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Was Henry VIII Lancastrian? His Father Was a Beaufort, So What Did Henry Do? He Tried to Marry One, Then He Married Two.

Updated on May 29, 2015

Did Anne Boleyn Scheme to Marry Henry VIII and Lead Him On...? Suppose it was Henry VIII Who Led Anne on...

Every movie, book, and television series that has told the story of Anne Boleyn and the infamous Henry VIII portrays Anne Boleyn as scheming to break up his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and leading him on until Henry annulled his twenty year marriage, had his daughter, Mary, declared illegitimate, and broke completely from the Roman Catholic Church, and executed thousands of people in the process. Suppose we have all got it wrong? Suppose Anne, unwittingly, became symbolic of something the ruthless King wanted, as much as he wanted a son, something Henry was willing to do anything to attain... A son born with a better pedigree than Henry VIII Tudor, his own father.

How could he achieve this? By marrying Anne Boleyn, Henry's children would be descended from the superior legitimate Lancaster line. And, if he acknowledged Mary Boleyn's children? Her first born son named, coincidentally, Henry? The laws of consanguinity (inbreeding) would prevent Henry from marrying the aunt of his biological children. Since Henry claimed an earlier child born out of wedlock, everyone had assumed that he would have claimed all of his illegitimate children. Perhaps, after Mary Boleyn conceived, wily Henry VIII starting thinking along the lines of succession.

You be the judge of this theory. The photographs below will allow you to compare facial features and form your own opinion.

Henry VIII Tudor

Henry VIII in slight profile, showing a unique shaped nose similar to the ones on Queen Elizabeth I and Henry Carey
Henry VIII in slight profile, showing a unique shaped nose similar to the ones on Queen Elizabeth I and Henry Carey

Henry VII, Tudor Was Not a Lancastrian, of the Red Rose line

Henry VII Tudor claimed succession by Right of Battle, the exact claim made by William I, after the Battle of Hastings. Since Henry VII Tudor married Princess Elizabeth of York, sister of Edward and Richard, commonly referred to as "The Princes in the Tower," daughter of King Edward IV, of the House of York, Henry VIII could claim descent through his mother. As such, his descent on his maternal side was the same as that of the other claimants of the House of York bloodline. Through his paternal ancestors, his claim was based on the Beaufort bloodline of his grandmother, Margaret Beaufort. Beaufort is the family name of the offspring of John of Gaunt and his mistress, Kathryn Swynford. Their children were later legitimized by the marriage of their parents, Royal Decree, and by Papal Decree. Those of true Lancastrian descent were from the union of John of Gaunt and his wife Queen Blanche of Lancaster. Blanche was not only a Plantagenet, she also carried the bloodline of Charlemagne, and, thus, the bloodline of the House of Capet. John of Gaunt was the third son of Edward III. Through him, there were two, separate lines of descent. Those descended from his union with his wife, Blanche, were considered Lancastrian. Those descended from his union with his mistress, were of the House of Beaufort, later combined to be the House of Beaufort-Somerset. So, strictly speaking, Henry VII Tudor could not merge the two lines of descent, the Lancastrian, or red rose, and the York, white rose, into the famous Tudor Rose.

Anne Boleyn's Lancastrian Bloodline

Anne Boleyn was not as low-born as we have believed. She was a direct descendent in the Lancastrian line; Henry VIII was of the Beaufort line, considered illegitimate.
Anne Boleyn was not as low-born as we have believed. She was a direct descendent in the Lancastrian line; Henry VIII was of the Beaufort line, considered illegitimate. | Source

Anne and Mary Boleyn's Superior Lancastrian Bloodline

Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his wife, Elizabeth Tilney, were the parents of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Howard, who married Thomas Boleyn. Elizabeth Howard Boleyn was Anne, Mary and George Boleyn's mother. Elizabeth Howard's bloodline is through the Lancastrian descent of the children of John of Gaunt. Henry VIII's bloodline is through the Beaufort descent of the children of John of Gaunt, born to his mistress, Kathryn Swynford. With this in mind, let us follow, first, Anne Boleyn's ancestors, starting with William the Conqueror.

  1. William I of Normandy
  2. Henry I Beauclerc
  3. Matilda (Prince Consort Geoffrey
    Plantagenet)
  4. Henry II (Married Matilda Aetheling of Scotland)
  5. John Lackland King of England
  6. Henry III
  7. Edmund Crouchback
  8. Thomas 2nd Earl of Lancaster
  9. Henry 3rd Earl of Lancaster
  10. Blanche of Lancaster
  11. John of Gaunt (legal wife Queen Blanche of Lancaster)
  12. Eleanor Lancaster
  13. Richard FitzAlan of Arundel
  14. Elizabeth FitzAlan
  15. Margaret de Mowbry
  16. John Howard 1st Duke of Norfolk
  17. Thomas Howard 2nd Duke of Norfolk
  18. Elizabeth Howard (wife of Thomas Boleyn)
  19. Anne Boleyn
  20. Elizabeth I Queen of England




Elizabeth I Tudor Queen

Elizabeth's eyes, nose, and the shape of her face show a strong resemblance to Henry Carey
Elizabeth's eyes, nose, and the shape of her face show a strong resemblance to Henry Carey | Source

Henry VIII's Bloodline and the Implications

As we did with Anne Boleyn, we will follow Henry VIII's bloodline to see how his compares to that of Anne Boleyn. As before, we will begin with William the Conqueror.

  1. William I
  2. Henry I Beauclerc
  3. Matilda Empress (Prince Consort Geoffrey Plantagenet)
  4. Henry II
  5. John Lackland
  6. Henry III
  7. Edward I
  8. Edward II
  9. Edward III
  10. John of Gaunt (Line of Beaufort)
  11. John Beaufort
  12. Margaret Beaufort (mother of Henry Tudor)
  13. Henry VII
  14. Henry VIII
  15. Elizabeth I Queen of England

Henry Carey Henry VIII's Illegitimate Son?

Henry Carey, Give this man a shave, put him in Elizabeth I 's wig and dress... Is this Elizabeth's brother?
Henry Carey, Give this man a shave, put him in Elizabeth I 's wig and dress... Is this Elizabeth's brother? | Source

Edward VI Tudor King of England

Edward VI shares the same nose, ears, and eyes as Henry Carey and Elizabeth I, compare features and decide for yourself
Edward VI shares the same nose, ears, and eyes as Henry Carey and Elizabeth I, compare features and decide for yourself

Henry VIII Vendetta Against the Howards and the Boleyns: Adding up the Casualties and the Brides

Thomas Howard 2nd Duke of Norfolk family


  1. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk-married Elizabeth Stafford Tower of London sentence to beheading, outlived Henry VIII, released after several years by Mary I Tudor, Queen of England
  2. Edmund Howard-Father of Katherine Howard, Queen of England
  3. Elizabeth Howard-married Thomas Boleyn two of their children beheaded
  4. Lord Thomas Howard-Died in the Tower of London 1537
  5. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, poet, beheaded Tower of London 1547
  6. Mary Howard married Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII
  7. Mary Boleyn "mistress" of Henry VIII
  8. Anne Boleyn wife of Henry VIII Tower of London beheaded 1536
  9. George Boleyn Tower of London beheaded 1536
  10. Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, beheaded Tower of London 1521 (Stafford took exception to Henry VIII sleeping with his sister) Stafford was Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk's father-in-law
  11. Jane Boleyn wife of George Boleyn Tower of London beheaded 1542
  12. Catherine Howard wife of Henry VIII Tower of London beheaded 1542



What Was Elizabeth Cheney's Legacy? Did She Have "The Stuff That Queens Are Made Of..".

Elizabeth Cheney is the ancestor of:

  1. Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII beheaded
  2. Mary Boleyn, mistress of Henry VIII
  3. Catherine Howard, wife of Henry VIII beheaded
  4. Jane Seymour, wife of Henry VIII
  5. Mary Howard, wife of Henry VIII's son Henry FitzRoy
  6. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (two Thomas Howards)
  7. Elizabeth Seymour, wife of Thomas Cromwell, sister of Jane
  8. Elizabeth Howard, mother of Mary, George, and Anne Boleyn
  9. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey beheaded
  10. Thomas Howard, died in the Tower of London

Did the Howards and the Boleyns Have Their Daughters Lure Poor Henry VIII Into Marriage?

Every account of Tudor history that I have seen, portrays the Howard and Boleyn fathers prostituting their young daughters for power and glory. Henry VIII is the victim of the plotting, and falls prey to the flirtations of young, nubile ladies. The ladies are following their parents plan, and participate whole-heartedly in the intrigue at court.

Suppose we have it all backwards? Who could have predicted that a Catholic king would divorce his wife? What father would want his daughter to be considered, "soiled goods"? An advantageous marriage with anyone else would be impossible, as court gossip was rampant.

Can anyone say, "No" to a king, and not expect to have her family ruined financially, or brought up on charges of treason and executed? Does King Henry VIII seem weak and easily manipulated, or does he appear formidable and a manipulator? What young girl would want to be pursued by such a man as Henry? He was morbidly obese, unbathed, with gout and open, oozing, sores. Many believe he had the "French pox..." another reason his wives miscarried. Perhaps we should all weigh these facts against the "party line", and, then, give these ladies the benefit of the doubt.

Remember, history is what we believe happened, and history can change every day with new discoveries.

Henry Howard, Beheaded for Being a Plantagenet

Henry VIII Married for a Better Bloodline

Did Anne Boleyn pursue Henry VIII or did Henry VIII pursue Anne?

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    • Helena Doherty profile image

      Helena Doherty 16 months ago

      Those portraits are very convincing.