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 Tudors - a myth?

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PostSubject: Tudors - a myth?   Tue 29 May 2012, 14:33

An article which has appeared on the BBC, by Oxford Professor Cliff Davies

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18240901
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Tue 29 May 2012, 15:13

Thank you for posting that link, Trike - the article's really interesting.

Perkin Warbeck had a go at the Tudors - or "Tydders" - in a proclamation he issued during the Bodmin uprising of 1497. Warbeck, aka Richard IV, declared that:

"We in our tender age escaped by God's great might out of the Tower of London and were secretly conveyed over the seas..." and that in his (Richard of Shrewsbury's) absence from the realm, one Henry, grandson of "Owen Tydder of low birth in the country of Wales", seized the throne.

Could well be that Tydder= Tudor= illegitimate offspring of a descendant of the Bishop of Bangor's butler. Clearly a name best avoided for a new dynasty!
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Fri 08 Jun 2012, 23:29

This seems to be a case of Dr Davies getting slightly over-excited about his discovery.

The idea that people living in Tudor times didn’t refer to themselves or their era as ‘Tudor’ is not that surprising. In fact it’s very rare for people to give their own era a name – or at least one that sticks. Even the term ‘Victorian’ which was indeed used during the reign of Queen Victoria didn’t gain widespread currency until about 10 years after her death. Neither is there an agreed name for our own era.

I certainly don’t agree with Cliff Davies that for historians to ‘recover the thought processes’ of previous generations means having to ape them exactly to the nth degree. No doubt in 300 years time historians will be referring to our time by some term which will be perfectly appropriate even if we ourselves haven’t yet thought of it. Which could be because we simply don’t have the historical perspective with which to do so. If any of us, however, could get into a time machine and go forward to the year 2312 and get hold of a copy of History Today magazine (Issue No. 3633) and read an article about our age which used a particular adjective then we might be inclined to say “But of course! That’s so obvious now. Good name!”

But imagine if our time-traveller were then to say to the historians in 2312 that (as Davies suggests) because we didn’t use their term then they should have to ‘rethink their terminology’. In all likelihood they would quite rightly consider that to be a somewhat impertinent assumption.

As for the term ‘Tudor’ then it is an obvious and eminently sensible historical demarcation of English and Irish history. The accession of the Henry, Earl of Richmond in 1485 as king marked the end of the Lancaster v York dynastic struggle. Certainly there were battles after 1485 but they didn’t alter the settlement of 1485. If anything they only served to strengthen Henry’s position. And 1485 is conveniently close to that other important date in European and world history, 1492, and Columbus’ discovery of America.

At the other end of the Tudor era we have 1603 and the accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England and Ireland. For the first time the crowns of the British Isles were embodied in one person. So for Davies to then say that the use of the term Tudor by historians is ‘obsessive’ is a bit silly. In fact not to use the term Tudor would seem to be a case of deliberately wishing to ignore the wood for the trees.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Sat 09 Jun 2012, 04:31

Ha, what a co-incidence. I've not long read the same article in Past Horizons Archaeological magazine.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/category/news/page/2

PS. Funnily, the article on the Tudors Myth was here all the time. On the left side of the shortcuts page (under recommended sites) Nordmann as put a list of really good links to historical journals and reading materials, and Past Horizons is there. It always has lots of interesting stuff for browsing.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Sat 09 Jun 2012, 10:00

@Vizzer wrote:
Certainly there were battles after 1485 but they didn’t alter the settlement of 1485. If anything they only served to strengthen Henry’s position.

Did they though? Was Henry VII ever *really* secure? Was Henry VIII? Those Yorkist Plantagenets just wouldn't go away - they and their friends were indeed forever plotting in various shrubberies all over Europe.

In 1499, according to a Spanish envoy (who wrote to Ferdinand and Isabella in March of that year), Henry was feeling - and showing - the strain of it all. The envoy wrote, "Henry has aged so much during the last two weeks that he looks twenty years older."

And even Vergil says that many Englishmen still wanted a change of ruler, even though by the spring of 1499 there were no (official) pretenders actually on the loose. (The latest, the loopy Ralph Wilford, had just been hung). Seems the Tydder suffered "a complete collapse" around this time and was more or less bullied by Ferdinand into destroying the unfortunate Earl of Warwick.

Was the Earl of Warwick seen by many at the time as the "third Prince in the Tower" - the innocent victim whose death brought down the curse on the House of Tudor?

And of course there was that other "Prince in the Tower", little Henry Pole, Warwick's great nephew, who disappeared (after his father and grandmother had been executed) in that terrible place during the reign of Henry VIII. But that's another story.

It could be argued that the "War of the Roses" only really ended after the death of Arthur Pole sometime around 1570. He - "the ultimate Yorkist prisoner" - had been found guilty of treason, but Elizabeth spared his life.

Desmond Seward's book, "The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason - The Secret Wars Against the Tudors", ends with this interesting paragraph:

"Elizabeth's triumphant reign made it seem that the Tudors had been predestined to rule England. In consequence, the cult of the Tudor age has largely obscured the Yorkist pretenders (except perhaps for Perkin Warbeck) and concealed the dread in which the White Rose was held by Henry VII and Henry VIII."

But, alas, as ever I stray away from the topic. The original post did mention "Tudor" though, so that's my excuse.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Sun 13 Jul 2014, 20:47

I recently read this article http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/mary-boleyn-reassessment-conor-byrne/  on the Anne Boleyn files blog.  The young man (I think he's young) who wrote it postulates that we cannot know for certain which of the Boleyn sisters was the elder (which is the reason that I posted a question on the PG thread about the respective ages of the Boleyn sisters - which Temperance was kind enough to answer).  I'm flummoxed what to think. What this young man writes is at variance with what Professor Ives states in respect of the ages of the two sisters. Does his theory/statement hold any weight do you think?  I felt this didn't really belong on the PG thread - and since both Boleyn sisters were linked to Henry VIII, one by marriage and one by an affair, I decided to post it under "Tudors".
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Mon 14 Jul 2014, 21:00

I'd stick with Ives if I were you, LiR.

That said, Retha M. Warnicke, an American academic whom I very much respect (nobody else does), plumps for 1507 as Anne's likely date of birth. These historians - they're always arguing.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 00:36

Just last night I heard a historian say, more or less in passing, that the Tudors didn't like being referred to as such because it stressed, in their minds, the link to the Welsh Tudor family which wasn't as aristocratic as they would have preferred. Or having a totally legitimate claim to the throne.  She didn't use this as an argument for modern-day writers not to use Tudor, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 16:14

@Temperance wrote:
I'd stick with Ives if I were you, LiR.

That said, Retha M. Warnicke, an American academic whom I very much respect (nobody else does), plumps for 1507 as Anne's likely date of birth. These historians - they're always arguing.

Isn't Retha Warnicke the one You-Know-Who got her ideas about Anne actually having committed adultery with her brother from though Temperance?  I think I'll take your first suggestion and so I will try and get Professor Ives' book out of the library.  There was something in my email inbox today from the local library saying the library service is under threat and there is a consultation process to be undertaken. Mind you, with consultation processes, I sometimes wonder if the Big Cheeses have made up their minds already and just give the local populace a chance to feel involved but don't actually take any notice of them. There was a consultation process about the local hospital but not much notice was taken of folks' opinions there.  They say not so many people are using the library.  This saddens me - is it that more people are using e-books or that people just are not reading so much, I wonder.  I am quite fond of a real book - though if it came to a toss-up between an e-book library and no library at all, I would choose the e-book option.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 17:03

Gregory took Professor Warnicke's interesting and closely argued ideas, LiR, and mangled them.

Warnicke did not suggest that Anne Boleyn committed incest. I recommend her book The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn - it's a fascinating read. Warnicke submitted the first draft of Rise and Fall to Sir Geoffrey Elton, Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge. In her introduction to her book Warnicke  thanks the late Sir Geoffrey: "I am truly grateful for his many helpful suggestions and for the time he has generously and patiently given to my research. I wish also to thank John Guy, Reader in Modern History in the History Department at Bristol University, for his criticism and help in the last stages of the final draft of this book."

Her book is serious stuff, brilliantly researched - controversial, but well worth consideration.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 20:59

Well I'm sorry if I cast nastursiums on Ms Warnicke unfairly.  Something must have put the idea that she suggested what she apparently didn't suggest into my mind - I wouldn't have just picked it up from the ether.  I will probably try the Ives book first and then look out for the Warnicke one, so I don't get confused.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Thu 17 Jul 2014, 21:50

And I am sorry if I I sounded irritated at you, LiR. It is, as ever, the Gregory Girl who annoys me. She included an acknowledgement at the end of The Other Boleyn Girl that she had used Warnicke's ideas about the possibility that a) Anne delivered a defective foetus at the end of January 1536 and that b) the men accused with Anne were an artistic group of homosexual/bisexual men, but she made a nonsense of it all, changing important details willy-nilly.

Warnicke has publically distanced herself from Gregory's cavalier treatment of her research.

As I said above, many authorities dismiss Warnicke's ideas - yet are willing to accept G.W. Bernard's suggestion, in his Fatal Attractions, that Anne and the men who were accused with her were guilty as charged. I still haven't got over the shock of reading in Bernard's final paragraph: "And so it remains my own hunch that Anne had indeed committed adultery with Norris, probably with Smeaton, possibly with Weston..."

Hunch? Hunch? I thought that was a word that does not exist for a historian?

Warnicke's book is not about "hunches": it is a serious study which places Anne's life and death in the context of social and religious values and superstitions about witches and the birth of deformed children. As the Observer remarked:"...this is an intriguing thesis, and Warnicke develops it with erudition."

The chapter on "sexual heresy" is fascinating.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Fri 18 Jul 2014, 13:26

I tried to post a reply before, Temp, but the gremlins in cyber-space decided otherwise.  If I can remember, I said there was nothing wrong with a person feeling strongly about a matter as long as one doesn't get into slanging matches (which I don't think we have thus far).  I know when I was at school if one wrote an essay without basing it on fact one would have been given the essay to rewrite.  

I'm editing this at about 5.30 pm.  The sentence above referring to not basing the contents of an essay on fact (and quoting one's sources) relates to Temperance's reference to a historian basing something he had written on a "hunch".  Upon re-reading my entry it sounded obscure.

The premise that Anne B might have committed adultery and the punishment if she were judged guilty of the same does show how unfair the laws were regarding men -v- women in those times (gentlemen coming to the site I am NOT a man-hater).  If the queen frolicked in the thistles (though I personally am not sure she did) she deserved to die but the king could have a wild old time with multiple ladies with impunity.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Tue 13 Dec 2016, 21:57

In 1541 King Henry VIII had a law introduced which banned all sports on Christmas Day except for archery.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Tue 13 Dec 2016, 23:35

Welcome Frederick Louis.

More generally, I've just reread my post of 18th July 2014.  It's ambiguous.  My meaning was that I felt it unfair that Anne Boleyn as a woman was thought deserving of death IF she committed adultery whereas Henry was free to go on his merry way sexually.  It could have been read as though I thought she deserved to die if she had committed adultery which of course I do not.
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PostSubject: Re: Tudors - a myth?   Wed 08 Feb 2017, 12:02

@FrederickLouis wrote:
In 1541 King Henry VIII had a law introduced which banned all sports on Christmas Day except for archery.

When you first posted this I was rather brusque and caustic in my reply (which Nordmann subsequently had the grace to remove) ... and I apologise. But saying "Henry VIII banned all sports on Christmas Day" is rather simplistic and frankly ranks alongside "Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas mince pies" as an oft-repeated yet essentially false "fact". The reality, and the really interesting history, as always lies in the detail ...


Laws encouraging people to own bows and train in their use go back to the reign of Henry II, if not earlier, as do laws about restricting gambling and all boisterous games which all too often led to riots and damage to property. For example a law of Edward III (1369) ordered the citizenry of London to "learn and exercise the art of shooting", and banned the "throwing of stones, wood, iron, handball, football, bandyball, cambuck, or cockfighting, nor other such like vain plays".

Remember also that for apprentices, servants and labourers the only days they ever got 'off' to possibly indulge in any games or sports, were Sundays and religious holidays. Generally servants and apprentices were expected to spend their Sundays, as well as most other religious feast days, quietly at home or in church, and there was certainly to be no gambling, fornicating nor strong liquor (although of course all alehouses were closed on Sundays anyway). If they were lucky their master might give them a few hours' dispensation to visit their parents or other close relatives but generally the behaviour of servants and apprentices was strictly supervised and controlled. However providing they were male, what they could do was meet their friends at the parish butts and together practice their archery (or at least pretend that's what they were doing), as this was both legal and socially acceptable, if not indeed actively encouraged.

The first Tudor legislation linking unlawful games to their influence on archery practice was initiated by Henry VII in 1503 (19 Henry VII c.2). This forbade any "labourer, nor servaunt nor artificer" from participating in unlawful games and sports, such as "tenys, caylles [like bowls I think] foteball etc.", except over the 12 days of Christmas when a certain degree of latitude was traditional. Christmas eve had always been a strict fast/fish day with all shops shut and obligatory church attendance for all, while Christmas Day, as the first day of Christmas, was also usually treated with religious solemnity, so no games, sports or gambling then either. Under Henry VII the penalty for playing unlawful games outside of Christmas was a day in the stocks for the miscreants while householders allowing unlawful games in their houses faced a fine of 6s 8d.

Now we move on to Henry Tudor’s son, Henry VIII, in 1511 (3 Henry VIII c.3):

"Anno tertio HENRICI V.III. - STATUTES made in the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster on Wednesday the Fourth Day of February, in the Third Year of the Reign of King HENRY VIII ....
CAP. III An Act concerning Shooting in Long Bows. .... ALL Sorts of Men under the Age of Forty Years shall have Bows and Arrows, and use Shooting; certain Persons excepted", &c. Unlawful Games shall not be used."


Note the date of the session of Parliament, 1511-1512. In November 1511 England joined the Holy League; an alliance of the papacy, Venice, and Spain aimed at keeping France from dominating Europe. Henry was keen to play a leading part in these European affairs and so started making plans for an invasion of northern France. The legislation concerning longbows was passed by the same Parliament that voted tax subsidies for Henry’s intended war and so I think it should be seen as part of generally putting the country onto a war footing. This Act was followed up in 1514 by another (6 Henry VIII c.2) which made the provisions of 1511 "perpetual", and was itself almost certainly influenced by the success of English longbowmen in the French campaign and more particularly in repulsing a Scottish invasion of England at Flodden in 1513 (and contrary to the rest of Europe, Scotland included, which was moving rapidly towards the general use of firearms in place of bows).

Now skipping forward to 1541 (33 Henry VIII c.9) ... "CAP. IX. - An Act for the Maintenance of Artillery, and debarring unlawful Games." ... often now known simply as the Unlawful Games Act, 1541. The main points of the Act are as follows with some of the most relevant bits highlighted in blue:

The preamble specifically mentions that, "by reason therof Archerie ys sore decayed, and dayly is lyke to be more [de]mynished. …. [to such an extent that] … divers bowyers and fletchers, for lack of work, had gone and inhabit themselves in Scotland and other places out of this realm, there working and teaching their science to the puissance of the same, to the great comfort of estrangers and the detriment of this realm." Not only is the decline of archery putting the defence of the realm at risk but it is encouraging bow and arrow makers to go and work for potential enemies.

In addition to tennis - which was doubly banned as it was a royal game reserved only for the nobility - as well as quoits, skittles, bowls, cricket, handball, football etc. the Act notes that several "new and crafty games" have recently been devised, such as "logetting in the fields [?] and slide-thrift [a bit like shove ha'penny]", and these and any future "vain sports" are like-wise banned.
 
"All Men under the Age of sixty Years [increased from 40 years in 1514] shall have Bows and Arrows for shooting. Men-Children between Seven Years and Seventeen shall have a Bow and 2 Shafts. Men about Seventeen Years of Age shall keep a Bow and 4 Arrows .... Penalty 6s.8d."

S1,2,3. "Shooting at Rovers. Shooting in Yew-bows. ... The Inhabitants of every Town "shall cut Butts and shoot at them" ... with recommendations on the management, location and ideal length/range of these archery grounds.
S4. "Common Bows shall be made of Elm, Ash, &c."
S5. "The prices of the several Sorts of Bows."
S6. "Sale of Seasonable Timber by one Fletcher to another."
S7. "Bowyers and Fletchers, &c. not free of London, shall upon Commandment dwell elsewhere."
S8. "Aliens shall ... not convey Bows or Arrows beyond the Sea."
S9. "Aliens shall not use .... shooting in Long-bows ... Penalty forfeiture of Bows."
……
S11. "Be it also be enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Manner of Person or Persons, of what Degree, Quality or Condition soever he or they be, from the Feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist now next coming, by himself Factor Deputy Servant or other Person, shall for his or their Gain Lucre or Living keep have hold occupy exercise or maintain any Common House Alley or Place of bowling coyting clothe-cayles, half bowl, tennis, dicing table or carding or any other Manner of Game prohibited by any Estatute heretofore made, or any unlawful new Game now invented or made, or any other new unlawful Fame hereinafter to be invented found had or made, upon Pain to forfeit and pay for every Day keeping having or maintaining or suffering any such Game to be had kept executed played or maintained within any such House Garden Alley or other Place contrary to the Form and Effect of this Estature, Forty Shillings; And also every Person using and haunting any of the said Houses and Plays and there playing to forfeit for every Time so doing, Six Shillings Eight-pence." ...so basically no - or at least no unlicensed (see below S13) - casinos, betting dens, card or dice houses, ten-pin alleys, street skittles, or any other gambling establishments.

….
S13: You can get a "Placard" (a Gaming Licence) in exchange for a sufficiently large deposit in Chancery.
S14: Magistrates can enter houses to look for unlawful games, and bind people over or imprison them until they have found sureties.
S15: Mayors and sheriffs to do a weekly - or at least monthly - check of all places that unlawful games are suspected.
S16: "… the working class may not play such games except at Christmas" ... with a 20s fine, and no-one "of whatever Degree", can themselves play, or allow to be played "any unlawful games", ie. bowls, skittles, quoits, cricket, football etc ... in the street or outside of their own house or garden, with a fine of 6s 8d.
S17 "That all other Statutes made for the Restraint of unlawful Games, or for the Maintenance of Artillery, as touching the Penalties or Forfeitures of the same, shall be from henceforth utterly void"  … which basically repeals all previous Acts. 
S18: Says who gets any fines ... half to the informer, half to the local lord of any "Franchise, Leet or Lawday" if any, otherwise the crown.
19: Mayors and sheriffs must proclaim this Act quarterly.
Sections 22 and 23: Allows masters to allow their servants to play games with them, or with each other, or with visitors, but only in their own houses.


So ..... far from Henry VIII banning all sport (except archery) on Christmas Day, the 1541 Act simply reaffirmed and clarified decades, if not centuries, of previous legislation that said that the lower classes should not play any outside games or sports, on any day, except over the Christmas period, with the sole exclusion of Christmas Day itself which was still to be strictly observed as a holy day. The only sport which was legally permitted to be played outside and in public, on any day throughout the year, was archery. None of this of course applied to the gentry or nobility who, with some restrictions, could basically do as they liked so long as it was in their own house or garden.

Henry's 1541 Act was mostly aimed at outdoor sports and games in so much as they diverted young men from their archery practice, but indoor gambling games were also recognised as a threat, and one that could as easily entice the youths of the nobility as those of the lowborn. Accordingly cards, dicing and other gambling games were also banned to all servants and apprentices, and furthermore to "play any game for money" was only permitted to anyone with an annual income of more than £20 (which was the sort of sum someone at court would have been expected to have at their disposal). But while the rules for the gentlemen of Henry VIII’s privy chamber said that "immoderate and continual" playing of cards, tables or dice was forbidden, amongst the nobility generally, gambling was common and almost expected. Henry himself, just between 1529 and 1532, lost a colossal £3,243 5s 10d from playing cards and dice (that is the sum that had to be immediately written off by the Exchequer in 1533). During his entire reign Henry lost very much more ... he certainy continued to regularly run up enormous gambling debts right up until his death. Perhaps he saw it as a sort of top-down redistribution of wealth?
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