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.

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.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour, believed to have been born in 1508/09 at Wolf Hall, Wiltshire, and in 1523, became one of the ladies-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon.

In 1533, she was moved to lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

On the 10th September 1535, Henry VIII was a guest, at the home of John Seymour at Wolf Hall, and here he would have met the young Jane Seymour, and maybe she made a lasting impression on him.  Then in November Henry started courting Jane.

In January of 1536, Anne Boleyn sees a jewel hanging from Jane’s neck, and pulls it off, discovering it contained a likeness of the King.  Day’s later Jane is discovered by Anne, sitting upon the king’s knee, and accepting his advances.

On the 29th January Anne Boleyn has a still born child, and Catherine of Aragon is buried at Peterborough Cathedral.  Rumours spread that the King was seeking a new wife, one who could give him a son and heir.

In the March, Henry sent Jane Seymour a letter along with a purse of sovereigns.  The letter implied a summons to the King’s bed… Jane returned the sovereigns; her price was one of marriage.

Thomas Cromwell and the Queen had fallen out with each other, and it wasn’t long before Cromwell saw her, as a threat.

In the April, Edward Seymour, Jane’s brother along with his wife, moved into rooms once used by Cromwell.  These rooms contained a secret passage, leading to the King’s apartments, so Henry and Jane could meet in private.

On the 2nd May Anne Boleyn is arrested on charges of treason, brought to trial on the 15th, and found guilty along with fellow conspirators, and executed on the 19th at Tower Green.

On the night of Anne’s execution, Henry travelled up river to Hampton Court, where he met with Jane.  On the very next day, the 20th Jane was conveyed from Chelsea to the King’s lodgings by river, where the pair were betrothed, and married on the 30th May, and Queen Consort of England on the 4th June.

In January of 1537, she rode on horseback with Henry to Greenwich Palace, across the frozen River Thames.

In the spring, Jane announces to Henry, she is with child, as Henry hopes it be a son and heir.

On the 12th October, following a difficult labour, Jane gives birth to a son and heir; Prince Edward, who is christened on the 15th.

On the 24th October 1537, Jane Seymour Queen Consort of England, died at Hampton Court Palace, and buried at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on the 12th November.

Jane Seymour was the only one of King Henry VIII’s six wives to have a Royal Funeral, and buried alongside her husband.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn

My name is Anne Boleyn, and I was born in 1501 to parents: Sir Thomas Boleyn, who would become Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde and Lady Elizabeth Howard at Blickling Hall in Norfolk.

Much of my early years, I lived within the house of Louis XII of France, who was married to King Henry VIII’s sister Mary.  Upon the death of Louis, I remained in France, becoming a lady in attendance to Claude, the new French Queen, for the next six years.

Whilst my sister Mary Boleyn already in attendance to the French Queen, but when Louis XII died, returned to England with Mary Tudor.

In 1521, I returned to England, and took up the position as maid of honour to Katherine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII, as arrangements were being made for my marriage to the heir of Ormonde, sadly that marriage never took place.

On the rebound, took up with Henry Percy, but Cardinal Wolsey put a stop to our romance; can’t a girl have any fun.  I went on to make a close friend of Sir Thomas Wyatt the poet, at a time when he and his wife were separated.

In 1526, I had a secret affair with King Henry VIII, as my sister had done, many years earlier.  I told him, if he wanted more of me, I would no longer be his mistress; I wanted his hand in marriage and the title of Queen.  It was that or nothing.

In 1527, Henry my Henry started down the long road, to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled … then I would become his new wife and Queen.

In 1528 I was permitted to attend court in my own right, gaining favour and hatred among some members of court, based on my suggestions of religious reforms.

Henry proved to be head over heels in love with me, and it was plain to see, as he lavished me with fine clothes and jewellery.  I knew this was done to humour me, as the legal wrangling’s continued in his quest for annulment from Catherine.

On the 1st September 1532, Henry VIII made me the Marquess of Pembroke, and in October I attended meetings between Henry and the French King at Calais.

Although I had resisted Henry romantic requests, how could I say no to my king, and in December of 1532, I told him I was with child.  On the 25th January 1533 we were secretly married.

On the 23rd May the marriage between Henry and Catherine was officially proclaimed as invalid by the Archbishop.  For Henry had broken his ties with the Catholic Church by passing an Act of Supremacy, declaring himself the head of the “Church of England” which so outraged the Pope.

On the 1st June 1533, I was crowned Queen of England by the then Archbishop of Canterbury; Thomas Cranmer at Westminster Abbey.

On the 7th September 1533, Princess Elizabeth was born, not the son he desired, his future heir.  I was pregnant in January 1534 and again in 1535, but neither child survived.

I could see it in his eyes, he was not pleased, no son, no heir, and I wondered how long it would be before I was to be replaced.

On the 30th April 1536, my friend of many years Mark Smeaton was arrested and tortured.  Then Sir Henry Norris was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, then my own brother George Boleyn; Lord Rochford was arrested.

Fear ran through my veins, wondering when they would come for me.  On the 2nd May 1536, I was arrested and charged with adultery, incest and plotting to murder my husband … and sent to the Tower.

It didn’t stop there, Sir Francis Weston and William Bereton were arrested and charged with adultery, and found guilty on 12th May 1536.  For their supposed crime they were hanged at Tyburn, cut down whilst barely alive; disembowelled and quartered.

On the 15th May 1536, myself and my brother George were put on trial at the Great Hall in the Tower of London … found guilty on trumped up charges of incest, witchcraft, adultery and conspiracy against the King.

On the 17th May 1536 George was executed on Tower Hill and on the 19th May 1536, I was executed.

The bodily remains and head of Anne Boleyn were placed in an arrow chest, and buried in the Chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula adjoining Tower Green.

In 1864, a sentry at the Tower of London challenged a headless figure, believed to have been Anne Boleyn, and his bayonet passed right through her; the sentry fainted in shock.

At another time, the Captain of the Guard, observed a light source radiating from the locked Chapel Royal in the White Tower.  He peered down into the chapel, witnessing a procession, with Anne Boleyn at the head.

There have been many sightings of Anne Boleyn in the vicinity of the White Tower and the Chapel of St.Peter ad Vincula, within the walls of the Tower of London … her final resting place.

Anne Boleyn’s ghost, has been seen dressed in white, carrying her severed head and arriving by coach, driven by headless horsemen and headless horses to Blickling Hall on the anniversary of her execution: 19th May each and every year.

Her ghost is said to glide around the halls and rooms of Blickling Hall by night and fade by daybreak.

Her ghost also appears at Hever Castle each and every Christmas Eve, drifting across the gardens.

Wife of King Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon

On the 15th December 1485, Catherine of Aragon was born in Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain.

The treaty of “Medina del Campo” an agreement of marriage between Prince Arthur of England and Catherine of Aragon was duly signed in 1489.  On the 14th November 1501, the couple were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral, performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury; Henry Deane and the Bishop of London, William Warham.

In January of 1502, the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived at Ludlow Castle in the Welsh marshes, their new home, which had been uninhabited since 1483.

In the latter part of March 1502, Prince Arthur and his wife Catherine, were struck down by a viral infection, which took the life of Arthur on the 2nd April 1502, and was buried at St. Wulfstan Abbey in Worcester.

Pope Alexander VI approved a Papal dispensation allowing the marriage of Prince Henry, heir apparent to the English throne and Catharine of Aragon.  On the 25th June 1503, Henry and Catherine were betrothed.

On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

In early June of 1509, Henry formally proposed to Catherine, and they were married on the 11th June 1509 at the Church of the Palace Friary in Greenwich.

On the 24th June 1509 Prince Henry ascended to the English throne as King Henry VIII along with his Queen; Catherine.

On the 31st January 1510, Catherine gave birth to a stillborn daughter.  On the 1st January 1511, Catherine gave birth to a son; Prince Henry who died on the 22nd February 1511, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

On the 30th June 1513, Catherine acted as Regent of England, whilst Henry went off to war in France, and on the 9th September, beat the Scots at the “Battle of Flodden Field.”

In November of 1513, the Duke of Cornwall was born, died after birth, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.  Then in January of 1515, Catherine gave birth to a still born child.

After a run of unsuccessful births, Catherine gave birth to a healthy daughter in February of 1516; Mary, who would grow up to be Queen Mary I.

In November of 1518, Catherine gave birth to a daughter, who died within a few days.

In the June of 1519, Bessie Blount the King’s mistress, gave birth to a son; Henry Fitzroy the Duke of Richmond.

In June of 1520, Henry and Catherine met with King Francis I of France, on the Field of Cloth of Gold.

In 1525, Henry had an affair with Mary Boleyn, who gave birth to a son; Henry on the 4th March 1526.

By 1526, Catherine had given Henry no son, no legal heir to the English throne, he knew the problem lay with Catherine, as he had two affairs, and both bore him son’s.  He sought out an answer, through the bible; “If a man shall take his brother’s wife it is an unclean thing… they shall be childless.”  (Leviticus Chapter 20 verse 21).

The answer was to divorce his wife, but under the Catholic faith, this was permitted, which led to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey being dismissed for failing to obtain permission from the Pope.

In 1532 , Anne Boleyn announces to Henry, that she was carrying his child.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, approves the divorce between Henry and Catherine, thus allowing King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to marry, but these events led to excommunication by Pope Clement.

Queen Catherine of Aragon becomes Princess Dowager of Wales, separated from her daughter Mary, for refusal to abide by the terms of the divorce.

Elizabeth, who would become Elizabeth I of England, is born on the 7th September 1533 to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

By an Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII declared himself, England’s reigning monarch, and head of the Church of England in 1534.

Catherine of Aragon dies on the 7th January at Kimbolton Castle, and was buried at Peterborough Cathedral.

Wife of King Henry VII: Elizabeth of York

Elizabeth of York was born on the 11th February 1466 at Westminster Palace to parents Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.  She being the sister of Prince Edward V and Prince Richard, the Duke of York, both believed murdered on the express orders of Richard III.

Elizabeth Woodville must have trusted Richard III when he moved the two princes to the Tower of London, but the events that followed, saw that trust taken away as Richard became King of England.

Elizabeth Woodville, made an alliance with Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor, wanting to see Richard removed from the throne, and protection for her daughter; Elizabeth of York.

Henry swore an oath at Renes in December of 1483, that once he had removed Richard from the English throne, and taken his place as England’s King, he would marry Elizabeth of York.

On the 22nd August 1485, Henry Tudor met Richard III at the “Battle of Bosworth Field,” where Richard lost his life.

On the 30th October 1485, Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII of England, the first Tudor King at Westminster Abbey.

On the 18th January 1486, Elizabeth of York married King Henry VII and ascended to Queen Consort of England on the 25th November 1487 at Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth bore Henry seven children, only four survived infancy:

Arthur, the Prince of Wales, was born on the 20th September 1486, married Catherine of Aragon in 1501, and died on the 2nd April 1502 at Ludlow Castle, and buried at Worcester Cathedral.

Margaret Tudor was born on the 28th November 1489, married King James IV of Scotland, Archibald Douglas the Earl of Angus, Henry Stewart Lord Methven, and died on the 18th October 1541.

Henry was born on the 28th June 1491, and became King Henry VIII of England upon the death of his father.  He married; Catherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Catherine Parr and died on the 28th January 1547.

Mary Tudor was born on the 18th March 1496 and married King Louis XII of France, Charles Brandon the Duke of Suffolk, and died on the 25th June 1533.

Elizabeth of York, Queen Consort of England passed away on the 11th February 1503 at Richmond Palace following complications in child birth, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.