Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Today's Henry: Carey - son of Mary Boleyn + possible son of Henry VIII would = brother AND cousin to Elizabeth I

Henry Carey died refusing a royal title, once held by his grandfather, that Queen Elizabeth wished to (re-)bestow upon him. 
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He reportedly told her that since she'd not seen him worthy of the title alive, he sure didn't want it once he was dead.

Sassy words to the Queen of England.
Family can get away with that stuff, though.

But how close of "family" were the two children of Mary Boleyn to Elizabeth I?
Certainly they were her maternal line first cousins since Mary and Anne Boleyn were sisters.
There is speculation that is maddeningly not able to be confirmed as fact that either one, or both, of Mary Boleyn's children were fathered by Henry VIII.

That would make them not only cousins, but half-siblings as well, and when you consider their mothers were sisters, that makes it even more weird.
From roughly 1520 through 1525, Mary Boleyn was the acknowledged mistress of Henry VIII.
During that time Mary Boleyn had two children; Catherine and Henry, born in 1524 and 1526.
Mary's husband, William Carey, who was by honour not supposed to have sex with Mary as long as the 'the King's person' was sticking it to her, was given royal grants every year from 1522 through 1525.
"Thanks a lot for letting me bonk your wife; here's some royal status and property and stuff. We're good, right?" 

Mary Boleyn's affair with Henry VIII came after Bessie Blount's affair with Henry VIII, and Bessie Blount is the royal mistress who birthed Henry Fitzroy, acknowledged by Henry VIII as his little royal bastard.
(Henry VIII had no living sons at that time, and even a little royal bastard counted especially if he had a weiner.) 
In the sixteenth century sex with a pregnant woman was considered a health threat to the baby - because, let's face it, once a woman got pregnant odds were high she'd just screwed her way into her into dying in childbirth, and those boy babies trumped mom every time. 
So when Bessie Blount was big with baby boy Fitzroy, Henry VIII went mistress shopping and came home with Mary Boleyn.
Sure, she was a refurbished virgin, as she'd nearly certainly rocked the world of the French king a year or so earlier, but that face! Those tits! Dat ass! - Henry VIII was good with the French king's leftovers.
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When lovely Mary Boleyn got pregnant the second time the King was ready to go mistress shopping again, and Mary Boleyn went off to have a baby boy to go with her toddler daughter.
My math tells me that if men didn't have sex with a pregnant woman, the timing for both of Mary Boleyn's children fits in the time frame of her affair with Henry VIII.
Henry VIII, with his acknowledged little royal bastard Henry Fitzroy might have decided that, while Henry Carey did have that weiner advantage, two little royal bastards was tacky, and so did not bother to acknowledge him. 

Sometimes while researching a Tudor era person's biography, there is a distinct feeling of action that bubbled beneath the surface of what was recorded.
In the case of Mary Boleyn, the bubbles are as follows, and keep in mind none of this is substantiated; it is conjecture. 


  • Mary Boleyn had a whorish reputation; lovely girl, kind, sweet-natured, but dang, just can't keep her legs together. Yes, reputation-smearing was at an all-time high in the Tudor court, but Mary Boleyn wasn't really that important and wasn't worth smearing. I say the 'easy Mary' reputation sticks. At least while she was young. 
  • In the years that she was mistress to Henry VIII, she does not appear to have asked the King to advance her family nor were they granted favors and concessions commonly passed along to families of women the King was bonking. This would have really ticked off her ambitious father. 
  • When Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn were visiting the French King, Francis I, in 1532, the French king remarked on Mary Boleyn's, uh, rideability and claimed Mary was his English mare, ridden often and easily. Ouch.
  • Thomas Boleyn, father of Mary and Anne, was ambitious and also had a reputation as a skinflint. After William Carey died in 1528, leaving Mary with two little royal bastards children and no money, her dear old dad gave her exactly squat to feed her kids. Mary told Anne, Anne told Henry VIII, and Henry VIII wrote to Thomas Boleyn and told him to start supporting his daughter and two grandchildren, and by the way, shame on you, Thomas Boleyn. 
  • Henry VIII awarded the wardship (sort of a cross between godparent and custodial adult) of Henry Carey to Anne Boleyn. That guaranteed Henry Carey would be educated as a gentleman, even if his slutty mother was broke as a joke. So, that scene in 'The Other Boleyn Girl' where Bitch Anne Boleyn takes Mary's kid away was wrong wrong wrong; Natalie Portman didn't really kidnap Scarlett Johansson's baby. It was quite the opposite - Mary had the worry of paying to educate her son off her already full plate. 
Henry Carey and his sister Catherine Carey did not grow up in the cutthroat Image result for cutthroat logosociety of the Tudor court.
Mary Boleyn remarried after William Carey died.
She remarried without permission of the Queen (Anne Boleyn) and she also married a nice guy, but not our kind, dear.
Mary Boleyn knew she'd cut her own throat socially by marrying without permission and even worse, marrying beneath her.
She packed up her kids, moved to the country and stayed the hell away from the bitch-biting, back-stabbing, rumour-mongering, untrustworthy people populating the court.
That guaranteed as well that she was left out of the shit storms that saw courtiers executed left, right and center, while the King sobbed into his hanky about how he had no friends left.

Boo hoo, lonely -boy  Henry VIII - ur friends r dead. Oh PS, you signed the execution orders. 

Henry Carey and his sister Catherine were brought, blinking, back into the daylight of the court the instant their cousin, Elizabeth I, ascended the throne.
Elizabeth I made Henry Carey a knight in 1557.
She created him Baron Hunsdon in 1559.
In May of 1561 he became Knight of the Garter.
By 1564, he was Elizabeth I's personal bodyguard.
Elizabeth I trust both Henry Carey and his sister Catherine implicitly - and Elizabeth I, whose teen years were spent talking her way out of her own sister, Mary I, executing her, had trust issues.
Perhaps it was due to the fact they were cousins.
Perhaps, though, it was because they were not only cousins, but also half-siblings although not in a weird way. (-:
Maybe, just maybe, Elizabeth I knew she had two people who were related both paternally and maternally to her, and she felt secure for the first time with her royal relations.

Henry Carey, certainly son of Mary Boleyn, and possibly son of Henry VIII, was a steady sort of guy - all credit due to his mother ensuring his childhood was spent away from court. He was a solid citizen.
Of all the Boleyn family, it appears the one derided for a bad reputation and not ambitious enough to even ask for a jewel from her sugar daddy King of England, was in fact, the very smart mom of two children who flew under the radar until their cousin became Queen. 
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