April 30 – Mark Smeaton is arrested, Henry and Anne argue, a lawyer is burnt, and two statesmen die

On this day in Tudor history, 30th April 1536, court musician Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to the home of Henry VIII’s right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.

What happened to him there over the next 24 hours is not known, but he ended up confessing to sleeping with Queen Anne Boleyn on three occasions.

On that same day, an argument between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn was witnessed…

On this day four years earlier, 30th April 1532, lawyer James Bainham was burned at the stake at Smithfield for his reformed faith.

Find out more about what led this man to the stake, as well as an account of his end…

And on this day in 1544, also in the reign of King Henry VIII, Thomas Audley, Baron Audley of Walden and Lord Chancellor, died at his home in London.

Audley was Thomas Cromwell’s right-hand man in 1536, during the fall of Anne Boleyn, and became even more important after Cromwell’s fall.

Find out more about Thomas Audley, an important Tudor statesman, and how he served King Henry VIII…

And on this day in 1596, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir John Puckering died of apoplexy.

Find out a bit about him, and the trials he was involved in…

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One thought on “April 30 – Mark Smeaton is arrested, Henry and Anne argue, a lawyer is burnt, and two statesmen die”
  1. In the reign of Anne’s daughter Elizabeth 1st the argument between Henry V111 and his doomed queen was described to her by the theologian and reformist Alexander Aless, he was standing from a distance in the gardens of Greenwich Palace, and could see Anne holding Elizabeth in her arms, whilst the king was looking out from the window, he said he could not decipher the words but he could tell there was some friction between them, Henry’s face and demeanour was angry and Anne seemed to be pleading with him maybe using Elizabeth as a means to soften him, I feel that Henry could have heard about her conversation with Henry Norris because it was certainly inflammatory, and from Henry’s point of view we can see it would have angered him, here was his queen and his best friend discussing his death, treason it certainly was but not only that, it was an act of betrayal by two people who were very dear to him, however Norris himself had not made the foolish remark about his death but it sounded suspicious that the queen had mentioned it to him alone, this conversation one historian says speaks of a certain intimacy between them, but I do not agree, Anne was known for speaking out of line and also she was a born flirt, she could have said those foolish words to anyone, Norris just happened to be there, tragically for him those ill timed words spoke his death warrant, it was used against him by Cromwell who had come to hear of it and informed the king, this could have been what they were arguing about, of course this is mere speculation Henry and Anne could have been arguing about anything that day, she was nervous about being replaced she knew she had lost the kings love, he was courting Jane Seymour, she knew something was going to happen to her, her nerves were strained her conversation with her priest previously attests to that, she was trying to reach out to the king and failing, it is a pitiful scene to imagine and we have no record of Elizabeth’s reaction to the words of Aless, but it must have saddened her greatly, here were her parents her mother, whom she had lost in such a brutal way pleading with her father, her own father who had shown her no mercy, whatever Elizabeth felt about her mother’s disgrace and shame she kept in the secret channel of her heart, whatever she felt about her fathers treatment of her mother also she kept in the secret channel of her heart, the following day was May Day which was to begin with sunny optimism, yet was to end in doom for Queen Anne Boleyn.

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