On Marital Age During Tudor Times.
One thing I am absolutely tired of hearing is that EVERYONE common folk to royalty married while still children or at least the early teens. This is simply not true. First of all, the marital age was almost exactly the same age as we do now, roughly 24 for women and 27 for men.
We also confuse the fact that though ROYALS and other Nobility did marry at a young age, they knew as well as we do that a child as young as twelve could safely carry a child. For example, Margaret Beaufort (Henry VIII’s grandmother) was married at twelve and gave birth at thirteen. Most historians agree that the reason she only had one child is because giving birth at such a young age left her unable to have any more. Plus the age of menarche was usually fourteen to sixteen then, which is when they could tell if a young lady was fertile (yes I know you can get pregnant before your first period but they most likely didn’t make the connection). So it was pointless to have a girl as young as twelve (another Fact in the Other Boleyn Girl I absolutely want to tear my hair out over) consumate her marriage without extreme circumstances, such as her husband finally becoming into his own money or going to war or their parents were dead and they needed an heir quickly. At twelve a girl was married but most likely stayed in her parents until her first period. So PG’s Mary would actually be still a virgin at fourteen (considering her period hasn’t started).
On the other hand, common folks had reasons NOT to marry so young. A wife had to at least be old enough to support her household as well as be strong enough to carry a child while also doing manual labour. Her husband may also have to earn enough money to pay for her dowery or wait for his father to die and leave him some money, which could take years.
Another thing I hated about the Other Boleyn Girl DVD (special Feature: on being a tudor lady) PG got yet another fact wrong. Becoming a widow numerous times was NOT the only way for a woman to gain wealth. Women held plenty of jobs on their own, such as midwives and herbalists, as well as inherit land from their father providing that they are spinsters and have no brothers to take it. There were even female apothecaries and other high paying trades.
I die a queen, but I would rather die the wife of Culpepper.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
After spending much of the previous night practicing how to lay her head on the block, Queen Katherine Howard was beheaded on Tower Green a bit after 7 AM on February 13, 1542. By all accounts, she died a very dignified death, though sadly, the last words attributed to her were never actually said. She did make a speech in which she asked forgiveness for her sins and prayed for the life of the king.
An eyewitness had this to say about her execution:
“I saw the Queen, then Lady Rochford, suffer within the Tower. Whose souls be with God, for they made the most Godly and Christian end.”
Katherine Howard was no more than 19 years old.
My New Year’s resolution is to not let the same old shit go down in the Anne Boleyn tag. If I have to become a villain of this fandom, I’ll do it. I don’t give a single fuck anymore.
So to begin, I’d like to direct you to my previous posts on the slut-shaming and general undeserved and factually inaccurate that so regularly occurs in this tag.
Anne Boleyn was many things - temperamental and flirtatious, yes, but also pious, charitable, witty, and musically gifted as well. So keep your hate out of the tag, and if you’re going to hate at all, do so without a) slut-shaming her or b) saying things that are flagrant historical inaccuracies!