30 May 1533 – Sir Francis Weston is made a Knight of the Bath

A portait of a man thought to be Sir Francis Weston.
I always find it weird going from marking the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s execution to writing about the celebrations for her coronation, but it’s the little things that really hit home.

When I read the names of the men who were created Knight of the Bath on the night of 30/31 May 1533 and see the name “Sir Francis Weston”, it makes me so sad. Like Anne, Weston was high in royal favour in May 1533 and yet he’d be executed as a traitor in May 1536.

It just makes me shiver. As Thomas Wyatt said, circa regna tonat, around the throne the thunder rolls…

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13 thoughts on “30 May 1533 – Sir Francis Weston is made a Knight of the Bath”
  1. I too feel uneasy when I think just 3 years later Weston and four other men are wrongfully executed on trumped up charges. What is really troubling is although in favor in 1533, in 1536 their lives meant no more to Henry than obstacles in a forest path being removed to clear the way.

  2. No one captured those three days in May like Thomas Wyatt the Elder. Weston and Brereton were collateral damage as were all five of the men executed. Poor Norris, who’d served his king faithfully for years was thrown under the bus by the machinations of Cromwell – who then had the audacity to beg Henry VIII for ‘mercy, mercy, mercy’ when the tables turned and he found himself facing the axe. Cromwell had so little regard for the chaos he brought upon so many families; I find it quite unforgivable.

    1. Don’t put it all on Cromwell. He was only carrying out his master’s wishes. Though I don’t think he had any qualms about doing it.

      1. Would be interesting to know exactly how the tacit conversations between king and those executing their king’s wishes were structured. Being the Court society, I imagine there were protocols in place governing “how to give unchecked permissions and power to those carrying out dirty deeds whilst never uttering a spoken or written acknowledgment of same.”

        1. I had never thought about that but you must be right as we know secrets could not be kept at court.

  3. Yes, reading one week about the fall of Anne Boleyn is very weird and then we have her Coronation. As I said its like my Tardis is jumping back and forth. It’s a very odd thing that it all happened in May. In Anne of a Thousand Days when she comes out for her execution she commented that it is May as the blossom is out and May being her month. It sends a tingle down my spine.

    On a lighter note Steve finished his radiotherapy today and has rung the ceremonial bell. I am writing from the hospital cafe garden. It’s a lovely peaceful place.

    More later.

      1. It’s the Clatterbridge Aintree Hospital Marina Dalglish Cancer Centre, in Aintree (Grand National) near Liverpool, Merseyside. It is very new and is specifically built to create a homely, low key, peaceful environment with a nice cafe, sculpture, garden and water features and comfy sofas in the airy waiting areas and several treatment suites. We have been almost every day for six weeks and they have a bell like a schoolbell that you ring three times when you finish. So Steve is now viral somewhere in cyberspace after we uploaded his video ringing the bell. The main hospital is on the Wirral but there are clinic and centres around Merseyside and a new one being built in the south of the city. The new centre will also be connected to the new main hospital if it’s ever finished ( it was one that was being built by that company that went bust) but we do have the Linda McCartney Centre. Clatterbridge has an international reputation and one couple came from Australia for a four week course. The staff and the service we have had cannot have been better.

        1. That sounds like the ideal environment to have treatment, how lovely. I like the ringing of the bell idea!

  4. Henry Viii liked to have young virile men around him who had many talents as well as his close friends from his early years, Henry Norris, Nicholas Carew and Charles Brandon, for example, his jousting, drinking, waring, being one of the lads buddies, and George Boleyn and others who brought with them ideas from the continent, who were very well educated, who offered the King a multitude of talents and services and who kept the Court vibrant and the centre of their world. No doubt Sir Francis Weston was one such young man who showed much promise and who in 1533 would have a bright future under the new order.

    Recognised as a supporter and a loyal servant, Francis Weston is one of those knighted before the coronation of the new Queen, Anne Boleyn, a very traditional ceremony before the coronation of any King or Queen. I am thinking that Anne would have appointed a surrogate as the King when he made a Knight of the Bath, the man or boy being elevated sat in a ceremonial bath and the King came and signed them on the chest and forehead and hands with the holy oil and Cross, and anointed them himself. I believe he actually got in the bath or bent over it so a heavily pregnant Queen would not do this for obvious reasons and for decency. It was an elaborate and very intimate ceremony, binding supplicant and lord in a special way. It was a great honour and sign of favour. Henry Viii himself was made such a Knight of the Bath when he was about two years old. For Francis Weston it must have been a proud moment, looking to a new and good future, long years in Royal Service. Little could he imagine he would be the almost accidental victim of a plot to bring down this same Queen, a little under three years later.

  5. In the museum at Saffron Walden there is a marriage chest, with carvings of Sir Francis Weston and his wife’s heads, a sad relic of this marriage that only lasted three years upto his tragic death at the age of not more than twenty five, Weston had fitted well into life at court, he was liked by both the King and queen and was in the Kings circle as a companion, after becoming a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, here he enjoyed playing bowls cards and other persuits, he was known to have beaten Henry a number of times and Henry no doubt was fond of this impressionable young man who, if that is him in the portrait was quite a handsome one, then another honour, he was to be made a Knight of the Bath, this shows how high he was rising in the Kings favour and this is what is so sad, some of these companions of Henry were young and had all their life before them, Weston was the father of a young son named Henry, possibly in honour of the King, he was destined never to see him grow to adulthood, and there was George Boleyn also young and Mark Smeaton who was quite possibly not more than sixteen, Brereton who some one said if anyone was innocent it was he, and the Kings old friend Norris, they were all sacrificed and yet once they had all sported together in perfect harmony, toasted one another’s success, laughed and jousted with the King, then the light was extinguished and they fell one by one, never to know light and laughter again, who was it who said ‘put not your trust in princes’!

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