21 February 1846: Marie Duplessis marries Count Edouard de Perrégaux

On this day in 1846 occurred one of the most enigmatic episodes in the brief life of the Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis  – her marriage to Count Edouard de Perrégaux at the Kensington Register Office in London. Marie had met Edouard a few years previously, at a masked ball at the Paris Opera House inContinue reading “21 February 1846: Marie Duplessis marries Count Edouard de Perrégaux”

20 February 1547: Coronation of Edward VI

On this day in 1547 Edward, the young son of the late King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour was crowned in Westminster Abbey, the event accompanied by much pageantry and celebration, as recorded by the Grey Friars Chronicler: Item the 20th day of the same month the said King Edward the SixthContinue reading “20 February 1547: Coronation of Edward VI”

19 February 1555: Writ for John Bradford’s execution withdrawn

On this day in 1555 the prominent Protestant preacher, John Bradford, who had been condemned to death for heresy on 30 January, had the writ for his execution temporarily withdrawn. He had expected to be executed in short order, but the authorities were delaying the carrying out of his sentence while they sought to findContinue reading “19 February 1555: Writ for John Bradford’s execution withdrawn”

18 February 1847: Mary Duplessis’s belongings up for sale

On this day in 1847 an announcement of the sale of the goods of the famed Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis, who had died only weeks earlier, appeared in Le Moniteur des Ventes. Viewing commenced at noon on the following Tuesday and the auction took place, in her apartment on the boulevard de la Madeleine, from WednesdayContinue reading “18 February 1847: Mary Duplessis’s belongings up for sale”

18 February 1533: Thomas Cromwell receives a letter

On this day in 1533 an Observant Franciscan lay brother by the name of Richard Lyst wrote a letter to Thomas Cromwell, one in a series of letters denouncing a fellow Observant Franciscan, Friar John Forest. Cromwell had recruited Lyst as an informer in 1532, Lyst thereby becoming a small cog in Cromwell’s machinery toContinue reading “18 February 1533: Thomas Cromwell receives a letter”

18 February 1516: Birth of Mary Tudor

On this day in 1516 a child was born to Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon who would become known to history as ‘Bloody Mary’, the scourge of English Protestants, ultimately responsible for the death by burning of scores of her subjects with whom she had profound disagreements over matters of religion.Continue reading “18 February 1516: Birth of Mary Tudor”

14 February 1551: Stephen Gardiner deprived of his see

On this day in 1551, 11 years after he had preached against the new Protestant doctrines at Paul’s Cross, Stephen Gardiner was officially stripped of his position as Bishop of Winchester. Gardiner had been summoned to appear before the Privy Council early in the reign of Edward VI, the young Protestant King, and had beenContinue reading “14 February 1551: Stephen Gardiner deprived of his see”

14 February 1540 – Stephen Gardiner preaches at Paul’s Cross

On this day in 1540 (a Sunday), the Bishop of Winchester, Stephen Gardiner, preached the first of that year’s Lenten sermons at Paul’s Cross. These occasions drew large crowds and whatever was said at Paul’s Cross would be heard in the highest quarters. Bishop Gardiner used the opportunity to attack the doctrine of justification byContinue reading “14 February 1540 – Stephen Gardiner preaches at Paul’s Cross”

13 February 1542 – Execution of Queen Katherine Howard

On this day in 1542, Queen Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, was beheaded. Her alleged pre- and extramarital liaisons had come to light in the previous year, during the King’s so-called ‘Great Progress‘ to York, undertaken with the aim of demonstrating Henry’s power and authority in the north of England, inContinue reading “13 February 1542 – Execution of Queen Katherine Howard”

12 February 1850 – Baptism of Jeanne Sabatier

On this day in 1850, a baby was baptised at the church of Notre Dame de Lorette in Paris. The baby’s full name was  Fernande Ernesta Jeanne Sabatier (she would be known just as Jeanne) and her mother was Adèle, better known as Bébé, the younger sister of the famous courtesan and muse of the poetContinue reading “12 February 1850 – Baptism of Jeanne Sabatier”