On this Day in History ... 31 May

31 May is in May.

1076 Revolt of the Earls

1328 Mortimer Double Marriage and Tournament

1532 Coronation of Anne Boleyn

1536 Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour

1658 Royalist Conspiracy

1672 Battle of Solebay

1916 Battle of Jutland

Revolt of the Earls

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1076. This year also was Earl Waltheof beheaded at Winchester [Map], on the mass-day of St. Petronilla;99 and his body was carried to Croyland [Map], where he lies buried. King William (age 48) now went over sea, and led his army to Brittany, and beset the castle of Dol; but the Bretons defended it, until the king (age 23) came from France; whereupon William (age 48) departed thence, having lost there both men and horses, and many of his treasures.

Note 99. This notice of St. Petronilla, whose name and existence seem scarcely to have been known to the Latin historians, we owe exclusively to the valuable MS. "Cotton Tiberius" B lv. Yet if ever female saint deserved to be commemorated as a conspicuous example of early piety and christian zeal, it must be Petronilla.

Mortimer Double Marriage and Tournament

On 31 May 1328 the Mortimer family leveraged their new status at a lavish ceremony that celebrated the marriages of two of Roger Mortimer's (age 41) daughters at Hereford [Map].

Edward Plantagenet (age 8) and Beatrice Mortimer (age 6) were married. She the daughter of Roger Mortimer 1st Earl March (age 41) and Joan Geneville Baroness Mortimer 2nd Baroness Geneville (age 42). He the son of Thomas of Brotherton 1st Earl Norfolk (age 27) and Alice Hales Countess Norfolk. They were half third cousin once removed. He a grandson of King Edward "Longshanks" I of England. She a great x 4 granddaughter of King John "Lackland" of England.

Laurence Hastings 1st Earl Pembroke (age 9) and Agnes Mortimer Countess of Pembroke (age 11) were married. She the daughter of Roger Mortimer 1st Earl March (age 41) and Joan Geneville Baroness Mortimer 2nd Baroness Geneville (age 42). They were third cousin once removed. She a great x 4 granddaughter of King John "Lackland" of England.

King Edward III of England (age 15) and his mother Isabella of France Queen Consort England (age 33) attended as well as Roger Mortimer 1st Earl March (age 41).

On 31 May 1349 Thomas Wake 2nd Baron Wake of Liddell (age 52) died. He was buried at Haltemprice Priory [Map]. His sister Margaret Wake Countess Kent (age 52) succeeded 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell.

Elizabeth Montagu Baroness Badlesmere and Despencer: In or before 1324 she was born to William Montagu 1st Earl Salisbury (age 22) and Catherine Grandison Countess of Salisbury (age 19). Around 1328 Giles Badlesmere 2nd Baron Badlesmere (age 13) and Elizabeth Montagu Baroness Badlesmere and Despencer (age 4) were married. She the daughter of William Montagu 1st Earl Salisbury (age 27) and Catherine Grandison Countess of Salisbury (age 24). He a great x 4 grandson of King Henry "Curtmantle" II of England. In 1328 Giles Badlesmere 2nd Baron Badlesmere (age 13) attainder reversed 2nd Baron Badlesmere. Elizabeth Montagu Baroness Badlesmere and Despencer (age 4) by marriage Baroness Badlesmere. Before 27 Apr 1341 Hugh Despencer 1st Baron Despencer (age 33) and Elizabeth Montagu Baroness Badlesmere and Despencer (age 17) were married. She by marriage Baroness Despencer. She the daughter of William Montagu 1st Earl Salisbury (age 40) and Catherine Grandison Countess of Salisbury (age 37). He a great grandson of King Edward "Longshanks" I of England. Before 10 Jul 1350 Guy de Bryan (age 31) and Elizabeth Montagu Baroness Badlesmere and Despencer (age 26) were married. She the daughter of William Montagu 1st Earl Salisbury and Catherine Grandison Countess of Salisbury.

On 31 May 1410 Martin I King Aragon (age 53) died. His nephew Ferdinand I King Aragon (age 29) succeeded I King Aragon.

On 31 May 1423 Maud Neville 6th Baroness Furnivall (age 30) died.

On 31 May 1433 Sigismund I King Hungary I King Germany I King Bohemia Holy Roman Emperor Luxemburg (age 65) was crowned Holy Roman Emperor Luxemburg at Rome.

On 31 May 1469 Manuel "Fortunate" I King Portugal was born to Ferdinand Aviz 2nd Duke Viseu (age 35) and Beatrice Aviz Duchess Viseu (age 38). He a great x 3 grandson of King Edward III of England. Coefficient of inbreeding 9.49%.

Coronation of Anne Boleyn

The Noble Triumphant Coronacyon of Quene Anne. 31 May 1532. Also the Saturday the last daye of May the Kyngc made Knyghtes of the swerde in the towre of London whose names folowe.

Syr Wyllyam Drury.

Syr John Gernyngham.

Syr Thomas Rusche.

Syr Randolfe Buerton.

Syr George Caluerly.

Syr Edwarde Fytton.

Syr George Conyers.

Syr Robert Nedham.

Syr Johan Chaworth.

Syr George Gresley.

Syr Johan Constable.

Syr Thomas Umpton.

Syr John Horsley.

Syr Richarde Lygon.

Syr Johan Saintclere.

Syr Edwarde Maidison.

Syr Henry Feryngton.

Syr Marmaduc Tustall.

Syr Thomas Halsall.

Syr Robert Thyrkham.

Sir [sic] Anthony Wyndsour.

Syr Water Hubbert.

Syr Johan Wyllongby.

Syr Thomas Thytson.

Sir Thomas Mysseden.

Sir Thomas Fouleshurst.

Sir Henry Delues.

Sir Peter Warburton.

Sir Rycharde Bulkelley.

Sir Thomas Lakyng.

Sir Henry Lakyng.

Sir Water Smythe.

Sir Henry Eueringham.

Sir Willyam Unedall.

Sir Tho. Massyngberd.

Sir Willyam Sandon.

Sir James Baskeruille.

Sir Edmonde Trafforde.

Sir Arthur Eyre.

Sir Henry Sutton.

Sir Johan Nories.

Sir Willyam Malorie.

Sir Johan Harcourt.

Sir Johan Tyrell.

Sir Willyam Browne.

Sir Nycolas Sturley.

Sir Randolfe Manering.

An English Garner Volume 2 Page 52. Nicholas Udall. English Verses and Ditties at the Coronation Procession of Queen Anne Boleyn. [Royal MS. 18. A. Lxiv.]

At the Pageant representing the Progeny of Saint ANNE, exhibited at Cornhill, besides Leadenhall.

Were pronounced unto the Queen's Grace, these words following.

Most excellent Queen, and bounteous Lady !

Here now to see your gracious Goodness,

With such honour entering this City ;

What joy we take, what hearty gladness, No pen may write, nor any tongue express! For of you, depend the sure felicity And hope, both of us and our posterity.

For like as from this devout Saint ANNE

Issued this holy generation,

First CHRIST, to redeem the soul of man ;

Then JAMES th'apostle, and th'evangelist JOHN ;

With these others, which in such fashion

By teaching and good life, our faith confirmed,

That from that time yet to, it hath not failed:

Right so, dear Lady ! our Queen most excellent !

Highly endued with all gifts of grace,

As by your living is well apparent ;

We, the Citizens, by you, in short space,

Hope such issue and descent to purchase ;

Whereby the same faith shall be defended,

And this City from all dangers preserved.

Which time that we may right shortly see,

To our great comfort, joy and solace ;

Grant the most high and blessed Trinity !

Most humbly beseeching your noble Grace,

Our rude simpleness showed in this place To pardon ;

and, the brief time considering,

To esteem our good minds, and not the thing.

Wriothesley's Chronicle. 31 May 1533. And on Saturdaie, the last daie of Maie, shee (age 32) rode from the Towre of London [Map] throwe the Cittie,a with a goodlie companye of Lordes, Knightes, and Gentlemen, with all the Peares of the Realme, rytchlie apparailed, and also eightene Knightes of the Bath newlie made, ridinge in blewe gownes with hoodes on their sholders purfeled with white, and white laces of silke knitt on the left sholders of their gownes. And she herself riding in a rytch chariott covered with cloath of silver, and a rich canapie of cloath of silver borne over her heade by the fower Lordes of the Portes,b in gownes of Scarlett, and fower chariotts, with ladies followinge after her rytchlie behanged; and also divers other ladies and gentlewomen riding on horscbacke all in gownes made of crymson velvett; and their was divers pageants made on skaffoldes in the Cittie; and all the craftes standing in their liveries everie one in order, the Major and Aldermen standinge in Cheepeside; and when she came before them the Recorder of London made a goodlie preposition to her, and then the Majorc gave her a purse of cloath of golde, with a thousand markes of angell nobles in it, for a presente for the whole bodie of the Cittie; and so the Lordes brought her to the Palace at Westminster, and their left her that night.

Note a. The City on this occasion appears to hare been decorated in a more somptaoos manner than at any time heretofore. — Maitland's "History of London," p. 188.

Note b. Cinque Ports.

Note c. According to Stow, it was Master Baker, the Recorder of London, who presented to Anne Boleyn (age 32) the City purse, containing one thousand marks of gold.


Letters and Papers 1533. 31 May 1533. R. MS. 18, A. LXIV. B. M. 564. Queen Anne Boleyn.

Verses composed by Nic. Udall, and spoken at the pageants in Cornhill, Leadenhall, and Cheapside, at queen Anne's procession through the city.

"Hereafter ensueth a copy of divers and sundry verses, as well in Latin as in English1, devised and made partly by John Leland, and partly by Nicholas Vuedale, whereof some were set up and some other were spoken and pronounced unto the most high and excellent Queen the lady Anne, wife unto our sovereign lord king Henry the Eight, in many goodly and costely pageants exhibited and showed by the mayor and citizens of the famous city of London at such time as her Grace rode from the Tower of London through the said city to her most glorious coronation at the monastery of Westminster, on Whitson eve in the xxvth year of the reign of our said sovereign lord." Latin and English, pp. 29. Endorsement pasted on: Versis and dities made at the coronation of Quene Anne.

Note 1. Several of the English verses are printed by Arber in his "English Garner," ii. 52.

Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour

Letters 1536. 31 May. R. O. 1000. John Husee to Lord Lisle (age 72).

The bearer, Mrs. Alice Warton, is the gentlewoman I wrote of, and I trust will do you good service. She has taken out a great part of the cushion, but has not had leisure to take out the whole. There remains the tree or flower and the beast, which is an unicorn. If you will have it taken out, I will get some woman or painter to do it. You will receive by this ship two dozen bowls, which cost 4s., and the coals which Annes Woodrove bought for you. It is said the coronation will not be till Michaelmas. "The King was married yesterday [to Jane Seymour (age 27)] in the Queen's closet at York Place or Manor, whose Grace is determined to see the watch on Midsummer night." London, 31 May.

Hol., p. 1. Add.

P.S. on the back:—Mine host Cross sends in this ship a kilderkin of ale, and desires his barrel again and some venison. Mine hostess will have half the thanks.

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On 31 May 1540 Henry Cheney 1st Baron Cheyne was born to Thomas Cheney (age 55) and Anne Broughton.

On 31 May 1653 Ferdinand King Bohemia IV King Romans (age 19) succeeded IV King Romans.

Royalist Conspiracy

Evelyn's Diary. 31 May 1658. I went to visit my Lady Peterborough (age 55), whose son, Mr. Mordaunt (age 31), prisoner in the Tower [Map], was now on his trial, and acquitted but by one voice; but that holy martyr, Dr. Hewer, was condemned to die without law, jury, or justice, but by a mock Council of State, as they called it. A dangerous, treacherous time!NOTEXT

On 31 May 1670 Josceline Percy 11th Earl of Northumberland (age 25) died in Turin without male issue. Earl of Northumberland 1C 1377, Baron Percy of Alnwick 1C 1299 and Baron Percy of Topcliffe, Baron Percy of Alnwick 2C 1577 and Baron Poynings 1C 1337 extinct. His daughter Elizabeth (age 3) was his sole heiress.

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On 25 May 1671 Henry Wood 1st Baronet (age 73) died without male issue. Baronet Wood 1C 1657 extinct. On 31 May 1671 he was buried at Ufford. His daughter Mary Wood Duchess Southampton (age 8) was his heir. In view of the great wealth she was to inherit she was betrothed to Charles Fitzroy 1st Duke Southampton 2nd Duke Cleveland (age 8), an illegitmate son of King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 40) and Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 30). On her father's death she went to live with Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 30). They, Mary Wood Duchess Southampton (age 8) and Charles Fitzroy 1st Duke Southampton 2nd Duke Cleveland (age 8) married 1679 but she died a year later from smallpox.

1672 Battle of Solebay

Evelyn's Diary. 31 May 1672. I received another command to repair to the seaside; so I went to Rochester [Map], where I found many wounded, sick, and prisoners, newly put on shore after the engagement on the 28th, in which the Earl of Sandwich (deceased), that incomparable person and my particular friend, and divers more whom I loved, were lost. My Lord (who was Admiral of the Blue) was in the "Prince", which was burnt, one of the best men-of-war that ever spread canvas on the sea. There were lost with this brave man, a son of Sir Charles Cotterell (age 57) (Master of the Ceremonies), and a son (age 32) of Sir Charles Harbord (his Majesty's (age 42) Surveyor-General), two valiant and most accomplished youths, full of virtue and courage, who might have saved themselves; but chose to perish with my Lord, whom they honored and loved above their own lives.

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On 31 May 1707 Simon Patrick Bishop (age 80) died. He was buried in Ely Cathedral [Map].

On 31 May 1715 Christopher Wandesford 2nd Viscount Castlecomer (age 31) and Frances Pelham Viscountess Castlecomer were married.

On 31 May 1740 Frederick William "Soldier King" I King Prussia (age 51) died. On 31 May 1740 His son Frederick "The Great" I King Prussia (age 28) succeeded I King Prussia.

On 31 May 1750 Victor Amadeus III King Sardinia (age 24) and Infanta Maria Antonia Spain (age 20) were married. She the daughter of Philippe V King Spain and Elisabeth Farnese Queen Consort Spain (age 57). He the son of Charles Emmanuel III King Sardinia (age 49) and Polyxena Hesse Rotenburg Queen Consort Sardinia. They were third cousins. He a great x 2 grandson of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland.

On 31 May 1751 Robert Walpole 2nd Earl Orford (age 50) died. On 31 May 1751 His son George Walpole 3rd Earl Orford (age 21) succeeded 3rd Earl Orford 2C 1742.

On 31 May 1763 Henry Arundell 8th Baron Arundel (age 23) and Mary Conquest Baroness Arundel Wardour (age 20) were married. She by marriage Baroness Arundel Wardour in Wiltshire.

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On 31 May 1794 Francis Charteris 8th Earl Wemyss Douglas 4th Earl March (age 22) and Margaret Campbell of Shawfield (age 14) were married.

Archaeologia Volume 15 Section XI Page 122. Sir, Heytesbury, May 31, 1802

The numerous tumuli or barrows, that meet the eye of the traveller in every direction, as he passes over the Wiltshire. and Dorsetshire Downs; naturally excite the curious mind to know the history of these ancient and simple monuments.

Stukeley, Borlase, and other able antiquaries, [a] have. written much on these subjects, and we have many accounts of casual discoveries in barrows; but it rarely happens that the latter details are marked with that accuracy which, is necessary to elucidate a history, of which (with all our lights) we know, but little; for I am of opinion, that on viewing a barrow, our best antiquaries are not able to ascertain the particular contents, with any degree of certainty; much less to fay in what æra, or by what people it was raised. These reflections have led me to employ many of my leisure hours, in opening a considerable number of the barrows on the Wiltshire Downs, in hopes of meeting with something that might supersede conjecture; such as inscriptions or ornaments on the urns, instruments of war, or perhaps coins, or some discriminate marks to aid the judgment. With the result of some of these researches, you are already acquainted, and I now hasten to give you the particulars of a very interesting barrow which I opened a few days since, on Upten-Lovel Downs near this place. This barrow is situated on an elevated part of the Downs, about a quarter of a mile south of the second milestone, on the road leading from this place to Amesbury: it is of a circular form, forty feet in diameter, very fat, with a little depression near the centre, and in elevation not more than 15 or 28 inches above the adjoining soil. I opened it by a trench of considerable length and breadth; near the centre, at the depth of nearly three feet, we found a skeleton, lying on its back with the head to the north; on clearing away the earth, we discovered another in a fitting posture; the head and bands of which were within ten or twelve inches of the surface. The first appeared, from the largeness of the bones, to have been the skeleton of a stout man; the latter being much smaller, I conjectured might have been a female, perhaps his wife: the bones of both were much decayed, though the teeth were found, and from their appearance indicated no great age. The cist in which they were interred was nearly of an oval form, excepting a small variation to the left of the larger skeleton to make room for the other body; I therefore consldered the latter as a subsequent interment. On removing the earth from the feet of the largest, we found more than three dozen of bone instruments, and as I conceive, arrow and lance heads, [b] some of which you will find delineated in plate II; adjoining to these lay nearly together, three stone or flint celts, fig. 1 , 2, 3, plate IV, also the stones, fig. 1, 2, 3, in plate III, and fig. 2 and 3, in plate V; on clearing the earth from the legs were found several boar’s teeth, these were perforated, see fig 2, plate II, also several eagle-stones of white flint, which have been cut or broke in two, see fig. 3, plate II. Near the breast of this fkeleton we found a stone celt or battle ax, see fig. 1, plate V, also a circular sone, fig. 4, plate III, with about two dozen more of the bone arrow and lance heads: after discovering the latter, a considerable quantity of the bones of the small skeleton fell upon the large one, so that it was difficult to say to which the ring, fig. 1, plate II, belonged ; as also the beads fig. 4, plate IV, which lay together. In delineating the articles, my friend Mr. Crocker has given the sizes and original colours as nearly as possible. The celts are of white flint, fig. 1 and 3 ; are neatly polished, and have a fine circular edge; fig. 2 is only chipped to the intended form and size: the only one that I recollect having seen noticed like these, is described by Borlase, [c] which is of white flint, and very much like fig. 3, but of this you will perceive there is only a side view, (plate V, fig. 1.) The stone celt or battle ax was formed from a very hard stone [d] or pebble, and is most neatly polished, as are the fragments of another, fig. 2, 2, in the same plate ; the stone, fig 3, on this plate was, perhaps, intended for a similar weapon. The long stone, fig. 1, plate III, appears to be of granite or moor-stone, but for what purpose I am at a loss to say, unless to polish the celts or similar instruments. I conceive the small stone, fig. 3 on the same plate, (which is a hard green sand-stone) to have been used for the purpose of whetting to a point the arrow heads. But I am quite at a loss to conceive for what purpose the circular stone, fig. 4, plate III, was used [e] ; it weighs thirteen ounces avoirdupoise; and appears to be made from a light coloured pebble, it is also very neatly polished; I consider the ring to have been worn as an amulet, perhaps the anguinum; it is made of a black substance like canal-coal, it is very light, and has a good polish: from the notches cut on the outside, it appears like a serpent curled up ; the inside has a sharp edge, therefore could not have been worn on the finger, (plate IV.) The black beads are of a similar subftance, the light-coloured one is of ivory or bone. I am also at a loss to find the use of the rough cups formed from the eagle-stones of flint, fig. 3, plate II.; there were five of them with a handful of small pebbles of different colours lying together. Besides the articles already noticed, there were several pebbles and other stones not to be found in this neighbourhood; and also a small brass pin, see fig. 5, plate IV, which is the exact fize of it. On a view of the relicks contained in this barrow, every thing we see indicates a remote period ; probably before either brass or iron arms were in use in this island, or if arms of the former metal were at all in use, they were only to be found in the possession of the great chieftains; we may therefore not err much, if we pronounce this barrow to be an early Celtic sepulchre.

I am, Sir,

Your most faithful Servant,

William Cunnington.

Note a. Mr. Douglas, in his Nenia, has given a very interesting account of the contents of a great many barrows, which he has illustrated, with many elegant drawings. But these tumuli are, with a few exceptions, on the Downs in Kent; and appear to have been the burial places of a distinct people, and posterior to those found in Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Dorsetshire.

Note b. I confess I am almost at a loss to appropriate these stone instruments to any other use; yet the thickness of the ends, which are perforated, at first sight operates against their having been used for that purpose, as also against their use as needles. I think it probable the holes were made for the convenience of stringing them, and a rough stone acting as a file would soon reduce the large end, to a proper size for the head of an arrow or lance. There were three of a more delicate form, that appeared to have been used as needles, but these were broken in pieces.

Antiq. Cornw. 2d ed. page 316, he gives a drawing of a flint celt found in Cornwall, which is very similar to fig. 3, but this was not found in a barrow. Montfaucon Vol, V. gives figures of two flint celts like the above; these latter I believe were found in a tumulus, but I have no recollection of any having been found in the barrows in this country.

Note d. It is veined a little like Purbeck marble.

Note e. I have since seen a similar stone in a sling, which was brought from one of the Sandwich islands. W.C.

On 31 May 1825 Edward Smith-Stanley 14th Earl of Derby (age 26) and Emma Caroline Bootle-Wilbraham Countess Derby (age 20) were married. She by marriage Countess Derby. He the son of Edward Smith-Stanley 13th Earl of Derby (age 50) and Charlotte Margaret Hornby Countess Derby.

On 31 May 1842 Thomas Manners-Sutton 1st Baron Manners (age 86) died. His son John Manners-Sutton 2nd Baron Manners (age 24) succeeded 2nd Baron Manners.


On 31 May 1859 Edward Tennant 1st Baron Glenconner was born to Charles Tennant 1st Baronet (age 35) and Emma Winsloe Lady Tennant (age 38).


On 31 May 1864 Frederick Arthur Stanley 16th Earl of Derby (age 23) and Constance Villiers Countess Derby (age 24) were married. She the daughter of George William Villiers 4th Earl Clarendon (age 64) and Katherine Grimston Countess Clarendon (age 54). He the son of Edward Smith-Stanley 14th Earl of Derby (age 65) and Emma Caroline Bootle-Wilbraham Countess Derby (age 59).

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On 31 May 1868 Victor Christian William Cavendish 9th Duke Devonshire was born to Edward Cavendish (age 30) and Emma Elizabeth Lascelles. Coefficient of inbreeding 6.69%.

On 31 May 1895 George Gough 2nd Viscount Gough (age 80) died. His son Hugh Gough 3rd Viscount Gough (age 45) succeeded 3rd Viscount Gough of Goojerat in the Punjab and of the City of Limerick. Georgiana Pakenham Viscountess Gough (age 31) by marriage Viscountess Gough of Goojerat in the Punjab and of the City of Limerick.

On 31 May 1914 Richard Souter 25th Baron Audley was born to Charles Alexander Souter and Charlotte Dorothy Jesson.

On 31 May 1915 Victor Albert George Child-Villiers 7th Earl Jersey (age 70) died at Osterley Park. His son George Child-Villiers 8th Earl of Jersey (age 41) succeeded 8th Earl Jersey, 11th Viscount Grandison 1C 1620, 8th Viscount Villiers, 8th Baron Villiers. Cynthia Almina Needham Countess Jersey by marriage Countess Jersey.

Battle of Jutland

PAINTINGS/PARKES/HMS_Southampton.jpgOscar Parkes (age 30). HMS 'Southampton on the morning of the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1916.

On 31 May 1916 Victor Alexander Ewart was killed at the Battle of Jutland serving on HMS Queen Mary.

From 31 May 1916 to 01 Jun 1916 the Battle of Jutland was fought between the British and German fleets.

After 31 May 1916 in the Battle of Jutland HMS Southampton torpedoed the German light cruiser SMS Frauenlob, which subsequently sank.

On 31 May 1943 Richard Parker 9th Earl Macclesfield was born to George Parker 8th Earl Macclesfield (age 29) and Valerie Mansfield Countess Macclesfield (age 24).