Friday, June 26, 2009

The Tudor year: June

Theme: weddings

Ingatestone Hall, Essex; photo from

June 1: coronation of Anne Boleyn, 1533

June 11: marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, 1509

June 22: Chancellor Thomas More declares the Bible in English "not necessary," 1530

June 24: coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, 1509; Midsummer Day

June 28: birth of Henry VIII, 1491

A month of anniversaries for King Henry and, poignantly, for his first queen, reminds us that the June wedding was popular for the Tudor age as well as our own. The picture shows Ingatestone Hall in Essex, the manor of long-serving royal Secretary Sir William Petre. The site had belonged to a wealthy nunnery; Petre's career as civil servant included years carrying out the king's orders to dissolve the monasteries. (The anniversary noted for the 22nd reminds us that religious ferment, caused by the new wonder of printed vernacular Bibles and, not least of all, by the king's quarrel with the Catholic church over his separation from Catherine, was the order of the day.) When Sir William's daughter was married at Ingatestone in June 1552, the staff of this self-sufficient small farm were capable of putting on a wedding feast for four hundred family and guests. That busy year, the bake house and buttery alone turned out the equivalent of 20,000 loaves of bread and over 2600 pounds of cheese.


F. G. Emmison, Tudor Secretary: Sir William Petre at Court and Home. London and Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd., 1970. First published by Longmans, Green, and Co., Ltd., 1961, pp. 23-24.
Ibid., p. 128.
Ibid., pp. 134-136
John Guy, "The Tudor Age," in The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, ed. Kenneth O. Morgan. Oxford University Press, 1984, p. 242.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A grand day out



Art Institute gardens

study in contrasts

it could be another planet

fountain, Millenium Park



green -- native prairie gardens

yes, that's the bean

which way is it facing?

the inland sea

refugee from the italian renaissance?

four decades

who knew? (corner of Jackson and Michigan)