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 Fudging History: Female Titles

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Catherine Parr
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PostSubject: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:49 am

I want to partly make up a character for the forum.

She's to be based on a mistress of Henry VIII named simply 'The Imperial Lady' she was a strong supporter of Catherine of Aragon and Mary Tudor and was during the time of Anne Boleyn. She had vast politcal influence and even sent letters to Mary saying to 'be of good cheer'. She dissapeared from references completely - not much has been said about her in history, therefore; (cackles madly) I CAN MAKE IT UP MYSELF. So I want to go down the round where she dreams of becoming Queen but something which is yet to be determined will go against her.

So the point is: Is there a title I can give my character that's appropriate. I know not many of the titles used and I care not whether she is to become Viscountess, Baroness, Duchess of Marchioness I just need a title that won't be complained about.

The only evidance in history is from a report by none other than Chapuys, some wondered if it was Jane Seymour but Chapuys speaks of her beauty whilst ihis descriptioos of Jane were certainly not that kind.

Here's the report:

Henry renewed and increased the love he formerly had for a very beautiful damsel of the court; and because the said lady Anne wished to drive her away, the king has veen very angry, telling his said lady that she had good reason to be content with what he had done for her, which he would not do now if the thing were to begin, and that she should consider from what she had come, and several other things.

And again..

The Imperial Lady's influence increases daily, while that of the concubine Anne diminishes, which has already abated a good deal of her insolence. The said young lady has of late sent to the Princess Mary to tell her to be of good cheer, and that her troubles would sooner come to an end than she supposed, and that when the opportunity occured she would show herself her true and devoted servant.
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Anne Boleyn
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:38 pm

Hmmm I always thought that was Jane Seymour
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Christina of Milan
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:41 pm

*history geek hat on*
It was fairly uncommon for a woman to carry a title in her own right, so if she's a countess/baroness/etc, she probably either married or a widow. If not she's probably "just" a lady.
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Catherine Parr
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:08 pm

Anne Boleyn had her own title, and I don't think it was Jane Seymour. Chapuys's descriptions of the two were highly different. Also: I wouldn't mind if they were heir to an existing title, ie Mary the Rich was heir to the Duchy of Burgandy.

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Christina of Milan
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:16 pm

Anne Boyeln being granted her own title was a Very Big Deal, and was done as a way of elevating her status before the king married her.
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Anne Boleyn
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:21 pm

Have you ever read "The Mistresses of Henry VIII" because I think she is mentioned in that book as well. Also could Chapuys be talking of two different ladies? The first sounds like one of Anne's ladies-in-waitng. Perhaps the one she & Lady Rochford tried to drive away. For that Lady Rochford was imprisoned in the Tower awhile. The"Imperial Lady" sounds like Jane Seymour though. Jane was very sympathetic to Henry's daughter Mary and the imperialists in general. The first lady could also be Mary Shelton, Anne's cousin.
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Catherine Parr
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:24 pm

In the book I read that's actually a biography of Jane Seymour Chapuys describes the imperial lady: Anne and Lady Rochford unsucessfully try to banish her before The Imperial Lady all of a sudden vanished and was replaced by Mary Shelton.

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Anne Boleyn
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:11 pm

Well "The Mistresses of Henry VIII" is pretty good. Not brilliantly written necessarily. But an excellent catalog of all his mistresses and there were many more than I thought. I thought he had more wives than mistresses but that apparently was not the fact.
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Christina of Milan
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:38 pm

It seems as though he had lots of women he slept with, and not many "mistresses" as we now think of the term. More like short-term girlfriends than long-term companions.
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Anne Boleyn
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PostSubject: Re: Fudging History: Female Titles   Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:43 pm

Even a few one-night-stands, apparently the story of grabbing the girl off the horse, Kissing her & bedding her from The Tudors was true!
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