In October 1532, Henry VIII took Anne Boleyn, who he’d just made Marquis of Pembroke, to Calais with him. The main purpose of this trip was for Henry and Anne to gain King Francis I’s public recognition and approval of their relationship. Henry wanted Francis to then meet with the Pope and push the case for the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Here is a timeline of the main events of this trip and you can click on them for further information. I hope you find it useful.

  • Friday 11 October 1532Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail. At dawn on 11th October, Henry and Anne set sail from Dover on The Swallow and arrived at Calais at 10 o’clock in the morning.
  • Wednesday 16 October 1532The Meeting with the Great Mayster of Fraunce. While Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII were lodged in Calais, the Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Derby and a group of gentleman met with “the great mayster of Fraunce” Anne, duc de Montmorency, and his men at the English Pale, six miles outside of Calais.
  • Monday 21 October 1532Henry VIII meets up with Francis I. Henry VIII left Anne Boleyn in Calais to spend four days with Francis I, “his beloved brother”, at the French court in Boulogne.
  • Friday 25 October 1532Francis I makes Norfolk and Suffolk Knights of the Order of St Michel, the French equivalent of the Order of the Garter.
  • Friday 25 October 1532Henry VIII and Francis I arrive at Calais. On 25th October, Henry VIII and Francis I left Boulogne, where Henry VIII had been Francis’s guest at the French court, to go to Calais and there meet with Anne Boleyn, Marquis of Pembroke. On arrival at Calais, Francis I sent Anne Boleyn a diamond via the Provost of Paris.
  • Sunday 27 October 1532Anne Boleyn makes a dramatic entrance. Anne Boleyn made a dramatic entrance at the banquet held by Henry VIII in Francis I’s honour at Calais.
  • Monday 28 October 1532Henry and Anne’s Last Full Day in Calais with Francis I. There was a chapter of the Order of the Garter, where Henry VIII made Anne, duc de Montmorency and Grand Master of France, and Philippe de Chabot, Admiral of France, Knights of the Garter.
  • Tuesday 29 October 1532Henry VIII says Goodbye to Francis I.
  • Tuesday 29 October to 10 November 1532 – Storms delay departure.
  • Sunday 10 November 1532 – Henry VIII’s bed and baggage were loaded ready for departure, but departure was delayed by fog.
  • Tuesday 12 November 1532Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn Set Sail for Dover. At midnight on Tuesday 12th November 1532, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn set sail from Calais bound for the Kent port of Dover.
  • Thursday 14 November 1532 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn landed at Dover, on the Kent coast, at 5am.
  • Thursday 14 November 1532The Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn? Chronicler Edward Hall records a marriage ceremony between Henry and Anne on 14th November 1532, St Erkenwald’s Day.
  • Sunday 24 November 1532 – The couple arrive back in London at Eltham Palace. Eustace Chapuys, imperial ambassador, recorded that the King spent a few days in Dover and the surrounding area “for the purpose of having harbours constructed in the said town, or at least of creating a spacious plea for asking money from his subjects for the said works”.

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6 thoughts on “Timeline of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s trip to Calais – October 1532”
  1. I have not seen the timeline so detailed like this before. What a trip that was for them, Anne had to have been “the most happy” since she was entering the European stage as the next Queen of England, and had already conceived shortly after their trip (by December 1532).

    1. I always heard that the future Queen Elizabeth I was conceived during the trip to Calais.The weather delay gave Anne and Henry more time together.

  2. Anne was friendly with Francis having known him when she lived in France and he admired her for her style elegance and wit, Henry of course was his big rival and they put on a show of friendship but that’s all it was, this visit was politically motivated as it was intended to show Charles V and Spain that Henry had Francis support for his intended marriage with Anne, Francis I think had secretly applauded Henry for wishing to rid himself of Catherine as he himself had referred to her in a rather derogatory fashion as being old and deformed, but the meeting in Calais did prove to the world that they had the blessing of the French King, how triumphant Anne must have felt on that visit, it was proof to her that Henry intended to make her his Queen, she was being lauded by two powerful monarchs, everything was going well for her and so as an act of gratitude and I think because she felt secure, she at last gave Henry what he wanted and maybe on that blowy blustery night in Calais, our greatest monarch was conceived.

    1. My favourite historical novel (Brief Gaudy Hour) has a wonderful, intimate scene between Henry and Anne in Calais. It’s great.

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