Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tudor Tart: Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. There has been a lot going on in my personal life which has kept me very distracted, but I appreciate the patience and support from all of you!
Bessie from "The Tudors."
Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount was the  daughter of Sir John Blount and Catherine Pershall. She first caught the eye of the King around 1515, when she was a maid of honor to Queen Katherine of Aragon. According to sources or the period, the affair lasted nearly eight years, ending in the birth of a son. Henry, against the wishes of his advisers, claimed the child as his own and named him Henry Fitzroy. When the child was six, Henry had him made Duke of Richmond and Somerset and Earl of Nottingham. Henry may have even tried to make Henry Fitzroy his legitimate heir. However, to avoid the conflicts of years before (aka the Wars of the Roses) Henry opted for an "easier" path...having a legitimate heir (we see how well that worked out in the long run).
Henry Fitzroy

Bessie was renowned for her beauty, thought sadly no known portrait of her survives.

After her dismissal as mistress, Bessie was married off to Gilbert Tailboys, 1st Baron Tailboys. After his death, Bessie married Edward Clinton or Fiennes, 9th Baron Clinton, a younger man. She briefly serves as a Lady in Waiting to Anne of Cleves. Bessie died in 1540.

So what makes or breaks her as a Tudor Tart?

Well, Bessie carried on an eight year relationship with a married man, had his illegitimate love child, and ended her life as a cougar. Not to shabby, eh? But then again, it could be look at as Bessie spending eight blissful years with a man she loved, having a child with him, then marrying a younger man (who can blame her, right?) I suppose it is all perspective. What think ye? Pin It


  1. Bessie and Mary are two of my favorites =)~ I personally believe that Bessie was one of Henry's greatest loves. As you said.... he took the "easier" path, NOT!! He probably would have been better off taking Bessie as his bride and making their son a legitimate heir. They probably would of had more sons.

  2. I think history would certainly be different if he had taken Bessie as his wife. I still think he would have gone down in history as a rakish King though!

  3. There is some wonderful information on Bessie Blount, especially concerning her life after her affair with King Henry VIII in Alison Weir's book, Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of King's (This book was published under the title, Mary Boleyn: The Great and Infamous Whore in the UK.

    I have not read the Elizabeth Norton book on Bessie Blount yet.

    -Ashlie of "BeingBess"
    "BeingBess" is dedicated to celebrating the life of Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603) and the legacy of her reign as Queen of England (1558-1603).