Tag Archives: Henry VIII of England

The entertainment in Tudor England

The entertainment in Tudor England

Apart from eating and drinking (and smoking), the Tudors were enthusiastic merrymakers: they liked to entertain and to be entertained. Henry VIII loved not only sport and food, but also music. He played several instruments, including bagpipes, recorders and flutes, and the virginals. His Chapel Royal included dozens of musicians, many of whom used to accompany him wherever he went.  Church music was generally written to be sung unaccompanied, but Henry liked to have trombones to accompany the plainsong of the choir.

One year in Henry VIII’s life: 1536

One year in Henry VIII’s life: 1536

Katherine of Aragon died on 7th January, at Kimbolton House, possibly as a result of coronary thrombosis. She was buried quietly at Peterborough Abbey. During her final illness she remained forbidden from personal contact with her daughter Mary.On 24th January, Henry fell heavily in the tiltyard at Greenwich and lay unconscious for about two hours. The shock caused Anne to miscarry five days later, reportedly male foetus.

Mail-order queen

Mail-order queen

Well aware of this increase in realism, Henry VIII decided to choose his fourth wife from her portrait. Traditionally, dynastic marriages were arranged between (often teenage or even pre-teen) parties who may never even have seen one another before the ceremony – they were pawns in power plays, and personal preference did not have much to do with it. Henry, however, in middle age, felt free to be choosy; he sent an artist to paint pictures of Europe’s most eligible young ladies.

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

There had been persistent rumours throughout the summer of 1532 that Anne and Henry would marry during the interview at Calais. At first, Anne had gone out of her way to encourage the gossip. ‘Not later than a week ago’, Chapuys reported in late August, ‘she wrote a letter to her principal friend and favourite here, whom she holds as sister and companion, bidding her to get ready against this journey and interview, where, she says, that which she has been so long wishing for will be accomplished’.

Dissolution of the Monasteries in England: 1536-1541

Dissolution of the Monasteries in England: 1536-1541

In 1534, Thomas Cromwell began his Visitation of the Monasteries. The official aim of these visits was to view the character of those running it. Unofficially, however, his other purpose was to value the properties they ran, and to take inventory of their assets. The reason for this was because at around this time, the state’s treasuries were already running low, and Henry VIII needed a new source of revenues.