25 July – Name-calling and a royal marriage

Posted By on July 25, 2019

On this day in history, 25th July 1535, the Feast of St James, Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, wrote to Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle, one of Emperor Charles V’s advisors, and included a post-script regarding Anne Boleyn and her daughter, Elizabeth, being verbally attacked by Will Somer (Summer), King Henry VIII’s fool.

Chapuys recorded:

“P.S.-He the other day nearly murdered his own fool, a simple and innocent man, because he happened to speak well in his presence of the Queen and Princess, and called the concubine “ribaude” and her daughter “bastard.” He has now been banished from Court, and has gone to the Grand Esquire, who has sheltered and hidden him.”

So, Somer had had the audacity to speak well of Catherine of Aragon and her daughter, Mary, while calling the present queen and princess “ribald” and a “bastard”. It is little wonder that Henry VIII “nearly murdered him”.

As Chapuys states, Somer was banished from court and was “sheltered and hidden” by Sir Nicholas Carew, chief esquire of the king, a man who would go on to be involved in Queen Anne Boleyn’s fall in 1536 by coaching Jane Seymour in how to behave with the king.

Will Somer managed to regain the king’s favour and served as court fool to Edward VI and Mary I, and was recorded as being inn attendance at Elizabeth I’s coronation in 1559. He died on 15th June 1560.

Also on this day in history, 25th July 1554, Queen Mary I got married!

If you prefer audio to video, you can listen to my podcast here, and, if you prefer reading, you can read more about the wedding here.

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