The Tudors Historical Inaccuracies Season 4
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FACT OR FICTION?
History buffs! Have you sniffed out a few historical inaccuracies within The Tudors drama? Whether minuscule or huge, catalogue them here to see how the show sizes up against British history.
Brief descriptions please - for more lengthy in-depth history
see characters profiles and other individual pages on Site Map
| According to The Tudors ||According to History|
|Charles Brandon is having marriage problems in season 4 and his wife has separated from him||Charles Brandon's marriage to Catherine Brandon seems to have been stable with no hint of extra-marital affairs in his later years.|
| Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey is in his mid forties and calls Queen Katherine Howard his niece. His hair is grey. || Henry Howard was Katherine Howard's cousin and was in his late 20's at this period of time. His hair was red.|
|The show shows Henry Howard attempting to either kill or abduct Prince Edward to make sure the Seymour's would not gain control after the death of the King.||In 1546, Surrey made the mistake of announcing his opinion of the obviousness of his father, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, becoming Protector to young Prince Edward. There is no evidence that he ever went after the Prince himself.|
|Henry Howard is condemned to be dragged through the streets to Tyburn where he was to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.||King Henry changed the sentence to beheading and he was executed on Tower Hill, in the Tower of London, the same place his cousin, Katherine Howard, and many others were executed.|
|In 1540, King Henry VIII tells ambassador Marillac that he is sorry to hear about the recent death of the dauphin.|| Francis III, Duke of Brittany and eldest son of King Francis I died in 1536. Four years before King Henry's marriage to Katherine Howard.|
Even Francis' 3rd and favourite son, Charles d'Angoulême, Duc d'Orléans died in 1545
|In 1546, Richard Rich informs Mary Tudor of Eustace Chapuys death.||Ambassador Chapuys actually died in 1556.|
| Anne Stanhope has an affair - or one night stand? - with her brother-in-law Thomas Seymour, and has a child she tells him is his - and implies the same to Edward. Actually, Anne's entire relationship with her husband is a historical inaccuracy spanning two seasons. |
Anne also named the child Thomas.
| Completely inaccurate; seems to be a rewrite of what happened with Edward Seymour's first wife Catherine Filiol. She had two sons that may or may not have been his, and rumor had it that her lover was Edward's own father. By contrast, Edward and Anne seem to have had quite a good relationship and there is no suggestion that she cheated on him.|
Edward Seymour had no children named Thomas (with either wife). He did, however, have four sons names Edward.
In Episode 3, It is intimated that Henry has a sexual affair with ex-wife, Anne of Cleves.
|In fact, though Anne was given a generous allowance and estates (once belonging to Thomas Cromwell) there is NO evidence that she ever had sexual relations with Henry after their divorce. They probably didn't have any when they were married either! All the evidence points to Anne spending her post-marriage life drinking English Ale and playing cards, at which she became quite skilled.|
| ||Henry's father Henry VII died in 1509 when Holbein was only 12 years old and he didn't appear in England until 1526. He did however, paint a dynastic portrait of both Henry's parents and Henry with Jane Seymour in 1536 as a mural but it was Henry himself who had commissioned it. Holbein had already painted several portraits of Henry including the one shown at the end of the series back in 1536. Hans Holbein died 4 years before Henry.|
|Catherine Parr is shown embracing and kissing Thomas Seymour before the death of her husband, Lord Latimer -- making it seem like the two were already a couple; planning their marriage.||There is no historical evidence that suggests that Catherine was unfaithful to any of her husbands or that marriage negotiations between Seymour and Catherine were taking place before the death of Lord Latimer.|
|Catherine Parr is first noticed by King Henry at the Christmas festivities after Thomas Seymour points to her.||By February 1543, Catherine Parr had established herself with Lady Mary after taking a position in her household. It was at this time that the King started to pay multiple daily visits to the Princess' household, paying close attention to Catherine.|
|Catherine Parr and King Henry VIII are married in a large church with numerous guests attending.||In actuality, King Henry VIII and Catherine Parr were married in a private ceremony within the Queen's privy chamber; only close confidants and family members were in attendance.|
|Katherine Howard has blondish hair and is very thin||There is no portrait that is known to be 100% authentically Katherine Howard but she is thought to have had auburn hair and to be pleasingly plump|
|King Henry VIII had grey hair throughout this season.||Henry never really went grey. His red hair faded and by the year 1536 was bald on top so by the end of his life, he would have been totally bald. (Source: Alison Weir's Henry VIII: the King and his court)|
|When she met Katherine Howard, Princess Elizabeth Tudor looked 14-15.||When Elizabeth met Katherine, she was 6 or 7|
Katherine Howard asks Henry about Anne of Cleves as though she had never met her before.
|In reality Katherine Howard was brought to court by Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk (most likely) as a lady in waiting to the Queen, Anne of Cleves. Anne knew who Katherine was and Katherine definitely knew who Anne was and they both dined with the king at Christmas 1540 when Kitty was now queen and Anne, was now known as Henry's sister.|
(David Starkey "The Six Wives of Henry VIII')