King François I’s worst defeat: the Battle of Pavia and captivity

Today is another anniversary of the Battle of Pavia. It was fought on the morning of the 24th of February 1525 near the Imperial-controlled city of Pavia in Lombardy, Italy. The French kingdom of King François I of France was unfortunately vanquished by the Habsburg empire of Emperor Charles V,...

Destined Tragedy: Death of Catherine of Aragon’s first son

On the 22nd of February, 1511, Prince Henry, the Duke of Cornwall, suddenly died only after only 52 days of life. He was born on the 1st of January 1511 at Richmond Palace, eighteen months after his parents’ wedding and their joint coronation. Little Henry was the first son and first...

Mary Queen of Scots: “a perpetual incumbrance” for Elizabeth I of England

I received several questions about Mary Stuart’s relationship with Elizabeth Tudor, and this article is aiming to respond to each of them and cover the hot topic of why Mary wasn’t Elizabeth’s heir. Elizabeth I’s strained relationship dominated English and Scottish politics for many years, and one might easily question...

Birth of Princess Mary Tudor, the future Queen Mary I of England

Princess Mary Tudor, the only surviving daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was born in the early hours of 18th February 1516, at Greenwich Palace. Mary was Catherine’s fifth pregnancy, after four previous unsuccessful pregnancies which had resulted in the birth of a stillborn daughter and three short-lived or...

Mary Queen of Scots: “In my end is my beginning”

On the 8th of February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots, the only surviving legitimate child of King James V of Scotland and Marie de Guise, was executed after nineteen years of imprisonment in England. She was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle for her complicity in a secret plot to assassinate Queen...

The mystery of the poem “O Death, Rock Me Asleep”

Like many historians, researches, readers of historical fiction, and Anne Boleyn fans, I like thinking that Anne wrote the poem/song “O Death, Rock Me Asleep” on the eve of her execution on the 19th of May 1536. It is a great and beautiful poem that conveys a tremendous wealth of “dark” emotions – agonizing torment, mental...