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On this day in 1540 – Sir Thomas Cromwell was arrested

On 10th June 1540 at 3pm Sir Thomas Cromwell attended a Privy Council meeting that would be like no other that he had been to. It was here the Duke of Norfolk led a small group of followers along with the Captain of the Guard to arrest Cromwell on the accusation of treason. When Cromwell saw the guard approaching he threw his hat on the table in rage at what was about to happen. It is believed that Norfolk and Southampton tore the Garter badge of St George from Cromwell’s clothes himself and he was taken to a barge and onto the Tower of London

Cromwell’s arrest came after he had fallen out of favour with King Henry VIII. Henry had recently married Anne of Cleves, who was selected for him by Cromwell. Henry did not like Anne and wanted to get out of the arrangement and later the marriage, Cromwell could not find a suitable way and so angered the King who was then easily swayed into believing that Cromwell was not only a heretic but also a traitor.

A Bill of Attainder was passed against him stripping him of all honours and titles he was now simply known as Thomas Cromwell, cloth carder. A list of accusations were included in Cromwell’s indictment including; supporting Anabaptists, protecting Protestants that had been accused of heresy and therefore failing to enforce the Act of Six Articles as well as heresy.

The accusation of heresy was enough for Henry to approve Cromwell’s death but only after his marriage to Anne of Cleves was over.

Thomas CromwellSir Thomas Cromwell painted by Hans Holbein the younger

On this day in 1536 – the wedding of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.

On 30th May 1536 just 11 days after the death of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. The couple were married in the Queen’s Closet at York Palace. In preparation for the service the former Queen’s falcon emblems were quickly replaced with a phoenix and Jane’s initials laid over Anne’s, it was done in such hurry that if you look carefully at Hampton Court Palace you can still see some A’s under the J’s.

According to David Starkey the wedding vows would have been spoken by the King first followed by Jane and they would have been similar to the following;

“I, Henry, take thee to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth.”

Jane’s vows would have been the same but with the added line promising to be ‘bonny and buxom in bed and board.’

The wedding remained secret for a few days and Jane was gradually introduced as the new Queen.

Sir John Russell wrote to Lord Lisle;

“On Friday last (2nd June) the Queen sat abroad as Queen, and was served by her own servants, who were sworn that same day. The King came in his great boat to Greenwich that day with his privy chamber, and the Queen and the ladies in the great barge.”

Henry granted 104 manors in four counties along with forests and hunting chases. He also gave his new wife a Hans Holbein designed gold cup that combined the King and Queen’s initials along with Jane’s motto of ‘bound to obey and serve.’

Jane was the only wife to give Henry the one thing that he desired, a son. Although it cost her her life in doing so.

marriage deed                               The marriage deed for Jane Seymour and Henry VIII