Tag Archives: Tudor Chronicles

On this day in 1547 – George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon, was born

George Carey was born on 26th February 1547 to Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, and Anne Morgan. Henry Carey was the son of Mary Boleyn and if court rumour was to be believed the illegitimate child of Henry VIII. Regardless of whether this is true or not George Carey was the cousin of Elizabeth I.

In 1560 George Carey entered Trinity College, Cambridge. Carey later went on to have a successful military career fighting in the Northern Rebellion in 1569. The Northern Rebellion saw an unsuccessful attempt by Catholic lords to depose Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots who they believed was the rightful heir to the English throne. Carey was praised for issuing and winning a challenge he issued to Lord Fleming, commander of Dunbar Castle, in single combat. As a result Carey was knighted for his bravery by Earl of Sussex.

Following his military career Carey made the move into politics and became a Member of Parliament for several terms and for different counties. He served for Hertfordshire in 1571 and Hampshire in 11584, 1586, 1588 and 1592. During his time as an MP Carey’s father died, in 1596, and George inherited the title of 2nd Baron Hunsdon and in 1597 he was also appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household, again following in his father’s footsteps.

Outside of Carey’s political career in his role as Lord Chamberlain he was a patron of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a theatre company that included the likes of Richard Burbage and William Shakespeare.

In 1597 Carey was invested as a Knight of the Garter, a prestigious event that was marked with, what is believed to be the first performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’.

Carey spent 20 years of his life as governor of the Isle of Wight and during his time there he took command of the island’s defences during the Spanish Armarda.

George_Carey_by_Nicholas_Hilliard_1601

Carey died on 9th September 1603 from veneral disease and mercury poisoning. He was buried in Westminster Abbey in the Carey vault in the chapel of St John the Baptist.

On this day in 1601 – Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is executed

Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, was beheaded on 25th February 1601 after a failed attempt to overthrow Elizabeth I.

Devereux was one of the Queen’s favourites, however they had a fiery relationship, in 1598 Elizabeth refused to grant one of Devereux’s requests and as a result Devereux turned his back on the Queen. Seen as a breach of etiqutte which saw Elizabeth loose her temper and slapped Devereux, who in retaliation reached for his sword. He was soon banished from the court.

A year later he was sent to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, forgiven by the Queen, to help stop an uprising. Devereux failed to fulfil his role y not putting a stop to the rebellion, fighting inrelevant fights and wasting the army’s funds. He also signed a truce with the leader of the rebellion, which caused concern back in England. Concerned at what was being said back in England, Devereux left his troops in Ireland and set off to England, disobeying strict orders from Elizabeth herself. He arrived at Nonsuch Palace on 28th September 1599 and stormed into the Queen’s bedchamber where she was unclothed and without her wig. Devereux was interogated by the Privy Council for five hours the following day to explain his actions. He was placed under house arrest at York House.

By August 1600 Devereux was freed but without his sweet wine monopoly, this was his main source of income. Furious at the Queen taking away his income Devereux began plotting to overthrow the Queen and government and began defending Essex House. On 8th February 1601 Devereux with a small army of just over 100 men carrying swords departed from Essex House on the Strand. They headed into the city via Ludgate Hill where a barricade was placed by a troop under the leadership of Sir John Leveson in an attempt to stop Devereux. Both sides began to fight but when Devereux’s step father, Sir Christopher Blount, was injured he soon retreated back to Essex House only to be arrested and sent to the Tower of London.

Devereux was tried on charges of treason on 19th February and found guilty. Devereux begged to be executed privately away from the baying mobs that executions bring. Standing on the scaffold before the block he removed his cap and coat before kneeling and indicting that he was ready. It took three attempts from the axemen to sever his head before his head was held up to the small audience watching.

Devereux was the last person to be beheaded within the Tower of London.

Robert Devereux

On this day in 1500 – Charles V of Spain is born

Charles V was born on 24th February 1500 to Joanna of Castile and Philip I of Castile and was born the heir of three seperate houses – Habsburg, Valois-Burgandy and Trastámara.

Born the grandson of Isabella of Castile, Ferdinand II of Aragon, Maximilian, Holy Roman Emperor and Mary of Burgandy, Charles would grow up to become one of the most powerful men in Europe.

In 1516 he became King of Castile alongside his mother and this quickly followed by gaining the crown of Aragon in 1519. In the same year Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor beating Frederick II of Saxony, Ferdinand I of France and Henry VIII o the position. As the grandson of the previous Emperor, Maximilion, Charles was the natural choice and with an unanimous decision he was crowned on the 28th June 1519.

In 1525 Charles married Isabella of Portugal and had three children with Isabella, however just four years earlier he was betrothed to the five year old Princess Mary daughter of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Princess Mary later married Charles’ son Philip when she was aged 37.

During Charles’ reign as Emperor Henry VIII had started to try and divorce Katherine of Aragon in 1527. Katherine wrote frequently to her nephew, Charles, to help her cause within Europe and the Pope. In 1527 Charles had taken the Pope prisoner and so he was unable to get involved at the time, which Henry unsuccessfully tried to use to his advantage. In 1529  although the Pope was free he was still heavily influenced by Charles. The Pope sent Cardinal Campeggio to preside over the divorce hearing and delay it as much as he could.

In 1554 Charles began to withdraw from his duties passing them on to his brother, Ferdinand, and son, Philip II of Spain.

On 21st September 1558 Charles died, aged 58, of malaria. charles v

On this day in 1503 – Elizabeth of York is buried in Westminster Abbey

Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and mother to Henry VIII, was buried in Westminster Abbey on 23rd February 1503.

Elizabeth was betrothed to Henry Tudor whilst he was in exile planning his return to England to face Richard III. Henry defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth on 22nd August 1485 and was proclaimed king.

Henry took Elizabeth for his wife on 18th January 1486 with a service in Westminster Abbey. Their marriage united the Houses of York and Lancashire and ended the Wars of the Roses.

Elizabeth died on 11th February 1503 on her 37th birthday, days after giving birth to a daughter, Katherine, who unfortunately also died just a few days after being born. After her death Elizabeth lay in state at the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London before being interred to Westminster Abbey. Henry VII gave his wife a magnificent state funeral and spared no expense.

Elizabeth’s funeral procession began on 22nd February and was led by 200 men and women dressed in black and carrying torches. Behind them followed Elizabeth’s household members and clerics and then came Elizabeth’s coffin on a horsedrawn carriage accompanied by knights and nobles.

Behind the carriage were the Queen’s four sisters on horseback with four other noblewomen in single file each escorted by a gentleman dressed in black damansk. The procession was followed further by noblewomen and members of the royal household.

Following a night resting within the Abbey, masses were said with the Bishop of Lincoln presiding over the final requiem mass. When all the sermons and masses were over the Bishop of London sanctified the grave for the coffin to be lowered into the ground. The Queen’s chamberlain and gentlemen ushers broke their staffs of offie and threw them into the grave to signify the end of their employment in her name.

Henry VII declared that every 11th February a requiem mass was to be sung, bells tolled and 100 candles lit in honour of his Queen.

Work on the Tudor vault in Westminster Abbey had only just begun at the time of Elizabeth’s death and so she could not be interred here, instead she was temporarily laid to rest in a specially built vault made just for her between the high altar and the choir in the Abbey. It was only after the death of Henry VII in 1509 that she was re-interred to her final resting place in the Lady Chapel.

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On this day in 1511- Prince Henry Tudor died

In 1511 on 1st January, 18 months after their wedding, Katherine of Aragon gave birth to a boy, giving Henry his first born son following the tragic stillbirth of a daughter the previous year. The boy named Henry was quickly made the Duke of Cornwall and was expected to be invested as Prince of Wales soon after. Prince Henry was christened on 5th January, which saw his godparents include King Louis XII of France, Duchess of Savoy and the Archbishop of Canterbury. A lavish jousting tournament was thrown in the prince’s honour with the King competing under the banner of Sir Loyal Heart, proclaiming his love for his Queen and new son. Tragedy struck on 22nd February when the young Prince suddenly died, he was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey befitting his status. England would have been such a different place had this young boy survived.

On this day in 1597 – The lease for the Globe Theatre is signed by the shareholders

In 1597 Giles Allen refused to renew the lease on the land where The Theatre stood, home to the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Over Christmas 1597 the Burbages dismantled The Theatre and stored it on the north bank of the Thames.

In order to raise the funds to lease new ground to rebuild their theatre they offered five members of the acting company the chance to become shareholders at the cost of £10 each. One of these five was William Shakespeare. The land chosen was south of the River Thames in Southwark and was renamed The Globe Theatre. The Globe opened in 1599, most likely with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Shakespeare was to be their resident writer but the Lord Chamberlain’s Men also performed works by Ben Johnson, John Fletcher and Thomas Dekker.

On 29th June 1613 during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII a fire, caused by cannon fire, set the theatre alight and burnt it to the ground. A second Globe Theatre was quickly built over the foundations of the previous building and opened the following year. However, Puritans closed all theatres in 1642 and the theatre was most likely demolished in 1644.

A modern reconstruction of The Globe opened in 1997, 750 feet away from the original site and it was built based upon all existing evidence of the original building. 101_2124

On this day in 1547 – The Coronation of Edward VI

Following the death of Henry VIII, his only son Edward was announced as his successor on 28th January 1547. 20th February 1547 saw the day that Edward was crowned King Edward VI.

The day before his coronation Edward rode out of the Tower of London to the Palace of Westminster. The procession was led by the King’s messengers, gentlemen, trumpeters, chaplains and esquires. Following them on horseback was the nobility and council members  with Henry Grey carrying the Sword of State. Behind all of this was the new King, nine year old, Edward accompanied by his uncle, Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Warwick.

The coronation service was shorter than normal partly due to his age but also to do with the fact that many of the rituals were now inappropriate due to the Reformation. Cramer encouraged the young King to continue the work of his father and pushed the Protestant cause.

After the coronation the nation was placed under a Regency Council until the young King was old enough to rule on his own. The council was led by his uncle, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.

Edward’s reign was short lived, he fell ill in February 1553 and passed away, aged only 15 and six years into his reign. Edward named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey as his successor in an attempt to keep England Protestant, despite it going againt his fathers wishes in his Act of Succession.Edward_VI_of_England_c._1546

On this day in 1592 – Rose Theatre opened

The Rose Theatre was the first playhouse to be situated on Bankside, London. Built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe and John Chomley, a local grocer. Henslowe leased the land from the parish of St. Mildred in 1585. There is no records of what the Rose was used for until Henslowe’s diaries began in 1592, which show the Rose in use as a playhouse.

In 1592 an acting troupe combining of men from the Admiral’s Men and Lord Strange’s Men were using the Rose to perform many plays amongst them Shakespeare, Kyd and Marlowe. The theatre was expanded to accomodate the actors with the stage being moved back but the plague soon shut down the theatres of London. The actors took themselves on tour around Britain until the plague had passed.

Upon their return the company split into two with half staying with the Admiral’s Men and the others forming the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, with the latter going on to build the Globe Theatre in 1599.

The Rose was believed to have been pulled down in 1606 but you can still visit the foundations of this once great theatre today.

rose theatre