24 April 1536 – Two Commissions of Oyer and Terminer Set Up

Posted By on April 24, 2014

Thomas Audley, English Heritage, Audley End House

Thomas Audley, English Heritage, Audley End House

On 24th April 1536, Henry VIII approved the setting up of two commissions of oyer and terminer by Sir Thomas Audley, his Lord Chancellor and Thomas Cromwell’s right hand man.

‘Oyer and terminer’ comes from the French ‘to hear and to determine’ and denotes a legal commission formed to investigate and prosecute serious criminal offences, such as treason, committed in a particular county. A grand jury in the county would first investigate the alleged offence and then approve a bill of indictment, if there was sufficient evidence. The case would then go on to the commission of oyer and terminer, the court with jurisdiction to try the offence(s). In this case, the commissions were set up to investigate crimes committed in the counties of Middlesex and Kent. Just eight days later, Anne and George Boleyn were arrested for crimes committed in those two counties.

You can read more about these commissions in my article 24 April 1536 – The Legal Machinery is Set Up.

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23 April 1564 – William Shakespeare

Posted By on April 23, 2014

My photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace

My photo of Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Happy 450th Birthday to William Shakespeare!

Although it is not actually known which day in 1564 William Shakespeare was born, his birth is celebrated on 23rd April because he was baptised on 26th April and baptism usually took place around three days after birth. It is also St George’s Day, St George being the patron saint of England, so it seems a fitting day to pay tribute to the Bard. William Shakespeare also died on this day in 1616. He was buried at the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

You can read more about William Shakespeare in my article over at The Elizabeth Files – click here. But I’d like to celebrate Shakespeare’s life by sharing this video of Sonnet 116 being performed first in ‘Received Pronunciation’ and then in ‘Original Pronunciation’, the way it would have been read in Shakespeare’s lifetime.

If you want to get involved in the Happy Birthday Shakespeare international online event, click here.

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23 April 1536 – Nicholas Carew, George Boleyn and the Order of the Garter

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