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Tudor Minute April 18: Thomas Cromwell the Earl of Essex

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for April 18.

Today was a day for Pyrrhic Victories in our Henrican court. Today in 1536 Henry VIII tricked the Imperial Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, into recognizing Anne Boleyn as Queen. Chapuys had gone for years without having to acknowledge her, probably doing some fast maneuvering to avoid coming face to face with her. But on this day, George Boleyn met Chapuys and led him into Mass, placing him behind the door where Anne would enter. When she entered, she turned and bowed to Chapuys, and he had to acknowledge her, which must have felt very good for Anne indeed. Of course, just a month and a day later, Anne would be beheaded.

Similarly, today in 1540 Henry VIII made Thomas Cromwell the Earl of Essex. Which must have been quite a relief to Cromwell, who was stressing after the disastrous marriage to Anne of Cleves. But again, just a few months later Cromwell was found guilty of treason, and executed.

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.