Today in Tudor History...
5 January 1400 – Death of John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, English politician
1448 – Death of Christopher of Bavaria
1465 – Death of Charles, Duke of Orléans
1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is killed and Burgundy becomes part of France.
1477 –Death of Charles the Bold, French son of Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy
1500 – Duke Ludovico Sforza conquers Milan.
1511-The christening of Prince Henry, first son of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
"The christening of Prince Henry, first son of our sovereign lord King Henry the VIIIth."
On New Year's Day, Wednesday, Dominical letter ., 1 Jan. a.m., 1510, 2 Hen. VIII., at Richmond in Sowthrey, was born Prince Henry, whose christening was deferred till Sunday 5 Jan., when from the Hall to the Friars was made, with barriers and rails, a way 24 ft. wide strewn with rushes, after being new-gravelled. All the south side of the way was "hangen" with cloth of arras, and near the Friars both sides were so hung, as was the body of the church. Godfathers were the French King Loys de Valoys and the Abp. of Canterbury, Warham. Godmother Margaret duchess of Savoy. "At the conformacion the Earl of Arrundell." My lord of Winchester was deputy for the French King and the Countess of Surrey for the Duchess. The French King gave a salt, 51 oz., and a cup 48½ oz., of fine gold; and to the Lady Mistress a chain worth 30l. and to the midwife 10l.
1531- Clement VII. to Henry VIII.
At the request of the Queen, forbids Henry to remarry until the decision of the case, and declares that if he does all issue will be illegitimate. Forbids any one in England, of ecclesiastical or secular dignity, universities, parliaments, courts of law, &c., to make any decision in an affair the judgment of which is reserved for the Holy See. The whole under pain of excommunication. As Henry would not receive a former citation, this is to be affixed to the church gates of Bruges, Tournay, and other towns in the Low Countries, which will be sufficient promulgation. Rome, 5 Jan. 1531.
1589 –Death of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France and wife of Henry II of France
She was the daughter of Lorenzo II de' Medici and of Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne, was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II. As the mother of three sons who became kings of France during her lifetime she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France. For a time she ruled France as its regent.
In 1533, at the age of fourteen, Caterina married Henry, second son of King Francis I and Queen Claude of France. Under the gallicised version of her name, Catherine de Médicis,she was Queen consort of France as the wife of King Henry II of France from 1547 to 1559. Throughout his reign, Henry excluded Catherine from participating in state affairs and instead showered favours on his chief mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who wielded much influence over him. Henry's death thrust Catherine into the political arena as mother of the frail fifteen-year-old King Francis II. When he died in 1560, she became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers. After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III. He dispensed with her advice only in the last months of her life.
Catherine's three sons reigned in an age of almost constant civil and religious war in France. The problems facing the monarchy were complex and daunting. At first, Catherine compromised and made concessions to the rebelling Protestants, or Huguenots, as they became known. She failed, however, to grasp the theological issues that drove their movement. Later, she resorted in frustration and anger to hard-line policies against them.In return, she came to be blamed for the excessive persecutions carried out under her sons' rule, in particular for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France.
Some historians have excused Catherine from blame for the worst decisions of the crown, though evidence for her ruthlessness can be found in her letters. In practice, her authority was always limited by the effects of the civil wars. Her policies, therefore, may be seen as desperate measures to keep the Valois monarchy on the throne at all costs, and her patronage of the arts as an attempt to glorify a monarchy whose prestige was in steep decline.Without Catherine, it is unlikely that her sons would have remained in power.The years in which they reigned have been called "the age of Catherine de' Medici".According to one of her biographers Mark Strage, Catherine was the most powerful woman in sixteenth-century Europe.