Sunday, 18 November 2012

Cecily of York

Princess Cecily of York was born on the 20th March 1469, the third child of King Edward IV of England and his wife Elizabeth Woodville. Among her contemporaries, Cecily was said to be the most beautiful of Elizabeth Woodville's daughters.
After two unsuccessful betrothals to Scottish nobles; the future James IV of Scotland in 1474 and to Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany in 1482, Cecily was married at age sixteen to Ralph Scrope of Upsall who was a supporter of her uncle Richard. After Richard was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth and his supporters were disbanded and ousted from royal favour, the marriage between Cecily and Ralph was annulled after less than a year in 1486. They had no children.
Cecily was a prominent figure at court and among the royal family; she carried Prince Arthur at his christening and also Catherine of Aragon's train at her wedding to Prince Arthur in 1502.
In 1487, Cecily was married again to John Welles (born 1450), 1st Viscount Welles, who was the half brother of Margaret Beaufort, the new king's mother with whom she became close friends. The couple had two daughters; Elizabeth in 1492 and Anne in 1494. However, tragedy struck the family and within a year in 1498-9 John Welles and the two daughters all died and Cecily was left alone.
Three years after being widowed Cecily married again to a Thomas Kyme (born 1465), who was a Lincolnshire squire, in 1502. This marriage however was not for political alignment, it was a love match; "rather for comfort than credit"(Fuller's Worthies, vol 2, pg 165). The king was neither aware of or approved of the marriage beforehand; Cecily may have believed that by marrying someone of relatively low political standing and of little ambition to power that the king would be forgiving and accepting of the marriage. However, King Henry VII reacted to the news by banishing the couple from court and confiscating Cecily's estates; Welles' lands which she inherited upon his death.
The king's mother Margaret Beaufort, who had for a time been Cecily's sister in law, was the only person who spoke up for her to the king and fought for her estates to be reinstated. During this time Cecily and her new husband were living on a country estate belonging to Margaret Beaufort.
Eventually, Cecily's lands were restored to her but they would only be for her use during her lifetime; in that her husband and children of the marriage would inherit nothing.
The couple had two children; Richard and Margaret, however they did not enjoy royal titles or favour.
Cecily died in 1507, aged 38 on the Isle of Wight without the luxuries that being of royal blood would have afforded her so that she could marry for love.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Famous landmark is actually drunken outburst

The city of Barcelona is filled with beautiful and unique architecture dating back thousands of years. This particular building however, is considered one of the least attractive in the city centre, and ironically it is the School of Architecture.
It was built in the 1970's and for the front of the building they wanted to place on it some artwork and so held a public competition whereby anyone can enter a design and the best one will be used on the school. The artwork that you see on the building is actually copied from a drawing done by the artist Pablo Picasso. However, Picasso had not drawn this with the intention of entering the competition, nor was it actually him who entered it. In fact, he had no recollection at all of drawing it.
The story goes that one night there was an exhibition of the new artist Joan Miro's work which was being hailed as the next big thing; Picasso did not like Miro's work and said Miro was child like and not a real artist. Picasso was jealous of the attention given to Miro, as even their mutual friends declared Miro to be good, and refused to go to the exhibition and instead spent the evening drinking in a bar and taking drugs. The mutual friends of his and Miro's came to meet him after the show to tell him what they thought, to make Picasso angry they spoke continuously about how great Miro was. Their plan worked and Picasso was furious. He threw all of the objects off his table onto the floor, grabbed a pen and told them 'you want a Miro? I'll give you a Miro!' Picasso then draws onto the tablecloth the image that is now on the buildings face, and he then stumbles out of the bar. The next day Picasso had no memory from the night before, including the picture he had drawn. The friends who had made him angry then kept the tablecloth and submitted it for consideration to be on the new school building, and it was chosen. So the artwork that is now on public display for all to see, which looks like a child could have drawn it is in fact the result of Picasso's drunken rage.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

St George as the origin of World Book Day?

When I was in Barcelona recently I was taken on a walking tour of the city and the guide pointed out a wall carving of St George and the dragon, who is a patron saint of the city. I had always assumed that St George was a solely British icon.

The guide then told us the Spanish version of his legend;
In Barcelona there had been a large pack of dragons living there until the people fought against them until there was only one left, this dragon then lived on the outskirt of the city in a cave but over the years he became very mean and bitter and would often attack the city. The king went to talk to the dragon and asked him what was wrong, as the people were letting him live there without being killed. The dragon demanded that once a month a young girl from the city, a virgin, was to be sacrificed to the dragon for him to eat. The king agreed to this deal. However, girls realised that this was to be their fate and so soon lost their virginity to protect themselves from the dragon. The only girl left was the king's daughter as she was to save herself for her wedding night. The king desperately sends a message to the world that a dragon needs to be slayed and that the man will be rewarded. On the 23rd of April the day comes when the princess is to be sent to the dragon, she goes to the cave, however at this point a man on a white horse rides up. The man is George, the world famous dragon slayer who has come to save the princess. George slashes the dragon's throat, spilling his blood over a field, and the blood then turns into a field of roses. George picks a rose and gives it to the princess who falls in love with him and they ride of into the sunset for a happily ever after.
It became the tradition in Barcelona to always give a rose to a loved one on that day of the year, in a similar fashion to Valentine's day.
In time, tradition changed and on that day the couple would exchange gifts in the form of a rose for the woman and a book would be given to the man. The book is given to commemorate the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes who died on the 23rd of April in 1616.
The tradition of giving a book as a gift on a certain day of the year became famous in Spain, and also came to the attention of the rest of the world. In the 1990's the UN regarded this tradition as a good way to get people more interested in books and reading, and so in 1995 the first International Book Day was celebrated on the 23rd of April. The date also coincides with the birthdays, and death days, of writers Shakespeare and Cervantes.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

5 sisters, 1 king

Louis XV of France
Louis, Marquis de Nesle et de Mailly, Prince of Orange (1689-1767) and his wife Armande Felice de la Porte Mazarin (1691-1729) had five daughters, four of which all became the consecutive mistresses of King Louis from 1732 to 1745.

Louise Julie
Louise Julie (1710-51) was the eldest of the sisters, she married her cousin Louis Alexandre de Mailly, Comte de Mailly (1694-1743) on 31st May 1726. Not long after her marriage, she was noticed by the king and was permitted by her husband to become his mistress in 1732. It was not until 1738 that she was given the title of 'maitresse en titre', meaning that she was the official royal mistress. She did not use her position at court to become involved in poltics. After the death of her sister Pauline, Louise was devastated and began washing the feet of the poor in penitence. When her sister Marie became the king's mistress, she demanded that Louise be dismissed from court so that she could be recognised as the 'maitresse en titre'. Louis had become weary of Louise's tears and reproaches and so agreed to Marie's demands; Louise's post as dame du palais to the queen was taken from her and she was ordered to leave the royal court. Louise became quite religious and found refuge in a convent.
Pauline Felicite
Pauline Felicite (1712-41) wrote to her sister Louise Julie in 1738 and requested to come to the royal court, upon arrival she began to seduce the king and he fell in love with her. She became a mistress of the king as well as her elder sister. Pauline was described as being taller, louder and wittier than her older sister, more ambitious and had a great desire for money and political influence; however her arrogance meant she was hated by the court and the people.The king gave her many gifts, including the castle Choisy-le-Roi.
Choisy le Roi
To provide Pauline with a fitting status at court the king arranged for her to marry a nobleman who would not interfere in the king and Pauline's relationship; on the 28th September 1739 Pauline married Jean Baptiste Felix Hubert de Ventimille, Marquis de Ventimille, Comte de Luc (b.1720), who soon after the wedding left France. Pauline became pregnant by the king, and gave birth to a son Louis, Duc de Luc in 1741. While giving birth, Pauline suffered convulsions and died. Her body was placed at Lit-de-parade in Versailles, but during the night the guards left the room to drink and a mob broke in and mutilated the body. Her son Louis was said to resemble his father the king and was nicknamed 'Demi Louis', he was raised by his aunt Louise with the king taking care of his needs financially but never paid him much attention.
Marie Anne
Marie Anne (1717-44) was the youngest of the sisters. On the 19th June 1734 Marie married Jean Baptiste Louis, Marquis de La Tournelle (1728-40). After the death of her sister Pauline, the king's best friend the Duc de Richelieu began to look for a new mistress for the king, as he did not want Louise to regain the king's affections; Richelieu decided upon Marie Anne.
At a masked ball on Shrove Tuesday 1742, Richelieu introduced Marie to the king, however at first Marie rejected the king's advances as she already had a lover and didn't want to give him up; the Duc d'Agenois. Jealous, the king sent the Duc d'Agenois to war in Italy against the Austrians, however he returned only wounded. Richelieu was Agenois' uncle, and so to help the king in his suit, had his nephew go to Languedoc, where he had arranged for a woman to seduce him. Agenois fell for the young woman and they exchanged passionate love letters; the young woman sent those she received to Richelieu who brought them to the attention of Marie. As a result, Marie was furious with her lover and so turned her attentions to the king. In return for becoming his mistress she demanded the king remove her elder sister, his official mistress, from court and give her the title and also granted Marie the title of Duchess of Chateauroux. Marie aided the court faction which brought France against Austria in the War of the Austrian Succession, and also persuaded the king to take the field himself in pursuit of military glory, and in June 1744 King Louis allowed Marie to join him with his army in the Austrian Netherlands. In August 1744 Louis fell critically ill while in Metz and under advisement from priests sent Marie away, however she soon returned to him when he recovered.
Diane Adelaide
Diane Adelaide (1713-60) married in January 1742 to Louis de Brancas, Duc de Lauraguais, Duc et pair de Villars (1714-93) and she was his second wife. She lacked intelligence, once saying that "my husband cheated on me, so I'm not even sure to be the mother of my children", therefore she was not seen as much of a rival by her sister Marie who kept her as a companion at court. It was rumoured that Marie often suggested a menage a trois between herself, the king and Diane, as Diane was already the king's mistress too. After the death of Marie, Diane was the king's most prominent mistress, however this ended after only a few months until he became infatuated with his next royal mistress Madame de Pompadour.
Hortense Felicite
Hortense Felicite (1715-99) was the only one of the sisters to not become a mistress of the king. She married in 1739 Francois-Marie de Fouilleuse, Marquis de Flavacourt (1708-63). The couple had two children together; Augustus Frederick (1739-62) and Adelaide (1742-59). It was proposed after her sister Marie's death that Hortense become the king's mistress, however her husband was possessive and jealous and would not allow it; he threatened to kill his wife if she became 'a whore like her sisters'. Hortense became a close, lifelong friend of the queen and of Madame du Barry the king's final royal mistress.    

Friday, 21 September 2012

Humphrey Kynaston, the real Robin Hood

Humphrey Kynaston (1474-1534) was the son of the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Sir Roger Kynaston (1432-95) and his second wife Lady Elizabeth Grey (1440-1501) whom he married in 1465 and had seven other children with; Jana Jane (1466), Lancelot (1469), Margaretta, Johanna, Jana Anne, Maria (1470) and Ermine. Elizabeth Grey was the daughter of Henry Grey and Antigone Plantagenet (the illegitimate daughter of Humphrey, 1st Duke of Gloucester).
Humphrey and his siblings were raised at Myddle Castle, previously belonging to Sir Roger's first wife Elizabeth Cobham with whom he had a son Thomas, and would later be inherited by Humphrey who allowed the castle to fall in disrepair due to his heavy debts.
Humphrey's first wife was Mariona ferch Williamus ap Griffith ap Robin, with whom he had two children; Edward and Isabella. Humphrey's second wife was Isabella ferch Maredudd ap Howell ap Morrice of Oswestry, and together they had six children; Margaretta (1515), Edward (1517), Thomasina, Robert, Roger and Jane.

Humphrey's behaviour was considered reckless, often falling into trouble with the law, and it earned him the nickname 'Wild Humphrey'. He was impulsive and irresponsible and very soon his lands and castle fell into disrepair as he became heavily in debt. He led a dissolute lifestyle, was arrogant and had no respect for reputation or person.

On the 10th May 1486 there was a royal proclamation which demanded Humphrey and Thomas Kynaston to appear before the king and council charged with the murder of a priest; Thomas Kyffin. The proclamation stated that if any person aided them they would also be charged with being partner to the murder and raids. The Kynaston brothers did not adhere to the proclamation to appear before the king's council. Thomas Kyffin was the rector of the parish in which the Kynaston's lived; as rector it was his responsibility to store the grain harvested in barns, it was when these were full that Humphrey raided them, as part of his job to take care of the produce and profits of the local lord.

A Star Chamber document to Cardinal Wolsey outlines the crime committed;
Humphrey and "24 outlaws and other persons came to the castle of Oswestry at midnight and Sir Thomas and others were compelled to yield to Humphrey and when yielded were murdered as was the porter. Humphrey took away £200 in money, plate and apparell and soon after... went to Felton Aber took away corn to the value of £60 of the proper goods of Sir Thomas who had to account yearly to the Lord. Arundel and his auditors one Thomas ap Richard and many others were bound surety unto the Lord and also to the abbot of Shrewsbury for a farm."

An order from the King to the Sheriffs of London to make proclamation within the city and suburbs of London, listed in the Calendar of Close Rolls for 23rd December 1487:
“... the King considering the abomination of murders, robberies and other offenses disobediences to his command, committed by Thomas, Humphrey, Oliver and Richard Keveston, gentlemen of Shropshire, contrary to their allegiance, by advice of parliament on November last, ordered that after writs of parliament issued to the sheriffs of London and Salop (Shropshire), the said parties should appear before his highness within fifteen days … to answer charges against them: and should they fail to appear, then they shall be adjudged as persons outlawed of felony and foreit life, goods and lands as if lawfully outlawed by course of law."

In December 1491, when out riding Humphrey, his brother Thomas and their friend Robert Hopton, a labourer, without provocation killed John Hughes. The attack was cowardly and brutal; Humphrey struck Hughes on the right side of his chest with a lance, which killed him, and then once dead Thomas struck him on the left side of his head with a sword and Hopton on the calf of his leg with a bill. During the trial it was revealed that Robert Thornes also aided and abetted the crime, he was the husband of Jane Kynaston, and he along with Sir Roger Kynaston and 34 others were accused of housing and feeding the three men at Pontesbury after knowing they had committed the crime. It was found unquestionably as murder but shortly after his trial on December 20th 1491 and before he was incarcerated, Kynaston fled the crumbling Myddle Castle, leaving behind his wife, family and enormous debts. He then found refuge in a cave in the west point of Nesscliffe Rock, where we would then live for the rest of his life.
On the 20th December 1491, Humphrey was found guilty of the murder of John Hughes at Stretton, and declared an outlaw by King Henry VII. 

From 1491-8 Kynaston lived the life of an outlaw and highway man, similar to the fictional Robin Hood; he stole from the rich and gave it to the poor. In return for this act of generosity, the locals protected him from the law and provided him and his horse with food. One time the local sheriff attempted to capture him by removing planks of wood from the Montford Bridge to stop Humphrey from crossing the River Severn, however Humphrey used his horse to leap over and clear the river.
Beelzebub would graze in the fields of loyal neighbours surrounding the hideout and would come whenever Kynaston whistled. The local people respected his secrecy and gave him food from time to time, probably in exchange for a share of his spoils.
The cave was a perfect vantage point and from the top of Nesscliffe Hill, Kynaston could see the road below winding between Shrewsbury and Oswestry and could target the merchants in their carts carrying wool, silver or gold or travellers in their coaches.
One day he walked into his favourite pub, The Old Three Pigeons of Nesscliffe, which sits at the foot of the cliff, and took offence when he saw a man sitting in ‘his’ seat inset into the fireplace. Without further ado he drew his pistol and shot the man dead; he escaped by climbing up the chimney, out onto the roof and away. Today, the pub still features Humphrey’s seat carved out of the large fireplace as a sandstone cleft.
From 1507 Humphrey owned 10 High Street, Welshpool, which was passed down to his direct descendants.
Humphrey was pardoned by the crown; either in 1493 by Henry VII, or later in 1513 when Humphrey provided 100 men to aid Henry VIII in his French campaign and received a royal pardon and knighthood three years later.
Humphrey died on the 1st May 1534. The cave in which he lived became known as 'Kynaston's Cave' and included two rooms, one for himself and the other for his horse Beelzebub. The engraving in the cave of 'H.K.1564' was made after Humphrey's death, and probably belonged to his grandson Humfridus (b.1530) instead.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Killing your husband in Tudor England

During the sixteenth century, to kill one's husband was punishable as 'petty treason' instead of 'murder' - a more serious crime, for which the penalty was death.

Agnes Cotell (ex.20 February 1523)
Agnes was married to John Cotell and during the summer of 1518 they were staying in the household of a widowed Wiltshire landowner by the name of Edward Hungerford of Heytesbury. On the 26th July 1518, John Cotell died. By 28th December 1518, Agnes and her two servants were in residence at the Hungerford estate of Farleigh Castle, and Agnes and Edward were married soon after.
On 24th January 1522 Edward Hungerford died, and left everything in his will to Agnes; "the residue of all..goodes, detts, catalls, juells, plate, harnesse, and all other moveables whatsover they be", while his son Walter from his first marriage received nothing - the will was dated 14th December 1521.
It was then revealed that her first husband John Cotell had been murdered; "by the procurement and abetting of Agnes", her servants William Mathewe and William Ignes had strangled John with a neckerchief and then burnt his body in the kitchen furnace of Farleigh Castle. It is likely that Agnes had her first husband killed in order to marry the second, also it is possible that Edward Hungerford was a participant or at least was aware of the murder, as it took place in his house, the body was disposed of in his kitchen fire and no charges came against Agnes in his lifetime.
On the 25th August 1522 the three were indicted for murder and brought to trial on the 27th November 1522. William Mathewe was found guilty of murder, and Agnes of inciting and abetting murder. They were both hanged at Tyburn on 20th February 1523, and Agnes was buried at Grey Friars Church in London. William Ignes avoided punishment by claiming benefit of the clergy, however he was later hanged for bigamy.

Farleigh Castle

Alice Brigandine (ex.14 March 1551)
Alice Brigandine, daughter of the shipwright who built the Mary Rose, married Thomas Arden of Faversham, Kent (1508-February 14,1551). Arden had a daughter, Margaret (b.1538), from a previous wife. By 1550, Alice had a lover named Thomas Mosby. She wanted to marry him,  and so she plotted to murder her husband. She tried and failed to poison him, then asked a neighbor, John Grene, to hire someone who would do it for £10. Grene hired “Black Will,” but his first attempt failed. More conspirators, George Shakebag and Arden’s servant, Michael Saunderson, were brought into the plot; Saunderson having been promised marriage to one of Mosby’s kinswomen. More attempts were made and all failed. Mosby even challenged Arden to a duel, but Arden refused to fight. Alice, Mosby, Grene, Saunderson, Shakebag, Will, and Alice’s maid, Elizabeth Stafford, met at the house of Mosby’s sister, Cecily Ponder, to devise a new plan.
On February 14th 1551, they killed Arden in his parlour while he was playing a game of backgammon. With company arriving for supper, Alice cleaned up the blood and hid the body in the cellar. During supper, she and Cecily Ponder declared surprise that Arden was not yet home, and Arden’s daughter Margaret entertained the company with music. Then, after the guests left, with the help of Margaret, Elizabeth Stafford, and Cecily Ponder, Alice dragged the corpse out of the house and put it in her neighbor’s field, hoping that the authorities would conclude that Arden had been murdered by robbers. Unfortunately, footprints in the snow led them straight back to Alice. She was tried, convicted, and burnt to death in Canterbury. Mosby and his sister were hanged. Michael Saunderson was hanged in chains. The maid was burnt for killing her master. Grene and Mosby were not captured at once, but were eventually arrested and executed.  

Home of the Arden's


Ann Saunders (ex.13 May 1573)
On March 25, 1573, George Saunders, a wealthy London merchant-tailor, was murdered near Shooter's Hill. At the time of the murder, his wife Ann was pregnant and gave birth soon after. The murderer, George Browne, was in love with her and hoped to marry her, and so had killed her husband. Browne swore that Ann knew nothing of the plot, and she maintained her innocence throughout her trial, but just before she was hanged as an accessory, she confessed her guilt. 

Eulalia Glanfield (ex.1591)
Eulalia expected to marry George Strangwich, who took over her father's merchant business when he retired. Instead, her parents forced her to wed the widower Thomas Page from Plymouth. Eulalia tried several times to poison Thomas but was unsuccessful. She and Strangwich persuaded two of her servants, Priddis and Stone, to kill Page for money. On February 11, 1591. Eulalia had just given birth and kept to her chamber. Page was in his own room and there the murderers entered and broke his neck. Once he was dead, Eulalia sent Priddis to fetch Page's sister, Mrs. Harris. She claimed her husband had died of the disease known as “the Pull,” but Mrs. Harris was suspicious and sent for the authorities, who arrested Priddis. Eventually, the truth was discovered and all four participants were executed.     

Anne Welles (ex.28 June 1592)
Anne was courted by rival goldsmiths of London, John Brewen and John Parker. When Brewen realized he was unlikely to win, he asked Anne to return the gifts he had given her. When she refused, he had her arrested. Meanwhile, Anne had gotten pregnant by Parker but he refused to marry her. She offered to marry Brewen if he would withdraw the charges against her and the two were married. This revived Parker's interest and he said that he would marry her if she killed her husband. Her first attempt to poison him was made after they’d been married only three days. After their wedding, she vowed not to live with Brewen until he got another house; she spent her nights in her own lodgings and even continued to go by her maiden name. Brewen ate poisoned sugar sops she gave him and he fell violently ill. When Brewen died, it was put down to natural causes and the child she had was assumed to be Brewen's. For the next two years, she maintained a relationship with Parker, but he still refused to marry her. When she again fell pregnant, they were overheard arguing and eventually the truth came out about her husband's murder. After Anne's second child was born, she was tried and convicted of Brewen's murder and sentenced to be burned at Smithfield, after watching Parker being hanged.  

Mary Perkins (ex.1609)
In 1609 in Worcester, Mary Perkins was convicted of poisoning her husband, and was sentenced to be burnt to death. As an added punishment, Mary herself was ordered to buy the required items used to make the fire, and the iron links to be used on her, and to pay the six men tending to the fire. 

John Bellamy, Strange, Inhuman Deaths; Murder in Tudor England
Kate Emerson, A who's who of Tudor women

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bessie Blount and her Fitzroy

Henry FitzRoy

Elizabeth 'Bessie' Blount, was born around 1504 as the second of eight children to Sir John Blount of KinletShropshire (1484-1531), and Katherine Peshall (1483-1540), a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon during her first marriage to Prince Arthur. Bessie came to court as a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon by 1513 for which she was paid 100 shillings a year and was educated among the other young ladies of noble blood, and had probably first arrived at court in March of 1512 when her father was appointed to the 'King's Spears'. Bessie was a blonde with blue eyes and fair skin, fitting the Tudor ideal of beauty, and was said to be witty and lively.
When she became Henry VIII’s mistress is uncertain, however most historians agree that the affair began around 1514-15 as Bessie was said to have won the heart of the king during Christmas 1514 when she took part in the masque along with her friend Elizabeth Carew(nee Bryan) who was another favourite (and mistress) of the king and Charles Brandon, nicknamed 'the young wife'.
On sunday 3rd October 1518, during the celebrations for the treaty with France and betrothal of the Princess Mary to the Dauphin of France, Bessie stood up to sing a song that she had written herself and asked William Cornish to set to music for her to sing to.
The song Bessie sang to the king;
Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. My soverayne lord, for my poure sake,
Six courses at the ryng dyd make,
Of which four tymes he did it tak;
Wher for my hart I hym beqwest,
And, of all other, for to love best
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. My soverayne lorde of pursantce pure
As the chefteyne of a waryowere,
With spere and sword at the barryoure -
As hardy with the hardyest
He provith hym selfe, that I say, best
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. My Soverayne Lorde, in everythyng
Above all other - as a kyng -
In that he doth no comparying:
But, of a tryewth, he worthyest is
To have the prayse of all the best,
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. My soverayne lorde when that I mete
His cherfull continaunce doth replete
My hart with joƩ; that I behete,
Next God, but he: and ever prest
With hart and body to love best
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. So many virtuse, gevyn of grace,
Ther is none one lyve that hace -
Beholde his favor and his face,
His personage most godlyest!
A vengeance on them that loveth nott best
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best. The soverayne Lorde that is of all
My Soverayne lorde save, principall!
He hath my hart and ever shall,
Of God I ask - for hym request -
Of all gode fortunes to send him best
My soverayne lorde. Whilles lyve or breth is in my brest
My soverayne lord I shall love best.
The words of the song, while seemingly innocent, had a double meaning for those who knew of the royal affair, and announced that Bessie was pregnant with the king's child. 
Bessie Blount, 1518 during the masque for the betrothal of Princess Mary to the Dauphin of France
Bessie was removed from the service of Queen Catherine and left court, she was lodged at Jericho Priory in Blackmore in Essex to await the birth of her child. Henry was born on June 15th 1519, given the surname 'Fitzroy' and had Cardinal Wolsey as his godfather. Henry Fitzroy was the only illegitimate child of the king's that he acknowledged publicly, as well as his birth being proof that the king could indeed father a son during a time when the king and queen had only a three year old daughter as heir.
In 1520 Bessie gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth (1520-63), who was likely to also be the child of King Henry as Bessie was still not married and the king had made regular visits to the priory throughout the year 1519 while the royal couple were living at Havering atte Bower, near to where Bessie and Henry Fitzroy were living. King Henry continued to visit Jericho Priory until 1522, these visits becoming a standing joke at court, when Bessie was betrothed to be married.
Jericho Priory
In 1522 it was arranged by Cardinal Wolsey that Bessie would be married to Gilbert Tailboys (1495-1530), 1st Baron Tailboys of Kyme, which took place in 1523. Together two sons George (1523-1539) and Robert (1524-1541). Gilbert was granted a knighthood in 1524. Gibert's father George, known locally as 'Mad Lord Kyme', had been declared insane in 1517 and placed in the care of others while his wife ran the estates; as a result in 1523 an Act of Parliament granted Bessie a life interest on George’s lands. In 1527 Gilbert was made a Gentleman of the Chamber, which mean that Gilbert and Bessie returned to the royal court. In December 1529 Gilbert was called to take his place in Parliament in the House of Lords as Baron Tailboys of Kyme. Gilbert Tailboys died on the 15th April 1530.
Bessie Blount brass from Gilbert Tailboys' tomb
During this time, Bessie was living with her husband and three youngest children in Lincolnshire where Gilbert was now Sheriff, however by 1525 her son Henry Fitzroy was separated from her to live at Durham Place to be brought up and educated as the son of a king under the supervision of Cardinal Wolsey. Among his tutors was John Palsgrave who taught French and Latin, he had written the first English-French textbook, Palsgrave had been the French tutor of Henry's mother Bessie when she was young and the two maintained contact for many years. 
Henry Fitzroy
In June 1525 Henry was invested with the titles of Duke of Richmond and Somerset, Earl of Nottingham amongst others and an income which made him the richest man in the country second only to the king. His status was above all others save King Henry's legitimate issue; it appeared to observers that King Henry was intending to make his six year old illegitimate son his heir. When Princess Mary was moved to Ludlow to become head of the Council of Wales, Henry Fitzroy did the same, he was moved to Yorkshire to head the Council of the North. Princess Mary seems to have had a reasonably pleasant relationship with Fitzroy as she gladly called him 'brother'.
In 1529 Henry Fitzroy was brought to the royal court, sat in Parliament as a temporal Lord and later made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was at this time that he was reunited at court with his mother and her family. Bessie's sons George and Robert were now to be brought up with their half-brother Henry Fitzroy, and would then remain in his household until his death. For the New Years of 1531, King Henry and Bessie gave their son a joint gift of a ship shaped frankincense container in silver gilt engraved with the initials 'H+E'. Henry Fitzroy remained at court to finished his education, he attended Parliament in the House of Lords, and by the age of fourteen was deputizing for the king on state occasions. At this time, Bessie was seen as a rival to Anne Boleyn as she was now a young widow and was mother to the king's son, about whom she met with the king often to discuss his education and welfare. It was a possibility that once Henry obtained a divorce, he could marry Bessie and legitimize their son.
In 1532 Fitzroy accompanied the king on a state visit to France, where he was accepted as an English Prince, equal of those of France, and son of the king by the French king. While the rest of the English party sailed back to England, Fitzroy stayed behind at the French royal court, becoming close friends with the king's two eldest sons. In July 1533 while still in France, there was an attempt on Fitzroy's life; Fitzroy was poisoned, and suspicion fell on George Boleyn (who had come over from England to get an audience with the Pope) as when the poison was discovered George left immediately without even his servants or luggage.
In September 1533 Fitzroy returned to England after the birth of Princess Elizabeth, feeling his life was less threatened than if Elizabeth had been a boy.

Mary Howard
At Hampton Court Palace, in November 1533 Henry Fitzroy was married to Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk who had taught Fitzroy how to lead his own army. In the Act of Succession in January 1534, Princess Mary was also declared illegitimate, which meant that Fitzroy took precedent over her in the succession - Fitzroy became second in line for the throne after Princess Elizabeth. By May that year, Fitzroy would take the place of the king at the head of processions during ceremonies or feasts. In 1535 Fitzroy and his wife Mary were given their own apartments in the new palace near York Place; it was the rebuilt upon the site of the women's leper hospital of St James the Less, renamed St James' Palace. In a Parliament Writ in April 1536, it was declared that Fitzroy was named Regent if a legitimate heir was in his minority, and that Fitzroy himself takes precedence over all other children of King Henry; Mary and Elizabeth. During the downfall of Anne Boleyn in 1536, the king was not present at the trials or executions and instead sent Fitzroy in his place to oversee the proceedings.
Jane Seymour became the new queen, along with a reshuffle of the queen's ladies; Bessie was now back at court as one of the 'Great Ladies' attending Queen Jane along with Margaret Douglas, the king's niece, and Mary Howard, Fitzroy's wife.
On the 18th of July 1536 Fitzroy fell sick, and on the 23rd July he died and was buried by his father-in-law the Duke of Norfolk at Thetford Priory.

Edward Fiennes de Clinton

In the summer of 1531 Bessie moved back to her estates in Lincolnshire, where she was met with her three younger sisters Isabella, Rosa and Albora, whom she was to help find husbands. During this 'husband search' Bessie herself was sought out by Lord Leonard Grey, a military man who was related to Elizabeth of York. Lord Grey was heavily in debt and a wealthy widow like Bessie would answer his problems. He attended one of Bessie's hunting parties and became mysteriously stranded for the night and stayed to sweet talk her. That night he wrote to Cromwell asking him to press the idea of the marriage, however Cromwell wrote to Bessie herself telling her that she should not believe the good intentions of Lord Grey.
Lord Leonard Grey proposed marriage to Bessie in 1532 but she declined. She chose to marry secondly Edward Fiennes de Clinton (1512-1585), Lord High Admiral, 1st Earl of Lincoln and 9th Baron Clinton, whose lands ajoined hers in Lincolnshire, marrying him in February 1534. Clinton's family home of Scrivelsby had a condition upon it which meant that at a royal coronation the owners must be the Challenger on horseback, and arrive in armour - which Edward Clinton did at Anne Boleyn's coronation in 1533. As a wedding present, the king gave them 3 tuns of Gascon wine a year from the imports that came into Boston, Lincs. They had three daughters together, Bridget(b.1536), Catherine (1538-1621), and Margaret(b.1539). Bessie Blount's children;
Bridget was married in 1556 to Robert Dymoke (d.1580) of Scrivelsby and had ten children. In 1580 Dymoke was imprisoned as a Catholic and became a matryr.
Elizabeth married firstly Thomas Wymbish (d.1553), and in 1553 married a second time to Ambrose Dudley (1529-89), no children.
George married Margaret Skipworth in 1539, she was said to be the mistress of Henry VIII in 1538, no children.
Robert did not marry.
Catherine married William Burgh, 2nd Baron Burgh (1522-84) and had six children.
Margaret married Lord Charles Willoughby (d.1603) and had five children.

Possibly Bessie Blount or her daughter Catherine
The date of Bessie's death is unknown, but occurred between February 5, 1539, when she received a grant in relation to Tattershall Castle, and 1540, when Clinton's second wife Ursula gave birth to their first child. A Lady Clinton, possibly Bessie, was appointed to wait upon Anne of Cleves in late 1539 and early 1540. Her biographer, Elizabeth Norton, suggests that Bessie died giving birth to her daughter Margaret.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Tudor marriage; love will out

Margaret Tudor and Archibald Douglas
The usual practice for royal marriages was that they were arrangements made by the monarch, or a higher family member, in order to create political alliances. The majority of marriages were planned for many years before the actual ceremony, and often the couple who were betrothed did not meet until their wedding day. For many women, their position or royal blood was played upon to ensure a marriage among other royal families in Europe to create and cement an alliance without needing a war, as well as the dowry that was provided with the bride.
Henry VIII and Jane Seymour

The Tudor dynasty, perhaps more than any other, was founded in marriages made for love not politics. This dynasty were a family in which women outnumbered men in numbers, and these women were not known for their obedience to orders which therefore may give us a reason as to why many of them boldly chose their own husbands rather than be given them through tactical political arrangements.

1396 John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford
1428 Dowager Queen Katherine of Valois and Owen Tudor
1464 Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
1515 Princess Mary Rose and Charles Brandon
Princess Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland and Archibald Douglas (1514), Henry Stewart (1528)
Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville
1536 Margaret Douglas and Thomas Howard
1554 Princess Mary Tudor and King Philip of Spain
1555  Lady Frances Brandon Grey and Adrian Stokes
1560 Lady Katherine Grey and Edward Seymour
1563 Lady Mary Grey and Thomas Keyes
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (1533), Jane Seymour (1536), Katherine Howard (1540) and Katheryn Parr (1543)
1565 Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart
1610 Arbella Stuart and William Seymour
Elizabeth I made the ultimate choice of not marrying, which can be considered the bravest choice of all.

Mary Rose Tudor and Charles Brandon
A number of these royal women had been firstly married according to arrangements in order to provide England with an alliance abroad, however after those marriages ended, usually due to the death of the husband, they would look to marry again, for example this was the case for Princess Mary Rose Tudor. However, instead of continuing to be a pawn in the marriage game, these women chose their own husbands and married those they loved rather than who they were told to. This action required a lot of courage as they were acting against their sovereign and could be, and were, punished severely. In some ways this action can be interpreted as them gaining their freedom or independence, as they had been told who they were marrying without a choice in the matter and by making the active decision as to their husband they were in control of their own life to the extent that women could in those centuries.
Mary QOS and Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
The Tudor family tree is filled with individuals who were passionate about the things and people that they loved, and the fact that they often married who they pleased is a testament to their willful, strong and determined nature, or was it their capacity for love that gave them this strength to defy royal will?
There seems to have been something in the Tudor blood which is synonymous for love.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Parr-Bourchier; A marriage of adultery

Sir William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, Earl of Essex, Baron Parr (1513-1571) and Anne Bourchier, Baroness Bourchier, Lady Lovayne (1517-1571) had an unhappy marriage which was a compound of adultery, mistresses, illegitimate children and lawsuits.
Anne Bourchier

The couple were married on the 9th February 1527, however due to the age of the pair, they did not live together until 1539, when Anne was first reported to be living at court.
William Parr
In 1541 Anne eloped with her lover John Lyngfield, the prior of St James' Church, Tanbridge, Surrey, when she had an illegitimate child by him. The birth of this child led to William taking legal action in order to protect his interests should the child make a claim on the Parr estates. On 22nd January 1543, the Letter and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of Henry VIII stated that "Lady Anne, wife of Sir Wm Parre lord Parre continued in adultery notwithstanding admonition, and finally, two years past, left his company and has since had a child begotten in adultery and that said child and all future children she may have shall be held bastards". William applied to Parliament on the 13th March 1543 for a legal separation from Anne of the grounds of her adultery and to bar the child from inheriting his estates and on the 17th April 1543, this act was granted. The Bill stated;
"That for the last two years she (Anne) had eloped from her husband, William Lord Parr, and had not in that time ever returned to nor had any carnal intercourse with him, but had been gotten with child by one of her adulterors and been delivered of such child, 'being as is notoriously known, begotten in adultery, and born during the espousals' between her and Lord Parr 'by the law of this realm is inheritable and may pretend to inherit all'...and the Act therefore declared the said child to be a bastard."(Nicholas, 1836)
At this time, the only means for a legal separation was on the grounds of the wife committing adultery, and even then neither party were permitted to remarry as long as the other lived. Anne and John went to live in exile in a manor in Little Wakering in Essex for the next few years, allegedly in a state of poverty. Anne and John had several more children together, including a daughter called Mary who married Thomas York and had children, who all lived in obscurity away from court. In 1558 Anne and her family moved to Benington Park where she lived until her death in 1571.
Elisabeth Brooke

Dorothy Bray
William Parr, as well as his wife, was known for his extra-marital affairs. In 1541 he began an affair with Dorothy Bray (1524-1605) who was a Maid of Honour to Queen Katherine Howard. Two years later in 1543 William's attentions shifted onto Dorothy's niece, Elisabeth Brooke (1526-1565). In 1548 William secretly married Elisabeth, however it was not legally binding so she was still only his mistress in the eyes of the law. Six months into the 'marriage' it became public knowledge and the Lord Protector Somerset was enraged by it - having only recently discovered the marriage of William's sister the Dowager Queen Katherine to Thomas Seymour. The Imperial ambassador Francis Van Der Delft, wrote of the matter in February 1549; William "was obliged by the command of the Council to put her away and never speak to her again on pain of death".
This situation did not last long though as Seymour was ousted by a political coup and was succeeded in his post by John Dudley, who supported William and Elisabeth's marriage. On the 31st March 1551 Parliament passed a bill which annulled William's previous marriage to Anne and declared Elisabeth to be his legal wife. The couple began a happy marriage famous for their socialising, sports and arts, and were at the forefront of court life with Elisabeth playing the social role of a queen during Edward's reign.
In 1553, the Parrs were heavily involved in the plot to put Jane Grey on the throne of England, and were punished severely by Queen Mary; their lands and titles were taken from them and the couple were ordered to separate and for William to go back to his first wife Anne, a close friend of the new queen. The annulment from Anne had been repealed on the 24th March 1554 according to the Act of Repeals and later that year in December, Anne used this to gain an annuity of £100, which was increased in December 1556 to £450. During this time Elisabeth was unable to see William, due to the threat of bigamy, and she became dependent upon family for a place to live, however the two seemed to be in contact as they were made joint godparents to Elizabeth Cavendish in 1555. This punishment was in comparison a reprieve from their original conviction by Queen Mary; on the 18th August 1553 William was sentenced to death for his involvement, however Anne went to plead with Mary for William's life and also about maintaining ownership over the Parr estates, as a result William was released from the Tower.
Helena Snakenborg
In 1558 matters changed again with the reign of Elizabeth I; Elisabeth had become close to the queen in previous years when she was lady in waiting to Queen Katherine Parr during both of her last marriages. Queen Elizabeth declared the marriage between William and Elisabeth to be valid and the majority of their lands and titles were restored to them, Elisabeth became a close friend of the queen and enjoyed great favour during her reign. Elisabeth died of breast cancer on the 2nd April 1565.

In September 1565 William met and began courting Elin Ulfsdotter 'Helena' Snakenborg (1549-1635), a Swedish noblewoman who had been the childhood friend of Charles IX of Sweden; she had come to England as a lady in waiting to Princess Cecilia of Sweden. Despite Princess Cecilia leaving England in April 1566 to avoid creditors, Helena stayed behind, not only due to her relationship with William but also as she had struck an unlikely friendship with Queen Elizabeth who requested that she stay behind in England. From 1567 Helena was a Maid of Honour and later promoted to Gentlewoman of the Royal Privy Chamber, with her own lodgings at Hampton Court Palace. When Anne Bourchier died at Benington Park on the 28th January 1571 William was legally free to marry again. William and Helena were married in May 1571 at Whitehall Palace with the queen present. Five months later, on 28th October 1571 William died.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Anne Stanley, heiress presumptive

When Elizabeth Tudor died in 1603 there were few doubts that despite her refusal to name an heir, she would be succeeded by her cousin James VI of Scotland, however according to English law James was not the legal heir, it was in fact a more distant relative by the name of Anne Stanley.

Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York  
Mary Rose Tudor and Charles Brandon  
Eleanor Brandon and Henry Clifford 
Margaret Clifford and Henry Stanley  
Ferdinando Stanley and Alice Spencer  
Anne Stanley

According to the Third Succession Act made by King Henry VIII, if all three of his children died without heirs then the throne was to pass to their heirs of his younger sister Mary Rose Tudor; at the time of Elizabeth's death in 1603 the eldest, legitimate and closest in blood surviving descendant of Mary and her husband Charles Brandon was Anne Stanley.
The figure on the far left represents Anne Stanley
Anne Stanley was born in 1580 as the eldest daughter to Ferdinando Stanley and his wife Alice Spencer, she would later on have two younger sisters; Frances (1583-1636) and Elizabeth (1588-1633). Ferdinando was the sovereign ruler of the Isle of Man and held property all over England, this made his three daughters widely sought after heiresses. Anne inherited her claim to the throne from her grandmother Margaret Clifford, who died in 1596, as her father Ferdinando predeceased his mother.
In February 1607 Anne married Grey Brydges, 5th Baron Chandos of Sudeley (1580-1621), the couple had five children together; Robert, Anne, Elizabeth, George and William.
After the death of her first husband, Anne married again in July 1624 to Sir Mervyn Tuchet, Earl of Castlehaven (1593-1631) with whom she had a daughter; Anne Tuchet.
Mervyn Tuchet, Earl of Castlehaven
This second marriage was to be a disastrous one resulting in sexual corruption, debauchery and abuse which ended only when Mervyn Tuchet was arrested, imprisoned and executed for his crimes of sodomy and rape. The Earl was accused of having a sexual relationship with his manservant Giles Broadway, as well as the both of them being jointly accused by Anne of rape with her husband restraining her after which she attempted to kill herself, this resulted in Anne bearing a child who was fathered by Broadway. It was Tuchet's son and heir James that officially brought charges against his father in 1630, due to his growing fear of disinheritance in favour of his father's lowborn favourites as well as his own distaste for his father. The Earl disliked his son James and was incredibly hostile towards him; James was married to Anne Stanley's daughter Elizabeth (1614-79) from her first marriage, however the Earl attempted to have Elizabeth impregnated by a friend of the Earl called Henry Skipwith so that the heir would be fathered by someone other than his son.
The Earl was arrested and spent six months in prison without counsel until the case was investigated and brought to court in April 1631. The Earl saw these accusations as plotting between his wife and heir to commit murder using the law courts and pleaded innocent of all charges throughout the legal proceedings. This case has been of interest to historians as not only one of the earliest legal trials concerning homosexuality, and it also set a precedent within spousal rights in that the wife was permitted to testify against her husband. The outcome of the case, announced on April 25th, was that Mervyn Tuchet was guilty of sodomy with his page Laurence FitzPatrick who had confessed to the crime, and the rape of his wife along with Giles Broadway; the jury voted that Tuchet was guilty of rape 26-1, and of sodomy 15-11. All three men were executed, with Tuchet's first on May 14th and the other two being hanged at Tyburn on the 6th of July.
During the trials it was also argued that Anne had had an affair with Henry Skipwith among others; FitzPatrick had stated during the trial that Anne "was the wickedest woman in the world, and had more to answer for than any woman who lived." The trials and execution speeches of Tuchet and Broadway began accusations against Anne despite her protests of innocence and the pardons of innocence given to her and her daughter in 1631. All popular accounts of the case and executions, manuscripts and pamphlets, had Anne portrayed not as a victim of her husband but as a whore. The Earl's sister Eleanor called Anne a 'Jezebel' in private petitions to the king and also in two published pamphlets.
The Dowager Countess sold her rights to her house at Harefield to repay her debts, and spent the rest of her years at Heydons; a mansion intended for her son William. Anne Stanley died in October 1647. 

A house in gross disorder: sex. law and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven
Cynthia B Herrup
Oxford University Press, 1999

The trial of Mervyn Touchet, Earl of Castlehaven 1631, The Great Queens of History, 2009
Rictor Norton

Monday, 20 August 2012

Margaret Douglas and her Howard men

Margaret Douglas 1515-1578

Margaret Douglas was the only child of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland's second marriage to Archibald Douglas. As well as her half-brother James V being the king of Scotland, she also had close ties to the English crown, the current king Henry VIII was her uncle. Margaret was born in Northumberland in England, and went to live with her godfather Cardinal Wolsey when she was fourteen. In 1530 Margaret went to live with her cousin Princess Mary, and the two began a lifelong friendship. After King Henry married Anne Boleyn, Margaret was appointed as one of her ladies-in-waiting in 1533. It was during this time that Margaret became well acquainted with the Howard family, including Thomas Howard.

Lord Thomas Howard (1511-1537) was the youngest son of the Duke of Norfolk and uncle to Anne Boleyn, who had arrived at court in 1533 along with the influx of Howard relations reveling in the success of having one of their relatives become queen. During 1535 Margaret and Thomas had met, fallen in love and become secretly engaged. Their affair had been conducted with the help of Thomas' sister Mary Howard, and the queen Anne Boleyn. In April 1536 the couple secretly married per verba de presenti with only two witnesses; Lady Williams and a Howard servant named Hastings. This marriage was kept secret until July of that year when King Henry was made aware of it.

As soon as King Henry heard about the secret marriage, he reacted badly to it; the pair were arrested on June 8th although there were no laws as of yet which declared it illegal to marry without the kings consent, this was about to change as it was this scandal for which Henry created such a law. On July 9th interrogations of the Boleyn household, with whom Thomas had familial connections, were made to ascertain their involvement in the scandal - the Boleyn fortunes had drastically changed by this time as Anne Boleyn had been executed in May and Jane Seymour was now queen. On July 18th a Bill of Attainder against Thomas Howard was passed, and Henry was free to keep the pair prisoners in the Tower for as long as he pleased. Henry appeared to have softened towards his niece, helped along with letters from Margaret's mother, his sister, and Margaret was moved from the Tower in November to Syon House.

The timing of Margaret and Thomas' romance could not have been worse; Margaret was already holding a high position in the English line of succession and was therefore a useful tool to Henry in terms of possible marriage politics. However in 1536 between the death of Anne Boleyn and subsequent bastardisation of the Princess Elizabeth, and the birth of Prince Edward in 1537, Margaret was the legal heir to the throne of England if Henry died, due to the fact that all of Henry's children - Mary, Elizabeth and Henry FitzRoy - were illegitimate by law and her own brother James V could not succeed as he was ineligible due to already being monarch of a country. The heiress presumptive to the English throne was at the center of a marriage scandal with a courtier.

On the 31st October 1537 Thomas Howard died in the Tower. In the winter of 1537, Henry pardoned Margaret with the order that she dismiss two servants of her former lover from her household, however she grieved her husbands loss terribly. The king then passed a second succession law which stated that it was treason against the crown to marry a member of the royal family without the kings explicit permission. 
By 1539 Margaret and her uncle the king were once again reconciled as she was asked to be one of the royal party who met Anne of Cleves, Henry's new bride, upon her arrival in England.

In 1540 Margaret Douglas once again fell for a Howard man, this time it was Sir Charles Howard, who was a brother of the new queen Katherine Howard and also the nephew of her previous lover and husband  Thomas. Again, a plan of a secret marriage was devised with the help of the queen, Charles' sister Katherine, however in autumn of 1541 word of the plan reached the king. When the affair was discovered, Margaret was yet again imprisoned at Syon House until November 1541 when she was moved to a residence of the Duke of Norfolk. Charles Howard was banished from court and later fled the country to Holland and then France, where in Calais he died in 1542.

This affair, although it was considered scandal at the time, there was less of a backlash from the king when it was discovered due to the change in the political atmosphere from the previous incident in that the succession was now secure, and the less serious nature of the relationship - an affair not a secret marriage. Henry forgave his niece for her indiscretion and she was a witness at his final marriage to Katheryn Parr in 1543 and would become one of her chief ladies; Margaret and Katheryn had been acquainted with each other for many years since they both came to court in the 1520's.

Margaret Douglas was married in 1544 to a Scottish exile, Matthew Stewart the Earl of Lennox (1516-1571), their marriage produced two sons; Henry Stuart Lord Darnley and Charles Stuart Earl of Lennox. Her son Henry married Mary, Queen of Scots and their son became James VI King of Scotland, and later King of England upon Elizabeth I's death. Her younger son Charles married Elizabeth Cavendish - due to plotting between their mothers Margaret Douglas and Bess of Hardwick - whose marriage produced Arbella Stuart, yet another of the Tudor bloodline imprisoned for marrying in secret for love.

Thomas Howard's nephew Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was a famed poet, and wrote this as part of his Eache beeste can chuse his feere. These lines alluding to the fate of his uncle Thomas, dying in the Tower for his own love.
 "And, for my vaunte, I dare well say my blood is not untrew;
Ffor you your self dothe know, it is not long agoe,
Sins that, for love, one of the race did end his life in woe
In towre both strong and highe, for his assured truthe." 

Gender and Politics in the Henrician Court: The Douglas-Howard Lyrics in the Devonshire Manuscript (BL Add 17492)
Bradley J. Irish
Renaissance Quarterly , Vol. 64, No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 79-114
Article DOI: 10.1086/660369
Article Stable URL:

In Laudem Caroli: Renaissance and Reformation Studies
Charles Garfield Nauert, James V Mehl
Truman State University Press, 1998