On this day in 1536 – Henry VIII and Jane Seymour formally betrothed.

On 20th May 1536 King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour became formally betrothed. The Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys wrote in a letter to the Seigneur de Granvelle;

Has just been informed, the bearer of this having already mounted, that Mrs.Semel came secretly by river this morning to the King’s lodging, and that the promise and betrothal was made at 9 o’clock. The King means it to be kept secret till Whitsuntide; but everybody begins already to murmur by suspicion, and several affirm that long before the death of the other there was some arrangement which sounds ill in the ears of the people; who will certainly be displeased at what has been told me, if it be true, viz., that yesterday the King, immediately on receiving news of the decapitation of the putain entered his barge and went to the said Semel, whom he had lodged a mile from him, in a house by the river.”

With Henry receiving the news of his former wife’s execution he headed straight to Jane Seymour’s lodging to officially propose marriage. By waiting until Anne Boleyn was dead there would be no question of the legitimacy of the marriage or any children that would be born as a result of the marriage.

The rumours of the King’s involvement with Jane Seymour had been spoken around court for some time before the betrothal took place so it probably came as no surprise to the court.

Henry VIII and Jane Seymour

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