1 May 1536 – An abandoned May Day joust

JoustingOn 1st May 1536, King Henry VIII and his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, attended the traditional May Day joust at Greenwich Palace.

The joust started well. George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, the Queen’s brother, led the challengers and Sir Henry Norris, Groom of the Stool, led the defenders. At one point, Norris’s horse refused to run so the King offered Norris his own horse. Everything seemed normal, but then the King suddenly left the joust, abandoning the Queen – what was going on?

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Happy May Day! Find out how May Day was celebrated in medieval and Tudor times over at the Tudor Society – click here.

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2 thoughts on “1 May 1536 – An abandoned May Day joust”
  1. And here we go again. Has anyone else felt that? The usual tragedy unfolds.
    Elizabeth Somerset’s secrets: three unnamed lords whispering of things then quite unknown to Chapuys and his many inquisitive ears: a frantic queen and her daughter: an angry king and his Master Fix-it, Cromwell: and a May-Day joust to welcome in another flourishing summer, which some of our players will never live to see.
    I’m almost fed to the teeth with it, truth told.
    But every year, somehow or other, the many, many mysteries at the heart of Anne’s story, the unknowable unknowns, summon me back. And you, too? Praps this year we’ll begin to get to the bottom of it…………..So, here we go …..again!

  2. Was Henry still hoping that the rumours about Anne and Norris where not true; then hearing that Smeaton has confessed, perhaps, he is then so angry that he cannot remain next to his wife any longer? I think that news was brought to him that Smeaton has implicated Norris and Anne’s conversation now has a more sinister light, so her denials no longer ring true for Henry and he abandons her. Everything seems normal, but as Claire says Anne knew something was up; Henry has been working with Cromwell on this, now that work is complete, the unbelievable word is given and he cannot accept Anne as Queen any longer, as his suspicians for Henry have been confirmed.

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