25 July 1535 – Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth are called names

Posted By on July 25, 2017

With his letter written on the Feast of St James (25th July) 1535, to Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, who was Charles V’s advisor, Eustace Chapuys included an interesting post script. It was written in cipher, but said:

“P.S.—He the other day nearly murdered his own fool, a simple and innocent man, because he happened to speak well in his presence of the Queen and Princess, and called the concubine “ribaude” and her daughter “bastard.” He has now been banished from Court, and has gone to the Grand Esquire, who has sheltered and hidden him.”

Here, Chapuys, who was the imperial ambassador at the court of Henry VIII, is saying that the king’s fool, Will Somer (Summer), was nearly killed by the king for calling Queen Anne Boleyn “ribald” and saying that Princess Elizabeth was a bastard. Somer kept his head but Chapuys states that he was banished from the court and that he was sheltered by Sir Nicholas Carew, chief esquire of the king. The king was obviously furious.

Somer did manage to get back into the king’s good graces and went on to serve Edward VI and Mary I as court fool. Perhaps Elizabeth I didn’t know that he’d once called her a bastard, or perhaps she forgave him, because he attended her at her coronation in January 1559. Somer died on 15th June 1560.

Also on this day in history, 25th July 1554, Queen Mary I married Philip of Spain, son of Charles V, at Winchester Cathedral. Click here to read more.

Notes and Sources

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19 July 1543 – The death of Mary Boleyn, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn

Posted By on July 19, 2017

On this day in history, 19th July 1543, Mary Stafford (née Boleyn, other married name Carey), died. She was in her early 40s1.

Mary was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and Elizabeth Howard, and the grandaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. She was also the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn. Mary had married her first husband, William Carey, a member of Henry VIII’s Privy Chamber and an Esquire of the Body, on 4th February 1520. She had two children during the course of their marriage: Catherine, born in around 1524, and Henry, born in 1526. Carey died of sweating sickness in June 1528 and Mary went on to marry William Stafford secretly and without her family’s permission in 1534. She turned up at court pregnant in 1534 but there is no record of what happened to her baby.

Mary died on 19th July 1543. The translation of her inquisition post mortem, which can be found in the Essex Record Office, lists the property she held at the time of her death:


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