Today in Tudor history...
1st June 1533 - Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn
The manner of attendance of the judges at the coronation of queen Anne, at Whitsuntide, 25 Hen. VIII., as reported by Sir John Spillman, one of the King's justices, then present.
Before the coronation, Westminster Hall was prepared, and the Court of King's Bench was kept for the time in the Exchequer Chamber, the Common Pleas in the Abbey, and the Chancery in the White Hall. The King sent letters missives to each of the justices to attend at the Coronation. On Thursday the Queen came from Greenwich to the Tower, where she rested all the Friday. On Thursday the Chancellor wrote to the Chief Justice, desiring him and his companions, in their scarlet robes, to come to Tower Hill, each with one servant, between one and two on Friday, to ride with the Queen, between the lords and knights, to Westminster Hall, and to attend at the Hall on Whitsunday at seven. When the chief justice, FitzJames, received this letter, he summoned the chief baron, Sir Robt. Norwich, chief justice of the Common Pleas, Sir Ric. Lyster, chief baron, Sir Humphrey Conisby, Sir Ant. Fitzherbert, Sir John Port, Sir Thos. Englefield, Sir John Shelley, and Sir John Spilman, who determined to ride together to the Tower. On Saturday, after dinner, they rode to the Tower on horses and mules, in scarlet gowns and hoods, sarcenet tippets and collars of S.S. ; but being too late to go into the Tower they came back to Sir John Dancy's house in Mark Lane, and after resting half an hour rode back to Tower Hill, where they staid an hour, while the knights and squires rode by. The heralds appointed the justices to ride before the knights of the Bath, of whom 18 were made that day, and before the King's council. At Westminster Hall they alighted, and waited for the Queen in the Hall next to the said knights. When she had sat in her chair and drunk, she went to her chamber, and the justices all kneeled to her ; to whom she said, "I thank you for all the honor you have done to me this day." After this they came to their inns. On Whit Sunday, wearing their coifs, scarlet robes, hoods, cloaks, and collars, they rode to Westminster Hall, and accompanied the Queen to the church in the same order as before. In the church they were with the lords upon a scaffold. When the Queen was ascended unto the high place, they and the lords descended to the door of the Hall, and put off their coifs, cloaks, and hoods, and put on their tippets, collars, and hoods, as before. The marshals assigned them to sit next to the barons, at the same table. After dinner they advanced themselves before the Queen as she went to her chamber, and kneeled down, when she spoke as before. They then came back to their inns. They were not at the jousts the next day, for they were not commanded to be present.
1536-Princess Mary to Henry VIII.
Begs as humbly as child can for his daily blessing—her chief desire in this world. Acknowledges all her offences since she had first discretion to offend till this hour, and begs forgiveness. Will submit to him in all things next to God, "humbly beseeching your Highness to consider that I am but a woman, and your child, who hath committed her soul only to God, and her body to be ordered in this world as it shall stand with your pleasure." Rejoices to hear of the marriage between his Grace and the Queen now being. Desires leave to wait upon the latter and do her Grace service. Trusts to Henry's mercy to come into his presence. As he has always shown pity, "as much or more than any prince christened," hopes he will show it to his humble and obedient daughter. Prays God to send him a prince. Hounsdon, 1 June.
Jean de Ponte to Cromwell.
"Juste deprecantibus nichil denegari debet, 1536."—On the 1st June, dined with the vicar of Honniton and another priest, at the house of John Bould, the "Lion," at Dover. There were also present a man named Granger, and the wives of Mr. Nedersolle, Mr. Wrake, and John [Bould]. During dinner a servant of the master of the Maison Dieu, named Tra[sse], came in with news that the day before Madame Anne was beheaded, the tapers at the sepulchre of queen Katharine lighted of themselves, and, after matins, at Deo Gratias, went out; that the King sent 30 men to the abbey where queen Katharine was buried to inquire about it, and the light continued from day to day; that orders would soon be issued to pray for queen Katharine as before, and afterwards a heap of heretics and new inventions would be hanged and burnt, "comme moy qui etoyt ung heretike plus grant de Angletayre, et ung false kenayve que je toys . . . . . . . . . davant que fut gayres je seroys davant le conseyll du Roy, comme ung false kanave que j[etoys];" and that I should mark well what he said. I asked whether he had heard me preach or speak heresy. He said yes, and that I had eaten milk, butter, and eggs. I said I never ate eggs. Then he said I was a false French knave, and should be had before the Council. "De Ponte," 1 June.
P. S.—I shall be killed of them of the Maison Dieu, and dare not abide in the chapel. I would not leave without permission of my friends, but I had rather leave than be killed without deserving it.
Poem descriptive of the life of Anne Boleyn, composed at London, 1 June 1536.
Speaks of her having first left this country when Mary went to France "to accomplish the alliance of the two Kings." She learned the language from ladies of honor. After Mary's return to England she was retained by Claude and became so accomplished that you would never have thought her an English, but a French woman. She learned to sing and dance, to play the lute and other instruments, and to order her discourse wisely (et ses propos sagement adjancer). She was beautiful and of an elegant figure, and still more attractive in her eyes, which invited to conversation, &c. On her return her eyes fascinated Henry, who made her, first a marchioness, and afterwards Queen, 1 June 1533. Describes the birth and baptism of Elizabeth, the establishment of the royal supremacy, and the death of More and the Carthusians, of which Anne was accused of being the cause. Hence a severe ordinance was issued against any that spoke ill of her; which shut people's mouths when they knew what ought not to be concealed. Meanwhile queen Katharine suffered patiently her degradation and even being separated from her daughter. Anne, on the other hand, had her way in all things; she could go where she pleased, and if perhaps taken with the love of some favored person, she could treat her friends according to her pleasure, owing to the ordinance. But that law could not secure to her lasting friendships, and the King daily cooled in his affection. Anne met with divers ominous occurrences that presaged evil;—first a fire in her chamber, then the King had a fall from horseback which it was thought would prove fatal, and caused her to give premature birth to a dead son. Nevertheless she did not leave off her evil conversation, which at length brought her to shame.
A lord of the Privy Council seeing clear evidence that his sister loved certain persons with a dishonorable love, admonished her fraternally. She acknowledged her offence, but said it was little in her case in comparison with that of the Queen, as he might ascertain from Mark [Smeaton], declaring that she was guilty of incest with her own brother. The brother did not know what to do on this intelligence, and took counsel with two friends of the King, with whom he went to the King himself and one reported it in the name of all three. The King was astonished, and his color changed at the revelation, but he thanked the gentlemen. The Queen, meanwhile, took her pleasure unconscious of the discovery, seeing dogs and animals that day fight in a park. In the evening there was a ball, and the King treated her as if he knew no cause of displeasure. But Mark was then in prison and was forced to answer the accusation against him. Without being tortured he deliberately said that the Queen had three times yielded to his passion. The King was thus convinced, but made no show of it, and gave himself up to enjoyment. Especially on the 1 May, he got up a tournay with several combatants; among others, my lord of Rocheford, the Queen's brother, showed his skill in breaking lances and vaulting on horseback. Norris, also, best loved of the King, presented himself well armed, but his horse refused the lists and turned away as if conscious of the impending calamity to his master. The King seeing this, presented Norris with his own horse; who, however, knew that he could not keep it long. He, Waston (Weston), and Barton (Brereton) did great feats of arms, and the King showed them great kindness "dissimulant leur ruyne prochaine." The Queen looked on from a high place, "et souvent envoioit les doulz regards," to encourage the combatants, who knew nothing of their danger. Immediately after the tournay archers were ordered to arrest Norris, and were much astonished and grieved, considering his virtue and intimacy with the King, that he should have committed disloyalty. Before he went to prison the King desired to speak to him, offering to spare his life and goods, although he was guilty, if he would tell him the truth. But being told the accusation, Norris offered to maintain the contrary with his body in any place. He was accordingly sent to the Tower. The Queen was conducted thither next day by the duke of Norfolk, and her brother also, who said he had well merited his fate. Waston and Barton followed, and pages also. The city rejoiced on hearing the report, hoping that the Princess would be restored. The whole town awaited her coming with delight.
"Et n'eussiez veu jusque aux petis enfans
Que tous chantans et d'aise triumphans.
n'y a cueur si triste qui ne rye
En attendant la princesse Marie."
But she did not remove from her lodging, and did not avenge herself by blaming the Queen when she heard that she was a prisoner; but only wished she had behaved better to the King, and hoped God would help her, adding:—
"Et si sa fille est au Roy, je promectz
Qu'a mon pouvoir ne luy fauldray jamais."
Here follows a eulogy of the Princess, describing her education in astronomy, mathematics, logic, morals, politics, Latin, Greek, &c. The expectation that she would be restored made the King apprehensive of some commotion; to appease which he caused his thanks to be conveyed to the people for their good will to him and his daughter, but told them they need not be anxious about her return, for they would shortly be satisfied. The joy of the people on this was converted into sorrow and they dispersed (et confuz s'en partit).
The Queen, meanwhile, having no further hope in this world, would confess nothing.
"Riens ne confesse, et ne resiste fort Comme voulant presque estre délivre De vivre icy, pour aulz cieulz aller vivre; Et l'espoir tant en icelle surmonte, Que de la mort ne tient plus aucun compte."
But she did not give up her greatness, but spoke to the lords as a mistress. Those who came to interrogate were astonished. They afterwards went to Rochford, who said he knew that death awaited him and would say the truth, but raising his eyes to Heaven denied the accusations against him. They next went to Norris, Waston, and Barton, who all likewise refused to confess, except Mark, who had done so already. The King ordered the trial at Westminster, which was held after the manner of the country.
Description of the process of indictment and how the archers of the guard turn the back [of the axe] (fn. 4) to the prisoners in going, but after sentence of guilty the edge is turned towards their faces; the trial at Westminster; the verdict; whereupon suddenly the axe was turned towards them; and the sentence. Everyone was moved at their misfortune, especially at the case of Waston, who was young and of old lineage and high accomplishments; but no one dared plead for him, except his mother, who, oppressed with grief, petitioned the King, and his wife, who offered rents and goods for his deliverance. But the King was determined the sentence should be carried out. If money could have availed, the fine would have been 100,000 crowns.
Rochford was not tried at Westminster, but at the Tower, with the Queen. His calm behaviour, and good defence. More himself did not reply better. The judges at first were of different opinions, but at last one view overturned the other and they were unanimous. The duke of Norfolk as president, though maternal uncle of the accused, asked them if he was guilty or not, and one replied guilty. Rochford then merely requested the judges that they would ask the King to pay his debts. The Queen then was summoned by an usher. She seemed unmoved as a stock, and came away with her young ladies, not as one who had to defend her cause but with the bearing of one coming to great honor. She returned the salutations of the lords with her accustomed politeness, and took her seat. She defended herself soberly against the charges, her face saying more for her than her words; for she said little, but no one to look at her would have thought her guilty. In the end the judges said she must resign her crown to their hands; which she did at once without resistance, but protested she had never misconducted herself towards the King. She was then degraded from all her titles,—countess, marchioness, and princess, which she said she gave up willingly to the King who had conferred them. Sentence of death, either by sword or fire, at the pleasure of the King, was pronounced by Norfolk. Her face did not change, but she appealed to God whether the sentence was deserved; then turning to the judges, said she would not dispute with them, but believed there was some other reason for which she was condemned than the cause alleged, of which her conscience acquitted her, as she had always been faithful to the King. But she did not say this to preserve her life, for she was quite prepared to die. Her speech made even her bitterest enemies pity her.
Meanwhile the prisoners prepared to die and took the Sacrament. Description of the execution of Rochford, with his dying speech, not unlike the version given in No. 1107. The other four said nothing, as if they had commissioned Rochford to speak for them, except Mark, who persisted in what he said that he was justly punished for his misdeeds.
The Queen, in expectation of her last day, took the Sacrament. Then the day of her death was announced to her, at which she was more joyful than before. She asked about the patience shown by her brother and the others; but when told that Mark confessed that he had merited his death, her face changed somewhat. "Did he not exonerate me," she said, "before he died, of the public infamy he laid on me? Alas! I fear his soul will suffer for it."
Next day, expecting her end, she desired that no one would trouble her devotions that morning. But when the appointed hour passed she was disappointed,—not that she desired death, but thought herself prepared to die and feared that delay would weaken her. She, however, consoled her ladies several times, telling them that was not a thing to be regretted by Christians, and she hoped to be quit of all unhappiness, with various other good counsels. When the captain came to tell her the hour approached and that she should make ready, she bade him for his part see to acquit himself of his charge, for she had been long prepared. So she went to the place of execution with an untroubled countenance. Her face and complexion never were so beautiful. She gracefully addressed the people from the scaffold with a voice somewhat overcome by weakness, but which gathered strength as she went on. She begged her hearers to forgive her if she had not used them all with becoming gentleness, and asked for their prayers. It was needless, she said, to relate why she was there, but she prayed the Judge of all the world to have compassion on those who had condemned her, and she begged them to pray for the King, in whom she had always found great kindness, fear of God, and love of his subjects. The spectators could not refrain from tears. She herself having put off her white collar and hood that the blow might not be impeded, knelt, and said several times "O Christ, receive my spirit !"
One of her ladies in tears came forward to do the last office and cover her face with a linen cloth. The executioner then, himself distressed, divided her neck at a blow. The head and body were taken up by the ladies, whom you would have thought bereft of their souls, such was their weakness; but fearing to let their mistress be touched by unworthy hands, forced themselves to do so. Half dead themselves, they carried the body, wrapped in a white covering, to the place of burial within the Tower. Her brother was buried beside her, Weston and Norris after them. Barton and Mark also were buried together (en ung couble).
The ladies were then as sheep without a shepherd, but it will not be long before they meet with their former treatment, because already the King has taken a fancy to a choice lady. And hereby, Monseigneur, is accomplished a great part of a certain prophecy which is believed to be true, because nothing notable has happened which it has not foretold. Other great things yet are predicted of which the people are assured. If I see them take place I will let you know, for never were such news. People say it is the year of marvels.
1540-Sir George Carew was imprisoned in the Tower or his implication in the Lisle conspiracy.
1563 - Birth of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury,English administrator and politician.
1583 - Death of George Carew.He was the third son of Sir Edmund Carew. He graduated B.A. at Broadgates Hall, Oxford in 1522.
Carew was archdeacon of Totnes from 1534 to 1549, becoming canon of Exeter in 1535 and precentor of Exeter in 1549, and was archdeacon of Exeter from 1556 to 1569. He was dean of Bristol from 5 November 1552, but he was ejected in 1553 under Mary I. He resumed the post on the accession of Elizabeth I, and filled it until 1571. He was also dean of Christ Church, Oxford from 1559 to 1661, dean and canon of Windsor from 1560 to 1577 and dean of Exeter in 1571 to 1583