On 7th June 1536, just over a week since Jane Seymour’s marriage to King Henry VIII and three days after she had been officially proclaimed queen, a water pageant took place on the River Thames from Greenwich to Westminster in her honour.
Chronicler Charles Wriothesley recorded the celebrations:
“Also, the 7th day of June, being Wednesday in Whitsun week, the King and the Queen went from Greenwich to York Place, at Westminster, by water, his lords going in barges before him, every lord in his own barge, and the King and the Queen in a barge together, following after the lords’ barges, with his guard following him in a great barge; and as he passed by the ships in the Thames every ship shot guns, and at Radcliffe the Emperor’s ambassador stood in a tent with a banner of the Emperor’s arms set in the top of his tent and diverse banners about the same, he himself being in a rich gown of purple satin, with diverse gentlemen standing about him with gowns and coats of velvet; and when the Beach King’s [the Master of Ceremonies?] barge came by him, he sent two boats of his servants to row about the King’s barge, one of them were his trumpeters, and another with shalms and sackbuts, and so made a great reverence to the King and Queen as they came by him, and then he let shot a forty great guns, and as the King came against the Tower of London there was shot above four hundred pieces of ordinance, and all the tower walls towards the water side were set with great streamers and banners; and so the King passed through London Bridge, with his trumpets blowing before him, and shalms, sackbuts, and drummers playing also in barges going before him, which was a goodly sight to behold.”
Also on this day in history, 7th June 1520, the first day of the Field of Cloth of Gold meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I – click here to read more.
Notes and Sources
- Wriothesley, Charles (1875) A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559 Volume 1, Camden Society, p. 44. I modernised the spelling.