History of the World According to the Movies: Part 21 – The Elizabethan Age

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From the historic travesty Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age where dramatic license runs wild and real history comes to die. I mean you’d be better learning real history from a Renaissance Fair than in this historic disasterpiece. Yet, like Braveheart, this got Oscar nominations nevertheless. Also, there’s no way in hell Elizabeth looked like that in her fifties.

Of course, my last post didn’t cover the whole Tudor age since Hollywood makes a lot of movies in this era since the Tudors produced both Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. However, between their, Henry VIII’s other children Edward VI and Mary I also ruled England for those eleven years which were eventful but short. Nevertheless, Elizabeth I ascended the throne 1558 and would rule for over forty years which would signal the English Renaissance in its full flower. England soon became interested in settling colonies in the Americas with Roanoke (which failed), Shakespeare wrote his plays, the Church of England as we know it began to take shape, Mary, Queen of Scots lost her head, and the English defeated the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth I was an astute monarch who helped bring England onto the world stage and led a true golden age. However, she never married and died childless which meant that her throne went to the King of Scotland at the time named James VI (I’ll get to this somehow). Nevertheless, this post will be long since one Indian director made a couple of films called Elizabeth and Elizabeth: the Golden Age that offend me both as a Catholic, a film lover, and history buff, which I should list accordingly. Apparently these were very popular in Great Britain but do make me worried since I believe filmmakers should have at least some concern with facts like people’s life dates for instance. Shekhar Kapur apparently seems to take as much of a dramatic license as Mel Gibson. Still, here are some of the movie inaccuracies from the Elizabethan Age.

Edward and Mary:

Edward VI:

Edward VI was sickly child all his life. (He was said to be good in health until a teenage bout with measles which weakened his immune system.)

The Duke of Northumberland pressured a dying Edward VI to have his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey succeed him. (Lady Jane’s succession was Edward’s own idea dating before his final illness so he could stop the Catholic Mary from getting the throne. Yet, the marriage between Lady Jane and Guilford Dudley was the Duke of Northumberland’s idea.)

Edward VI died of tuberculosis. (He died of a chest infection but we’re not sure whether it was TB or not.)

Lady Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley:

Guilford Dudley was a virgin with a passion for social justice and he and Lady Jane actually loved each other. (In reality, he was a total asshole who had a temper tantrum when Jane refused to make him king after her coronation. They hated each other and Jane never wanted to marry Guilford in the first place. She was so repelled by him that their marriage was never consummated and she refused to see him on the night before his execution. I’m sorry, but that Lady Jane movie starring Cary Elwes and Helena Bonham Carter is just a load a crap because Guilford and Jane’s relationship was anything but a romantic love story. Rather, it was a match made in hell {and definitely their parents’ idea}. )

Lady Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley lived as man and wife in their own house. (Though they did get married, they never lived as a married couple the short time they were together {Jane was obliged to live with her in-laws and became convinced they were trying to murder her}. Jane would be crowned a month after their wedding {and would refuse Guilford to be crowned king}. Nine days later, they’d both be in prison in separate towers, never to contact each other again. Of course, their marriage would’ve been a disaster anyway.)

The Wyatt Rebellion was a plot to put Jane Grey back on the throne. (It was a plot to put Elizabeth on the throne.)

Guilford Dudley was youngest of three sons. (He was the youngest of five sons who’ve all survived to adulthood.)

Jane Grey was a precocious and talented scholar with zeal for social reform. (Yes, she was a very intelligent young lady. However, monarchs were never interested in social reform during the 1500s. In fact, those interested in social reform were commoners, who were executed trying to instill it by themselves.)

Lady Jane Grey didn’t want to marry Lord Guilford Dudley because she was in love with Edward VI. (She was actually in love with a guy named Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. That and the fact Dudley was a total jerk she had nothing in common with.)

Mary I:

Mary Tudor was fat. (She was said to be rail thin at least until cancer bloated her. Her and Elizabeth weren’t considered very attractive, especially toward the ends of their reigns.)

Mary I was a cruel tyrant who was worthy of her “Bloody Mary” nickname. (She executed less people than anyone else in her dynasty. She was mostly hated for marrying Philip II. Also, she was capable of inspiring great loyalty, especially to her friends and servants.)

Mary I died from a phantom pregnancy. (She died from cancer three years after experiencing a false pregnancy {which might have been a tumor that caused recurring abdominal swelling}.)

Princess Elizabeth:

Robert Dudley was with Elizabeth when she was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. (He was already in prison by this time with his four brothers since his brother Guilford was married to Lady Jane Grey. Yet, all the Dudley brothers save Guilford {who’d be executed} would all be released by 1555.)

Elizabeth was under house arrest at Hatfield for four years. (It was at Woodstock, but I doubt if there was brown acid there.)

Elizabeth was addressed as “Princess Elizabeth” during the reign of her half-sister. (She had been declared a bastard and stripped of that title.)

Princess Elizabeth’s first crush was Lord Thomas Seymour yet she was a knowing nymphet who tempted him. (Her first crush was probably her childhood friend Robert Dudley. Still, Elizabeth did live with Catherine Parr after she married Thomas Seymour who she had been in love with throughout her marriage to Henry VIII. However, her relationship with Thomas Seymour at the time bordered more on sexual abuse. I mean the guy would go into Elizabeth’s room half-naked every morning chasing her around the bed and spanking her butt {for non-disciplinary reasons} as well as even tried to kiss her at least once. Oh, and Elizabeth was 14 at the time. Nevertheless, Elizabeth tried getting up early so she would already be dressed when he turned up. Thus, she was certainly not that into him at all. Also, Catherine Parr was once seen to have held Elizabeth fast while Seymour ripped the girl’s dress apart. Still, in Young Bess, they seem to make Seymour’s attentions on her seem to be the result of Elizabeth’s tempting him, which weren’t.)

Others:

Bishop Stephen Gardiner was a Catholic fanatic who had people in his diocese executed and supported Mary I’s marriage to Philip II. (He was considered a moderate who didn’t have anyone executed and actually opposed Mary I marrying Philip II.)

The Duke of Norfolk was a Catholic conspiracy plotter who urged Mary I to kill Elizabeth before she succeeded the throne. (The Duke of Norfolk was vague about his religion and never considered himself other than Anglican and only got involved in the conspiracies against Elizabeth much later.)

John Fekenham was an old man when he tried to convert Jane Grey to Catholicism. (He was only in his thirties.)

Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer were burned with an unnamed woman. (They weren’t executed with anyone else.)

Elizabethan Age:

Elizabeth I:

Elizabeth I received a marriage proposal from Henry Duke of Anjou. (He never met and never proposed to her. Also, he was married to someone else.)

Elizabeth I was a major slut. (If she was, she had a clever way of hiding it even though many reputable historians continue to assert that she was a virgin for various reasons or that she wasn’t sexually active during her reign. First, she knew if it could be proven that she wasn’t a virgin, she would lose all her power. Second, she wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to have sex since she was constantly surrounded by maids, courtiers, and other servants as well as had several bed maids so she never slept alone. Besides, she had no way of being certain which of these people were spies for one of her many enemies and could destroy her with a report of any sexual indiscretion. Not to mention, many historians said she was too politically savvy to be caught with her pants down, unlike like some politicians today. Thus, there’s pretty much a plausible historical case that Queen Bess wasn’t getting any.)

Elizabeth I met Mary, Queen of Scots. (They never met in person. Still, Mary, Queen of Scots would later have a grandson who’d suffer the same fate for different reasons.)

Elizabeth I cut her hair to show she was a virgin. (She didn’t and wore a wig to hide her thinning and graying hair as well as wore make up to conceal her smallpox scars, which she did later in her reign.)

Elizabeth I reprimanded a council member for divorcing twice. (Obtaining a divorce was almost impossible at the time {and Henry VIII knew that very well, though he wasn’t technically seeking a divorce}.)

Elizabeth I consulted with Dr. John Dee on matters around the time of the Spanish Armada. (He was abroad at the time and would return after the Spanish Armada.)

Men in Elizabeth I’s court wore long cloaks and carried swords in the Queen’s presence. (Weapons were forbidden in court {except by the Royal Guard} and Elizabeth I had banned long cloaks in case an assassin was hiding a weapon under it.)

Elizabeth I never married over her love for Robert Dudley. (Sure it’s very likely Robert Dudley was the love of her life. However, there are several explanations for this and she probably had other reasons not to marry Dudley other than him having a wife or two. Not only that, but the time when Dudley was in between marriages she chose not to. This might’ve been due to the fact that Dudley’s first wife died under suspicious circumstances which didn’t help his reputation. Also, the cult of the Virgin Queen wasn’t used to full effect until over 20 years after she became queen with her last serious marriage proposal. Thus, it was much more likely that Elizabeth I chose not to marry because staying single was good politics as well as being a Protestant queen in the 16th century didn’t provide her with a lot of options in the marriage market.)

Elizabeth I was a calculating and vicious queen. (She was actually quite intelligent and charming.)

Elizabeth I was the same age as Henri III. (She was 18 years older than him.)

Elizabeth I set up Lord Darnley with Mary, Queen of Scots. (She forbade the match since Mary and Darnley were half-cousins.)

Elizabeth I wore a suit of armor. (She never did.)

Elizabeth I’s funeral procession was led on the frozen Thames. (She died in the spring of 1603.)

The Pope excommunicated Elizabeth I early in her reign which made her a fair target for Catholic assassins. (He excommunicated her in 1570 which severed official Roman Catholic ties to England {not an act by British bishops who really had no say anyway}. Still, Elizabeth I didn’t really care about what her people believed in as long as they didn’t do anything treasonous. Her 1570 excommunication only made Elizabeth I more likely to execute Catholics only because she didn’t want them to be more loyal to the Pope than her.)

Elizabeth I was almost assassinated during the river pageant early in her reign. (This happened in 1578 but it was a salute gone wrong and no one was killed.)

Elizabeth I was a dimwitted nymphomaniac as a young woman. (She was neither since she was a very competent ruler as well as an intellectually distinguished woman of her age who knew the value of keeping it in her pants.)

Elizabeth I’s relationship with Robert Dudley was physically abusive. (Tempestuous and fascinating in power balance maybe, but it was never physically abusive.)

Elizabeth I was reluctant to see the Earl of Essex beheaded. (She was a lot more keen than she was in Elizabeth and Essex.)

Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester:

Sir Robert Dudley was a traitor, a conspirator, and a Catholic convert who was banished for being involved in a Catholic plot. (Dudley was a devoted Puritan and remained faithful to his Queen throughout his life. Oh, and he was banished because of a scandal over the mysterious death of his wife Amy who fell down the stairs under suspicious circumstances.)

Elizabeth I didn’t know that the Earl of Leicester was married. (She attended his wedding. Also, he married his first wife while Elizabeth’s dad was still king and they both knew each other since they were kids.)

Sir Robert Dudley was not present in the Tilbury camp during the Spanish Armada Crisis. (He was a Lieutenant General during the whole affair and would die shortly after. Oh, and Elizabeth I actually took his death hard.)

Robert Dudley had an affair with Lettice Knollys. (She was married to Walter Devereux and had many children with him including Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex another favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. Oh, and she married Robert Dudley in 1578.)

Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley:

Sir William Cecil was old enough to be Elizabeth I’s dad. (He was only 13 years older than her.)

Sir William Cecil was made Lord Burghley when Elizabeth I retired him. (She ennobled him as a reward for his services 13 years into her reign and he remained her most loyal adviser until his death.)

Lord Burghley was alive around the time of the Earl of Essex’s execution in 1601. (He died in 1598.)

Sir Francis Walsingham:

Sir Francis Walsingham was a ruthless and scheming middle aged man who killed a young boy, was a proponent of torture and sexually ambiguous. (He was only a few years older than her and wasn’t much of a schemer as he’s depicted in the Cate Blanchett movie nor did he ever kill a young boy {or anyone}. Oh, and he wasn’t a key figure in English politics until after he was recalled from France since he spent his early years in court as a servant to Sir William Cecil. On a personal note, he was very religious, happily married, and had a daughter who married Sir Philip Sidney and Robert Devereux. Still, he was a proponent of torture.)

Elizabeth I visited Sir Francis Walsingham when he was dying. (She let him die in poverty and simply didn’t visit him.)

Francis Walsingham had trapped and executed the Duke of Norfolk. (Walsingham was in France when Norfolk was executed.)

Francis Walsingham locked up six bishops to guarantee passage of the Act of uniformity to secure the Queen’s act, which won by five votes. (No such action ever took place {actually Sir William Cecil got them to agree through more complex means}. According to Movie Mistakes Cecil, “effectively became the first government whip, using many techniques, the most important being a procedural device that limited debate to that which was justified by Scripture alone. The Catholic MP’s walked out in protest. The two ringleaders of the protest were taken to the Tower of London.” Also, Elizabethan bishops didn’t wear black mitres either.)

The Babington Plot:

Alvaro de la Quadra was assassinated in retaliation for the Babington Plot. (He died in 1564, 22 years before the Babington plot ever took place.)

The Babington Plot ended with Anthony Babington aiming a pistol at Elizabeth I in St. Paul’s Cathedral. (It was thwarted in the planning stages and was one of the main reasons Mary, Queen of Scots was executed.)

The Spanish Armada:

The English lost ships during their clash with the Spanish Armada. (No single ship was lost.)

The Spanish Armada battle took place off the coast of England. (It was off the coast of France.)

The English defeat of the Spanish Armada was due to the English navy efforts. (The Spanish Armada campaign was disastrously mismanaged {by the Spanish} yet they could’ve won easily as the English ran out of ammo. Yet, they were shipwrecked by powerful storms off the West coast of Ireland.)

William Shakespeare:

Shakespeare’s inspiration Viola was a woman who aspired to be an actress in one of his plays. (The romance of Shakespeare in Love never happened. Also, he may have been bisexual since his sonnets focus on a young boy and a Dark Lady.)

Macbeth was performed before Hamlet. (Hamlet was performed before Macbeth.)

Shakespeare didn’t author his plays but was given them by Edward de Vere. (There’s some debate over this but it’s plausible. Also, a PBS special argued this quite convincingly. My guess is these guys probably collaborated.)

Richard III was played on the eve of the Essex Rebellion. (It was Richard II.)

William Shakespeare wrote the King James Bible. (It’s very likely he didn’t, but if he did, he wasn’t the sole collaborator.)

Sir Walter Raleigh:

Sir Walter Raleigh was the hero of the English Campaign against the Spanish Armada. (Sir Francis Drake was since it was his moment of triumph. Raleigh was kept in Ireland at that time on special business.)

Elizabeth I knighted Sir Walter Raleigh to keep him in England and against his will. (It was a reward for his services. Also, he was knighted on a ship and not against his will.)

Sir Walter Raleigh was a pirate who was imprisoned around the time of the Spanish Armada. (Drake was the pirate. Also, Raleigh only was imprisoned by Elizabeth I several years after the Spanish Armada.)

Sir Walter Raleigh had an easily understandable accent. (His strong West Country accent made it difficult for some courtiers to understand him and made him an object of ridicule. For instance, Elizabeth I called him “Water” because of it. Also, Drake had the same accent.)

Sir Walter Raleigh had an affair with Bess Throckmorton around the time of the Spanish Armada. (This happened three years after the English defeated the fleet. Oh, and she was secretly married to him as well as had his child. Not to mention, Elizabeth I didn’t know about Raleigh’s secret marriage and family until several months after his child Damerei was born. The infant died during Raleigh’s imprisonment in the Tower of London.)

Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Europe. (The Spanish Conquistadors did in 1570 while Raleigh was at Oxford, which were cultivated in Peru for thousands of years. Francisco Pizzaro would’ve been a better candidate.)

Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco to Europe. (Maybe in England but the person who introduced tobacco to Europe was actually Christopher Columbus himself. In fact, it had already been considered a wonder drug as well as smoked when Raleigh was six years old.)

Sir Walter Raleigh discovered “Virginia” which he named after Elizabeth I. (Sure he sent a mission to establish a settlement in Roanoke Island around 1584 {which failed and is off the coast of today’s North Carolina} but he never set foot in the New World. Also “Virginia” was derived by the name of the Roanoke chief “Wingina” which was modified by Queen Elizabeth I to “Virginia.”)

Sir Walter Raleigh returned home from Virginia. (The first successful English colony in Virginia was founded as Jamestown in 1607, four years after Elizabeth I died. Seriously?)

Sir Walter Raleigh was cool, sardonic, and proud. (He was 19 years younger than Elizabeth I as well as a major suck up constantly seeking more financial rewards from the queen to finance his lavish wardrobe. Also, he had a pair of gem encrusted shoes worth £6000 at the time {and would make Imelda Marcos look like a cheapskate}. Also, he’d probably not cover mud puddles with his cloak for her since he may not have wanted to get shit all over it.)

Elizabeth I put Sir Walter Raleigh in jail for marrying one of her ladies in waiting. (Yes, but Throckmorton was forbidden to enter a relationship without the queen’s approval. Raleigh and Throckmorton were in a relationship and had a baby together before the queen knew anything about it.)

Sir Walter Raleigh and his wife spent the rest of their lives in the New World. (They remained in England for the rest of their lives. Also, even after Walter’s execution in 1618, it’s said Bess had his disembodied head embalmed and kept it in her house until she died. Sometimes it’s said she even showed it off to dinner guests.)

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex:

The Earl of Essex and Elizabeth I had a romantic relationship. (Historians interpreted it as a mother-son relationship, grand romance, or both.)

The Earl of Essex was an advocate of freedom and democracy. (Sure he was popular, but he wouldn’t be any advocate for democracy or freedom.)

The Earl of Essex showed up with an army to take Elizabeth I’s throne. (He only came by himself and covered in mud. Also, his rebellion was more of a temper tantrum.)

Others:

Kat Astley was the same age as Elizabeth I. (She was 30 years older than her and served as her governess as well as the closest thing she had to a mom at the time.)

Robert Cecil was a supercilious counselor at Elizabeth I’s court. (He was her chief counselor whom she’d refer to as “my dwarf” since he was small and had a curved spine.)

Bishop Stephen Gardiner, the Earl of Arundel, and the Duke of Sussex were executed for plotting against Elizabeth I. (Gardiner died before Elizabeth took the throne, the Earl of Arundel was sentenced to the Tower of London and died in prison, and the Duke of Sussex was a loyal supporter of hers who was never implicated in any plots or executed.)

Sir Thomas Elyot was drowned by Ballard for being a reverse mole. (He died on his Cambridgeshire estates in 1546.)

The Duke of Norfolk was a cold, power-hungry, and calculating mastermind Catholic in his thirties trying to overthrow Queen Elizabeth. (Yes, he was involved in plots to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I which consisted of marrying Mary, Queen of Scots {without the Queen’s permission} and the Babington Plot {these happened within 14 years apart from each other}. However, he was just a naïve and gullible co-conspirator. Oh, and he was 22 year old Protestant {as we know} when Elizabeth succeeded the throne but was 36 at his execution. Interestingly, he was also Elizabeth’s first cousin through her mother’s side. As one blogger noted, “Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, came from a long line of men with a tendency for pissing off the monarch and getting imprisoned or executed, and decided not to break with tradition.”)

John Ballard was a co-conspirator in the Ridolfi plot with the Duke of Norfolk. (He wasn’t but he was considered an initiator in the Babington Plot and was executed for his involvement in it in 1586. Oh, and he was a Jesuit.)

Lettice Knollys died by a poison dress meant for Elizabeth I. (She outlived Elizabeth by 31 years.)

Christopher Marlowe was alive in 1598. (He died in 1593.)

Ben Jonson’s dad was a glass maker. (He was clergyman while his stepdad was a bricklayer.)

Francis Drake brought potatoes to the Old World. (The Spanish brought them from Peru.)

Men in the Elizabethan era used rapiers as a weapon of choice. (They despised it, and preferred good old long swords.)

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History of the World According to the Movies: Part 20 – Tudor England

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I can never think of a better movie featuring Tudor England than A Man for All Seasons which is about the the story of Saint Sir Thomas More who refused to go along with his friend Henry VIII and lost his head for it. Of course, you may think that Robert Shaw’s Henry VIII is too buff but he would’ve actually looked very much like this at the time. He only got fat later in life. Still, let’s just say More wasn’t as saintly as he’s portrayed in here by Paul Scofield.

When Henry Tudor killed Richard III during the Battle of Bosworth Field, he ascended the English throne and started a new dynasty that was to last a little over a century as well as ended the Wars of the Roses. Sort of. Henry Tudor became Henry VII, married Elizabeth of York which not only was a perfectly arranged marriage producing four children but was also a good policy move securing his place on the throne, had successfully handled two pretenders to the throne, and made England in better shape than before. Unfortunately, Hollywood thinks doing a movie about his life would be very boring subject since everyone best knows him for being the father of one of more famous despots in history, Henry VIII. Now we all know that this guy was that he broke away from the Roman Catholic Church after Pope Clement VII refused to give him an annulment from his wife who failed to give him a son. Of course, many don’t know that Pope Clement was in no place to give him one anyway since Henry VIII was married to Catherine of Aragon, whose nephew Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was holding the pontiff hostage. Henry’s also best known for marrying six times (with their fates being divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) as well as beheading two of them (one of them being Queen Elizabeth’s mother whose beheading was a setup). Also, he’s dissolved monasteries to pay for his foreign wars and self-enrichment as well as executing a whole bunch of people including many of his friends who wouldn’t go along with him on some things (I’m talking to you Thomas More). Oh, and he’s known for being fat. Still, Henry VIII is a very interesting historical subject for filmmakers and there are plenty of movies taking place in his reign. However, there are things about movies set in Tudor England that contain inaccuracies, which I shall list.

Tudor England:

Everyone spelled their name and everything else the same way all the time. (There were no standard spelling system at this time.)

The Tudor Rose was an actual rose. (It was a heraldic emblem of the unification of the houses of Lancaster and York.)

English Protestants were good guys while Spanish and British Catholics were absolutely bad. (Neither side was no better than anyone else.)

Henry VIII:

Henry VIII was a fat and villainous king. (He was once a relatively kind and generous ruler as well as fairly buff and handsome until right before the end of his marriage with Anne Boleyn. Of course, his Tudor diet, leg ulcers, and jousting accident took a toll on him both physically and mentally. In fact, his jousting accident might’ve been the start of his decline into the fat bearded despot we know since Anne Boleyn miscarried and was executed after that incident on trumped charges.)

Henry VIII was an intellectual cypher, possessed with low cunning. (He was something of an intellectual with a real appreciation for high culture.)

Henry VIII’s Church of England was Protestant. (He’d execute you if you’d say that because he absolutely loathed Protestantism. Also, his church was just a separation of England from Rome and dissolved monasteries just to get cash to finance a war in France as well as land and goods.)

Henry VIII sought an annulment from the Pope just so he could divorce his wife. (He wanted to disinherit his daughter, Mary and assure that there was no way she would ever become Queen. It didn’t work.)

Saint Sir Thomas More:

Saint Sir Thomas More was witty and used clean language. (Yes, he was witty but his writings on Martin Luther have him call the guy a “pimp” or an “arse” and claimed his mouth was “a shit-pool of all shit.” He also said Luther celebrated Mass in a lavatory, and listed four type of ordure he was filled with consisting of {merda, stercus, lutum and coenum [all Latin for shit and dirt]}. In some ways, he sometimes talked as if he was a character in a 16th century version of The Wire. Still, too bad, they couldn’t include that in A Man for All Seasons since it was made in the 1960s{it would’ve been so much more entertaining}.)

Saint Sir Thomas More was a good Catholic of purity and principle who refused to recognize Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon and refused to break with the Catholic Church and paid it with his life. (Yes, he refused to recognize Henry’s church, divorce, and remarriage, and that’s what got him killed. Actually, as a good Catholic in his day, well, that’s difficult to determine. Loyal and faithful, yes, but he wasn’t the kind of guy who’d let his daughter marry a Protestant, for he was a vigorous opponent of Protestantism {and thought heretics should be burned at the stake}. Though he remained Catholic, he also believed that a council of bishops should be superior to the pope in authority or do without a pope altogether and was buddies with Thomas Cromwell and Erasmus of Rotterdam.)

Saint Sir Thomas More owned a yellow Labrador retriever. (The ones with the features we see today weren’t even bred yet.)

King Henry VIII needed Saint Sir Thomas More’s endorsement. (He just wanted it for the prestige since he liked people agreeing with him on these things. Cramner and Cromwell had already assured he had ample ground for annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.)

Saint Sir Thomas More railed against Cardinal Wolsey. (He wasn’t anything but a docile servant to him on both public and private matters since he counted on the guy for advancement. He never did anything to offend Wolsey until after the cardinal failed to gain acceptance of the king’s annulment {in which More responded with a cruel and vindictive tirade of him during his maiden speech as Lord Chancellor in front of Parliament} and thus, fell from grace.)

Saint Sir Thomas More only had a daughter and was married once. (He had four kids as well as a stepdaughter and was married twice {and Dame Alice wasn’t the mother of his kids and her daughter wasn’t his}. Also, he had various foster kids, too. However, he did believe in giving his daughters a full formal education.)

The Duke of Norfolk conspired against Saint Sir Thomas More because he wanted his job. (Maybe, but he was also Anne Boleyn’s uncle at the time as well.)

Thomas Cromwell played an active role in Saint Sir Thomas More’s execution. (His role in executing More is unclear. Still, despite that Cromwell was a Protestant and was no fan of religious toleration either, the strongly Catholic Sir Thomas More and his family didn’t have much against him personally. William Roper was on friendly terms with Cromwell before More’s trial and remained with him afterward. Not to mention, a year after More’s death, Cromwell is said stand as godfather to William and Margaret Roper’s child and they remained Catholics for the rest of their lives. They may have been rivals and might’ve been in different religious camps, but they weren’t exactly enemies.)

Richard Rich committed vicious perjury against Saint Sir Thomas More. (It’s highly unlikely he did this maliciously since he was guy willing to bend by every wind. Also, what he said against More was much less malicious.)

William Roper:

William Roper was Protestant when he married Margaret More. (His flirtation with Lutheranism happened after he and Margaret were married. Also, Thomas More would’ve been absolutely furious if any of his kids married a guy he knew was a Protestant.)

William Roper was a model son-in-law for Thomas More, despite his religious views. (Sure he wrote a glowing biography of the man, but he also fell out with Dame Alice after More’s execution and repeatedly sued her for his lands as a quarrelsome and litigious man.)

William and Margaret Roper weren’t married prior to Sir Thomas More’s appointment as Lord Chancellor and had no kids prior to his death. (William and Margaret married in 1521, More was appointed Lord Chancellor 8 years later. Also, they had at least 3 kids by the time More died in 1535.)

Catherine of Aragon:

Catherine of Aragon and Princess Mary were able to see each other while Anne Boleyn was queen. (They were forbidden from seeing each other, thanks to Henry VIII.)

Catherine of Aragon didn’t have a sexual relationship with Prince Arthur. (Well, she claimed this, but there’s debate about this. Yet, her previous marriage to Henry VIII’s brother was one of the reasons why Henry VIII wanted to divorce her since he believed marrying his brother’s widow was the reason he wasn’t getting an heir.)

Catherine of Aragon was Spanish who had dark eyes and hair. (Yes, but she didn’t have the Mediterranean features associated with most Spanish people. Rather she was a redhead with blue eyes and alabaster skin and so were the old Spanish families. Thus, she probably looked more like Conan O’Brien than Irene Papas.)

Henry VIII was devoted to Catherine of Aragon before the Boleyn sisters. (Henry had at least one out of wedlock son to one of Catherine’s maid before Mary or Anne showed up. Also, he was known to be unfaithful to his mistresses as well as his wives.)

Mary Boleyn:

Henry VIII had a child with Anne Boleyn’s sister Mary before they got together. (Mary Boleyn probably was Henry VIII’s mistress but it’s highly unlikely that she had a child by him for Henry VIII didn’t acknowledge either of her two children. She was also married to another guy so Henry VIII may not have even known whether either of her kids were his or not. Her husband was more likely the father anyway.)

Mary Boleyn was blushing virgin who loved Henry VIII and only wanted a quiet life in the country while her sister Anne was evil and ambitious. (Actually, Mary Boleyn had a reputation as “The Great Prostitute,” and was married by the time of her alleged affair with Henry VIII. She was even allegedly a mistress to the King of France for three years. Also, she was recalled from the French court because her behavior there was scandalous to them that she was sent home in disgrace. Oh, and there’s no indication that Mary was unwilling to sleep with Henry VIII either. Anne Boleyn, on the other hand, only slept with one guy in her entire life. Still, she supported charities, sheltered Protestants, promoting artistic endeavors, and showed an unusually keen interest in Elizabeth’s upbringing. She also secured a respectable pension for her sister and sent her nephew to a Cistercian monastery for his education.)

Mary Boleyn lived happily ever after and married Sir William Stafford for love. (She died barely nine years into her marriage with him with her younger children being seven and eight. Oh, and she was banished by the English court to Rochford Hall for marrying Stafford since a common soldier was below her social station as well as got disowned by her family for good. Of course, exile was probably a blessing for her despite that she was never allowed to travel to London or France {though she wanted to return there}. )

Henry VIII trusted Mary Boleyn over her sister. (When Mary’s husband died, Henry VIII gave guardianship of her two-year-old son to Anne because he was worried about her “easy virtue.”)

Mary Boleyn was heartbroken when Henry VIII dumped her for her sister. (She and Henry VIII had been on the outs for years so she wasn’t too upset he was seeing her sister.)

Mary Boleyn pleaded for her siblings’ lives. (By this point, Mary absolutely had no influence on the king even though she tried to seek his favor for her second husband through highly placed people of court. She didn’t visit her siblings in prison nor wrote or communicated with them in any way since she had been kicked out of court for marrying a common soldier.)

Mary Boleyn was banished from her family for being a threat to Henry VIII’s affection. (Her family disowned her because she married a guy below her station.)

Mary Boleyn seized Princess Elizabeth from the palace and carried her off to raise in the countryside. (For one, Elizabeth was 2 or 3 at the time. Second, the Boleyns practically disowned her over her marrying William Stafford years ago. Third, I’m sure kidnapping the king’s daughter would’ve led to execution and she died in 1544. Fourth, we all know that Elizabeth lived in her father’s palace until his death when she was 14. After that, she went to live with Thomas Seymour and Catherine Parr, which wasn’t a happy time in her life.)

Anne Boleyn:

Anne Boleyn was obsessed with wanting Elizabeth to become queen. (She was more worried about her daughter being exiled or killed or perhaps being executed herself.)

Anne Boleyn initially rejected Henry VIII before she gave in. (Anne Boleyn would’ve done no such thing nor would any of Henry VIII’s other wives since it was a great way to improve their families’ status and gain considerable influence. Also, she wouldn’t refuse him with accusations nor criticize the king in front of his face since that could get any noble thrown out of court as well as in a lot of trouble {look at all the buddies Henry VIII beheaded like Saint Sir Thomas More}. Of course, for such behavior, Henry VIII probably would’ve punished her by having her marry some lord in Ireland as well as forcing her to move away from all the sophistication and attention she craved. Not to mention, at least two of Henry VIII’s six wives were in love with other men and still accepted his marriage proposal. A royal marriage was a goal for many noble women in the sixteenth century.)

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn married in a public ceremony. (They married in secret because according to some people and the Catholic Church, he was still technically married to Catherine of Aragon.)

Henry VIII raped Anne Boleyn in which Elizabeth I was conceived. (Their pre-marital sexual encounter was most likely consensual though Anne was pregnant at the time of their wedding. Henry VIII may not have been a nice guy, but he’d never force himself on anyone sexually like that.)

Anne Boleyn wasn’t a virgin when she met Henry VIII. (If she wasn’t, she’d have kept that fact to herself. However, if she wasn’t, she certainly didn’t sleep with as many guys as her sister did {since she was the one who had a reputation for sluttiness}.)

Anne Boleyn forced Henry VIII to leave Catherine of Aragon. (She refused to sleep with him until he was free to marry again {though the no-sex rule may have been Henry’s decision since he was trying to make nice with the pope and didn’t want any girlfriends popping out bastards} but the idea of an annulment had been on his mind for quite some time since he was already obsessed with having a male heir.)

Anne Boleyn chose death so Elizabeth could become queen. (Elizabeth was removed from succession right after her mother’s execution. Few people in 1536 could’ve imagined she ended up queen.)

Anne Boleyn secretly married Henry Percy and was exiled to France when her parents found out. (She was secretly engaged to him since her father opposed the match yet it’s very unlikely that their relationship was ever consummated. Their relationship was broken up by Cardinal Wolsey, not Henry VIII. As for being in France, she and her sister were sent there for an education.)

Anne Boleyn didn’t love Henry VIII. (She probably did to some extent, though sometimes he didn’t seem like a loveable guy. Still, she pretty much remained faithful to him as his queen who did her best to please him despite getting screwed in the process. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.)

Anne Boleyn was cold, vindictive, vain, ruthlessly ambitious, and given to physical violence. (Ambitious, arrogant, and short-tempered, yes, but she was highly intelligent, politically astute, bilingual, artistically gifted, loyal to her family, and generous to her friends as well as known for her charm and elegance.)

Anne Boleyn was older than her sister Mary. (Anne was younger.)

Henry VIII lost interest in Anne Boleyn at the time of their wedding. (No, he had a long seven year courtship with her, a short affair, and a three year marriage. They didn’t have sex until shortly before their wedding. He lost interest in her after her second miscarriage thinking it was Catherine of Aragon all over again. Also, shortly before her second miscarriage, he had been involved in a jousting incident that might’ve sent him on a physical and mental decline so he wasn’t in the best of health either.)

Anne Boleyn was accused of incest with her brother. (She was also accused with adultery with several men including her brother and with high treason in plotting with one of her lovers to kill the king. All were trumped up of course, for Henry VIII needed an excuse to get rid of her so he could wed Jane Seymour.)

Anne Boleyn was in 18 years old when she met Henry VIII in 1527. (She was at least in her early twenties, maybe as old as 26.)

Henry VIII visited Anne Boleyn after her arrest and offered to a deal which would’ve given her freedom. (He didn’t and her marriage was annulled anyway with Elizabeth being declared a bastard like Mary. Not to mention, she was disallowed the right to question witnesses against her. Also, she had last seen Henry a joust a day before her arrest but the king never interfered with the proceedings at Anne’s trial. Still, Henry VIII offered no alternatives for Anne since she would’ve saved her own neck when given the chance.)

Anne Boleyn pressured Henry VIII to have Saint Sir Thomas More executed. (There’s no evidence from that period that suggests this.)

The debate between Catholicism vs. Protestantism killed Anne Boleyn. (It was actually two miscarriages and being arrested and executed under trumped charges that did her in.)

Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII were publicly disappointed when Elizabeth was born. (Well, they were disappointed but they didn’t show it in public. Of course, he rationalized that if Anne could give birth to a healthy girl, then she’d have a healthy boy. Well, Anne ended up having two miscarriages.)

Sir William Carey:

Sir William Carey was a merchant. (He was a notable courtier as well as one of king’s favorite Gentlemen of the Bedchamber {I’m not kidding on this, seriously} who she married around her affair with Henry VIII. Oh, and he attended the wedding and arranged the whole marriage himself.)

Sir William Carey originally wanted to marry Anne Boleyn but settled for Mary. (Anne was never considered as a marriage candidate for him. Also, it was Henry VIII who helped arrange the match between Mary and William in the first place.)

Anne of Cleves:

Anne of Cleves was ugly. (Most of Henry VIII’s contemporaries thought she was rather pleasant looking. Also, one courtier said she was Henry’s prettiest queen. Of course, she didn’t suit Henry’s preferences at the time.)

Anne of Cleves made herself unattractive in front of Henry VIII so she could be free to marry her sweetheart as well as won her freedom at a card game on her wedding night. (She was actually rather attractive and one of Henry’s prettiest queens. Yet, she was probably repulsed by the obese Henry from the start and there’s no evidence whether she had a boyfriend. Oh, and she didn’t win her freedom through a card game but consented to the divorce, giving her respectable settlement in return.)

Jane Seymour:

Jane Seymour died shortly after giving birth to Prince Edward. (Childbirth was the main cause of her death but she would survive Edward’s birth for a couple of weeks and she there for his christening.)

Henry VIII was devastated by Jane Seymour’s death. (Well, he did consider her the love of his life after she gave him what he had to wait 27 years for. However, contemporary reports say he was mildly upset that Jane’s death had disrupted his hunting plans. Besides, their relationship wasn’t the most ideal, especially by then.)

Others:

Cardinal Wolsey died as Lord Chancellor. (He died a year after he was stripped of this office.)

Princess Elizabeth had to talk Henry VIII out of arresting Catherine Parr by spotting a French naval ship. (Yes, Henry VIII did think about arresting Catherine Parr for her religious views on the advice of Bishop Gardiner. However, Catherine managed to talk her husband out of it, saving her own life.)

Anne and Mary Boleyn spoke in English accents. (They were raised in French and would’ve spoken in French accents.)

George Boleyn was gay as well as in love with Francis Weston but had designs on his sister Anne. (There’s no evidence of him having any kind of sexual orientation, yet he certainly didn’t commit incest with his sister.)

Thomas and Elizabeth Boleyn were devoid of their affection for their daughters and willing to use them as sexual pawns. (Well, it depended on the situation.)

Sir Thomas More’s father was dead prior to his Lord Chancellor appointment. (Sir John More was very much alive and died in 1531).

Katherine Howard fell in love with Thomas Culpeper after she married Henry VIII. (She was in love with Culpeper before marrying the king. She also had an affair with Francis Dereham before she ever met Henry.)