Henry VIII and Anne BoleynAt midnight on Tuesday 12th November 1532, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, set sail from Calais bound for the Kent port of Dover.

The couple had been in Calais since 11th October, with Anne acting as Henry’s consort while the King met with Francis I, King of France, to gain his support for their relationship. Francis was sympathetic to their plight and offered to give Henry French protection against Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Catherine of Aragon’s nephew, should he cause trouble, and he also promised to intercede with the Pope on their behalf. You can read more about this in my article Henry VIII says Goodbye to Francis I.

Henry had bid farewell to Francis I on 29th October and he and Anne had been due to leave Calais shortly after that, but the weather prevented them from sailing. Chronicler Edward Hall records 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.”

On Sunday 10th November the weather cleared so the King’s bed and luggage was loaded ready for departure, but then a fog settled over the Channel and Henry and Anne were forced to wait until it lifted. They finally departed late on 12th November.

Here is a timeline of their trip to Calais with links to articles about it:

Also on this day in history…

  • 1537 – Jane Seymour’s body was taken by chariot from Hampton Court Palace to Windsor Castle. The chariot was followed by a procession led by the Duke of Suffolk and the Marquis of Dorset. Jane’s stepdaughter, the Lady Mary, acted as chief mourner in the procession and the service, which was held at St George’s Chapel on arrival at Windsor. A solemn watch was kept that night, and then Jane was buried on the morning of the 13th November.
  • 1554 – The opening of Mary I’s third Parliament. At this Parliament, a bill was passed allowing the exiled Cardinal Reginald Pole to return to England as papal legate.
  • 1555 – Death of Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester and Mary I’s Lord Chancellor. See Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.
  • 1555 – Mary I’s Parliament re-established Catholicism in England.
  • 1586 – A delegation of forty MPs and twenty peers presented Elizabeth I with a petition demanding that “a just sentence might be followed by as just an execution” in the case of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Notes and Sources

  • Hall’s Chronicle, Edward Hall, p794

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