1 May 1536 – An abandoned May Day joust

| May 1, 2016

1 May 1536 – An abandoned May Day joust

On 1st May 1536, King Henry VIII and his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, attended the traditional May Day joust at Greenwich Palace. The joust started well. George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, the Queen’s brother, led the challengers and Sir Henry Norris, Groom of the Stool, led the defenders. At one point, Norris’s horse refused to […]

30 April 1536 – Arguments and interrogations

| April 30, 2016

30 April 1536 – Arguments and interrogations

On Sunday 30th April 1536, according to Alexander Alesius, the Scottish theologian who was visiting the English court at Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had an argument. He couldn’t hear what it was about but it was clear to him that the King was angry. Read more… On that same day, court musician […]

29 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn, Sir Henry Norris and Mark Smeaton

| April 29, 2016

29 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn, Sir Henry Norris and Mark Smeaton

On Saturday 29th April 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn had two separate encounters with two courtiers who would end up being accused of sleeping with her and of plotting the King’s death with her. The first encounter was with Mark Smeaton, a groom of the privy chamber, a court musician and a man who had been […]

28 April 1536 – Meetings and more

| April 28, 2016

28 April 1536 – Meetings and more

On 28th April 1536, it was reported that the king’s council was meeting every day and that Thomas Cromwell had been meeting with Dr Richard Sampson, a royal chaplain, Dean of Lichfield and an expert on canon law, for the past four days “continually”. Just what was going on at Henry VIII’s court? Read more…

27 April 1536 – Parliament summoned and a hint that the King wants to leave Anne Boleyn

| April 27, 2016

27 April 1536 – Parliament summoned and a hint that the King wants to leave Anne Boleyn

On this day in history 27th April 1536, writs were issued summoning Parliament to meet on 8th June, even though Parliament had only been dissolved on 14th April. A letter was also sent to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer asking him to attend the Parliament. Why was Parliament being summoned? Did this have anything to do with […]

25 April 1536 – God will send unto us heirs male

| April 25, 2016

25 April 1536 – God will send unto us heirs male

On this day in history, 25th April 1536, a day after the commissions of oyer and terminer had been set up by Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor, King Henry VIII wrote letters to his ambassadors abroad: Richard Pate in Rome, and Stephen Gardiner and John Wallop in Paris. In these letters, he referred to Anne Boleyn […]

24 April 1536 – Sir Thomas Audley sets up special commissions

| April 24, 2016

24 April 1536 – Sir Thomas Audley sets up special commissions

.On 24th April 1536, six days before the first arrest in the fall of Anne Boleyn, two commissions of oyer and terminer were set up by Sir Thomas Audley, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, for the counties of Middlesex and Kent. ‘Oyer and terminer’ comes from the French ‘to hear and to determine’ and denotes a […]

2 April 1536 – Henry VIII, King Ahasuerus, Anne Boleyn and Queen Esther

| April 2, 2016

2 April 1536 – Henry VIII, King Ahasuerus, Anne Boleyn and Queen Esther

On 2nd April 1536, Passion Sunday, Anne Boleyn’s almoner, John Skip, preached a rather controversial sermon in the presence of King Henry VIII. Skip’s sermon was based on the Old Testament story of King Ahasuerus “who was moved by a wicked minister to destroy the Jews” but Queen Esther stepped in with different advice and […]