On the 1st September 1552, Anne Boleyn was made Marquess of Pembroke. This was in preparation for her visit to Calais. Last time she saw Francis I, she was a lady-in-waiting to his wife. If she was to meet him now as England’s intended queen, she needed status.
It was an impressive ceremony in Windsor Castle on the morning of Sunday, 1st September. Anne was conducted into the King’s presence by Garter King-at-Arms, with the countess of Rutland and Derby, as well as her cousin Mary Howard, carrying the crimson velvet mantle and gold coronet of a marquis. Henry was surrounded by the court, the officers at arms in their tabards and La Pommeraye as a guest of honour. Anne kneeled to the King, while Stephen Gardiner read out a patent conferring on her in her own right and on her offspring the title of Marquess of Pembroke. Henry placed on her the mantle and the coronet and handed her the patent of nobility, plus another granting lands worth £1000 a year. Anne thanked him and withdrew, after which the King proceeded to St George’s Chapel and a solemn high mass sung by Gardiner. Henry and Francis (represented by La Pommeraye) swore to the terms of a treaty between England and France; Edward Fox preached a sermon extolling their intention to co-operate against the Turkish infidel, and announced the plan for the two to meet at Calais. Anne was magnificent throughout. She wore a surcoat of crimson velvet, furred with ermine, and with straight sleeves. And, according to the Venetian ambassador, she was ‘completely covered with the mostly costly jewels’.
It was also recorded in Letters and Papers:
‘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. She thanked the King, and returned to her chamber.
Gifts given by the lady Marques :—To Mr. Garter, for her apparel, 8l.; to the Office of Arms, 11l. 13s. 4d. The King gave them 5l.
Officers of Arms present :—Garter and Clarencieux, kings; Richmond, Carlisle, and Windsor, heralds; Rougecross, Portcullis, Bluemantle, and Guisnes, pursuivants.’
The service ended with a Te Deum, with trumpets and orchestration, after which everyone returned to the castle for a great banquet. Anne was now Marquess of Pembroke, which was significant in itself. The earldom of Pembroke had been held by Henry’s great-uncle, Jasper Tudor, to whose lands he had succeeded as a boy.
LP V. 1274
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Eric Ives, 2005, p158-159
On This Day In Tudor History, Claire Ridgway, 2012, p410
Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, David Starkey, 2004, p459-460
Anne Boleyn becoming Marquess of Pembroke in The Tudors.