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  #401  
Old 03-23-2010, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
Yes, and then Henry would not have executed his mother-in-law when she was in her late 60s. Poor Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Some accounts said the young executioner botched the beheading, hitting her first in the shoulders, then panicking and started hacking at her body.
That was, in my opinion, outright murder. If Henry VIII burned in hell for anything, it should have been for the execution of that poor woman.
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  #402  
Old 03-24-2010, 05:39 PM
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And what threat did she pose at her advanced age? Surely it would have been recognized that Margaret could not produce any more children and Henry could not perceive her as a threat to the throne, unless he thought people may have seen Margaret as a royal claimant and put her on the throne instead of Henry?
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  #403  
Old 03-24-2010, 06:28 PM
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From what I read, I am under the impression that she "knew too much" and that threatened Henry.
I agree, VM, I hardly think she was hale enough to raise an army and depose him a la Catherine II and place herself or anyone else on the throne.
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  #404  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:13 PM
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Actually, I think there's more to it than that.. at least from Henry's point of view. Margaret and her family were staunchly Catholic, which he perceived as a threat to the newly established Church of England. They were also the last of the Plantagenets, and potential contenders for the throne.. perhaps not Margaret herself, but she had three sons who could have been. (Sir Arthur Pole, her fourth son, died in 1535)

In addition, her son Reginald was a Catholic Cardinal, who fled to Rome and actively undermined Henry's position with the Pope. He was very much opposed to Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and openly denounced the king's policies.. albeit from the safety of Rome.

Henry had his mother, brothers and some extended family arrested and charged with treason in retaliation. The only one that wasn't executed was Sir Geoffrey Pole.. who lived in exile in Europe until the accession of Mary. And of course, Reginald Pole also survived in exile until he was made (the last Catholic) Archbishop of Canterbury under Mary.
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  #405  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:28 PM
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The Countess of Salisbury's only crime was having some royal blood in her veins.
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  #406  
Old 03-24-2010, 09:35 PM
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She had a better claim to the throne than Henry and after the break with Rome could have been seen by Henry as someone around whom opponents would flock, even though her sons were either dead (executed), in exile or in the clergy, she herself could have been a spearhead and thus she was a threat but more importantly for Henry he was able to show Rome that he had the power in England and that opposition from that quarter would have consequences for people in England - the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church couldn't protect the family members of the leading officials.

It was a political execution plain and simple brought about because Reginald openly criticised Henry who was able to show who was in control in England by executing her.

Understandable in that day and age.
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  #407  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:35 PM
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Right you are but you have to admit that dynastic threat or no, the execution of Margaret was unusually cruel and I believe shows Henry VIII at his worst. I understand his resentment of the Poles but . . .
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  #408  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:19 AM
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As I said before, whatever you want to call it..whatever spin you want to put on it.. the execution of Margaret Pole was outright murder.
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  #409  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:43 AM
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Indeed, murder most foul
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  #410  
Old 03-25-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by HM Queen Catherine View Post
As I said before, whatever you want to call it..whatever spin you want to put on it.. the execution of Margaret Pole was outright murder.

That is your opinion - not mine.

After her son's denounciation and her faith she could easily have been the focus for an uprising that could have seen hundreds or even thousands die - Henry acted because he needed to do so.
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  #411  
Old 03-25-2010, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
That is your opinion - not mine.

After her son's denounciation and her faith she could easily have been the focus for an uprising that could have seen hundreds or even thousands die - Henry acted because he needed to do so.
Seems we are bound to be diametrically opposed to one another in our views..

Why would any potential uprising focus on a 67 year old woman? Certainly, she was the last of the Plantagenets, but even so, at that age and in view of her gender, do you really believe any uprising would place her on the throne of England? Or even make her a cause worth dying for?

The average life expectancy of a woman during that time was about 30-40 years. Margaret Pole was positively ancient at the age of 67.. and England would not have it's first queen regnant until after Edward VI's death.

Margaret herself would have probably opposed any uprising on her behalf.. though she was a firm Catholic, she was also a loyal subject of her king. She was godmother to and practically raised Princess/Lady Mary, and was in charge of her household until Anne became queen. She was even at court after Anne Boleyn's fall from grace.. until Reginald Pole sent his treatise to Henry's court.

By the time of Margaret Pole's execution, two of her sons were already dead.. and of the two that were still living in exile, Reginald was a priest without issue. The other, Geoffrey, had left his family in England while he escaped to the continent.

If, as you say, Henry VIII acted because he needed to do so.. then why were the sons of Lord Montagu and Sir Geoffrey allowed to live?

Surely they could have also been the focus of an uprising.. since any one of them technically they had a better claim to the throne than Henry or his children. Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu (executed), left two sons; Thomas and Henry - Sir Geoffrey Pole left five; Arthur, Thomas, Edmund, Geoffrey and Henry - Yet there were no uprisings to put them there.. before or after Henry VIII's death. Nor after Edward VI's death either.

And why was Sir Geoffrey allowed to live? He was imprisoned for two months in the tower, but was apparently released.. if anyone could have been the real focus of an uprising, it would have been Geoffrey, who was male.. who had sons to succeed him.. and who would have been much preferred above his old and frail mother.

Henry VIII was enraged by Reginald Pole and his published treatise - and murdering Margaret Pole was his public retaliation for Reginald's public denounciation of his policies.
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  #412  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
...Poor Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Some accounts said the young executioner botched the beheading, hitting her first in the shoulders, then panicking and started hacking at her body.
Yes, I think there is a story about her running around...with the executioner chasing her.
It's true isn't it though that Mary was very upset over all of this? Since Mary was close to the Countess. Did she ever intercede and beg the King for her life?
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  #413  
Old 03-26-2010, 05:33 AM
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It's true isn't it though that Mary was very upset over all of this? Since Mary was close to the Countess. Did she ever intercede and beg the King for her life?
Mary was probably upset over the arrest and execution of the Countess, a woman she had known her entire life.. but I have not read anything so far that reveals whether she tried to intercede on Margaret Pole's behalf.

Mary had "submitted" to Henry in 1536, acknowledging his position as head of the Church of England, among other things. After Jane Seymour's death, Mary was permitted to live in the royal residences and was granted her own household again.

I doubt she would have done anything to jeopardize her position with her father when the Countess was arrested. She couldn't afford to publicly intervene in any case, after their previous estrangement.

And as I said in an earlier post, Margaret was very old at the age of 67. But Mary must have had her own opinions and some feelings about her execution. She brought Reginald Pole back during her reign and appointed him Archbishop of Canterbury.. perhaps to atone for what her father had done.

And she relied greatly on Reginald for advice in matters of religion. He became her chief minister (in effect), and was also appointed the Chancellor of Oxford and Cambridge during her reign.
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  #414  
Old 03-26-2010, 05:33 PM
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I agree that Mary probably would not have made any public protest against the treatment of Margaret Pole. Privately may have been another matter but when Margaret was put to death, Mary's mother had been dead for some time, Mary was older and wiser and knew it was best to keep her thoughts to herself rather than risk the displeasure of her father.
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  #415  
Old 03-28-2010, 02:25 PM
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Poor Margaret Pole. A perfectly innocent lady. And such a botched execution too. tragic.
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  #416  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:19 PM
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Anyways, back on the topic of Henry VIII. What is everyone's general opinion of him? Also, what do you think of his situation with Anne of Cleves? Do you think he really thought she was ugly? Or do you think it was her lack of English courtly graces, and the fact that she just wasn't very interesting to him? Do you think the story about her failing to recognize Henry at a bull fight before their marriage is true?
Also, which do you think came first: Henry's finding the Leviticus passage and coming up with a way to divorce Catherine of Aragon because she couldnt seem to bear him a son, or his infatuation with Anne Boleyn?
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  #417  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:57 AM
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I have tried to look at Henry VIII and his character objectively, and I believe that for the most part he was a good ruler. I think he was a very intelligent man and a gifted musician and his policies re-shaped England and laid the foundation for its protestant future. I also think he was spoiled and determined to get his own way.. not an unusual circumstance, considering who he was and the position he was born into. And I think because of this he made some bad decisions, especially regarding his relations, his wives and his children.

As for Anna of Cleves.. I do not think she was ugly. But that is looking at her from a 20th century vantage point. She may not have been considered pretty in her time, and there has been a study of one of her portraits revealing a longer nose beneath the paint.. so it is quite likely that the traditional portraits we have of her are not entirely accurate.

Anna's upbringing was very far removed from that of a princess. Her mother was strictly Catholic and severely limited her education. So Anna did not speak any other language besides her own, and was not at all instructed in worldly matters. Henry VIII would have nothing in common with such a woman, even if he had been sexually attracted to her.

The story about her failing to recognize Henry has taken various forms, and there is probably some basis of truth in it. I suppose he expected her to play along with his masquerade, just as all the other ladies of his court would do.. but Anna was ignorant of the ways of the English court or of Henry's penchant for disguise. It is no wonder that she may have taken offense to being approached by a stranger, when she was about to marry the King of England..

Oddly enough, the marriage of Henry VIII and Anna of Cleves may very well have been invalid from the start. We do know she was contracted to marry Francis of Lorraine at the age of 12, and that at it was canceled in 1535. However, the ministers in Cleves could never provide any documents to show that the betrothal had officially ended. Had they remained married and had a son, this could have later jeopardized the legitimacy of Henry's heir.

I think the infatuation with Anne Boleyn came before Henry's discovery of the Leviticus passage. This was probably the reason he was looking for a loophole to begin with.. and in itself, that passage was not a sturdy argument for his divorce from Catherine of Aragon anyway.

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  #418  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:44 PM
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that's so interesting about the Anne of Cleves painting having a longer nose originally! I never knew that. I agree with most everything you said. I think that Henry was, in general, a good ruler, aside from the dissolution of the monasteries (sure, some of them were corrupt institutions, but most of them were not. It could have been much better handled, and his greed definitely got the better of him.), and of course his disastrous marital history. Other than that, he really laid the foundations for the English Renaissance that occurred under the encouragement of Elizabeth I, and really strengthened England and the feeling of national identity (not regarding religion though).

The one thing I was confused about was that you said Anne of Cleves's mother was Catholic. I did not know this, and was under the impression that Henry married Anne of Cleves mostly because of her Protestant background. Unless Cleves was considered a Protestant nation and Anne herself was Catholic?
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  #419  
Old 04-03-2010, 03:43 AM
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The one thing I was confused about was that you said Anne of Cleves's mother was Catholic. I did not know this, and was under the impression that Henry married Anne of Cleves mostly because of her Protestant background. Unless Cleves was considered a Protestant nation and Anne herself was Catholic?
Maria, Duchess von Jülich-Berg (Anna's mother) was a strict Catholic, even though her father was in favor of reform, and she married the protestant John III, Duke of Cleves. John was a Lutheran who believed in finding middle ground between the Catholics and the Protestants, so they could peacefully co-exist.

Anna was raised Lutheran. It was her father's reputation and his policies, as well as the fact that her sister Sybille was married to the head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany (Johann Frederich, Elector of Saxony), that gave Anna of Cleves her protestant background.

But Maria brought up her daughters according to her own strict ideas (it appears her son's education was in the hands of his father).. the result of which, meant that Anna of Cleves could not read, write or speak any language than her own German.

She could not sing or play an instrument. She was ignorant of worldly matters, or indeed, even what consummation of a marriage meant. It was considered "a rebuke and an occasion of lightness" for a German lady to be learned. It is quite likely that Maria von Jülich-Berg was also raised strictly and without a proper education.

Upon her marriage to Henry VIII, Anna of Cleves became Anglican.. and by the time of her death, she had converted to Catholicism.
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  #420  
Old 04-03-2010, 10:33 AM
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ah. that makes sense. thank you! I never knew that, and was under the impression that she was raised as a Lutheran. What do you think of the way Anne was treated by her brother?
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