Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Merriment Is the King Pursuing Tonight? While the Queen's Away, the Mice Will Play

While in that interminable ninth month of pregnancy, after you watched your due date speed past with a 'whooosshh'  sound, were you advised to eat Chinese takeout and then performing an intimate act with your husband/partner/whatever?
"Our smile says it all. . ."

The combination was touted by my OB-GYN's nurse as a guaranteed birth-bringer.

Tudor women did not have that option available to them for two reasons:
1. no Chinese takeout, der
2. no performing intimate acts at any time during pregnancy.
DUDE!! For reals?

That second reason was taken very, very seriously by kings. Anxious to provide the requisite heir to their throne; any action posing the slightest threat to the 'issue of his body' was not going to take place.
Still, after a couple of months with no performance of intimate acts, a king was likely to get a little . . . anxious

The solution? 
A royal mistress, of course.
While Henry VII's queen, Elizabeth of York, endured seven or eight pregnancies, there's not a lot of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to show the king indulged in extramarital itch-scratching during that time.
Edward VI, bless his teen-aged heart, died before he was old enough to even get married.
Henry VIII, sandwiched between those two blameless kings, had no problem whatsoever scratching that anxious itch with women who were most assuredly not his wife.

Let's take a peek, shall we?
Bessie (Elizabeth) Blount, a teen-aged beauty at court to serve Catherine of Aragon was born around the turn of the century. 
(The sixteenth century, that is.)
Her birthday fell anywhere from 1498 to 1502.
She and Henry VIII started courting and sparking around 1514-1515, and they kept up their merriment for somewhere around eight years.
It resulted in one little bastard.
"Yes, yes, I know he's just a bastard, but what a change-up he can pitch!"

Henry Fitzroy (yes, yes, I realise some of you knew 'Fitzroy' means 'king's son' and for that I applaud you) made his appearance in 1519, just around the time Henry VIII's legitimate heir, Princess Mary, was toddling adorably around the court.
(Not an actual representation of Princess Mary. lmfao)
 Due to his dangling participle and the royal fixation with male issue,
"Henry Fitz-roy, Henry Fit-roy, Uh huh, Uh huh. "

little Henry Fitzroy was, as far as Catherine of Aragon was concerned, dangerously close to knocking aside Princess Mary in the game of 'Inherit Papa's Throne.' 
Oh, she bore the whole disgrace with a stiff (Spanish) upper lip, and never said boo about it, but just imagine how that felt.
Catherine of Aragon's imaginary Whisper account

Bessie Blount, once the king had finished with her, was married off (twice) and had another six (possibly more) children with her subsequent husbands. 
She popped her clogs in 1539.

Mary Boleyn, another little girl born to the class of 1499-1500, caught the eye of Henry VIII in 1521 (or thereabouts) and was his mistress on the very, very, very d.l.  She was a pretty little thing, sent to serve Catherine of Aragon, when she caught the eye of the king.
From 1521-1525 she and Henry VIII were courting and sparking, but not with quite the public display of Bessie Blount's term as First Mistress.
"Oh, I was expecting Henry VIII - but you'll do nicely."
Mary had one child likely fathered by Henry VIII, and another one where the bet is a little less solid, but there is a very strong case to be made that her second child was also fathered by the king. 
Mary Boleyn, once the king had finished with her, continued in her marriage to William Carey (alleged father of her two children) until poor William Carey died of the sweating sickness in 1528.
Mary then remarried, in secret, and to a man beneath her rank in society.
That guaranteed Mary and her new husband, William Stafford, got el zapato from the court
with all due haste and shame.
Shame, shame, double shame, everybody knows your name, MARY BOLEYN.
Mary Boleyn did what she did, when she did it, just in time to avoid the heavy hammer of the Boleyn family's streak of bad luck hitting her square in her li'l blonde noggin.
Mary Boleyn: "No one gave me credit for being smart; but now who's the smart one?" 

Mary Shelton (or was it Margaret 'Madge to my friends' - sister of Mary?) 
It was one of the two Shelton girls.
Eustace Chapuy said so, and when the Spanish court spy ambassador said it, it must be so. . .
Yep, looks about right.
As it's not even certain which of the two sisters was the king's mistress, the other stats are unnecessary - except for the one about her affair taking place in 1535.
That was when Anne "I thought he'd be different with me!" Boleyn was married to Henry VIII.
Yes, yes, allow the butthurt to surge through you, Anne. (And do something about that incorrect 'you're', would you?)

To make matters worse, not only was Henry VIII not different when married to Anne Boleyn, once he dropped Mary (Madge?) Shelton, he took up with that Seymour bitch.
We all know how that ended for Anne Boleyn.
After Jane Seymour had Prince Edward, Henry VIII may have had flings, but they weren't of the 'the old lady's preggers and what's a fella to do?' sort. 
Henry VIII was a serial philanderer; he seemed to seek love. Love. LOVE!!! with every new mistress.
How quaint.
How sucky for his wives. . .       

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