On this day in history, Sunday 27th October 1532, in Calais, which was an English territory at the time, King Henry VIII hosted a lavish “great banquet” for Francis I, King of France.
Henry VIII and his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn Marquess of Pembroke, had travelled to Calais to gain Francis’ public recognition and approval of their relationship, and his support for the annulment of Henry’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry had already spent a few days at the French court with Francis, now it was his turn to play host.
Chronicler Edward Hall records that “The French kyng was serued iii. courses, & his meat dressed after the French fashion, & the kyng of England had like courses after thenglishe fashion, the first course of euery kyng was. xl. dishes, the second. lx. the third. lxx. which wer costly & plesant.” So, the first course “of every king” was 40 dishes, the second 60 dishes and the third 70 dishes!
Picture: Natalie Dormer as the masqued Anne Boleyn in this scene in “The Tudors” series.