On 14th May 1536, Henry VIII sent Sir Nicholas Carew to fetch Jane Seymour and to install her in a house in Chelsea, within a mile of the King’s own lodgings. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, wrote to his master Charles V, that Jane was “most richly dressed” and “splendidly served by the King’s cook and other officers”. Her sumptuous dress, her proximity to the King and the way she was being served by the King’s own servants, suggest that Jane was being treated like the Queen of England and thus that Henry VIII knew that this position would need filling soon. A Queen in waiting.
Although Anne Boleyn was unpopular in certain circles, her imprisonment and the King’s behaviour with Jane Seymour were causing gossip and disapproval. Pamphlets were being published and circulated deriding Henry VIII’s relationship with Jane. It was shocking behaviour. His wife and Queen was in the Tower of London, charged with adultery, and he was carrying on a relationship with one of her ladies-in-waiting!
Also on this day in 1536, Master Secretary Cromwell wrote to Stephen Gardiner and John Wallop, the King’s ambassadors in France, to inform them of recent events, explaining that “the Queen’s incontinent living was so rank and common that the ladies of her privy chamber could not conceal it”. So “abominable” were her offences, according to Cromwell, that he could not bring himself to go into detail, but he could assure them that they would both benefit from the fall of Anne Boleyn and the men.
Note: In his letter to Wallop and Gardiner, Cromwell describes the coup against Anne and the men as “the King’s proceeding” rather than his investigation or plot.