4 June 1536 – Jane Seymour Proclaimed Queen

Jun4,2011 #Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour

If you read my post a few days ago, “30 May 1536 The Wedding of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour”, you will know that on this day in history, 4th June 1536, Jane Seymour was proclaimed Queen:-

“Also the 4th daie of June, being Whitsoundaie, 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.”1

Three days later, on the 7th June, a water pageant was held in the new Queen’s honour on the Thames:-

“The 7th daie of June being Wednesdaie in Whitson weeke, the king and the queene went from Grenewych to Yorke Place at Westminster, by water, his lords going in barges afore him, everie lord in his owne barge, and the kinge and the queene in a barge togeeter, following after the lorde’s barges, with his guard following him in a great barge; and as he passed by the shipps in the Thames everie shippe shott gonns, and at Radcliffe the Emperoures Embassadour stoode in a tente with a banner of the Emeroures armes seett in the top of his tente and divers banners about the same, he himself being in a rych gowne of purple satten, with divers gentlemen standing about him with gownes and cottes of velvett; and when the Beach Kinges barge came by him, he sent tow bottes of his servantes to rowe aboute the Kinges barge, one of them were his trumpetters, and another with shalmes and sagebottes, and so made a great reverence to the Kinge and Queene as they came by him, and then he lett shott a fortie great gonns, and as the King came against the Tower of London their was shott above fower hundred peeces of ordinance, and all the tower walls towardes the water side were sett with great streamers and banners; and so the King passed throwe London Bridge, with his trumpetts blowinge before him, and shalmes, sagbuttes, and dromeslawes [drummers] playing also in barges going before him, which was a goodlie sight to beholde.”2

It was Jane’s moment of triumph! How ironic that Jane was proclaimed Queen on Whit Sunday 1536 when her predecessor, Anne Boleyn, had been triumphantly crowned Queen on Whit Sunday three years earlier. I wonder what Jane was thinking in those early days, did she think back to the celebrations of Summer 1533 and did she fear for her own future?

Notes and Sources

  1. Wriothesley’s Chronicle, p43-44
  2. Ibid.

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7 thoughts on “4 June 1536 – Jane Seymour Proclaimed Queen”
  1. IMO, Jane felt sure she would be blessed by G-d because she had inspired Henry to put aside Anne Boleyn. Anne was perceived as evil by many because she was blamed for luring Henry away from his true wife, which in turn caused the split in the Church (which at the time was the main provider of services for the needy, among other things.)

  2. Being that Anne Boleyn is my favorite of the 6 wives I have a hard time warming up to Jane Seymour. But I am also very willing to give her chance. And I have an endless hunger for Tudor history. The only literature I have just focused on her is the one by Elizabeth Norton called Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s True Love, which is still on my to read list, and the section I read in Allison Weir’s Six Wives of Henry VIII. I feel many portray or see her as an innocent, a woman Henry met and just fell in love with. Like I said I don’t know much about her and she is still one I am learning about. But I wonder was she really the innocent I see her portrayed as? Could she or her family have really been an ambitious bunch, got a tip the King was becoming frustrated with Anne and her lack of bearing a healthy male heir, and used the methods of Anne Boleyn to catch a King? I am interested in what are anyone else’s thoughts on this and does anyone have any good literary sources about Jane Seymour they can point me to?

    1. Hi Adriane
      I think her family were as ambitious as anyone else at court at that time, but became increasingly more so when they realised that the Kings ever wandering eye had fallen upon her. Jane was a lady in waiting to Anne while her downfall was being planned, and would have been relaying what she had seen and heard when about her duties, to her family. Whether she pushed her self forward with or without their consent in the begining, I couldn’t say, but I believe as time moved on they ‘actively’ encouraged her to say the least,that she ‘comfort the King’ at a time when his marriage to Anne was in trouble,and she appears to me to have been more than willing. I am not suggesting that because of this that she was a bad person, she probably did have all those kind qualities that we always read about her, but I have always thought that ‘still waters run deep’. To me she was as cunning as Anne was vivacious and intelligent, and not to be underestimated. Like you said yourself, she seems to have used some of Anne’s tactics, eg. not sleeping with him, to keep the King eager. As for her being his one true love, having a son and dying soon after help seal that myth. One of Henry’s problems was, to me anyway, is that he was in love with the idea of being in love, truth being that the dream is usually better than the reality. The rituals of courty love, in those days , and centuries before, had always been a elaborate game, with rules that each person played accordingly, but as with all games they come to an end, and its back to real life, it seems its that part that Henry couldnt seem to grasp, considering how many times he wed.

      1. Thanks Dawn. I love discussion on this period and I love Claire’s site for allowing us all to come together and talk about things. I know people tell you all the time thanks for this site so I am gonna say it for probably the millionth time to you….thanks again to you Claire for giving us a great place to discuss one of my favorite topics. Living in the United Stated makes me feel far away from the action but your site really brings it so much closer to me. I too think Henry was in love with being in love. I think Jane gets the “Henry’s true love” title because she did indeed give birth to Henry’s long awaited son and heir. She is the wife he had that was able to do the one thing Henry wanted, give birth to a son. I don’t think she would have gotten that title had it been a daughter or a miscarried baby. My favorite scene from The Tudor’s series was Jane’s deathbed scene. Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ acting there was perfect and I could almost feel myself being a fly on the wall that October 24th day in 1537 watching poor King Henry at Jane’s bedside saying “‎Don’t go, please don’t go. Just because you have done everything you’ve promised; please don’t leave me. You are the milk of human kindness, the light in my dark dark world. Without you life is a desert, a howl in wilderness. Please God, in your mercy don’t take her away from me. My son needs his mother and I need my Queen.” Sorry I didn’t mean to pull out the huge Tudor’s quote but it is my favorite scene lol.

    2. I suspect much like the idea of Anne being a scheming wh*re, the idea of Jane being “meek” and “innocent” is too a thing of the past. However, I am constantly troubled by the use of the word “innocent” when relating to Jane. It implies that there is a belief that she was “guilty” of something. Jane’s family was like every other family at court, and they were a part of court factionalism just like everyone else. Anne supplanted Katherine, but not many people believe she is “guilty” because of it. Many in fact attribute such an action to be based on the extreme love between Henry and Anne. Jane’s supplanting of Anne was not necessarily a different situation, yet so many Anne fans find it hard to “forgive” Jane. I cannot see what there is to forgive in all honesty. Look to Henry, not the women.

  3. I agree that Jane, on this day, probably felt that she and Henry were in the right. After all, Queen Katherine, as well as Queen Anne, is dead by this point

    Regarding the “Henry’s true love” myth, The Tudors actually implies that Henry might have chosen the life of his child over Jane’s life while she struggled in labor. Does anyone know if there’s any truth to that? I’d be very interested to know.

    1. I have also read that Henry was meant to have said that too, I have also read that Jane was meant to have said that they were to save the child also, which one , if any are true who can tell. could be another case of ‘chinese whispers’, or talk that has been embellished by the gossips of the time.

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