21st October – On this Day in History…

François I
Francis I

On this day in history, 21st October…

1532 – Henry VIII left Anne Boleyn in Calais to spend four days with Francis I, “his beloved brother”, at the French court in Bolougne1. He returned with Francis on the 25th October.

1536 – Pilgrimage of Grace – Lancaster Herald, on nearing Pontefract Castle, encountered a group of armed peasants. The peasants explained that they were armed “to prevent the ‘comontte’ and Church being destroyed;  for, they said no man should bury, christen, wed, or have beasts unmarked without paying a tax and forfeiting the beast unmarked to the King’s use.”2

On this same day, rebel leader Robert Aske met with Lancaster Herald at Pontefract Castle. Aske refused to let the Herald read out the proclamation which told of how the Lincolnshire rebels had submitted, and declared that he and his people were intent on staying true to their cause and would be marching on London “on pilgrimage to the King to have all vile blood put from his Council and noble blood set up again; to have the faith of Christ and God’s laws kept, and restitution for wrongs done to the Church, and the “comonte” used as they should be”3. Lancaster Herald asked for this in writing and so Aske “called for the oath he gave his people and said the articles were in it, and delivered it to me, offering to put his hand to it.” When asked to put his hand to it, Aske “did so, saying with a proud voice “This is mine act who so ever say to the contrary.” ” Lancaster Herald reiterated that he was required to read his proclamation to the people but Aske would not let him and instead offered him safe conduct out of the castle and town4.

1542 – “The 21st day of October in the xxxiiij year of the reign of our Sovereign lord King Henry the viijth., the duke of Norfolk’s grace, lieutenant to the King’s Highness, removed and camped in the borders of Barwicke”5. Records show that Norfolk and his men went on to burn and pillage a number of towns in the Scottish borderlands.

Notes and Sources

  1. “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”, Eric Ives, p159
  2. LP xi.826
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. LP xvii. 998

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