Henry VIII: May 1534, 21-25

Pages 270-277

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 7, 1534. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1883.

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May 1534, 21–25

21 May. 695. Archbishop Lee and Tunstall to Henry VIII.
R. O. St. P. I. 419. This day we repaired to the princess Dowager, when “I the archbishop of York, for an introduction to declare to her the effect of our commission, said to her:”—1, that you had often sent me and others of her council to declare to her the invalidity of your marriage with her; 2, that carnal knowledge, which is the great key of the matter, is sufficiently proved in the law, and admitted by some of her council; 3, that on proof of this you and she were divorced; 4, that she was thereupon admonished to give up the name of queen and not account herself your wife; 5, that you had contracted a new marriage with your dearest wife queen Anne; 6, that as fair issue is already sprung of this marriage, and more likely to follow, Parliament has made acts for the succession, and against all that would impugn it; for which reason we were sent to make her understand the purport of these acts, lest she should incur a penalty by ignorance. “Which thing being thus declared to her, she, being therewith in great choler and agony, and always interrupting our words,” made answer: 1, that she held the marriage between your Highness and her good, and would always account herself your lawful wife; 2, she denied that there was ever carnal knowledge between her and prince Arthur, and said they lied falsely that so said; 3, she declared she was not bound to stand to the divorce made by my lord of Canterbury, whom she called a shadow, and though he had given sentence against her, the Pope had given it in her favor, whom she took for Christ's vicar; 4, that she would never leave the name of queen; 5, that this marriage made after her appeal which she made by your Highness's leave, is of no value; 6, that she is not bound to the acts of Parliament, as she is your wife and not subject to you, and the acts were made by your subjects in your favor who are a party.
Tunstall, in reply to an observation that she made, that he and the rest of her counsel had always told her her matter was just, said the point on which they had been consulted when the Legates were here was only upon the validity of the bull and brief; but divers other questions had arisen and been debated by the chief universities of Christendom, among others by that of Bologna, the Pope's own town, and it was concluded that on the death of a brother who had carnal knowledge with his wife, no dispensation would enable the brother living to marry her. The Pope, too, had never maintained the contrary, but said at Marseilles that if you would send thither a proxy, he would give sentence for your Highness against her; and according to an epistle decretal sent hither by Campeggio, the Legates were to pronounce for the divorce if marriage and carnal knowledge had been had between prince Arthur and her; proofs of which were brought in before the Legates, and since before the Convocations of this realm and by them allowed; so that the Pope's sentence to the contrary was not valid. Tunstall had accordingly altered his opinion, and advised her to do the same; especially as the sentence to which she attaches so much importance was given after the King's appeal to the General Council. Refer to my lord of Chester, Mr. Almoner and Mr. Bedell to report further of her obstinacy, as they have very substantially ordered themselves in the execution of the premises. Huntingdon, 21 May. Signed.
R. O. 2. Modern copy of the preceding.
Pp. 3.
R. O. 3. Another copy of a portion of the same.
Pp. 4.
696. [Instructions to Persons sent to Katharine of Arragon.]
R. O. Her protestation that her first marriage was not consummated cannot be received in opposition to the presumptions of law and the depositions to the contrary, and the consummation is to be taken as sufficiently proved. The King marvels greatly that she persists in it. Touching her adherence to the bishop of Rome's sentence in her favor, this sentence is of no effect, being given after the King's appeal to the General Council, and by one who has no jurisdiction in the realm to define the legitimation or succession of princes. As to her desire to have her confessor, two chaplains, her physician, apothecary and two men servants, with as many women as the King pleases to appoint, who shall take no oath but to the King and to her, and none other woman, she must open her mind more plainly; “for which purpose they now do come unto her.” The King may perhaps grant some of her desires, but he must perceive that she will show such a reasonableness in her suit and demands that due conformity and obedience may ensue. If she desires to have this oath administered as to the King and to herself as dowager of prince Arthur, he might perhaps be induced thereto, but she cannot have them sworn to her as queen, for it is contrary to the King's conscience and to the laws. If she refuse this way, they think verily they must put her and all the foresaid folk to the act of the statute.
Her offer to remain in any gentleman's house with the said persons unsworn, is reputed to be dissembled and derogatory to the King's honor, but if she will abandon the title of queen, he will be contented to treat her honorably with what company she desires, and other pleasures appertaining to the honor of his dearest sister, but he cannot allow any of his native subjects to refuse to take the oath.
Draft, in Wriothesley's hand, pp. 6. Headed: Intratur.
R. O. 2. Another draft of the last clause of the preceding.
After this relation, they must try to persuade her what benefit may ensue to her by condescending to what she is already bound to by the law of God and nature, and what good she may thereby do to herself, her daughter and her servants, and on the contrary, what danger may ensue from her not consenting. They must exhort her to write her mind to the King.
In Wieothesley's hand, pp. 4. Endd.: Minute concerning the Princes Doweger.
21 May. 697. Hackett to [Henry VIII.]
R. . St. P. VII. 556. Writes from time to time to Cromwell. Last week a post arrived from the Emperor with letters to the queen Regent in answer to her letters that the Lubeckers would not accept the comprehension of the king of Sweden in the truce between them and the Emperor; that the King's ambassadors proceed sore contrary to the Emperor's purpose, and that the King is giving great sums of money to the electors and councillors of Denmark so as to have the election at his pleasure. The Emperor has sent as ambassadors to Estland, Denmark and Sweden, the bishop of Brix. Mons. de Bredrode, master Gherart Mullart and master Maximilian Transilvano, who will procure the election of the duke of Holst, his younger brother, or don Pernando, as king of Denmark. They hope if any of these three are chosen, to cause the king of Denmark to “kyttyll” England without infringing peace between the Emperor and the King, just as the King causes the lantgrave von Essen to “kyttyll” don Fernando without infringing the peace. If some of those about the queen Regent had as much power as they have malice, they would do more harm than they can or may do. Is informed by a credible person of these parts that neither the Emperor nor the Low Countries are minded to have war with their neighbours, and that if some other prince would give the realm some business of war, some of his councillors would be nothing displeased thereat.
The bishop elect of Lonen in Denmark, (fn. 1) who came hither with king Christiern, lately came here from don Fernando to the Queen, and two days ago went to the Emperor with copies of the King's letters and the English ambassadors' presentation to the electors of Denmark, and of the King's letters to the lantgrave van Essen. He is going to Spain for three causes; to inform the Emperor of the occurrents in Dutchland and their neighbors round Ostriche; because Fernando desires aid against his adversaries of Dutchland; and to stop the King from having his way touching the election of Denmark. Writes also to Cromwell. Brussels, 21 May 1534.
21 May. 698. Sir Ralph Dodmore to Lord Lisle.
R. O. Asks his favor to recover a debt due to him from John Rawlyns, a man-at-arms in Calais, to whom the writer had lent 100l. stg. London, 21 May.
Hol., p. 1. Add. Endd.
22 May. 699. Will Symons to Cromwell.
R. O. We have weighed all such wools as the strangers say they will weigh for this year. Another hoy has arrived, and others, I am informed, are coming with haberdash ware. We have examined the books of the customers touching the weight of wool, and found upon 12 merchants that the increase to the King is 209½ sacks 21 nails. Southampton, 22 May.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Of the King's Council. Endd.
22 May. 700. Chester.
Hart. MS. 2,046, f. 31 b. B. M. Writ ordering the sheriff of Chester to proclaim certain statutes and ordinances passed by the Parliament. Chester, 22 May 26 Hen. VIII.
23 May. 701. The Bishop of Worcester to Cromwell.
R. O. St. P. VII. 558. Does not, as far as he knows, know him personally. Thanks him for his assistance so that he will be able to enjoy the King's liberality. Has heard of his kindness from his nephew Andrew, who has just returned. Supposes he has heard of the occupation of Tunis by Barbarossa. Ex Urbe, 23 May 1534.
Writes to Karne about the King's cause. There are great rumors about German affairs, but the truth is probably better known in England. Signed.
Lat. Add. Endd.
702. [Cranmer] to my Lord [Chancellor].
Harl. MS. 6,148, f. 44. B. M. Cranmer's Works, II. 291. Asks him to discharge Sir Thos. Mownteford, priest, whom he committed to the Fleet for words reported to be spoken against Cranmer, of which he offers to prove the contrary. Of all sorts of men priests report the worst of him, and therefore to be so reported of a priest very little grieves him, even if he had confessed it. Is well instructed by his last letters as to his commission to take the oaths to the succession, but he does not know how to order those who cannot subscribe in writing. Hitherto has caused one of his secretaries to subscribe for such persons, and made them write their sheep mark, or some other mark as they can scribble. Asks whether he shall take their seals instead.
Asks whether he has commissioned justices of the peace to take the oaths of priests; also who is to take the oaths of the religious of Syon, the Charterhouses and Observants, and other religious exempt.
From Cranmer's Letter Book.
24 May. 703. [Cranmer] to Dr. Thirylby, Archdeacon of Ely.
Harl. MS. 6,148, f. 45. B. M. Cranmer's Works, II. 292. Has received his letters, with a billet from the King enclosed, and perceives his ambitious mind in seeking his own glory without deserving it. He wishes Cranmer to confess by writing his diligence, and charges him with having been heretofore a testimony of his negligence. If he has hitherto been accounted negligent, nothing has been commenced on his behalf to show that he is not in deed the same man that Cranmer spoke in word; he has only changed from a slow negligence to a rash negligence. He has not advertised Cranmer a word of those things in which he desires to know the King's pleasure. There are three places specially noted in the bill, one in the margin of the first leaf, another in the third, where are divers words to be inserted in the process. Wished Thirlby to find out the King's pleasure whether these words should be inserted. The third place is on the second side, in the 14th line, where Cranmer wishes to know if the King would have miracles left out, which all the bishops think good to be left out, and for this purpose the same place is void in the parchment book.
Blames him for omitting to do this. In time past, he was esteemed but negligent in delaying, but now he shall obtain a more ample name, and be called also negligent by imprudence and precipitation in his most expedition. As he would fain obtain some better name to prove again his diligence, returns the billet for him to find out the King's pleasure. That Cranmer wrote not before so amply as he does now is not to be imputed to his negligence, but to Thirlby's, that he did not consult with Dr. Shaxton or Dr. Butts. Has not fully instructed him now, but some things he must learn by mouth of Shaxton.
He writes that the King thinks Cranmer has these articles subscribed by his Council, but when he was last at Lambeth Cromwell sent to him for it, and he has not seen it since. Thirlby must inquire for it. He must also tell the vice-chancellor of Cambridge (fn. 2) that Cranmer has lost his bill of Paul's Cross and expects him these holidays to bring another, not doubting that Thirlby will bear him company. If he lacks horses, will provide for him. Croydon, 24 May.
From Cranmer's Letter Book.
704. Skeffington to Cromwell.
R. O. St. P. II. 193. Understands that certain “fyauntes” are made to be put up to the King, for offices in Ireland. If they pass, he will have neither profit, strength, love nor, thanks. Was never acquainted with such a fashion, but leaves it to his discretion. Signed.
P. 1. Add : Mr. Secretary.
[24 May.] 705. Skeffington to Cromwell.
R. O. St. P. II. 193. Asks him to stay the gift of offices in Ireland. Intends, if he goes thither, that no man shall have an office unless he will dwell upon it. Reminds him of the lands in Skeffyngton.
He and Ossory intend to wait upon Cromwell at Court, on Tuesday next. Poplar, Whitsunday. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Secretary. Endd.
24 May. 706. Magnus to Cromwell.
R. O. Reminds him that the King has often sent him into Scotland, and as the Queen, his sister, proceeded to his pleasure, she was at times remembered with his gracious letters, and at other times not. Cromwell will consider what is to be done at this time. Maribourne beside Westminster, Whitsunday, 24 May. Signed.
P. 1. Add.: Mr. Cromwell, the King's secretary. Sealed.
24 May. 707. Cromwell to the Consuls and Senate of Lubeck.
Vit. B. XXI. 98. B. M. On behalf of William Gylbanke, whose ship commanded by Hugh Ship . . . . . was captured near Sandwich on her way from Harmywe in Zealand, with goods “ad v[alorem] . . . . . quinquaginta trium librarum sterlingorum,” and taken to Lubeck. Richmond, 24 May 1534. Signed.
A draft of a letter from the King, altered to be from Cromwell. Lat., p. 1., mutilated. Add.
25 May. 708. [Cranmer] to Mr. Baker, Recorder of London.
Harl. MS. 6,148, f. 44. B. M. Cranmer's Works, ii. 293. Has written to the Lord Mayor in favor of Mrs. Pachette, widow, who desires to have a house belonging to the chamber of London. Asks him to assist her in obtaining it. Croydon, 25 May.
Headed as above.
From Cranmer's Letter Books.
25 May. 709. Adam Otterburn to Cromwell.
R. O. Being ill at ease, has remained all day at the village of Ferry briggis. The bishop (fn. 3) has passed forward to York. Will meet him at North Allyrtoune on Wednesday night. “Albeit the said bischope wes sum part heith (hot ?) at London, he is content now of gud freyndschip.” Begs his favor for the bearer, who has had trouble in Scotland. He has a post at Berwick given him by the King, but the captain is trying to remove him. Wishes to keep up communication with him, and will write of all occurrences when he gets home. Ferry briggs. 25 May. Signed.
P. 1., Add.: To, &c. Thomas Crommell, speciall secretar to the Kingis grace of Ingland. Seated.
25 May. 710. [Dr. Legh to Cromwell.]
Vjt. B. XXI. 99. B. M. These are the news since the . . . . . sent to you with master Pachett.
“The Landgrave is now . . . . . his army into the dukedom of Wittemberg, the cause of that . . . . . send you by this bringer in Dutch, also the copy of a mandat[e] . . . . . and a proclayme against him in all Germany by Ferdinandus [in the] Emperor's name. It is said that the Emperor's legates, the Turk's [legates] in Hungary, the Venetians', Ferdinandus' legates, are at Vienna, tre[ating] of a league, as it is supposed. Marcus Maiep received iijxx soldier[s] . . . . . the Elffe, and there was in Holst a knight called Vrin Ranshalse [who] had evil spoken by Marcus when he was new made knight, and [said] he would make him a knave if he might catch him, and he hath taken a town and a castle from the said knight with a fair lordship, . . . . . Marcus came down of (from) the castle with a gown of velvet furred with m . . . . . of the some knight, and asked the boors if they knew it, and if they paid aught to the buyer of it, and they said, “Jagh, maister"; then said he, “It will serve me well.” There was much running from the duke of Lowingburg to the duke of Holste, and amongst the nobles of Holst much cracking. The duke of Holst and the king Swenye have married two. daughters of the duke of Lowingburg.” (fn. 4) He is of a good house, but Hamburg and Lubeck have taken from him most of his lands. They dare not meddle with Lubeck. They have burnt a nunnery, a house belonging to one of the councillors of the duke of Holst, and the town and castle of Seggeberd. The men of Dettmarss[he] take the part of Lubeck, and are rising in Holst with 8,000 men. The Lubiceners have driven out the bishop, who took the Holsten part against them, and have taken all his castles. He is now fled with two or three priests to Hamburg. Some gentlemen of Holste called in husbandmen to help them in keeping a stronghold against the Lubiceners, but they remembering the wrongs done them by the gentlemen, took and bound them, and sent a messenger to Lubeck bidding them take the castle and them, which they did.
The Holstans took seven waggons with merchandise coming from Hamburg, and drave them to Sedggeberd castle. Thinking rescue would be made, they tried the guns, one of which burst, setting on fire three or four barrels of powder, which killed four or five of the gentlemen, and brought down a great piece of the house of the castle. Meanwhile, the duke of Holste was in Wtlande, on his way to Denmark, to get himself made king there.
This is and must be done in the name of the earl of Oldenburg, kinsman to king Christerne, who is kept in prison contrary to the promise made to the said king when he yielded to the men of Holste. Matters are so subtilly and suddenly managed that we cannot see where they will have any resistance.
The Duke has written that he never wished his council to come to Hamburg and take the Hollanders' part against Lubeck, and desiring them to be his friends. They answered that it was none of their deed, but of the duke of Oldenburg, his kinsman.
He is thus without aid, for he cannot make 1,000 men in his dukedom, and no soldiers will serve him.
The king of Swevyn is afraid for his land, having so often broken promise to the men of Lubeck. His sister and the Earl her husband have gone thither from Swevyn.
The Welshman who was in the Tower and after in Scotland (fn. 5) was lately with the duke of Holst. He said he was a great man of England and banished for the princess Dowager's sake, but he heard of me and privily went his way, some say to Ferdinand, others to the Emperor.
Melanchthon is sent ambassador to the bishop of Mens from the Elector and other princes, that he may be pope in all these quarters.
The town of Hamburg has sent letters to the Duke and the Lubiceners, to try and reconcile them, but they will probably destroy his whole land, because he took the Hollanders' part in the last diet, when an agreement was made which is now broken.
At the end of this week, a burgmaister, a senator, a doctor of divinity and a doctor of law are going to the King from Hamburg, and as many from Lubeck. Will write at large by them. I marvel that my servant does not return, and that I have no letters from you. Hamburg, 25 May.
Pp. 2, mutilated. Endd. at f. 101* b: The copy of Dr. Lee's letter.
25 May. 711. T. Magnus to Cromwell.
R. O. According to your advertisement yesternight, I send the bearer to learn your pleasure about such matters as shall be committed to me and others for going into Scotland. I have given him a memorial of things to be remembered after my poor mind; and will perform what I am commanded so far as my poor and old body is able to sustain it. Westminster, Monday, 25 May.
Hol., p. 1. Add.: Secretary.


  • 1. Meaning Lunden it Sweden. Acho Sparre held the bishopric from 1519 to 1532 without consecration, and was therefore always called bishop elect. At the latter date he resigned it to Torbern Bilde, who was known by the same title. (Neumann, De Fatis Primatus Lundensis, p. 156.) But it is clear that the former person is intended.
  • 2. John Craiford.
  • 3. Of Aberdeen.
  • 4. Christiern IIth of Denmark (at present only duke of Holstein) and Gustavus I. of Sweden married. Dorothy and Katharine, daughters of Magnus I., duke of Saxe-Lauenberg.
  • 5. James Griffith ap Howell. See Vol. iv., No. 876.