27 October 1532 – Anne Boleyn’s Dramatic Entrance at Calais

Posted By on October 27, 2013

Natalie DormerOn Sunday 27th October 1532, Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, made a dramatic entrance after the great banquet held by Henry VIII in Calais for Francis I.

The chronicler Edward Hall writes of how the room was lavishly decorated with cloth of tissue, cloth of silver, gold wreaths decorated with stones and pearls, and candelabra. It also had a cupboard stacked high with gold plate. He then describes the entrance of Anne Boleyn and her masked ladies:-

“After supper came in the Marchiones of Penbroke, with. vii. ladies in Maskyng apparel, of straunge fashion, made of clothe of gold, compassed with Crimosyn Tinsell Satin, owned with Clothe of Siluer, liyng lose[loose] and knit with laces of Gold: these ladies were brought into the chamber, with foure damoselles appareled in Crimosin satlyn[satin], with Tabardes of fine Cipres[cypress lawn]: the lady Marques tooke the Frenche Kyng, and the Countes of Darby, toke the Kyng of Nauerr, and euery Lady toke a lorde, and in daunsyng[dancing] the kyng of Englande, toke awaie the ladies visers, so that there the ladies beauties were shewed.”

Wynkyn de Worde corroborates this and names the ladies accompanying Anne as Mary Carey (nee Boleyn, Anne’s sister), the Countess of Derby, Lady Fitzwater, Lady Rochford (Jane Boleyn), Lady Lisle and Lady Wallop.

The French King then spoke a while with Anne Boleyn, before being escorted by Henry VIII back to his lodgings.

Also on this day in history…

  • c.1467 (night of 27th/28th) – Birth of Desiderius Erasmus, humanist, Catholic priest, classical scholar and theologian in Rotterdam. His works included Enchiridion militis Christiani, or the Handbook of the Christian Soldier (1503), The Praise of Folly (1511), Institutio principis Christiani (1516) and Sileni Alcibiadis (1515).
  • Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall presided over the burning of Lutheran books, such as William Tyndale’s New Testament, at St Paul’s. He had issued an edict commanding that copies of the English New Testament should be found and delivered to him because members of Luther’s sect had “translated the new Testament into our English tongue, entermedling there with many heretical articles and erroneous opinions… seducing the simple people.”

Notes and Sources

  • Hall’s Chronicle, Edward Hall, p792-793
  • The Maner of the tryumphe of Caleys and Bulleyn and The noble tryumphaunt coronacyon of Quene Anne, wyfe unto the most noble kynge Henry VIII, Wynkyn de Worde, p12-13

9 thoughts on “27 October 1532 – Anne Boleyn’s Dramatic Entrance at Calais”

  1. Susan says:

    Oh my what an event must have been so lavish! If only we could step back in time !Ann fascinates me !!

  2. BanditQueen says:

    What a fantastic event with wonderful costumes and dancing and gaiety and laughter and wine and oh my; a good night. I have one question: does anyone actually know what sort fo Dance Anne and her ladies did? I imagine it being a bit sexy and graceful and full of fun, but what sort of tune did they dance to and was the dance erotic as it was in the Tudors? Was it an Eastern sort of dance? I am aware of some of the dances they did at the time, but this sort of marks a new era and Anne is often credited by authors with introducing new dances and costumes into England from France. The Tudors seem to have loved show and pomp and had many wild and glorious ideas that they put into their shows and entertainment; I can well imagine something of Eastern promise in the dance. Any ideas please?

  3. Sandy says:

    Yes if only I could be taken back in time as an observer to all these stories!!

  4. Bullen93 says:

    I would like to know what Mary Boleyn thought when she was so close to her two Royal lovers! I’m sure she would try to hide her feelings, but I would ask Jane Parker, and sure she would tell me, ha, ha, ha!
    Poor Anne! She came back to France only to find King François’ weak support. If Queen Claude had been alive, it would have been different. At least she made such a great entrance that François said “I was told Venus was blond, bit now I’m sure she’s a brunette”. She knew how to give people a good spectacle, I think

  5. Leslie says:

    The description above sounds like “The Tudors” did it justice. I love that scene. Anne must have felt wonderful.

  6. Maya says:

    I love thinking about this trip. Despite the snub by the French royal women, Anne must have been so happy: newly made Marquess of Pembroke, secure in the king’s love and in her future, back in France (or England-occupied France at any rate) where she had spent her youth, flattered and admired by the French king (on a personal level if not political), in her element with dancing and celebration and beautiful dresses, and possibly even consummating her relationship with the king during the trip (though we’ll never know for sure when exactly that happened!). It must have been such a special time.

  7. mrsfiennes says:

    I think that this event was very,very important for Henry and Anne.Henry needed the support of Europe in accepting his new bride so their children would be considered legitimate and good matches with fellow monarchs.The King of France was as good a place to start as any.Perhaps he thought that if France accepted his new queen others would follow.
    It must have been an amazing night.Anne was disguised when she first appeared and no one was suppose to know who she was at first I have read.I wonder if the King of France finally guessed or was she just pointed out to him?

  8. Maryann Pitman says:

    Why would either Anne or Henry expect any help from Francis? He and Henry hated each other, were rivals all through the years of their reigns. Francis was always ready to rub salt in Henry’s wounds, and I can just see him snickering behind his hand over Henry’s desire to annul his marriage to a Spanish princess so he could marry her lady in waiting.

    It did not take a genius to realize Henry wasn’t going to get his annulment as long as Charles V had the power to prevent it.

    1. Claire says:

      Anne had served Queen Claude faithfully for a few years and Henry and Francis were getting along quite well at this point. Francis agreed to help them and was supportive.

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