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"Anne regards me as her jester and entertainer, a singer and player who can dispel bad moods and bring amusement–but I had not imagined being in the service of a peevish, moody woman who wants nothing but to become Henry's queen."
—Elinor Valjean[3]

Elinor Freeman (née Valjean; born 20 February 1514) was the daughter of Eva De Puebla and Michel Valjean. She became a Lady of Court when she reached age thirteen. Elinor worked as a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, before being transferred to Anne Boleyn's household. She married Tom Freeman in 1531.


Early life[]

Elinor was born 20 February 1514 in England.[2] She was the second child of Spaniard Eva De Puebla and Frenchman Michel Valjean. She had a older sister, Rosanna, and two younger brothers, Daniel and William. Before she was born, she had a brother whom died before reaching the age of one. Elinor spent her formative years at court, assisting her mother in Queen Catherine of Aragon's household.

1525 – 1536[]


A young Eva, Elinor's mother

In 1525, Elinor began writing a diary when she was eleven. She wrote sporadically until she became an official court lady in 1527 at the age of thirteen. Elinor was happy to join Catherine's household with her mother and older sister. The following year, her father passed away suddenly of the sweating sickness. Eva was ordered to leave Catherine's household to become a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn the same year. Anne had caught the interest of King Henry VIII two years earlier but had ever since refused to become his mistress. A trial was held in Westminster for Henry to annul his marriage to Catherine. During this time, Anne was sent away to Hever, where Elinor met and fell in love with a local blacksmith, named Tom Freeman.

Elinor moved with Anne's household to Whitehall Palace in 1530. Tom came along since he had been hired on as Anne's personal blacksmith. Later that year, Tom proposed to Elinor on Christmas Day. They married on 11 January 1531 after receiving permission from the King. That summer, the court left Catherine behind. Elinor was separated from her mother, sister, and brothers, whom she was only able to communicate with via letters. On June 26, 1532, Elinor gave birth to her first child, Michael, whom she named after her father. Later that year, Elinor and Tom parted from their son for a few weeks while accompanying Henry and Anne to Calais.

The following year, Henry secretly married Anne when she showed signs of pregnancy. Once his marriage was finally annulled, Anne was crowned Queen and she gave birth to Elizabeth in September. That winter, Elinor's brothers came to live with her after many of Catherine's servants were dismissed. On 26 March 1534, Elinor gave birth to a daughter, Maria, named after Maria de Salinas. Two years later, Eva came to live with Elinor after Catherine died. She subsequently witnessed the quick downfall of Anne, whom was falsely accused of adultery and executed. Elinor felt disturbed, despite never liking Anne. Shortly afterward, Elinor left court with her family, including her mother and brother Daniel.

1536 – 1548[]


Elinor's foster daughter, Beatrice

Elinor and her family rented a cottage in Greenwich. She and Eva became friends with Beatrice Townhill, whose family owned their cottage and lived nearby. They lent Beatrice their diaries and told her all about their lives at court. Beatrice visited them as often as she could, becoming like a daughter to Elinor. On 19 February 1537, Elinor gave birth to her third child, Isabella "Bella". She was named after Catherine of Aragon's mother, Queen Isabella. Following the deaths of Beatrice's parents in 1539, Elinor and Eva took her into their family.

In April 1542, Beatrice married Elinor's youngest brother Will. Elinor was extremely happy, having harbored a wish for them to marry. Beatrice and Will took over the tenancy of her childhood home and invited Elinor, her family, and Eva to live with them. Elinor's brother Daniel married a girl named Alice the following September. Tom decided to hand over his horseshoeing business to Daniel, deciding to pursue her dream of making decorative ironwork. Beatrice continued being a court lady by still visited Elinor and the others often. She later gave birth to Joanna and Rodrigo. After leaving court, Beatrice and Will presumably came back to live with Elinor and their family.

Personality and traits[]

During her childhood, Elinor often wished that she had been born a boy since being a girl conflicted with her dream of becoming a court jester like her father. Elinor was especially talented with playing instruments and dancing, which she had inherited from her father. In a way, she achieved her dream since Anne regarded her as a court jester and entertainer. Despite their apparent mutual dislike, Anne often wanted Elinor to perform for her and would require her presence during most trips. Unlike her mother, she was terrible at embroidery.

Family tree[]

The Valjean-Freeman Family Tree
(including De Puebla and Townhill relatives)
Rodrigo De Puebla
(d. 1509)
Bianca De Puebla
Gonsalvo De Puebla
Don De Puebla
(d. 1498)
Anna De Puebla
Miguel De Puebla
Eva De Puebla
(b. 1486)
Michel Valjean
(d. 1528)
Mr Townhill
(d. 1539)
Mrs Townhill
(d. 1539)
Rosanna Valjean
(b. 1510)
Diego Luiz
de Frontera
Elinor Valjean
(b. 1514)
Tom Freeman
Daniel Valjean
(b. 1518)
Alice Valjean
William Valjean
(b. 1521)
Beatrice Townhill
(b. 1526)
John de Frontera
(b. 1530)
Michael Freeman
(b. 1532)
Maria Freeman
(b. 1534)
Isabella Freeman
(b. 1537)
Joanna Valjean
(b. 1544)
Rodrigo Valjean
(b. 1547)

Behind the scenes[]



See also[]

My Story characters
Main characters

Nebka | Hatshepsut "Asha" | Claudia | Bran | Tor Scaldbane | Jenkin Lloyd | Eva De Puebla
Elinor Valjean | Lady Jane Grey | Matilda "Tilly" Middleton | Catherine "Kitty" Lumsden | Thomas Hobbs
Remember "Mem" Whipple | Thomas Adamson | Alice Paynton | Susannah Makepeace | Ignatius Sancho
Euphemia Grant | Mary Wade | Elizabeth "Lizzie" Harvey | Isabelle | James Grant | Mary Prince | Bob Jenkins
Dick Maybury | Eliza Helsted | Phyllis McCormack | Lily Hicks | Michael Pope | Hanuman Singh | Clotee Henley
Will Reed | Edith Lorrimer | Jabulani | Sophia Duleep Singh | Florence Finch | Flora Bonnington | Dollie Baxter
Margaret Anne Brady | Jack Fairfax | Daphne "Daffy" Rowntree | Billy Stevens | Noor Inayat Khan
Eleanor Rhys Davies | Rebecca "Becky" Mortkowicz | Harry Woods | Princess Margaret | Sophie Ridel
Peter Rogers | Kitty Langley | Edith "Edie" Benson | Tim Jackson | Andrew "Andy" Pope | Paul Lelaud
Violet Debuchy

Supporting characters

Henry VII | Henry VIII | Catherine of Aragon | Anne Boleyn | Jane Seymour | Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard | Catherine Parr | Edward VI | Mary I | Elizabeth II

Lists of characters by book

Pyramid of Secrets | Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Agincourt | My Tudor Queen
Anne Boleyn and Me | Lady Jane Grey | Bloody Tower | The Queen's Spies | Armada | Mayflower | Civil War
The Great Plague | Highway Girl | Ignatius Sancho | The '45 Rising | No Way Back | Transported
The Fall of the Blade | Trafalgar | Mary Prince | Waterloo | Dodger! | Mill Girl | The Hunger | The Crystal Palace
Crimea | Indian Mutiny | Slave Girl | The Sweep's Boy | Victorian Workhouse | Zulu War | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
Factory Girl | Twentieth-Century Girl | Suffragette | Titanic | The Trenches | Flying Ace | Road to War
Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Berlin Olympics | Nowhere to Run | The Storm to Come | Battle of Britain
Wartime Princess | Sophie's Secret War | U-Boat Hunter | War Nurse | Blitz | Desert Danger | D-Day
Spy Smuggler | Codename Céline | London Stories

My Royal Story characters

Cleopatra VII | Beatrice Townhill | Elizabeth I | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

Lists of My Royal Story characters by book

Cleopatra | Henry VIII's Wives | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

My True Story characters

Dora Thewlis | John "Jack" Cornwell | Joe Read | Susan | Vera

Lists of My True Story characters by book

Give Us the Vote! | Standing Alone | Hero at Dunkirk | What If They Find Us?