Thursday, June 20, 2019

Henry VIII of England--

Henry VIII | Biography, Wives, & Facts | Britannica
Henry VIII of England
King of England 1509
Lord of Ireland 1509
Son ofHenry VII of England Elizabeth of York.

A true prince of the Renaissance.
"Henry VIII, who ascended the throne in 1509, was a true prince of the Renaissance, a brilliant scholar and sportsman whose good looks, splendid physique and kingly bearing were the talk of Christendom. The magnificence of his court attracted many great and learned men, and in the first half of his reign no expense was spared on lavish ceremonial and display. The young King delighted in tournaments and in sumptuous pageants based on classical or allegorical themes, and spent vast sums on costumes and scenery, much of which was made from cloth of gold. Later in his reign the more dramatic masque, an Italian novelty, became popular. Besides these more superficial entertainments, Henry delighted in the company of scholars, artists and musicians, and his court became a renowned centre of culture. Ut seemed that England had embarked upon a new gold age of glory and prosperity, and that Henry would found a dynasty that would surpass even the splendour and fame of the Plantagenets, whose throne the King's father had usurped in 1485." (The Children of Henry VIII: 1)

Henry's physical appearance and personal  qualities.
"The peaceful accession of King Henry VIII on 21 April 1509 had been greeted with unrestrained delight. 'All the world here is rejoicing in the possession of so great a Prince' wrote William Blount, Lord Mountjoy. Here indeed was a prince among men. At around six foot three inches tall, Henry was, quite literally, head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries. Even the ambassadors of other reals were lavish in their praise of the young king. His skin was pink and healthy, his auburn hair shone like gold, his whole body was 'admirably proportioned'. The epitome of vigour and youth, it was believed 'nature cold not have done more for him.'" (Bastard Prince: Henry VIII's Lost Son)

"The stereotype of the mature Henry VIII is that of a fat tyrant, but in his teens, he was very tall, athletic and handsome, but he was forced to control his exuberant personality because he feared his father's reproaches and temper. Nevertheless, he was admired for his intelligence as well as his amiable and courteous manners, always benign and complimenting in his interchanges and relations with others." (Saint-Saëns' Henry VIII: 18)

From Venetian ambassador, Sebastian Giustiniani:
"His Majesty is the handsomest potentate I have ever set eyes on; above the usual height with an extreme fine calf to his leg, his complexion fair and bright with auburn hair combed straight and short in the French fashion, and a round face so very beautiful that it would become a pretty woman, his throat being rather long and think." (Bastard Prince)

"His impressive stature and handsome features inspired awe and admiration. Equally lauded for his athletic process with spear or sword, he was an accomplished rider, who hunted with such enthusiasm that he tired eight or ten horses in a day, not to mention those of his courtiers who did not share his formidable stamina. . . Also praised for his learning and other talents, the new king may well gave merited the accolades, which were heaped upon him. Yet beneath the admiration must have been a significant degree of relief." (Bastard Prince)
Por orden de aparición, las esposas de Enrique VIII (en el centro): Catalina de Aragón, Ana Bolena, Juana Seymour, Ana de Cléveris, Catalina Howard y Catalina Parr.
Henry VIII & his wives
@El Espanol

Henry VIII's Wives:

"Bluff King Hall was full of beans;
He married half a dozen queens.
For three called Kate they cried the
And one called Jane, and a couple of
From Kings & Queens

1. Catherine of Aragon, mar 1509, ann 1533.

2. Anne Boleyn, mar 1533, exe 1536

" . . . That summer [1513], Margaret had acquired a new maid of honour who may have been present in her retinue when she met Henry. The maid was a dark-haired English girl of twelve years named Anne Boleyn. If she was there, Anne would have seen the tine of the festivities turn flirtatious, with Henry's close friend Charles Brandon conducting an ardent game to woo the widowed Margaret and stealing a ring from her finger under the pretence of an engagement. . . ." (The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Women’s Storieslxxxiii)
Jane Seymour, via Flickr.
Jane Seymour
3. Jane Seymourmar 1537
Lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon

4. Anne of Clevesmar 1540, ann 1540

5. Catherine Howard, mar 1540, exe 1542

6. Catherine Parr, mar 1543.

"Catherine Parr was no beetle-browed bluestocking. Thought to stand about 5'10", Catherine would be the tallest of Henry VIII's six wives. She featured reddish-gold hair and hazel eyes and would be known for her love of impressive jewels, sumptuous French and Italian gowns, and shoes (in one year, she would order 47 different pairs). Thirty-one when Henry VIII first began to consider her, she did not boast particular beauty, but projected great dignity." (The Six Wives of Henry VIII)

Effects of Henry's affairs on spouses.

"Henry's amorous adventures aroused the Queen's suspicions, but she realized that her husband was acting like many men of the time. Henry regarded it his prerogative to pursue other women, while at the same time expecting his wife to remain chaste. Catherine soon realized that in order to preserve her dignity and avoid destructive public rows and scandals, she would remain silent and not express her indignation and outrage at her husband's extramarital affairs, she was perhaps grateful that he did not shame her by flaunting them.." (Saint-Saëns' Henry VIII: 20)

Secrecy & discretion with his personal relationships.
Henry wasn’t so much a prude as a very private man. While Francis paraded his mistresses in public, Henry preferred to keep his extramarital liaisons known only to a small circle of loyal intimates: his chief minister, his gentlemen of the chamber and his closest friends, many of whom went to the block for treason in the 1530s, contributing to the silence over the king’s private affairs. Henry valued secrecy and discretion when it came to his personal relationships and although he was at the centre of a busy court, he had the means to achieve this." (History Extra)
Anne Boleyn, Queen of England
by Unknown artist, c1533/36
@ National Portrait Gallery
Anne Boleyn (1507-1536).
Queen of England.
Maiden of Honour to Mary Tudor, Queen of France.

Daughter ofSir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire & Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk.

Wife ofHenry VIII of England, mar 1533.

Mother of
: Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Anne Boleyn's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"The Venetian diplomat, Francesco Sanuto, said she was 'not one of the handsomest women in the world; of middling stature, a swarthy complexion, long neck, wide mouth, bosom not much raised', but did all that she had eyes where are black and beautiful'. One of her friends (some friend!) said she was 'good-looking enough'. Which was, of course, true in the end. What attracted Henry in 1526 was not, therefore, so much Anne's beauty, but her character, intelligence and charm. Anne had spent nine years on the Continent -- seven of them at the French court. . . In what remains a compliment of the highest order, one observer later said, 'no one would ever have taken her to be English by her manners, but a native-born Frenchwoman'. She had acquired a certain cosmopolitan glamour, conversational wit, and the graceful epitome of courtly life -- an ability to dance. All these entranced the English kind." (History Extra)

Anne had a 6th finger -- a 'mark of the devil'.
"Anne Boleyn's personal characteristics are the grist of legend. She was not a great beauty and far from one of the handsomest women in the world: it was said by some that she had three breasts. One her left hand, Anne had a sixth finder, which she hid in her dress folds; to many of those who did not approve of her, it was a mark of the devil. She was considered moderately pretty, of average height, the possessor of small breasts and a long, elegant neck. In fact, she was more likely the opposite of the stereotypical image of a beauty of the times, which celebrated pale wo;men with blonde hair and blue eyes; she had thick, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes which often appeared black, and olive-colored skin. Her large dark eyes have often been singled out in descriptions of her: they aroused fascination, and were clearly used to her advantage. Anne, reared amid the intrigues of the French court, had a reputation for being an outrageous flirt and had more than one man in love with her." (Saint-Saens' Henry VIII:23)

Anne Boleyn's personal exposure to royalty & 'professional' experiences in royal court life.

"Anne was 'fille d'honneur,' attending the court of the Archduchess Margaret at the age of 12 years old. Then she was transferred to the household of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister, who was married to Louis XII of France. Anne's sister Mary Boleyn was already an attendant to the Queen of France. However, when Louis XII died, Mary returned to England with Mary Tudor, while Anne remained in France to attend Claude, the new French queen. Anne remained in France for the next 6 or 7 years, learning to speak French fluently, and developing a taste for French clothes, poetry and music. Because of her position, it is possible that she was present at the Field of Cloth of Gold, the famous meeting at Compiegne between Henry VIII and the French King Francis I." (Saint-Saens' Henry VIII: 23)

Anne's infidelity.

Her list of supposed lovers was so outrageous that historians suspect King Henry VIII of inventing Anne Boleyn's infidelity simply to get rid of her. But now it has emerged that there could be some truth in the stories about Anne's affairs. Anne, Henry's second wife, was executed after being charged with having affairs with five men, one of them her own brother. . . Professor George Bernard, an authority on the Tudor period, says a French poem - written a few days after Anne was beheaded in 1536 - reveals the truth about her bedroom secrets. The historian said the 1,000-line poem, written by Lancelot de Carles, secretary to the French ambassador to England, names three of Anne's lovers - musician Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris a courtier who was head of the King's chamber, and her own brother, George Boleyn. . . The poem reveals that accusations of infidelity against Anne first came to light in a court quarrel between two siblings - a pregnant lady of the queen's privy chamber and the lady's brother, a privy councillor. Ladies of the privy chamber were among the closest to the queen. The brother accuses his sister of being promiscuous, to which she replies that the queen's behaviour is far worse because she has been committing adultery with her own brother. In the poem the lady-in-waiting also refers to Smeaton and Norris as seduced by Anne's 'caresses'. All three men, along with two courtiers, were charged with 'carnal love of the queen' and executed in the Tower of London on May 17, 1536. Professor Barnard claims the pregnant lady can be identified as the Countess of Worcester - described in a 16th Century letter as being Anne's principal accuser. The Professor, whose research will be published in April in a book called Anne Boleyn, suggests the queen took lovers because with Henry's intermittent impotence, it was the only hope she had of producing the male heir he craved. He said the fact that Anne's ladies-in-waiting apparently knew about the affairs made her infidelity all the more believable." (Daily Mail)

The fate of Anne Boleyn's alleged lovers.

"In April 1536, Mark Smeaton, Anne's musician and friend of several years, was arrested and probably tortured into making revelations about the Queen's improprieties. Afterwards, Sir Henry Norris was arrested and placed in the Tower of London, which was followed by the arrest of the Queen's own brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and charged with adultery with the Queen, both found guilty and sentenced to be hung, cut down while still living, and then disemboweled and quartered." (Saint-Saens' Henry VIII: 26)
Katherine Howard
Queen of England
Katherine Howard (1522-1542)
[Bio2:Tudor History]

Daughter ofLord Edmund Howard & Joyce Culpepper

Wife of: Henry VIII of England mar 1540.

"Less than twenty days after his marriage to Anne of Cleves [was annulled?], Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Henry saw her as a perfect and unspoiled: 'a rose without a thorn.' But Catherine harbored secrets: an affair several years earlier in which she had promised to marry and another affair with her music teacher, a relationship she resumed after she became Queen. Eventually, her infidelity was discovered and she was arrested. Both men were executed, and Catherine was beheaded." (Saint-Saens' Henry VIII: 29)

"These days Katherine would be defined as a victim of neglect as well as child abuse following her experiences with Henry Mannox in the home of Katherine’s step-grandmother, Agnes Tilney, dowager duchess of Norfolk. In any terms  Katherine was pre-contracted in marriage to Francis Dereham – making her marriage to Henry invalid. It could be argued that having declared their intention to marry and then had intercourse that they were in fact married to one another. As a mark of this Dereham had given her money to look after whilst he was away from her.  Katherine undoubtedly had an affair with Thomas Culpepper, one of her distant cousins, whilst she was married to Henry VIII. The woman who made it possible for the couple to meet was Lady Rochford. Lady Rochford was George Boleyn’s widow and the woman who had testified to an incestuous relationship between George and Anne (who needs Game of Thrones) and just for good measure if you recall the mysterious Mistress Parker – some historians think it might have been Jane before her marriage to George Boleyn. Both Jane and Katherine were executed on 13 February 1542." (The History Jar)

"Catherine Howard is most famous -- or infamous -- for committing adultery whilst married to the king. It may be the case though, that the marriage itself was adulterous or bigamous, as according to practices of the time, she was technically someone else's wife after her marriage wo Henry, Her behaviour prior to arriving at court gives some good indication of the casual sexual encounters that occurred between young people living under the same roof. Unsupervised as a teenager, she had an early liaison with her music teacher Henry Manor, during which he came to have an intimate knowledge of her body whilst stopping short of full intercourse. This was more due to his lowly social status than her youth. Sharing a dormitory whch was supposedly locked securely at night, Catherine found a way to entertain her new lover, Francis Dereham, whose status as a gentleman gained him access to her bed. While the women slept in the crowded chamber, Dereham and a griend crept in using a duplicate key and spent the night there in feasting and merrymaking. It its clear from the descriptions of the 'panting and puffing' as well as witness statements, that Cathering and Dereham had full sexx on a number of occasions, in the belief that they would be married in the future, 'hanging together by the belly like sparrows'; a bird that was considered especially lascivious. By calling each other man and wife, they had entered into a pre-contract or handfasting, which was as good as a ceremony in the eyes of the Church, thus legally invalidating Catherine's union with Henry. Catherine's later condemnation for adultery, therefore, had little basis in reality." (In Bed with the Tudors)

Henry VIII's Mistresses.
Liaisons for a young, athletic & handsome king.
"In 1518, Henry was 27 years old, still young, athletic and handsome. He is known to have had a host of liaisons. Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount, a young maid of honor of Queen Catherine, to which a son was born in June 1519, baptized Henry and given the surname of Fitzroy (King's son); Arabella Parker, the wife of a city merchant, and in 1525, Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn, a Lady in Waiting to Catherine that resulted in a son named Henry. When Henry became determined to divorce Catherine to marry Anne Boleyn, the child's aunt, he was too embarrassed to recognize his bastard son by his fiancee's younger sister." (Saint-Saens' Henry VIII: 19-20)

The queen's maids, her husband's mates
"Most of the king's mistresses had been the queen's ladies. Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard had all been serving their predecessors when they had caught Henry's eye. Anne Stafford, Jane Popincourt, Bessie Blount, Mary Boleyn and Elizabeth Carew all served the first Queen Katherine, and Mary Shelton and the 'handsome young lady' served the first Queen Anne; Anne Bassett and Katherine Willoughby served more than one of his queens. . . ." (Mistress of Henry VIII: 120)

" . . . In 1514, along with the rumours of annulment and adultery, Henry was linked to three ladies-in-waiting. The first was Jane Popincourt, al older woman; the other two, Elizabeth Blount and Elizabeth Carew, were aged around fourteen." (Mistresses of Henry VIII)

Henry's known (and alleged/rumoured?) mistresses
"Henry VIII had many mistresses, so there may be unknown or stillborn or miscarried children. Apart from Bessie Blount, Mary Boleyn, Mary Berkeley and the Shelton sisters, he had relationships with Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and possibly Catherine Howard prior to marriage. Other alleged mistresses include Jane Popincourt, Anne Bassett, Elizabeth Carew, Etiennette de la Baume, Lady Anne Hastings, Jane Pollard, Agnes Blewitt Edwardes, Joan Dingley and Elizabeth Amadas. He was also said to be interested in Mary Fitzroy, Elizabeth Hervey, Mary Skipwith, Elizabeth Brooke (Lady Wyatt), Anne Bassett and Catherine Willoughby. . . ." (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Tudors but were Afraid to Ask: n.p.)

Henry VIII's famous mistresses.
"His most famous mistresses, Bessie Blount, the mother of his son, and Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne are covered in this book, as well as many women who here emerge from the shadows; Lady Anne Stafford, sister of the first peer of the realm and Henry's second cousin; Jane Popincourt, his sisters' French tutor; Mary Shelton, a poet and cousin of the Boleyn sisters; Elizabeth Amadas, a 'witch and prophetess'; and Elizabeth Brooke, whose husband left her because of her adultery. There was also the beautiful Etiennette, who enchanted Henry while he was at war in France, the popular maid of honour Anne Bassett, Henry's daughter-in-law, Mary Howard. duchess of Richmond, as well as women he kept in secret houses and the wives of two of his close friends." (Mistresses of Henry VIII: 11)

Henry's less famous relationships.
"There was also a ‘Madame the Bastard’ who kept Henry dancing into the small hours of the morning in 1513 at the court of Margaret of Savoy, and Étiennette de la Baume, whose plaintive letter to Henry asking for assistance reminded him of the promise he had made her when leaving France that year, and that he had called her his ‘page’." (History Extra)

"During these years Henry’s mistresses were the illusive “Madam the bastard” referenced in a letter during his stay in Lille at the court of Margaret of Savoy; Ettienette de la Baume who sent him a bird and some roots along with a reminder for the £10,000 he had promised her when she got married.  He is also known to have had a scandalous affair with his cousin Lady Anne Stafford.  If the mink coat, diamonds and private tilting yard are anything to go by he had an affair with his friend Sir Nicholas Carew’s wife Elizabeth.  He gave £100 to Jane Popincourt when she returned to France and most notably during the period so far as history is concerned he had affairs with Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn." (History Extra)

"[There is] Joan Dingley who history names as a laundress but who was probably of a higher rank.   Joan gave birth to a child called Ethelreda or Audrey and there is sufficient evidence in the form of land grants and wills to read between the lines and recognise her as one of Henry’s children (if you feel that way inclined.)" (The History Jar)

But not prostitutes & low-born-women.
"Henry was a private man and many of his affairs would have gone unrecorded. Of the many rumours of his dalliances a large proportion are no doubt false; however, even these, by their very number, are suggestive of a womaniser. Henry was not interested in prostitutes, and there are no stories of him with low-born women, but many of the ladies at court would have succumbed to the king's charms. In 1546 Henry instructed all brothels to be closed. He had always been strict with the brothels that were popular in Southwalk and towards the courtesans who followed his armies into battle. In contrast, King Francis kept his own official prostitutes at court, the 'filles de joie', literally the girls of joy. Henry's arrangements, though similar, were far less crude." (Mistresses of Henry VIII)

Henry VIII's lovers were:
Anne Stafford
Countess of Huntingdon
by Ambrosius Benson, c1535 

1Anne Stafford (1483-1544)
Countess of Huntingdon 1509
Lover in 1510-1513.

Maid-of-honour to Princess Mary

Lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine.

Daughter of Henry Stafford2nd Duke of Buckingham Katherine Woodville.

Wife of:

1. Sir Walter Herbert (d.1507), mar 1500
2. George Hastings1st Earl of Huntingdon (1486-1544), mar 1509.

Probably Henry's first mistress
" . . . As early as 1510, when Catherine was sexually unavailable, his dalliance with Anne, the Duke of Buckingham's sister, was the cause of the couple's first argument. With all indicators suggesting Henry had little opportunity to pursue women during his father's life time and was satisfied with Catherine during the first year of their union. Lady Anne Stafford was probably his first mistress. Certainly she received the third most expensive give he gave at New Year 1513, either in reward for his services or as recompense for having to leave court when the affair was discovered. . . ." (In Bed with the Tudors)

" . . . The first woman to whom his name his name was linked was Anne Stafford, in 1510. Anne, who was married, served the queen alongside her sister Elizabeth. There was apparently some jealousy between the sisters, since Elizabeth informed their brother, the Duke of Buckingham, that Anne was 'suspected with the king', causing the peer to storm into her apartments to remonstrate with her. Henry, on hearing of this, reprimanded the duke, with Buckingham leaving court for a time. It was also the end of the affair since Anne's husband, Lord Hastings, removed her to a convent, while Catherine of Aragon, who would later learn to ignore Henry's infidelities, appeared 'vexed' with him in public. The affair was a short one and played embarrassingly publicly. The king's subsequent affairs were usually more discrete." (The Illustrated Six Wives of Henry VIII)

"In 1510, while Queen Katherine was pregnant, the King strayed. His reputed mistress was Lady FitzWalter (?), the former Lady Elizabeth Stafford, who was Buckingham's sister. To avert suspicion from Henry one of his courtiers, Sir William Compton, pretended to pursue her. A lady-in-waiting was so outraged that she explained the situation to the duke, who shortly afterwards found Sir William in his sister's apartments. Furious, he snarled, 'Women of the Stafford family are no game for Comptons, no, not for Tudors either.' It was a blunt reminder that in his eyes the Tudors were parvenus. Shortly after the ensuing recriminations, the king angrily rebuked Buckingham, who left court, Lady FitzWalter's (?) husband dragged her away for a spell in a convent, which suggests that he believed she had been unfaithful. But Henry appeared to forget the incident." (The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors)

" . . . Henry's first mistress was Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon in 1510, a year after he married Queen Catherine. When discovered, this affair caused a scandal and resulted in Anne being sent to a convent by her husband. . . . "  (Top Ten Philandering English Monarchs)

" . . . Anne was a mistress of King Henry VIII starting around 1510 - a year or so into her marriage. The go-between man, most likely, was Compton, who probably brought Anne to the King's chambers and passed along messages and gifts between them. Anne's husband was outraged when his wife's affair with the King became public; and he sent her to a convent. However, there is still speculation that her relationship with the King lasted until about 1513, as she was not in the convent long. After that relationship ended, she entered into a relationship with William Compton (some time around 1519) - though the nature of this relationship is somewhat unknown. . . ." (Tudor Enthusiast)

"Most of the other reputed mistresses who may have shared Henry’s bed date from the earlier part of his reign. During Catherine of Aragon’s first pregnancy, in 1509, Henry was embroiled with Anne Hastings, sister of the Duke of Buckingham and a newly married member of Catherine’s household. Henry’s close friend William Compton appears to have acted as a go-between, although Anne later went on to have an affair with Compton himself. Henry sent her away from court in retaliation." (History Extra)

2) Etiennette de la Baume (1490-1521).

Lover in 1513.
Flemish maid-of-honour to Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy.

Daughter of: Marc de la Beaume, Comte de Montrevel, Sieur de Chateauvillain.

Wife of: Ferdinand de Neufchatel 91452-1522), Seigneur de Marnay & Montaigu, mar 1514.

A brief relationship -- with a nasty follow-up years later.

"Henry's army swiftly conquered thair first target, the city of Therouanne, For a month after this, the weather was too bad for an assault on the next city, Tournai. Henry spent this time building relations with the premier family of Europe and ensuring he mixed business with pleasure. He spent his time with Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, the Emperor's sister Margaret, Regent of the Netherlands, and Margaret's court, impressing them with his jousting, archery, dancing and mastery of several musical instruments. Among Margaret's maids of honour were a Flemish woman named Etiennette de la Baume and a twelve-year-old English girl called Anne Boleyn. x x x The following year, Henry received a letter from Etiennette and it is from this that we know of Henry's brief relationship with her. She was a noblewoman, the daughter of Marc de la Baume, Lord of Chateauvillain, and she was not the only de la Baume in history to attract the attention of a king; in the next century, her kinswoman Louise-Francoise de la Baume became the maitresse-en-titre of King Louis XIV of France. Etiennette seems to have attracted Henry soon after his arrival in Lille. She wrote to Henry because she was about to get married, and he had apparently promised her ten thousand crowns as a wedding present --- perhaps as compensation for her lost virtue. In August 1514 Etiennette became the third wife of the elderly Jean Neufchatel, seigneur de Marnay. We have no indication of her age, but her husband was sixty-two, which is perhaps why the marriage was childless. She sent the letter to Henry with 'a bird and some roots of great value belonging to this country'. She first reminded him who she was: 'When Madame [Margaret of Austria] went to see the Emperor, her father and you at Lille, you named me your page 'et n'avoie autrement nom de par et dautre chouses' and when we parted at Tournai you told me, when I married, to let you know and it should be worth to me 10,000 crowns or rather angels. As it has now pleased my father 'me merier', I send bearer, an old servant of my grandfather, to remind you . . . le plus que your very humble servant, E. la Baume.' We do not know if he kept his promise. She also wrote Henry of how: 'you spoke many pretty things to me'. Henry was by now being regularly linked to other women." (Mistresses of Henry VIII)

"During his stay at Lille, either on this occasion or previously, the king came into contact with a Flemish maid of honour in Margaret's household called Etiennette de la Baume. The daughter of Marc de la Beaume, Comte de Montrevel and Lord of Chateauvillain, her connection with Henry rests on the survival of a single letter, written in intimate terms and referring to a promise the king had made her 'when we parted'. The wording, content and timing of the it had suggested that she had been his mistress at some point during this visit to France. If Henry had previously contemplated, or indulged in, a relationship with Anne Hastings, with the subsequent scandal it had caused at court in 1510, he would have had fewer reservations about having a brief affair while separated from Catherine by the English Channel.

" . . . By 1514, the situation had changed for Etiennette and, with her father urging her to marry, she reminded Henry that 'when we parted at Tournay you told me, when I married, to let you know and it should be worth to me 10,000 crowns or rather angels'. The tone of the letter and the promise of the dowry strongly suggest that Henry and Etiennette were lovers briefly during the campaign of 1513, which the lady now used to secure her financial future. She, or her father, may have intended the letter to suggest that they had a secret to tell, but any possible intention to blackmail the English king was not overt." (The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: lxxxv)

3) Elizabeth Bryan (1500-1546)
Lady Carew
Lover in c1514.

English courtier & royal mistress.

Daughter of Sir Thomas Bryan & Margaret Bourchier.

Wife of Sir Nicholas Carew, Henry VIII's close friend.

Elizabeth Bryan's royal court connections.
"She was a first half-cousin of both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and a second half-cousin of Jane Seymour, which increased her standing at court. Her only brother was Sir Francis Bryan, called "the Vicar of Hell" for his lack of principles. She is said to have been friends with Bessie Blount, Henry's mistress who produced an illegitimate son in 1519. Her mother, Margaret Bourchier, was a half-sister of Anne Boleyn's mother, Elizabeth Howard, and also of Catherine Howard's father, Edmund Howard, sharing the same mother but different fathers. With Jane Seymour they both shared a great-grandmother; their grandmothers were half-sisters who shared the same mother but had different fathers." (Wikipedia)

Affair's benefits.
" . . . Henry may also have enjoyed the favours of Bryan's gorgeous sister Elizabeth, who was married to another favoured courtier, Sir Nicholas Carew; the King gave her 'many beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels' that were, strictly speaking, the property of the Queen. . . ."  (Henry VIII: the King and HIs Court: 123)

" . . . Henry gave Elizabeth Bryan, the wife of the rising courtier Nicholas Carew, 'many beautiful diamonds and pearls and innumerable jewels,' which strongly suggests that at one time she was more to him than just a mere acquaintance . . . ." (Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings: 39) 

4) Jane Popincourt.
Lover in 1514.
French courtier & royal mistress.

Maid-of-honour to Queen Katherine of Aragon 1509
Maid-of-honour to Princess Mary 1502.

Henry VIII's second mistress.
" . . . Jane Popincourt was his second mistress, in 1514, she was his sister's tutor, and was rumoured to be so promiscuous that event the French king wouldn't allow her into his court. . . ."  (Top Ten Philandering English Monarchs)

Maid of honour to the queen, mistress to her husband.

"It is possible that Henry had also strayed with Jane, or Jeanne, Popincourt, a Frenchwoman originally employed by Henry VII as a companion for his daughters. She had become one of Princess Mary's maids by 1502 and was earning 200 shillings per annum ten years later as a member of Queen Katherine's household. In 1514, when Katherine was again lying-in, Jane kept the King company, a service she provided once more, under the same circumstances, the following year. Jane was already notorious, being the acknowledged mistress of the Duc de Longueville.  Indeed, she had been censured for her promiscuous behaviour by Louis XII. When Jane finally left the court in May 1515, Henry gave her a substantial sum of 100 pounds, payment for services rendered, perhaps. . . ." (Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Favourite Mistress: 61)

The King preferred French beauties.

"Henry seems to have to have been particularly attracted to French women. As well as Etiennette de la Baume in Lille, and later the Francophile Boleyn sisters, Henry allegedly had an affair with Mademoiselle Jane Popincourt. During the Christmas festivities of 1514, Katherine was heavily pregnant and therefore could not participate in the dancing and entertainment. Tradition dictated that Henry ask the next highest-ranking lady to dance --- his sister, Mary, or in her absence, a duchess. Instead, for the Twelfth Night masque at Eltham Palace, Henry chose Bessie Blount and Jane Popincourt, low-ranking yoing women, as his partners. . . ." (Mistresses of Henry VIII)

Affair's beginning
"Henry's affair with Jane probably began after Longueville left in the autumn of 1514. Like many of Henry's mistresses she had no faction, no power and so was not a threat to anyone at court. She did not even have powerful relatives at court, who might sweep her off to a nunnery as Anne Stafford's husband had -- and she did not have a good reputation to protect. She was first linked to Henry three months after Longueville's departure, and her relationship with the French nobleman appears to have been common knowledge. We hear little more of Jane until she left England in May 1516. Henry gave her 100 pounds when she returned to France and she soon renewed her affair with the duc de Longueville." (Mistresses of Henry VIII: 37)

Unmarried but not unblemished?.

"Jane, also referred to as Jeanne or Joan, was one of the few women Henry had regular contact with during his mollycoddled childhood. It is unclear when she arrived in England, but by 1498 she was tutoring Henry's sisters in France, and she may have occasionally taught the young Henry as well. She would have helped the two princesses, Margaret and Mary, improve their French conversational skills and their understanding of French culture, which was important as it was likely that either Margaret or Mary wold marry a French prince. In 1502, when Henry was eleven, Jane Popincourt became a maid of honour to his mother, Elizabeth of York, and then to Katherine of Aragon on Henry's accession. Jane was, like Anne Stafford, older than Henry. She must have been at least fourteen when she secured a position as the princesses' tutor and was probably older. This makes her at least thirty in 1514; at least seven years older than the king. To be unmarried at this age was unusual. And like many woman (sic) who had been at court a long time, she did not have an unblemished reputation. Jane had been involved in a scandal four months before she was first linked to the king." (Mistresses of Henry VIII: 36)

Personal & family background.

"Jane Popincourt was probably French-born and her family might have originated from the area of Dancourt-Popincourt, an hour's drive south of Lille. She might have been a descendant of the premier president of the Paris parlement, Jean de Popincourt, who died around 1403. His grandson was ambassador to England from the 1450s, so Jane may have travelled to England with him, or as a result of his influence. Before this, Jane appears to have gained experience in service at the French court, perhaps beginning her career under Charles VIII, in the household of his wife, Anne of Brittany. Charles's death in 1498, followed by Anne's remarriage to his successor, Louis XII, may have been the catalyst that prompted Jane to leave France and head for England the same year. Louis's later actions would certainly suggest he had reason to personally dislike Jane, or that something about her religious beliefs or behaviour had offended him. When Louise took the throne, Jane may have realised it was wiser to be away from court, or perhaps away from France altogether. By 1498, she was teaching French to princesses Margaret and Mary at Eltham, through 'daily conversation', and probably acting as a companion and maid. The minimum she might have been for this role was in her mid-teens, placing her date of birth in the late 1470s, or 1480 at the very latest, although it is more likely that such a responsibility would have been given to someone a little older." (The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: lxxxv)
Elizabeth Blount
5Elizabeth Blount (1500-1540)
Lover in 1514/1515 to 1519.
English royal mistress.

Daughter of: Sir John Blount & Catherine Peshall.

Wife of:

1. Gilbert Tailboys (d.1530), 1st Baron Tailboys of Kyme, mar 1522

2. Edward Fiennes (Clinton), 9th Baron Clinton. mar c1533/1535

Natural Offspring:

Henry FitzRoy (1519-1536)

1st Duke of Richmond 1525; Duke of Somerset; Knight of the Garter 1525; Earl of Nottingham 1525; 
Admiral of England, Ireland and Normandy 1525, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lieutenant General north of Trent, Warden of all marches towards Scotland, Lord of Parliament 1529

"Henry VIII's relationship with Elizabeth Blount is often thought to have begun as early as the winter of 1513 upon Henry's return from France, perhaps in the wake of Katherine's latest miscarriage. . . ." (Bastard Prince: Henry VIII's Lost Son)

Bessie's physical appearance & personal qualities.
" . . . Elizabeth was fortunate that her family conformed to the Tudor ideal of beauty, with fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. Equally praised for her skills in singing, dancing and 'all good pastimes' she was well suited to the glittering world of the court, with its masques, dances and endless occasions to impress. On the other hand, her ownership of a volume of Latin and English poetry by John Gower suggests this was no empty-headed moppet, but a girl with a lovely mind to march her merry disposition a quality which would no doubt have recommended her to an educated woman like Katherine of Aragon." (Bastard Prince: Henry VIII's Lost Son)

Bessie's personal and family background.
She was the daughter of Sir John Blount and of Catherine Pershall. Her father was "a loyal, if unremarkable, servant to the royal family who accompanied King Henry to France in 1513 when he waged war against Louis XII of France." (Wikipedia).
Bessie Blount dance with Henry VIII
at a masque ball in 1515.
@ Ancient Origins
First Encounter
" . . . As a young girl, she came to the King's Court as a maid-of-honour to the King's wife, Catherine of Aragon. It was there that the young teenager caught the eye of the King and became his mistress, beginning sometime around 1514 or 1515, and continuing for approximately eight years." (Wikipedia)

"Elizabeth, or 'Bessie', is the first woman who is known, with any certainty, to have been Henry's mistress. She was born at Kinlet in Shropshire in around 1500, making her just a teenager at the time she arrived at Henry's court. Her family home fell under the jurisdiction of Catherine of Aragon's first husband, Arthur, so it is not possible that the young Catherine saw Bessie as a baby during her residence at Ludlow Castle in 1501-02. . . Two court dances suggest the duration of Bessie's tenure. Bessie is recorded as being one of eight in a masque performed to celebrate new year 1515, partnered by Henry himself. Then, in October 1515 she was paired with courtier Francis Bryan during a masque performed at Durham House in London, It was around this time that she fell pregnant with Henry's son." (History Extra)

"There is no doubt that Elizabeth Blount became Henry's mistress at some stage because she later bore him a child which he acknowledged. She was one of the eleven children of Sir John Blount of Kinlet hall, Shropshire, by Katherine Peshall, whose father had fought for Henry VII at Bosworth. Lord Mountjoy was a kinsman, and it may have been he who secured Elizabeth---or Bessie, as she was known---a post as maid of honour to the Queen in 1513, when the girl was fifteen at the most. She was 'a fair damosel, who in singing, dancing and all goodly pastimes exceeded no other.' She was also 'thought for her rare ornament of nature and education to be the beauty and mistress-piece of her time'." (Henry VIII: The King and His Court: 172)

Keeping appearances up.
" . . . Bessie Blount was one of Catherine of Aragon's ladies who became the mistress of the king. When she got pregnant, she was quietly sent from court and, after son's birth, married off to Lord Tailboys...." (Lindsey, 1996, p.xxv) [Bio2:Everything Tudor] [Bio3:Byrne Historian]

"A marriage was arranged for Bessie to Gilbert Tailboys in 1522 (although some sources suggest 1519) and she retired from court for a time, bearing at least two more children (some sources suggest three while others say four) in the early 1520s. The uncertainty of the children's birth dates has led to speculation that they were fathered by Henry, although by this time we know he had moved on to Mary Boleyn. Bessie remarried in the 1520s following Tailboys' death and lived long enough to predecease Henry Fitzroy (who died in 1536), serving briefly as a lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves shortly before her own death in around 1540." (History Extra)

Natural offspring: 

"Henry Fitzroy (1519-36): Almost Henry IX and King of Ireland. The product of Henry and long-term mistress Elizabeth ("Bessie') Blount, Henry Fitzroy was the only bastard that the king acknowledged. When he was born, Henry VIII was almost twenty-eight and was delighted as his ability to father a male heir was no longer in doubt. For proving that King Henry was capable of fathering healthy sons, Elizabeth Blount prompted a popular saying, 'Bless 'ee, Bessie Blount', often heard during and after this period. Thomas Wolsey was Fitzroy's godfather, and he was given his own household of princely status and housed at Durham Place in the Strand. King Henry was fond of his son, and created him Knight of the Garter at the age of six in 1525. Later that year he was created Earl of Nottingham, and on the same day he was made Duke of Richmond. A month later, in July and aged just seven, Fitzroy was made Admiral of England, Ireland and Normandy. (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Tudors)
Mary Boleyn
6) Mary Boleyn (1507-1543)
Lover in 1525?

When was she mistress of Henry VIII?.
"Mary Boleyn became Henry VIII's mistress, probably for about two years from 1519, for in February 1521 she was married off to William Carey, a gentleman of the king's Privy Chamber. This must have come as a considerable disappointment to her ambitious family, for while there was little real social stigma attached to having been the King's mistress it undoubtedly affected a girl's matrimonial prospects, and she had a right to expect some royal compensation." (The Other Boleyn Girl)

"Mary had two children and it was rumoured that both were Henry VIII's. Mary married Sir William Carey in 1520; she gave birth to a daughter and a son. Henry was even at her wedding. It is now known when he decided to take Mary as his mistress, but before he fell for her sister Anne Boleyn. Nobody knows for sure who was the elder of the two girls, the conclusive evidence is simply not there. Henry was supposed to be good friends with Sir William Carey, despite sleeping with the man's wife. . . ." (The Pocket Guide to Royal Scandals)

" . . . Their affair began after her marriage to William Carey in February 1520. . . ." (Bastard Prince: Henry VIII's Lost Son)

"As William’s wife, Mary had lodgings at court, information about royal policies, and the great opportunity to participate in all court events. Their first child, Catherine, was born about 1524 when Mary was just sixteen. Meanwhile, her family continued its ascendancy during these years. Personally, she and her sister Anne were two of eight women who participated in a celebration at York Place, Cardinal Wolsey’s home. Anne played Perseverance and Mary was Kindness; they were clothed in white satin with bejeweled headdresses. This was in 1522; Mary was just fourteen. By the time she was seventeen, Mary was a first-time mother and Henry VIII’s mistress. There is much circumstantial evidence to support this: In 1527, Henry was planning to marry Anne Boleyn. He sought and received a papal dispensation to marry the sister of a woman with whom he had engaged in illicit/unlawful intercourse. Anne had only one sister – Mary. Reginald Pole reported the following – in 1528, a member of Parliament insulted the king’s morals by accusing Henry of sleeping with Anne’s mother and sister. Undoubtedly flustered, the king replied: “Never with her mother.” the affair was known of in diplomatic circles – in 1532, Francis I of France met Mary face-to-face when she accompanied Henry and Anne to Calais. He mentioned her infamous behavior with her sister’s spouse before the marriage to Anne. The affair was brief, ending in mid-1525 (probably July.) On 4 March 1526, Mary gave birth to a son, called Henry. He was widely assumed to be the king’s son. He physically resembled the king, a fact often remarked upon. In 1535, for example, a man called ‘young Master Carey’ the king’s son." (Mary Boleyn: Biography, Portrait, Facts & Information)

Mary Boleyn's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"Tradition has it that Mary was the most beautiful of the Boleyn sisters. Even she, however, did not conform to the Tudor ideal of feminine beauty, which preferred pale skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. One portrait of Mary, although it is of doubtful authenticity, shows here to have a rounder and softer face that that of her sister. Her complexion is creamy, her eyes brown and, although her hair is hidden beneath her gabled hood, its colour is suggested by the shade of her eyebrows, which hint at a rich auburn or a chestnut brown. Her portrait suggests that she more than plump than otherwise, and the way she holds her head, her straight gaze and the hint of a smile evoke a certain air of self-assuredness that perhaps intrigued the King." (Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII's Favourite Mistress: 64)

"Mary Boleyn possessed the blond, blue-eyed, curvy beauty that was the era's belle ideale...." (Carroll, 2008, n.p.)

A reputation for loose living.

" . . . A later mistress, Mary Boleyn, already had a reputation for loose living from her stay in the French court. She was married to William Carey, a gentleman of the king's Privy Chamber, probably during her affair with the king, though it's possible that she was given Carey as a reward when the king finished with her. It is noteworthy that her reputation for licentiousness stemmed not from her relationship with Henry but from her earlier affairs; there was far less stigma attached to virtue lost to royalty. . . ." (Lindsey, 1996, p. xxv).

But the King couldn't be bothered by it.

"Mary's reputation earned in France did not appear to bother Henry unduly, and it might be that he simply wanted to retain her as little more than a sex object in the way he had with other women before her. If so, her reputation worked to her advantage as Sir William Compton once again played his part and approached Mary on the King's behalf. . . ." (Mary Boleyn: 65)

A longer relationship than expected, as it turned out.

" . . . This, however, was not how the affair would work out. In fact, Henry's relationship with Mary Boleyn would turn out to be longer than that of any of his other mistresses; indeed, its duration would exceed that of some of his later marriages." (Mary Boleyn: 65)

Keeping appearances up.

"In February 1520, soon after her return to England, Mary married William Carey. Through her husband, who as a gentleman of the chamber, was one of the few men allowed access to the king's private rooms, she attracted Henry's attention. Quickly they became intimate, to the apparent satisfaction of all involved. Mary's husband was pliant, her lover generous, and her father was exceedingly grateful -- being rewarded with a stream of sinecures, and the title of Viscount Rochford. The king honoured her by christening one of his ships the Mary Boleyn (and not, significantly, the Mary Carey). But when Mary bore him a son in 1525, Henry, as was his habit, sent her back to her husband, who soon afterwards died of the plague." (Carlton; 32)

Personal & family background.

Daughter of: Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire & Elizabeth Howard.

Wife of:
1) William Carey (1500-1528)
English courtier & royal favourite
Gentleman of the Privy Chamber; Esquire of the Body to the King, mar 1520. [Pix]

2) William Stafford, minor court functionary. mar 1534.

Possible natural offspring with Henry VIII.
". . . The second marriage of Mary Boleyn, the elder sister of Henry's second wife, and the King's former mistress, is a good example of a defiant match. Her first husband, William Carey, died of the sweating sickness in 1529 leaving Mary a lonely and neglected widow. . . In 1534/35, Mary contracted a secret marriage with a minor court functionary, William Stafford. The union came to light when she became pregnant. . . . " (Schcutte: 140). 

"Her son, Henry Carey, was eventually made a Knight of the Garter by Elizabeth I. Mary's daughter Catherine became a maid of honor to both Anne of Cleves and Kathryn Howard. One of Catherine Carey's daughters, Lettice Knollys, was Queen Elizabeth's bosom companion, lady-in-waiting---and later, her rival and enemy, after she married Robert Dudley, the great love of Elizabeth's life." (Carroll)

"The affair was brief, ending in mid-1525 (probably July.) On 4 March 1526, Mary gave birth to a son, called Henry. He was widely assumed to be the king’s son. He physically resembled the king, a fact often remarked upon. In 1535, for example, a man called ‘young Master Carey’ the king’s son." (Mary Boleyn: Biography, Portrait, Facts & Information)

Mary Boleyn's Patronages.
"...Henry was so immensely grateful for the gift of Mary's favors, he enriched her father as well as her new husband. Sir Thomas Boleyn was made Viscount Rochford, and William Carrey's coffers were vastly enlarged." (Carroll)

Affair's beneficiaries.
"More significant are the awards made to Mary's husband, William Carey, between the years 1522 and 1525. If these are anything to go by, the affair had probably begun by February, for on the fifth of that month Carey was appointed keeper of the manor and estate of New Hall in Essex and of the King's wardrobe there. He was made bailiff of the manors of New Hall, Boreham, Walkeforde Hall and Powers, also in Essex, with sixty cartloads of firewood annually for the wardrobe and powers to let the premises to farm and to engage labourers to work in the King's garden and orchard." (Mary Boleyn: 65)
Jane Boleyn
Viscountess Rochford

Lover in 1520.
Maid of honour.
[Bio @ Tudor Place]

Daughter ofHenry Parker10th Baron Morley 
& Alice St. John.

Wife ofGeorge Boleyn2nd Viscount Rochfordmar 1524/25

"Two young Maids of Honour are mentioned as mistresses of Henry VIII in 1520. One was Jane Parker, then aged 15, daughter of Lord Morley, the other was Mary Boleyn, daughter of Thomas Boleyn, who was the King's mistress for years before her, to be much more famous, sister Anne." (Cosmic Elk)
Mary Shelton
Lady Heveningham
by Hans Holbein, c1532/43
in the Royal Collection
8) Mary Shelton (1515-?).
Lover in 1525.
Lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, first cousin.

Daughter of Sir John Shelton & Anne Boleyn (aunt of Queen Anne Boleyn).

"Mary was part of a social group which included the poets Sir Thomas Clere (d. 14 April 1545), Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Thomas Wyatt, with all of whom she was romantically linked. In an epitaph he composed at the death of Sir Thomas Clere, Surrey identified Mary as Clere's "beloved". Mary's two closest friends were Lady Margaret Douglas, a niece of King Henry VIII, and Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond, wife of the King's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond. Shelton was the main editor and a contributor to the famous Devonshire MS, where members of their circle wrote poems they enjoyed or had composed." (Wikipedia)

"One of the Shelton sisters is believed to have been King Henry's mistress for a six-month period beginning in February 1535, according to statements about mistresses made by the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, who referred to Mistress Shelton. According to biographer Antonia Fraser, this was Margaret Shelton. Chapuys was always at court when in England, more frequently so than most contemporaneous writers. Hugh Latimer identified Madge Shelton as the woman attendant on Anne when she miscarried within hours of Queen Katherine of Aragon's death. Madge was the "concubine's" closest companion in waiting owing to her familial ties, yet would be dismissed at the end. However, more recent research has suggested that it was Margaret's sister Mary who was Henry's mistress, and was rumoured to have been selected to become his fourth wife. Supposedly, the confusion of earlier historians arose from the label "Marg Shelton", in which the "y" resembled a "g", a common confusion in sixteenth-century writing. Mary would have been a ‘lady-in-waiting’ to Anne, and although the two were cousins, according to Hart, “...this did not mean that their families were allies--not all Boleyns supported the queen...”[13] In point of fact, Queen Anne has been said to have been deeply in love with Henry and also very jealous of his attention to other women. Mary, known for having contributed greatly to the Devonshire MS, wrote many poems about love. Queen Anne was especially jealous that Mary could have been writing love poems about her husband, the King.[14] To make matters worse, Mary has been described as a young girl of great beauty[15] and talent, and her friends at court were a great influence on her, most of them also being highly literate.[16] According to one historian "Rumour twice linked Mary amorously with Henry VIII".[1] The other rumour, that 'Madge' Shelton might become Henry's wife in 1538, appears in one of the Lisle Letters." (Wikipedia)

9) Elizabeth Bryce (d.1532)

Daughter of: James Brice, a courtier at King Henry VIII's court.

Wife of:
1. Robert Amadas (1470-1532), a goldsmith
2. Sir Thomas Neville (1475-1542), a lawyer, mar 1532.

"Elizabeth Bryce was the granddaughter of a London goldsmith, Sir Hugh Bryce (d. September 22, 1496) and his wife, Elizabeth Chester (d.1504). It is not certain when her father, James, died, but Elizabeth was still underage and unmarried in 1498. She married another goldsmith, Robert Amadas (1470-by April 14, 1532). They had two daughters, Elizabeth (1508-1529+), who died before her parents, and Thomasine. In 1526, Robert Amadas was appointed Master of the Jewel House to King Henry VIII. Amadas owned a house in Alderegate and land in Essex. Upon his death, Elizabeth inherited Jenkins, a 'mansion house' in Barking, and on August 28, 1532, married Sir Thomas Neville (c1475-May 29, 1542) in the chapel there. He was the younger brother of Baron Bergavenny and a lawyer. He and Elizabeth had no children and she died before him. . . The story that Mrs. Amadas claimed, in 1532, that she had once been the king's mistress, has fairly wide circulation. Since she specified that she met him in Sir William Compton's house in Thames Street, this must have been before Compton's death in 1528. . . ." (A Who's Who of Tudor Women: Brooke -Bu)

" . . . When, sometime before 1528, the King had an affair with the volatile Mrs. Amadas, wife of Robert Amadas, the Master of his Jewel House, that, lady, who was given to tantrums and strange visions, made no secret of the fact that William Compton had made his house in Thames Street available for their trysts---a circumstance that gives credence to Caroz's assertion that Compton had acted for Henry in the Stafford affair."  (Henry VIII: the King and HIs Court: 123)

" . . . In the 1520's, it was rumored that Elizabeth was a mistress of Henry VIII. It is said that Henry wrote many a letter to the young lady, asking her to meet at William Compton's London home for a tryst.  It is unknown whether or not Elizabeth did, in fact, become the King's mistress or not.  If she did, it would potential(ly) explain her later behavior.  In 1532, Elizabeth was arrested for treason.  She had spoken out against the King's marriage to Anne Boleyn saying Anne was a 'harlot' and that the King should return to Katherine of Aragon. Unlike other less fortunate subjects who railed against their King's new wife, Elizabeth escaped execution and was released.  However, she and her husband were permanently banished from court. . . ."  (The Tudor Tattler)

10) Elizabeth BrookeLady Wyatt (1503-1560)

Daughter of: Thomas Brooke, 8th Baron Cobham & Dorothy Heydon, daughter of Sir Henry Heydon.

Wife of:
1. Sir Thomas Wyatt. the poet (1503-1542), mar 1520, sep 1526.
2. Sir Edward Warner (1511-1565), Lord Lieutenant of the Tower, mar 1542

"The imperial ambassador, Chapuys, wrote that the lady for whom the king 'showed the greatest regard was a sister of Lord Cobham, whom Wyatt, some time ago, divorced for adultery. She is a pretty young creature, with wit enough to do as badly as the others if she were to try.' It would appear tht the ambassador was mistaken, as at the time, Elizabeth Brooke was nearly forty years old. It is probable that Elizabeth Brooke had been confused with her beautiful young niece, Elizabeth Brooke, the eldest daughter of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham, who married William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton. Elizabeth Brooke, Lord Cobham's daughter, may have been at court on this occasion, since she was definitely there the following year She would have been nearly sixteen in January of 1542 and n later years was accounted one of the most beautiful women of her time. More important to a king who had just rid himself of a wife (Catherine Howard) who had committed adultery, the second Elizabeth had a spotless reputation." (Wikipedia)

"However, since 1520 Wyatt had been unhappily married to Elizabeth, the daughter of George Brooke, Lord Cobham, who was notoriously unfaithful to him; they had one son, Thomas, born in 1521, to whom Norfolk, Wyatt's revered patron, stood godfather. The couple had separated by 1524, and Wyatt had sought solace in his poetry and his career. Having come to court in 1521 as an Esquire of the Body, he had been promoted in 1524 to clerk of the King's Jewels, probably through the influence of his father, who was then Master of the King's Jewels, and had since gained favour with the King for his versifying talents, his skill with a lute, and his usefulness in devising court revels. In 1526, Henry began sending him abroad on diplomatic missions." (Henry VIII: The King and His Court: 261)

11) Elizabeth Kinder.

12) Jane Pollard

Daughter of: Sir Lewis Pollard & Agnes Hext

Wife of: Sir Hugh Stukeley, Sheriff of Devon

Natural offspring:
a. Thomas Stukeley (1520-1578), English mercenary.

"Stukeley, Thomas (c.1520-1578), Son of Sir Hugh Stukeley, sheriff of Devon in 1544, and Kane Pollard. Thomas Stukeley ranks as one of the most audacious, misleading, and mysterious figures of the Tudor age. Believed by some of his contemporaries to have been an illegitimate son of Henry VIII, Thomas Stukeley initiated his dubious military career as a retained of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, with whom he took part in the siege of Boulogne. Following his master's death in 1545, Stukeley then became a captain at Berwick Castle against the Scots; he did not last long in that post, for in 1550 he was involved in the conspiracy against the duke of Northumberland. . . ." (Tudor England: An Encyclopedia: 679)

"Stukeley came from the gentry. Apart from rumours that he was a bastard son of Henry VIII (Bovill 80; Chambers 138), he was son to Sir Hugh Stukeley, sheriff of Devon and a prosperous clothier and knight of the body to King Henry VIII; his mother was Jane Pollard, daughter of Sir Lewis Pollard (Tazon 21). In addition, he won himelf a good deal of recognition due to his military prowess. . . ." (Topicality and Representation: Islam and Muslims in Two Renaissance Plays: 124)

"Thomas Stucley (c. 1520-78) was the son of Sir Hugh Stukeley (Stucley) and Jane Pollard. A mercenary, he fought in France, Ireland and at the Battle of Lepanto before his death at the Battle of Alacacer Quibir. It was alleged in his lifetime that he was a son of Henry VIII. . . ." (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Tudors)

13) Jane Seymour.
" . . . Nevertheless, she (Anne Boleyn) obviously realized that her life was threatened because of her inability to produce a male heir for Henry, and she was well aware of Henry's growing fascination with one of her ladies in waiting, Jane Seymour. . . As Henry's attention became focused on Jane Seymour, Anne's enemies took advantage of her vulnerability and began plotting intrigues against her. Cromwell was determined to topple the Queen and planted the seeds of treachery; he persuaded the King to investigate the possibly (sic) that she had committed treason." (Saint-Saens Henry VIII: 26)

14) Joan Dingley

Joanna Holly: a "common wench" who was possibly a lover of Henry VIII of England.

15) Katherine Willoughby.

16) Margaret Shelton (1510-c1555)

Lover in 1535.

Daughter of Sir John Shelton & Anne Boleyn (aunt of Queen Anne Boleyn).

"Margaret was reputedly the elder of Sir John and Anne Shelton's children, born in 1510, with Mary arriving around five years later. However, the similarities between their names and the possible confusion over the abbreviation 'Marg', which could easily be read as Mary, has led historians to wonder which sister was the recipient of Henry's advances, and whether he may have had affairs with both of them, or even if they were, in fact, the same person. It has been suggested also that Anne asked one of her cousins to divert Henry's attention from the Imperial Lady, or from Jane Seymour, who was noticed by the king in 1535, but there is no evidence to support this theory, nor that Anne was particularly close to either Margaret or Mary. This idea is included as a note in a Shelton family history book dating from a later period. Both ladies, assuming there were two of them, were younger that Anne and unmarried when they joined her household. . . ." (The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Women’s Stories)

"In 1536 Madge was betrothed to Henry Norris, a high-flying courtier, and strong supporter of the Boleyns' reformist cause. But already, Norris was in "very great favour with the King"; just as he was about to be accused of treason because the Queen misinterpreted his feelings, which coloured the testimonies they were all later forced to give. Madge seems to be a faithful servant, yet fearfully duped by her mother Lady Shelton's spying, determined as she was to bring down Norris and Weston for using her daughter. Unfortunately Mrs Coffin, had already been groomed as a spy when the Queen inadvertently told her of Sir Francis Weston's flirtations with Madge, of which she reproved. Norris may have been her betrothed, but Weston naively insinuated that he was in the Queen's Chambers to see her and not  servant.Because there is still some speculation as to when Mary was born, it is believed that she could have been as young as fifteen when she began her affair with King Henry VIII. Their affair together was short-lived, only lasting about six months. Mary seemed to have been very accepting of the situation with the king, and did not press him to give her land, money, or a title." (Wikipedia)

18) Mary Berkeley (1511-1586)

Alleged mistress?
Lady-in-waiting in the royal court.

Daughter of James Berkeley & Susan FitzAlan.

Wife of:
1. Sir Thomas Perrot (1504-1531), mar 1526
2. Sir Thomas Jones (1492-1559), mar 1532
3. Rowland Pughe.

"Mary Berkeley had been married in 1526 to her uncle’s ward, Thomas Perrot, settling in Pembrokeshire. Perrot had been knighted by Henry that year and was a great hunter; it is thought that Mary was part of Catherine’s household, placing the pair at court during these years. Mary’s eldest son, John, was born in November 1528 and reputedly bore a great resemblance to the king. As a young man John was in the king’s favour – Henry once intervened to prevent him from being punished after he was drawn into a brawl. Later involved with piracy, debt, deception and scandal, John’s reputed parentage may have been a convenient way to escape retribution." (History Extra)

"Another alleged lover of Henry VIII's was Mary Berkeley. We known very little about her, except that she was the daughter of James Berkeley, a courtier. Estimates of her date of birth range from 1495 to 1500, making her a little younger than Henry. She married for the second time after her husband's death in 1531, to Sir Thomas Jones. Her third child, Sir John Perrot, was born around 1527. She is alleged to have borne two bastards to Henry: Perrot and Sir Thomas Stucley. This shows how confused these stories are --- Thomas Stucley's mother wasn't Mary Berkeley, it was Jane Pollard, the daughter of Sir Lewis Pollard, and his father was Sir Hugh Stucley of Affeton. There is certainly nothing to prove a connection to King Henry VIII. Stucley lived from around 1525 -- towards the end fo Henry's affair with Mary Boleyn -- until 1578. His portrait shows a tall man posing in a Henrician style, but there is no obvious resemblance to the monarch, and it is this alleged resemblance that is the basis for the claim." (Mistresses of Henry VIII: 75)

"Still with me?  There’s one more from this period.  And again historians are divided in their opinions about this man as there is very little evidence to support his claim.  Mary Berekley lived in the Welsh Marches with her husband Sir Thomas Perrot.  Thomas was keen on hunting – as was Henry VIII.  It is just possible that the king enjoyed a spot of hunting with Sir Thomas Perrot and also enjoyed other recreational pursuits with his wife.  The result, according to John Perrot – was him.  John turned up at court, got into a fight with Henry’s men at arms but managed to keep his right hand because the king liked the look of the boy.  Edward VI seems to have liked him as well and he was one of the four gentlemen selected to carry Elizabeth’s canopy of state at her coronation.  This is, of course, all circumstantial – and yes, he is supposed to have looked like Henry VIII." (The History Jar)

Henry VIII's rumoured mistresses.
Elizabeth Stafford (1479-1532)
Countess of Sussex 1529

Lady -in-waiting to Elizabeth of York, 1494.

Wife ofRobert Radcliffe1st Earl of Sussex., son of John Radcliffe, 9th Lord FitzWalter, mar 1505.

"Chapuys does not state which of the Stafford sisters Henry was involved with. Several factors point to Anne, particularly that she later lived openly in adultery with William Compton; there is no recorded stain on Elizabeth Stafford's reputation. The confusion over which Stafford sister was involved led some to believe that he was pursuing both sisters --- the original source is clear that it was only one of them." (Mistresses of Henry VIII)

"Elizabeth Stafford was the elder sister of Edward, third Duke of Buckingham. She was at court as one of Elizabeth of York's ladies by 1494. On July 23, 1505, she married Robert Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter. As Lady Fitzwalter, she was at the court of Henry VIII in May 1510, when she informed her brother that her younger and newly married sister, Anne, was being courted by the king. When the king learned that Lady Anne had been sent away, he forced Queen Catherine to dismiss Elizabeth Fitzwalter from her service, as well. Elizabeth later returned to court and was in attendance at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520. Her husband was created Earl of Sussex in 1529." (At the King's Pleasure: 349)

"'Notes: was at court as one of Elizabeth of York's ladies by 1494. On 23 Jul 1505 she married Robert Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter, who was created Earl of Sussex in 1529. It was as Lady Fitzwalter, however, that she was at the court of Henry VIII. She did not stay long. In May of 1510, after she informed her brother the Duke of Buckingham that their younger and newly married sister, Anne, was being courted by the King, the King himself forced Queen Catalina to dismiss Elizabeth Fitzwalter from her service. She was, however, in attendance at the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520." (Geni)

" . . . Henry's eyes first lit on Lady Fitzwalter during Catherine's second pregnancy in 1510.  The 20-something Lady Elizabeth lived at court with her husband and was second cousin to the king. Her sister was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine. When word leaked of Lady Elizabeth's activities, she was banished to a convent. Enraged, Henry blamed Elizabeth's sister for informing the queen and Catherine herself for upbraiding him for the affair. As the Spanish ambassador wrote, 'No one knows how it will end.'"  (PBS)

Agnes Blewitt (1509-1575)

Lover in 1523/25?.
Rumoured mistress?

Daughter ofRichard Blewett & Mary St. Aubyn.

Wife ofWilliam Edwards.

"Edwardes' mother, Agnes Blewitt, was not a courtier. She was from Somerset and is unlikely to have met Henry; he may have had affairs with low-born women, but they were unlikely to have lasted long. . . ." (Mistresses of Henry VIII: 78)

"Some researchers and Brit historians believe that Richard is (sic) an illegitimate son of Henry VIII (Tudor) and Agnes Blewitt, as Agnes was at court just prior to her pregnancy and Henry VIII provided a stipend for Richard's childhood support, and guaranteed and paid for his education at Oxford. Richard's mother, Agnes Blewitt, was allowed to add the Tudor roses to her personal crest." (Tudor History)

Anne Bassett (1521-1558)

Lover in 1538/39.
"Anne is rumoured to have attracted Henry VIII in 1538 and 1539, and is rumoured to have been the king's mistress. The ambassadors thought that she might become his fourth wife in 1540, and again in 1542, just after Queen Catherine Howard was sentenced to death."  (Wikipedia)

"Anne Bassett, whose name had been coupled with Henry's several times during the late 1530s and early 1540s, attended his funeral in 1547. Along with her sister, Catherine, she received an allowance of cloth for mourning clothes, suggesting they were among the many mourners who took part in the procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor three weeks after his death. Anne went on to become a maid of honour to Queen Mary in 1553. The following year, she married Sir Walter Hungerford of Farley, a man renowned for his athletic ability but tainted by scandal, following the execution of his father for offenses committed under the first sodomy law of 1533. Anne bore her husband two children but may have died in childbirth of a complication arising afterwards, as Walter remarried less than four uears later, in May 1558. Catherine Bassett married Sir Henry Ashley on 8 December 1537, who was knighted at the coronation of Mary I. She bore a son, Henry, who served Queen Elizabeth but died at some unknown point before her husband's death in 1588." (The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: the Women's Stories: 3)

"One of the new ladies-in-waiting was his uncle’s step-daughter Anne Basset who was said to be a very pretty girl.  Her mother had managed to wangle her a place at court with the gift of quails which Jane Seymour craved during her pregnancy.  There were rumours.  Henry purchased her a horse and a rather fine saddle and bridle having sent her to the country to recover her health from a mysterious illness.  All this is pretty tenuous but by now Henry had “form” and sending girls to the country for their “health” fits the pattern. Margaret Skipwith is also mentioned as a potential mistress during this time before the duke of Norfolk dangled young Katherine Howard under the king’s nose." (The History Jar)

Arabella Parker (d.1520).
"Arabella Parker is the name given by Hubert S. Burke in his Historical Portraits of the Tudor Dynasty, a four-volume history published in 1879-83, to the royal mistress who allegedly replaced Elizabeth Blount in King Henry VIII's affections. Burke says Arabella was the wife of a London merchant but provides no other information and no source for his claim. Whether there ever was a real Arabella Parker or not remains conjectural. There was a Mistress Parker who participated in the revels of March 1522, but this is unlikely to have been a merchant's wife and was probably Jane Parker, later Lady Rochford, before her marriage to George Boleyn. A Margery Parker was one of the Princess of Mary's rockers in 1516 and later an Alice Parker was one of Princess Mary's chamberers. For Margaret Parker, mistakenly identified as Madge Shelton by some see her entry. Alison Weir, in Mary Boleyn also points out that Arabella Parker was a Scots name, not in common use in England." (A Who's Who of Tudor Women: P)

"It is possible that Henry next had a brief dalliance with Arabella Parker, described as 'the wife of a city merchant'. Evidence for this, however, is almost non-existent and it must remain in the realm of speculation. Another suggestion is that it was Margery Parker and not Arabella who had won, although temporarily, the King's affections." (Wilkinson: 62)

"It is thought that Elizabeth Blount had been replaced in the king's bed by 'mistress Parker'. That could be Arabella Parker, the wife of a city merchant, or Margery Parker, who had been part of Prince Mary's household since 1516." (Tudor Place)

Eleanor Luke.
Lover in 1533?
"Henry VIII's mistresses Eleanor Luke and Ursula Misseldon are completely fictional. . . ." (The Historical Novel)

"Lady Eleanor Luke is seen as Henry's mistress in 1533 while Anne was pregnant with Elizabeth. There are only two mistresses Henry is known to have had while with Anne  -- an unknown lady in 1534 and Madge Shelton in 1535. Eleanor Luke never existed." (Tudor Blogger)

Henry VIII of England Gallery.
Henry VIII of England
by English school, c1509
@ Denver Art Museum