12 January 1510 – Henry VIII’s First Joust as King

Jan12,2013 #jousting

On this day in history, 12th January 1510, Henry VIII jousted for the first time as King.

The joust was a private one, and took place at Richmond Park. Henry and his friend William Compton attended in disguise, and there was panic when Compton was seriously injured by Edward Neville. Nobody knew whether it was Compton or the King, and it was only when his visor was raised that people knew, and someone cried out “God save the King!”. Then the King took off his disguise to reassure worried spectators.

William Compton survived the accident and served the King as his Groom of the Stool until Wolsey’s “Eltham Ordinances” forced his resignation. He died in June 1528 after contracting sweating sickness.

Extract taken from On This Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway.

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3 thoughts on “12 January 1510 – Henry VIII’s First Joust as King”
  1. We went to see an re-enactment joust last year, and although they are choreographed now, and have all health and safety regs in place eg; have light, easily broken lances with no points but a small ball on the end that bursts and they don’t charge at full bore, (well these jousters didn’t), you can see it is still a very dangerous thing to take part in.
    The light lances when they made contact still packed a punch.
    To watch one of these jousts is a fantastic sight, the skill those horse men, and woman in this act, the only one in Britain apparently, is amazing, the horses too are completely fearless. A great day out, even though the weather was wet, which actually made the skills of the riders and horses even more unbelievable.

    If you go back to Henry’s time where there were no health and safety regs, the lances were big, heavy pieces of wood, and they got their horse to gallop as fast as they could towards each other, the impact must have been collosal. It would have been so much more dangerous with serious injury and death a strong possibility.
    His councilors, and Queen must have been worried sick when their King took part in this sport, especially when there was no heir…the country could have been thrown into turmoil if he had died.

  2. Joust was and is still a sport,played the same way now, as it was over 503 years it was used in battle as well ,that is how the sport began.Get your enemy off his horse for the your soldiers had more atvantage on a horse rather on the ground . It is still a very dangerous sport,did anyone see full metal jousting?? Kind Regards Baroness

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