January 1535 : Banquet with French Admiral

While researching the events of 1535, I found a very interesting account. If you watched “The Tudors” you probably remember the scene from season 2 episode 6 when Anne Boleyn laughed hysterically as she saw how Henry pays attention to one of the court’s ladies. This incident really happened. Anne’s behavior almost caused a scandal when:

“The Admiral frowned, and said, “What, madam, do you laugh at me?” On which she excused herself by saying it was because the King had told her he was going to ask for the Admiral’s secretary to amuse her, and that the King had met on the way a lady who made him forget the matter. I don’t know if the excuse was accepted as satisfactory. The King, on the other hand, and the Lady were much disappointed that the Admiral showed no pleasure at any attention that was shown to him, even at the Tower of London and the Ordnance.”

In his book “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn” Eric Ives dates this incident as early as 1 December 1533 (p. 196). In primary sources provided for this chapter, Professor Ives gave Cal. S. P. Span., 1534-35, p. 338 (LP, vii. 1507; ibid. p. 376 (LP, viii. 48).

I checked the primary sources and found the description the memorable banquet in Eustace Chapuys’ in despatch to Charles V from 14 January 1535. So professor Ives was not right when he gave the banquet’s date as 1 December 1533.

Furthermore, Elizabeth Norton in her book “Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s True Love” stated that the lady who distracted Henry could have been Jane Seymour, although there is no evidence to back up this theory.

I feel sorry for Anne Boleyn – she knew how important it was to retain Henry VIII’s love and she was helpless when it came to king’s extramarital affairs.


“The Life And Death of Anne Boleyn”, Eric Ives

“Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s True Love”, Elizabeth Norton

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8: January-July 1535:


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2 Responses
  1. Areti says:

    Truth is that I did not remember that this event did happen (although I have the biography of Ives -shame on me :P ) ..
    Perhaps it could be Jane that distracted Henry,but whoever was she she REALLY made Anne angry!

  2. Anne Barnhill says:

    I remember reading this and it does make one feel sorry for Anne, trying so hard to keep her hold on the king. I can just see him, thinking he is getting one by his wife…Thanks!

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