Monday, January 07, 2008

Question from Helen - Henry VIII's mistresses

[I think we've had questions about several of Henry's mistresses, but I thought it might be nice to compile everything in one post/thread -- Lara]

How many mistresses did Henry VIII have? And how long of a period did he have each one?


Anonymous monica said...

This is an area I'm really interested in - apparently a book's being published on it later in the year! It's likely he was with Mary Boleyn for three years - the grants made to her husband during 1522-1526 back this up. A sympathiser of Katherine of Aragon was his mistress in 1534, but we don't know her name, she's referred to by Chapuys as a 'handsome young lady.' Anyone have a clue who this means?

Then Madge Shelton in 1535. Beyond this there were rumours about his advances to Elizabeth Amadas, a 'witch and prophetess', Anne Basset, a young maid-of-honour; Elizabeth Brooke, Thomas Wyatt's scandalous wife and Anne Hastings, who later lived openly in adultery with Henry's friend, William Compton. Does anyone know of any more?

January 08, 2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous sweetedie said...

What about Bessie "Elizabeth" Blount? She fathered a boy by Henry - Henry Fitzroy.

January 08, 2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous monica said...

That was a silly one for me to forget about!

January 09, 2008 10:33 AM  
Anonymous monica said...

In answer to your second question: how long they lasted. We don't know very much about this, but the evidence suggests:
Anne Hastings, brief fling, 1510
Bessie Blount, started between 1514 and 1517 and ended between 1519 and 1522, historians differ on this.
Mary Boleyn, started between 1519 and 1522, ended between 1522 and 1526.
The 'handsome young lady', several months in 1534; Madge Shelton, six months in 1535.

January 10, 2008 10:48 AM  
Anonymous monica said...

PhD, do you have any to add?

January 13, 2008 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is also said that Henry had a mistress shortly after the birth of Princess Elizabeth, with Anne Boleyn. She, I believe was named Lady Eleonor Luke. I think we can also agree that Jane Seymor could be added to the list of mistresses, though there is no solid proof that the relatioship had been consumated before the marriage. I think we can safely assume that Henry had a very healthy labido and probably many more mistresses than could ever be documented. Traci Cooper Orland, Ca.

April 24, 2008 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that Elizabeth Stafford was one of Henry's first mistresses. Alison Weir, in "Britain's Royal Families, the Complete Genealogy," that she is the daughter of Henry Stafford and Katherine Woodville. Elizabeth is my direct ancestress, and so I prefer to believe the other rumor, that it was Anne, Elizabeth's sister who was his mistress. Elizabeth also had a first cousin by the same name, so it could refer to her.
Raven Thomas

May 04, 2008 11:08 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

It's been a while, and I don't know if anyone's checking back, but what about Jane Popyngcourt? She crops up occasionally in biographies as a Henry mistress, but more latterly as a sort of "good-time girl" at court with many male friends, particularly the Duc de Longueville. There is some suggestion that Henry kind of "trash-talked" her. Does anyone know if there's solid evidence that she was Henry's mistress? And how can she be placed socially -- where did she come from, where did she go?

September 05, 2008 10:15 PM  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Jane Popyngcourt was French or Flemish, and was first recorded at the English Court in 1498. She was assigned to teach French to the daughters of Henry VII, Margaret and Mary Tudor. By 1502, she was a maid of honor to Princess Mary (the French Queen), and in 1512 was a member of Catherine of Aragon's household. She became the lover of the Duc de Longueville, while he was a prisoner of war in England. But when he was ransomed and returned to France, she remained in England. After the death of Louis XII, she returned to France in May 1516. Her lover de Longueville died that August. It is not known whether they met again before his death. Jane settled in France, however, and kept correspondence with the French Queen for many years. The last date associated with her is 1528, the date of Mary Tudor's last known letter to her.

June 09, 2009 3:53 PM  

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