2 June 1536 – The brand new queen appears in public

Jun2,2018 #Jane Seymour

On this day in history, 2nd June 1536, Jane Seymour, who had married King Henry VIII on 30th May 1536, made her first public appearance at Greenwich Palace.

Jane’s predecessor, Anne Boleyn, had been executed on 19th May 1536, just two weeks earlier, so I wonder if Jane’s first appearance as queen caused a stir. Everything had happened so fast and there surely must have been some tongues wagging.

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6 thoughts on “2 June 1536 – The brand new queen appears in public”
  1. Well Sir John Russell certainly gave a glowing report of her In his letter to Lord Lisle, I suppose the enmity between the King and his former queen had been there for all to see, Annes caustic comments and outbursts of temper caused in part by very real fear and anxiety, the Kings glowering silences and striding out of the room whenever Anne was about to open her mouth, their relationship had steadily gone downhill after the sad loss of their last baby and one said he had not spoken to her for about three weeks, certainly the atmosphere would have been tense at court as it does affect everyone concerned who were in close contact with them, after Jane made her debut as his queen his behaviour was certainly different, he seemed his old self agin, joviality and bonhomie reigned again at court but everyone must of thought of the shadow queen who had been such a presence there for so long, she may be dead but she had been so vital so very much alive that it must have been hard to see a newcomer in her place, and a newcomer who was so very different, from feisty Anne to demure Jane in a matter of weeks the tongues must have been waging in the great kitchens of Henrys many palaces, from the green landscaped beauty of Hampton Court in Richmond to the gentleman merchants house in the Strand, all the length and breadth of the mighty Thames as she wound her way through the city of London, Billingsgate fish market, the oldest market in the city named after the ancient God Belin Aldych, Fleet Street Holborn and Convent Garden where the prostitutes in their seedy existence entertained many a dissolute gentleman, and spreading beyond to the suburbs and round to the very heart of England to the West Country with her little fishing villages and the north with her hilly countryside and gusty winds, ever person in Henrys kingdom and indeed abroad must have had the same words on their lips, ‘how long’?.

  2. I would imagine that many people were appalled at the King marrying and showing off his new queen so soon after executing his previous. The timing seems so obscene even today.

    1. Yes it is obscene iv said this before, but if Henry wasn’t the King and just the man on the street his very behaviour would have warranted an investigation, the arrival of a new wife in barely two weeks after his last one had been executed reeks of suspion, he may have had a trial and his queen condemned before the peers of the realm but all he had done was make it possible to have her put to death, not actually prove she was guilty and in fact, parading the simpering Jane Seymour around only made that fact obvious, disgusting behaviour but that was Henry V111 for you, whatever happiness he thought he would find with Jane was short lived, some may call it karma that she died, punishment inflicted by the almighty for slaying his innocent wife, but Jane and her family knew what they were getting into, you don’t walk into the lions den and expect to come out unscathed.

  3. In his chapter on Jane, ‘She stoops to conquer’. Starkey writes, ‘He (Henry) also, more disturbingly, wanted submission. For increasing age and the Supremacy’s relentless elevation of the monarchy had made him ever more impatient of contradiction and disagreement. Only obedience, prompt, absolute and unconditional, would do. (think, perhaps, of Mary).
    Jane, on the other hand, was everything that Anne was not. She was calm, quiet, soft-spoken (when she spoke at all) and profoundly submissive, at least to Henry. In short, after Anne’s flagrant defiance of convention, Jane was the sixteenth-century’s ideal woman.
    And it was not only Henry who noticed the difference. Sir John Russell had been one of many who had felt the repeated rough edge of Anne’s tongue now he rejoiced at her successor. The court, Starkey concludes, was happy.

  4. Ah, meant also to say, about our Sir John Russell, that he was – obviously – an opponent of the Boleyn faction, as you guessed, and sat in the Parliament (which began nine days after Jane’s marriage) to complete the destruction of Anne and it is after this he becomes a Privy Councillor. Not that he is biased as a witness, or anything ……… Heaven forfend.

  5. Jane Seymour brought a new start to the life of Henry Viii and the Court and he had cleared the way ahead by both the execution of his last wife, that Sir John Russell has no love for, then by legally removing Elizabeth from the succession by having his marriage to Anne declared invalid and now he saw this marriage as the only true one he experienced. Jane was the opposite to Anne, not a mouse but certainly she was conventional.

    Henry really had come from hell into heaven if you think that he now at least achieved something of domestic happiness, for a time, away from the turbulence playing out in his troubled, divided realm. Anne was vibrant and passionate and headstrong and Henry was no calm and temporate willow. Their relationship had been one of sunshine and storms and they had passionate arguments as well as passionate love and merry making. They had been lovers and they had been partners but once married Anne had not transitioned from outspoken mistress to obedient wife. She had a brain and she didn’t see why she should not use it and rule through policy and not just as a supporter and helpmate to her King and husband. The rows that Anne and Henry had in public, since her unfortunate miscarriage in January 1536 had become more violent and more common. Henry no longer took her advice or sought it and the poor woman was left without the support she had once believed she could rely upon. By March people had begun to change sides and the supporters of Mary began to speak out. The Seymour family found themselves being courted by an assortment of odd people, Cromwell and even Norfolk and Suffolk among them and even George Boleyn, Lord Rochford had sought them out. The old guard like Sir John Russell had towed the line but now he too felt happier with this new Queen who appeared to make his King content. He had been one, no doubt to find life difficult under Anne as had others and he now hoped that things would be different, more peaceful. His letter to the King’s half Uncle Arthur Plantagenet, Lord Lisle the Deputy of Calais he expressed such a hope and remarked that the Court was happy.

    I believe, yes, the appearance of Jane as Queen after such a short period since Anne’s execution would cause a stir, but it must have been expected. The barges now have new badges, the King is done up once more and laughing with his friends, who no doubt are congratulating him and toasts are being raised to Queen Jane, the universe is one with the King again, there is merry making and a party to go to. The Court has gathered and Jane is dressed magnificently, just as Anne and Katherine had been in their turn, the new Her Majesty is being served on bent knees, the high table is laden with fine dishes again, the Ladies of the Court have a new mistress to serve, there will be dancing tonight and a feast and a grand time to be had by all. Today is a new start so raise a glass and say Hail and well met! Congratulations and long life to Queen Jane and many blessings to King Henry and his new Queen. A grand time and lots of celebrations to follow and we are glad to be happy once more.

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