BRITAIN: This week in history 19-25 May

Britain magazine

This week in history was peppered with King Henry VIII’s marital dramas, plus the birth of our longest reigning monarch…

Britain magazine

19 May
It was on this day in 1536 that Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII of England was beheaded for adultery, treason and incest. She was beheaded on Tower Green at the Tower of London.

Britain magazine

20 May
William Shakespeare’s sonnets were first published in London on this day in 1609 and his play Pericles, Prince of Tyre was performed for the French ambassador at Whitehall in London on this day in 1619.

21 May
Lady Jane Grey, who became Queen of England for just nine days, married Lord Guildford Dudley on this day in 1553. Little is known of the details of their relationship but it is said that when Lady Jane refused to crown him king he was said to show his aggressive temperament.

Britain magazine

22 May
The British White Star Liner, SS Ionic launched on this day in 1902. The ship sailed the route from London to Wellington, New Zealand, via Cape Town in South Africa.

23 May
King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s marriage was declared null and void on this day in 1533 by the clergy, but not by the Pope.

Britain magazine

24 May
London’s Westminster Bridge opened on this day in 1862. Until then, London Bridge had been the only main crossing in central London but the new bridge provided essential links between Westminster and Lambeth. The bridge was painted green in 1970 to match the green used in the House of Commons.

Queen Victoria was born on this day in 1819. She lived to be the longest-serving monarch in history. She became queen at the age of 18 and married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha with whom she had nine children.

25 May

It was on this day in 1878 that Gilbert and Sullivan’c comic opera, HMS Pinafore, opened at the Opera Comique theatre in Westminster. The musical theatre production ran for 571 performances and was at the time the second-longest run of any production of its kind at the time.

Related articles

Divorced, beheaded, survived…the wives of Henry VIII
BRITAIN’s top 10 ships
Theatre in London’s West End
Westminster Abbey in pictures

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