2nd June, 1572: Thomas Howard Is In The Shit.

On June 2nd, 1572, the 4th Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, was executed for treason under the order of Elizabeth I. Thomas was born into one of the noblest families in England. Thomas’ family had been powerful for some time. His Grandfather, (also called Thomas Howard since the Tudors only had about 3 names), was a powerful politician during Henry VIII’s reign. This overambitious prick was the uncle of Anne Boleyn, and one of the main reason she found herself in the mix with the fat, spousicidal twat of a king in the first place.

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Thomas Howard,4th Duke of Norfolk…

oisin

…who, to my utter amusement, looks like my friend Oisin.

Thomas’s Dad, Henry Howard, was a bit more vanilla than his father. However, he was still executed under Henry VIII’s orders for suspected treason. Thomas Boleyn senior was also due to be beheaded, but as luck would have it Henry VIII died the day before the order was to be carried out, so he managed to dodge his sentence… and still it was only women who were accused of witchcraft!

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Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (the Grandad)

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Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (the Dad)

Anyway, after the king’s death, his daughter, Mary Tudor, took the throne with her very catholic and very Spanish, dick of a husband, Phillip of Spain. Mary had Thomas Howard Snr. released from the Tower and reinstated as Duke of Norfolk, a title which passed to his grandson on his death in 1554. Thomas junior was now the 4th Duke of Norfolk and in royal favour, which was still the case when Elizabeth I inherited the throne upon Mary’s death.

Elizabeth thought very highly of Thomas, she referred to him as ‘her cousin’, (Anne Boleyn and Henry Howard were first cousins, and Elizabeth liked to think that she and Thomas were also very close). Thomas might have been close to the queen, but he was still no comparison to Elizabeth’s favorite, Robert Dudley. It was said that Thomas Howard was jealous of Dudley because Dudley could influence the queen’s decisions, whereas he could not, despite being the richest bloke in the country. That aside, she still relied on him to do her bidding, and sort out the unholy shit storm that her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, had caused when she came to England to seek refuge.

The catholic Queen Mary had basically run away from all kinds of mess that she had been tied up in back in Scotland. She was hoping that her cousin would help her, but Elizabeth, quite rightly, saw her as a threat to her throne. Mart was catholic, the country had just reformed, Mary had a family link to the English throne, ergo she was a massive threat, and she now being in England brought about the threat of rebellion against Liz. So off went Thomas Howard to sort it out.

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Mary Queen of Scots – doing the ‘shady moon’ face.

Howard was all for laying some smackdown on Mary, until he met her Secretary of State, a slimy dude called Maitland. Maitland not only convinced Howard that Mary was innocent of any ill intent towards Elizabeth, but he also convinced Howard that it would be a good idea if he married Mary and then tried to blag Elizabeth into naming Mary as her successor to the English throne upon her death. Talk about being played like a fiddle, but Howard was stupid enough to go for it. The problem was that he didn’t have the bollockss to actually put the idea to Elizabeth, so, like a deluded fuckwit, he kept it a secret and but carried on making plans to wed the Scottish Queen regardless.

Because Howard suspected Elizabeth wouldn’t go for the idea, and because he shat himself at the prospect of being the one to put it to her, Maitland and Howard decided that Maitland would approach Elizabeth and make the suggestion. After all he had been able to chat shit to Howard and convince him of the shit idea in the first place. In the meantime, the plans for Howard and Mary to wed continued to be hatched.

When Elizabeth found out,  was had none of it. Why the fuck would she hand the throne to her knob head cousin, who had literally THE WORST track record with men in History*, and who would seek to restore England back to Catholicism with the help of that snivelling cunt, and  Elizabeth’s sworn enemy, Prince Philip of Spain? So as you can imagine, Howard’s plans started to look a tat premature, and a lot ridiculous.

For acting like a knob and going behind her back, Elizabeth had Howard was arrested and imprisoned in the tower. Elizabeth didn’t quite have the same blood thirst as her father and didn’t want the PR nightmare that sending Howard to trial would cause, so when shit settled down, he was eventually released from the tower. However, this is not where the story ends, because like an utter fucking spafftool, Howard continued to write to Mary, who wrote back chatting all kinds of love shit, and kissing him up via letters. This eventually lead to Howard getting himself involved in a fucking stupid idea with the shitehawk, Phillip of Spain and his cunt faced, London based banker pal, (yep, they were around being fuckheads in Tudor England too), Roberto Ridolfi.

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Phillip of Spain: Elizabeth’s ex bro-in-law and a right cunt.

The ‘Ridolfi Plot’, as it is now known, was basically a plan hatched by the men to free Mary, marry her to Howard, boot Elizabeth off the throne and restore England to its catholic glory with the help of Spain. Can you imagine?! What a misled knobweasle Howard had become.

The perpetrators of the plot had not counted on three things: firstly, Howard’s incompetence, Secondly, the pure badassness of Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham (think Varys from Game of Thrones),  and finally, the fact that Howard’s servant sang like a bunch of shitbirds when put to the rack.

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Walsingham the spymaster, like a boss

Howard had also mistrusted one of his servants to convey messages between himself, Phillip and Ridolfi. The servant had then found a merchant to do the dirty work, taking letters and money between the parties. The merchant was found out pretty sharpish as his sacks weighed more than they were supposed to, arousing the suspicion of the port guards, so he was arrested and questioned and he too spilled the beans on Howard.

Meanwhile, back at home, Howard’s servants had been arrested and tortured, during which time they told their captures that Howard had been squirrelling away letters about the plot under one of his roof tiles at one of his many properties.

Elizabeth was beside herself when she found out. How the fuck did Thomas Howard find himself mixed up in all this bullshit? He had always maintained his loyalty to Elizabeth and, to a certain extent, she believed him. She did not want to condemn him to death, signing and retracting his death warrant several times, until eventually parliament stepped in and insisted she should stop fannying about and just get it over and done with.

Thomas Howard’s death warrant was eventually signed and he was sent to his death for being a treasonous prick, just like his father and Grandfather, on June 2nd, 1572. He is now buried in the church of St Peter and Vincula at the Tower of London, a dumping ground for headless Tudor traitors. ‘And what of Mary?’ I hear you cry. Well she continued to plot and scheme once she found out that Elizabeth would not name her as heir to the throne. In 1586, Walsingham uncovered enough evidence to have her sentenced to death, and in 1587 she met a very sticky end.

*If you need proof of Mary’s terrible choice in men, or you want to know more about her rather shitty execution, you may be interested in this plots-execu:https://thetudorials.com/2015/07/17/july-17th-1586-tions-treason-and-the-dick-end-men-in-mary-queen-of-scots-life/

 

14th November 1501: Prince Arthur Tudor marries Katherine of Aragon.

Katy and Arthur…did they or didn’t they?

Arthur looking about 46, but actually aged 15.

Arthur looking about 46, but actually aged 15.

The very beautiful Katherine of Aragon

The very beautiful Katherine of Aragon

So today is the 514th wedding anniversary of Prince Arthur Tudor (the son of Henry VII and Catherine of York), and Katherine of Aragon. The wedding took place at St Paul’s Cathedral after Henry VII had gone all bridezilla and planned the festivities to the point of perfection. Katherine had been betrothed to Arthur since being 3 years old, so anticipations for the day were high.

Henry was super exited about the union of his son and the Spanish Princess. It mean an alliance with Spain and a fuck-tonne of cash for his treasury. Katherine brought with her a massive dowry and the security of a future baby for the Tudor dynasty. Katherine was the daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabelle I of Castile. Ferdinand had made Henry promise that she would be treated as his daughter, never neglected and always shown the utmost respect. Henry had asked in return that Katherine did not show up with a gang of mingers as her ladies in waiting.

Katherine arrived in England after a ridiculous 3 months at sea to be greeted with masses of affection and a shit load of gifts. The public loved her, (after all this would hopefully mark the next generation of security for the throne and after the Wars of the Roses a few years previously, this is what the public craved). Its fair to say that the whole country celebrated the arrival of the beautiful Spanish princess and could not wait until the wedding.

The wedding itself was a grand affair: Henry VII had arranged street pageants and celebrations for the public to get involved with. He had even arranged a fountain outside  the Cathedral which flowed with wine in order to keep the public in high spirits, (though this turned out to be a fucking nightmare, as the treasury refused to foot the bill, so it had to come out of Henry’s own pocket. Since everyone in Tudor times liked a drink it cost a small fortune).

The Cathedral itself was draped with rich scarlet fabrics and the best tapestries that money could buy. The wedding itself took pace on a raised platform and was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury whilst a chorus of trumpets sounded to announce the couples joyous day, (though probably not as the service took place as I image that to be quite distracting…not that many people would understand it anyway, what with it all being in Latin).

To make sure the day went well, Henry had enlisted the service of a holy gang: 19 English bishops and abbots (you never can have enough), to the 1 token member of the Spanish clergy there to represent Katherine. Good effort Henry. One weird thing was that the 16 year old Katherine was escorted to the alter by her soon to be brother-in-law, the most ostentatious ten year old in the country, The prince Henry Tudor.

Henry VIII as a young boy looking like a knob. Power and money aside, how did he manage to bag the ladies? seriously, how?! There are no words for this painting.

Henry VIII as a young boy looking like a knob. Power and money aside, how did he manage to bag the ladies? seriously, how?! There are no words for this painting.

After the ceremony the couple retreated to a banquet and that good old favourite Tudor past time of consuming so much meat and ale that their liver turned into a type of human foie grais. The festivities continued late into the night: both at the palace and in the streets. There was dancing, drinking and the odd pageant. The couple were said to be truly into each other (to be fair even if you wasn’t, you would do a good job of pretending, especially when your new father in law had a reputation as a bit of a badass and was partial to a bit of the old head removal).

After the celebrations the couple were then sent to bed. Katherine’s ladies got her ready and prepared the new bride for what was about to come next, (to be honest what they were to prepare her for was a rather sickly 15 year old boy, so they were probably telling her not to get her hopes too high). Arthur was sent into the room and the newly weds were left alone.This was a night that would later come back to be  proper pain in the arse for Katherine later in her life.

The following April the young prince Arthur died, possibly of something like sweating sickness or TB, but this meant that Katherine was widowed only a few months into her marriage. This left a problem for Henry VII, as he needed to keep her dowry and if Katherine went back to Spain  he would have to give it back to Ferdinand. After a few years, Katherine had become as good as  prisoner in the Tudor household. She was kept in squalor and treated badly. In order to keep her about the place,  Henry decided to marry her off to his younger son, Henry, (he had contemplated marrying her himself after the death of his wife…how grim is that?!).

I like to think this was a Tudor time equivalent to a tarot reading, predicting Katherines second marriage to an over excitable, ginger animal.

I like to think this was a Tudor time equivalent to a tarot reading, predicting Katherines second marriage to an over excitable, ginger animal.

Contrary to what you may think, Henry and Katherine were very much in love in the early days and were a couple not to fuck with. Henry would pop off for a war and Katherine would stay at home and rule the country. However, after 24 years and a distinct lack of sons Henry’s eyes began to wander. That’s when he met Anne Boylen.

Now this bitch was all up in Katherine grill, stealing her man and making a right mug out of her, so much so that Henry sought after a divorce. What does this have to do with Katherine’s marriage to Arthur? I hear you ask… well remember I said their wedding night would play an important part in Katherine’s future? This is where that comes in.

Henry had found a bit in the bible which stated something along the lines of ‘if you marry your brothers wife, bad shit will happen and you will encounter a fuck load of bad luck’. Henry used this to suggest that was the reason that the couple had never had a son and a load of children that had died in infancy. This was his grounds for divorce. Katherine countered it by saying that she had never consummated her marriage to Arthur so it was never actually ‘a marriage’ in the first place and therefore Henry was talking a load of old bollocks (just for a change).

Whether Katherine and Arthur did actually ‘hop on the good foot to do the bad thing’ we will never know. You can find evidence to suggest either, for instance Katherine was devout catholic and would never have lied in case she pissed off God and lost her place in line at the pearly gates. It was also common that Tudor youngsters, such as Katherine and Arthur on the night of their wedding, were dissuaded from shagging as it was feared that it lead to ill health, (so much so that Katherine was nearly kept in England as Arthur was sent to Ludlow in Wales, for fear of them having sexy fun times). In the other camp however, Arthur was noted to have come from the bedroom in the morning with a real thirst because he has ‘been in the midst of Spain’, which in itself makes me thing of a boasting teenager and also makes me want to vom. To be fair in a time where sexual education was either a quick chat 30 second prior to it happening, or rape, anything could’ve happened. My thinking is that if Katherine was as beautiful as records say, she could’ve done something as simple as brush her nightgown accidentally on his leg and he would’ve gone off like a firework…but who knows?

It didn’t matter either way though, because Henry took it upon himself to make himself the head of the church and therefore divorce Katherine regardless, (apparently the new religion was for the good of the people and definitely not because Henry was a fucking idiot with a wandering cock). So, I will leave you pondering whether 514 years ago, at maybe even this exact moment, the young prince Arthur was getting his end wet or not.

Happy anniversary to Katherine and Henry

Nobody actually knows if Katherine and Arthur consummated their marriage.

29th July 1565 – Mary Queen of Scots marries one giant wanker.

Mary Queen of Scotts and the right Honourable prick Henry Stuart (Lord Darnley)

Mary Queen of Scots and the right Honourable prick Henry Stuart (Lord Darnley)

When Mary Queen of Scots was 18 years old, she became a widow for the first time. Her husband, who was the King of France, had only gone and died so Mary found herself back in Scotland as Queen where she belonged, (or not as the case may be – she had been away far too long for the public to give a shit about her). Mary being a widow presented a new opportunity for marriage: she was young, royal and more importantly fertile. It was time for hubby number two.
The whole prospect of marriage raised a few issues though (cos when would it be interesting if it didn’t): Mary was heir to the English throne as well as ruler of Scotland, her husband had to be chosen carefully. Because her cousin Elizabeth 1st had refused to marry and chuck out some kids, Mary was next in line. This pissed Liz off a little so she took it upon herself to sort out Mary a match and in return for marrying Liz’s choice of suitor, Mary would def’s inherit the English crown.
Liz chose Henry Stuart, the Lord Darnley to marry Mary. He was a royal himself, in line to the English throne and Mary’s 1st cousin (which makes me want to chunder but was ‘normal’ back in the day). He was also a massive prick. Somehow his charm won through and Mary fell head over heels for him, as most teenage girls do when they meet someone who’s not only good looking but also minted and says the right thing. Usually this is a pretty good indicator that the boy in question is actually a giant fuck head and should be swerved at all cost. Darnley was no exception to this.
Anyway, Mary fancied the shit out of him and the couple married on July 29th1565, (only after she had nursed him to health after a casual  bout of secondary syphilis that he had caught in England prior to arriving in Scotland for his marriage).  Darnley dressed himself in all the jewels he could find like a fucking idiot and Mary wore her mourning gown for the last time, (which I’m sure did everything to lighten the atmosphere of the service). Darnley was such a gobshite that he even refused to attend the nuptial mass (he was protestant and Mary catholic. Yes it came down to that shit again).
A few months down the line, Mary began to realise what a dick she had married. Darnely barely ever saw her, drank like he had an endless supply of livers and had gold membership and a loyalty card at the local brothels. What a bell end this man was. Not only that but he incessantly pressed her to make him King, putting himself above her as the sovereign in an act called ‘crown matrimony, which was a fucking joke because when they had first married Mary had given him a say at parliament and he never showed up. Mary even had a stamp made out in his signature so shit could actually get done. She wasn’t having any of his crap any more and started to despise the prick, but by this time it was a bit too late.
Mary turned to her close friend and private secretary, David Rizzio for support. By now Darnley was a violent, incompetent piss head, and Mary needed advice on how best to handle it. Having said this, Rizzio was by no means an angel. He was a short arse who has been documented to have been shagging Darnley himself at some point prior to all of this. But anyway, that aside, Mary and Rizzio’s friendship didn’t sit well with Darnley, and he grew jealous and enraged.  He saw it as an opportunity to try again to seize power of the throne. What this fucker did next was unreal (even for a bloke like him).
Mary had pissed off some of the protestant nobles by taking away their lands because they had been utter knobs. The nobles weren’t happy so approached Darnley. They suggested that if he were to kill Rizzio and put it about that the queen was shagging him, they would grant him ‘crown Matrimony’ in parliament, and he would take full control of the Scottish throne in exchange for returning the noblemen’s lands and benefits. Of course he agreed.
On the night of May 7th, 1566, Mary was sat having tea in her quarters with Rizzio and some pals when in bursts Darnley and his pals and stab the shit out of Rizzio. Rizzio apparently hid behind the queens skirts but nothing could protect him and he was stabbed over 50 times until he died in front of the 7 month pregnant queen. How Mary did not miscarry was a miracle. She could do nothing to save her best friend and hated her husband with a passion. Who wouldn’t? he was a right cunt.
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Mary fled to Edinburgh where her army were awaiting. There she had protection and power and sentenced all of the murderous protty noblemen. The plan had failed, but there was still a problem. If Mary named Darnley as a perpetrator to the crime, it would put into question the legitimacy of her unborn baby and the throne would be up for grabs. She just carried on bless her, (I would’ve drowned the bastard but that’s just me).
On June 19th 1566, Mary gave birth to her son and heir James Stuart (soon after his birth this little dude inherited the throne because his mum fucked up and married another dick head but that’s another story… The link to which is at the bottom of the page). Mary reconciled with Darnley but the marriage was bitter and cold. Not surprisingly she pure fucking hated him but couldn’t divorce him because a) she was catholic and b) it would make her child a bastard and he would loose his entitlement to the throne. They barley saw each other. Darnley couldn’t even attend his owns sons christening because he was at home with anther bout of cock rot. At the christening Elizabeth was proclaimed Prince James’s Godmother, later he would inherit her throne too.

Now at this point you may be thinking that things were looking a bit shitty for Mary, and you would be right. She was stuck in a marriage with a murderous, wife beating alcoholic adulterer, and her future looking really grim. But fret not, because Darnley was about to get his just desserts.

Early in 1567 Darnley got the pox (wait…that’s not even the best bit), so was sent to live at Kirk O’Field just outside Edinburgh. Mary had the estate kitted out so he would be comfortable but didn’t want him near the young prince so off he went to live away. To be fair, the pair were all but estranged at this point anyway and I’m going to go out on a limb and say Mary would have been possibly relived he was out of the way because he was one giant fucktard. Mary did however visit him frequently (probably to cheer herself up at how ill and disfigured the pox had made him. The chump).

Here’s the good bit. On the night of 9th February 1567, Mary left Darnley early in order to ‘attend a wedding’. During the early hours of the morning there was an almighty explosion and the whole of Darnley’s Kirk O’Fields estate went up in one giant fireball. Upon closer inspection it was obvious that it was arson and caused by a shit tonne of gunpowder. Darnley’s body was found and the fucker was at last out of Mary’s hair once and for all (though as Iv just typed that I remembered that Mary wore a wig, but you know what I mean). The curious thing about all of this though was that his body was recovered in the garden with not a burn or scorch mark on it. Darnley had been suffocated and dumped before the explosion.

The explosion

The explosion

A Tudor time CSI style map, giving an 'accurate' account of where the bodies of Darnley and his servant were found in the garden. Quite why they are stark bollock naked with their arses out, and bigger than what appear to be pine trees is as much of a mystery as the incident itself.

A Tudor time CSI style map, giving an ‘accurate’ account of where the bodies of Darnley and his servant were found in the garden. Quite why they are stark bollock naked with their arses out, and bigger than what appear to be pine trees is as much of a mystery as the incident itself.

Now I know what your probably thinking, that it was Mary, BUT there were several suspects. Yes Mary could’ve done it because it was her only chance to move on but it was equally likely to be one of the other noblemen that Darnley had annoyed, a pal of Rizzio’s or even Darnley himself in a failed plan to blow up Mary. One thing was sure: he was dead and Mary’s horrific car crash marriage had come to an end. The arsonist was never caught.

Now the really shitty thing is that this was only the end to one chapter of Marys life. The next chapter began almost instantly after these events, (again follow the link at the bottom of the page to find out more), when mary found herself in the company of one Earl of Bothwell, another known prick and also a suspect in Darnleys murder. She lost favour of her public and was forced to flee, never seeing her son James again. James inherited the throne of Scotland aged 13 months old. Mary Queen of Scots really did have one of the saddest lives that I’ve ever read about, (and the wankest choice in men), still Happy anniversary Mary and Henry Stuart.

Poor Mary

Poor Mary

https://thetudorials.com/2015/07/17/july-17th-1586-plots-executions-treason-and-the-dick-end-men-in-mary-queen-of-scots-life/