6 August 1504 – Birth of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury and good friend to Anne Boleyn

Posted By on August 6, 2017

On this day in history, 6th August 1504, Matthew Parker, was born in the parish of St Saviour, Norwich, East Anglia. He was born the son of a worsted weaver but his destiny wasn’t weaving, Parker was destined for the Church and for royal service too.

In around 1520, Parker began his studies at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, graduating with a BA in 1525, and it was there that he met men interested in evangelical reform, like Thomas Bilney, who was martyred in 1531. Parker went on to do a Masters and was elected a fellow of the college in 1527. By this time, he was also a priest. After gaining a Bachelor of Theology and a doctorate, too, he was appointed as one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s chaplains in 1535 and, after her execution, served as chaplain to King Henry VIII. It was Anne Boleyn’s patronage which led to him being appointed dean of the Collegiate Church of Stoke by Clare, in Suffolk, in November 1535.

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8 thoughts on “6 August 1504 – Birth of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury and good friend to Anne Boleyn”

  1. Banditqueen says:

    Today the usurper and pretender Henry Tudor landed on his quest for the English throne, at Mill Bay, Wales and his surprise victory at Bosworth, this day 7th August 1485. Unfortunately, Dragonstone was already occupied by Danaerys Targaryan and her dragons, the first of her name, Queen of the Andels and the First Men, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. Henry Tudor also has dragons, on his banners.

    1. Claire says:

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on Henry VII being a usurper and pretender, BQ, I don’t see him as either. I don’t have a side, I’m not Ricardian and I’m not “Tudor” in the way that Ricardians are Ricardians, I find both men fascinating and both had flaws. Henry defeated Richard in battle, he ruled by right of conquest. If you’re going to use the term usurper for Henry then you would also have to use it for Richard and then also Edward IV.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        I think you could use the term for a number, and, yes, joking aside of course Henry ruled by right of conquest, a very valid and accepted thing at the time. He also had to gain legitimate acceptance through Parliament, the gentry and a coronation. His promise to marry Elizabeth of York and fulfilling that promise helped of course, plus his decision to not have the traditional post battlefield executions, even though he did backdate his reign to the day before. He had executed William Catesby but he didn’t execute Surrey or the other few survivors from the Battlefield. Surrey was sent to the Tower and lost a chunk of property. He was not held in horrible conditions and I believe he had a chance to escape at one point but refused. Henry needed him a few years later to clean up the usual dirty business of keeping the people who are not paying taxes and causing trouble in check and he was released. Thomas Howard went on to do good service to Henry Vii and Henry Viii. Henry also sent out about 60 Acts of Attainder on those who didn’t submit within a certain time frame but most were cancelled as they got the message. However, he could have done more. New rulers tended to either go all out and be nuts or the more sensible ones held back on brutally killing their new subjects since they needed support to hold the crown. Henry Tudor didn’t have the strongest claim but victory on the Battlefield was a religious act, seen as his acceptance by God as the just one and legal in terms of legitimate rule. It was normally only the beginning and even William the Bastard/Conquer had to force acceptance after Hastings. The Saxon Witton were divided and Edward left a blood relative, a young great nephew, whom some wanted to make King. The fact was, however, the boy was fourteen and the army had gone. William had even stayed on the Battlefield hoping they would submit but it didn’t happen. Some people didn’t believe Harold was dead and William had made an error. Even though his body was identified, Harold was not returned to his mistress for burial. It was some months later he was buried somewhere near the alter of Battle Abbey. His body was not displayed either. It was only after three weeks of plunder and burning towns and surrender by other towns that the Witten and Saxon elders finally accepted William. His coronation sealed his kingship. Henry Vii didn’t make that mistake. Richard’s naked body was identified, led back to Leicester and laid out on display for four days and then buried in the Greyfriars. Henry then went on to key cities as he had done on his journey to London and was wisely accepted. His coronation followed as soon as possible as did his first Parliament, his use of mythology and propaganda effectively, and, finally his marriage to Elizabeth of York. He set out from the start to portray himself as a liberator uniting two waring factions, although the reality was far from that simple, which did his acceptance as King a lot of good.

        However, it was not long before Henry found that not everyone was content as the first Yorkist ‘pretenders ‘ arose in Lambert Simnel and he had to fight a large Irish, Netherlands and rebel army at Stoke Field in 1487 and for ten years almost he had to fight off a number of Richard of York claimants or Edward of Warwick claimants, the most famous and dangerous being Perkin Warbeck 1493 to 1499. I have put pretenders in commas as some historians dispute the official Tudor line that they were so and Warbeck in particular had wide ranging support, mostly from Richard and Edward Plantagenets sister, Margaret of York. Lambert Simnel had even been crowned as Edward vi in Dublin Cathedral. Sources disagreed about who he actually claimed to be, Edward of Warwick or someone else. The rumours about the sons of Edward IV being dead and their actual fate remaining a complete mystery, along with other stories of their survival fuelled all of these ten years of unrest. Henry was fortunate, however as his marriage to Elizabeth of York not only strengthened his authority but was successful and productive in sons and daughters.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          Richard iii cannot be called a usurper as he was lawfully elected to the crown by the three estates of the realm, the only lawful authority who could offer it to him after the facts regarding the question of legitimacy of Edward and Richard had been fully examined and decided upon. He didn’t take the crown by force but lawfully. Henry may have lawfully won the crown, but he did so by force of arms. He also declared everyone who fought against him as traitors by dating his reign to the day before Bosworth. Although as above he didn’t act on this in the full weight of his authority. Richard’s first act was to call the judges together and ask them to rule as to if his actions were actually justified under the law and they decided he was lawfully King. He also agreed to only proceed via the law and trusted them to be fair in applying his laws. Henry gained his own authority via marriage and invented lore. In the end both were confirmed by coronation and Parliament.

        2. Claire says:

          Both were lawful at the time and I really don’t think you can call Henry VII a usurper without using that label on Richard III and Edward IV. I don’t have strong feelings about Richard III but I think he ‘used’ the law to get what he want, i.e. to take the throne from the lawful heir.

        3. Banditqueen says:

          Well we will agree to disagree. Thanks.

  2. Globerose says:

    Send for St. George! Where is that Saint when you need him, eh?! I expect Harry left him behind at Agincourt.

  3. Banditqueen says:

    Back to Matthew Parker. I think this is a man of honour and very humble and he seems to have felt very bound to Anne Boleyn. I believe he promised to look out for little Elizabeth and to serve her and Anne and his promise included service later on. Now Elizabeth had become Queen unexpectedly he felt unworthy but bound to accept the Archbishop post. He was an interesting and intelligent man and I am aware of some of his writing and have seen him as moderate and a genuine gentle and Christian man with a good heart. I have two encounters with him, one in Norwich Castle where there was an exhibition about him in 2003/4 and one in a collection of short Christian lives and sayings from college. Anne had confidence in him, as did Elizabeth and it certainly wasn’t misplaced.

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