Tag Archives: Tudors

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 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.

The origins of the Tudor dynasty.

The Tudor’s are one of history’s most famous families and their association with Wales stems back to their origins all the way to Henry Tudor landing in Dale to begin his march towards Bosworth and the crown.

The earliest Tudors date back to 1240 where they were landowners in Four Cantrels (later Denbigh) and later served Llywelyn ab lorwerth. Ednyfed Fychan, steward to the Prince, married a daughter of Lord Rhys and his sons also followed into representing the Prince of Gwynedd. One of these sons was Tudur ap Ednyfed (Tudur son of Ednyfed) whose service was rewarded with land in North Wales, where the Tudor dynasties origins begin.

When Edward I successes the English throne in 1272 he set his sights on conquering Wales and the descendants of Ednyfed saw that it would be more beneficial for them to support the new King. Their decision to switch sides paid off when Edward I took control of the country. However, not everyone in the family was happy with the new King and they joined a failed rebellion against the monarch. One of these rebels was Tudur Hen, Lord of Penmyndd, who quickly swore his allegiance to Edward of Caernarfon and when he died his land passed to his son Goronwy ap Tudur (Goronwy son of Tudur).

Tudur Hen had five sons, they all held positions of importance in North Wales. They were all loyal to the current King, Richard II and two of the brothers Rhys and Gwilym served the King in Ireland whilst on campaign. Richard II was deposed in 1399 by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Henry IV. Unhappy with Richard II being usurped the Tudur’s cousin Owain Glyndwr initiated a Welsh uprising against the new King. At first the rebellion was a success with many Welsh lands gained, however in 1401 Henry Percy issued an amnesty to all Welsh rebels except Owain Glyndwr, Rhys ap Tudur and Gwilym ap Tudur. The Tudur brothers were later pardoned after they were captured at Conwy castle. The third Tudur brother Maredydd had his land confiscated and was removed from his positions.

Maredydd ap Tudur married Margaret ferch Thomas and they had a son named Owen ap Tudur ap Maredydd. In an attempt to turn the Tudur families fortunes around they moved to London and Owen, aged seven, was sent to the English court of Henry IV acting as a page. Owen now also went by the name Owen Tudor to make his sound more anglicised by having a surname. Owen also went on the serve Henry V and fought at Agincourt in 1415.

After the death of Henry V in 1422 Owen was appointed the keeper of the wardrobe to the Dowager Queen, Catherine of Valois. The story goes that they met and fell in love when he tripped over and fell into her lap, although this is unproven. The soon married, however it broke a law that stated that the King’s permission was required. Owen and Catherine had two sons, Edmund and Jasper who grew up in the court of their half brother Henry VI. They were granted the Earldoms of Richmond and Pembroke respectively and in return they remained loyal to the King and the House of Lancaster. Owen Tudor went on to lead Lancastrian armies during the Wars of the Roses and was ultimately captured during the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross by Edward, Earl of March (later Edward IV).

His sons Edmund and Jasper continued to fight for Henry VI. In 1455 Edmund was married to Lady Margaret Beaufort, descendant of John of Gaunt through his illegitimate children. Edmund Tudor died from the plague two months before his son was born. This child would grow up to become King Henry VII.

Henry VIII Margaret Beaufort

         Henry Tudor as King Henry VII and his mother Margaret Beaufort

During Henry VI’s reign, Jasper was charged with maintaining Lancastrian ties in Wales and also looked after his widowed sister in law and her infant, Henry. Upon Edward IV’s ascension and the rise of the House of York, Jasper remained loyal to Henry VI and his Queen Margaret of Anjou. Once Henry VI was captured and murdered and the Lancastrian cause temporarily lost. Jasper fled from Tenby, Wales with the young Henry and they fled to Brittany in order to keep Henry safe. Jasper taught and trained Henry. Jasper was always gaining support for the Lancastrian claim to the throne whilst Henry’s mother was promoting her son as the heir to the Lancastrian throne.

Jasper, Henry and 2000 men set sail from Harfleur, France on 1st August 1485 and landed in Dale on the west coast of Wales. They marched towards Richard III’s army capturing town and gaining more and more supporters as they went finally meeting on Bosworth battlefield on the 22nd August. Where Richard III was killed in battle and it saw the end of the Plantagenet rule and the rise of the Tudors to the throne.

403           The winning Lancastrian army kneel down to their new King.

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