Author Topic: Henry Fitzroy  (Read 18366 times)

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bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2006, 01:51:39 AM »
Here's a short excerpt from Richmond's activities for 1535 from the site I referred to:

"On the 4th May, 1535, Richmond had been ordered to watch the execution of four Carthusian monks of Zion monastery, who had defied the King's new Acts of Supremacy, making him head of the Church of England, and the new Act of Succession. They were to be made a public example, to scare others. They were dragged from the Fleet Prison (in Faringdon Street), to Tyburn (Marble Arch) on a hurdle, then hung, drawn and quartered, and no mercy was shown. Richmond, as the King's representative had to stand closest to the victims. A full account was taken back to Thomas More and Cardinal John Fisher in the Tower. They did not give in and were beheaded.

The King's actions were making him unpopular and causing disturbances in different parts of the country. There were complaints about his son too. These were mainly of the devastation he and his friends did to the countryside by their hunting and other activities. Trees were felled to make more space for deer, and crops were ruined as Richmond was only interested in the country to provide sport.

The King and Cromwell decided to send Richmond over to Ireland as the head of a large, well equipped army. They planned that Richmond could be made King of Ireland, which would safely get him out of the way and at the same time subdue the country.

Richmond's entourage normally included about 600 armed mounted men, so with an army too, he must have now been accompanied by a large and potentially powerful force. He and his army were first sent to Sheffield. Richmond was accommodated at the Castle of Sheffield which belonged to the Earl of Shrewsbury. On the 4th July, Richmond wrote to Cromwell complaining "her in this countrey where I lye I have no parke nor game to showe sporte nor pleasure to my frendes when they shall resort unto me."
Richmond and army were then moved to Wales where he was joined at the Castle of Holt by the Duke of Norfolk, his father-in-law, and an experienced military leader. The Earl of Surrey who was now married, was not with him. The plan was that they would go from there to Ireland.

Instead, Richmond was recalled to the court. He took his time, still with his large army, stopping in his Lincolnshire home of Collyweston. At the end of November, 1535, he joined the court at Windsor Castle, in time for Christmas. "


It doesn't sound as if they were waiting for him to die.

I think the reason the pícture is often identified as being of Richmond (dying) in a nightshirt is that he is usually only mentioned in connection with his death. Even David Starkey, who covers the Anne Boleyn/Jane Seymour changeover in great detail, only mentions Richmond once. So it's an easy assumption to make - Oh it's Richmond in his bed (because he died!).

I don't know if it was tuberculosis that Richmond died of, but I've read that Edward VI's doctors recognised the same symptoms in him. Edward also wasn't ill until a few months before his death (Feb-July 1553, though he had smallpox and recovered from it in 1552), and of course was never portrayed in this way. Arthur was ill for less than a week in 1502.

There is a picture of Henry VIII on his death bed, done for propaganda reasons in the 1570s, which shows what Tudor bedclothes were like. The cap is not lavishly embroidered and the ears are not covered.

http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/images/EdwardVI05.jpg



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

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2006, 04:14:36 AM »
What ever he was wearing, what I am really trying to say is that there is a lot more to Henry Fizroy than ill = stayed in bed = died.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2006, 11:24:26 AM »
Richmond is recorded as dying of the "dreaded consumption."  Tuberculosis.  As I pointed out, the disease would have taken a while to kill him so of course he could have spent months up and about.  His relatives Edward and Arthur were sickly children for most of their lives which means disease slowly killed them, too.  Their illnesses, like Richmond's, would have been worse a week or so before their death giving the indication that it was then it began to kill them.  But in reality their deaths were lingering ones.  Tuberculosis does not kill suddenly, so the idea that in a few short days they could have caught it and then suddenly succumbed is absurd.    

Richmond would have been showing signs of illness: coughing (eventually coughing up blood), pale face with red cheeks, weakness, bouts of fever or low spirits for a while.  In that day and age, people were all too aware of the signs of disease and what it meant.  For all the sport Richmond enjoyed and all the popularity, his illness would have been unmistakable.  But he was still the king's son and a powerful peer so they would have flocked to him up until the end.  There was even a chance he could have lingered longer than he did (I've read of people living years with tuberculosis), but they would have realized death was inevitable.  Also, look at the picture.  Except for the lips and cheeks the boy is almost as white as his shirt.  Not natural, even though he spent time outdoors at the tilt and hunt.  Something else was at work.

What Henry is wearing in the picture is not a night cap, it's more a leisurely turban.  He was in the presence of his court so he would have dressed up as best he could, though not formal his headwear is not meant for sleeping but rather for lounging.  The nightcap would come later, when he was allowed to sleep after he had dismissed the men.  Also, look at the top Henry is wearing.  Tudor night clothes were of simple linen, almost like a tunic in the sense that they were one piece.  This is an elaborate piece with decorative (possible slashed) sleeves, buttons and a collar.  It looks like what a nobleman would have worn under his doublet.   

Records from the period show the purchase of embroidered and decorated nightcaps, and surviving pieces support this (I've seen some decorated in blackwork).  I'll look some up when I have the time.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarina_Liz »

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2006, 12:47:22 PM »
Quote

What Henry is wearing in the picture is not a night cap, it's more a leisurely turban.  He was in the presence of his court so he would have dressed up as best he could, though not formal his headwear is not meant for sleeping but rather for lounging.  The nightcap would come later, when he was allowed to sleep after he had dismissed the men.  Also, look at the top Henry is wearing.  Tudor night clothes were of simple linen, almost like a tunic in the sense that they were one piece.  This is an elaborate piece with decorative (possible slashed) sleeves, buttons and a collar.  It looks like what a nobleman would have worn under his doublet.   

Records from the period show the purchase of embroidered and decorated nightcaps, and surviving pieces support this (I've seen some decorated in blackwork).  I'll look some up when I have the time.



So Henry did not wear nightclothes on his deathbed, because he was a dressy sort of guy, whereas Richmond always wore nightclothes for the last two years of his life (especially for portraits), because he(and everyone else around him) knew he was dying?  ???

Have you any sources for your claim that it was universally known that he was dying as early as 1534?

Don't you think a consumptive patient ought to have buttoned up his shirt rather than leaving his chest open to the winds? I think he looks perfectly healthy, though obviously not suntanned!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2006, 01:34:03 PM »
I agree with Bell here. Its the same with Arthur, everyone assumes that he was a puny weakling yet contemporary sources donot suggest this at all.
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Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2006, 05:19:55 PM »
Quote


So Henry did not wear nightclothes on his deathbed, because he was a dressy sort of guy, whereas Richmond always wore nightclothes for the last two years of his life (especially for portraits), because he(and everyone else around him) knew he was dying?  ???

Have you any sources for your claim that it was universally known that he was dying as early as 1534?

Don't you think a consumptive patient ought to have buttoned up his shirt rather than leaving his chest open to the winds? I think he looks perfectly healthy, though obviously not suntanned!


The nightshirt was symbolic of his condition, something people already knew.  People lived regular lives for years with tuberculosis before succumbing to the nasty end.  But they always succumbed.

Again.  There was no privacy at the court of Henry VIII.  The King's son (and potential heir) was surrounded by his own court all of whom had a vested interest in his condition.  He was never alone, men attended him in his bedroom and to his stool.  His condition, like the condition of his father and half-siblings, would have been regularly assessed by personal physicians.  These physcians would have talked (especially if they belonged or were paid by a specific court faction), rumor would have spread.  The men Richmond was close with would have talked.  His father and his father's ministers would have been briefed regularly on his health, especially when it became clear Henry might not have another son.  There's a reason why five hundred years out we know a bevy of intimate details about the Tudor court - people talked, gossipped, recorded what they knew.  The health of the royal family was a public matter and a matter of state.  Even foreign royals knew the most intimate details of their fellow rulers' conditions.  The records attest to that.  It is ridiculous to think the boy's illness could have been kept a secret, even if Henry had actively tried to make it one.  The picture exists, Henry would have been aware of the symbolism and the fact it would spread the news about the boy.  And yet nothing was done to stop this, to repress the painting or punish Horenbout.    

I will look for specific sources when I have time.  But two that stick out in my mind are Henry VIII - the King and His Court by Weir and The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Erickson(?) and also one by Weir.  They all make mention of the boy's illness and its impact.

Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2006, 05:20:40 PM »
Quote
I agree with Bell here. Its the same with Arthur, everyone assumes that he was a puny weakling yet contemporary sources donot suggest this at all.


Where can I find a description of him as otherwise?

ilyala

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2006, 01:38:32 AM »
actually for both arthur and edward, i have read descriptions like that... i read that edward was a healthy boy up until the moment he got the disease that killed him. and by healthy i don't mean exceptionally strong or anything. he was probably a little frail, but healthy... until he got sick and died... and that didn't happen but a few months before he died

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2006, 02:23:13 AM »
Quote

Where can I find a description of him as otherwise?

Contemporary sources describe Arthur at the time of his marriage, as being "of good and sanguine complexion". i.e. fit and healthy. ( Marquess of Dorset)
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Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2006, 02:20:12 PM »
I haven't been able to go through the books yet to rediscover the first mention in the court of Richmond's illness but I did come up with some things off the top of my head.

1) Richmond married in 1533.  The marriage was not expected to be a problem (i.e. there was no foreseeable need for anullment) and both Richmond and Mary were of age and yet Henry VIII ordered the postponement of consummation.

2) The boy had been looking unwell for sometime (I've seen this many times online and in books, but I'll continue to search for specifics).  Again, look at his picture: he's pallid with rosy cheecks and lips (not good).  At Anne Boleyn’s trial, Henry allowed it be entered into the records that Anne was suspected of poisoning Richmond.  This can be perceived as a  desperate attempt to counteract the truth about the boy’s condition (he was fatally ill) and to dispel rumors and possible Civil War.

3) He lived well with the disease, admittedly.  (See #5)  

4) The picture of him was painted in 1534, one year after marriage and two years before death.  Again, he was painted in his nightclothes which probably indicated the degrading health of the boy.  This is still two years out from his death.  Two years until the disease finally kills him.  And yet he was well enough to sit for a portrait and to continue living normally.  He would not have been isolated and many people, including Henry VIII's minions, would have seen him.  They would also have seen the signs of oncoming illness.

5) Even if Richmond had a latent form of TB (as in he was exposed and was briefly ill but never manifested serious symptoms), the disease could have activated itself at any time.  He may have lived with it since childhood and then one day while weakened by another illness (like measles) came into contact with a carrier and contracted full-blown TB.  He would not have been contagious initially with the latent TB, which explains why no one around him was infected and the more serious symptoms would not have appeared.

6) It’s important that near the end, the disease it not described as a wasting illness or scrofula but as consumption.  Consumption is generally characterized by bloody cough, fever, pallor, and long seemingly endless wasting away of the patient.



Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2006, 10:32:05 AM »
There certainly wsn't any privacy in the court of Henry VIII, and less so for a bastard son of his than anyone. The facts of the royal families health were well known indeed. I myself think in this case, that the similarities between Henry Fitzroy and his half brother Edward, who was much younger, and the legetimate king are interesting. Both had different origins and lives, but died young, about the same age, from the same thing. In the case of Edward, it was known he was wanning, but I believe his death was kept hushed up for a bit. His death was tragic and cruel, but not unexpected. I believe there were rumours going around he was dead before he was dead. But, I don't think it was far in advance that it was known he was ailing. I don't think it was that many years.

As for Henry Fitzroy, in his case as well, it might be true that it wasn't known far in advance that he was ailing. It was obviously known in advance, but not that far. Henry's death was far less important from a dynastic standpoint, of course. But people in the court would still have been keeping up with his health, and would have realized soon before, that he was ailing. Since privacy was so uncommon, and everything about his health would have been open knowledge, why would a portrait painter have to signal this to the court using symbolism in the portrait of Henry Fitzroy? He might have just been capturing him as he was, I think-ill and ailing a well known fact. Or he could have been dressed for sport. His illness was not somethimg that could be hushed up, but since they knew everybody knew, why symbolize it either? That seems silly. This portrait is puzzling, but it wasn't neccesarily propaganda either, in that he was ill, it shows this, or he was a robust young lad, it shows this. The court already knew, one way or the other.

Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2006, 02:03:21 PM »
Quote

As for Henry Fitzroy, in his case as well, it might be true that it wasn't known far in advance that he was ailing. It was obviously known in advance, but not that far. Henry's death was far less important from a dynastic standpoint, of course. But people in the court would still have been keeping up with his health, and would have realized soon before, that he was ailing. Since privacy was so uncommon, and everything about his health would have been open knowledge, why would a portrait painter have to signal this to the court using symbolism in the portrait of Henry Fitzroy? He might have just been capturing him as he was, I think-ill and ailing a well known fact. Or he could have been dressed for sport. His illness was not somethimg that could be hushed up, but since they knew everybody knew, why symbolize it either? That seems silly. This portrait is puzzling, but it wasn't neccesarily propaganda either, in that he was ill, it shows this, or he was a robust young lad, it shows this. The court already knew, one way or the other.


Again, the outfit Richmond is wearing is not for sport.  So the portrait of him being dressed for wrestling for something is out of the question.  The picture was painted three years before his death.  Three.  And they all show an ailing boy in his nightshirt and bonnet with red cheecks and red lips while the rest of his body is pale.  He is obviously ill.  I know of no other major illness Henry had three years before his death (if anyone one does, please let me know).  

As for the use of symbolism: Tudor portrait is crammed full of it.  Most pictures contains dozens of symbolic images, most of which we no longer know the meaning of today.  But they would have been well known back then.  So why even bother putting them in the pictures if everyone already knew what they are and what they meant?  Why both tacking on a heraldic shield to a portrait of an emminent Peer even though everyone knows his lineage anyways?  Why bother painting mathematical symbols on the badge on the well known mathematicians hat?  The point is there was no point, it was just the style.  

The existence of the portrait was important, then, because it meant everyone already knew and had come to accept the boys imminent death three years before his last breath.  They may have been a glorious three years, but they were finite none the less.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarina_Liz »

Lorelei_Lee

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2006, 08:41:36 AM »
The Earl of Surrey, who was Henry Fitzroy's brother in law and close friend from childhood, wrote a beautiful poem about Fitzroy, "So Cruel Prison."  Surrey wrote it some time after Fitzroy's death, when he was imprisoned at Windsor for striking a courtier.  The poem describes an idyllic existence in which he and Fitzroy did all the usual courtly "stuff," which suggests Fitzroy enjoyed reasonably good health until shortly before his death:

SO cruel prison how could betide, alas,
As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy,
With a Kinges son, my childish years did pass,
In greater feast than Priam's sons of Troy.
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour.
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove,
With eyes cast up into the Maiden's tower,
And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue.
The dances short, long tales of great delight ;
With words and looks, that tigers could but rue ;
Where each of us did plead the other's right.
The palme-play, where, despoiled for the game,
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
Have miss'd the ball, and got sight of our dame,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
The gravel'd ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,
On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts ;
With chere, as though one should another whelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts.
With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs, that yet shot up in length.
The secret groves, which oft we made resound
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies' praise ;
Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays.
The wild forest, the clothed holts with green ;
With reins availed, and swift y-breathed horse,
With cry of hounds, and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
The void vales eke, that harbour'd us each night :
Wherewith, alas ! reviveth in my breast
The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight ;
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest ;
The secret thoughts, imparted with such trust ;
The wanton talk, the divers change of play ;
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,
Wherewith we past the winter night away.
And with this thought the blood forsakes the face ;
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue :
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas !
Up-supped have, thus I my plaint renew :
' O place of bliss ! renewer of my woes !
Give me account, where is my noble fere ?
Whom in thy walls thou d[id]st each night enclose ;
To other lief; but unto me most dear.'
Echo, alas ! that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine, with bondage and restraint :
And with remembrance of the greater grief,
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2006, 08:51:48 AM »
Thanks for the information on symbolism. I would have thought it served an obvious purpose, but I guess not. I am not saying the outfit he wore was for sport, it seems like no one knows for sure, and the issue is a debate. He could have been seemingly healthy for some time before his death, that is true, because illness could show up suddenly back then, or it could have been latent. The health of Tudor royalty often went up and down as well, so perhaps no one was sure. I am sure he enjoyed those kind of pursuits although how soon before his death is hard to ascertain.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by romanov_fan »

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henry Fitzroy
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2006, 09:37:53 AM »
Quote
The Earl of Surrey, who was Henry Fitzroy's brother in law and close friend from childhood, wrote a beautiful poem about Fitzroy, "So Cruel Prison."  Surrey wrote it some time after Fitzroy's death, when he was imprisoned at Windsor for striking a courtier.  The poem describes an idyllic existence in which he and Fitzroy did all the usual courtly "stuff," which suggests Fitzroy enjoyed reasonably good health until shortly before his death:

SO cruel prison how could betide, alas,
As proud Windsor, where I in lust and joy,
With a Kinges son, my childish years did pass....



Thanks Lorelei Lee!

Sad to think of the sticky end that Surrey himself came to, executed days before Henry VIII's death!

It's astounding how many sports are mentioned: palm play - must be the same as Jeu de Paume (a kind of tennis?) jousting and hunting.