Funeral of Queen Jane Seymour

 Queen Jane died before midnight on 24th October 1537 just twelve days after the birth of her son, Prince Edward.  She was twenty-eight years old and had been Queen of England for less than eighteen months.  Her burial was planned for the 12th November.

King Henry left the arrangements for Queen Jane's burial, according to custom. to the Duke of Norfolk as Earl Marshal and Sir William Paulet as Treasurer of the Household.  The King himself  'retired to a solitary place to see to his sorrows'.  The functionaries had to send for Garter King of Arms 'to study precedents' since although there had been a certain experience in burying former Queens recently, 'a good and lawful' Queen had not been interred since Elizabeth of York nearly thirty-five years previously.

First the wax chandler 'did his office' of embalming, then the Queen's corpse was 'leaded soldered and chested' by the plumbers.  After that, ladies and gentlemen in mourning, with white kerchiefs hanging over their heads and shoulders, kept a perpetual watch around the royal hearse in a 'chamber of presence' lit by twenty-one wax tapers until the 31st of October, the Vigil of the Feast of All Saints, when the entire Hampton Court Chapel and the great chamber and galleries leading to it were hung with black and 'garnished with rich images'.  The hearse, after being incensed, was then processed by torchlight to the Chapel itself where Lancaster Herald, in a loud voice, asked all present 'Of their charity' to pray for the soul of the Queen Jane.

After the priests watched in the chapel by night and the Queen's ladies by day until 12th November when the hearse was taken in solemn procession to Windsor, borne on a chariot drawn by six horse, and accompanied by nobles and heralds with banners.  'The Lady Mary' had sufficiently recovered from her first grief which had prostrated her to play the role of chief mourner, and rode at the head of the procession on a horse with black velvet trappings.  The poor who watched the hearse pass were presented with alms-at Eton College the Provost and boys saluted it with 'caps and tapers in their hands'.  The coffin was accordingly installed within St George's Chapel and the next day solemnly buried in a vault beneath the centre of the choir: 'and all finished by twelve o'clock that day'.  (Ref 20)

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