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The Tudor Society

15 April – Champion to kings and servant to queens

On this day in Tudor history, 15th April 1545, Sir Robert Dymoke, champion at the coronations of Henry VII and Henry VIII, and a man who served in the households of Queens Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, died.

He had an interesting career and survived being suspected of involvement in the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion.

Find out more about Sir Robert Dymoke, champion at the coronations of three kings, in today's talk.

Also on this day in Tudor history, 15th April 1599, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was sworn in as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was the beginning of the end for him and you can find out why in last year’s video:

Also on this day in history:

  • 1530 – Death of Gilbert Tailboys, 1st Baron Tailboys and first husband of Elizabeth (Bessie Blount), mistress of Henry VIII. He was laid to rest in South Kyme Church.
  • 1589 – Burial of Frances Radcliffe (née Sidney), Countess of Sussex and founder of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, in the Chapel of St Paul.
  • 1624 – Burial of Sir John Scudamore, husband of Mary Shelton, who served in Elizabeth I's Privy Chamber, at Holme Lacy. It was alleged that Elizabeth I broke one of Mary's fingers in a temper.

Transcript:

On this day in Tudor history, 15th April 1545, Sir Robert Dymoke, champion at the coronations of Henry VII and Henry VIII, and a man who served in the households of Queens Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, died.

Here are a few facts about this Tudor man…

• Although his name is usually spelled DYMOKE, it’s more commonly pronounced Dimmock.
• Robert was born in around 1461 and was the son of Sir Thomas Dymoke of Scrivesby in Lincolnshire, and his wife, Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Leo Welles, Baron Welles. Robert’s father was champion at the coronation of King Edward IV.
• In May 1471, when he was about ten years old, an order was issued to arrest Robert and his mother. This was following a feud that his father had had with Thomas Burgh, Master of the Horse to Edward IV, which resulted in Burgh’s manor being attacked and destroyed. His father was executed and the Dymoke lands were granted to the king’s brother, the future Richard III.
• In 1472, Robert’s wardship was granted to Robert Radcliffe.
• In 1482, Dymoke was given licence to inherit his father’s lands.
• Dymoke was knighted in 1483 before Richard III’s coronation and acted as champion. The champion has to ride into the coronation banquet at Westminster Hall challenge all those present who might impugn the monarch’s title, and Dymoke did this. He is recorded as riding into the hall and challenging anyone who thought that Richard wasn’t the lawful king to a fight. Nobody spoke against the king and instead cried “King Richard!”
• He acted as champion at the coronation of Henry VII in 1485 and at that of Henry VIII in 1509.
• He served as Sheriff of Lincolnshire three times between 1484 and 1509, and as Mayor of Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1520.
• He served the king in his French campaign of 1513 and was rewarded for his service at the siege of Tournai by being made treasurer of Tournai.
• Between 1527 and 1535, he was chancellor to the Queen’s household, and served as almoner and receiver to Catherine of Aragon, and as chamberlain to Anne Boleyn.
• In 1536, he was suspected of involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion after a banner depicting his family arms was used by the rebels and he and his sons were fetched from their hom at Scrivelsby by the rebels, but he was not punished.
• Robert was married to Anne Sparrow and their children included sons Edward and Arthur.
• He died on this day in 1545, in the Catholic faith, leaving instructions for masses to be said daily for his soul and that of his wife, and also his parents.
• His son, Edward, was champion at the coronations of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

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15 April – Champion to kings and servant to queens