Thursday, July 22, 2010

Children Christened at Anne Boleyn's Burial Place

This is incredibly cool! (to me) Queen Elizabeth II granted permission for a family to christen their two children at St. Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London.

Warrant Officer second class Neil Miller and his wife Rebecca christened son Finlay, two, and daughter Elsie-Jae, eight weeks, on Sunday at the historic chapel.

To be able to use the chapel, which dates back to 1100 and is probably best known as the burial place of Henry VIII’s executed wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, they had to apply in writing to the monarch.

The tower, where more than 130 men and women were executed for treason, is the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, to which Neil is attached.

Neil, 38, said: "Being allowed to have Finlay and Elsie-Jae’s christening there was a really special event and a moment the family will treasure. The chapel is stunning.

"It has monuments to residents of the Tower and its prisoners, including those executed, and uses a font dating back hundreds of years.

"You can really feel the history of the place and the strong links to my regiment."

Originally a parish church, the chapel was incorporated into the walls of the castle during Henry III’s reign. It has been rebuilt at least twice, once in the reign of Edward I, and then again in its present form during Henry VIII’s reign.

Also buried there are Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley, the Duke of Monmouth, and the Scottish lords, Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat, who were beheaded for their share in the rebellion of 1745.

The last burial in the chapel was that of Sir John Fox Burgoyne, Constable of the Tower, in 1871.

I visited the Tower in May 2009 and took these photos myself. I can attest to the feeling that Neil described when visiting the Tower. I felt the history to my core and was moved to tears in one room in particular. I felt every imprisoned and executed soul. I spent four hours walking around the Tower and still want to return for more!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. I love to think of little Elizabeth being christened–I’ll be her little dress was amazing, even if Catherine of A would not give Anne Mary’s christening gown. I can’t say as I blame Catherine. I agree that Anne was a loving mother, as much as Henry would allow her to be. He was anxious to get that son of his so he really just wanted Anne to be churched so they could try again. Thanks Claire!