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Plan for Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves to meet

Anne of Cleves came to England to marry King Henry. Their first meeting was very important.

This is part of an announcement made in January 1540. It describes the order of ceremony for Henry's meeting with Anne. This is a list of people who were to go with Henry to meet her.

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An order taken how the King's Highness shall ride at the meeting of the lady Anne's Grace of Cleve

First it is ordered that all the merchant strangers be placed on horseback on both sides of the way to Greenwich Park, so that the King and his train may pass through them.

Next to them the gentlemen and esquires, with the citizens of London, aldermen, and sheriffs...

Next to them all the knights…
fifty gentlemen pensioners
the King's chaplains
the trumpets
the King's wise council with certain household and other officers, and Mr Wriothesley
the gentlemen of the Privy Chamber
the Barons…
the Bishops
the Earls and Dukes
the Chamberladies together…
Master Hennege also to have his place
Then the King
The Serjeants at Arms to be well ordered on both sides before his highness
Next after the king the Master of the horse…
Then after him the children of honor
the Captain of the Guard with all the guard following in good order…

When the King and Queen meet, the Lieutenant of the 50 gentlemen and the gentlemen with him and also the captain of the Guard, each with his company, shall withdraw, and return to the Court…

[Merchant strangers were foreign businessmen or traders.
The "King and his train" means the King and the people following him.
Esquires, aldermen and sheriffs were all men with important jobs.
The King's chaplains took care of his religious services.
Thomas Wriothesley served Henry for many years and became very important, helping to rule England.
The Privy Chamber was Henry's private room. The gentlemen who served him there were the sons of rich and powerful lords and knights.
Chamber ladies were ladies at court, not cleaning ladies!]


  • Why do think Henry wanted to meet Anne in this way?
  • Why do you think Henry would want to bring his trumpeters?
  • Why do you think Henry would want to bring his Captain of the Guard and guard with him?
  • Who do you think the "children of honor" were? Clue: Think of Henry's earlier wives.
  • Do you think the actual order of the guests who came to the meeting tells us anything about how important they were? Clue: Look at the king's place in the order.
  • Draw a picture to show what the scene might look like. Remember to get the people in the right order!

What was life like at the court of Henry VIII?

Classroom activity
Plan for Henry and Anne of Cleves to meet

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The Tudors – court of Henry VIII

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