Royal Scandal: Rules of Marriage

Lady Mary Grey

Lady Mary Grey

She crossed the class divide, and married below her status.  Lady Mary Grey, this woman of the Royal household, she caused a scandal in Tudor England.

Lady Mary Grey, daughter of Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, and maid of honour to her cousin Queen Elizabeth.

She knew she would never be in line of succession to the English throne, believing rules about marriage did not apply to her.

She married Thomas Keyes, Sergeant in charge of palace security, a widower with several children, without the Queen’s permission in July of 1565.

Queen Elizabeth, hearing of the wedding had Thomas Keyes arrested and thrown into prison, and Mary placed under house arrest… never the two would meet again.

In 1569, Keyes was released from Fleet Prison, and returned to Kent, where he died a few months later.

Mary was held under house arrest by relatives, until the Queen allowed her back to Court in the latter months of 1577, she tasted freedom for a few months, before she passed away in 1578.

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A Tudor King: Henry VII

King Henry VII

King Henry VII

Henry was born on the 28th January 1457 to parents Edmund Tudor the Earl of Richmond and Margaret Beaufort at Pembroke Castle in Wales.  On the 22nd August 1485 he ascended to the English throne, after defeating King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey, as King Henry VII of England on the 30th October 1485.

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York

On the 18th January 1486, he married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV, thereby uniting the houses of York and Lancaster.  She bore him seven children, only four survived infancy; Arthur, Margaret, Henry and Mary.

On the 16th June 1487, Henry’s forces did battle with loyal Yorkists at the “Battle of Stoke” putting out the fire of rebellion, aimed at him.

On the 25th November 1487, Elizabeth of York was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.

On the 11th June 1488 James IV ascended to the Scottish throne, and one of his first acts was to permit rebel Yorkists safety in Scotland.

In 1492 Perkin Warbeck, claimed he be, the rightful heir to the throne, son of Edward IV, and imprisoned in the Tower of London.  Support for the pretender grew, until he was hanged on the 23rd November 1499, on the charge of treason.

On the 14th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain married Henry’s eldest son; Prince Arthur, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury (Henry Deane) at St.Paul’s Cathedral.

On the 24th January 1502 three treaties were signed between James IV of Scotland and Henry VII of England; a Treaty of Perpetual Peace, Treaty of Marriage between James IV and Henry’s daughter Margaret plus Treaty of Preservation covering Anglo-Scottish borders.

On the 25th January 1502 James and Margaret were married by proxy, and married on the 8th August 1503 at the Chapel of Holyrood house.

On the 2nd April 1502, Prince Arthur, Henry’s son died.

On the 11th February 1503, Elizabeth died and was buried at Westminster Abbey … Henry VII had lost his partner.

On the 25th June 1503, Henry the Prince of Wales is betrothed to Catherine of Aragon to preserve the English – Spanish alliance.

On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII the first Tudor Monach of England, died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

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Queen Consort: Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York was born on the 11th February 1466 at Westminster Palace to parents Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.  She being the sister of Prince Edward V and Prince Richard, the Duke of York, both believed murdered on the express orders of Richard III.

Elizabeth Woodville must have trusted Richard III when he moved the two princes to the Tower of London, but the events that followed, saw that trust taken away as Richard became King of England.

Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville, made an alliance with Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor, wanting to see Richard removed from the throne, and protection for her daughter; Elizabeth of York.

Henry swore an oath at Renes in December of 1483, that once he had removed Richard from the English throne, and taken his place as England’s King, he would marry Elizabeth of York.

On the 22nd August 1485, Henry Tudor met Richard III at the “Battle of Bosworth Field,” where Richard lost his life.

King Henry VII

King Henry VII

On the 30th October 1485, Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII of England, the first Tudor King at Westminster Abbey.

On the 18th January 1486, Elizabeth of York married King Henry VII and ascended to Queen Consort of England on the 25th November 1487 at Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth bore Henry seven children, only four survived infancy:

Arthur, the Prince of Wales, was born on the 20th September 1486, married Catherine of Aragon in 1501, and died on the 2nd April 1502 at Ludlow Castle, and buried at Worcester Cathedral.

Margaret Tudor was born on the 28th November 1489, married King James IV of Scotland, Archibald Douglas the Earl of Angus, Henry Stewart Lord Methven, and died on the 18th October 1541.

Henry was born on the 28th June 1491, and became King Henry VIII of England upon the death of his father.  He married; Catherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr and died on the 28th January 1547.

Mary Tudor was born on the 18th March 1496 and married King Louis XII of France, Charles Brandon the Duke of Suffolk, and died on the 25th June 1533.

Elizabeth of York, Queen Consort of England passed away on the 11th February 1503 at Richmond Palace following complications in child birth, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

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My Life: Catherine Parr

Katherine ParrCatherine Parr was born in 1512, at Blackfriars in London.  In 1529 she marries Sir Edward Borough and is widowed in 1533, then in 1534 marries John Neville, Lord Latimer, and is widowed in 1543.

She starts a relationship with Thomas Seymour in 1543, but this was put on hold, as Henry VIII caught her eye.  On the 12th July 1543, Henry VIII and Catherine Parr were duly married.

From July to December of 1544, Queen Catherine acted as Regent whilst Henry waged war with France.

In 1545, Queen Catherine publishes her book; “Prayers and Meditations.”

On the 24th May 1546, Catherine’s friend, Anne Askew is arrested, tortured and executed for her beliefs.

On the 28th January 1547, after a short marriage, King Henry VIII dies.

In the May of 1547, Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour marry, and in the September she publishes her book; “Lamentations of a Sinner.”

From 1547 to 1548 Catherine and Thomas have Lady Elizabeth, the Future Queen of England, and Lady Jane Grey residing at Sudeley Castle.

On the 30th August 1548, the Dowager Queen Catherine gives birth to a daughter; Lady Mary Seymour.

On the 5th September 1548, the Dowager, Queen Catherine Parr died, and was buried in the chapel of Sudeley Castle.

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My Life: Katherine Howard

Kathryn HowardKatherine Howard was born in 1521 to parents Edmund Howard and Jocasta Culpepper.  This young and flirtatious woman, attracted men, and in 1553 had an affair with her music teacher, Henry Mannox, then again in 1536 with Francis Dereham.

In 1539, she became lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, and soon after became the mistress of Henry VIII.

Following Henry’s and Anne’s divorce on the 9th July 1540, Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, daughter of Edmund Howard and cousin of Anne Boleyn, were married on the 28th July 1540.

It didn’t take long for Katherine to get bored; she had married an old man, which led to her seeking out younger friends at court.  Rumours of adultery circulated around court, and in the summer of 1541, Thomas Cranmer investigates.

In November of 1541, Thomas Cranmer informs his King of his findings, that his Queen had other relationships before their marriage, and since becoming Queen, had taken into her service, one Francis Dereham a former lover.

On the 22nd November 1541, Katherine was stripped of her position as Queen of England, arrested and interrogated, then sent to Syon Abbey.

On the 10th December 1541, her lover Francis Dereham was hung, drawn and quartered.

On the 10th February 1542, Charles Brandon the 1st Duke of Suffolk escorts Katherine Howard former Queen of England to the Tower of London, along the river thames, flanked by armed guards.  On Monday 13th February, she is beheaded on Tower Green, Tower of London.

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My Life: Anne of Cleves

Anne of CleavesAnne of Cleves was born on the 22nd September 1515 at Dusseldorf, Duchy of Cleves to parents; John, the Duke of Cleves and Marie von Julich.

Henry never met his new wife, until she arrived in England, all he had to go on, was the portrait sent to him, for his approval, which pleased him.

In 1539, the marriage treaty was arranged, and Anne made the trip to Rochester, England and her marriage.

Henry walked unannounced into the chambers of Anne of Cleves, she not knowing him, did not acknowledge or curtsy to him, he expected to be acknowledged, and took an instant dislike to her.

On the 6th January 1540, the couple were married, and by the 9th July an annulment of the marriage was granted, on grounds of non-consummation.

Anne of Cleves was reluctant to return to her family home, and be known as a failure.  She stayed at Hever Castle for the rest of her life.

Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of King Henry VIII, was educated in domestic skills.  Henry had expected an intellectual wife, with which to converse with… she could not compete.  Henry had a love of music, books and cards; she had no interest in these.

The marriage was a failure from the start, and a relief to both, when it was over.

Anne’s latter years, was one of an independent woman, visiting court as an honoured guest, and her love for ale and gambling.

Anne of Cleaves, died on the 17th July 1557 at Chelsea in London, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

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My Life: Jane Seymour

Jane SeymourJane Seymour, believed to have been born in 1508/09 at Wolf Hall, Wiltshire, and in 1523, became one of the ladies-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon.

In 1533, she was moved to lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

On the 10th September 1535, Henry VIII was a guest, at the home of John Seymour at Wolf Hall, and here he would have met the young Jane Seymour, and maybe she made a lasting impression on him.  Then in November Henry started courting Jane.

In January of 1536, Anne Boleyn sees a jewel hanging from Jane’s neck, and pulls it off, discovering it contained a likeness of the King.  Days later Jane is discovered by Anne, sitting upon the king’s knee, and accepting his advances.

On the 29th January Anne Boleyn has a still born child, and Catherine of Aragon is buried at Peterborough Cathedral.  Rumours spread that the King was seeking a new wife, one who could give him a son and heir.

In the March, Henry sent Jane Seymour a letter along with a purse of sovereigns.  The letter implied a summons to the King’s bed… Jane returned the sovereigns; her price was one of marriage.

Thomas Cromwell and the Queen had fallen out with each other, and it wasn’t long before Cromwell saw her, as a threat.

In the April, Edward Seymour, Jane’s brother along with his wife, moved into rooms once used by Cromwell.  These rooms contained a secret passage, leading to the King’s apartments, so Henry and Jane could meet in private.

On the 2nd May Anne Boleyn is arrested on charges of treason, brought to trial on the 15th, and found guilty along with fellow conspirators, and executed on the 19th at Tower Green.

On the night of Anne’s execution, Henry travelled up river to Hampton Court, where he met with Jane.  On the very next day, the 20th Jane was conveyed from Chelsea to the King’s lodgings by river, where the pair were betrothed, and married on the 30th May, and Queen Consort of England on the 4th June.

In January of 1537, she rode on horseback with Henry to Greenwich Palace, across the frozen River Thames.

In the spring, Jane announces to Henry, she is with child, as Henry hopes it be a son and heir.

On the 12th October, following a difficult labour, Jane gives birth to a son and heir; Prince Edward, who is christened on the 15th.

On the 24th October 1537, Jane Seymour Queen Consort of England, died at Hampton Court Palace, and buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on the 12th November.

Jane Seymour was the only one of King Henry VIII’s six wives to have a Royal Funeral, and buried alongside her husband.

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