Author Topic: Boleyn or Bullen?  (Read 12881 times)

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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2006, 01:21:48 AM »
Quote
They may have sounded a little alike, but as today there would have been important differences. †Buhll-en (short, emphasis on the first syllable most likely). †Bow-len (bow-lynne, boo-lynne) longer and more French sounding.


Tsarina Liz, are there any poems with the word Boleyn in? Then we could be sure that it was stressed differently to Bullen. I think you must be right about Bullen being two short syllables - it is so in Shakespeare e.g.

" An't please your grace Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter".

Have you any evidence that "Boleyn" was pronounced with long syllables?





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Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2006, 08:07:59 AM »
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Tsarina Liz, are there any poems with the word Boleyn in? Then we could be sure that it was stressed differently to Bullen. I think you must be right about Bullen being two short syllables - it is so in Shakespeare e.g.

" An't please your grace Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter".

Have you any evidence that "Boleyn" was pronounced with long syllables?







Well, I think there's some nasty ditties out there about the Bullen woman but I'd have to check my books.

The main argument for the long sounds in Boleyn is the 'e' in the middle which would make the 'o' long.  It would be long in French, too.  That's about it ;)  No one really celebrated Anne in name.  
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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2006, 11:20:45 AM »
Another person with a similar name was Edward Alleyne, the Elizabethan actor manager who founded Dulwich College.

As this poem by Ben Jonson shows the name was pronounced Allen (Alan), however it was written:

To Edward Allen (Alleyne)
by Ben Jonson
 

IF Rome so great, and in her wisest age,
   Fear'd not to boast the glories of her stage,
As skilful ROSCIUS, and grave ∆SOPE, men,
   Yet crown'd with honors, as with riches, then ;
Who had no lesse a trumpet of their name,
   Than Cicero, whose every breath was fame :
How can so great example dye in me,
   That ALLEN, I should pause to publish thee ?
Who both their graces in thy selfe hast more
Out-stript, than they did all that went before :
And present worth in all dost so contract,
   As others speak, but only thou dost act.
Weare this renowne.  'Tis just, that who did give
   So many Poets life, by one should live.


Anne's name was also written "Bolleyn" sometimes (eg the Holbein drawing of her). So I still think her name was  pronounced Boollen (as in Woollen), and spelt in various ways.
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Offline lady

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2006, 05:27:53 PM »
Very interesting what you say, thank you very much.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2006, 01:14:42 PM »
I think the correct spelling is actually "Bullen" considering that this is the way it's spelled on Thomas Bullen's tomb in Hever Church:



But in the 16th century, things like spelling were not exactly consistent  ;).

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2006, 05:26:57 AM »
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I think the correct spelling is actually "Bullen" considering that this is the way it's spelled on Thomas Bullen's tomb in Hever Church:



But in the 16th century, things like spelling were not exactly consistent †;).



For example "Erle of Wilscher"! :o

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2006, 01:28:31 PM »
The insult was not in referring to her as a "Bullen," but in calling her "Nan Bullen." "Nan" was a common nickname for Anne in sixteenth-century England and to use it to refer to a crowned and annointed queen of England might indeed be considered insulting. Children and maids could be called "Nan" but not the queen of England! IMO it shows a degree of (impertinent) familiarity that is expressive of total contempt. †
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2006, 01:48:29 PM »
I agree with Elisabeth - in the same way, Queen Anne (1665-1714) was referred to as 'Brandy Nan', in a derogatory fashion.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2006, 02:53:09 PM »
But "Brandy Anne" would have been quite acceptable ;D ;D
(Tongue in cheek) ;) I agree with Elisabeth
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2006, 11:55:22 AM »
It could have been the official spelling. Certainly, sometimes people themselves spelled their name differently, not just other people spelled their name differently. Rather confusing to me, at least, anyway. Thanks for pointing out that the insult was in Nan not Bullen. I was rather in ignorance about that.

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2010, 01:50:43 PM »
The insult was not in referring to her as a "Bullen," but in calling her "Nan Bullen." "Nan" was a common nickname for Anne in sixteenth-century England and to use it to refer to a crowned and annointed queen of England might indeed be considered insulting. Children and maids could be called "Nan" but not the queen of England! IMO it shows a degree of (impertinent) familiarity that is expressive of total contempt.

Yes, adressing a high-ranking person such as a queen with her first name and not a style would be considered extremely irreverent. But I think the fact that she, unlike most royals, indeed had a recognized surname plays a part in the insulting use of the diminutive, e.g. Nan Bullen sounds like somebody who could be a next-door neighbour. My guess is that it would have lost a bit of its sting if the queen had been born Archduchess Anna of Austria dicta Habsburg.

There seems to be agreement that the surname Bullen/Boleyn means an origin from Boulogne, a French Channel town that had important trading links with England. (Considering that it's etymologically synonymous with Italian Bologna, my guess it that Anne Boleyn's modern nickname could have been some version of Spaghetti Bolognese!)
It would be interesting to know if that was known in Tudor times, and if such knowledge would have led Anne to spell her name De Boulogne at the French court. It would be less far-fetched than her arms actually being augmented with quarterings of such French fiefs as AngoulÍme and Guyenne for rather dubious reasons...

IF Bullen was pronounced differently, it could have had coarse and commonplace connotations if my guess is correct: With the old -en plural of weak nouns* (.e.g. ox - oxen), it could be interpreted as the Middle English plural of "bull". Compare German, where Bullen still is the plural of Bulle, meaning "bull". Nan Bullen could thus perhaps be "translated" into modern Annie Bulls. It doesn't sound very royal, more like Joe Bloggs.

* Weak nouns are those ending in a vowel, e.g. oxe, bul(l)e, childe, eye, que(e)ne etc. Often the last vowel has disappeared, both from the oral and written forms.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 02:19:48 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Boleyn or Bullen?
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2010, 09:02:01 PM »
IF Bullen was pronounced differently, it could have had coarse and commonplace connotations if my guess is correct: With the old -en plural of weak nouns* (.e.g. ox - oxen), it could be interpreted as the Middle English plural of "bull". Compare German, where Bullen still is the plural of Bulle, meaning "bull". Nan Bullen could thus perhaps be "translated" into modern Annie Bulls. It doesn't sound very royal, more like Joe Bloggs.

This theory is of course supported by the original Boleyn arms being "On a field argent, a chevron gules between three bull's heads couped sable".

Another mystery is: Why are the Boleyn arms missing from the elaborate arms attributed to Anne Boleyn?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 09:06:50 PM by Fyodor Petrovich »