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Old 11-18-2013, 05:37 PM
 
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Actually one could be released from a death sentence if not the Tower if the monarch who signed the death warrant died before it was executed.

Under English law at that time when there was a demise in the crown law was supposedly "suspended" or some such until a new monarch was installed. Subsequent changes in the laws including passage of the Riot Act changed things however.

Among it's other uses the Tower is where monarchs of England spent the night or days before their coronation. Like the Bastille accommodations could be made quite comfortable depending upon one's rank and the monarch's wishes.

While Henry VIII broke with Rome he still considered himself part of the RC church in many ways. In short his actions did not ease his conscious on the matter but was yet something else he was obliged to do as his duty of being king.

To understand Henry VIII you have to know and understand how the Tudors came to the throne in the first place. It is because of that bloody and tough fight that Henry's father impressed upon his sons and later only heir they had to produce sons to continue the line undisputed. England had never been ruled by queens so Henry was not happy with either of his two daughters. The fact he was only able to produce one (sickly) son as heir must have weighed hard on his mind. The king had healthy bastard sons but they could not inherit. By the time of his third marriage and onwards the king was getting too old and racked with various ailments to sire children. His fourth, fifth and certainly sixth wives were more to be "nursemaids" than anything else.

Henry VIII did claim he was unable to perform with Anne of Cleves for various reasons (including her personal hygiene), but the truth may have been different.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: SC
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Check out The White Queen series that just ended on Starz, if you liked the Tudors. It goes back to the Yorks and The house of Lancaster before the Tudors came to fruition. It is pretty fascinating as it gives you good idea of how Henry VIII came into power.

Pinterest if filled with people collecting albums of British royalty; tons of good browsing here: Pinterest
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Peterborough, England
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I believe this was a throw back to the Hundred Years' War - though England lost the war, they continued to maintain that the monarchs of England were the rightful rulers of France. It was a nominal claim only.
Though if The Tudors showed Tudor Englishmen calling the real King of France by that title, it was a goof.

Since that title was used by their own sovereign, they would have been committing lese-majeste. Iirc as late as Charles II's reign an English peer had to apologise at the bar of the House for making this slip in the Lords. Etiquette required that the chap in Paris either be referred to by name - "King Louis" or whatever - or else as "The French King". He was a king and he was French, so that was ok.

The claim wasn't abandoned until 1802.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Royals and to an extent many nobles had no privacy as you and I would consider it in modern times.
If modern times means the post WWII era... Prince Charles was the last royal to be born without the Home Secretary or the Archbishop of Canterbury, amongst others, acting as witnesses to the birth. I can't think of less privacy that one could have and that wasn't until 1948.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
If modern times means the post WWII era... Prince Charles was the last royal to be born without the Home Secretary or the Archbishop of Canterbury, amongst others, acting as witnesses to the birth. I can't think of less privacy that one could have and that wasn't until 1948.
Actually it was 1936 and HM's cousin, Princess Alexandra. The custom ended before 1948 when Prince Charles was born. BBC News - 10 curious things about the royal birth

If you've ever have given birth, or were with your wife when she did you'd know there are plenty of persons in the delivery room so it is not exactly like it is private. What they see depends upon where they are standing and of course how the woman is draped, type of birth etc.... At each of Marie-Antoinette's births *any* member of the court could walk in and out of the chamber as they pleased.

Can think of much more private moments royals endured that are worse. Groom of the Stool, meant just that. A nobleman who remained at the king's side or close by while he used the commode (usually located in a "stool" or type of chair), that carried away the royal waste to be disposed of.

Royals often did not bathe themselves either, someone else did it, though at least often this was done whilst the royal person was wearing a shift.

Wedding nights? Maybe you'd be alone, otherwise just the curtains were drawn but persons still in the room.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
If you've ever have given birth, or were with your wife when she did you'd know there are plenty of persons in the delivery room so it is not exactly like it is private.
Nurses and doctors are one thing, but prime ministers are a whole nother can of spam.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Yes The Tudors had a lot of sex in it. Made me wonder how a queen could carry on like that with servants privy to all the details of their personal lives. But I guess the powers that be had to sex up the show to keep people interested.

When Elizabeth died they showed she had a locket with her mother's portrait in it- Ann Boleyn. Probably fiction?

The casual way in which Henry took so many lives really bothered me
and I've always wondered the psychology of having public beheadings and lynchings. And people taking picnics like it is entertainment.

I read that it is thought Henry had some brain damage when he was in a jousting accident and was unconscious for at least 2-3 hours. They said his personality changed and he became extremely moody. So maybe he wasn't naturally so evil after all but it seems like the only way to get rid of your enemies if you were in high station was to have them executed.
All the royalty did back then, not just Henry VIII. It was a brutal time.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
I haven't seen the series, but there is a series on PBS called Secrets of... One was about the Tower, which began as a simple Royal estate. People, even Royal ones, lived in tiny spaces. Many rooms did not have doors, just perhaps a curtain. One had to take care, but servants were seen as invisible. They show this one corridor which is dark and narrow, then suddenly opens into a decorated wide hall. That is where the addition was built centuries later. One of the more plain additions was actually rebuilt in modern times when the Tower became an official tourist site to match the period buildings, and the more sparce stone facings.

History is full of times when death was common and executions were a normal part of life. In Henry's time, beheading was a mark of nobility. The ordinary sorts were hung. The notorius had their heads placed on spires as a warning to others. There were also way worse ways to die. In Henry's time, beheading wasn't common, and often done with an axe taking multiple hits. As a kindness, Anne lost her head to a trained french swordsman on one quick stroke.

Go back two hundered years from now and there were public executions. People came to enjoy the day and watch the execution. This was in America and Europe and other places. Our making it hidden and secret is an entirely new invention.

Death was common in times before and people generally did not have the same perception of it as we do now.

Enemies of high station were not necessarily executed. The Tower became a prison as well, and once one went in, it was uncertain if they'd ever leave. They could be starved or beaten or live in comfort if they had the funds. Few were actually released. The living death was seen as worse than simply dying.

And someone of high station was always going to be a danger in their game of power and the one sure way to make sure not was that they die, that you had the power to end their life.

It was a bloodthirsty age, and I'm not sure its right to call Henry 'evil'. He was a man of his time with nearly unlimited power, official or not, and he acted accordingly. He directed his power at more than his wives, that being what sets him apart from others. But he did not know that his daughter Elisabeth was going to prove to be one of the extraordinary women in history when he desperately tried for a son. For a king to fail to produce a male heir were seen as failing in a basic duty which threatened their future legacy.

His most lasting contribution is not that he killed off so many wives, but that he chose to break with the church to do it and the ramifications of that which come down in history still today while all those who died are just dead.
Wait a minute, the man was married six times and "only" had two of his wives executed. "Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived" is how you remember the disposition of his six wives.

And yes, the break with the church was what made it most significant, provided you weren't one of the two cousins (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard WERE cousins) whose heads were severed.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:10 PM
 
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Wait a minute, the man was married six times and "only" had two of his wives executed. "Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived" is how you remember the disposition of his six wives.

And yes, the break with the church was what made it most significant, provided you weren't one of the two cousins (Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard WERE cousins) whose heads were severed.

Anne Boleyn had to *die* because Henry was married to her under English law and as she would not consent to being "put away", and the King had that itch again (Jane Seymour) it was the only way to "end" his marriage. That and like many a man Henry VIII began to see his once mistress now wife as the cause of many current woes. In short the King began to see Anne for the spiteful, sharp mouthed (female dog) she often was; and it bothered him, a lot! *LOL*. The fact Anne had not produced the sons she promised Henry sealed her fate.

Catherine Howard's fate was family avarice pure and simple. Unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine actually did do many of the things she was accused of (sleeping around and so forth). That would not have been tolerated by many kings and certainly not by one with a hair-trigger temper like Henry VIII.

It is again worth nothing that both Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn were native Englishwomen and thus subjects of the Crown from birth. Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves were princesses of European royal houses. Henry could not risk executing either without stirring up major problems.


Though Anne of Cleves could not be totally sure it was a given despite Henry's bluster that he would imprison or have her executed on trumped up charges, her being a daughter of Cleves meant that simply casting her aside and possibly judicial murder was not on the cards. She is one of the few women to have gotten the best deal of Henry VIII. Converted to the king's "sister" from his wife (yes, the world laughed their heads off at that one at the time as well), Anne of Cleves was given a high position at court and a very lavish lifestyle. So much so that Henry's heir Prince Edward complained during his short time on the throne about the expense/drain on his finances caused by Anne. Those expenses went right on being paid until Anne of Cleves died and her household was dissolved.
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