TODAY IN HISTORY: 1st September 1532, Anne Boleyn is made Marquess
On this day in 1532, King Henry VIII elevated his love and soon-to-be-Queen, Anne Boleyn, to the title of Marquess of Pembroke - a brand new title of nobility for his love. Although he was still technically married to Queen Katherine of Aragon, he was already planning his future with Anne, and in order to prepare for marriage it was necessary to give a noble status. Along with this elevation, Anne Boleyn also received lands in Wales and an increase in wealth. This was a very significant event in Tudor history, and the title of “Pembroke” was significant for Henry anyway, because his great-uncle Jasper Tudor had held the title of Earl of Pembroke - Pembroke referring to the birthplace of Henry VII.
The ceremony, held at Windsor Castle was performed by Henry himself. It was attended by some of the highest members of court, including Anne’s father Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, her uncle Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The French Ambassador, Bishop of Winchester, and others were also present, which shows that this was a very important event. The Bishop read the patent of creation while Anne knelt in front of the King and he presented her with the coronet, the robe of estate, and the charters of creation and the lands.
To Henry, this was incredibly important, and probably a very exciting day for both him and Anne. This was not simply the elevation of a commoner to a noble - This was one step closer to marriage. In Henry’s mind, he was already a single man - though his marriage to Katherine of Aragon wouldn’t legally be annulled until 1533 - and he was completely devoted and besotted with Anne. Therefore, raising her to the title of Marquess of Pembroke showed everyone at court that he was completely serious and dedicated in his mission to make her his next wife and queen. This was a great honour and in less than five months, Anne would become Henry’s second wife.
After the ceremony, a sumptuous banquet was held in honour of Anne and her new position. Anne was, no doubt, excited and honoured, and looking forward to her trip with Henry to Calais to meet King Francis I of France - which was another reason for this elevation in title.
”Creacion of lady Anne, doughter to therle of Wilteshier, marquesse of Penbroke.”
Sunday, 1 Sept. 1532, 24 Hen. VIII. The lady was conveyed by noblemen and the officers of arms at Windsor Castle to the King, who was accompanied by the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and other noblemen, and the ambassador of France. Mr. Garter bore her patent of creation; and lady Mary, daughter to the duke of Norfolk, her mantle of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, and a coronet. The lady Marques, who was “in her hair,” and dressed in a surcoat of crimson velvet, furred with ermines, with strait sleeves, was led by Elizabeth countess of Rutland, and Dorothy countess of Sussex. While she kneeled before the King, Garter delivered her patent, which was read by the bishop of Winchester. The King invested her with the mantle and coronet, and gave her two patents,—one of her creation, the other of 1,000l. a year.”