of him having a mistress or bastard offspring, when we know his son Henry 1st was rumoured to have had thirty bastards, his eldest and favourite Robert Earl of Gloucester was one of them, who but for his birth would probably have made a fine king, he was well respected amongst the nobles but the crown fell to his half sister Matilda, and of course England was plunged into civil war.

  19. Hi Christine. The Robin Hood Stories took place during the reign of Richard I. If his brother John was meddling in English affairs while he was gone a hero was certainly needed at that time. Perhaps the legends started during that time but weren’t recorded for a long time afterwards. They even indicate that people longed for their absent King even though he was hardly in England during his reign.
    You mentioned that ‘robin’ may have been a nickname for a petty thief. If so, when Elizabeth I referred to Robert Dudley as her ‘Dear Robin’ could she have been indicating that he stole something? Her heart perhaps?

    1. Hi Christine, I actually believe the story of William beating Matilda up is apocryphal because he wouldn’t have dared. He might have been brutal but he also knew the rules of courtship to a lady of her standing. Baldwin V probably would have killed him. Matilda was too proud to marry him, that is true and Baldwin disapproved as her mother was the daughter of Robert ii of France. William of Normandy was illegitimate, succeeding his father when he was ten. The stories probably represent his persistence and his determination to marry her and her eventual agreement to prevent her father and him coming to swords. She was of much higher rank and Flanders was independent, rich and strategically important for trade and position by most of Europe and England. Their marriage, however, was successful, she bore ten children who survived into adulthood, including two Kings and the future Duke of Normandy. She was Regent in Normandy for him when he was in England or Flanders and she was a very capable woman.

      I don’t believe the cruelty of William the Conqueror can be excused by the violence of his age, although he was raised in that world and experienced violence first hand in the form of attempts on his life and rebellion. He was first and foremost a warrior and a soldier with a soldiers brain. However, he knew how to rule and consolidate his power. Taxation was the key to control and administration. Remember also the Normans were Vikings, with Rollo in the early tenth century being given the land by the King of France in return for conversion to Christianity and allegiance. The Normans built everywhere they went, they left two great imprints on the landscapes of England, Ireland and Scotland and Naples and Sicily, great Churches and Cathedrals and great Castles. With the help of local and their own administration, they reorganised taxation and paperwork and everything was noted down because it could be taxed. In England this great work was called the Doomsday Book of 1086. Every village, every farm, every area of forest and woodland, every pig, sheep and cow was noted down, every household and their value and income. This was the greatest tax record and survey of a country ever undertaken since Ancient times. It was actually carried out mostly by Saxon landlords, with the assistance of Norman clerics and is remarkable. Many old parts of Liverpool, then villages are named in the Doomsday book, together with their descriptions, the homes, the inhabitants and so on. It’s probably William’s best none violent achievement. However, the Harrying of the North was even by the standards of the day, extremely cruel and some scholars have accused William of genocide. William faced several rebellions and attempted invasions because here was the last Saxon claimant, Edgar, who was the great nephew of Edward the Confessor. He had submitted to William but now was trying to claim the North and attacked York. He was supported by the Danes who still had their own claims to England having ruled for some time both nations. We know that another legendary warrior harassed William called Herward the Wake and his final response was to burn, kill and destroy great parts of the Midlands and Northern England, reducing the population by 75% because of war, famine and disease, death and displacement by force according to the Doomsday Book. He even had to face a rebellion by three of his own major Earls who tried to depose him. His control over England depended on these men. He used local government, deputies to bring Norman law, a mix of respect for custom and taxation, a mix of Saxon complexity and Norman central rule and control and the setting up of his own barons and leading Churchmen as landowners. He also seized the land for himself and gave it back in return for oaths of allegiance. The Norman mote and Bailey castle soon became a feature of the landscapes across the country. Even his great piece of Norman propaganda, the Bayeux Tapestry, is just that, Norman propaganda. It wasn’t made by French nuns, but Saxon nuns, twenty miles from Hastings. It was housed at Bayeux but its made by English nuns and an English Bishop. William wasn’t daft enough to leave everything to the nuns who were supervised by Odo, but you can see the odd bit of the story that adds criticism against William. There are parts also that he was proud of which show an atrocity on landing. At Pevensey where he landed he burnt the village and attacked the town. Men, women and children were killed. The official version of the death of King Harold is not what it seems either as a death squad can be seen going in after him and tearing him to pieces. So we have two death scenes on the Tapestry. Then we have the odd hint that the Saxons resisted in the Tapestry and the stitching can be analysed to show it was done in England. The odd bit of disapproval of William comes out as well, although for the main it’s a fine piece of Norman story telling and self promotion and is considered to be reasonably accurate. But, no matter how many rebellions took place, reminders of Norman power and authority, such as the White Tower at the Tower of London, a mighty fortress, told the population, you had better behave because we are here to stay.

      Tales like those of Robin Hood represent an ideal and romantic ideas of the struggle for more freedom and customs against on going repression and injustice. The tales are across most of the country and about 200 years and were well-known to the Tudors as Henry liked to dress up as him for Queen Katherine of Aragon. They represent a romantic figure, a man the poor can look to and ballads about him and his merry men were certainly around during the Middle Ages. Given that some set him during the time of Richard the Lionheart and others King John and yet others Edward I and Ii and are even mixed up with older myths that involved Hern the Hunter, as indeed the BBC series did, we can be certain that they represent more than one outlaw and that there was a collective memory of him that updated his story to fit with the latest royal tyrant. Richard I was also mythologised in English folk memory as the hero Crusader King who would return to save the Kingdom from his brother, John, who actually did sell it to Philip Ii of France. However, there isn’t anything romantic about any absent monarch whose brother is able to take power and whose ransom bankrupted the country. It was Eleanor who raised that ransom and only through her intervention was John pardoned. However, legendary tales linked him to Robin Hood who helped him to regain his kingdom. Its highly unlikely. One version has Robin as a noble who was outlawed. That’s the only way to explain how the real RH who was probably a farmer who lost his land and spoke and communicated in Anglo Saxon only, with just about enough Latin to understand the Mass, who somehow became a local leader and harnessed the Normans, could speak with a Norman King who spoke no English but only highly sophisticated French and Latin and a few other languages. Richard might have been born at Oxford Castle in 1157 but his world and education were miles apart. Friar Tuck might have interpreted but he sounds more like a drunken scoundrel than an educated priest. I would have liked to think there was some truth in these legends of Robin Hood because he was a hero of mine as well and I have a number of old books on his legend. He was the symbol of hope for people during times of hardship, famine, war, injustice and heavy taxation. It doesn’t really matter if they knew him to be real or not as its the legend which mattered, not the man.

      1. Actually I have often wondered if William beating Matilda was true also as you say, Baldwin her father would not have stood for that, she was a high born lady, he would not have dared to harm her, maybe the story arose out of the negative remarks she made about him, and of course William had a reputation for being ruthless even pitiless.

  20. I heard this weekend that a statue of Frederick Douglass was pulled down in Washington DC. It wasn’t destroyed but it was moved to a nearby park. If you don’t know who he was he was an escaped slave who educated himself in the north and became one of the primary leaders of the Abolitionist movement prior to and during the Civil War. He was certainly one of the greatest men this country has ever produced.

    1. What is wrong with these people? Seriously, they need an education. That’s terrible, Michael. I know a lot about Frederick Douglas, one of the great men of the Abolition Movement and his speeches are collected in a book on his work. Really sad. This is the sort of person they should put a statue up to. They don’t know anything. So sorry this is continuing to happen. I hate to say this, but send in the national guard. It’s the only thing to restore order.

  21. Hi BQ. I know the scene you’re speaking of on the Bayeux Tapestry. I read that the reason William did that was to get Harold’s attention,to let him know that he was there. I don’t know if William knew that Harold was up north or not. I often wonder if Harold hadn’t just defeated his brother Tostig and Harald Hardrada, if he and his men would have had a better chance against William. There’sa very good book by Michael Wood called ‘The Domesday Quest’. Very interesting. It had to have been so terrifying for the people living in England at the time to have a census taken of themselves and their property and everything they owned but it sure is an invaluable resource for us now to look back and see what the land and the country was like that long ago.

    1. I read the Michael Wood years ago, although like most authors its probably been updated. I brought his William Shakespeare a few years ago while in Stratford and spent the rest of the holiday reading it, even though I already had an older copy. He painted a creepy picture of life in a police state with the Arden family, his mother ‘s cousins being in the thick of Catholic conspiracy and innocent people being rounded up because Father Campion stayed for a few nights. Then the agents his father worked with as an illegal wool trader came knocking and demanding information or shopping them in. It was a dark and shady business. Debt collection in those days might mean broken limbs or ruin or jail. In the Midlands and Cotswolds life was lived on the edge of legal. He is a fantastic story teller and he was voted the sexiest man on TV years ago. His programmes are really interesting, very vivid and he really brings history to life.

      There was a three part series on BBC Four a few years ago as it was 950 years since Hastings that shed new light on the Conquest. It really revealed just how close Harold came to forcing a draw at least. His men simply didn’t give in and certainly didn’t chase the Normans, at least not until very late in the day. The battle started early in the morning and it was evening before the sorties by the Normans finally broke the Saxon lines and drew some sections down the hill. They also bashed their way through the Saxon wall, but his special forces stayed put. It was exhausting for both sides. It took a long time for the ranks to break down and join the fighting further down the hillside.

      Harold had recently joined battle in York and near York winning two battles and killing his brother Tostig and Harald Hardrada, the great Danish King, who wanted the throne because of old Danish claims, but his troops did rest, although maybe not as long as they needed and he did recruit fresh troops. One mistake he made was to tell his fleet to stand down. His fleet had been in the Solent and along the coast since May until a few weeks before William arrived because he was unable to sail and Harold could not keep the ships there permanently. They would certainly have launched an attack to prevent the invasion. This had been brewing for over a year and it was just a case of who did he fight first. Whether his march north had a real impact or not isn’t so certain in modern scholarship but it was always taught as a factor.

      Yes, William was forcing Harold to act. He had been in England for two weeks and anxious for battle. His men might want to go home if he didn’t engage soon, many were only mercenaries after all, they needed feeding and paying and the longer the they were hanging around the worse the weather would get. Harold should have left them there but then again they would have just burned more villages and if the King didn’t act, his people may just surrender. The burning of this one town brought Harold out to do battle. After the battle, William was left hanging around the site waiting for the official surrender before he was recognised by the Council and proceeded to London and took the capital. His coronation on Christmas Day at the Abbey built by Edward the Confessor was the final step of what was the consolidation of his new kingdom. The Doomsday Book is a time capsule of England at the end of William’s reign, although some people managed to hide some of their animals and holdings or income, just like today.

      1. Hi BQ. I’ve been a fan of Michael Wood at least since the mid-1980s. I don’t remember what the first program was of his that I saw but I was hooked from that point on. He is very good and everything you say about him as far as presenting history it’s absolutely true. As far as sexiest man I can’t speak to that personally.
        The version of The Domesday Quest that I read is the one that was updated for the anniversary.
        I don’t know how the battle up north could not have affected Harold and his men. Didn’t Harold also begin to disband his troops after Stamford Bridge before he found out that William was there? I think they fought brilliantly and valiantly. I don’t see how they could have done any more. And the fighting lasted until mid afternoon. Very unusual for battles at that time.
        An incident that happened at Williams coronation is rather frightening. The people in the church sharing and his troops outside mistaking it for fighting coming in and starting to kill people. Not a very good start to his kingship.

  22. Yesterday was the anniversary of the execution and martyrdom of Sir Thomas More another man put to one side after many years of loyal service by Henry Viii. To be fair I do think Henry hoped to save More but his friend could not go with him on his latest journey. Henry’s power now depended on his taking the title Head of the Church in England, because of his break with Rome and marriage to Anne Boleyn. To Thomas More Henry had usurped a title he had no right to and Parliament had no competence to make such legislation because it was a title which belonged to the Church and the unity of Christendom. Henry didn’t have any right to give himself that title and More could not sign the oath because of the teaching of the Catholic Church, which made those who inherited the grace of Saint Peter, as the representation of Christ on Earth, not a King. He also complimented things with legislation to protect his marriage to Anne and the succession and a new treason Act which made things treason in England as they hadn’t been before. Now it was treason to speak, write or think anything which might be interpreted as denying the succession of Anne and Henry, his marriage or their heirs. More sought to use the law as his protection, to refuse the unacceptable oath, that silence equalised consent. When called he was prepared to swear to the succession because that’s the King’s business, but not the Supremacy and he would not say why. Henry and Cromwell tried every trick going to force More to change his mind because if More signed others would have no problem. More was well respected and Henry knew it. More might have been the man who enforced Henry’s laws on heresy and everything else, but he was also an honest magistrate who had done much good for those seeking justice and fairness. He was widely respected as a humanist scholar and a writer of international renown. His reputation was well known abroad and his work against chief advocates of reform like Luther and Tyndale were read all over Europe. His Utopia was a best seller. Henry had known More for three decades and he had relied upon his advice ever since his coronation. More had shared much in common with the King, a love of astronomy for example, standing at night on the roof of the palace to look at the constellations. Yet, now Henry had turned against a man in whose gardens he had walked several times and who had been one of the great statesmen of the time.

    It’s believed that Henry could find no way to get to More even in prison and Cromwell now used a clever ploy to trick him into revealing the truth on his reasons for denying the Kings royal titles. He sent Richard Southall to remove the books More had been permitted during his fifteen months in the Tower and this little worm tricked More. He asked More a question. It was very much the cause of debate later because Southall lied about what More said. He asked him about if Parliament said so and so was King would he be King and More agreed. According to Southall hypothetically More asked if Parliament said God was not God would it be so and he said no as Parliament is not competent to make that decision and More said that no more then could Parliament say the King was Supreme Head of the Church. More implied it was actually twisted and at his trial Southall said directly that Parliament could not rule on Henry as head of the Church but More implied that was not the context of a hypothetical question. This was the last thing used against him after he insisted he hadn’t spoken on the Supremacy. More was actually winning the argument but the orders to find him guilty had come through and this perjury by Southall was the prosecution trump card. More was accused of being stubborn and obstinate and malicious which he was able to ardently and eloquently argue against and these may have been dismissed by his judges but the last one remained of denial of the royal titles under the new treason Act. More was found guilty and then let loose. He made a speech which outlined Catholic doctrine and why the King was wrong to deny the Pope and Christ in this way and his crimes were against all of Christendom. It was a truly passionate and wonderful speech.

    Fortunately Thomas More was granted the mercy of beheading and was killed with one stroke. He died the Kings good servant but God’s first and he wrote letters to the King and his daughter, Margaret and his friends days before his death. His body was buried in the Church of Saint Peter at the Tower where Anne herself would lay less than ten months later. His head was placed on the usual spike but it was removed by his daughter and eventually buried in her tomb. It was found behind a grill many years later but reburied in the 20th century. Henry blamed Anne for the death of Thomas More just as he later blamed his council for the death of Thomas Cromwell. Thomas More was canonized in 1935. His reputation is often debated but it can’t be denied that his death was the result of the determination of Henry Viii to have his own way and his life long desperate desire for a son and heir. It was the result of his own personal and passionate beliefs yes, but also the power struggle that resulted from Henry’s all consuming desire to cleave to one woman, Anne Boleyn and the power he gained as a result of the break from Rome. He was a scholar and humanist and Henry had seen him as a mentor but he was flawed and he had his own views on heresy that was typical of his time. Yet it was his own conscience that led him to make a stand on truth and to refuse the overwhelming power of a King who was unrecognizable to the young man whose praises the young More had proclaimed in 1509 as hailing a new golden age.

  23. The 6th July also marks the wonderful coronation of King Richard iii and his wife, Anne Neville, which was the first joint coronation for 100 years and which was a splendid and amazing spectacle. It wasn’t just grand it was attended by the population and both were cheered through the streets. Ironically Margaret Beaufort attended Anne and her husband Thomas Stanley was prominent at Richards side. It was ceremonial and greater than many others afterwards.

    The 6th is also important for the Tudors because it marked the death of King Edward vi aged 15 and the succession crises following has been debated ever since. Edward had become ill the previous year with pneumonia and malaria. He became ill again during April or May 1553 and his death was certainly not far away. John Dudley, Earl of Warwick roused the Council and the Earl of Arundel on to his side. He persuaded Edward that the only way to make certain of a Protestant succession was to denounce his sisters. Edward made first his cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk his heir and her male heirs but there wasn’t any time for Frances to have sons. So he changed it to her daughter, Jane, now married to Guildford Dudley and her sons. On 6th July Jane became Queen.

    This was an unlawful act because it wasn’t confirmed by Parliament and the Judges had been reluctant to agree to it. Letters Patant had made Jane Grey Queen but Mary, Edward’s half sister was his lawful heir. Mary was warned that she was in danger and she fled to her lands in East Anglia and Elizabeth was sent to her own establishment and later collected as Mary entered London. Jane wasn’t told of her inheritance for three days which is why she is called the nine days Queen rather than the more correct 13_days as Queen. Jane went to residence in the Tower of London to prepare for her coronation and sent Northumberland to capture Mary. In the meantime Mary raised her own armies, the navy sent to stop her escape by sea turned its command over to her and she was proclaimed Queen. It was soon over without any bloodshed and Henry Grey removed the banner of state over his daughter as she ate dinner and told Jane she was no longer Queen. Mary was received with almost rapturous joy and proclaimed as Queen. She was remarkably merciful to these rebels. She pardoned the Suffolks and she pardoned her Council and even Jane and her husband were merely put on ice for now. They would not be tried for some months, until November 1553 and even then, although found guilty of treason, Mary wanted to pardon them. It was the unfortunate rising of Thomas Wyatt the Younger, supported by Henry Grey which sealed their fate and death in February 1554. Even then most rebels were pardoned, 500 by the Queen personally, after they were condemned. Considering the aim had been to murder Mary and put Elizabeth on the throne, even the leaders were not all executed. Elizabeth was put in the Tower, but Mary refused to execute her and she was released to house arrest and then her own home. Wyatt was of course executed and a number of others were, but other leaders were excused and one Throgmorton was found not guilty. Mary had the jury imprisoned and fined but that wasn’t unusual. You were not meant to find traitors innocent. Peter Carew was pardoned and went on to serve her loyally.

    One unfortunate victim of all this was the great Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who was at first left at liberty to perform the funeral rites for King Edward and Mary heard Mass for him. He then published pamphlets denouncing the Mass and preaching against Mary and her reintroduction of the true faith which in fact her subjects wanted. England was still a majority Catholic country and people were celebrating Mass within days of Mary being declared Queen. It was only a matter of time, however, before Cranmer was arrested and tried with Jane and Guildford for treason. Later he was tried for heresy. Cranmer went through a long process of being held in prison, in reasonable conditions, because his case was heard in Rome, the laws allowing the prosecution of heresy were not yet passed, but then he went through several hearings, a dispute on doctrine and a process of recanting and withdrawn recanted statements. It was actually three years before his martyrdom. Before then a campaign of education, propaganda, preaching, pamphlets, public debates and ceremonial as well as legislation and the reconciliation with Rome encouraged those who were of the reformation to repent and return to the fold of the Catholic Church. Tragically, this was now a community that had a sizeable minority of those who believed in the new reforms and several people chose to remain in those faiths, which is the black mark on Mary’s reign, unfairly. It was expected that Mary and any ruler would enact heresy laws. Unfortunately, 280 people were victims of the fires, which we cannot condone in any way whatsoever, nor can we point the finger at Mary without pointing it at Elizabeth as well. Her persecution of both Puritans and Catholics as well as heretics was just as bad. Heresy was prosecuted locally, many the victims of nasty neighbours as much as state laws and treason was a state responsibility. These are both terrible things for a monarch to use against their subjects and in sixteenth century England, religious practice became treason as a result of Henry Viii and his Supremacy. Heresy had been prosecuted since Henry iv and in fact most people were not executed but fined or imprisoned or released as they recanted. Under the Tudors it was the crown that began to decide what that heresy was and in fact the definition now covered a very large number of beliefs from the downright bizarre to the faith of Protestant reformers, which also varied widely. For all this Mary was also a compassionate woman, her social reforms and economic reforms and personal charity and works for the poor and sick are often forgotten. She also loved dancing and gambling, she loved elaborate clothes, she was a warm person, she loved ceremony and she had great courage. The Tudors had more continuity between them than some historians have admitted and Elizabeth learned much from her sister.

    But what of Jane or Edward? They were both cut off prematurely and we cannot tell what their scholarly minds may have achieved. Edward was seen as a new Josiah and the Victorians saw Jane as a tragic heroin. I am not sure either label does either of them full justice. It is true that Edward apparently was a fairly fanatically Protestant and his own words tell us he had his own ideas of reform, msny of whom might have been enacted. Early changes were moderate but Cranmer made more strongly reformed changes in 1552. Its impossible to say how far those reforms would have gone but the resistance of 1549 showed ordinary people were not interested in reforms. The Prayer Book rebellions in Cornwall and the Western Counties left several thousand dead after battle, retaliation and execution. Edward was a promising young boy but he had more of his father in him than older scholars admitted. Jane was as fervently Protestant as Mary was Catholic and she was headstrong and knew her own mind. However, she wasn’t a great bore who did nothing but read, she loved the hunt and to dance the same as any gentle woman. She was raised in the Leicestershire countryside. She would have had little choice but to hunt and she was also no stranger to the Court. She was well educated beyond many women of her class and she had the art of rhetoric. She was a young woman who stood for her deep faith and it was that which led to her to refuse to save her life. It was with great reluctance that Mary agreed to her execution after her family again rebelled against her and it was obvious that Jane would be a problem for Protestant plots if she was spared. Tragically Jane at sixteen or seventeen was also cut off in life before her time.

    The brutality of the Tudors to their rivals has often been condemned outright but they also went to great lengths to not just kill them off. A good number survived in fact and formed many of the families who can claim some blood descent to the royal family they served faithfully and for many years. However, as we can see being in royal service should have come with a health warning, long service to the crown nor affinity through blood was any guarantee of living a long and happy life.

  24. Hi Christine. I believe it was Richard Rich Who tricked Thomas More. Richard Rich is a man I absolutely loathe. Not just for what he’s done but for what he stood for which appears to be absolutely nothing. He seemed to have no core beliefs and was loyal to no-one, he just went whichever way the wind blew. He doesn’t seem to have had a conscience. He rose pretty and lived a nice long life unlike a lot of those whose lives he touched.

    1. Yes in that marvellous movie A Man For All Seasons he was called as witness in Mores trial, he perjured himself yet as the movie states at the end, he died in his bed not on the scaffold, like so many of his contemporaries, you are right about Edward he was a bit of a cold fish, Thomas Seymour gave his nephew gifts of pocket money and he was said to be very fond of his dashing sailor uncle, who no doubt regaled him with adventures of his life at sea, yet he showed no emotion when he recorded rather chillingly of his execution, maybe Edward had the gift of switching his emotions of like his father when it came to sending the condemned to their deaths, it is very interesting to consider what sort of monarchs Jane would have made and Edward, we lost Edward sadly before he came into his own, he could have been a great ruler strong and feared by his people like his father, highly intelligent indeed he is said to have been a child prodigy England lost a priceless gem there, we have to remember he was a Tudor and so was Jane Grey another child prodigy who sadly England lost when she was sacrificed on the scaffold, during her brief tenure as queen she showed herself to be strong minded and quite capable of making decisions, she was not the pliant little miss so loved by the Victorian’s, she also had Mary not contested her right to the throne been another feared ruler, her and Edward were both so young when they died that we never got to see their true potential, Janes father who appears as a total fool recklessly tried to put his daughter back on the throne by joining the rebellion against Mary, as Bq says he had already been pardoned, all the family had which is a credit to Mary, no doubt because of strong family ties and she was very fond of her cousin Frances, they had played in the nursery together, she wanted to pardon the Grey family, yet the rebellion failed
      and this time there could be no pardon, Spain wanted Jane dead but Mary was reluctant, she knew the coup had been Northumberland’s doing in the first place and Jane was merely obeying Edwards will and her parents, Jane wrote her father a letter from the Tower forgiving him none survives to her mother, but that is not to say she never wrote her any, it is not clear how old she was when she died as we know, many births were not recorded but she could not have been much older than eighteen, in Victorian times she was hailed as virginal heroine and Delacroix painted an exquisite picture of her execution, she is dressed in virginal white and is seen being guided to the block, this is true as in her last moments blindfolded, panic stricken she was fumbling for the block, but in the painting she was shown inside her cell, in reality she was beheaded on the green outside as all victims were, the Victorians were interested in the brief glory days of the Tudors likewise Queen Victoria, who had the floor of St Peter dug up and many skeletons were found, they were then reburied, Anne Boleyn was said to have been discovered but not Jane Grey it is not known where she lies, but she does at least in the public imagination, come across as a tragic figure who was sacrificed through and because of mans ambition.

      1. Hi Christine. Have you seen Richard Rich’s tomb? Beautiful with a wonderful rendered effigy of him. Here seems so unworthy of such a monument when he helped condemn better men than himself.
        The saddest part of the deaths of Edward and Jane are their young ages. Such potential just gone. At least for Jane it was over quickly but poor Edward suffered so.
        The movie ‘Lady Jane’ has a lot of problems but the scene of Helena Bonham Carter on the scaffold panicking and reaching for the block she does very well and it’s a very heartbreaking scene. I put the death of Jane Grey squarely on the shoulders of her father who does not seem to have been the brightest man in the Kingdom.

        1. Hi no I have never seen his tomb whereabouts is the location? , I did like the film Lady Jane and i to thought her execution was very lifelike and harrowing, imagine witnessing that poor slip of a girl crying out in vain for the block – awful, I bet many shed tears that day, I do like Helena Bonham Carter and the gorgeous Cary Elwes as her spoilt brat of a husband was good to.

      2. Forgot to actually say it was Rich who actually gave the evidence obtained from More and committed perjury, Southall was only the means to his end and it was with Rich the conversation happened. I think I am going dim.

        Had my first beer and meal out yesterday. Absolutely wonderful. Very quiet. New bar and restaurant recently opened. Lovely staff. Tables well apart. Very clean and food excellent. Going on Saturday for meal with Steve and a friend for his birthday.

        1. It is lovely eating out and going for a drink after so long, I’m trying the pub Sunday was going to last weekend but my friend has been advised to avoid crowded places as she has copd, but this pub near me is very quiet so we thought we would try that, most of the shops are back to their normal opening hours now which is great so life it appears is slowly returning to normal, hope you have a nice meal on Saturday Bq.

  25. Hi BQ and Christine. We are very aware of Henry VIII’s penchant for anger but if his son Edward’s notations in his journals about his uncle’s deaths are any indication Edward would have been very cold. I don’t know if that would have been manifested as fairness in his rule or tyranny.
    I agree with you BQ, Jane does seem to have been a bit fanatical about her protestantism. It would be interesting to know what kind of rulers they would have become. Perhaps England unknowingly dodged a bullet by not having Edward or Jane as monarchs for long.

  26. Perhaps all the Tudors had some kind of fanatical quality hotwired into them. They all seem consumed with something or other and Edward was consumed with being the image of his father as Jane and Mary were consumed by their relative faith, although probably not to the same extent. It’s Jane who Leanda de Lisle compared to Joan of Arce. Mary followed a more charismatic and evangelical form of Catholicism and she was happy enough with the rite her father used. She also encouraged a more lively and personal faith and the use of education to enhance this as well as ceremonies and art. The beautiful art was restored but teaching was encouraged as was personal devotion and there was something of a revival as a result of this more spiritual form of Faith. The only Tudor not consumed was Elizabeth who was fond of a mixture of Anglican faith and some Catholic ceremonies. She enjoyed the liturgical nature of her father’s Church, but with the reforms of a Biblical faith. Elizabeth was criticised by more radical “Protestants” because her reforms didn’t go far enough. Lady Katherine Willoughby, now Katherine Bertie, still calling herself Duchess of Suffolk, wrote such a letter of criticism and rebuke. She was very fanatical as a reformer. Jane, after all was of Tudor descent and that might have meant she had inherited any traits they had. Her fanaticism was probably inherited. Henry Viii may not come over as a fantastic but if we note what Thomas Wolsey once said about Henry being strong willed and once set on a certain course that he was not able to dissuade him even after several hours, then we see Henry was fanatical even without religious commitments. He was fanatical about having a male heir at any cost. He was fanatical about obtaining his own will and glory and power and in the end it consumed him and destroyed him inside. It can be dangerous to be so desperate for something that it takes over and you lose everything you loved and were. The Tudors were simply dangerous.

    1. That is a very good point. Obstinate, stubborn, strong-willed whatever terms you use, may have been as you say a genetic trait and they primarily latched onto religion because it was of such Paramount importance. Had they lived in a different time they may have focused on some other aspect.

      1. Yes and even Henry’s obsession was partly based on the religious mindset of the time because he read in the Bible that he was wrong to have married his brothers wife several years after it happened and this persuaded him that this was the real reason that he didn’t have any legitimate living sons. Henry never blamed Katherine during all of these years, just the ill fate of their marriage being cursed by God and he was genuinely distressed by this information. Henry was a devout man as every Tudor was or should be, but he was also a King who took his authority from God. The moment he was anointed at 17 at his coronation, Henry was made a sacred monarch, blessed by God and only answerable to His Lord. He was obsessed by the findings in Leviticus, he was probably frightened by the idea of being cursed when he first read those words, but then I feel he put his plan into action and once he met the woman who was to become his wife, Anne Boleyn, that was his real obsession. Henry believed his cause was just and that it was right to have his first marriage annulled and to marry again. How could it not be right to want to make sure England had a male heir and that his people and country were saved from civil war? That’s how Henry saw this, but Katherine saw things very differently. Also very devout, a very deeply religious Catholic who would remain so, like many women, Katherine made regular pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham in order to pray for children or for a safe delivery in childbirth. Henry also went on pilgrimage but more so Katherine. She believed Mary had been given to them to rule England and had far less of a problem with a female ruler than her husband did. Katherine was also to rely on the legal argument in the Book of Deuteronomy which puts an obligation on a male relative, the brother preferably, of a man who had died without issue, to marry his widow in order to give him an heir. She also reminded Henry that she was a virgin when she had married him and that she had been crowned with him. Katherine saw herself as Henry’s only true wife and we know how hard she fought her own cause. Both parties believed they were right. Both parties stuck to their cause and didn’t budge. The argument became bitter and entrenched but at the heart was faith because both were guided by Biblical and religious principles. As you said, Michael, that was the most important thing here and although we would think of ending a marriage as a secular thing, even the legal arguments were theological and the Church had the power to decide, not a secular Court. Even Henry’s do it yourself annulment had to be done by Archbishop Cranmer and a Commission. Church Courts declared on marriage, sexual misconduct, disputes, all sorts of things covered by canon law. The power of the Church was everything and everywhere, marriage, birth and death, the harvest, growing crops, when couples had sex and with whom, the crowning of a King and acceptance of them, just about every aspect of life you can think of including the eating of certain items. Henry might have had practical and personal and realistic reasons to end his marriage to Katherine and his need for a son and heir but they were backed by religious conviction. Henry took on the embodiment of those beliefs and powers when he became Supreme Head of the Church and of course similar righteous beliefs were spun by him when he decided to end his marriage to Anne. Unfortunately for poor Anne, Henry did blame her for the continued lack of sons.

  27. Here in Portland the rioters have done $21million in damages, businesses have lost $23million
    and others have left. The police are sick of the damage and problems the protesters are causing and started making arrests. Portland city council iw criticizing them for it so the Feds were called in and started arresting some of the bigger problem causers. A couple made court appearances with their parents in tow. Oh how proud they must be. In the late 1980’s I worked downtown. I felt very safe at all hrs of the day or night. There is no way I would go there in broad daylight now.

    1. That’s terrible, Michael. I know this all started with yet another death of a black person by white police and it shred more light on racism but this violence isn’t anything to do with George Floyd or anyone else. The cops as far as most people here are concerned killed 96 fans and not one has been held accountable 32 years later, but we haven’t rioted but demanded justice through peaceful means. This violence and destruction is unacceptable. No doubt many of the businesses have black owners and many have been there for generations but now they are being destroyed by a few mindless morons. I saw a disturbing video on social media the other day of a young girl walking home and minding her own business, trying to get through a group of men wielding sticks. One who was unarmed had confronted this very frightened young woman who was just politely asking to get passed. This bully was ordering her to take a knee. She obviously refused and just wanted to go home. He grabbed her, threw her to the ground and assaulted her. A group of people in the park stood and did nothing and who was filming it, instead of helping her? This was terrible to see and the comments were appealing for his identity and for him to be arrested. The poor girl just lay there in the foetal position her arms around her head, him standing over her, threatening her. That’s a dreadful thing to do and shows he is a coward and a bully and I don’t care what colour he is. I really wish I was there because I would have hit him with my stick. I hate bullies. I was bullied for years at school and work and nobody bullies me or anyone else if I am there to see it. He probably has never been disciplined in his life and I really would love to give him the beating of a lifetime. This destruction and intimidation shows these people have lost the argument. Black lives matter, of course they do, nobody should be killed for no reason by the police. Discrimination has to be ended in all of its forms but violent destruction and looting and riots do not achieve anything. This sum of damage is outrageous. The Courts should make those responsible pay reparation to the shopkeepers. I bet they feel nothing because they have no brains. Their parents surely can’t be proud of their little angels.

      Its terrible that you and ordinary people are afraid to go into town even during the day. The police and the government need to give people back their streets and do something about all this. A sensible way forward has to be negotiated before the country explodes into civil war again, which may sound mad, but large scale riots and violent protests have often proceeded such tragedies. I understand that the Suffragets used methods far more violent over a number of years, including bombing, pouring oil and cement into pillar boxes, blowing up homes, breaking windows, but that actually didn’t achieve anything. Deeds not words came about after decades of peaceful protests and broken promises and imprisonment. It was the ceasefire during the war that gained the vote in return for raising the women of Britain to take over the work of the men who had to fight. However, not all women used violence and many condemned those who did. The same thing can be said about these protests, most are peaceful, but there is a loud section who are looting innocent people, causing millions of dollars in damage. Its a great shame and totally unacceptable. I hope peace and sanity is restored soon.

      1. The problem is we have a mayor and city council who support groups like antifa. Last year there was a counter protest by a Christian group who got all the permits and did everything right and cleaned up after themselves and caused no problems whatsoever. Antifa started harassing them and throwing stuff at them and they didn’t respond. Cars that were driving by were being attacked along with the people in them. The mayor, who is charge of the police told them to stand down and do nothing. When it was done the mayor blamed the problems on the presence of the Christian group. The man who is currently our mayor was our state treasurer prior to this job and did a great job. Many of us voted for him quite enthusiastically but he has been a real disappointment. As far as going downtown there’s really no reason to. It’s just sad that at this time it’s no longer an option.

        1. That’s bad. Our local leaders really are weak. It’s only too true sadly. I will have a look at the tomb of Richard Rich. I love beautiful monuments and churches. Take care, Michael.

  28. Hi Christine. Rich’s tomb is in Holy Cross Cross Church Essex. Just Google Richard Rich’s tomb and look under photos. Quite a beautiful thing.

  29. I am leaving this forum because I am getting messages telling me I am sending spam and its happening now for a week and I don’t have anything set that I haven’t had to cause a problem, which I didn’t have before. It only started a week ago. I am sorry but obviously I am no longer welcome on this forum as thus is happening every time I post and is really annoying. It’s been nice but if I am being denied access then I can’t post. I have enjoyed being on here, but if I am not welcome, I am not welcome.

    Thanks and have a nice life everyone. I don’t suppose this will get posted due to my being blocked. I will say goodbye now and hope you all stay safe and well.


    LynMarie Banditqueen

    1. BQ, we’ve been reading everything you’ve posted. What do you mean your being blocked! I can’t imagine that’s true. Please don’t leave.

    2. Bq, email Claire it’s just a technical problem I had that a few years ago, she will try to help you.

  30. Hi Christine. Im so glad you’re able to go out and bring a little normalcy back into your life. Goes a long ways towards raising ones spirit.

    1. Yes it certainly does the beauty salons have opened today as well should imagine they will be pretty full.

        1. Yes I really miss my little job we still havnt opened, our boss has to hire a manager first, it’s had a good tidy up and folk keep leaving donations outside even though they know we’re closed, Iv seen loads of donations outside other charity shops as well.

  31. I hope you read this BQ. I would think if you were actually banned it would say so. If it’s saying you’re posting spam that sounds like a problem with the site. I’ve gotten that message 2-3 times in the past and I just try a bit later and it works fine. Sure hope you’re still monitoring this as your absence will be sorely felt.

    1. Hi Michael, its the spam filter message. It’s coming up every time I post and has been for a week. Its going to be even more fun after tomorrow as we have a new broadband hub being connected and a new ID. We are upgrading to Sky Q and the hub has a new ID. I probably won’t be connecting to anything. If the site isn’t recognising my ID now, it won’t recognise the new one. It’s not once or twice now, its everyday, every post. I am very frustrated. I don’t want to leave, but really, the hassle just isn’t worth it.

      1. I hope you’re wrong. I really look forward to your posts, historical or otherwise.
        If it’s any consolation for the last week every time I write something and hit the post comment button I get the message site not working. I back into the site and sometimes my message is still there and ready to try again and sometimes it’s gone and I have to retype it. It’s a crap shoot.

  32. Great idea Christine. That didn’t even cross my mind.
    Just tried pist this. Got the site not working message again.

  33. Hi yes I was getting that and just resubmitted. Oh, in that case maybe its a general problem, not just me. Maybe I am just tired. We have had some very weird weather over the last week. Its very wet and sultry followed by low cloud and cold air. That may be affecting the network which isn’t being maintained anyway because the staff are all at home at the moment.

    I will persist and maybe the new hub will solve the problem, although when we plugged it in yesterday and put the new password in and connected all it did was turn everything off and then refused to connect. I unplugged it again and went back to the old one. Well the engineer can sort it out as I am not touching it. If it doesn’t work and the box will work on the old one, that will do me. I don’t know, technology, it drives you mad.

    I took a look at the tomb of Richard Rich and it was a very grand and quite nice tomb. I loved the long beard of him as an old man, leaning up on one arm, on a pillow reading a book. The black and gold is very fine on the surrounding frame. There is a grand golden figure on the top playing a trumpet which one assumes means his soul is being heralded into heaven. His statue is very well carved from the marble or ivory and you can see the pink in tiles in parts and many figures on the tomb. I am not certain what the scenes are, from life or Bible. The marble characters are very fine indeed. These Tudor tombs are really over the top heralding of self. Many are far larger and elaborate than anything you find in the Middle Ages, save maybe those of the monarchy, with far more depictions of family and far more elaborate decorations and ornamentation. To me these tombs replaced the adoration of saints and were in the ways of being adoration of ancestors instead. The grand tombs of Tudors, especially Elizabethan Tudors, are nothing less than the secularization of death in the worship of grandeur and human self importance.

  34. Hi Christine. I’m glad you’re going to open back up. There are a lot of kitties out there that need taking care of.

  35. Yes, Rich’s tb is beautiful and unique in how he is propped up. If I read correctly it was erected by his family around 1620.

  36. Hi BQ, Michael, Christine, et al, thought I should just say I had a post ping off into the ether a few days ago and thought it was my new Apple Magic Mouse 2 which defies me at every turn!! Glad to know it is a general problem because you guys are part of my everyday routine online, and I love to read your comments.

    1. Hi Globerose, hope all is well. As you’ve read BQ has had problems and for a little over a week now what I’ve been experiencing is that I’ll type my comments and when I hit the post comment button I get a page that says server error. This happened two times in a row with my last post. I usually just hit return and it takes me back in. There is about a 50% chance of my work still being there ready to post or everything gone and I have to start over.I had chalked it up to being 8000miles away and stuff happens but as you say it sounds like a general problem.

  37. Thanks for replying Michael – actually my last post did exactly as you say but it was still there, so it got through on second pressing! So now we know it’s not us, that’s all good.
    I’ve been following Bret Weinstein and Heather Haying on their dark horse blog as they are experiencing what you are, having been cancelled from Evergreen by the BLM students. Do you know about them?

    1. Computers can be a problem but they are apart of our life and can be wonderful also, sometimes glitches do happen and we just have to be patient.

  38. I must say I have not heard of them.
    When I just tried to get onto this site I got the message ‘thise site not working’. I hit reload and got right in!

  39. Hello, Globerose, Michael, Christine, glad everyone is o.k. I have been hitting the reset and changed my security settings to make access easier. There seems to be a lot of problems, but the site obviously has the spam filters on full, otherwise it shouldn’t be a problem because its monitoring and we are known contributors. I am sure it will be back to normal soon. I was just feeling tired and a bit frustrated after the new router cut my wifi off on my tablet and everything was getting to me that day as well.

    Never mind we had a good day yesterday. Had a lovely meal at a fairly new restaurant. Sitting in the sun was lovely. It was a beautiful day and evening. Nice to hear from Globerose, its been a long time. Hope you are well.

    I was reading a post of the day a few days ago on the Tudor Society which concerned the early duties of Thomas Boleyn for the Tudors, as one of the six gentlemen who escorted Princess Margaret, who was fourteen to her wedding with James iv of Scotland who was thirty years old. It was a great honour and he also stayed on through the reception and celebrations for the English contingent. Henry Vii had rewarded him previously for helping defeat the Cornish rebels in 1497 and now in 1503 he was performing a rare and public role of great honour and responsibility. He also now had a wife and a young family, two daughters and possibly an infant son, not his son George, but one of two sons Thomas and Henry who died before the age of five. He had the prestigious honour of being married to a Howard, Elizabeth, the sister of the future third Duke of Norfolk. The Howards were not at the top of their fortunes, but most of their property had been returned to them and Thomas Howard was now an Earl. He would later be rewarded as Duke of Norfolk 2 after his victory at Flodden in 1513. This was the beginning of the long career of Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn which was to lead to their valuable service under King Henry Viii and eventually to his marriage to their daughter, Anne. It is ironic to be looking at a post which marks his rise to power just a few days after a post that marks him being deprived of that political power, two months after his son and daughter were executed on made up charges. Looking through the mirror of history is like being in a time tunnel, you want to depart knowledge of future events but can’t speak and its very odd to read about a happy time early in the life of a family, just a few days after reading about the fall of that same family years later. No wonder our ancestors believed time was not linear but spiralling and turning on a wheel, what happens today will come again tomorrow. It really is like that looking backwards on events of the past.

    1. Hi BQ and all. As soon as I hit reply on the email to post this it said site not working. I certainly understand why you were so dejected the other day. Sounded like a great day to celebrate Steve’s birthday.
      We know that contrary to what some ‘historians’ say Thomas Boleyn did not push his daughters towards Henry VIII. I’m guessing after so many years in Tudor service, the majority under Henry Jr. he was well aware of what the king was capable of. He may not have expected murder but that nothing good could come from a relationship with the unpredictable king.

      1. Agreed he had seen the traits in his personality and maybe sensed that no good could come from such a close association with the king, how a man treats his first wife is how he will treat his second, Sir Thomas Boleyn worldly wise could only advise Anne but headstrong as she was, she ignored all warnings and followed her own desires, he must have been in despair, Mary had been cast of and now Anne was planning on being queen to her sisters ex lover, England’s most fickle and mercurial king, he knew he was a ruthless man, he had been at court long enough to know the sinister traits in his personality and he must have trembled for both daughters, it is just a myth that he was power hungry and dangled both daughters under the kings nose, it is really just the work of historical fiction, the reality is very different, he was not happy about his children’s involvement with the king and even tried to stop Anne’s marriage, he was no pimp, and the fortunes that came his way were down to his own endeavours and the gratitude of a grateful king, in fact Sir Thomas Boleyn comes across as an admirable man, hard working loyal and conscientious, and very family orientated, his world was wrecked when he lost two children to the scaffold along with the very public shame and disgrace that came with it, he and Elizabeth grieved in the solitude of Hever and must have felt life was not worth living, the brief days of glory were over, this remarkable man did suffer a lot during his long court career and really, it is time the truth was told about this man who was not only a loyal servant to two kings, being a diplomat soldier and courtier, for he has been the victim of character assassination for far too long.

  40. Yes, if you watch the videos on Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn you will be well aware that Thomas had been in royal service under both Tudor Henrys and for three decades by the time Henry was making Anne Queen. Henry Viii didn’t need women to be pimped out to him, they were queuing up around the block to sleep with him. Not that Henry wanted to sleep with that many of them either because he didn’t have that many mistresses. Anne wasn’t interested in anything less than marriage and she didn’t need to be pushed in the way of any married man, let alone the King. Anne sounded like the sort of young woman who would enter a room and take ownership of it. She stood out and light up a room up with her wit and grace and he was quite sassy and sophisticated. Anne was intelligent, she could talk about anything, she shared much of the same interests of the King. Henry noticed Anne and became obsessed with her because she said no to him and he wanted her even more. Henry continued to court Anne with letters and they fell in love afterwards and had much in common with each other. Anne made Henry a rash promise to provide him with the much-needed son his first wife, Katherine, had failed to give him. Anne was interested in reforms and the Boleyn household had a chaplain who could do just that, Thomas Cranmer. Thomas of course benefited from the rise of his daughter, with the reward of the title Earl of Wiltshire. He was also made Lord Privy Seal and helped remove Cardinal Wolsey from office. Henry was persuaded to bring charges against his old friend but he pardoned him and let him go into retirement. Boleyn alongside Norfolk and Suffolk persuaded Henry to arrest Wolsey on treason charges but he died on his way to trial. Thomas Boleyn was ambitious, that goes without saying, he was a courtier. However, he was hard working and loyal and worked for the rewards he received. He was an emissary, ambassador, administrator, soldier, controlled the King’s household, he was trustworthy, a scholar and humanist, a friend of Erasmus, but he was also cautious. When it became clear Anne was to succeed Queen Katherine, there is some evidence to suggest that Thomas was nervous and not too happy about her marrying the King. He did know Henry could be hasty and angry but nobody expected what his character was changing to the extent that Anne was actually doing something dangerous by marrying him. He was certainly right to be cautious, although he celebrated the marriage and the fact that Anne was Queen. Unfortunately, her own failure to have a son (not her fault of course) together with her own character failings, an increasingly difficult marriage and the loss of her last baby which was male, the increasing paranoia of Henry and his unpredictable mood swings, all combined in his desire in April 1536 for her to go. Thomas apparently had good insight but he certainly wouldn’t have guessed Henry would execute his wife on trumped up charges. He had seen Henry put aside a loyal wife because he needed a son, so it wasn’t too unexpected that Anne may also face an annulment. Henry’s suddenly turning on Anne so completely must have taken him totally by surprise. That’s not something even Boleyn would have expected. Even if he did accuse her of adultery, no King had ever killed his Queen. Anne’s execution was shocking in the extreme and made international news and reaction. Few believed her to be guilty, although many in England probably did, but even more shocking was the fact that Henry remarried within twelve days. The one man who did know that Henry was capable of these terrible acts was Thomas Cromwell, whose grand work had given Henry the results he wanted and who had been made Lord Privy Seal in the place of Thomas Boleyn. I am sure Thomas Boleyn had good characteristics and bad ones and we can see many of his traits in Anne herself. However, he certainly wasn’t the overly ambitious man who made his fortune of his daughters that he has been portrayed in fiction and drama. If anything he was conscientious and dedicated and only wanted the best for his children. Why else would he send Mary and Anne abroad to be educated? Both of them were called back with the intention of marriage and Mary married the King’s friend and cousin, William Carey and Anne was part of marriage negotiations with James Butler over the future of the Earldom of Ormond in Ireland. That fell through and it was four years before Anne and Henry began any kind of relationship. It was one that became passionate and loving, enduring and which faced years of legal obstacles before Anne and Henry could be married. I would not have called that as being the result of pimping and even if Thomas did that, he didn’t do it very successfully because Anne said no and seven years is a long time for a John to wait for some action.

  41. Hi BQ and Christine. Arthur was taught from a very young age the skills of kingship so by the time of his death in 1501 he had a good ten years of training under his belt. After Arthur died his younger brother Henry was thrown into a role he was not trained for. How much pressure did Henry VII ingrain into this young boy from about age 11 until his father died when he was 18 about the importance of begetting sons to continue the line? I thought about this when looking at the damage Henry had done to his eldest daughter that didn’t manifest until later in life. Could such intense pressure have broken something in Henry Jr. creating an unhealthy almost manic obsession with siring male child? Unfortunately we don’t know what young Henry was told or how when he was alone with his father.

    1. Interesting theory, Michael, but these qualities didn’t manifest until later in life after years of struggling for an annulment. I completely agree that Henry was under extreme pressure to get a male heir, but there are also external pressures in addition to those you mention. Henry was only the second Tudor, his elder brother had died, as had his young brother, Edmund in a very short period of time, putting all of the hopes for the future of the Tudor Dynasty, then it was all placed on Henry who was now trained to rule. However, he was also restricted by his father and kept under his thumb. There is some evidence to suggest that Prince Henry rebelled against his father’s control. The pressure of that must have been tremendous and Henry was not interested in ruling, he played while the men he inherited from his father and able new men ran the country. In addition to that the contemporary Kings around him had sons and Henry knew his kingdom was not secure. His obsession does to be more than extreme than other Kings who found alternative solutions to their inheritance problems, but Henry was also only the second Tudor, the product of a weak claim to the throne and years of civil wars. A dozen or more families around him, many of whom he chose as his close friends, had better claims to the crown than he did. The Stafford claim, the imprisoned De la Pole claim, the Poles and Neville families all had better claims, but none of them was interested. England had had enough of wars and Henry succeeded in peace. Apart from the old Suffolk line, the De la Pole brothers, all had not only made their peace with the Tudors but prospered under them. Henry wasn’t too bothered about his cousins and remained friends with all but one, until after 1539 when othee factors played into the downfalls of these families. In addition to the pressures you mention, there was a general feeling in England and other countries that women simply couldn’t rule. They didn’t have the intelligence or the biological equipment to rule. Women were created inferior to men and so only men could rule. That was the general consensus. Nothing prevented a woman from ruling in England, but the one example Henry had to follow was almost a disaster or at least that was the spin. The fact that women had ruled in other places, by their own authority or with a male counterpart really didn’t seem to influence Henry and he sincerely believed his marriage was cursed after 18 years and no sons. The fact that the political and military circumstances in Europe combined together to make sure the Pope refused to give him an answer for seven years didn’t help either. Katherine was also in a more powerful position than Henry. She was the Aunt of the most powerful secular ruler in Christendom, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, whose armies occupied the lands of Pope Clement and she was the daughter of the two monarchs who had defeated Islam in Spain. Katherine said no and Clement and his agents did everything to put the decision off. Henry was also a man with another obsession. He was in love with Anne Boleyn and was impatient to have her. The annulment was a distraction from marriage to a new and hopefully fertile woman and to his ambitions to rule in France, which he was frustrated in as well. Without the son he was under so much pressure, external and inherited and probably personal, Henry felt insecure and believed his country was insecure. He showed some early signs of paranoia with the execution of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, the descendent of Edward iii from his fourth son and the son of the executed Duke of Buckingham from Richard Iii time. Why Buckingham was executed is hotly debated although Cardinal Wolsey gets the blame in part. Buckingham and the King got on at first until an alleged affair with his sister. He played a leading part in the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520,_despite the suspicion on his loyalty in 1518. Henry was convinced that Buckingham was planning to kill him and take the crown for himself, but the information came from a spy in the Duke’s household. This was a rare execution in these days but it was an early sign of ruthless behaviour. His paranoia I think grew as his desperation grew and his obsession grew with it, he would get a male heir at all costs. Seeing the same pattern with Anne as he had experienced with Katherine must have pushed him over the edge. If you also factor in the power hunger which came from learning how much money went to the Papacy through Church fees and revenues and that the clergy took an oath to Rome which was at odds with that to the crown, its not surprising that the lid blew off the pressure cooker. Henry had this pressure from the age of 11_until he was 46 and then he had only one son, a precious boy with whom he was over protective until Catherine Parr brought him to Court more often. Its all a recipe for tyranny and the ruthless elimination of any rebels or rivals. The break from Rome and the power Henry received through the Act of Supremacy was revealed by his determination not to allow any further opposition to his marriage to Anne and his annulment from Katherine. The legislation that he had Cromwell prepare was draconian and it was also hard for a number of loyal courtiers and holy people to accept. Henry was to become even more paranoid after his accident in January 1536 and we see the destruction of the families who had once supported the House of York but who were loyal to the House of Tudor because they had been honoured to serve the young Henry Viii. The religious differences in England pushed people to take sides and with the defection of Reginald Pole who wrote against his King and his divorce from Katherine caused a backlash against the very families who had been his close friends against the wishes of his father. Cromwell now orchestrated a coup against the Pole, Courtney and Neville families and they were rounded up in 1539 in what was called the Exeter plot. The male members were accused of treason and several of them executed or imprisoned. The Matriarch of the three families, Margaret Pole, was left in prison but executed in 1541 after her son again wrote against the King. This was an act of pure terror and merciless Tyranny and again it may have something to do with protection of a fragile Dynasty. Henry was acting to eliminate all rivals, although no such claims actually existed in reality.

  42. New Talking Tudors podcast episode dropped yesterday. Tudor treasures in the Burrell collection.

  43. Thank you BQ for reminding me that his determination for a son began with his split from Katherine. I seem to forget that sometimes. I’m sure we’ve all known or read of people who have a single minded focus on one particular thing to the point of being an unhealthy obsession. In the case of Henry VIII is it feasible that the possible damage I alluded to earlier in his life manifested later in life as you pointed out and turned a need and/or want into an obsession? I’m just trying to get some kind of understanding of this very oddly behaved man so I’m just wanting to see what sticks, if anything.

    1. The problem is we can’t analyse someone from a distance of 500 years, but one thing that certainly would have been impressed on him and his brother would have been the urgency of producing male children as soon as possible in marriage. Even with a series of female rulers it wasn’t ever something that went away in royal and noble families where everything was about inheritance, land, wealth and power. It may surprise you to know that Salic Law didn’t exclude women either, that was an invention. It was more of a traditional thing, turned into precedents to exclude women from the throne of France. Russia passed such a law after Catherine the Great, her son Paul in fact. It was Peter the Great who passed laws to allow female rulers specifically but in fact Russia had a number of Regents and even co rulers. Sophia, his half sister ruled for several years, until she was deposed because she stayed on after his majority. Natalie had ruled for both her sons before her death, being his mother. Following Peter was his second wife, a peasant woman, crowned as Catherine I, then his daughter Anna and for six months, Anna, daughter of his crippled dead brother, then Elizabeth seized power and then after ruling for six months with her husband, Peter iii, who was a complete nut, Catherine, without one drop of Russian blood in her, with the support of the military, in an almost bloodless coup, within 24 hours, took power. Peter was forced to abdicate and was murdered. Catherine would rule as Catherine ii for the next 34 years. As ruthless as the rest, yet with very few executions under her rule for treason, she expanded the borders of Russia to take the Crimea, to the North and South, she introduced female education, reformed serfdom but didn’t free them, she was liberal in her tolerance until the French Revolution and French books were banned and probably burned. Nothing new there of course, but generally literature took off under her and despite her reputation for sex and excess she did actually tour her country and bring some small changes. There was no persecution of Old Believers under Catherine. However, she put down two rebellions with force, one which involved a pretender claiming to be Peter Iii. This went on for years and his followers were brutal as well as popular. Catherine only executed him and a few others. An alternative punishment was often employed called the knott which was a whip which was knotted and caused much damage. Catherine also intervened to stop torture being used in most interrogations. It was later outlawed. Her Natzag is the basis of human rights laws but most were not introduced. She expanded European influence and architecture and erected the famous statue in Saint Petersburg to Peter the Great, her mentor. Her private life was an open book and she had several lovers other than Potemkin, whom she was rumoured to have married. She had at least four children, including her heir, Paul whom she hated, who was not the son of Peter iii. Her parties and cross dressing were notorious but unlike the rumours, she died of a stroke, not from having sex with a horse.

      Anyway, sorry about the diversion. What we do know is that Henry would have been under pressure at the start of his marriage, he was insecure after all in himself, but I suspect it didn’t fully become an issue until Katherine could have no further children. Some historians believe he enquired about an annulment in 1514 or 1518,_but Katherine was pregnant during both years. In 1513 to 1515 he was also preoccupied with war. Leaving England without an heir was a huge risk, but he took it. Both times he returned to a pregnant Queen. He also had an alternative heir in 1515: Henry Brandon, his sister Mary’s son. With the birth of Mary who lived in 1516 Henry apparently was encouraged to think he might still have a legitimate son. Unfortunately he then saw the birth of two stillborn daughters and his own illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, was born in July 1519. By then he had been married for ten years. I am guessing that the pressure cooker was looking to blow its lid by now. However, he doesn’t do anything for another five years. Why? That’s a hypothetical question, I really don’t expect an answer but Henry continued to sleep in the same bed with Katherine until after 1524. I would guess that this was when she had her menopause. She was now almost 40 and Henry was still thirty three or four and it was in that year that his brains were almost mashed in a jousting accident by the Duke of Suffolk’s lance. I would guess he started to think about the succession and his marriage with more of the desire and obsession he became famous for. It’s during the following years he made enquiries about annulment of his marriage in secret, but Katherine found out and probably made a fuss and then he met and fell for Anne Boleyn. I know most historians try to separate his passion for Anne with his obsession for an heir and an incessantly ardent demand for a divorce but I disagree. The two are linked. Henry might have fallen in love with Anne after his initial enquires about an annulment, but it took on a life of its own when he met Anne Boleyn. Seriously, the mans mind was all over the place, his hormones returned to their teenage levels and he wanted her at any cost. The cost demanded was marriage or nothing. The payment offered was the promise of male heirs. Boy how dumb was he to actually believe a woman could make such a promise! However, it was actually believed medically that women had female sperm which mixed with the male sperm to determine the sex of the baby and also what she ate during pregnancy did that as well. Anne and Henry wanted each other. Henry needed, wanted, desired sons as well as Anne and any pressure he had been under as a young man I am guessing was intensified by his later years, the time waiting and the fact that his contemporaries had sons. His manhood was in great question as well as the safety of his line and country. By the time he finally married Anne in 1536 his obsession for a son was at boiling point. Then in 1536 the pressure cooker lid blew off.

      As I said at first, the idea that female rulers were weak and undesirable didn’t really go away until after Queen Victoria and the law of succession to name first born, regardless of sex to succeed was only passed a few years ago. Even Victoria’s succession was questioned, saying she was too young. Her mother and John Conroy when she was ill during her teens tried to force her to sign a document making them Regents if she became Queen until she was 25. Aged 18 on her ascension she moved them out instead. Even before her marriage the subject came up, but Victoria refused. Albert was in charge when she had her nine kids but Victoria came out of confinement early. Her Uncle George was made King of Hanover as Victoria could not succeed being female. Mind you, that got rid of him. Her eldest child was a daughter, Victoria, yet it was Edward who was the heir because of his sex. Attitudes to women as rulers have indeed changed but for centuries even after Henry’s reign they were still entrenched. Even Elizabeth was hounded to marry but didn’t. That doesn’t make her a strong ruler, it made her an obstinate one with more enemies and rivals. She had to look for alternatives as her heir and although she never even nominated any even on her deathbed, it was understood through secret negotiations and Robert Cecil that James of Scotland would succeed her. His succession was smoothed quickly and he was proclaimed immediately. He succeeded without any bother. However, one reason he was preferably the next heir was because he was male and had two sons. The attitude to female rulers was more accepting, but they were not preferred.

      1. Hi BBQ. Don’t apologize. I very much enjoyed that. The extent of mine Russian history knowledge is from a couple of decades before the 20th century through the Romanov’s and up through the second world war and a little more modern stuff. I’ve always been very impressed by Victoria considering how she was treated by her mother and Conroy when she was younger that she stood up to them when she ascended the throne. I know that one of the times they tried to get her to sign the documents making them Regents was when she was bedridden and sick.
        As you say it’s been 500 years and it is impossible to try to diagnose what Henry’s problem was. That is so frustrating because he seems to be such an anomaly in history. There have been many tyrants throughout history in countries all over the world and this man doesn’t seem to fit with any of them. Unless time travel is invented and a psychiatrist can go back and psychoanalyze the man I think historians are going to be frustrated until the end of time. However they won’t be bored!

        1. Don’t worry BBQ sounds good. Yes, Henry Viii was definitely an enigma of history. Perhaps his circumstances were also unique. I know one thing I don’t believe there have been so many theories about one guy and his mind or body or both. Anything from a rare blood disorder to neurological disorders and brain damage to Anne Boleyn and being power hungry have been suggested to attempt an explanation. I guess we will never know and that’s the beauty of history.

  44. It’s like when you hire someone to repair something such as in your car or house and you hearbthe phrase ‘hmmm, I’ve never seen that before’. That’s Henry. So different that you can’t make analogies to anyone else.

  45. Hi all. Just wondering how you were all doing in regards to trying to get onto this site? As of these last couple of postings absolutely no problem getting in and no problem posting I’m not getting those messages I was getting before.Just wondering

        1. Hi BQ. Here’s something to put a smile on your face: The #1 selling rock band as far as music sales go in the United States so far in 2020 are The Beatles!

  46. Great about the Beatles. Excellent stuff. Nice for our happy family here. Watching Gone with the Wind.

    1. I got to see that about 25 years ago in a movie theater on a very large screen. It was released in 70mm and looked fantastic. Enjoy!

      1. I can’t believe I watched Gone With The Wind in one go. Had a coffee interval, but at 2.05 a.m this morning I emerged.

        Fantastic Movie. The contrast between the romantic life of the rich aristocratic Southern bells and everyone else is really stark. So is the overly romantic idea of life as a slave. The Civil War scenes though are frighteningly realistic. The horror of life in the hospitals, bodies everywhere and the panic in Atlanta and Georgia as the bombardment started and the firestorm took hold, the terror even in someone as selfish as Scarlett O Hara, who I really do still want to take a cane to, the dedication of the a bit too saintly Melanie are all well reflected. The hardship afterwards is also reflected, but of course Scarlett always managed to find a rich man to bail her out. I must admit Tara still standing did seem odd, especially when everything else had been stolen. I must admit Clark Gable was a heart throb and he as Brett deserved Scarlett. Its a rather tragic film as well, with their relationship, the fact that they can’t be honest about how they feel and the loss of Bonnie. Its one of the most poignant endings to any film going. I must admit its very much a romantic and lavish film as well and beautiful in everything, the reality as well as the lost world of the plantation family. Considering Vivienne Leigh was a relatively unknown actress and this film made her, she is fantastic in it. It’s terribly not politically correct but its how people were, but it’s a film to be enjoyed and I really did. I saw it on the big screen on an anniversary of the original years ago, and have seen it on TV before, but not for many years. We recently got Sky Cinema for nothing for 18 months, so are going mad watching film after film, its fantastical. When it was the special anniversary, the cinema showed it again and a follow-up was made. The follow up got like 2 people and thousands went to see the original again. The follow up was on TV over two nights and was o.k but not great. I believe a sequel was originally intended but it didn’t emerge because of cost and the unavailability of the actors. My mum saw the original when she was 14 with her dad and took the afternoon off school. The film had two intervals, although it usually has just one. My nan was furious because they were late for tea. Yes, after four plus hours, I bet she was. Great film though and still up there as a top favourite and high grossing film, especially when converted to modern money. It would literally cost millions today. Definitely worth watching again.

        1. I agree. The movie holds up very well especially considering it came out in 1939! When the movie was shown in in the theater, due to its length there was no intermission. Made for a bit of urgency when I got home.
          I believe Clark Gable was already well established by this time.
          During the war he was a pilot in the USAAF and Vivian Leigh was one of the many studio stars who toured the country raising money for the war effort.

    2. I watched that years ago at Christmas, it was the first time it was shown in the uk fantastic movie, Olivia De Havilland is the only actress alive now, I went to the weatherspoons pub Wednesday, my friend and I had a meal it was fairly quiet and we had to wait outside till they let us in, we had to use sanitizer but it was so nice to be in the pub again – a return to normality! In August other venues are opening ice rinks and bowling alleys but night clubs sadly will still remain closed, a group of us would go out dancing about once a month or so and we really miss putting on our nice shoes and going out, but we have to be patient.

      1. I just googled Ms. De Havilland to find out how old she is. She’s 104!
        So great to hear from you and BQ that some normality is returning to your lives and things are beginning to open.
        Not really happening here in Portland yet. Although I did hear an ad on the radio this morning advertising that the Portland Spirit is in operation again and accepting reservations. The Spirit is a side wheel paddlewheel steamer that cruises up and down the Willamette river and serves food. The Willamette River divides East and West Portland. Downtown is West.

        1. That sounds a lovely way to relax and dine out Michael, cruising up the river, yes things are returning to normal about a month ago more traffic appeared on the roads and you saw more people in the street, now when I go out it’s like normal as there’s folk sitting outside pubs and the shops are open, it’s such a lovely feeling and the weather helps as we are having glorious weather, because our charity shop is still closed I have found a job in another charity shop which raises money for sick and injured, ill treated and homeless animals in Sri Lanka, started on Wednesday and I’m enjoying it very much, I do prefer working for animal charities the work they do is amazing, and it’s just so heartbreaking to see the state of these poor animals before treatment and loving homes are found for them, some countries do not seem to care how they treat these poor creatures and I know us brits have a reputation for being sentimental over our animals, but the suffering of any animal is just so wrong and so many are just left in a terrible state before they are found and help is given, I am still hopeful our cat charity shop will open again but our boss has to get another manager in to run it, and we don’t know when that will be, but I keep my fingers crossed, people still leave donations outside and they are taken in but we have so many and they are overflowing, this shop I’m currently working for is the only charity shop opened out of several along the high street, we think they can’t get the staff in due to fear of the pandemic, most of the staff are too afraid to come back to this one so they were very grateful when I applied, it’s just nice feeling useful again and knowing your doing something that helps a good cause, yes I read that De Havilland is a great age, all her co stars are dead and have been for a long time I love those old Hollywood movies, they don’t make them like that anymore, I am not really religious but I have always enjoyed biblical films, De Milles ‘Samson and Delilah’ is one of my favourites and of course ‘TheTen Commandments’, as that is so long I would watch the first few hours one evening and the rest the next, I also enjoy musicals and Alfred Hitchcock movies along with spooky movies, I love anything about the supernatural, I have often been on ghost walks, and once went to Hampton Court on a ghost tour that was quite frightening, as we had to walk down the haunted gallery in the pitch black.!

  47. Hi Christine. That is so wonderful to hear that things are getting back to a bit of normality. Most of the state of Oregon is on track to opening slowly opening things back up but Multnomah county (where Portland is located) is currently at a standstill. The state of Washington which is our neighbor to the north is moving backwards. Their governor just started closing things down again and is only allowing five people to be in a group at a time. I also very much enjoy the Ten Commandments and I don’t think they do it anymore but here every Easter it would be shown. And I also like musicals. They sure don’t make movies like that anymore. I am very curious about your experience at Hampton Court in pitch dark. Even though the ghost stories may not be real just the history of that place has to have some kind of effect on your experience.

  48. My and a friend booked up one New Year’s Eve because we’re both very interested in the paranormal, and we had a guide who told us the tales of the hauntings, not long before something strange had happened there with an apparent ghost caught on camera which made headlines round the world, it could have been a hoax I am unsure but the guide took us to the door where the alleged ghost had been filmed and suddenly it burst open! My friend said she expected something like that to happen but it give laughingly give us all a shock, Hampton Court is very eerie at night especially by candlelight and you do get a real sense of the history and tragedies caught up in the reign of Henry V111 and his tragic wives, there is a disembodied hand which has been seen in the long gallery, called the haunted gallery because of its association with Catherine Howard but as Alison Weir explained, it’s location was different in Henry’s day, the ghost of Jane Seymour on the anniversary of her death has been seen carrying a lighted taper and the strange sound of a spinning wheel has been sound which is believed to be by the ghost of Sybil Penn Edward V1’s nurse, the old nurse is also said to haunt the pub opposite, I heard a story told us by one of the staff in the gift shop another time I went there, who informed us that one morning the cleaners were in and from behind the door of the great hall they could hear laughter chatting and music, when they opened the heavy old doors there was silence, and the hall was deserted they were intrigued as they were the only people in residence along with the security staff, another haunting was seen by a visitor who told how he saw a crowd of people dressed in Tudor costume walk across the gardens and disappear, this was I believe early evening, of course we have to take stories like these with a pinch of salt but it does make you wonder, when we walked down the haunted corridor my friend felt a hand touch her knee we both took fright and ran the rest of the way, I hurt my leg but we did have a laugh and there were refreshments supplied, I suppose you could call it a strange way to spend New Year’s Eve but we did enjoy ourselves very much.

    1. Wow, that sounds like it was a bit of eerie fun. Myths and legends perhaps, but most myths and legends aren’t just made up. Somebody at some point in time heard, felt, saw or experienced something. The mystery is what?
      Thank you so much for sharing that Christine.

      1. Some people on previous tours had reported experiencing feeling sick and some had fainted, but they were probably frightened, they do stress that if you are of a nervous disposition it’s best not to go on these tours, I know I darent look at any of the tiny windows for fear of seeing a gloomy face staring back at me, we have been to an old London school in the east end that was a Barnardo’s school for the orphaned and the poor, we did seances and the ouiji board, we made contact with a little girl called Mary who died when she was only five, and there was another spirit a nasty man who insulted the women, another time we went to the London tombs where victims of the plague were buried, as I said you cannot be easily frightened and it’s upto you if you believe but they can be great fun, we have a trained medium with us and they lay on plenty of refreshments, at one time we spent our weekends in nightclubs, now ghost tours have taken over !

        1. That had to be a creepy place. Orphanages were not good places in England or America and bad things happened in them. The death of such a young child is so tragic. I’m fascinated by the paranormal. I can’t say I believe in ghosts per se but what happens when we die? I’m not referring to our souls. Our bodies are powered by electro-chemical energy. Simple physics tells us energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can only change state. Does it stay in a coherent form or dissipate when we pass? I would love to go on a ghost hunt but I’d be afraid of bringing something home.

  49. Hi Michael and Christine, having an interesting read of your posts. I believe some of these experiences can be quite scary because everyone is on edge and even normal sounds like from a door banging can send everyone into a spin. The hairs stand up on your arms and you sense everything going. Have a good time but take deep breaths every so often to remain calm. We don’t want you getting too scared.

    Hampton Court had some great ghost tales but the one that was in a video was a prank. I have heard some weird stuff, though. The Long Gallery is famous for the myth that Kathryn Howard ran down it to get to Henry in the chapel which is actually physically impossible because of the logistics of the Chapel and the apartment, which would be on different floors or sides of the palace as Henry used the private entrance upstairs. It’s a good story and you will not be surprised that many people think they saw her. To be honest I think she would be more likely to haunt Syon House as that was where she was held as a prisoner awaiting the investigation into her activities and eventually her removal to the Tower. Of course she might haunt the Tower, but then again there is too much competition there. Somerville House in Lancashire has plenty of Tudor ghost activities and probably most old places have the sort of environment one might imagine a haunting at least.

    I haven’t seen a ghost and I have to be honest, I am a sceptic but I did think I saw one once, but it turned out to be an actress in Tudor costume I didn’t know was there. I also had a weird experience in Warwick Castle. I was down in the basement, going through a very dark and atmospheric display with characters and real people and video and sound and came the wrong way through and just saw this shadow move. I looked and there was nothing there. I felt something on my shoulder and jumped. It was a moving exhibit which was in the dark and was activated by movement. It was a Knight with several wounds and a blade. Obviously the blade was fake but it just shone and lit up and the figure had caught my shoulder because I was backing up to it. It was dark and I squealed. Then the figure lit up and started moving. It was actually preparing its blade for a return to the battle but it was really earie. I was sure glad it wasn’t no ghost. Some exhibitions can be really realistic and they must love it when someone gets a fright.

    I didn’t know that Olivia de Havilland was still alive. 104,_wow that’s great. I loved all of the films I saw her in. Of course as Melanie in Gone With The Wind and Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Captain Blood, the guy who pinched the crown jewels. A wonderful actress.

    1. That motion activated exhibit would have made me jump out of my skin too. It would be easy to get spooked in these places. They are hundreds of years old, you’ve read about the history so your mind is already going to some strange places. Now if you brought somebody from another planet or another country who never heard of the place or had no idea how old it was or any information whatsoever they may walk through and not have any kind of experience at all.
      And by the way I absolutely agree with you about Olivia to Haviland. The last of the Golden age of Hollywood.

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