Sunday, January 29, 2012


If you aren't up to reading or you want to watch a film about the ambitious Bolyn family and King Henry VIII, you may love "THE OTHER BOLYN GIRL." I did! (Just keep in mind that this film isn't Alison Weir's book and she may have come to different conclusions about Mary Bolyn.)

The film shows that Anne tried to seduce her own brother hoping to concieve a child when she was married to Henry and he was through with her. That this brother could not go through with it. That his wife, ambitious for herself at court and frustrated in her arranged marriage with him because he would not have sex with her told the King what she saw. And so The Boleyn brother was then beheaded.

I'm linking to the IMBd (movie database) so you'll have a bit more information. Maybe if you read the book or watched the film, or done both, you will leave a comment - an opinion!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


page 147 (Who is the father of Katherine Carey?)

"Given that Henry probably did not begin pursuing Mary until 1522, we could hardly expect to find William Carey (her husband) refraining from intercourse with his wife in the first two years of their marriage. During Mary's second marriage, she is known to have born only one child in nine years. This suggests that, like her mother and sister, she suffered miscarriages or gave birth to unrecorded children who were stillborn or died young - or that, if she was as fertile as her who offspring, who had twenty-eight children between them, she resorted to some form of contraception... Certainly Henry was still sleeping with the Queen, hoping to conceive an heir, during his affair with Mary. He continued to have sexual relations with Katherine until 1524, and even after 1525, by which year she was "past the ways of women," he still shared her bed on occasions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


page 162 of Alison Weir's book Mary Boleyn regarding the daughter who King Henry VII likely fathered.

What is persuasive about the portrait called "Katherine Carey" is that the sitter bears a striking facial resemblance to both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I... This is subjective evidence, but there is a strong similarity in the setting of the eyes; the Tudors had distinctively heavy lower lids, and this, and the familial winded eyebrows, can be seen in portraits of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Arthur Tudor, and Henry Fitzroy, and came from the Plantagenets, as portraits of Henry VIII's grandfather, Edward IV, show. Katherine Carey has these same features. She also has a prominent chin and rounded jowls, like those that are apparent in portraits of Henry VIII and his mother, Elizabeth of York. She had red hair, as did nearly all the Tudors, whereas William Carey's was brown; the color of Mary Boleyn's hair is not known, nor is it known if red hair featured in the Bolyns and Carey families..."

Missy: Today we'd go with the DNA testing!

Monday, January 16, 2012


135-136 from Alison Weir's book on Mary Boleyn

"Since intercourse was supposed to be purely for procreation, contraception was frowned upon, although rudimentary forms of it were known and practiced. Henry VIII's fifth wife, Katherine Howard, for example, admitted that she knew of ways to prevent a pregnancy. Rarely were these methods effective, for many relied purely on superstitions and fold remedies, such as drinking the urine of a sheep or hare before having sex, or taking various herbs, or on coitus interruptus. Other methods of preventing pregnancy included inserting pepper or a sponge soaked in vinegar into the vagina, sealing the cervix with beeswax, having anal sex, or doing some "hard pissing" after intercourse. Condoms as a method of birth control were unknown prior to 1564. Contraception , then as now, was frowned upon by the Church, and because it was often unreliable, if it was used at all, Royal love affairs often lead to the birth of bastard children. But although the moralists might claim that it "impoverished the pubic weal" there was no great stigma attached to illegitimacy and little harm in acknowledging natural children; indeed royal bastards often enjoyed high status and political importance. It was not until the advent of Puritanism in the last 16th century that attitudes to illegitimacy changed and there was greater disapproval..."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Page 78 ( years 1514-1515 approx.)

"Everything points to her (Mary's) affair with Francois I (of France) having been "extremely brief" - a moment, episode or one night stand even - and there is no evidence at all that, when Francois "soon tired" of Mary, he "passed her on to his courtiers," not that this "shocked" or "frightened" Anne Boleyn. And it may be unsafe to assert that it was probably at this point that Anne discovered "how women really could be exploited and mistreated, that she decided to protect her greatest asset, her purity, at all costs, for Anne herself, as we presently discover, had been "corrupted" at the French Court..."

Page 79

"It makes sense of the later events and course of Mary's life to assume that her family did find out what had passed between her and Francois I. It is unlikely that Mary herself told them - what girl of gentle birth would confess to compromising her honor, unless there were to be consequences that had to be dealt with discreetly? We don't of course, know that there were not, and it would be fruitless to speculate; but for the rest of her life, as will become clear, there is intermittent evidence to suggest that Mary was held in little account or affection by her family; and one gets a sense that she was a continuing disappointment to her "outstandingly learned" father, and probably to the rest of the family too."

Monday, January 9, 2012


Elizabeth Blount was Henry's first mistress, during some of his marriage to his Queen, Katherine of Aragon, who had many pregnancies but not a living male heir. Elizabeth gave birth to a son - who lived - but could not be heir. Henry recognized him though and gave him the name Henry Fitzroy (Fitzroy means of the King).

Page 43 -44

"Elizabeth Blount certainly resided for a time at Jericho (a monastery), for around June 1519 - and possibly on June 18, if her child was ennobled on his sixth birthday in 1525 - she gave birth there to a son, "a goodly man child of beauty like to the father and mother." The infant was given his father's Christian name and the old Norman - French surname of Fitzroy... The tragedy was that this son was born out of wedlock. By then Queen Katherine's catastrophic obstetric career had ended In failure. Of her six pregnancies, only one daughter, the Princess Mary, born in 1516, had survived. For a king who needed a son to succeed him, this was a dynastic disaster, for there was a widespread conviction that women were not meant to wield sovereign power, that it was against all laws both natural and divine. The birth of a living son to his mistress was a triumphant vindication for Henry. It proved that he could father boys, and that the fault did not lie with him... It probably signaled the end of his affair with Elizabeth Blount. In accordance with the convention that it was unsafe and ungodly to have sex during pregnancy, he had probably stopped sleeping with her months before, an there is no evidence that they resumed having relations after the birth... "(Circa early 1500's.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


HENRY VII had so many mistresses, including Elizabeth Blount before her, and Mary's sister Anne Bolyn was one of them too. Mary is the one who had a happy ending to her life - marriage to a man she loved who loved her without so very many complications - and who SURVIVED. Anne's the one who married the King and got beheaded.

Henry married Anne after he finally gave up on his wife of many years, Katherine of Aragon, try as the poor woman did, giving him a legitimate MALE heir. (We know so many men still dwell on having a son!)

Then, unhappy with a mistress as wife, it was Anne Bolyn that he sent to the block - beheading!

Mary seemed to have survived all this and have his child, a daughter named Katherine Carey, while she was married to William Carey. Henry sent William Carey off somewhere so he wouldn't interfere in their affair. She was devastated when the King dumped her for her sister.

Because of their daughter Katherine Carey there are a few people alive today who are blood related to Henry. If the book author Alison Weir is right today's decedents of Mary Bolyn include Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana!

Alison Weir's latest book called "MARY BOLEYN - Mistress of Kings" is fascinating. She has to tease out the details but is good at pointing out where other authors of the subject have run on assumptions. Kings is used because Mary may have been the mistress of the French King Francois I when she was a young teenager at his court. (The subtitle "The Great and Infamous Whore" turns out to be wrong)!

Mary, for all the details and historical research Weir did, remains a bit of a mystery. Was she simply compliant? Yet twice she married for love! Was she boring and without opinion or is it that she knew how to survive?

The book came out 2011 published by Ballantine Books and should be on your mistress bookshelf!

Linking to the Alison Weir site that has more details!