Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Day 2 – 30 May 1533 – Knights of the Bath
Posted By Claire on May 30, 2020
On this day in history, on the night of 30th/31st May 1533, in the lead-up to Queen Anne Boleyn’s coronation, eighteen men were created Knights of the Bath at the Tower of London.
The list of men dubbed that knight includes Sir Francis Weston, who would be executed in May 1536 accused of sleeping with the queen and plotting with her.
But what was involved in being dubbed a Knight of the Bath, and who else was dubbed in 1533? Find out more in this video:
Also on this day in history, three years later on 30th May 1536, Henry VIII married his third wife, Jane Seymour. Find out more in last year’s video:
6 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Day 2 – 30 May 1533 – Knights of the Bath”
One of the many things I find so distasteful surrounding the proceedings against Anne and her co-defendants is Henry marrying Jane only 11 days after he had them murdered. I would think that if anybody still had doubts about the king actually being a victim this would have put that to rest.
History is a busy day today.
America has sent two astronauts into space from American soil, wonderful watching that live. Congratulations Bob and Doug and all across the Pond.
Congratulations Anne Boleyn on her wonderful and triumphant coronation progress. Reading the descriptions it must have been a fantastic sight.
Also Happy Birthday to Peter the Great and Happy Birthday for 29th May and Restoration Day to Charles ii.
Congratulations also on the Wedding Day of King Henry Viii and Queen Jane Seymour.
As I said yesterday, one could be forgiven for being confused by the events of May 1533 and 1536 especially as they move into each other 500 years later. Being in lockdown with such confusion isn’t good for my brain. One moment Henry is putting Anne on trial, then we have gone back in time three years later to celebrate Anne’s coronation events and exactly three years afterwards Henry is wedding her successor. I am worried that we might create some kind of paradoxical happening. Seriously, though, yes, it was all very hasty, but then again Henry married Anne while still married to his first wife, he married his fifth wife on the same day his chief minister, Thomas Cromwell was executed, he married Kathryn Howard 19 days after his annulment of Anne of Cleves, so in perspective it fits his patterns. Henry Viii didn’t wait around. Yes, there was a genuine waiting period and mourning period after the loss of Jane Seymour and Katherine Howard, but he had wives one two and three waiting in the wings of each other and five waiting in the wings of four. Shocking and horrifying are understatements.
Not exactly an historical observation but the first thing I thought of when I read this post was the Doctor Who storyline from the Matt Smith days when because the Doctor did not die all of history was happening at once.
I didn’t realize May was quite THAT busy.
Yes, nice one, Michael.
Yes I saw that, I’m just watching BGT, a Donald Trump impersonator came on wearing pink tights and silver glitter stilettos it was funny.
Something which brings home the link between Anne’s execution and the coronation was the creation of eighteen knights of the Bath, including Sir Francis Weston, the young man of 25 who was executed as one of her alleged lovers. He became a great favourite of the King which makes the events of May 1536 all the more incredible. Favour was no protection, no safe haven. Francis Weston wasn’t even on the Government’s radar until after Anne’s arrest when she accidentally referred to a conversation she had with him because he wasn’t paying attention to his wife and he admitted loving the Queen, in the romantic sense of Courtly love, not literally. Anne teased him and told him off but Kingston reported the conversation in the Tower as Anne had conveyed to the women there. Cromwell then had him arrested. This innocent conversation was built up out of all proportion and he was arrested and tried and executed with the others for adultery and conspiracy to kill the King. Totally ridiculous and unjust manipulation of the so called evidence, even by the standards of the day.
Jane’s marriage to Henry may have been very much in poor taste and haste but Henry believed he was entirely justified. He didn’t have the time to wait. He was of the opinion that he was free to marry and always had been and this was to demonstrate that he was right. His manhood was in question and Henry was definitely not a young man, he was past middle age and had only two living female children, legitimate children that is, from two marriages of 27 years, his contemporary rulers all had sons to succeed him, he had to move forward and this swift marriage showed his determination to do things his way and to justify himself as being blessed afresh. Now his marriage to Jane Seymour was the only righteous and lawful marriage and his children with her the only legitimate heirs to the throne. That’s Henry’s explanation anyway and of course that was all which mattered.
It was quickly noted by Sir Nicholas Caraw that Henry was quite content with Jane and had come “out of hell into heaven” so Jane was doing him good. The couple embarked on a three week honeymoon after her reception and celebrations as Queen and Jane soon settled into her new role. She was even comfortable speaking with Chapuys who after dismissing her as nothing special, on his first audience with Jane, was impressed by her confidence. In fact she was too comfortable. Jane had a bit too much to say, reassuring Chapuys that she would do all she could for Princess Mary, to make peace between her and her father and to advance other causes close to her heart. Henry, listening in the wings, came in and said the Queen was overwhelmed and effectively ended the audience. Maybe Jane wasn’t as passive as he had hoped. Chapuys didn’t seem to think so and Lauren Mackey and a number of modern writers, including her biographer Elizabeth Norton, believe Jane has been dismissed as the passive wife and gentle wife a bit too easily. She certainly had learned from the service she spent at the Court of Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn not to make their mistakes and she learned when she made plenty of her own as well. However, that didn’t prevent Jane from having two political agendas of her own: to promote the cause of Mary as far as it didn’t put herself at risk and to hope to influence Henry in some religious matters, to plead for the monastic houses for example. However, Henry no longer wanted a political wife or a medieval wife who acted as an intercessor, he wanted a son first and foremost and he got exacerbated when Jane tried to raise certain subjects. Jane was much more of the wife he wanted and needed after Anne, she was of moderate intelligence and was fair, she was family orientated, she knew how to be submissive and obey when the occasion demanded, she was compassionate, she knew when to withdraw and to concentrate on domestic affairs and she learned how to handle Henry over time. It took time for her to become pregnant, but that was her one triumph. Jane wasn’t a mouse, she wasn’t a doormat, she wasn’t angelic, she was a traditional Tudor woman. She probably also had ambitions and was as ruthless as any of his wives. She wanted to be Queen for a reason, to save the King from himself, but that wasn’t going to be possible. However, no I don’t blame her for accepting Henry as her husband nor for marrying him 11 days after Anne’s death, when they got married was his choice, not hers. Jane could not do anything to stop the execution of Anne Boleyn, she wasn’t an accomplish in her death, even though Henry’s choice of her as his Queen and for a quick third wedding had something to do with Anne’s swift and brutal fate and the buck has to stop with the man in charge. However, like Anne, she was the other woman and the woman Henry pursued while he ended his former marriage. Any woman in that situation is always going to be blamed by history, whether fairly or not. Jane didn’t dance on the grave of Anne Boleyn and in fact we don’t know how she felt about the trial or execution of her predecessor. Jane was now the new wife of the King and she soon won people round because she made some effort with Mary, although it was only the total surrender of the Princess which Henry would accept, aided by Cromwell and Chapuys which led to her reconciliation with her father. Jane’s main triumph of course was that she was lucky enough to bare a living child of the correct gender and gave Henry his son and heir. Unfortunately, Jane died 12 days later of complications from the after birth care. Henry ordered a state funeral for his beloved Queen and genuinely mourned her. He withdrew from public view for several months, such was the depth of his grief.