Jane the Fool

| April 1, 2014

Jane the Fool

As it’s April Fools’ Day today, I thought I’d take a look at Jane the Fool, the woman who was court fool to Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary I (when she was princess and queen) and Queen Catherine Parr. Jane was what John Southworth, in his book “Fools and Jesters at the English Court”, refers […]

A Baptism and a Coronation – 1516 and 1547

| February 20, 2014

A Baptism and a Coronation – 1516 and 1547

Following her birth on 18th February 1516, the future Mary I, was baptised on 20th February in the Church of the Observant Friars at Greenwich. The little princess was carried to the font by the Countess of Surrey and her godparents were Catherine Courtenay, Countess of Devon and daughter of Edward IV; Margaret Pole, Countess […]

18 February 1516 – The Birth of Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

| February 18, 2014

18 February 1516 – The Birth of Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

On 18th February 1516, in the early hours, Queen Catherine of Aragon’s fifth pregnancy1 ended with the birth of a healthy baby girl. This little girl, the future Queen Mary I, was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich. After nearly seven years of marriage, Henry VIII was disappointed that the baby was just […]

The Spitefully Ambitious Anne Boleyn

| January 14, 2014

The Spitefully Ambitious Anne Boleyn

Earlier today, Susan Bordo, author of The Creation of Anne Boleyn, drew attention on her Facebook wall to a review of the RSC stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.1 The review by Morning Star includes the comment “Lydia Leonard’s spitefully ambitious Anne Boleyn – a wife who one feels […]

17 November 1558 – The Death of Mary I and the Accession of Elizabeth I

| November 17, 2013

17 November 1558 – The Death of Mary I and the Accession of Elizabeth I

On 17th November 1558, Henry VIII’s eldest child, Queen Mary I, died. She was just forty-two years-old. After Easter 1558, Mary I made her will because she believed that she was pregnant. The birth should have been imminent because Philip departed in July 1557, yet there is no mention in the records of preparations being […]

4 October 1556 – Sir John Cheke’s Public Recantation

| October 4, 2013

4 October 1556 – Sir John Cheke’s Public Recantation

On this day in 1556, Sir John Cheke, one time tutor to Edward VI, Secretary of State for Lady Jane Grey and the first Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge University, made a public recantation of his Protestant faith in front of Mary I. Cheke had been imprisoned in the Tower of London by Mary […]

1 October 1553 – Coronation of Mary I

| October 1, 2013

1 October 1553 – Coronation of Mary I

On Sunday 1st October 1553, Mary I was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester. At 11am, Mary processed into the Abbey, dressed traditionally, as a male monarch would be, in the usual state robes of crimson velvet. Before her processed the Bishop of Winchester, gentlemen, knights and councillors, the […]

25 July 1554 – Mary I Marries Philip of Spain

| July 25, 2013

25 July 1554 – Mary I Marries Philip of Spain

On Wednesday 25th July 1554, the feast day of St James, the 38 year-old Queen Mary I married twenty-seven year-old Philip of Spain (later Philip II of Spain), son of Charles V, Holy Emperor, at Winchester Cathedral. The wedding ceremony was performed by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary’s Lord Chancellor. “The Chronicle of […]