On this day in Tudor history, 12th November 1537, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the remains of the king’s third wife, Jane Seymour, were taken to Windsor Castle in preparation for her funeral.
Jane Seymour’s heart and entrails were buried in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, where she had died on 24th October, and then on 12th November her body was transported by chariot in a procession to Windsor Castle to be buried in St George’s Chapel.
The Lady Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, acted as chief mourner for the proceedings.
There was also a commemoration for Queen Jane in the city of London on 12th November 1537.
Let me share details of the procession, the service at St George’s Chapel, and the commemoration in the city of London…
On this day in Tudor history, 12th November 1537, the remains of Queen Jane Seymour, were transported by chariot from Hampton Court Palace, where she had died on 24th October 1537, to Windsor Castle.
The chariot carrying her remains was followed by a procession led by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Suffolk’s son-in-law, Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset. Lady Mary, the king’s daughter by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, acted as chief mourner in the procession and the service which was held at St George’s Chapel on their arrival at Windsor.
A solemn watch was kept over Queen Jane’s remains that night and then the queen was buried in the chapel the next morning. Her heart and entrails had already been buried in the chapel at Hampton Court Palace.
Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley records the procession and the funeral:
“This year, the 12th of November, being Monday, the corpse of Queen Jane were, with great solemnity, carried from Hampton Court in a chariot covered with black velvet, with a picture of the said Queen richly apparelled like a Queen, with a rich crown of gold on her head, lying above on the coffin of the said corpse, and so was conveyed to Windsor with great lights of torches, with a great multitude of lords and gentlemen riding, all in black gowns and coats, the Lady Mary, the King’s daughter, being chief mourner, with a great company of ladies and gentlewomen waiting on her, and riding all in black also; and there, with great solemnity, buried by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with a great company of bishops and abbots being there present in their mitres, with all the gentlemen and priests of the King’s chapel, which rode all the way in their surplesses, singing the obsequie for the dead; and the morrow after there was a solemn masse of requiem sung by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and the Bishop of Worcester, called Dr. Latimer, made a notable sermon; and at the offertory all the estates offered rich palls of cloth of gold; and after mass there was a great feast made in the King’s palace at Windsor for all the estates and other that had been present at the same burial.”
There was also a commemoration for the late queen in London. Charles Wriothesley also records this in his chronicle:
“Also, the said 12th of November, at afternoon, there was a solemn hearse made at Powles [St Paul’s] in London, and a solemn dirige done there by Powles choir, the Mayor of London being there present with the aldermen and sheriffs, and all the mayor’s officers and the sheriffs sergeants, mourning all in black gowns, and all the crafts of the city of London in their liveries; Also there was a knell rungen in every parish churche in London, from 12 of the clock at noone till six of the clock at night, with all the bells ringing in every parish church solemn peals from 3 of the clock till the knells ceased; and also a solemn dirige sungen in every parish church in London, and in every church of friars, monks, and chanons, about London; and, the morrow after, a solemn masse of requiem in all the said churches, with all the bells ringing, from 9 of the clock in the morning till noon; also there was a solemn mass of requiem done at Powles, and all Powles choir offering at the same masse, the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, and the wardens of every craft of the city of
London; and, after the said mass, the mayor and aldermen going about the hearse saying ‘De profundis’, with all the crafts of the city following, every one after their degrees, praying for the soul of the said Queene.”
The vault containing Jane’s remains was opened in 1547 and her husband’s remains were added. They lie together, along with King Charles I and one of the Stuart Queen Anne’s babies, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, their resting place being marked by a black marble slab.