Helen Castor’s Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death – Episode 1: A Good Birth

| October 10, 2013

Helen Castor’s Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death – Episode 1: A Good Birth

Last night, I watched the first episode of Helen Castor’s three part series on birth, marriage and death in medieval times and I made notes so that I could share them with those who are unable to get BBC4. It really was an excellent programme. Helen Castor set the scene for the episode by talking […]

Tudor Courtship

| February 14, 2013

Tudor Courtship

As it’s Valentine’s Day today, I just wanted to share with you some facts about courtship in Tudor times. David Cressy, in his excellent book Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England, writes of how “courtship was no mere game or idle dalliance” and that its goal […]

The First Act of Succession – 23 March 1534

| March 23, 2012

The First Act of Succession – 23 March 1534

This day in history, 23rd March 1534, was an important day for King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn because it was on this day that Parliament passed the Act of Succession. You can read the full Act of Succession in the book “Documents Illustrative of the History of the English Church”, which is available […]

A Tale of Two Weddings – 14th November 1501 and 1532

| November 14, 2011

A Tale of Two Weddings – 14th November 1501 and 1532

According to the chronicler Edward Hall, it was on this day in history, St Erkenwald’s Day 1532, that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn secretly married:- “The kyng, after his returne [from Calais] maried priuily[privily] the lady Anne Bulleyn on sainet Erkenwaldes daie, whiche mariage was kept so secrete, that very fewe knewe it, til she […]

28 May 1533 – Archbishop Cranmer Proclaims Validity of Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn

| May 28, 2011

28 May 1533 – Archbishop Cranmer Proclaims Validity of Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn

I am so glad to be going from writing of the brutal events of May 1536 to writing about the happy events of May and June 1533, the lead-up to the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn. I definitely need a break from all that bloodshed and injustice! As I wrote a few days ago, on […]

17 May 1536 – Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn is Annulled

| May 17, 2011

17 May 1536 – Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn is Annulled

We have just heard the news that Archbishop Thomas Cranmer called together a special court at Lambeth Palace this morning and announced, in the presence of Sir Thomas Audley, the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Oxford and “others”1, that the marriage between King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn was null and void. The King […]

Did Henry VIII Commit Bigamy When He Married Anne Boleyn?

| April 8, 2011

Did Henry VIII Commit Bigamy When He Married Anne Boleyn?

I’ve been inspired to write this post today by two long, and at times rather heated, debates on The Anne Boleyn Files forum regarding Henry VIII being a bigamist and also Anne Boleyn being a homewrecker. Nikki from Texas got the ball rolling on the bigamy topic by pointing out that Henry VIII married a […]

Ancient Footprints in English Clay

| February 17, 2011

Ancient Footprints in English Clay

We all leave our footprints on this earth, some are like prints on the seashore: washed away by the first wave, seeming never to have been. There are however footprints printed in a firm clay surface that last through the ages. Longlasting footprints she has indeed, this lady. Her little feet set their first steps […]