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30 April 1536 – A court musician is arrested and interrogated

| April 30, 2018

30 April 1536 – A court musician is arrested and interrogated

On this day in history, 30th April 1536, Mark Smeaton, a court musician, was arrested and taken to be interrogated by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s main secretary and adviser, at his house in Stepney. We do not know what happened to Smeaton in during the time he spent in that house, but within 24 hours […]

17 May 1536 – Who were the men who were executed in May 1536?

| May 17, 2017

17 May 1536 – Who were the men who were executed in May 1536?

In the “bloody days”, as Thomas Wyatt called them, of May 1536, not only was a queen executed, but also five courtiers. If we believe that Queen Anne Boleyn was innocent of all charges then these five men were innocent too and deserve to be remembered just as we remember Anne. Five families were rocked […]

17 May 1536 – Pray for the souls of those be dead and gone

| May 17, 2017

17 May 1536 – Pray for the souls of those be dead and gone

On this day in history, Wednesday 17th May 1536, five courtiers were beheaded on Tower Hill. Their names: Mark Smeaton, William Brereton, Sir Francis Weston, Sir Henry Norris and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. Their crime: high treason; they had been found guilty of having sexual relations with Queen Anne Boleyn and of plotting with her […]

12 May 1536 – A trial and a hostile jury

| May 12, 2017

On this day in history, 12th May 1536, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton were taken by barge from the Tower of London to Westminster and tried in Westminster Hall for high treason. The four men were tried by a special commission of oyer and terminer and any hopes of […]

30 April 1536 – The arrest of musician Mark Smeaton

| April 30, 2017

30 April 1536 – The arrest of musician Mark Smeaton

On this day in history, court musician Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to Thomas Cromwell’s house in Stepney to be interrogated. It is not known what happened to Smeaton at Cromwell’s house. The Spanish Chronicle records that he was tortured with a rope and cudgel: “Then he [Cromwell] called two stout young fellows of […]

29 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn and two courtiers

| April 29, 2017

On 29th April 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn had two separate encounters with male courtiers, men who would soon be accused of sleeping with her and plotting with her to kill King Henry VIII. You can read more about Anne’s encounters with Mark Smeaton, a musician, and Sir Henry Norris, her husband’s groom of the stool, […]

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 […]

The men who died in 1536 video

| May 19, 2016

The men who died in 1536 video

Queen Anne Boleyn was, of course, not the only victim of her fall in 1536, five men were executed on 17th May 1536. Clare Cherry, my co-author (George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat), pays tribute to these men in this video talk. Remember to head over to www.madeglobal.com/3292/clare-cherry-men-died-may-1536/ and enter the giveaway for a […]