ANST - FW: Musing on October 12th -- Gain and Loss
jyeates at realtime.net
Thu Oct 12 20:26:33 PDT 2000
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From: Ellsworth Weaver [mailto:astroweaver at yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 22:07
To: 2thpix at surfari.net
Subject: Musing on October 12th -- Gain and Loss
On October 12, 1537 a king got the son he wanted but lost the wife he
loved. Today marks the birth of Edward IV, son of Henry VIII and Jane
Jane was born sometime about 1509. She probably was brought into King
Henry VIIIs court to wait upon Queen Catherine of Aragon. Catherine,
you may remember, was Henrys first wife and the mother of Mary Tudor
"Bloody Mary" (see "How Does Your Bloody Garden Grow"). Catherine
seemed unable to give Henry a son. Okay, we all now know that it is
dad who determines the sex of the child but they did not know that
then. Henry fell under the enchantment of Anne Boleyn (her six
seemed to be a wild enough inducement) who promised to give Henry
everything he wanted. Henry promptly dumped Catherine and tried for a
divorce. The pope said "no way" (but in Latin) and Henry invented the
Church of England. Jane was transferred, sort of, when Catherine was
put aside and Anne Boleyn rose to become queen.
In September 1535 we have record of Henry staying over at the Seymour
family manor in Wiltshire, England. There is some romantic
that Henry first noticed the quiet and charming Jane there. By
1536 Henry was for sure smitten with her. Anne Boleyn had given Henry
daughter, whom he did not value, Elizabeth. Anne was also allegedly
"seeing" one of the courtiers. In either case, no son or wandering
queen, Henry was up for a bit of looking around, himself.
He found in Jane someone scholarly, quiet, calm and gentle. What Jane
felt when she noticed Henry noticing her is not recorded. Surely she
was well aware that Henry had a ferocious temper and appetite for all
things of life. His power must have been daunting, his gentleness in
courting her must have been unexpected and unnerving. He played the
wounded and aggrieved king, jilted by his scheming wife, to the hilt
with her. He was, after all, King of England and he said he loved
Anne was still queen but that was obviously going to change rapidly.
Was she afraid of the tenuous position on the board Henrys queens
held and she was about to assume? She was certainly aware of the
undercurrents at court for she had been privy to many of both prior
queens secrets. She was no giddy youth; she was intelligent and
with no known suitors besides the guy who wrote "Greensleeves."
So Anne Boleyn went to the block. Within 24 hours of that, Jane
and Henry VIII were formally betrothed. On May 30, 1536, they were
married. And Oprah says that men should wait at least a year after a
divorce to even start dating again!
Unlike Catherine and Anne, Jane was not formally crowned Queen of
England. I think he was beginning to check things out in the son
department before he made that even bigger commitment.
In July of 1536, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, died. "Fitz" means
son of; "roy" is king. It was Henrys illegitimate son by his
Elizabeth Blount. Young Henry was only 17. Mistress? Henry VIII was
wife number three and had a mistress, too? It was good to be the
Things were noticeably tense around the palace.
In early 1537 Jane announced she was expecting. Of course, Henry
indulged any and all whims that Jane had. Dill pickles, peanut butter
and crawfish poorboys, yes maam! King Henry was convinced that
the "first true wife" he had, was carrying a boy. I dont know if she
was "carrying high" or low. I forget these things. Anyway the
soothsayers said their sooth and predicted a boy.
Jane went into labor around the first week of October. The labor was
long and protracted. There was talk of a cesarean but from all
it did not happen. Jane hung in there and delivered at last a baby
Edward, on October 12, 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. He was
on October 15th. Mary Tudor, daughter of Catherine of Aragon, was
godmother. Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, also was given a part
the ceremony. Jane was alive at the christening but was weak. Her
health failed. She died on October 24, 1537.
Henry was heartbroken. He had Jane buried in the tomb he was having
built for himself at St. Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle. And
although Henry was to have three more wives, Jane was the only one
was buried with him. Henry passed away from to tuberculosis. Edward
only lived to be sixteen before he also died of TB.
Here is a Child ballad speaking about today:
DEATH OF QUEEN JANE
Queen Jane lay in labor full nine days or more
'Til the women were so tired, they could stay no longer there (2x)
"Good women, good women, good women as ye be
Do open my right side and find my baby"
"Oh no," said the women, "That never can be
We will send for King Henry, and hear what he say.
"King Henry was sent for, King Henry did come
"What do ail you, my lady, your eyes look so dim?"
"King Henry, King Henry, will you do one thing for me?
That's to open my right side and find my baby"
"Oh no," said King Henry, "That's a thing I'll never do
If I lose the Flower of England, I shall lose the branch too"
King Henry went mourning and so did his men
And so did the dear baby, for Queen Jane did die then
And how deep was the mourning, how black were the bands
How yellow, yellow were the flamboys they carried in their hands
There was fiddling, aye, and dancing on the day the babe was born
But poor Queen Jane beloved lay cold as a stone.
So what have we learned? Child birth was difficult even for queens?
Disease takes off more kings than swords and daggers? Fitzroy means
illegitimate son of the king? Dill pickles, peanut butter and
poorboys can build royalty? How about modern medicine sure can be
helpful if you can find a good HMO? Okay, that was a trick question:
there are no good HMOs.
So if you are out there seducing a king, hoping for a son, founding
your own church, or just writing a new version of "Greensleeves", and
you wish to send these pregnant messages on to others, do so but
my name and sig attached.
BTW, did you know that "Greensleeves" can be sung to the tune of
"Yackety-Yack?" Nevermind, Ill do it for you sometime.
Carrying my flamboy in my hand,
SCA Sir Balthazar of Endor
AS Polyphemus Theognis
TRV Sebastian Yeats
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Musing Archive at http://www.surfari.net/~2thpix/amuse/
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