29 October – Henry VIII’s farewell to Francis I of France and the execution of Sir Walter Ralegh

| October 29, 2021

29 October – Henry VIII’s farewell to Francis I of France and the execution of Sir Walter Ralegh

On this day in Tudor history, 29th October 1532, King Henry VIII bid farewell to his “loving brother”, his French counterpart, King Francis I. The two kings had enjoyed each other’s company at Calais and Boulogne, and Henry VIII was pleased with their meetings. In fact, things had gone so well that Henry VIII decided […]

28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

| October 28, 2021

28 October – Ivan the Terrible writes a rude letter to Elizabeth I and the Feast of St Simon and St Jude

On this day in Tudor history, 28th October 1570, Ivan IV of Russia, known commonly as Ivan the Terrible, wrote a rather rude letter to Queen Elizabeth I. Ivan was upset with Elizabeth’s reaction to his idea of a political alliance, an agreement to help each other if their lives were in danger, and wrote […]

25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

| October 25, 2021

25 October – Twin saints and Francis I’s gift to Anne Boleyn

Today, 25th October, is a feast day which was celebrated in medieval and Tudor times – the feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinian, martyrs of the Early Church and the patron saints of cobblers. Find out more about these saints, how their feast day became linked to an important English victory over the French, how […]

Who was Mary Boleyn? – Part 2: Mistress of two kings?

| February 8, 2019

Who was Mary Boleyn? – Part 2: Mistress of two kings?

When I asked for your questions about Anne Boleyn so that I could do a series of videos answering them, I also received quite a few questions on Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary Boleyn. Fiction such as The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a movie and adapted for television, has made many people interested […]

27 October 1532 – A gorgeously apparelled Anne Boleyn makes her entrance

| October 27, 2018

27 October 1532 – A gorgeously apparelled Anne Boleyn makes her entrance

On this day in history, Sunday 27th October 1532, in Calais, which was an English territory at the time, King Henry VIII hosted a lavish “great banquet” for Francis I, King of France. Henry VIII and his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn Marquess of Pembroke, had travelled to Calais to gain Francis’ public recognition and approval of […]

11 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are Calais bound

| October 11, 2016

11 October 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn are Calais bound

On this day in history, 11 October 1532, at just before dawn, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, set sail from Dover in the King’s ship The Swallow. Their destination was Calais and the purpose of their trip was to gain King Francis I of France’s support for their relationship and their quest […]

George Boleyn and the Admiral of France – November 1534

| November 11, 2015

George Boleyn and the Admiral of France – November 1534

On 11th November 1534, Philippe de Chabot, Seigneur De Brion and Admiral of France, landed on English soil. The purpose of the diplomatic mission he was leading was to renew Anglo-French relations. As Clare Cherry and I point out in our biography of George Boleyn, England had become “more and more isolated from her European […]

27 October 1532 – Anne Boleyn in masking apparel

| October 27, 2015

27 October 1532 – Anne Boleyn in masking apparel

On 25th October 1532, Henry VIII and Francis I, King of France, arrived at Calais, which was English territory at the time to continue their talks and to meet with Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke, Henry’s queen-in-waiting. After his arrival in Calais, Francis sent Anne Boleyn a diamond via the Provost of Paris, but Anne […]