11 May 2016
An account of the funeral of King Henry VII, 11th May 1509
I am busy researching the final book in my Tudor trilogy, HENRY, about the life of Henry Tudor, who died at Richmond Palace on the 21 April 1509, after a long illness. As well as suspected tuberculosis, Henry suffered from gout and asthma. He was buried at Westminster Abbey on the 11th of May, and here is an early account I discovered:
The body of the King was brought from Richmond and met at St. George's Bar, Southwark, by the Mayor and Aldermen, accompanied by a body of commoners on horseback, appropriately dressed in black. The streets were lined by members of the various "companies" carrying torches, the lower crafts occupying the first place. After the Freemen of the City came the "Strangers," Easterlings, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Venetians, Genoese, Florentines and Lukeneres on horseback and on foot, also carrying torches. In Cornhill the lower crafts were so marshalled that the "most worshipful crafts stood next to St. Paul's.
On the day following the shrouded but uncoffined body of the King was taken from St. Paul's to Westminster. "The lowest craft" was placed nearest to the Cathedral and the "Most Worshipful next to Temple Bar, where the civic escort terminated. The Mayor and Aldermen proceeded to Westminster by water to attend "Masse and offering." The Mayor with his mace in his hand made his offering next after the Lord Chamberlain, those Aldermen who had passed the chain offered next after Knights of the Garter.