Catherine Vs. Jane: The Devoted Wives

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Hello!

I love how I feel like I’m done with these versus posts until I think of another batch of people to compare their stories to a newer audience. This is one of two others I want to write sometime before the end of the year.  And after this post, we actually work our way out of talking about the Tudors! So if you’re annoyed over the fact that’s been my topic of choice, hopefully you’ll like those! Until then, we are going to discuss about Katherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s first and third wives and queens of England respectively.

I know a lot of people are freaking out that I put “Catherine” in the banner, but yet I’m still spelling it with a “K” in this post. Since Henry married three women with the same name, some people recognize her name with a “C” but since I was introduced to her as “Katherine” it’s just what I go for first, so there’s your answer to the mystery. I’m sorry if all I’ve done is confused you.

There’s a lot of speculation whether or not you can fall in love with your arranged spouse. You can find it throughout history of children being married off for different reasons, one being money. If you came from a wealthy family, there were times that the fathers or in some cases mothers would arrange a marriage with one of their daughters to be married off into another family, because they needed the dowry. This goes with Katherine of Aragon, as she was a Spanish princess, she was given to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. They married but instead of her returning back to Spain when he died, she stayed because Henry VII needed her dowry, so after the death of the king, she married Henry, who was now the next in line to the throne.

We’ve heard stories of Henry’s hatred for Katherine once he fell in love with Anne, but I think they actually loved each other. I mean, he would have had to love her to make her regent when he went to France in 1512 to fight in the war. A year after they had married, the wedded bliss would start to fade as they lost their first child – a daughter in 1509. Soon afterwards she became pregnant again, this time giving birth to a baby boy that they named Henry, Duke of Cornwall, but unfortunately, the little prince would die just fifty two days after his birth. I can’t imagine losing a child, especially if one was a needed heir for the Tudor dynasty and help to save the marriage to these two people.

Let’s fast forward to when Henry married Jane Seymour.

After the the marriage and beheading to Anne Boleyn was done, Henry quickly married Jane. She was a maid of honour for both Katherine and Anne. Jane’s father was Sir John Seymour and he was a courtier to Henry VIII and majority of his children also became courtiers besides Jane. One of the differences between Henry’s previous wives, was the fact that she wasn’t as educated as they were, but she was good at needlework and keeping a household, which at the time was more of a custom to women.

The other thing that made her different from both Katherine and Anne was her promise to Henry, she actually gave him a son. Their only child together would be Edward VI. After he was born, she was really sick with some type of infection and after reading about how people took care of themselves back then, I’m surprised this didn’t happen more often! After her son’s christening, she died and left Henry a broken man despite she did what nobody else could have give him.

Henry is buried next to Jane at Westminster Abbey. I do think that before his death, she was his only love despite being married to five other women and slept around with some of the ladies in waiting that probably took care of Jane as she was labor with their child and watched her die.  Whether it was only because she was the one to give him a son or the fact that he truly loved her, we’ll never know but I find this decision very interesting. I think once Jane died, I think he was fine without marrying anyone again as there is a pretty big gap between Jane and Anne of Cleves, there’s five years in between these two women. If he wasn’t so paranoid about having a spare like he was after the death of his older brother Prince Arthur, then I think he would never had continued to search for a new wife.

I think every woman that Henry came into contact with, while or after he was married, wanted to please him. Honestly, if you’re in a room with a very high up person like an official or royal, you’ll try your best not to step on their toes. I think all of his wives wanted to be there for him in some way. However, I often wonder, like probably everybody that is obsessed with this time period, is if Jane had lived would Henry still have the same feelings for her as he did after she gave birth to Edward?

Do you believe that King Henry VIII ever loved any of his wives?

If Henry, Duke of Cornwall or any of their other male children had lived, do you think Henry would have asked for a divorce from Katherine? And if Jane had lived, do you think Henry would have loved her just as much?

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Places To Visit In England

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Hi 🙂

I am so happy that you guys have allowed me to talk about history and I can actually discuss some of my favorite sections on here for the past several months. Right now, it’s been about British royal history and the lone Russian Imperial Family post, but hopefully I’ll be talking about other eras that have always interested me too. I do have three more possible “versus” posts coming soon, but I wanted to do something a little different this week and explain a little bit more about why I had to change my bucket list destination from London to just England in general.

London will forever be my main destination. It currently holds the #1 spot in my heart but everybody is familiar with London and while that’s nothing to be sad about really, I actually know about different cities and villages that surround London as I’ve been able to learn more about the Plantagenet and Tudor eras and I really liked to visit them just as much.

I’ve actually been longing to create this post for the past two years. Yeah, I said TWO years! I realized after I finished this post that I didn’t go into any details on how much these castles were handicap accessible, although I know I will not be able to go up to the second floors, as there were no working elevators at the time! So this will be a rough list, because I can always figure out other places to add on, but at least you’ll get an idea of where I’d like to visit one day! Oh, I probably should say that I don’t have any plans of going there anytime soon. If I’m honest, I feel like I’d need more than one week to get my fill and visit some of my favorite places and landmarks. I’ve always wanted to stay there for two weeks to a month at a time so I don’t have to rush things and I can enjoy being in the moment.

Hampton Court Palace – located in London

If you are into the Tudor times like me, you may think that King Henry VIII was the one who created Hampton Castle/Palace, but he wasn’t. It was actually one of his most trusted advisers Cardinal Thomas Wosley. He had it built for himself but gave it to Henry. After the demise of both Wosley and the Catholic church, it was still one of his favorite places.

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Hampton Court is one of my favorite Tudor palaces. It’s also the one I know the most about too. It’s very unique as it is mainly used with red brick, that’s not traditional when you think of the gothic look to buildings of that time! I also love the subtle gestures towards Anne Boleyn in different corners of the entrances. It’s kind of shocking that they were never plastered off after she was beheaded but maybe Henry had forgotten he had them put in? At least that’s what I’m thinking what happened!

Ludlow Castle – located in Shrosphire

Ludlow is one castle that I feel I still have a lot to learn about, but I know it was the place where Prince Arthur lived when he was a boy and teen. When he married Katherine of Aragon, this was where they lived for the first few months before he died. I think it was a popular place to send the heir apparents to study with their tutors and the clergymen. Elizabeth of York’s younger brothers Edward V and Richard, Duke of York was set there. When Edward was about two years old he was sent to live away from court life and his parents. King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s son Edward VI was also taken there as a young boy too.

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Ludlow would be considered a “ruined” castle as it hasn’t been kept up to shape as several other palaces have in recent years. It no longer has the second floor and grass has grown over the walls and ground. However, it still looks imposing! These ruined castles, abbeys and houses are still fascinating to people because there is still so much history to them and that’s why people still want to visit them.

Warwick Castle – located in Warwichshire

Warwick Castle is another favorite of mine. It has always been owned by a noble family, mostly the Earls of Warwick and eventually privately to different families. The first earl to inherit the stunning castle was Henry de Beamont in 1088 and it was given to him by William the Conqueror.

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I became interested in Warwick Castle after learning about “The Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick) as he was the cousin to both Edward IV and Richard III. Richard’s daughters married the younger brothers of Edward, Isabel married George, Duke of Clarence and Anne married Richard, Duke of Gloucester who later after the death of Edward she became his Queen Consort. I think Warwick Castle has this interesting yellow glow to it. Everytime I see pictures of it, I see like a very plain shade of yellow within the stone.

Hever Castle – located in Kent

Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII the one responsible for Henry’s sudden change to the Protestant faith and wanting to divorce his wife Katherine of Aragon after she wasn’t able to give him a son and heir. Anne lived there with her parents Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard and siblings Mary Boleyn (who was also a mistress to King Henry VIII) and George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford.

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What is surprising is that Hever hasn’t been on my radar that long as despite the fact that I’ve always been a huge supporter of Anne Boleyn, I just figured her childhood home had been destroyed years ago either from old age or during the aftermath of World War II and the Blitz. So when I did find out that it was still standing, I was kind of happy! If you’d like to see the inside of Hever Castle, you need to look into The History Review on Facebook and take a look at Hayley Nolan’s podcast/videos, you’ll be just as amazed as I was of the inside of this place!


I have two other cities I’d like to pop into, first there’s Bath. It is known for the Roman built baths, they thought the waters had healing powers and so they created baths all over the city. One thing that I want to say about Bath is that, despite not knowing a lot about King George III “The Mad King” and his son and the regency age that his son George IV who had command of Great Britain in the early 1800’s, I have always found the history of Bath during this time period interesting. Besides the baths themselves, there are some very cool architecture and I’ve been very fond of the townhouses, but then again I like townhouses anyway! Every country has a different design and paint them in quirky colors, but “The Royal Crescent” in Bath are my favorite. It is a giant half circular row of townhouses that were first used for the wealthy. but honestly I still feel like you need to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford one of these apartments!

One of my favorite girls and blogger Kelly recently went to Bath and wrote about her experiences about what to do and what not to do in Bath. She took photos while she was there so you can see the beautifulness of the two locations I just spoke about in the last paragraph to get a better idea of the amazing things it has to offer.

York is the second and a very historic place in many ways. There are castles and abbeys there, but there’s other things too, like a museum called the “Jorvik Viking Centre” because after the Romans, the Vikings invaded and inhabited it. York has a rich history of both invasions and are still finding artifacts from the area. I feel like my dad would love this place too since he’s so interested in the Vikings.

Fellow blogger Kelly of Let’s Go Somewhere Nice has been very helpful with telling me some of the history about York that I kind of knew about, I heard the story once on Mysteries At The Museum about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The story is pretty interesting and every year on November 5th, I have to fight the urge to want fireworks! Look up the story and then you’ll understand what I mean. I follow a fun group on Facebook that talks about the past and present day British royals, and a follower Nic James had posted some pictures of his trip to York and Edinburgh, Scotland on the page. I’m not that familiar with a lot of the landmarks yet, so I left her a question about a beautiful gothic cathedral that she told me later is called York Minster. I recently watched a special about England’s Northeast side and I got to see the inside of the beautiful church. She left me a great quote about York that I wanted to share in this post because it sounds like my kind of place!

It’s full of folklore, ghost stories, majestic architecture, tradition; all mixed together and steeped in history.

One of my dreams is also to visit the burial sites of some of my favorite monarchs and put roses by their effigies. I’d like to visit Peterborough Cathedral as that’s where Katherine of Aragon is buried, people like to put flowers, her symbol pomegranates, and pray for her by her tomb. And then I’d like to place three white roses on the site of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. I’d also love to visit Westminster Abbey and Tower of London do the same thing with Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey but tie both a red and white rose together and lay them by their sites.

If you could choose any place in the world to visit for two weeks or a month, where would you go? And why are those places important to you?

References:

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Richard vs. Henry: Who Deserved The Crown?

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Hello 🙂

I have somehow managed to get involved in two different parties that involve two very powerful men in the British Royal Family. On Facebook, you have the Richard III Society and there’s also The Henry Tudor Society. If you’re not familiar with medieval kings, you may not know why these two sides have always been controversial. I feel like I should have published this on August 22nd since that was the date of the Battle Of Bosworth Field and this would make more sense because you could find tons of information about them, but I already had a blog post and it takes me too long to rearrange them, so I kept it for today.

Richard was never supposed to be king, but after the death of his brother King Edward IV he was given rights to protect his oldest nephew, the new King Edward V. However, when Richard locked him in a cellar with his younger brother Richard, Duke Of York at the Tower of London the two disappeared and people assumed Richard had them killed.

There was always a theory in the Tudor times that King Richard III was a hunchback. They even painted a portrait of him and basically used it as propaganda to the people of England. To many people those were rumors put in place by their historians to make him look more villainous. And then after 500 years of wondering about it, they finally found his grave site in modern day London, where they found a corpse of a man with a bent up spine just like Richard was rumored to have had as well! In 2012, DNA came up with positive results that it was indeed the lost hunchback king, Richard III.

When I heard about this I was amazed! I have read so many articles and watched two separate programs about him that I’ve sort of became a sympathizer to Richard. However, the question remains, if the Tudor were right about the fact he was disabled, what if he truly had his nephews killed?

Now we have to discuss King Henry VII, the son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort. A woman who was betrothed to Edmund at the age of 12 and had Henry just under a year later. According to reports, it was a very traumatic experience for her but she loved her son very much!  She was the great-great-great-great granddaughter of King Edward III and great-great-great granddaughter of John of Guant, through his mistress but later became his wife Katherine Swynford. If you watch Game Of Thrones the term “bastard” should appear in your head right now.

Margaret was a loyal subject to the House of Lancaster, but when she married her fourth husband Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl Of Derby later on in life she changed sides to help support her common enemy King Edward IV and the House Of York. The reason why she didn’t like them was because after the fall of Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou, her son was exiled and taken away from her to live in Wales with his uncle Jasper Tudor. So switching sides was not on her agenda by any means!

Despite this, she became one of Queen Elizabeth Woodville’s ladies-in-waiting and was even present in the births of their younger children. After the death of the king, Elizabeth and her children took up sanctuary since she did not support Richard and she began to write to Margaret Beaufort and made arrangements to marry off her oldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, who herself was considered a bastard after Richard found any means necessary to strip the rest of the clan of their titles so they could not claim the throne without it being treason, even if that making the world believe that a dead woman was contracted to marry Edward before he met Elizabeth.

However, later the older daughters (Elizabeth, Cecily, and Anne) were allowed to come to court and become their aunt Queen Anne’s ladies-in-waiting and somehow a rumor appeared to a romantic fling between the Lady Elizabeth and King Richard III. I think, this was also propaganda against Henry Tudor as they knew she was promised to him if he fought Richard. After Richard was killed at Bosworth Field, Henry finally married Elizabeth of York and she went on to bore him seven children.

Prince Arthur who was heir apparent; before his death at the age of 15, married the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. Princess Margaret, who went on to marry King James IV of Scotland and is the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots and great-grandmother of King James VI and I. Prince Henry, who went on to become King Henry VIII and married Katherine of Aragon after the death of his brother and she bore him two children Princess Mary (who became Mary I) and Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall who died just 52 days after his birth. He renounced the Catholic faith and married Anne Boleyn. She bore him another daughter Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth I. After beheading Anne, he married her lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour and she bore him a son, King Edward VI but since she died shortly after, he went on to marry three more women: Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

His sister Princess Mary, became a Queen consort of Louis XII of France but it was only a brief marriage and she then returned to England and secretly married Charles Brandon, Duke Of Suffolk who was the king’s best friend and trusted adviser. She bore him two daughters Lady Eleanor and Lady Frances, who married Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, they had three daughters: Mary, Catherine and Jane, who was the de facto Queen of England after the death of her cousin King Edward VI. The other children of Henry and Elizabeth did not live to adulthood, but nevertheless they were Princess Elizabeth, Prince Edmund and Princess Katherine.

We know the stories of The Wars Of The Roses and what happened at the Battle of Bosworth Field, but everything in between is pretty bleak. It’s hard to choose a side to support, because I will admit I know more about the Tudor times, but after finding out the King Richard III was disabled and that he had scoliosis like myself, is kind of cool! There are many royals in history who suffered from disabilities that had lost their chances in the succession to the throne because of it. I have to fight not being mad about that, because it was a custom back then and unfortunately, that way of thinking is still ongoing in the different royal families of Europe.

What do you think of both the last Plantagenet and first Tudor king’s stories? Who do you think deserved the crown?
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Book Review: Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir

Back in November, I celebrated my birthday with a trip to one of my favorite places: Barnes & Noble. I hadn’t been there since 2012, so it had been a long time coming and even though I had a list of books that weren’t necessarily for pleasure, I still managed to find two books that I found interesting, one was The Kings and Queens of England by Ian Crofton and the other was Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir.

If you remember, 2016 was the year where I watched a lot of documentaries and discovered the On-Demand button apparently! I watched The Tudors in the month of February and made a review and that June I watched The White Queen which is the story of Edward IV and his commoner wife Elizabeth Woodville and the lives of George, Duke Of Clarence, King Richard III, (brothers of Edward) Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Of Anjou, Henry V, Thomas Neville, “The Kingmaker” (cousin to Edward, George, and Richard) and his wife and daughters Isabella (later wife to George) and Anne (later wife and queen consort to King Richard III). I also reviewed the show on here after finishing the series.

I bought this book before I ever found out that they were continuing the TV series of Philippa Gregory’s books, what both shows were based off of, not Alison’s effort. I will say once I found out there was to be a show telling the reign of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, it did fuel my inspiration to finally read it. I started on it either before or on February 28, sometimes I read a lot in one sitting, but I am not sure when I actually started on it. On Goodreads, it states that the book is over 500+ pages long but the real last part of her story ends on 457! The rest of it explains references mentioned inside and Alison also gives you a list of some of her ladies-in-waiting, maid-of-honours, and gentlewomen.

If you were to read some of the reviews of this book on Goodreads, they might discourage you from ever purchasing it. Elizabeth of York wasn’t the type of queen who ruled the country through her husband, she wasn’t that type of person so most people think she was weak and maintained this goody-too-shoes attitude to her husband and the rest of the court, but I don’t think this is a bad thing! She was taught from a very young age what was expected of her as Queen of England and mother to her children. Despite the fact that she was a well-liked queen, some thought deserved to rule the kingdom than anybody else, but at the time no female had done that until her granddaughters Mary I, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

So here are some sections you will learn inside the book!

Elizabeth Of York is the oldest daughter of King Edward IV and his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Her mother was originally a widow of soldier who fought with the House of Lancaster, her husband Sir Thomas Grey died on the battlefield. She already had two young boys, Thomas and Richard Grey. When the young King Edward met with them it was only to ask for her husband’s land back after they were confiscated when Sir Thomas died. They met under an oak tree and Edward was obviously very taken with her that he fought against his “Kingmaker” Thomas Neville and family’s wishes to not marry into royal blood.

Elizabeth was born in 1466, at that time they, of course, didn’t have ways to know whether or not the baby was going to be a male and heir to the throne. So when she was born, instead of her father being furious with her and his wife, he accepted her and hoped for heirs in the future. King Edward and Queen Elizabeth ended up having 10 children in all, but two of them died. There were three places that she and the royal family and court lived during her early childhood: Sheen, Greenwich and Westminster Castle. Her father had betrothed Elizabeth about five times, the first being to the Dauphin of France after he and his brothers were to go to war to fight back their lands against King Louis XI.

After the death of her father in 1483, her uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester was named guardian of her younger brother Edward V and he was taken by force to The Tower; later he would be joined by their younger brother Richard where the rumors would fly for many decades about what really happened to them as “The Princess In The Tower”. Also at this time, Richard got Parliament to accept that Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth’s mother was invalid and that the children were bastards thus the Duke of Gloucester became King Richard III.

I’ve chosen to leave quite a bit out of this review for a reason–it would ruin the entire thing if I told you more! The book itself is a little intimidating because of the amount of pages it has, but there’s always a thrill of learning about a person’s life, especially if they’ve been dead for centuries! I am generally a fan of biographies, so I knew I’d enjoy it!

I will say I did have some favorite chapters! Chapter 5: “Her Only Joy and Maker” which talks about what would be expected of not only Elizabeth of York when she’s married but her sisters, what their roles of both wife and mother if their husband was of royal blood, Chapter 9: “Offspring Of The Race Of Kings” you will see the birth of King Henry VII and Elizabeth’s first child Prince Arthur! Chapter 11: “Bright Elizabeth” tells you about her coronation as Queen of England in great detail and Chapter 15: “The Spanish Infanta” is about when the Princess Katherine of Aragon finally married Prince Arthur of Wales and some unfortunate events happen afterwards!

I gave the book on Goodreads four stars I think! It would have been five stars, if I hadn’t ruined a bit for myself between watching The White Queen last year and scooping out little pieces of information on the internet… That’s how I knew what year she had died and how many kids she and her husband had together! Also, if you are wondering whether or not to read the book, do not look through the reviews! Keep yourself away from the spoilers and let yourself be open to the story of the forgotten Plantagenet-Tudor queen!

Have you read Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World yet? Are you watching The White Princess on STARZ? 

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