Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell, son of a Putney blacksmith, rose to be the most powerful man in England after the King.

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  • On This Day 25th May 1553

    On 25th May 1553 a double marriage took place at Durham House in London. Lady Jane Grey, and her sister, Lady Katherine, were married to Lord Guilford Dudley, son of the Duke of Northumberland and Lord Henry Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke respectively. Northumberland was riding high as the Lord President of the Council, and effective Regent for the still-young Edward VI. Pembroke was the brother-in-law of the late Queen Katherine Parr, and a strong supporter of Northumberland in both religious and political matters. The father of the Grey sisters, Henry, Duke of Suffolk was the third in this trio of associates.The three men probably knew that King Edward was unlikely to recover from the serious illness he was suffering, and were positioning themselves for a coup, in which Lady Jane Grey would be placed on the throne in place of the King’s legitimate heir, his half-sister, Mary.

    Image is of Lady Katherine Grey by Levina Teerlinc

  • On This Day 24th May 1487

    On 24th May 1487 Lambert Simnel was crowned as Edward VI at Dublin Cathedral. It was claimed that Simnel was really Edward, Earl of Warwick, the nephew of Edward IV. King Henry VII defeated Simnel’s army at the Battle of Stoke on 16th June 1487, in what is considered to be the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. Simnel was pardoned and set to work in Henry VII’s kitchen, rising to the position of falconer.

  • On This Day 23rd May 1533

    On 23rd May 1533 at a specially convened court at Dunstable, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury declared that the marriage between Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon had been void from the beginning, and that therefore when Henry had married Anne Boleyn he had been a bachelor. After seven years of wrangling Henry was free. Anne was crowned as Queen of England on 1st June 1533. Just over a month later, Katharine’s Chamberlain, Lord Mountjoy, came to her at Ampthill and informed her that she was to be known henceforth as ‘Princess Dowager’.

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