1 March 1522 – The Chateau Vert Pageant

| March 1, 2015

1 March 1522 – The Chateau Vert Pageant

In 1522, 1st March was Shrove Tuesday and was the day of the special Shrovetide pageant, “The Château Vert”, which took place at York Place in London. This pageant was Anne Boleyn’s first recorded appearance at Henry VIII’s court following her return from France, where she had been serving Queen Claude, consort of Francis I. […]

22 February 1511 – Henry VIII loses a son

| February 22, 2015

22 February 1511 – Henry VIII loses a son

On 22 February 1511, Henry, Duke of Corwall, son of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, died at the age of just fifty-two days at Richmond Palace. Chronicler Edward Hall records his death: “After this great joy came sorowfull chaunce, for the young Prince, which was borne upon Neweyeres daye last past, upon the. xxii. […]

Valentine’s Day and a Love Letter from Henry VIII

| February 14, 2015

Valentine’s Day and a Love Letter from Henry VIII

If you haven’t noticed (quick, buy a card!), today is Valentine’s Day, the day of love. Contrary to what many people believe, Valentine’s Day was celebrated in Tudor England. Alison Sim, in her excellent book Pleasures & Pastimes in Tudor England writes of how it is mentioned three times in the Paston Letters (a collection […]

14 February 1547 – The dog licks up the King’s blood

| February 14, 2015

14 February 1547 – The dog licks up the King’s blood

On 14 February 1547, Henry VIII’s coffin was taken to Windsor Castle for burial in St George’s Chapel after resting overnight at Syon Abbey. Apparently, some liquid leaked out of it on to the floor at Syon, and this was thought to fulfil the prophecy made by Franciscan friar William Peto in 1532.* He had […]

11 February 1531 – Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the English Church.

| February 11, 2015

11 February 1531 – Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the English Church.

On this day in history, 11 February 1531, Convocation granted Henry VIII the title of “singular protector, supreme lord, and even, so far as the law of Christ allows, supreme head of the English church and clergy”, and it was George Boleyn, Lord Rochford and brother of Anne Boleyn, who played a prominent role in […]

7 February 1526 – The Shrovetide Joust at Greenwich

| February 7, 2015

7 February 1526 – The Shrovetide Joust at Greenwich

Shrove Tuesday 1526 was celebrated with a “solemn joust” at Greenwich Palace. According to the chronicler Edward Hall, Henry VIII rode out in cloth of gold and silver “richely embraudered, with a mannes harte in a presse, with flames about it, and in letters were written ‘Declare I dare not’. The Marquis of Exeter and […]

31 January 1510 – Catherine of Aragon suffers a still-birth

| January 31, 2015

31 January 1510 – Catherine of Aragon suffers a still-birth

On this day in history, 31 January 1510, Queen Catherine of Aragon went into premature labour and gave birth to a still-born daughter. Her confessor, Fray Diego, reported that the birth had occurred “without any other pain except that one knee pained her the night before.” Although she had lost her baby, Catherine’s abdomen stayed […]

28 January 1547 – The Death of Henry VIII and the Accession of Edward VI

| January 28, 2015

28 January 1547 – The Death of Henry VIII and the Accession of Edward VI

The King is dead! Long live the King! On this day in history, in the early hours of 28 January 1547, fifty-five year-old Henry VIII died at Whitehall Palace. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was at the King’s side when he died, although Henry had lost the power of speech by the time her arrived. Cranmer asked […]