Walmgate Bar, York
Walmgate Bar, York
On this day in history, 16th September 1541, King Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, entered the city of York through Walmgate Bar. This was the final stop on their royal progress to the North, a progress which appears to have had two main aims:

  1. A meeting between Henry and his nephew, James V of Scotland, which was due to take place in September in York but which never actually took place.
  2. The affirming of the King’s authority over the North, following the uprisings of the Pilgrimage of Grace.

The couple had set off on their progress on 30th June, visiting places such as Enfield, St Albans, Dunstable, Ampthill, Hatfield, Gainsborough, Lincoln, Pontefract, Cawood, Wressle, Leconfield and Hull en route to York. It was, of course, on this journey that Catherine had secret assignations with one of Henry VIII’s gentlemen of the privy chamber, Thomas Culpeper.

Click here to read more about the progress and the entry into York.

Photograph: © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/766056

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2 thoughts on “16 September 1541 – Henry VIII and Catherine Howard enter York”
  1. Katherine most probably had any alleged liaisons while at the Kings Manor, but we cannot be certain if any carnal activities took place here, it is just one of many possible places that she was accused of meeting lovers. There is no actual evidence that those meetings went beyond talking and may-be some kissing and so on or even plotting. However, it is just as pprobable that they did, we cannot really be certain. While at York Henry was indeed a busy boy, meeting with the varied gentry and city fathers, merchants and grandees, wating in vain for his arranged meeting with James of Scotland, and there is a record in the Merchants Hall that shows a charter that he granted to the shipment of varied protected goods and interventions that he promised against piracy. The merchants made a list of complaints that attacks were taking place and also complained against undue revenues. Henry granted the petitions and he also made a new charter giving them more rights and set up a new body to help with the complaints in the north. He also intervened to destroy piracy in the area. All though the progress he had been on a working holiday, enforcing local royal authority, pardoning the offences from the time of the rebellions, accepting payments and tribute from varied bodies and gentry who had supported the rebellion, keeping a promise to come to the north, showing off his new wife and the popular Princess Mary, showing royal triumph and ceremony and royal power and ensuring that the new religious laws were being followed. He had arranged to meet his nephew James V at York but he never turned up, much to the KIng’s annoyance. On a more worrying note, Henry also learned that his son Edward was ill while at York and had to quickly return home. Fortunately the boy had quite recovered by the time he got to London. His marriage was not in such a healthy state as he was soon to discover.

    1. P.S. there is a new biography being produced, I think it is out next year by Professor Doctor Josephine Wilkinson. I am looking forward to that and her follow on second part to her trilogy on Richard III, also meant to be out next year.

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