The Tudor Society

#OTD in Tudor history – 10 May

On this day in Tudor history, 10th May, a special court met to rule on Henry VIII's Great Matter; the Grand Jury of Middlesex met to decide on whether Queen Anne Boleyn and five courtiers should be tried; the Duke of Norfolk's secretary committed suicide; and an expedition to find the Northeast Passage set off...

  • 1509 – Birth of Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby and Privy Councillor to Mary I and Elizabeth I. He was born in Lancashire and was the eldest surviving son of Thomas Stanley, 2nd Earl of Derby, and his wife, Anne Hastings.
  • 1533 – Opening of special court at Dunstable by Archbishop Cranmer to rule on the validity of the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. See video below.
  • 1536 - Giles Heron, foreman of the Grand Jury of Middlesex and son-in-law of the late Sir Thomas More, announced that the jury had decided that there was sufficient evidence to suggest that Anne Boleyn, George Boleyn, Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston and Sir William Brereton were guilty of the alleged crimes carried out at Hampton Court Palace and Whitehall, and that they should be indicted and sent to trial before a jury. See video below.
  • 1536 - Sir William Kingston, the Constable of the Tower of London, was ordered “to bring up the bodies of Sir Francis Weston, knt. Henry Noreys, esq.William Bryerton, esq. and Mark Smeton, gent. at Westminster, on Friday next after three weeks of Easter”, i.e. on 12th May. This would be the day of their trial.

  • 1552 – Suicide of John Clerk, author and secretary to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, in the Tower of London. Clerk hanged himself with his girdle after books about necromancy were found in his possession, and he was interrogated regarding “lewd prophecies and slanders”. See video below.
  • 1553 – The first expedition of the Company of Merchant Adventurers (Mystery and Company of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places unknown), led by Sir Hugh Willoughby, left London in search of a Northeast passage for Asia. See video below.
  • 1554 – Death of Thomas Goodrich, Bishop of Ely and Lord Chancellor during the reign of Edward VI. He died at the palace of Somersham, Huntingdonshire, and was buried in Ely Cathedral. His tomb brass shows him in Protestant episcopal dress and with the Bible and Great Seal in his hands.

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#OTD in Tudor history – 10 May