Today in Tudor History...
17 May 1443 - Edmund, Earl of Rutland.He was the fifth child and second surviving son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville and brother of Kings Edward IV and Richard III
17 May 1521 - Edward Stafford was executed.He was an English nobleman. He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Katherine Woodville, whose sister, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, was the wife of King Edward IV.
17 May 1527 - Cardinal Wolsey began a secret court to determine whether Henry VIII was unlawfully married to Catherine of Aragon
17 May 1536
Execution of George Boleyn , Mark Smeaton, William Brereton, Henry Norris and Francis Weston
George Boleyn's last words
Christian men, I am born under the law and judged under the law, and die under the law, and the law has condemned me. Masters all, I am not come hither for to preach, but for to die, for I have deserved to die if I had twenty lives, more shamefully than can be devised, for I am a wretched sinner, and I have sinned shamefully. I have known no man so evil, and to rehearse my sins openly, it were no pleasure to you to hear them, nor yet for me to rehearse them, for God knoweth all. Therefore, masters all, I pray you take heed by me, and especially my lords and gentlemen of the court, the which I have been among, take heed by me and beware of such a fall, and I pray to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, that my death may be an example unto you all. And beware, trust not in the vanity of the world, and especially in the flattering of the court. And I cry God mercy, and ask all the world forgiveness of God. And if I have offended any man that is not here now, either in thought, word or deed, and if ye hear any such, I pray you heartily in my behalf, pray them to forgive me for God’s sake. And yet, my masters all, I have one thing for to say to you: men do common and say that I have been a setter forth of the Word of God, and one that have favoured the Gospel of Christ; and because I would not that God’s word should be slandered by me, I say unto you all, that if I had followed God’s word in deed as I did read it and set it forth to my power, I had not come to this. If I had, I had been a liv[ing] man among you. Therefore I pray you, masters all, for God’s sake stick to the truth and follow it, for one good follower is worth three readers, as God knoweth
Even though the executioner needs several strokes to chop Brereton's head off,during the second attempt no head or blood can be seen on the block.
Mark Smeaton is the last man to be executed but even though the executioner has chopped off several heads before,the blade of the axe is bloodless as Smeaton is placed on the block.Then,when the executioner raises the axe,the blade is stained with blood.
(source:www.tv.com via http://www.thetudorswiki.com/)
Poems by Thomas Wyatt
Who list his wealth and ease retain,
Himself let him unknown contain.
Press not too fast in at that gate
Where the return stands by disdain:
For sure, circa regna tonat.
The high mountains are blasted oft
When the low valley is mild and soft.
Fortune with Health stands at debate.
The fall is grievous from aloft.
And sure, circa regna tonat.
These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did then depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seeks to revert.
Of truth, circa regna tonat.
The Bell Tower showed me such sight
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn of of a grate
For all favor, glory, or might,
That yet circa regna tonat.
By proof, I say, there did I learn:
Wit helpeth not defense to yerne,
Of innocence to plead or prate.
Bear low, therefore, give God the stern,
For sure, circa regna tonat.
In Mourning wise since daily I increase
In Mourning wise since daily I increase,
Thus should I cloak the cause of all my grief;
So pensive mind with tongue to hold his peace’
My reason sayeth there can be no relief:
Wherefore give ear, I humbly you require,
The affect to know that thus doth make me moan.
The cause is great of all my doleful cheer
For those that were, and now be dead and gone.
What thought to death desert be now their call.
As by their faults it doth appear right plain?
Of force I must lament that such a fall should light on those so wealthily did reign,
Though some perchance will say, of cruel heart,
A traitor’s death why should we thus bemoan?
But I alas, set this offence apart,
Must needs bewail the death of some be gone.
As for them all I do not thus lament,
But as of right my reason doth me bind;
But as the most doth all their deaths repent,
Even so do I by force of mourning mind.
Some say, ‘Rochford, haddest thou been not so proud,
For thy great wit each man would thee bemoan,
Since as it is so, many cry aloud
It is great loss that thou art dead and gone.’
Ah! Norris, Norris, my tears begin to run
To think what hap did thee so lead or guide
Whereby thou hast both thee and thine undone
That is bewailed in court of every side;
In place also where thou hast never been
Both man and child doth piteously thee moan.
They say, ‘Alas, thou art far overseen
By thine offences to be thus deat and gone.’
Ah! Weston, Weston, that pleasant was and young,
In active things who might with thee compare?
All words accept that thou diddest speak with tongue,
So well esteemed with each where thou diddest fare.
And we that now in court doth lead our life
Most part in mind doth thee lament and moan;
But that thy faults we daily hear so rife,
All we should weep that thou are dead and gone.
Brereton farewell, as one that least I knew.
Great was thy love with divers as I hear,
But common voice doth not so sore thee rue
As other twain that doth before appear;
But yet no doubt but they friends thee lament
And other hear their piteous cry and moan.
So doth eah heart for thee likewise relent
That thou givest cause thus to be dead and gone.
Ah! Mark, what moan should I for thee make more,
Since that thy death thou hast deserved best,
Save only that mine eye is forced sore
With piteous plaint to moan thee with the rest?
A time thou haddest above thy poor degree,
The fall whereof thy friends may well bemoan:
A rotten twig upon so high a tree
Hath slipped thy hold, and thou art dead and gone.
And thus farewell each one in hearty wise!
The axe is home, your heads be in the street;
The trickling tears doth fall so from my eyes
I scarce may write, my paper is so wet.
But what can hope when death hath played his part,
Though nature’s course will thus lament and moan?
Leave sobs therefore, and every Christian heart
Pray for the souls of those be dead and gone.
Sentence pronounced by the archbishop of Canterbury of the nullity of the marriage between the King and Anne Boleyn, in the presence of Sir Thos. Audeley, chancellor, Charles duke of Suffolk, John earl of Oxford, and others, at Lambeth, 17 May 1536.
17 May 1575 - Death of Matthew Parker.He was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder (with Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker) of a distinctive tradition of Anglican theological thought.
17 May 1581 - Death of Sir William Cordell.He was Solicitor General and Master of the Rolls during the reign of Queen Mary I and Speaker of the House of Commons during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
17 May 1590 - Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
Tags : tudors, execution, george boleyn, mark smeaton, henry norris, thomas wyatt, wolsey, anne boleyn, henry VIII