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tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 15 2010, 1:34 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 15 2010, 1:34 PM EDT
Season 4 certainly puts a huge spotlight on the somewhat obscure Lady Rochford. I have read her biography by Julia Fox, but need to reread, as season 4 has me more intrigued with her than Kitty Howard. Why did she help Kitty meet with Culpepper? My theory is that she suffered so much personally after George's beheading that she lost her mind. She had an unhappy marriage, then was a shunned widow in disgrace, had money problems, and was childless. She had no life. This was all Anne Boleyn's doing, but not intentionally. Could she have sought revenge on Katherine Howard as they were cousins? Or was she just unhinged from everything? Do you find this valuable?    
MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
1. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 15 2010, 2:19 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 15 2010, 2:19 PM EDT
"Season 4 certainly puts a huge spotlight on the somewhat obscure Lady Rochford. I have read her biography by Julia Fox, but need to reread, as season 4 has me more intrigued with her than Kitty Howard. Why did she help Kitty meet with Culpepper? My theory is that she suffered so much personally after George's beheading that she lost her mind. She had an unhappy marriage, then was a shunned widow in disgrace, had money problems, and was childless. She had no life. This was all Anne Boleyn's doing, but not intentionally. Could she have sought revenge on Katherine Howard as they were cousins? Or was she just unhinged from everything?"
well I don't think Lady Rochford had "no life"....she returned to court fairly soon after her husband's death because she was a lady in waiting to Jane Seymour and thanks to Thomas Cromwell, was awarded a better pension than she had previously. She was definitely one of the privileged since out of a court of about 800 - 1000 people, only approximately 100 were women. Being a lady in waiting was pretty much the only "career" job a woman could have back then. I think Julia Fox excuses her far too much. She was a major intriguer in my opinion. She even gave evidence that Anne of Cleves hadn't lost her virginity so that the marriage to the King could be annulled.

There's a few theories as to why she encouraged the relationship between Culpepper and Katherine. Antonia Fraser seems to think that Culpepper was looking to gain some power perhaps after the King's death by marrying his widow and Lady Rochford would want to be close to that kind of power. As to her insanity, it was thought she basically had a nervous breakdown under interrogation when she realized what was going to happen to her, which is understandable.
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Elliemental
Elliemental
2. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 15 2010, 2:26 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 15 2010, 2:26 PM EDT
Is Julia Fox's biography of Jane worth reading? I mean is there a lot of speculation in it, or has she actually found relliable sources and evidence to back up her theories on Jane?
I believe she had a bit of a meltdown after her arrest, but aparently got it togther before the actual execution, so it may not have been a full on mental breakdown.
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tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
3. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 15 2010, 3:32 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 15 2010, 3:32 PM EDT
TY as usual Ms Squirrly. I do think you are correct, in that Cromwell restored her position, but he was beheaded soon after, as the Seymour's had no love for Cromwell as to see him dead. Yes, I think she had a nervous breakdown under the interrogation, as it led to her husband's beheading. Guilt is a powerful force for insanity, and there were no drugs to help in those days. Poor woman, but she played the game, and survived a long time, considering the circumstances. Do you find this valuable?    
tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
4. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 15 2010, 3:41 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 15 2010, 3:41 PM EDT
I enjoyed the book immensely. I do think not a lot is known about her, and she was a key player in the arrest and execution of Anne and her husband George. A meltdown was probably inevitable, especially as Cromwell restored her, and he was quickly beheaded. Three beheadings in a short period was probably a strong contributer to a nervous breakdown. Julia Foxe's book was good, and I will reread it after my daughters wedding. How's the video coming?? I am waiting with anticipation. Don't be nervous, I'm thrilled anyone has even tried. I'm still so obsessed, and the completion would be thrilling on any level, but you are divine Ellie. ETR's spirit is pushing me to complete this task.
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Elliemental
Elliemental
5. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 4:34 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 4:34 AM EDT
"TY as usual Ms Squirrly. I do think you are correct, in that Cromwell restored her position, but he was beheaded soon after, as the Seymour's had no love for Cromwell as to see him dead. "
The Seymours married their sister off to Gregory Cromwell, so there was little or no animosity between them. Also, Cromwell was executed four years after Lady Rochford was restored.
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tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
6. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 5:18 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 5:18 AM EDT
I did not know this. In the show Gregory already has a baby, but they don't mention that he was married to Seymour's sister.I didn't know Jane had a sister. Boy, I have to get Wolf Hall, I'm sure it was mentioned in Fox's book, and I had forgotten as it was several years since I read it. Interesting. I still think she was unstable after such events 1  out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?    
Elliemental
Elliemental
7. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 5:41 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 5:42 AM EDT
"I did not know this. In the show Gregory already has a baby, but they don't mention that he was married to Seymour's sister.I didn't know Jane had a sister. Boy, I have to get Wolf Hall, I'm sure it was mentioned in Fox's book, and I had forgotten as it was several years since I read it. Interesting. I still think she was unstable after such events"
Wolf Hall is fiction. The best book on Cromwell is John Schofield's Thomas Cromwell: Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant.
Gregory Cromwell married Elizabeth Seymour in 1536, their first child (Henry) was born in 1537. If anything, the Seymours and Cromwell's were allied. Thomas Cromwell was executed in 1540.
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MyLadyGreensleeves
MyLadyGreensleeves
8. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 9:51 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 9:51 AM EDT
Do we really know how big a role Jane played in the affair, or whatever one wants to call it, between Katherine and Culpepper? There is a theory (which I think may be mentioned in Fox's book) that she may not have been as deeply involved as Katherine made her out to be, and was simply doing her mistress' bidding, as was her duty. Katherine had an obvious interest in claiming that she was 'led astray' and putting the blame on someone else, espeically someone lower in rank to her. So there is the possibility Jane was not as instrumental as she is oftne believed to be. 1  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
9. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:04 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:04 AM EDT
Of course, in the end it is Katherine's word against Jane's but if you look at Jane Rochford's history, she was no shrinking violet who just did as she was told. She had been at court since a young teen, starting out as a lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon so she was well versed in court politics. During Anne Boleyn's time as queen, she assisted Anne in having a lady removed from court because it seems the King had found her attractive. Then for whatever reason, fell out with Anne and actually took part in a women's march in London against Anne. Whether she broke under questioning or volunteered the information, her testimony to Cromwell was used against her former friend Anne and her own husband. She then manages quite easily to get Cromwell to assist her in getting both her pension increased and a place back at court serving the next queen Jane Seymour. After Jane Seymour's death, she gets a position with Anne of Cleves and is also involved in giving testimony that Henry and Anne never consummated their marriage which assisted the King in annulling another marriage. If you just look at all the intrigue she was involved in and that was probably only the tip of the iceberg since court life was full of people manouevering to gain positions and favour....she really does look like a bit of a schemer. Hence the reason , in my opinion, Julia Fox really does seem to make excuses in her speculations. 0  out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?    
MyLadyGreensleeves
MyLadyGreensleeves
10. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:11 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:11 AM EDT
I agree that Jane was no babe in the woods and even a sympathetic assesment of her life reveals her to be something of an intriguer. However, it's hard to see what she would have gained from setting up Katherine and Culpepper, and I think that's what mystifies a lot of people.

In my view, there were no innocents in this sorry tale, I don't buy the whole "KAtherine was the vctim of harassment' line either, as I've said on another thread. I have to agree with Antonia Frazer,t hat KAtherine, Culpepper and Lady Rochford were all up to their eyeballs in something they should never have been involved in. All three knew what they were doing and just hoped they'd get away with it. They didn't.
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tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
11. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:18 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:18 AM EDT
This is fascinating indeed. I have focused so much of my reading on Anne B and KOA, as I overbought so many books, when I started my library in conjunction to my house fire. I have
concentrated on them, and as I said, season 4 certainly makes Lady Rochford a major player when the heads began to roll. TY everyone for enlightening me. No matter how many times I watch the series (Every night), and no matter how much I read, there is so much more to know. If you are like me, tudorcrazy, it's a gift that keeps on giving.
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henry's7thwife
henry's7thwife
12. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:32 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:32 AM EDT
"I agree that Jane was no babe in the woods and even a sympathetic assesment of her life reveals her to be something of an intriguer. However, it's hard to see what she would have gained from setting up Katherine and Culpepper, and I think that's what mystifies a lot of people.

In my view, there were no innocents in this sorry tale, I don't buy the whole "KAtherine was the vctim of harassment' line either, as I've said on another thread. I have to agree with Antonia Frazer,t hat KAtherine, Culpepper and Lady Rochford were all up to their eyeballs in something they should never have been involved in. All three knew what they were doing and just hoped they'd get away with it. They didn't."
I agree that there were no innocents in the tale. Everyone knew what adultery meant in relation with the King, and everyone knew what the punishment for treason was. I sooo agree with you.
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tudorcrazy
tudorcrazy
13. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 5:11 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 5:11 PM EDT
"I agree that Jane was no babe in the woods and even a sympathetic assesment of her life reveals her to be something of an intriguer. However, it's hard to see what she would have gained from setting up Katherine and Culpepper, and I think that's what mystifies a lot of people.

In my view, there were no innocents in this sorry tale, I don't buy the whole "KAtherine was the vctim of harassment' line either, as I've said on another thread. I have to agree with Antonia Frazer,t hat KAtherine, Culpepper and Lady Rochford were all up to their eyeballs in something they should never have been involved in. All three knew what they were doing and just hoped they'd get away with it. They didn't."
I haven't gotten this far, but I am reading Antonia Fraser's book as we speak! But I am only at KOA.
So maybe Jane Rochford was a scheming intriguer, who was in up to her eyeballs? Cool, I need a new viewpoint about this. I always though Kitty Howard was just a poor teenager who was raised in a orphanage, The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, and ran a little wild. She was an ignorant child. But I never saw her as really misled by Jane R. So I will read on, as I love the character of Lady Rochard. This is so exciting. I keep thinking I am tiring of Tudor intrigue, but there's always more to know. You are right MLG , that the question is what did she have to gain by setting up Kitty and Culpepper? TY E
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MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
14. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 5:48 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 5:49 PM EDT
Here's a quote from Fraser : "[Culpepper] was the kind of young man all too easily thrown up by the Tudor Court: ambitious, ruthlessly using his personal attractions to further his career.... . ...One might compare him to the young Charles Brandon , 30 years earlier, working his way up to wealth and a dukedom through royal favour. The difference was that , in the early years of the reign of Henry VIII, the ambitious sought to be boon companions of the King. Now it was probably more far-sighted to seek the favour of the Queen.There were rich pickings to be had there during the King's llifetime and then there was a question of what would happen next. The King's recent dangerous illness had emphasized the fact that it was no longer a question of 'IF the King dies' (as might have been, for example, in 1524, or even in 1536), but 'WHEN the King dies'.....
In the spring of 1541, Prince Edward was only three and half years old, so that the question of a regency - whose claims were the strongest, those of blood or rank? - came to dominate much secret thinking and manipulation in the 1540's. But a Dowager Queen had also by tradition a strong position; in the English past, the man who married or controlled the Dowager had often significantly improved his own fortunes. When Queen Katherine started to show Thomas Culpepper 'great favours' ... her cavalier both took the profits and looked to the future -- his future."
(from Culpepper's profile http://tudorswiki.sho.com/page/Thomas+Culpepper)

Lady Rochford could have been aligning herself with who she thought would be the next powerful faction... like a moth to flame.
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MyLadyGreensleeves
MyLadyGreensleeves
15. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:25 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:25 PM EDT
"
Lady Rochford could have been aligning herself with who she thought would be the next powerful faction... like a moth to flame."
Perhaps - but she knew better than anybody else what the penalties were for aiding and abetting royal adultery, so it seems like a huge risk to take for no obvious gain. In any case, Katherine certainly does not seem to have been particularly difficult to persuade - if indeed Lady Rochford had to do any persuading at all, and we only have Katherine's desperate word to go on for that.
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Boleynpatentpending
Boleynpatentpending
16. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 17 2010, 10:30 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 17 2010, 10:30 PM EDT
"Season 4 certainly puts a huge spotlight on the somewhat obscure Lady Rochford. I have read her biography by Julia Fox, but need to reread, as season 4 has me more intrigued with her than Kitty Howard. Why did she help Kitty meet with Culpepper? My theory is that she suffered so much personally after George's beheading that she lost her mind. She had an unhappy marriage, then was a shunned widow in disgrace, had money problems, and was childless. She had no life. This was all Anne Boleyn's doing, but not intentionally. Could she have sought revenge on Katherine Howard as they were cousins? Or was she just unhinged from everything?"
I know it's heresy to say anything in praise of Philippa Gregory but I have to say her characterization of Jane Rochford in "The Boleyn Inheritance" is brilliant. I'm not saying it's historically accurate in every way, but she's a fascinating character in the book. Gregory's writing is inconsistent...sometimes fluid, sometimes trite, but I reread the Jane Rochford sections often. It's a far better book than The Other Boleyn Girl. However, it's rather ridiculous that Gregory in her Afterward includes Jane's presence at Jane Seymour's deathbed in her list of misdeeds, as though Rochford was somehow responsible for Seymour's death.
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juliana-angela
juliana-angela
17. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 18 2010, 3:38 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 18 2010, 3:38 AM EDT
"Lady Rochford could have been aligning herself with who she thought would be the next powerful faction... like a moth to flame."
There may also have been an element of sentimentality, or misguided romance, in Lady Rochford's behaviour.

Discussing the mutual recriminations of Katherine and Lady Rochford as to who was to blame, David Starkey says:

"The truth, probably, is that each egged on the other. Katherine had behaved like the lovesick Juliet and Lady Rochford like Juiliet's pandering nurse"

One wonders how things would have turned out had Lady Rochford acted differently. If she had shown disapproval of Katherine's conduct, advised her strongly not to see Culpepper again, even encouraged her to suggest to Henry that he appointed him as ambassador to some foreign country to put temptation out of the way. That is surely what most ladies would have done. And Lady Rochford did not have the excuse of being young and silly - she was in her late thirties at the time, certainly old enough to know the potential consequences. as Lady Greensleeves said.
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MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
18. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 18 2010, 5:27 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 18 2010, 5:28 AM EDT
In the end, Lady Rochford is one of those wonderful enigmas about this time that will make her fodder for endless speculation. The fact is she was involved in several intrigues and managed to survive and probably thought she would survive this one too. Perhaps she had been involved in other secrets that had never come out? ....and I am sure she never thought this would come out. It may not have, if it wasn't for Dereham being tortured.

Anne Somerset in her book "Ladies in Waiting" says: "At a time when virtually every profession was exclusively a male preserve, the position of Lady-in-waiting to the queen was almost the only occupation that an upper class Englishwoman could with propriety pursue... Any lady at court with a position could feel she had a finger on the pulse of power, even if in most cases she could not determine the rate at which it beat"

Lady Rochford may have become a little heady with what she perceived as her own personal power and we know what power does to people.
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Boleynpatentpending
Boleynpatentpending
19. RE: Lady Rochford, was she crazy?
Apr 18 2010, 7:59 AM EDT | Post edited: Apr 18 2010, 7:59 AM EDT
"There may also have been an element of sentimentality, or misguided romance, in Lady Rochford's behaviour.

Discussing the mutual recriminations of Katherine and Lady Rochford as to who was to blame, David Starkey says:

"The truth, probably, is that each egged on the other. Katherine had behaved like the lovesick Juliet and Lady Rochford like Juiliet's pandering nurse"

One wonders how things would have turned out had Lady Rochford acted differently. If she had shown disapproval of Katherine's conduct, advised her strongly not to see Culpepper again, even encouraged her to suggest to Henry that he appointed him as ambassador to some foreign country to put temptation out of the way. That is surely what most ladies would have done. And Lady Rochford did not have the excuse of being young and silly - she was in her late thirties at the time, certainly old enough to know the potential consequences. as Lady Greensleeves said."
I wonder if Lady Rochford felt guilty over her testimony against her husband and Anne of Cleves, and subconsciously sabotaged herself by engaging in high risk behavior... a kind of "suicide by headsman."
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