A royal speech pulling at your heartstrings

On the 21th of June 1529, Catherine of Aragon spoke her famous speech at the Legatine Court at Blackfriars.  After years of Henry VIII’s unsuccessful attempts to annul his union with Catherine, Cardinal Wolsey convened an ecclesiastical court in England with a representative of the Pope presiding – Cardinal Campeggio. ...

A Fabulous, yet Sad, Life: Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio!  He is inextricably connected with the Renaissance, just as Petrarch is.  Boccaccio was a man of the Renaissance in almost every sense. Born to a Tuscan merchant Boccaccio di Chellino, Giovanni came into the world in the summer of 1313.  The exact date and place of Giovanni’s birth...

Henry FitzRoy: a product of Henry VIII’s lust for Bessie Blount

Henry FitzRoy, the only acknowledged illegitimate son of Henry VIII, was born on the 15th of June 1519.  As Cardinal Wolsey sent the boy’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Blount, to live in the prior’s house of the Priory of St Lawrence in Blackmore, Essex, before her pregnancy became visible to court,...

Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon

Today is another anniversary of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  Henry married his brother’s widow nearly six years after they had originally been betrothed, and almost 7 years after Prince Arthur’s death.  The wedding took place in a private ceremony in the queen’s closet at Greenwich Palace, and...

“The Field of the Cloth of Gold”

On the 7th of June 1520, the sensational meeting of Kings of England and France occurred near Calais that was to become known to history as “The Field of the Cloth of Gold”. This luxurious meeting became the standards to which international peace treaties were measured in many years to...

Death of Henri d’Albert, King of Navarre

On the 25th of May 1555, Henri d’Albert, King of Navarre, died at Hagetmau.  Nicknamed Sangüesino of his birth at Sangüesa (a city in Navarre 44.5 kilometers from Pamplona), he was the King of Navarre from 1517, after the passing of his father, King John III, in 1516. Before Henri’s...