27 October – Anne Boleyn makes her entrance in a lavish masque

Posted By on October 27, 2019

On Sunday 27th October 1532, two days after Henry VIII had returned from Boulogne with the French King, Francis I, who had sent Anne a lovely diamond on his arrival, Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, made a dramatic entrance to the great banquet held by King Henry VIII in Calais in honour of Francis.

In my today’s “on this day in Tudor history video”, I share details of the sumptuous banquet and lavish masque that followed.

Anne Boleyn definitely knew how to make an entrance! Anne and her ladies must have looked wonderful, and the room was also ‘dressed’ for the occasion. It’s definitely one of those events I’d love to go back in time for.

By the way, you’ll recognise some of the names of Anne’s ladies and those present in Calais.

The 1532 trip so far:

  • Friday 11 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail from Dover on The Swallow at Dawn and arrive at Calais at 10 o’clock in the morning.
  • Wednesday 16 October 1532 – While Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII are lodged in Calais, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Derby and a group of gentleman meet with Anne, duc de Montmorency, “the great mayster of Fraunce”, and his men at the English Pale, six miles outside of Calais.
  • Monday 21 October 1532 – Henry VIII leaves Anne Boleyn in Calais to spend four days with Francis I, “his beloved brother”, at the French court in Boulogne. See https://youtu.be/ZB8WUZlqYFY
  • Friday 25 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Francis I arrive in Calais, and Henry VIII plays host. See https://youtu.be/m7LbYIKx8_Y

If you prefer reading to videos, then you can find out all the details in an article I wrote a couple of years ago – click here – and if you prefer audio, you can listen to my podcast here.

If you like to get a daily Tudor fix, then please do subscribe to the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube Channel or my podcast as I do daily “on this day” talks.

18 thoughts on “27 October – Anne Boleyn makes her entrance in a lavish masque”

  1. Michael Wright says:

    This would have been a magnificent feast and masque to witness. What I am really curious of though, just as with Anne’s coronation is what was the atmosphere. Was Anne accepted by most of the attendees or was there a lot of murmuring among the guests against her. Did Anne feel comfortable and welcomed or was there a tension in the air that pethaps only she could perceive. I know she spent a few years in the French Court when she was younger but this situation was completely different.

  2. Christine says:

    Yes there possibly was a few barbed remarks and glances aimed at Anne but as with her coronation, there was nothing anyone could do, Anne was going to be the next Queen of England, if you can’t beat them join them as the saying goes, best to enjoy the revels and accept the inevitable, I believe since it was known Henry became interested in Anne then she had suffered from a lot of envy particularly from the other ladies at the English court, not the men who after all knew the King had mistresse’s, it was only when it became clear Henry intended to make her his queen did alarm bells begin to ring, as she then became a threat politically, she was perceived as dangerous and her toxic manner did not endear people to her, in the reign of that great King Edward 111 his mistress Alice Perrers was not liked much, but she did not impugn on politics, mistresse’s were just for pleasure, Anne was different and Katherine of Aragons friends hated her, it was also the very real fear that she was being discarded in favour of a younger model, another fact that did not endear her to women, be they rich or poor, if the King could do that so could their husbands! The beauty of the masque however must have been stunning and lavish and here Anne was in her element, both she and Henry shared a love of masquerade, the dancing women in their outfits of silver and gold and elaborate masks, the music must have been caught on the wind and travelled far around the neighbouring town of Calais, another triumph for Anne, for even though she had endured the snub from the Queen of France, it’s King was now paying homage to her as the chosen consort of his ‘dear brother’ King Henry V111 of England of divine majesty!

  3. Banditqueen says:

    Magnificent dresses, magnificent feast, magnificent decorations, magnificent dances by the beautiful ladies, graceful from Anne and her ladies, companionship between the two Kings and their two Courts, music and entertainment, fantastic dishes served, a wonderful occasion and a grand time had by all.

    What more can one day?

  4. Banditqueen says:

    Henry Viii really went all out to impress. The room was extremely well decorated, cloth of silver and gold and beautiful hangings, the table was very beautiful, the dishes were decorated, the two Kings were in their most magnificent clothes and so were the courtiers and ladies.

    But, where was our leading lady? Where was the future Queen Consort? Well into the room came several high born ladies dressed in silver with masks on and decorated hair. They danced gracefully for the two Kings who were getting on very well and then broke off to pick a partner, one picking Francis himself, who was delighted and enchanted. The dance began again and afterwards the King undid the ribbons to reveal our mysterious ladies and Francis was dancing with Anne herself. Everything was delightful and the evening ended with entertainment led by the Duke of Norfolk, who was the highest ranking noble and in charge for the evening. It sounds as if he came up with some very enjoyable stuff and it was remarked upon. Anne took Francis aside and did her job and spoke with him at length. They were soon getting the King to fall under their spell, he was full of admiration and very gracious, enchanted by Anne and his brother King and he agreed to support their future marriage, without them defying the Pope of course, but support them he did. The Kings were on good terms and had been for a time, Anne at last could openly act as Queen Consort and she was thus in her natural role now.

    Immediately afterwards with the confidence that this long wait for their union was finally over, Henry and Anne the next night, caught in Calais for a few extra nights, they consummated their union. Back on English soil they would, according to Edward Hall make some kind of religious commitment in a Church, probably not a formal marriage but a betrothal ceremony. In canon law a promise of marriage and to live as husband and wife following or before sexual intercourse was considered as a legitimate marriage. However, the couple were meant to be free, willing and able to give informed consent to such a match and Henry certainly wasn’t free yet. Therefore this was a sexual union, not a commitment of marriage, but of a future marriage for later on. It was the one time they were finally one flesh and it was a loving and beautiful moment for them both, not one which was crude or a rape as in the Other Boleyn Girl, but of passion and delight and being united in everything they had desired for seven years. This was their moment and for them it must have felt sublime and wonderful. For Henry Anne was finally his and for Anne, contentment at last with her King and yes, I believe it was a mutual expression of true love and powerful passionate desire and happiness.

  5. Christine says:

    I thought that was so stupid in the movie, but then everything else was anyway,it showed Katherine berating Henry for being soft with Anne next minute he turns up in her bedchamber and rapes her, we know it’s fiction like we know Henry in his later years turned into a tyrant and a bit of a monster, but we can be sure of one thing he never took a woman by force, certainly not his darling sweetheart, he respected her too much, it was not about at this stage in their relationship about getting Anne into bed, it was about doing things properly, Gregory does Henry V111 no credit for his character by throwing in a rape scene, but as we have discussed many a time, we all know her books are daft anyway, Anne slept with the King because she must have decided she had by now nothing to lose, Henry had pledged himself to her she was to be his wife, she had the support of France and she knew Henry was deeply serious about her, she trusted him not to go back on his word, she may have been attracted to him I don’t know, this is what is puzzling about their relationship, first of all it was one sided with the King hotly desiring Anne, then they officially became a couple and Henry moved heaven and earth to make her his wife, but we do not know how Anne really felt about the King, I believe she could have been physically attracted to him, maybe in time she grew to love him, but it could have been more a power thing, or did she genuinely love him? Alas we will never know the answer to that question, we know Anne as a person was capable of a deep love for her mother and her child, Harry Percy could have just been a young girls crush, what we do no is that those who decry her now and then, have to realise that being loved by the King, she was untouchable he had in a sense deprived her of having a relationship with any other man, therefore here was a man offering her marriage and the chance of children, she could not have that with any other man as the King would never let her, therefore she had no choice but to take him, as the alternative was to grow old and childless, poor Katherines own life was ruined in the process but such is the eternal triangle.

  6. Banditqueen says:

    The movie was totally ridiculous and the mini series with Ray Winston just as bad, because they also used the rough sex/rape idea and Helen Boham Carter said she was traumatised even though it wasn’t real because it was so violently done. Both dramas need to apologise quite frankly as watching this is traumatic and I wouldn’t watch the series again. That painted Henry as a larger lout, a brute all the time which was far from the truth. He wasn’t crude either and sorry but Winston was not the right fit. Not his fault, he is a good actor in a number of things but the writing was obviously nonsense. Aske was shown as an ex soldier which he was and more brutal which he also was, but he didn’t turn up armed to the teeth at Court and narrowly avoid a fight with the King and his men, also armed to the teeth. In most dramatic productions you also see the courtiers strutting around armed with swords, in the prescence of the monarch. No way. They weren’t allowed to be armed in case they had a fight or attacked the King. Exceptions were made for the people guarding him and on special ceremonies like the Garter procession on Saint George’s Day but no, people didn’t strut around court armed.
    There is also a tendency for crude language these days and sex every five minutes. Where highly intelligent, well spoken, highly refined people vulgar? No of course not, the common people in the tavern may be, not the Court. Was there a lot of sexual activity? Probably but come on leave something to the viewers imagination! It’s Halloween in two days time. I don’t need to watch a horror movie; any old modern drama will do the trick. Seriously they are that bad now, you feel ill watching them, not scared, ill! Give me some good old fashioned spooks like Hocus Pocus and High Spirits, neither of which is on, any day, clean family fun with a spooky story. Dracula from 1935 is on TMC. Now that was real gothic horror and entertainment. If I want blood guts and gore I will watch Thrones! If I want horror I want spooky horror, classical scare me out of my mind horror, not blood, guts, gore and more gore! Sorry on soap box.

    Yes, I agree, Anne now felt Henry was committed and she could commit to him fully and with her whole heart and soul and being and this moment of full sexual entwining fulfilled all of those hopes. They had nothing to hold them back now and nothing to lose and this was a beautiful and passionate moment. There was also no going back from this moment, Anne was probably going to get pregnant as time went on and their child would be born in lawful wedlock. Before now they had refrained from full sexual intercourse because any children born of their union would have been illegitimate. Now, with a wedding on the horizon, possibly on their immediate return to England, it was safe to become one flesh and to consummate their union. They had support from their nearest potential military threats, France and they were confident that his influence with Rome would be successful, but in any case Henry had a plan to do away with the need for Rome’s authority. Henry already had the clergy in the palm of his hands, he was Head of the Church, his plans were to break from Rome and force through legislation to make himself fully Head of the Church and his heirs only the children of himself and Anne Boleyn. This visit was the first of many steps England was about to take in order to free Henry from Catherine and himself from foreign interference.

    Thinking of Katherine, how must that poor lady have felt? Not yet a prisoner, Katherine still held Court. But even in her own separate, if luxurious palace at the Moore, grandeur than Hampton Court before Henry changed it, former home of Cardinal Wolsey, Katherine was aware that she had been replaced by another. Anne was acting as if she was already Queen, in Katherine’s rightful and royal place, she took that place at state occasions and she sat there at Christmas. She was presented as Queen Consort in Calais and it was now public knowledge that Henry was about to make her his Queen. However, Henry wasn’t yet free to remarry as his annulment wasn’t approved and the formal ending of his marriage to Katherine not legally done in England. Katherine as we know maintained that she was Henry’s only legitimate and lawful wife, the marriage was lawful and she wasn’t going to budge. Henry was acting like a bachelor, as if Katherine had never been his life and he was free to marry. This was essentially how he thought. He wasn’t daft, though and his public image was everything to him. He still wanted to do things by the book, correctly and that meant via due process. Henry’s version of due process, but due process under English law. Thus the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, the other one having died suddenly, the King even sought approval from Rome for his appointment, the marriage in England, the Court at Dunstable and finally legislation and Anne’s very elaborate coronation. All of this must have been very upsetting for Katherine, who had been set aside for one of her ladies, who she saw as not worthy of her husband. Katherine must have felt alone and abandoned and betrayed and must have been very shocked at all of these events. I reckon she was heartbroken.

    Anne on the other hand was triumphant. She was recognised as Henry’s future Queen and would soon be his wife and carrying his son, as she believed. She would have a wonderful coronation and her future looked bright. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Christine says:

      Talking about horror movies i thought Carrie was great the original with Sissy Spacek and John Travolta, I bought it on DVD in my charity shop and have yet to watch it again, when I was a kid in the 70’s the BBC used to show what they called ‘ A Ghost Story For Christmas ‘ and the spookiest one I saw was ‘ Lost Hearts’, these two ghost children used to haunt this old man who had murdured him, and his young cousin had gone to stay with him, the sight of the two ghosts wandering around with really long fingernails freaked me out, along with the haunting music of an urdy gurdy, I bought the whole set on DVD from Amazon few years ago, and even now, over fifty years later it still sends a chill down my spine, they do show a spooky drama on the tv at Christmas still, I liked ‘O Whistle And I Will Come To You My Lad’, the original starred Michael Horden and was made in b/w as it was first shown in the early 60’s somehow the original was more freaky then the latest one, possibly as it was shot in b/ w it was more effective, MR James whose stories they base the productions on really was a brilliant writer of the gothic genre, but these silly films like HellRaiser and Thirteen Ghosts there pure drivel, there’s no story just the directors trying to raise thrills and scares out of as you say, blood and gore!

      1. Christine says:

        Also Nosferatu the Dracula film with Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani, now that was really true to the book as Stoker did portray him as a bald headed goblin with protruding teeth, not the suave dark stranger as he is often portrayed by the movie industry, sorry but it showed Harker dining with him in his castle now had the film been more authentic it would have shown him running for his life, I know it was based on the book but the vampire was so hideous to look at id have run for the hills, yuk I watched about half an hour and couldn’t watch anymore it made me feel ill, it was not because it was gory because it wasn’t, just Kinski made me feel ill.

    2. Christine says:

      Katherine must indeed have been a broken woman, she had loved her husband for many years, she had always been true to him, she had respected him not only as her husband but always as her sovereign Lord, she had endured losing many children and now was being cast aside for one of her own ladies in waiting, how she felt we will never know but all the women in the land must have sympathised with her, even those who were Annes and the Kings friends, Annes mother had once served her and therefore must have respected her and found her a kind mistress, just because she had failed to give the King a son that lived she had lost her status as queen, she had been banished from court, because she had openly opposed Henry she had been separated from her daughter, the only child who had been left to her, she had had her household reduced, she had been forced to give up the Crown Jewels and been shuffled about the country living in sometimes cold and lonely dwellings, she knew of the King and Annes trip to Calais as Chapyus her eyes and ears of the court would have told her, she knew that Anne who had once curtseyed deeply to her and only spoken when spoken to, now held sway over what had been her dominion, she sat in her consorts chair next to her husband, she dined under the chair of estate, she presided over the banquets and revels and knew she would be presiding over the coming Christmas celebrations, she was being treated as if she was queen already, she knew that there was a very high chance of Anne giving the King a prince and she feared for Mary, it may not have seemed so at the time, but from the minute Anne had arrived at court her life became inorexibly linked with Katherine and Henry, destiny began to unravel in the shape of this slight elegant girl, who some dismissed rather disparagingly as not much of a looker apart from large dark eyes and a witty tongue, others fell prey to the secrets in those eyes and soon her magic began to weave around the court, seducing even the King in its wake, Katherine had not bothered about her husband’s latest light o love, believing at first it was just that, something light and transitory in fact, she was a very real danger and she must have pondered on that as she sat in her latest castle or mansion house, how had it begun! Had she knew how her life would have ended up, she no doubt would have had her banished from court and far away from Henrys roving eye indefinitely, nothing in life is certain and for Katherine so pious so good and honest must have wondered what on earth had she done to end up like this?

      1. Michael Wright says:

        Perfectly stated. Many people blame Katherine for her treatment. No, this was entirely Henry being a petty jerk and bully. He could have chosen to be kinder to her and Mary but that was not his style. He could have still divorced her and despite her actions and pleadings acted like a decent human being towards her.

        1. Christine says:

          He did not like anyone opposing him, it is not fair to say Katherine was to blame for her treatment, all she did was to say she believed theirs was a lawful marriage, he handled his divorce/anullment all wrong, he handled her all wrong, as if any other wife in the land would act different had she been told by her husband that they had been living in sin for twenty years and not lawfully married at all? It would get any wife’s back up, then flaunt his mistress in front of her, that said Anne herself soon knew what it was like to be in Katherines shoes when he was seeing Jane Seymour, she must then have realised how she had felt and found it pretty uncomfortable.

  7. Christine says:

    Winston comes from Enfield north London like me and ran a club I used to frequent on Friday nights, I couldn’t believe it when I learnt he was going to star in a tv series about Henry V111 and his wives, it was a joke that series and yes Winston was dreadfully miscast as the King, speaking with a London accent and parading around it was laughable, Bonham Carter as Anne got really bad ratings to, she was called a disgrace by one critic, I also agreed there was no fire in her and really it reminded me of school productions that they show at the end of the year, I agree about blood and gore on the tv I never really liked watching stuff like that even when I was younger, give me a Hitchcock thriller anytime, and yes what puts me off when they re enact historical films is when the people swear, as we know swearing and profanity did go on with the poor and the rich and the nobility must have from time to time, but they use modern swear words, in Wolf Hall it showed Norfolk using the f and the b words, now I no the f word has been around for a long time but the b word, I don’t think so, and I am sure there was Annes mother present, manners would have prohibited him from swearing in her presence, also in some films some male actors call one another fella, that’s just a slang word which I’m sure originated in the 19th c? , the use of modern words in historical dramas and movies takes away a lot of the authenticity, it may go down well with more modern younger audiences but not with me.

  8. Michael Wright says:

    I have not seen the Klaus Kinski version that was released in about 1980 or so but I have seen the original silent version from the first quarter of the 20th century. It is b&w, silent and terrifying. I think the absence of color adds to that feeling. Kinski’s makeup was based on the original. I believe they are both still available.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      I just did some quick research online. The novel of Nosferatu was released in 1915 and the movie was shot in 1921 and released in 1922. You can watch the movie on YouTube. It’s probably been colorized which I am not a fan of. I recommend the b&w if available for the added atmospherics.

      1. Christine says:

        Think il pass on that one Michael, but thank you for the info anyway.

  9. Banditqueen says:

    Katherine of Aragon had been a loyal and loving Queen and wife and mother. Henry had always treated her with respect until he determined to get his own way. Katherine is blamed for her own treatment because she stood up to Henry and challenged him instead of accepting his many offers and going into retirement. As Christine and Michael say that judgement and criticism is very misplaced and unfair. You cannot blame victims for the actions of those who attack them. Katherine was a crowned and anointed Queen, the mother to a daughter whom she saw as the legitimate heir to the throne, having no problem with female rulers and she also believed her marriage to Henry was good and lawful and God had anointed her for marriage and Queenship. It is regrettable that Katherine didn’t accept it was over when Henry crowned Anne but in any case this didn’t excuse Henry’s treatment of her. Henry made a choice to move her to less favourable accommodation, to become Head of the Church and to try to force her to take the appropriate oath. When they separated in 1531 her situation wasn’t that bad. She still held Court, she still made state visits to the Guild Hall in London, she had one last Summer with Mary before being finally ordered to leave Windsor and the Moore were her early exile was centred on was luxurious and she had a huge staff to attend her. Katherine never had less than 200 servants, but her accommodation was not the best, often comfortable, but on marshland and damp. Katherine’s movements were restricted, those allowed to see her were carefully monitored, many former visitors were forbidden, she was no longer allowed to see Mary, although notes did find their way through occasionally and Henry did send medical assistance as well. Mary was moved to the same household of her new born half sister, Princess Elizabeth as one of her servants but refused to do any attending or to recognise Anne as Queen. A running battle followed over the next two and a half years, insulting words were exchanged, orders given for mistreatment from Anne, although probably not carried out, with Henry’s approval and Mary remained separated from both parents and defiant. Henry sent delegations to bully Katherine and to attempt to force her to move. She refused to go or give in and that is on Henry, not his now helpless ex wife. Henry was the King; he could have chosen to leave Katherine alone and live in more suitable accommodation. He could have accepted that she would not give in and left her in peace. He didn’t take any proactive action against Mary either before the end of 1536 but once he did it was clear he would accept nothing but total submission from both mother and daughter. Henry’s title as Head of the Church in England and his legislation of 1534 meant he had more power than any former English King and he simply couldn’t be seen to be unable to control his own family. That would lead to challenges to his authority elsewhere and this has much to do with the way he forced his reactions and brutal autocratic authority on Katherine and Mary. Katherine’s health deteriorated as a result and she dearly wanted to see her daughter; it was too cruel that she was denied the comfort of her presence even as she lay dying. This for me showed Henry to be insecure because he obviously feared the words of a dying woman would sustain the courage and resolve of his nineteen year old daughter to go on defying him.

  10. Christine says:

    I too find that unforgivable that he would not allow Mary to be with her mother on her deathbed, by now they had not seen each other for about three years, I agree with Bq it possibly was due to Henrys insecurity that he would not allow it, yet it appears callous the woman was said to be on her death bed, Chapyuis spoke with her and she had rallied a little and he thought she was recovering, but as sometimes happens, the glow of health is merely the prelude to death, it’s as if the body fights for that last chance, the life it has kept for many years, the face appears animated the body stronger, this happened to both my grandmother and my father, they were chirpy and talking well, then they went downhill and died, it was a shock and yet I have heard this happening to many others, one is deluded into thinking they are getting better, my father was 89 and half and my gran about 86, it is easy to forget the frailty of advanced age, Katherine had some Welsh beer and she felt rough afterwards, she heard the last rites and died peacefully surrounded by her weeping attendants, her lifelong friend Maria de Salinas had braved a long journey to be with her, and she must have drawn comfort from her presence, it is true that Henry had to be seen to be acting harsh towards his ex wife and daughter, as a king who could not be seen to manage his household could not be taken seriously on the world stage, other kings must have chuckled at the image of Henrys first wife barricading herself in her room and arguing with his henchmen over the Crown Jewels, which he had ordered her to give up, his marital affairs were the talk of Europe with Chapyus busily writing despatches to his master the Emperor, and the French ambassadors smirking in the corridors of Whitehaii and Greenwich over the latest state of affairs concerning Katherine the King, and the lady Anne, her daughter also caused Henry more grief when she was sent to Hatfield to wait on her baby sister, first there was the ignoble struggle to put her in the carriage, Mary downright refused and she had to be picked up and dumped in her seat, still glowering and struggling, she refused to eat with the servants as her Royal status had always demanded she ate on her own in her room, but Anne spitefully told her aunt who was in charge of her, to make sure she ate with them, on one occasion when a visitor arrived to pay homage to the princess, Mary tried to see him declaring she was the true princess and again, she had to be physically restrained from meeting him, her intransigent behaviour had Lady Shelton in despair and Henrys heart was hardened towards his daughter, who whilst he loved her had to remind her he was the King and would brook no disobedience, Katherine was different she was powerful in her own right, Henry dared touch not a hair on her head, but he could not let his daughter be seen to be deliberately disobeying him, and after the bill was passed that it was treason not to acknowledge him as head of the new church, Mary like any other subject, be they high born or lowly would be guilty of treason, thus she was putting her very life in danger, and those of her household who still supported her, Chapyus grew very alarmed at her behaviour which he could see was doing her no favour, in the end she was forced into acknowledging her own bastardy and her beloved mothers invalid marriage which she possibly, never forgave herself for, but when she was queen she did reverse the titular regis act thus making her parents marriage lawful again, and herself legitimate, it was something Elizabeth never did and one wonders why, quite possibly she did not want to open old wounds and the ugly rumours surrounding her defamed mother, and bring into question her very legitimacy, both sisters suffered through their fathers quest for a son, but Marys legitimacy was never really in question with the rest of the world and many of her subjects, Elizabeths however was.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      Hi Christine. I agree with everything you say but I want to add an observation. You used the phrase ‘whilst he loved her’. I’m not so sure Henry was capable of loving someone who didn’t agree with him. I’m not being facetious I’m serious. I truly believe because of what he had become that had Anne provided the heir he so desperately wanted and Mary continued to defy him he was quite capable of ordering her execution.

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