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April 18, 1536 – Jane Seymour Gets Her Own Apartments

A sketch of Greenwich Palace published in the Gentlemen's Magazine in 1840
A sketch of Greenwich Palace published in the Gentlemen’s Magazine in 1840

On the one hand, this could be said to be a turning point in Jane’s relationship with the King – though truly the point had already turned, this was just an outer indication of it.

On this day in 1536, Jane was given her own apartments at court, so that she would no longer have to serve Queen Anne Boleyn. Up until the day before (or perhaps the day itself), the apartments had been Thomas Cromwell’s. We don’t know whether the idea to give them up was Cromwell’s own, or came from a request made by the King. We do know from Chapuys’ reports that a special feature of these apartments was that the King could reach them “by certain galleries without being seen.” We also know that on the day she got those apartments, Chapuys went to see Cromwell “at a very fine house the King has given him well furnished, three leagues from [court].”

Interestingly, Jane was not given much opportunity to enjoy the apartments. Only a week later, on April 24th, the King appointed Lord Chancellor Audley, some judges and nobles (including Norfolk  and Thomas Boleyn) to investigate certain unspecified activities which might result in charges of treason. Around then, Jane retired from court so as not to be there while the trap closed against Anne Boleyn…


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April 18, 1536 - Jane Seymour Gets Her Own Apartments
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  1. Janet, you’ve performed a rather remarkable conversion when it comes to my long-held attitudes toward Jane. I like her much better as a young woman willing to grasp what was being offered, rather than the insipid creature in most of the literature,both fiction and biography. Rather than being intimidated by her brothers into being receptive to the king’s attention, your version of Jane rationalizes it so it fits her belief structure,and then she goes for it.

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