PARANORMAL X

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ROYAL HAUNTS

The Tudors

 

Henry VII
King of England 1485 – 1509.
Born : January 28th, 1457 at Pembroke, Wales.
Died : April 21st, 1509 at Richmond Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Henry VII may have taken the crown in battle but that was as tentative as his claim through birthright. Turning to the Lancasterian family tree, Henry's grandmother was only queen through marriage to Henry V. Catherine was still young when her husband died, and it wasn't until her death that a relationship between herself and Owen Tudor came to light. He claimed they had married, but some have doubts about this, and it meant that Catherine had married without the king's permission, meaning the couple had committed treason. A son from this relationship, Edmund Tudor, married Margaret Beaufort, and this is where Henry VII lays his claim to the crown.

The son of Edward III, John of Gaunt, married three times. Having married twice well within his station, the third was to his mistress, Kathryn Swynford. Already having children, on the marriage these were legitimised through Parliament but barred from taking the crown. This line of the family took the name Beaufort, and the eldest son, John, married Margaret Holland, and they in turn had Margaret who married Edmund Tudor, becoming the parents of Henry VII.

Edmund Tudor was killed during the Wars of the Roses. After the Battle of Tewkesbury all was lost to the Lancastrians and Henry was taken under the wing of his father's older brother, Jasper Tudor.

Henry grew up in exile in Brittany while Edward IV ruled England, giving his brother Richard the Lordship of the northern counties where he gained much loyalty. Richard certainly had the trust of his kingly brother who made him Lord Protector until 13-year-old Edward V came of age. And there is no doubt that Richard betrayed that trust. Having those who would oppose him imprisoned and executed without trial. The two sons of Edward IV were placed in the Tower of London while Richard usurped the crown in the form of red tape. Denouncing the marriage of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville allowed Richard to become king.

Richard’s was a short reign of two years in which time he lost his seven-year-old son, with his grief stricken wife dying a year later.

Richard must have been confident as he set out for the battlefield at Ambion Hill. After all, he was a seasoned warrior with a much larger army than that of Henry Tudor, who had never been in a position of command with many of his men never having seen battle.

Richard made a vital error, being cut off from his main body of troops with only a few men, he was cut down and there on the battlefield Henry VII was declared king, the crown being found and placed upon his head.

Henry VII swiftly put down those who plotted against him with those wishing to keep their lives going into exile. There were still stronger claimants to the throne, such as the son of George, Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville. Edward Plantagenet had inherited his grandfather's title, Earl of Warwick and was set up as claimant on the Lancastrian side. Producing Lambert Simnel, a boy from Oxford, who claimed to be Edward Plantagenet, he was crowned Edward V at a ceremony in Dublin. But the real Edward was already a prisoner at the Tower of London.

A second pretender, Perkin Warbreck, claimed to be Richard, Duke of York, having escaped from the Tower of London while being held there by Richard III. But like Simnel, Warbreck was captured and forced to declare his claims to be false. He was placed at the Tower but when he escaped, was recaptured and found to be attempting another, he was finally hanged, and Edward, a true claimant to the throne was also executed.

Richard III never made any claims as to what had happened to his two nephews, not even with rumours that the boys had been murdered. If that was the case he would soon know the grief of losing a child when his own son died in April of 1484. It only leaves us to theorise what could have happened. Richard proved he could be as ruthless as the next with his execution of the Woodville's and their supporters, but with so much disease it would be easy to claim the boys had died from more natural causes. Then there is a question mark over Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who having been a key supporter of Richard III, turned to Henry Tudor to continue the conflict between the Lancastrian and Yorkist rivals. Defenders of Richard III put forward that Edward and Richard were killed on Buckingham's orders. Unless Buckingham thought he was doing his king a service, such an act would be a major propaganda coup, blaming the deaths on Richard. But then Buckingham could just as well have found out that Richard had the boys killed, and that is what turned his allegiance to the Lancaster cause.

Henry VII was also less than eager to talk about the boys, and it was a year later that the Tudor version made Richard III the murderer with the bodies of the boys being buried within the tower structure. If this was so, Henry made no attempt to locate the bodies.

Strengthening his claim to the crown, Henry married the eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He also revalidated the marriage so making Edward V king and his brother Richard next in line to the throne. This brings Henry into the picture as having more to lose. If either Edward or Richard was still alive, Henry Tudor certainly wouldn't want to be acting regent, and it if it was Henry who had the boys murdered, he couldn't very well produce two fresh bodies. And so Henry VII is a high contender as having rid himself of his wife's two brothers as he did anyone else who tried to lay claim to the throne.

Henry VII, for all his bad points brought stability, though the people continued to pay high taxes as he lavished on building a palace at Richmond fit for a king rather than on wars with countries that didn’t acknowledge him, Henry being a usurper. He also found lucrative matches for his children, marrying his daughter, Margaret to King James IV of Scotland, whose line later came to the English throne under the Stuart banner.

The youngest surviving child, Mary Rose Tudor, had a flagship named after her that, to her brother's misfortune, sank to the bottom of the Solent on its maiden voyage in 1545, where it remained until 1982 when it was raised and gradually restored.

Mary is now said to haunt Westhorpe Lodge in Suffolk, which is now a private home.

When Henry VII died, the news was kept quiet for several days while his only surviving son, Henry, established himself as king. Anyone who may have opposed the succession was first arrested, but that was something of a habit for the Tudors.


Henry VIII
King of England 1509 – 1547.
Born : June 28th, 1491 at the Palace of Palentia, Greenwich, London.
Died : January 28th, 1547 at the Palace of Whitehall, London.
Interred : St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire.
Henry VIII, being the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, was educated in the expectation that he would enter into the church, but Henry was not quite 11-years-old when all that changed with the death of his brother Arthur.

When it was decided he should marry Arthur’s widow, Henry wasn't happy with the situation but finally came round and married Catherine of Aragon, possibly seeing this as one of his father's last wishes. The marriage took place on the 11th of June 1509 and the coronation, as a couple, in an elaborate event at Westminster thirteen days later.

It is the six wives, the crushing of the Catholic religion and his gaining so much weight that Henry VIII is best remembered.

Catherine fared better than other foreign queens in gaining the love of her subjects, and apart from Henry's dalliances, the relationship seemed to be a happy one. Catherine's only problem was that she could not produce children that lived more than a few weeks at most. Then came a daughter, Mary, who was the apple of her father's eye. There is no reason to think she couldn't rule in her own right, but as with most females, the husband was the helm, meaning that if Mary married someone of her own station, it would be giving England over to foreign rule. Henry even considered naming his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy who had been invested Duke of Richmond, as his successor and was planning on introducing laws for such a succession up to Fitzroy's death in 1536.

When Anne Boleyn came to court, Henry, along with other young courtiers became besotted. But Anne wasn't prepared to be the king's mistress as her sister Mary had been, she wanted much more. Henry finally gave in to Anne and leaving the queen, set up house with her at Woodstock.

After eighteen years of marriage, Henry wanted out, but Catherine was too staunch a Catholic who took her marriage vows seriously. Henry looked to the Bible for a loophole and went with the text that a man should not take his brother's wife. The queen reminded him that they had been given dispensation by the Pope to marry on Catherine’s word that her marriage to Arthur had not been consummated, and that Henry knew that all too well.

And so began a crude campaign against Catherine who would not renounce her marriage or her vows as this would also make her a liar and their daughter illegitimate. Catherine was finally placed under house arrest, ending up at rundown Kimbolton where she cooked her own meals in fear of being poisoned. With damp conditions and possibly suffering from some form of cancer, Catherine died two years later. Anne Boleyn had already got her husband and her jewels and her death was something to celebrate. Anne established her household to the extreme and could spend money as well as Henry with expensive furnishings, décor and the latest fashions.

Catherine of Aragon was given the funeral of a Dowager Princess and interred at Peterborough Cathedral. Her daughter, Mary was forbidden to attend.

Having spent her last days at Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire, Catherine of Aragon is now reputed to haunt the place. It is now a school but tours are organised based on various interests out of school hours, and during term breaks. Catherine is also said to make the occasional rare appearance at Buckden Palace, seen in a room by the chapel. Catherine was kept here before being taken to Kimbolton, which was in need of repair with damp and draughty conditions in which the king may have been hoping to send the queen to a speedier grave. The Hall that now stands on the site of Buckden Palace is Victorian, having changed its name to Buckden Towers.

To make Anne his queen, Henry turned his back on the religion he had been brought up to support. Its ironic that having published works to condemn Luther and his views bypassing the authority of the Pope, gaining Henry the title, Defender of the Faith, that he should later follow a similar path to get his own way.

Ransacking the smaller religious communities, Henry moved on to the larger abbeys with relics being stored in chests in his bedchamber. Henry was made head of his own church, a title which continues with present monarchs, though the decline of the church with the infusion of other religions diminishes all.

Anne was crowned queen on the 1st of June 1533 at Westminster Abbey while seven months pregnant. It caused quite a stir as most women of high rank would withdraw from public life at such a time.

With two stillborn births following that of Elizabeth, Anne must have known her position as queen was in danger. Henry had already taken a liking to one of her ladies in waiting, Jane Seymour, and the tempestuous Anne with her flaming temper was wearing thin.

Having gained enemies, including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, once the king began tiring of Anne it was easy for her enemies to plot her downfall. Henry was very compliant, and with charges of adultery, incest and treason, Anne was arrested and found guilty.

Anne was beheaded by a French swordsman, a special arrangement which was seen as Henry's compassion, though no one had thought to make provisions for the burial and being placed in an arrow chest, she was interred in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower walls. Her remains were identified much later during Queen Victoria's reign when restorations took place, and is now laid with a marker.

Anne appears to be busier now than when alive. Several houses claim to be haunted by her, one of them being Blickling Hall in Norfolk which is thought to be her place of birth.

Though there are many reported sightings of a female spirit that is thought to be Anne, on the anniversary of her execution, at midnight to be exact, her ghost is said to pull up to the hall in a carriage drawn by headless horses. Anne's father, Thomas Boleyn, is also said to haunt Blickling Hall as well as the surrounding countryside. There was supposedly a curse placed on him for his involvement in Anne’s trial which helped send both his daughter and son and heir to their deaths, though it was more likely to save his own head, and with or without his testimony the outcome was a foregone conclusion. And now he must cross over twelve bridges in Norfolk from midnight to cock crow for a thousand years, the curse ending in 2539.

Anne is reputed to haunt the Tower of London, both with and without her head. There have also been sightings of her in the chapel where she is interred. A female fitting her description was seen leading a procession of knights and ladies towards the chapel altar, this sounding more like a residual haunting, a playback of an event that once took place all those centuries ago. Anne's brother, George, who was charged with incest in plotting to produce a child with his sister to pass off as the kings, was kept in the upper rooms of the Martin Tower prior to his execution, this being his most prominent haunt. He is another ghost at Blickling Hall which is not the house the Boleyn’s knew as the one that stands there now was built over the old foundations during the reign of James I.

The fated queen is also thought to appear as a misty figure in white that moves along the avenue of yew trees at Marwell Hall in Hampshire. Though this was the home of the Seymour's for a short while, the reason given for Anne Boleyn to haunt the place is that she is bringing ill-will to the household as this was where Henry married his Queen Jane within days of Anne's demise.

Another on the list is Hever Castle, this being Anne Boleyn’s childhood home makes it a good enough reason for her to haunt. This is also where she was living when Henry VIII began his courtship. Two years after the execution of Anne and George, their father, Thomas Boleyn died, and although his daughter, Mary had children, with her son Henry being highly regarded as the Kings, the Boleyn estates were made forfeit to the crown and Hever Castle was later given to Anne of Cleves as part of the settlement in annulling the marriage.

Anne Boleyn is also said to haunt New Hall at Boreham in Essex which once belonged to her father and was sold to Henry who renamed it Beaulieu Palace. It is now a convent school. There is also Rochford Hall at Rochford in Essex that was also a Boleyn family home where the Christmas period is the most prominent time of year for Anne to haunt.

It is thought that Anne visits the church at the village of Salle in Norfolk. Members of the Boleyn family are interred at the church and it is rumoured that Anne's heart is also interred there. This was not uncommon but a doubtful procedure for an outcast queen as the burial seems to have been hasty enough as it was.

Henry rushed off to marry Jane Seymour the day after Anne's execution with a public ceremony taking place at the Palace of Westminster, now more familiarly known as the House of Commons that at the time was named York Palace, a grand royal residence.

Jane fell pregnant very quickly and gave birth to a long-awaited son. Henry was over the moon with joy, but for Jane it was a death sentence. She attended her son, Edward's christening, being carried on a makeshift bed and died twelve days after giving birth at Hampton Court Palace. The King's eldest daughter and future Queen Mary I was Jane's chief mourner with Jane having attempted to repair the rift between Henry and both his daughters. Jane knew both of Henry's wives, being lady-in-waiting to first Catherine of Aragon and then Anne Boleyn.

Jane is said to haunt Hampton Court where she gave birth to her son and also died. Her spirit is said to carry a lighted candle as she glides along the corridors from the State Apartments to where she has been seen in the cobbled courtyard.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Seymour’s were given Marwell Hall which became a family home. A priest cursed the Seymour’s that they would not own the hall for long, and although Henry had him executed, the hall soon went to another family after the second generation of Seymour's. Jane is now said to haunt this family home.

Henry waited over two years before taking another wife, but this was more due to lengthy negotiations. With his treatment of Catherine of Aragon, sending Anne Boleyn to the chopping block and gossip that Jane Seymour had been butchered, having her son cut from her to save the child, there wasn't many foreign princesses willing to become the next Queen of England. Henry may have got the son he wanted but knew how fragile life was with the death of his brother, Arthur and his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. It was a prudent move to continue to produce more offspring, especially sons, and time was running out.

With an injury obtained in a joust from which he never managed to recover, Henry had also gained the weight for which he is famous. It was Cromwell who negotiated a fourth marriage with a foreign Princess that would elevate England back into the political arena of Europe, and most importantly it was a country where Protestant reforms were taking shape.

A painting of Henry was taken to show Anne of Cleves who found her potential suitor acceptable, even though the painting was a few years old. In return Hans Holbein was sent to paint Anne's portrait which Henry also found acceptable. The wedding was arranged and Anne of Cleves who could not speak a word of English, left her homeland and in stormy weather traversed the sea, reaching England one month later.

The King's eldest daughter Mary and a number of courtiers were sent to greet Anne on her arrival. She was then taken to Rochester Abbey to spend the New Year before going on to London to meet her future husband. However, Henry had turned into an excited schoolboy and decided he should go and see his future wife in the guise of messenger. He planned to enter her room and throwing off his cloak, Anne would throw herself into his arms with a measure of undying love. Unfortunately such behaviour did not go in Henry's favour. It didn’t help matters any further when throwing off his cloak to reveal the fine clothes fitting of a King, Anne didn't recognise him. In return Henry became sullen and decided he didn't like her or her looks.

In the hope that Henry would change towards Anne, he was pressured into the marriage. With all the arrangements made for the ceremony it would bode ill if Henry refused at such a late hour. Being unable to find a valid excuse, the marriage went ahead, but there was always those young ladies at court to draw Henry's attention and when he saw Katherine Howard, he was determined that she should become his new queen.

After six months Henry and Anne's marriage was annulled on the grounds that it was unconsummated. Whether this was the case or not, this Anne was more than ready to agree to a parting of the ways. She was bestowed the title of ‘Kings Good Sister’ and given estates which included Hever Castle, handing the home of one queen to another. The couple made better friends and Anne also made friends with his eldest daughter Mary, with there not being such a wide age gap the two became firm friends.

Anne preferred to live away from court, making her home at Chelsea Old Palace which is now a girl's school. Anne never married and outlived Henry by over ten years. She is now said to haunt Hever Castle where she died on the 16th of July 1557.

Henry quickly moved on to his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, who was lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves. She was introduced to the King by her uncle, Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk. The Howard’s were related to the Boleyn’s and Katherine was a distant cousin to Anne Boleyn. Katherine was no more than a pawn as marriage to the King would elevate the family as it did Jane Seymour's brothers. She was no more than 20-years-old, making her six years younger than Henry's eldest daughter, Mary. She had the usual training for girls of that era, being brought up to run the household of whoever she married, with little or no ability to read and write.

Katherine was certainly no Anne Boleyn and her naivety soon found her in trouble. Admitting to having committed adultery, which also brought charges of treason, Katherine was arrested and taken to the Tower of London. She must still have been very childlike, which is shown in her request to have the execution block taken to the chamber for her to rehearse.

Before Henry even set eyes on her, Katherine had already been unofficially engaged to Francis Dereham, a family employee, with the relationship continuing after her marriage to the king. Thomas Culpepper was also implicated, being a royal retainer and a relative to Katherine on her mothers side, he was also accused of being the queen's lover, spelling death for both men. Katherine was beheaded within the walls of the Tower of London on the 13th of February 1542.

When Katherine was arrested at Hampton Court, she is said to have slipped from her guards, banging on a locked door where she knew Henry was, pleading to see her husband as she was dragged away. This event is reputedly etched into the atmosphere as her screams and pleas for her life are still said to be heard. A woman in white is also said to be that of Katherine Howard, often seen in what is aptly named ‘The Haunted Gallery.’

Apart from Hampton Court, Catherine joins a long list of those haunting the Tower of London and is thought to pay spectral visits to the King’s Manor House at York. She and the King spent some time at the manor where she was apparently very happy and so returns to a place she loved.

Henry married his sixth and final wife on the 12th of July 1543 at Hampton Court. Catherine Parr had been married and widowed twice, but was still young at around 31 years of age. She was looking to marry a third time to Thomas Seymour, but then the King began to take an interest. Although it is thought that by this time Henry was more interested in companionship, with such a young wife there was still the optimism of producing children. Having put on a tremendous amount of weight, the lack of exercise and rich lifestyle left Henry looking older than his years as well as suffering from gout. It is interesting to note that Catherine's parents were courtiers during Henry's early reign and Catherine was named after Henry's first queen. Through Catherine’s influence Henry came to accept his two daughters, returning them to their rightful place of succession in his will.

Henry, drifting in and out of consciousness, passed away at Westminster, leaving a nine-year-old boy as King.

Finding herself a widow yet again, it was quite a scandal that she remarried within weeks of Henry's death. Her fourth husband was Jane Seymour’s younger brother, Thomas. Catherine took the young Princess Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey among others, to live with her at Sudeley Castle, but when Elizabeth was caught in a compromising situation with Thomas Seymour, she was quickly sent away.

Catherine became pregnant and died eight days after giving birth to a girl named Mary. It is presumed that girl later died as mention of her in records disappeared. The ghost at Snape Hall in the form of a young girl in a blue dress of the Tudor period is said to be that of Catherine Parr, evidently during a happier period in her life, this being where she lived with her second husband.

As for Henry VIII, he is reputed to haunt Hampton Court as well as Windsor Castle. The slow footsteps in the cloisters are thought to belong to Henry as the weight he carried and the gout suffered caused painful and slow progress during his lifetime. Guards on duty on the battlements also claim to have seen the very distinguishable King, evidently out for an evening walk.


Edward VI
King of England 1547 – 1553.
Born : October 12th, 1537 at Hampton Court Palace, London.
Died : July 6th, 1553 at Greenwich, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Edward was nine years old when he became king. He never knew his mother but royal children rarely saw their parents, being given their own household away from court to be brought out on special occasions.

Edward had special affection for his half-sister, Elizabeth, but just as much for Mary who he followed around like a lapdog in his early years. Mary was also his godmother. That love stood her in good stead against those who held great influence over the boy.

During the first two years of Edward's reign, it was under regency of a council led by his uncle, Edward Seymour who took virtual control, taking the title Lord Protector of England. His sister’s marriage to Henry VIII had elevated him and his family which always caused jealousy and resentment.

Thomas Seymour was just as ambitious as his brother, if not more so, and shocked the majority by marrying Henry VIII's widow, Catherine Parr. Thomas then worked his way round the young king, giving him extra pocket money and telling him his uncle was keeping him lacking. When Catherine Parr found her husband in a compromising situation with Princess Elizabeth, the young future queen was sent away to establish her own household. Catherine and Thomas Seymour had only been married six months when Catherine became pregnant for the first time in her life at the age of 35. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary, and like Thomas’ sister, Jane, came down with puerperal fever, dying a few days later. The child lived to around two years old, but then disappeared from records. On his wife's death, Thomas looked to marry again, this time turning to Princess Mary who was in succession to the throne, but being spurned by her, his advances were more readily agreeable to Princess Elizabeth.

It was John Dudley who took action and the council, fearing what would happen if Thomas married again, set up an investigation. There was a discrepancy at the Royal Mint, but when Thomas was called to a meeting he didn't attend and instead planned to kidnap the boy king. Breaking into Edward’s bedroom, Thomas did the most unforgivable thing, killing the King's pet dog when it's barking raised the alarm. Edward was arrested and taken to the Tower of London where thirty-three charges of treason were laid against him. Thomas was executed with his brother Edward later falling from grace. John Dudley took the reins and having great sway over Edward, encouraging the boy to take up the kingship in his own right, even to him signing the death warrant for Edward Seymour.

John Dudley didn't make the same mistake as Edward Seymour, being the power behind the throne rather than ruling directly. Having great sway over Edward, he readily came forward with Dudley's ideas as though they were his own. And so under Edward VI the last vestiges of Catholicism were swept away. With the Mass being made illegal, it was no secret that Edward’s half-sister, Mary continued with the Catholic rites and practices for which Dudley would no doubt have liked to have had her locked in the Tower. When confronted by the King, Mary broke down in tears and Edward also sobbed at his sister’s grief, leaving her free to return to her own household.

There are many stories of Edward being a sickly child, but there are rare accounts of him needing a doctor and seems to have been healthy up to him contracting measles and chicken pox. This in turn led to tuberculosis, which for those times was a killer. John Dudley had the doctors removed and a woman treat the king. Being given a concoction of poisons, the boy suffered greatly, wishing death to come to him as his arms and legs bloated, his skin blackened and his hair and fingernails fell out. There are still debates as to what actually caused his death from tuberculosis to bronchial infection and even rumours that we was deliberately poisoned, though this could well be the case as a cocktail of poisons could have been used to prolong the boy's agonies in Dudley's desperation to keep him alive long enough to see his own family inherit the crown.

As Edwards health worsened Dudley had to hurry, and getting the king to sign away Mary and Elizabeth’s rights to succession as laid out in Henry VIII's will, Edward’s two half-sister's were made illegitimate. This was passed by Parliament, even though it was illegal, as Edward was not of age to make such a decision.

Under Henry VIII an act had been passed to exclude his sister, Margaret’s line from the throne as he didn’t want Scottish King’s ruling over England. Once Mary and Elizabeth was excluded, any male descendants from Mary Rose Tudor and her husband, Charles Brandon could be considered. Dudley had the foresight to marry his youngest son to this line of the family who would, given time, have had children. But then Edward fell ill and he had to act quickly and so his new daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, was named successor.

Edward VI was interred at Westminster in August under the reign of Mary I who bowed to his beliefs. While he was buried with all the Protestant rites, Mary attended Mass at the Tower of London where she prayed for his soul. It seems that Edward passed over in peace has there are no recorded sightings of him haunting anywhere in particular.


Lady Jane Grey
Illegally made Queen of England July 10th–19th 1553.
Born : Around October 12th, 1537 at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire.
Died : February 12th, 1554 at the Tower of London.
Interred : St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London.
Lady Jane Grey was a great niece of Henry VIII. Her grandmother, Mary Rose Tudor was used by her brother as a pawn in the political marriage game. Sealing a friendship with France, Henry signed a marriage agreement between King Louis XII and his sister. It caused a stir around the courts of Europe that Mary at 18-years-old should be married to a man 34-years older, but it established the Tudors, making them recognised where Henry VII had been no more than a usurper.

The marriage lasted less than three months when Louis died and Mary returned to England, but this time she wasn't going to be dictated to and in a secret ceremony married Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk. This was treason, as the King's sister she had to seek permission from the crown in matters of marriage. However, Henry had a strong bond with her and although the Privy Council bayed for Brandon's blood, the couple were fined heavily and united in a more official ceremony at Greenwich Palace.

Although Mary was the Duchess of Suffolk, she was often referred to as the Queen of France. Her relationship with her brother became strained when Henry took up his cause to marry Anne Boleyn who had been one of Mary's ladies-in-waiting in France. Mary retired from court life, spending more time at Westhorpe Hall where she is now said to haunt. Having no children with her first husband, Mary had three children with Brandon, a son and two daughters. Henry was given the title, Earl of Lincoln and was a strong contender to be his uncle’s successor, but he died while still a young man without having married. The second, Frances married Henry Grey; Marquis of Dorset, and after two failed pregnancies produced three daughters.

Frances is noted in history as a dominant woman, both over her husband and children. She expected the best from her daughters, making sure they had the education of a princess. With Henry VIII cutting out his sister Margaret's line, when Edward VI came to the crown; Frances became third in line of succession after the Kings half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. She and her husband seemed determined to make their eldest daughter, Jane, Queen of England, as they planned with Thomas Seymour to marry their daughter to the young king, even though Edward Seymour was seeking a more lucrative arrangement.

When Thomas Seymour was arrested and subsequently executed, the Greys looked to Edward Seymour and a marriage with his son, also named Edward, Earl of Hertford. But Frances wasn't having much luck in a choice of husbands for her daughter as Edward soon fell from favour and following his brother to the Tower, was also executed. The Grey’s quickly fell in with the new power, John Dudley. This time the marriage negotiations were successfully concluded with a very reluctant Jane marrying John Dudley's youngest son, Guildford.

John Dudley then went on to secure the crown of England for his own family line. With Edward falling ill and death being imminent, Dudley had papers drawn up for the young king to sign away his two half-sisters rights to succession. Frances also gave up her right to the crown in favour of her daughter and Jane who was named Edward's successor.

On the 10th of July 1553, four days after the King's death, Jane was taken to the Tower of London and declared Queen. Although this was a man's world, and only once before had a queen tried to rule England in her own right, the grumblings of the people were not about Jane but her marrying into the Dudley family, as well as over-riding Princess Mary.

If John Dudley expected Jane to hand over power to her new husband, making him king, he was greatly mistaken. Jane may have been a reluctant queen, but she wasn't prepared to hand over that power.

Calling Mary to London in the name of the king, she set out but was warned that it was a trap as Edward was already dead.

Dudley must have been kicking himself at not having requested Mary's attendance earlier to secure her arrest and make for a smooth accession for Jane.

All for one woman, the Navy was called out and Dudley set off after Mary who was quickly gaining support. When the navy captains proclaimed for Mary, Dudley had no choice but to surrender.

In a matter of nine days, Lady Jane Grey went from queen to traitor. Although Mary I is sent down in history as a woman with blood on her hands, she was a sympathetic and compassionate individual, rare from those times, and especially for the Tudors. However, she could not forgive John Dudley who attempted to save his skin by declaring himself catholic in the hope that Mary would at least spare him his life, much to his daughter-in-laws disgust.

Lady Jane Grey and her husband spent six months at the Tower of London. Kept separate, the couple was allowed to walk together within the grounds of the Tower and Mary was quite prepared to grant them their lives, but then Thomas Wyatt stirred up enough resentment to cause a rebellion. In a bid to overthrow Mary and put Jane on the throne, Jane's father sided with Wyatt, something that cost him and his daughter their lives. Although there is no proof that Jane had anything to do with the rebellion, she was too dangerous to keep alive, and only her death would quash her supporters.

Lady Jane Grey was executed within the Tower walls by beheading, as was fitting for those of noble rank. She was then interred at the chapel within the Tower of London. Like Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh, Jane’s main haunt is said to be the White Tower. A female visitor described a ghost she claimed to have seen, the description being very similar to that of Lady Jane Grey.

Like other Towers spirits, Jane is not limited to where she haunts. Over a hundred years ago, postcards were available that supposedly held the ghostly image of her. She is said to be more prominent in the Coat of Arms Room, a bedroom at Chambercombe Manor, though there is no valid reason for her spirit to visit the property. She is also said to haunt Bradgate Park; that being her place of birth.

Astley Castle near Nuneaton in Warwickshire which was ravaged by fire 1978 so now all that is left are ruins to what once was a grand castle. Failing to overthrow Mary I to reinstate his daughter, Henry Grey made his way home to Astley; hiding in the churchyard until he was seen and reported. He was swiftly arrested and taken back to London where he was subsequently beheaded on Tower Hill. His headless ghost is said to have returned to his former home and presumably still resides there.


Mary I
Queen of England 1353 – 1558.
Born : February 18th, 1514 at Greenwich Palace, Kent.
Died : November 17th, 1558 at St. James Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London.
Mary was the only surviving child from the marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine and Aragon, being brought up with the education and training to become Queen of England in her own right. To Catherine this was natural as the realms of Europe had female rulers, her parents being equal in status, but to Henry such an act was alien. He couldn't see his daughter ruling in her own right and that any marriage would lead her husband to take control and even add England to foreign domains. After a number of negotiations and formal betrothal to the King of Spain, Charles V, Henry even considered a marriage to his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy.

Plans were formulated to make laws that would allow Henry Fitzroy to be named successor, but while still a young man he died.

Mary was a happy child with a mother who doted on her and when she went to stay at Ludlow Castle with her own a large household as befitting a Princess of Wales and future monarch, mother and daughter kept in regular contact.

Mary's world changed when Anne Boleyn came on the scene. Separated from her mother, she held out against threats and cajoling to admit that her parents marriage was not valid. The title of Princess was taken from her, though she remained to style herself Princess rather than Lady Mary.

Mary had every reason to hate Anne Boleyn who she could never recognise as Queen. When Anne gave birth to a daughter, Mary's household was split up and being forced to hand over her jewels, she became lady-in-waiting to her new half sister under the supervision of Anne Boleyn’s aunt.

It was at Hatfield House that Mary was taken so ill that Henry VIII sent his own doctors to tend her, but it wasn't until Anne Boleyn was shut away in the Tower that he accepted she had been involved in a plot to poison not only Mary but Henry Fitzroy.

Mary was finally placed back in line of succession, but preferred to stay away from court, especially during the reign of Edward VI. She remained well-informed on what was happening, and only trusted those close to her, apart from Charles of Spain, who was her one true ally, even though he was too far away to do anything substantial.

When Mary received news that Edward was ill, and she should attend him, she was intercepted on route and warned that it was a trap as Edward was already dead.

Troops had already been alerted to arrest her and she turned for Framlingham Castle in Norfolk. Thinking she was going to escape the country, John Dudley set out from London, but Mary had ample time to get away if she had chose with a plot having been hatched with Spain to smuggle her out of the country, but at the last minute Mary had refused to leave. There must have been that same trepidation at the thought of leaving everything she knew behind, but she would also consider those loyal to her, knowing what would happen to them once she was gone.

Mary didn't have to worry, not only did she get the support from the people but both Catholics and Protestants flocked to her. There may have been fears that she would purge the country in bringing back the Catholic faith, but the law was the law and Mary was the rightful successor. Not only that, John Dudley, having kept the secret of Edward's death to put his son and daughter-in-law on the throne was seen as no more than a usurper.

Mary rode into London on the 3rd of August 1553 to a jubilant crowd, her half sister, Elizabeth by her side.

John Dudley was arrested, and no amount of pleading on his part would lift the condemnation, but Mary was more inclined to set Lady Jane Grey and her young husband free, much to the dismay of her advisers. It wasn't until the Wyatt Rebellion with Lady Jane Grey's father taking part that both she and Jane knew what had to be done. Jane requested a swift execution which took place within the walls of the Tower shortly after seeing her husband's headless corpse being brought back from Tower Hill. Her mother continued to survive as usual, allying herself to Mary, the two having grown up in the same household with Francis and her remaining two daughters becoming court favourites.

Time had more or less ran out for Mary in the stakes of producing offspring, which she saw as her duty, though she would have her say in the choice of husband. Once again she turned to Charles V for advice, and though he had once been betrothed to the little princess, he offered his son Philip for her new husband.

Though the council would have preferred an English match, there was no one Mary trusted more than her mother's Spanish relatives. The marriage took place a year after accession with Philip coming to England on the storm tossed seas that would later see the downfall of his navy.

Mary ruled England in her own right with the marriage to Philip finding everything in her favour. All Philip could do was advise his wife, having no control or powers in the running of the country. Philip also had his own affairs to contend with. He may not have had any power in England, but in Europe he was one of the most powerful, assuming control of the Netherlands as well as being heir to the Spanish throne. After suffering a phantom pregnancy, which could have been the onset of ovarian cancer, Philip left England. Mary once again thought she was with child and falling ill made provisions when writing up her will.

She died abandoned by her husband and not succeeding in producing the child, her half sister Elizabeth was declared Queen.

Mary had requested that she be interred at Peterborough Cathedral with her mother, but Elizabeth, who Mary had shown nothing but kindness, even in suspecting that she wasn't the daughter of Henry VIII, had Mary interred at Westminster. And as a new page turned, Elizabeth allowed the Protestants to run out the Catholics.

In her escape from John Dudley, Mary had turned to Sawston Hall, finding herself among friends and supporters. Being warned that troops were already on their way, in the disguise of the dairymaid, Mary left in time to evade capture. Finding their quarry had gone, the troops ransacked the house, setting it ablaze.

On becoming Queen, Mary didn't forget her friends, the Huddleston family and she had the Hall rebuilt. There was a bed at the hall, which was said to have been used by Mary, but in more recent times no one could sleep there without the sensation of being pinched. It is said that Mary I also haunts Sawston Hall where she had felt comfortable and safe, the disembodied laughter heard, being put down to her. The floor to the haunted bedchamber collapsed but the building is now being renovated to be turned into a hotel.


Elizabeth I
Queen of England 1558 – 1603.
Born : February 7th, 1533 at Greenwich Palace, Kent.
Died : March 24th, 1603 at Richmond Palace, London.
Interred : Westminster Abbey, London
On the death of Mary I, Elizabeth came to the throne at the age of 25 years old, and so a slow purge of the catholic faith began. She was crowned in a ceremony at Westminster of which her mother would have approved.

Continuing many of the proposals already set out by Mary I, her untimely death gave Elizabeth the merit. In Mary's attempt to bring back the catholic faith, the last vestiges were swept away, the crown taking back the monasteries and chantries Mary had dedicated.

Like Mary, Elizabeth was under pressure to marry and have children that would secure the Tudor dynasty, but where Mary chose her own husband with a strict agreement that he would not be involved in monarchical duties, for Mary it was Philip of Spain or no one, but Elizabeth didn't have such luxury. With no foreign allies, and even an English husband who would be likely to take control, Elizabeth played a game of running one potential suitor against another until her time ran out. With no husband and no children, though there were rumours that while a Princess she had been with child, the speculation of who would be her successor grew.

Like her grandfather, Henry VII, Elizabeth eliminated anyone closely related to the throne. Her father cut out the line of his sister Margaret as it this would mean the Scots taking English rule, leaving only the line of Mary and Charles Brandon.

In an attempt to secure the throne with Lady Jane Grey, and his son, Guildford, John Dudley lost his life at the hands of the executioner. But under Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey's mother, Frances and her two daughters remained at court, but were not the favourites they had been with Mary I. Fortunes came and went so easily, and when Elizabeth fell ill only four years into her reign, with fears of her death, she appointed her favourite, Robert Dudley, Protector of the Realm. Being the son of John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, who had ingratiated himself from Edward VI, it seemed like history repeating itself up. But the Dudley family was not destined to forge a royal line, and it caused quite a scandal at how Elizabeth favoured Dudley with gifts and is even said to have hinted at marriage. For Dudley that was also a problem, as he was already married to an Amy Robsart. She had been living at Oxford, in relative seclusion and out of sight out of mind, allowed Elizabeth and Robert to spend time together. This gave way to the usual jealousies, and when Amy died under mysterious circumstances, Elizabeth was advised to distance herself, even though the rumour had already began that Elizabeth and Robert had killed her in order for them to marry. With plots throughout the reign of Mary I to dispose her and put Elizabeth on the throne, some of which she probably was involved in, she was not going to fall into the same trap by naming a successor, even though the most obvious was Frances, who gave up her right during Edward VI’s reign in favour of her daughter Jane. However, she had two more daughters, Catherine and Mary. With fears that the Grey's could depose her, when both Catherine and Mary married in secret, they ended their days imprisoned. In fact, Elizabeth didn't like having any of her ladies around her who gave signs of being with child.

With Protestant rule, there was no middle ground, fearing Catholics would take over, even though most were loyal to the Queen, but no one was more dangerous than Mary, Queen of Scots who saw herself as the rightful Queen of England, even though Henry VIII set out laws to bypass the line. But with Elizabeth eradicating potential successors, the Scottish Royal family was the only true bloodline left.

Mary, Queen of Scots is often mistaken for her cousin Mary I of England. Mary's reign had been blighted with crop failure, leading to starvation and epidemics with the Protestants using her name in propaganda against Catholics and catholic rule that she is still known, somewhat unfairly, as Bloody Mary. But the catholic Mary, Queen of Scots had her own problems to face. Being born in December 1542, she became the first Queen of Scotland and one of the youngest monarchs in the world when her father, James V died six days after her birth. Henry VIII was quick to see an opportunity and put forward negotiations for Mary to marry his five-year-old son Edward when the Scottish Queen reached the age of 10 years. In the meantime Henry died and Edward Seymour demanded the marriage treaty be fulfilled, this of course giving him even more power. But the Scots were not prepared to give up to the English and so there was the inevitable war. The five-year-old Queen was shipped to France for her own safety, having made a new marriage treaty with the Dauphin, and Mary didn't return to her homeland for another 13 years, in which time Elizabeth was ruling England. By the time Mary did return, she was a beautiful young widow, bringing with her a large retinue of her French household and barely able to remember her native language. Besides which, being brought up in catholic France, it didn't bode well that Scotland had made radical reforms towards Protestantism. Mary married her cousin, Lord Darnley, who was also catholic, and being a male, had an even stronger claim to the English crown. Mary still had her enemies, and now a husband that flew into jealous rages. While six months pregnant, a palace coup, led by her husband ended in Mary being held captive and her Italian secretary, David Rizzio murdered. However, there were still those loyal to the Queen and Mary managed to escape and regain control. It was less than a year later that her husband was murdered in an assassination plot and soon fingers began to point to Mary. Five months later she was forced to abdicate in favour of her infant son.

It was Elizabeth's ambassador who campaigned for better conditions for Mary during her imprisonment, and possibly seeing a sympathetic ally in her cousin, when fleeing Scotland, she chose England over France.

With many considering Mary, Queen of Scots to be Elizabeth's successor, she was a threat, but unlike her half-sister, Mary I, she was not so forgiving. Elizabeth had Mary placed under house arrest being kept for the most part at Sheffield Castle. Remaining a prisoner for 17 years, it was when a plot was hatched to have Elizabeth killed and put Mary on the English throne, that she was implicated and charged with treason. As with a similar plot against Mary I, where Elizabeth denied any knowledge or aspirations, Mary, Queen of Scots did likewise, but this was nothing but a mock trial in which the council found her guilty and sentenced her to death.

Mary awaited her fate at Fotheringhay Castle while Elizabeth reluctantly signed the death warrant. Five months later Mary was executed by beheading within the castle itself. Surprisingly, Elizabeth changed her mind, sending a messenger to stop the execution, but as everyone else, Elizabeth knew she was acting too late, there being no chance of anyone arriving at the castle before the execution was carried out.

While the people of London celebrated the death of a traitor, Elizabeth went into an over-dramatic act of mourning. Blaming the Privy Council for imposing the death sentence, and especially her secretary who drew up the death warrant, he was placed in prison. The last thing Elizabeth wanted was a war with Scotland who would seek aid from abroad. But James didn't know his mother that well, growing up in the belief that she had been involved in his father’s death. It also took away the threat of Mary returning to Scotland to reclaim the throne.

Although Elizabeth continued to reign without naming a successor, it is thought a secret pact was made with Mary's son that on her death he would become King of England.

Elizabeth reigned for 45-years and never marrying she had a long line of male favourites who served her well. Falling ill, she was at Richmond Palace, several days before death came to her. She was entombed beside her half-sister Mary I at Westminster.

During her last illness the rumours spread that Elizabeth had died when what looked to be the ethereal form of the Queen was seen wandering the corridors of Richmond Palace. Meanwhile, the Queen was alive, yet unconscious. Being seen numerous times, this could well be the first documented account of astral travel.

Elizabeth now joins her father among the ranks of prestigious ghosts at Windsor Castle, where she has been seen numerous times in the library.

Tilbury Fort at Tilbury in Essex is a noted hotspot for paranormal activity with sounds having been recorded. It was built in the late 17th century to replace a blockhouse built during the reign of Henry VIII. Elizabeth inspired her troops with the famous speech in having the heart and stomach of a king before they set sail to take on the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth is still said to visit.

Mary, Queen of Scots appears to be very active, but aside from wishful thinking, some of the phenomena could be put down to residual energy.

Mary’s secretary, David Rizzio is said to haunt Holyroodhouse Palace where he was murdered, though some believe it is more likely to be Mary's husband. He murdered Rizzio in an act of jealousy, though both men could just as well haunt here.

Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire housed Mary on a number of occasions. It was a place she loathed as like Catherine of Aragon, being kept in damp and draughty conditions, so was Tutbury, with the hope of speeding up Mary’s demise. Instead, by the time of her execution she was riddled with rheumatism and arthritis. Mary is said to pay visits to the partially ruined castle which now have regular ghostly events.

A misty figure at the Talbot Hotel in Oundle near Peterborough is said to be Mary, Queen of Scots, along with the weeping that is often heard. A female has also been seen staring out of a window. The reason for the haunting is put down to the staircase which was installed from Fotheringhay Castle when it was torn down.

Mary was seen once at the Stone Chapel at Southwick near Oundle. She was held briefly at the Haydock Hotel at Wandsworth on route to Fotheringhay and now is said to haunt the place.

Craignetham Castle at Lanark claims to be visited by Mary along with other ghostly spirits that have been taken for guides dressed in period costume. Mary spent the night at the castle before the Battle of Langside, fleeing to England three days later. Spending her last days of freedom at Borthwick Castle, she dressed as a boy to evade capture and the ghost here is said to be Mary still in male attire.

Hermitage Castle is another of Mary's haunts. It was the home of the 4th Earl of Bothwell who Mary turned to for help. She is reputed to have married Bothwell, both being charged with the death of her husband, Lord Darnley. It was just what Mary's anti-Catholic enemies were looking for, but there is little evidence that the couple did actually marry.

Mary requested to be buried in France, which was not done, her clothes and the execution block being burned. Her heart and organs were removed and buried in an unmarked spot at Fotheringhay while her embalmed body remained in a lead coffin at the castle until the 30th of July 1587 when it was taken in the dead of night to Peterborough Cathedral.


Paranormal X 2009

 
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