Tag Archives: Tudor Chronicles

On this day in 1513 – Pope Leo X proclaimed Pope

Pope Leo X was born Giovanni di Lorenzo de’Menici on 11th December 1475.

In 1492 Giovanni was admitted into the Sacred College of Cardinals and was present in Rome at the conclave that followed the death of Pope Innocent VIII.

Following Pope Innocent VIII and Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected Pope on 9th March 1513 and proclaimed Pope two days later on 11th March. However, there was a problem; Giovanni had never been ordained as a priest. On 15th March Giovanni was ordained as a priest and on the 17th was consercrated as a bishop, before being finally crowned Pope Leo X on 19th March. Pope Leo was the last non priest to be elected to the position of Pope.

Pope Leo was in office at the start of the protestant reformation. Martin Luther had begun spreading his gospel around Europe and gaining followers. Pope Leo, in May 1517, summoned Luther to Rome to explain his thesis. Luther cancelled this meeting and instead met with Cardinal Cajetan. Pope Leo would be unable to stop the machine that was the reformation.

Pope Leo also oversaw the election of Charles V of Spain to Holy Roman Emperor.

Pope Leo X died on 1st December 1521 after contracting bronchopneumonia.

Pope Leo

On this day in 1524 – King Henry VIII was injured in a jousting accident

On 10th March 1524 Henry VIII was injured whilst partaking in a jousting tournament.

In his youth Henry was a well loved sportsman participating in events like archery, wrestling, tennis and jousting. In 1524, aged 33, Henry enlisted in a jousting tournament and faced his close friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Henry or his servants failed to lower his visor before any of the participants or courtiers could stop the tilt Brandon had hit Henry with his lance just above his right eye. Upon contact the lance splintered and filled his helmet with shards of wood.

With Henry off his horse and heavily bleeding Brandon rushed to the King’s side in fear of seriously harming the King. Upon seeing the King conscious and communicating he vowed never to run against the King again.

The chronicler Edward Hall said of the event:

“The 10th day of March, the king having a new harness [armour] made of his own design and fashion, such as no armourer before that time had seen, thought to test the same at the tilt and appointed a joust to serve this purpose.

On foot were appointed the Lord Marquis of Dorset and the Earl of Surrey; the King came to one end of the tilt and the Duke of Suffolk to the other. Then a gentleman said to the Duke, “Sir, the King is come to the tilt’s end.” “I see him not,” said the Duke, “on my faith, for my headpiece takes from me my sight.” With these words, God knoweth by what chance, the King had his spear delivered to him by the Lord Marquis, the visor of his headpiece being up and not down nor fastened, so that his face was clean naked. Then the gentleman said to the Duke, “Sir, the King cometh”

Then the Duke set forward and charged his spear, and the King likewise inadvisedly set off towards the Duke. The people, perceiving the King’s face bare, cried “Hold! Hold!”, but the Duke neither saw nor heard, and whether the King remembered that his visor was up or not few could tell. Alas, what sorrow was it to the people when they saw the splinters of the Duke’s spear strike on the King’s headpiece. For most certainly, the Duke struck the King on the brow, right under the defence of the headpiece, on the very skull cap or basinet piece where unto the barbette is hinged for power and defence, to which skull cap or basinet no armourer takes heed of, for it is evermore covered with the visor, barbet and volant piece, and so that piece is so defended that it forceth of no charge. But when the spear landed on that place, it was great jeopardy of death, in so much that the face was bare, for the Duke’s spear broke all to splinters and pushed the King’s visor or barbet so far back by the counter blow that all the King’s headpiece was full of splinters. The armourers for this matter were much blamed and so was the Lord Marquis for delivering the spear when his face was open, but the King said that no-one was to blame but himself, for he intended to have saved himself and his sight.

The Duke immediately disarmed himself and came to the King, showing him the closeness of his sight, and swore that he would never run against the King again. But if the King had been even a little hurt, the King’s servants would have put the Duke in jeopardy. Then the King called his armourers and put all his pieces together and then took a spear and ran six courses very well, by which all men might perceive that he had no hurt, which was a great joy and comfort to all his subjects there present.”

Although Henry not seriously injured he did suffer from migraines for the rest of his life.

jousting

On this day in 1578 – Lady Margaret Douglas died

In 1515, Margaret Douglas was born to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, the Dowager Queen of Scotland. Therefore making the younger Margaret niece to the reigning Henry VIII.

Margaret’s relationship was not easy going with the King of England. She twice incurred his wrath due to her personal relationships. The first time was due to her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who in 1537 died imprisoned in the Tower of London. The second time was due to an affair with the brother of the current Queen, Catherine Howard. Margaret was finally and legally married in 1544 when she became the wife of Matthew Stuart, 4th Earl of Lennox.

Her marriage produced two living children Charles and Henry. Henry in later life became Lord Darnley.

Upon the ascension of Elizabeth I, she roused suspicion when she negotiated the marriage of her son Henry to Mary, Queen of Scots. This strengthened their claim to the English throne and it probably worried Elizabeth as it was a cause for rebels to focus on. Henry and Mary had one son, James. He later became James I of England after Elizabeth’s death.

Margaret died on 9th March 1578, from unknown causes. Rumours at the time suggested that she had dined with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, just days before she was taken ill and that she had been poisoned. Was this a suggestion that the Queen was involved in order to suppress any further rebellions? There was never any evidence of this and so it shall be left as rumour.

Margaret Douglas

Elizabeth I provided Margaret with a grand funeral in Westminster Abbey and she is buried sharing a grave with her other son, Charles in Henry VII’s chapel.

On this day in 1539 – Nicolas Carew executed

Nicolas Carew was beheaded on 8th March 1539 on Tower Hill, London for his alleged involvement in the Exeter Conspiracy.

Nicolas Carew grew up in the company and shared education with the future Henry VIII when they were children so it comes as no surprise that when Henry became king, Carew was knighted and rewarded for his loyalty. He held the role of Master of the Horse and was a leading figure within Henry’s court.

Carew was highly regarded by Henry VIII and was always close by. Carew was one of many that Cardinal Wolsey believed had too much influence over Henry and so engineered his dismissal from court in 1526. His dismissal only lasted a couple of years and by 1528 he was inducted into the Privy Council on recommendation of Francis I of France.

Nicolas Carew

Carew, like many others at the court during Henry’s divorce proceedings, began to disapprove of Anne Boleyn and the influence she held over Henry. Carew revealed to the Imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, his sympathy and support for Katherine of Aragon and the Princess Mary. This outburst only made his downfall easier to engineer.

In 1538, two years after Anne Boleyn’s execution, Thomas Cromwell began to turn against those who helped him bring down the former Queen. Cromwell presented letters to Henry that allegedly came from Nicolas Carew that contained words of treason. Henry became convinced that his close friend Carew was involved in a plot to depose him and in his place crown a Yorkist claimant to the throne, most likely Reginald Pole, the last strong Plantagenet claim.

Carew was arrested and stood trial on 14th February 1539 where he was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. Carew was beheaded on 8th March at Tower Hill.

On this day in 1536 – Act of the dissolution of the lesser monasteries.

As Henry VIII’s quest to become the recognised Head of the Church in England continued, many acts were passed in Parliament to lessen the power and influence Rome and the monasteries had over the country. Many religious houses fell in line with Henry’s demands that saw them swear to the oath of succession and support the King’s claims that the marriage with Katherine of Aragon was null and void. Henry still had opposition from other houses which he needed to scare and threaten to get them to fall in line with his reformation.

In 1534, Thomas Cromwell was commissioned by Henry to complete a thorough investigation into the income, endowments and liabilities of the religious houses in England and Wales, this included the monasteries. Cromwell delegated the task to a team of trusted commissioners to also investigate the quality of life, the validity of religious artefacts and the morality of the inhabitants.

Reports were sent back to Cromwell in 1535 full of claims of immoral and loose living, with monks showing little regard to the monastic vows. It was recommended to the Cromwell and the King that the monasteries needed to be brought in line and suppress those that would not. The authority to suppress the religious houses use to lay with the Pope but with Henry claiming the church, the Crown now had the authority to fulfil this.

Armed with these reports on 6th March 1536 Parliament passed the Act of the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries. The act stated that if any monastery had an income of less than £200 per year it was to be dissolved and everything given to the Crown. The heads of the houses were to be offered pensions and anyone who lived there was given the option of either moving into a larger monastery or they could leave the religious house and move into the open world forgoing their vows of poverty and obedience but they had to maintain their vow of chastity.

Henry chose to save 67 of the lesser monasteries but they had to pay a year’s income to remain open, therefore earning the Crown money regardless. However, commissioners moved quickly to close down the rest of the houses, in fear that valuables could be smuggled out and hidden. Land was rented to locals and items unwanted by the Crown were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Anything else was left for the locals to loot and buildings were destroyed.

This was just the beginning of what was to come for the monasteries and the reformation.

369Bordesley Abbey, Redditch – one of the many monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII.

On this day in 1500 – Cardinal Reginald Pole born

It is widely accepted that Cardinal Reginald Pole was born on 3rd March 1500. He was born in Stourton Castle in Staffordshire to Sir Richard Pole and his wife Margaret. Margaret was the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, which made Margaret the niece of King Edward IV and Richard III. Therefore Reginald would have had a strong Plantagenet claim to the throne had it not been for the Bill of Attainder that was passed against his grandfather when he was found guilty of treason.

Pole studied at Oxford from the age of 12 and completed his degree just after the age of 15. It looks like Pole was always destining for a life within the clergy.

Henry VIII bestowed many honours on Pole including the deanery of Wimborne Minister in Dorest, the Prebendary of Salisbury and the Dean of Exeter, despite never being ordained into the church. In 1521, with Henry’s blessing, Pole set off to the University of Padua where he quickly became popular and was highly regarded amongst scholars like Erasmus and Thomas More. Henry paid half of Pole’s fees whilst he was studying abroad.

Pole remained in Padua until 1527 when he returned home. Henry at this time was desperate for Pole’s support and his written opinion on ‘The Great Matter’, his divorce with Katherine of Aragon. In exchange for his support Henry offered Pole the role of Archbishop of York or the Diocese of Winchester in return for his loyalty. Pole wanted to avoid being dragged into the situation instead seeked permission to leave for France to further his studying. In effect he went into self imposed exile to avoid answering Henry’s demands. Despite this Henry was still covering Pole’s allowances abroad.

In May 1536, Pole eventually spoke out against Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Henry called Pole back to England to answer questions on his writings. Pole disobeyed Henry’s orders and instead headed to Rome after receiving a Papal invitation to stay at the Vatican from Pope Paul III. This was a blow to Henry as it was clear for all to see that the once close relationship that they shared was over as Pole sided with Rome against Henry and England.

Despite never being ordained Pole, in 1537, was created a Cardinal and was charged with organising a march on London to replace Henry’s current government with a Roman Catholic one to bring the country back in line with Rome.

In retaliation to Pole’s betrayal Henry arrested members of the Pole family including his brother, nephew and mother, the Countess of Salisbury and charged each of them with treason and aiding Reginald Pole and his cause. All but one was found guilty and Bills of Attainders were passed against them all stripping of their titles and land and eventually they were executed for Pole’s betrayal.

Pope Paul III died in 1549 and a conclave was held to find his successor, at one point Pole had nearly two – thirds of the votes required to become Pope, however, Pole didn’t want to campaign to become Pope and so support began to slip away from him.

Reginald Pole remained a Cardinal and was quietly dedicated to his work. That is until the death of Edward VI in 1553. With the Catholic Mary I taking the throne Pole’s life was once again an active one. He instantly wrote to the newly anointed Queen and successfully returned to England from exile as Papal Legate in 1554.

Under Mary I, Pole saw the attainder against his family reversed and was finally ordained as a Priest in 1556. Two days later on 22nd March Pole was consecrated as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Pole was the last Roman Catholic to hold this position. Alongside this he also acted as chief minister and advisor to the Queen.

Cardinal_Reginald_Pole

Reginald Pole died on 17th Nov 1558, most likely for the influenza which had gripped London in an epidemic. He died just a few short hours after Queen Mary I. He is buried at Canterbury Cathedral.

On this day in 1535 – Sir Robert Drury died

Sir Robert Drury died on 2nd March 1535.

Born in Suffolk in 1456, Drury entered Lincoln’s Inn, where he became a barrister in 1473. He later became a prominent figure at the Tudor court. Drury was elected as a Member of Parliament for Suffolk in 1491, 1495 and 1510 and acted as Speaker of the House in 1495. During the battle of Blackheath in 1497 he was knighted by Henry VII. Drury is listed as a mourner at Prince Henry’s funeral in 1511 where he helped bear the canopy during the procession.

In his later life Drury was named as executor of the will for John De Vere, Earl of Oxford, in 1513.

In his own will, written on 1st May 1531, Drury requested to be buried in the Chancel of St Mary’s Church, Bury St. Edmunds alongside his first wife, Anne Calthorpe. They lie together under a stone monument which bears the inscription “Such as ye be, sometimes were we, such as we are, such shall ye be. Miserere nostril.”

Bury-St-Edmunds-1686

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’

On this day in 1577 – Death of Edmund Guest, Bishop of Salisbury

Edmund Guest (or Gheast) died on 28th February 1577. Born in 1514 in Yorkshire he led a very academic childhood attending York Grammar School, Eton College and Kings College in Canterbury.

Whilst in Canterbury Guest became chaplain to Archbishop Matthew Parker who went on to make Guest Archdeacon of Canterbury and Rector of Cliffe, Kent. In 1560 Guest was made Bishop of Rochester, which duties he performed alonside his role as Archdeacon of Canterbury.

In 1563 he was invited to participate in the Convocation which was being held under his mentor Archbishop Parker. Their task was to revise the 42 articles. The origin of the 42 articles goes back to 1536 and Thomas Cranmer’s six articles that acted as the first guidelines for the Church of England. Over the years the articles were expanded and revised. It grew to 42 in 1552 under Edward VI. With the ascension of Mary I the articles were no longer enforced as Mary tried to turn the country back towards Catholism.

Under Elizabeth I and the Convocation led by Archbishop Parker only 39 of the 42 articles were passed, Elizabeth reduced this further to 38. Elizabeth did not want to offend any English citizens that still practised Catholism and so article XXIX was removed. It was later restored in 1571 after Elizabeth was excommunicated by the Pope the previous year. Bishop Guest opposed the article but his protests went unheard as Elizabeth approved the reintroduction of the article.

Guest was appointed to the role of Bishop of Salisbury in 1571, which he held until his death in 1577. He was buried in Salisbury Cathedral’s choir.

On this day in 1545 – Battle of Ancrum Moor

On 27th February 1545 English forces were defeated by the Scottish at the Battle of Ancrum Moor, four miles northwest of Jedburgh, Scotland.

The battle was part of the War of the Rough Wooing which lasted nearly seven years, 1543 – 1550.

Henry VIII wanted to marry his son, Edward, to Mary, Queen of Scots to secure Scottish allegiance. In December 1543 the Scottish Parliament declined the match and instead renewed their alliance with France. Henry’s reaction was to declare war on Scotland as an attempt to persuade them to change their minds.

Sir Ralph Eure, in 1545, leading an army was pillaging land on the Scottish Borders including the burning of Brumehous Tower with the inhabitants still inside. The Earl of Arran and the Earl of Angus, local rivals, combined their forces after Angus learnt that Henry VIII was granting Eure some of his land. They joined the rest of the Scottish army and began marching towards the English near Jedburgh.

The Scottish army consisted of approx 2500 men while the English had over 4000. A small amount of the Scottish force feigned attack on the English camp to draw out the men. As the English crossed Palace Hill they found the rest of the Scottish army waiting for them. With the element of surprise and the setting sun obstructing the English army’s view it didn’t take long for the Scottish to disband the English army.

Eight hundred Englishmen were killed in battle, with over a 1000 taken prisoner. Amongst the dead was Sir Ralph Eure. Arran, took to the battlefield to survey the Scottish victory and to congratulate Angus. He also needed to identify Eure’s body, with the help of an English prisoner.

The defeat at Ancrum Moor temporarily set back to English campaign and encouraged Francis I to send French troops to assist the Scottish, although this did little help overall. The war eventually came to an end shortly after Henry VIII’s death.