"And I have a new reason to regret leaving here. Tonight, I met a man who enchants me. He was sitting by the lily pool where great goldfish swim slowly under the round leaves. I had gone out to cool my flushed face, heated from dancing, and did not see him until he said, "It's better out here. Sane.""
—Eva meets her future husband.[2]

Eva Valjean (née De Puebla; born June 10, 1486) was the daughter of Anna and Don De Puebla. In 1501, Eva accompanied her childhood friend Catherine of Aragon to England as a translator. After Catherine became Queen of England in 1509, she put Eva in charge of the court's embroidery work. The same year, Eva married Michel Valjean.


Early life

Eva was born on June 10, 1486[1] to Anna and Don De Puebla. She became friends with Catherine of Aragon at a young age. Queen Isabella believed Eva was a good influence on Catherine, because of their economic differences. The whole De Puebla family converted from Judaism to Catholicism, presumably because of the Spanish Inquisition.

1501 – 1513

In August 1501, Eva sailed toward England to accompany Catherine as a translator. They arrived a few months later and Catherine married Prince Arthur within two weeks. Eva's great-uncle Rodrigo De Puebla, Spain's ambassador to England, had helped arrange the marriage. Catherine's servants, including Eva, followed her to Arthur's castle, Ludlow, where they stayed for several months. Arthur passed away in 1502, and they were eventually moved to Durham House in London.

The conditions in Durham House were particularly bad, but Catherine was determined to marry Prince Harry, Arthur's brother. Finally, Eva's uncle was able to help arrange the marriage agreement. Over two years later, the proposal was called off, putting Catherine and Eva in a bad position once again. Meanwhile, Catherine's sister Juana and her husband Philip paid a visit to the count. Eva met a charming court jester named Michel Valjean during the festivities.

King Henry VII died in April 1509, allowing for Catherine and Harry (now known as Henry VIII) to marry. In July 1509, Michel arrived at court and proposed to Eva. They married the following September and Michel quickly became Henry's favorite court jester. On August 13, 1510,[3] Eva gave birth to her first child, a girl named Rosanna. Eva also became the supervisor of the court's embroidery work, while still being Catherine's lady-in-waiting. By September 1513, Eva was expecting her second child.


On February 20, 1514,[4] Eva gave birth to her second daughter, Elinor. Sometime after Elinor's birth, Eva had a son, who died before reaching the age of one. Eva later had her sons, Daniel in 1518 and William in 1521.

1525 – 1548


Eva's daughter Elinor

She continued to work as Catherine's lady-in-waiting, and was eventually joined by her daughters, Rosanna and Elinor. In 1528, Eva's husband, Michel, passed away from the sweating sickness. Later that year, she was separated from Elinor, who was sent to work for Anne Boleyn. Rosanna married Diego Luiz de Frontera in 1528 and Elinor married Tom Freeman in 1530. Eva was given three grandchildren over the following years, Rosanna's John, Elinor's Michael and Maria.

During this time, Henry had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn and asked Catherine for an annulment. Catherine refused and he separated from her by 1531. The Queen was moved to several different small and drafty houses over the next few years. Eva stayed with Catherine, until her death in January 1536. She reluctantly moved back to court to live with Elinor. Eva left court and moved to the countryside with Elinor, after Anne Boleyn was beheaded in May.


Beatrice, Eva's foster daughter

After moving, Eva and Elinor became acquainted with Beatrice Townhill, whose family owned the house they were renting. Beatrice often came to their house to escape her governess, Agnes. One day, Elinor allowed Beatrice to borrow her diary, while Eva taught Beatrice Spanish so she could read hers. Later that year, Elinor gave birth to Eva's fourth grandchildren, Isabella, named after Catherine of Aragon's mother.

In February 1539, Eva and Elinor adopted Beatrice into their family, when her parents passed away. Beatrice married Eva's son, Will, on Easter Day in 1542. After the wedding, Beatrice and Will invited Eva with Elinor and her family to move into a large house near their old cottage. Eva's son, Daniel was the last of her children to marry, a girl named Alice in September 1542. Beatrice gave Eva two more grandchildren, Joanna and Rodrigo, the latter was named after Eva's great-uncle.

Personality and traits

Eva inherited her "bookishness and love of learning" from her father. She was able to speak Spanish, Latin, and English, and served as Catherine's interpreter in England. Eva was very adept at embroidery, which she learned from her mother. Catherine later put her in charge of all the embroidery work of the court.

Family tree

The Valjean-Freeman Family Tree
(including De Puebla and Townhill relatives)
Rodrigo De Puebla
(d. 1509)
Bianca De Puebla
Gonsalvo De Puebla
Mr. 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)
William Valjean
(b. 1521)
Beatrice Townhill
(b. 1526)
John de Frontera
(b. 1530)
Michael Freeman
(b. 1532)
Maria Freeman
Isabella Freeman
(b. 1537)
Joanna Valjean
(b. 1544)
Rodrigo Valjean
(b. 1547)

Behind the scenes



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