Posted By Claire on August 26, 2014
Woman said to be Anne Boleyn by Holbein
One of the rituals associated with childbirth was called “taking her chamber”. A Tudor woman usually “took to her chamber”, or went into confinement, four to six weeks before her due date.
Anne Boleyn took to her chamber on 26th August 1533, less than two weeks before Elizabeth was born. Elizabeth may have been premature, Anne may have miscalculated her dates, or she may have purposely entered confinement late to suggest that Elizabeth had been conceived legitimately.
Anne’s “taking her chamber” ceremony took place at Greenwich Palace. A heavily pregnant Queen Anne Boleyn attended a special mass at the palace’s Chapel Royal and then processed with her ladies to the Queen’s great chamber. There, the group enjoyed wine and spices before Anne’s lord chamberlain prayed that God would give the Queen a safe delivery. After the prayer, Anne and her ladies retired to her chamber, which, from that moment on, would be a male-free zone. The fifteenth century “Royalle Book” and the ordinances added to it by Lady Margaret Beaufort stipulated that the birthing chamber should:
Posted By Claire on August 24, 2014
St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre by François Dubois
On this day in 1572, the St Bartholmew’s Day Massacre took place. An estimated 3,000 French Protestants (Huguenots) were massacred in Paris, and a further estimated 7,000 in the provinces. According to tradition, Catherine de’ Medici persuaded her son, King Charles IX of France, to order the assassination of key Huguenot leaders who had gathered in Paris for the wedding of their leader, Henry of Navarre, to Margaret of Valois, the King’s sister.
The wedding had taken place six days earlier, on 18th August, but the Huguenots were still in the city to discuss grievances regarding the 1570 Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the peace treaty which had ended the third French War of Religion. On the 22nd August, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the leader of the Huguenots, was shot and seriously wounded. It is not known who ordered the attempt on his life, but there are three main suspects: the Guises (leaders of the Catholic party), the Duke of Alba (the man governing the Netherlands) and Catherine de’ Medici. Whatever the truth behind the assassination attempt, the shooting triggered trouble. The Huguenots were angry and demanded an investigation into the shooting, which the King agreed to do, but on 23rd August the King and his mother agreed that the Huguenots were a threat that needed dealing with, and made the decision to order the murders of the Huguenot leaders.
The next part in my Anne Boleyn’s Life series… As I mentioned in my article Anne Boleyn and the French Court 1514-1521, Anne Boleyn was recalled from France in late 1521. We don’t know when she arrived back in England or when she arrived at Henry VIII’s court, but she was there by 1st March […]
On 22nd August 1485, near Market Bosworth, in Leicestershire, the armies of King Richard III and Henry Tudor faced each other. Richard III was killed in battle and Henry Tudor, son of the late Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and Lady Margaret Beaufort, became King Henry VII. You can read more about the battle in […]
A big thank you to my co-author Clare Cherry for sharing this article with us today. I loved working with Clare on George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat and we have plans to work together in the future as well, just need to find that spare time that people keep mentioning! Over to Clare… […]
As part of their summer progress to the south-west of England, on 21st August 1535 King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn visited courtier Nicholas Poyntz at his home, Acton Court, in south Gloucestershire.The progress also included a stay with the Walsh Family at Little Sodbury Manor on 23rd August. This royal progress was not […]
Thank you to Lauryn Poe for inspiring this post and to Conor Byrne, Marilyn Roberts and Judith Loriente for the subsequent discussions on this issue. Lauryn contacted me last month to ask me whether I knew of a primary source for Henry VIII referring to Katherine Howard as his “rose without a thorn”. I was […]
Just a quick post to let you know that my non-fiction book The Anne Boleyn Collection II and Melanie V. Taylor’s historical novel The Truth of the Line are Kindle Countdown Deals – $0.99 or 99p – from today until the end of 20th August. If you haven’t got them on your Kindle then now’s […]