Why we're killing off Elizabeth Blount
In case we haven't shouted about it loudly enough already, WE'VE GOT A MURDER MYSTERY RUN COMING UP!!!
It's a 5km team (2 or more) challenge on the 14th July, solving the medieval murder of Elizabeth Blount in Westminster.
Who was Elizabeth Blount?
Given that the body will be found in King Henry VIII's bed, it might not surprise you to hear that the victim 'Bessie' Blount was mistress to the King.
Set in 1518, Henry VIII was 27 and Catherine of Aragon was Queen. She was now 33 - middle aged by medieval standards - and had still not produced a male heir.
Henry's eye had began to wander, and it's thought he probably began his affair with the young, beautiful Blount in about 1514.
Sadly, I can't find a good snap of Blount without breaching copyright.
Blount was Lady-in-Waiting to Catherine of Aragon and was an accomplished singer and dancer.
The significance of killing her off...
In 1519, Blount gave birth to Henry's child. In our Murder Mystery Run, she will be killed before she can give birth to a son. Henry Fitzroy (meaning 'Son of the King') was the only illegitimate child to be publicly recognised by Henry VIII.
The King was thrilled that he could produce a son. It meant that there was nothing wrong with him! It must therefore be Catherine that was the problem.
After all, Catherine had originally been married to Henry's older brother Arthur. Scripture forbids a man to marry his brother's wife (Leviticus 20:21), unless the original marriage were never consummated. Catherine swore that this was the case before she was allowed to marry Henry - besides her and Arthur had been young teenagers when they married.
But with the birth of Henry Fitzroy, the King now had evidence to support his theory: Catherine had lied, and God was punishing them by depriving them of a son.
Eventually, Henry established himself as the head of the Church of England and broke from Rome so that he could annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon.
This went on to cause the dissolution of the monasteries and a paved the way for a chain of 6 Queens during his reign- for which Henry is notorious for.
What would have happened if Henry Fitzroy had never been born?
Would Henry have found another way to wriggle out of his marriage?
Perhaps he would have lived happily ever after with Catherine and they'd eventually produce a son together...
Or was it inevitable? Would there have just been another mistress, with another illegitimate son?
On the night...
On the 14th July, teams will compete to solve the fictional murder of Elizabeth Blount over a 5km course. An all-star cast of suspects and witnesses will be stationed at various points along the way, and runners/power walkers will find and interview them, as quickly as they can.
The winning team will be correctly complete the course, solve the murder and race back to HQ (a pub as quickly as they can).
There are still a few tickets available and we hope to see you there.