40 minutes ago
🐾anne boleyn’s pets: part 1🐾
anne boleyn had a lapdog called purkoy, which came from the french ‘pourquoi’, meaning ‘why?’. the little dog was originally given to sir francis bryan, anne’s cousin, by lady lisle as a new year’s gift. she’d given the dog to bryan on the advice of john husee because the lisles needed bryan’s help. lady lisle had obviously been fond of purkoy, but she had to follow husee’s advice. however, bryan ended up passing the gift on to the queen. he wrote to lord lisle on january 20, 1534 asking him to thank his wife for the gift but explaining what had happened: “…it may please your lordship to give her hearty thanks on my behalf for her little dog, which was so proper and so well liked by the queen that it remained not above an hour in my hands but that her grace took it from me.” it is not known what kind of dog purkoy was, but perhaps a toy spaniel or toy poodle. thomas broke apparently said anne preferred a male dog to a female one, but the reasoning for this is not known. purkoy would have had a diet of bread, which people of the tudor age thought would keep a dog gentle and discourage his hunting instincts. daily, he would have been perfumed and brushed, or had his fur rubbed with a "hair cloth" to remove any stray fur that could adhere to his mistress's fine gowns.
sadly, purkoy died in an “accident” in december of 1534. margery horseman, one of anne's ladies, wrote to the lisles that the dog had "fallen from a window" and her ladies were so afraid of anne's reaction, they asked the king to break the news to her. “also she saith that the queen’s grace setteth much store by a pretty dog, and her grace delighted so much in little purkoy that after he was dead of a fall there durst nobody tell her grace of it, till it pleased the king’s highness to tell her grace of it.”
as usual, ambassador chapuys is gleeful in reporting any misfortune that comes anne's way in his letters to the emperor. he makes a callous joke of it later, saying that news of a military disappointment for one of their allies made the king and queen look like dogs that had fallen from a window.
continued on next post——>