Tag Archives: The Château Vert

On this day in 1522 – Anne Boleyn played Perseverance

On the evening of 1st March 1522, Shrove Tuesday, Anne Boleyn made her first recorded appearance at court. Anne appeared as Perseverance in a pageant of ‘The Château Vert’ at York Palace.

The pageant was part of the Shrovetide celebrations, where the court put on entertainment to celebrate the event of Shrove. Entertainment consisted of plays, masques, music and jousting tournaments.

Alongside Anne as Perseverance was Mary Tudor, the Kings sister, as Beauty, the Countess of Devonshire as Honour, Jane Parker, Anne’s future sister in law as Constancy and Mary Boleyn as Kindness as well as three unknown females playing Bounty, Mercy and Pity. Anne and her companions were dressed in white satin with their virtues sewn onto yellow satin and upon their heads were Venetian gold with Milan bonnets.

Opposite the eight ladies of the court were eight courtiers playing the parts of Amoress, Nobleness, Youth, Attendance, Loyalty, Pleasure, Gentleness and Liberty. The men were led by a masked King Henry VIII. It was the courtier’s role in the pageant to rescue the eight virtuous ladies from the eight feminine vices of; Disdain Jealousy, Danger, Scorn, Unkindness, Malebouche and Strangeness, who were guarding the captive ladies.

The male courtiers attacked the castle where the virtuous ladies were being ‘held’ and rescued them from the evil vices. The men triumphed and led the women away where they were unmasked and revealed to the court before leading a dance.

Edward Hall recorded the events of the pageant in his chronicles;

“On shrouetewesdaie at night, the said Cardinall to the kyng and ambassadors made another supper, and after supper thei came into a great chamber hanged with Arras, and there was a clothe of estate, and many braunches, and on euery braunche. xxxii. torchettes of waxe, and in the nether ende of thesame chamber was a castle, in which was a principall Tower, in which was a Cresset burning: and two other lesse Towers stode on euery side, warded
and embattailed, and on euery Tower was a banner, one banner was of iii. rent hartes, the other was a ladies hand gripyng a mans harte, the third banner was a ladies hand turnyng a mannes hart: this castle was kept with ladies of straunge names, the first Beautie, the second Honor, the third Perseueraunce, the fourth Kyndnes, the fifth Constance, the sixte Bountie, the seuenthe Mercie, and the eight Pitie: these eight ladies had Millian gounes of white sattin, euery Lady had her name embraudered with golde, on their heddes calles, and Millein bonettes of gold, with Iwelles. Vnder nethe the basse fortresse of the castle were other eight ladies, whose names were, Dangier, Disdain, Gelousie, Vnkyndenes, Scorne, Malebouche, Straungenes, these ladies were tired like to women of Inde.

Then entered eight Lordes in clothe of golde cappes and all, and great mantell clokes of blewe sattin, these lordes were named. Amorus, Noblenes, Youth, Attendance, Loyaltie, Pleasure, Gentlenes, and Libertie, the kyng was chief of this compaignie, this compainie was led by one all in crimosin sattin with burnyng flames of gold, called Ardent
Desire, whiche so moued the Ladies to geue ouer the Castle, but Scorne and Disdain saied they would holde the place, then Desire saied the ladies should be wonne and came and encoraged the knightes, then the lordes ranne to the castle, (at whiche tyme without was shot a greate peale of gunnes) and the ladies defended the castle with Rose water and Comfittes and the lordes threwe in Dates and Orenges, and other fruites made for pleasure but at the last the place was wonne, but Lady Scorne and her compaignie stubbernely defended them with boows and balles, till they were dnuen out of the place and fled. Then the lordes toke the ladies of honor as prisoners by the handes, and brought them doune, and daunced together verie pleasauntly, which much pleased the straungers, and when thei had
daunced their fill then all these disuisered themselfes and wer knowen: and then was there a costlv banket, and when all was done, the straungiers tooke their leaue of the king and the Cardinal and so departed into Flaunders, geuyng to the kyng muche commendacion.”

It is unknown if Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII had any contact during the evenings proceedings but it is highly unlikely this is where the future royal couple first met.Tudors pagaent     Natalie Domer and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII at The Château Vert pagaent as portrayed in ‘The Tudors’