Tag Archives: Elizabeth I

On this day in 1571 – Bishop John Jewel died

John Jewel was born in Buden, Devon and was educated originally by his uncle John Bellamy, rector of Hampton along with other private tutors until he matriculated at Merton College, Oxford in July 1535 where he was taught by John Pankhurst.

On 19th August 1539 Jewel was elected scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he graduated with a BA in 1540 and an MA in 1545 and was elected fellow of the college in 1542. After 1547 Jewel became of the chief disciples of Pietro Martire Vermigli, also known as Peter Martyr in England.

In 1552 Jewel graduated BD and was made vicar of Sunningwell as well as public orator of the university during which time he was required to write a congratulatory message to Queen Mary I upon her accession to the throne.

Despite signing a series of Catholic articles he was still suspecting of supporting Protestantism and he fled first to London before reaching Frankfurt in March 1555. He soon joined Martire Vermigli at Strasbourg before accompanying him to Zurich and Padua.

John JewelBishop John Jewel

With the accession of Queen Elizabeth I Jewel returned to England and began to secure a Low Church settlement and made it known that he was committed to Elizabeth’s reforms. Jewel was selected as one of nine Protestant disputants that were called upon to attend the Westminster Conference in 1559 where they would face nine Catholic representatives where they would dispute three articles that would help shape the future of Elizabethan England.

Jewel was also a select preacher at St. Paul’s Cross on 15th June and in the on 27th July his congé d’élire as Bishop of Salisbury had been made out although he was not consecrated until 21st January 1560.

Whilst preaching at St. Paul’s Cross on 26th November 1559 Jewel issued a challenge for anyone to prove the Catholics case out of the Scriptures or the councils or Fathers for the first 600 years after Christ. He issued the challenge again in 1560 when Dr Henry Cole took on the challenge. The outcome of this challenge was Jewel’s ‘Apologia ecclesiae Anglicanae’ published in 1562. According to Bishop Creighton, Jewel’s work was the first methodical statement of the position of the Church of England against the Church of Rome.

Jewel’s work received criticism from Thomas Harding, an Oxford contemporary and Catholic that entered a battle of words and thoughts with Jewel. Harding and Jewel would debate over the Anglo-Roman controversy; Jewel’s theology was eventually enjoined upon the Church of England by Archbishop Bancroft during the reign of King James I.

Jewel was consulted by the government on questions such as the English attitude towards the Council of Trent, a highly important ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.

Jewel was giving a sermon at Lacock, Wiltshire when he collapsed, he was taken to Monkton Farleigh, a manor house built on the site of a Cluniac priory, where he died on 23rd September 1571. He was buried in Salisbury Catherdral.

Monkton FarleighMonkton Farleigh Manor

On this day in 1551 – King Henry III of France was born

King Henry III of France was born on 19th September 1551; he was the fourth son of King Henry II and Catherine de’Medici and was born at the Château de Fontainebleau. In 1560 he was created Duke of Angloulême and Duke of Orléans and later in 1566 the Duke of Anjou. Henry was his mother’s favourite son and was affectionately known as chers yeux (precious eyes).

Henry showed more interest in the arts and reading rather than hunting and sport like his father and brothers. He was heavily influenced by his mother. At an early age he showed a leaning towards Protestantism by refusing to attend mass, singing Protestant psalms and calling himself a ‘little Huguenot’. Catherine de’Medici cautioned Henry and his siblings and he remained a Roman Catholic.

In 1570 discussions were opened between France and England regarding a possible marriage between Henry and Queen Elizabeth I however, nothing came from the negotiations for many reasons including their religious differences as well as the large age gap. It is reported that Henry also called the Queen a ‘putain publique’ (public whore) and even called her an ‘old creature with a sore leg’ due to false reports that she limped due to a varicose vein.

Whilst as a Prince of France he led the royal army during the French Wars of Religion and was present at the Battle of Jarnac in March 1569 and the Battle of Moncontour in October 1569. In 1572 whilst still the Duke of Anjou he was allegedly involved in the plot of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Henry would go on to lead the siege of La Rochelle in 1572/73.

Following the death of Sigismund II Augustus on 7th July 1572 a French envoy was sent to Poland to negotiate the case for Henry to be elected as the next ruler of Poland in exchange for military support against Russia, financial subsidies and diplomatic assistance with the Ottoman Empire. On 16th May 1573 Henry was the first elected monarch of the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A Polish delegation was sent to La Rochelle, where Henry was still fighting, to meet the newly elected King.

On 10th September 1573 the delegation asked Henry to take an oath at Notre Dame Cathedral, where he would swear to Henry Polish throne‘respect traditional Polish liberties and the law on religious freedom that had been passed during the interregnum.’ Before his election could be confirmed Henry was also required to sign the Pacta Conventa and the Henrician Articles which would allow religious tolerance throughout the Commonwealth. At a ceremony on 13th September before the Parlement of Paris a Polish delegation handed over the certificate of election to the throne and under the Henrician Articles and Pacta Conventa Henry acknowledged that he had no claims to succession due to free election.

Henry arrived at the borders of Poland in January 1574 and his coronation was held in Kraków on 21st February 1574. However, upon learning of his brothers, Charles IX, death Henry left Poland for France. His absence caused a constitutional crisis and Parliament warned Henry that if he did not return to Poland by 12th May 1575 then he would lose his throne. Henry failed to return and the throne was declared vacant.

Henry’s time in Poland although short lived was influential on France, upon his return he ordered the building of septic facilities at the Louvre and other royal palaces, Henry was also introduced to forks and a bath that had regulated hot and cold water.

On 13th February 1575 Henry was crowned King of France at Reims Cathedral and he married Louise of Lorraine on 14th February 1575.

In 1576 Henry signed the Edict of Beaulieu, which granted concessions to the Huguenots. This caused the Duke of Guise to form the Catholic League and Henry was forced to revoke many of the concessions.

In 1578 Henry created the Order of the Holy Spirit to commemorate being the first King of Poland as well as the King of France. This order would give precedence over the previous Order of St. Michael, which had been awarded too frequently and lost its meaning. The Order of the Holy Spirit remained the most prestigious order of France until the fall of the French monarchy.

Francis, Duke of Anjou, was Henry’s younger brother and heir presumptive to the throne of France until his death in 1584. The next heir was to be Henry of Navarre, a Protestant and direct descendant of Louis IX. With pressure from the Duke of Guise, Henry issued an edict that suppressed Protestantism and therefore also annulled any claims that Henry of Navarre had to the throne of France.

The Duke of Guise had been incredibly popular in France and following the defeat of the Spanish Armada Henry feared that the Spanish support for the Catholic League would falter. On 23rd December 1588 at the Château de Blois the Duke of Guise was invited to the council chamber where his brother, Louis II, Cardinal of Guise was also waiting. They had been told that the King wished to see them both in a private room next to the royal bedroom. Upon entering the room the Duke and the Cardinal were murdered by royal guardsmen who also imprisoned the Duke’s son. The Duke of Guise was very popular in France and the King’s subjects began to blame him for the murders and turned on hm. The Parelement issued criminal charges against the King who was then forced to join with his former heir, Henry of Navarre to form the Parliament of Tours.

On 1st August 1589 Henry was lodged at Saint-Cloud with his army preparing an attack on Paris. It was here that a Dominican friar, Jacques Clément was granted access to the King under the illusion that he was delivering important Assasination of Henrydocuments. The friar approached the King and stated that he had a message just for the King’s ears, Henry signalled for his attendants to step back for the message to be delivered. As the friar whispered in Henry’s ear he stabbed him with a knife to the abdomen. Clément was killed instantly but it was thought that the King’s wound was not fatal. As the guards gathered around the King to attend to his injury Henry spoke that if he was to die then they should be loyal to Henry of Navarre as the new King of France.

The following morning King Henry III of France died, it was received within the city with joy it was even considered by some as an act of God. Henry was interred at the Saint Denis Basilica but during the French Revolution he was disinterred, his body desecrated and thrown into a common grave. Henry III was the last of the Valois Kings of France.

Duke of AnjouA painting of Henry whilst he was the Duke of Anjou

Film review – Bill


Ever wondered what William Shakespeare did during ‘the lost years’, with so many theories floating around the team behind ‘Horrible Histories’ have thrown their tale into the ring. A story of love, treason and a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth writers Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond could have taken it straight from the pages of a Shakespearean tale and who knows maybe Shakespeare did hand out flyers to make ends meet whilst dressed as a tomato.


We meet Bill (Mathew Baynton) as he is kicked out of the Tudor lute band Mortal Coil with another get famous scheme failed his wife, Anne Hathaway (Martha Howe-Douglas) declares it’s time to get a proper job and support the family. Bill has other ideas and sets off for that London with dreams of becoming a writer. Whilst in London he gets drawn into writing a play that will be the focal point of a Catholic plot and a comedy of errors ensues.

Throughout the film we meet King Philip II of Spain, Queen Elizabeth I and Christopher Marlowe, these historical figures along with Bill are brought to life on screen by the fantastic troupe of actors that have earned the title of heirs apparent to Monty Python. Helen McCrory is particularly captivating as the Virgin Queen. Baynton’s Bill and Jim Howick’s Christopher Marlowe have a great on screen relationship especially in their first meeting where Bill tries to teach Marlowe ‘your mum’ jokes. Simon Farnaby was outstanding as the Earl of Crawley….oh um sorry I mean Croydon! He reminded me of Colin Firth’s Lord Wessex from Shakespeare in Love but just slightly more hapless.

The jokes come thick and fast and there is something for children and adults alike as do the references to Shakespeare’s work, there is a great game in there to see how many you can spot! Normally with films set in historical times the accuracy and attention to detail goes out of the window however, this is not the case with Bill everything looks like it belongs in the era and the characters were spot on. It will also be educational for children who are beginning to learn about other eras.

I don’t think that I can fault Bill in the slightest the locations and costumes were stunning, the cast were hilarious and the plot provided plenty of laughs. There is something for everybody within the film and although the comedy is there in buckets there is still a lesson to be taken away at the end of the film.

I for one will watch it time and again and look forward to spotting even more references that I surely missed. I can’t wait to see what the cast and writers do next as I think Bill is the start of something great.

First_promotional_photo_for_''Bill''_(2015_film_release)L-R: Laurence Rickard, Simon Farnaby, Mathew Baynton, Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond and Jim Howick

On this day in 1589 – The Battle of Arques began

The Battle of Arques began on the 15th September 1589 and was between King Henry IV of France and the army of the Catholic League that was led by Duke of Mayenne, Charles of Lorraine.

After the death of King Henry III of France, Henry of Navarre began the next King of France as Henry IV. Henry was a Huguenot but he declared that he intended to keep and preserve the Catholic religion in France. The majority of the French cities sided with the Catholic League against the new King and their leader, Charles of Lorraine the Duke of Mayenne.

The French royal army was in disarray at the time and Henry IV could only summon 20,000 men to help stop a country that was rebelling. Henry therefore divided what troops he had into three and placed Henri I d’Orléans, Jean VI d’Aumont and Henry himself in charge of Picardy, Champagne and Normandy respectively with Henry waiting for troops to be sent from Elizabeth I in England.

On 6th August 1589 Henry had set up camp with his 8,000 men at the port of Dieppe however, the Duke of Mayenne wanted to win back the port and drive Henry from Normandy. The Duke had an army of 35,000 as well as militias from Cambrai. Henry knowing that an attack on an army the size of the one led by the Duke of Mayenne would be a dangerous decision he decided to move his troops to the city of Arques where he would construct defences.

On 15th September 1589 the Catholic League launched an attack on Arques however; Henry’s forces fought back with artillery but eventually Henry’s side began to struggle.

Henry’s army was eventually rescued through the help of Elizabeth I on 23rd September when she sent 4,000 men by the sea to aid his cause. Upon seeing the English ships approaching the Duke of Mayenne ordered his troops to retreat leaving Henry and the royal army victorious.

Henry IV at ArquesKing Henry IV of France at the Battle of Arques

On this day in 1533 – Princess Elizabeth was christened at Greenwich

Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn was christened on Wednesday 10th September 1533 at the Church of Observant Friars in Greenwich.

The Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of Henry’s reign documents the events of Elizabeth’s christening;

The mayor, Sir Stephen Peacock, with his brethren and 40 of the chief citizens, were ordered to be at the christening on the Wednesday following; on which day the mayor and council, in scarlet, with their collars, rowed to Greenwich, and the citizens went in another barge.

All the walls between the King’s place and the Friars were hanged with arras, and the way strewed with rushes. The Friars’ church was also hanged with arras. The font, of silver, stood in the midst of the church three steps high, covered with a fine cloth, and surrounded by gentlewomen with aprons and towels about their necks, that no filth should come into it. Over it hung a crimson satin canopy fringed with gold, and round it was a rail covered with red say.

Between the choir and the body of the church was a close place with a pan of fire, to make the child ready in. When the child was brought to the hall every man set forward. The citizens of London, two and two; then gentlemen, squires, and chaplains, the aldermen, the mayor alone, the King’s council, his chapel, in copes; barons, bishops, earls; the earl of Essex bearing the covered gilt basons; the marquis of Exeter with a taper of virgin wax. The marquis of Dorset bare the salt. The lady Mary of Norfolk bare the chrisom, of pearl and stone. The officers of arms. The old duchess of Norfolk bare the child in a mantle of purple velvet, with a long train held by the earl of Wiltshire, the countess of Kent, and the earl of Derby. The dukes of Suffolk and Norfolk were on each side of the Duchess. A canopy was borne over the child by lord Rochford, lord Hussy, lord William Howard, and lord Thomas Howard the elder. Then ladies and gentlemen.

The bishop of London and other bishops and abbots met the child at the church door, and christened it. The archbishop of Canterbury was godfather, and the old duchess of Norfolk and the old marchioness of Dorset godmothers. This done, Garter, with a loud voice, bid God send her long life. The archbishop of Canterbury then confirmed her, the marchioness of Exeter being godmother. Then the trumpets blew, and the gifts were given; after which wafers, comfits, and hypocras were brought in. In going out the gifts were borne before the child, to the Queen’s chamber, by Sir John Dudle, lord Thos. Howard, the younger, lord Fitzwater, and the earl of Worcester. One side was full of the Guard and King’s servants holding 500 staff torches, and many other torches were borne beside the child by gentlemen. The mayor and aldermen were thanked in the King’s name by the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, and after drinking in the cellar went to their barge.”

Although Elizabeth was not the son that Henry had wished for her christening was still a lavish celebration of her birth.

Princess ElizabethPrincess Elizabeth as a teenager

On this day in 1533 – Anne Boleyn gave birth to Elizabeth

On 7th September 1533 at 3pm­ Queen Anne Boleyn gave birth at Greenwich Palace, the child was a girl and named Elizabeth after both of her grandmothers, Elizabeth of York and Elizabeth Howard.

Astronomers and philosophers predicted that Anne would give birth to a son and preparations had been made for the announcement of a son so when Elizabeth was born Henry was disappointed he had torn the country apart to marry Anne for her to give him another daughter.

With the birth of Elizabeth bonfires were lit across the country but there was little celebration for the Princess many of the jousts and banquets were cancelled. The proclamation announcing her birth had to be altered as it was written before declaring Henry had been given a prince an s was added before they were sent out to the country. It was traditionally for the birth of a daughter to be low key and a similar thing happened at the birth of Princess Mary.

A herald announced the birth of Henry’s first legitimate child whilst the choristers sang the Te Deum in the Chapel Royal.

Although Henry was bitterly disappointed that he still did not have a son it is reported that he said to his wife “You and I are both young, and by God’s grace, boys will follow.”

Upon her birth Elizabeth automatically became Henry’s heiress presumptive as Henry’s first daughter had been barred from the succession and declared ill­­egitimate.

Birth announcement of ElizabethThe announcement of Princess Elizabeth’s birth

On this day in 1588 – Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester died

On 4th September 1588 Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester died, aged 56 not long after the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Dudley’s health had been deteriorating for some time with complaints of stomach pains. At the end of August 1588 Dudley set off to Buxton, Derbyshire to take in the water, the spa water in the baths were believed to have healing powers.

As Dudley was travelling to Buxton he stopped at a house at Rycote near Reading, a place he had visited previously with Queen Elizabeth, who he had a close relationship with throughout his life. It was here he wrote his final letter to his treasured Queen. Dudley wrote;

I most humbly beseech your Majesty to pardon your poor old servant to be thus bold in sending to know how my gracious lady doth, and what ease of her late pains she finds, being the chiefest thing in this world I do pray for, for her to have good health and long life. For my own poor case, I continue still your medicine and find that amends much better than with any other thing that hath been given me. Thus hoping to find perfect cure at the bath, with the continuance of my wonted prayer for your Majesty’s most happy preservation, I humbly kiss your foot. From your old lodging at Rycote, this morning, ready to take on my Journey, by your Majesty’s most faithful and obedient servant,

  1. Leicester

Even as I had writ thus much, I received Your Majesty’s token by Young Tracey.”

After writing this letter Leicester continued his journey to Buxton stopping at Combury Park near Woodstock, Oxfordshire where his health failed even further when at 4pm on the 4th September he passed away. He was buried in the Beauchamp Chapel of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary’s, Warwick.

Queen Elizabeth was devastated at the loss of her ‘Sweet Robin’. An informer of the Spanish Ambassador reported that Elizabeth was so upset with grief that she locked herself in her chamber with no servants and refused to speak to anybody. It took the force of her council to break down her down and enter. Elizabeth kept Dudley’s final letter and when she died it was found kept in a box next to her bed with the inscription ‘His Last Letter’.

Dudleys last letterRobert Dudley’s last letter to Queen Elizabeth

On this day in 1583 – William Latymer died

William Latymer was the third son of William Latymer and his wife Anne and was born in Freston, Suffolk in approximately 1498. His early life is unknown but he first became noticed when he became one of Anne Boleyn’s chaplains and was a patron of the Reformation.

In 1536 he graduated Corpus Christi College, Cambridge with an M.A after seven years of studying.

Latymer was in Europe collecting books for the Queen when she was arrested and sent to the Tower of London Latymer was arrested at Sandwich upon his arrival back in England accused of bringing foreign books about the Protestant reformers into the country, Latymer handed the books over to the authorities and with that was released. After the fall of Anne Boleyn Latymer was the rector of Witnesham, Suffolk between 1538 until 1554 and also in 1538 he was appointed by King Henry VIII to Master of the College of St Laurence, Pountney.

In 1549 Latymer was involved in the trial of Edmund Bonner, a Catholic who in the reign of King Edward VI opposed the first Act of Uniformity and Book of Common Prayer and failed to enforce them in his church. As a punishment the Council required him to speak at St. Paul’s Cross regarding royal authority. Bonner spoke but made significant omissions and as a result he was called to stand trial in which Thomas Cranmer presided over and Latymer was the principal witness.

In 1560 Latymer married Ellen English and when Queen Mary I took the throne as a married clergyman he was dismissed and retired to Ipswich.

When Queen Elizabeth I took the throne Latymer became her chaplain and also wrote ‘The Cronickile of Anne Bulleyne’ he focused on Anne’s time as Queen and the speeches she gave regarding religion, education and charity. He is the only author to have written about Anne Boleyn that actually knew her.

Latymer died on 28th August 1583 and was buried in Peterborough Catherdral.

Peterborough cathedralPeterborough Cathedral – the final resting place of William Latymer

On this day in 1590 – Pope Sixtus V died

Pope Sixtus V was born 13th December 1521 as Felice Peretti di Montalto at Grottammare. His parents were Pier Gentile and Marianna da Frontillo, they were a poor family. At an early age Felice entered a Franciscan friary at Montalto where he demonstrated the ability as a preacher and dialectician, a fable surrounds Felice as a young friar – it was said that Nostradamus approached Felice and he knelt in front of him and kissed the friar’s robes exclaiming that he was kissing the robe of a future pope!

In 1552 Felice was noticed by Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, the protector of the Franciscan order, Cardinal Ghislieri, the future Pope Pius V and Cardinal Caraffa, the future Pope Paul IV. With those three Cardinal’s backing him Felice began to advance. He was sent to Venice as inquisitor general but he was recalled in 1560 as his conduct was too severe and arguments broke out regarding his behaviour.

After spending a short time as procurator of his order Felice in 1560 was attached to the Spanish legation that was being led by Cardinal Boncampagni, the future Pope Gregory XIII, they were sent to investigate claims of heresy against the Archbishop of Toledo, Bartolomé Carranza. Felice disliked Boncampagni and soon returned to Rome when Cardinal Ghislieri ascended to Pope Pius V. During the reign of Pope Pius V Felice was made an apostolic vicar of his order and then in 1570 a Cardinal. He took the name Cardinal Montalto.

Upon the death of Pope Pius V and the reign of Pope Gregory XIII whom Montalto disliked, Montalto lived in enforced retirement at his home the Villa Montalto that was originally built by Domenico Fontana and overlooked the Baths of Diocletian.

Pope Gregory’s reign ended in 1585 when conclave began to seek a new Pope, it is believed that Montalto was selected due to his physical vigour as the other Cardinal’s believed that it would lead to a long pontificate. Pope Gregory had left the ecclesiastical states in a bad way and Montalto who had chosen to become Pope Sixtus V became to correct the mess that had been left to him. He began by bringing thousands of brigands (highway robbers and plunderers) to justice bringing peace to his country. Sixtus also ordered the executions of anyone who had broken their vow of chastity.

Sixtus also set about restoring the finances of the church by selling offices and levying new taxes, he quickly built a surplus which he banked for emergencies such as a crusade or the defence of the Holy See. Sixtus also spent a large amount of money improving the country which included bringing water to the Acqua Felice hills, laying out new arteries in Rome which would connect the basilicas, he even made plans to replan the Colosseum as a silk spinning factory, plans that did not come to fruitation.

Pope Sixtus V completed the dome of St. Peter’s, restoration of the aqueduct of Septimius Severus and the placing of four obelisks including one in Saint Peter’s Square amongst many other projects. Sixtus also restricted the Catholic Church by limited the College of Cardinals to just 70 but he did double the number of congregations.

Pope Sixtus renewed the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I but at the same time mistrusted King Philip II of Spain. By renewing Elizabeth’s excommunication he granted Spain a large subsidy that would go towards the Armada, but only when they landed on English soil, saving the Papacy a fortune. In the events that the Spanish did land in England Sixtus had Cardinal Allen prepare ‘An Admonition to the Nobility and Laity of England’ that would be published and distributed across England.

Pope Sixtus V died on 27th August 1590

SixtusPope Sixtus V

On this day in 1533 – Anne Boleyn took to her chamber to prepare for the birth of Princess Elizabeth

On 26th August 1533 Anne Boleyn took leave of the court and entered confinement where she would stay until she gave birth. Normally a lady would go to confinement four to six weeks before the anticipated birth of their child.

Anne took to her chamber at Greenwich Palace after attending a special mass at the Chapel Royal within the Palace grounds. Anne would then proceed with her ladies to the great chamber were they would enjoy wine and spices before the Lord Chamberlain prayed to God that Anne would give a safe delivery, hopefully to a son. Anne would then enter her chamber where she would be waited on by her ladies; no men were permitted into the room.

The chamber was decorated in accordance with the ‘Royalle Book’ that had additions by Margaret Beaufort and had been followed by King Henry VIII’s mother, Elizabeth of York during her confinements in the same Palace. The book stated that the room should;

  • Be carpeted
  • Have an altar
  • Have soft furnishings of crimson satin that were embroidered with Gold crowns and the Queen’s arms
  • Have its windows, ceilings and walls covered with blue arras and tapestries
  • Have a tapestry covered cupboard to store the birthing equipment
  • Have a font in the room in case the baby needed baptising instantly due to sickness
  • Have a display of Gold and Silver plate items from the Jewel House, it was thought that the Queen and her baby to be surrounded by symbols of wealth
  • Be furnished with a luxurious bed for the Queen and a pallet at the end of it for the Queen to give birth on. The pallet would be built up to a height similar to the midwife, it was close to the fire and away from any cold draughts
  • One window would be slightly uncovered to let in light and air when deemed neccersary

In the ‘Ordinances and regulations for the royal household society of antiquaries’ it is written what is expected of the Queen’s chamber;

As to the deliverance of a Queene, it must bee knowne what chamber shee will bee delivered in, by the Grace of God; and that chamber must bee hanged with rich arras, the roofe, side and windowes, all except one windowe, and that must bee habged that shee may have light when it pleaseth her; with a royall bedd therein, the flore laid with carpeth over and over with a faire pallet bedd, with all the stuffe belonging thereto, with a riche sperner hanging over; and there must be a cupboard set faire, covered with the fame suite that the chamber is hanged withal. And if it please the Queene to take her chamber, shee shall bee brought thither with Lordes and Ladies of estate, and brought into the chappell or church there to bee houseled; then to come into the great chamber and take spice and wine under the cloth of estate; then twoe of the greatest estates to lead her into her chamber where shee shall be delivered; and they then to take their leave of the Queene. Then all the ladies and gentlemento goe in with her; and after that noe man to come into the chamber where shee shall bee delievered, fae woemen; and they to bee made all manner of officers, as buttlers, panters, fewers, kervers, cupbearers; and all manner of officers for to receave it in the chamber: a traverse of damaske, the bedd arrayed with sheetes of fine lawne or fine raynes, great pillows with a head sheete according to the sheetes; a pane of ermines embrothered with riche cloh of gould, the ells breadth of the cloth, and head-sheete of ermins and cloth of gould of the same suite; a pallet by the bedd arrayed according to the bedd, with sheets and paine; except the cloth of gould on the paine to bee of another colour than that of the great bedd; and over the pallet a large sperner of crimson satin, with a bowle of gould or silver and guilt; and above the opening of the same sperner to bee embrothered the King’s and Queen’s armes, and the residue with crownes of gould: and that such estates both spirituall and temporall as it shall like the Kinge to assigne to bee gossippes, to bee neere the place where the Queene shall bee delivered, to the intent anon after they bee ready that the child may soone bee christened.”

A typical room that was used for a ladies confinement was closed up to light and fresh air, it was believed that clean air was harmful to the new child. Candles were used day and night to provide light in the dark room and objects like herbs, relics and amulets were brought in to speed and aide delivery. Superstition was high regarding childbirth and a dark and clean room was believed to protect the baby from evil spirits as it would remind the child of the womb. Women were also required to move anything that could restrict the birth, this included knots, buckles and rings.

The women that accompanied the Queen into confinement would keep her company and were there to assist during the labour by bringing spiced wine or ale and making the caudle.

Anne Boleyn would give birth just two weeks after entering her confinement to the Princess Elizabeth. However, she would remain in confinement for a further 30 days when she would be churched and re-enter the court.

170px-Anne_boleynAnne Boleyn