Lady Mary Boleyn
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The Sixteenth of March in the Year of Our Lord, 1521 - Lunchtime

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Friends and Dearhearts,

I do wish to address with thee the origins of a certain nomenclature that hath been attached to my person most unfairly and very unflatteringly. I am oft referred to as "A Great Whore. The Most Infamous in All of England." Why fore shouldst such an unkind label be attached to one who strives to live not her own existence, but one that hath been set forth for her by her elders and family and one she chooseth to live for the benefit of the many?

Whilst in the service of the now Dowager Queen of France, The Duchess of Suffolk and the sister of our dear Lord and Sovereign, Mary Rose Tudor, and after her return to France, I were called to the attention of and caught the eye of Francois who became Francois le Premiere upon the death of Louis. Were I to possess mine own free will, I wouldst have stayed my distance from him, however, seeing as he didst fancy me, I were oft called to his bedchamber and welcomed with open arms into his bed. As a woman of gentility, I do be at the bidding of the patriarchy of the Howard and Boleyn families and am regarded as nothing but a tool to advance the stature and standing of my kinsmen. When one hath been taken a fancy to by a sovereign, one must obey the wishes of those who lord over her.

That is not to say that my time in France were unhappy and loathsome. Au contraire, for I didst become quite attached to Francois and found myself dreaming of our trysts more often than not. He were quite attentive, gentle, kind, and a wondrous paramour. My virtue hath been his but hath nay been tarnished as a result. When the time didst come for me to return to my native England, I didst cry for I hated to leave him. I were bestowed many lovely gifts such as a brooch set with emeralds, a ring set with garnet, another brooch of gold, enamel and pearls, and beautiful velvets and damasks for a new dress. When I wear these things I be intimately reminded of our time together.

There be one thing that doth vex me however, it hath been said that upon my return, I were spoken of in a letter from Francois to our own dear Lord and Sovereign, Henry VIII, who didst refer to me as “a good ride” and his “favorite hack.” Why fore shouldst I be degraded as such when I didst give mine all to him? 

Upon my return to England I immediately entered into the service of Her Majesty, Queen Katherine of Aragon, the most pious and kindly of sovereigns, as a lady in waiting. His Majesty, Henry VIII, turned his own attentions to me shortly thereafter and I were instructed by my Uncle Norfolk as well as my father that I were to go to Him each and every time he sent for me regardless of my protestations. But what didst happen? I didst find myself longing to be with Him despite my conscious and my sense of duty and loyalty to Her Highness. I were ridden with guilt as I hold Her Highness in the highest of esteem and respect. Mine affair with His Majesty hath been one of tenderness, kindness and mutual respect. I hath received many a token of affection from Him including jewelry and even a ship hath been named in mine honor, the Mary Boleyn. My family hath benefited greatly from my ascendancy in His Majesty’s favor and hath been bestowed with lands, titles and positions of favour within the court.

So why fore shouldst I be referred to as The Great Whore? It be mine opinion that I be the victim of slanderously wagging tongues within the court who be jealous of my position. It be nay my doing that I hath been favored by two monarchs to accompany them to their bedchambers at their bidding. I wish to express how it pains me that my peers vieweth me so unfavorably as to label me as such and I petition His Majesty to declare an end to such tongue wagging and restore my good name amongst my peers. Until such a time as this occurs I remain with a heavy heart and with hopes that mine honor shall be restored.

Au revoir mes amis.

Mary “They Shouldst Bury Me in a Y-shaped Coffin” Boleyn

Days of Yore - Anon

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