Henry VIII: March 1531, 1-15

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

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'Henry VIII: March 1531, 1-15', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532, (London, 1880), pp. 59-66. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol5/pp59-66 [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Henry VIII: March 1531, 1-15", in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532, (London, 1880) 59-66. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol5/pp59-66.

. "Henry VIII: March 1531, 1-15", Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 5, 1531-1532, (London, 1880). 59-66. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol5/pp59-66.


March 1531, 1-15

Vienna Archives.
120. Chapuys to Charles V.
The Jew called hither, finding his first opinion not accepted, has forged another equally illfounded, and says it is indeed lawful to marry a brother's widow, provided it is done with the will and intention to raise issue for the deceased brother; but without such intention the marriage is unlawful, and that God has reproved such unions by the mouth of Moses, so that issue shall not proceed of them, or shall not live long; and that it has been seen that the male children the King had of the Queen scarcely lived at all; from which he inferred that the King had not the said intention, and consequently that the marriage is unlawful. The Parliament continues, but has done nothing, as I am told, and it is supposed the King keeps it sitting for some mysterious purpose. Everybody is tired of it; and every day some one asks leave of absence, which is never refused to those who take the Queen's part, so that it is expected that the divorce will be treated of, and that the King is only waiting for favorable news from France. By feasting La Guiche, who is still here, they will probably get all they want. He banquetted this Shrovetide in company with the Lady and several others, when the King drank to him in the name of his master, and repeated that if he could be always assured of the reciprocal friendship between the king of France and him, he would not fear any others. The King had not yet been at the Parliament since it recommenced, till late yesterday, when he remained an hour and a half or two hours in the House of Lords, and did not go down to that of the Commons. He expressed to them his desire for justice and the defence of the kingdom; and afterwards desired them to take into consideration certain liberties of the Church in this kingdom by which malefactors had hitherto full immunity. He also called their attention to the matter of the bishop of Rochester's cook, a very extraordinary case.
There was in the Bishop's house about ten days ago some pottage, of which all who tasted, that is nearly all the servants, were brought to the point of death, though only two of them died, and some poor people to whom they had given it. The good Bishop, happily, did not taste it. The cook was immediately seized, at the instance of the Bishop's brother, and, it is said, confessed he had thrown in a powder, which he had been given to understand would only hocus (tromper) the servants without doing them any harm. I do not yet know whom he has accused of giving him this powder, nor the issue of the affair. The King has done well to show dissatisfaction at this; nevertheless he cannot wholly avoid some suspicion, if not against himself, whom I think too good to do such a thing, at least against the lady and her father. The said bishop of Rochester is very ill, and has been so ever since the acknowledgment made by the clergy, of which I wrote. But, notwithstanding his indisposition, he has arranged to leave this tomorrow by the King's leave. I know not why, being ill, he is anxious to go on a journey, especially as he will get better attendance of physicians here than elsewhere, unless it be that he will no longer be a witness of things done against the Church, or that he fears there is some more powder in reserve for him. If the King desired to treat of the affair of the Queen, the absence of the said Bishop, and of the bishop of Durham, late of London, would be unfortunate. I have learned that Tallebout (the earl of Shrewsbury) keeps in his hands, as belongs to his office, the queen of England's crown; and since neither he nor any of his house ever incurred reproach, he would take care not to allow it to be put upon any other head; in which opinion, I believe, he will persist, both for the sake of his own honor and for the affection he bears to the Queen. In this he will also be supported by his great friend the Chancellor, (fn. 1) who, as I have formerly written, has conducted himself most virtuously in this matter of the Queen, and certainly showed himself as well inclined to your Majesty as could be. He is the true father and protector of your Majesty's subjects. Whenever any man of my suite has been at court, he has broken off conversation with everybody else to attend to our business, and every one whom I have recommended to him he has despatched with a favorable answer.
At Calais lately they opened all the letters that came from Rome, even that which was addressed to the cousin of Gregory Casale resident here, of which some have been detained two or three days. It is thought that in them there has been some disclosure of intelligence of the late Cardinal's physician, (fn. 2) who, since the receipt of the said letters, has been kept in a chamber in the duke of Norfolk's lodgings, for what reason is not yet known. I have today obtained a copy of certain articles drawn up on the King's part to be notified to the Parliament, I know not to what effect exactly, but certainly not to the advantage of the Pope. You will learn by them more than I can write. London, 1 March.
Hol., Fr., pp. 4, from a modern copy.
Grand, III. 540.
121. Sir Gregory Casale to Cardinal Grandmont.
By the last letters of Gambaro from Germany, it seems that the affair of the Council was rather cooled, because the Emperor did not solicit it so strongly. The news of the Turk's preparations by land and sea have caused much fear, but a brigantine, which was sent to Ragusa by cardinal Colonna, reports that the preparations are not so great as was said. The Hungarian ambassador torments the Pope to make a cardinal for money to help his King against the Turk (chel faccia Card. per danari per ajutare, &c), so that many people think his Holiness will do it in the end, to the great displeasure of the other cardinals, who are so poor that they are dying of hunger (si moiono di fame), and are obliged to take the wages of other princes, that is, of the Emperor, who has more to give in a month than the Pope in a year. As to "our" affairs, are working to procure a delay, which cannot be obtained. Have found means to put forth an "excusatorio" in the King's name, which has not succeeded. Are waiting for some good resolution which the French king and the Cardinal may bring forward (qualche buona resolutione & partoriscano le M. Chr. & V. S. R.)
Desires his brother, captain Franc[isco], to enter the French service. Wishes to be recommended to Mons. di Cosserano. Rome, 4 March 1531.
R. O. St. P. VII. 287.
122. Benet to Henry VIII.
Since their last of the 13th ult., nothing was done in your cause till after Ash Wednesday.
Give an account of the process, and of the difficulties in reference to the execution of his office by Kerne. Details their conversation with Capisucchi on certain points of law. Were surprised that he made process contrary to his promise, and did not cite Kerne. He excused himself. Use their endeavours to win time.
Imperfect, hol., draft.
6 March.
R. O.
123. North Wales.
"Articles containing the effects of certain indictments found against Rauff Birkenhed, afore John Glyn, clerk, and John Pole, late the King's commissioners in North Wales."
Birkenhed is indicted by inquisitions taken at Pullely, the Saturday after St. David's Day, at Caernarvon, Tuesday after St. Chadde's Day, and at Hardlagh, 4, 5, and 6 March 22 Hen. VIII., for extortion, concealment of felony, and embezzlement of fines from 6 Hen. VIII.
P. 1. Endd.
8 March.
Vienna Archives.
124. Chapuys to Charles V.
After the last courier left, the Queen sent me letters for you, which I have kept till now, both for want of a messenger, and in expectation that the Queen would have written to the Pope; but she has not yet been able, and is less so now than ever, being engaged in entertaining the Princess, who came yesterday to visit her for five or six days. The Queen is very desirous for the examination of the witnesses of whom the president of Castile wrote to you, for that would be a complete answer to her opponents; but she does not wish any delay on this account in the definitive [sentence], for fear of the consequences that might ensue.
The clergy are more conscious every day of the great error they committed in acknowledging the King as sovereign of the Church, and they are urgent in Parliament to retract it; otherwise, they say, they will not pay a penny of the 400,000 cr. What will be the issue no one knows. They are discussing the enactment of the sumptuary laws and the prohibition of the pastime of crossbows and handguns, especially to foreigners, to whom they wish also to forbid the use of the bow. Nearly the whole time of the Parliament has been occupied with these pretty matters (les dits belles besongncs), and with complaints between different towns and villages, and also complaints, for the most part feigned, against the priests.
Three days ago the King had letters from France, and with them others from Rome of the 13th ult.; neither of which, I understand, have been much to his satisfaction. It has been declared by the Rota that the cause ought to be decided at Rome. The King is disgusted, and says he will make the Pope feel his displeasure. The French seem to him too cool. He told La Guiche they did not pay as much regard to his interests as he did to theirs. London, 8 March.
Fr., hol., pp. 2, from modern transcript.
10 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 63. B. M.
125. Mai to Charles V.
Fourteen years ago the cardinal of Ancona was protector (prothetor), in this court, of the kings and kingdom of Scotland, and for four or five years the cardinal of Ravenna has held the office, in which he has gained great credit, and is consulted not only in spiritual and ecclesiastical matters, but also in temporal affairs and the government of the kingdom.
The king of Scotland has sent a secretary here about the Council and Scotch affairs. He spoke to the card. of Ravenna of their complaints of the French and English, and said they (the Scotch) would go to any extreme to part their friendship.
The Cardinal advised a treaty with the Emperor, to which he found the Scotchman well disposed. He said it had been intended to propose this at Cambray, but they were not in time, and since then there is a new reason in consequence of the little account the French king makes of them in the said treaty of Cambray, so that they would rather avenge themselves of the French than do anything else, as the French have tricked and illtreated them in many ways. This man, who is said to take much part in the Government there, is very wise. He was a scholar at Pavia when Granville and I were there. His name is Thomas Ersquin. The card. of Ravenna told all this to me, saying he did not wish it to be published unless it could take effect. Told it to Card. Osma, and told Ravenna I should speak of it to Don Pedro. Don Pedro and I met him [the Scotch ambassador] at dinner, with the cardinal of Ravenna. He said he [James] would be contented with any marriage your Majesty wished, either sister or niece, as his desire is to be allied (llegarse) to your Majesty, on whom he knows that the whole of the world will depend. It seemed good to Don Pedro and myself, as we did not venture anything thereby, to praise his judgment, and assure him of your goodwill to his King. We told him we would write to your Majesty, and though there remained more for him to do here, he departs in post to hasten the negotiation. Reports some suggestions made on this subject by Erskine, who thought he might be commissioned to speak about it in Flanders to the lord of Vere, in whom the Scotch put much confidence.
This treaty will be of great service to the Emperor, as it will weaken France and England. Thinks particularly that it would contribute to the quietness of Flanders, and the restitution of the king of Denmark, and also be useful in the case of suspicious persons, if the king of England is not wise enough to do right (no tenga el seso que es menester). The secretary dwelt upon this particularly, and for this effect has despatched a post to his King not to confirm the truce or alliance with England, which finishes now, until the receipt of what he may send to Scotland.
One inconvenience there is, that the Scots do not endeavour to better their position with the French and English. They say that if they knew of this practice [in Scotland], they would give them carte blanche; but he assures us that it will be a very good thing for them, the card. of Ravenna being the medium, in whom they have great confidence.
Thinks the negotiations should be carried on there (in Flanders). Wishes for instructions, as the Scotch will not endure delay. Rome, 10 March 1531.
Sp., pp. 5, modern copy.
Ib., f. 120. Extract from this letter.
10 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 66. B. M.
126. Charles V. to the Empress.
"After Bonavidis (?) had left, he read once more his last letter and the memoir of the council of war.
"Galleys. Enterprise in Algiers, &c. Has paid much attention to what she has written about procuring provisions in England for his fleet which is to sail to Africa. Has given orders to his ambassadors in England and to merchants in Antwerp. As soon as he gets an answer from them, he promises to inform her. Bugia, (?) &c. Brussels, 10 March 1531."
English abstract from original at Simancas.
10 March.
Add. M.S. 28,583, f. 67. B. M.
127. Charles V. to the Empress.
"Money is much wanted. She must see how to procure it, but the 1,000,000 scudos of the ransom of the princes of France must not be touched upon, as he has destined them for other purposes. The galleys of Andrea Doria must be paid, &c. Is satisfied with the diligence she has shown in the affairs of the queen of England. The President (of the Council of Castile) has already sent the opinions from Spain. Has ordered them to be examined. They are found to be good, and are already on their way to Rome. As justice is on his side, it is to be hoped that God will give him the victory. Artillery, &c. Brussels, 10 March 1531."
English abstract from original at Simancas.
10 March.
R. O.
128. Bristowe Park.
Lease by Wm. archbishop of Canterbury to Sir John Gage, of Bristowe Park, Surrey, for 80 years; the deer therein being reserved to the Archbishop till the following Christmas. Rent, 11l. a year. 11 March 22 Hen. VIII.
ii. Ratification of the lease by Thos. prior of Christ Church, Canterbury. Pp. 3. Add. : To Sir Antony Browne, knight for the Body, and one of the King's Privy Chamber.
11 March.
R. O. Foxe, V.
129. Dr. Crome.
"The answer of the parson of St. Antonyn's (Antholin's) parish in London, made to certain questions demanded of him by divers prelates of the Church, in the presence of our Sovereign Lord king Henry VIII., in the year of our Lord God 1530, (fn. 3) and the 11th day of March."
1. Thinks some souls are punished and purged in purgatory. 2. That holy martyrs, apostles, and confessors now departed are to be honored and prayed to. 3. That saints in heaven, as means, do pray for us. 4. That pilgrimages and offerings may godly and meritoriously be done at the tombs and relics of saints. 5. That Lent and other fasts are to be kept, except when need otherwise requires. 6. That it is to be believed, upon necessity of soul health, that God gives grace to those who receive the seven sacraments. 7. Images in churches are profitable. 8. That the dead in purgatory profit by the prayers of those still alive. 9. That men may merit by fasting and deeds of pity. 10. That persons prohibited by the bishop as suspect of the Faith, ought to cease from preaching and teaching till they have purged themselves before their superiors. 11. That kings and governors are not bound upon necessity of salvation to deliver the Holy Scriptures to the people in their mother tongue, so long as truth necessary to salvation may be known to the people otherwise. 12. That it is lawful for kings and governors for a reasonable cause to forbid the reading of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. 13. Approves of consecrations. 14. Has always thought these opinions true.
Pp. 3.
App. XVI. Strype's Mem. III. p. ii. 192. 2. Fuller declaration respecting the said articles.
12 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 68. B. M.
130. Mai to the Archbishop Of Santiago, - President of the Council of Castile.
Has replied to his last of the Feb. After the excusator was repelled on account of not having a mandate for the whole cause, he appealed against the repulsion, and is preparing to put in refutatorias, but the illness of the commissary is causing delay. Hopes he will be again repelled, and before this is done will not try to get the remissoria, so as not to put it in dispute. The articles have been reformed here according to your order, with two exceptions; viz., those which state that the Queen did not sleep with prince Arthur more than five or six nights; and that after his death the English king and Council wished to bind themselves (?) with France (adeudar con Francia). Our lawyers do not wish to state the first, and the second would be beside our purpose. It would spoil our case if we said that the others thought it well to bind themselves to France. However, if you think this ought to be stated, the articles are so general that the witness may well say it, without digressing from the article. I am soliciting the expedition of the cause in the absence of the other party (por contraditas), because they give me the remissoria sine retardatione processus quatenus nullus compareat ex adverso. I am causing it to be despatched, and will send it to you by a special courier. Rome, 12 March 1531.
Sp., pp. 3, modern copy.
12 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 70. B. M.
131. Fr. Ludovicus Carvajalus to John Medina, Minister of the Province of Andalusia (Bethica).
Sends his opinion on twelve questions concerning the marriage of the king of England. Cordova. Dominica tertia quadragesim 1531.
Lat., pp. 60, modern copy.
12 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 100. B.M.
132. Cardinal Of Ravenna to Charles V.
His uncle the cardinal of Ancona was protector of Scotland for fourteen years, and he has held the office for three years. The King has lately sent his chief secretary, Thos. Erschin, to consult with him about his affairs. Has advised a treaty with the Emperor, and conferred on the subject with Pedro de la Cueva and Mai. Has now sent back Erschin to his master, and Cueva and Mai will write to the Emperor the particulars. Rome, 12 March 1531.
Ital., pp. 2, modern copy.
12 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 101. B. M.
133. Dr. Garay to Charles V.
Has received the Emperor's letter bidding him not to write concerning the cause of the queen of England, on account of the danger of the letters being intercepted, and to do nothing without communicating with the Imperial ambassador in France. Has carried out the Emperor's orders, and communicated everything to him, the Queen, and Madame que Santa Gloria aya (Margaret of Savoy). There is nothing to do here but procure the acts and writings which have been made from the beginning in this faculty, which depend on the will of the King. Paris, 12 March.
Sp., pp. 2, modern copy.
13 March. 134. Monastery Of St. Giles, Barnewell.
Election of prior. See Grants in March, No. 27.
13 March.
Le Glay, Analectes Hist., p. 196.
135. Marriage Of Henry VIII.
"Commission donne par un auditeur de la Rota, dput du Pape, pour entendre la cour de l'Empereur Charles V. les tmoins que la reine d'Angleterre voudrait produire afin de certifier la validit de son mariage avec le roi d'Angleterre, Henri VIII. 13 March 1531. (fn. 4) "
13 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 1052. B. M.
136. Mai to Charles V.
Negotiations concerning the General Council and the interview between Charles and Francis. News of the Turk, &c.
Writes about English affairs to Granvelle.
The appellation was repulsed on the 10th, and apostolos refutatorios granted. Will pursue our process, and send the articles and remissorias thither (to Flanders) and to Spain. The president has sent him all he wanted, and that could be got there. Rome, 13 March 1531.
Sp., pp. 9, modern copy.
13 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 102. B. M.
137. Mai to Francisco De Los Cobos.
In the affair of England last Saturday they gave apostolos refutatorios to the person who appeared for the king of England, and today they gave me remissoria. The Datary is going hence, and has asked me to dine (?) (messar) with him, because he came from the Pope, who, at the supplication of the English ambassadors, will hear the excusator again. He has promised me to do as good offices with the Pope. Every one here would give their blood to prolong the case, and our work is to bring it to an end.
The duke of Bavaria and the Suaviau League are arriving. Rome, 13 March.
Sp., pp. 2, modern copy.
13 March.
Add. MS. 28,583, f. 104. B. M.
138. Muxetula to Charles V.
"Contribution of money by the Pope for the maintenance of the army. Milan, Lucca, &c.
"Has negotiated with the Pope concerning the creation of cardinals. The Pope will create two cardinals, not those whom the king of England asks, but those whom the Emperor has proposed. Naples, &c.
"Superscribed : To his Majesty, from Muxetula, 13 March.
"Abstract made for the Emperor. Sp., pp. 2."
English abstract from Simancas, p. 1.
14 March.
R. O.
139. John Roper's Will.
Depositions of Christopher Hales, the King's attorney, John Hales, and Nicholas Rutland, touching the will of John Roper. That of John Hales was taken on the 14 March 22 Hen. VIII.
Pp. 14.
14 March.
Add. MS. 28,582, f. 183. B. M.
140. The Abbot Of Llor to Francisco De Los Cobos.
"Has sent a letter of the cardinal Egidio with the courier, who has been killed. The Cardinal spoke in that letter of the services he had rendered in the divorce cause of England. Afterwards he has written more on the same subject.
"Takes much pains to learn on what grounds the adversaries found their assertions. Has gained a great personage, who promises to give advice to the Queen, and render other services in the divorce case.
"The persons there (in Rome) deserve little confidence, and give little hope.
"Superscribed : To the Comendador Mayor, from the abbot of Llor. 23 Dec. and 14 March.
"Abstract made for the use of the Emperor. Sp., p. 1."
15 March.
R. O.
141. Will. Bank to Cromwell.
Has delivered his letter to Sir Peter Vavasour, who said he was glad you were come to yourself. Despairs of his suit and his rent, and Vavasour says he will have to bear the cost. Hopes to have the land according to Cromwell's promise, as Vavasour will not be reasonable. Is suffering from a disease in his knee, and cannot leave his servant. Begs Cromwell to remember his long suit, which has put him in jeopardy of his life, and that he will procure the evidences, especially that belonging to the chantry, out of Vavasour's hands, who says that Cromwell has them in London. Baddesworth, 15 March.
Hol., p. 1. Add. : The right worshipful Mr. Cromwell.
15 March.
R. O.
142. Sir James Worsley to Cromwell.
I thank you for your kindness to me and my son. Thos. Bradshaw, priest, and Molde Petys (fn. 5) conspired to poison my wife. The said Thomas and Molde, on the death of one of my servants, John Geffrey, whom they had poisoned, were indicted and found guilty; but Bradshaw removed the trial to the King's Bench, where he obtained bail, which had never been seen before, through my lord Lile. Since that time he has taken the profits of Bradshaw's benefice, and has continued to do so this three years. I desire you to aid us in this matter. Give credence to my wife, the bearer. Isle of Wight, 15 March. Signed.
P. 1. Sealed. Add. : Right honorable. Endd.


  • 1. The word moings occurs here, apparently reversing the sense of the passage, but is evidently erroneous.
  • 2. Augustine de Augustinis.
  • 3. The similarity of this answer to that given by Latimer on the 11th March 1531-2 raises a suspicion that the date "1530" is an error. But see the remarkable allusion to a heretical preacher in Chapuys's letter of 22 March following.
  • 4. Le Glay's date, who understands it apparently as avant Paques, or 1532 according to the historical year, but this is improbable.
  • 5. See vol. IV. NO. 5293.