27th October – On this Day in History…

On this day in history, 27th October…

1526 – Bishop Tunstal 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.”

1532 – On Sunday 27th October 1532, Anne Boleyn made a dramatic entrance to the great banquet held by Henry VIII in Calais for Francis I.

Eric Ives writes of how the room was lavishly decorated with hangings made from cloth of tissue and cloth of silver, gold wreaths and candelabra, and how the banquet consisted of 170 dishes of both French and English styles. However, the climax of the evening was Anne Boleyn’s entry – Anne led a group of six masked ladies (who included her sister, Mary Carey, and her sister-in-law, Lady Rochford) who were dressed in “loose, gold-laced overdresses of cloth of gold, with sashes of crimson satin ornamented with a wavy pattern in cloth of silver.” These ladies “were escorted by four maids of honour in crimson satin and tabards of cypress lawn”. Each lady picked a French man to dance with, Anne choosing Francis I, and after a few dances Henry VIII ordered them to unmask so that the ladies’ “beauties were showed”.

It must have been a wonderful night for Anne, she was being treated as Henry VIII’s consort and had plenty of opportunity to speak to the French king and gain his support. I wonder if it was on this night that Anne finally gave herself fully to Henry.

Notes and Sources

  • “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”, Eric Ives, p160
  • “Burning to read: English fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents”, James Simpson, p35

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4 thoughts on “27th October – On this Day in History…”
  1. This sounds like it might have been one of the best moments for Anne – she was close, so close, to being seen as Henry’s lawful wife and Queen.

    She seems friendly with King Francis – was there ever any sort of support from Francis when Anne was facing her downfall? After all, it was something of a coup for the French that Henry was married to a woman who was definitely friendly and sympathetic to French interests. Or did everything happen too quickly for Francis to even register his support for her?

  2. cameras REALLY was invented too late! Just inagine the amazing photos/videos you could have taken in tudor times, the lavish balls and parties, Annes coronation, the newborn Elizabeth. But I guess that it’s one of the things that makes it so interesting, that we don’t know hardly anything for sure…..

  3. It is hard to fully evisage the glittering splendor of this day.
    For Anne it must have seemed dream-like, and an event that would be in her top 10…
    surpassed only by her coronation, perhaps.
    With emotions running high on this very special day in Anne’s life it wouldn’t be a great
    suprize if these emotions carried on to the bed chamber afterwards Claire!

    When we read about these sumptious banquets I always think about all the gruelling hard work put in by the people back stage, the cooks, seamstresses, the organisers etc, they seem to be overlooked on such grand occassions, they must have been exhausted, when I think about how tired I feel when I have cooked the family Christmas lunch with all my modern appliances it fades into insignificance in comparison lol….

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