...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Tudor Grandmother Elizabeth Brooke Giveaway!!

The best is saved for last. My day 5 HF Roundtable Event Giveaway!

My family vine reaches back through thousands of years, through Kings and Emperor's, but one of my most fascinating ancestors is by far my 11th great grandmother Elizabeth Brooke born in Cobhamhall, Kent England 1503 the daughter of Thomas Brooke the 8th Earl of Cobhamhall. She married my 11th great grandfather Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet who was madly in love with Anne Boleyn and wrote sonnets for her. This is of course while he was married to Elizabeth. Thomas and Elizabeth had two children a daughter Anne and my 10th great grand father Sir Thomas Wyatt the rebel who led the rebellion against Queen Mary advocating to put Jane Gray back in power as queen. He was later executed with Jane's father Henry.

Wyatt picture will link you to previous post about Thomas Wyatt and his sonnet for Anne.

Elizabeth and Thomas had marital problems from the very beginning. I would largely suspect it had much to do with my great grandfathers roving eye, and love for Anne Boleyn. Thomas filed for a legal separation on the grounds of Elizabeth being "an adulteress" funny thing was that he could never produce any specific man that she was having an affair with. Nevertheless he kicked her out in 1537 forcing Elizabeth to live with her brother, Lord Cobham, refusing to pay support for his adulteress wife. Funny isn't it that he was still carrying on his affair with Elizabeth Darrell. In 1541 Wyatt was arrested and his properties all confiscated. The Brooke family took advantage of this state of affairs and forced a reconciliation as a condition of Wyatt's pardon. Apparently Lord Cobham had a lot of clout with King Henry. It doesn't appear that Elizabeth ever went back to her home with Thomas. He would die in 1542. It was early in 1542 that Lady Wyatt's (Elizabeth) name crops up in Spanish dispatches as one of the three ladies in whom Henry VIII was said to be interested as a possible sixth wife. Any candidate had to be a direct descendant of Edward III. Elizabeth had an impeccable pedigree one that was even more princely than the King. However after his 5th wife Catherine Howard it was of up most importance that the King marry himself a wife with a spotless reputation. The scandal surrounding Elizabeth and Thomas caused the King to look elsewhere. Thank goodness for small miracles!!!!

Following Wyatt's death Elizabeth would marry Edward Warner, Lord Lieutenant of the Tower. She died at the Tower in August 1560 and buried there within it's precincts. Elizabeth was Anne Boleyn's 2nd cousin, her grandmother would be Anne's Aunt. I have to wonder what she felt about Anne and her husbands attachment to her. Did she hate her? Was this the reason she found herself a lover? I do not believe that Thomas, her husband ever wrote any sonnets for her.

I love this woman, my great grandmother. What a life she led. She was right there in the middle of it all, married to one of Anne's lovers, cousin to the queen, losing her son on the Tower Green.

According to Kelly Hart in her book Mistress's of Henry VIII she is listed as one of his short term mistresses. The portrait shown here is a drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger labeled " Anna Bollein Queen", his only portrait of a woman in informal dress has been long argued to actually be Elizabeth Brooke, Lady Wyatt. Who knows, but it could be.

In honor of my great grand mother Elizabeth Brooke I am offering a give away of Henry VIII The Early Tudors 12 4x6 portrait postcards and booklet put out by London's National Gallery, purchased at Hampton Court (Anne's home while married to Henry). It's a beautiful set. The portrait cards are gorgeous and frame-able. They come in a lovely case included with it is a 12 page booklet with explanations on all the portraits. The pictures here do not do justice.

This contest will run until midnight October 2nd.

  • Open Worldwide

  • 1 entry for following my blog(leave email)

  • 5 entries for commenting about Elizabeth and Anne's relationship. What do you think?

  • 2 entries for posting on your blog(please leave link)

  • 2 for twittering

  • If you are already follower please indicate (please leave email)

Front of case

back of the case showing the portraits included


  1. I read your piece on the Wyatt family connection with great interest. It was a good few years ago, I think around 1990, when my partner and I organised a holistic break (about 4 nights) in Allington Castle in Kent – doing yoga and such like. People I speak to about it marvel that this was ever possible, as it had been in the hands of the Carmelite monks since the early 50’s and then passed into private ownership recently. But at the time it was let-out for corporate events, and as they were just beginning to start off in this enterprise, it was all priced quite reasonably. The accommodation was spectacular, in vast bedrooms with thick walls and medieval windows and doorways, a fabulous great hall and library, and dark passages and resident ghosts that regularly pushed down the mattresses of our fellow students or ‘tucked them up’ once they were in bed. The food was simple and wholesome and a great time was had by all. We were immensely fortunate to have been able to do this, and it remains one of my fondest memories.
    Oddly, I had begun sketching out the plan for a novel shortly prior to going there, but didn't get around to writing it until some years later. Within the plot of this story is Wyatt's rebellion of 1554. But at the time of my stay, I had no idea that Allington was once the home of the Wyatts - only discovering this fact, unfortunately, well into the writing of the story itself many years later. If only I had known, I would certainly have spent more time researching than I did! A wonderful place - very atmospheric and with the added presence of the Carmelites, incredibly tranquil and spiritually-charged.
    Robert Parry
    (Author 'Virgin and the Crab')

  2. Fascinating post! You have such awesome ancestors! You really should write a book on them all!

    Please enter me in this contest - I would love to win!!!

    Did I tell you yet that I love your new look? Very pretty!

  3. Yes Rob~Allington Castle was where Sir Thomas Wyatt was born and died. It's the one place I missed on my recent trip to Kent. I did manage to see Hever Castle which I loved. Just curious are you the Robert Parry who is the American Investigative Journalist? Your book looks very interesting. Send me one, I'll read it, review it and do a give away. Your reviews on Amazon look good.
    Thanks for the infor on Allington.

  4. I would love to be entered, and I'm a follower.


  5. Geesh - I think that I'd be furious with my husband if he was writing sonnets for another woman. I think that Sir Thomas Wyatt was very lucky that he didn't get something "put into his food"! And I would be jealous, so why wouldn't your 11th great grandmother?

    BTW I've always loved the name Elizabeth, and the name Anne (but I think that the e isn't neeeded) - do you think maybe, it's because my name is Elizabeth Ann?

    Please enter me - thanks.

  6. I think it is pretty fortunate for Thomas that Elizabeth out of spite didn't blow the whistle on him big time when Anne was on trail. He was arrested on suspicion of being one Anne's lovers but released later because of his father's friendship with Thomas Cromwell. What if Elizabeth told it like it was I'm sure his head would be gone. Umm... I wonder why she didn't? I'm glad she didn't I wouldn't want to think one of my grandmothers would have been so spiteful that she would of initiate someones death, like Jane Bolen.

  7. Please enter me (what a cool giveaway!) and I"m a follower. i love the new look of your blog - gorgeous!


  8. You are Soooo interesting!!!
    And PLEASE enter me:) Of course I'm a follower (since forever!)

    I've also tweeted; I've updated my blog post to include this giveaway and now, here's what I think about Elizabeth and Anne..

    I'm wondering if Anne was even aware of this tense situation? As for Elizabeth, to have her husband pay attention to another in ways he never did to her, must have been incredibly painful. And to have her sent away and falsely accuse her- gee it almost sounds like Elizabeth and Anne lived mirrored lives..

    Fantastic post- and thank you so much for participating in such a fun, interesting and generous way:)


  9. What an itnriguing post, well written, and I am honored to have it part of this week's HF round table posts. Loved it. Please enter me for this giveaway, and here are my thoughts on Elizabeth Brooke's and Anne's relationship:
    Poor Elizabeth! I found it fascinating that she was married to Wyatt, and how many books I have read that have referred to Wyatt as 'poor poetic Wyatt who was smitten with Queen Anne'.. After all the drama of the executions of Anne's brother & friends, I wonder how Wyatt escaped notice? Was he that well-liked? After reading your post here, I will never have the same 'poor Wyatt' thoughts again!
    But back to Anne and your dear Elizabeth, I would think Elizabeth did not enjoy the attentions Wyatt gave Anne, or she could not have cared less at all.. perhaps she wished Wyatt would just go away?
    I am also glad that Elizabeth was not selected as a wife for Henry, that would never bode well for anyone as we have noticed.
    What a fantastic post. Looking forward to more of your genealogy! I have traced mine back to the 1600's and England and Ireland (of course, where else would most early Americans come from?) and some are found on thesister ship of the Mayflower, but the most exciting so far is the POSSIBILITY of being linked General Lee. Not fun stuff like you!! Loved it.
    marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

  10. PS I love your new look as well!! I was considering a similar look myself before i did the custom route. Looks Great!! Classy and my favorite theme of colors!

  11. Add two more entries for me for tweeting:
    marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

  12. Oh Marie I think being linked to General Lee would be so marvelous. Not that I was for the south, but General Lee was a great man and great leader. Actually he has very few direct links to him because he had several children but only two were married. My husband's family comes from Henry Howland on the Sister Ship to the Mayflower. Loved your comments on Anne and Elizabeth. I think you are right, I think Elizabeth was just plain sick of Thomas and did want him to go away. It seemed she didn't lack for any male company, but she did have a stronger more noble family.

  13. Yes, Susie, I agree. I believe Elizabeth probably had no love lost for Thomas. If ever there was a marriage of convenience, this seems to be it. Thomas was notorious before he married Elizabeth. I don't believe that she had any delusions as to what she could expect from him. In the end, Ann may have received the sonnets, Elizabeth received her life. Thank goodness!!! :) :)

  14. I think Elizabeth knew exactly what she was getting when she married Thomas.

    What an interesting post.



  15. Oh what an interesting post and family history!
    I'm a follower and I'd love to win!


  16. Hi Susie!
    Thank you for offering to take a look at my book. Can you let me know sometime how I can do that - i.e. where to send it? I could not respond to your e-mail, as it is a 'no-reply' service.
    Kind Regards
    Robert Parry

  17. Hi all,

    I want to let you know about another giveaway that is going on. Regal Literary is giving away ten advanced reader's copies and three first edition hardcovers of the new Audrey Niffenegger book, Her Fearful Symmetry, on October 1st in a lottery to people who join the facebook page as a fan and send an e-mail to The book should be of interest to anyone interested in British culture and history. Niffenegger is a tour guide at Highgate cemetery, which is featured in the book. Good luck!

    I Twittered This today =)
    +2 for Marie
    Thanks for the fabulous giveaway, Susie!
    marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

  19. Oh LOL
    Just saw I had already twittered it before..
    Well there you go anyway..

  20. Great contest.

  21. Rob~you can reach me at I hope to hear from you.

  22. What a wonderful blog! From a writer "cousin" who shares the Sir Thomas Wyatt and Elizabeth Brooke line through Reverend Hawte Wyatt.

  23. Well I guess that makes you my cousin as well as I am also descended of Sir Thomas and Elizabeth Brooke' seems there are quite a lot of us really! Apparently they got around a bit.

  24. I just stumbled across your blog while doing some research on my ancestors, Elizabeth Brook and Thomas Wyatt. My grandmother is Amy Wyatt and the family tree follows back through her father. I too have become fascinated with our family history and hope to learn more about our ancestors.


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