Scotland: Mary Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots was born at Linlithgow Palace on the 8th December 1542, to parents King James V and Marie de Guise.

James V had been defeated at the “Battle of Solway Moss” by English forces commanded by Oliver Sinclair.  James chose to retire to his hunting lodge at Falkland Palace in Fife out of disgrace, and on the 14th December he died.

Henry VIII, called off the war against Scotland, and sought to negotiate a marriage between Mary and Prince Edward VI heir apparent to the English throne, then aged five.

The Regent of Scotland, The Earl of Arran was in favour of the marriage, and so the Treaty of Greenwich was entered into, thus Mary and Edward were betrothed to each other.  However, opposing factions saw it as a threat to Scottish nationality and their Catholic religion.  Pressure was brought to bear on the Earl of Arran, to withdraw from the treaty, and seek an alliance with France.

On the 9th December 1543, Mary was crowned Mary, Queen of Scots at Stirling castle.

In 1558, Mary married Francis the dauphin of France at Notre Dame in Paris, and on the 10th July 1559, Mary ascends to Queen Consort of France, when her husband becomes King Francis II of France.

Many in England feared this marriage could have long term consequences.  For Mary was now queen Consort of France, Queen of Scotland, and declared herself as the true Queen of England, whilst her husband became King Consort of Scotland and King of France, this royal alliance had united French and Scottish crowns.

On the 5th December 1560, Mary’s husband King Francis II of France died.

In 1560, Mass performed in Latin became illegal, according to the law laid down by the Scottish Parliament, as the Protestant faith, spread across much of Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots found herself a widow at eighteen, and returned to her homeland of Scotland in 1561, to take up her position as Queen of Scotland.  She a Catholic, in a predominately Protestant country, forced into accepting her Scotland was now led by a Protestant Government.

In 1565, Mary marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, her cousin, believing upon the death of Elizabeth I; with him on her side, any claim to the English throne would be increased.  They married at Mary’s private chapel in Holyrood House on the 29th July.  The marriage was a failure, for Darnley wanted to be joint ruler with Mary.

Mary appointed one David Riccio an Italian as her personal secretary, and on the 9th March 1566, Darnley burst into her chambers at Holyrood House with fellow conspirators in a jealous rage, and murdered Riccio.

On the 19th June 1566, Mary gave birth to a son; James at Edinburgh Castle, who would grow up to become King James VI of Scotland, and baptised on the 12th December at Stirling Castle.

Early in 1567, Darnley was known to be plotting against Mary’s life.  Then on the 9th February Stuart Darnley, the King of Scotland was strangled to death in the grounds of Kirk O’Fields, following an explosion.  Then in the May, the Earl of Bothwell believed to be behind the murder marries Mary, Queen of Scots.

On the 15th June 1567, Protestant Lords confronted Mary at Carberry Hill, near Edinburgh, where she surrendered and was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle.  Pressure was brought to bear, forcing her to abdicate in favour of her infant son; James.

Mary escaped in 1568, defeated in the “Battle of Langside” on the 13th May, and fled south, crossing the border into England, expecting Elizabeth to support her … how wrong she was.

Mary found herself a prisoner, first at Carlisle Castle, then Bolton Castle.

In October of 1586, Mary found herself on trial for treason against the life of Elizabeth, through correspondence with Anthony Babington.  On the 25th October she was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to death.

On the 8th February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots, she who sought help from Elizabeth and England, a conspirator against the life of Elizabeth, lost her own life to the executioner… at Fotheringhay Castle, and was buried first at Peterborough Cathedral, then in 1612 moved to Westminster Abbey.

Francis Drake: Record Breaking Adventurer…

Francis Drake sailed out of Plymouth on his ship the Golden Hind on the 13th December 1577 taking with him five additional ships; Pelican, Elizabeth, Marigold, Swan and Benedict.  Their aim, to plunder Spanish gold mines, treasure houses and circumnavigate the globe.

The fleet proceeded to the Cape Verde Islands, reaching them on the 30th January 1578.  From there they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the River Plate off the coast of South America, and then southwards to Port St.Julian, where they held up for the winter months.

On the 20th August 1578, having abandoned two of his ships, traversed the Strait of Magellan, and out into the Pacific where the ships encountered fierce storms.

The storms drove them far to the south, and the Golden Hind got separated from the other ships.

Drake was now alone, and chose to continue with their quest, sailing along the coast of Chile, attacking and plundering Valparaiso and smaller settlements.

He captured the Spanish treasure ship; Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion bound for Panama, on the 1st March 1579, along with Spanish sea charts of the area.

He moored up at Hautulco in Central America for two days, then sailed north first, searching for the elusive Northwest Passage.  With no sign, went south to San Francisco Bay and remained there between June and July of 1579, overhauling his ship.

On the 23rd July 1579, the Golden Hind crossed the Pacific Ocean and sighted land on the 16th October and on the 3rd November arrived at Ternate in the East Indies.

They sailed on to Java, across the Indian Ocean, round the Cape of Good Hope, arriving back at Plymouth on the 26th September 1580.

His circumnavigation of the globe had taken nearly three years to complete, and he returned with his ships hold, bursting with Spanish treasure for his Queen.

On the 4th April 1581, Queen Elizabeth I knighted this pirated, this adventurer; Francis Drake on board his ship, the Golden Hind, for his achievement in circumnavigating the globe.

His exploits were legendary amongst the English, but to the Spanish he was no more than a pirate, with a price on his head…

Tudors: Blanche Parry – Elizabeth I Governess

Set between the jagged range of the Malvern Hills and the mountains of Wales, Herefordshire is a quiet secretive county of rolling green hills and beautiful wooded valleys.  The best known feature of the landscape is the broad and winding course of the River Wye, once a formidable obstacle on the journey between England and Wales.  Nestling on the banks of the rivers, in the folds of the hills, beside the orchards and fields of hops, are picturesque small towns and villages of half-timbered or red sandstone houses, some standing close to churches with curious detached towers.  The latter, like the many castles, were built for defence, for times past this was the violent borderland in which the English and Welsh fought one another.  That the sleepy city of Hereford, with its many treasures and magnificent cathedral, was subjected to a formidable siege in the Civil Wars should come as no surprise, for almost every corner of the county has its own story to tell of past battles, mysterious events and ancient traditions.

In the church at Bacton is the tombe of Blanche Parry who, beginning her career as an infant’s nurse, and progressing through to the position of governess to Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber was the constant companion of Queen Elizabeth I.  When the faithful attendant died aged 82 in 1589, the Queens image was sculptured on the tomb – a rare honour.

Tudor Queen: Elizabeth I

Elizabeth was born on the 7th September 1533 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  She ascended to the English throne on the 17th November 1558, following the death of her half-sister, Queen Mary I, and was crowned Queen Elizabeth I of England at Westminster Abbey on the 15th January 1559.

Elizabeth would have been well aware, what this new position in life held.  She knew, she was considered an illegitimate child in the eyes of some of her Catholic subjects.  For they believed, Mary, Queen of Scotland, the Catholic daughter of James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise, also the great niece of Henry VIII, gave her claim to the English throne.

Therefore if Elizabeth had died, Mary would have ascended to the English throne.  Whilst Mary lived an assassination on Elizabeth’s life, by supporters loyal to Mary existed.

Elizabeth dismantled Mary’s Catholic England, and on the 29th May 1559 Edmund Grindal became the new Protestant Bishop of London, replacing Edmund Bonner.  One by one, Catholic churches suppressed making way for Protestant England.

On the 10th July Henry II of France died, and Francis II ascended to the French throne with his wife; Mary, Queen of Scots.

Many in England feared what could happen.  For Mary was now Queen Consort of France, Queen of Scotland, and declared herself as the true Queen of England, whilst her husband became King Consort of Scotland, this royal alliance had united the French and Scottish crowns.

Would French monarchs, actively seek Elizabeth’s throne, on behalf of their Queen; Mary.  She who bequeathed Scotland, and her claim to the English throne to that of France, should she die without issue.

Elizabeth appointed William Cecil as her Principal Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham for Intelligence and Robert Dudley as Master of the Horse.

On the 17th December Mathew Parker was consecrated as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity were introduced on the 3rd April and approved by royal assent on the 8th May.  They restored the Protestant Church in England, making Elizabeth head of the Church of England in 1559.

In December of 1559, Elizabeth sent aid, by way of a fleet of ships to Leith.  These Scottish Protestant lords had rebelled against their French Catholic Regent.  Elizabeth did not want French troops sent by Mary, Queen of Scots, crossing the border from Scotland into England, even to the point of challenging her right to be Queen.

On the 27th February 1560, Scottish Protestants under her protection signed the “Treaty of Berwick.”  On the 6th April, English troops laid siege to the French garrison at Leith, on Scotland’s lands.  Peace negotiations were agreed by the signing of the “Treaty of Edinburgh” on the 6th July, and according to the terms, both English and French troops withdrew from Scotland.

On the 5th December, King Francis II of France died.

On the 4th June 1561, St.Paul’s steeple was struck by lightning, and its roof destroyed by fire.  Catholics believed it was a sign from God, that he be displeased by Protestant reforms.

Mary, Queen of Scots, a widow at eighteen, returned to Scotland in 1561, to take up her position as Queen of Scotland, she a Catholic in a predominately Protestant country.  Mary was forced into accepting her Scotland was led by a Protestant government, and her rule within it, had to be one of moderation.

Protestants massacred in Vassy, relations broke down with Catholics, leading to Civil War.

In August 1562, Protestant Huguenots requested English aid.  The Treaty of Hampton Court, signed on the 20th September, saw Elizabeth grant them money and troops, in return for Calais.

Some 6,000 English troops under Ambrose Dudley, the Earl of Warwick, occupied Dieppe and LeHarve.  The Protestant Huguenots had been defeated in the “Battle of Dreux” by francis, Duke of Guise in the December, and their leader, the Prince of Conde, captured.

In March of 1563 Protestant and Catholic factions in France, made peace at the Treaty of Amboise.  Their united armies attacked the English garrison of LeHarve.  Bubonic plague struck the garrison in the July, and Warwick surrendered to the French and brought the plague back to England.

Over the next nine months, some 20,000 people died in London, and in December Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire were struck by earthquakes.

In 1565, English adventurer and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh brings back potatoes and tobacco from the New World.

On the 19th June 1566, Mary, the Queen of Scots bore a son, baptised according to Catholic rites, and the child was named James, and Elizabeth was his godmother.

On the 29th July 1567, 13-month-old heir to the Scottish throne was crowned King James VI, after his mother had abdicated on the 24th July under duress.  Mary’s half-brother James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, ruled as Regent.

On the 2nd May 1568, Mary escaped from Lochleven Castle, and on the 16th May crossed the border into England.

This unwanted visitor, was first imprisoned in Carlisle Castle, then moved to Bolton Castle.

On the 25th February 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth from the Catholic Church.  A copy of the Bull of Excommunication was nailed to the door of the Bishop of London’s Palace on the 25th May by John Feton who was sent to the Tower, and executed on the 8th August at St.Paul’s Churchyard.

February of 1571, Francis Drake plundered Spanish shipping in the West Indies, his act of piracy against the Spanish amounted to at least £100,000 shared by his Queen.

Martin Frobisher made three voyages between 1576 and 1578 to the Arctic in search of the North-West passage to China.

On the 31st May 1577, Martin Frobisher departed Harwich, his mission to bring back black ore believed to contain gold, for his financial backers which also included the Queen.  What was thought to be gold, turned out to be dross.

On the 13th December 1577, five ships under Francis Drake’s command left Plymouth to seize Spanish bullion and explore the South American coastline.  On the 26th September 1580, Francis Drake returned to England, having circumnavigated the globe, and on the 4th April 1581 was knighted on the deck of the Golden Hind.

In April of 1583, Elizabeth attempted a settlement which would allow, Mary to return to Scotland.  James VI refused, he objected to sharing power with his mother.

On the 25th October John Somerville had intended to shoot the Queen, but confessed all at a local Inn on route, and was arrested.  He implicated his Catholic parents-in-law, Edward and Mary Arden.  Somerville committed suicide on the 19th December in his cell and Edward Arden was hanged, drawn and quartered.

In November 1583, Francis Thogmorton confessed of a plot involving Bernardino de Mendoza the Spanish Ambassador, English and French Catholics in exile and Spanish troops, to remove Elizabeth and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne.

In April of 1584, Walter Raleigh rigged out two ships, for a voyage of discovery, destined for the New World.  He founded the first American colony, and named it Virginia after his Queen; Elizabeth the Virgin Queen.  Then on the 6th January 1585, he received a knighthood.

On the 2nd March 1585, William Parry MP was hung, drawn and quartered for high treason, a co-conspirator planning to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.

During the months of May, June and July of 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots entered into correspondence with Catholic conspirator Anthony Babbington.  Her letters were intercepted and deciphered.  Mary approved of an invasion plan and the assassination of Elizabeth.

In the October Mary was put on trial at Fotheringale Castle for plotting against the Queen’s life.  On the 25th October she was found guilty, and sentenced to death.  On the 4th December Elizabeth issued a proclamation of the verdict, and on the 6th December Lord Burghley drafted the death warrant, ready for the Queen’s signature.

Elizabeth had much doubt in signing the death warrant, but pressure led to the signing on the 1st February 1587.

On the 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, she who sought support from England, yet being a conspirator against the life of Elizabeth lost her own life.  She presented herself to the executioner, as that of a Martyr, dressed in crimson, wearing an Agnus Dei around her neck and a rosary attached to her girdle, holding a crucifix, and repeating prayers to herself in Latin, as she walked to her death.

On the 2nd April 1587, Sir Francis Drake the Queen’s pirate departed Plkymouth, destined to attack Spain’s shipping.  He plundered and sunk ships anchored at Cadiz, then moved on to the Azores, where he captured Philip II’s San Felipe, laden with treasure.

On the 19th July 1588, the Spanish Armada commanded by the Duke of Medina Sidonia was sighted off the lizard in Cornwall on route to Plymouth.

The English fleet, commanded by Admiral Drake, defeated the Spanish with fire ships and had bad weather on their side.

In the June of 1592, Sir Walter Raleigh was thrown into the Tower of London.  He being the father of Elizabeth Throckmorton’s child, she being the Queen’s lady-in-waiting.  On the 7th September he was released, but barred from attending court and stripped of all his privileges and office.  In the June of 1597, he returned to the royal court after five years in disgrace.

In the September and October of 1592, Plague struck London and some 11,000 souls lost their lives.  Fires were lit in the streets to cleanse the air.  In January of 1593, the Plague struck again and thousands died as it spread through the capital.

Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth’s pirate, lost his life in late January of 1596 on a Caribbean expedition, when he died of dysentery, and was buried at sea.

In April of 1601, communication were started between Sir Robert Cecil and the Earl of Mar, representative of King James VI of Scotland.

He being the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and descendant from Henry VII’s daughter, Margaret made him the rightful heir to the English throne.

King Henry VIII had excluded Scottish lines of succession to the English throne.

Elizabeth had not married, she had no off-spring this Virgin Queen … it was just a matter of time for James, to wait for Elizabeth to die.

On the 24th March 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace and was buried at Westminster Abbey on the 28th April, alongside her half-sister Queen Mary I.

Tudor Queen: Mary I

Mary was born on the 8th February 1516 at Greenwich Palace to parents Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon.

When Edward VI died, she seized the crown, from the newly crowned Queen; Jane Grey, Edward’s chosen successor.  She ascended to the throne on the 19th July 1553, and was crowned at Westminster Abbey on the 1st October, as Henry’s successor, heir by law.

On the 12th February 1554, Jane Grey and her husband Guildford Dudley were executed at the Tower of London, on the express orders of Queen Mary I.

On the 27th October 1553, she informed her council, she intended to marry Prince Philip of Spain, heir apparent to the Spanish throne.

On the 16th November, Parliament put forward that she should marry an Englishman, and the candidate they put forward was the Earl of Devon.

In January of 1554, a Protestant rebellion led by Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger, opposed the marriage.

On the 12th February, Princess Elizabeth was summoned to London; she was suspected of having been involved with Wyatt and his rebellion.

On the 18th March, Queen Mary imprisoned Princess Elizabeth in the Tower of London, and then on the 19th March moved her to Woodstock Palace.

On the 25th July 1554, Prince Philip of Spain married Queen Mary I of England at Winchester Cathedral.

In the autumn of 1554, Mary overturned acts relating to the church, and in turn, returned England to Roman Catholicism.

Many Protestant Bishops were persecuted, and some three hundred were burned at the stake.

In 1555, Philip requested that Mary reconcile her differences with her sister; Princess Elizabeth, making her heir to the English throne.

On the 16th October Protestant churchmen; Ridley and Latimer were burned at the stake, outside Balliol College, Oxford on the charge of heresy.

In January of 1556, Queen Mary’s husband was crowned King Philip II of Spain.

On the 21st March, Thomas Cranmer the former Archbishop of Canterbury was burned at the stake in Oxford.

Queen Mary I of England died on the 17th November 1558 at St.James Palace and was buried on the 14th December at Westminster Abbey.

This Queen who ruled for only five years, had attempted to return England to its Catholic roots of the past … she who was true to her faith, her beliefs.

What will she be remembered for?  Her mass burning of Protestants, who refused to turn to Catholicism.

Tudor King: Edward VI

Edward was born on the 12th October 1537 at Hampton Court to parents Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.  He ascended to the English throne on the 28th January 1547, following the death of his father, and was crowned King Edward VI of England on the 19th February 1547 at Westminster Abbey.

Edward was too young to rule, so Edward Seymour the Lord Protector of Somerset ruled in his name, and later replaced by John Dudley the Earl of Warwick.

On the 10th September 1547, English army led by the Duke of Somerset, defeated a Scottish army at the “Battle of Pinkie” near Musselburch, to the east of Edinburgh.  It was his intention to force the Scots to abide by the “Treaties of Greenwich” agreeing a marriage between King Edward VI of England and Queen Mary I of Scotland.

A small force of French troops arrived in Scotland to check out the situation, and this was followed up by 6,000 troops, preventing the English, from gaining a foothold in the Scottish borders.

The English effort to force Queen Mary I to marry King Edward VI into marriage, and joining of the two countries failed.  So it was on the 7th August Mary left Scotland bound for France to marry the dauphin.

She married the future French King; Francis II on the 19th April 1558 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

In 1549, the first book of Common Prayer was introduced, and Church services changed from Latin to English.

Thousands of protestors from Cornwall and Devon protested against the new book of Common Prayer in the June, as they marched on Exeter under the banner of the “Five Wounds of Christ.”

In 1549, an act was passed “The First Act of Uniformity” making Roman Catholic Mass illegal, and icons and statues related to this form of worship were removed, and walls whitewashed to cover up paintings.

On the 8th July Robert Kett a Norfolk Tanner and landholder, led demonstrations against land enclosures in Wymondham, on Norwich.  Kett was hanged from Norwich Castle, for their attack on Norwich.

John Dudley, the Earl of Warwick creates for himself the Duke of Northumberland, and deposes the Duke of Somerset as Protector of England, and thereby controlled access to the King.

In March of 1550 England and France make peace with each other, through the “Treaty of Boulogne.”  England surrendered Boulogne for 400,000 crowns.  England withdrew its forces from Scotland.

On the 2nd May Joan Bucher (Joan of Kent) was burned at the stake in Smithfield for heresy.

On the 25th May 1551, London and its surrounding area, was hit by earthquake. 

On the 19th July a treaty was signed at Angers; the proposed marriage between King Edward VI and Elizabeth, daughter of Henry II of France … a sign of Anglo-French friendship.

In the August Princess Mary was ordered to obey the law and cease attending Latin mass.

On the 22nd January 1552 the Duke of Somerset was executed on Tower Hill on the charge of high treason.

On the 21st May 1553, Guildford Dudley married the King’s cousin, Lady Jane Grey.  In early June, the King collapsed, it was a sign, and death was at hand.

On the 6th July 1553 King Edward IV died at Greenwich Palace of suspected tuberculosis and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Who would or should have succeeded him?

According to King Henry VIII, the Catholic Mary Tudor was heir by law. 

According to the wishes of King Edward VI, his successor was Lady Jane Grey.

The Nine Day Queen: Lady Jane Grey

On the 6th July 1553, King Edward VI of England died at Greenwich Palace.  On the 9th July, Bishop Ridley stated that contenders to the English throne, Mary and Elizabeth were illegitimate by right of birth.  Then on the 10th July, proclamation of the death of King Edward VI was announced.

So who was going to be the next King or Queen of England?

Lady Jane Grey was born in October 1537 at Bradgate Manor, Leicestershire to parents Henry Grey, Marquis Dorset and great grandson of Queen Elizabeth and her mother was Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

In 1546, she entered court life as the ward to Catherine Parr, the then wife of Henry VIII, at the suggestion of Thomas Seymour, the Lord Admiral.  On the 21st May 1553, she married Lord Guildford Dudley, not by choice, but by request of her mother.

The Dudley’s were Protestant nobles. And held much power in court, due to their wealth, attained through the Dissolution of the Monasteries.  As Protestant’s they feared, Mary a devout catholic, could become Edward’s successor, and so it was under pressure, his will was changed to include Lady Jane Grey as his Protestant heir.

Edward died on the 6th July 1553, and Lady Jane Grey made her claim to the English throne, by right of Edward’s will and that her grandmother; Mary Tudor was the sister of Henry VIII.

Jane’s education included Latin, Greek, Hebrew and modern languages, yet her childhood was dominated by strict and domineering parents.

Mary gathered support from her followers in East Anglia, and the Duke of Northumberland’s army had been dispatched to stop Mary.  It was useless, councillors and nobles believed Mary was the rightful heir and defected in support of her.

On the 23rd July, the Duke of Northumberland surrendered to Mary at Cambridge; not a drop of blood was spilt, for the battle was over before it started.

On the 3rd August 1553 Mary and her followers entered London; she was dressed in purple velvet and satin, receiving rejoicing from the people who had lined the streets to greet her… their new Queen.

She attended the Tower of London, releasing political prisoners.

On the 8th August King Edward VI was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in accordance with Protestant tradition.  On the 18th August proclaimed to her subjects that they follow her faith the Catholic religion.

The Duke of Northumberland was beheaded on the 22nd August as a conspirator.  On the 21st September Mary was crowned Queen Mary of England. On the 12th February 1554, Lady Jane grey and her husband Lord Guildford Dudley were beheaded at the Tower of London.

An extract of Lady Jane Grey’s final words at the scaffold, prior to being beheaded from the “Chronicle of Queen Jane.”

I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same.  The fact, indeed, against the queen’s highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching procurement and desire thereof in innocence, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people this day.

Lady Jane Grey’s body was buried in the chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr was born in 1512, at Blackfriars in London.  In 1529 she marries Sir Edward Borough and is widowed in 1533, then in 1534 marries John Neville, Lord Latimer, and is widowed in 1543.

She starts a relationship with Thomas Seymour in 1543, but this was put on hold, as Henry VIII caught her eye.  On the 12th July 1543, Henry VIII and Catherine Parr were duly married.

From July to December of 1544, Queen Catherine acted as Regent whilst Henry waged war with France.

In 1545, Queen Catherine publishes her book; “Prayers and Meditations.”

On the 24th May 1546, Catherine’s friend, Anne Askew is arrested, tortured and executed for her beliefs.

On the 28th January 1547, after a short marriage, King Henry VIII dies.

In the May of 1547, Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour marry, and in the September she publishes her book; “Lamentations of a Sinner.”

From 1547 to 1548 Catherine and Thomas have Lady Elizabeth, the Future Queen of England, and Lady Jane Grey residing at Sudeley Castle.

On the 30th August 1548, the Dowager Queen Catherine gives birth to a daughter; Lady Mary Seymour.

On the 5th September 1548, the Dowager, Queen Catherine Parr died, and was buried in the chapel of Sudeley Castle.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard was born in 1521 to parents Edmund Howard and Jocasta Culpepper.  This young and flirtatious woman, attracted men, and in 1553 had an affair with her music teacher, Henry Mannox, then again in 1536 with Francis Dereham.

In 1539, she became lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, and soon after became the mistress of Henry VIII.

Following Henry’s and Anne’s divorce on the 9th July 1540, Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, daughter of Edmund Howard and cousin of Anne Boleyn, were married on the 28th July 1540.

It didn’t take long for Katherine to get bored; she had married an old man, which led to her seeking out younger friends at court.  Rumours of adultery circulated around court, and in the summer of 1541, Thomas Cranmer investigates.

In November of 1541, Thomas Cranmer informs his King of his findings, that his Queen had other relationships before their marriage, and since becoming Queen, had taken into her service, one Francis Dereham a former lover.

On the 22nd November 1541, Katherine was stripped of her position as Queen of England, arrested and interrogated, then sent to Syon Abbey.

On the 10th December 1541, her lover Francis Dereham was hung, drawn and quartered.

On the 10th February 1542, Charles Brandon the 1st Duke of Suffolk escorts Katherine Howard former Queen of England to the Tower of London, along the river thames, flanked by armed guards.  On Monday 13th February, she is beheaded on Tower Green, Tower of London.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves was born on the 22nd September 1515 at Dusseldorf, Duchy of Cleves to parents; John, the Duke of Cleves and Marie von Julich.

Henry never met his new wife, until she arrived in England, all he had to go on, was the portrait sent to him, for his approval, which pleased him.

In 1539, the marriage treaty was arranged, and Anne made the trip to Rochester, England and her marriage.

Henry walked unannounced into the chambers of Anne of Cleves, she not knowing him, did not acknowledge or curtsy to him, he expected to be acknowledged, and took an instant dislike to her.

On the 6th January 1540, the couple were married, and by the 9th July an annulment of the marriage was granted, on grounds of non-consummation.

Anne of Cleves was reluctant to return to her family home, and be known as a failure.  She stayed at Hever Castle for the rest of her life.

Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of King Henry VIII, was educated in domestic skills.  Henry had expected an intellectual wife, with which to converse with… she could not compete.  Henry had a love of music, books and cards; she had no interest in these.

The marriage was a failure from the start, and a relief to both, when it was over.

Anne’s latter years, was one of an independent woman, visiting court as an honoured guest, and her love for ale and gambling.

Anne of Cleaves, died on the 17th July 1557 at Chelsea in London, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.