4 March 1522 – Anne Boleyn plays Perseverance

Posted By on March 4, 2023

On this day in Tudor history, 4th March 1522, at York Place, home of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Anne Boleyn played the rather apt part of Perseverance in a lavish pageant.

It was Shrovetide at King Henry VIII’s court, and the Chateau Vert pageant was part of the celebrations. It also celebrated successful negotiations between King Henry VIII and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

I’d love to go back in time and be a fly on the wall at this pageant, to see a young Anne Boleyn and her fellow maids of honour, and to see a battle between ladies throwing rose water and comfits and men throwing dates and oranges – fun!

Find out more about the 1522 Chateau Vert pageant, who was involved and what happened in the video below or by reading my article on it – click here.

1 thought on “4 March 1522 – Anne Boleyn plays Perseverance”

  1. Christine says:

    One would like to believe that these four ladies mentioned who took part in the Chateau Vert pageant were especially chosen for the roles they played and were to play in later life, Princess Mary was Beauty surely an apt title because she was said to be the most loveliest princess in Christendom, Anne as Perseverance which makes one chuckle, maybe fate had a hand in this as it is believed by some, that our futures are mapped out for us, and Anne certainly was to prove she was good at persevering, Jane Parker who later was to become Anne’s sister in law was Constance, and she also was to prove her worth by being a constant presence at court during the five queens her royal master was to be engaged in holy wedlock to, Mary who is a vague figure in history was kindness, and this is what also is strange because she is so often portrayed as this rather weak but kindly human being, the softer more gentler version of her younger sister, Edward Halls account opens the scene before our eyes, the curtain is raised and thus we see the lavish enactment of the total pageant before our eyes, the beautiful ladies in their simple white gowns maybe resembling Grecian maidens more than Tudor ladies, with gold circlets on their heads and wreaths of beautiful flowers, the seductive masks which adds to the allure of feminine wiles, the palace towers and the men below, the music and laughter the sheer fun of it all as the ladies threw fruit and nuts and marzipan delicacies at them, did the king first notice Anne Boleyn then we do not know, but maybe a chance meeting as he noticed the lithe slender figure of this ‘ fresh young damsel’ made him glance once and then again, certainly Anne stood out from other ladies at court, she was slender as a wand and very graceful, the ladies must have worn their hair loose and so Anne must have been aware the admiring glances that came her way as her crowning glory rippled down her back, in ‘The Tudors’ it does as mentioned show the king and Anne gazing at each other as he climbed up the mock castle to see her looking down at him, the truth is we do not know when the king first decided he harboured very strong feelings for his wife’s young maid of honour, we know nothing of the words he spoke to her regarding his desire to make her his mistress, we no not her replies all we know is she was reluctant to be one of his light o lives, and then when it became known that he wished to make her his wife, all we know are the sources from George Cavendish a servant in Cardinal Wolsey’s household, the information handed down to us about her dalliance with young Henry Percy, the breaking of off their affair and her banishment to Hever, we have the numerous love letters the king wrote her and after about a year she began to soften, she sent him a jewel in the form of a maiden in a storm tossed ship, this was an acknowledgment that she was beholden to him, and the rest is history, this pageant could well have been the scene of the meeting between the king and Anne that was to ‘wound his heart, like the motto at the joust earlier, but it could be he had his eye on her more pliant elder sister, Mary could have been a fresh bosomy looking girl and it was her he was taken with, even so it really is fantasy as this pageant was to celebrate the betrothal of his daughter Mary to Charles V in whose honour it was, sadly we know Mary was never to marry Charles V or the young Dauphin of France as all her forthcoming marriages were flounder, as a parent Henry V111 was to ruin both his daughters chances of marriage by first making Mary then Elizabeth Anne’s daughter both illegitimate, it is understandable with all the disappointment’s Mary was to have regarding her broken marriage proposals throughout the years, that when she became queen, she married quite swiftly and with all the excitement and hedonism of a young girl.

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