On this Wednesday, Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII, was buried in Peterborough Abbey. Her funeral cortege had left Kimbolton on Monday, had stopped overnight at Sawtry and, after morning mass there, her body was borne to Peterborough. There, at the door of the church, 'it was honourably received by the Bishops of Lincoln, Ely, and Rochester, the Abbot of Peterborough and the Abbots of Ramsey, Crowland, Thorney and others'. Each, wearing their mitres and hoods, accompanied it in procession to the Chapel of Rest, which had been prepared in anticipation of the queen's arrival. There the body was placed upon eight pillars of beautiful fashion and roundness, upon were placed about 1,000 candles, while eighteen banners were hung around the chapel. Solemn vigils were said that day. On this, the following day, 29 January, three bishops each performed Mass. Afterwards, the body was buried in a grave at the lowest step of the high altar, over which they put a simple white cloth. 'In this manner was celebrated her who for 27 years had been true queen of England.' Records show that 12d paid 'for drink for the bell ringers at the burial of Katherin of Aragonuriel'. (Jones, B.R., A Monumental & Memorial Walk around Central Peterborough)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.