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Jane Seymour was born circa 1509 in England, as the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. Born to a wealthy family, Seymour was a descendant of Edward III and the prestigious family had more than 100 manors in 19 countries and five castles.
The young woman wasn't particularly well educated, however, only knowing how to read and write her own name. She was proficient in household tasks and other hobbies, such as gardening and needlework
Seymour acted as a lady in waiting, or maid of honor, for King Henry VIII's first wife—Catherine of Aragon—and his second—Anne Boleyn—in 1529 and 1535, respectively. In September of the year that Henry VIII married Boleyn, he visited the Seymour home. It's believed that Jane Seymour caught his eye during the visit, and in February of the following year, rumor of his attraction to Seymour began to spread.
This is where Jayne's story begins to change to suit our "what if" story. Even with his Queen having given him two very happy, healthy sons, Henry was very much a man who took his pleasure where and how he wished to do so. In truth, Henry loved Anne as much a man such as he could but he never forgot that he was KING and she was his wife who would do well to remember that she had been raised by his hand and could, just as quickly, be put down.
Anne had been forced to play the long game and let Henry and Jayne's dalliance play out without protest. But on the birth of their first girl child Elizabeth -- who is the living embodiment of her Royal Father (along with the tragic death of Jayne's son by Henry a week after Elizabeth's birth), Anne is able to play the one card that it is impossible for Henry to argue with: SHE is the only one who has given him healthy children. SHE is the only one who has given him SONS.
Now Anne suggested that Jayne be married to Sir Michael Stanhope-- one of the King's Esquires of the Body. She also suggested that Stanhope be made Lieutenant of the Garrison at Kingston upon Hull --a post that gave him responsibilities that would keep he and his new bride safely in Yorkshire and out of Henry's sight while being quite prestigious enough a posting that Jayne's power hungry brothers, Edward and Thomas Seymour could not complain that their cast off mistress of a sister was being unfairly treated.
The Most Happy
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