On this Day in History ... 16 May

16 May is in May.

1414 Henry V awards his brothers Dukedoms

1568 Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England

1643 Battle of Stratton

1665 Sinking of The London

1685 Popish Plot

On 16 May 1282 Thomas Savoy III Count Flanders (age 36) was killed.

On 16 May 1373 John I Count Armagnac (age 62) died. His son John II Count Armagnac (age 40) succeeded II Count Armagnac. Jeanne Countess Armagnac by marriage Countess Armagnac.

Henry V awards his brothers Dukedoms

On 16 May 1414 King Henry V of England (age 27) created Dukedoms for his two brothers:

Humphrey Lancaster 1st Duke Gloucester (age 23) was created 1st Duke Gloucester 2C 1414, 1st Earl Pembroke 5C 1414.

John Lancaster 1st Duke Bedford (age 24) was created 1st Duke Bedford 1C 1414, 1st Earl Kendal 1C 1414.

On 16 May 1474 John Bourchier 1st Baron Berners (age 58) died. His grandson John Bourchier 2nd Baron Berners (age 7) succeeded 2nd Baron Berners.


After 16 May 1532 Thomas Poynings 1st Baron Poynings (age 20) and Katherine Marney were married.

Excerpta Historica Page 260. 16 May 1536. Translation Of A Letter From A Portuguese Gentleman To A Friend In Lisbon, Describing The Execution Of Anne Boleyn (age 35), Lord Rochford (age 33), Brereton, Norris (age 54), Smeton (age 24), And Weston (age 25).

The following extremely interesting Letter, which has been translated and obligingly communicated by Viscount Strangford, from the original in the Cartorio of the Monastery of Alcobaja, in Portugal, conveys an account of the execution of Anne Boleyn and her presumed accomplices, by, probably, an eye-witness.

Several letters from Sir William Kingston (age 60), the Lieutenant of the Tower, to Secretary Cromwell (age 51), have been printed1, which afford minute information on the conduct of the unfortunate Queen, from the time of her committal to the Tower until the day before her execution, together with notices of Lord Rochford, whose request to receive the sacrament was thus alluded to:-

"I have told my Lord of Rochford," says Kingston, on the 16th of May, "that he be in readiness to-morrow to suffer execution, and so he accepts it very well, and will do his best to be ready, notwithstanding he would have received his rights [i.e. the sacrament] which hath not been used and in especial here."2

From the same letter it is manifest that the Queen still entertained hopes of mercy, as Sir William Kingston adds — "Yet this day at dinner the Queen said that she should go to Antwerp, and is in hope of life." Her desire to go to Antwerp may be ascribed to its being the residence of many persons of the reformed religion, to one of whom she had rendered some service.3

Note 1. Ellis's Original Letters, First Series, vol. ii. p. 52 — 64.

Note 2. Ibid. p. 63.

Note 3. Ibid. p. 46.

Between 27 Feb 1537 and 16 May 1557 Alexander Graham 2nd Earl Menteith (age 85) died. His son William Graham 3rd Earl Menteith (age 37) succeeded 3rd Earl Menteith.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 16 May 1552. The xvj day of May the Kyngs (age 14) grace [rode into the said] parke [Map] for to se the goodly muster of ys [men] of armes, and every lord('s) men; severall [trumpets] bloghyng a-for ther men, and ther standards, and ther cottes in brodery of yche lords colers, and ther speyres coloryd lyke, and ther fott-men.


Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England

On 16 May 1568 Mary Queen of Scots (age 25) escaped across the Solway Firth into England. The following day, 17 May 1568 she wrote to her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 34) from Workington Hall [Map]. The letter states ...

describes the treasonable actions of her enemies, who 'have robbed me of everything I had in the world' and expresses her confidence in Elizabeth 'not only for the safety of my life, but also to aid and assist me in my just quarrel'. Describing herself as Elizabeth's 'very faithful and affectionate good sister, cousin and escaped prisoner, Mary begs for an audience; 'I entreat you to send to fetch me as soon as you possibly can', for 'I am', she bemoans, 'in a pitiable condition, not only for a queen, but for a gentlewoman, for I have nothing in the world but what I had on my person when I made my escape, travelling sixty miles across the country the first day, and not having since ever ventured to proceed except by night, as I hope to declare before you if it pleases you to have pity, as I trust you will, upon my extreme misfortune.''

Archaeologia Volume 32 Section X. The Queen of Scots (age 25) landed on the shore of Cumberland on the 16th of May, 1568. On the next day she wrote from Workington to Queen Elizabeth (age 34), announcing her arrival. On the 18th she was conducted to Cockermouth, and the next day to Carlisle [Map]. There she remained till the 13th of July, when she was taken to Bolton [Map], castle of the Lord Scrope (age 34), in the North Riding. She was at Bolton for more than half a year. Her last letter written from that place is dated January 25, 1569, the day before she reluctantly set out on her journey southward.

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Battle of Stratton

On 16 May 1643 Henry Grey 1st Earl Stamford (age 44) fought for the Parliamentary army at Stratton, Cornwall.


Sinking of The London

Evelyn's Diary. 16 May 1665. To London, to consider of the poor orphans and widows made by this bloody beginning, and whose husbands and relations perished in London frigate, of which there were fifty widows, and forty-five of them with child. See Sinking of The London.


After 16 May 1671. Monument to the Reverend John Stanley.

Reverend John Stanley: On or before 06 Sep 1692, the day he was baptised, he was born to Thomas Horton Stanley 4th Baronet (age 21) and Elizabeth Patten (age 22). On 23 May 1753 Reverend John Stanley (age 60) and Sarah Earle (age 35) were married. The difference in their ages was 25 years. On 16 May 1781 Reverend John Stanley (age 88) died.

Evelyn's Diary. 14 May 1672. To Dover [Map]; but the fleet did not appear till the 16th, when the Duke of York (age 38) with his and the French squadron, in all 170 ships (of which above 100 were men-of-war), sailed by, after the Dutch, who were newly withdrawn. Such a gallant and formidable navy never, I think, spread sail upon the seas. It was a goodly yet terrible sight, to behold them as I did, passing eastward by the straits between Dover and Calais in a glorious day. The wind was yet so high, that I could not well go aboard, and they were soon got out of sight. The next day, having visited our prisoners and the Castle, and saluted the Governor, I took horse for Margate [Map]. Here, from the North Foreland Lighthouse top (which is a pharos, built of brick, and having on the top a cradle of iron, in which a man attends a great sea-coal fire all the year long, when the nights are dark, for the safeguard of sailors), we could see our fleet as they lay at anchor. The next morning, they weighed, and sailed out of sight to the N. E.


On 16 May 1675 Sidney Godolphin 1st Earl Godolphin (age 29) and Margaret Blagge (age 22) were married.


On 16 May 1678 Heneage Finch 1st Earl Aylesford (age 29) and Elizabeth Banks Countess Aylesford were married. He the son of Heneage Finch 1st Earl Nottingham (age 56) and Elizabeth Harvey Baroness Finch.


PAINTINGS/RILEY/Wiliam_Blackett.jpgBefore 16 May 1680. John Riley (age 34) and John Closterman (age 20). Portrait of William Blackett 1st Baronet (age 59).

William Blackett 1st Baronet: In May 1621 he was born at Gateshead. On 10 Jul 1645 William Blackett 1st Baronet (age 24) and Elizabeth Kirkley were married at Hamsterley, County Durham. On 12 Dec 1673 William Blackett 1st Baronet (age 52) was created 1st Baronet Blackett of Newcastle in Northumberland. After 07 Apr 1674 William Blackett 1st Baronet (age 52) and Lady Margaret Cock were married. She by marriage Lady Blackett of Newcastle in Northumberland. On 16 May 1680 William Blackett 1st Baronet (age 59) died. His son Edward Blackett 2nd Baronet (age 30) succeeded 2nd Baronet Blackett of Newcastle in Northumberland. Mary Yorke Lady Blackett (age 23) by marriage Lady Blackett of Newcastle in Northumberland. In 1688 John Fenwick 3rd Baronet (age 43) sold most of the family estates and Wallington Hall to William Blackett 1st Baronet for £4000 and an annuity of £2000 a year. The annuity was to be paid for his lifetime and that of his wife, Mary. Blackett was happy with the deal as he discovered lead on the land and he became rich.

Popish Plot

Evelyn's Diary. 16 May 1685. Oates (age 35) was sentenced to be whipped and pilloried with the utmost severity.Popish Plot.

On 16 May 1689 Charles Knollys 4th Earl Banbury (age 26) and Elizabeth Lister Countess of Banbury (age 25) were married. She by marriage Countess Banbury. Said to be at the Nag's Head Coffee-House James Street although this may have been the location of the reception. He the son of Nicholas Knollys 3rd Earl Banbury and Anne or Abigail Sherard.

On 16 May 1702 George Neville 14th and 12th Baron Bergavenny was born to George Neville 13th and 11th Baron Bergavenny (age 43) and Anne Walker Countess De La Warr.

On 16 May 1710 William Talbot 1st Earl Talbot was born to Charles Talbot 1st Baron Talbot (age 25) and Cecil Mathew Baroness Talbot at Worcester [Map].


On 16 May 1717 Henry Clinton 7th Earl Lincoln (age 33) and Lucy Pelham Countess Lincoln were married. She by marriage Countess Lincoln. He the son of Francis Clinton 6th Earl Lincoln and Susan Penniston Countess Lincoln.

On 16 May 1719 Philip Yorke 1st Earl of Hardwicke (age 28) and Margaret Cocks Countess Hardwicke were married.

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On 16 May 1741 Richard Onslow 3rd Baron Onslow (age 28) and Mary Elwill were married at Clifford Street.

On 16 May 1747 Charles Fleming 7th Earl Wigtown (age 72) died. Earl Wigtown 2C 1606 extinct.

On 16 May 1757 George Hobart 3rd Earl Buckinghamshire (age 25) and Albinia Bertie Countess Buckinghamshire (age 19) were married. He the son of John Hobart 1st Earl Buckinghamshire and Elizabeth Bristow Countess Buckinghamshire.

After 16 May 1758. Monument in the Church of St Mary, Southwick [Map] to George Lynn (deceased) commissioned by his widow Anne Bellamy attributed to Louis Francois Roubiliac (age 55). Grey and white marble with oval medallion of deceased suspended from broad flat obelisk; drapery below with figure of his wife seated female figure to right, leaning against Urn.

George Lynn: In 1707 he was born to George Lynn (age 31) and Elizabeth Bellamy (age 27). In 1723 George Lynn (age 16) joined the Spalding Gentlemen's Society. In 1726 George Lynn (age 19) joined the Society of Antiquaries of London. In Aug 1734 George Lynn (age 27) and Anne Bellamy (age 54) were married by which he came into possession of Frinton Manor. The difference in their ages was 27 years. On 16 May 1758 George Lynn (age 51) died.

Anne Bellamy: In 1680 she was born to Edward Bellamy Lord Mayor. On 31 Aug 1741 Anne Bellamy (age 61) died.

On 16 May 1762 William Courtenay 7th Earl Devon (age 53) died. His son William Courtenay 8th Earl Devon (age 19) succeeded 8th Earl Devon 5C 1553, 2nd Viscount Courtenay. Frances Clack Countess Devon by marriage Countess Devon.

On 16 May 1770 Louis XVI King France (age 15) and Queen Marie Antoinette of France (age 14) were married. She the daughter of Francis I Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa Habsburg Spain Holy Roman Empress (age 53). They were second cousin once removed. He a great x 4 grandson of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland.

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On 16 May 1783 William Douglas 4th Baronet (age 53) died. His son Charles Douglas 6th Marquess Queensberry (age 6) succeeded 5th Baronet Kelhead.

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After 16 May 1790. St Andrew's Church, Wimpole [Map]. Monument to Philip Yorke 2nd Earl of Hardwicke (deceased). White marble stele carved in bold relief with a kneeling female mourner garlanding an urn; signed 'T. BANKS, R.A. SCULPT.' (age 54).

On 19 Oct 1796 Thomas Moreton FitzHardinge Berkeley 6th Earl of Berkeley was born to Frederick Augustus Berkeley 5th Earl Berkeley (age 51) and Mary Cole. He was the first of their children to be born after their recognised legal marriage on 16 May 1796. He a great x 3 grandson of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland.

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On 16 May 1847 John Ponsonby 4th Earl Bessborough (age 65) died. His son John George Brabazon Ponsonby 5th Earl Bessborough (age 37) succeeded 5th Earl Bessborough.

On 16 May 1860 Lawrence Palk 3rd Baronet (age 67) died. His son Lawrence Palk 1st Baron Haldon (age 42) succeeded 4th Baronet Palk of Haldon House in Devon.

On 16 May 1867 Christopher Furness 1st Baron Furness (age 15) and Jane Annette Suggitt Baroness Furness were married.

On 16 May 1877 Thomas Fitzmaurice 5th Earl Orkney (age 73) died.

On 16 May 1888 Andalusia Carstairs Lady Molesworth (age 78) died. She left the the bulk of her personal estate £26,140 13s & 7d to her friends Lord Torrington’s nephew George Stanley Byng 8th Viscount Torrington (age 47) who she had never met.


Before 16 May 1928 George Gibbs 1st Baron Wraxall (age 54) and Ursula Mary Lawley were married.

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On 16 May 1978 Diana Hay 23rd Countess of Erroll (age 52) died.