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The Tudors of England

UK History Henry VIII Tudors Henry VII Mary Tudor Elizabeth I Edward VI Lady Jane Grey

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#1 Cait

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

We're quiet right now. The election is over and I thought it might be interesting to discuss some history.  My favorite period in history is the reign of the Tudors in England.  They have always fascinated me.  The Plantagenet's fascinated me as well, but the real rise of the British Empire really began with the Tudors.

My love of English history began with my hospital stay when I was 18.  I was in the hospital for so long and each roommate usually took pity on me when they checked out and left me reading materials.  I read every Agatha Christie novel ever written, and a fascinating non-fiction/fictional account of John of Gaunt, the 3rd son of Edward III.  The book was called "Katherine" and it was a fictional account [but based on actual events] of John's third wife Katherine Swynford.  I was swept up in the romance of the novel and the history of Edwards's third son.

I think it was years before I realized that the War of the Roses was a war between the descendants of Edward III's two sons.  The Roses indicating York and Lancaster.  It took me even longer to realize that the House of Lancaster had won and that was the Rise of the Tudors.   That it was John of Gaunt's descendants that ruled England during the Reformation.  It was the completion of the romance for me. John of Gaunt never came close to the crown, but his descendants did.  I've always wondered what would have happened if York had won the War of the Roses, and Elizabeth had never been Queen.  I personally consider her the greatest Monarch to ever live and have had a running fascination with her for my entire life.

I have both the BBC "Six Wives of Henry the VIII" and "Elizabeth R".  I have the Showtime series "The Tudors" [and I have to say they took many liberties with the size and girth of Henry in his later years, but oh well.  It was much easier of the eyes this way.].  I am in many ways a Anglophile, but specifically for the House of Lancaster and the reign of the Tudors.

When I talk about this period with many people, or those that watched any of the TV productions, it always amazes me that so few realized how long Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon, and that she was past her childbearing years when he tried to annul the marriage.  I suppose in 16th century England a male heir was of tantamount importance.  As much as people like the sexual stories of Henry and Anne Boleyn, there was definitely a practical reason for Henry to seek a new wife.

Anyway, here's my questions for discussion: [or add anything you like to the discussion].

Would there have been a Reformation in England if the Pope had annulled the first marriage of Henry?  I'm sure much of that period of history would have evolved as it did, but the Reformation in England was critical to later immigration to the United States.  What were the pros and cons of the Reformation?

A nice "what if" is what would have happened if the House of York had won on Bosworth Field?



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Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 Mary Rose

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:14 PM

I don't think the Reformation would have happened if the Pope had annulled the marriage.  Or at least not then.  I suppose sooner or later the Catholic Church would have lost its grip on power but it would have come later.  So a pro was the Church losing power because religion and government don't mix.  Of course a con would be the same thing in that the government basically grabbed power for itself.  But isn't that what everything is about really?  Money and power.

I have no clue what might have happened if York had one but since Richard III most likely killed the Princes in the Tower I can't say I'm too sad about him losing.   I know, I know, Henry VII could have killed them too.  But anyway.

I did feel it was poetic justice since Henry VIII was so desperate for a son that his daughter Elizabeth basically became the best monarch England ever had.  Hah!  Take that you who don't think daughters are good enough.
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#3 Themis

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

Currently reading "Sarum" and am up to the reign of Elizabeth.  It's been quite a slog because I am not a believer and there's is waaaaay too much church history in it.  Could religion really have been that big a part of the lives of ordinary people, as opposed to the movers and shakers?  (I loved the same author's "London" which must not have had as much church history.)  If the book is accurate, Elizabeth said everyone had to attend church and government and church were still intertwined, just a slightly different church not ruled from Rome.  I sort of did a double take at that statement, put the book down and went to tv.    I'm an Anglophile, went to school in England during my jr. high years in the olden days of 1957-8, and have visited many times since, but must admit I've never really gotten my English monarchs straight.  I have a pocket book of the monarchs I keep handy for the times this sort of thing comes up and referred to it frequently during Jubilee coverage.
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#4 Cait

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

View PostMary Rose, on 09 January 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:


I did feel it was poetic justice since Henry VIII was so desperate for a son that his daughter Elizabeth basically became the best monarch England ever had.  Hah!  Take that you who don't think daughters are good enough.

The irony just slaps you up-side the head.  And, it's only recently that there was a announcement that succession will now be "First Born".  It no longer has to be a male.  It only took 400 years, but I like to think Elizabeth is smiling from her throne in heaven.

In studying her reign, I only have one criticism.  She never had an heir and although I don't think she would have had such power if she had taken a husband, I would have liked to see her heir continue the Tudor dynasty.  And it was a Dynasty between Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth.  3 Monarchs that changed the face England and of history forever.  

I actually think she was right never to marry.  It kept her in charge with an iron fist.  But, the whole heir thing ushered in the Stewarts.  I can't say as the Stewarts were much to rave about ya know!  Charles I blew it [from a Monarch's POV], and England suffered a Civil War.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#5 Cait

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

View PostThemis, on 09 January 2013 - 07:35 PM, said:

[...]but must admit I've never really gotten my English monarchs straight.  I have a pocket book of the monarchs I keep handy for the times this sort of thing comes up and referred to it frequently during Jubilee coverage.

There was a song my British History Professor taught us, but for the life of me I can't recall it now.  At the time, it was a great mnemonic device to remember the Monarchs.

LOL, Glad to meet another anglophile.  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#6 Cait

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostMary Rose, on 09 January 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

I don't think the Reformation would have happened if the Pope had annulled the marriage.  Or at least not then.  I suppose sooner or later the Catholic Church would have lost its grip on power but it would have come later.  

Well, the Reformation [Martin Luther] was occurring  so there were Protestants.  But, I tend to agree that England was really isolated somewhat on the Isles.  Had they stayed Roman Catholic, or had a delayed Reformation,  it would have been very different England.  It's not as if we can say what would have happened, but we can certainly get a good idea of what would not have happened.  

Had Henry not divorced Catherine, not married Anne Boleyn, well, NO Elizabeth to support exploration.  No New English World.  Maybe even no United States one day.  We'd all be speaking Spanish or French right now.  

No Edward VI because he never married Jane Seymore.  We would have had the Tudors end with Mary, because her ability to bear children really was in question.  

Perhaps Henry would have legitimized Henry FitzRoy, but FitzRoy died in 1533.  The succession was quite the concern in Henry's day.  Given the powers of the King, and if he had never sired Elizabeth and Edward [leaving only Mary] I'm at a loss for who might have been legitimized to succeed Henry.

http://en.wikipedia...._Succession_Act

Quote

Because Henry had no legitimate offspring when the Act was passed, section 18 of it gave Henry "full and plenary power and authority" to choose who would succeed him if he died without an heir of his body, by naming his successor in letters patent or in his last Will.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#7 offworlder

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

when I was 13 I read my first whole history book

just moved to new state, knew no kids yet, summer break, tons of time on me hands

had read history in magazines and chapter this or that, but now got this book from library and sat
down and read a whole history book- guess what is was on? Henry Tudor and his times
;)
not just a biography, I learned bout all the wives, Thomas more, Thomas cromwell, Bishop Cranmer, England vs. France, Carl V and Germany and Spain times, new times in religions, new times in constitutional law changes that affected later worlds, duke of norfolk, duke of suffolk, marriage with Scotland, going entirely off memory so hey what else, learned on son Edward and problems when Henry died, princess mary and elizabeth, England's first real royal navy and seagoing trade, beginning bell toll of empire, indoor tennis started there and then, oh and Holbein portraits- awesome illuminating for a beginning-teen American kid, beginning of worldly, cosmopolitan, educated.
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#8 Cait

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

The Henry VIII Vs. Sir Thomas More was so tragic.  Just imagine the kind of debate we'd see here in OT, if that were happening in our time.  In fact, it might be a good debate to have.  Their conflict was at the heart of the sovereignty of a Monarch.

http://www.luminariu...lit/morebio.htm


Quote

In April, 1534, More refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy, and was committed to the Tower of London on April 17.  More was found guilty of treason and was beheaded alongside Bishop Fisher on July 6, 1535. More's final words on the scaffold were: "The King's good servant, but God's First." More was beatified in 1886 and canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

Edited by Cait, 09 January 2013 - 10:57 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#9 SparkyCola

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:25 AM

History is taught badly in the UK (imo) - and the fault is at the curriculum level which essentially teaches only two things in depth (The Tudors and the Wars) and those not particularly well. But I digress...

I always found Lady Jane Grey the most interesting. Cait - have you ever been to the Tower of London?

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#10 Nonny

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:00 AM

I'm currently horrified by all things Plantagenet, due to my fascination with Scottish historical fiction.  When I read historicals, I fact check, and having the Internet makes it much easier.  So discovering that it was a good thing I never watched Braveheart, and that, yes, the fate of some of the Bruce women remains unknown, but that they were probably trapped in convents, which were more like jails for women who didn't have the calling, well, freedom fighting is never an easy life, but it was particularly dismal in those days if you fell into the hands of your enemy.

I consider the Stewart kings of England just another sad outcome of the Plantagenet interference in the Scottish succession.
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#11 Mikoto

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

View PostCait, on 09 January 2013 - 07:49 PM, said:

View PostMary Rose, on 09 January 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

I did feel it was poetic justice since Henry VIII was so desperate for a son that his daughter Elizabeth basically became the best monarch England ever had.  Hah!  Take that you who don't think daughters are good enough.

The irony just slaps you up-side the head.  And, it's only recently that there was a announcement that succession will now be "First Born".  It no longer has to be a male.  It only took 400 years, but I like to think Elizabeth is smiling from her throne in heaven.


Our royal family isn't as advanced as one might think when it comes to female equality. They only changed the rules because Prince Harry isn't really Charles' son. Its the worst kept secret that Princess Diana had an affair with a redheaded dude whose name escapes me right now. Oh they behave like Harry is a real prince but.... he's not.

What they're worried about is if William and Kate only have daughters, and Harry goes and have a son, under the old rules that son would become heir and thus the royal bloodline would lose the throne. So they've updated it to 'firstborn' to ensure that'll never happen.

Edited by Mikoto, 10 January 2013 - 08:26 AM.

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#12 Nonny

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

View PostMikoto, on 10 January 2013 - 08:26 AM, said:

Our royal family isn't as advanced as one might think when it comes to female equality. They only changed the rules because Prince Harry isn't really Charles' son. Its the worst kept secret that Princess Diana had an affair with a redheaded dude whose name escapes me right now. Oh they behave like Harry is a real prince but.... he's not.

What they're worried about is if William and Kate only have daughters, and Harry goes and have a son, under the old rules that son would become heir and thus the royal bloodline would lose the throne. So they've updated it to 'firstborn' to ensure that'll never happen.

Seriously?   Good for Diana!  She had a lot to put up with, marrying that man and into that family.   :disgust:
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#13 Mikoto

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

View PostNonny, on 10 January 2013 - 08:33 AM, said:

View PostMikoto, on 10 January 2013 - 08:26 AM, said:

Our royal family isn't as advanced as one might think when it comes to female equality. They only changed the rules because Prince Harry isn't really Charles' son. Its the worst kept secret that Princess Diana had an affair with a redheaded dude whose name escapes me right now. Oh they behave like Harry is a real prince but.... he's not.

What they're worried about is if William and Kate only have daughters, and Harry goes and have a son, under the old rules that son would become heir and thus the royal bloodline would lose the throne. So they've updated it to 'firstborn' to ensure that'll never happen.

Seriously?   Good for Diana!  She had a lot to put up with, marrying that man and into that family.   :disgust:

Oh I'm totally serious Nonny.

I checked with my Mom who is an ardent royalist and apparently the redheaded dude is James Hewitt who was in the military or something. Anyway its easy to see. He is a redhead and Harry is a redhead. The physical resemblance is there.

On top of that there hasn't been a redhead in the royal family for... centuries at least. If not that, then never. It should be just about impossible for a royal to have red hair yet Harry does.

Nobody would ever get the royals to admit it though. ;)

Edited to add: If you guys want to amuse yourselves, go to google images and input "james hewitt and prince harry comparison" and take a look at the results. A few of them even compare Charles too. IMO, look at the noses.

Edited by Mikoto, 10 January 2013 - 08:49 AM.

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#14 SparkyCola

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

^ Just to clarify, not all of us Brits believe that.

I don't think for one second that the natural modernisation (which was bound to happen, particularly with a female and popular Queen as we have now) is in ANY way related to this conspiracy theory about Harry. I honestly think that's absurd, even if you do think Harry is illegitimate. It was inevitable. It doesn't need a ridiculous conspiracy story to explain it away.
Illegitimacy has frankly never bothered them that much before anyway. They wouldn't care one way or the other if Harry got to the throne!

Meanwhile, Diana's affair with James Hewitt only started after Harry was up and walking, so it would be quite something if he was the father.
Incidentally, it happens to be a pretty rude accusation to casually bandy about.
Finally, red hair is demonstrably a recessive trait on both sides (Diana's and Charles's) so hardly surprising they had a redheaded son - certainly not the impossibility some claim!

Miko, funnily enough I did as you suggested and this is the first link to come up. It certainly IS worth checking out.

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#15 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:26 AM

^^Yeah, I was going to say - Diana looked very much like there was a redheaded gene somewhere in her background.  Charles too!  And, Harry looks like the both of them.  Not saying it's impossilbe that the affair produced Harry, just saying it's not necessary.

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#16 Mikoto

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

Good article, thanks Sparky.

But short of a DNA test there's no way to prove it one way or another. I admit I hadn't done my research, I had to ask my Mom for Hewitt's name. ;) Still I find myself doubting the royal family would bother modernizing themselves without a compelling reason.
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#17 Nonny

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

I'm not exactly a fan of the Windsors, so I'm bound to find this intriguing.  Have I mentioned lately that I'm a Stuart?   :)
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#18 Mikoto

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

I'm on the fence about the Windsors and the royals in general myself Nonny.

Somewhere between regarding them as a remnant of history that should stop wasting taxpayer money, and acknowledging they're a part of the UK's identity and heritage. Still, short of someone running DNA tests people will speculate about Harry's parentage.

But unless the royals have come out and stated their feelings on 'modernization' what they think about the whole firstborn succession thing is open to speculation too. (Again I wouldn't know, honestly I barely pay attention to what they're up to.)
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#19 SparkyCola

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Miko - I think a lot of people feel the same sense of ambivalence. You could be right and you're certainly right that we can only speculate. But if I had to guess, I think their decision to modernise, if not simply a result of the Queen's common sense, is borne of a desperation to keep the monarchy relevant, alive and up-to-date. We all know what happens to monarchies that become out of touch with their people and with the values of the time. Monarchs have fallen victim to arrogance in the past, and ours certainly don't want that to happen to them.
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#20 Mikoto

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

Personally I do tend to believe the illegitimacy claim. Its certainly more fun to believe it. ;) But I'm open to admitting it could be an urban myth. I have no idea if the Windsors have recessive redhead genes or not.

But yeah Sparky, you do make a good point about the monarchy trying to keep themselves as appearing up to date and relevant. That's a good enough theory as any. I can certainly relate to it given I partially see them as unnecessary. Isn't Kate a, for lack of a better word "commoner?" If so their willingness to allow William to marry one could be viewed as an attempt to be seen as modern  and opening succession up to female heirs could further support the theory.
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