1536 Jousting Games Match Preview: Henry VIII vs Earl of Essex
Henry VIII has been declared fit to joust and will face the Earl of Essex at Hampton Court on Sunday as the King hopes to keep his dreams of a top-four finish alive.
It has been a miserable few weeks for his majesty who suffered a horrific and almost fatal fall from his horse last time out in defeat to the Duke of Suffolk at Greenwich Palace.
The King forgot to close his visor and was subsequently knocked unconscious for almost two hours after being knocked from his horse which then fell on top of him.
The defeat leaves Henry fifth in Division One; two points behind rival the Duke of Norfolk as the race for European qualification intensifies.
Henry was eliminated from this year’s European Jousting League at the quarter-final stage last month following an embarrassing defeat to Philip II, King of Spain.
The King is in a defiant and bullish mood however as he hopes to bounce-back from his injury and end the campaign on a positive note.
“I am fit, I am confident and I am ready for all that comes my way. I will pray to God and he will see me through,” said Henry.
“I have had a new armour made and have a new horse to ride me to success. The defeat in Spain hurt, especially after progressing from what was a difficult group-stage but I’m only looking forward now.”
Henry has failed to land a lance on target in his last two jousts but insists he is in good form ahead of Sunday’s clash.
“I am only answerable to God so I do not like all of these questions but the Duke of Suffolk is a good friend and deserved his victory at Greenwich. Anything is possible in jousting but I am very confident going into Sunday’s battle.”
The King faces relegation favourite the Earl of Essex this weekend and is a joust which provides the perfect opportunity for Henry to return to winning ways.
A full-house will be in attendance at Hampton Court including the King’s new Queen Jane Seymour as Henry looks to continue his impressive home-form this campaign.
Henry VIII – 10 farthings/1
Draw – Evens
Earl of Essex – 24 shillings/1