12 November 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are homeward bound

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn HuntingAt midnight on 12th/13th November 1532, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, set sail from Calais to head back to Dover. Chronicler Edward Hall writes:

“On Tewesdaie at midnight he tooke ship, and landed at Dover the morowe after, beyng the xiiii. daie of Nouember, at v. of the clocke in the mornyng […]”

The couple had been in Calais since 11th October and their trip had been successful, in that they had met with Francis I and had gained his support for their relationship. The French king had been sympathetic to their plight and had offered to give Henry French protection against Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Catherine of Aragon’s nephew, should he cause trouble, and Francis also promised to intercede with the Pope on their behalf.

The couple had originally planned to leave Calais following the departure of Francis I on 29th October, but bad weather had delayed their crossing. Hall describes the bad weather:

“In Nouember rose suche a Wynde, of the North and North Weste, that al the shippes in Caleis hauen, were in great jeoperdy, and in especial y Hoyes, at whiche season was such a spryng tide, that it brake the walles of Holland and Zelande, and drouned diuerse tounes in Flauders, in somuche that the water rose three foote aboue the wharfe, where the Key stode in Andwarpe: this storme continued till the fourth daie of Nouember, but for all that the wynd chaunged not. The eight daie rose suche a Wynde tempest and Thonder, that no man could conueniently stirre in the streates of Caleis: muche lamentacion was made for theim that had taken shippe into Englande, for no man knewe what was become of theim.”

The storm had died down by Sunday 10th November, so the King’s bed and luggage were loaded on to the ship ready for departure but then a Channel fog came down and it was impossible to leave. Finally, at midnight on 12th November it was deemed safe to leave port. They arrived at Dover at 5am on Thursday 14th November.

I created a timeline of the events of Henry and Anne’s 1532 trip to Calais with clickable links to articles – click here to view that now. It goes all the way up to their arrival in London on 24th November 1532.

Also on this day in history…

  • 1537 – Jane Seymour’s body was taken by chariot from Hampton Court Palace to Windsor Castle. Click here to read more about this.
  • 1541 – Queen Catherine Howard was examined by members of the King’s Council following Francis Dereham’s claim that Thomas Culpeper had replaced him in the Queen’s affections after her marriage to Henry VIII. Read more…
  • 1555 – Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary I’s Lord Chancellor, died. He was buried at his seat of Winchester Cathedral where his tomb can still be seen today in the Bishop Gardiner Chantry Chapel. Read more…

Notes and Sources

  • Hall, Edward. Hall’s Chronicle, p. 794.

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