June 15th 1519: Henry Fitzroy – One spoilt bastard

Henry Fitzroy (Fitzroy meaning 'son of the King')

Henry Fitzroy (Fitzroy meaning ‘son of the King’)

You may have never heard of this boy but he was the apple of Henry VIII’ s eye, the only recognised bastard of the king. All this came about when Henry was married to his first wife Katherine of Aragon. Poor Katherine had several miscarriages which were said to have made the 27 year old king greatly stressed. In order to relieve this stress Henry found shagging about very therapeutic, particularly with his wife’s lady in waiting Elizabeth Blount. Obviously being the year 1518, contraception wasn’t what it is now and to be fair it wasn’t really an issue for the King, it was his royal right to sew his seed, so obviously these facts combined lead to a pregnancy not of the Queen. Poor Katherine.

Bessie Blount was swiftly removed from court to spare her (or more likely the King ), any embarrassment through her maternity months. On June 15th 1519 her son was born. Henry was so taken with the boy that he decided to announce him at court, how shitty this must have been for his wife, Katherine?!

Henry Fitzroy’s upbringing would’ve been one fit for a prince; after all he was the kings’ only son at this point. Henry was starting to panic that he had no male heir to continue the Tudor reign, (he also had no surviving brothers either so it was starting to look a bit grim for the future of the Tudor claim) and the aging Katherine was producing stillborn babies or unavailable pregnancies (which Henry thought this was obviously her fault and used it against her in later years when he sought a divorce claiming it was Gods way of punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife, like a twat). At this point Henry was only on his first wife and the couple had a  young daughter (Princess Mary or bloody Mary as we sometimes fondly refer to her), This is almost certainly why Henry acknowledged little Henry. On June 18th, 1925 big Henry made little Henry Duke of Richmond and Somerset, and Lieutenant-General of the North as well as the fucking massive Durham house on the Strand, and an annuity of just under £5k which was a shit ton of cash back then. The perfect gifts for a 6 year old boy.

Henry Fitzroy’s luck also came in again in that year. The King had started to realise that Katherine of Aragon was probably never going to give him a legitimate son, so looked into other options. He came up with an idea which on one hand was a genius way to secure the thrown, but on the other was plain fucking grim: he was going to marry little Henry to his half- sister the Princess Mary. This would mean that Henry would guarantee his succession, (despite having hairy faced, web footed Grandkids). Fortunately luck struck again for our young Henry, as Anne Boleyn rocked up on the scene and caught the Kings eye, so he ditched his wife and his plans of interbreeding his children, and had a crack on Anne instead, (who also gave him a single girl. Karma is a bitch). Henry Fitzroy was too little to understand the magnitude of the bullet that he had dodged, but I can’t help but think that in later years he would’ve found out about the plan and though his dad fucking mental, (a treasonous though but how could you not think it?)

When Henry was 14 (in 1533), he married Lady Mary Howard (the cousin to both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard). It’s said that the couple never consummated their marriage as King Henry had put little Henry off, suggesting to him that sex at a young age could kill him, and that’s what happened to Henry’s brother Arthur. As if a newlywed 14 year old boy wasn’t going to get laid if he had the opportunity, but apparently he abstained at the wishes of his father.

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Three years later, the couple were still sex free (at 17…as if), but now the world was a different place. Big Henry had binned off Katherine and married Anne and Henry had a new little sister (the princess Elizabeth), and a new wife. But as per usual things went belly up for the King and he now wanted to swap Anne for Jane Seymour. The young Henry was put in what must have been a bit of an awkward spot. The King had asked him to stand as a jury member for the trial of Anne Boylen, his wife’s cousin. Young Henry could not refuse and so contributed to his step mothers’ downfall. In order to sweeten this predicament for Henry Fitzroy the King (being the devious bastard he was), had convinced his son that Anne had tried to poison young Henry and his half-sister Mary, who had since been declared a bastard by the King when he annulled his marriage with Katherine of Aragon.  So off Anne went to the executioners block, making the Princess Elizabeth also inheriting the title of ‘royal bastard’, and the King wins again (despite now having no legitimate heirs…not a well thought through plan but he had double or quits riding on Jane).

A few months into Henry VIII’s marriage with his third wife Jane, the young Henry Fitzroy, who was still very much the apple of his father’s eye, took sick. On 22nd July, 1536 Henry Fitzroy died of consumption (Tuberculosis most likely), leaving behind his ‘virgin’ widow, (who promptly inherited all of his titles and land), and a grief stuck father.  The King had planned for the young Henry Fitzroy to take his place if he didn’t manage to produce a son and now all that he was left with was two illegitimate princesses. Poor Jane must have been shitting bricks with the pressure.

And what became of Mary Howard you ask? Well the King had decided that because he had ordered the marriage to not be consummated it was officially annulled, so Mary lost all of her husband’s titles, money and homes and was sent back to court where the king could keep an eye on her and possibly save her as a pawn in any future adventures.

This is thought to be Henry Fitzroy, however some evidence suggests it could be his younger brother Edward, who came after Henrys death. Either way it seems the artist can paint children but not animals.

This is thought to be Henry Fitzroy, however some evidence suggests it could be his younger brother Edward, who came after Henry’s death. Either way it seems the artist can paint children but not animals.

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1st June 1533 – All Hail Queen Anne

                       1st June 1533 – Anne Boleyn is crowned

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482 years ago today, in 1533, Anne Boleyn was crowned the Queen of England. She was Henry VIII’s 2nd wife and lasted a mere 3 years (almost exactly to the day), before he lopped her head off through sheer boredom (and a sprinkle of politics).

Henry spent a shit ton of cash on her coronation as a desperate attempt to win around the public’s enthusiasm. They hated Anne. She had turned the whole religion of the country around, caused monasteries to be burned and had somehow enticed the king away from the much loved Catherine of Aragon (who he had been married to for freaking ages and had stood by him through thick and thin, organised his wars and kept his country running smoothly when he had buggered off to scrap about in France).

Anne and Henry had undergone a secret wedding a little before the coronation. I think this would’ve been a bit of a snub to the public as it was no secret that they disapproved of the union, so for Henry to then marry Anne was like a massive fuck you to the people, little did they know that she was also preggers with their daughter Elizabeth, (later Queen Liz I, ultimate hardcore virgin  feminist), at the time. Because of the pregnancy, Henry would’ve wanted to marry Anne asap in order to have a heir to the throne s opposed to another bastard (I like to think of Henry as a Robert Baratheon type figure since he had a few bastard kids kicking about being the dirty shagger he was).

Anyway, back to the coronation… I could write all day about the riches and elaborate decorations but I wont, just think big. Think  grand flags and bunting, hundreds of boats following the Queens golden barge down the Thames, cannon fire meeting the royal couple (who had a bloody barge each), cloth’s of gold (yes gold…as in real gold), foot soldiers and the finest attires.

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Knowing Henry’s choice of replacement queen was unpopular, he made her coronation more expensive and much more elaborate than her predecessor’s, as if by way to win the public’s affection. However this blew up in his face somewhat when Anne was reportedly met by mocking laughter, insults and booing. sad times for poor Anne.

In her coronation the archbishop declares that Anne is ‘Set above all others and witnessed by God Himself thus only death could remove her’. Oh how wrong could one man be?!

Anne Boleyn: possibly the most famous and most formidable of Henry VIII's wives, even though her marriage (and reign), only lasted 3 years.

Anne Boleyn: possibly the most famous and most formidable of Henry VIII’s wives, even though her marriage (and reign), only lasted 3 years.

19th May 1536- Anne Boleyn looses her head

19th May 1536: Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn lost her head (as in had it hacked off with a sword at the command if her ‘loving’ husband as opposed misplaced it). After turning the political and religious beliefs of the whole country upside down in order to marry Anne, after a few short years he wanted rid to make room for another, ( being the nice bloke he was).

Anne was initially told she would be executed on the 18th at 9am. She waited and waited and nobody came. She was eager to die, i think because on the whole being alive do Anne was utter shit and heaven awaited her. At he last mass and confession she maintained her innocence. This was evidence enough for most subjects that Anne was innocent, to swear it before death must mean its true or how else would God accept you!? She became anxious that she had not been executed before noon as promised, she also joked that the executioner would have an easy job as she had a little neck. Finally, dressed in black, (the colour of death), and red (the colour of martyrdom- like shoving the rods up at Henry), she headed for the scaffold. The executioner had been summoned from France. Anne had requested to die by a highly skilled french swordsman as opposed to the usual fat arsed English axeman. It’s said that as her head fell her lips continued to move. She paid £20 arms to the poor at the time if her death, (given to her by Henry) and was remembered as ‘the late queen’. This is particularly interesting as Katherine of Aragon and Katherine Howard (the two other crowned queens who met particular shorty ends at the hand of their fat head husband), lost their title and recognition as queen straight away.

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Though Anne is not my favourite queen she is one if the most interesting and her death had a large impact on many people. Henry, being the romantic that he was, was betrothed to Jane Seymour the following day and married by the em if the month. What a dick he was