Page 51. " The King's Hall, soon to be absorbed into Henry VIII's vast deathbed foundation of Trinity College "
The Great Gate at Trinity College, Cambridge with a statue of its founder, Henry VIII
Public DomainThe Great Gate at Trinity College, Cambridge with a statue of its founder, Henry VIII - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Trinity College, Cambridge was founded by Henry VIII in 1546, through the merger of two existing colleges, the King's Hall and Michaelhouse

It is the largest college, by number of students and fellows, in either Oxford or Cambridge.


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Page 54. " the Lords Spiritual on his right hand and the Lords Temporal on his left, all in their parliamentary robes of of scarlet trimmed with white fur of miniver "

Queen Anne in the House of Lords 1708-1714 by Peter Tillemans
Public DomainQueen Anne in the House of Lords 1708-1714 by Peter Tillemans - Credit: Wikimedia Commons
 The House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament, is officially referred to as 'the Lords Spiritual and Temporal' in Acts of Parliament.  The House of Lords debates legislation proposed by the House of Commons before it is passed.  Unlike the Commons, the Lords are not elected, but are selected by inheritance or appointment, or in the case of the Lords Spiritual by ecclesiastical roles within the established church.  The Lords Spiritual are comprised of 26 senior bishops of the Church of England with the remainder (the number is not fixed) making up the Lords Temporal.

Traditionally the ceremonial dress for the Lords is a scarlet cloak trimmed with miniver (any white fur, but especially ermine).

Page 57. " On 18 January Surrey was beheaded on the scaffold at Tower Hill "

Tower Hill, situated north-west of the Tower of London and just outside the limits of the City of London, became an execution site, frequently for 'high-born' traitors. The  condemned included Anne Boleyn's brother George, convicted with Anne of high treason, Sir Thomas Moore and Henry, Earl of Surrey, the eldest son and heir of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.  His father escaped the same fate on this occasion thanks to the timely death of Henry VIII.  Both had been convicted of treason, but the Duke of Norfolk was later pardoned and had his lands and property restored by Mary I


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Page 59. " the Battle of Pinkie "

Known in Scotland as Black Saturday, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh on 10 September 1547 was the last battle fought between the English Royal forces and the Scots.  It occurred during the War of the Rough Wooing, launched by Henry VIII after his plan to marry his son Edward to Mary Queen of Scots had come to nothing.  Alliance with Scotland through marriage having failed, Henry used force to deal with the continuous threat of an uncertain and often hostile neighbour, hence the name 'rough wooing'.  It is significant as the first modern battle fought in Britain, in that artillery, cavalry and infantry were deployed together, with a naval bombardment to support them.

The River Esk at Musselburgh. Author Renata
Public DomainThe River Esk at Musselburgh. Author Renata - Credit: Wikimedia Commons




The battle was fought along the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh in Scotland.

Page 59. " he was told that he was being taken to London for his creation as Prince of Wales "
Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCoat of Arms of the Prince of Wales - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As Henry's eldest and only son, Edward would have expected to be created Prince of Wales, a title traditionally, but not automatically, bestowed on the reigning monarch's male heir.

The tradition is associated with Edward I, who in 1301 invested his son Edward Caernafon with the title.  Legend has it that Edward promised the Welsh, after effectively defeating them and incorporating Wales into the English kingdom, that he would give them a prince who was born in Wales and who spoke no English.  His son, the future Edward II, was born during his father's campaigning in Wales, and as a newborn could speak no English.  This story is, however, not substantiated, as it can only be traced back to the 16th century.

The present Prince of Wales is Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II.  His badge of three ostrich feathers dates back to the Black Prince; he adopted it before being invested as Prince of Wales.  His motto 'Ich Dein', meaning 'I Serve', is German in origin. 

Page 63. " Your predecessor, Josiah "
View of the inner court and House of the Temple of Solomon (House of the Lord) as depicted in a 3-D computer model
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeView of the inner court and House of the Temple of Solomon (House of the Lord) as depicted in a 3-D computer model - Credit: Gabriel Fink

Josiah (601-649 BC), a King of Judah whose life is chronicled in the Old Testament Books of Kings, was responsible for carrying out major religious reforms.  He was, like Edward VI, only eight years old when he became king.  He banished the idols and trappings of pagan worship and encouraged the return to the exclusive worship of Yahweh (Jehovah), the God of the Jews.  He also ordered the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon







Thomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke 1545
Public DomainThomas Cranmer by Gerlach Flicke 1545 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 As Josiah was committed to returning his people to what he believed to be the true faith, so Edward, a fervent Protestant, encouraged by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, was determined to establish the Protestant Church of England as the one state religion.   

Thomas Cranmer was a leading figure in the English Reformation, who helped Henry obtain his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and promoted the separation of the English Church from Rome. He was to make major reforms to the Church during Edward's rule.  When Mary I succeeded Edward and re-established the supremacy of the Catholic Church, Cranmer was imprisoned as a traitor and heretic.  He was executed by burning on 21 March 1556, a martyr to Protestants.

Page 65. " Her favourite was Chelsea, and it was there that Elizabeth joined her soon after Henry's death "

Chelsea Manor, no longer standing,  was located in west London on the bank of the Thames. It was acquired by Henry VIII in 1536.  It was home, at various times, to two of his queens, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr.  It was also the scene of the near ruinous, for Elizabeth, scandal involving Thomas Seymour.

King Edward VI of England with his uncles Edward and Thomas Seymour, with Archbishop Cranmer. Artist Unknown
Public DomainKing Edward VI of England with his uncles Edward and Thomas Seymour, with Archbishop Cranmer. Artist Unknown - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Described by David Starkey as 'not unintelligent' and 'physically impressive', Thomas Seymour also possessed 'insatiable' ambition.  Brother to Jane Seymour, Edward VI's mother, he found himself uncle to the king but lacking the power he felt was due to him and which was wielded by his brother, Edward Seymour, Protector to Edward during his minority.  After failing to secure marriage to one of the young king's two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, he set his sights on the old king's widow, Catherine Parr. They married, probably in May 1547.  Elizabeth at the time was staying with her step-mother at Chelsea Manor, and soon became the subject (not unwilling by acounts) of Thomas Seymour's attentions.  Visits to Elizabeth's bedchamber early in the morning, tickling and dress ripping were all witnessed by the household, and in particular by Kat Ashley, Elizabeth's governess, who challenged Thomas Seymour about his behaviour.  He laughed off the criticism, but by May 1548 Catherine herself was worried enough to send Elizabeth away from Chelsea.

Thomas Seymour, undaunted in his ambition, encouraged Edward VI to rebel against Edward Seymour's Protector rule.  He was arrested on 16th January 1549 and executed on 20th March.  Elizabeth became the subject of investigation as to her conduct with Thomas Seymour, and faced charges of planning to marry him without the monarch's permission, a grave sin at court and one which would have resulted in her giving up her right to the succession. 

Page 67. " Catherine was rich; she was also willing. "

Henry VIII's sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr (1512 - 1548), outlived him only to die in childbirth less than two years later.  Catherine developed a close relationship with Henry's children and brought her influence to bear on Henry in his Third Succession Act (1543) which restored both Elizabeth and Mary to the line of succession.

Henry had given Catherine certain powers, most notably that of acting regent during his absence on a military campaign in France. But the terms of his will, while leaving her a generous financial and property settlement, took away all power, leaving a council headed by Edward Seymour to rule during Edward VI's minority. 

Catherine did, however, assume the role of stepmother to Elizabeth.  She also remarried, her fourth husband being Thomas Seymour, some six months after Henry's death. 

Page 71. " Miles Coverdale, the translator of the Bible, Catherine's almoner and later Bishop of Exeter "

Miles Coverdale.  From: The Letters of the Martyrs collected and published 1564
Public DomainMiles Coverdale. From: The Letters of the Martyrs collected and published 1564 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons
 Miles Coverdale, a reformer by faith, produced the first English translation of the Bible, the so-called Coverdale Bible. Henry had a copy placed in every church in the land. 

After spending years in Europe, Coverdale finally returned to England in 1548 where he was well received by Edward VI, becoming king's chaplain and almoner to the Dowager Queen Catherine.  In 1551 he was made Bishop of Exeter, but was deposed in 1553 by Mary I.  Once again he went abroad, returning to England in 1559.  He was not reinstated as Bishop of Exeter, but instead became rector of St Magnus the Martyr near London Bridge between 1564 and 1567.  He died in 1569 in London.