Alice’s Restaurant

May 8, 2007

The Tudors – Henry and Anne Get It On.

Filed under: Henry VIII, History with Mr. Al, Research — aliceaudrey @ 10:53 pm

Just so you know, I’m the one who comes up with the cheesy titles.  Mr. Al never thinks to give me one.  Anyway, when we left off Henry was about to discover something about his virginal queen-to-be not entirely to his liking.

It turned out, or so Henry later claimed, that Anne had been “corrupted” while in France. That she had had sexual experiences that left her, technically, still a virgin. He did not elaborate on what the experiences had been. The king found this most disturbing after all the protestations on Anne’s part that she had keep herself pure for Henry’s sake. Hard to imagine what a woman like Anne could have possibly done that would constitute sexual contact, while leaving her virginity intact. Hmmmmmm.

But no matter, If Henry had any doubts at that time he didn’t let them get in the way of his fun. He was getting what he wanted from the woman he wanted. It took a few months, but eventually Anne was pregnant. Henry just knew it was going to be a boy and shifted all his plans into high gear. On January 25 1533, Henry and Anne were married at Whitehall palace. It was a secret ceremony, immediate family only. All involved were sworn to secrecy. This didn’t prevent Henry from dropping broad hints while he was in his cups at a banquet a few weeks later. Henry’s drunken ranting weren’t the same as an official announcement, however. But it was just the sort of thing that spread faster than an official announcement.

No doubt word reached Katherine. Whither she believed it or would hardly have mattered. Henry was on a campaign to make Katherine’s life a living hell. He was succeeding. Having God and the people on her side was small conciliation after Henry took Princess Mary away from her. News from Rome was bad. The Pope was behind her 100 percent. Way, way behind her. At the moment Clement and Charles were pax because Charles needed Clement’s support against the Turks, who were on the Empires eastern borders. Clement threatened Henry with excommunication. Again. Henry told him to piss off. Again. Clement said he REALLY meant it this time! Henry’s reply? “Yeah? Whatever.” Or words to that effect.

By the time Henry and Anne were married, Henry had already decided to break with Rome. Clement didn’t know this, of course. He hoped against hope that such a catastrophe could be avoided. He really had no idea that his spineless waffling was one of the things that set Henry on his course. In February of 1533 Clement told Charles that Katherine’s case would be heard in Rome and Rome only. This time he would settle Henry’s hash once and for all, By God! He neglected to set a date for this big showdown. Not that it mattered to Henry. He had no intention of going to Rome. Physically place himself in the Emperors backyard? Not bloody likely.

 Charles was too preoccupied to do much. Invading England on Katherine’s behalf was something he had once been serious about. A number of things held him back now. One, a sea-borne invasion would be a huge undertaking. The logistics were daunting; assembling the ships, the horses and men, the equipment, the provisions, a staggering task. And the expense! It had been possible earlier, but all that manpower sequestered in the west while Johnny Turk was romping through the Balkans? The turbaned bastards wanted to sack Vienna! No, the timing just wasn’t right! The other thing was, as previously mentioned, Katherine herself. She was quickly becoming her own worse enemy.


Mr. Al has already given me the next Tudor installment.  It’s good, but I’m not going to tell you anything about it until Next Tuesday.  Then hopefully we will do a Tudor Tuesday until he’s covered the last of Henry’s queens.  I know it’s nothing to rival Tessa’s TMI Tuesday, but well worth swinging by anyway.



  1. A young virgin corrupted in the French Court? Surely not! Not the French? 😉

    Thanks Mr. Al. As usual very enjoyable. I take it you’re not from the camp which believes the story of her birth defects. I don’t put too much value on it either. Surely, in those days, had that been true, Henry would have literally turned tail and ran.

    Comment by Anastasia — May 9, 2007 @ 2:00 am

  2. I adore Tudor Tuesday! Thanks, Mr. Al and Alice for shaing him.

    Comment by Chris — May 9, 2007 @ 6:30 am

  3. Mr. Al may know all about the story of her birth defects, but Alice does not. What was she supposed to have wrong with her?

    The cool thing about Tudor Tuesday how how much *I* am learning.


    Comment by aliceaudrey — May 9, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  4. It was said that she had a six digit in one hand, which she hid in her sleeve. The other, not so unusual, was a prominent mole in her neck. But I would have thought that in those days, she would have been considered an oddity. And why would Henry want a woman with such malformations as the mother of his heir? But as I said before, there are historians that believe it and others that don’t. ???

    Comment by Anastasia — May 9, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  5. There’s no way an extra finger is going to go un-noticed, and I doubt a mole would stop anyone in an age when every freckle and mole anyone gets is there for life. Well, maybe it would stop Henry. He could afford to be choosy


    Comment by aliceaudrey — May 9, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  6. Yay!!! I get history lessons on Tuesdays. Nice to hear something different than just the 19th century.

    Comment by Bev — May 9, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  7. I used to have a school friend that had and extra finger. It was very small, the size of a very little toe, and it hung from the side of her hand just below the base of the little finger. I guess, that with the fashion of those the days, she could have hidden it. The mole on it’s own, was not a biggy, just the combination of the two could have made it a bit much. You have to think that in those days, something like that was enough to make you look like a freak, something evil or witchlike. People then, were very superstitious and afraid of the unknown or abnormal. That’s why, I think that it wasn’t true. I don’t believe that he would have taken the risk of finally having a male heir with similar birth defects. JMO though. 😉

    Comment by Anastasia — May 9, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  8. Hi:
    Thank you! I am very pleased that you are enjoying these posts. For my part, I sort of visulize them as sitting around the kitchen table and talking history with like minded persons. The Anne/finger thing. I’d heard that before and I don’t think there was anything to it. Anne was deeply hated by many people in her time. Most were Catholic, because of her family’s support for church reform. Quite a bit of anti-Anne propaganda flowed from the “gutter press” at this time. There were those who wanted to spread the belief that Anne was a witch. Who else but a witch would attack the Mother Church?
    Makeing Anne a witch also explained her hold over Henry. As if! She was a very intelligent woman who knew what she wanted and knew what she had to do to get it. Alas, she didn’t know when to stop. But that, dear readers, is a future post. Thank you again for reading along this far. I really had no intention of running with this the way I have. I had NO idea anyone would find it worthwhile.(blush)

    Comment by Mr Al — May 9, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

  9. No blushing Mr. Al! Just keep it coming! And tks!

    Comment by Anastasia — May 10, 2007 @ 2:59 am

  10. You know, Mr. Al, when I was a little girl, I spent hours and days devouring all of the Jean Plaidy fictionalized historicals of the English monarchy going back to William the Conqueror (aside: do you know how many books an avid reader can go through on a trip from podunk, Kentucky to Disney??). Reading about the Tudors was far and away my favorite group of those books, and this is like returning to those days. One of the first things I’m going to do when we’re settled into the new house is to go on a used book store hunt for copies of that Plaidy series.

    Comment by Chris — May 10, 2007 @ 6:43 am

  11. Tudor Tuesday rocks! I’m learning so much – and since everyone’s talking about the TV show on Showtime, which I don’t have, I can understand a weensy bit of what they’re talking about.

    Comment by TessaD — May 10, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  12. Loved it as usual, Mr. Al! I really find it enjoyable to come here and relax with the Tudors (even if I’m not doing it on Tuesday). This is fascinating stuff!


    Comment by Laurie — May 11, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

  13. Great series – I’ve enjoyed The Tudors immensely … The Tudors Concludes: A Review

    Comment by paullev — June 8, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

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