Thursday, May 22, 2008

Question from Elizabeth - Mary "Rose" Tudor and her niece Princess Mary

Ok, so here is something that i don't understand. Mary I was named after the King's sister. I persume that since aunt and neice lived in the same country, they would of had some sort of relationship. Considering that contempories report that Mary (the younger) had was an affectionate child, one can guess that it would have been an amiable one.

So, my question is, when Anne came into power, why did Aunt Mary do nothing to help her namesake? Why let your own neice be treated cruelly?


Anonymous Ani said...

I would have to say the reason is because Princess Mary "Rose" died before Anne truly came to power, that is becoming a queen. I looked it up and Mary died in June of 1533, so Anne had just been crowned queen.

May 22, 2008 7:14 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

I agree with Ani : Mary Rose Tudor Brandon died on 25 June 1533, just 5 months after Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn wed. But even had she lived, Henry VIII was a formidable person with whom to deal, and Mary Rose in unlikely to have risked earning his anger a second time (the first time having been her unauthorized marriage to Charles Brandon). But there is another possibility that perhaps some of our Mary fans can address: Were the two Mary's at all close? I have a sneaky suspicion that they were not, in large part because Mary Rose was so often away from court.

May 22, 2008 9:25 PM  
Anonymous GarethR said...

Another point is that Anne Boleyn's "cruelty" to her stepdaughter Mary has been largely exaggerated and open enmity between the two women didn't really occur until 1535, two years after Anne was crowed queen and two years after Mary "Rose" Tudor's death. The enmity, interestingly, was at Mary's instigation, not Anne's. Anne had (naively) suggested that Mary and she could become friends, providing that Mary acknowledged her as queen. Anne should have known that Mary would rebuff her gestures, but the manner in which Mary did so was hugely offensive and deliberately provocative. (See J. Ridley's "The Life and Times of Mary Tudor"). So, from then on it was a feud and whilst Mary cried a lot and claimed illness during it, she did throw the opening volley in the most provocative language possible - if you can't stand the heat, don't start the fire... Also, whilst Anne was openly vitriolic in her descriptions of Mary in 1535 and 1536, and Mary equally so in her descriptions of Anne, it was ultimately Henry VIII who treated Mary cruelly, forcing her to recognise her lowered status, banishing her to the countryside and attacking her allies. And, lest it be forgotten, his cruelty to Mary was actually at its worst over the summer and autumn of 1536, after Anne's death, in the immediate build-up to forcing Mary to surrender and swear the Oath. So, not only would Mary "Rose" Tudor have had nothing to battle against with Anne Boleyn (who, admittedly, she hated) on the subject of the younger Mary until 1535, even after that, in order to help her niece, she would have had to deal with the king himself and, as phd historian has pointed out before me - that was something she was unlikely to risk again.

May 23, 2008 12:15 AM  
Blogger Foose said...

Could the Duchess of Suffolk's behavior towards Anne and her niece Mary perhaps been dynastic? I will say at once I have seen no evidence as to my speculations, but she did have a son, Henry Brandon, whom she might have been counting on as a reasonable alternative for the throne. If Princess Mary was bastardized, and Henry's divorce held up interminably (and any second marriage jeopardized by considerations of legality), wouldn't Henry Brandon -- born in the realm, unlike his Scottish cousins -- be a possible contender much strengthened by the turmoil over his uncle's marriage? Would that explain Mary Rose's simultaneous hostility to Anne and apparent lack of concern for Princess Mary's fate?

As far as I know, no one ever mentioned him in the records we have from the period. Possibly he was sickly from an early age and everyone knew he would die (as he did at 17 in 1533). But if he followed the pattern of Prince Arthur, Fitzroy and Edward VI, he must have seemed a likely heir during the 1520s.

I do know the nobility was very annoyed at Charles Brandon's presumption at marrying Henry's sister and would not have been thrilled at a King Henry Brandon. But if the choice was between a girl tainted with bastardy and a boy born in England, of royal blood, Henry Brandon might have been a viable contender during the late 1520s. He was the same age as Mary, and could have married her to strengthen his claim to the throne. (Yet he was betrothed to Catherine Willoughby when he died, so perhaps his parents gave up any idea they might have had to his future regality.) If Mary Rose was hostile to Anne, wouldn't she logically be friendly to Catherine of Aragon -- and yet there is no evidence of this, either. Mary Rose may have been afraid of getting too involved, but possibly Catherine of Aragon had shown herself fixated on getting Mary married to a Spanish/Imperial prince. (She also may have looked down on Mary Rose for her marriage; you don't hear of them being very chummy, except for the public set-pieces, like pleading for the apprentices in 1517.)

Again, I have read no conclusive evidence. But I think sometimes that Henry Brandon may have been overlooked as an important variable in the calculations of other Tudor players.

May 23, 2008 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...

I have read (I think it was in "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" by Allison Weir) that Mary "Rose" was very much against the divorce, but I think it had more to do with Katherine of Aragon than Mary I. I think it said she preferred to stay away from court and she hated Anne, and that put her husband in a bad place because he had to help Henry get his divorce.

May 24, 2008 8:31 AM  
Blogger Foose said...

There also could have been mercenary considerations in Mary Rose's mind. Henry VIII had extorted the cost of her first French marriage from Mary and her husband Brandon as the price of his acquiescence in their elopement; according to Carolly Erickson, she was "still paying off the debt at the enormous rate of a thousand pounds a year when she died." If Henry was sufficiently annoyed he might have called in the debt at once; the Suffolks would have been ruined, so lying low in the country might have been the best strategy for Mary Rose.

May 26, 2008 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Phoenix Rayne said...

Really, when Henry had it in his head to marry Anne (and therefore divorce Katherine) was there anything anybody could have done to help Mary and Katherine? And though Mary Rose died a mere 5 months after Henry and Anne's marriage, I'm certain Mary's troubles began well before then.

May 28, 2008 3:35 PM  

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