7 June 1536 – A River Pageant in Honour of Jane Seymour, the New Queen

Jane Seymour VintageThree days after Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, was proclaimed Queen at Greenwich Palace, a river pageant was held in her honour on the Thames as the King and Queen travelled from Greenwich to York Place. Chronicler Charles Wriothesley recorded the pageant:

“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.”

I love Wriothesley’s lack of punctuation, it makes it all sounds so exciting!

Notes and Sources

  • Wriothesley, Charles. A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, p44

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