The Tudor Society

#OTD in Tudor history – 31 March

On this day in Tudor history, 31st March, the dying Henry VII made his will; Friar William Peto compared Henry VIII to Ahab and Anne Boleyn to Jezebel; and metaphysical poet and satirist John Donne died...

  • 1499 – Birth of Pope Pius IV, born Giovanni Angelo Medici, in Milan. He was Pope from 1559 to 1565.
  • 1509 – The dying Henry VII made his last will and testament at Richmond Palace, three weeks before his death. It was based on an earlier draft, with some new provisions added, for example, the addition of Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley to the list of executors. Click here to read more.
  • 1519 – Birth of Henry II of France, at Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, Henry was the son of Francis I and Queen Claude, and he was King of France from 1547 to his death in 1559. His consort was Catherine de' Medici.
  • 1532 - Princess Mary's confessor, Friar William Peto, preached a rather controversial sermon in the King's presence at Greenwich's Franciscan chapel. He compared Henry VIII to Ahab and drew comparisons between Anne Boleyn and Jezebel. See video below.

  • 1547 – Death of Francis I of France, at the Château de Rambouillet in the Île-de-France, and accession of Henry II on his 28th birthday.
  • 1553 – Edward VI dissolved Parliament, after having opened it 1st March. It was his last Parliament.
  • 1596 – Birth of René Descartes, French philosopher, mathematician, and writer, the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, at La Haye en Touraine in France. He is known for his dictum “I think, therefore I am”.
  • 1631 – Death of John Donne, metaphysical poet, satirist, lawyer and clergyman. He was laid to rest in St Paul's Cathedral on 3rd April. Donne served as a member of Parliament, Royal Chaplain and Dean of St Paul's, but is best known for his poems, sonnets and epigrams, which included “For whom the bell tolls” and “The Flea”. See below.

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#OTD in Tudor history – 31 March