Born – 1503
Died – 1557
Father – Henry Wyatt (1460 – 1537)
Mother – Anne Skinner
Spouse – m. 1520 – Elizabeth Brooke (1503 – 1560)
Children – by Elizabeth Brooke – Thomas (1520 – 1554)
by Elizabeth Darrell – Henry, Francis, Edward
Thomas Wyatt was born to Henry Wyatt and Anne Skinner at Allington Castle, Kent.
Henry Wyatt was born to Henry Wyatt and Anne Skinner at Allington Castle, Kent. He died young.
Thomas’s sister, Margaret was born to Henry Wyatt and Anne Skinner.
Thomas entered the service of King Henry VIII as Sewer Extraordinary (in Tudor times a sewer was someone who waited at table).
Thomas Wyatt began studying at St John’s College Cambridge. From a young age Wyatt wrote poetry and it is for this that he is chiefly remembered.
Wyatt gained a bachelor of Arts degree.
Thomas Wyatt married Elizabeth Brooke, daughter of Thomas Brooke Baron Cobham and Dorothy Heydon.
A son, Thomas, known as Thomas Wyatt the Younger, was born to Thomas Wyatt and Elizabeth Brooke at Chatham, Kent.
Wyatt was given the role of ambassador for the King. He also became Keeper of the King’s Jewels. He became famed at court for his music and poetry.
Thomas separated from his wife on the grounds of adultery.
Anne Boleyn, daughter of Thomas Boleyn, maid of honour to Catherine of Aragon, caught the eye of Wyatt. The two were close but it is unlikely that they had a sexual relationship. As a result of their friendship Anne Boleyn was drawn into the King’s circle at court.
Thomas Wyatt took part in the Christmas tournament at Greenwich.
Henry VIII aged 35 years asked Anne Boleyn aged 19 years to become his mistress. He was amazed when she refused saying that she would only surrender her virginity to the man she married.
Thomas Wyatt was sent on a diplomatic mission to Italy. It is thought that Henry wanted him away from Anne Boleyn. While abroad he came to know the work of French and Italian poets which inspired him in his own writing.
Wyatt was appointed High Marshall at Calais. He remained in the position for two years.
1532 (10th October)
Thomas Wyatt was a member of the party that accompanied King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on a visit to Calais.
1533 (25th January)
Anne Boleyn, who was pregnant, and King Henry VIII were secretly married in the King’s chapel at Whitehall by Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains.
1533 (1st June)
Wyatt attended the coronation of Anne Boleyn at St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster.
1533 (7th September)
Anne gave birth to a baby girl with red hair and her mother’s features. Henry was disappointed that the child was a girl and blamed both God and Anne for denying him a son. She was named Elizabeth after Henry’s mother.
Thomas was knighted by the King.
Thomas Wyatt was created High Sheriff of Kent.
1536 (29th January)
Anne Boleyn suffered her third miscarriage. This child was badly deformed and Henry saw this as clear evidence of God’s displeasure with the marriage. He determined to end his marriage and marry Jane Seymour.
Thomas Cromwell began collecting evidence against Anne. During the course of his investigations he heard that some members of Anne’s court were admitted to her chamber at late hours. Those named were George Boleyn, Henry Norris, Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton. Cromwell used this information to construct a case that Anne had committed adultery with all five men and that they had plotted to murder the King. The information was passed to Henry.
1536 (2nd May)
Henry Norris and George Boleyn were taken to the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn was also arrested and taken by barge to the Tower.
1536 (4th May)
Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and taken to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason.
1536 (5th May)
Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested on suspicion of committing adultery with the Queen.
1536 (12th May)
The trial of those accused of committing adultery with the Queen, Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, Francis Weston and William Brereton, took place. The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial which found all men guilty. They were sentenced to death.
1536 (15th May)
Anne was tried by 26 peers of the realm including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, who presided over the trial. Although Anne argued her innocence she was found guilty and sentenced to die by burning or beheading whichever the King chose. Her brother George was tried after Anne and was also found guilty.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn was executed by beheading with a single stroke of the sword. She was buried in the choir of the royal chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
Wyatt and Richard Page were released from the Tower of London.
Wyatt was in a relationship with Elizabeth Darrell who had been a maid of honour to Catherine of Aragon. The couple had three sons, Henry, Francis and Edward.
1537 (10th November)
Sir Henry Wyatt, Thomas’s father, died in Kent.
Wyatt was given the post of English ambassador at the court of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
Thomas Wyatt was granted the site of Boxley Abbey which had been dissolved in 1537
Wyatt was elected Member of Parliament for Kent.
Thomas was arrested on a charge of treason for a second time. This time he was charged with being rude about the King and also dealing with Reginald Pole. He was later released after Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Kathryn Howard, intervened on his behalf and he promised to return to his wife.
1542 (13th February)
Kathryn Howard was executed for committing adultery with Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham.
1542 (11th October)
Thomas Wyatt died. He was buried in Sherborne Abbey.
‘Certayne Psalmes’, seven psalms by Wyatt, was published.
‘Songes and Sonettes’, a collection of 96 of Wyatt’s songs, was published.
Published Apr 10, 2020 @ 2:10 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Thomas Wyatt 1503 – 1542. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/thomas-wyatt-1503-1542. Last accessed [date]