Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, Original Letters

Original summons to attend the Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn

Letter of Summons to the Lady Cobham to attend the Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn: From Henry VIII: 28th April 1533

To our right dear and well-beloved the Lady Cobham.

Right dear and well-beloved we greet you well.

And for as much as we be determined upon the feast of Pentecost next coming to keep and do to be celebrate at Westminster, with all due circumstances of honour, the Coronation of our dearest wife the Lady Anne our Queen, as to her estate and dignity dothe appertain; and have appointed you amongst others, at the same time, to give your attendance on horseback in such place as to your degree apperteineth ; We therefore desire and pray you to put yourself in such aredines as ye may be personally at our manor of Greenwich the Friday next before the said feast, then and there to give your attendance upon our said Queen from thens to our Tower of London the same day, and on the next day to ride from the same our Toure, through our City of London, unto our manor of Westminster, and the next day, Whitsunday, to go unto our Monastery there to the said Coronation, providing for yourself and your women some faire white, or white grey palfreys, or geldings, such as ye shall think most fit to serve for that purpose. And as concerning the apparel of your own palfrey, ye shall be furnished therof by the Master of the Horses with our said dearest wife the Queen at any your repair or sending hider for the same in every behalf, saving for your bitt and your bosses. Trusting that for the liveries and ordering of your said women as well in their apparel as in their horses ye will in such wise provide for them as unto your honour and that Solempnite apperteineth: and your own Robes and Liveries shall be delivered at any time, when ye shall come or sende for the same by the Keeper of our Great Wardrobe : not failing hereof as ye intend to do us pleasure. Y even under Signet at our manor of Grenewich the 28th day of April.



Original Letters Illustrative of English History, Henry Ellis



Columbus, Original Letters

Letters between Christopher Columbus and Katherine of Aragon’s parents

The wedding portrait of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, 1469. The parents of Katherine of Aragon

Letter from Columbus to Luis Santangel giving a summary of his voyage:


Knowing the pleasure you will receive in hearing of the great victory which Our Lord has granted me in my voyage, I hasten to inform you, that after a passage of seventy one days, I arrived at the Indies, with the fleet which the most illustrious King and Queen our sovereigns committed to my charge, where I discovered many islands inhabited by people without number, and of which I took possession for their Highness’s by proclamation with the royal banner displayed, no one offering any contradiction. The first which I discovered, I named San Salvador, in commemoration of our Holy Saviour, who has, in a wonderful manner, granted all our success. The Indians call it Guanahani. To the second, I gave the name of Santa Maria de Concepcion, to the third, that of Fernandina, to the fourth, that of Isabela, to the fifth, that of Juana, thus giving each island a new name. (Note all of these names represent Spain, the Spanish Royal family or their Catholic faith.)

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Henry VIII

10 Facts about Henry VIII that you might not know…

1, Henry once poached the best singers from Cardinal Wolsey’s choir after losing a singing competition between his chapel choir and Wolsey’s.

2, In his thirties, Henry was nearly killed pursuing his hawk when he fell headfirst into a ditch of muddy water. A footman saved him from drowning.

3, The King liked to sing and his favorite songs were ‘As I walked along the wood so wild’ and ‘By the banks and I lay.’ Another song Henry enjoyed celebrated his prowess in the tilt yard. It was called, ‘my Sovereign Lord.’

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Original Letters, Thomas More

The resignation letter of Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More to King Henry the Eighth:

I would …like your Highness to call to your gracious remembrance, that at such time as of that great weighty Rome and office of your Chancellor, with which, (was) so far above my merits or qualities… Which your Highness… in your incomparable goodness, honoured and exalted me. You were so good and gracious to me and at my poor humble suit to discharge and unburden me; giving me licence with your gracious favour to bestow the residue of my life to come about the provision for my soul in the service of God, and to be your bedisman (man of prayer) and pray for you.

…So is it now gracious Sovereign that worldly honour is the time where I have resigned both the possession and the desire, in the resignation of your most honourable office; and worldly profit I trust experience proves, and daily more and more shall prove, that I never was very greedy….

But now it is my most humble suit to your excellent Highness, …to beseech you that no sinister information might move your noble Grace to have any more distrust of my truth and devotion toward you than I have or shall during my life gave you …cause.

For in this matter of the wicked woman of Canterbury, I have unto your trusty Counsellor Mr Thomas Cromwell, by my writing, as plainly declared the truth as I possibly can, which my declaration, of his duty toward your grace and his goodness toward me, he has, I understand, declared unto your grace; in any part of all which my dealing, whither any other man may peradventure put any doubt, or move any scruple of suspicion, that can I neither tell nor lie in my hand to let; but unto myself it is not possible any part of my said demeanour to some evil: the very clearness of my own conscience knows in all the matter my mind and intent so good. Wherefore most gracious Sovereign I neither will, nor it can become me, with your Highness to reason or argue the matter; but in my most humble manner prostrate at your gracious feet I only beseech  (beg) your Majesty with your own high prudence, and your accustomed goodness, consider and way the matter: and that if, in your so doing, your own virtuous mind shall give yow that notwithstanding the manifold excellent goodness that your gracious Highness has by so many ways used… me.

I be a wrench of such a monstrous ingratitude as could with any of them all or any other person living digressed from my bound in duty of allegiance toward your good Grace, than desire I no further favour at your gracious hands than the loss of all that ever I may lese, goods, lands, liberty, and my life with all, whereof the keeping of any parte unto myself could never do me penny worth of pleasure. But only should my comfort be, that after my short life and your long (which with continually prosperity to Gods pleasure our Lord for his mercy send you)

I should …meet your Grace and be merry again with you in heaven, where among my other pleasures this should yet be one, that your Grace should surely se there than, that howsoever yow take me, I am your true bedisman (man of prayer) now, and ever have bene, and will be till I dye, how so ever your pleasure be to do by ine. How be it, if in the considering of my cause, your high wisdom and gracious goodness perceive, as I verily trust in God yow shall, that I now otherwise have demeaned myself than well may stand with my bounden duty of faithfulness toward your Royal Majesty; than h , in my most humble wise, I beseech your most noble Grace that the knowledge of your true gracious persuasion in that by half may relive the torment of my present heaviness, conceived of the dread and fear by that I here such a grievous bull put by your learned Council into your high Court of Parliament against me; lest your Grace might by some sinister information be moved anything to think the contrary, which if your Highness do not (as I trust in God and your great goodness the mater by your own high prudence examined and considered you will not,) than in my most humble manner I beseech your Highness further, (able it that in respect of my former request this other thing is very slight,) yet saith your Highness has here before of your mere abundant goodness heaped and accumulate upon me, though I was there to very far unworthy, from time to time, both worship and great honour, to saith I now have left all such things, and nothing seek or desire but the life to come and pray for your grace the while it may like your highness of your accustomed benignity somewhat to tender my pore honesty, and never suffer by the mean of such a bill put forth against me any man take occasion hereafter no. ‘then. untruly to slander me; which thing should yit by the peril of their own soul do themselfs more harm than me which shall I trust settle my heart with your gracious favour, to depends upon the comfort of the truth and hope of heaven, and not upon the fallible opinion or some spoken words of lightsome changeable people. And thus, most dread and most dear sovereign Lord, I beseech the blessed Trinity preserve your most noble Grace, both body and soul and all that are your well-wishers, and amend all the contrary; among whom if ever I be or ever have been one, than pray I God that he may with my open shame and destruction declare it. At my poor house in Chelsea the 5th day of March by the known rude hand of your most humble and most heavy faithful subject and bedisman

Thomas More Knight

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Places to visit, Prophecies, Tudor Places

The prophecies of Mother Shipton…

England’s oldest visitor attraction is a cave with a genuine petrifying well inside. The well turns every day objects into stone by an entirely natural phenomenon caused by the high mineral content of the water. In Mother Shipton’s lifetime the well was seen as supernatural.

There are many legends about the prophecies of Mother Shipton, who was born and lived in the cave. She is said to have foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the death of Cardinal Wolsey and the end of the world. Even when threatened with burning Mother Shipton refused to change her prophecies.

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Early Tudors, Henry VII, Original Letters

The Intimate letters of Henry VII looking for a new wife

These fascinating and deeply personal original letters show what Henry wanted in a new bride after the death of his wife Elizabeth of York. His first choice was his widowed daughter in law Katherine of Aragon, the dowager Princess of Wales, who had been married to the late Prince Arthur. Katherine’s mother writes to her ambassador in England in reply to the offer of marriage:

11th & 12th April 1503: Queen Isabella of Spain to Ferdinand, Duke de Estrada… We have received letters in which we are informed of the death of the Queen of England, our sister. These tidings have, of a truth, caused us much grief… The Doctor has also written to us concerning the marriage of the King of England with the Princess of Wales, our daughter, saying that it is spoken of in England. But as this would be a very evil thing,  one never before seen, and the mere mention of which offends the ears, We would not for anything in the world that it should take place. Therefore, if anything be said to you about it, speak of it as a thing not to be endured. You must likewise say very decidedly that on no account would we allow it, or even hear it mentioned, in order that by these means the King of England may lose all hope of bringing it to pass, if he have any. For, the conclusion of the betrothal of the Princess, our daughter, with the (new) Prince of Wales, his son, (later Henry VIII) would be rendered impossible if he were to nourish any such idea…

Katherine of Aragon’s mother Queen Isabella

June 1505: This letter was sent to Henry answering his questions about one of his perspective brides the Young Queen of Naples:

1, Whether the young Queen speak any other languages besides Spanish and Italian: She understands both Latin and French, but does not speak them.

2, To note well her age, stature, and features of her body: The young Queen’s age is 27 and not much more. Could not come to any perfect knowledge of her stature, by reason of her wearing slippers after the manner of her country. A man could not lightly perceive the features of her body, for that she wore a great mantle of cloth.

3, To mark her visage, whether painted or not, fat or lean, sharp or round; cheerful, frowning, or melancholy; steadfast, light, or blushing: Is not painted; of a good compass, amiable, round, and fat; cheerful, not frowning ; a demure shame-faced countenance; of few words, but spoken with a womanly laughing cheer and good gravity.

4, Clearness of skin: Very fair and clear.

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Tudor Places

The great survivors: Where to find Tudor buildings which survived the great fire of London of 1666

The great fire destroyed the old medieval city devastating over 400 acres, including over 13,000 houses and 87 out of 109 churches including the mighty medieval St. Paul’s Cathedral. Only a handful of buildings that Tudor Londoners would have known managed to escape the flames which devastated London in 1666.

London 1666, with the destroyed area shown in pink. In Tudor times the area beyond the city wall (marked black) was mainly fields and a few villages. St. Martins in the fields really was in the fields! Parts of the city wall still stand and can be seen near Tower Hill Tube station and at the Barbican. (The city wall is Roman built between the 2nd or third centuries) 
St Martin-in-the-Fields and Charing Cross in 1562

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