On Tuesday 30th May, just 11 days after the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII married Jane Seymour in the Queen’s Closet at York Place.
The couple had become betrothed on the 20th May, a day after Anne’s execution, but did not marry immediately because “the precipitance of his new union with Jane ‘sounded ill in the ears of his people'”1– hmm, 11 days still seems extraordinarily fast to me!
David Starkey writes of how Jane was probably kept in seclusion at Chelsea between the betrothal and her wedding day but she then took her place at the King’s side as Queen. Sir John Russell wrote to Lord Lisle:-
“On Friday last [2nd June] the Queen sat abroad as Queen, and was served by her own servants, who were sworn that same day. The King came in his great boat to Greenwich that day with his privy chamber, and the Queen and the ladies in the great barge.”2
The chronicler, Charles Wriothesley, writes of how, on the 4th June, Whitsunday, “the said Jane Seymor was proclaymed Queene at Greenewych, and went in procession, after the King, with a great traine of ladies followinge after her, and also ofred at masse as Queen, and began her howsehold that daie, dyning in her chamber of presence under the cloath of estate.”3
Jane Seymour was now Queen of England. She had had an easier start than her predecessor, Anne Boleyn, who had waited for 7 years to be Queen; Jane’s wait had been just a few weeks and her predecessor was dead and had been labelled as a traitor and whore. As Yann, an entrant in our recent article competition, said, “Whereas the crowned, the most happy falcon was no more, a Phoenix was rising.”
You can read more about Jane Seymour on our Jane Seymour Bio Page – click here.
Notes and Sources
- Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, David Starkey
- LP x.1047
- Wriothesley’s Chronicle, p44