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Tudor Minute November 26: Happy Birthday Henry Fitzroy and Mary Howard


Today is the anniversary of Henry Fitzroy and Lady Mary Howard, married at Hampton Court Palace. Henry was the acknowledged illegitimate son of Henry VIII with his mistress Bessie Blount, and Lady Mary was actually a cousin to Anne Boleyn, as she was the daughter of Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk.

Both bride and groom were 14, and they were told not to consummate their marriage yet, and in 1536 Henry Fitzroy died, and it’s thought that they never consummated the marriage. Mary remarried, but the bad luck of the family stayed with her – in 1547 both her brother and father were imprisoned, and her brother was executed. The only thing that saved her father was fate – Henry famously died just before the execution happened, so Thomas escaped death. Mary, though, took responsibility for raising her nieces and nephews after her brother was executed. She died in 1555.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.