12 November 1532 – King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn begin their journey home

Nov 12, 2017 #1532 trip to Calais

At midnight on 12th/13th November 1532, King Henry VIII and his sweetheart,Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, set sail from Calais to head back to Dover.

Chronicler Edward Hall recorded:

“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 1532 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.

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3 thoughts on “12 November 1532 – King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn begin their journey home”
  1. Henry and Anne must have felt so pleased that their mission was accomplished and they had Francois support against Charles V, writers have speculated that Anne being now very confidant that everything they had fought so hard for was at last coming to pass that they became lovers in the fullest sense of the word, Henry had pledged himself to her and they were going to be married with or without the popes blessing, certainly Elizabeth was conceived not long after and they must have been very very happy.

  2. Two high points of Henry and Anne Boleyn’s relationship always come to mind as part of a triumphant time and begs the question as to were it all fell apart so quickly and dramatically. The trip to France confirmed them as consorts to be and they possibly even had a marriage or contractual ceremony there and Anne’s coronation made her undoubted Queen, whether people liked it or not. Anne was also radiant and pregnant at the latter event and Henry had high hopes of the birth of a son. Henry had gained an important ally and foreign recognition for Anne and his marriage. He also gained the promise of help to get his annulment, although Francis went back on this when Henry married without Papal support. It must have all seemed as if the future was blessed, but then Anne was delivered three years later of a miscarried son, Henry had the accident which changed his life and five months later, in a sudden and unexpected turn of events, love turned to hate and Anne found herself in the Tower, confused and distraught as a list of adultery and conspiracy charges with five men, including her own brother, were made against her. Anne’s fall and the actual truth of what happened in the final month of her life and why she fell at all has been hotly debated for decades and is too complex for this comment, but it was so dramatic and shocking that it was even wondered at internationally.

    Anne had been the toast of the Court at Calais, the centre of attention, had been presented as Henry’s future wife, had given much entertainment as a hostess and was treated with honour. However, she could not travel with Henry to the French Court because King Francis wife and sister refused to receive her. However, that wasn’t to spoil the party and she enjoyed the attention and must have felt really good on the way home. Henry and Anne took advantage of the terrible storm for the moment that they consummated their union. Hall says that they married at a small church on 14th November, but otherwise it is agreed that they married at Whitehall on or about 25th January 1533. The former could be an invention or a betrothal as we are not told of any witnesses, but under canon law if you promised to live as man and wife and then had sex you were considered married. You didn’t need any witnesses. For the King of England, however, it was important his marriage was witnessed, even if it was private. For this reason the latter date is more satisfying. It does sound romantic though going to a church and getting married quietly.

    1. I’m inclined to think that Henry and Anne exchanged some kind of promise or vow and then consummated their relationship on their return to England. I just can’t see them waiting that long and then risking pregnancy like that. I think the 25th January just ‘rubber-stamped’ this previous promise and was more official.

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