On this Day in History ... 17th May

17 May is in May.

1220 Westminster Coronation of Henry III

1464 Battle of Hexham

1521 Trial and Execution of the Duke of Buckingham

1535 Execution of the Carthusians

1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn

1536 Execution of George Boleyn, Brereton, Norris, Smeaton and Weston

1541 Executions

1568 Mary Queen of Scots escapes to England

1711 Smallpox Epidemic

See Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Events on the 17th May

On 17 May 1220 King Henry III of England (age 12) was crowned III King England at Westminster Abbey [Map] since the Pope didn't consider the earlier Gloucester Coronation of Henry III to have been performed correctly. Archbishop Stephen Langton (age 70) presided.

On 17 May 1395 Mary Hungary I Queen Hungary (age 24) died.

Chronicle of Gregory 1464. 17 May 1464. At the Newecastelle [Map], the xvij day of May, he let to be smete of the heddys, as the namys of them done appere here aftyr in wrytynge: first, the hedde of the Lord Hungerforde (age 33), the Lord Roos (deceased), Syr Thomas Fyndorne, Barnarde de la Mare, Nycholas Massam.

On 17 May 1500 Federico Gonzaga II Duke Mantua was born to Francesco Gonzaga (age 33) and Isabella Este (age 25).

On 17 May 1521 Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham (age 43) was beheaded at Tower Hill [Map] for no specific reason other than his having a significant amount of Plantagenet blood and was, therefore, considered a threat by Henry VIII (age 29). He was posthumously attainted by Act of Parliament on 31 July 1523, disinheriting his children. He was buried at St Peter's Church, Britford [Map]. Duke of Buckingham, Earl Stafford and Baron Stafford extinct.

His father Henry Stafford 2nd Duke of Buckingham had been executed for his part in Buckingham's Rebellion, his great-grandfather Humphrey Stafford 1st Duke of Buckingham was killed at the 1460 Battle of Northampton, and his great-great grand-father was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, not forgetting his great-uncle Henry Stafford who was killed at the Battle of Barnet and his daughter Margaret Stafford (age 10) who was burned at the stake for her part in Bigod's Rebellion.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1520-1529. 17 May 1521. This yeare, on Fridaye before Whitsonday, beinge the 17 day of Maye, Edward Duke of Buckingham (age 43)a was beheaded at Tower Hill [Map].

Note a. Edward Stafford (age 43), Duke of Buckingham, was restored in 1486 by Henry VII. to his honours and estates. He commanded the select guard of Henry VIII (age 29) in the battle of the Spurs, 1613, but his observation, that the "Field of the Cloth of Gold" entailed ruin on the English nobles, so irritated the King that he determined on his ruin. It is also asserted that the King was jealons of his descent from Thomas of Woodstock and Edward III.

Letters and Papers 1535. 17 May 1535. 726. There is strange news here of the cruelty of the king of England to certain religious men. He caused them to be ripped up in each other's presence, their arms torn off (con farli scarpar le braccia), their hearts cut out and rubbed upon their mouths and faces; and this for having caused remorse (per haver fatto coscienza) to certain ecclesiastics who had sworn that the King was Head of the English Church, and not the Pope. Has seen a letter of the 5th from London, saying that on the 4th a prior of one of the three Charterhouses, two friars of the Order, a prior of Sion, and a priest, who refused to swear to the King's supremacy, were hanged without degradation, as rebels. They were dragged through the streets in carts, their heads and feet were to be placed on the public gates, and the rest of their bodies burnt. The whole city is displeased, as they were of exemplary and holy life. It was thought that 10 or 12 priests now in the Tower would be also executed for the same cause. The same letter states that this "Gherardo" (Fitzgerald) in Ireland has lost a strong castle, and retired with 50 horse to the bogs, where he is safe while the wet weather lasts; but when it changes it will be easy for the King to take him dead or alive, for most of his followers have returned to their allegiance.

Excerpta Historica Page 260. 17 May 1536. Lord Rochford suffered on the next day, Wednesday, the 17th of May; but the letter now printed contains a fuller account of his execution than has hitherto appeared. On Thursday the 18th, Kingston wrote again to Cromwell, and as his letter illustrates and corroborates that which is here given, it will be inserted at length.

Syr thys shalbe to advertyse you I have resayved your Lett' wherin yo...aa have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre and so thay be by the... of Richard Gressum, & Will-m Loke, & Wythepoll, bot the umbrb of stra... not xxx. and not mony; Hothe and the inbassit'of the emperor had a... ther and honestly put yowt. Sr yf we have not anowrec serten... d be knowen in London, I thynke he wilbe bot few and I thynk... humbur ware bes: for I suppose she wyll declare hyr self to b... woman for all men bot for the Kyng at the or of hyr de... mornyngk she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at... asshe reysayved the gud lord to the in tent I shuld here hy... towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere1 & in the writy... she sent for me, and at my commyng she sayd M. Kyngston I he... not dy affore none, & I am very sory ther fore; for I thowth... be dede... d past my payne. I told hyr it shuld be now payne it w... hard say the execut was very gud and I have a lyt... r hand abowt it lawyng hartely.

I have sen also wemen executed and atp they have bene in gre... ige. Thys Lady hasse meche joy and plesur in dethe... newaly with hyr and hasse bene syns ij of the co... the effect of hony thyng that ys here at t... well.

Your....

Willm Ky...2

To Mastr. Secretory.

Note 1. This passage appears to mean that she requested Kingston to be present when she received the sacraraent ("good Lord" being probably used in the sense of "Bon Dieu") that he might witness her declaration of innocency at that Solemn moment.

Note 2. MS. Cotton. Otho C. x. fol. 22.3. Printed in Ellis's Original Lctters, First Series, vol. i. p. 65.

Excerpta Historica Page 260. [17 May 1536]. When that sorrowful day came, which was to bring their last hour to those unhappy wretches who had bought a brief pleasure with a dreadful peril, even the peril of their life and honour, a scaffold was built up before the Tower of London, on a Wednesday, which was the 17th day of May. And then they led out of the Tower wherein they had been imprisoned, the Queen's brother and the four accused gentlemen, all closely guarded as they are wont to guard those guilty of such things. And my Lord of Reujafort, [Rochford,] for that was the name of the Queen's brother, said, three several times, with a loud voice, to the whole city there gathered together — "O ye gentlemen and Christians, I was born under the law, and I die under the law, forasmuch as it is the law which hath condemned me." And then he proceeded to speak in this wise. "Ye gentlemen here present, I come not hither to preach unto you, but to die. Nor do I now seek for any thing, in the sorrowful plight in which I here stand, save that I may soon bathe my dry and parched lips in the living fountain of God's everlasting and infinite mercy. And I beseech you all, in his holy name, to pray unto him for me, confessing truly that I deserve death, even though I had a thousand lives — yea even to die with far more and worse shame and dishonour than hath ever been heard of before. For I am a miserable sinner, who have grievously and often times offended; nay and in very truth, I know not of any more perverse or wicked sinner than I have been up until now. Nevertheless, I mean not openly now to relate what my many sins may have been, since in sooth it can yield you no profit, nor me any pleasure here to reckon them up; enough be it that God knoweth them all. And ye, Gentlemen of the Court, mine especial and ancient familiars, I beseech you, of all love, that ye take heed not to fall into the error of my ways, and that ye be warned by my example; and I pray to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Three Persons in One God, that ye may wisely profit by the same, and that from my mishap ye may learn not to set your thoughts upon the vanities of this world, and least of all, upon the flatteries of the Court, and the favours and treacheries of Fortune, which only raiseth men aloft that with so much the greater force she may dash them again upon the ground. She in truth it is who is the cause that, as ye all witness, my miserable head is now to be dissevered from my neck; or rather, in greater truth, the fault is mine, and it is I who ought to be blamed for having adventured to lean on Fortune, who hath proved herself fickle and false unto me, and who now maketh me a sad example to you all and to the whole world. And do ye all, Sirs, take notice, that in this my sorrowful condition, I pray for the mercy of God Almighty, and that I do moreover forgive all men, with all my heart and mind, even as truly as I hope that the Lord God will forgive me. And if so be that I should in aught have offended any man not now here present, do ye entreat him, when ye chance to meet him, that he also may of his charity forgive me; for, having lived the life of a sinner, I would fain die the death of a Christian man.

Nor must I fail (while it be yet time) to tell you all, gentle and simple, now hearkening to me, that I was a great reader and a mighty debater of the Word of God, and one of those who most favoured the Gospel of Jesu Christ.2 Wherefore, lest the Word of God should be brought into reproach on my account, I now tell you all, Sirs, that if I had, in very deed, kept his holy Word, even as I read and reasoned about it with all the strength of my wit, certain am I that I should not be in the piteous condition wherein I now stand. Truly and diligently did I read the Gospel of Christ Jesu, but I turned not to profit that which I did read; the which had I done, of a surety I had not fallen into so great errors. Wherefore I do beseech you all, for the love of our Lord God, that ye do at all seasons, hold by the truth, and speak it, and embrace it; for beyond all peradventure, better profiteth he who readeth not and yet doeth well, than he who readeth much and yet liveth in sin."

Having made an end of speaking, he knelt down upon his knees, and his head was stricken off. And so befell it likewise to the other four gentlemen; one was called Monsire Nestorn [Weston]; another Breton, [Brereton]; another Norris, Chamberlain to the King's Majesty; and the fourth of this sorrowful company was Mark [Smeton]; the which said no more than that they besought the bystanders to pray for them, and that they yielded themselves to death with joy and exceeding gladness of heart.

Note 1. E daquelle q' mais com emveija e ciumes q' amor q' tivesse ha El Rey, descubryo ho malvado segredo.

Note 2. Que eu fuy grande ledor e argumentador da palavra de Ds. e eu fuy hū daquelles q' mto favorecerao ho Evangello de I. C.

Letters 1536. 17 May 1536. 908. Chapuys (age 46) to Charles V.

Today1 Rochford (age 33) has been beheaded before the Tower, and the four others above named, notwithstanding the intercession of the Bishop of Tarbes, the French ambassador resident, and the sieur de Tinteville, who arrived the day before yesterday, in behalf of one named Weston (age 25). The Concubine (age 35) saw them executed from the Tower, to aggravate her grief. Rochford (age 33) disclaimed all that he was charged with, confessing, however, that he had deserved death for having been so much contaminated and having contaminated others with these new sects, and he prayed everyone to abandon such heresies. The Concubine (age 35) will certainly be beheaded tomorrow, or on Friday at the latest, and I think the King feels the time long that it is not done already. The day before the putain's condemnation he sent for Mrs. Semel [Jane Seymour (age 27)] by the Grand Esquire and some others, and made her come within a mile of his lodging, where she is splendidly served by the King's cook and other officers. She is most richly dressed. One of her relations, who dined with her on the day of the said condemnation, told me that the King sent that morning to tell her that he would send her news at 3 o'clock of the condemnation of the putain (age 35), which he did by Mr. Briant, whom he sent in all haste. To judge by appearances, there is no doubt that he will take the said Semel [Jane Seymour (age 27)] to wife; and some think the agreements and promises are already made.

Note 1. This part of the letter was written on the 17th. See further on, at the beginning of the last paragraph.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 17 May 1536. Allso the 17th day of May, beinge Weddensday, the Lord of Rochforde (age 33), Mr. Norys (age 54), Mr. Bruton, Sir Francis Weston (age 25), and Markys (age 24), were all beheaded [Note. Smeaton was hanged] at the Tower-hill [Map]; and the Lord of Rocheforde, brother to Queene Anne, sayde these wordes followinge on the scaffolde to the people with a lowde voyce: Maisters all, I am come hither not to preach and make a sermon, but to dye, as the lawe hath fownde me, and to the lawe I submitt me, desiringe you all, and speciallie you my maisters of the Courte, that you will trust on God speciallie, and not on the vanities of the worlde, for if I had so done, I thincke I had bene alyve as yee be now; allso I desire you to helpe to the settinge forthe of the true worde of God; and whereas I am sclaundered by it, I have bene diligent to reade it and set it furth trulye; but if I had bene as diligent to observe it, and done and lyved thereafter, as I was to read it and sett it forthe, I had not come hereto, wherefore I beseche you all to be workers and lyve thereafter, and not to reade it and lyve not there after. As for myne offences, it can not prevayle you to heare them that I dye here for, but I beseche God that I may be an example to you all, and that all you may be wayre by me, and hartelye I require you all to pray for me, and to forgive me if I have offended you, and I forgive you all, and God save the Kinge. Their bodies with their heades were buried within the Tower of London [Map]; the Lord of Rochfordes (age 33) bodie and head within the chappell of the Tower [Map], Mr. Weston (age 25) and Norys (age 54) in the church yeard of the same [Map] in one grave, Mr. Bruton and Markes (age 24) in another grave in the same churche yerde within the Tower of London.

Archaeologia Volume 23 Section V. 17 May 1536. But at his [William Brereton's] deeth these were his wordes: "I haue deserved to dye if it were a thousande deethes, But the cause wherfore I dye judge not: But yf ye judge, judge the best." This he spake iij or foure tymes. If he were gyltie, I saye therfore that he dyed worst of them all.

Archaeologia Volume 23 Section V. 17 May 1536. George. The lorde of Ratchforde (age 33), after many wordes, to the effecte sayed this. I desyre you that no man wilbe discoraged from the Gospell for my fall. For if I had lyved accordinge to the gospel as I loved it, and spake of it, I had never come to this. Wherfore sayed he Syrs for Gods love, leave not the gospel, but speake lesse and lyve better. For I had rather have one good lyver accordinge to the gospel then ten bablers.

Archaeologia Volume 23 Section V. 17 May 1536 ... And Weston sayed (age 25), I had thought to haue lyved in abhominacion yet this twenty or thrittie yeres & then to haue made amendes. I thought little it wold haue come to this: willinge all other to take example at hym. And Markes (age 24) sayed: Masters I pray you all praye for me, for I haue deserved the deeth. And the Quene (age 35) sayed: I do not entende to reason my cause, but I committe me to Christ wholy, in whome ys my whole trust, desirynge you all to praye for the Kynges maiestie that he maye longe regne over you, for he ys a veraye noble prince and full gently hath handled me.

Hall's Chronicle 1536. 17 May 1536. And all the gentlemen were beheaded on the scaffold at the Tower hyll.

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 30. 17 May 1536. How the Duke, and Norris, and Brereton, and Mark were beheaded the next day1.

We have told how the old woman was ordered to be burned in the great courtyard of the Tower, and they made the Queen see it from an iron-barred window. She said, "Why do you grieve me so? I wish they would burn me with her." To which the keeper answered, "Madam, another death is reserved for you." I do not care for all the harm they can do me now," she said, "for they can never deny I was a crowned Queen, although I was a poor woman."

The next day they brought out the Duke (age 33) and the others, and it was a surprising sight to see the great crowd there was. There came with the culprits over five hundred halberdiers, and when the Duke ascended, a gentleman said to him, "My lord Duke if you have anything to say, you can say it." Then the Duke turned to the people and said in the hearing of many, "I beg you pray to God for me; for by the trial I have to pass through I am blameless, and never even knew that my sister was bad. Guiltless as I am, I pray God to have mercy upon my soul." Then he lay upon the ground with his head on the block, the headsman gave three strokes, and so died this poor Duke.

Then Master Norris mounted, and made a great long prayer; and then, turning to the people, he said, "I do not think any gentleman at Court owes more to the King than I do, and none have been more ungrateful and regardless of it than I have. I deserve the death they condemn me to, and worse still, and so I pray to God for mercy on my soul, and acknowledge the justice of my sentence." Then he cast himself on the ground, and was beheaded. The next was Brereton, who said nothing but "I have offended God and the King; pray for me," and he was executed.

The last was Mark, and he cried in a loud voice that all could hear, "Oh, woe is me! Only four months ago I was a poor man, and my good fortune raised me to better things, and would have lifted me higher still, but for the devil's tempting, and my inability to resist the pride which has been my undoing. I thought treason would never come to light, but I confess now I erred, and do not deserve so honourable a death as that which the King has ordered me. I ask pardon of God and the King, for I have wronged him more than any other, and I beg you, gentlemen, to pray to God for me;" and then he threw himself down and was beheaded; but before he died he said, "Gentlemen, I ask pardon of Master Percy, for he would have been killed if I had not been arrested, as I had set men on to murder him;" and fortunately Master Percy was there, and answered, "God pardon thee, Mark, as I pardon thee2."

The good Wyatt was witnessing all this from a window of the Tower, and all the people thought that he also was to be brought out and executed; but Wyatt that night wrote a letter to the King, and sent it to him by a cousin of his, which letter was as follows.

Note 1. Sir Henry Norris, Lord Rochford, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton, and Sir Francis Weston were beheaded on 17th May, 1536. The Chronicle makes no mention of Sir Francis Weston.

Note 2. Lingard positively asserts that Smeaton was hanged, and not beheaded; but quotes at length the letter of a Portuguese gentleman, then resident in London, to a friend in Lisbon, in which the account given of the affair agrees with the present Chronicle.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. Vienna Archives. 911. Anne Boleyn (age 35), Rochford (deceased), &c.

"Execution criminal hecha en Inglatierra el 16 de Mayo 15361."

The count (Viscount) Rochefort (deceased), brother of the Queen (unjustly so called) Anne Boleyn, was beheaded with an axe upon a scaffold before the Tower of London. He made a very catholic address to the people, saying he had not come thither to preach, but to serve as a mirror and example, acknowledging his sins against God and the King, and declaring he need not recite the causes why he was condemned, as it could give no pleasure to hear them. He first desired mercy and pardon of God, and afterwards of the King and all others whom he might have offended, and hoped that men would not follow the vanities of the world and the flatteries of the Court, which had brought him to that shameful end. He said if he had followed the teachings of the Gospel, which he had often read, he would not have fallen into this danger, for a good doer was far better than a good reader. In the end, he pardoned those who had condemned him to death, and asked the people to pray for his soul. After him Norris (deceased) was beheaded, then Weston (deceased) and Brereton, and Marc (deceased), the player on the spinnet, who said scarcely anything except to cry mercy of God and the King, and beg people to pray for their souls. Brereton and Marc (deceased) were afterwards quartered.

Letters 1536. 17 May [1536]. Wilkins, iii. 803. 896. Anne Boleyn (age 35).

Sentence pronounced by the archbishop of Canterbury of the nullity of the marriage between the King and Anne Boleyn (age 35), in the presence of Sir Thomas Audeley, Chancellor, Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), John Earl of Oxford (age 65), and others, at Lambeth, 17 May 1536.

Memorandum.—This was sealed on the 10th June, and subscribed by both Houses of Convocation on the 28th.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. And the same day, in the after-noone, at a solemne court kept at Lambeth by the Lord Archbishoppe of Canterburie (age 46) and the doctors of the lawe, the King was divorced from his wife Queene Anne (age 35), and there at the same cowrte was a privie contract approved that she had made to the Earle of Northumberlande (age 34) afore the Kings tyme; and so she was discharged, and was never lawfull Queene of England, and there it was approved the same.

Hall's Chronicle 1541. 17 May 1541. In the beginning of this yere, five priests in Yorkshire began a new rebellion, with the assent of one Leigh a gentleman, and nine temporal men, which were apprehended, and shortly after in diverse places put in execution, in so much that on the seventeenth day of May, the said Leigh and one Tattersall, and Thornton, were drawn through London to Tyburn [Map], and there were executed. And Sir John Neville (age 53) knight was executed for the same at York.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 17 May 1551. The xvij day my lade Marie (age 35) rod thrugh from Saynt [John's through] Flettstrett unto the court to Westmynster [with many] nobull men of lordes and knyghtes and gentyllmen and ladies and gentyllwomen, and at the court gatte she a-lyttyd, and M. [Wingfield] (age 64), the comtroller of the kynges howse, and mony lordes and [knights], and so she was browth thrught the halle unto the cham[ber of] pressens; and so she tared there and ade a goodly ba[nquet] ij owrs, and sone after she toke her horse and rod unto Sy[nt John's;] and ther she laie alle nyght, and on the morowe her [Grace] rod to Nuw Hall in Exsex, and ther byd yn grasse with honor, thanke be God and the kyng her brodur.

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.''

On 17 May 1633 Penelope Noel (age 22) died of blood poisoning after having pricked herself with a needle whilst sewing. Monument in St James' Church, Chipping Campden [Map]. Sculpted by John Christmas (age 34) or possibly his brother Mathias.

Penelope Noel: On 22 Aug 1610 she was born to Edward Noel 2nd Viscount Campden and Juliana Hicks Viscountess Campden.

Pepy's Diary. 17 May 1660. Up early to write down my last two days' observations. Dr. Clerke came to me to tell me that he heard this morning, by some Dutch that are come on board already to see the ship, that there was a Portuguese taken yesterday at the Hague, that had a design to kill the King. But this I heard afterwards was only the mistake upon one being observed to walk with his sword naked, he having lost his scabbard. Before dinner Mr. Edw. Pickering (age 42) and I, W. Howe, Pim, and my boy (age 12), to Scheveling, where we took coach, and so to the Hague, where walking, intending to find one that might show us the King incognito, I met with Captain Whittington (that had formerly brought a letter to my Lord from the Mayor of London) and he did promise me to do it, but first we went and dined at a French house, but paid 16s. for our part of the club. At dinner in came Dr. Cade, a merry mad parson of the King's (age 29). And they two after dinner got the child and me (the others not being able to crowd in) to see the King, who kissed the child very affectionately. Then we kissed his, and the Duke of York's, and the Princess Royal's hands. The King seems to be a very sober man; and a very splendid Court he hath in the number of persons of quality that are about him, English very rich in habit. From the King to the Lord Chancellor1, who did lie bed-rid of the gout: he spoke very merrily to the child and me. After that, going to see the Queen of Bohemia, I met with Dr. Fullers whom I sent to a tavern with Mr. Edw. Pickering (age 42), while I and the rest went to see the Queen (age 50), who used us very respectfully; her hand we all kissed. She seems a very debonaire, but plain lady. After that to the Dr.'s, where we drank a while or so. In a coach of a friend's of Dr. Cade we went to see a house of the Princess Dowager's (age 28)2 in a park about half-a-mile or a mile from the Hague, where there is one, the most beautiful room for pictures in the whole world. She had here one picture upon the top, with these words, dedicating it to the memory of her husband:-"Incomparabili marito, inconsolabilis vidua".

Note 1. On January 29th, 1658, Charles II (age 29) entrusted the Great Seal to Sir Edward Hyde (age 51), with the title of Lord Chancellor, and in that character Sir Edward accompanied the King to England.

Note 2. Mary, Princess Royal (age 28), eldest daughter of Charles I, and widow of William of Nassau, Prince of Orange. She was not supposed to be inconsolable, and scandal followed her at the court of Charles II, where she died of small-pox, December 24th, 1660.

On 17 May 1718 Robert Darcy 4th Earl Holderness was born to Robert Darcy 3rd Earl Holderness (age 36) and Frederica Schomberg Countess Holderness and Fitzwalter (age 31). He a great x 3 grandson of King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland.

On 17 May 1719 Robert Cunliffe 2nd Baronet was born to Foster Cunliffe (age 37).

On 17 May 1765 John Vardy (age 47) died.

On 17 May 1767 Sarah Hussey (age 80) died. She was buried at the Church of St John the Baptist, Great Hale [Map].

Sarah Hussey: Around 1687 she was born to Edward Hussey 2nd And 3rd Baronet and Charlotte Brevint. Before 18 Oct 1728 Robert Cawdron and she were married.

On 17 May 1768 Henry William Paget 1st Marquess Anglesey was born to Henry Bayly-Paget 1st Earl Uxbridge (age 23) and Jane Champagné Countess Uxbridge (age 26).

On 17 May 1768 Caroline of Brunswick Queen Consort England was born to Charles William Ferdinand Brunswick Bevern (age 32) and Princess Augusta Charlotte Hanover (age 30). She a great granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and Ireland.

On 17 May 1801 William Heathcote 5th Baronet was born to Reverend William Heathcote (age 29).

On 17 May 1836 Princess Anna of Prussia was born to Charles Hohenzollern (age 34) and Marie Saxe Weimar Eisenach (age 28).

On 17 May 1869 Edward Richardson (age 57) died at Melbury Terrace, Marylebone.

On 17 May 1876 Corisande Emma Bennet Countess Malmesbury (age 69) died. Memorial in Christchurch Priory [Map] sculpted by John Flaxman.

Corisande Emma Bennet Countess Malmesbury: In 1807 she was born to Charles Augustus Bennet 5th Earl Tankerville and Corisande Armandine Sophie Léonie Hélène Gramont Countess Tankerville. On 13 May 1876 James Harris 3rd Earl Malmesbury and she were married. She by marriage Countess Malmesbury. She the daughter of Charles Augustus Bennet 5th Earl Tankerville and Corisande Armandine Sophie Léonie Hélène Gramont Countess Tankerville. He the son of James Edward Harris 2nd Earl Malmesbury and Harriet Susan Dashwood.

On 25 Nov 1885 Alfonso XII King Spain (age 27) died. On 17 May 1886 His son Alfonso XIII King Spain succeeded posthumously XIII King Spain when he was born some seven months later.

After 17 May 1996. Monument to Iain J Pellett died 17 May 1996 aged twenty-three.

Births on the 17th May

On 17 May 1443 Edmund York 1st Earl of Rutland was born to Richard Plantagenet 3rd Duke of York (age 31) and Cecily "Rose of Raby" Neville Duchess York (age 28) at Rouen, France [Map]. He a great x 2 grandson of King Edward III of England. Coefficient of inbreeding 2.42%.

On 17 May 1500 Federico Gonzaga II Duke Mantua was born to Francesco Gonzaga (age 33) and Isabella Este (age 25).

On 17 May 1612 Matthew Babington was born to Thomas Babington (age 37).

On 17 May 1634 Captain Christopher Gunman was born.

On 17 May 1636 Edward Coleman was born.

On 17 May 1649 Honora Leigh Lady Willougby was born to Thomas Leigh (age 34).

On 17 May 1698 John Major 1st Baronet was born in Bridlington.

On 17 May 1714 Anne Charlotte Lorraine was born to Leopold Duke of Lorraine (age 34) and Élisabeth Charlotte Bourbon Duchess Lorraine (age 37). She a great x 3 granddaughter of King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland.

On 17 May 1718 Robert Darcy 4th Earl Holderness was born to Robert Darcy 3rd Earl Holderness (age 36) and Frederica Schomberg Countess Holderness and Fitzwalter (age 31). He a great x 3 grandson of King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland.

On 17 May 1719 Robert Cunliffe 2nd Baronet was born to Foster Cunliffe (age 37).

On 17 May 1740 Johann Georg Adolf Wettin was born to Johann Adolph Wettin Duke Saxe Weissenfels (age 54) and Fredericka Saxe Coburg Altenburg (age 24) at Weißenfels, Burgenlandkreis, Saxony-Anhalt. Coefficient of inbreeding 3.94%.

Before 17 May 1748 Charles Mordaunt was born illegitimately to Charles Mordaunt 4th Earl Peterborough 2nd Earl Monmouth (age 40) and Robiana Brown.

On 17 May 1749 Edward Jenner was born.

Around 17 May 1753 Lucy Wheeler was born to William Wheeler 6th Baronet (age 26) and Lucy Knightley Lady Wheler.

On 17 May 1758 John St Aubyn 5th Baronet was born to John St Aubyn 4th Baronet (age 31) and Elizabeth Wingfield Lady St Aubyn at Golden Square Soho.

On 17 May 1764 George Byng was born to George Byng (age 29) and Anne Conolly.

On 17 May 1768 Caroline of Brunswick Queen Consort England was born to Charles William Ferdinand Brunswick Bevern (age 32) and Princess Augusta Charlotte Hanover (age 30). She a great granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain and Ireland.

On 17 May 1768 Henry William Paget 1st Marquess Anglesey was born to Henry Bayly-Paget 1st Earl Uxbridge (age 23) and Jane Champagné Countess Uxbridge (age 26).

On 17 May 1775 John Beckett 2nd Baronet was born to John Beckett 1st Baronet (age 32) and Mary Wilson Lady Beckett (age 26).

On 17 May 1791 George Shiffner 3rd Baronet was born to George Shiffner 1st Baronet (age 28) and Mary Bridger.

On 17 May 1794 Richard Butler was born to Richard Butler 1st Earl Glengall (age 18).

On 17 May 1797 William Bligh was born to John Bligh 4th Earl Darnley (age 29).

On 17 May 1801 William Heathcote 5th Baronet was born to Reverend William Heathcote (age 29).

On 17 May 1805 Robert Smith Surtees was born.

On 17 May 1807 Ernest Augustus Perceval was born to Spencer Perceval (age 44) and Jane Wilson.

On 17 May 1828 George David Boyle was born.

On 17 May 1836 Princess Anna of Prussia was born to Charles Hohenzollern (age 34) and Marie Saxe Weimar Eisenach (age 28).

On 17 May 1837 Lavinia Fitzroy was born to Francis Charles Fitzroy (age 26) and Caroline Octavia Pigot.

On 17 May 1859 Randolph Seaton Gordon was born to Charles Gordon 10th Marquess Huntly (age 67) and Maria Antoinetta Pegus Marchioness Huntly (age 38).

On 17 May 1869 Alice Susan Godolphin Osborne was born to George Godolphin Osborne 9th Duke Leeds (age 40) and Fanny Georgiana Pitt-Rivers Duchess Leeds (age 32). Coefficient of inbreeding 3.94%.

On 17 May 1891 Princess Alexandra Duff Duchess Fife was born to Alexander Duff 1st Duke Fife (age 41) and Louise Windsor Duchess Fife (age 24). She a granddaughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

On 17 May 1912 Lieutenant Christopher Furness was born to Marmaduke Furness 1st Viscount Furness (age 28) and Ada "Daisy" Hogg Viscountess Furness.

Marriages on the 17th May

On 17 May 1558 James Blount 6th Baron Mountjoy (age 25) and Catherine Leigh Baroness Mountjoy (age 26) were married. She by marriage Baroness Mountjoy.

After 17 May 1575 William Pelham (age 47) and Dorothy Catesby (age 48) were married.

On 17 May 1724 Bussy Mansel 4th Baron Mansel (age 3) and Elizabeth Hervey (age 26) were married. The difference in their ages was 23 years; she, unusually, being older than him. She the daughter of John Hervey 1st Earl Bristol (age 58) and Elizabeth Felton Countess Bristol (age 47).

On 17 May 1744 Carew Mildmay (age 54) and Edith Phelips (age 50) were married.

On 17 May 1748 William Dolben 3rd Baronet (age 21) and Judith English Lady Dolben were married. She a wealthy heiress who brought a considerable fortune.

On 17 May 1750 Jacob Garrard Downing 4th Baronet (age 33) and Margaret Price Lady Downing were married. She by marriage Lady Downing of East Hatley in Cambridgeshire.

Before 17 May 1753 William Wheeler 6th Baronet (age 26) and Lucy Knightley Lady Wheler were married.

Before 17 May 1775 John Beckett 1st Baronet (age 32) and Mary Wilson Lady Beckett (age 26) were married. She the daughter of Bishop Christopher Wilson (age 61) and Anne Gibson (age 48).

On 17 May 1820 George Bisshopp 9th Baronet (age 28) and Catherine Elizabeth Sproule were married. The had three sons and three daughters.

Before 17 May 1829 Richard Williams-Bulkeley 10th Baronet (age 27) and Charlotte Mary Hughes Lady Williams were married.

On 17 May 1845 Algernon St Maur 14th Duke of Somerset (age 31) and Horatia Isabella Harriet Morier Duchess Somerset (age 25) were married. He the son of Edward Seymour 11th Duke of Somerset (age 70) and Charlotte Hamilton Duchess Somerset.

On 17 May 1884 John Lubbock 1st Baron Avebury (age 50) and Alice Lane Fox-Pitt Baroness Avebury (age 22) were married. She by marriage Lady Lubbock of Lammas in Norfolk. The difference in their ages was 27 years. She the daughter of Augustus Henry Fox Pitt-Rivers (age 57) and Alice Margaret Stanley (age 56).

On 17 May 1933 David George Arbuthnot (age 28) and Elisabeth Kemeys-Tynte 10th Baroness Wharton (age 27) were married.

Deaths on the 17th May

On 17 May 1296 Agnes Přemyslid Duchess Austria (age 26) died.

On 17 May 1321 Joan Capet (age 6) died.

On 17 May 1341 Maud Burnell Baroness Lovel and Burnell (age 51) died.

On 17 May 1364 John Luxemburg Lord of Ligby died.

On 17 May 1367 James Savoy (age 52) died.

On 17 May 1395 Mary Hungary I Queen Hungary (age 24) died.

On 17 May 1466 John Cheney (age 20) died at Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire.

On 17 May 1494 Anne Talbot (age 49) died at Shrewsbury, Shropshire [Map]. She was buried at St Bartholemew's Church, Tong [Map].

Between 17 May 1509 and Aug 1511 Elizabeth Leslie Countess Errol died.

On 17 May 1521 Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham (age 43) was beheaded at Tower Hill [Map] for no specific reason other than his having a significant amount of Plantagenet blood and was, therefore, considered a threat by Henry VIII (age 29). He was posthumously attainted by Act of Parliament on 31 July 1523, disinheriting his children. He was buried at St Peter's Church, Britford [Map]. Duke of Buckingham, Earl Stafford and Baron Stafford extinct.

His father Henry Stafford 2nd Duke of Buckingham had been executed for his part in Buckingham's Rebellion, his great-grandfather Humphrey Stafford 1st Duke of Buckingham was killed at the 1460 Battle of Northampton, and his great-great grand-father was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, not forgetting his great-uncle Henry Stafford who was killed at the Battle of Barnet and his daughter Margaret Stafford (age 10) who was burned at the stake for her part in Bigod's Rebellion.

On 17 May 1530 Edmund Wingfield (age 59) died.

On 17 May 1569 George Dacre 5th Baron Dacre Gilsland 9th Baron Greystoke (age 8) died. There was a dispute as to whether his uncle Leonard Dacre should inherit Baron Dacre Gilsland which would be the case if it was created by letters patent, or whether the Barony was in abeyance between the 5th Baron's (age 8) three sisters which would be the case of the barony had been created through a writ of summons. Such decisions would normally be referred to the Duke of Norfolk (age 33) in his capacity as Earl Marshal but he, Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk (age 33), had married Elizabeth Leybourne Duchess Norfolk, the mother of the three daughters although she had died in the meantime; he was not impartial - the three daughters were now his step-daughters. The matter was referred to Commissioners who decided the Barony had been created by writ between and was, therefore, abeyant between the three daughters who were now the step-daughters of Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk (age 33). He, Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk (age 33) subsequently married his eldest son Philip Howard 20th Earl of Arundel (age 11) to his eldest step-daughter Anne Dacre Countess Arundel (age 12). After Thomas Howard's (age 33) execution in 1572 the two remaining daughters, Mary Dacre (age 5) and Elizabeth Dacre (age 4) were married to his two remaining sons Thomas Howard 1st Earl Suffolk (age 7) and William Howard (age 5) respectively ensuring all of the Dacre and Greystoke wealth and estates in Cumberland, Yorkshire and Northumberland would become the property of the Howard family.

On 17 May 1569 or 12 Aug 1573 Leonard Dacre died.

On 17 May 1573 Reginald Grey 5th Earl Kent (age 33) died. His brother Henry Grey 6th Earl Kent (age 32) succeeded 6th Earl Kent, 9th Baron Grey of Ruthyn.

On 17 May 1575 William Dormer (age 62) died.

On 17 May 1575 Archbishop Matthew Parker (age 70) died.

On 17 May 1587 Gotthard Kettler (age 70) died.

On 17 May 1607 Agnes Magdalene Oldenburg (age 4) died.

On 17 May 1607 Anna d'Este (age 75) died.

On 17 May 1610 Gervase Babington (age 62) died.

On 17 May 1633 Penelope Noel (age 22) died of blood poisoning after having pricked herself with a needle whilst sewing. Monument in St James' Church, Chipping Campden [Map]. Sculpted by John Christmas (age 34) or possibly his brother Mathias.

Penelope Noel: On 22 Aug 1610 she was born to Edward Noel 2nd Viscount Campden and Juliana Hicks Viscountess Campden.

On 17 May 1639 Lucy Boteler (age 57) died

After 17 May 1639 William Frankland (age 66) died.

On 17 May 1642 Isabella Charlotte Orange Nassau (age 10) died.

On 17 May 1662 Margaretha van Mechelen (age 82) died.

On 17 May 1662 William Wettin Duke Saxe Weimar (age 64) died at Weimar.

On 17 May 1675 Andrew Henley 1st Baronet (age 53) died. His son Robert Henley 2nd Baronet (age 20) succeeded 2nd Baronet Henley of Henley in Somerset.

Before 17 May 1723 John Thornhaugh (age 75) died.

On 17 May 1730 George Byng (age 2) died.

On 17 May 1731 Bishop Samuel Bradford (age 78) died in the Deanery, Westminster Abbey [Map]. He was buried in Westminster Abbey [Map].

On 17 May 1735 Ralph Tennyson (age 43) died.

On 17 May 1743 Susan Colt died.

On 17 May 1749 Judith Tichborne Countess Sunderland (age 64) died.

On 17 May 1755 Barbara Morice Lady Molesworth died.

On 17 May 1765 John Vardy (age 47) died.

On 17 May 1767 Sarah Hussey (age 80) died. She was buried at the Church of St John the Baptist, Great Hale [Map].

Sarah Hussey: Around 1687 she was born to Edward Hussey 2nd And 3rd Baronet and Charlotte Brevint. Before 18 Oct 1728 Robert Cawdron and she were married.

On 17 May 1771 Mary Shirley (age 68) died.

On 17 May 1774 Margaret Verney Lady Cave died.

On 17 May 1780 Richard Savage Nassau (age 56) died.

On 17 May 1781 William Aislabie (age 81) died.

On 17 May 1794 Thomas Dyke Acland 9th Baronet (age 42) died. His son Thomas Dyke Acland 10th Baronet (age 7) succeeded 10th Baronet Acland of Columb John in Devon.

On 17 May 1801 William Heberden (age 90) died.

On 17 May 1810 Alexander Ramsay 1st Baronet (age 53) died. His son Alexander Ramsay 2nd Baronet (age 25) succeeded 2nd Baronet Ramsay of Balmain in Kincardineshire.

On 17 May 1814 George Onslow 1st Earl Onslow (age 82) died. His son Thomas Onslow 2nd Earl Onslow (age 60) succeeded 2nd Earl Onslow, 2nd Viscount Cranley, 5th Baron Onslow, 6th Baronet Onslow of West Clandon in Surrey, 7th Baronet Foote of London. Arabella Mainwaring Ellerker Countess Onslow by marriage Countess Onslow.

On 17 May 1830 William Henry Irby (age 79) died.

On 17 May 1833 Raymond Everard Arundell (age 2) died.

On 17 May 1852 Montagu Lowther Chapman 3rd Baronet (age 43) died at sea unmarried when the vessel in which he was sailing disappeared without trace. His brother Benjamin James Chapman 4th Baronet (age 42) succeeded 4th Baronet Chapman of Killua Castle.

On 17 May 1856 Adolphus Fitzclarence (age 54) died. He was buried at St Michael's Church, Coxwold [Map].

On 17 May 1857 Emma Trevelyan (age 56) died.

On 17 May 1869 Edward Richardson (age 57) died at Melbury Terrace, Marylebone.

On 17 May 1871 Anne Cavendish (age 83) died.

On 17 May 1873 William Paget (age 70) died.

On 17 May 1876 Corisande Emma Bennet Countess Malmesbury (age 69) died. Memorial in Christchurch Priory [Map] sculpted by John Flaxman.

Corisande Emma Bennet Countess Malmesbury: In 1807 she was born to Charles Augustus Bennet 5th Earl Tankerville and Corisande Armandine Sophie Léonie Hélène Gramont Countess Tankerville. On 13 May 1876 James Harris 3rd Earl Malmesbury and she were married. She by marriage Countess Malmesbury. She the daughter of Charles Augustus Bennet 5th Earl Tankerville and Corisande Armandine Sophie Léonie Hélène Gramont Countess Tankerville. He the son of James Edward Harris 2nd Earl Malmesbury and Harriet Susan Dashwood.

On 17 May 1877 Rodolph Alexis Arundell (age 40) died.

On 17 May 1884 Ellen Frances Horden Lady Lubbock died.

On 17 May 1884 Louisa Higgins died.

On 25 Nov 1885 Alfonso XII King Spain (age 27) died. On 17 May 1886 His son Alfonso XIII King Spain succeeded posthumously XIII King Spain when he was born some seven months later.

On 17 May 1889 James Harris 3rd Earl Malmesbury (age 82) died. His nephew Edward Harris 4th Earl Malmesbury (age 47) succeeded 4th Earl Malmesbury, 4th Viscount Fitz-Harris of Hurn Court in Hampshire, 4th Baron Malmesbury. Sylvia Georgina Stewart Countess of Malmesbury by marriage Countess Malmesbury.

On 17 May 1914 Harriet Stonor Viscountess Clifden (age 78) died.

On 17 May 1914 Florence Ann Cole Baroness Delamere (age 36) died.

On 17 May 1921 Anthony Charles Abdy 3rd Baronet (age 72) died. His brother Henry Abdy 4th Baronet (age 67) succeeded 4th Baronet Abdy of Albyns in Essex.

On 17 May 1931 Evelyn Jane Wellesley died.

On 17 May 1937 Emily Thicknesse-Touchet died. Her sister Mary Thicknesse-Touchet 22nd Baroness Audley (age 78) abeyance terminated 22nd Baroness Audley of Heighley in Staffordshire.

On 17 May 2012 June Wendy Pelham (age 87) died. Her sister Diana Mary Pelham 15th Baroness Conyers 9th Fauconberg (age 91) abeyance terminated 16th Baroness Conyers, 9th Baroness Fauconberg

On 17 May 2017 Eustace Gibbs 3rd Baron Wraxall (age 87) died. His son Antony Gibbs 4th Baron Wraxall (age 59) succeeded 3rd Baron Wraxall of Clyst St George in Devon.