Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Day 4 – 1 June 1533 – Anne Boleyn is crowned

On Whitsunday 1533, 1st June, a pregnant Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was crowned queen by her good friend, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII had only been proclaimed valid on 28th May 1533, but the couple had been waiting over six years for this day.

The long ceremony, which must have been exhausting for Anne, was followed by a sumptuous coronation banquet with no less than 80 dishes.

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Also on this day in Tudor history, 1st June 1593, the inquest into the death of playwright, poet and translator Christopher Marlowe took place.
Twenty-nine-year-old Marlowe, writer of such famous works as “Tamburlaine”, “Dr Faustus” and “The Jew of Malta”, had been fatally stabbed at a house in Deptford Strand, London, by a man named Ingram Frizer on 30th May 1593, but what happened? Find out in this video:

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89 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Day 4 – 1 June 1533 – Anne Boleyn is crowned”
  1. I hate to be such a downer but here we are on June 1 1533 and Anne is having this amazing experience of being crowned Queen. Not only that but she was hopefully carrying the son that Henry so desperately wanted. Everything looked like sunshine and roses at this moment. In 3 short years the man who chose her for this rare honor would have she and her brother and 4 other innocent men murdered by his own government and would be married to one of her ladies in waiting. In a perfect world we would not know who Anne Boleyn was except perhaps as a daughter of Thomas Boleyn because she would just be another noble lady who lived a good long happy life. It’s sad that we know of her because something. Bad happened to her perpetrated by her husband the king. I have to echo Esther’s question from yesterday. If we went back in time would our knowledge of May 1536 be erased? If not the coronation proceedings would be difficult to watch

    1. This is what makes Anne Boleyn’s fall all the more shocking, she was crowned queen consort, she was pursued ardently by Henry V111 for many years, prior to that dazzling event, he would not could not look at another woman in all that time, he showered honours and riches on her, yet he sent her to her death barely three years later, she became famous by catching the eye of a king and becoming queen, and she became all the more famous for her brutal death, a love so passionate evaporated and died in three years, her turbulent ending cast a stain on the rule of Henry V111 from which it could never wipe out, nor ever recover from, it also made other ladies regard him very warily on the international marriage market, for if he could murder a woman he had loved so deeply for so long, how could they trust his devotion to them once his ring was on their finger?

  2. Six years of effort and then thrown away in three. If someone wrote a novel or a movie and used that plot the reaction would be, “Oh, come on! That would never happen!”

    1. I know, the whole world must have wondered what on earth Henry V111 was playing at, he honoured this woman in a way few have ever been, only to slay her blood three years later, as you say you could not make it up.

  3. This was the most triumphant day of Anne’s life, she was actually crowned queen consort of England, and with the crown of Saint Edward to, as I said in my previous post, few women have ever been honoured and feted as Anne Boleyn was and that makes her death all the more poignant, she was given it all, only to have it all snatched away, proof indeed that you could not trust too much in princes as one wise man said, she must have been hot and bothered and longing to put her feet up, yet she had to endure this ordeal and to give Anne her due, she did carry it of with aplomb, but Henry V111 did not participate only watch from behind a screen, I find it odd he did not dine with her at the banquet afterwards as I would have thought he wanted to, but no this day was all about his beloved Anne, the banquet sounds particularly enticing and one can see the gorgeous fare with the silver and gold winking in the candlelight, surely the result of many long and arduous hours in the royal kitchens, sweaty red faced spit boys and the irate cooks bellowing orders, it must have been rather like a buffet today just picking tiny pieces from a varied selection, Henry V111 had a female confectioner who was a wizard with producing the most amazing sugar and marzipan confections, no doubt she had produced some for this coronation banquet, all in all a very exhausting but brilliant day for Anne it was after all, something she had strived for for a very long time.

  4. This was the height of Anne’s power, a wonderful coronation, a very long day, thankfully she didn’t have shoes on, but it was still a long and hot day, it must have been very atmospheric as well, the solemnity of the Mass, the crowning as well, one of the most elaborate celebrations of the day, the transformation from an ordinary woman into a mystery being, the way people thought of the monarch and the Queen who was an intercessor, a provider, the mother of the future in children, a goddess figure almost, she was crowned by the twin crowns, the crown of Saint Edward and Saint Edith, the crowns of King and Queen, to emphasise her legitimacy and Anne must have been acutely aware of all of these symbols. Henry watched the coronation from a distance as this was her day, the eyes of London, the eyes of Europe were on Anne, the Ambassadors were the social media of the day and their reports were off as soon as the feasting was over, although Chapuys was very negative, we have full-length reports by Edward Hall and others to confirm just what a special and magnificent triumph this was. Anne herself, however, had some reservations and she expressed them to Henry in private but she was enjoying this and why not? She had waited more than six years for this. Nothing was going to stop this from being a fantastic moment.

    I bet she enjoyed the banqueting afterwards as well, the luxurious dishes, being the centre of attention, the entertainment and even the short chance to change her clothes and freshen up. Yes, it is very ironic when one jumps forward three years and you couldn’t make it up, the tragedy of the end of this great adventure, the injustice Anne and five men faced, nobody would have believed it on the day. I would have to take some kind of camera back with me. For one thing that’s the only way I am probably going to remember if one recent article on time travel is correct, the new experience would become part of your own past and your memories are affected. Not that time travel is acceptable to the majority of science, but there are at least half a dozen theories, but the further back in time you go and the longer you are there, the less you remember of who you are. The longer you are in the past the more submerged into the past you will become and your brain patterns will change. It is according to the theory of Memory Paradox very possible that you will forget that you have even time travelled. So would we erase the memory of 1536? That’s actually a great question and one I would love a scientific answer to. It is actually possible we might forget. Returning to the future according to this article our own past memories may also change, merging our life in the past with those experiences. I am wondering now, would I return to the 21st century as a Tudor person? Would I be radically changed by my experience? It’s a very odd thing to be wondering about but then again the whole area of time travel is really unknown because nobody has done it. A number of scientific theories have said it’s possible but there are a number of risks and the majority of scientific bodies dismiss it. Yet, it’s one of the most popular media for science fiction from Time Tunnel to Dr Who and Back to the Future. The Philadelphia project sent a navel crew back to the Middle Ages, a serious look at aliens, time travel and the Medieval World was explored in the German classic “Eilelheim” and then we have the lighter classic films A Connecticut Yankee at the Court of King Arthur ” and the best of the lot “Sliders” saw a team of scientists and a political star, a boy who had built a wormhole generated by a machine in his flat went from different realities but never got back. There have since been time travelling hot tubs, phone boxes, beds, the classic series Star Trek and Star Gate have been shot around the Sun, the long running Phantom Leap placed one man into a different body through his own life time to put stuff right which once went wrong and everyone these days has some kind of time adventure inside them. The Time Machine itself of course is the giant of giants which started it all, but the machine would in fact be destroyed during the return journey, if in fact it every worked to begin with.

    So unless we can resolve all of the problems we will have to make do with the few descriptions and the illustrations and prints which have emerged since the event. We may go back and observe if we are able but unfortunately we cannot do anything, even in the unlikely event of our memories retaining the knowledge of future events. Much as we might want to rescue Anne in a Tardis, she wouldn’t have gone with us, not at this point of history. She was pregnant with the future Elizabeth I, but Anne thought as did everyone that she was pregnant with a son. Are you going to show her using modern equipment, which she would not accept as anything more than witchcraft or understand the true sex of her baby? What then? Now that you have interfered with history what will the consequences be? She isn’t an ordinary person. She is the wife of the King of England and someone from the future has just kidnapped her. Now the King’s men are after you and your contraption doesn’t work, so now you are in the Tower. What next? No, all you will be able to do is observe, take pictures and hope you remember this when you get back.

  5. The death of Kit Marlowe, was it murder, suicide or self defence? In a private room over a tavern with a group of friends, acquaintances, after diner and probably several drinks, Kit Marlowe grabbed the dagger from Ingrim Frizer and after a fight he ended up being stabbed through the eye and killed. Officially the verdict was self defence but the witnesses had an agenda, he was known to them in very odd ways. Robert Poley was an agent of Francis Walsingham and Christopher Marlowe was used as a spy as well. He was also investigation on charges of atheism and being homosexual. A lot of people think he would have revealed many secrets of others including Walter Raleigh who was also an atheist, a serious charge at that time, of members of the Council, of another patron, Audrey and Thomas Walsingham and that the argument was started deliberately in order to kill him. The witnesses at the inquest then got their stories together and gave evidence to make it look like a brawl over a bill in which Marlowe who had a violent reputation came off worse. The mystery is still debated today. Was he killed on behalf of the spy rings that he worked for? Was he killed to keep his secret life and the lives of others secretly hidden? Was he murdered to silence him? Did he himself orchestrate the entire affair in order to escape charges which might lead to his public disgrace and executions? In other words was it a form of suicide? Or was it as it seemed, a terrible brawl and arguments after a lot of drinking that went terribly wrong?

    There is one other bizarre aspect of Marlowe being killed in 1593,_so as he could rise again as someone even greater William Shakespeare. One of the Authorship Question candidates has always been Christopher Marlowe the famous playwright, but he was killed in 1593,_which means he couldn’t have written the majority of Shakespeare’s works. However, the supporters of this theory say his death in 1593_was staged, the conspirators members of a government spy ring, as Marlowe had been and that he was thus able to disappear. The gang then gave evidence that made it look as if he was dead, the government provided their own man at the inquest and he colluded to give the verdict and provide the evidence. So Kit Marlowe was dead and Shakespeare was born. His career could continue as the Bard and his muse. I agree it’s all very far fetched, I believe he died in a row over something, not necessarily money or the bar bill, but Marlowe was killed and he certainly wasn’t William Shakespeare. Another interesting aspect of this, however, was that as a government spy Marlowe could and did travel abroad freely. Could this be one of the many sources of information that Shakespeare used in his foreign plays? Should some of his masterpieces have a footnote giving credit to men like Marlowe for the descriptions of life abroad at foreign Courts. Marlowe was for example in Flushing in the Spanish Netherlands at the same time as Sir Philip Sydney, the son in law of Francis Walsingham. Shakespeare spent a lot of his time at the docks and pubs gaining information from sailors on life abroad and used much of it in his plays but he also appeared at Court. Could Marlowe have been a source which he later integrated into his own work or did they collaborate at some time? We shall never know, but one thing for me is certainly true, there was more to the mysterious demise of Kit Marlowe than has ever met the eye. That doesn’t make him William Shakespeare and the Bard was the man from Stratford, nobody else, the evidence points to his use of familiar language and references and local and trade knowledge. He was a genius and that’s what made him the best.

  6. Today Jane Seymour was publicly introduced and proclaimed Queen and sat under the clothe of state and was received by everyone as Queen and she was honoured as such, dressed in clothe of gold and certainly John Russell in his letter to Lord Lisle was certainly happy about Henry’s new Queen. He went on about how happy the King was and how Jane was the cause of that happiness and yes, she probably was the cause of his new happiness because he appeared to be very happy at this moment. He even said that the King had come out of hell into heaven and that he saw in her kindness rather than the unpleasant experiences he had gone through with Anne. Certainly Anne had not always given Henry a perfect time or shown him humility or obedience but then he had known her for almost ten years so he had surely expected that from a woman who matched him for intelligence and interests as Anne had done. Anne was more than a little prepared to give her open and honest opinion and to challenge the King, something he really didn’t want from her as his wife, not until the heir was born anyway. Henry and Anne were described as having a relationship that was sunshine and storms, with almighty public arguments and gay times full of dancing and laughter and joy, but to some that was all a facade and Anne’s nagging had driven Henry to turn against her. Henry’s warnings to Jane to remember her predecessor whose fate had been because of her interference shows starkly because it provides us with the clues that tell us that Anne was killed partly because of that challenge and opposition and interfering. Henry wanted a wife to be obedient now and not challenge him and he certainly believed he was getting that in Jane, although she was actually more of a challenge than he anticipated. For now, however, he was delighted and Jane did provide him with an oasis of relative peace and happiness during one of the most turbulent political periods of his reign. Russell was clearly not a fan of Anne Boleyn and took a different view of her than many commentators who wrote in praise of her. He was also something rare, a man who managed to tell the King a few things that he disagreed with and keep his head, remaining his friend until the end of his life. He also survived conspiracy and dangerous plotting in the reigns of both Edward and Mary. His opinion was obviously valued. His joy at the new Queen is very appropriate here, despite the shocking speed at which Henry married Jane, because it marks a new beginning, a new hope. Yes, it’s right what we believe at the manner and speed all this happened, but it also represents how differently Henry and Jane’s supporters saw things. The contrast in the joy of these next few days and the terror of three weeks ago is startling but its also the reality of Henry’s Court.

    Charles Writhosley may represent a more sobered response as he merely says that Jane was presented as Queen and proclaimed. He doesn’t give us the ceremony and details of Russell and Hall. Does that show his attitude? We really don’t know. Henry has now certainly moved on and the Court and Anne’s household did as well, moving to serve the new Queen.

  7. Yes John Russell praised Janes sweet countenance and soft gentle manner, I think it was he who referred to Anne as a thin vicious old hack – charming ! But Anne was her own worst enemy, her mistake was that she failed to act like the obedient servile queen Henry expected of her, the very attributes that Henry had once found so enchanting, her witty tongue her intelligence, started to wear thin when she continued to try to control him over many matters, this Henry could not endure queens were for bearing heirs and doing all the other things that were expected of them, but Anne still acted like she was the demanding mistress, she had wanted to be queen so much without actually realising what it meant to be queen, Henry found her constant demands and nagging tiresome, but that of course is no reason to kill ones wife, Charles Wriothesly’s unenthusiastic remark about Jane Seymour being proclaimed queen probably does tell us what he thought of the rather shoddy affair, after all in two weeks England had had two queens and now one was dead, it was not as if Anne had merely been banished from court, she had been shamed and disgraced and executed, and the king had shockingly married and introduced another woman as his next queen, whatever Jane felt about it all we have no idea, she is a closed book, she must have appeared as Russell thought a welcome change after Anne Boleyn, but it must have been somewhat bemusing to those at court to suddenly have to get used to serving a new queen, Anne had dominated the court for so long, before becoming queen she had been Henry’s only mistress for seven years, she had in effect been queen in all but name because she had accompanied Henry on his outings and had been at his side when he received guests, and one Christmas she had presided over the revels, now suddenly she was gone and the king was acting as if she had never been, and her one time lady in waiting sat in her place and dined at her seat and people bowed and curtsied before her, it must have been hard for Anne’s loyal staff to warm to this woman also, she would have had friends in her household who would have resented Jane but there was nothing they could do, Jane’s motto was ‘bound to obey and serve‘ which is typical of her placid demeanour, but as she clearly showed in the months ahead, she was not quite the meek little Jane of legend, she tried to rehabilitate Henry’s troubled relationship with his daughter Mary, and she confronted the king over the sacking of the monasteries, of course Henry was irked over what he deemed as Janes interference, and told her she should want to advance the fortunes of the children she would have, not those of others, he must have been quite angry as he also told her to remember what happened to her predecessor how charming! Was he threatening her with beheading then, Jane must have felt quite frightened but he could not stay angry for long with her, she knew when to bite her tongue unlike Anne, on the whole she was a successful queen consort, and she would have been more so had she lived, her crowning glory was when she gave the king a son at long last after two marriages, her early demise gave her a place in the kings affections which no other queen of his ever held, and she was immortalised in Holbein’s masterpiece in the family portrait alongside her son and Henry’s two daughters, Henry V11 and Elizabeth of York are also depicted in there with Will Somers the kings fool, the kings current queen however, Catherine Parr was not which must have troubled her greatly.

    1. Henry didn’t really have a problem with his wives being intelligent or well educated, he married at least three with those requirements, but he had grown so paranoid and so temperamental that he now was unable to deal with criticism, didn’t have the patience to listen to imploring and his mind and path were so set that no opposition was to be brooked, especially not from his wife. Henry had set in law the closure of the smaller monasteries, the fate of the larger ones was still open, but legislation would see them closed as well, especially after the role played by some during the Pilgrimage of Grace. He was now Supreme Head of the Church, with all the wealth and power that had gained him. He had no intention of going backwards, his path was forward and there was nothing anyone could say to reverse any of his decisions on these matters. Anne may have supported the policy of reforming the religious houses, she wasn’t too happy about how the buildings which were not destroyed and the wealth was used. She had complained to Cromwell about the lack of social uses of those magnificent buildings and probably complained to Henry as well. This was only one of a number of very public arguments that the couple had. Even in private Henry had given Anne warning shots of the man she had really married. He told her he had raised her up and would put her down again, he would not marry her if he had his choice again, she should shut her eyes and ears to his occasional affairs, like her betters had done, speaking of Katherine of course. Anne was expected to provide Henry with a son and of course they didn’t understand the science we do; Anne was not required as a partner or counsellor, she was there to give Henry the son she had promised him and wasn’t doing a very good job of keeping that promise. Henry was growing tired of her opinion, he was growing tired of her criticism, he wanted a son and peace and quiet. Enter Jane Seymour, clever enough to appear to be demure, learning how to be quiet when it mattered, a listening ear, sympathetic, children orientated, from a large family with healthy brothers, nephews as well as nieces, domesticated, apparently kind, although she must have had ambitions and a ruthless desire to be Queen, morally upright, pure, a traditional Tudor woman, yet one with enough in common and experience at Court to know what was demanded of her, a woman with a faction around her and the woman Henry now had faith in as the mother of his son. She was very different from Anne, in looks and in temperament, but she wasn’t as different in experience as one might suppose. Too many myths about Jane exist and I will only here recommend Gareth Russell talk on her over on the Tudor Society or if you are not a member, the book by Elizabeth Norton or any of her articles on the net. Several articles which do away with the doormat myth, which I find insulting as many women today are house wives or choose submission to their husbands, which doesn’t make them doormats and it also shows a lack of understanding about Tudor women. Anne was extremely privileged. Her family were in the right place to promote her while on an embassy to the Netherlands. They also had the connection within the Royal Court of England and France to have both daughters moved to the French Court. These were rare opportunities, especially for girls, an alternative to the male dominance at English Universities. Anne had the promise and intellectual capability to stand out and her talents may well have been wasted back home. However, its highly unlikely she would have gone to Flanders had her father not become well acquainted with his hostess Margaret of Austria, while awaiting the return of Emperor Maximillan. It’s entirely possible she may still have gone with her sister to France as part of the troupe of Mary Tudor, Henry’s sister. Anne’s talents were remarkable and Henry was partly attracted to her because of them. He still only had one thing in mind when he married her, the promised son she was supposed to be carrying. Henry did make use of Anne’s talents during her brief reign, but unfortunately his patience, his desperation and his time ran its course against Anne and she became the victim of a vicious conspiracy to replace her with the too good to be true, Jane Seymour. Anne’s death was in our minds totally needless, the woman had done nothing to deserve her fate, the worst fate for a nagging wife was to wear a Scolds Bridle, but of course Anne was Queen and her fate was to do with public honour. Henry needed a quick out and he took the harsh and ruthless method when it was handed to him. It was cruel and although Jane had nothing to do with Anne’s fate save that she replaced her after an unseemly short period of time, she was unwittingly responsible for Henry turning as he did against her, because she is reported as telling him his marriage to Anne was unpopular. Henry had already decided he wanted to get rid of Anne and after March 1536 and the incident with his message to Jane, he now had a willing candidate for his hand, he had Anne’s replacement put before him. Jane could do nothing to prevent Anne’s fall, her trial or her execution, all of that must rest with Henry and Cromwell. However, she soon said yes to his proposal, she went away to prepare for her wedding and she learned how to handle Henry from his friend and side kick Sir Nicholas Carew. All of Jane’s known supporters were either anti Boleyn or supporters of Princess Mary, it was no surprise, therefore that she tried on several occasions to bring Mary to his attention. Again, here is the first lesson Jane learned, nobody told Henry how to handle his children. His response wasn’t brutal but it was dismissive. Jane was very clever in responding that she only cared for his happiness and the peace of his kingdom. I think Henry quickly realised Jane had her own ideas and a voice and determined to make her submissive from the start. He didn’t want to return to Rome or restore the monasteries, he would lose too much money and lose face as well. He would have to admit everything he had done was wrong. Jane would have to learn to obey and to be smart enough to do as she was told. Within days of their marriage Henry had been unnerved by her confidence in her first interview with Eustace Chapuys and cut it short when she promised to help Mary. Mary had already written for his blessing and reconciliation and Jane was encouraging this but had backed off when Henry demanded Mary totally submit to his demands. It was only with the help of Chapuys and Cromwell and after her friends were questioned, arrested and imprisoned that Mary gave in. Jane was then involved in setting up the meetings which followed between herself, Henry and his daughter and her return to Court. It was now safe, Henry was appeased and had now approved. However, Jane would find that any confidence in these early months she had shown was short lived. Henry no longer was prepared to accept any opposition, any criticism or any hints that his policies were wrong. Jane saw that when he brutally told her to get up from her knees and remember what had happened to her predecessor as she tried to plead for the Northern rebels and for the monasteries. Was he threatening her with execution? Actually, I doubt it. In fact there is a good chance that Jane may have been pregnant at the time. She may not have known it for several months but she probably was with child. Henry was behaving erratically during the whole of this period in any case and was under two direct threats to his crown and authority. His armies were insufficient to take on the North and he had to use guile to trap them into standing down before using the excuse of a second rebellion to crush them. Even then his response was moderate, compared to his initial threats. It was still brutal, over 300 people were actually executed, out of some 50, 000 rebels across both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and the closure of the greater monasteries pushed ahead. Jane took a tremendous risk in the circumstances, the role of the pleading consort is of course a great tradition, but in most cases they were staged theatre. Jane used her own initiative and Henry saw another interfering wife and warned her off, this time for good.

      Jane knew that she was carrying the long awaited heir by the Spring and in May 1537,_the Northern threat having been neutralized, a Te Deum was publicly sung for thanksgiving for the quickening of her child. Jane quickly settled down to domestic bliss, contented herself with a none political role, keeping a strict moral Court with a strict dress code and keeping the peace at home. She gave birth to her son, Edward on 12th October at 2 a.m after almost three days in very difficult labour. Jane and Henry watched the magnificent baptism from the screened balcony as Jane could not yet enter the Church or public life and you can watch Hampton Court. 500 Years A Tudor Treasure on the BBC on demand and see the baptism of Edward reconstructed. Unfortunately, Jane fell ill and died from complications on 24th October 1537. Henry saw Jane from that point on as the wife who had kept her promise, his true wife, his true love, he was so taken by the mythology of Jane and her triumphant delivery of his son, her ultimate sacrifice, that as you say, Christine, it was Jane Seymour, who was depicted with him and his ideal family in 1546 in the now lost Whitehall Mural. His actual wife was of course the lady who really worked hard to bring and keep his family together, Katherine Parr. After all her efforts, yes, it must have been very difficult for her to see that portrait, if indeed she did, as it was a private commission and hung in his bedroom. At this time Henry was seen less and less in public and he had lost trust in Katherine Parr. She herself had taken that great risk and preached to him once too often, this time, not in private and he had ordered her arrest. Fortunately for KP she saw the arrest warrant and had gone to Henry to mollify him. She told him her opinion didn’t matter, she was only a woman and wanted only to learn from him and was sufficiently humbled that he forgave her. He chased her persecutors and bashed one on the head when they came to arrest her the next day and all seemed well. It wasn’t though and Henry altered his will to exclude her. Katherine would also be excluded after Christmas from his rooms and not allowed near him as he died. She must have been upset, however, if she did see this art work because it was obvious Henry loved a ghost and not the woman who was his greatest comfort in his final years.

      1. Wonderful post Bq it is true, as Henry aged he began to see Jane more and more as his perfect wife the one who had never let him down, never deceived him and who had given him his greatest prize – a son and heir! She was the only one who had the honour of sharing his grave for all eternity as well.

        1. Thanks, Christine, very kind. It’s a great pity the Whitehall Mural was destroyed, with just the smaller copy we now have today. This was commissioned by Charles II in 1667 thankfully because it was destroyed by fire alongside much of the palace in 1698. The new copy of course is kept at Hampton Court. Henry is of course boasting in the Latin inscription at the centre where he praised the accomplishments of his father, Henry Vii, who ended the wars of the Roses, but the son, Henry Viii is the better man because he has delivered England from darkness. It’s a remarkable piece of Tudor propaganda, even though the picture is wrong, its how Henry wanted it to be. Then we have the 1544 Family of Henry Viii also in Hampton Court made to commemorate the return to the Succession by Mary and Elizabeth. I just realised that is the portrait you described, oh well, this is a really majestic piece, with Henry in the centre with Edward as a boy growing up, his ideal wife in triumph, Jane and off to the side panels, Mary and Elizabeth, shown as less important. The two figures are of course, Will Somers and Mary’s fool Jane. It’s interesting how they are brought into the family portraits and really rare glimpses into the lives of royal fools. Jane was remembered very much as the ideal Queen, as any woman who died giving the kingdom the much needed heir should be because her life was a sacrifice. Her funeral was magnificent, she was buried with true honours and Henry was buried with her, spending his time with her in the afterlife because of the gift she had given him. The time Henry spent mourning Jane is a rare glimpse into Henry as a human being. Her death hit him hard.

  8. I wonder how much more effective Henry’s propaganda would have been had he simply divorced and banished his second wife rather than have her murdered by the state. Problem is that act was so notorious it’s one of the primary things we remember him for, not what the painting is telling us.

    1. Good point! It tells us a lot about how Henry saw the world that he thought history would be impressed by that family portrait and forget everything else about him. His hold on reality seems to have been rather tenuous. BTW, can’t you imagine how angry he would be to know we are referring to him as “Henry”?

      1. He would be absolutely livid. Also, the majority of our discussions center around Anne, the woman he tried to erase from all living memory. There’s something rather satisfying about this whole situation.

        1. Ha! Ha! Ha! Just tuned in and had a good laugh. However, Henry couldn’t divorce his second wife, actually nobody could divorce their partners if they wanted to marry again, which is why he would have needed the much more complicated method of ending a marriage called an annulment, that is, it didn’t exist to begin with otherwise they would be married to two people. With a living wife, no annulment, Anne would have still been his wife. Henry of course could have undid his marriage to Anne by having it declared null and void but that would have put his propaganda machine in a spin because he had already said she was his only legal wife. His propaganda machine had already gone to town on the legislation and pamphlets declaring and explaining his New Monarchy, including why his old marriage wasn’t lawful and Henry was now the Head of the Church and so on for a couple of years, so any propaganda saying the opposite would have made him look daft. Oh boy now that I would have loved to see him try to explain.

          O.K. Folks now as you know I had to send Katherine, your Queen, who I well I admit I did sort of marry when I was seventeen, and yes, o.k we got on pretty well, and well yes, o.k. you are right, we were the power couple and she was my lady, but well as you know the Holy Bible, which well, now, I your King, gave you in your own tongue, yes, thank you, thank you; well it showed me that we had sinned and were not married after all. What’s that, Madam? It was my choice! Well yes it was but that’s the point, we didn’t know we had done anything wrong, so I decided God had not blessed us, but well, poor Kate, she was a bit deluded, yes, she was, she couldn’t accept the truth. She had been married to my beloved late brother after all and so our marriage wasn’t lawful in the eyes of God. (Boos from the crowd) O.K quiet down, quiet down. Anyway, as you all know Katherine refused to leave me and in the end I had to make her leave. I was also forced to make new laws because that fool in Rome would not let me end my marriage and I came to know he didn’t have that authority here in England. And that was down to my good pal here, Thomas Cromwell and my other friend, Thomas Cranmer…take a bow..ladies and gents show them some appreciation. (Jeering) As you know I became the new Head of your new Church and my good friend, Cranmer here made my old marriage null and void, so I was indeed never married to Katherine. In the meantime I took the lady who has been my wife for these few years as your new Queen. I gave her and you a fine coronation and she has been your gracious lady. She has been well not too bad, but well things are not good now and I have some bad news. I have been mistaken in the Lady Anne. I was in love with her and failed to see her failings. It has come to my mind and to my notice that this lady wasn’t everything she claimed to be. My friends, I have been deceived. Anne, your Queen has led a double life. People, I have found her to be a woman of poor reputation. I know, I know, I am shocked by all of this but I will show you the evidence soon. It has come to my notice that my marriage to the Queen isn’t lawful and I am embarrassed to say that I have discovered that she was to marry another in her youth and that my own very brief relationship with her own sister, yes, Madam, but I was very young, it all means our marriage is also not lawful and cursed by God. It’s worse than that, my friends, your Queen has broken my heart. How? Master Cromwell has brought me shocking evidence that the lady my wife, my beloved Anne has betrayed me with others. She is guilty of the most shameful acts of adultery. She has even slept with her brother. I am devastated. Good people, what am I to do with this woman, whose deceitful ways are beyond human decency? My Council has begged me to try and execute her and those who have betrayed me, but I am a man of mercy. (Tittering in the crowd). I have imprisoned the men accused and they will be dealt with according to the law of the land, the penalties are dreadful, but a King must be seen to be strong and to rule well. However, I have decided that the Queen won’t die. Anne will be banished and allowed to live a life of religious contemplation. Tomorrow our marriage will be ended and I will present to you the lady who will be your new Queen. She is a lady of good family, of great virtue, she is a friend to your Princess, who has been so cruelly mistreated and kept from me by this evil woman, this Anne Boleyn, who bewitched me. Jane is the perfect wife for me, the one who will make me happy and bring peace to us all, my people. She is kind and generous and you will learn to love her as I do. She is humble and gracious and I am inclined towards her good heart. Jane, the prophets say, will bring forth the Prince who was promised. Our dark days are over, my people. Jane will be the one who will forever be in my heart. I will spend the rest of my days with her in this life and be buried at her side to rise with her on the Day of Judgement. Two weeks tomorrow, Lady Jane Seymour will be your new Queen. Celebrate, my people, all will be well.

          Yes, I think we would take his later propaganda more seriously, had Henry not so brutally killed not one, but two of his former wives and probably have seen him as a more effective ruler, man and even a better family man. Ironically, this was how Henry was seen by many of his people. His propaganda actually worked because it was a powerful visual statement. To those who saw these portraits, those privileged enough to be allowed into the private and presence chambers at Whitehall and Hampton Court or receive a cartoon from the portrait for their home, Henry was impressive. His own propaganda was very effective. It’s only now that we are looking back and asking questions as we have over maybe the last century. People did criticise Henry, we saw that the day after Anne’s execution, but many also still revered the King and his solo image by or after Hans Hobein has become the quintessential image of Henry Viii. I did have to laugh though one late afternoon while looking at another portrait close to it, the best one is in the Walker Art Gallery, when two blokes were examining Henry’s additional extra and one remarked, that he looked like a right ponce. Naturally we see our monarchy with a very much relaxed attitude and a much more open opinion of them, as no doubt some people did then in the taverns. I had to agree, although the painting is very impressive and powerful and mesmerising. The portrait is the reason I love history. However, I ended up talking to them, not about Henry but the woman whose portrait I had come to see, the most intellectual woman of her day, the influential Margaret of Navarre, sister of Francis I of France. I had two huge guys, both brick layers as it turned out, fascinated by a woman from 500 years ago, asking me questions. I could have charged a fee lol. No seriously, it sort of makes the same point because Henry wanted everyone to talk about these two portraits, yet here we are talking about his wives and still asking questions on why he didn’t just banish Anne Boleyn? To be honest, I don’t think there is an answer which satisfied. No English King had killed his wife before this and none since. I am pretty certain there were women who were just as annoying, if not worse than Anne. However, none had also failed to provide an heir or promised to do do, although it was taken for granted that they would. A few French Kings came very close to getting rid of their wives in this way and some were imprisoned but there wasn’t anyone who was actually beheaded. Joan I of Navarre, Queen of France may have died in childbirth or she may have been killed on the orders of her husband, Philip the Fair, depending on whom you read, but her end is a mystery. 500 years after her execution, its Anne who is hailed as the victim, not a King who thought everyone felt his sorrows. Do you know, I even cringe thinking of the message Henry wrote to Anne in his prayer book, under the image of the Man of Sorrows, the scourged and suffering Christ described from Isaiah. I find it insulting now that Henry used such a sacred image. I know it was a few years before they were married, but knowing what happened in retrospect, it makes it very hard to take. Yes, had Henry not executed, not one but two wives either side of Jane, the image of him honouring her as the beloved mother of his heir would be more respectful, more easily accepted today. It was at the time, but its Anne who is better remembered now, because she was so unjustly treated and she wasn’t even mourned.

  9. Today is June 6. The 76th anniversary of D-Day. I am always awed by the thought that those young men, who invaded Normandy in June of 1944 in less than a year ended a war that the Nazis had started way back in September 1939. Thank you to all who serve and still serve.

    1. Yes that’s true I am glad you mentioned that Michael, the D- Day landings were important, we can forget our current history because of our immersion in the past, but we must never forget events like those and the men who fought and were terribly injured, and those who died in the name of freedom.

      1. This morning I knew there was something important about today’s date but couldn’t think what it was. That’s it. D Day! So many people died in the attempt to land on those beaches. I remember the huge celebrations last year with the concert in London. The American Beaches were the worst losses. It was the three or four nights which turned the war in the favour of the Allies. Thanks for reminding us, Michael. I remember the film Saving Private Ryan which started with the D Day Landing and was very realistic. The first twenty minutes of the film you are clinging to your chair wanting to run away. It was stomach churning. It was very powerful. They had a documentary with Dan Snow last week on D Day and the archaeology. They found sunken tanks, loads of them. A good number were our own tanks, either hit and sunk or deliberately sunk by us but also the German tanks, some sunk by them, others hit and destroyed. The numbers of young men shot before they got off the landing craft, who were hit in the water, drown in the water, killed on the sands, it was a terrible assault for both sides, really bad. Such a loss of life; it was just as well the Germans didn’t know exactly where the Allies were going to land. It was a bad enough bloodbath as it was. Such a terrible sacrifice but it was the only way to win the war with a huge landing and forward manoeuvres. It was a terrible price for victory.

        1. It if you’ve ever read accounts of the landings for as badly as it went (weather and tides) it went pretty well. An advantage the allies had over the Germans were though the allied commanders were given orders they were allowed to modify/change or whatever was needed to reach their objectives, the Germans commanders were given no latitude whatsoever by der Fuhrer (sic). Everything had to go through him first. Good luck trying to contact Hitler in a battle zone while things are happening so fast. So glad that worked in our favor. Also, only one German fighter was able to make a strafing run on the beaches. A single Fw 190. The Germans also tried to use something called ‘Goliaths’ 3ft long, gasoline engined, tracked remote controlled mines. A complete failure. The idea was to drive them under allied tanks that came ashore. They had a tendency to get stuck in the sand. Most were captured and many are in museums around the world. There’s a great photo you can find online of an American soldier looking over a junkyard of these things the Germans threw away.

    2. How amazed the people setting sail for the Field of the Cloth of Gold, for instance, would have been to see the channel on D-day. (I know, they were heading for Calais, but there still would have been plenty to see.)

      1. My understanding is that the number of craft involved constituted the largest invasion fleet ever assembled since Duke William in October 1066. An interesting incident occurred in a newspaper on the same day as the invasion. I believe that it was either the New York Post or New York Times published their daily crossword on thebsame day as the landings just luke everyday. Some of the answers were ‘overlord’, ‘sword’, ‘juno’, ‘omaha’ and others. US Federal authorities were convinced there had been a leak as these were all terms associated with the invasion. It was thoroughly investigated and determined that as remarkable and unlikely as it seems it was absolutely a coincidence.

  10. Hi BQ. That was beautiful. Did you go back in time and get a transcript of Henry’s exact words?

  11. Thanks, Michael, no, but that would be something wouldn’t it, Henry trying to justify himself before a slightly drunken crowd outside the palace and making a speech nobody really believed. No wonder he employed Cromwell, someone had to keep his twisting of history to fit some neat patterns of his version of the truth straight. I doubt he could do it himself. I really don’t know any other person who could compartmentalize their life just as neatly as Henry Viii. It takes an absolute genius to lie in such a way as it comes out as a new version of the truth and only a mind as clever as Cromwell could come up with half of Henry’s ideas. I reckon it was Cromwell as fixer who prevented Henry from looking a right idiot.

    1. I liked your Henry speeches Bq I can just see him saying something like that, really though he must have known that the people thought his behaviour was shocking and unconventional, marrying and introducing a new Queen after he had just executed his previous one, convention allows a year but his hasty remarriage made the death of Anne Boleyn look suspicious, and rather too expedient for decency’s sake.

    2. It’s like today our royal family have advisers to tell them what to say, how to react to a certain piece of drama etc, Cromwell was a genius but Henry turned his back on him like he had on Wolsey years before, though he did express his regret later on.

  12. I don’t envy Cromwell at all having Henry VIII as a boss. Thomas Cromwell was a brilliant man and knew exactly what to do to accomplish his master’s wishes but Henry must’ve made things so difficult by some of his bone headed actions that surely, many times gave the game away (or almost did).

    1. And he was sure to turn on those closest to him. I am continually impressed by the fact that anyone was willing to be around him. Of course people think, “It won’t happen to me,” but it happened so often to those to served Henry that it must have taken a certain buccaneering spirit to live in the tiger’s cave.

      1. Not just working for the king was dangerous, also any other courtier could turn on you and you could get your head lopped off. As you say, they seemed to forget someone could turn on them too.

  13. Everything you all say is very true and its when you remember all the intrigue that was going on here all of the time, when writing about the period you don’t need to spice it up with nonsense, the real story is exciting enough. Cromwell did such a good job that he made a lot of enemies among the last of the old nobility. He promoted the King’s ideas of New Monarchy, the reforms he wanted and transformed the way the state was administered. A good number of the old families followed the new way, because they saw conforming as the best way to survive but they slipped up from time to time and saw Cromwell as they had seen his old boss, Thomas Wolsey, as an interloper, someone from a low background, getting all of the jobs which should have been done by the gentry and nobles as a birth right. Henry and his father had both appointed men such as these new men because they got the job done without favouritism as well as for their talents and abilities. While Cromwell was high in favour he was protected by the King, but once that relationship showed cracks, his enemies could form a pact and refused to cooperate with him. Then the wolves found what small evidence of wrong doing or errors they could and Henry was easily persuaded against him. In fact its not entirely clear as to what the actual evidence against Cromwell was because he didn’t have a trial. It certainly wasn’t the unwanted marriage to Anne of Cleves which led directly to his downfall, but it opened the door. As soon as his usefulness in giving evidence to get Henry out of that political nightmare was forthcoming, Henry left Cromwell to his enemies. The charges in the Act of Attainder are so bizarre that one might believe they were something out of a Victorian melodrama. He was accused for example of stating that if the King didn’t go far enough on reforms or pulled back he alone would carry on and if anyone prevented him he “would pull out his dagger and he alone would stand fighting in the streets against all who opposed him”. He was accused of various odd things like heresy, but we are not certain why, usurping royal power and so on. It was not without merit, I am certain of that, in that he may have gone too far, but I am not entirely convinced of his actual treason. His enemies rounded on him as soon as they were able. In the previous six months there had been a series of political purges aimed at the Conservative party at Court, so perhaps it was a case of survival and wondering who was next. Certainly Norfolk was one of those who rounded on Cromwell, bitter at years of putting up with him, but Henry quickly withdrew his support. Cromwell was helpless, despite his years of loyal service, but in a rare turnaround afterwards, a rare sense of loss and regret Henry openly said he missed Cromwell. He turned on his gathered Council and blamed them for using deceit and lies to cause him to put a loyal servant to death through their malice.

    Who knows what the secret was to survival in King Henry’s Court? Maybe it was telling him the truth, not merely what he wanted to hear and avoiding lining up with any particular faction, at least not for too long. Maybe it was just luck. A few did manage it: Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, John Russell, Sir Anthony Browne and Thomas Cranmer all somehow skilled or bluffed their way into keeping the King’s affection all of their or his life. Life in royal service could have tremendous rewards, it was the best living one could hope for, Henry’s presence could be like sunshine, especially when he was a young man, but now there were too many hail storms and showers. However, it could also be very precarious, like living on a knife edge. One dare not turn around for too long.

    1. I agree with you about the charges against Cromwell. Especially the treason charge. I’ve always seen him as one of Henry’s most loyal and trustworthy servants.

  14. Sarah Morris has posted on her Tudor Travel Guide blog an article titled ‘Mary Boleyn: A Tudor Beauty Unveiled’. It reports on a painting by Remigius van Leemput that was previously identified as Portrait of a Woman now Identified as Mary Boleyn. Though it was obviously painted long after her death it is still interesting. There is a photo of it in the article.

    1. Yes I meant to mention that some time ago, it was in the Daily Mail sure of it, she was a very attractive woman and does not resemble her sister as portrayed in her alleged portraits, Mary’s face was much rounder more heart shaped than Anne‘s, whose face was much longer with high cheekbones, her colouring is fair to and she had wide almond shaped brown eyes and a perfect rosebud shaped mouth, with full red lips, how exciting now that we can see what Mary Boleyn actually looked like, and maybe eventually an authentic portrait of her sister the tragic Anne will re surface.

    2. Thanks for that Michael. Talking about the Field of the Cloth of Gold, this week and next 6th June to 24th June is the 500th Anniversary and Sarah had Glen Richardson on Saturday to have a live Q and A, which is now on her U Tube link. I registered for the Summit which was last month from her site on the Field of the Cloth of Gold and you could register over the weekend to see the videos, I don’t know if its still open. They are available to registered ones until the end of June. There is a link on her site and from this site.

      The Tudor Travel Guide is one of my new regular haunts. Glen’s book is the best expert book on the events. When you think all those people, literally thousands of people all on ships, all with horses, food, live food, so animals, the materials for the palace, a lot more sourced locally, craftsmanship, armoured knights, tents, fireworks, tools, workers, kitchen staff, baggage, banners and so on all heading for s small town outside of Calais. (Liverpool fans heading for Madrid springs to mind, all 100,000 went to Madrid last June) The Kings and Queens on both sides had about 6,000 people with them. All those barges and ships. Barges came up to the area with logs and local material and livestock. Then there were the wine fountains, the painters and decorators, the carpenters, the entertainment, the luxurious food to be prepared, the protocols to be observed, neither King dined with the other because each King had to be the most important person there so each Queen entertained each King, the clergy, the ladies, the retinue and so on. Really one big Tudor bling show.

      The idea behind it was of course to further good relations between Francis and Henry and by extension because they both afterwards and before entertained Charles V separately, between themselves and him as well. In 1518 the Treaty of London or Universal Peace masterminded by Thomas Wolsey had been signed and that was ratified at the start of this meeting or just prior to it. Wolsey wanted a treaty by which nobody was allowed to attack the other Kings and that they would get together to sort out everything without war. War was to be only in extreme circumstances and then only with the agreement of everyone else. It was an early League of Nations in Europe but of course this was an age when people played at war, so really there wasn’t much hope in reality of this peace lasting. The next 19 days saw jousting, fencing, wrestling, riding, entertainment, banqueting and drinking on a mega international scale. The cost was outlandish. If anyone ever wondered what happened to the money Henry Viii inherited from his father, a good deal probably went on this magnificent event. This plus the warships he was building and three not so successful campaigns in France. The concord reached here was one of future hope, it was worth it in that it was a rare meeting between Kings on a grand international stage. However, it wasn’t to last because within two years Francis and Charles were fighting over Italy and England soon joined in during 1523 and 1524. By 1525 after Pavia, France was driven back and Francis was the prisoner of Charles V, leaving his mother and sister to rule back home and eventually get him out four years later.

      The human side of the event shows human beings haven’t changed. Check out the scenes around the wine fountains. The people there are very drunk, don’t look very well and are fighting.

  15. I don’t know how accurate that portrait is. According to the blog post van Leemput died in 1675. If nothing else we at least have something purported to be her.

  16. Hi BQ. You’re very welcome. I got the email from her about re-airing the summit. I watched it when it was live. A lot of fun. It was really great to hear the French perspective which I really was not aware of. Sarah did a geat job putting all of that together and reading the comments at the time I would say it was quite successful.

    1. Attending live was great. It’s a pity we can’t celebrate with an actual reenactment of the event, it would have been great to go to something like that. I will be watching again later in the week. Sarah really went the extra mile.

      1. It was really interesting finding out that the dragon/salamander in the painting was actually a physical object and not just some kind of medieval allegory often inserted in paintings of the period. I hope Sarah does something like this in the future.

        1. Yes, the dragon fireworks must have been an amazing sight. It was about twenty feet long, it must have been very bright and loud. How they got it to fly amazed me. The French were probably thinking it was after them lol. Only the English could be dream up a huge dragon as a firework in 1520 to scare the French and delight the ladies.

          It was all those barges that fascinated me taking the food and logs and materials up the rivers and canals. I didn’t really think about the area being completely surrounded by water. Some logistical operations needed to get all that coordinated. It must have been some sight.

  17. On 10th June 1540 Thomas Cromwell was arrested when he attended a Council meeting, which in fact was a trap. Henry had been persuaded to allow the arrest of his chief minister after seeing certain letters that proved Cromwell had over stepped the mark on his authority by contacting Lutheran states and various Lutheran leaders in order to form alliances and future trade agreements or religious agreements by a group of his ministers enemies and he would be eventually charged with treason and heresy and tried under a legal process called an Act of Attainder. This wasn’t a trial as such but it was an Act of Parliament which was passed after the evidence was read out, the charges read out and a vote taken on the guilt of the accused. If it passed, which it usually did, the person was also condemned by the same process and the King gave his assent to the Bill, thus making it an Act. Cromwell was set up for a fall because Henry’s favour had been withdrawn as over the months since his reluctant marriage to Anna of Cleves, Henry had become more disenchanted with his loyal minister. Now led by Norfolk, his enemies had ganged up on him and awaited him in the Council Chamber. Cromwell was late and he was immediately set upon by Norfolk who told him this was no place for traitors. After he protested, the various symbols of his ranks were stripped from him, the garter, the Earldom, the Privy Seal and so on. He went on protesting but was escorted by an armed guard to the Tower.

    Cromwell was vulnerable, it wasn’t karma, it was purely revenge. The older nobility had plenty of reason to hate Cromwell for, his low birth for one thing. Yes, just as racism isn’t new, class hatred isn’t either. Just exactly what Henry was shown is actually a mystery and different historians have their own ideas on what he was actually “guilty” off. In any event, most of his life had been spent to further the King’s will, first as the Secretary of Cardinal Wolsey and then as his replacement. He never held the rank of Chancellor, but Wolsey was more than that. Cromwell was practically everything else. He was even Viceroy in Ecclesiastical matters, meaning he was the first lay person to make religious policy. Cromwell was a vastly talented and qualified legal mind and the right person to further Henry’s needs when he married Anne Boleyn and to end any opposition to that and his Supremacy. However, now he had made mistakes and Henry needed a scapegoat and took his protection away very quickly. Henry wasn’t finished with his chief minister, however. One more thing was required before Cromwell could be disposed off. Henry needed to end his marriage to Anne of Cleves and quickly on the grounds of none consummation.

    Henry claimed he didn’t like Anne, her looks, her body, her manners and so on and that because of this he couldn’t consummate his marriage. He claimed it stemmed from their first meeting which if you read Hall and the German sources, wasn’t the disaster Henry pretended it was. Now six months later, Cromwell and others were told to put down everything about that meeting and the marriage. It was totally invented. Everyone sang from the same hymn sheet and it was very convenient and detailed. It was in fact a bit too detailed. No other reports say anything negative about Anna or what she looked like. I am in little doubt that the marriage wasn’t consummated. Henry was having some trouble sexually, despite having his doctor testify otherwise. His doctor was only saying what Henry had told him. It’s a good job Anna didn’t demand he prove it in public. That would involve bringing in selected prostitutes and having them demonstrate before witnesses and a Church Court if Henry really was impotent or not. As you can imagine very few men took their complaints further if this happened. None consummation may also involve the embarrassment of Anna being examined by matrons to see if she was a virgin. This had to be avoided. Hence the ridiculous and unlikely testimony of her ladies that she didn’t understand what sex was. The entire testimony is rather unsavoury and was probably kept private. Cromwell wrote a long testimony of how he had asked the King about the wedding night and the liking of the Queen and Henry had complained that he didn’t like her and about her body and so forth. The fact was that Anna was now a political obstacle. Her marriage put England in danger because the Emperor had designs on territory owned by Cleves. Gelders had been disputed for many years. Anna was simply a hot potato and her marriage no longer wanted or desired. Henry had to extradite himself as soon as possible from a political and international fire storm. He couldn’t be to blame for not contaminating his marriage, his manhood was then questioned. He had to blame Anna, even though it was nonsense. Henry was also seeing the young and pretty Kathryn Howard, one of Anna’s ladies. He needed a solution and Cromwell was going to get it. Maybe Cromwell hoped his life would be spared. Anyway he was spared until the annulment was achieved. He was executed on 28th July 1540, the same day that Henry married Kathryn Howard.

    Cromwell didn’t have a swift execution which was horrible. The man who was to behead him was either drunk or inexperienced. It took a few blows to remove his head. He also shared the scaffold with William Lord Hungerford who was accused of rape and incest of his daughter, sexually crimes and being homosexual under the Buggery Act 1536. His path to the scaffold may have had some truth in the charges but the actual nonsense in the Act in Parliament reads more like an Act from Shakespeare than a serious legal presentation of his charges. Like so many before him, the treason he had committed was vague and obscure. Most of what he had done was on Henry’s orders. He might have over stepped the mark but really it was revenge by those he had harmed or offended over the years. He was an easy target to bring to an increasingly paranoid King. He was the victim of his own success as one might say.

    1. I have no proof of this but I have a sneaking suspicion that Cromwell was made Earl of Essex when he was so that it could be rescinded at his fall to humiliate him more.

      1. That’s correct he was only just made Earl of Essex a couple of months earlier. Someone probably pulled whatever symbols he had on his clothes or chains of him as well and I think his title was rescinded yes. It was the most humiliating treatment Henry could have ordered or agreed to. The man was descending into real tyranny.

  18. Two interesting podcast episodes have recently dropped: Renaissance English Podcast just posted an episode on how the Tudor’s viewed early English history and Talking Tudors just did an interview with Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch on Thomas Cromwell and the fall of Anne Boleyn.

  19. Hi Michael and thanks yet again. His documentary on Cromwell as well as his book is excellent.

    A bit off topic, but have you been affected by the lunacy of the last couple of weeks which have been awful. I am all for peaceful protests and what happened to George Floyd was terrible and disgusting but the destruction of property, a lot of those businesses were opened by Black families, one was a bar recently opened after he saved for years, run by a Black family, destroyed in minutes, and the attack on our culture and history is terrible. If you don’t like a controversial statue, then take it down by consensus or education and local information, not defacing history and even place names. I am very angry today with good reason. This just shows how ignorant and stupid some people can be. You may have heard of Penny Lane, yes, the famous Beetles song. Well the lane is round the corner to my home and yesterday it was vandalised by these idiots because someone spread a lie on Twitter that it was named for the slave master James Penny, which it isn’t. It actually dates back to Medieval times and was known as Pennies Lane. It had a toll bridge and it was a penny to cross and the farm paid a penny rent. A dairy farm was there in 1607 with the name. James Penny lived 120 years later. It became famous because of the sites of the Beatles song. The spelling is even different. James Penny lived three miles away in the town centre and owned property there. Then here was open fields. It has a leafy part and an urban centre. It still has the famous barber shop, bus terminal and bank. The laundry was preserved as its historic. The fish shop is there. Other sites are actually on Allerton Road and there is a video on it on Y Tube. History was done and published over the last few years and the International Slavery Museum confirmed the information was correct. Penny is buried in Toxteth. Why would an obscure lane be named for someone who lived miles away. Several businesses rely on the name and our festivals rely on the name. Our community is diverse. People are fuming and the street signs that were vandalised yesterday were cleaned up by local residents of all backgrounds. If people want to ask for something done about offensive statues or street names, get a petition and ask the local people. We can’t just erase history. That’s fascism. Racism is abhorrent, as is sexism and inequality of any kind. Police brutality is abhorrent. Things need to change but attacking property and history and lies to encourage vandalism will have the opposite effect. And how is a war memorial offensive? People were killed to protect these lunatics and their right to protest and they attacked the war memorial in London. You know my opinion of Winston Churchill but he led our country in our darkest hour.

    I mean where does it end? How far back do we do to find a statue that isn’t offensive?
    Geoffrey de Bouillon in Brussels was a crusader. The Saxons might be offended by Charlemagne in Aachen. Richard the Lionheart and Oliver Cromwell? Christopher Columbus, oh hang on he has gone! What about Vasca de Garma? How about the Romans? Oh hang on my dad used to sing a song about King Faruke which we told him off about when he was drunk and he definitely wasn’t racist. Everyone was probably racist hundreds of years ago, people didn’t think anything about it because it wasn’t taught that it was racist. It was wrong, of course it was, but you can’t impose the 21st century on the 18th any more than you can reverse the eighteenth onto now. You can only learn from the past and we have to teach it, no matter how painful. Historians take people around our city and tell the full story, the good, the bad and the ugly. Maybe more information is needed at certain sites but even that sadly won’t change racism. Education will do more than destroying things. And especially as those doing the destruction are not historians so how do people cheering them on even know their information is correct? Again when and where does it stop? Mayor Anderson is responsible for the destruction in Liverpool because he made a remark about changing the signs. He caused outrage. Our local people were out in force today, giving business to Londis on Penny Lane which has been a shop for 150 years as Penny Lane Emporium, Newsagents and Confectionery shop. The news of the Titanic was in its Windows. Our local people cleaned the damage, removing the paint by hand and the irony is that the Penny Lane signs had to be welded to the walls to stop fans taking them as Souvenirs. Twitter has exploded because people all over the world were horrified. That’s how famous the place is. We are bemused by all the fuss every Summer when the International Beatles Festivities kick off and my local Church has Paul McCartney sang in the choir here and they went to a local school down the road. Maybe now we will get the funding we have been denied from the Council to revamp the place as a historic area.

    1. Hi BQ. I live in northeast Portland about 10 miles from downtown where all of the craziness is taking place. So it’s not affecting me directly. Our governor who is one of the worst in the country and this isn’t just my opinion this is a consensus from people all over the country had a press conference yesterday and though we have been very very slow here in Oregon to open up she has decided to put a 7-Day moratorium on opening because we’ve had such a huge increase in the virus spreading in cases in the hospital. She was asked why this is happening she says ‘I have no idea why’. Well everybody else knows the reason, it’s because of the protest and so many people close together. These increases in cases are happening in every city where they’re having these humongous amounts of people together. And my own County hasn’t even applied yet for Phase 1 of opening up. Our mayor who also isn’t very good did ask the governor a couple of weeks ago to send in the National Guard but our governor said no. And as you know we’ve got protesters who want to get rid of many of our monuments, and renamed military bases named after Confederate generals, we’ve already had NASCAR ban the Confederate flag! And protesters also want to get rid of the Jefferson Memorial because he owned slaves will many people owned slaves at the founding of this country. The 1830 census shows that at that time there were three thousand black slave owners! These people don’t seem to read their history. I heard an audio clip of a black woman who had her children in the car and tried to drive through the area of Seattle that has been taken over by the protesters and keep in mind most of these protesters are white. They would not let her through and she kept screaming if you really care about black people then don’t vote Democrat. And you could hear them yell we’re here for you since you’re not here for me I just want to go home and get my children home they would not let her through. These people are a joke and it’s disgusting what is happening in my country. This is not the country I grew up in and it is being power is being abused by many people and I hate to say it but most of the abuse of power that’s happening right now is the Democrats and liberals. That isn’t what you’re going to get if you’re watching CNN or MSNBC or anything like that but I’m living it I can tell you that’s what’s happening. I’m not going to read what I just wrote Because I dictated it to my phone because it was too much to type and so there might be typos and syntax errors and such but you should be able to get the gist of what I’m talking about. Thank you for asking the question I’ve been wanting to talk about this but didn’t think this was the appropriate place to broach the subject. I also want to recommend Lauren Mackay’s book on Eustice Chapuy. There was so much more to him than I ever knew.

      1. I need to make a clarification. When Imentioned that the 1830 census listed 3000 black slave owners what that means that 3000 black people owned black slaves.

  20. I understand the Beatles we’re kind of a big deal in Liverpool.
    Just kidding. I’m a huge fan and have been since I was a kid. Got that from my mom. My mom remarried in 1970 after my father’s death and she sold all of her original Beatle’s records at a garage sale before we moved. This was just prior to them breaking up. What I would give to have those now. I have them all on CD but it’s not the same. I remember reading a story about the sign change. Boneheaded idea. Not everything has to be PC.

  21. Hi Michael, thanks for your response. These people are ignorant of history, especially their own, it’s very true. A good number of Black people don’t have slave origins and have tried to deny that their own countrymen captured and took part in the obtaining of people for slaves which they sold to the traders. The International Slave Museum here in Liverpool, put that right. The Museum is worth a visit and is in the Maritime Museum. Slavery as an institution was evil, but people don’t seem to get how involved it was and how many institutions are connected indirectly to it because of the money coming from slave ownership or commercial ventures because commodities were exchanged for slaves. Not many slaves actually passed through Liverpool, but the trade ships docked here so it has a big connection. However, there are also many myths but try telling that to some person preaching on social media, telling a very weak Mayor what to do. I didn’t realise so many Black slave owners existed, thanks for that information.

    It must be very worrying being so close to these large protests. I am concerned that the covid will take hold again putting a strain on the NHS and services. Ending lockdown was bound to turn everyone crazy after they have been locked up for so long but people are acting as if its gone. I understand people want to change the way the police treat Black people and life in general but these protests are violent and in very large numbers. It’s frightening watching it. Yes, we saw the attacks on the Jefferson Davis statues, but really I don’t believe that’s the answer. He was criticised at the time for keeping slaves but a lot of people did, the South had its whole economy invested in slavery. It wasn’t an individual area like the North was becoming and I can understand their arguments. As I said of course we condemn slavery, but how many generations ago was it ended? 1837? 1864 in the States? Today’s attitudes have nothing to do with slavery. They are to do with institutions not knowing what equality and human rights are. It’s about police brutality, the original tragedy has been forgotten. We also have a deadly virus on the loose and people have forgotten the death tolls. It sounds very frustrating and frightening and there is no leadership of course. People are not interested in dialogue any more. We live in very sad times.

  22. I read that about the Penny Lane sign, the BLM thought it was associated with a slave trader, they really need to do their research, at the moment there’s a petition to save Churchill’s statue which I have posted on my Facebook page, left wing rules at the moment this is total anarchy and must be stamped out, all these statues are products of a bygone age and yes the slave trade was abominable, but you cannot erase history and that’s what these thugs are trying to do, I felt very proud of the way a group of ex scouts and ladies surrounded the statue of Baden Powell, I thought ‘good for them’, but really as for Churchill he happens to be Boris’s hero and no way will he let his statue be removed, as for Sadiq Khan saying he believes most statues should come down he is more or less giving into the mob, the police did nothing when Edward Colston’s statue came down and really I think Boris should have sent the army in to assist the police, all this happened because of police brutality in America and yet George Floyd was just a criminal anyway, yet now because of the manner of his death he is being venerated as a saint, for most it is just an excuse to riot and cause trouble, luckily we have a tough Home Secretary, and I just hope those who are arrested for causing trouble will have draconian sentences handed out to them.

    1. I don’t agree with the police killing people. Regardless of what someone has done or not the police are law enforcement, not judge, jury and executioner. I believe BLM have a lot of legitimate things to complain about, some statues should either come down or have plaque put on them which tells the full story. Slavery wasn’t just a racist issue, it was a human rights issue. That’s the real argument the BLM have. But hooliganism from White Supremacist and vandalism from BLM isn’t the way forward. We are not facists or not meant to be, yet history is being erased. People should know peaceful resistance and dialogue achieve things not terrorism and there are better ways of doing things. The Suffrage movement had two camps. None violence which prevailed and violence which didn’t. It was the deal to get the vote if the women stopped their terror attacks during the First World War and ran the factories which forced Lloyd George to grant them the vote. I have been involved in several protests myself but it’s quite some time since I was chained to anything or occupation of a building over a name change. That was to force the Council into consulting people and having a vote. I was on the front pages. Petition someone, if that doesn’t work, stand outside the Town Hall, but do so peacefully. All the police can do is actually move you. Destroying stuff is ridiculous and terrorism. If the IRA blew up a few statues it would be called terrorism and destruction is no different. In any case you can’t just erase history. Baden Powell had a few daft ideas like most late Victorians and Edwardian people but his background was military. Even the Harry Potter woman is a nut job when it comes to her ideas but I don’t agree with the abuse she has received. Someone will want to give her a statue one day and some other mob will be out causing trouble. Let’s face it if it wasn’t the BLM who actually have denied defacing Penny Lane, it was some yobs who just haven’t anything better to do. Mayor Anderson seriously needs a backbone. I don’t know what he is on but his election is next month. First he upset Liverpool fans and now this. I admire him for his work with the Hillsborough families and he paid for a beautiful memorial personally, but his recent performances on Twitter have caused a lot of ill feeling. Our political leaders have gone soft. They have enough to deal with at present but sometimes they need to take a stand. History is always changing but it exists and it isn’t pretty. The problem is that to change a street name or remove a statue normally there is a long process, a legal and political one. The BLM are not prepared to wait. You are also correct, George Floyd was a petty criminal, although more serious allegations came out conveniently on the day of his memorial, which we need to be cautious over, but that didn’t give an officer the right to kneel on his neck for eight minutes and kill him. Nobody can possibly resist arrest for eight minutes from four big police officers, who are armed by the way. He wasn’t armed and it was a minor thing he was being arrested for. Unfortunately, in all of these around the world and across America violent and none violent protests, all of this vandalism he has been forgotten. Suddenly 150 years after it was abolished its about the slave trade. The Tudors had black people living among them who were not slaves and I found it interesting reading in Michael’s post that 3000 slave owners there were black people who owned black slaves. The people doing all this screaming are not familiar with history. You can’t just demand a street is renamed without evidence or a proper consultation anyway. Yes, Rodney Street, Thomas Street, Parr Street, Wood Street, etc are named after people connected to the slave trade in some way. They actually didn’t all own slaves or run shipping. Everything was unfortunately linked into the trade if it was commercially coming from the Empire. Sugar and wool and cotton and tobacco are all slavers commodities and some people invested in the companies or owned mills and shops. Sugar from India wasn’t subsidised so confectionery shops got the slave sugar. However, many people protested by refusing to take sugar in their tea and confectionary shops used sugar from none slavery countries and made their sweets bright colours to attract sales and sold sweets from none slavery countries. This was one of the ways that the slave trade began to suffer. The slave trade was a long time ago and in reality has nothing to do with the attacks on things now, that’s just an excuse. James Penny in any event didn’t give his name to Penny Lane. It was actually named before he was born and he lived five miles away in Liverpool which didn’t include Allerton or Childwall as independent rural hundreds. Toxteth is where he is buried and his property was in town. He spoke against abolishing slavery so if it was named for him I wouldn’t be happy either. However, it wasn’t and alongside a number of other ancient lanes of the same name it was actually either named for a house and brook at the boundaries there or the penny toll to cross an old bridge. A dairy bore the name in 1607 which was near what was just an obscure leafy lane. Nobody had even heard about it until the Beatles made it famous in 1967 with the song Penny Lane. The Council tried to build houses on an open piece of land here a decade ago and the community brought it and turned it into a Millennium Green. We also built our own community centre as the Council would not give us any funding. All the Council ever do is have committees so it will be talked about because that’s all they ever do and as we won the battle back then they should know better. As you say some people just have no idea what they would do and just waiting to cause trouble. I was a guide and a ranger and a brownie. The movement was international and multi cultural around the world. I feel very sad when everyone in the world is labelled for maybe an off day or one remark. Churchill was just what we needed during the wars even if he was a political hard liner. They were like others of their era. I am not saying their ideas are acceptable but its history. Put information boards up to explain things, don’t just deface everything and tell communities you have nothing to do with what to do. When did we stop being a democracy and seeing each other as the enemy. I think everyone has boiled brains after lockdown. Things are getting out of hand and our political leaders need to take a tougher stance to restore law and order and then sit down and talk about a sensible way forward. People need to learn to listen and to understand and that communities are going to be sensitive about their history. Both sides have valid points and that’s why we should have dialog and not just remove monuments because some people are offended.

      1. I agree Churchill was just what this country needed during the war, I remember my father telling me of those dark days when we were alone and he held this country together, he gave the people of this country the belief that they could fight the Nazi tyranny and win, these left wing idiots and BLM activists do not understand any of that, they do not understand what Churchill as a war leader means to this country, they see racism everywhere, and yet it is just an excuse to kick of and cause trouble, you are right if the IRA had blown up some statues it would be called terrorism, yet wanton destruction of a statue is not, the trouble is all these protests are not doing the pandemic any good, as there were crowds of people in the cities and yet they seem to have forgotten the risks, but you can’t tell them, hopefully all these protests will die down as for the removal of our statues, what a joke that is!

  23. George Floyd may have been the catalyst that started this but now he’s become an excuse for mainly spoiled white kids to behave badly. As to Churchill? He is one of my heroes. Not Churchill during WWI, he was responsible for the disaster at Gallipoli but the WWII Churchill. He and Roosevelt worked so well together.
    Erasing history is what the Nazis did in the 30’s. We must not allow that to happen.

  24. Wow, your council’s talk and do nothing sounds like our city councils in this country. You may already be aware if this but during our Civil War (April 1861-April 1865) the Confederacy (southern states) asked for military assistance from Great Britain in helping to secede from the Union but was denied because they had not abolished slavery. GB even stopped buying cotton from the south for the same reason. Sadly, for the south that was really their only cash crop and why they had slavery. Thank you GB for helping to end that terrible war and helping to end an evil institution in this country. I want to stress that only a very tiny percentage of people in the antebellum south actually owned slaves. These would have been the very wealthy with hundreds if not thousands of acres who could afford it. Most were small share owners who worked their own land. Many of the wealthy did not fight in the war, they hired substites. Most who fought didn’t fight to defend slavery, they fought because they didn’t like the Union attacking what they thought of as their country, the south/Confederacy. Most northerners and President Lincoln didn’t hold to the North/South, Union/Confederacy idea. In their eyes, and I agree, we were/are the United States. After the war when people said United States they now meant the whole thing, not just their individual State.

    1. Thank you for that information, Michael, very valuable and interesting. Liverpool privateers took terrible advantage of both the wars of independence and the American Civil Wars by providing arms and gold to both sides and sinking French ships helping America. They made vast fortunes, especially the man who sank the Carnatic. Britain could well have helped end many a conflict but alas we would rather cause trouble.

      Yes, the South didn’t have the industry of the North and saw themselves as being bullied. They wanted independence. The plantations I believe were huge and these families had enormous wealth. The ordinary people are always the ones caught up in the madness of the few. Cotton was more cheaply produced in India and with machines, which is one reason it wasn’t brought any more. I believe people don’t understand the complex relationship between the South and the North and the political difficulties that had gone on for a number of years. Catalonia wanting to be independent in Spain would be a good example, with a separate history, language and culture and a historic need for independence that dates back centuries. I mean America is so huge and diverse across every region because of the way it was settled by so many different nations with different political, religious and economic needs that each state is so very different and has vastly different needs, it has always been difficult for agreement on central issues. The early formation of the nation was extremely difficult and took a lot of hard work, something we over here probably can’t ever appreciate. It certainly didn’t happen over night.

  25. My favorite Churchill speech is his ‘ we’ll fight them on the land, we’ll fight them in the air…:
    No anger, no bellicosity, no hyperbole. Very simple message: when the Germans come we’ll kick their butts. I get chills whenever I hear it because here was a real leader and you knew things were going to be ok. Although at the time it looked bleak for Britain.

  26. There are two kinds of people I really dislike: mercenaries, who swear no allegiance to anyone but themselves and arms dealers whose master is the almighty dollar and profit from supplying weapons to all sides in a conflict. Unfortunately, both have existed since there have been wars and wars have existed since God made man.

  27. I agree, arms dealers have propped up unjust wars for profit for years, another unhelpful ship which sailed from here was of course the famous Alabama, basically an arms ship. It’s another long forgotten part of our i illustrious past as a City, the Liverpool privateers, and yet there are four huge tomes in the library on them. Yet you ask any student at Carnatic Hall how it got its name and none of them would have a clue. To them its just a set of halls to sleep and eat and drink in. None of them could tell you that the Liverpool merchant who made all that money built Mossley Manor there, then afterwards a new house, Carnatic Hall was built there, then demolished in the 1960s to make way for University Halls of Residence. Nobody could tell you the money built two local Parish Churches, one associated with Paul McCartney. Local people know the story, but its only in local archives. He didn’t have anything to do with slavery but he did interfere in a foreign war for profit, that’s what the profiteering privateers did, they were state and authority sponsored pirates, although some like James Mathews funded themselves. Arms dealing should be completely banned because these arms end up in the wrong hands and no state is seriously buying purely for defence. The weapons end up in the hands of thugs, criminals, pirates, bandits and traffickers. You cannot end wars with weapons, not unless they are so powerful they lead to genocide.

    The Quakers didn’t swear allegiance to anyone and they were persecuted for it, even by Puritans in the New World. Anne Hutchinson was driven out for being a Quaker and refusing to be dominated by men and Mary Dryer was hung for being a Quaker. They did believe in service to God but they recognised no one as King but the Lord. They are also honoured today for their peaceful messages, their humane treatment to prisoners, their social reforms and practice of not making war. They did service as doctors and nurses and pastoral care during war time, but they didn’t fight because they believed all life is sacred and we are all children of God. They opposed drinking and opened hot chocolate houses instead. They practised prayer in silence and still do and are simply dressed. Yet they were persecuted, for no reason, even by others who left Britain because they were persecuted. The Puritans I don’t think were very logical. How can you persecute people if you were persecuted? It really doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. But then that was true of many groups of people in the 16th and 17th centuries. Quakers also saw others just as human beings, not as people who were to be feared because of difference. Many Quaker prayer houses still exist from that time and many use modern facilities but if you ever get a chance to visit the historic buildings, they are plain but beautiful and peaceful. Also if you ever come North in England I highly recommend the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal and the Chocolate House down the road and the Quaker Meeting House a few miles away. There is one in Saint Helens as well, at the end of the main shopping centre, set back from the road. Well worth a visit.

    1. I knew the Alabama set out from England but I didn’t know it was Liverpool. Makes sense. Sailing from the West coast would be the easiest thing to do. We have highschool’s here in Portland named after past Presidents: Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, Wilson etc. I was listening to the radio a little while ago and heard that the protesters yesterday tore down the statue of Thomas Jefferson outside of the school named for him. I’m guessing it was originally put up in the bearly part of the 20th century. I really dislike what these uneducated morons are doing and as I said previously the majority of them are spoiled white kids.

      1. Fancy tearing down statues they should throw the book at them, it’s just vandalism, over here some lout climbed onto the cenotaph and tried to set the Union Jack alight, as you say they are uneducated morons.

    2. John Cadbury was a Quaker too, we learnt about the quakers at school and they were a peace loving sect, I agree about the puritans I think they were a dreadful bunch, they saw sin in everything and sadly they took their fanatical beliefs to the new world, I think they even banned Christmas because it was considered frivolous, they frowned on anything fun loving, I’m so glad I wasn’t around then.

      1. Hi Michael and Christine, as many people would say the lunatics have taken over the asylum. The majority of protesters are actually white, this is very true and they showed yesterday that they are ignorant of history as they defaced the statue of an abolitionist. I think his name was Greenleaf and I believe he was well-known so what are they up to?

        Attacking schools is dreadful, that’s attacking innocent children. They are just acting now as thugs. It is no longer about the rights of Black people or oppression, its about destruction, just that, nothing more. As a disabled woman I have had to deal with legally supported discrimination on a number of occasions but I don’t go around causing mayhem. I fight it as it happens and although we have legislation it is still allowed. I wouldn’t rewrite history without new evidence but amend attitudes as I can, nor would I damage property, save to legally make it accessible and publish research on the social costs of disability but I would protest peacefully to get more change. These ridiculous attacks on history won’t change anything without education and dialogue and it only hardens attitudes towards people. When the man who said the pen is mightier than the sword, they spoke truly because its that which will gain the changes necessary, through legislation and working together, training the police in different methods and communities to rebuild after this present crisis. I don’t believe there is an easy answer to all of this but I am sure there is one somewhere, some lesson from history but I am certain that violence isn’t the way to resolve this trouble. It really is getting out of hand. You simply cannot erase history, you can only learn from it.

        1. I heard a sound bite on the radio of an incident in the occupied section of Seattle Washington of s black gentleman, walking through the occupiers carrying an American flag and he was booed at and called a race traitor by a bunch of white hooligans.

        2. You can’t win. It sounds as if people are condemned if they do and if they don’t, no matter what they do, one can’t win. You can’t be patriotic and you can’t moan about the authorities without getting attacked and if you do nothing, that’s even worse. Poor man, just minding his own business and being patriotic. People really are morons, attacking someone for just showing he supported his country. I just pray this all settles down soon. Everything is being affected. Harmless TV taken off the air, schools and streets forced to change their names, statues which could be used to tell the full story defaced and even people who are patriotic attacked. A black historian pointed out that after these statues are removed and history erased, that people of all races will in fifty years forget what happened and the history behind it and even start to deny it happened. He is right. We won’t learn from this, history will be as if it never happened and the denying of history will begin. He was against it because he says with the visual reminders we can educate people, although most people actually ignore famous monuments and just walk past them and really don’t have a clue. However, some people ask questions and on history walks the story is told. Putting more information is the way forward, not less information and the correct evidence, teaching it in schools properly not one version or another, something which doesn’t happen today and having open and honest debate and discussion. Even legislation alone will not change things as quickly as these protests demand. In South Africa it has taken several decades to fully eradicate the legacy of Apartheid. That’s because it was do engrained into the psychological makeup of the minority white population. It was also impossible to end the social inequalities and the privilege of being English or Dutch, because the areas are completely segregated and separated and that has taken a long time to move. What was even harder to break down, however, was Black privilege and separated areas from the rest of Black South African society. It still isn’t fully ended from a social and poverty point of view. The townships still exist. The Black population don’t have to live there anymore, but many can’t afford to live anywhere else. Poverty is the biggest trap any where to escape and it holds people in areas of under privilege, which if we add race and disability and education then those traps become even tighter and harder to break. That’s one of the problems here, the present disadvantage of poverty. Eradicate history if you wish, I might say to these people, but you won’t solve anything until you learn to eradicate poverty and social disadvantage. That has to begin at grass roots, not just with legislation from on high. The police are institutionally racist because so very few of them operate at the grass roots of society or come from there. Very few cops engage with local communities. Until they do, this will never end.

      2. Yes, Puritans persecuted women, anyone they thought might be a witch, others who were different creeds and in America, Native American Indians. Some of them must have been a nightmare, no fun, no music and dancing, over the top strict sexual rules, dress codes, fearing everything and everyone, suspicious of anyone different, suspicious of women in particular and preaching for hours. I know this is a bit of a stereo type but it did seem many were like that, although to be fair, Cromwell did like to sing around the piano. Worse than outlawing Christmas, they outlawed football. The world has gone mad being without sport for three months, imagine being without it for years. No wonder they welcomed back Charles II.

        1. Hi BQ and Christine. I am curious as to where you think England would have gone had Edward VI survived into adulthood and ruled for a few years. Do you think he would have continued with the religious austerity we see during his six years eventually leading to Nationwide puritanism or do you think he would have moderated as he got older. I don’t shave enough information to answer that. My opinion is single mindedness, no deviation from what he started.

        2. I’m glad you realize a lot of what has been said is wild overgeneralization. In spite of what was done in England trying to standardize the rules of How to be a Puritan, in fact there were hundreds of small groups doing it their own way. That’s how some of them wound up on the North American continent. At least in this one place things would be done RIGHT! And inevitably before long there was a fight in the church and a group would break off and go to found Rhode Island or Connecticut or somewhere else. I also want to mention that welcoming Charles II back had more to do with wanting to ensure a stable government than a longing to party.

  28. I have an interesting exercise in moot points.
    I just finished listening to a true crime podcast about a man accused of murdering his wife. On the stand he came across as cold, uncaring and a real jerk. Two trials found him guilty and both were almost immediately over turned. The third and final found him not guilty. Not enough proof. He was found guilty in the first 2 because of his demeanor which I described earlier.
    My exercise, though impossible is to depose King Henry in court after Anne’s trial and murder and find out he he would react. Would he show any contrition whatsoever or laugh it off or just be extraordinarily angry at the precedings. This would be the same man who was king but with no powers to avoid his testimony.

    1. My guess is he would, in addition to being extremely angry, do as Catherine of Aragon and, later, Charles I did and deny the validity of the court. To quote Catherine, “On, on, it makes no matter, for it is no impartial court for me, therefore I will not tarry.”

  29. Yes, Michael I think Edward would have continued on his own way of the Reformation because we have a paper that he wrote in which his views are shown to be quite stern and single minded in his vision for reform. He was called the modern Josiah who was an Old Testament King who returned Israel back to pure worship of Yahweh and did away with the idols in the Temple and other unholy symbols of pagan worship. Edward Seymour was far more moderate than one may assume in his approach to new reform laws and the first Prayer Book and other changes are more restrained but we find far more changes afterwards in the later Prayer Book in 1552. There is a lot of debate as to how much of Cranmer’s original vision remained and how much was influenced by others and recent scholarship showed not everything that was achieved was just his vision. The advance of what was to become Protestantism and the influence of Puritan ideas on it, again much debated, was of course halted in 1553 with the turnaround by Mary and the Church of England itself has seen many influences, some coming from the Puritan and Presbyterian traditions, some coming from a more liturgical tradition by Archbishop Laud for example and so its impossible to see if any proto Edwardian Church might have developed. I do feel he was showing his own mind and would have wanted to continue on a more plain and Biblical path for his own religious settlement as expressed in his own writing.

    I agree, Dorothy, we must not generalize too much, there were many groups of none conformist Christians and even among the Puritan groups, there was much diversity, the split of of some members of the first congregations to leave for other places shows that dissent was present. However, the cases of Mary Dyrer and Anne Hutchinson are not generalized, they are specific examples of intolerance, just as there were many examples of intolerance and persecution during the Tudor Age in England. As for Charles II, there are probably a dozen reasons he was restored, the party didn’t last long though as he soon went after those who had condemned his father, leading to one of the biggest, furthest and longest man hunts in history, including America and the Caribbean. He certainly didn’t show much mercy either, with I believe 29 executions and several others imprisoned long-term. He even had Cromwell and his son in law dug up and their bodies pulled apart. Cromwell’s head was at some point given to a London hospital where it remained until it was reburied in an unmarked site in Westminster Abbey where his original grand tomb was about two decades ago. The Merry Monarch was not always all that merry. Edward Whalley and William Goffe went to congressional areas in New England and were protected by a network of the Churches there.

      1. In answer to your first question about Edward and the reformation, yes I believe he would have continued with the same religious zeal he had shown during his reign, sadly we lost Edward, he was the king England really never had because he died before he could come into his own, he never achieved his full potential, Oliver Cromwells body was dug up in vengeance by Charles 11 for executing his father but do not know why his son in law was possibly because the king viewed him as a traitor to.

        1. Yes, Henry Ireton had his corpse dug up and hung from a gallows. Oliver Cromwell was originally buried with honour in a proper tomb but his corpse was put on trial as the main killer of Charles I.

          It happened a lot, people getting dug up because they had been judged to have escaped justice. It also happened to some prominent people who were judged to be heretical or witches and had died a natural death. The corpse of Wycliffe was dug up and burned and his ashes poured into the river. It must have looked a bit weird and gruesome the corpse stood up in the corner of a Court and condemned. I have read some strange things in my lifetime but the first time I read that I actually had a nightmare that the body came to life and answered and then danced around frightening everyone. It was really scary. What a cruel thing to do, though, dig someone up and hang or behead or burn their bodies! What a very odd sense of justice our ancestors had!

          Sorry Michael, podcasts. I assumed it was a book from the description. Thank you for the title of the podcast. The Judge John Bradshaw had also died and was dug up. He too was hanged and beheaded as a corpse and then thrown into a pit. After twenty three executions Charles ii had had enough and 19 others were imprisoned. 24 of those exempted from the general pardon were already dead and some settled in Holland. A recent author believed Charles II didn’t act out of revenge but out of justice. Well, his motivation may have been both because he couldn’t just let those who had been responsible for his father’s trial and execution off the hook, but his agents pursued a good number of them. A few more were executed in a few years afterwards. Hugh Peters, the famous preacher was one of those executed and he wasn’t a young man. He was one of those who wrote a pamphlet about his reasons before he died. Just the idea of actually digging someone up to try their body and then posthumously kill them is very chilling and quite revolting. They obviously weren’t all that bothered by such things, especially when you think they had such horrible executions, and most of Charles I killers felt the full weight of the treason laws, hanging, drawing and quartering.

  30. Interesting books you read Michael. There is a novel, its actually aimed at older teens but someone lent it to me a few years ago, because its quite soul searching called My Friend King Henry and its about Henry Viii being sent back to put his mistakes right, like Heaven Can Wait and Carousel but he lands in the 21st century and is befriended by a young man in his late teens/ early twenties and is homeless. Henry is taken in by the young man and begins to talk about his life and what he regrets. It’s very deep and beautifully written. I won’t say anything more in case you read it, but the Henry within it is very human and fragile.

    Yes, I think he might attempt to wriggle around the proceedings with some clever argument but then again, he might do himself no favours, the penalties for refusing to plead before a Court of law were to be lain on your back with a stone in the lower back, to have a door or something placed on top of you and weights gradually placed on top. The aim was to get the accused to comply with the Court, but it could also lead to death with enough weights being added that killed them. It was occasionally as a last resort used as a form of execution for the same reason. On the other hand one is unlikely to use such methods on the King but in the case of Charles I after several attempts to get him to answer to the charges, which he wouldn’t do, because the “lawful ‘ authority of the Court to try him, as he saw it wasn’t established, he was eventually found guilty. He believed that Parliament was the Lords and Commons both, which it is, but the whole of Parliament wasn’t gathering. The Court believed they had a lawful right to charge Charles with treason and genocide, war crimes, blame him basically for every kind of tyranny and atrocities during the Civil War and his supporters saw him as a martyr, which Charles believed he was. After all a King was the anointed of God and these men had sworn allegiance to him, something considered sacred and it was no light thing to put a King on trial for his life, let alone execute him. On the other hand Henry might enjoy the chance to justify everything and would probably represent himself and waffle on forever.

  31. As Christians the whole digging up and punishing/desecrating the corpse’s thing is pointless. We don’t need those bodies, we’ll get one ones. You would think they knew that.
    Those actions I find more humorous than offensive.
    Something I do find very disturbing though and I think it occurred under Oliver Cromwell’s administration was the desecration of ancestral tombs by the Puritans. During your civil war sadly, many of the brasses were removed from tombs and made into guns. In France, Duke William’s tomb was looted and his remains removed apparently with the exception of a single leg bone in the 16th century but his wife Matilda’s was not and she is still interred in her church.
    These weird actions by the Puritans in regards to the dead remind me of a child throwing a temper tantrum and breaking something that upset them. The conversation with them would go- ‘ARE YOU DONE NOW? yes. DID IT CHANGE ANYTHING? no. I know I’m looking at this with 21st century eyes but it really is ridiculous. No harm done. Just people looking silly.

    1. Hi Michael, people believed a bit differently about bodies before modern times and I haven’t got any idea when it changed but it seems to be fairly recently but in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they still believed that they needed their bodies on the Day of Judgement when the tombs opened and they were resurrected and stood before the Throne of God. The concept of getting a new body or not needing it was still prevalent and explains the reluctance to be cremated. It wasn’t just simply seen as pagan, it was really important that people had a body for the Last Judgement. They believed that by destroying the bodies of traitors and none believers, they were preventing them from going to heaven and condemned them in the next life because they were not worthy of salvation. The same belief was consigned to those who were fully Excommunicated. The burial of certain people in holy ground was also forbidden, although monks during the middle ages often buried people as they vowed to care for souls. Of course, now there are no monks so people are denied even that last comfort. Typical people denied burials in holy ground were executed criminals, although noble families often claimed the body with permission and arranged a burial, witches and heretics and people considered traitors and those who committed suicide. They were what you might have heard called deviant burials, those buried outside of the normal Christian manner or burial ground. So they were taken to a cross road and buried in strange manners, with either the head removed to the feet and a stone in the mouth, to prevent them rising and haunting everyone. They might treat someone thought to be a vampire in the same manner because they still didn’t understand the decomposition process. Officially war dead may not receive Christian burial but this was usually ignored and even in pit burials prayers for them were said. Plague victims were buried in pits but they were still layed out in proper rows as much as possible and rituals said or sung. Medieval war dead who were known were often placed in an Abbey or monastery or in lead for the journey home. It wasn’t common practice unless arrangements were made to travel dead bodies long distances and explains why some people killed in war ended up buried in some strange places. The victorious Lord or King might choose the place of burial but rituals were normally said. If a priest or monk found someone on the road or a murder victim left, they would bury them. The duality of how the dead were treated almost goes against our concept of respect but people did respect the dead and on many occasions someone would see to the burial of the victims of execution as an act of charity.

      Yes, you are right about some of those involved during the English Civil War, but more particularly, that which proceeded them, the two Wars with Scotland. These were disastrous for Charles I and on the march back home a number of tombs and churches were vandalised. It is a valid guess that this was down to their hatred of idolatry and desire for simple and pure worship with no graven images as it was hatred of certain people or those who represented certain bad ideology. So you will find faces damaged or tombs damaged or bones missing, although many were reburied in the crypts. Not all suffered what appeared to be very targeted destruction. So for example in Ormskirk Church were Lord Thomas Stanley, the Earl of Derby is currently buried, with his first wife, Eleanor Neville and his son and grandson, there is also a memorial to Margaret Beaufort his second wife, who is actually buried in Westminster Abbey. This monument has no face and was damaged during the period mentioned. The memorial tomb of another Knight was also damaged and his bones scattered. The monument to Lord Stanley isn’t damaged and neither is that of his first wife and his grandson was called the Protestant Earl. Why one and not the other was literally defaced isn’t known. The bones were recovered and replaced in the other Tomb. However, similar things happened across the country. In France the Revolution saw the tombs of the Kings broken into and played with, some thrown around and lost, others stolen and others gathered afterwards into one tomb. The tombs in Saint Denis were obviously restored but not many bones identified. Then there is the strange story of the head of King Henry iv, rescued from destruction and apparently identified in recent times after extensive and controversial research, although the final results are disputed by scientists. The missing bones of the tomb of William the Conqueror is another good example and the bones of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her family were messed with but then recovered. The bones of King Richard iii were believed in some quarters based on John Stowe to be thrown in the now bone dry River Soar in Leicester after the Reformation but there he was under the flagstone of the Abbey Church. Henry I is still missing though despite an extensive search of Reading Abbey ruins. On the flip side its still amazing how many huge later Tudor tomb monumental remains there are. Sitting in an ex Church which is now a cafe with someone and their entire family next to you in a highly decorative tomb is very weird, interesting, but weird. The register or marker stone of Elizabeth Boleyn was found at Lambeth a few years ago, so her remains may turn up if there is ever a comprehensive archaeological survey of the Chapel and crypt.

      Talking about Puritanism there is a rich textual history to find online and available from sellers on the many different approaches to their faith and some of their spiritual works well worth a perusal in order to understand their diversity. Men like Jonathan Edwards, John Owen and John Bunyan, Cotton Matther, John Winthrop, even Nathaniel Hawthorne was of Puritan decent, Culpeper and his famous Herbal, Richard Baxter, later authors like Stubbs and Richard Sibbs and Matthew Henry and women like Annie Bradstreet, Anne Hutchinson and Elizabeth Procter, Pheoby Gouge and Mary Robertson and the martyr Mary Dyer represented a wide and complex intellectual spiritual faith and diversity of thought. Some of these crossed over into the social justice idealism of the Quakers and the unfortunate tragedy of the witch trials, into later feminism and the ideas of equality and the search for the vote. Matthew Henry is famous for his Bible commentaries and the literature of Pilgrims Progress is loved as a classic for both adults and children today. The Scarlet Letter written by Hawthorne explores the complex mix of religious obedience and romantic love, the themes of sexual choice and freedom and adultery versus strict moral conformity, especially that demanded at the time of women. While the pioneering women of these early congregations were essential for the survival of those settlements, something recognised in much literature, the pressures and demands on them to conform to strict rules, marry and provide children, run the household and raise Godly children, to be modest and obedient and practically perfectly without sin made life for many a deep and personal struggle. This is a constant theme of much modern and ancient Puritan writing and media.

    2. It’s the whole digging someone up, propping them up in a corner and putting them on trial that gets me. I mean did they literally have someone raise their hand and answer for them Are you guilty? Yea or nay? From any point of view it looks totally pointless and ridiculous. Necessarily the era came up with complex reasoning to explain it.

      1. I’m not quite sure where I saw this, it may have been a quick bit on Terry Jones’s Medieval Lives that at one time animals were put on trial for crimes and sometimes executed!. We can certainly be a wacky species.

        1. That’s right. There are illuminated manuscripts of animals on trial and some being hung if found guilty. There was a trial reenactment on a series of programmes on the Medieval Mind, with records from a transcript. Very odd.

        2. Hi Michael, there has been some actual research into this by a number of humanities and legal scholars and the main sources actually are known from the nineteenth centuries. A book by Edmund Evans published a list of some of the more famous trials, in 1909 including one from 1474 in which a pig was charged with infanticide after killing a baby. Now while pigs can be vicious, the case is highly suspicious as the baby would have had to have been in the pen with the animal or the animal got out of control, in which case that’s human error. The pig was found guilty and burnt at the stake according to Evans. Here is the problem. It didn’t happen. Sarah McDonnell the legal expert on this matter pointed out that such tales were invented to keep sleepy students alert and awake by the monks who taught them and who administered those trials which did take place. So forget about hanging rats and homicidal pigs. A trial of such a pig did take place in 1379 but it didn’t kill a child, it ate the crops. It was excommunicated and a mask was placed on it and it was mocked for three days before being returned to its pen and the farmer paid a fine. The ideas behind responsible animals was that they had souls and beastity which is the idea of animals behaving
          like humans and vice versa. Animals are often depicted in a human manner from medieval illustrations and manuscripts. In fact you find more animals in medieval drawing, furniture, manuscripts and illustrations than at any other time in history. You find them in churches and in the corner of the page as the first letters, on the legs of chairs and of course in heraldic symbols. People lived with their animals, especially during the winter and we know that more animals roamed the streets than we accept today. It doesn’t mean they were necessarily fond of animals, as reports of extreme cruelty as well as taking care of them as they are valuable as pigs were, but they were used to a lot more than cats and dogs being around the home or farm. Most animals had jobs. Even cats earned their keep as rats and mice were generally undesirable for disease and destruction. In fact it would be preferable to let vipers loose on your farms than mice to keep rodents at bay. I am babbling again. If you lost your crops you could starve to death so animals were kept well away. However, people thought animals had a degree of responsibility and these trials did exist but probably not with the extremity of punishment that many Victorians have reported. Such trials go back to the Romans and no doubt they go back even further but we don’t have the records. Very few genuine ones exist from Medieval times but of course through the media of our Victorian ancestors we now believe they were common, when in fact they were probably rare. I tell you what, though Michael, I miss Terry Jones, his death earlier this year was a blow. And speaking of death blows, our wonderful forces darling, Dame Vera Lynn has died aged 103. She will be universally missed.

      2. It’s seems bizarre to us in our more enlightened age that they once did things like that, these people were dead they could feel nothing know nothing, imagine having a corpse in the court room, gazing blankly at the judge in its shroud or whatever it was buried in, as you say utterly ridiculous and pointless.

        1. I wish we had more testimony from ordinary people saying what they thought of such spectacular events because we cannot really know if people truly agreed with such nonsense, but that they happened for such a long time showed someone thought it was fine. It really was bizarre. Did you know that suicides were still buried at crossroads even in Victorian times? In certain countries like Romania, some people still dig up people they believe are vampires. In 2010 in one village this happened and the police had to investigate and found it was the person’s brother. Some idiot said they saw the dead person walking around and her brother went and did a ritual on the decomposition body. If I heard that in the sixteenth century I would understand it, but in 2010? Most people understand the process of decomposition and the authorities condemned this action but its amazing that people still have such superstitious notions. Vampire and deviant burials have a long and diverse history, from Ireland to the East, from the Ancient World, through the early Christian centuries to the nineteenth century. Records of trying and executing corpses are rare but again they span the centuries. Violence towards a corpse to deny them the afterlife goes back many thousands of years. The Egyptians were infamous for it. If you bashed in the face, the mouth and eyes, the person could not speak their name in the afterlife and if you scratched out the name on their body, then they went out of history. Kings like Tutankhamun and his father, Akenahten were missed of the list to forget them. I am with you on this one, though because I really cannot imagine digging up someone, well unless its to study them and rebury them as an archaeologist, standing them up in a room and deciding they are guilty of a crime and have escaped earthly punishment. That for me is ridiculous and I have to wonder what came first, this ridiculous practice or the even more ridiculous explanation?

  32. Hi BQ and Christine. Thank you for the news on Vera Lynn. I hadn’t heard. Good for her for making it to 103!

    I certainly know pigs can be vicious. A man named William Frassanitto in the early 70’s started studying all of the photos taken after the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. He has even published a couple of ‘then and now’ books with modern pics taken at the same location and angle. Anyway, one if the very famous pics taken shows a Confederate soldier dead. The area from below his ribcage to his hips is empty. An artillery shell lies nearby as does one of his arms. No other damage. Fairly neat and tidy. For 100 yrs it was assumed this soldier was hit by cannon shot. Mr Frassanitto discoverd in the background of another photo 3 soldiers bodies by a tree and one of them had the same wounds as those I described previously but no damage to the tree or surroundings. He started digging into soldier’s letters from Gettysburg and discovered numerous references from the wounded left on the battlefields overnight talking about having to fight off the wild pigs that were feeding off of the dead and attempting to do the same with the wounded. Frassanitto’s Discovery is now accepted as undisputed fact. I just looked him up. He’s only 66 so he really started his research young.
    I also have heard of an incident in my own home town of Coos Bay Oregon (235 miles south) of Portland of what was at first thought to be a murder was actually an accident. The farmer had collapsed from a heart attack in the pig’s pen and died. The pig’s ate him, clothes and all. In Canada a few years ago a serial killing couple fed their victims to their pigs to dispose of them. These are all gruesome but in not one instance did the animals do anything wrong. They simply followed their nature. Even in medieval times to accuse, try,and execute an animal was ridiculous.

    1. Pigs apparently will literally eat anything. Wild pigs are definitely dangerous. They are also huge as well. Pig flesh is the nearest thing to human flesh and pig organs are compatible with the human body. Thanks for sharing that story, Michael, it sounds like really fascinating research.

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