25 April 1536 – A hopeful king

Posted By on April 25, 2017

On this day in history, 25th April 1536, a day after the commissions of oyer and terminer had been set up by Thomas Audley, his 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 as “our most dear and most entirely beloved wife the Queen” and wrote of his hope for a son:

“[…] for as much as there is great likelihood and appearance that God will send unto Us heirs male to succeed Us[…].”

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24 April 1536 – Legal commissions are set up

Posted By on April 24, 2017

On this day in history, 24th April 1536, 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.

“What on earth were commissions of oyer and terminer?” You may ask. Well, the term came from the French for “to hear and to determine” and it was a legal commission formed to investigate and prosecute serious criminal offences committed in a particular county, in this case, the counties of Middlesex and Kent. Crimes covered included misprision, treason, rebellion, felonies, murder, homicide, rioting, plotting, insurrection, extortion, oppression, contempt, concealment, ignorance, negligence, falsities, deception, conspiracy and being an accessory to these crimes.

It is impossible to say what the original purpose for these commissions was, but these two commissions were used in May 1536 to try Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton and Sir Henry Norris for committing adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn and plotting to kill the king.

Was this all just a big coincidence or was this part of a well-thought-out plan to bring the queen down? What do you think?

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21 April 1509 – Henry VIII is king!

On this day in history, 21st April 1509, King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, died at Richmond Palace. It was the end of the king who’d beaten Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485. The crown passed on to his son, also Henry, who became King Henry VIII and who […]

60 second history – Elizabeth of York

60 second history – Elizabeth of York

Today’s Tudor topic for my 60-second history video series is Elizabeth of York. I refrained from shouting “she wasn’t raped!”, “there’s no evidence that she was in love with Richard III!” and the like and, instead, focused on a brief bio of this Tudor queen consort. As I’ve explained before, the idea of this series […]

18 April 1536 – Eustace Chapuys and Anne Boleyn

On 18th April 1536, the first Tuesday after Easter, Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, arrived at Henry VIII’s court at Greenwich Palace to meet with the king regarding negotiations between England and the Empire. ChapuysHe was met by George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, the brother of Queen Anne Boleyn, and a series of events led to […]

17 April 1534 – Sir Thomas More is sent to the Tower

17 April 1534 – Sir Thomas More is sent to the Tower

On this day in history, 17th April 1534, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and good friend, was sent to the Tower of London. He wasn’t sent there to see a prisoner, he was sent there as a prisoner. Sir Thomas More had been called to Lambeth four days earlier, on 13th April, to […]

Easter Sunday – He is risen from death

Easter Sunday – He is risen from death

Today is Easter Sunday and Christians around the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Tudor times, an Easter sepulchre had been prepared on Good Friday. This sepulchre represented the sealed tomb Christ had been laid to rest in following his crucifixion. It consisted of a stone or wooden niche filled with […]

13 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn’s last Maundy Thursday

This day in history, 13th April 1536, was Maundy Thursday – as it is this year – the day which commemorates the Last Supper, that final meal that Jesus Christ had with his disciples before his arrest. It was to be the last time that Anne Boleyn would carry out the traditional duties of a […]