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 27th February 1490

    On 27th February 1490 Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, was invested as Prince of Wales at the Palace of Westminster. He had been granted the title the previous November, but the formal ceremony did not take place until 27th February. In a ceremony reminiscent of a coronation, he processed in state through the City of London on the previous day. As Arthur was only three at the time of the ceremony, he did not undertake any formal duties in his new role. The Council of Wales was headed by his great-uncle, Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford. When he was older, he was sent to Wales to preside over the Council, based at Ludlow Castle. Arthur died, aged just 15, in April 1502, and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.

    Picture shows Prince Arthur's chantry at Worcester Cathedral © Tudor Times.

  • On This Day 26th February 1564

    On 26th February 1564, Christopher or ‘Kit’ Marlowe, playwright, was baptised in Canterbury. He attended the King’s School in the town before studying at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Marlowe’s plays were not only popular during his own life-time, but have stood the test of time – Dido, Queen of Carthage; Doctor Faust; and Edward II are among others still performed today. Marlowe died mysteriously in a tavern brawl, but accounts of what happened have been questioned and it has even been suggested his death was faked as many historians have postulated that Marlowe was a spy for the English government, recruited originally by Sir Francis Walsingham.

  • On This Day 25th February 1601

    On 25th February 1601, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, was executed. Essex was the grandson of Katherine Carey, Elizabeth I’s cousin, as well as being the step-son of her closest favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Introduced to Elizabeth by Leicester, Essex became a leading light of the late Elizabethan court. Unfortunately, his wild behaviour and frequent disobedience to royal orders undermined his position. Eventually, he broke out into a foolish show of force that Elizabeth could not pardon – read more here

    Picture of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex by Marcus Gheerhaerts the Younger

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