Wives of Henry VIII

 

The six life(wives) of Henry VIII.

 Part I

 

I’ll tell you of Henry Tudor,

or th’eighth as he’s commonly known.

O’ t’deeds that he did an’ t’wives that he wed,

an’ t’seeds th’owd beggar sown.

 

He came onto t’throne in 1509,

an’ straightway he wanted a missus.

T’palace were ‘eavin wi’ ladies an’ such,

all winkin’ an’ blowin’ ‘im kisses.

 

He didn’t know which way to turn poor lad,

of t’beauties there were quite a throng.

There were duchesses, countesses, ladies in waitin’,

who looked like they wouldn’t wait long?

 

He demanded that Wolsey, his Lord Chancellor,

“For a bride you must scour mi land!”

Wolsey said “half a mo’, your kids widda’s outside,

if you don’t mind thi Queen second hand?”

 

“Go on then” said ‘enry, “I’ll give ‘er a do”

these suitors are getting’ a pain,

but by the way Wolsey, what’s t’lasses full title?”

“its Catherine of …..somewhere in Spain?”

 

So ‘enry an’ Catherine of Aragon wed,

an’ started ‘is quest for a son,

but daughters were all she could manage poor lass,

though ‘enry thought tryin’ were fun.

 

After six failed attempts t’give ‘enry an ‘eir,

an’ wi’ only young Mary to show.

‘enry pulled ‘is lord chancellor o’er to one side,

sayin’ “Wolsey, she’s bahn have to go!”

 

Wolsey’s job were to send t’Pope a letter

and ask for a quickie divorce,

if answer received weren’t to ‘enrys taste,

he’d find hissel, cut off at source.

 

Well the word he got back, it were just as he feared.

It said NO, an’ were signed an’ were dated.

p.s. at t’bottom in bright scarlet ink read,

try and, you’re ex-com….uni-cated!

 

So Wolsey set off to see ‘enry “tout suite”,

up to ‘ampton the bad news to tell.

“’is ‘oliness writes that he’ll grant no divorce”

Aitch says “sod ‘im I’ll do it mi’sel!”

 

Now Wolsey ‘ad never sin ‘enry so mad,

now t’Pope ‘ad disputed ‘is power.

“I’m bahnd to be rid o’ that Aragon wench,

an’ Wolsey lad you’re bahnd for t’tower.

 

So Wolsey were out an’ a new mon were in,

a chap who were named Thomas More.

“If YOU don’t shape better than t’last one” said Aitch,

“You’ll be pickin’ your ‘ead up off t’floor!”

 

As ‘enry decided to go C of E,

it meant th’end o’ line for poor Cath.

An’ as More were still muth’rin ‘baht “papal consent”

he an’all, would feel ‘enrys wrath.

 

Part II.

 

Well feelin’ as free ‘as he ‘ad for some time,

an’ absolvin’ hissel of ‘is sin.

‘enry ‘ad a quick glance ‘round all t’totty at court,

an’ a lass took ‘is eye named Boleyn.

 

So ‘enry took Mistress Boleyn for his bride,

and her pregnancy soon came to pass,

but the bets that were layed on ‘er dropping an ‘eir,

all went down when she mothered a lass.

 

“It’s a daughter sire” whispered the midwife,

“wi’ lovely pale skin an’ red ‘air”

“I believe she is to be Lizzie” said More.

‘enry sighed muth’rin’ “how life int’fair.”

 

‘enry now ‘ad a couple o’ dewters,

wi’ no sign o’ the lad that he pined.

So he called in a bloke name o’ Cromwell,

to dig up all t’dirt he could find.

 

Well he weren’t a nice chap this ‘ere Cromwell,

but as deep an’ as ‘ard as he delved.

He couldn’t find owt he could pin on Boleyn,

so the ‘eadsmans plans ‘ad to be shelved.

 

But ‘enry were getting’ frustrated,

with his failure to sire a boy pup.

An’ wi’ Cromwell’s pre-var-ifi-cations,

so he said “if tha’s nowt, mek it up!”

 

so poor Anne Boleyn she were summoned,

an’ t’charges were duly read out,

by that fawce little Cromwell, she ‘ad bin accused,

of both’rin’ an’ messin’ about.

 

“I’ve ‘eard all o’ t’charges” king ‘enry said,

an’ all o’ them scandalous facts.”

“you’ll be chucked into t’tower, to teach you respect,

an’ ‘ow to part ‘air wi’ an axe.

 

A nasty an’ ‘orrible fate for Boleyn,

wi’ ‘lizabeth just six month owd.

‘is majesty schemin’ to bring Seymour in,

‘fore Anne Boleyn’s throne ‘ad gone cowd.

 

This choppin’ an’ changin’ at ‘enerys whim,

were getting’ poor Thomas More down,

but as ‘ard as he tried, ‘is scowls sadly looked

more like, constipation than frown.

 

‘enry saw that owd More ‘ad bin tekkin the ‘ump.

“Don’t judge me YOUR king, sir prithee.

I’ll find you a readin’ room o’er into t’tower,

you can tek your “Utopia” wi’ thee.”

 

Jane Seymour were ‘enerys ‘at trick,

third missus in twenty odd year

and when in due course she delivered a son,

‘ollered ‘enry, “this calls for some beer!”

 

King ‘enry were suited wi’ ‘avin’ an ‘eir,

but as Ed were a bit of a waif,

he smiled at Jane Seymour an’ strokin’ ‘er ‘and said

“could do wi’ one more to be safe?”

 

Not long after t’birth o’ Prince Edward her son,

Lady Seymour took poorly an’ deed.

To Cromwell king ‘enry ruth-less-ly declared,

“I need some more back up for t’weed!”

 

Cromwell set off wi’ a new task to find,

a suitable lass for the throne.

While ‘enry sat waitin’ in anticipation,

Earl of Essex ‘ad plans of ‘is own.

 

Part III.

 

Cromwell now drew up t’legislation,

that parted the crown from the Pope,

but he needed a deal wi’ t’Germans,

to give pro-test-ant-ism more scope.

 

To t’Duke of Cleves, he penned a letter,

o’ th’advantages he foresaw.

An alliance ‘gainst Pope an’ ‘is empire,

wi’ king ‘enry as ‘is son-in-law.

 

So, on Thomas’s recommendation,

Anne of Cleves ‘and ‘enry did take.

Sadly, soon as he lifted ‘er yashmak in t’church.

He knew that he’d med a mistake.

 

He were scared by th’appearance o’ t’woman,

but to wed ‘er he saw as a duty.

Cromwell did assure ‘im that where she come from,

black teeth were a sign o’ great beauty.

 

After all of six month she were pensioned,

‘enry claimed that “enough is enough.”

Cromwell stated her beauty were “stormy”.

‘enry laughed, “bugger off, you mean rough?”

 

Marriage to Cleves were swiftly annulled

An’ Cromwell said sorry for t’lapse,

but ‘enry towd Tom he ‘ad plans for the man.

“so don’t order any new ‘ats!”

 

Next in t’line it were Catharine Howard,

who archbishop Crammer had thought

were unchaste so he went an’ towd ‘enry, who said,

“I’m not bothered o’er chaste, were she caught?”

 

 She must ‘ave upset Thomas Cranmer,

who kept ‘avin’ a dig at ‘er ‘onour.

It didn’t help not givin’ ‘enry a son,

so as Boleyn, she were a gonner!

 

All this weddin’ lark got our ‘enery down,

an’ a toll on ‘is ‘ealth it did take.

A toll on th’exchequer as well, truth bi known,

costin’ six thousand sov’s just for t’cake.

 

It were said t’King were ‘ooked onto t’nuptials,

or at least it were common perception.

It weren’t really t’weddin’s that ‘enery liked,

but th’unnymoons an’ all t’receptions.

 

One day when at Lords watchin’ t’cricket,

he decided to go six o’ best,

but she needed to be an all rounder

wi’ a much better av’rage than t’rest.

 

Lass were brought forward named Catharine Parr,

who’d ‘ad previous husbands hersel’.

The king remarked “how well she looked for ‘er age.”

She replied “it were ‘appen as well?”

 

Well he wasn’t to know but ‘is sixth were ‘is last,

for a couple o’ year after they wed.

one night she felt ‘enry's cowd feet in ‘er back,

but it weren’t just ‘is feet, he were dead.

 

So one of ‘is wives ‘ad outlived ‘im at last.

P’raps the one that he fon to bi cuddly?

He weren’t in ‘is grave long before she upped sticks,

and married Lord Seymour of Dudley.

 

Epilogue.

 

But what of ‘is childer an’ ‘ow did they fare?

Did any stand out above t’rest?

Or were they as childer ‘ave bin for all time,

a set of obnoxious young pests?

 

Edward ‘is son took t’throne at age ten,

but snuffed it on reachin’ sixteen.

‘is biggest mistake was in listenin’ to t’dukes,

an’ namin’ Jane Grey as next queen.

 

Mary were crowned in Fifteen-fiftythree,

an’ wed Philip o’ Spain t’followin’ year,

her particular passion were ‘avin’ burnt stakes.

Wi’ people tied to ‘em we hear?

 

Queen Elizabeth ruled nigh on 46 year,

in which time she ne’er give a damn,

for t’counsel of lords who compelled ‘er to wed.

an' so kept 'er 'ead better than Mam.