I have written before about the enormous amount of organisation that went into Anne Boleyn’s coronation. One of the more important tasks was to send out summonses to all the lords and ladies who were expected to wait upon the new Queen. There many roles to fill – it is believed that up to 300 people, of varying status, were in the processional train!
Some of these letters still survive, including the one sent to the Lady Cobham, whose presence on horseback was requested for the coronation procession and ceremony.
Although we cannot say with absolute certainty who Lady Cobham is, it has generally accepted that this is Anne Bray, Lady Cobham. She was married to Sir George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. Through her husband, Lady Anne was a distant kinswoman of the new Queen; Sir George and the Queen shared a great-grandfather in George Boleyn, making them second cousins.
To our right dere and welbeloved
the Lady Cobham
HENRY R By the king
Right dere and welbeloved we grete you well. And forasmoche as we be determyned upon the fest of Pentecost next commyng to kepe and do to be celebrate at Westminster, with all due circumstances of honor, the Coronacion of our derest wif the lady Anne our Quene, as to her astate and dignite dothe appertain, and have appointed you amonges other, at the same tyme to give your attendance on horsebak, in such place as to your degree apperteneth, We therfore desire and pray you, to put yourself in such a redines, as ye may be personally at our maner of Grenewich the Fryday next before the said feest, then and ther to geve your attendance upon our said Quene, for thense to our Towre of London the same day to ryde from the same our Towre, through our cite of London unto our maner of Westmynster; and the next day, Witsonday, to go unto our Monastery ther to the said Coronacion; providing for yourself and your women, some faire white or white gray palferes or geldinges, suche as ye shall thinke most fyt to serve for that purpose. And as concernying the apparell of your ownn palfrey, ye shalbe furnished therof by the Master of the horsses with our said derest wif the Quene, at any your repaire or sending hider for the same in every behalf, saving for your bitt and your bosses; trusting that for the lyveraies and ordering of your said women, aswell in their apparell, as in their horsses, ye woll in suche wise provide for them as unto your honor and that solempnite apperteineth; and your ownn robes and lyveraies shalbe delivered at any tyme, when ye shal comme or send for the same, by the keper of our great warderobe; not failling hearof as ye entende to do us pleasure.
Yeven, under signet, at our manor of Grenewich, the twenty-eight day of Aprill