• Today in Tudor History...

    28 December 1510 – Birth of Sir Nicholas Bacon,English politician during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, notable as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was the father of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.

    1522 –Birth of  Margaret of Parma,  illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Johanna Maria van der Gheynst. She was a Duchess of Florence and a Duchess of Parma and Piacenza by marriage.

    1531-Henry VIII. to Clement VII.



    Has read his brief, brought by Wm. Benet, who returns on his embassy. Is much surprised that when both of them are anxious for justice, they cannot agree. Books and doctors are unanimous in determining that the King should not plead his cause in Rome either personally or by proctor. This decision is confirmed by the great universities, which the King has consulted. Condemns the judges of the Rota for clinging to their own authority, and neglecting the opinions of others, and insists that they ought to be influenced by the laws, and the interpretation put upon them by learned men. On the mere assertion of the Queen that England is a suspected place, Henry is cited where the Emperor's influence is all powerful. In all England (horrible to think) there is no one worthy to act as judge. Appeals to the Pope's conscience to do his office, and not be influenced by others, as truth and right reason demand. It was never heard that a king of England was cited to Rome. Had it been to Avignon the matter would have been different. Further arguments to induce the Pope to be moderate in the exercise of his jurisdiction. Would be very unwilling to proceed further, but if he must he will have the satisfaction of a good conscience in knowing that the fault is not his. Refers him further to Benet. Greenwich, 28 Dec. 1531.



    29 December 1503 - Battle at Carigliano: Spanish army beats France


    1531-Chapuys to Charles V.

    Today in Tudor History...


    La Pomeraye arrived here on Christmas Eve, and was with John Joachin feasted by the lady. With all their pastimes they were not idle, and have this day sent Winchester to France. Pomeraye is here for the process of the divorce to be decided in this kingdom, and he tells me that it is impossible to conceive how much this King has the said affair at heart, and that his master will refuse him nothing. Bayonne is going to Rome, and Benet will follow. The King has asked that Joachin may be left here ambassador with Pomeraye. He is the man for the time. Pomeraye is lodged in the palace of Bridewell. Considering the coldness and pusillanimity they show at Rome, we may expect that the interposition of the king of France in the divorce will have great effect. The auditor of the Rota is still here, and I must think that those here are anxious to trouble the Pope, or else that neither the place nor the matter for which he has come is agreeable to them. He has not been able to obtain an audience since the 20th, and, instead of receiving an answer to his memorials, he did nothing but quarrel and menace. On the 28th he returned to Court, and, wishing to speak to the King as he was going to mass, could not obtain either his ear or his eye. And as they walked to the chapel, the French ambassadors would not allow him to take precedence, saying that he was only Nuncio in Scotland, and not here; and though he affirmed that he was Nuncio wherever he passed or carried briefs, and had matters to communicate from the Pope, the King's council resolved that he should not have precedence. He has, therefore, declined to accompany the King, and has gone to the Cordeliers, and stayed away from dinner. After dinner he returned to Court to obtain his audience, but without effect; so the good man is in great perplexity, and does not know what to do.

    Parliament has been prorogued, as they do not know exactly what to discuss. You have given them a good example by the Constitutions you have promulgated in Flanders, which have been translated into English. London, 24 Dec.

    P.S.I have received the following letter from the Queen, written to her by some one in authority.


    "To Katharine Of Aragon.

    I have spoken with Dr. Benet, who is very friendly, and he told me how that in Rome they were using much pressure to put an end to your business; and an excusator has appeared on the part of the King, asking that the cause may be remitted to another place, seeing that the Emperor defends this cause for your Highness, and the king of France for the other, who together have the greatest part of Christendom. Nevertheless, they have determined at Rome that the matter is to be concluded there and nowhere else. The said doctor tells me that the proctor of your Highness asked sentence immediately, and that, at the suggestion of the King's ambassadors and other persons, the Pope one day went into the country, and another day pretended to be sick. He told me the cause of his coming was to give notice on the part of the Pope that he could wait no longer without doing justice; and when he told this to the King, the King said he cared nothing for that sentence; but the doctor gave him to understand that the sentence once given would do him irreparable injury. Let your Highness be assured that as law is wanting to the adversaries ("a los contrarios les (?ley) falta"), and they use the help of relations (parientes) and friends, now is the time, and if this thing be lost it will be late in being recovered"


    1539 - St Jacob's Church burns after being hit by lightning


    1541 - Isabella of Poland and King Ferdinand of Austria signed Treaty of Gyalu


    30 December 1460-Battle of Wakefield


    The Battle of Wakefield took place in Sandal Magna near Wakefield, in West Yorkshire in Northern England, on 30 December 1460. It was a major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The opposing forces were an army led by nobles loyal to the captive King Henry VI of the House of Lancaster, his Queen Margaret of Anjou and their seven year-old son Edward, Prince of Wales on one side, and the army of Richard, Duke of York, the rival claimant to the throne, on the other. The Duke of York was killed and his army was destroyed.



    1494-Birth of John Russell.He was an English Bishop of Rochester and bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor.



    1535-Chapuys to Charles V.

    On Monday last, the third day of Christmas, the King sent to ask me to come and visit him some day during these holidays, except the first day of the year, and that I should do him great pleasure. And it being arranged between me and the gentleman who came to call me that this day would be the most convenient, the King on Tuesday following sent to ask me to put it off till Sunday next. Yesterday, Wednesday, I received letters from the Queen's physician, stating that she had relapsed, and was worse than she was a mouth before, and that for the Queen's satisfaction and all her company I must obtain leave to go and visit her. I sent immediately to Court to solicit the said leave, and Cromwell said there would be no difficulty about it, but it was necessary that the King should first speak with me on matters of great importance, and I must not fail to come to Greenwich at 1 p.m., whither the King would come from Heltam. Although Cromwell made this reply several times to my messenger, and begged him particularly to report it to me, yet he this morning sent me his secretary to know my determination about it, that he might give notice to the King to be at Greenwich; Cromwell thus declaring the great desire the King and he had that I should not fail to be there. At the hour appointed I found on the bridge at Greenwich the sieur de Chennay waiting for me, to conduct me to the lists, where the King was waiting for me. He received me most courteously, embraced me still more cordially by the neck, and detained me some time in conversation before all the company on matters which I cannot recount at present, except that, among other things, he said that, hearing from Cromwell how I wished to visit the patient, he had anticipated the day appointed to me, as the matter of which he wished to speak to me was of such importance. It was that, trusting in the cordial expressions Likkerke and I had so long used to his ministers, he had always refused to let them listen to the French, who continually importuned him with great offers; but seeing no great hope for his own part, as your Majesty appeared to be dissembling matters for the time, "et apres donner la figue a tout le monde," and, on the other hand, as the French had redoubled their intrigues since the death of the duke of Milan, and made him such wonderful offers, he should be compelled to listen to them if he had not speedy and assured answer from your Majesty. Yet he doubted, considering the urgency of their suit, whether he could await the answer; nor was he so foolish as not to be on his guard against dissimulations which might be to his great disadvantage, shutting him out from the friendship both of your Majesty and France; but now was the season for him to see to his own interests (quil feit ses affaires), the French being enemies to your Majesty, who were only awaiting an opportunity of declaring themselves so, as the offers they made him were better assured than any made to him hitherto, for they promised him towns and territory; and as he was a plain-spoken prince and man of honor he wished to communicate them to me, both for his own honor and that I might provide a remedy by informing you with all diligence, telling me there could be no doubt of what he had informed me, and that he was not one of those who stirred up jealousies in order to make his own profit, stating one thing instead of another,—for he was an Englishman, and not a Frenchman or a Spaniard, to use such guile.

    On beginning to reply, saying that I hoped to satisfy him fully touching the delay of your Majesty's answer, he wished me to come up with him to his room, from which he shut out everybody, and there I said to him that if there were no other reason, the great business your Majesty had during your expedition to Barbary was sufficient excuse for not having been able to answer him; for neither in this matter nor in any other, however important, had you made answer during that time (which he would not admit, saying he knew the contrary), and further that your Majesty had more cause to complain of the delay and dissimulation he had used in this matter than he, and that it was for him to make answer on the overtures which had been made to him on your behalf, but till now I had not been able to get from him or Cromwell any explicit reply; for every time Cromwell and I had spoken of it, he had been unable to reply to my representations, and said he would take time to consider about them; and at last, after much importunity, when I gave him to understand that his communications with me seemed only intended to put off time and create jealousy in the French, he said he had written to Wallop to make the said reply to your Majesty's ambassador, and, notwithstanding that that looked very much like a subterfuge to create further delay, I had not ceased to speak to Cromwell about it from time to time, who confined himself to general terms; and that I did not believe, whatever he said, that the king of France and he, being such virtuous princes, would treat anything against your Majesty to the ruin of Christendom, especially he who had no cause for it whatever, your Majesty having always been his friend, as he would, besides greatly offending God by breaking his oaths and promises, do great injury to himself and his kingdom, making war upon your Majesty without hope of any advantage; for he knew well that those who promised him the territory of others would like it better for themselves, as well as Guienne and Normandy; moreover he knew well what Cromwell had often told me, that the a French to obtain Milan would renounce (remerceroit qu. renonceroit ?) the friendship of all princes, even father and mother, and, as Cromwell said, even God himself. On this he suddenly said that he did not think your Majesty so ill advised as to grant Milan to the French, for it would be your complete destruction. I said that, even if the French conquered it, they would do all that your Majesty wished, and there would be no such danger of destruction, as had been seen previously, even when things were not so favorable everywhere for your Majesty as they are now, and when those of the French were much more prosperous. He answered that it would be a very different thing if they deceived themselves with the French (quil y auroit trop grosse difference sil se fallioit avec les François), and that the affairs of your Majesty were not so prosperous as it was pretended, for it was no great thing to have given chase to a pirate, especially with the aid of the Moorish king, who, with his men, had effected everything in the encounter with Barbarossa, as his ambassador had written to him. And on my remarking that it must be considered that Barbarossa was captain general of the most powerful prince in the world, and king of two kingdoms, and declaring further the little help the Moorish king got from his subjects, he was sorry for having begun upon the subject; and as to allying himself to the French, [I said], the nations were such as it was impossible to bring together, and in case of war it would be inestimable injury if his subjects could not trade in Flanders; in which case he said they would find means enough to export their goods.

    I asked the King, apropos of some other things, what occasion he had to treat of war against your Majesty. He said, to secure himself and not allow you to grow so powerful, and that the French reproached him, saying his dissimulation was the reason why the Emperor was so haughty; moreover, that you had shown him the greatest ingratitude, procuring so many things against him at the desire of a woman, which had involved him in many troubles; and that your Majesty had by threats and force obtained a sentence against him, as the Pope himself had confessed. I replied that your Majesty, as a set-off to much prosperity, had this misfortune (en recompence de pluseurs bonsheurs avoit cesluy mauvais), that he complained of your Majesty because you recommended the righteous cause of the Queen alike for his own honor and for that of the Queen herself. Whereupon he replied to me as he had done before, that your Majesty had not acted so for the queen of Denmark your sister. To which I made the same reply as formerly, showing him what your Majesty had done for her daughters your nieces. And to all the rest I replied very particularly and, I think, pertinently, taking particular care not to be contentious or irritate him, considering the French intrigues, which I believe are hot, although the King tells me "que les Francois ne monstrent estre trop effrayez;" and the King only makes me such great cheer before the world to arouse the jealousy of the French ambassador, who was in Court yesterday by his desire.

    After much conversation I asked the King what he wished your Majesty to do. He said finally he wished you would not only cease to favor these good ladies, but also get the sentence given in the Queen's favor revoked. I said there was no good reason for this, and even if your Majesty would do so it was not in your power; and since I had no express commission to discuss such matters, I could only inform your Majesty, and assure you that you would do all you could according to honor and conscience. The King, in the course of conversation, admitted that he believed the Pope solicited you to do all you could against him, and also that it was a ridiculous story that your Majesty had offered the king of France to conquer this realm for him. At last he said that he believed the Queen, whom he only called Madame, would not live long (ne la feroit ycy longuement), and that if she died you would have no cause to trouble yourself about the affairs of this kingdom, and might refrain from stirring in this matter (et se pourra tenir par le bec des poursuites faictes en ce negoce). I said the death of the Queen could do no possible good, and that in any event the sentence was necessary.

    After I had taken leave of the King he recalled me by the duke of Suffolk to tell me news had just come that the Queen was in extremis, and that I should hardly find her alive; moreover, that this would take away all the difficulties between your Majesty and him. I think the danger cannot be so great, because the physician did not represent the case to me as so urgent; nevertheless I took horse at once. I asked leave that the Princess might see the Queen her mother,—which he at first refused, and on my making some remonstrance he said he would take advice on the subject. The Princess had advised me to make this request. London, 30 Dec. 1535.


    31 December 1424 –Death of  Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter.He was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four illegitimate children; the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, and he and his siblings were legitimated on two separate occasions, in 1390 and again in 1397. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Horneby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young.



    1460 –Death of  Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician, Lord Chancellor



    1491 – Birth of Jacques Cartier, French navigator and explorer 


    1492 - 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily


    1501 – The First Battle of Cannanore commences.


    1502 - Cesare Borgia occupies Urbino


    1510 – Death of Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor 


    1534- The Wife and Children of Sir Thomas More.


    Petition for the pardon and release of the said Sir Thomas, who has remained more than eight months in the Tower of London, “in great continual sickness of body and heaviness of heart.” The King during that time has allowed his said wife to retain his moveable goods and the revenues of his lands, although forfeited for his refusal of the oath; but lately an act (or two) has been made in the last parliament, not only confirming the former forfeiture, but causing the inheritance of all the lands which the said Sir Thomas had from the King, amounting to the annual value of 60l., to be forfeited. All that his wife brought him is expended in the King's service, and she is likely to come to want, as also her son, who stands charged with the payment of certain great sums due by the said Sir Thomas to the King. But above all this, the said Sir Thomas is likely to die after his long and true service to the King. Beseeching the King to grant this their petition, considering that his offence is not of malice or obstinacy, “but of such a long-continued and deep-rooted scruple as passeth his power to avoid and put away.”


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