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

| April 30, 2022

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 […]

23 October – The Dissolution of the Monasteries and John Hopkins’ burial

| October 23, 2021

23 October – The Dissolution of the Monasteries and John Hopkins’ burial

On this day in Tudor history, 23rd October 1538, Thomas Goldwell, Prior of Christchurch, Canterbury, wrote to Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief advisor, regarding the forthcoming dissolution of his monastery and its fate. It’s quite a sad, grovelling letter, and even more sad when you know the full impact of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the […]

29 June – Margaret Beaufort, Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry Percy

| June 29, 2019

29 June – Margaret Beaufort, Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Henry Percy

29th June is a busy day for “on this day in Tudor history” events, and I thought I’d share with you some information on a few of them. On this day in history, 29th June 1536, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, was stripped of his office of Lord Privy Seal, an office he had held […]

Thomas Cromwell’s enemies win

| June 10, 2019

Thomas Cromwell’s enemies win

In 1540, Thomas Cromwell’s enemies were able to take advantage of King Henry VIII’s frustration with his right-hand man and fixer, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, to bring him down once and for all. It was on this day in history, 10th June 1540, after Thomas Cromwell had so far failed to get the king […]

28 July 1540 – One wedding and two executions

| July 28, 2018

28 July 1540 – One wedding and two executions

On this day in history, 28th July 1540, forty-nine-year-old King Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, who was about seventeen years old, at Oatlands Palace. The groom’s fourth marriage, to Anne of Cleves, had only been annulled on 9th July, so Henry’s fifth wedding was a low-key, private affair and news of the […]

2 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn as Queen Esther

| April 2, 2018

2 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn as Queen Esther

On Passion Sunday 1536, the fifth Sunday of Lent, which fell on 2nd April, Queen Anne Boleyn’s almoner, John Skip, preached a rather controversial sermon in the presence of King Henry VIII. The sermon’s topic was the Old Testament story of Queen Esther saving the Jews, as told in the Book of Esther. In a […]

29 June 1540 – A Bill of Attainder is passed against Thomas Cromwell

| June 29, 2017

29 June 1540 – A Bill of Attainder is passed against Thomas Cromwell

On this day in history, 29th June 1540, nineteen days after his arrest, a Bill of Attainder was passed against Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and King Henry VIII’s former right-hand man. The Journal of the House of Lords records on Tuesday 29th June 1540, day 81 of that parliament, the following: “Item Billa Attincture […]

9 May 1536 – Juries, meetings and more

| May 9, 2017

9 May 1536 – Juries, meetings and more

On this day in history, Tuesday 9th May 1536, King Henry VIII wrote to Thomas Cromwell, his principal secretary and right-hand man, “commanding him to repair to the King to treat of matters relating to the surety of his person, his honor, and the tranquillity of the realm”. A council meeting was also summoned. Meanwhile, […]