Am I the Granddaughter of King Henry VIII? | Meredith Sweetpea


Henry_Carey_King_Henry_VIII_comparison

L: Henry Carey; R: King Henry VIII; Middle: mashup of the two. The resemblance is uncanny. Could he be King Henry VIII’s son?

When Miss Meredith Sweetpea read the best-selling historical novel “The Other Boleyn Girl” she was captivated by the story, and read the entire book in one sitting. Have you read it?

The story, written by British historian Philippa Gregory, tells the tale of Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s older sister, who had a long-term affair with, and two children by, King Henry VIII prior to his meeting and subsequently marrying Anne. It is told from Mary’s point of view, beginning with Mary at the naive age of 14.

This book penetrated my mind, and for years, lingered with a familiarity unclaimed by any other novel.

Years later, I began to research my genealogy, and was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of Mary Boleyn through each of these two children supposedly conceived through King Henry VIII: Catherine and Henry Carey (Mary was married to William Carey).

Are these the children of King Henry VIII?

Although it has never been proven that these two are the children of King Henry VIII, nor were they ever acknowledged or legitimized by the regent, there are a number of indicators that they may be. For one, it is said that Henry closely resembled King Henry.

  • William Carey was given a number of royal grants between 1522 and 1526, which generally indicate a reward.
  • Henry claimed in 1533 that he was “Our Sovereign Lord the King’s Son.”
  • Anne Boleyn became Henry’s ward after the death of Mary’s husband William Carey.
  • Henry VIII admitted to his affair with Mary, which he probably would not have done had he not issued children with her.
  • Both children were born during the time of the affair.
  • Elizabeth I (Anne Boleyn’s daughter) loved the Carey children and bestowed favors upon them. Henry was knighted by her and made Bason Hunsdon. Elizabeth also visited him on his deathbed and gave him the patent and robes of the Earldom of Wiltshire. Henry’s son, Robert, received Queen Elizabeth I’s ring from her hand upon her death.
  • Catherine Carey was Queen Elizabeth I’s most senior lady-in-waiting, and was buried at Royal expense and given a prominent memorial when she died.

It is rumored that King Henry VIII may have acknowledged these children, but he had already taken in HenryFitzhugh as his legitimate child. He was the child of an affair with Bessie Blount.

The_Other_Boleyn_GirlIt is exciting to know that I am the descendant of this woman who so captivated me through her story, and believe that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of King Henry VIII. Perhaps there is something in our DNA that recognizes those who came and went long before us, and left their mark upon our futures.

–facts excerpted from The Anne Boleyn Files

 

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Why Should I Wear a Fascinator on the Right?


Camilla-fascinator-on-right

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wears a fascinator.

A number of kind readers have been asking Miss Meredith Sweetpea lately why a fascinator is traditionally worn on the right-hand side of the head.

The custom runs far back into history to when women were generally accompanied by men when they walked down the street. Women of any stature would rarely have occasion to walk alone; she was escorted by her husband, or if single, her father or brother. And of course, both men and women always wore a hat whenever outdoors.

Wearing the Fascinator on the Right Made Perfect Sense

Men traditionally carried their weapon, such as a sword, on their left-hand side, so it made sense that when walking with a woman (when armed), she walk on his right-hand side. Even when men no longer carried swords, the tradition of putting the women on a man’s right continued.

Catherine-Duchess-of-Cambridge-wears-fascinator-on-right

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wears her fascinator on the right.

Another reason to put the women on a man’s right was to position the man between the woman and the street to help protect her fine skirts from becoming splashed by passing carriages or horses traversing the often-muddy roadways.

Therefore, in order to have conversation when walking down the street, a women would tilt her hat to the right to offer a better view of her face to her companion. This also prettily framed her face perfectly for flirting, which only added to her fascination. The pert angle of the hat took on the name “fascinator.”

Today’s milliners often design a fascinator to sit on the right-hand side, in keeping with tradition. But many fascinators are made to suit either side of the face, or to be worn in the center of the head at a slightly forward angle toward. Some people even prefer to wear their fascinator to cover the part in their hair, believing it more attractive worn that way.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about which side is the correct side to wear a fascinator. It is simply up to you to choose.

Woman are Always Right

The tradition of having the women walk on the inside of the man on the street carries on today with polite men and women. Remember the catchphrase, “Women are always right” and it will be easy to remember.

Read More About Fascinators

For more information about fascinators, read our other posts:

Find Your Perfect Fascinator

  • Do you have a fascinator? Browse more than a thousand darling Fascinators! You might just find one that’s perfect for your look.

 

When did Groundhog Day Start?


Punxsatawney-Phil-groundhog

Punxsatawney Phil on Groundhog Day

On February 2, 1887, Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania newspaper editor Clymer Freas invented the idea of Groundhog Day. According to reports, he convinced a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters known as the Punxsatawney Groundhog Club to trek to a site called Gobbler’s Knob to hold an “official” ceremony. If the groundhog saw his shadow, it would be considered bad news.

In modern days, the February festivities that attract tens of thousands of spectators over three days are presided over by the Inner Circle, a band of local dignitaries who wear top hats and speak in the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dialect (supposedly this is called “Groundhogese”). This well-known groundhog is known as “Punxsatawney Phil.”

Tradition states that if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow on this day, six more weeks of winter will follow. If he does not see his shadow, it means an indication of an early spring. Maybe we shouldn’t rely on Phil’s forecast so much though, the National Climatic Data Center and the Canadian weather service report his accuracy at less than 40%. Yet still, it is a fun tradition that continues today.

Ancient Significance of February 2nd

The date of February 2nd falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and was noted for its significance by many ancient cultures. Continue reading

Victorian Inventions We Couldn’t Live Without Today | Meredith Sweetpea


Victorian-woman-on-sewing-machine

A fine Victorian invention

We see lines at the electronics store when the new smartphone comes out, and frenzies at the toy store when a popular doll is sold out.  Miss Meredith Sweetpea was wondering what inventions Victorians made that we couldn’t live without today.

Telephone

The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and patented in 1876. He just barely Continue reading

Louisa May Alcott | Meredith Sweetpea


Miss Meredith Sweetpea loved reading Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott when she was growing up. Didn’t you? After coming across my dog-eared copies, I thought I’d share a little more about the Victorian author behind these beloved books.

Louisa May Alcott’s Youth

Louisa-May-Alcott

Author Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born November 29, 1832 in Germantown (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania to Transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and social worker Abby May. She was the second of four daughters.

The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1838, where her father opened an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Her father maintained strict views on Continue reading

The Butler’s Guide to Living Like Downton Abbey | Meredith Sweetpea | Books


image-of-the-butler's-guide-to-running-the-home-by-Stanley-Ager-and-Fiona-St.AubynMiss Meredith Sweetpea is quite enamored with Downton Abbey (along with many, many other people) and was delighted to find a new book titled “The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces,” by Stanley Ager and Fiona St. Aubyn (Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York).

Relating to the popular British PBS series, the forward is written by Alastair Bruce OBE, historical advisor to Downton Abbey.

The Butler’s Guide shares butler Stanley Ager’s “skills acquired during his career, which was a sort of ‘calling’ dedicated in his own words, to ‘the three most important qualities for running a home [which] are punctuality, organization, cleanliness.  If you master these, everything else should fall into place,'” writes Bruce.

The book is written with co-author Fiona St. Aubyn, the granddaughter of Ager’s last employer, the third Lord St. Levan.

Just Like Downton Abbey

Ager became one of the few in his profession to actually record what he knew Continue reading

Ring in the New Year | Victorian History | Meredith Sweetpea


Victorian-New-Year's-Day-card

Happy Victorian
New Year

In Victorian times, on New Year’s Day, wealthy Victorians would invite eligible bachelors into their homes to meet their daughters in sort of a formal open house tradition.

Victorian open houses ruled New Year’s Day

The bachelors would receive engraved invitations and arrived to enjoy a feast buffet of fine foods like turkey, oysters, chicken, fruitcake, sweets, and liquor-laced egg nog, and to enjoy mingling with any eligible young ladies of the house. Traditionally, all ladies and boys under age ten remained at home to receive callers while the gentlemen went out to pay visits. Newspapers sometimes even printed lists of homes that were open and the times the family would receive visitors.

Rules dictated that the gentlemen callers Continue reading

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