Today’s treats for you!


Happy Monday! Yes, that may be a contradiction in terms, but I’m sure we all have something to be thankful for this Monday! And I’ve got some treats for you today!

Today’s Anne Boleyn Files Advent treat is waiting for you behind number 2 at It’s of a poetical nature today and thank you so much to Natasha Gennady Robinson for sharing it with us.

The second treat is 25% off online history courses. Yes, has jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon by offering 25% off each and every one of their history courses. There are 11 to choose from so you’re bound to find something to enjoy. They’re all online and have no set start or finish date, so you can buy now and begin whenever suits you. You can also use the coupon code CYBER2019 to get 25% off a gift certificate for a loved one. The collection of course includes a few Tudor ones too! See for details.

The third treat is Teasel’s Tudor Trivia. We’ve only had Teasel for 2 weeks, but she’s decided to help out the household by doing some YouTube videos, after all, she has quite a few months of catching up to do with all of those cat cameos! These videos are posting daily on the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube channel until 24th December, and here is the latest one:

And then, of course, there’s my daily “on this day” video!

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10 thoughts on “Today’s treats for you!”
  1. Poor Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, arrested on trumped up charges of treason. He had every right to display the arms which he did and he had made certain the beasts were collared. Henry Viii knew full well many of these older families had a royal pedigree which entitled them to use arms similar to the crown, as long as they put them in the second quarter. The Howards certainly were not the only ones showing off their arms. He was also meant to have plotted to take control of Prince Edward but this wasn’t the case. No it is more likely that he was set up by the Seymour family and others who wanted the old guard out of their way. He was a bit of a rogue, fighting and breaking windows and being put in prison but he was also a poet, soldier and thinker. Howard tried to escape down the loo shaft in his room in the Tower but was caught and dragged back up. This in itself could have condemned him. It was very difficult to find anything against him, his defence was very vigorous and the Jury were reluctant to find him guilty. However, they were more or less forced to proceed and certainly they did protest. But when the King wants someone found guilty, there is no escape. It was a shame and I love his poetry and used one at the funeral of my mother by law.

  2. I agree and Henry V111 was by now very paranoid and easily led into thinking any person could be a traitor, I have read about Henry Howard and he was perfectly entitled to display the royal arms in the second quarter, it was perfectly legitimate but the Seymours did want him out of the way, he was a talented poet but because he had a wild streak, getting involved in all kinds of things, it was maybe easier to stitch him up than a more saintly person, he was only young when he died, it must have been devastating for his family for his father was now under suspicion too and he left a young wife and family, dreadful waste of a young talent.

  3. The Howards had been the family who one would make or break Kings by their loyalty to their Sovereign or to the family. The Plantagenets to whom they were related had been around for 300 years when the last of them was killed in battle and the great grandfather of Sir Henry Howard was also killed fighting with King Richard iii. He had remained loyal as had his son, the Second Duke of Norfolk, the Flodden Earl as he was demoted by Henry Vii. For his pains Thomas Howard, had been badly wounded, being removed by his enemy from the battlefield, arrested and imprisoned for a few years in the Tower of London. However, he was given an opportunity by the new Tudor regime to prove himself as the Earl of Northumberland was having trouble and to put down a tax revolt. Henry Tudor restored his fortune and brought him into the service of the Tudors. Thomas 2nd Duke and Thomas 3rd Duke were in the service of both Henrys for their entire lives. The third Duke, Henry Howard’s father was soldier, Councillor, Earl Marshall and practically the King’s henchman during some of the most difficult tensions of his reign, including the Pilgrimage of Grace and two war campaigns. Henry fell out over the Anne Boleyn thing and he was in and out of favour, but in a crisis the Howards were called upon because of their experiences. Two Howard Queens had graced and as far as Henry was concerned, disgraced the family name, but they bounced back. Elizabeth Howard had been in royal service as the wife of Thomas Boleyn through four Queen consorts, another Catherine Howard was married to a Welsh noble, one was Countess of Bridewater, they were everywhere. Norfolk was back during the campaign in France in 1544, although his part was minor and here Surrey made his own name. He returned to England to serve as the King’s cupbearer and served under Queen Katherine Parr. He was made a Knight of the Garter and Henry Viii did have a soft spot for him. He was it is true a rash young man but he was also able to persuade Henry to release him twice from prison. He was unfortunate that a military mistake in 1546 was turned against him. He had repelled an attack to retake Bordeaux by the Dauphan of France and was leading a counter attack. In this rash move the captaincy were all in the vanguard and were mostly killed. It was a successful move because the French were chased off but with a big loss of life and most of those commanders. This was disastrous for future military defence. Surrey had to explain himself and was dismissed but he was back at Court within a couple of months. He at some point had a run in with the Seymour She Wolfe Lady Anne Seymour, Edward’s wife and wrote an insulting poem about her. It was natural that the Howards should see themselves as the people to rule on behalf of the young heir to Henry Viii, nine year cold Prince Edward and in a roudy Council meeting he and others fell out with the Seymour faction. Henry Howard was vulnerable and it is almost certain the Seymours had something to do with his downfall. It can’t be proved of course but he and his father were suddenly seen as dangerous and the Seymour family thought they would rule for their nephew. Now most Protectors in England have indeed been the male relatives of the young King but they were always of direct royal descent, the late King’s brothers. The Seymour power grab was unprecedented. Henry was obviously told the Howards have gone over to the dark side, he was nearly at the end of his life, had withdrawn from public life, was ill and paranoid and it was sold to him that Henry H was promoting the family as the true heirs or would control the heir. It was a complete set up.

    Henry Howard was actually very popular and few people believed this nonsense, they were very reluctant to find him guilty of anything and his defence was very confident but he was found guilty and condemned. His final letters to his wife, Frances de Vere and his father, show a man of tenderness and love and devotion and he left five young children, including the future Fourth Duke of Norfolk, who was the Protestant Duke who served his cousin, Elizabeth I until his own downfall for alleged treason in 1572. Elizabeth was reluctant to execute him and how involved he was is something of a debate. His mother was the daughter of the late Duke of Buckingham and they also had a great claim to the throne. Henry H was eventually buried in Framlington and his poetry is still held in high esteem. He was about 29 at the time of his execution. It was the end of another man of great talent.

  4. He probably was quite charming he was a great wit as he was a poet, as you say he was likeable, many must have found him amusing, although when under the influence of alcohol he became rowdy and acted reckless, he went on a rampage with some of his companions one night and caused quite a bit of damage to some buildings, windows were smashed and he was often getting into fights, he ended up in the Tower on several occasions, he was accused of presumption of royalty which in the tumultuous reign of Henry V111 was very dangerous, yet as he so aptly pointed out at his trial, he did not display the arms of Edward in the first quarter, he defended himself very eloquently which being a man of letters he was able to, but it did no good, George Boleyn himself had put up a very good defence at his trial but he had to die, so doomed he was, once a person was accused of treason they very rarely escaped with their lives, Henry V111 was anxious about the succession, he had to make little Edwards throne secure for him, he knew his son was of tender years and he feared for the stability of his crown if he were to die suddenly, the Duke of Buckingham years before had been beheaded some said because of his too close connection to the throne, his tomb at Framlingham is magnificent the Howard’s did not skimp on their eternal resting places, I have never read any of his poems but I hope to one day, he really was one of the stars of the Tudor court, he shone dazzlingly then his light was gutted, like a candle flame suddenly gone out.

  5. Iv just found out something else about Henry that is quite shocking, he suggested to his sister Mary who was married to the kings bastard son, Henry Fitzroy, that in order to wield more power she should attempt to seduce her father in law the old king, revolted she of course did not agree with his sordid plan and they fell out, she later gave evidence that was used against her brother at his trial, the Howard’s were a very ambitious family and of course pretty daughters could always help to advance their fortunes, but this shows up the young poet in a rather bad
    light, morals and scruples paled in the face of family advancement it would appear, Mary herself died young being only around thirty seven to thirty eight, after her young husband died she never remarried, what she died from is not known but today could have been well treated.

    1. This is very true, he didn’t approve of his sister or her marriage, Mary Howard and her brother had a lot of bad blood. I haven’t heard of that suggestion, do you have the source, Christine, he said a few things to her we would probably find shocking, because they were very ambitious. Mary and Henry Fitzroy never consummated their marriage and Henry Viii separated them. Mary’s own letters to her father shoe her as a determined young woman as well as her grief at the death of her husband. Norfolk complained that she was constantly weeping and wailing, obviously one of those men who can’t cope with a crying woman, even his own distressed daughter, but then goes on to say to Cromwell that she is determined to go down to London and make an appeal for her rights, that is her financial rights as a widow. She wrote to her father to ask him to arrange things and she did just that went and appealing to Cromwell and the King obtained her rights and a financial settlement. Henry’s argument was that as the marriage wasn’t consummated it wasn’t valid and therefore she wasn’t entitled to anything. Mary probably reminded everyone that wasn’t her fault because they had been kept apart on purpose as they were young and the boy’s health was in question. Mary Howard remained a widow for the rest of her life and she did indeed give some kind of evidence against her brother. It doesn’t put him in a good light, does it, telling Mary to sleep with the King. She was also of the reformed faith so I can well imagine a deep family breach over that as well. Fitzroy had been Surrey’s good friend, he knew him very well. But wow! Even for him, that is quite shocking. Mary would be about 16/17 when she was widowed, so a young girl being told to sleep with a man in his mid 40s. Of course she was definitely going to jump at the chance! lol. Being married off at that age is one thing, that was perfectly normal but asking her to seduce a much older man outside of wedlock and one who was himself married, that was very low of him. The young lady had much better morals than her rake of a brother. Not that he deserved to die on trumped up charges of course.

  6. Hi yes I think the Howard’s were all ambitious, like Anne Boleyn she of course was a Howard on her mothers side, I cannot recall the source I am afraid to say I just googled Henry Howard and a few sites came up, as if young Mary would want to sleep with Henry V111 he was not the Demi god by now, he was growing increasingly fat, though he was still considered good looking and had that charisma which had always been part of him, Mary must have been repelled at the suggestion, and shuddered at the very thought, teenage girls do not want anything to do with men that age, and poor FitzRoy may have come to hear of it and been thoroughly ashamed to know his wife was sleeping with his father, young Surrey was talented and yet very reckless, he was beheaded on false charges which was shocking, you are right it must have been the pro Seymour faction that were behind that, the old king was ready to believe anyone at court were traitors now, he was swayed into thinking his faithful old retainer Cromwell was guilty of high treason also, and always regretted sending him to his death, in fact his final speech to Parliament just shows to show how much mistrust he had in him for those who should have served him loyally.

  7. I will look in Jessie Child’s biography because now I am curious. I would love a biography on Mary Howard but there isn’t one currently. By the way I believe I put Bordeaux instead of Boulogne which of course it was which Henry took in 1544. It seems that a report from Richard Southwall to the Council gathering information and the man who informed Norfolk of his son’s arrest contained the background to the breakdown of relations between Henry H and his sister Mary. Three attempts were made to marry her to Tom Seymour between 1538, when she was having difficulty getting her marriage settlement which wasn’t completed until 1540 and Spring 1546, when the match was approved of the King. Mary H refused and in a fit of temper her brother followed her home and demanded to know why she wouldn’t help the Howard cause as the Seymour brothers were the new power behind the throne. Mary refused the marriage on moral grounds and she was told by her brother to go to the King and pretend to protest the marriage but to become his mistress and thus promote her fortune and theirs in the ultimate bedroom. Mary was horrified and refused and Southwall saw this breach as the sign that Mary could give King’s evidence of the ambition of her brother and she was thus used against him. The story is on several reputable sites, this one, Tudor Dystany, included so I am going with it being at least reported as true and given the circumstances, it probably was true.

    The BL Cottinston Manuscript Titus 1 states that Norfolk wanted several cross marriages between several Seymour and Surrey children and that also upset Henry Howard, cited in Childe and we can see his anger flaring up yet again. It was this which made him take his sister to task rather than her proposed marriage to Thomas Seymour. The BL Royal Document confirmed the affair was recounted by Mary to Sir Gawain Carew, who was sent to test her out for evidence, but how much was authentic and how much was exaggerated is highly questionable according to Jessie Childe who spends several pages on this allegation. For one thing it was first elaborated by Herbert Lord Cherbury, writing much later on one of the earliest biographies of King Henry Viii. In this account Mary would rather take a knife and cut her throat than agree to his suggestion and the accusations were made at his trial but he denied them, using sexist language such as “hysterical wretch of a woman” ,_but then again she had given the crown evidence against him. She wasn’t known to be refined herself in her language and had been a go between for Margaret Douglas and her other male relatives. Other writers have excused Surrey because he was acting to defend his family from the hated Seymour clan whom he had personal history with. One believes Mary wanted the marriage and Surrey was being sarcastic. Childe warns that they should be taken in context and remember they are being made in the context of his trial and so may be taken with a pinch of salt. That doesn’t mean to say we need excuse Surrey here, but be cautious about the source and circumstances of this allegation. Interesting. Not that Henry Viii was going to really be interested in a mistress in 1546 as his health would not allow it and he hadn’t had one for years, but Mary herself clearly wasn’t and was prepared to give evidence against her brother, regardless of the context or truth of this matter. Oh boy, those Howards certainly loved each other.

    1. It was an age when women were often used for advancement, when Henry V111 became interested in and began courting Jane Seymour, her ambitious family saw this as an opportunity to rise high in the kings favour, what honours would await them like it had the Boleyn’s, this was the thought predominant in many a rising courtiers mind, who had an attractive daughter or sister or cousin, Anne Boleyn wanted Fitzroy’s marriage to her cousin and fell out with the Duchess Mary’s mother over it, poor Mary knew like many girls of her station that she would have little choice in the matter, maybe she grew fond of her husband they were the same age, and Fitzroy was said to be a sweet youth, but when her brother suggested she could bring more benefits their way by slipping in between the sheets with her father in law she must have felt little more than a pawn, and worse a prostitute, it seems ambition ruled the lives at Henry’s court, why should she lower herself simply to suit her arrogant brother and her father especially I am sure, would not have been pleased by his suggestion, I agree it is a pity there are no biographies of Mary Howard, there were a lot of interesting women in the Tudor court but little is known about their personal lives, as historians tend to focus on the lives of the monarchy, Mary seems to have been quite a spirited girl and it could not have been easy, testifying against her brother rogue though he was, we can see how the fortunes of the Howard family being one of the most prominent in the land, were interwoven with the life of Henry V111, Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshall titles his descendants own to this day, suffered at the hands of his relatives recklessness and in the end he too was incarcerated in the Tower, by sheer good fortune his life was saved when the king died before signing the death warrant, few men have been more fortunate, but he had seen three members of his family die on the scaffold including his son and heir, his remaining years must have been joyless.

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