murreyandblue

A great WordPress.com site

Archive for the tag “Catherine of Aragon”

I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

Recently while perusing a book of folklore, I came across this traditional rhyme-

I had a little nut tree,

Nothing  could it bear

But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear;

The king of Spain’s daughter

Came to visit me;

And all for the sake of my little nut tree.

Apparently, this rhyme is supposed to refer to King Henry VII and his proposed remarriage to Juana the Mad.

At first he had wanted to marry Catherine of Aragon, his son Arthur‘s widow, no doubt to keep his hands on her dowry, but her mother, Queen Isabella said, ‘this would be a very evil thing, one never before seen, and the mere mention of which offends the ears,we would not for anything in the world that it should take place.’

So that was out of the question then! However, Catherine’s sister Juana had been widowed too, and it seemed was not quite in her right mind, carrying around the dead body of her husband, Philip the Handsome, everywhere she went. Henry apparently said he was not terribly concerned if she was mad, as long as she could bear children, so he offered his hand in marriage to the lady (presumably on the condition that her dead husband would not be brought along to England).

The offer was not exactly jumped at by the widow, and Henry began to get impatient. Catherine of Aragon wrote to her father–  ‘The King of England is very impatient to have an answer respecting his intended marriage. It is most inconvenient to him to wait, because he has other marriages in view.’

However, no word came from Juana, and Henry never did go for ‘one of those other marriages in view.’ Maybe he was just too gosh-darn picky, as one of the letters from his ambassadors  said, ‘ (if) she were ugly, and not beautiful, the King of England would not have her for all the treasures in the world.’  Which is a bit rich really, considering!

juanaturd

Catherine of Aragon and the “creepy old man”….!

 

The Trial of Queen Catherine of Aragon, by Henry Nelson O’Neil (1846–48, Birmingham Museums)

It’s official, folks. Late in his reign Henry VII was “a creepy old man”! It’s true, because  Factinate.com says so! Henry VIII, was “a nasty middle-aged and old man”. In my opinion anyway, and Factinate agrees, more or less.

Oh, and Catherine of Aragon was quite a woman! She had some pretty bloodthirsty ideas, that’s for sure, but then she did have a lot to put up with. The Tudors weren’t exactly a homely, welcoming family. But neither were her own kith and kin, and her basic character seems to have been pretty downright ruthless. It’s not surprising she put up such a lengthy battle to stay Queen of England.

I applaud her for thwarting her dear husband for so long!

NB: The Factinate link above no longer leads to the original article referred in this post, so I fear the meaning of my words is rather lost. I was prompted in the first place because when Prince Arthur died and Henry VII was faced with having to return Arthur’s expensive bride and her dowry to Aragon, Henry first considered marrying her himself so he could hang on to everything. This must have seemed a truly awful notion to a young girl. By that time Henry VII was indeed “a creepy old man”. The future Henry VIII must have seemed like her saviour. Poor girl.

Completing the Set (2006) – Henry VIII’s other “wives”

{as adapted from the Ricardian Bulletin: December 2006}

Introduction

The Ricardian article The Lancastrian claim to the throne (John Ashdown-Hill, 2003) showed Henry’s relationship to Catherine of Aragon, both descended from Blanche of Lancaster, the first wife of John of Gaunt. Genealogical conundrums (Wendy Moorhen, 2006) illustrated the descent of Anne Boleyn, her first cousin Catherine Howard and Jane Seymour, these four sharing Henry III as a common ancestor. Having once been told that all six were descended from Edward I, I was inspired to look for the other two.

Catherine Parr

Only two remain and I think Catherine Parr is the easiest of the sextet to trace. Figure 1 shows that Henry’s widow was the great-great-granddaughter of Richard, Earl of Salisbury and was a generation younger than her King – I like to call this an ‘overlap’. This “marriage” would surely have required a dispensation but the rules, so certain early in Henry’s reign and reaffirmed under Elizabeth, were in flux in the early 1540s. It would not have been a good idea to suggest to Henry VIII that a dispensation was required.

Anne of Cleves

If Catherine Parr is the easiest of Henry’s wives to locate then Anne of Cleves is the most difficult. I originally envisaged her descent as being through the Lancastrian-Iberian marriages. Then I was able to locate a new website (Genealogics!) and found her elsewhere. Anne and Henry VIII share descent from Edward I.

This time, the pedigree is necessarily in two parts (Figures 2a and 2b). Conclusion: The legend about Edward I as a common ancestor of the “wives” turned out to be true.

Notes

The original article was compiled before John clarified the positions of Henry VIII’s “wives” (see Royal Marriage Secrets, ch.10, pp.95-113 ). Please bear this in mind when reading the genealogy.

h/t Kathryn Warner

 

A Calendar of Queens –Minus One

Recently I came across an interesting article on Royal Central   listing all the Queens who had anniversaries relevant to June-births, deaths, coronations, marriages and the start of  their reigns. However, I did notice a couple of  things in it that I would query–an error and an omission.

CALENDAR OF QUEENS

First the error. The article mentions that Elizabeth Woodville, who died on June 8, 1492, having been packed off to Bermondsey Abbey,   was the first ‘non-royal’ Queen of England. In fact, she was not. Most of the Queens were not themselves royal but children of the nobility–the daughters of Counts and Earls. Elizabeth’s father was not titled at the time of her birth, so she was neither a princess nor of the nobility,  but she did actually have some royal English ancestry through her mother, Jacquette of Luxembourg, daughter of Peter, Count of St Pol, who was descended  on her father’s side from Henry III via his daughter Beatrice of England,  and on her maternal side from King John via his daughter Eleanor of England.

The omission is Lady Eleanor Talbot, the probable first wife of marry-secretly-in-haste Edward IV who died died sometime in June 1468. Even if you don’t believe in the pre-contract, despite considerable circumstantial evidence including Edward mysteriously paying for repairs  of the church in the village where Lady Eleanor held the manor and handing out loaves of bread to each villager,  she should have been mentioned even if only as a ‘disputed’ consort.

If Lord Guildford Dudley, husband of the short-reigning Jane (Grey) can get a mention as  ‘disputed’ on the Wiki entry about Consorts, Eleanor, I think, deserves at least that much! (Sudeley Castle, which has connections to Lady Eleanor through her Boteler marriage has now embraced her story and has a display about her–hurrah!)

There are other ‘disputed’ consorts later in history, of course, as listed comprehensively  in John Ashdown-Hill’s book Royal Marriage Secrets, and even other bigamous marriages. Most interestingly, perhaps, is  the second wedding of Henry VIII, Edward’s think-alike grandson, to Anne Boleyn–he “married” her in a secret ceremony BEFORE his annulment from Katherine of Aragon was finalised… (And people  still somehow imagine Edward couldn’t possibly have done much the same?)

 

 

 

HENRY “TUDOR” IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

With advanced computer technology, more artists and other interested people are doing their own ‘facial reconstructions’ of famous historical figures, often giving them modern hair styles and clothes to let people see how they might have looked if they lived in the present day.

The following article has 30 such images, and is interesting because not only does it have the usual ‘Henry VIII and his wives’,  but also Henry VII, who normally gets rather forgotten about as far as the Tudors go, being generally deemed the ‘boring one.’ (Penny-pinching is not nearly so exciting as enmasse head-chopping, after all.)

If you read the article, don’t forget to scroll down to the comments under Henry’s pic–some are hilarious!tudorrecon

HISTORICAL FIGURES RECREATED article

 

 

So wrong he could be right?

This article, by the former MP Norman Baker, appeared in the Mail on Sunday. Actually, the original version was much longer and referred to Elizabeth II as a descendant of Henry VIII. This is an egregious howler, surely, because all of his actual descendants died by 1603 (or the last day of 1602/3 in the old format), although she is a collateral descendant.

Strangely enough, Mr. Baker may just have been right, albeit unwittingly. Henry VIII did have three known illegitimate children, quite apart from the two born to marriages he subsequently annulled. Excluding the trio who reigned after him, as well as Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond who also died without issue, leaves us with the offspring of Mary Boleyn, the relationship with whom arguably invalidated his marriage to her sister, even before it happened. Ostensibly her children by her first husband (William Carey), they are Catherine Carey and Henry, Lord Hunsdon, who had a total of about twenty children.

Just like the Poles, the Carey family became extinct in the male line but they still exist through several mixed lines. Vol. 25 no. 9 pp. 345-52 of the Genealogists’ Magazine, through Anthony Hoskins’ article, as cited to me by John Ashdown-Hill, attributes the late Queen Mother to these lines, together with such as Charles Darwin, P.G. Wodehouse, Vita Sackville-West, Sabine Baring-Gould, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Horatio Viscount Nelson, Lady Antonia Pakenham and the second Devereux Earl of Essex (below)- presumably the easiest link to prove, being the shortest by far. His mtDNA was identical to that of Elizabeth I.

Vaughan Williams and Darwin are closely related to each other, as well as to Josiah Wedgwood.

As with all mixed lines, it is impossible to establish much of this descent by either mtDNA or Y-chromosome but who knows how genetic science may develop in the future?

Here is the evidence so far …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS Thankyou to Peter Hammond for showing me the full article, which also names Lady Anne Somerset, J. Horace Round, William Cowper, Algernon Swinburne, “Princess Daisy of Pless” and Algernon Sidney as also being in the Carey line.

Thankyou also to Marie Barnfield.

Eleanor: A reminder of the evidence

I know some people in Cairo are a little slow on the uptake, but there are several independent sources, as shown by the Revealing Richard III blog. In a recent series of articles in the Ricardian Bulletin, the team cite:

  1. Titulus Regius, as composed from the petition to the Three Estates on 26 June 1483;
  2.  Richard III’s letter to Lord Mountjoy, Captain of Calais, two days later;
  3. The Crowland Chronicle, which independently confirmed the above letter;
  4. Phillippe de Commynes‘ (above left) contemporaneous (1483) reports to Louis XI;
  5. Eustace de Chapuys‘ (below left) 1533-4 letters to Charles V, showing that Henry VIII had a lesser dynastic claim to the English throne than Catherine of Aragon, his patron’s aunt;
  6. A 1486 Year Book, detailing Henry VII’s attempts to persuade Bishop Stillington to confess so that Titulus Regius could be annulled and not just destroyed unread.
    The last three all name Stillington or refer to the “Bishop of B”, such that only Bath and Wells fits that description in England during 1483-7. Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford and Bristol didn’t have Bishops in those days.

In fact, by building on John Ashdown-Hill’s decade of painstaking research, the Revealing Richard team even link to the text of Titulus Regius. These points don’t even mention Stillington’s imprisonment, the Desmond executions, Clarence’s imprisonment and execution, Catesby’s execution, Lady Eleanor’s land dealings and testament together with Lord Sudeley’s adverse treatment and More‘s “Lady Lucy” false trail.

LONDON’S LOST AND FORGOTTEN RIVERS

Updated post at sparkypus.com A Medieval Potpourri https://sparkypus.com/2020/05/14/londons-lost-and-forgotten-rivers-2/

Stewart.jpg

Jacob’s Island formed by a loop in the River Neckinger c1860.  Formerly known as Folly Ditch. Watercolour  J L Stewart 1829-1911

Here is a link to a very interesting article on London’s lost and forgotten rivers with details of  some interesting finds including, my favourites , a 12th century triple toilet seat,  a Roman bracket cast in the shape of a thumb, Bronze Age and medieval swords and  a dogs collar  finally engraved with ‘Gray Hound’

f759a38f-ad9f-4d8a-b46b-b74609477a97.jpg

 

Conservator-Luisa-Duarte-works-on-a-12th-century-triple-toilet-seat-before-it-goes-on-display-as-part-of-the-Secret-Rivers-exhibition-which-opens-to-the-public-on-May-24th-at-Museum-of-London-Dock-2-1024x683.jpg

12th century triple toilet seat..

As The London Museum curator Kate Sumnall succinctly puts it “They are still there, and they’re flowing.  Some off them you can still see, others are beneath our feet, but the little clues around London survive.  Once you start paying attention to them the rivers jump out at you and you realise that you know far more about them than you think’.

Copperplate_map_Fleet-1.jpg

The River Fleet shown on the ‘Copperplate’ map of London c 1553.  

The Fleet  rose on Hampstead Heath,  flowed  beneath Fleet Bridge , now the site of Ludgate Circus,  and Holborn Bridge past Bridewell Palace, built by Henry VIII and into the Thames.

IMG_5731.jpg

Bridewell Palace and Blackfriars Monastery at the entrance to the River Fleet.  From a model by John B Thorp 

Archaeologists still argue about the exact route of the River Tyburn but it is agreed that it flowed from the Hampstead Hills,  across Regents Park to form an eyot which was called Thorney Island whereupon stood Westminster Abbey and the old Palace of Westminster.Westeminster_Abbey.jpg

Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster once stood on the eyot  formed from the  River Tyburn known as Thorney Island..

tyburn.png

The eyot known as Thorney Island 

The River Walbrook, short,  but as it was the only watercourse to flow through the City it was both an important source of water as well as a conduit to remove sewerage.  It may have come by its names because it flowed through London Wall.  The source of the Walbrook is still argued over but one plausible suggestion is that it begun its life near St Leonards Church, Shoreditch,  meandering down and under what is now The Bank of England and entering the Thames close to where  Cannon Street Station now stands.   As time passed it was vaulted over, paved and made level to the streets and lanes and thus built over …alas.IMG_5735.jpg

Map of London c.1300 with the River Walbrook shown 

6.jpg

The River Walbrook, as it now flows beneath the Bank of England.  Photograph taken by Steve Duncan 2007

The River Wandle, one of the longest of London’s rivers,  passed through the boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton,  Wandsworth and Lambeth to join the Thames on the tideway. It flowed through the grounds of Croydon Old Palace, sometime  residence of Margaret Beaufort and where the  young widowed Katherine of Aragon lived for a time, when that place was but a quiet village and at one time renowned for its fish, particularly trout.  However eventually becoming an open sewer leading to outbreaks of cholera and typhoid ,  it too was culverted over in the 19th century.

pair-1.-croydon-church-surrey-exterior-view-of-croydon-church-surrey.-the-river-wandle-flowing-in-the-foreground.-water-colour-by-james-biourne-1024x731-2.jpg

Croydon Church with the River Wandle flowing past …

The Neckinger is believed to have risen close to where the Imperial War Museum now stands, crossed the New Kent Road and flowed either  past or through Bermondsey Abbey, where disgraced Queens were sent to languish and die.   A loop in the Neckinger became known as Jacob’s Island.  The Neckinger met the Thames via St Saviours Dock which was created by the Cluniac monks of the Abbey in the 13th century who named it after their patron saint and built a watermill there.

Are there any South Londoners out there?  You have your very own river..the Effra.  Now culverted it once flowed, roughly,  from the hills of Norwood, once part of the Great North Wood, Upper Norwood,  Dulwich,  Brixton and Kennington until it met the River Thames at Vauxhall.

I have only touched upon the copious amount of information that is readily  available on London’s lost rivers.  Its amazing to think that these historic rivers survive beneath the feet of thousands of Londoners as, totally unaware,  they go about their business…

For anyone interested to find out more about London’s rivers, there is an exhibition ‘Secret Rivers’  at The London Museum from 24 May to 27 October 2019 covering the histories of the Rivers Effra, Fleet, Neckinger, Lea, Wandle, Tyburn and Walbrook.

 

 

 

Tyndale and the mumpsimuses….!

 

Mumpsimus is a word that may have originated with Erasmus, but of which I had never heard. It means “adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy”.

In William Tyndale‘s 1530 book Practice of Prelates, the word was used in the sense of a stubborn opponent to Tyndale’s views. He said that the men whom Cardinal Wolsey had asked to find reasons why Catherine of Aragon was not truly the wife of King Henry VIII of England were “all lawyers, and other doctors, mumpsimuses of divinity’.” (quoted from Wikipedia)

Well, my friends, we know a few of them, do we not? And not necessarily in connection with the law or the Church.

I’m sure Richard would think it of certain historians and biographers who’ve persisted in always saying the very worst of him! Traditionalist mumpsimuses. A bit of a mouthful, but sounds good!

Naming no names, of course.

Does this later case explain Henry Pole the Younger’s fate?

In the years from 1518, before he left England again in 1536, Reginald Pole occupied a number of ecclesiastical ranks, including that of Dean of Exeter. During the early 1530s, just as Henry VIII sought his first annulment, Eustace Chapuys was pressing Reginald to marry Princess Mary, the cousin he eventually served from Lambeth Palace. By the end of 1536, Reginald was created a Cardinal and was under holy orders, whether he had been earlier or not. The plot that he, together with his brothers Henry Lord Montagu and Sir Geoffrey, is supposed to have launched against Henry VIII needed a credible marital candidate or two for Mary. This, as we have pointed out before, meant Henry Pole the Younger, Montagu’s son, and Edward Courtenay, son of the Marquis of Exeter. Either or both of these teenage boys could have been viewed, by Henry VIII, as threats so both were consigned to the Tower. Pole was never seen after 1542, whilst Courtenay was only released in 1553.

Reginald Pole, as a Cardinal, was bound by clerical celibacy but could this be reversed? Not if this later case is anything to go by, although Phillip II, Mary’s eventual husband and Catherine of Aragon’s great-nephew, had a hand in it: Sebastian, the young King of Portugal died without issue at the 1578 battle of Alcacer Quibir and only his great-uncle Henry, Manuel of Beja’s son, remained from the legitimate House of Aviz, that almost provided spouses for Richard III and Elizabeth of York in the previous century. Henry, however was a Cardinal and Gregory XIII, at Phillip’s behest, would not release him from his vows. Henry ruled alone for nearly a year and a half before dying on his 68th birthday. The strongest claimant to succeed him was … Phillip II, who ruled Portugal, followed by his son and grandson, for a total of sixty years, although Antonio, a Prior and Sebastian’s illegitimate cousin, tried to reign.

This explains the various claimants, including the House of Braganza, which supplied Charles II‘s wife.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: