On this day in Tudor history, 8th November 1528, at Bridewell Palace, King Henry VIII made a rather strange public oration to “the nobility, judges and councillors and divers other persons” to explain his troubled conscience regarding the lawfulness of his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
In today's talk, I share an extract from the king's speech, in which he praises Catherine of Aragon to the hilt even though he'd proposed to another woman, Anne Boleyn. Find out all about this strange situation!
Sources: Appendix C of George Cavendish's "The Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey" edited by Richard S Sylvester, and "Hall's Chronicle".
Also on this day in history:
- 1534 – Death of William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy, courtier, scholar and literary patron, at Sutton on the Hill in Derbyshire. He was buried at Barton Blount. Mountjoy was a pupil of the great humanist scholar, Erasmus, and served Henry VIII as Master of the Mint and Chamberlain to Catherine of Aragon. It was Mountjoy who had to tell Catherine of her demotion to Princess Dowager in July 1533.
- 1543 – Birth of Lettice Knollys, daughter of Sir Francis Knollys and Catherine Carey, granddaughter of Mary Boleyn and wife of Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex; Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester; and Sir Christopher Blount. Lettice was also mother to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex; Penelope Rich, Lady Rich; and Dorothy Percy, Countess of Northumberland.
- 1602 – The opening of the Bodleian Library (Bodley's Library), Oxford, to the public.
- 1605 – Deaths of Gunpowder Plot conspirators Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy at Holbeche House on the Staffordshire border. It is thought that they were both shot by a single bullet fired from the gun of John Street of Worcester. Their heads were displayed on London Bridge.