A goddess to fill the royal nursery with Tudor sons

King Henry VIII met Anne von Cleves privately on New Year’s Day 1540 at Rochester Abbey on her journey from Dover.  The king, accompanied by his few courtiers, arrived at the abbey with the intention to woo his bride with courtly love.  He went to Anne’s rooms disguised, so Anne,...

A New Tudor Royal Wedding less than two weeks after Anne Boleyn’s execution

On the 30th of May 1536, King Henry VIII of England and Lady Jane Seymour were married at Whitehall palace at the Queen’s Closet.  Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had married Jane’s predecessor, now dead Anne Boleyn, and the Tudor monarch in the winter of 1533, conducted the quiet...

Day of mourning: executions of George Boleyn and the other men unjustly condemned

Today is a day of mourning for historians and Tudor enthusiasts.  On the early morning of the 17th of May 1536, several men, among them the queen’s own brother, were escorted out of the western entrance of the Tower under heavy guard.  They were George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, as well...

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....

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. ...

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...

Poems of Anne Boleyn’s feelings before and after her coronation

During the coronation procession as Anne sees the people’s gloomy faces What shall this day bring to me, June?  A brilliance with every summer hue:  The cloud-white dream of happiness, Shot with the primrose sunshine through… Or shall my coronation bring me pain, People do not want me, their stillness...

Coronation of a Tudor Boy King

A Boy King Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547, leaving his son, Edward Tudor, to inherit the English throne. At first, Henry’s death was a secret even to his only surviving legitimate son, Edward Tudor. His uncle – Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford – and Sir Anthony Browne escorted Edward...