Bright and Dark Tudor Times

In May 1499, months after the birth of the Tudor’s sixth child, Prince Arthur married by proxy Katherine of Aragon, Infanta to King and Queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella. Henry, now, had his connection to the powerful Spanish nation. Katherine would arrive in England when she reached fourteen in December along with ladies who were beautiful in order to make “English” connections.

Those connections were endangered with the arrival of another pretender appeared on the scene and though, Henry took care of him quickly, the Spanish King and Queen’s faith on Henry’s hold on the English throne. Especially since there was a very true threat to Henry’s crown, that threat was the Earl of Warwick.

Henry had to rid himself of the claimant to the throne, one who had a better claim than Henry since he was the son of the Duke of Clarence (brother to Edward IV and uncle to Elizabeth of York). Alison Weir writes in Elizabeth of York, “the likelihood is that Ferdinand warned Henry VII that while Warwick lived, the Infanta would not be coming to England.”

How was Henry to accomplish this when Warwick committed no crime and was locked up in the Tower of London? But Henry needed the Spanish alliance and wasn’t the king the law? He just had to find a way.

Robert Cleymound met with Lord Warwick in his cell and plotted to “fire and seize the Tower, thus facilitating his escape to Flanders, whence he would make war upon Henry VII.” Then contact was made with Warbeck who was locked in the Tower and just below Warwick’s own cell. The plot was that Warbeck and Warwick would escape from the tower and Warbeck was told that Warwick would make him king whereas Warwick was told he would be king. But Cleymound claimed Warbeck informed the king of the plot.

Warwick was tried on November 19 in Westminster Hall. He plead guilty perhaps because he did not understand since he was considered simple-minded (as his contemporaries called him). He was sentenced to a traitor’s death.

On November 29, Warwick was beheaded on Tower Hill. He was twenty-four years old. He was buried in Bisham Priory beside his grandfather, Warwick the Kingmaker. Years later, Katherine was said to say, that her marriage to Prince Arthur had been made in blood.

After the executions, Henry fell ill and recovered by the middle of December. That same year, the plague so to over the pandemic the King and Queen traveled to Calais. This was the first and last time Elizabeth had traveled abroad. While in English-held territory in France, Elizabeth and Henry met with the Archduke Phillip and his Archduchess Juana of Castile, sister to Katherine of Aragon. Forty days after departing England, Elizabeth and Henry returned to the realm.

Upon the arrival at Greenwich, they received distressing news. Prince Andrew’s health was a concern yet the worse was the death of their infant son Prince Edmund at fifteen months. The baby prince was given a state funeral, provisions which Henry VII had laid down.

During this time, Katherine departed Spain. She arrived in England on October 2, 1501. Prince Arthur and the King traveled to with the future Queen of England.

Preparations for the marriage began. On November 9, Katherine met Prince Henry. Then on the 12th, Katherine entered the city of London to bells ringing, banners fluttering about and crowded streets where music played and wine ran free. The next day, Elizabeth met her future daughter-in-law. “During her audience, she and Elizabeth both spoke in Latin, and they enjoyed ‘pleasant and goodly communication, dancing, and disports. Thus, with honor and mirth, this Saturday was expired and done,’ and it was late when Katherine departed for Lambeth Palace to make ready for her wedding day.”

On November 14, 1501, Arthur and Katherine were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Their wedding night would play an importance years later when Henry VIII sought a divorce.

The young royal couple departed for Ludlow Castle on December 21, 1501. That royal marriage wasn’t the only one being arranged. In January 1502, Henry arranged a treaty of marriage with James IV of Scotland. His daughter, Margaret would become Queen of Scots but would not travel across the border until September 1503.

The good cheer of the wedding wouldn’t last. In February, Prince Arthur sickened. And another threat reared up. Henry dealt with the menace but the King’s power meant nothing with his son’s health. Prayers were said, pilgrimage was made by two priests Elizabeth hired, and offers were given to the church.

Arthur’s health improved enough that he was well enough to wash the feet of fifteen men on Maundy Thursday on March 24.

Four days into April, the worse happened. Arthur, Prince of Wales and future King, died. The fifteen-year-old was buried at Worcester and not Westminster Abbey. According to Weir, it has been suggested that Arthur died of something contagious since his body had to be buried as swiftly as possible.

Alison Weir says of forty-five-year-old Henry’s reaction, “‘When the King understood these sorrowful, heavy tidings, he sent for the Queen, saying that he and his wife would take their powerful sorrow together.’ Thus it was the Elizabeth heard the shattering news every parent dreads to hear, that her child was dead in the flower of his youth.”

Elizabeth reacted as any mother would. She collapsed. Henry rushed to her and comforted her. Her son’s death impacted her health. There are reports of the Queen’s health taking a turn for the worse.

Katherine, widow of Arthur afterward stayed with the King and Queen then went on to reside at Croydon Palace. The young Prince Henry Tudor was now being groomed as the heir to the English and Irish throne. But that’s another story.

Dressed in her mourning attire that Henry set down in his ordinances, the royal couple decided they were still capable of bearing more children. Elizabeth and Henry had always lived together. She accompanied him on his journeys yet on 1502 Elizabeth departed from Windsor and Henry’s side. By the end of September, Henry reunited with his wife.

Royal duties resumed but Elizabeth was with child again. She wasn’t due until February and preparations being made for her confinement.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, celebrated the Christmas season. Meanwhile, Henry was consumed with the construction of the new Lady Chapel. In January 1503, Elizabeth came by river to Westminster to reunite with the King. They, then, traveled onto the Tower.

On February 2, 1503, Elizabeth was still at the Tower (her father’s favorite residence) when the baby arrived ten days early. After the difficult birth, the daughter was christened Katherine on the Saturday after her birth at the parish church of the Tower.

That same time, Elizabeth fell ill. She worsened swiftly. The king sent a man for the physician and paid a boatman to wait for the doctor along with horses and guides to get him to the queen’s side through the dark night.

Elizabeth of York–the Bloom of the House of York–died in the early morning of Saturday, February 11. Her thirty-seventh birthday. Henry was at her side along with priests for last rites and her attendants and servants.

Henry was heartbroken. He traveled to Richmond to mourn his wife alone. For six weeks he was so low with grief that he sickened and was said near death. Tradition decreed that he would not attend her funeral. He ordered a new velvet cloth of estate of blue, the color of royal mourning. Books were bound in this fabric and mourning attire in black and blue. He slowly came out of mourning ten months later. He also abandoned the Tower, which led to the decline as a royal residence. Future royals only stay there for their coronations as tradition had set.

Elizabeth of York Funeral Effigy

In London, six-hundred and six masses were offered by the king and fifty-six pounds of wax candles burned at Walsingham for the monks while they prayed for her.

Henry now the lone king became even more of a miser than he was before along with being suspicious and harsh since Elizabeth’s influence was now absent. He never married again.

Henry VII died on April 21, 1509 at Richmond Palace of tuberculosis.

Yet the blood of Elizabeth flowed through Stuart monarchs, Hanoverians monarch and the House of Windsor and her namesake, Queen Elizabeth II, her sixteenth generation descendant.

My Tele is British but this Author is American…

As a writer, I love books, movies, TV shows—anything else that tells a story. Also being a writer, I cannot always watch the TV shows at the moment they premiere so I binge, stuffing myself with entertainment and fun.And they are so many great shows that have me bingeing like a 21-years-old’s first time at the bar.

These are the ones that I am loving… 

The Crown:

This award-winning Netflix’s series is set during Elizabeth’s first years after having the British crown placed on her head. The man who wrote The Queen, which starred Helen Mirren,  also wrote this series. The Crown is the most expensive series produced, costing $130 million (that’s 100 million pounds). Understandably since this show is rich in every way.

Birds of Feather:

This British comedy series centers around two sisters, Sharon and Tracey, and their friend Dorien or Foxy Cohen (her pen name for her novel Sixty Shades of Green). This series first aired in 1989 and returned in 2016 (and feature the original cast.) This series is a great way for me to unwind. They are three friends that take jabs at each other, laugh when they fall but when it truly counts, these three women stand by each other.

Good Girls Revolt  

This Amazon series is the fictional account of the female researchers of Newsweek (the lowest-level positions) who sue for gender discrimination and changed America’s workplace. Sadly, this show has been canceled. But if you can see the first and only check it out. The details and setting are rich and transport you to 60s NYC and it sparked the go-get’em feel in me.

Agatha Raisin

Another British series (I watched a lot of Brit TV) set in the Cotswolds. It’s a cozy mystery series about a London PR agent who sells everything, purchases her dream cottage in the Cotswolds and finds herself accused of a poisoning someone. Agatha finds she has a talent for solving murders. I just lose myself in the story, characters and oh the scenery–Agatha’s home is my dream cottage.

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

We all must have heard the stories about Scientology. This series speaks to the previous members of this group who share their horror stories of abuse at the hands of this organization. Whatever your personal beliefs toward Scientology, this series is gripping, heart-wrenched and at times, leaves me wondering how people find themselves part of groups like this. Though, non-fiction it is a great way for you to learn more about character and motivation because you see it in weekly episodes. 

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

An Aussie show set in 1920s Sydney. Miss Fisher is a private detective who has a great eye for fashion, a smart, quick mind, a heart for adventure and a steady hand to shot her gun but most importantly, the soul of a crusader. When I go back in time I want to be Miss Fisher.

Happy Valley

This Netflix series is about a female Police Sergeant named in Catherine who is raising her grandson after her daughter’s suicide with the help of her recovering addicted sister. Catherine is a strong woman who is dealing with life and doing her job. I can’t tell you much without them you all. But I love a strong woman living her life.

Outlander

If you are reading this blog, you most likely read romance novels and probably have heard of the Outlander books and series so I do not have to blurt out the same description you already know.  I enjoy the tale of Claire and Jaimie. Yes, Sam Heughan is damn hot. In the first season, I felt Claire’s struggle between staying with Jaimie and returning to Frank. I love both those men. And I hate Black Jack— oh the emotions, I stir me with the both the show and books.

Besides, being entertained by a wonderful story with talented actors and the beauty of Scotland, I see how the novel’s story is translated to TV.

Versailles

French Royal soap opera with the Sun King–Louis XIV. It’s about lust, power, and the fate of a royal family. Watching this series, you see the grandness of the French court as Louis moves the royal court from Paris to Versailles. The royal hunting lodge located in swamp land that becomes the grand house that still awes the world. Louis and Philippe (the king’s brother) deal with the intrigue of the French nobles and led to the French nation through history. As a viewer, you know how the House of Bourbon ends.