Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell, son of a Putney blacksmith, rose to be the most powerful man in England after the King.

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  • On This Day 7th July 1537

    On 7th July 1537 Madeleine, Queen of Scots, died at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. The sixteen year old queen had been in Scotland for just two months, having married James V on 1st January 1537 (N.S.) at Notre Dame de Paris. Madeleine had tuberculosis, and her father, Francois I of France, who had already lost two daughters to the disease, had been reluctant for her to marry and leave for the colder climate of Scotland. Madeleine however, had been eager for the match to the 25 year old King of Scots, allegedly saying she wanted to be a queen before she died. The wedding had been celebrated with much ceremony, and Madeleine had received a munificent dowry. James mourned his young bride, and five years later, he was buried beside her.

    The picture shows Madeleine with her mother, Claude, Queen of France and Duchess of Brittany, and her siblings. Madeleine is back right.

  • On This Day 6th July 1560

    On 6th July 1560, the Treaty of Edinburgh between Scotland and England was signed by the Lords of the Covenant, and the English government. The Treaty was part of the wider Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis which had finally put an end to the Valois-Hapsburg wars in Italy. By its terms, agreed by England, the French negotiators, and the Lords of the Covenant, the French troops who had been called in by the late Regent of Scotland, Marie of Guise, to put down the rebellion by the Lords of the Covenant, were withdrawn. The Treaty also sought to prevent Mary, Queen of Scots claiming the throne of England. Queen Mary refused to ratify the treaty, which remained a bone of contention between herself and Elizabeth I of England. Read more about the rebellion which resulted in the treaty here

  • On This Day 5th July 1551

    On 5th July 1551, Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell died. Lord Cromwell was the only son of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief minister. He was born around 1516, and educated at home, and then at Pembroke College, Cambridge, but Gregory, although diligent, was no scholar. Sometime during the tenure of Jane Seymour as Queen of England, Gregory was married to her sister, Elizabeth, widow of the Governor of Jersey. This was a stunning match for the grandson of a small trader from Putney, and propelled Gregory into the circle surrounding the King.

    He took part in court life, being a competent jouster, and was one of the attendants sent to accompany Anne of Cleves to England. Gregory became a Knight of the Shire (MP) for Kent in 1539 and does not seem to have suffered after his father’s execution, being promoted to a barony, and thus a seat in the Lords in autumn 1540. He continued to sit in the Parliaments of Henry’s reign, and those of Edward, but did not hold other government office. Read more about Gregory’s famous father, Thomas, here.

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