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The Tudor Society

28 July – Fifth time lucky for Henry VIII?

On this day in Tudor history 28th July 1540, King Henry VIII tried his luck for a fifth time and married his former wife's maid of honour, the young Catherine Howard. Surely, she was the one!

In today's "on this day" talk, I share records of this marriage and also mentions another event that took place on the very same day - an execution.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1488 – Death of Sir Edward Woodville, courtier and soldier, at the Battle of St Aubin du Cormier. Woodville was the brother of Elizabeth Woodville, consort of Edward IV.
  • 1508 – Death of Robert Blackadder, Archbishop of Glasgow and administrator in the governments of James III and James IV. He died at sea, between Venice and Jaffa, while travelling on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
  • 1540 - Execution of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, on Tower Hill. Cromwell had been arrested on 10th June 1540 at a council meeting, and a bill of attainder was passed against him on 29th June 1540 for the crimes of corruption, heresy and treason.
  • 1540 – Execution of Walter Hungerford, Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury for treason. He was beheaded on Tower Hill and the charges included buggery and having dealings with witches.
  • 1543 – Burnings of the Windsor Martyrs - Robert Testwood, Anthony Pearson and Henry Filmer – for heresy in Windsor, on waste-ground just north of the castle.
  • 1563 – Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, surrendered Le Havre to the French after a siege which had lasted since 22nd May.
  • 1585 – Death of Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford, Privy Councillor and diplomat, at his home in Russell Street, the Strand. He was buried at the chapel of Chenies, his seat in Buckinghamshire.
  • 1588 – Hell-burners were ordered to be sent amongst the galleons of the Spanish Armada at Calais. The high winds at Calais caused an inferno which resulted in complete chaos, and the Armada’s crescent formation was wrecked as galleons scattered in panic.
  • 1591 – Execution of William Hacket, puritan and alleged prophet, at Cheapside Cross for treason after he had pierced a portrait of Elizabeth I “in the very place, representing her royall heart”, and defaced her coat of arms.

There are 4 comments Go To Comment

  1. R /

    Henry Viii distracting himself from the execution of his faithful servant with a wedding, to the young 17/18 years old pretty, petite Lady Kathryn Howard and away from Court at the secluded Oatlands Palace, which was in the country, but it’s nine days before she was presented to the Court as his wife and Queen. No doubt His Majesty had a big smile on his face as he got his mojo back with his young bride.

  2. R /

    I noticed that there is a Robert Blackadder, who died on this day, obviously nothing to do with the comedy series. Did you know there were nine Blackadders, all brothers who fought for King Richard iii at Bosworth, for example and in Leicester Cathedral is a wall memorial to a Captain and Lieutenant Blackadder who were both killed in the First World War, a few weeks before it’s end in 1918? Captain Blackadder was also wounded at the Somme in 1917,_but returned to duty.

    I do have a question about the marriage of Henry and Katherine Howard. Apart from the Chronicle you mentioned, Claire, is there a reliable source to confirm the day of the marriage and who performed the ceremony? Thanks.

    1. < / Post Author

      Bishop Bonner was the one who officiated at the ceremony. I’m trying to think of other sources. Richard Hilles recorded the marriage taking place immediately after the announcement of the annulment, and the Spanish Chronicle, which has to be taken with a pinch of salt at times, has them marrying the day after Henry had seen his council and being married by the Bishop of London, so Bonner.

      1. R /

        Thanks for your response, Claire, always wondered who had married them. Poor Cromwell, executed by someone who was dreadful and having to endure a number of strokes to remove his head. I think Henry’s expression of regret was genuine and he couldn’t really manage without him. There were a lot of executions during this honeymoon, though, despite Henry being softened up during his marriage to Kathryn Howard.

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28 July – Fifth time lucky for Henry VIII?