During the rest of Katherine of Aragon's life (only three years), Chapuys continually visited her at More Castle and Kimbolton Castle - her places of banishment. His purpose was to give her comfort and pass along messages of love and support from his master and her nephew, Charles V - who was disgusted by Henry VIII's behavior. Meanwhile, Chapuys could not disguise his hatred for Henry's new love and Queen, Anne Boleyn. From Anne's earliest days with Henry, Chapuys predicted her downfall - which would actually happen in 1536, much to his pleasure.
"Your Majesty must root out the Lady [Anne Boleyn] and her adherents…. This accursed Anne has her foot in the stirrup, and will do the Queen and the Princess [Mary] all the harm she can. She has boasted that she will make the Princess her lady-in-waiting, or marry her to some varlet."
He characterized Anne Boleyn as the very embodiment of evil - the devil itself. He saw firsthand her cruel treatment of the Princess Mary - (now Lady Mary), and was more than likely of the belief that Anne was plotting to have Katherine of Aragon murdered. Needless to say, when Anne was executed in 1536, much to the shock of most of the country, Chapuys was celebrating and already considering how to champion the somewhat forgotten and neglected Lady Mary, whom Chapuys had a great affection for because of her mother Katherine - who had also recently died.
His feelings for Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour were significantly kinder than they had been for Anne Boleyn - most likely because Jane successfully convinced Henry to invite the Lady Mary back to court, and she showed her great kindness and motherly affection. She was also not nearly the controversial, difficult woman that Anne Boleyn had been, so Chapuys, like virtually everyone else, most likely did not have many bad things to say about her. This was the short-lived time of peace during Henry's many marriages.
Throughout the last three marriages of Henry's life, Chapuys stuck close by Mary (who bounced from "Lady" to "Princess" at her father's will), and vowed that he would do all that was in his power to see that she was given her rights as Princess and that she would someday be queen. It is very possible that he served not only as a political ally to Mary, but as a religious support - considering they were both devout Catholics hailing from the very-Catholic nation of Spain.
In 1545, Chapuys asked and was granted permission to withdraw from court and retire, as a result of his failing health (gout). He withdrew to the low countries (now in Belgium) and lived out the rest of his days until 1556, dying at age 62 - a long life for a man in those days! **Note: In The Tudors, Sir Richard Rich is shown informing Princess Mary of Chapuys' death shortly after he returned to Spain (another falsehood) - but this was most likely done for dramatic effect. In reality, Chapuys did not pass away until roughly halfway through Mary's reign as queen - and we can assume that the two of them continued to speak until his death, considering they were such close friends.
I really have a great respect for Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, and I absolutely love how he was portrayed in TheTudors - he was by far one of my favorite characters. He was known during his life for his alert, legal mind and his ability to read people easily. Although he was cynical and shrewd, he was fiercely loyal and faithful to those he cared for. If you weren't on his side or on the side of those he supported, you could expect him to hate you - which seems a pretty common theme at Henry VIII's court, really. Based on what I've read and learned, Chapuys seems to have been the perfect man for the job he held, and I think Princess Mary was very lucky to have him. I really must do more research on this fascinating man.
What are your thoughts?