23 May 1533 – The annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon

| May 23, 2015

23 May 1533 – The annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon

Now we’re leaving the “bloody days” of 1536 and going back in time to 1533 when Anne Boleyn was queen consort and waiting to be crowned. On 23rd May 1533, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared that Henry VIII’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had been annulled: “My lord of Canterbury gave sentence this […]

Passion Sunday 1533 – Thomas Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury

| March 30, 2015

Passion Sunday 1533 – Thomas Cranmer becomes Archbishop of Canterbury

On 30th March 1533, Passion Sunday, Thomas Cranmer, Archdeacon of Taunton, was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury in St Stephen’s College, Westminster Palace. As Beth von Staats points out in her forthcoming book Thomas Cranmer: In a Nutshell, “To insure the king’s ultimate authority over the clergy in England, Cranmer swore to two completely inconsistent […]

23 March 1534 – The First Act of Succession

| March 23, 2015

23 March 1534 – The First Act of Succession

On the very same day that the Pope pronounced sentence on Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, ruling in Catherine’s favour and pronouncing it valid, Parliament in England passed the First Act of Succession declaring the validity of Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and recognising the rights of their issue to inherit the […]

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 […]

28 January 1457 – Birth of Henry VII at Pembroke Castle

| January 28, 2015

28 January 1457 – Birth of Henry VII at Pembroke Castle

On 28th January 1457, thirteen year-old Margaret Beaufort gave birth to a son at Pembroke Castle, West Wales. The infant was named Henry after his half-uncle Henry VI. Henry’s father Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, had died from the plague three months earlier (while imprisoned by Yorkists) so his mother had been taken in […]

21 January 1543 – Henry Howard’s Madding Time

| January 21, 2015

21 January 1543 – Henry Howard’s Madding Time

On this day in history, on the night of 21 January 1543, there was trouble in London. A group of half a dozen young men, including ringleader Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (the famous, Tudor poet, courtier and soldier), and Thomas Wyatt the Younger (son of the poet Thomas Wyatt, and the future leader of […]

17 November 1558 – The Accession of Queen Elizabeth I

| November 17, 2014

17 November 1558 – The Accession of Queen Elizabeth I

On 17th November 1558, following the death of Queen Mary I early that morning, Mary’s 25 year-old half sister Elizabeth was proclaimed queen at around noon at Whitehall by by the Houses of Lords and Commons who had been in session that morning. Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was dispatched to Hatfield to give Elizabeth the news […]

14 November 1501 – The Marriage of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur, Prince of Wales

| November 14, 2014

14 November 1501 – The Marriage of Catherine of Aragon and Arthur, Prince of Wales

On 14th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon married Arthur, Prince of Wales at St Paul’s Cathedral. Giles Tremlett,1 author of Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen, writes of how a huge wooden stage, measuring twelve feet by 350 feet, had been erected in the cathedral. It stood on four foot struts and its railings were […]