Princess Elizabeth began the year of 1536 as a ‘High and mighty Royal Princess’ and ended it as just another royal bastard. Her mother Queen Anne Boleyn was executed for treason and adultery on 19th May 1536 and from that moment her daughter’s world was turned upside down.
Dr Steven Gunn has been trawling 16th Century coroners’ reports from 1551 to 1600 and researching accidental deaths in Tudor England. The results are both interesting and sad.
As far back as 1363 parliamentary laws insured that Englishmen spent their Sundays practicing archery with their Long bows. England had no standing army and archers could be needed at any time and come from all walks of life.
The coroners’ reports reveal that fifty six accidental deaths occurred by people standing too close to targets or by men collecting their fired arrows at the wrong time. Nicholas Wyborne was lying down near a target when he was hit by a falling arrow, which pierced him to a depth of six inches.
In 1552, Henry Pert, a gentleman of Welbeck in Nottinghamshire shot himself in the head with his own bow. Henry drew his bow to its full extent with the aim of shooting straight up into the air. The arrow lodged in the bow, and while he was leaning over to look at what had happened, the arrow was released. He died the next day.
1 Tsp/5ml butter
a pinch of salt and pepper
Boil the eggs for five minutes. Meanwhile lightly brown the butter in a pan and allow it to cool. Then quickly stir in the other ingredients to the butter. When the eggs are ready peel them and quarter them. Arrange them on a dish. Reheat the sauce and pour it over the eggs before serving.
As King James V of Scotland lay on his sick-bed at his Palace in Fife in 1542, his French queen consort was giving birth to their daughter at Linlithgow Palace. James had just suffered a bitter loss to Henry VIII’s troops at the battle of Solway Moss and aged just 30 he was a broken man.
Legend says that James turned his head towards the wall when he heard the news of his only legitimate child’s birth and said, ‘Woe is me. My dynasty came with a lass. It will go with a lass.’ King James was right his Royal House did end with a woman but that woman would not be his daughter because the his blood line did not end until a century after his death.