1530 (24th January)
, Earl of Wiltshire was created Keeper of the Privy Seal.
Stephen Gardiner and Edward Fox began consulting the universities as to their opinion on the King’s marriage.
1530 (mid February)
was furious when Henry allowed Wolsey to continue as Archbishop of York.
Wolsey was told that as Archbishop of York he must now go to his diocese of York.
The Pope issued a brief which forbade Henry from re-marrying until a verdict on his marriage had been passed in Rome. However, the brief was not published.
Henry wrote to the Pope stating that if it were the case that Catherine of Aragon
could not expect a fair trial in England then it must also be true that he could not expect a fair trial in Rome.
Catherine wrote to her representative in Rome, Dr Pedro Ortiz and begged him to put pressure on the Pope to find her marriage lawful.
The Pope issued a brief which forbade anyone from expressing an opinion on the King of England’s marriage.
1530 (24th May)
A meeting of the Parliament Chamber decided that Lutheranism should be denounced and a list of banned books be published. Tynedale’s New Testament was formally condemned.
Wolsey wrote letters to Francis I
of France and Charles V of Spain hoping to secure their aid to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. However, neither expressed interest in Wolsey’s plans.
European universities were canvassed to find their position regarding Henry’s marriage. All scholars deciding that Henry’s marriage was unlawful received a sum of money.
A bonfire at Paul’s Cross burnt forbidden books including Tynedale’s English New Testament.
Henry was annoyed with Charles V because Charles refused to extradite William Tynedale so that he could be tried in England for heresy. Charles argued that heresy was not an offence that warranted extradition.
The Pope was sent a petition signed by the majority of Lords Spiritual and Temporal asking him to annul the King of England’s marriage. The petition warned the Pope of the consequences of not annulling the marriage.
1530 (20th July)
Henry ordered that Wolsey’s college at Ipswich be dissolved. Although Wolsey protested, the college was closed and subsequently demolished.
Wolsey left Nottinghamshire to make the journey north to York. He took up residence in Cawood palace to await his official enthronement as Archbishop of York on 7th November. Crowds of people accompanied Wolsey on his journey and rumours spread that Wolsey would lead a revolt against the King.
Henry commented that his Chancellor, Thomas More
, seemed more interested in persecuting heretics than helping to secure his divorce.
1530 (23rd October)
Henry discovered that Wolsey had been trying to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Henry saw this as working against the King.
1530 (1st November)
A warrant for Wolsey’s arrest was drawn up. It was sent to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was instructed to arrest Wolsey and bring him to London.
1530 (4th November)
Henry Percy arrived at Cawood Palace where he told Wolsey that he was arresting him in the name of the King.
1530 (6th November)
Henry Percy and Thomas Wolsey began the journey south. Wolsey’s health deteriorated rapidly during the journey.
1530 (29th November)
Thomas Wolsey died at 8am at the Abbey of St Mary in Leicester.
Henry was summoned to Rome to state his case regarding his marriage. Henry was furious with Rome.
Anne Boleyn organised a masque called ‘Of the Cardinal’s Going to Hell’ to celebrate Wolsey’s death. Henry was not happy with this.
Catherine was present at court for the Twelfth Night celebrations and Henry sat at the same table with her.
1531 (5th January)
The Pope issued a brief which ordered Henry to separate from Anne Boleyn. The brief had been issued at Catherine’s request. When it was presented to him, Henry merely glanced at the paper and put it aside.
, Bishop of Rochester, continued to support Catherine’s cause. He made a statement saying that it would be against God’s law for the King to make himself Head of the Church, a move Henry was now planning.
1531 (11th February)
Despite resistance from some members of the clergy, an Act was passed which confirmed that Henry was now Supreme Head of the Church in England. Henry proclaimed that the Pope should now be referred to as The Bishop of Rome.
1531 (mid February)
Thomas More, who privately did not support Henry’s divorce, began to consider resigning as Chancellor.
Henry visited Catherine on a regular basis hoping to persuade the people that he had been forced to set Catherine aside against his will.
1531 (24th March)
Henry allowed Princess Mary,
who had been in poor health, to visit her mother, Catherine of Aragon at Richmond Palace.
1531 (30th March)
Thomas More made a speech to Parliament saying that it was the opinion of eleven of Europe’s universities that the marriage was unlawful. Although More believed the marriage to be lawful he realised that he had to remain in office if he were to secretly work for Catherine’s cause.
1531 (23rd April)
Henry wrote to the English ambassador in Rome ordering him to tell the Pope that if he continued to summon Henry to Rome then Henry would destroy papal authority in England.
1531 (31st May)
A deputation of Privy Councillors – Dr Stephen Gardiner, Rowland Lee, Dr Sampson and Longland, Bishop of Lincoln – were sent to try to persuade Catherine to agree to an annulment of her marriage. She refused and went on to deny Henry’s Supremacy of the Church and stated that she would only abide by a decision made by the Pope.
Anne Boleyn was impatient to be married and displayed fits of tempers and bad moods. Henry was finding her difficult to be with. Thomas Howard
was concerned by his niece’s behaviour and removed his support.
Henry moved the court to Woodstock. He did not tell Catherine and left her and Mary, who was visiting her mother, alone at Windsor.
Catherine was told that she should leave Windsor. She was asked to choose a place of residence for herself, either a nunnery or a smaller palace. Catherine was unhappy and wrote to Henry telling him that he had taken matters too far.
1531 (late October)
Henry was now living openly with Anne Boleyn.
1531 (24th November)
Anne Boleyn was extremely unpopular with the people who tended to support Catherine. A mob of some 7,000 women marched on a house where she was dining intent on lynching her. She escaped unhurt but was badly shaken.
Catherine was not invited to court for Christmas and Henry returned her gift saying that as they were no longer man and wife it was not proper for them to exchange gifts.
Henry acquired the site of St James’ hospital where he built a new palace, St James’ Palace.
Anne Boleyn returned to court after visiting her family at Hever.
1532 (18th March)
Supplication Against Ordinaries
This was a list of grievances against the Church and included questions regarding the right of the Church to make its own laws and the legality of ecclesiastical courts.
1532 (21st March)
Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates
This bill limited payments to Rome to just 5% of the net revenue for any benefice. It also allowed for an Archbishop to consecrate a Bishop and for two Bishops to consecrate an Archbishop. There were many Lords and Bishops who opposed the bill but it was eventually passed.
Catherine was instructed to leave The More and move to the palace at Bishop’s Hatfield in Hertfordshire.
1532 (15th May)
Submission of the Clergy
This was a short document which made three concessions: 1. The clergy would make no new laws without the consent of the monarch. 2. The clergy would allow all existing ecclesiastical laws to be reviewed by a deputation appointed by the King. 3. Convocation would not meet without royal permission. The document had to be signed by all the clergy and it was done so, reluctantly by many.
1532 (16th May)
Thomas More, who disagreed with any move to break with Rome, resigned his position as Chancellor on the grounds of ill health.
1532 (20th May)
Thomas Audley was given the position of Chancellor.
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, preached a sermon defending Queen Catherine’s rights. Henry was not happy.
Archbishop of Canterbury
, William Warham
was served a writ of praemunire (acting over his authority against that of the Monarch) by Henry. Although he had signed the Submission of the Clergy, Warham had made it clear that he would not sanction acts of Parliament against the power of the church.
The Countess of Northumberland petitioned parliament for a divorce from Henry Percy
on the grounds of a pre-contract between him and Anne Boleyn. Not wanting any trouble from the King, Percy was brought before the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and forced to swear that there had been no such pre-contract.
Henry took Anne Boleyn on a Summer progress of the southern counties but the tour had to be abandoned due to the extent of hostility shown to Anne Boleyn.
Catherine’s closest friend, Maria de Salinas, Lady Willoughby, was ordered to leave Catherine’s household. she was told not to make any attempt to communicate with Catherine.
Thomas Abell, who had spoken in public for Catherine, was sent to the Tower.
1532 (23rd August)
William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died
1532 (early September)
1532 (1st September)
Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke. It was the first time a hereditory title had been given to a woman. The ceremony took place at Windsor.
1532 (13th September)
Catherine was told to move to Enfield which offered less comfortable accommodation.
1532 (7th October)
Henry and Anne Boleyn arrived in Dover where they would cross to Calais. While there the nun, Elizabeth Barton told Henry that an angel had told her to tell Henry that he needed to return to both the Pope and his wife or face a life of damnation. Henry ordered that the nun be watched.
1532 (10th October)
Henry and Anne accompanied by Henry Fitzroy
Duke of Richmond, Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk, Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cromwell
as well as other members of the nobility crossed the Channel from Dover to Calais.
1532 (21st October)
Henry rode out of Calais to meet with Francis II at Boulogne. He was accompanied by a retinue of 600 lords, gentlemen and soldiers.
1532 (25th October)
Francis I visited Henry at the Exchequer Palace in Calais. Anne Boleyn was ordered to remain out of sight because Henry did not want her presence to affect the outcome of the summit meeting.
1532 (27th October)
A masked ball was held as part of the summit meeting between Henry and Francis II. Anne Boleyn was fed up with remaining out of sight and made a grand entrance. After unmasking she boldly led Francis to dance.
1532 (28th October)
Henry and Francis agreed a treaty that if the Turks attacked Europe then they would provide troops to protect Europe.
1532 (29th October)
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, accompanied King Francis back to Paris where he would finish his education in the French capital.
1532 (11th November)
Henry and Anne returned to England.
The nun, Elizabeth Barton again approached the King and told him that if he married Anne Boleyn then he would die within a month and the plague
would reach England within six months.
Richard Rich became Solicitor General
1533 (early January)
Anne Boleyn told Henry that she was pregnant. Henry knew that he had to marry Anne as soon as possible to ensure the child’s legitimacy. He decided to marry Anne secretly.
1533 (25th January)
Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn in the King’s chapel at Whitehall. Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains, married the couple.
1533 (early January)
Although her marriage and pregnancy were still a secret, Anne told the court that she had a strong craving to eat apples and that Henry had suggested she were pregnant.
Henry ordered Catherine to move to Ampthill which was some distance from London.
1533 (24th February)
A great banquet was held at Whitehall and a very drunk Henry referred to Anne’s great dowry and rich marriage.
Act in Restraint of Appeals
This act, drafted by Thomas Cromwell, established that English law and the English King were subject to no foreign power. It was set before parliament.
1533 (30th March)
Thomas Cranmer was officially consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Spanish ambassador, Eustache Chapuys urged Charles to declare war on England in retaliation for Henry’s treatment of Catherine.
1533 (1st April)
Convocation declared by 14 votes to 7 that if Catherine’s first marriage had been consummated then her marriage to Henry was against God’s law.
1533 (3rd April)
A group of lawyers told Convocation that after considering all the evidence they were certain that Catherine’s first marriage to Arthur had been consummated.
1533 (5th April)
Convocation ruled that the Pope did not have the authority to issue a bull that set aside passages in the Bible and that no man should marry his brother’s wife.
1533 (7th April)
Act in Restraint of Appeals
After some amendments since it was first introduced, this Act now passed parliament and became law. The Act forbade all appeals to foreign tribunals in all spiritual, revenue and testament cases. Spiritual and secular jurisdiction was to be the ultimate responsibility of the King. The Pope now had no right to intervene in England.
1533 (8th April)
Henry announced to his council that he had married Anne Boleyn and that she was pregnant with their first child.
1533 (9th April)
The Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent to Ampthill to tell Catherine that Henry and Anne were married. She was told that as she was now no longer queen she must use the title Princess dowager of Wales. She was allowed to keep her property but her servants and household expenses would now be her responsibility. She was also told that if she submitted to the King’s will she would be generously provided for.
1533 (12th April)
Thomas Cranmer was formally authorised to pass judgement on the King’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
1533 (late April)
, living in exile on the continent, spoke against Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Act in Restraint of Annates
This act, first introduced in 1532, was now made law.
Anne Boleyn’s pregnancy became common knowledge.
1533 (7th May)
Chapuys, the Spanish ambassador, who continued to work to try to improve Catherine’s situation, was warned by the Privy Council not to meddle in English and the King’s affairs.
1533 (23rd May)
Thomas Cranmer declared that Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon was null and void on the grounds that it was contrary to divine laws. Bishop Fisher protested against the decision.
1533 (28th May)
Thomas Cranmer pronounced that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was legal.
1533 (29th May)
Lady Anne, Marquess of Pembroke was received by the Lords as Queen of England.
1533 (late May)
A deputation was sent to tell Princess Mary of the decision on her parents’ marriage. She was told that she should not communicate with her mother any more.
1533 (1st June)
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England in St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster. She walked in procession from Westminster Hall to the Abbey but despite the fact that people lined the streets to watch there was no cheering for the new Queen.
1533 (25th June)
Anne Boleyn went to Hampton Court to rest in preparation for the birth of her child in September.
1533 (4th July)
A deputation visited Catherine trying to persuade her to submit to the King’s wishes. However, Catherine steadfastly refused to deny the validity of her marriage to Henry.
1533 (late July)
Henry was furious with Catherine’s continual obstinacy and ordered her to move to the Bishop of Lincoln’s Palace at Buckden in Huntingdonshire.
Elizabeth Barton was brought before Cranmer where she confessed that she had fabricated her ‘prophecies’
1533 (mid August)
Henry and Anne moved to Windsor and Anne took to her chamber to await the birth of her child.
1533 (7th September)
Birth of Elizabeth
– Anne Boleyn gave birth to a baby girl with red hair and her mother’s features. Henry was disappointed that the child was a girl and blamed both God and Anne for denying him a son.
1533 (after 7th September)
Henry and Anne quarrelled when Anne expressed a wish to breastfeed her child herself. Henry forbade this and employed a wet nurse for the child.
1533 (10th September)
Princess Elizabeth was christened and confirmed by the Bishop of London in the church of Franciscan Friars at Greenwich. Her godparents were the dowager duchess of Norfolk, the dowager marchioness of Dorset and Thomas Cranmer.
1533 (mid September)
Mary was told that she would no longer be referred to as Princess. Her household was to be disbanded.
1533 (28th November)
Henry Fitzroy married Mary Howard
, daughter of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
Princess Elizabeth was assigned her own household at Hatfield Place. Lady Margaret Bryan, Anne’s aunt was appointed lady governess at the head of an army of nursemaids, laundresses, officials and servants. Mary was sent, against her will, to be maid of honour to the baby Princess.
Anne Boleyn announced her second pregnancy.
The Act in Absolute Restraint of Appeals
This act put into effect the terms of the Act of 1532 and transferred all payments from the Pole to the King.
Act Against Peter’s Pence
This act was passed. It forbade the payment of Peter’s Pence (a sum of money which had been paid annually to Rome since the time of William I). The Act also prohibited the selling of papal dispensations in England.
Henry declared that Anne would be ‘regent and absolute governess of her children and kingdom’ if he were to die prematurely.
1534 (20th March)
Elizabeth Barton and many of her followers were found guilty of treason.
1534 (23rd March)
The Pope declared that the dispensation issued to allow Henry to marry Catherine of Aragon was legal and therefore his marriage to Catherine was lawful. He ordered Henry to leave Anne and return to Catherine.
1534 (24th March)
Act of Succession
This act was introduced to exclude Mary from the succession and settle it instead on the children born from the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The Act also registered the invalidity of Henry’s marriage to Catherine and imposed sever penalties on those who opposed Henry’s second marriage.
Oath of Succession
The Act of Succession also included a clause allowing Henry the power to extract an oath from any of his subjects regarding the provisions of the Act. Henry insisted that all his councillors were to take the oath and they would then supervise the taking of the oath by their officers who would then ensure that all householders took the oath. This system meant that all men, women and children over the age of fourteen would swear to uphold the succession of the children of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Refusing to swear the Act would be an act of treason.
Act Concerning Submission of the Clergy
This Act was passed which made the terms of the Submission of the Clergy (1532) a valid statute. It also ratified the Act in Restraint of Appeals (1533) and stated that appeals from Archbishops should now be directed to Chancery.
Mary was taken ill, probably due to the stress she had been under. She requested permission to visit her mother but this was denied by Henry.
Thomas Cromwell was appointed King’s Secretary.
1534 (early April)
Catherine refused to swear the Oath of Succession.
1534 (13th April)
Both John Fisher and Thomas More refused to swear the Oath of Succession.
1534 (17th April)
John Fisher and Thomas More were taken to the Tower of London for refusing to swear the Oath of Succession. Both men were questioned by Richard Rich. Fisher was tricked into stating his allegiance to the Pope but Thomas More was careful to keep his answers neutral. Both men were tried for treason and found guilty.
1534 (20th April)
Elizabeth Barton and four of her supporters were executed at Tyburn.
1534 (late Spring)
Henry ordered that all Parish Priests erase all references to the Pope from Prayer Books. All preachers were told that their parishioners must be left in no doubt that the King and only the King was Head of the Church.
Catherine moved to Kimbolton Castle where her apartments were more comfortable than those of Buckden. From her window she could look across the rooftops to the country beyond. She also had her own chapel behind which was a small walled garden where she could walk on fine days.. She was attended to by two of Henry’s loyal subjects, Sir Edmund Bedingfield and Sir Edward Chamberlain. They were told that Catherine was to receive no visitors unless they held a special licence from the King.
1534 (7th June)
Mary wrote to Henry formally protesting at the withdrawal of her title of Princess and the declaration of her illegitimacy. She told him that she would refuse all offers of marriage and that she would not enter a convent without her mother’s consent.
Anne was delivered of a stillborn child. Henry who did not want to lose face ordered the details be kept secret.
The Earl of Kildare cast off Ireland’s allegiance to England and declared Ireland for the Pope.
The small order of Friars Observant was closed and their seven houses acquired by the crown. Father Forrest from the Greenwich Friars Observant was sent to the Tower of London. It was suggested to Henry that it might be a good idea to close all the monasteries and divert their wealth to the crown.
Catherine’s health was deteriorating. Lady Willoughby, Catherine’s friend begged permission to visit her friend but this was denied.
1534 (26th September)
Pope Clement VII died.
William Skeffington and William Brereton were sent to Ireland with Leonard Grey at the head of an English army to stop opposition to English rule.
Act of Supremacy
This act declared England as a sovereign state with the King as the head of both the country and the church. The Act gave the monarch the power over all areas that had previously been the province of the clergy and ecclesiastical courts. It also meant that his injunctions would be binding on the clergy and that he had the power to define faith in parliament. All heresy cases would now be prosecuted by special commissions. The King would also now appoint men of his choosing to ecclesiastical posts.
This act made it a treasonable offence to deny any of the King’s titles. It stated that any malicious wish, will or desire to deprive the King or Queen of title or name of their royal estates was to be deemed treason. Slanderous publication of writing or words uttered describing the King as heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper would also be deemed treason.
1534 (late November)
A bill of attainder was passed against Thomas More under the terms of the Treason Act for refusing to take the Oath of Succession. His property and goods were to be forfeited to the King.
Mary’s former tutor, Richard Featherstone, was sent to the Tower for refusing to swear the Oath of Succession.
It was suggested that since England had broken with the Pope and the monasteries owed allegiance to the Pope they should be closed and their wealth taken by the crown. It was decided that monasteries should be visited and found guilty of mismanagement and immoral living in order to give a good reason for their closure.
1535 (21st January)
Thomas Cromwell was made Vicar General Vice Regent in Spirituals. This post gave him the power to visit all monasteries in England.
1535 (early February)
Mary was taken ill again. She was still denied permission to visit her mother.
Henry had an affair with Madge Shelton, Anne Boleyn’s cousin.
In Ireland the Earl of Kildare surrendered to Leonard Grey.
1535 (mid March)
Anne Boleyn declared she was pregnant.
Chapuys the Spanish ambassador tried to effect an escape from England for Catherine and Mary.
1535 (29th April)
A number of Carthusian monks were found guilty of treason for denying the King’s supremacy. They were sentenced to a traitor’s death.
1535 (10th May)
Chapuys abandoned his escape plan for Catherine and Mary when it was feared that if the plans were discovered the pair would be executed.
1535 (17th June)
John Fisher was found guilty of high treason under the terms of the Treasons Act. He was sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered but the sentenced was commuted to beheading by Henry.
1535 (22nd June)
John Fisher, aged 76 years, was beheaded on Tower Hill. Fisher was the first bishop to be executed since Thomas Becket
in 1170 and the people were deeply shocked.
1535 (late June)
Anne Boleyn was prematurely delivered of a stillborn child. Henry again kept the news secret because he was worried that people would say it was God’s revenge for the murder of Fisher.
1535 (1st July)
Thomas More was tried for treason. He was tried by eighteen judges including Cromwell, Audeley, Norfolk, Thomas Boleyn, George Boleyn and Charles Brandon
. More conducted his own defence but was found guilty and sentenced to death.
1535 (5th July)
Henry and Anne left London for a Summer Progress to the West Country.
1535 (6th July)
Thomas More was executed by beheading. He made a short speech asking people to pray for him and saying that he died the King’s good servant but God’s first.
1535 (July and August)
Royal Commissioners were visiting many religious establishments. Monks were encouraged to leave the monasteries before they were closed.
Catherine’s former confessor John Forrest was found guilty of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment.
1535 (late Summer)
The situation in England was attracting widespread condemnation from Catholic countries and there were fears of a Catholic invasion.
1535 (4th September)
The Royal Progress visited Wulfhall in Wiltshire, the family home of the Seymour family.
Statutes were passed granting Henry the lands of his defeated enemies in Ireland. Further statutes were passed that made the Irish way of living illegal. All inhabitants of Ireland were told to learn English and wear English clothes.
A Bad harvest meant that food prices rose and people faced a hard winter. The poor harvest was blamed on Henry’s marriage to Anne and the execution of Bishops and monks.
1535 (26th October)
Henry and Anne returned to Windsor Castle
1535 (late October)
The first complete Bible written in English was published. It was written by Miles Coverdale and dedicated to Henry and Anne. Henry approved the Bible and decreed that it should be circulated among the people.
Henry was openly courting Jane Seymour.
1535 (late November)
Anne discovered that she was pregnant again. She was aware that everything depended on the outcome of this pregnancy.
1535 (1st December)
Catherine was taken ill complaining of chest pains. She was unable to eat and was confined to her bed.
1535 (30th December)
Henry gave permission for Chapuys to visit Catherine who was not thought to be dying. Mary was still refused permission to visit her mother.
Act of Union
This act unified England and Wales and divided the Welsh Marches into 7 shires. Each shire was required to send one knight to Parliament. Welsh officials were to speak English and all court business was to be undertaken in English.
See of Rome Act
This act against the Pope’s authority removed the last traces of papal power in England.
Act for Punishment of Sturdy Vagabonds and Beggars
This act set out appropriate measures for those who were deemed capable of working but refused to do so. Children aged between 5 and 14 who refused to work for their masters were to be whipped. Adult beggars who refused to work would be whipped for a first offence and lose part of their ear for a second offence.
Henry created Lord Leonard Grey Deputy of Ireland
1536 (2nd January)
The Spanish ambassador visited Catherine of Aragon at Kimbolton Castle.
1536 (5th January)
Maria de Salinas, Lady Willoughby forced her way into Kimbolton Castle to see Catherine.
1536 (7th January)
Catherine of Aragon
died. It was commonly believed that Anne Boleyn had slowly poisoned her to death. Nowadays it is believed that she died from cancer
1536 (mid January)
Princess Mary was taken very ill and it was commonly believed that she was being poisoned by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (24th January)
Henry fell from his horse during a joust and was unconscious for two hours. The fall caused a head injury that left him more bad tempered than before and also opened up an old wound on his leg that would cause him problems for the rest of his life.
1536 (29th January)
Catherine of Aragon was buried in Peterborough Abbey following a funeral service delivered by the Bishop of Rochester.
1536 (29th January)
Anne Boleyn miscarried of a son four months into her pregnancy. She blamed the miscarriage on concern following Henry’s fall and Henry’s interest in Jane Seymour.
Henry believed that the miscarriage of a son was God’s way of declaring that his marriage to Anne Boleyn was unlawful either because of her earlier pre-contract to James Butler or because of Henry’s affair with Anne’s sister, Mary Boleyn. He decided that he needed to find a way out of his marriage to Anne.
1536 (3rd March)
Jane Seymour’s brother, Edward, was appointed a Gentleman of the King’s Privy Chamber.
1536 (11th March)
Closure of the Monasteries
A bill was presented to Parliament that authorised the closure of all monasteries with a revenue of less than £200 per year.
Thomas Cromwell was collecting evidence against Anne Boleyn. During the course of his investigations he heard that some members of Anne’s court were admitted to her chamber at late hours. Those named were George Boleyn, Henry Norris
, Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton
. Cromwell used this information to construct a case that Anne had committed adultery with all five men and that they had plotted to murder the King. The information was passed to Henry.
Jane Seymour was sent home to Wulfhall. Henry did not want her at court while a case was being made against Anne Boleyn.
1536 (24th April)
Henry signed a document authorising commissioners to enquire into any kind of treason committed by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (29th April)
Cromwell presented Henry with a list of charges against Anne Boleyn. Henry was furious and ordered the arrest of all those concerned including the Queen.
1536 (30th April)
Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to Cromwell’s house for questioning.
1536 (1st May)
Anne Boleyn was watching the May Day joust with Henry she noticed that Henry was in a very bad mood and did not speak to her. Both Henry Norris and George Boleyn were taking part in the joust. At the end of the joust Henry publicly accused Henry Norris of committing adultery with the Queen and ordered his immediate arrest.
1536 (2nd May)
Henry Norris and George Boleyn were taken to the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn was also arrested and taken by barge to the Tower.
1536 (4th May)
Jane Seymour took up residence at Beddington Park in Surrey so that Henry could visit her in secret.
1536 (4th May)
Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and taken to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason.
1536 (5th May)
Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested on suspicion of committing adultery with the Queen. However they were later released. Cromwell reasoned that if two men were allowed to go free then the others accused would seem more guilty.
1536 (6th May)
Henry moved to Hampton Court and began making preparations for his marriage to Jane Seymour.
1536 (10th May)
Anne Boleyn was indicted before a grand jury for treason. She was charged with having committed adultery with Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and her brother George. She was also charged with plotting to murder the King and making fun of him in public.
1536 (12th May)
The trial of those accused of committing adultery with the Queen took place. The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial which found all men guilty. They were sentenced to death.
1536 (15th May)
Anne Boleyn was tried by 26 peers of the realm including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, who presided over the trial. Although Anne argued her innocence she was found guilty and sentenced to die by burning or beheading whichever the King chose.
1536 (17th May)
Anne Boleyn was able to watch the executions of those accused with her from her rooms in the Tower. She was also told that she would be executed by beheading the following day.
1536 (18th May)
Anne Boleyn was told that her execution was postponed until the following day because the executioner had not arrived from France. Henry wanted her death to be as quick as possible and had sent to St Omer for a headsman who was known for his skill in severing heads with a sword.
1536 (18th May)
Thomas Cranmer sat at Lambeth Palace to judge the validity of Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. He found that the marriage was null and void due to Henry’s earlier affair with Mary Boleyn.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn was executed by beheading with a single stroke of the sword. She was buried in the choir of the royal chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
1536 (20th May)
Henry VIII was formally betrothed to Jane Seymour at Hampton Court.
1536 (20th May)
Elizabeth was taken from Greenwich to Hatfield House where she was to be cared for by Lady Margaret Bryan.
1536 (26th May)
Mary was told that if she would take the Oath of Supremacy then she would be welcomed back to court.
1536 (30th May)
Henry VIII married Jane Seymour in the Queen’s Closet at Whitehall.
1536 (4th June)
Jane Seymour was proclaimed Queen of England at a ceremony at Greenwich.
1536 (7th June)
Queen Jane made her official state entry into London accompanied by Henry. Crowds of people lined the streets and many cheered as she went past.
1536 (8th June)
Act of Suppression
Using information gathered in his surveys, Cromwell persuaded Parliament to pass this act first introduced earlier in the year. All monasteries worth less than £200 per year were to be closed and their properties be placed at the King’s disposal. All displaced abbots and abbesses were to receive a pension and monks and nuns could either take up residence in larger houses or renounce their vows and join the outside world.
1536 (mid June)
Mary reluctantly signed papers acknowledging her father’s supremacy and the invalidity of her mother’s marriage. She was assured by Chapuys that the Pope would forgive her actions because she had been forced to sign the papers.
Act of Succession
This act cancelled the two previous acts of succession and registered the invalidity of Henry’s first two marriages. Elizabeth was now given the same status as Mary and the succession was settled on the children of Henry and Jane Seymour.
Mary joined the court in London.
These were a series of articles introduced by Cromwell to improve the conduct of the clergy and the worship of the people. The articles included stipulations that sermons should be preached at stated periods against the usurpation of Rome, that relics were not to be exhibited for gain, that a good home life was preferable to pilgrimage, that children were to learn the Lord’s Prayer, the Holy Creed and the Ten Commandments in English.
1536 (21st July)
Mary visited Elizabeth at Hatfield House.
1536 (22nd July)
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, died from tuberculosis. He was 17 years old.
Henry began to be concerned that Jane Seymour was not yet pregnant.
The court moved to Windsor to escape an outbreak of the plague.
The Pope announced that Reginald Pole was to be made a cardinal to fill the vacancy left by Fisher’s death. Reginald Pole, who had been outspoken about Henry’s treatment of Catherine, accepted the post even though he would be guilty of treason by doing so.
The closure of the monasteries and the Ten Articles were not well received by the common people. The monasteries had provided food, shelter and a basic education for the people as well as a place for travellers to stay. Many traditional religious festivals were now forbidden and people were angry though they blamed Cromwell rather than the King for this.
1536 (1st October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
This rebellion against the closure of the monasteries began in Louth where people were concerned by the news that commissioners would be arriving to investigate their church.
1536 (2nd October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
After burning the commissioners books at Louth around 30,000 protestors set out from Louth and marched towards Lincoln. A list of grievances was sent to the King.
1536 (5th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
The protesters, now numbered about 50,000 camped at Hambleton Hill. However, armed forces were marching to break up the protest.
1536 (12th October)
A proclamation from the King arrived in Lincolnshire ordering the rebels to disband. Since news had reached the rebels that armed forces were on their way many went home fearful of reprisals.
1536 (13th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
A large group of Yorkshiremen gathered at Wighton Hill under the leadership of Robert Aske.
1536 (14th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Robert Aske and his followers marched on Hull.
1536 (17th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
A new set of grievances with more emphasis on religious grievances was written by Aske and sent to the King.
1536 (21st October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Lord d’Arcy of Templehurst supported Aske and surrendered Pontefract. Archbishop Lee also joined Aske.
1536 (24th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Robert Aske stood at the head of around 30,000 protesters in Doncaster.
1536 (27th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
the Duke of Norfolk lacked the resources to to deal with the Aske’s large force. He therefore decided to attempt a peaceful solution and met Aske for talks on Doncaster Bridge. Norfolk agreed to take Aske’s grievances to the King provided that a truce would be called and Aske’s army disbanded.
1536 (29th October)
Pilgrimage of Grace
the Duke of Norfolk wrote to Henry to explain his actions.
1536 (late October)
Jane Seymour begged Henry to restore some of the monasteries saying that the riot may have been allowed by God as a punishment for the deliberate desecration of so many churches. Henry was furious and ordered Jane to occupy her mind with other things.
1536 (2nd November)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Henry received the Duke of Norfolk and the list of grievances he brought from Aske.
1536 (17th November)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Henry sent an envoy to Yorkshire to invite Aske and 300 ‘pilgrims’ to meet Norfolk at Doncaster for further discussions.
1536 (21st November)
Pilgrimage of Grace
the rebels refused Henry’s offer to meet with Norfolk at Doncaster until a general pardon had been issued.
1536 (6th December)
Pilgrimage of Grace
The rebels were offered, on the King’s behalf a general pardon if they would put down their weapons and disperse. Aske was summoned to court and issued with a safe pass which was valid to 5th January 1537.
1536 (8th December)
Pilgrimage of Grace
Robert Aske persuaded the rebels to disperse saying that they had won and that the King would respond to their demands when he met him at court.
1536 (17th December)
Mary arrived at Windsor for the Christmas festivities.
1536 (21st December)
Jane Seymour’s father died at Wulfhall.
1536 (22nd December)
Reginald Pole was created a Cardinal in Rome.
1536 (22nd December)
The river Thames was frozen and so Henry, Jane and Mary rode through the streets of London to Greenwich. The people turned out to see the royal party.
Pilgrimage of Grace
Robert Aske was present at court and spoke with the King. Henry told him that he would visit Yorkshire in the summer and hold a parliament to pass any legislation necessary to satisfy their demands. However, Henry had other ideas.
Robert Aske realised that Henry was playing for time and recalled his men believing that there would be further confrontation. Henry told Norfolk “you shall cause such dreadful execution to be done upon a good number of the inhabitants of every town, village, and hamlet that have offended, as they may be a fearful spectacle to all others hereafter that would practice any like matter.”
The Duke of Norfolk raised the King’s banner in Carlisle and declared that area subject to martial law. All loyal subjects were told to wear the King’s uniform of a red cross on a white background.
Norfolk presided over a Great Assize and sentenced around 50 mostly monks and priors to be executed. Due to the large number of nobles that had taken part in the uprising it was deemed counter productive to execute them all so they were divided into those to be executed and those to be pardoned. Those to be pardoned included Archbishop Lee, Lord Scrope, Lord Latimer and Robert Bowes while those to be executed included Lord D’Arcy, Robert Aske and Hugh Bigod.
Jane Seymour announced that she was pregnant and that she believed the baby would be born in the middle of October.
1537 (10th April)
Cardinal Reginald Pole was visiting Francis II. Henry wrote to Francis asking him to extradite the Cardinal to England where he was to be tried for treason. Francis did not want to offend Henry but also could not morally send a Cardinal to his death so he asked Pole to leave France.
Robert Aske was found guilty of treason.
1537 (27th May)
Celebrations were held to mark the fact that Jane had felt her child move in her wormb.
1537 (early June)
An outbreak of plague in London meant that the court moved to Windsor. Henry was anxious to keep Jane away from any illness.
Henry was in constant pain from his legs. He had ulcers on both legs which worsened when he refused to rest. Henry also ate too much and was becoming fat.
Despite protestations that he had been pardoned by the King, Robert Aske was chained to a scaffold and left to die from exposure and starvation.
Matthew’s Bible – An English Bible was published which was known as Matthew’s Bible. It comprised Tynedale’s New Testament without marginal notes and the Old Testament which was basically a re-issue of Coverdale’s Bible. The Bible was placed in all churches throughout the land.
1537 (early September)
The Court moved to Hampton Court to await the birth of Jane’s baby.
1537 (8th October)
1537 (12th October)
After a very difficult labour Jane was delivered of a baby boy. Henry was overjoyed and named the child Edward
and created him Duke of Cornwall. Heralds were despatched to every part of the country with the news.
1537 (15th October)
Prince Edward was christened at midnight at Hampton Court. His godparents were the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Cranmer and Lady Mary.
1537 (16th October)
Jane was taken ill with diarrhoea and sickness.
1537 (24th October)
Jane died. It is thought that she died from puerperal fever which was a common cause of death after pregnancy and is caused by lack of antiseptic conditions.
1537 (25th October)
Jane’s body was embalmed and dressed in gold tissue. A golden crown was placed on her head. Her body was taken to the presence chamber of Hampton Court where it lay in state.
1537 (2nd November)
Jane’s body was taken to the Chapel Royal at Windsor where it continued to lay in state.
1537 (8th November)
Jane’s coffin was carried to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for the funeral service. As was the custom Henry did not attend the funeral so Lady Mary was chief mourner. After the service her body continued to lay in state.
1537 (12th October)
Queen Jane’s body was laid to rest in a vault before the high altar of St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The Bells of London tolled for six hours to mark the event. Henry declared that it was his wish to be buried next to Jane.
1537 (late November)
Mary left court for Hunsdon where she was to take charge of Elizabeth’s household. Lady Margaret Bryan was transferred to Prince Edward’s household.
Commissioners were sent to take voluntary surrender of more monasteries. Anyone suspected of opposing the King was charged with treason and hanged.
Any remaining monasteries were now closed.
Henry began to consider remarrying and considered Mary of Guise and Christina of Milan. Francis refused any marriage between Mary of Guise and Henry since Mary was promised to James V of Scotland
Henry visited Edward at Havering.
A Protestant deputation from Germany arrived in England and during talks Cromwell realised that it would be good for the country to make an alliance with a Protestant country. The ambassadors mentioned that the Duke of Cleves had two daughters of marriageable age.
1538 (22nd May)
John Forrest who had been Catherine’s confessor, refused to shake off his allegiance to Rome. He was executed.
The nobility were split over church reform: the Conservative faction headed by Stephen Gardiner wanted the church protected from radical reform while the Radical faction hoped that the Break with Rome would lead to acceptance of a more Lutheran doctrine.
Prince Edward was brought to Hampton Court.
Henry was in constant pain with his legs, however he continued to eat large hearty meals and was becoming more and more obese.
Henry learned that Reginald Pole was working against him and ordered that all members of the Pole family and their supporters be arrested.
1538 (29th August)
Geoffrey Pole was arrested and charged with conspiring to help Reginald Pole escape from England. He was also forced into giving evidence against his mother the Countess of Salisbury and his brother Henry Lord Montague as well as Sir Edward Neville.
Henry ordered that the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury be destroyed and that celebration of the Saint’s feast day be prohibited.
1538 (7th October)
Christina of Milan received Henry’s proposal of marriage but turned him down saying that he rid himself of Queens so quickly that he could not be trusted.
1538 (4th December)
The Pole family were charged with treason and tried for aiding Reginald Pole who was an ally of the King’s enemy, the Pope. Geoffrey Pole pleaded guilty to the charge.
Geoffrey Pole was pardoned and released but his brother Henry, Lord Montague and his cousin Lord Exeter were executed. Geoffrey’s mother was kept in the Tower of London.
The execution of members of the Pole family were received around Europe with shock. The threat of a Catholic invasion of England was greater than ever and Henry needed a Protestant ally so it made sense for him to reconsider a German marriage.
Reginald Pole visited Charles V and urged him to mount an invasion of England in defence of the Catholic faith. However, Charles refused. Charles also refused the request from Henry that Reginald Pole be extradited to England to face charges of treason.
A document known as the Device by the King named commissioners who were appointed to visit eighteen coastal counties to discover those that were most at risk of invasion and draw up plans for their fortification.
Nicholas Wotten and Robert Barnes were sent to Germany as ambassadors to report on the suitability of the Cleves’ girls to be Henry’s next wife. The girls’ brother, William was anxious for the marriage but kept the girls heavily covered so that the ambassadors could not see what they looked like.
All men over the age of seventeen living outside London with no seafaring experience were called upon to undergo military training.
An Act of Attainder was passed against all supporters of the White Rose of York, namely the Poles, Nevilles and Askes. The passing of the act meant that the properties and possessions of those named were forfeit to the King.
1539 (early April)
Reports reached England that a large force was ready to attack England. 150 English ships were prepared for battle and stationed between The Thames and Portsmouth.
1539 (7th April)
A large fleet of around 50 foreign warships appeared off the coast of Margate. The defence of Kent was put on standby.
1539 (22nd April)
The foreign ships mustered off Margate sailed along the Channel and it soon became apparent that they were bound for the Mediterranean Sea.
1539 (23rd April)
Henry shipped a large consignment of gunpowder from Germany to England.
1539 (8th May)
As a warning to any foreign aggressor the armed forces of London, some 16,000 men, were paraded in a Grand Review.
1539 (16th May)
Statute of Six Articles
This statute was forced through a reluctant parliament and listed six cardinal doctrines of Catholic belief which Henry wished to preserve in the English church:
1. Transubstantiation was not to be denied
2. There was to be communion of one kind for the laity
3. Members of the clergy were to remain celibate
4. Religious vows were to be permanent
5. Private masses were to be made available
6. Auricular confession was to be used
Those refusing to comply with the new doctrine would face loss of property and liberty for a first offence and death for a second.
The passing of the Six Articles was a triumph for the Conservative faction and a blow for those who had hoped to see more radical church reform.
1539 (late May)
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, sent his wife and children abroad for their safety.
At considerable expense castles were built all around the coast of England. This proved to be a major deterrent to those considering invading England.
Lady Elizabeth began her education.
1539 (23rd September)
A German embassy arrived in London to conclude the marriage alliance. Henry had chosen Anne of Cleves to be his fourth wife after seeing Holbein’s flattering portrait of her.
It was agreed that Anne of Cleves should travel to England by sea from Gelderland so as to avoid travelling through any lands belonging to Francis II or Charles V. However, after further discussion it was decided that a long sea journey in Winter would be more hazardous than travelling through foreign lands.
1539 (4th October)
The treaty for the marriage of Henry VIII of England and Anne of Cleves was concluded and signed at Hampton Court.
1539 (early November)
Anne of Cleves left Dusseldorf and began her journey to England. She travelled with 263 attendants and 228 horses.
the Duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cranmer were sent to Canterbury to be ready to welcome Anne of Cleves when she reached England. The Lord High Admiral, William Fitzwilliam and the Duke of Suffolk were sent to Calais to escort Anne across the Channel.
1539 (11th December)
Anne of Cleves and her retinue reached Calais. She was given a splendid reception and given a tour of the town.
1539 (mid December)
Philip of Bavaria, a Lutheran and the son of the Elector of the Palatine, came to England. He offered Henry military service and asked for the hand of the Lady Mary.
The arrival of Anne of Cleves in England was delayed by bad weather which prevented her from sailing across the Channel.
1539 (26th December)
After a difficult sea crossing Anne of Cleves landed at Deal in Kent.
1539 (26th December)
Philip of Bavaria and Lady Mary met for the first time. Mary admitted that she was not keen to marry a Lutheran but that she would comply with her father’s wishes.
1539 (29th December)
Anne of Cleves was welcomed at Canterbury by Thomas Cranmer.
1539 (late December)
Negotiations for a marriage between Philip of Bavaria and Lady Mary broke down and Philip returned home.
1539 (31st December
Anne of Cleves reached Rochester where she was met by Lady Browne who was in charge of her ladies. Lady Browne was concerned that Anne was not Henry’s type. She was not as beautiful or as young as her portrait had suggested. She was also rather large and loud.