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



Henry VIII, Original Letters

‘With a quaking hand and a sorrowful heart.’ Cromwell’s letter from the Tower

On the 12th June 1540, Thomas Cromwell wrote this desperate letter to Henry VIII in a bid to save his own life:

Prostrate at your Majesty’s feet, I have heard your pleasure by your Controller, viz., that I should write such things as I thought meet concerning my most miserable state. And where I have been accused of treason, I never in all my life thought to displease your Majesty; much less to do or say “that thing which of itself is so high and abominable offence.” Your Grace knows my accusers, God forgive them. If it were in my power to make you live for ever, God knows I would; or to make you so rich that you should enrich all men, or so powerful that all the world should obey you. For your Majesty has been most bountiful to me, and more like a father than a master. I ask you mercy where I have offended. Never spoke with the Chancellor of the Augmentations and Frogmerton together at a time; but if I did, I never spoke of any such matter. Your Grace knows what manner of man Throgmerton has ever been towards you and your proceedings. What Master Chancellor has been to me, God and he know best; what I have been to him your Majesty knows. If I had obeyed your often most gracious counsels it would not have been with me as now it is. But I have committed my soul to God, my body and goods to your pleasure. As for the Commonwealth, I have done my best, and no one can justly accuse me of having done wrong wilfully. If I heard of any combinations or offenders against the laws, I have for the most part (though not as I should have done) revealed and caused them to be punished. But I have meddled in so many matters, I cannot answer all.
The Controller showed me that you complained that within these 14 days I had revealed a matter of great secrecy. I remember the matter, but I never revealed it. After your Grace had spoken to me in your chamber of the things you misliked in the Queen, I told you she often desired to speak with me, but I durst not, and you thought I might do much good by going to her and telling her my mind. Lacking opportunity I spoke with her lord Chamberlain, for which I ask your mercy, to induce her to behave pleasantly towards you. I repeated the suggestion, when the lord Chamberlain and others of her council came to me at Westminster for licence for the departure of the strange maidens. This was before your Grace committed the secret matter to me, which I never disclosed to any but my lord Admiral, by your commandment on Sunday last; whom I found equally willing to seek a remedy for your comfort, saying he would spend the best blood in his belly for that object.

Was also accused at his examination of retaining contrary to the laws. Denies that he ever retained any except his household servants, but it was against his will. Was so besought by persons who said they were his friends that he received their children and friends—not as retainers, for their fathers and parents did find them; but if he have offended, desires pardon. Acknowledges himself a miserable sinner towards God and the King, but never wilfully. Desires prosperity for the King and Prince. “Written with the quaking hand and most sorrowful heart of your most sorrowful subject, and most humble servant and prisoner, this Saturday at your Tower of London.

Continue reading “‘With a quaking hand and a sorrowful heart.’ Cromwell’s letter from the Tower”

Biographies, Henry VIII

Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s natural son.

Henry VIII had been married for nine years when he began his affair with 18 year old Elizabeth Blount. She was a maid of honour in Queen Katherine of Aragon’s household. Bessie had the reputation of being very beautiful. After giving birth to the King’s son she  married  Gilbert  Tailboy’s, 1st Baron of Kyme and the king provided the newlyweds with a manor in Warwickshire.

Continue reading “Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s natural son.”