Today in 1533 there was a great ceremony held for Anne Boleyn as she went into confinement, pregnant with what everyone hoped would be a boy who would justify the last six years of wrangling that Henry had done so that he could marry her. Anne attended a special mass at the Chapel Royal, and then there were special prayers, and Anne retreated to her special chamber, which would have only women until the birth. Anne expected to stay there until the ceremony of churching that would be done about 6 weeks after the birth of the child. In a room like this there would have been all sorts of tapestries hung showing signs of fertility and easy labors, crucifixes, and symbols of childbirth. There were two beds - Anne’s main one, and then a smaller pallet on which she would actually give birth.
Anne wound up giving birth to Elizabeth just two weeks later.
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 where there is an episode on pregnancy and childbirth in Tudor England
Episode 24: Pregnancy and Childbirth in Renaissance England