Saturday, February 26, 2011

Question from Guy - Public notice of Henry VIII's weddings

I know that Henry VIII's weddings to Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves were well-known, and his to Anne BOleyn secret. But did the populace know in advance that he was planning to marry Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr, or was it just announced after the event? Did all at court know about it?

1 comment:

Lara said...

Sorry Gareth, I hit the wrong button on your comment and it got deleted!! I shouldn't try to do anything on the computer in the early morning.

Here was Gareth Russell's comment on this post:

It depends what you mean by "knew." The wedding of the King and Anne Boleyn was being discussed in the Court and she wrote to one of her favourites in the early autumn of 1532 that the marriage would take place either on or immediately after the state visit to Calais, which is further proof for those who argue the original wedding took place on November 14 1532, not January 25 1533. Either way, however, you're right in saying that the wedding to Anne Boleyn was certainly the king's most secretive, from the point of view of the general public.

It was well-known that he was going to marry Jane Seymour and the likelihood of it was being openly discussed in the days of his second wife's imprisonment, to the extent that Cromwell was fairly busy hunting down various pamphlets lampooning Henry and Jane's behaviour during the queen's incarceration in the Tower. However, as with Catherine Howard in 1540, no official government announcement was made until after the wedding Mass. In Jane's case, a day or so after; in Catherine's nearly a fortnight - I believe it was announced when the royal couple returned to Hampton Court after a few weeks 'honeymoon' following their wedding at Oatlands Palace in Surrey. Katherine Parr's I THINK was maybe announced very shortly before, but I couldn't be absolutely certain. However, I think it was. Anne's, Jane's and Catherine's were announced after the fact though, yes.