Biography of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer 1489-1556

1532 Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

1533 Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

1533 Cranmer declares Henry and Catherine's Marriage Invalid

1533 Coronation of Anne Boleyn

1533 Birth and Christening of Elizabeth I

1536 Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

1536 Arrest of Anne Boleyn

1537 Birth and Christening Edward VI

1537 Funeral of Jane Seymour

1540 Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

1540 Arrest and Attainder of Thomas Cromwell

1541 Catherine Howard Trial

1546 Henry VIII Revises his Will

1547 Death of Henry VIII Accession of Edward VI

1555 Banning of Protestant Books

1555 Execution of Bishops

1556 Execution of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

On 02 Jul 1489 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was born at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire.

In 1503 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 13) educated at Jesus College, Cambridge University.

Hall's Chronicle 1532. In this Sommer season last past, died William Warham (age 81) Archbishop of Canterbury, and to that Bishopric was named, Doctor Thomas Cranmer (age 42), the King’s Chaplain, a man of good learning, and of a virtuous life, which also not long before was the King’s Ambassador to the Bishop of Rome, which was consecrate in Lent.

In Jul 1532 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 42) and Margaret m Cranmer were married.

Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury

After 01 Sep 1532 Thomas Cranmer (age 43), whilst staying in Mantua, received a royal letter dated 01 Sep 1532 by which he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury; he was ordered to return to England. Cranmer's appointment, supported, if not arranged, by the Boleyn family who he subsequently supported.

Letters and Papers 1533. 22 Feb 1533. Add. MS. 28,585, f. 222, B.M. 178. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.

Letters have come from Flanders of 24 Jan., stating that the brief has been received, and will be notified. The Emperor sends to order it to be notified at once.

Eustace Chapuis writes from England that on Christmas Eve Master Abel and another preacher were let out of the Tower, where they were confined, with orders not to preach or write until five days after Easter (Pascua). The truce between England and Scotland came to an end on St. Andrew's Day (por Santandres), and the English have invaded Scotland in three places and done much damage, taking more than 300 prisoners.

The Scotch ambassador in England had returned. It is feared there will be war. The Emperor has sent the count of Cifuentes here as ambassador.

Since writing the above, letters have arrived from the ambassador in England, dated 9 Feb., stating that the brief has been notified in Flanders, and that the king of England has given the archbishopric of Canterbury to a chaplain (age 43) of "this Ana (age 32)," which has been taken ill by many. Bolonia, 22 Feb. 1533.

Sp., pp. 3. Modern copy.

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 8. How the King made a Chaplain of Anne's father Archbishop of Canterbury.

As soon as the King was married to Anne the Archbishop of Canterbury died, and Anne asked the King to grant her the boon of giving the archbishopric to a chaplain of her father's called Thomas Cranmer. The King granted it and summoned the chaplain, to whom he said, "Chaplain, I grant you the boon of the archbishopric of Canterbury." It may well be imagined that this news was received with joy by the Chaplain, who knelt down and kissed the King's hand. "Give your thanks to the Queen, Archbishop," said the King, and when the Archbishop thanked her, the Queen replied, "Cranmer, you have well deserved it for the good service you have rendered to my father."

Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Letters and Papers 1533. 23 Feb 1533. Vienna Archives. 180. Chapuys to Charles V.

As the Queen sees that the obstinacy of the King increases daily, and the appearances of disorder in view of the new marriage, she is compelled to employ your aid. Since my last of the 15th, the King does not cease to press the archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishops of London, Winchester, and Lincoln, and many others, Italians as well as English, to subscribe a document he has drawn up to his taste, of a very strange nature, as you will see. The archbishop of York and the bishop of Winchester have not yet agreed to do so. The elect of Canterbury (age 43) has made no difficulty about it, and has even solicited it, as if it were his own business; and if it be true, as I am told today on good authority, that he has gone to give the Queen special notice of it, he has given good earnest of maintaining the opinion of the King in this divorce without variation. He has married (esposé) the King to the Lady (age 32), in presence of the father (age 56), mother (age 53), brother (age 30), and two of her favorites, and one of his priests. If it be so, the King has taken the best means of preventing him from changing his opinions when raised to his dignity, as the archbishop of York has done. It is very probable either that the said elect has solemnised these espousals, or has promised to do so for certain considerations, as I have written to your Majesty, especially as since he has been elected he has dared to say openly that he would maintain, on pain of being burned, that the King might take the Lady to wife. The bruit continues, that in order to accomplish the said marriage the King waits for nothing else except the bulls of the elect; and for this purpose he has commanded those who have the charge of it to summon a provincial synod for the 16th. It is said that the King means to demand money for a war with Scotland, and to make harbours on the coast; and the better to colour the matter, the king of France has sent him a master architect. The French ambassador had intended to visit me, but was prevented by company, and proposes to do so tomorrow. It is said that Melanchthon is in one of the King's lodgings, and has been there for eight days, but it is kept such a secret that I can find no one who knows the certainty of it. The King has written for him expressly, I think merely for the Queen's affair, for he favors her, and because he pretends and wishes to have in his hands all ecclesiastical ordinances,—not only the synodical ones of this kingdom, but the papal as well. And in order the better to conduct the affair, last year he induced the prelates, by menaces and devices, to submit to whatever should be decided by 40 persons, of whom one half should be appointed by himself, and the other by the prelates, and himself above all. For this reformation, or rather deformation, it seems he could find no fitter instrument than Melanchthon, so as to give the utmost possible trouble to the Pope, that his previous boasts might not be without effect.

Calendars. 15 Apr 1533. 1061. Eustace Chapuys (age 43) to the Emperor (age 33).

On Saturday, the eve of Easter, Lady Anne (age 32) went to mass in truly Royal state, loaded with diamonds and other precious stones, and dressed in a gorgeous suit of tissue, the train of which was carried by the daughter (age 14) of the duke of Norfolk (age 60), betrothed to the Duke of Richmond (age 13). She was followed by numerous damsels, and conducted to and from the church [Map] with the same or perhaps greater ceremonies and solemnities than those used with former Queens on such occasions. She has now changed her title of marchioness for that of Queen, and preachers specially name her so in their church prayers. At which all people here are perfectly astonished, for the whole thing seems a dream, and even those who support her party do not know whether to laugh or cry at it. The King (age 41) is watching what sort of mien the people put on at this, and solicits his nobles to visit and pay their court to his new Queen, whom he purposes to have crowned after Easter in the most solemn manner, and it is said that there will be banqueting and tournaments on the occasion. Indeed some think that Clarence, the king-at-arms who left for France four days ago, is gone for the purpose of inviting knights for the tournament in imitation of the Most Christian King when he celebrated his own nuptials. I cannot say whether the coronation will take place before or after these festivities, but I am told that this King (age 41) has secretly arranged with the archbishop of Canterbury (age 43), that in virtue of his office, and without application from anyone he is to summon him before his court as having two wives, upon which, without sending for the Queen (age 47), he (the Archbishop) will declare that the King (age 41) can lawfully marry again, as he has done, without waiting for a dispensation, for a sentence from the Pope, or any other declaration whatever.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1530-1539. 20 Apr 1533. Allso the same day all the craftes in London were called to their halls, and there were swome on a booke to be true to Queene Anne (age 32) and to beleeve and take her for lawfull wife of the Kinge (age 41) and rightfull Queene of Englande, and utterlie to thincke the Ladie Marie (age 17),d daughter to the Kinge by Queene Catherin (age 47), but as a bastarde, and thus to doe without any scrupulositie of conscience; allso all the curates and priestes in London and thoroweout Englande were allso swome before the Lord of Canterburie (age 43) and other Bishopps; and allso all countries in Englande were sworne in lykewise, everie man in the shires and towncs were they dwelled.

Note d. The Princess Mary (age 17), who was no longer admitted to Court.

Cranmer declares Henry and Catherine's Marriage Invalid

Letters and Papers 1533. 23 May [1533]. R. O. 525. John Tregonwell to Cromwell.

My lord of Canterbury (age 43) gave sentence this day at 11 o'clock in the great cause of matrimony ; has declared it to be against the law of God, and has divorced the King from the noble lady Katharine. He has used himself in this matter very honorably, and all who have been sent hither on the King's behalf have acted diligently and towardly. Sentence shall be given for the King's second contract of matrimony before the Feast of Pentecost. The process is partly devised. 23 May.

Hol., p. 1. Add. : Of the Council. Endd.

On 23 May 1533 Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury (age 43) declared the marriage of Henry VIII (age 41) and Catherine of Aragon (age 47) invalid.

Coronation of Anne Boleyn

On 01 Jun 1533 the six months pregnant Queen Anne Boleyn of England (age 32) was crowned Queen Consort England by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 43) at Westminster Abbey [Map]. See Coronation of Anne Boleyn.

John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 62) bore the Crown. Henry Grey 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 16) carried the Salt. Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset (age 46) rode in the procession. William Coffin (age 38) was appointed Master of the Horse. Robert Radclyffe 1st Earl of Sussex (age 50) served as Lord Sewer. Henry Parker (age 20) and William Coffin (age 38) were knighted. Thomas Berkeley 6th Baron Berkeley (age 28), Thomas Stanley 2nd Baron Monteagle (age 26) and Henry Capell (age 27) were created Knight of the Bath. Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset (age 46) rode in the procession. Arthur Hopton (age 44) attended.

Thomas More (age 55) refused to attend. Shortly thereafter, More was charged with accepting bribes, but the charges had to be dismissed for lack of any evidence.

Anne Braye Baroness Cobham (age 32) was the attendant horsewoman.

Charles Wriothesley (age 25) attended.

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXIV. 01 Jun 1533. Nowe than on Soundaye was the Coronacion, which allso was of such a maner.

In the mornynge ther assembled withe me at Westminster Churche the bysshop of Yorke, the Bishop of London (age 58), the Bishop of Wynchester (age 50), the Bishop of Lyncoln (age 60), the Bishop of Bathe, and the Bishop of Saint Asse (age 58), the Abbote of Westminstre with x or xij moo Abbottes, whiche all revestred ourselfs in our pontificalibus, and, soo furnysshed, withe our Crosses and Crossiers, procedid oute of th' Abbey in a procession unto Westminstre Hall, where we receyved the Queene (age 32) apareled in a Robe of purple velvet, and all the ladyes and gentillwomen in robes and gownes of scarlet accordyng to the maner vsed before tyme in such besynes: and so her Grace sustayned of eche syde with ij to bysshops, the Bysshope of London (age 58) ande the Bysshop of Wynchester (age 50), came furthe in processyon unto the Churche of Westminster, she in her here, my Lord of Suffolke (age 49) berying before herr the Crowne, and ij to other Lords beryng also before her a Ceptur and a white Rodde, and so entred up into the highe Alter, where diverse Ceremoneys used aboute her, I did sett the Crowne on her hedde, and then was songe Te Deum, &c. And after that was song a solempne Masse, all which while her grace sjatt crowned upon a scaffold whiche was made betwene the Highe Alter and the Qwyer in Westminstre Churche; which Masse and ceremonyes donne and fynysshed, all the Assemble of noble men broughte her into Westminstre Hall agayne, where was kepte a great solempne feaste all that daye; the good ordre therof were to longe to wrytte at this tyme to you. But nowe Sir you may nott ymagyn that this Coronacion was before her mariege, for she was maried muche about sainte Paules daye last, as the condicion therof dothe well appere by reason she ys nowe sumwhat bygg with chylde. Notwithstandyng yt hath byn reported thorowte a greate parte of the realme that I (age 43) maried her; whiche was playnly false, for I myself knewe not therof a fortenyght after yt was donne. And many other thyngs be also reported of me, whiche be mere lyes and tales.

Other newys have we none notable, but that one Fryth, whiche was in the Tower in pryson, was appoynted by the Kyngs grace to be examyned befor me, my Lorde of London, my lorde of Wynchestre, my Lorde of Suffolke, my Lorde Channcelour, and my Lorde of Wylteshere, whose opynion was so notably erroniouse, that we culde not dyspache hym but was fayne to leve hym to the determynacion of his Ordinarye, whiche ys the bishop of London. His said opynyon ys of suche nature that he thoughte it nat necessary to be beleved as an Article of our faythe, that ther ys the very corporall presence of Christe within the Oste and Sacramente of the Alter, and holdethe of this poynte muste after the Opynion of Oecolampadious. And suerly I myself sent for hym iij or iiij tymes to perswade hym to leve that his Imaginacion, but for all that we could do therin he woulde not applye to any counsaile, notwithstandyng nowe he ys at a fynall ende with all examinacions, for my Lorde of London hathe gyven sentance and delyuerd hym to the secular power, where he loketh every daye to goo unto the fyer. And ther ys also condempned with hym one Andrewe a taylour of London for the said self same opynion.

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

Note a. Hall, Chron. edit. 1809. p. 794. Holinsh. edit. 1808. vol. iii. p. 777.

Note b. Queen Elizabeth was born on September the 7th. 1533.

Note c. Stow, Ann. edit. 1631. p. 562.

Note d. Herb. Life of Hen. VIII. edit. 1649. p. 341. Bumet in his History of the Reformation has likewise fallen into this error.

Note e. Lingard's Hist Engl. 1st. edit. vol. iv. p. 190.

a1. re-journying.

a2. shaums.

b2. all day.

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXIV. 17 Jun 1533. Thomas Cranmer archbishop of Canterbury, to Mr Hawkyns the Ambassador at the Emperors Court; upon the divorce of Queen Catherine, and the Coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn. A. D. 1533.

[MS. HARL. BRIT. MUS. 6148.]

The following Letter from Cranmer (age 43) to the English ambassador at the Emperor's court, is taken from the archbishop's rough copy-book of his own Letters.

The passage in it which concerns the secret marriage of Henry (age 41) and Anne Boleyn (age 32) is, perhaps, the most important of the whole; as tending to throw light upon the real time of a transaction on which our historians have differed.

Hall and Hollinshed both name ST. ERKENWALD's day for the marriage, November the fourteenth; the very day on which Henry and Anne arrived at Dover from the Interview with Francisa. But this was a time ill-adapted to concealment; and was probably fixed upon at a later moment, only that the world might believe that the fruit of the marriage was conceived in wedlockb

Stow fixes the twenty-fifth of January following, that is ST. PAUL'S day, for the time; and says the ceremony was performed by Dr . Rowland Lee, afterwards bishop of Chesterc. Cranmer merely says it was much about ST. PAUL'S day.

At all events the marriage was celebrated before even Cranmer's divorce had been pronounced. Lord Herbert asserts, with what truth the present Letter will declare, that Cranmer himself was at the marriaged.

Whether the following Account of this transaction came from the fictions of Sanders, or from the manuscript History of the Divorce presented to Queen Mary thirty years before the work of Sanders was published, matters not: it is to be regretted that, uncorroborated, it should have found its way into a work, in many points of view so valuable as Lingard's History of England.

"On the 25th of January at an early hour, Dr. Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains, received an order to celebrate mass in a garret at the western end of the palace at Whitehall. There he found the King attended by Norris and Heneage, two of the grooms of chamber, and Anne Boleyn accompanied by her train-bearer Anne Savage, afterwards Lady Berkeley. We are told that Lee, when he discovered the object for which he had been called, made some opposition: but Henry calmed his scruples with the assurance that Clement had pronounced in his favour, and that the Papal instrument was safely deposited in his closet. As soon as the marriage ceremony had been performed, the parties separated in silence before it was light"e.

Note a. Hall, Chron. edit. 1809. p. 794. Hollinsh. edit. 1808; vol. ili.-p. 777

Note b. Queen Elizabeth was born on September the 7th 1533.

Note c. Stow, Ann. edit 1631. p. 562.

Note d. Herb. Life of Hen. VIII. edit. 1649. p. 341. Burnet in his History of the Reformation has likewise fallen into this error.

Note e. Linguard Hist Engl. 1st edit vol. iv. p. 196.

Birth and Christening of Elizabeth I

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1530-1539. 10 Sep 1533. And the Wednesdaie next followinge,a the most honorable yonge ladie was christened at Greenewychb in the Friers Church, all the noble lordes and ladies doing service about the christening in their Elizabeth. offices after their degrees, which was a goodlie sight to see, and their shee had geaven her to name Elizabeth; my Lord Thomas Cranmer (age 44), Archbishopp of Canterberie, godfather; the old Dutchesse of Northfolke (age 56),c wydowe, my Ladie Marques of Dorcett (age 46), widowe, godmothers at the fonte, and my Ladie Marques of Exceter (age 30) godmother at the bishoppinge;d and the morrowe after their was fiers made in London, and at everie fire a vessell of wyne for people to drinke for the said solempnitie.

Note a. September 10.

Note b. Compare this with the accomit of the maimer of the chrifltening "of the Lady Elisabeth" in MS. Harleian. Cod. 643, fol. 128-80.

Note c. The Dowager Duchess (age 56) of Norfolk carried the infant, in a mantle of purple velvet, with a long train furred with ermine. Hall's "Chronicle" ed. 1809, p. 806.

Note d. Immediately after the christening the Archbishop (age 44) confirmed the infant princess, the Marchioness of Exeter (age 30) being godmother.

On 10 Sep 1533 the future Elizabeth I was christened at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich [Map].

Gertrude Blount Marchioness of Exeter (age 30), Walter Blount, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 44) and Margaret Wotton Marchioness Dorset (age 46) were Godparents.

Henry Bourchier 2nd Earl Essex 3rd Count Eu carried the covered gilt basin. Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 49) escorted the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk (age 56). Henry Grey 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 16) carried the Salt. Elizabeth Stafford Duchess Norfolk (age 36) carried the Chrisom. Agnes Tilney Duchess Norfolk (age 56) carried Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland. Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 37) carried a taper of virgin wax.

Edward Stanley 3rd Earl of Derby (age 24), Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 56), Henry Grey 4th Earl Kent (age 38) and George Boleyn Viscount Rochford (age 30) supported the train of the mantle.

Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 60), William Howard 1st Baron Howard (age 23), Thomas Howard (age 22) and John Hussey 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford (age 68) carried the canopy.

On 19 Apr 1534 Bishop Thomas Goodrich was consecrated Bishop of Ely by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 44) assisted by Bishop John Longland (age 61) and Bishop Christopher Lord.

Henry VIII becomes Supreme Head of the Church

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 06 Feb 1536. This yeare also, the first Soundaie after Candlemas, being the sixt daie of Februarie, the Archbishopp of Canterberie, called Thomas Cranmer (age 46), preached at Paules Crosse [Map], my Lord Chauncelor (age 48)g being then present at his sermon, and their he approved, by scripture and by the decrees of the Popes lawes, that the Bishop of Rome, otherwise called Pope, was Antichrist, and also brought divers expositions of holie sainctes and doctors for the same; and how craftelie, and by what meanes, and how long, he had taken upon him the power of God and the aucthoritie above all princes christened, and how his aucthoritie and lawes was contrarie to scripture and the lawe of God, as he then honorably declared and approved to the cleere understanding of all the people.

Note g. Sir Thomas Audley, who had succeeded the learned Sir Thomas More as Chancellor in 1532.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 27 Feb 1536. The Soundaie of Quinquegesima, being the 27th daie of Februarie and Leepe yeare, a.d. 1536, preached at Paules Crosse [Map] the Bushoppe of Durhame, named Dr. Dunstall (age 62),c sometime Bishopp of London, and afore that, being Master of the Rolls; and their were present at his sermon the Archbishopp of Canterberie (age 46) with eight other bishopps, sitting at the crosse before the preacher; and the Lorde Chauncellor of Englande (age 48), the Duke of Norfolke (age 63), the Duke of Suffolke, with six Erles and divers other lordes, stoode behinde the preacher within the pulpitt, and also fower monkes of the Charterhouse of London were brought to the said sermon, which denied the King (age 44) to be supreame heade of the Church of Englande. And their the said preacher declared the profession of the Bishopp of Rome when he is elected Pope, according to the confirmation of eight universall general counsells, which were congregate for the faith of all Christendome; and everie Pope taketh an othe on the articles, promising to observe, keepe, and hould all that the said counsells confirmed, and to dampne all that they dampned; and how he, contrarie to his oth, hath usurped his power and aucthoritie over all Christendome; and also how uncharitably he had handled our Prince, King Henrie the Eight (age 44), in marying [him to] his brother's wife, contrarie to Godes lawes and also against his owne promise and decrees, which he opened by scriptures and by the cannons of the Appostles; and also how everie Kinge hath the highe power under God, and ought to be the supreame head over all spirituall prelates, which was a goodlie and gracious hearing to all the audience being their present at the same sermon. And in his prayers he said, after this manner, ye shall pray for the universall church of all Christendome, and especiall for the prosperous estate of our Soveraigne and Emperour King Henrie the Eight, being the onelie supreame head of this realme of Englande; and he declared also in his said sermon how that the Cardinalls of Rome bee but curattes and decons of the cittie and province of Bome, and how that everie curate of any parrish have as much power as they have, according to scripture, save onelie that the Pope of Rome hath made them so high aucthorities onelie for to ezhalt his name and power in Christen realmes for covetousnes, as by his owne decrees he evidentlie their approved.

Note c. Cuthbert Tunstall (age 62), translated from London 25th March, 1530.

Arrest of Anne Boleyn

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 29. 02 May 1536. The King then wished the Queen to be examined, and he sent Secretary Cromwell, the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 46), the Duke of Norfolk (age 63), and the Chancellor (age 48), who were expressly ordered by the King to treat her with no respect or consideration. They desired the Archbishop to be spokesman, and he said these words to her, "Madam, there is no one in the realm, after my lord the King, who is so distressed at your bad conduct as I am, for all these gentlemen well know I owe my dignity to your good-will;" and Anne, before he could say any more, interrupted him with, "My lord Bishop, I know what is your errand; waste no more time; I have never wronged the King, but I know well that he is tired of me, as he was before of the good lady Katharine." Then the Bishop continued, "Say no such thing, Madam, for your evil courses have been clearly seen; and if you desire to read the confession which Mark has made, it will be shown to you." Anne, in a great rage, replied, "Go to! It has all been done as I say, because the King has fallen in love, as I know, with Jane Seymour (age 27), and does not know how to get rid of me. Well, let him do as he likes, he will get nothing more out of me; and any confession that has been made is false."

With that, as they saw they should extract nothing from her, they determined to leave; but before doing so the Duke of Norfolk said to her, "Madam, if it be true that the Duke1 your brother has shared your guilt, a great punishment indeed should be yours and his as well." To which she answered, "Duke, say no such thing; my brother is blameless; and if he has been in my chamber to speak with me, surely he might do so without suspicion, being my brother, and they cannot accuse him for that. I know that the King has had him arrested, so that there should be none left to take my part. You need not trouble to stop talking with me, for you will find out no more. "So they went away; and when they told the King how she had answered, he said, "She has a stout heart, but she shall pay for it;" ...

Note 1. The chronicler is in error in calling the Queen's brother Duke. He was, of course, Viscount Rochford.

Letters 1536. 03 May 1536. Otho, C. x. 226. B. M. Burnet, i. 320. 792. [Cranmer (age 46) to Henry VIII.]

Have come to Lambeth, according to Mr. Secretary's letters, to know your Grace's pleasure. Dare not, contrary to the said letters, presume to come to your presence, but of my bounden duty I beg you "somewhat to suppress the deep sorrows of your Grace's heart," and take adversity patiently. Cannot deny that you have great causes of heaviness, and that your honor is highly touched. God never sent you a like trial; but if He find you no less patient and thankful than when all things succeeded to your wish, I suppose you never did thing more acceptable to Him. You will give Him occasion to increase His benefits, as He did to Job. If the reports of the Queen (age 35) be true, they are only to her dishonor, not yours. I am clean amazed, for I had never better opinion of woman; but I think your Highness would not have gone so far if she had not been culpable. I was most bound to her of all creatures living, and therefore beg that I may, with your Grace's favor, wish and pray that she may declare herself innocent. Yet if she be found guilty, I repute him not a faithful subject who would not wish her punished without mercy. "And as I loved her not a little for the love which I judged her to bear towards God and His Gospel, so if she be proved culpable there is not one that loveth God and His Gospel that ever will favor her, but must hate her above all other; and the more they favor the Gospel the more they will hate her, for then there was never creature in our time that so much slandered the Gospel; and God hath sent her this punishment for that she feignedly hath professed his Gospel in her mouth and not in heart and deed." And though she have so offended, yet God has shown His goodness towards your Grace and never offended you. "But your Grace, I am sure, knowledgeth that you have offended Him." I trust, therefore, you will bear no less zeal to the Gospel than you did before, as your favor to the Gospel was not led by affection to her. Lambeth, 3 May.

Since writing, my lords Chancellor, Oxford, Sussex, and my Lord Chamberlain of your Grace's house, sent for me to come to the Star Chamber, and there declared to me such things as you wished to make me privy to. For this I am much bounden to your Grace. They will report our conference. I am sorry such faults can be proved against the Queen as they report.

Hol. Mutilated. Endd.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. And the same day, in the after-noone, at a solemne court kept at Lambeth by the Lord Archbishoppe of Canterburie (age 46) and the doctors of the lawe, the King was divorced from his wife Queene Anne (age 35), and there at the same cowrte was a privie contract approved that she had made to the Earle of Northumberlande (age 34) afore the Kings tyme; and so she was discharged, and was never lawfull Queene of England, and there it was approved the same.

Birth and Christening Edward VI

Hall's Chronicle 1537. 12 Oct 1537. In October on Saint Edward’s eve was borne at Hampton court [Map] the noble Impe Prince Edward, whose Godfathers at the Christening were the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 48), and the Duke of Norfolk (age 64) and his Godmother the Lady Mary (age 21) the King’s daughter, and at the bishoping was Godfather the Duke of Suffolk (age 53). At the birth of this noble Prince was great fires made through the whole realm and great joy made with thanks giving to almighty God, which had sent so noble a prince to succeed in the crown of this realm.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 15 Oct 1537. This yeare, the 25thd daie of October, being Moundaie, the Prince was christened in the Kinges chappell at Hampton Court, the Archbishopp of Canterberie (age 48) and the Duke of Norfoike (age 64) godfathers at the font, and my Ladie Maries grace (age 21), the Kinges daughter by Queene Katherin, godmotherb, and the Duke of Suffolke, godfather at the confirmation, the Princes name being Edwarde, proclaymed after his christning by the King of Haroldesa, "Edward, sonne and heire to the King of Englande, Duke of Cornewall, and Earle of Chester." The goodlie solempnitie of the lordes and ladies done at the christning was a goodlie sight to behoulde, everie one after their office and degree; the Ladie Elizabeth (age 4), the Kinges daughter, bearing the chrisome on her breast, the Viscoumpt Beauchampe (age 37), brother to the Queeneb, bearing her in his armes, the Earle of Essex (age 52) bearing the salte, the Ladie Marques of Exceter (age 34) bearing the Prince to the church and home againe, the Duke of Norfolke (age 64) staying his head, as she bare him, and the Duke of Suffolke (age 53) at his feete.

Note d. Evidently a clerical error for the 15th, which was Monday, whereas the 25th would haye been Thursday.

Note e. It is cnrions to note the incongruity of the sponsors: these were Archbishop Cranmer (age 48), the head of the Protestant Reformers, the Duke of Norfolk (age 64), leader of the lay Catholics, and the Princess Mary (age 21), a bigoted Catholic, who had been bastardised by her father.

Note a. Thomas Hawley, Clarencieux King-at-Arms.

Note b. Edward Seymour (age 37), elder brother of Queen Jane, and so brother-in-law of Henry VIII was created Viscount Beauchomp, of Hache, co. Somerset, 5th June, 1536. He was lineally descended from Sir Roger Seymour (temp. Edward III.) who married Cicely, sister and eldest coheir of John de Beauchamp, last Baron Beauchamp.

On 15 Oct 1537 the future Edward VI was christened by Bishop John Stokesley (age 62) at the Chapel Royal in Hampton Court Palace [Map]. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 48) performed the Baptismal Rites, and was appointed Godfather. Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 64) and Queen Mary I of England and Ireland (age 21) were Godparents.

King Edward VI of England and Ireland was created Duke Cornwall, 1st Earl Chester.

Henry Bourchier 2nd Earl Essex 3rd Count Eu carried the Salt. Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 53) was Godfather and supported the Marchioness of Exeter. Richard Long (age 43) was knighted. Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 52), Philip Boteler (age 45), John de Vere 15th Earl of Oxford (age 66) and John Gage (age 57) attended. Mary Scrope (age 61) carried Lady Mary's train. Robert Radclyffe 1st Earl of Sussex (age 54) carried a covered basin. Robert Radclyffe 1st Earl of Sussex (age 54) carried the canopy.

Edward Seymour 1st Duke of Somerset (age 37) helped his young niece the future Elizabeth I to carry the Crisom. Henry Courtenay 1st Marquess Exeter (age 41) supported his wife Gertrude Blount Marchioness of Exeter (age 34) to carry the child. Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 60) bore a taper of virgin wax. William Fitzalan 18th Earl of Arundel (age 61) carried the train of the Prince's robe. Christopher Barker proclaimed the Prince's titles. Arthur Hopton (age 48) attended.

Edward Seymour 1st Duke of Somerset (age 37) was created 1st Earl Hertford.

Nicholas Carew (age 41), Francis Bryan (age 47), Anthony Browne (age 37) and John Russell 1st Earl Bedford (age 52) surrounded the font.

Henry Knyvet of Charlton Wiltshire (age 27), Edward Neville (age 66), Thomas Seymour 1st Baron Seymour (age 29), Richard Long (age 43) and John Wallop (age 47) carried the canopy.

Bishop Robert Parfew aka Warton and Bishop John Bell attended.

William Fitzwilliam 1st Earl of Southampton (age 47) was created 1st Earl of Southampton. Mabel Clifford Countess Southampton (age 55) by marriage Countess of Southampton.

Funeral of Jane Seymour

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1537. 12 Nov 1537. This yeare, the 12th of November,1 being Mundaye, the corps of Queene Jane were, with great solemnitie, caried from Hampton Cowrte in a chariott covered with black velvett, with a picture of the sayde Queene richelye apparelled lyke a Queene, wiUi a riche crowne of golde on her head, lyinge above on the coffin of the sayde corps, and so was conveyed to Wyndsore with great lightes of torches, with a great multitude of lordes and gentlemen rydinge all in black gownes and cotes, the Ladye Marie (age 21), the Kinges daughter, beinge cheife mourner, with a great companye of ladies and gentleweomen waytinge on her, and ridinge all in blacke allso; and there, with great solemnities buried by the Archbishopp of Canterburie (age 48), with a great companye of bishopps and abbotts being there present in their mitres, with all the gentlemen and priestes of the Kinges chappell, which rode all the way in their surplesses, singinge the obsequie for the dead; and the morrowe after there was a solemne masse of requiem sunge by the Archbishopp of Canterburie; and the Bishop of Worcester, called Dr. Latimer (age 50), made a notable sermon; and at the offertorie all the estates offered ryche palls of clothe of golde; and after masse there was a great feast made in the Kinges pallace at Windsore for all the estates and other that had bene present at the same buriall.

Allso, the sayde 12th of Novembre, at afternoone, there was a solemne herse made at Powles in London, and a solemne dirige done there by Powles queere, the Major of London2 beinge there present with the alldermen and sheriffes, and all the major's officers and the sheriffes sergeantes, mourninge all in blacke gownes, and all the craftes of the cittie of London in their lyveries; allso there was a knyll rongen in everie parishe churche in London, from 12 of the clocke at noone tyll six of the clocke at night, with all the bells ringinge in everye parishe churche solemne peales, firom 3 of the clocke tyll the knylls ceased ; and allso a solempne dirige songen in everye parishe churche in London, and in every church of Friars, Monks, and Canons, about London; and, the morrow after, a solemn mass of requiem in all the said churches, with all the bells ringing, from 9 of the clock in the morning till noon; also there was a solemn masse of requiem done at Pauls, and all Pauls choir offering at the same masse, the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, and the wardens of every craft of the city of London; and, after the said mass, the mayor and aldermen going about the hearse sainge "De profundis," with all the crafts of the city following, every one after their degrees, praying for the soul of the said Queen.

Note 1. Stow agrees with the text, which would appear to be correct, being Wednesday, but Hall [Hall's Chronicle] has the eighth day of November, which was Saturday.

Note 2. Sir Richard Gresham, who, in a letter of the 8th Noyember to Cromwell, had suggested that such a solemn service should be celebrated; "yt shall please you to understand that, by the commanndement of the Ducke of Norfolke, I have cawssyd 1,200 masses to be sejde, within the cite of London, for the sowle of our moste gracious Qweene. And whereas the majer and aldyrmen with the commenors was lattely at Powlles, and ther gaye thanckes nnto God for the byrthe of our prynce, My Lorde, I doo think it, where convenient, that theer should bee also at Pauls a solemn dirge and masse; and that the mayor, aldermen, with the commoners, to be there, for to pray and offer for her Grace's soul. My Lord, it shall please you to move the King's Highness, and his pleasure known in this behalf, I am and shall be ready to accomplish his moste gracious pleasure, and if there be any alms to be given, there is many power people within the city." — State Papers, yol. L part ii. p. 574.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1538. Feb 1538. This yeare, allso in Februarie, there was an image of the Crucifixe Grace of Christe, which had bene used or longe continuance for a great pylgremage at the Abbey of Boxley [Map],a by Maydestone in Kent, called the Roode of Grace, taken from thence and brought to the Kinge at Westminstre, for certeyne idolatrie and crafte that had bene perceaved in the sayde roode, for it was made to move the eyes and lipps by stringes of haire, when they would shewe a miracle, and never perceyved till now. The Archbishop of Canterburie (age 48) had searched the sayde image in his visitation, and so, at the Kinges commaundement, was taken thence, that the people might leave their idolatrie that had bene there used. Allso the sayde roode was sett in the markett place first at Maydstone, and there shewed openlye to the people the craft of movinge the eyes and lipps, that all the people there might see the illusion that had bene used in the sayde image by the monckes of the saide place of manye yeares tyme out of mynde, whereby they had gotten great riches in deceav- inge the people thinckinge that the sayde image had so moved by the power of God, which now playnlye appeared to the contrarye.

Note a. A Cistercian Abbey, founded by William d'Ypres, Earl of Kent, in the middle of the twelfth century.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1538. 12 May 1538. This yeare, the 12th daie of Maie, being the third Soundaie after Easter, the Bishopp of Worcester, called Dr. Latymer (age 51), preached at Poules Crosse [Map], at whose sermon should have bene present a penitent to have donne his penance called John Forrest, Friar Observant, Doctor of Divinitie, latelie abjured for heresie,b the eight daie of the said moneth of Maie, at Lambeth, before the most reverend father in God Thomas Cranmer (age 48), Archbishopp of Canterberie, with other, and after his said abjuration, sworne upon the Evangelistes, to abide the injunction of the said most reverend father for his penance; which said Friar Forrest obstinatlie and frowardlie, not like a true penitent performing his said penance, but standing yet stiff and proud in his malicious mynde, refused to doe; yet this daie againe, intreated by the Deane of the Arches, called Doctor Quent, with other, like a good Christian to performe his pennance, he yet notwithstanding, maliciouslie by the instigation of the devill, refused to doe, although the said Deane opened unto him the indignation of God and dampnation of his bodie and soule perpetuallie, and also have a temporall death by brenning as all heretickes should have by the lawes of this realme; which said Friar Forrest should this daie have borne a fagott at Paules Crosse for his pennance, and also with a lowde voyce have declared certaine thinges by his owne month, after the said sermon enjoyned him, for his said pennance; all which said thinges he refusing to doe, the said bishopp (age 51)a desiring all the awdience then present at the said sermon to pray hartelie unto God to convert the said friar from his said obstinacie and proude minde, that he might have grace to turne to be a true penitent the soner by the grace of God at their prayers, and further their declaring his said abjuration, and articles subscribed with his owne hande, and sworne and abjured on the same, and after sworne againe to abide such injunction and pennance as he shoulde be enjoyned by the said court, whose articles were theise, as the Bishopp then openlie read at the said crosse, his owne hand subscribed to the same: First, that the Holie Catholike Church was the Church of Rome, and that wee ought to beeleve out of the same. Second, that wee should beleeve on the Popes pardon for remission of our sinnes. Thirdlie, that wee ought to beleeve and doe as our fathers have donne aforetyme fowertene yeares past. Fourthlie, that a priest maie turne and change the paines of hell of a sinner, trulie penitent, contrite of his shins, by certaine pennance enjoyned him in the paines of purgatorie; which said articles be most abhominable heresies, blasphemie against God and the countrey,b1 to Scripture, and the teaching of Christ and all his Apostles, and to abhorr any true Christian hart to thinck.

Note b. Forest was apprehended for that in secret confession he had declared to many of the King s subjects that the King was not supreme head of the Church, "whereas, before, hee had beene sworne to the Supremacie; upon this point hee was examined, and answered that he tooke his oath with his outward man, but his inward man never consented thereunto; then, being further accused of clivers hereticall opinions, hee submitted himself e to the punishment of the Church; but having more libertie than before to talke with whom he would, when his abjuration was sent him to read, hee utterly refused it."; Stow, p. 575.

Note a. Dr. Latimer of Worcester (age 51).

b1. Evidently a clerical error for " contrary."

On 29 Jun 1539 Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 66) attended dinner with King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 48), Cromwell (age 54) and others as guests of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 49).

On 17 Aug 1539 Bishop John Bell was consecrated Bishop of Worcester by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 50).

Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

On 06 Jan 1540 Henry VIII (age 48) and Anne of Cleves (age 24) were married by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 50) at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich [Map]. Anne of Cleves (age 24) was crowned Queen Consort England. The difference in their ages was 24 years. She the daughter of John La Marck III Duke Cleves and Maria Jülich Berg Duchess Cleves. He the son of King Henry VII of England and Ireland and Elizabeth York Queen Consort England.

Catherine Carey (age 16) and Eleanor Paston Countess Rutland (age 45) were appointed Lady in Waiting to Anne of Cleves Queen Consort England (age 24).

Arrest and Attainder of Thomas Cromwell

Letters of Thomas Cranmer. 11 Jun 1540. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 50) writes to King Henry VIII on behalf of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) who had recently been arrested. The letter is not extant but was printed originally in Edward Herbert, Baron of Cherbury’s The Life and Raigne of King Henry VIII in 1649.

"I heard yesterday in your Grace’s Council, that he (Crumwell) is a traitor, yet who cannot be sorrowful and amazed that he should be a traitor against your Majesty, he that was so advanced by your Majesty; he whose surety was only by your Majesty; he who loved your Majesty, as I ever thought, no less than God; he who studied always to set forwards whatsoever was your Majesty’s will and pleasure; he that cared for no man’s displeasure to serve your Majesty; he that was such a servant in my judgment, in wisdom, diligence, faithfulness, and experience, as no prince in this realm ever had; he that was so vigilant to preserve your Majesty from all treasons, that few could be so secretly conceived, but he detected the same in the beginning? If the noble princes of memory, King John, Henry the Second, and Richard II had had such a counsellor about them, I suppose that they should never have been so traitorously abandoned, and overthrown as those good princes were: I loved him as my friend, for so I took him to be; but I chiefly loved him for the love which I thought I saw him bear ever towards your Grace, singularly above all other. But now, if he be a traitor, I am sorry that ever I loved him or trusted him, and I am very glad that his treason is discovered in time; but yet again I am very sorrowful; for who shall your Grace trust hereafter, if you might not trust him? Alas! I bewail and lament your Grace’s chance herein, I wot not whom your Grace may trust. But I pray God continually night and day, to send such a counsellor in his place whom your Grace may trust, and who for all his qualities can and will serve your Grace like to him, and that will have so much solicitude and care to preserve your Grace from all dangers as I ever thought he had…

Catherine Howard Trial

On 01 Nov 1541 Henry VIII (age 50) received a warrant for Catherine Howard's (age 18) arrest from Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 52) at Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace [Map].

On 07 Nov 1541 Catherine Howard (age 18) was interrogated by Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury (age 52) and John Gresham Lord Mayor (age 46) at Winchester Palace in Southwark [Map].

In 1543 Bishop George Day (age 42) was consecrated Bishop of Chichester by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 53).

Holinshed's Chronicle 1543. 18 Dec 1543. The eighteenth of December the archbishop of Canturburies palace at Canturburie was burnt, and therin was burnt his brother-in-law1, and other men.

Note 1. It isn't clear who is meant by this. The Archbishop of Canterbury was Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 54).

In 1544 Gerlach Flicke (age 24). Portrait of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 54).

Henry VIII Revises his Will

On 30 Dec 1546 Henry VIII (age 55) made his last revision to his will signed using the Dry Stamp that was used increasingly commonly. The will confirmed the succession as King Edward VI of England and Ireland (age 9), Queen Mary I of England and Ireland (age 30) and Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland (age 13).

The will appointed sixteen executors: Anthony Browne (age 46), Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 57), Anthony Denny (age 45), John Dudley 1st Duke Northumberland (age 42), William Herbert 1st Earl Pembroke (age 45), Edward Montagu (age 61), Edward North 1st Baron North (age 50), William Paget 1st Baron Paget Beaudasert (age 40), William Paulet 1st Marquess Winchester (age 63), John Russell 1st Earl Bedford (age 61), Edward Seymour 1st Duke of Somerset (age 46), Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall (age 72) and Thomas Wriothesley 1st Earl of Southampton (age 41).

Death of Henry VIII Accession of Edward VI

Annales of England by John Stow. 28 Jan 1547. Edward (age 9) the first borne at Hampton court [Map] (by the decease of k. Henry (age 55) his father) began his raigne the 28 of January, and was proclaimed k. of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, and of the churches of England and also of Ireland the supreme head immedlatly in earth under God, & on the last day of January, in the yere of Christ after the Church of England 1546 but after the accompt of them that begin the yere at Chatfimas 1547 being then of the age of nine yéeres. And the same day in the afternoone the saide young king came to the tower of London [Map] from Hertford, and rode into the City at Aldgate, and so along the wall by the crossed Friars [Map] to the Tower hill, & entred at the red bulwarke [Map], where be was received by sir John Gage (age 67) constable of the tower, and the lieutenant on horseback, the Earle of Hertford (age 47) riding before the king, and sir Anthony Browne (age 47) riding after him: and on the bridge next the warde gate, the archbishop of Canterbury (age 57), the lorde Chancellor (age 41), with other great lords of the Councell received him, and so brought him to his chamber of pretence, there they were sworne to his majesty.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1547. The 29th daie of June there was a solempne obsequie kept in Poules [Map] [for] the French Kinge Frances latelie departed, where was a sumptuous herse made, and the quire and the bodie of the church hanged with blacke and sett with schuchions of the armes of France, and tow hundreth torch bearers having new blacke gownes and hoodes with badges of the armes of France on their sholders, the Archbishop of Canterbery (age 57) begining the derige in his pontificalibus, the Archbishop of Yorke (age 65) and other 8 bishopps and suffragans being also in their pontificalibus, six erles and lordes of the Kinges Majestie being the cheife mourners, the Emperours Embassadour, and the French Kinges Embassadoure, and the Secretarie of Venice in their blacke mourning gownes being also there present at the same, the major and aldermen with tow hundred citizens in their best lyveries with their hoodes on their sholders present at the same also; and on the morrow also at the requiem masse, which the Archbishopp of Canterberie (age 57) songe in his pontificalibus, with the other bishopps in their pontificalibus also; and there preached at the said masse the Bishop of Rochester (age 70) [Note. Possibly Bishop Nicholas Ridley (age 47) who became Bishop of Rochester in 1547], who greatlie commended in his sermon the said French King departed, for setting fourth of the Bible and New Testament in the French tonge to be reade of all his subjectes; also all the parish churches in London kept a solempne obett with knill, the bells ringing, and a herse with tow great tapers, in everie parish church.

Diary of Edward VI. 20 Mar 1551. The bis(hops) of Canterbury (age 61), London (age 51), Rochester [either Bishop John Ponet (age 37) or Bishop John Scory (age 41)], did conclude, to give licence to sinne was sinne; to suffre and winke at it2 for a time might be borne, so al hast possible might bee used.

Note 2. i. e. the mass, not sin in general. Sir John Hayward chose to read the passage in the latter sense, for which Strype calls him to account in his note, Kennett, ii. 315.

On 30 Mar 1553 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 63) was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury at St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster Palace [Map] by Bishop John Longland, Bishop John Vesey aka Harman (age 91) and Bishop Henry Standish.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 13 Nov 1553. [The 13th of November were arraigned at Guildhall doctor Cranmer (age 64), archbishop of Canterbury, the lord] Gylfford Dudlay (age 18), the sune of the duke of Northumberland and my lade Jane (age 17) ys wyff, the doythur of the duke of Suffoke-Dassett (age 36), and the lord Hambrosse Dudlay (age 23), [and the] lord Hare Dudlay (age 22), the wyche lade Jane was proclamyd [Queen]: they all v wher cast for to dee.

Henry Machyn's Diary. 08 Mar 1554. The viij day of Marche cam owt of the Towre of London [Map] the archbysshope of Canturbere Crenmer (age 64), and bysshope of London was Rydley (age 54), and master Lathemer (age 67) condam, [i. e. quondam (bishop of Worcester).] and so to Brenfford and ther ser John Wylliam reseyvyd them, and so to Oxfford.

1555 Banning of Protestant Books

Henry Machyn's Diary. 14 Jun 1555. The xiiij day (of) Juin was a proclamassyon [that all] bokes shuld be broyth [brought] in of Luter, Tendalles, .... and Coverdals (age 67) and bysshope Cremer (age 65), and all shyche as .... shuys and all hereses bokes, and he that dyd nott [bring them] in with-in the xv days after shuld go to presun with-owt prysse, of what degre they be of.

Note. P. 90. Proclamation for bringing in heretical books. A printed copy of this, dated 13 June, is in the collection at the Society of Antiquaries: it is inserted in Foxe's Actes and Monuments, vol. iii. p. 271. Of its objects see also Strype, Mem. vol. iii. p. 250.

1555 Execution of Bishops

On 16 Oct 1555 Bishop Hugh Latimer (age 68) and Bishop Nicholas Ridley (age 55) were burned at the stake at Oxford, Oxfordshire [Map]. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 66) was forced to watch.

Execution of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

Henry Machyn's Diary. 21 Mar 1556. The xxj day of Marche was bornyd at Oxford doctur Cranmer (age 66), late archebysshope of Canturbere.

On 21 Mar 1556 Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 66) was burned at the stake at Oxford, Oxfordshire [Map].

Around 1571 [his former wife] Margaret m Cranmer died.