Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor

| February 7, 2017

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Sir Thomas More, lawyer, philosopher, humanist, scholar and Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, on 7th February 1477 (or 1478). More was born in Milk Street, London, and was the son of Sir John More, lawyer and judge on the King’s Bench, and Agnes Graunger, daughter of Thomas Graunger, […]

2 February 1550 – Sir Francis Bryan dies

| February 2, 2017

2 February 1550 – Sir Francis Bryan dies

On 2nd February 1550, in the reign of King Edward VI, the courtier, diplomat and poet nicknamed “the Vicar of Hell”, Sir Francis Bryan, died suddenly at Clonmel in County Tipperary, Ireland. Sir Francis Bryan was born c.1490 and was the first surviving son of Sir Thomas Bryan and Lady Margaret Bryan (née Bourchier). His […]

19 January 1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is executed

| January 19, 2017

On this day in history, 19th January 1547, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, Tudor poet, courtier and soldier, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill. Surrey was the son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and so was the cousin of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. He was laid to rest at All […]

2 December 1546 – Henry Howard is in big trouble

| December 2, 2016

On this day in history, 2nd December 1546, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, poet, courtier, soldier and the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was arrested after Richard Southwell, his former friend, gave evidence against him. François van der Delft, the imperial ambassador, reported to Emperor Charles V on 14th December that […]

1 December 1541 – Dereham and Culpeper found guilty

| December 1, 2016

On this day in history, 1st December 1541, Francis Dereham, secretary to Queen Catherine Howard, and Thomas Culpeper, a member of the king’s privy chamber, were tried for treason at Guildhall in London. Both men were found guilty and condemned to death. Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley records: “This yeare, the fyrst daye of […]

29 November 1530 – The death of a cardinal and statesman

| November 29, 2016

On this day in history, 29th November 1530, at around 8 o’clock in the morning, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Henry VIII’s former chief adviser, died at the Abbey of St Mary de Pratis in Leicester. Wolsey had been on his way to London from Cawood Castle, his residence as Archbishop of York, when he was […]

13 November 1553 – The trial of an archbishop and a queen

| November 13, 2016

On this day in history, 13th November 1553, Lady Jane Grey (or Queen Jane as I think of her) was tried for treason in a public trial at Guildhall, London, along with her husband Guildford Dudley, his brothers Ambrose and Henry, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. They were all found guilty and condemned to death, the […]

Did Mark Smeaton father Anne Boleyn’s baby?

| November 11, 2016

Yes, that is the question that I find myself answering today. I’ve never actually had someone ask me that or even argue about it with me, but while I was researching Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s 1535 royal progress I came across an article that put forward the theory that Mark Smeaton fathered the baby […]