Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Question from Val - Boat Anne of Cleves traveled to England on

Please can any one confirm, conclusively, on which boat Anne of Cleves travelled to England.

I just cannot find confirmation as to the one she was onboard when they actually sailed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my request.


kb said...

Letters & Papers, January 1540 is unclear on this point.

At one point it says: "When she came to the Lantern Gate she stayed and viewed the King's ships, the Lion and the Sweepstake, decked with 100 banners of silk and gold, wherein were 200 master gunners and mariners and 31 trumpets, “and a double drum that was never seen in England before”; and so her Grace entered into Calais."

Then later in the same entry: "On 27 Dec., St. John's Day, she took ship, and landed at the Downs, between 6 and 7 p.m., where she was met by the duke and duchess of Suffolk, who, with their train, accompanied her to Deal Castle."

If I had to guess, it would have been the bigger ship which I suspect, but do not know, was the Lion.

Foose said...

I'd agree with kb. Retha Warnicke's The Marrying of Anne of Cleves is pretty exhaustive, and even she doesn't identify a specific ship between the Lion and the Sweepstakes.

There may be one clue in Letters and Papers, in a letter from Cromwell's son Gregory to his father - he was sent with the English party to escort Anne back to Dover. He writes on December 1, 1539, when the English were waiting at Dover for decent weather to cross the Channel:

"The same tide three of the King's ships the Lyon the Prymerose and the Genette arrived and my lord intends to cross tonight in the Lyon."

"My lord" is the Lord Admiral, Fitwilliam earl of Southampton, who was in charge of Anne's escort. This passage might suggest that he was quartered on the Lyon at least on the voyage to Calais, and perhaps on the way back. It could logically follow that Anne was also quartered on this ship, so that Fitzwilliam could manage her journey, attend to her comforts, handle the diplomatic activity and engage in the all-important Tudor activity of "earning her favor" - i.e., sucking up to the future queen, which required proximity and easy access.

The Lyon is described as a galeasse, a man of war fitted with oars. (The Sweepstake, listed as a "ship," was a warship carrying guns, of earlier design than the Italian-developed galeasse structure.) In some sources I looked at it was stated that the Lyon ranked as second man of war in Henry's navy, after the Great Harry. If correct, there is a pleasing symmetry in Henry's treatment of the two Queen Annes, sending his "second-best" physician to attend on Anne Boleyn during the sweat, and sending his second-ranking warship to collect Anne of Cleves. (Just joking!)

Both ships were relatively new, built in 1535, so Anne was getting the best of the English navy, whichever one she boarded. A specialist might be able to narrow it down, but I would go with the Lyon.

kb said...

Good sleuthing Foose!

I would agree that if the Lord Admiral was quartered on the Lion/Lyon on the way TO Calais, he was probably quartered on it on the way back along with the blushing bride. He would have been on the ship that offered the most comfort and the best impression. This would have been a likely choice for Anne as well. I also agree with Foose that FitzWilliam would have kept Anne close.

Foose said...

Thanks, kb. I find it curious there are no bills or payments for appointments or decorations for Anne's quarters on the ship in the various L&P accounts, although Cromwell has left a list of "Remembrances" to himself about paying off the escort, choosing the escort, getting the ships together, etc. Perhaps it was all charged to Southampton's cost center.