7 June 1536 – A Water Pageant for Queen Jane
Posted By Claire on June 7, 2014
On 7th June 1536, a water pageant was held on the Thames in honour of the new queen, Jane Seymour. Charles wriothesley recorded the event in his chronicle:
“Also, 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 lordes going in barges afore him, everie lord in his owne barge, and the Kinge and the Queene in a barge togeeter, followinge after the lordes 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 Embassidour stoode in a tente with a banner of the Emperoures armes seett in the topp of his tente and divers banners about the same, he himself being in a rych gowne of purple satten, with divers gentlemen standinge 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 sage-bottes, 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 Kinge 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 Kinge 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.”
This was the closest Jane got to a coronation river procession. Wriothesley notes that Jane was due to be crowned “the Soundaie before Allhalowen daie”, i.e. the 29th October 1536, but that this was postponed because of the plague affecting London. Jane then became pregnant before another coronation was planned and, unfortunately, died just twelve days after giving birth to a son in October 1537.
Notes and Sources
- Wriothesley, Charles (1875) A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors from AD 1485 to 1559, p44, 55