18 May1497 – Death of Katherine Woodville, wife of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, then Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, and finally Richard Wingfield, whom she married without royal licence. Katherine was the sister of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV. Her eldest son was Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham.
1515 – John Stewart, 2nd Duke of Albany, landed in Dumbarton with French soldiers to obtain the regency of Scotland.
1536 – Anne Boleyn's execution was postponed.
1554 – Execution of William Thomas, scholar and administrator. Thomas was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for his alleged involvement in Wyatt's Rebellion.
1581 – Birth of Mary, Lady Vere (née Tracy), gentlewoman and patron of clergymen.
1527 – Death of Henry Algernon Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, at Wressle. He was buried in Beverley Minster.
1536 – Archbishop Thomas Cranmer issued a dispensation for Henry VIII to marry Jane Seymour, because they were fifth cousins.
1536 - Execution of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, at the Tower of London. Click here to read more about her execution.
1554 – The future Elizabeth I was released from the Tower of London and allowed to go to Woodstock under house-arrest. She had been taken to the Tower on 18th March 1554 after her half-sister, Queen Mary I, ordered her arrest for her alleged involvement in Wyatt’s Rebellion.
1597 – Death of Richard Rogers, Bishop-Suffragan of Dover.
20 May1512 – Alain de Chantrezac wrote to M. D'Aumont from Caen regarding a rumour of an English invasion: “Persistent rumour of invasion from England. One who came thence ten days ago says the men are ready but the ships cannot be so till the end of this month. The King will land at Calais, part of his army in Normandy and the rest at Fontarabie. Their 120 or 140 ships seem few for so large an army. The French victory beyond the Mountains and their distrust of Scotland cool the English somewhat; but the young Councillors, by whom the King is ruled, advise this invasion. English ships (15 or 16) have taken a bark of Dieppe and some fishing boats.”
1535 – The imprisoned Bishop John Fisher was made a Cardinal by Pope Paul III. It made no difference to his treatment, as he was executed 22nd June 1535.
1536 - Betrothal of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
1573 – Death of Robert Weston, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, in Dublin. He was buried beneath the altar in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
1579 – Burning of Matthew Hamont, alleged heretic, in the castle ditch at Norwich. He was considered an Arian.
1598 – Death of John Bullingham, Bishop of Gloucester. He died in Kensington and was buried in Gloucester Cathedral.
1620 – Burial of Mary Honywood (née Waters), “sustainer of protestant martyrs”. She died at Marks Hall and was buried at Lenham in Kent.
1935 – Cardinal Fisher and Sir Thomas More were canonised by Pope Pius XI.
21 May1508 – Death of Giles Daubenay, 1st Baron Daubeney, administrator, soldier, and diplomat. He was buried in St Paul's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
1524 – Death of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, courtier, magnate and soldier, and grandfather of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. He was created Duke of Norfolk in 1514 as a reward for his part in the English victory at the Battle of Flodden.
1527 – Birth of Philip II of Spain, King of Spain and consort of Mary I, at Valladolid, Spain. He was the son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Isabella of Portugal.
1535 – The arrest of William Tyndale, Bible translator and religious reformer, in Antwerp, after he was tricked into leaving the English House owned by Thomas Pontz. He was condemned as a heretic and strangled, then burned in October 1536.
1558 – Death of William Glyn, Bishop of Bangor, at Bangor. He was buried in Bangor Cathedral.
1580 – Death of Sir John Thynne, member of Parliament and builder of Longleat. He was buried at Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire.
22 May1490 – Death of Edmund Grey, 1st Earl of Kent.
1537 – Edward Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, was sworn in as a Privy Councillor.
1538 – The burning of John Forest, Franciscan friar and martyr, at Smithfield for heresy, for his allegiance to Rome.
1539 – Probable birthdate of Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford and son of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset (the Edward mentioned above). Hertford was also the husband of Katherine Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey.
1570 – Death of John Best, Bishop of Carlisle. He was buried in Carlisle Cathedral.
1547 - Henry Grey, 3rd Marquis of Dorset (future Duke of Suffolk) and father of Lady Jane Grey, was installed as a Knight of the Garter.
1554 – The future Elizabeth I arrived at Woodstock, where she was put under house arrest. She had been released from the Tower of London on 19th May after being examined regarding Wyatt's Rebellion.
1572 – Burial of John Carré, entrepreneur and glass manufacturer, at Alford parish church. According to his biographer, Andrew Spicer, Carré "is credited with the re-establishment of window glass production in England and for introducing the manufacture of cristallo tableware".
1576 – Burial of Francis Barnham, alderman and draper, and husband of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, at St Clement Eastcheap.
1591 – Death of John Blitheman, composer of organ and vocal sacred music, and tutor of John Bull. He was buried at the parish church of St Nicholas Olave, London.
24 May1522 – Birth of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury and Apologist of the Church of England, in Berrynarbor, North Devon.
1546 – Letters were sent from Privy Council to Anne Askew (future Protestant martyr) and her estranged husband Thomas Kyme, ordering them to appear in front of the council within fourteen days.
1562 - Chronicler Raphael Holinshed recorded that on this day in 1562, a monstrous child was born in Chichester, Sussex.
1576 – Birth of Elizabeth Chamberlain, Lady Chamberlain, daughter of Sir George Carey, 2nd Baron Hunsdon (grandson of Mary Boleyn), and Elizabeth Spencer. Elizabeth I was Elizabeth's godmother.
1612 – Death of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, politician, courtier and Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, at Marlborough, Wiltshire. Cecil was the only surviving son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.
1616 – Death of Margaret Clifford, Countess of Cumberland, at Brougham Castle, Westmorland. She was buried in Appleby Church.