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28th April 1536 – A Tudor Storm Brewing

Posted By on April 28, 2011

Yes, and we are not talking about the weather, although that certainly looks as little iffy at the moment! No, we are talking about events and suspicious behaviour at the court of our Bluff King Hal, his Majesty King Henry VIII.

As you know, we are a newspaper committed to keeping readers abreast of what is going on at court and reporting the TRUTH, we’ll leave the scandalous unfounded rumours to that tabloid paper “The Spanish Chronicle”, but it is very difficult to ascertain what is the truth at the moment and what is exactly going on.

Sir Tim Ridgway, our trusty reporter, has inside contacts at court so we are fed up to date information but it’s just not making sense at the moment. All we can do is report the news and ask you to draw your own conclusions.

Dr Bonner at Court and Council Meetings at Greenwich

Our contact at the court mailroom today intercepted the following letter from Thomas Warley to Lord Lisle. It is rather chatty but you can see that there is some key information in it which we have boldened for ease of reading:-

“I thank you for the warrant you sent, whereby I did my friend a singular pleasure, and also for the letter you were good enough to write to Sir Fras. Brian for expedition of my suit. Sir Francis had departed into Buckinghamshire before it arrived. Dr. Bonner came to Court yesterday, and asked heartily after you and my Lady. The Queen expects my Lady to meet her at Dover, as Mrs. Margery Horsman informed me, and on Tuesday next the King and Queen will lie at Rochester. On Monday I intend to leave for Dover or Sandwich, to await the coming of your Lordship and my Lady. The Council has sat every day at Greenwich upon certain letters brought by the French ambassador, who was at Court yesterday and divers other times. On Monday in Easter week, the Emperor’s ambassador was at Court. Many ships laden with wheat have come to London. London, 28 April.”

While this letter contains encouraging information, in that the King and Queen are still planning to visit France in the very near future, it seems suspicious to us that Bishop Bonner has arrived at court, that there are daily Council meetings and that Thomas Cromwell is still spending every waking hour with Richard Sampson, Dean of the Chapel Royal! What is going on?

Will the King Abandon Queen Anne Boleyn?

Ambassador ChapuysDespite the fact that recently the King tricked the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, into recognising the Queen and he has recently referred to her as “our most dear and most entirely beloved wife the Queen”, Chapuys is convinced that the King is tiring of her. He has shared a draft of a letter, which he will send Emperor Charles V tomorrow (29th), with Sir Tim and it does contain worrying information:-

“The Grand Ecuyer, Mr. Caro [Sir Nicholas Carew], had on St. George’s day the Order of the Garter in the place of the deceased M. de Burgain (lord Abergavenny), to the great disappointment of Rochford, who was seeking for it, and all the more because the Concubine has not had sufficient influence to get it for her brother; and it will not be the fault of the said Ecuyer if the Concubine, although his cousin (quelque, qu. quoique? cousine) be not dismounted. He continually counsels Mrs. Semel [Jane Seymour] and other conspirators “pour luy faire une venue,” and only four days ago he and some persons of the chamber sent to tell the Princess to be of good cheer, for shortly the opposite party would put water in their wine, for the King was already as sick and tired of the concubine as could be; and the brother of lord Montague told me yesterday at dinner that the day before the bishop of London had been asked if the King could abandon the said concubine, and he would not give any opinion to anyone but the King himself, and before doing so he would like to know the King’s own inclination, meaning to intimate that the King might leave the said concubine, but that, knowing his fickleness, he would not put himself in danger. The said Bishop was the principal cause and instrument of the first divorce, of which he heartily repents, and would still more gladly promote this, the said concubine and all her race are such abominable Lutherans. London, 29 April 1536.”

Chapuys’s information from his connections at court has convinced him that:-

  • The appointment of Sir Nicholas Carew to the Order of the Garter is proof that Lady Jane Seymour is on the rise and that Queen Anne Boleyn has lost her influence.
  • That the King has tired of Queen Anne.
  • That the opposition party are promoting Lady Jane Seymour as a replacement for Queen Anne.
  • That the coming of Bishop Bonner to London is because the King is seeking his advice on how to abandon Queen Anne.

When we combine this information with the news of daily Council meetings and Cromwell’s meetings with Sampson, an expert on canon law, we have to conclude that Queen Anne’s position may be unstable. We pray that this is just gossip and that His Majesty and Queen Anne are as merry as always. Long live the King and Queen!

Sources

  • LP x.748
  • LP x.752
  • LP x.753

1 thought on “28th April 1536 – A Tudor Storm Brewing”

  1. Carla says:

    Claire,

    Thanks so much for doing this. With the benefit of hindsight it is difficult to remember that no one expected Anne to lose her head. Even those that knew Henry was tiring of her would assume that he would divorce her as he did Katherine. It is good to get the story as we didn’t know the ending.

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