30 June 1541 – Henry VIII and Catherine Howard Set off on their Progress to the North

CathHoward1On this day in 1541, Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Queen Catherine Howard, set off on their royal progress to the North, aiming to return to Hampton Court Palace by “All Hallowtide”. Royal progresses allowed the monarch to escape London in the summer months when disease was rife and it was also good PR, but this progress also had two other aims:

  1. The meeting of Henry and his nephew, James V of Scotland, which was due to take place in September in York, although it never happened.
  2. The affirming of the King’s authority over the North, after the recent rebellions.

The furthest north that Henry had previously travelled was Boston, in Lincolnshire.

The royal court made slow progress due to the roads being badly affected by rain, and also due to Catherine being taken ill at Lyddington at the end of July. They didn’t reach Lincoln until 9th August, moving on to Pontefract on 23rd August, then Cawood (the palace of the Archbishop of York), Wressle, Leconfield, Hull and finally York on 16th September.

It was on this progress that Catherine Howard had secret assignations with Thomas Culpeper, a gentleman of the Privy Chamber. Although we don’t know for sure what happened between Catherine and Culpeper at their nocturnal meetings, they would both be executed for treason.
You can read more about Catherine Howard in the following articles:

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