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Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

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This is the glossary for Wolf Hall.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Hilary Mantel Hilary Mantel

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This is the glossary for Wolf Hall. Please feel free to add urls, other websites, links, photos, etc. regarding this selection.

Note: No personal marketing, blogs, etc.

message 3: by Garret (last edited Feb 19, 2011 02:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Garret (ggannuch) Hiliary Mantel gives a lecture on the historical Thomas Cromwell:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI

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Terrific Garret.

Garret (ggannuch) description Stephen Gardiner

Born c. 1482, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, Eng.—died Nov. 12, 1555, London

He was an English bishop and statesman, and a leading exponent of conservatism in the first generation of the English Reformation. Although he supported the antipapal policies of King Henry VIII (ruled 1509–47), Gardiner rejected Protestant doctrine. He ultimately backed the severe Roman Catholicism of Queen Mary I (ruled 1553–58).

He was the son of a clothmaker, and he obtained his doctorate in civil and canon law from the University of Cambridge in 1520–21. Throughout a busy public life he maintained ties to Cambridge, serving as master of Trinity Hall 1525–49 and 1553–55.

In 1525 Gardiner became secretary to Henry VIII's chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey. In 1528–29 he was sent on missions to Pope Clement VII to negotiate for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon—the issue that was to cause Henry to break with Rome and declare himself head of the English Church. As a reward for his services Gardiner was made Henry's principal secretary in 1529 and Bishop of Winchester.

Gardiner, however, failed to earn the king's trust. In 1532 Henry bypassed him and appointed as his archbishop of Canterbury the obscure Thomas Cranmer, who was to become a renowned Protestant reformer.

Two years later Henry's chief adviser, Thomas Cromwell moved Gardiner out of his secretaryship. So the bishop became the enemy of both Cromwell and Cranmer. Gardiner recovered some favour at court by publishing his Bishop's Speech on True Obedience in 1535, a treatise attacking the papacy and upholding royal supremacy over the Church of England.

In 1539 he led a conservative reaction that requiring all Englishmen to abide by the main tenets of Roman Catholic doctrine through the Act of Six Articles. Gardiner and Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk, had a hand in bringing about Cromwell's downfall in June 1540, and he then succeeded Cromwell as chancellor of Cambridge. Thereafter Henry kept Gardiner on his royal council to counter the Protestant sympathies of some of his other advisers. King Henry would not allow the bishop to bring Cranmer to trial on charges of heresy. Gardiner was also frustrated in his campaign to destroy Queen Catherine Parr, and Henry did not name him to the council of regency for his son Edward.

During the rapid advance toward Protestantism that took place upon the accession of Edward VI, Gardiner was sent to prison for refusing to enforce Cranmer's Reformist injunctions. Although released in January 1548, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in June and remained there until Edward's death on July 6, 1553.

After the Catholic Mary I ascended the throne, Gardiner was restored in August 1553 and appointed lord chancellor. Although he had become, in effect, chief minister of the realm, he was in a difficult position because he felt out of step in a court increasingly oriented toward Rome and—after Mary wed the Holy Roman emperor Charles V's son Philip ( King Philip II of Spain, 1556–98)—toward Spain.

Gardiner approved the severe persecution of Protestants that began early in 1554, but also tried unsuccessfully to save Cranmer and others from the stake. He died two years before the persecutions ended.

Source Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

descriptionGardiner's chantry tomb in Winchester Cathedral

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Thank you Garret; now I know more about this man. He seems to be a hard person to understand in terms of his motivations.

Garret (ggannuch) [image error] Our Narrator Simon Slater

"Simon Slater is a well known face on British television and has appeared in over 200 series - his credits include Inspector Morse, Monarch of the Glen, Hotel Babylon and Spooks. On stage he is best known for playing Sam Carmichael in the hit show Mamma Mia in London's West End."

Simon Slater was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire is also a composer.
He attended Goldsmiths College at the University of London. "He plays piano, double bass, saxophone, clarinet, and the ukulele.

Slater has made guest appearances in several TV series, including in Heartbeat, Birds of a Feather, Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, Lovejoy, Monarch of the Glen and Where the Heart Is."

Regarding his narration of Wolf Hall,

The Washing Post placed it in their top audio books of 2009 saying, "He gives an ironic, Machiavellian edge to his voice as general narrator and renders the myriad characters with exceptional virtuosity. This performance is the best of the year: an absolute triumph, further enhancing an already magnificent novel." says,"Slater's Cromwell speaks with a direct, commanding tone. Even when he is persuading and manipulating, Cromwell's voice is controlled and clear. Slater elevates his tone Cromwell elevates in status, and Cromwell sounds almost stately when he talks to Mary Tudor. Thomas More has a cartoonishly arrogant voice, and More's lines drip and hiss. It is not until More is condemned to die when Slater momentarily simplifies More's voice. Anne Boleyn is winsome and haughty, Mary Boleyn is charmingly sly, and Slater's performance of the Spanish ambassador Eustace Chapuys is energetic.
Much of Slater's narration sounds like a sports cast. Wosley frets, Cromwell counsels. Henry muses, Anne wheedles. More opines, Norfolk roars. Even the omniscient narration is done with Cromwell's tone, as the book is written with Mantel's unusual 3rd person case used in a 1st person structure."

Slater's narration won the 2010 Audie in the literary fiction category.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

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He seems to be the man of a thousand voices; excellent narrator.

Garret (ggannuch) Click here then click on the event map tab to get a map showing Putney, Austin Friars, and Wolf Hall.

Garret (ggannuch) Images of Wolf Hall:
description Some of what is left of the original Wolf Hall.

Present day Wolf Hall, original structure not standing.

description The Barn.

"Named after original structure formally on grounds - no longer standing - which was the birthplace of Jane Seymour - rear view of present day Wolf Hall - this 18th century house now on the grounds - only brick lined tunnels remain running from present buildings out to where the original structure stood. A 16th Century house still survives on the grounds near the canal where Henry VIII is to have stayed in 1535.

The original building (of which very little remains) was the ancestral home of the Wardens of Savernake Forest. Originally the Esturmys then, via the female line, the Seymours lived here until abandoning it during the latter part of the 16th century. By 1575 the family was living at its replacement, Tottenham Lodge (an old hunting lodge in Tottenham Park), about 1 mile away. The house was then used for servants but gradually became more dilapidated until the majority of it was demolished about 1665 to help restore the fire-damaged house at Tottenham Park. "
From the tudorswiki.

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 28, 2011 02:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

message 14: by Garret (last edited Mar 01, 2011 07:44AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Garret (ggannuch) Bentley wrote: "Regarding the Boleyns:

Thanks Bently!

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 28, 2011 04:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
No problem; I placed them in the spoiler brackets so that folks who may not want to read spoilers would not see the references.

You may want to take out the italics in your post when you clicked on reply because it sort of exposes the spoilers (smile).

Garret (ggannuch) description

Thomas More and his family
Rowland Lockey after Hans Holbein the Younger

message 17: by Garret (last edited Mar 20, 2011 08:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Garret (ggannuch) Risley (Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton)

born 21 December 1505 – died 30 July 1550

"Young Thomas had been taught law by Stephen Gardiner at Cambridge, but had left early to pursue a career at court where he attracted the attention of Thomas Cromwell however his loyalties would always lie with Gardiner. He entered Royal service in 1530 as a Clerk of the Signet. Henry liked him and rewarded his diligence with substantial grants of monastic lands, sent him abroad several times as an ambassador and affectionately nicknamed him "my pig". He was one of the men that Henry relied on in times of crisis. In 1538 when Henry was courting a new bride in the form of Christina of Denmark , it was he who informed her that his master was " a most gentle gentleman, his nature so benign and pleasant that I think till this day no man hat heard many angry words pass from his mouth" to which she declared if she had two heads then one of them would be at His Majesty's disposal.

Thomas Wriothesly and Ralph Sadler were appointed joint Secretaries of State in early 1540. He would act as secretary to the Council while Sadler would be secretary to the King. The King rewarded his good service with the abbey of Titchfield, which he converted into his country seat. He easily dominated Sadler and by 1542, it was being said that he "almost governed everything". In the early 1540's two distinct parties emerged; the conservatives, led by the reactionary Bishop Stephen Gardiner and Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolkwho were supported by the self-seeking Wriothesly, and wish to see the return to more traditional forms of religion; and the reformists headed by the autocratic Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford and backed by Thomas Cranmer, William Parr and William Paget. Led by Gardiner and ably supported by Wriothesley, the conservative faction in order to regain its ascendancy and discredit its rivals, ruthlessly sought out heretics and traitors within the Royal Household. In March of 1543, they 'uncovered a nest of heretics' among the musicians of St. George's chapel at Windsor. The gifted organist, composer and master of the choristers, John Mabeck, a secret Calvinist was sentenced to be burned at the stake after heretical writings were found at his home but the King valued his playing so highly that he pardoned him. Three other members of the Chapel Royal were not so lucky.
On 22 April 1544, Lord Audley died and the following month, Wriothesley was chosen to replace him as Lord Chancellor."

descriptionThomas Wriothesely (Risley) by Hans Holbein

From the Tudors Wiki

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Garret (ggannuch) Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

description Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, by Hans Holbein

Born 1473 - Died 25 August 1554

"Oldest son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his first wife Elizabeth Tilney. His sister was Elizabeth Howard, wife of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and mother of Anne Boleyn.

He was initially brought to court as a page to Henry VII and then betrothed to Anne Plantagenet, daughter of Edward IV and niece to Richard III. He married her in 1495 and became brother-in-law to Henry VII. At this point, he was landless and penniless until the death of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk in 1507. Anne also had nothing but her name and they survived on relatives until this time.

At the death of Henry VII in April 1509, he was named as one of the Lords Attendant for the funeral. On April 27, 1510, he was added to the Order of the Garter.

Although Thomas and his wife Anne had several children, none survived and Anne died of consumption in 1512, leaving Thomas a childless widower after 17 years of marriage. He distinguished himself many times in battle, and was an able soldier.

Circa 1512/13, when he was 40, he married the 19-year-old Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. She was an attendant to Queen Katherine of Aragon; her romance with Ralph Neville (later earl of Westmoreland) had been brushed aside.

He fought against the Scots at Flodden Field in 1514 as Earl of Surrey, when his father was still Duke of Norfolk. He succeeded his father in 1522 and led the opposition to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. He supported Henry VIII's divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon and his marriage to his niece Anne Boleyn. But he later sat on the jury which found Anne guilty of treason. Despite being Catholic he conducted the campaign against the Pilgrimage of the Grace. He took possession of many religious houses during the dissolution of the monasteries. He was the godfather of Prince Edward Tudor.During these early days of the Reformation, he was considered the leader of the Catholic faction. He was instrumental in bringing down Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex.

After the execution in 1542 of another of his nieces, Katherine Howard, the King's 5th wife, his influence waned and he was back in the position of a mere military commander.

In 1546 he and his son Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey were charged with treason. Norfolk's son was a man of learning and often called "the Poet"; Surrey also had a reputation for skill at arms. He was charged with quartering the arms of Edward the Confessor with his own, which was like openly claiming the throne, and was executed. He was probably held in Beauchamp Tower. During King Henry VIII's last days, when his execution seemed imminent, Howard was deprived of all comforts, including books, sheets for his bed, and hangings for the damp stone walls above the west moat. Further, he was confined to a narrow cell on the upper floor and forbidden exercise in the outer chambers of the tower. His son's execution was carried out; however, the King died the day before his execution could be carried out and his sentence was commuted. He remained a prisoner all through Edward VI's reign. Howard was only released on Mary I's accession; at that time his dukedom was also restored. He led the forces against the Wyatt Rebellion.

The result of Norfolk's suppression of the Wyatt Rebellion was Princess Elizabeth Tudor's imprisonment in the Tower (although there was not enough evidence to convict her on treason, since she clearly had not been party to the rebels' precise intentions) and the execution of the Queen's cousin Lady Jane Grey. Norfolk died not long after the Wyatt Rebellion a very old man by Tudor standards (80 yrs old) and was succeeded by his grandson Thomas. His tomb is situated in Framlingham Church, Suffolk."

From TudorsWiki

description Arundel Castle

Located in Sussex and home to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, as well as his descendants. Arundel Castle calls to mind the image of Windsor Castle, but on a smaller scale.

message 19: by Garret (last edited Mar 20, 2011 09:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Garret (ggannuch) George Cavendish

"Cavendish, George, 1500–1561?, English gentleman, usher to Cardinal Wolsey. His biography of Wolsey, written in 1557, remained in manuscript until 1641 and first appeared in entirety in Christopher Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Biography (1810). One of the great books of the English Renaissance, the work imparts tragic stature to Wolsey's life by contrasting the splendor of his early career with the ignominy of his last days. The book was long attributed to Cavendish's brother William, but in 1814 Joseph Hunter clearly established its authorship."


George Cavendish was the eldest son of Thomas Cavendish, an officer of the king’s exchequer. He was born about 1500, went to Cambridge University, left without taking a degree, and married in 1524. He entered Cardinal Wolsey’s services about 1522 as his gentleman usher. He left Wolsey’s household after the cardinal’s death in 1530, refused an offer to enter the royal service, and went to live on his family estate in Suffolk until just before his death, about 1561. No evidence of the date of his death exists.

He undertook to write the biography of Wolsey in 1554; he completed it in 1558. His purpose was to give the world the truth about the controversial cardinal. Cavendish, a Roman Catholic, felt the cardinal’s reputation suffered from slander and Protestant distortions of fact. The work remained in manuscript until 1641, when a first edition appeared. The first scholarly edition was produced by Samuel Weller Singer in 1815.

The biography is an eyewitness account and its tone is moralistic. It attempts to show the fall of the great by the turn of fortune’s wheel and the sin of pride. Most of the first half and all of the second half of the book come from the direct experience of the author; other portions come from accounts by the cardinal himself and from Hall’s chronicles. Among the factual errors in the Life are the misnaming of some people, some mistakes in the sequence of events, and certain omissions of the facts of Wolsey’s personal life, such as the failure to mention Wolsey’s noncanonical wife, his son, Thomas Wynter, and his intrigues after his fall. Cavendish never mentions Sir Thomas More, prominent during this period. On the other hand, Cavendish has a Renaissance eye for detail: gorgeous clothing, sumptuous banquets, and scenes of pomp and luxury."
From enotes

Mantel on Cavendish and Wolsey

Garret (ggannuch) description Katherine of Aragon

Born 12/16/1485
Died 1/07/1536

description Miniature portrait, approx. 1526 or 1527(around the time Anne Boleyn caught Henry's eye)

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Really lovely Garret (smile) - maybe the renditions do not do her justice.

Garret (ggannuch) Katherine of Aragon

Born: 16 December 1485
Archbishop of Toledo's Palace, Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Married to Prince Arthur: 14 November 1501
St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Married to King Henry VIII: 11 June 1509
Franciscan Church at Greenwich

Marriage to Henry VIII dissolved: 1533

Died: 7 January 1536
Kimbolton Castle

Buried: 29 January 1536
Peterborough Abbey (now Peterborough Cathedral)

Catherine of Aragon was the youngest child of Ferdinand and Isabella. When she was three year old, she was betrothed to Arthur, the son of Henry VII of England. Arthur was not quite two at the time.

When she was almost 16, in 1501, Catherine made the journey to England. It took her three months, and her ships weathered several storms, but she made landfall at Plymouth on October 2, 1501. Catherine and Arthur were married on 14 November 1501 in Old St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Catherine was escorted by the groom's younger brother, Henry.

After the wedding and celebrations, the young couple moved to Ludlow Castle on the Welsh border. Less than six months later, Arthur was dead, possibly of the 'sweating sickness'.

The English king was interested in keeping Catherine's dowry, so 14 months after her husband's death she was betrothed to the future Henry VIII, who was too young to marry at the time.

With the death of Ferdinand - Isabella had passed sometime before - , the balance of power in Europe had shifted away from Spain and Katherine had lost her status as a desirable match. By 1505, when Henry was old enough to wed, Henry VII wasn't as keen on a Spanish alliance, and young Henry was forced to repudiate the betrothal. Catherine's future was uncertain for the next four years.

However, upon the death of Henry VII his son, the 18-year-old Prince Henry, who had long been taken with his pretty Spanish sister-in-law (six years his senior) and urged by his privy council , married her on June 11, 1509. For a time Katherine served as her father's ambassador in Henry's court, but eventually was forced to choose between her loyalty to her father and her husband. Of course she chose Henry. In 1513, during Henry's absence in France on military campaign that culminated in the inconclusive Battle of the Spurs, Katherine was an able administrator. As Henry's regent, she presided over the war against the invading Scots, mustering and rallying the troops, as well as providing 'standards, banners, and badges." At the beginning of September 1513, Katharine left Richmond at the head of an army that may have been composed of as many as 40, 000 and waited at Buckingham for news and to provide reinforcements to the armies fighting in the north if needed. She had not long to wait. On September 9th, the English forces led by the Earl of Surrey, Thomas Howard, father of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, won a decisive victory over James IV of Scotland at Flodden, putting an end to the Scottish threat.

Through the years, she had many pregnancies, but only one living child, Princess Mary Tudor , whom she adored. Shortly after their marriage, Catherine found herself pregnant. This first child was a stillborn daughter born prematurely in January 1510, but this disappointment was soon followed by another pregnancy. Prince Henry was born on January 1, 1511 and the was christened on the 5th. There were great celebrations for the birth of the young prince, but they were halted by the baby's death after 52 days of life. Catherine then had a miscarriage, followed by a another short-lived son. On February 1516, she gave birth a daughter named Mary, and this child lived. There were probably two more pregnancies, the last recorded in 1518.

As the daughter of a Queen regnant, Katherine hoped to see Mary designated heir to England's throne, but although England did not have the Salian Laws prohibiting a female ruler, the English had by custom avoided Queens regnant, and Henry was insistent on a male heir, even going to far as to grant titles, and lands to his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, that made it seem that he was preparing to designate Fitzroy his heir. Of course, Katherine protested.

The idea of divorcing Katherine began to be discussed shortly after which Henry became infatuated with Anne Boleyn. Then the matter became more urgent to the King, and he began in earnest to pursue an invalidation of his first marriage to Katherine's horror and dismay. She refused to accept the divorce, her demotion to Princess Dowager, and Mary's removal from the succession for the rest of her life, although Henry exiled her from court, separated her from Mary, and imprisoned her in a succession of damp, gloomy manors and castles.

Katherine died at the age of 51 on January 6th, 1536 at Kimbolton. Henry granted her the funeral due to a Princess Dowager, relict of his brother, Prince Arthur, a title Katherine had refused in life, continuing to call herself Queen of England in her correspondence and considering herself Henry's only lawful wife. She was buried in Peterborough Abbey. In 1891, during restoration at the abbey, Queen Katherine's remains were moved to the north presbytery aisle just outside the sanctuary. By order of Queen Mary, wife of King George, V, the royal banners of an Infanta of Spain and Queen Consort of England are suspended above her grave. Gold lettering on the grillework reads, "Katharine, Queen of England".

It was clear that Henry & Katherine loved and respected one another in the early years which made his eventual disinterest all the more painful for the queen to bear. Even after he no longer loved her, Henry for a long time retained a respect for her and openly sought her advice and opinion.

Henry was growing frustrated by his lack of a male heir. He had at least two mistresses that we know of: Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount and Mary Boleyn. By 1526 though, he had begun to separate from Catherine because he had fallen in love with one of her ladies (and sister of one of his mistresses): Anne Boleyn.

It is here that the lives of Henry's first and second wives begin to interweave. By the time his interest in Anne became common knowledge, Catherine was 42 years old and was no longer able to conceive. Henry's main goal now was to get a male heir, which his wife was not able to provide. Somewhere along the way Henry began to look at the texts of Leviticus which say that if a man takes his brother's wife, they shall be childless. As evidenced above, Catherine and Henry were far from childless, and still had one living child. But that child was a girl, and didn't count in Henry's mind. The King began to petition the Pope for an annulment.

At first, Catherine was kept in the dark about Henry's plans for their annulment and when the news got to Catherine she was very upset. She was also at a great disadvantage since the court that would decide the case was far from impartial. Catherine then appealed directly to the Pope, which she felt would listen to her case since her nephew was Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor.

The political and legal debate continued for six years. Catherine was adamant in that she and Arthur, her first husband and Henry's brother, did not consummate their marriage and therefore were not truly husband and wife. Catherine sought not only to retain her position, but also that of her daughter Mary.

Things came to a head in 1533 when Anne Boleyn became pregnant. Henry had to act, and his solution was to reject the power of the Pope in England and to have Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury grant the annulment. Catherine was to renounce the title of Queen and would be known as the Princess Dowager of Wales, something she refused to acknowledge through to the end of her life.

Catherine and her daughter were separated and she was forced to leave court. She lived for the next three years in several dank and unhealthy castles and manors with just a few servants. However, she seldom complained of her treatment and spent a great deal of time at prayer.

On January 7, 1536, Catherine died at Kimbolton Castle and was buried at Peterborough Abbey (later Peterborough Cathedral, after the dissolution of the monasteries) with the ceremony due for her position as Princess Dowager, not as a Queen of England.

Garret (ggannuch) Anne Boleyn, Queen Consort, 1st Marquess of Pembroke


Born 1501/1507* - Crowned June 1st, 1533 -
Marriage annulled May 17th 1536
Executed May 19th, 1536 by order of Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn was born at either Blickling Hall in Norfolk or at Hever Castle in Kent: the best evidence suggests Blickling. She attended the Archduchess Margaret of Austria from 1513 to 1514, where she learned French under the tutelege of Symmonet, a male tutor in Margaret's household. She was transferred to Paris, France upon the marriage of Louis XII to Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's youngest sister (late 1514). Louis died within months of the marriage, but Anne remained in France upon the accession of Francis I.

While in France, she became a favoured lady-in-waiting to the pious, dignified Queen Claude and may have served as an interpreter whenever high-ranking English dignitaries visited the French court. It is quite possible she might have seen Leonardo da Vinci and his "La Gioconda". In the queen's household, she completed her study of French and acquired a thorough knowledge of French culture and etiquette; as well as French and English, she demonstrated a working knowledge of Latin. She also developed an interest in fashion and religious philosophy that called for reform of the Church. Her European education ended in the winter of 1521 when she was summoned back to England on her father's orders. She sailed from Calais, which was then still an English possession, in January 1522, for an arranged marriage to James Butler, a distant cousin, in order to settle a dispute over the Ormonde title. It is unknown why the alliance did not take place.

Her debut in court was in March 1522 at a pageant, the "Chateau Vert" as "Perseverance". Around 1522, Anne began being courted by Lord Henry Percy, the son of the earl of Northumberland & probably in the spring of 1523, they were secretly betrothed. Lord Henry's father refused to sanction the marriage when he heard of it from Cardinal Wolsey, who was possibly acting upon the king's instructions to leave Anne free for him. Anne was sent from court to Hever Castle in Kent. It is not known how long she remained away from court, although she was certainly back by mid-1525.

At Shrovetide 1526 Henry began the serious pursuit of Anne Boleyn. Anne refused to become the king's mistress, and she effectively dodged his advances and avoided him for over a year. Henry wrote Anne a series of undated love letters, seventeen of which are now in the Vatican. Feminist historian Karen Lindsay suggested Anne suffered as a silent victim of sexual harassment. Henry proposed marriage to her sometime in 1527 (probably around New Year), after some hesitation, she agreed & this was marked by a gift she sent to Henry of a Symbolic Jewel. It was set with a fine diamond & took the form of a ship in which a lonely maiden was storm tossed. A letter of 'interpretation' accompanied it, which no doubt explained that the maiden was Anne herself & that Henry would henceforth be her refuge from the storms of life.

And so ensued a long 7 year betrothal where Anne continued to hold-out for marriage and marriage alone.

Garret (ggannuch) Anne was not popular with the people of England. They were upset to learn that at the Christmas celebrations of 1529, Anne was given precedence over the Duchesses of Norfolk and Suffolk, the latter of which was the King's own sister, Mary.

In this period, records show that Henry began to spend more and more on Anne, buying her clothes, jewelry, and things for her amusement such as playing cards and bows and arrows.

The waiting continued and Anne's position continued to rise. On the first day of September 1532, she was created Marquess of Pembroke, a title she held in her own right. In October, she held a position of honor at meetings between Henry and the French King in Calais.

Queen Anne

Sometime near the end of 1532, Anne finally gave way and by December she was pregnant. To avoid any questions of the legitimacy of the child, Henry was forced into action. Sometime near St. Paul's Day (January 25) 1533, Anne and Henry were secretly married. Although the King's marriage to Catherine was not dissolved, in the King's mind it had never existed in the first place, so he was free to marry whomever he wanted. On May 23, the Archbishop officially proclaimed that the marriage of Henry and Catherine was invalid.

Plans for Anne's coronation began. In preparation, she had been brought by water from Greenwich to the Tower of London dressed in cloth of gold. The barges following her were said to stretch for four miles down the Thames. On the 1st of June, she left the Tower in procession to Westminster Abbey, where she became a crowned and anointed Queen in a ceremony led by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. [Read an account of her coronation]

By August, preparations were being made for the birth of Anne's child, which was sure to be a boy. Names were being chosen, with Edward and Henry the top choices. The proclamation of the child's birth had already been written with 'prince' used to refer to the child.

Anne took to her chamber, according to custom, on August 26, 1533 and on September 7, at about 3:00 in the afternoon, the Princess Elizabeth was born. Her christening service was scaled down, but still a pleasant affair. The princess' white christening robes can currently be seen on display at Sudeley Castle in England.

Anne now knew that it was imperative that she produce a son. By January of 1534, she was pregnant again, but the child was either miscarried or stillborn. In 1535, she became pregnant again but miscarried by the end of January. The child was reported to have been a boy. The Queen was quite upset, and blamed the miscarriage on her state of mind after hearing that Henry had taken a fall in jousting. She had to have known at this point that her failure to produce a living male heir was a threat to her own life, especially since the King's fancy for one of her ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, began to grow.

The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Anne's enemies at court began to plot against her using the King's attentions to Jane Seymour as the catalyst for action. Cromwell began to move in action to bring down the Queen. He persuaded the King to sign a document calling for an investigation that would possibly result in charges of treason.

On April 30, 1536, Anne's musician and friend for several years, Mark Smeaton, was arrested and probably tortured into making 'revelations' about the Queen. Next, Sir Henry Norris was arrested and taken to the Tower of London. Then the Queen's own brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford was arrested.

On May 2, the Queen herself was arrested at Greenwich and was informed of the charges against her: adultery, incest and plotting to murder the King. She was then taken to the Tower by barge along the same path she had traveled to prepare for her coronation just three years earlier. In fact, she was lodged in the same rooms she had held on that occasion.

There were several more arrests. Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton were charged with adultery with the Queen. Sir Thomas Wyatt was also arrested, but later released. They were put on trial with Smeaton and Norris at Westminster Hall on May 12, 1536. The men were not allowed to defend themselves, as was the case in charges of treason. They were found guilty and received the required punishment: they were to be hanged at Tyburn, cut down while still living and then disemboweled and quartered.

On Monday the 15th, the Queen and her brother were put on trial at the Great Hall of the Tower of London. It is estimated that some 2000 people attended. Anne conducted herself in a calm and dignified manner, denying all the charges against her. Her brother was tried next, with his own wife testifying against him (she got her due later in the scandal of Kathryn Howard). Even though the evidence against them was scant, they were both found guilty, with the sentence being read by their uncle, Thomas Howard , the Duke of Norfolk. They were to be either burnt at the stake (which was the punishment for incest) or beheaded, at the discretion of the King.

The Executions

On May 17, George Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill. The other four men condemned with the Queen had their sentences commuted from the grisly fate at Tyburn to a simple beheading at the Tower with Lord Rochford.

Anne knew that her time would soon come and started to become hysterical, her behavior swinging from great levity to body- wracking sobs. She received news that an expert swordsman from Calais had been summoned, who would no doubt deliver a cleaner blow with a sharp sword than the traditional axe. It was then that she made the famous comment about her 'little neck'.

Interestingly, shortly before her execution on charges of adultery, the Queen's marriage to the King was dissolved and declared invalid. One would wonder then how she could have committed adultery if she had in fact never been married to the King, but this was overlooked, as were so many other lapses of logic in the charges against Anne.

They came for Anne on the morning of May 19 to take her to the Tower Green, where she was to be afforded the dignity of a private execution. [Read the Constable's recollection of this morning]. She made a short speech [read the text of Anne's speech] before kneeling on the scaffold. She removed her headdress (which was an English gable hood and not her usual French hood, according to contemporary reports) and her ladies tied a blindfold over her eyes. The sword itself had been hidden under the straw. The swordsman cut off her head with one swift stroke.

Anne's body and head were put into an arrow chest and buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula which adjoined the Tower Green. Her body was one that was identified in renovations of the chapel under the reign of Queen Victoria, so Anne's final resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

Garret (ggannuch) description


(1st E. Wiltshire)

Born: ABT 1470/1477

Died: 12 Mar 1538/ 13 Mar 1539, Hever, Kent, England

Buried: Hever, Kent, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter. 1525 Viscount Rochford. 1528 Earl of Ormonde.

Father: William BOLEYN (Sir)

Mother: Margaret BUTLER

Married: Elizabeth HOWARD (C. Wiltshire) BEF 1506


1. Mary BOLEYN

2. George BOLEYN (2° V. Rochford)

3. Anne BOLEYN (M. Pembroke/Queen of England)

Thomas Boleyn was one of four children. He was the eldest - born when his mother was only twelve years old. He fought for Henry VII against Cornish rebels (who were protesting against heavy taxation) when he was 20.

Thomas' married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk.

Thomas was knighted in 1509, at the coronation of Henry VIII. He was an excellent jouster, and took part in the joust celebrating the birth of Prince Henry in 1511 (the son of Catalina de Aragon and Henry VIII; he died soon afterwards). He was also a joint constable of Norwich Castle and Sheriff of Kent in 1512. Thomas had a talent for languages - making him useful for diplomacy.

Sir Thomas' first mission was to Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands for Carlos V, to deal with the planned invasion of France. It was on this visit that it was arranged for Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas' daughter, to spend some time at Brussel, in the Netherlands as one of Margaret's demoiselles d'honneur. Sir Thomas was also the English Ambassador in France from 1519 to 1520. Anne would have been there also. He, therefore, was involved in the arrangement of the Field of the Cloth of Gold and was present there himself. He also went on to meet Carlos V at Gravelines with Henry VIII. This talent for languages and diplomancy may have been a family trait, handed on by Sir Thomas' great-uncle, the 6th Earl of Ormonde. He also spoke fluent Latin.

Sir Thomas' elder (probably) daughter, Mary, was married off to Sir William Carey, a man with courtly connections, and one who might have become more important had he not died so suddenly in 1528. Anne presented more of a difficulty; the negotiations for her marriage to James Butler fell through, and her own romance with Henry Percy, heir to the Earl of Northumberland, led her into trouble.

Of course, Sir Thomas benefited from his younger daughter's rise. While his title of Viscount Rochford predated Henry's romance with Anne, in 1529 he was made Earl of Wiltshire, and recieved the Earldom of Ormonde. He was also sent on several missions to try to ease the annulment along its path with Carlos V, François I and Clement VII (the Pope). Along with the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and Anne Boleyn herself, he was one of Henry's major advisers.

Wiltshire did not try to help his daughter and son when they fell, however. On the contrary, he took care to denounce the alleged crimes committed by all accused. He even tried Brereton, Norreys, Smeaton and Weston for adultery with Anne, and found them guilty - although he was spared the task of condemning his own children. In all fairness, however, he could not have prevented their conviction.

After Anne's execution, Wiltshire had to give up his office of Lord Privy Seal, and retired to Hever. He died in 1539, a year after the death of his wife, and is buried in Hever Church.

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Great adds Garret; thank you very much for these; interesting personages featured in this book.

Garret (ggannuch) Hans Holbein the Younger

Court Portrait Artist & Designer

born 1497 - died November 29, 1543

Hans Holbein the Younger was one of the greatest portrait artists of his time. Born in Augsburg, Germany, Holbein was taught his skill by his father and gained experience painting altar pieces and carving woodcuts. In 1515, the Holbiens moved to Basel, Switzerland a growing community of artists and humanist scholars. By 1525, Basel had become a difficult place for an aritist like Holbein to work. The religious and political influence of the Luthereans had by then took over, and production of nonreligious artwork was outlawed. Religious artwork, for that matter, was austere and very few projects would be commissioned by the new Lutheran society. With a letter of introduction from his patron and mentor Erasmus, Holbein traveled to England for the first time in 1526. Holbein went on to paint many in the court of King Henry VIII, including Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Anne of Cleves. Henry charged Holbein to create as accurate a portrait of Anne as possible, and in all likelihood, Holbein did his best not to flatter the German princess (as was the common practice of the day). However, Henry attacked the portrait after his marriage for being too complimenting to Anne. Holbein continued to create portraitures for Henry, and it was while painting a portrait of the King that Holbein contracted what was likely the plague and died.

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This is an interesting article focused on Thomas Cromwell. They call him the "Prince of Darkness".

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Sir Thomas More

Hans Holbein, the Younger (1497/1498 - 1543)
Sir Thomas More, 1527
oil on oak panel
29 1/2 in. x 23 3/4 in. (74.93 cm x 60.33 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1912.1.77

Commentary: Thomas More (1477/78–1535), humanist scholar, author, and statesman, served Henry VIII as diplomatic envoy and Privy Councillor prior to his election as speaker of the House of Commons in 1523. The chain More wears in this portrait is an emblem of service to the King, not of any specific office. In 1529 More succeeded Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor, but three years later he resigned that office over the issue of Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and subsequently he refused to subscribe to the Act of Supremacy making the King head of the Church of England. For this he was convicted of high treason and beheaded. Venerated by the Catholic Church as a martyr, More was beatified in 1886 and canonized in 1935 on the four-hundredth anniversary of his death. Holbein’s sympathy for the man whose guest he was upon first arriving in England is apparent in the Frick portrait. His brilliant rendering of the rich fabrics and adornments make this one of Holbein’s best and most popular paintings. Various versions of the portrait exist, but this is undoubtedly the original.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

Collections: The London dealer Farrer. Henry Huth. Edward Huth. Knoedler. Frick, 1912.

Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: American, British, Dutch, Flemish and German. Volume I. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.

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Then look at Holbein's rendition of Thomas Cromwell (almost shown as the Prince of Darkness): (almost faded)

[image error]

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This was an excellent article which was found in the New York Times:

Renaissance Men:

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