Original Letters, Thomas Cranmer, Uncategorized

Cranmer’s Original letter: Two men sent to the fire and the coronation of Anne Boleyn

To the English ambassador at the Emperor’s court From Archbishop Cranmer: 17th June 1533:

In my most hearty wise I commend me unto you and even so would be right glad to hear of your welfare, &c. This be to advertise you that in as much as you now and then take some pains in writing unto me, I would be loathe you should think your labour utterly lost and forgotten for lake of writing again; therefore and by cause I reckon you be some deal desirous of such new is as hathe been here with us of late in the Kings Graces matters, I intend to inform you a parte there of according to the tenure and purport used in that behalf.

 And first as touching the small determination and concluding of the matter of divorce between my Lady Kateren and the King’s Grace, which said matter after the Coronation in that behalf had determined and agreed according to the former consent of the Universities, yet was thought convenient by the King and his learned Council that I should repair unto Dunstable, which is within four miles unto Amptell, where the said Lady Kateren kept her house, and there to call her before me, to here the final Sentence in this said matter. Not with standing she would not at all obey there unto, for when she was by doctor Lee cited to appear by a day, she utterly refused the same, saying that in as much as her cause was before the Pope she would have none other judge; and therefore would not take me for her judge. Nevertheless the 8th day of May, according to the said appointment, I came unto Dunstable, my Lorde of Lincoln being assistance unto me, and my Lorde of Winchester, Doctor Bell, Doctor Claybroke, Doctor Trygonnel, Doctor Hewis, Doctor Olyver, Doctor Brytten, Mr. Bedell, with diverse other learned in the Law being councillors in the Law for the King’s part: and so there at our coming kept a Courte for the appearance of the said Lady Kateren, where were examined certain witness which testified that she was lawfully cited and called to appear, whom for fault of appearance was declared contumax ; proceeding in the said cause against her in pcenam contumaciam as the process of the Law thereunto belongeth; which continued 15 days after our coming thither. And the morrow after Ascension day I gave final sentence there in, how that it was indispensable for the Pope to license any such marriages.

This done, and after our re-joining a home again, the Kings Highness prepared all things convenient for the Coronation of the Queen, which also was after such a manner as follows.

 The Thursday next before the feast of Pentecost, the King and the Queen being at Greenwich, all the Crafts of London there unto well appointed, in several barges decked after the most gorgeous and sumptuous manner, with diverse pageants thereunto belonging, repaired and waited all together upon the Mayor of London; and so, well furnished, cam all unto Greenwich, where they tarried and waited for re-joining. the Queens’ coming to her barge: which so done, they brought her unto the Tower, trumpets, shambes and other diverse instruments all the ways playing and making great melodic, which, as reported, was as comely done as never was like in any time nigh to our remembrance.

 And so her Grace came to the Tower on Thursday at night, about five of the clock, where also was such a peal of guns as hath not been heard like a great while before. And the same night, and Friday all day, the King and Queen tarried there; and on Friday at night the King’s Grace made 18 knights of the Bathe, whose creation was not only so strange to here of, as also their garments stranger to behold or look on ; which said Knights, the next day, which was Saturday, ride before the Queen’s grace through the City of London towards Westminster palace, over and besides the most part of the nobles of the Realm, which like accompanied her grace throughout the said city ; she sitting in her here, upon a Horse Litter, richly apparelled, and four knights of the v. ports baring a Canopy over her head. And after her came four rich chariots, one of them empty, and three other furnished with diverse ancient old ladies; and after them cam a great train of other Ladies and gentlewomen: which said Progress, from the beginning to the ending, extended shaums all day.

 Half a mile in length by estimation or thereabout. To whom also, as she came amongst the City, was showed many costly pageants, with diverse other encomyes spoken of children to her; wine also running at certain Condit’s plenteously. And so proceeding through the streets, passed further unto Westminster Hall, where was a certain banquet prepared for her, which done, she was conveyed out of the bake side of the palace into a Barge and so unto York Place, where the King’s grace was before her coming, for this you must ever presuppose that his Grace came always before her secretly in a Barge as well from Greenwich to the Tower as from the Tower to York place.

Now then on Sunday was the Coronation, which also was of such a manner. In the morning there assembled withe me at Westminster Church the bishop of York, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Lincoln, the Bishop of Bathe, and the Bishop of Saint Asse, the Abbot of Westminster with 5 or 6 more Abbotts, which all revestred ourselves in our pontificalibus, and, so furnished, with our Crosses and Crossiers, proceeded out of th”* Abbey in a pro- cession unto Westminster Hall, where we received the Queen apparelled in a Robe of purple velvet, and all the ladies and gentlewomen in robes and gowns of scarlet according to the manner used before time in such besynes: and so her Grace sustained of each side with 2 to bishops, the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Winchester, came further in procession unto the Church of Westminster, she in her here, my Lord of Suffolk bearing before her the Crowne, and 2 to other Lords baring also before her a Sceptre and a white Rod, and so entered up into the high Alter, where diverse Ceremony’s used about her, I did sett the Crowne on her head, and then was song Te Deum, &c. And after that was song a solemn Mass, all which while her grace sat crowned upon a scaffold which was made between the High Alter and the Qwyer in Westminster Church; which Mass and ceremonies done and

finished, all the Assemble of noble men brought her into Westminster Hall again, where was kept a great solemn feast all that day; the good order therof were too long to write at this time to you. But now Sir you may not imagine that this Coronation was before her marriage, for she was married much about saint Pauls day last, as the condition there of dothe well appear by reason she is now somewhat big with child. Notwithstanding it hath been reported throughout a great part of the realm that I married her; which was plainly false, for I myself knew not thereof a fortnight after it was done. And many other things be also reported of me, which be mere lies and tales.

Other news have we none notable, but that one Fryth, which was in the Tower in prison, was appointed by the King’s grace to be examined before me, my Lorde of London, my lord of Winchester, my Lorde of Suffolk, my Lorde Chancellor, and my Lorde of Wiltshire, whose opinion was so notably erroneous, that we could not dispatch him but was fine to leave him to the determination of his Ordinances, which is the bishop of London. His said opinion is of such nature that he thought it not necessary to be believed as an Article of our faith, that there is the very corporal presence of Christ within the host and Sacrament of the Alter, and Hold the of this point must after the Opinion of Oecolampadious (one of the founders of Protestant theology) And surely I myself sent for him 3 or 4 times to persuade him to leave that his imagination, but for all that we could do therin he would not apply to any counsel, notwithstanding now he is at a final end with all examinations, for my Lorde of London hathe given sentence and delivered him to the secular power, where he looks every day to goo unto the fire. And there is also condemned with him one Andrew a Taylor of London for the said self-same opinion.

And thus fair you well, from my manor of Croydon the xvij. daye of June.

The works of Thomas Cranmer  Vol 2. Rev. John Edmond Cox,  Cambridge: University Press. 1846. pg 242-247

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