Tudor Minute January 8, 1536

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for January 8.

Today is the day in which Henry and Anne famously wore yellow to celebrate the death of Katherine of Aragon, which happened yesterday, the seventh. Sources vary on exactly what was worn, and by whom. Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador who hated Anne, makes no mention of her clothing in a letter to the Emperor.

He says, “You could not conceive the joy that the King and those who favor this concubinage have shown at the death of the good Queen, especially the earl of Wiltshire and his son, who said it was a pity the Princess did not keep company with her. The King, on the Saturday he heard the news, exclaimed “God be praised that we are free from all suspicion of war” On the following day, Sunday, the King was clad all over in yellow, from top to toe, except the white feather he had in his bonnet, and the Little Bastard was conducted to mass with trumpets and other great triumphs. After dinner the King entered the room in which the ladies danced, and there did several things like one transported with joy. At last he sent for his Little Bastard, and carrying her in his arms he showed her first to one and then to another.

We don’t hear about Anne wearing Yellow until the Edward Hall Chronicle written much later, and saying that “Anne wore yellow for the mourning.”

Whether or not yellow was a color of mourning or rejoicing is up for debate as well. Some historians have said it was a mark of mourning. Others have called it Joyful Yellow. So all we really know is that yellow was worn.

We also know, of course, that this was the beginning of the end for Anne. As Henry commented, the threat of war from the Empire was now over. Anne miscarried a son a few weeks later. Henry began to see that a relationship with the Emperor might be worth having. Combine that with an attractive Jane Seymour, and Anne became less and less attractive, and would be dead within a few months.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

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