Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Henry VIII's Secret Children?

While working at Chicago’s Newberry Library, Anthony Hoskins researched the court of Henry VIII, especially during the period 1514-1540, using that library’s incomparable collection of English historical materials. In so doing – and building on the work of Retha Warnicke (author of The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn) – he determined that almost certainly Mary Boleyn, the acknowledged mistress of Henry VIII previous to his marriage to Mary’s sister, Anne Boleyn, had had two children by the king. Tudor historians over the centuries had known of the affair, and of the births of Mary’s children ostensibly by her legal husband, William Carey, but the chronology and surrounding details had not been thoroughly investigated. Hoskins’s article established (1) the chronology of Mary Boleyn’s affair with the king [from about 1522-1526] and (2) the births of both of her children [Catherine Carey in about 1524, and Henry Carey in 1526] in the midst of that period. Hoskins’s article, “Mary Boleyn’s Carey Children – Offspring of King Henry VIII,” is enthusiastically embraced by several of the world’s major Tudor historians.

“Rather than his issue becoming extinct with the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, King Henry VIII has instead a numerous posterity in both England and America,” Hoskins writes.

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