Leonardo Da Vinci: a genius’s life in Italy and his last years in France

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on the 14 or 15th of April 1452 in the Tuscan town of Vinci, in the Republic of Florence.  He was undoubtedly the quintessential Renaissance man, one who spent most of his life in Italy and his last years in France.  Leonardo’s areas of interest...

Thomas Cranmer’s letter to Henry VIII in Anne Boleyn’s defense

Ah, Anne Boleyn… Our Anne… Back then in May, she was deserted by everyone, even by her own father.  However, she still had one friend – Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.  Cranmer adored and admired Anne, and he proclaimed King Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon null and void. ...

The 2nd of May 1536: Anne Boleyn is apprehended

The second of May in the year 1536 began for Queen Anne Boleyn as any routine day.  Accompanied by her inner circle, Anne watched a game of tennis at Greenwich Palace.  Then the king’s messenger approached and apprised her of her husband’s order to present herself before the Privy Council....

Anne Boleyn: the beginning of her tragic May ordeal

On the 1st of May 1536, the tragic ordeal of Anne Boleyn commenced.  Worms of uncertainty must have been crawling through her stomach as she saw her husband, King Henry VIII of England, depart abruptly from the May Day joust.   Although Mayday originated as a pagan festive holy day celebrating...

Princess Mary Tudor: biding her time after marrying Louis XII

On the 13th of August 1514, Princess Mary Tudor was married to King Louis XII of France by proxy.  A young and beautiful maid became the wife of an ailing and old monarch!  Mary was eighteen, while Louis was fifty-two!  However, the age difference did not matter at all: in...

Young Henry FitzRoy’s death: tinged in selfish and painful hues for King Henry VIII

On this day in history, the 23rd of July 1536, Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, died at St James’s Palace in London.  Although Henry VIII took enough mistresses in his date, he had only one acknowledged illegitimate son – Henry FitzRoy, whose mother was his mistress, Lady Elizabeth...

A royal speech pulling at your heartstrings

On the 21st 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. ...