so i dont know if this opinion is valid or w/e but like, i feel like tumblr really dismisses the fact that anne boleyn ordered for mary to be abused. she was only seventeen when anne became queen, and was beaten and sworn at by the others at hatfield on orders from anne. i just think anne isn't as lovely as people make her out to be, and although i find her v interesting, i just think she is romanticized and made out to be some sort of angel? it seems as though the abuse mary got affected her.
i agree and acknowledge that the abuse mary endured at hatfield affected her; but i’m not certain it was at anne boleyn’s behest. i haven’t been able to find any primary sources that attest to that. from what i’ve read, what seems more likely is that it was at the behest of henry viii.
understandably, at first glance it seems logical that lady shelton, given that she was anne boleyn’s paternal aunt, may have been acting at her command. however, i find this less likely given that the two didn’t seem to like each other very much. if anne truly did encourage madge shelton (the lady anne boleyn-shelton’s daughter) to be the mistress of henry viii, as is speculated, her mother may not have taken too kindly to that! later, shelton is one of the ladies that attends on anne in the tower of london, and it was reported that anne said it was “a great unkindness in the king to set such about me as i have never loved” (the cited source for this is cavendish, and other than wikipedia i’ve been unable to find a more direct quote)
when henry visited the household of hatfield in january 1534, mary was ordered to stay in her chamber. thomas cromwell and the captain of the guard instead went to mary to urge her to renounce her title; which she refused. she asked to see him again; and was denied. instead she went out to the terrace at the top of the house as he prepared to leave. he bowed and touched his cap in response. however, he didn’t see her again for over two and a half years and it’s important to remember that he is the one that made that decision; not anne.
it was henry that ordered mary to serve elizabeth at hatfield as a punishment for refusing to publicly accept the acts of appeal and succession. it was henry who deprived mary of her personal staff, henry who denied mary permission to attend the funeral of katherine of aragon and refused to let her have a few objects of value from her mother.
lady shelton was, in fact, ordered to deliver this message to mary by henry viii, according to chapuys:
“The King, for his pains, told him he was not loyal to him, and that all he said was in behalf of the Princess’s desire to go to her mother; but he would take good care not to send her thither, for, the Queen being so haughty in spirit, she might, by favor of the Princess, raise a number of men, and make war, as boldly as did queen Elizabeth (Isabella) her mother. There was no thought of the King seeing the said Princess or sending her a word of consolation. On the contrary, word was sent by her gouvernante that he had no worse enemy in the world than her, and that she was the cause of mischief to the greater number of Christian princes, and the King declared publicly that her conduct was calculated to encourage conspiracy against him.”
according to chapuys, anne even wrote to lady shelton herself asking to cease any ill treatment that might have occurred (or basically, at least not to push her further) and relates a copy of anne boleyn’s words:
Mrs. Shelton, my pleasure is that you do not further move the lady Mary to be towards the King’s Grace otherwise than it pleases herself. What I have done has been more for charity than for anything the King or I care what road she takes, or whether she will change her purpose, for if I have a son, as I hope shortly, I know what will happen to her; and therefore, considering the Word of God, to do good to one’s enemy, I wished to warn her before hand, because I have daily experience that the King’s wisdom is such as not to esteem her repentance of her rudeness and unnatural obstinacy when she has no choice.
By the law of God and of the King, she ought clearly to acknowledge her error and evil conscience if her blind affection had not so blinded her eyes that she will see nothing but what pleases herself. Mrs. Shelton, I beg you not to think to do me any pleasure by turning her from any of her wilful courses, because she could not do me [good] or evil; and do your duty about her according to the King’s command, as I am assured you do.
the only source i’ve been able to find that’s said mary’s placement in hatfield at all was anne’s choice is alison weir’s the lady in the tower, saying anne ‘vindictively insisted she wait on her’…unfortunately, like a lot of weir’s nonfiction work, it provides no citation or source for this passage.
what makes me think that the mistreatment stemmed from henry is that it didn’t lessen after the execution of anne boleyn, but in fact worsened:
“On 15th June 1536, King Henry VIII sent members of his council, led by Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, to visit Mary at Hunsdon. The aim of the visit was to persuade Mary into accepting her father as supreme head of the Church in England, and acknowledging that she was not the legitimate heir to the throne. However, their idea of persuasion amounted to bullying. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, recorded the visit of the council members in a letter to Emperor Charles V:
‘To induce her to obey his commands and accede to his wishes, the King sent to her a deputation composed of the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Sussex (Robert Radcliffe), the bishop of Chester (Roland Lee), and several others, whom she literally confounded by her very wise and prudent answers to their intimation. Upon which, finding that they could not persuade her, one of them said that since she was such an unnatural daughter as to disobey completely the King’s injunctions, he could hardly believe (said the interlocutor) that she was the King’s own bastard daughter. Were she his or any other man’s daughter, he would beat her to death, or strike her head against the wall until he made it as soft as a boiled apple; in short that she was a traitress, and would be punished as such. Many other threats of the same sort did the said deputies utter on the occasion, assisted in their task by the Princess’ governess, who happens to be the same as before, having then and there received orders not to allow the Princess to speak a word to any one, and to watch over her so that she should never be left alone by night or day.’”
the opinion is certainly valid, mine can mainly be summed up here.
it’s rumored that instructions were given to lady shelton to ‘box mary’s ears’ if she refused to obey, and chapuys accredited the words to anne. but otherwise; i’ve read nothing to confirm it.
because i’m aware of ives’ potential for bias (he greatly admires anne boleyn), i even looked for opinions from historians that seem to dislike her. g.w. bernard, who theorizes that anne was actually guilty of adultery, still says:
“all these accounts of humiliations and pressures that Mary was subjected to are readily believable, but whether Anne’s part in the them was quite as independent and as decisive as Chapuys suggested is open to some doubt: Henry may have been as responsible as Anne, perhaps more so.”
i certainly don’t think anne is a saint; i know she had a lot of flaws. and it’s okay to find find her interesting but not necessarily like her– there are plenty of figures i, personally find interesting without necessarily liking…
anyways! i am curious about the sources from which you read mary ‘was beaten and sworn at by the others at hatfield on orders from anne’. if you’d like to come off anon, i swear i don’t bite– and i’d be interested to read them if you’re interested in sharing! ❤️