Biography of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex 1485-1540

Paternal Family Tree: Cromwell

1533 Buggery Act

1535 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

1535 Execution of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More

1536 Death of Catherine of Aragon

1536 Arrest of Anne Boleyn

1536 Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn

1537 Bigod's Rebellion

1537 Birth and Christening Edward VI

1540 Arrest and Attainder of Thomas Cromwell

1540 Execution of Thomas Cromwell

In 1474 [his father] Walter Cromwell (age 21) and [his mother] Katherine Glossop were married.

Around 1485 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex was born to Walter Cromwell (age 32) and Katherine Glossop at Putney, Surrey [Map].

In 1510 [his father] Walter Cromwell (age 57) died at Putney, Surrey [Map].

Around 1514 Ralph Sadler (age 7) was placed in the household of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 29) to receive an education.

Around 1515 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 30) and Elizabeth Wyckes (age 26) were married.

Around 1520 [his son] Gregory Cromwell 1st Baron Cromwell Oakham was born to Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 35) and [his wife] Elizabeth Wyckes (age 31).

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CII. Cardinal Wolsey (age 55) in his distress to Thomas Cromwell (age 43). [Around Nov 1528]

WnBMRjQeMS. COTTON. VESP. F. xiii. foL J6. Orig.

The Letter here presented to the reader was printed some years ago, by the Editor of the present Volumes, in the Archaeologia of the Society of Antiquaries.

Wolsey, who knew the talents of Cromwell, seems to have placed great reliance on his integrity and affection. Cromwell, according to Cavendish in his life of Wolsey, became a member of the lower House of Parliament in the month of November 1529, within a short time from which the present Letter must have been written. He appears to have protected his master in the Lower House with great dexterity and address.

Fox, in his Acts and Monuments, has related an anecdote of Cromwell which may be worth introducing here. It occurred in 1540, at the table of Archbishop Cranmer, when certain guests were making a comparison of the qualities of the two prelates Cranmer and Wolsey. " The Lord Cromwell being somewhat touched to hear the Cardinal's service cast in his teeth," said " that he could not deny but he was servant sometime to Cardinal Wolsey, neither did repent the same, for he received of him both fee, meate, and drinke, and other commodities : but yet he was never so farre in love with him as to have waited on him to Rome if he had been chosen Pope."

Myn owne enterly belouyd Cromwell, I beseche yow, as ye loue me and wyl euyr do any thyng for me, repare hyther thys day as sone as the Parlement ys brokyn vp, leyng aparte all thyngs for that tyme; for I wold nut onely commynycat thyngs vnto yow wherin for my comfort and relief I wold haue your good, sad, dyscret aduyse and counsell, but also opon the same commytt sertyng thyngs requyryng expedicion to yow, on my behalf to be solycy tyd : this, I pray yow therfor, to hast your commyng hyther assafore, with owt omyttyng so to do as ye tendyr my socor, reliff, and comfort, and quyetnes of mynde. And thus fare ye wel : from Asher, in hast, thys Satyrday, in the mornyng, with the rude hande and sorowfull hert of your assuryd louer

T. CARLIS EBOR.

I haue also serteyn thyngs consernyng yowr sylf wych I am suere ye wolbe glad to here and knowe : fayle not therfor to be here thys nygth, ye may retorne early in the mornyng ageyn yf nede shul so requyre. Et iterum vale.

Mr. Agtlsteyna shewyd me how ye had wryttyn onto me a Lettre wherin ye shuld adu'tyse me of the commyng hyther of the Duke of Norfolke: I assure yow ther cam to my hands no suche Lettre.

Note a. Augustinus de Augustinis, or Mr. Augustine as he is more usually called, was the Cardinal's Physician. In the Cottonian Manuscript Titus B. I. fol. 365. there is a Letter of his, to Thomas Cromwell, in Italian, requiring speedy medical assistance. apparently tor Cardinal Wolsey. It it dated Asher, Jan. 19th 1529-30.

In 1529 [his wife] Elizabeth Wyckes (age 40) died.

In 1529 [his daughter] Grace Cromwell died.

In 1529 [his daughter] Anne Cromwell died.

1533 Buggery Act

In 1533 Parliament, steered by Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 48), passed the 1533 Buggery Act, formally known as An Acte for the punishment of the vice of Buggerie, in which buggery was punishable by death.

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

A deputation of English merchants trading with Flanders went on Friday last to see the King (age 41) for the purpose of ascertaining whether they could in future ship goods for that country. They were told that the King (age 41) was not at war with Your Majesty, and that they might trade or not just as they pleased; those who had any scruple might remain at home; those who chose to go on with their trade might do so. Not-withstanding which answer there is hardly any English or foreign merchants having goods in Flanders who has not sent for them, or had them put under another name (les couvrir), for there is hardly one who does not consider himself lost and ruined, and would not wish himself far off with his goods and substance. Indeed this fear is not confined to the merchants, but pervades all classes of society, and I have been told that Cramuel (age 48) (Cromwell), who is perhaps the man who has most influence with the King (age 41) just now, has had all his treasure and valuables removed to the Tower of London. And I do really believe that neither the King (age 41) himself nor any of his courtiers is exempt from fear, both of the people and of Your Majesty; yet it would seem as if God Almighty has blinded them, and taken away their senses, for they are perfectly bewildered and know not what to be at, nor how to mend their affairs. Indeed this is so much the case, that should the least mishap overtake them they would be so disconcerted that neither the King (age 41) nor his counsellors would think of aught else than flight, knowing very well the people's will in these matters.

In May 1533 Abbot Thomas Pentecost aka Rowland wrote to Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 48). Cromwell had requested him to present one Mr. Keytt to the church of Sunningwell. The abbot replied that he did not think he could get it out of his convent without much trouble. The convent had complained of his giving away other presentations without consulting them, and of the ingratitude of the parsons presented, several of whom had put the house to trouble by refusing to pay the due pension. He had refused this same benefice to my lady of Norfolk, promising her the next that should fall. He begged Cromwell to have patience with him.

In early 1534 Thomas More (age 55) was accused by Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 49) of having given advice and counsel to the "Holy Maid of Kent," Elizabeth Barton, a nun who had prophesied that the king had ruined his soul and would come to a quick end for having divorced Queen Catherine; More had met with her, and was impressed by her fervour. More was called before a committee of the Privy Council to answer these charges of treason, and after his respectful answers the matter seemed to have been dropped.

On 13 Apr 1534 Thomas More (age 56) was asked to appear before a commission and swear his allegiance First Act of Succession. He refused to take the oath and was duly imprisoned in the Tower of London [Map]. Whilst there Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 49) made several visits in an attempt to persuade More to comply.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1530-1539. 08 Oct 1534. This yeare allso, in the beginninge of Michaellmasse terrae, Mr. Thomas Crumwell (age 49) was made Master of the Rolles,b and tooke his oathe in the Chauncerie the first day of the same terme.

Note b. Thomas Cromwell (age 49), afterwards Earl of Essex, K.G. was made Master of the RoUs, 8th October, 1534.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1530-1539. 1535. Also this yeare Mr. Thomas Cromwell (age 50) and Doctor Lee (age 24)a visited all the religious places in Englande,b being ordained by the Kinges grace for his high yisitors,c and they tooke out of everie religious house all religious persons from the age of 24 years and under,d and shewed them how they shoulde use wilfull povertie,e and also he closed up all the residue of the religious persons booth men and weomen that would remaine still, so that they should not come out of their places, nor no men resorte to the places of nonnes, nor weomen to come into the places of religious men, but onelie to heere service and masses in their churches, and also they tooke out of divers churches of England certaine reliques that the people were wont to worshipp, as Our Ladies girdell at Westminster, which weomen with chield were wont to girde with, and Sainct Elizabethes girdell, and in Poules a relique of Our Ladies milke, which was broken and founde but a peece of chalke, with other reliques in divers places which theyf used for covetousnes in deceaphing the people.

Note a. Dr. Thomas Lee (age 24).

Note b. A report of these visitations was compiled for the use of the King and Parliament, bnt has not heen preserved.

Note c. Thomas Cromwell was chosen to manage this ioquiry nnder the name of Visitor-General, and he appointed as his substitutes or Commissioners, Richard Leighton, Thomas Lee (age 24), and William Petre (age 30), Doctors of Law, and Dr. John London, Dean of Wallingford, &c. See Herbert, p. 186; Burnet, i p. 183.

1535 Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Letters and Papers 1535. 27 Feb 1535. R. O. 275. Sir Edward Wotton (age 45) to Cromwell (age 50).

Remonstrates against Cromwell's urging him by his letters to resign his patent of the stewardship of the abbey of Malling, the King having written to the abbess in favor of master Thomas Wyatt. Cromwell may be as much assured of his heart as Mr. Wyatt, and since the death of his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Guildford, he has always depended on Cromwell's friendship. The grant he obtained under the convent seal was in fulfilment of a promise of the abbess many years past. Would have waited on the King before, but has been lately with his sister Guldeford (age 36) and others, who have been with his cousin, Edward Brown, son of Sir Matthew Brown (age 59), who has died of the common plague. Asks Cromwell to relate the matter to the King. Supposes that when the abbess made the grant to Cromwell she had forgotten her promise to him, for, though he knew from the first of the death of Mr. Fisher, he waited for five or six days before writing to the abbess, thinking that few then would apply for so small an office. On first reading his letter she had forgotten the promise which he claimed as having been made within two years and less after her being made abbess. She was not dissembling in her answers either to the King or Cromwell. No effect can grow in law or conscience of her promise to Cromwell, so long after her promise to him. Begs Cromwell to be good master to her and her poor house. Bocton Malherbe [Map], Saturday, 27 Feb.

Hol., pp. 3. Add.: Secretary. Endd.

Hall's Chronicle 1535. 19 Jun 1535. And the nineteenth day of June was three monks of the Charterhouse hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyborne [Map] and their quarters set up about London or denying the King to be Supreme Head of the Church. Their names were Exmewe, Myddlemore, and Nudigate. These men when they were arraigned at Westminster, behaved themselves very stiffly and stubbornly, for hearing their inditement read how traitorously they had spoken against the King’s Majesty his crown and dignity, they neither blushed nor bashed at it, but very foolishly and hypocritically acknowledged their treason which maliciously they avouched, having no learning for their defence, but rather being asked diverse questions, they used a malicious silence, thinking as by their examinations afterward in the Tower of London it did appear, for so they said, that they thought those men which was the Lord Cromwell (age 50) and other that there sat upon them in judgement to be heretics and not of the Church of God, and therefore not worthy to be either answered or spoken unto. And therefore as they deserved, they received as you have heard before.

Execution of Bishop Fisher and Thomas More

Before 22 Jun 1535 Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 47) presided over the trial of Bishop John Fisher (age 65) and Thomas More (age 57) both of whom refused to take the Oath Of Supremacy. The judges including Anne Boleyn's father Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 58). Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 50) brought Richard Rich 1st Baron Rich (age 38) as a witness who testified that Thomas More (age 57) had denied that the King was the legitimate head of the Church. However, Richard Southwell (age 32) to the contrary.

The jury took, somewhat unsurprisingly, only fifteen minutes to conclude Thomas More (age 57) was guilty. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered; the King (age 43) commuted this to beheading.

Letters. Around 1536. Letter CXI. Cotton. MS. TITUS, B. I. FOL. 388. Original.

Note. The present letter, being addressed to Cromwell (age 51) as lord privy seal, must have been written between 1536 and 1540. The writer (age 39) was the daughter of John lord Husee and the wife of Walter (age 33) the last lord Hungerford. He was afterwards attainted and beheaded at the same time with Cromwell; "which certainly," says the chronicler Hall, at the time of his death seemed to be very unquiet in his mind, and rather in a frenzy than otherwise. Perhaps his ill treatment of his wives filled up his cup of remorse.

Most piteously complaining and meekly beseeching your good and gracious lordship tenderly to consider the humble complaint and true intent of me, your most poorest and unfeigned beadswoman, Elizabeth Hungerford (age 39), now abiding as I have been long in captivity and as a prisoner within my lord's castle of Hungerford [Map], where no creature is suffered nor dare come unto me at any time, what need soever I have or shall happen unto me, for my lord's displeasure, but all only such as is by him appointed at this time, which have not only heretofore sought all the means they might to rid me in secret out of my life, but yet daily doth, as it is not unknown to all this country, if it shall please your good lordship to inquire of any gentleman or yeoman dwelling about my lord. I will except none.

And whereas my said lord Hungerford (age 33) of late, unknown to me, obtained a commission of your lordship to the intent he would have been from me divorced for mine incontinency, as he damnably hath reported to my great slander and utter confusion in world, objecting such a crime of me unto your lordship and other as I never offended in, I take God to record; and now perceiving with himself that he could not, nor yet can prove, any manner of cause on my behalf to him given to be divorced, but that I may sooner object such matters against him, with many other detestable and urgent causes, than he can against me, if I would express them, as he well knoweth. And farther, that it pleased your good lordship of your goodness and charity to advertise him at the sending forth of your commission that I should have things necessary in every behalf, as it beseemed for his own honour, and that he should depart somewhat with me yearly towards my sustentation and living; which things chiefly, as I suppose, is the very cause only at this time of his stay in this matter: for surely it may please your good lordship to understand that it will grieve him not a little to depart with one groat at any time, although I am not of myself owner of one penny, nor have any earthly friend more than your lordship in this world able to help me, or house to resort unto, or that any man will or dare speak or do for me towards your lordship, or any other, for fear of my lord's displeasure: by reason whereof now of his own presumption he hath discharged your lordship's commissioners assigned, without any exa- mination or amendment had or used of his demean- our towards me. And so am I, your most woefullest and poorest beadswoman, left in worse case than ever I was, as a prisoner alone, and continually locked in one of my lord's towers of his castle in Hungerford, as I have been these three or four years past, without comfort of any creature, and under the custody of my lord's chaplain, sir John a Lee [Note. Sir John a Leigh was made knight of the Bath in 1523, and died August 27th, 1543.- Har/. MS, 897,fol. 16.], which hath once or twice heretofore poisoned me, as he will not deny upon examination. And after that he heard say that your lordship's pleasure was that my lord Hungerford should give me yearly a pension for my honest sustentation, he then said and promised my lord that he would soon rid me for that matter, and so ease my lord of that money paying, if he might have the keeping of me again, as now he hath; and I am sure he intendeth to keep promise with my said lord, if your good lordship see not remedy in this behalf shortly, for I have none other meat nor drink but such as cometh from the said priest, and brought me by my lord's fool continually, mine old servitor, as all men in these parts knoweth. Which meat and drink, con- sidering the priest's promise made unto my lord, and his acts heretofore done unto me, as my lord well knoweth, I have oft feared, and yet do every day more than otlier, to taste either of the same meat or drink; wherefore many and sundry (times) I have been and yet am fain to drink water, or else I should die for lack of sustenance, and had, long ere this time, had not poor women of the country, of their charity, knowing my lord's demeanour always to his wives, brought me to my great window in the night such meat and drink as they had, and gave me for the love of God, for money have I none wherewith to pay them, nor yet have had of my lord these four years four groats.

And thus, my singular good lord, I am like to perish I fear me very soon, unless your good lord- ship, moved with pity and compassion, will command my said lord Hungerford, now being in London as I believe, to bring me before your lord- ship; and also the said priest, sir John h Lee; by whom your lordship, upon his examination, shall perceive many strange things of my lord's demean- our: and to the intent that I may, upon causes rea- sonable, be divorced from my said lord, or else require him to suffer me to come out of prison. And then will I come up on foot with some poor body unto your lordship, for the security of ray life, if it may please you to condescend thereunto, as I shall most humbly beseech your good lordship, for surely I will not longer continue this wretched life with him; I had rather destroy myself, or beg my living from door to door. And therefore, on the reverence of Jesus Christ, let not his fair, crafty, and subtle tongue longer defraud your good lordship in this matter. But require his lordship to send for me, and safely to be brought before your lordship, without farther delay; or else to command some other man at your lordship's pleasure to fetch me from him. And in so doing I shall be most bounden to pray, as I do evermore, to God for the preservation of your honourable estate long to endure.

By your most bounden beadswoman,.

Elizabeth Hungerford.

Death of Catherine of Aragon

Letters 1536. 07 Jan 1536. R. O. St. P. I. 452. 37. Sir Edward Chamberleyn (age 52) and Sir Edm. Bedyngfeld (age 57) to Cromwell (age 51).

This 7th Jan., about 10 a.m., the Lady Dowager (age 50) was annealed with the Holy ointment, Chamberleyn and Bedyngfeld being summoned, and before 2 p.m. she died. Wishes1 to know the King's (age 44) pleasure concerning the house, servants, and other things. The groom of the Chamber here can cere her. Will send for a plumber to close the body in lead.

Note 1. The letter, though signed by two, is written throughout in the first person singular,— apparently by Bedingfield, who was steward of Catharine's household, though he signs second.

Calendars. 21 Jan 1536. Eustace Chapuys (age 46) to the Emperor (age 35).

The good Queen (deceased) breathed her last at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Eight hours afterwards, by the King's (age 44) express commands, the inspection of her body was made, without her confessor or physician or any other officer of her household being present, save the fire-lighter in the house, a servant of his, and a companion of the latter, who proceeded at once to open the body. Neither of them had practised chirurgy, and yet they had often performed the same operation, especially the principal or head of them, who, after making the examination, went to the Bishop of Llandaff, the Queen's confessor, and declared to him in great secrecy, and as if his life depended on it, that he had found the Queen's (deceased) body and the intestines perfectly sound and healthy, as if nothing had happened, with the single exception of the heart, which was completely black, and of a most hideous aspect; after washing it in three different waters, and finding that it did not change colour, he cut it in two, and found that it was the same inside, so much so that after being washed several times it never changed colour. The man also said that he found inside the heart something black and round, which adhered strongly to the concavities. And moreover, after this spontaneous declaration on the part of the man, my secretary having asked the Queen's physician whether he thought the Queen (deceased) had died of poison, the latter answered that in his opinion there was no doubt about it, for the bishop had been told so under confession, and besides that, had not the secret been revealed, the symptoms, the course, and the fatal end of her illness were a proof of that.

No words can describe the joy and delight which this King (age 44) and the promoters of his concubinate (age 35) have felt at the demise of the good Queen (deceased), especially the earl of Vulcher (age 59), and his son (age 33), who must have said to themselves, What a pity it was that the Princess (age 19) had not kept her mother (deceased) company. The King (age 44) himself on Saturday, when he received the news, was heard to exclaim, "Thank God, we are now free from any fear of war, and the time has come for dealing with the French much more to our advantage than heretofore, for if they once suspect my becoming the Emperor's friend and ally now that the real cause of our enmity no longer exists I shall be able to do anything I like with them." On the following day, which was Sunday, the King (age 44) dressed entirely in yellow from head to foot, with the single exception of a white feather in his cap. His bastard daughter (age 2) was triumphantly taken to church to the sound of trumpets and with great display. Then, after dinner, the King (age 44) went to the hall, where the ladies were dancing, and there made great demonstration of joy, and at last went into his own apartments, took the little bastard (age 2), carried her in his (age 44) arms, and began to show her first to one, then to another, and did the same on the following days. Since then his joy has somewhat subsided; he has no longer made such demonstrations, but to make up for it, as it were, has been tilting and running lances at Grinduys [Map]. On the other hand, if I am to believe the reports that come to me from every quarter, I must say that the displeasure and grief generally felt at the Queen's (deceased) demise is really incredible, as well as the indignation of the people against the King (age 44). All charge him with being the cause of the Queen's (deceased) death, which I imagine has been produced partly by poison and partly by despondency and grief; besides which, the joy which the King (age 44) himself, as abovesaid, manifested upon hearing the news, has considerably confirmed people in that belief.

Great preparations are being made for the burial of the good Queen (deceased), and according to a message received from Master Cromwell (age 51) the funeral is to be conducted with such a pomp and magnificence that those present will scarcely believe their eyes. It is to take place on the 1st of February; the chief mourner to be the King's own niece (age 18), that is to say, the daughter of the duke of Suffolk (age 52); next to her will go the Duchess, her mother; then the wife of the duke of Norfolk (age 39), and several other ladies in great numbers. And from what I hear, it is intended to distribute mourning apparel to no less than 600 women of a lower class. As to the lords and gentlemen, nothing has yet transpired as to who they are to be, nor how many. Master Cromwell (age 51) himself, as I have written to Your Majesty (age 35), pressed me on two different occasions to accept the mourning cloth, which this King (age 44) offered for the purpose no doubt of securing my attendance at the funeral, which is what he greatly desires; but by the advice of the Queen Regent of Flanders (Mary), of the Princess herself, and of many other worthy personages, I have declined, and, refused the cloth proffered; alleging as an excuse that I was already prepared, and had some of it at home, but in reality because I was unwilling to attend a funeral, which, however costly and magnificent, is not that befitting a Queen of England.

The King (age 44), or his Privy Council, thought at first that very solemn obsequies ought to be performed at the cathedral church of this city. Numerous carpenters and other artizans had already set to work, but since then the order has been revoked, and there is no talk of it now. Whether they meant it in earnest, and then changed their mind, or whether it was merely a feint to keep people contented and remove suspicion, I cannot say for certain.

Letters 1536. 10 Feb 1536. Vienna Archives. 282. Chapuys (age 46) to Charles V.

The Princess (age 19) is well. She changed her lodging on Saturday last, and was better accompanied on her removal and provided with what was necessary to her than she had been before. She had an opportunity of distributing alms on the way, because her father had placed about 100,000 crowns at her disposal. It is rumoured that the King, as Cromwell (age 51) sent to inform me immediately after the Queen's death, means to increase her train and exalt her position. I hope it may be so, and that no scorpion lurks under the honey. I think the King only waited to summon the said Princess to swear to the statutes in expectation that the concubine would have had a male child, of which they both felt assured. I know not what he will do now. I have suggested to the Princess to consider if it be not expedient, when she is pressed to take the oath, if she be reduced to extremity, to offer that if the King her father have a son she will condescend to his will, and that she might at once begin throwing out some such hint to her gouvernante (age 60). I will inform you of her reply.

Arrest of Anne Boleyn

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 02 May 1536. ... and the same daie, about five of the clocke at nighta, Anne Bolleine (age 35) was brought to the Towre of London by my Lord Chauncelor (age 48)b, the Duke of Norfolke (age 63), Mr. Secretarie (age 51),c and Sir William Kingston (age 60), Constable of the Tower; and when she came to the court gate,d entring in, she fell downe on her knees before the said lordes, beseeching God to helpe her as she was not giltie of her accusement,e and also desired the said lordes to beseech the Kinges grace to be good unto her, and so they left her their prisoner.f

Note a. "In the afternoon." — Stow.

Note b. Sir Thomas Audley.

Note c. Sir Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex.

Note d. "Towergate" in Stow.

Note e. On her arrest she was informed of the accusation of adultery.

Note f. Anne's prison-chamber was that in which she had slept the night before her coronation.

Trial of Brereton, Norris, Smeaton, and Weston

Letters 1536. 12 May. R. O. 848. Trial of Weston (age 25), Norris (age 54), and others.

Special commission of Oyer and Terminer for Middlesex to Sir Thomas Audeley, Chancellor, Thomas Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), John Earl of Oxford (age 65), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 38), Thomas Earl of Wiltshire (age 59), Rob. Earl of Sussex, William lord Sandys, Thomas Crumwell (age 51), chief secretary, Sir William Fitzwilliam (age 46), Sir William Paulet (age 53), Sir John Fitzjames, Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Richard Lister, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Ant. Fitzherbert, Sir Thomas Englefeld, and Sir William Shelley. Westm., 24 April 28 Henry VIII.

ii. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Middlesex for the return of the grand jury at Westminster on Wednesday, 10 May next. Dated 9 May 28 Henry VIII.—Grand jury panel annexed, 16 sworn.

iii. Indictment found in Middlesex against Anne Boleyn (age 35), &c. as in No. 876, with marginal note stating that it was sent before the Duke of Norfolk (age 63) as steward of England, hac vice, as regards all matters touching the Queen and Lord Rochford (age 33).

iv. The justices' precept to the constable of the Tower to bring up Sir Francis Weston (age 25), Henry Noreys (age 54), William Bryerton, and Mark Smeton (age 24), at Westminster, on Friday next after three weeks of Easter. Westm., 10 May 28 Henry VIII.—With reply of the Constable endorsed.

v. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Middlesex for the return of the petty jury for the trial of Henry Noreys (age 54), William Bryerton, and Sir Francis Weston [here follows an erasure which evidently contained the name of Mark Smeaton (age 24)]. Westm., 12 May 28 Henry VIII.—With panel annexed.

vi. Special commission of Oyer and Terminer for Kent, to Sir Thomas Audeley (age 48), Chancellor, Thomas Duke of Norfolk (age 63), Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), John Earl of Oxford (age 65), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 38), Rob. Earl of Sussex, Thomas Crumwell, chief secretary, Sir William Fitzwilliam (age 46), Sir William Paulet (age 53), Sir John Fitzjames, Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Richard Lyster, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Anth. Fitzherbert, Sir Thomas Englefeld, and Sir William Shelley. Westm., 24 April 28 Henry VIII.

vii. The justices' precept to the sheriff of Kent for the return of the grand jury at Deptford, on Thursday, 11 May. Endd. by Sir Edward Wotton, sheriff.—Panel of grand jury annexed.

viii. Indictment found in Kent, as in No. 876, with memorandum in margin, as in section iii.

ix. Record of the sessions holden Friday after three weeks of Easter 28 Henry VIII. before the above justices. Noreys, Bryerton, Weston, and Smeton (age 24) were brought up in the custody of the constable of the Tower, when Smeton (age 24) pleaded guilty of violation and carnal knowledge of the Queen, and put himself in the King's mercy. Noreys, Bryerton, and Weston pleaded Not guilty. The jury return a verdict of Guilty, and that they have no lands, goods, or chattels.

Judgment against all four as in cases of treason; execution to be at Tyburn.

The above file of documents is endorsed: "Sessiones Comitatuum Middlesexiæ et Kanciæ primo tentæ apud villam Westmonasterii in comitatu Midd. coram Thoma Audeley, milite, Cancellario Angliæ, et aliis, &c., et secundo tentæ apud Depford in comitatu Kanciæ coram Johanne Baldewyn, milite et aliis, anno regni Regis Henrici VIII. vicesimo octavo."

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXII. 16 May 1536. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Secretary Cromwell (age 51), May 16th 1536, upon the preparations for the execution of my Lord Rochford and Queen Anne.

Excerpta Historica Page 260. 16 May 1536. Translation Of A Letter From A Portuguese Gentleman To A Friend In Lisbon, Describing The Execution Of Anne Boleyn (age 35), Lord Rochford (age 33), Brereton, Norris (age 54), Smeton (age 24), And Weston (age 25).

The following extremely interesting Letter, which has been translated and obligingly communicated by Viscount Strangford, from the original in the Cartorio of the Monastery of Alcobaja, in Portugal, conveys an account of the execution of Anne Boleyn and her presumed accomplices, by, probably, an eye-witness.

Several letters from Sir William Kingston (age 60), the Lieutenant of the Tower, to Secretary Cromwell (age 51), have been printed1, which afford minute information on the conduct of the unfortunate Queen, from the time of her committal to the Tower until the day before her execution, together with notices of Lord Rochford, whose request to receive the sacrament was thus alluded to:-

"I have told my Lord of Rochford," says Kingston, on the 16th of May, "that he be in readiness to-morrow to suffer execution, and so he accepts it very well, and will do his best to be ready, notwithstanding he would have received his rights [i.e. the sacrament] which hath not been used and in especial here."2

From the same letter it is manifest that the Queen still entertained hopes of mercy, as Sir William Kingston adds — "Yet this day at dinner the Queen said that she should go to Antwerp, and is in hope of life." Her desire to go to Antwerp may be ascribed to its being the residence of many persons of the reformed religion, to one of whom she had rendered some service.3

Note 1. Ellis's Original Letters, First Series, vol. ii. p. 52 — 64.

Note 2. Ibid. p. 63.

Note 3. Ibid. p. 46.

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXIV. After 17 May 1536. Lady Rocheford (age 31) to Secretary Cromwell (age 51).

[MS. COTTON. VESP. F. xin. foL 109 b. Orig.]

The profligate woman whose smooth Letter now presents itself, was the wife of the viscount Rochford (deceased), the brother of Anne Boleyn (age 35)a. Her calumnies against that injured Queen were equally void of truth and humanity. She even pretended that her own husband was engaged in a criminal correspondence with his sister.

Her career, however, was not of long duration. She entangled herself with the real amours of Queen Catherine Howard (age 13), and, as will be seen hereafter, fell with her upon the scaffold in 1542, unpitied.

The Bill of Attainder of Queen Catherine Howard, stat. 33 Hen. VIII. ch. XXI states that the Queen had met Culpeper "in a secret and vyle place, and that, at an undue hower of xi. a clocke in the night, and so remayned there with him till three of the clocke in the morninge, none being with them but that Bawde the Lady Jane Rochford (age 31), by whose meanes Culpeper came thither."

Mayster Secretory, as a power desolat wydow wythoute comffort, as to my specyall trust under God and my Pryns, I have me most humbly recommendyd unto youe; prayng youe, after your accustemyd gentyll maner to all them that be in suche lamentabull case as I ame in, to be meane to the Kyngs gracyous Hyghnes for me for suche power stuffe and plate as my husbonde (deceased) had, whome God pardon; that of hys gracyous and mere lyberalyte I may have hyt to helpe me to my power lyvyng, whiche to his Hyghnes ys nothynge to be regardyd, and to me schuld be a most hygh helpe and souccor. And farther more, where that the Kyngs Hyghnes and my Lord my father payed great soms of money for my Joynter to the Errell of Wyltchere to the some off too thowsand Marks, and I not assuryd of no more duryng the sayd Errells naturall lyff then one hundreth Marke ; whyche ys veary hard for me to schyffte the worldd wythall. That youe wyfl so specyally tender me in thys behalff as to enforme the Kyngs Hyghnes of these premysses, wherby I may the more tenderly be regardyd of hys gracyous persone, youre Worde in thys schall be to me a sure helpe : and God schall be to youe therfore a sure reward, whyche dothe promes good to them that dothe helpe powere forsaken Wydos. And bothe my prayer and servys schall helpe to thys duryng my naturall lyff, as most bounden so to doo, God my wyttnes ; whoo ever more preserve you.

Jane Rocheford.

Note a. She was daughter of Henry Parker (age 55), son of Henry Parker Lord Morley and Montegle, who died in his father's lifetime. See Dugd. Baron, torn. ii. p. 301. [Note. This appears to be a mistake? She was the daughter of Henry Parker Lord Motley and Montegle?]

Execution of Anne Boleyn

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXIII. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Lord Cromwell (age 51), apparently May 18th 1536

[MS. COTTON. OTHO c. x. foL 223. Orig.]

Syr thys shalbe to advertyse you I have resayved your Lett' wherin yo ...aa have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre and so thay be by the ... of Richard Gressum, & Will-m Loke, & Wythepoll, bot the umbrb of stra ... not xxx. and not mony; Hothe and the inbassit'of the emperor had a ... ther and honestly put yowt. Sr yf we have not anowrec serten ... d be knowen in London, I thynke hee wilbe bot few and I thynk ...f humburg ware bes: for I suppose she wyll declare hyr self to b ... h woman for all men bot for the Kyng at the or of hyr dei ... mornyngk she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at ... asshe reysayved the gud lord to the in tent I shuld here hy ... towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere & in the writy ... she sent for me, and at my commyng she sayd M. Kyngston I he ... l not dy affore none, & I am very sory ther fore; for I thowth ... be dede ... d past my payne. I told hyr it shuld be now payne it w ... m hard say the executr was very gud and I have a lyt ... rn hand abowt it lawyng hartely.

I have sen also wemen executed and atp they have bene in gre ... ige. Thys Lady hasse meche joy and plesur in dethe ... newaly with hyr and hasse bene syns ij of the co ... the effect of hony thyng that ys here at t ... well.

Your ....

Willm Ky

To Mastr. Secretory.

Note a. f. you would have. b. number. c. an hour. d. as it may be. L. Herb. e. here. f. a reasonable. g. L. Herb. h. be a. L. Herb. i. death. k. for this morning. L. Herb. l. I heard say I shall not. L. Herb. m. was so sotell. Herb. n. a lyttel neck and put her hand. Herb. p. that,

The names of those who were called Anne Boleyn's accusers have occurred in the preceding Letters.

The close of her catastrophe shall be detailed in the words of Burnet :

"A little before noon, being the 19th. of May, she was brought to the Scaffold, where she made a short speech to a great company that came to look on the last scene of this fatal Tragedy : the chief of whom were the Dukes of Suffolk (age 52) and Richmond (age 16), the Lord Chancellor, and Secretary Cromwell (age 51), with the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London. She said she was come to die, as she was judged by the Law ; she would accuse none, nor say any thing of the ground upon which she was judged. She prayed heartily for the King ; and called him a most merciful and gentle Prince, and that he had been always to her a good, gentle, sovereign lord : and if any would meddle with her cause, she required them to judge the best. And so she took her leave of them and of the world ; and heartily desired they would pray for her. After she had been some time in her devotions, being her last words 'to Christ I commend my Soul,' her head was cut off by the hangman of Calais, who was brought over as more expert at beheading than any in England : her eyes and lips were observed to move after her head was cut off, as Spelman writes ; but her body was thrown into a common chest of elm tree, that was made to put arrows in, and was buried in the chapel within the Tower [Map] before twelve o'clock.

"Her brother (deceased) with the other four did also suffer. None of them were quartered, but they were all beheaded, except Smeton, who was hanged. It was generally said, that he was corrupted into that confession, and had his life promised him ; but it was not fit to let him live to tell tales. Norris had been much in the King's favour, and an offer was made him of his life, if he would confess his guilt, and accuse the Queen. But he generously rejected that unhandsome proposition, and said that in his consciiaice he thought her innocent of these things laid to her charge ; but whether she was or not, he would not accuse her of any thing, and he would die a thousand times rather than ruin an innocent person."a

On the day of the execution, Henry the Eighth put on white for mourning, as though he would have said, "I am innocent of this deed:" and the next day was married to Jane Seymour (age 27).

The good Melanchton, whose visit to England was prevented by the afflicting news of the Queen's execution, has elegantly expressed his opinion of her innocence, in a letter to Joachim Camerarius, dated on the fifth of the ides of June 1536:

"Anglicas profectionis cura prorsus liberatus sum. Postquam enim tarn tragic! casus in Anglia acciderunt, magna consiliorum mutatio secuta est. Posterior Regina, Magis Accusata quam Convicta Adulterii, ultimo supplicio affecta est. Quam mirabiles sunt rerum vices, mi Joachime, quantam Dei iram omnibus hominibus denunciant, in quantas calamitates etiam ex summo fastigio potentissimi homines hoc tempore decidunt Haec cum cogito, etiam nobis aerumnas nostras et nostra pericula asquiore animo ferenda esse dispute."b

To some it has been a cause of surprize, that Anne Boleyn should have passed an encomium upon Henry the Eighth at her death. Indeed it is remarkable that at almost every execution hi that sanguinary period, the praise of the Sovereign was pronounced by those who fell upon the scaffold. It seems to have been so directed by the Government. Tyndale, from whose "Practice of Prelates" we have already made an extract respecting the disclosure of Confessions, has another passage upon this point, too important not to be given here:

"When any Great Man is put to death, how his Confessore entreateth him ; and what penance is enjoyned him concerning what he shall say when he cometh unto the place of execution. I coude gesse at a practyse that might make mennes eares glowe."e

In Anne Boleyn's case, however, it may be in part ascribed to anxiety for the safety of her daughter.

Anne Boleyn's execution was a fatal precedent for succeeding times. Henry having beheaded one Queen, proceeded fearlessly to the beheading of another. Elizabeth familiarized the application of the axe to royalty one step farther ; for she beheaded a foreign Queen who had taken shelter in her dominions. Half a Century later, and the people beheaded their Sovereign.

Note a. Burnet, Hist. Reform, vol. i. p. 205.

Note b. Melancht. Epist. 8 Lips. 1569.

Note c. Pract. of Prelates, 12" Marborch, 1530.

On 02 Jul 1536 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 51) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.

On 08 Jul 1536 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 51) was created 1st Baron Cromwell of Wimbledon in Surrey.

by 1537 Maurice Berkeley (age 31) was a member of Thomas Cromwell's (age 52) household.

Hall's Chronicle 1537. 23 Apr 1537. This year at the feast of St George, was the Lord Cromwell (age 52) made knight of the Gartier.

On 23 Apr 1537 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 52) was appointed 300th Knight of the Garter by King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 45).

Bigod's Rebellion

Letters and Papers 1537. 08 Jul 1537. 228. Cromwell (age 52) to Sir Thomas Wyat (age 34).

Harl. MS. 282, f. 205. B. M. Nott's Wyatt, 316.

Writes this by George Pery, a gentleman of M. Chappuys, the Emperor's ambassador. Here at Stepney this morning arrived Rougecroix the herald with Wyat's letters dated 24 June. Forwarded them straightway to the King at Oking. Thanks him for his letters written at his first arrival before he had audience and for those now received. Touching communications with the Emperor's ambassadors, of which Cromwell wrote by M. de Vauldray, hopes for a good result. No news since last writing. The traitors have been executed, lord Darcy (deceased) at Tower Hill and lord Hussey (deceased) at Lincoln, Aske (age 37) hanged upon the dungeon of York Castle, Sir Robt. Constable (deceased) hanged at Hull, and the rest at Thyfbourne; so that all the cankered hearts are weeded away.

On 03 Aug 1537 [his son] Gregory Cromwell 1st Baron Cromwell Oakham (age 17) and [his daughter-in-law] Elizabeth Seymour Baroness Cromwell Oakham (age 19) were married at Mortlake, Richmond. He the son of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 52) and Elizabeth Wyckes.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. 26 Aug 1537. This yeare, on Soundaie the 26th daie of August, the Lord Crumwell (age 52) was made Knight of the Garter and stlled at Wyndsore.

Birth and Christening Edward VI

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.

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.

Letters and Papers 1537. 14 Nov 1537. 1086. Queen Margaret of Scotland (age 47) to Cromwell (age 52).

I thank you for your writing by the King my brother's servant and for the joyful tidings that God has sent him a prince. Complains of her ill treatment and begs Cromwell's help. Desires her letters to the King and him to be kept secret. 14 October (sic). Signature cut off.

On 10 Mar 1538 Philip Hoby (age 33) arrived in Brussels [Map] with Hans Holbein The Younger (age 41) having been sent by Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 53) to procure a portrait of Christina Oldenburg Duchess Lorraine (age 16). King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 46) received the protrait on 18 Mar 1538 and was reported to have been pleased.

Letters and Papers 1538. 23 Mar 1538. Spanish Calendar, V. ii. No. 220. 583. Chapuys (age 48) to the Queen of Hungary (age 32).

She has done well in writing to Cromwell (age 53), who was much gratified by her letter. The French ambassadors have had difficulty in getting an interview with the King (age 46), and were ill received; on which the Bishop of Tarbes said to the Venetian secretary he would do his best to promote a peace between the Emperor and France. Next day the Bishop received a present of 500 cr. and 150 cr. for a gentleman of his suite; but he has not yet got his passports, which the King (age 46) will probably not give till he has heard from Spain. On the same day, the 18th, the painter (age 41) returned with the Duchess' (age 16) likeness, which has pleased the King (age 46) much, and put him in much better humour. He has been masking and visiting the Duchess of Suffolk (age 19), &c. Does not think, however, that he is pleased at the meeting arranged between the Pope, the Emperor, and Francis. London, 23 March 1538.From a MS. at Vienna.

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 18 Apr 1540 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) was created 1st Earl Essex

On 19 Apr 1540 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) was appointed Lord Chamberlain.

Arrest and Attainder of Thomas Cromwell

On 10 Jun 1540 Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) attended a Meeting of the Privy Council where he was arrested. It isn't entirely clear why he was arrested but his role in the King's recent failed marriage to Anne of Cleves Queen Consort England (age 24) is likely to have played a part. Either Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 67) or William Fitzwilliam 1st Earl of Southampton (age 50) tore off Cromwell's (age 55) St George of the Order of the Garter; the source of this story unknown? He was imprisoned in the Tower of London [Map].

Earl Essex and Baron Cromwell of Wimbledon in Surrey forfeit.

Letters and Papers 1540. After 10 Jun 1540. Burnet, iv. 415. 60. Not printed in the Statutes at Large. [c. 62]. Attainder of Thomas Crumwell, Earl of Essex (age 55), whom the King has raised from a very base and low degree to the state of an earl, and who nevertheless, as is proved by many "personages of great honor, worship, and discretion," has been the most detestable traitor that has been seen during the King's reign, and has of his own authority set at liberty divers persons convicted of misprision of treason and others apprehended upon suspicion of treason; and also has, for sums of money, granted licences for the export of money, corn, &c., contrary to the King's proclamations; and also has appointed commissioners in important affairs without the King's knowledge; and also "being a person of as poor and low degree as few be" within this realm, has said publicly, "That he was sure of you" (i.e. the King), and it is detestable that any subject should speak so of his sovereign; and also has give passports to divers persons to go over sea without search; and also, being a detestable heretic, has dispersed into all shires false and erroneous books, many of which were printed beyond seas, tending to the discredit of the blessed sacrament of the altar and other articles of religion declared by the King by the authority of Parliament, and has caused parts of the said books to be translated into English, and although the report made by the translator thereof has been that the matter was expressly against the sacrament of the altar, has, after reading the translation, affirmed the heresy so translated to be good; and also has obstinately maintained that every Christian may be a minister of the said sacrament as well as a priest; and also, being the King's vicegerent to reform errors and direct ecclesiastical causes, has, without the King's knowledge, licensed heretics to preach and teach, and has actually written to sheriffs in sundry shires, as if it were the King's pleasure, to set at large many false heretics; and also upon complaints being made to him of heretics, has defended the said heretics, and rebuked the credible persons, their accusers, &c.; and moreover, 31 March 30 Henry VIII., in the parish of St. Peter the Poor in London, upon information made to him against certain new preachers, as Robert Barnes and other, whereof part be now in the Tower for preaching against the King's proclamations, did arrogantly say in defence of their preaching, "That if the King would turn from it, yet I would not turn; and if the King did turn and all his people I would fight in the field in my own person with my sword in my hand against him and all other," and held up his dagger saying, "Or else this dagger thrust me to the heart if I would not die in that quarrel against them all; and I trust if I live one year or two it shall not lie in the King's power to resist or let it if he would," and affirming the words by a great oath, &c.; and moreover by bribery and extortion he obtained innumerable sums of money, and, being so enriched, has held the nobles of the Realm in great disdain, "and being put in remembrance of others of his estate which your Highness hath called him unto offending in like treasons," said, 31 Jan. 31 Henry VIII., in the parish of St. Martin in the Fields, Midd., "That if the lords would handle him so, that he would give them such a breakfast as never was made in England, and that the proudest of them should know." To suffer as a heretic or traitor, at the King's pleasure, and forfeit all property held since 31 March 30 Henry VIII. Saving clause excepting the deanery of Wells from forfeiture.

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…

Letters of Thomas Cromwell. Thomas Cromwell (age 55) to King Henry VIII. 12 Jun 1540. [B.M. Titus B. i, 273, TNA xv no. 776].

Most gracious King and most merciful sovereign, your most humble most obedient and most bounden subject and most lamentable servant and prisoner, prostrates at the feet of your most excellent majesty. I have heard your pleasure by the mouth of your Comptroller [William Kingston (age 64)] which was that I should write to your most excellent highness, such things as I thought mete to be written concerning my most miserable state and condition, for the which your most abundant goodness, benignity and license the immortal God there and on reward, Your Majesty. And now, most gracious Prince, to the matter. First whereas I have been accused to your Majesty of treason, to that I say I never in all my life thought willingly to do that thing that might or should displease your Majesty and much less to do or say that thing which of itself is so high and abominable offence, as God knows who I doubt not shall reveal the truth to your Highness. My accusers your Grace knows God forgive them. For as I ever have had love to your honour, person life, prosperity, health, wealth, joy, and comfort, and also your most dear and most entirely beloved son, the Prince his Grace, and your proceeding. God so help me in this my adversity and confound me if ever I thought the contrary. What labours, pains and travails I have taken according to my most bounden duty, God also knows, for if it were in my power as it is God’s to make your Majesty to live ever young and prosperous, God knows I would, if it had been or were in my power to make you so rich, as you might enrich all men. God help me, as I would do it if it had been, or were, in my power to make your Majesty so puissant as all the world should be compelled to obey you. Christ, he knows I would for so am I of all other most bound for your Majesty who has been the most bountiful prince to me that ever was king to his subject. You are more like a dear father, your Majesty, not offended then a master. Such has been your most grave and godly counsels towards me at sundry times in that I have offended I ask your mercy. Should I now, for such exceeding goodness, benignity, liberality, and bounty be your traitor, nay then the greatest pains were too little for me. Should any faction or any affection to any point make me a traitor to your Majesty then all the devils in hell confound me and the vengeance of God light upon me if I should once have thought it. Most gracious sovereign lord, to my remembrance I never spoke with the Chancellor of the Augmentations [Richard Rich 1st Baron Rich (age 43)] and Throgmorton [Michael Throckmorton] together at one time. But if I did, I am sure I spoke never of any such matter and your Grace knows what manner of man Throgmorton has ever been towards your Grace and your preceding. And what Master Chancellor [Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 52)] has been towards me, God and he best knows I will never accuse him. What I have been towards him, your Majesty, right well knows I would to Christ I had obeyed your often most gracious, grave counsels and advertisements, then it had not been with me as now it is. Yet our lord, if it be his will, can do with me as he did with Susan1 who was falsely accused, unto the which God I have only committed my soul, my body and goods at your Majesty’s pleasure, in whose mercy and piety I do holy repose me for other hope then in God and your Majesty I have not. Sir, as to your Commonwealth, I have after my wit, power and knowledge travailed therein having had no respect to persons (your Majesty only except) and my duty to the same but that I have done any injustice or wrong wilfully, I trust God shall bear my witness and the world not able justly to accuse me, and yet I have not done my duty in all things as I was bound wherefore I ask mercy. If I have heard of any combinations, conventicles or such as were offenders of your laws, I have though not as I should have done for the most part revealed them and also caused them to be punished not of malice as God shall judge me. Nevertheless, Sir, I have meddled in so many matters under your Highness that I am not able to answer them all, but one thing I am well assured of that, wittingly and willingly. I have not had will to offend your Highness, but hard as it is for me or any other meddling as I have done to live under your Grace and your laws, but we must daily offend and where I have offended, I most humbly ask mercy and pardon at your gracious will and pleasure. Amongst other things, most gracious sovereign, Master Comptroller showed me that your Grace showed him that within these 14 days you committed a matter of great secret, which I did reveal contrary to your expectation. Sir, I do remember well the matter which I never revealed to any creature, but this I did, Sir, after your grace had opened the matter first to me in your chamber and declared your lamentable fate declaring the thing which your Highness misliked in the Queen, at which time I showed your Grace that she often desired to speak with me but I dared not and you said why should I not, alleging that I might do much good in going to her and to be playing with her in declaring my mind. I thereupon, lacking opportunity, not being a little grieved spoke privily with her Lord Chamberlain [Thomas Manners 1st Earl of Rutland (age 48)], for the which I ask your Grace mercy, desiring him not naming your Grace to him to find some means that the Queen might be induced to order your Grace pleasantly in her behaviour towards your thinking, thereby for to have had some faults amended, to your Majesty’s comfort. And after that, by general word of the said Lord Chamberlain and others of the Queen’s Council, being with me in my chamber at Westminster for license for the departure of the strange maidens. I then required them to counsel their masters to use all pleasantness to your Highness, the which things undoubtedly warn both spoken before your Majesty committed the secret matter unto me only of purpose that she might have been induced to such pleasant and honourable fashions as might have been to your Grace’s comfort which above all things as God knows I did most court and desire, but that I opened my mouth to any creature after your Majesty committed the secret thereof to me, other then only to my Lord Admiral, which I did by your Grace’s commandment which was upon Sunday last in the morning, whom I then found as willing and glad to ask remedy for your comfort and consolation, and saw by him that he did as much lament your Highness’ fate as ever did a man, and was wonderfully grieved to see your Highness so troubled, wishing greatly your comfort. For the attaining whereof, he said for your honour saved, he would spend the best blood in his body, and if I would not do the like and willingly die for your comfort I would I were in hell, and I would I should receive a thousand deaths. Sir, this is all that I have done in that matter and if I have offended your Majesty, therein prostrate at your Majesty’s feet. I most lowly aske mercy and pardon of your Highness. Sir, there was also laid unto my charge at my examination that I had retained, contrary to your laws, Sir. What exposition may be made upon retainers I know not, but this will I say, if ever I retained any man but such only as were my household servants but against my will God confound me, but, most gracious sovereign, I have been so called on and sought by them that said they were my friend that constrained thereunto. I received their children and friends, not as retainers, for their fathers and parents did promise me to friend them and so took I them not as retainers to my great charge and for none evil as God best knows interpret to the contrary who will most humbly beseeching your Majesty of pardon if I have offended therein. Sir, I do acknowledge myself to have been a most miserable and wretched sinner and that I have not towards God and your Highness behaved myself as I ought and should have done. For the which, my offence to God while I live I shall continually call for his mercy and for my offences to your Grace which God knows were never malicious nor wilful, and that I never thought treason to your Highness your realm or posterity. So God, help me in word or deed, nevertheless I prostrate at your Majesty’s feet in what thing soever I have offended I appeal to your Highness for mercy, grace and pardon in such ways as shall be your pleasure beseeching the almighty maker and redeemer of this world to send your Majesty continual and long health, wealth and prosperity with Nestor’s2 years to reign, and your most dear son, the prince’s grace, to prosper reign and continue long after you, and they that would contrary, a short life, shame, and confusion. Written with the quaking hand and most sorrowful heart of your most sorrowful subject and most humble servant and prisoner, this Saturday at your Tower of London.

Thomas Crumwell

Note 1. The Book of Daniel – a Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs.

Note 2. Nestor from the Iliad, known for wisdom and generosity, which increased as he aged.

House of Lords Journal Volume 1 29 June 1540. 29 Jun 1540. Item Billa Attincture Thome Cromwell, Comitis Essex (age 55), de Crimine Heresis et Lese Majestatis, per Communes de novo concepta; et assens. et simul cum provisione eidem annexa.

Note. This is the confirmation of the attainder of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55).

Letters of Thomas Cromwell. Thomas Cromwell (age 55) to King Henry VIII. 30 Jun 1540.

This letter survives in two forms, as a heavily mutilated draft (British Museum Otho C. x f.247), and a finished copy (Hatfield House, Cecil Papers, 124-7)

To the king, my most gracious Sovereign lord, his Royal Majesty.

Most merciful king and most gracious sovereign lord, may it please the same to be advertised that the last time it pleased your benign goodness, to send unto me the right honourable Lord Chancellor, [Thomas Audley 1st Baron Audley Walden (age 52)] the Right Honourable Duke of Norfolk [Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 67)], and the Lord Admiral [William Fitzwilliam 1st Earl of Southampton (age 50)] to examine, and also to declare to me, diverse things from your Majesty, amongst the which, one special thing they moved and thereupon charged me as I would answer, before God at the dreadful day of Judgement and also upon the extreme danger and damnation of my soul and conscience, to say what I knew in the marriage and concerning the marriage between your highness and the queen, to the which I answered as I knew, declaring to them the particulars as nigh as I then could call to remembrance, which when they had heard, they, in your Majesty’s name, and upon like charge as they had given me, before commanded me to write to your highness the truth as much as I knew in that matter, which now I do, and the very truth as God shall save me, to the uttermost of my knowledge.

First, after your Majesty heard of the lady Anne of Cleves’ arrival at Dover and that her journeys were appointed towards Greenwich, and that she should be at Rochester on New Year’s Eve at night, your highness declared to me that you would privily visit her at Rochester upon New Year’s Day, adding these words "to nourish love," which accordingly your Grace did upon New Year’s Day as is abovesaid. And the next day being Friday, your Grace returned to Greenwich where I spoke with your Grace and demanded of your Majesty how you liked the lady Anne. Your highness answered, as I thought heavily and not pleasantly, "nothing so well as she was spoken of." Saying further that if your highness had known as much before as you then knew, she should not have come within this realm, saying as by way of lamentation what remedy, unto the which I answered and said I knew none but was very sorry. Therefore, and so God knows, I thought it a hard beginning, the next day after the receipt of the said lady and her entry made into Greenwich and after your highness had brought her to her chamber, I then waited upon your highness in your privy chamber, and being there, your Grace called me to you, saying to me these words, or the like, "my lord, is it not as I told you, say what they will, she is nothing so fair as she has been reported, howbeit, she is well and seemly." Whereunto I answered, saying, "by my faith, Sir, you say truth," adding thereunto that yet I thought she had a queenly manner, and nevertheless was sorry that your Grace was no better content, and thereupon your Grace commanded me to call together your Council, which were these by name: the Archbishop of Canterbury, [Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (age 50)] the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk [Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 56)], my lord Admiral, my lord of Durham [Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall (age 66)] and myself, to common of those matters, and to know what commission the Agents of Cleves had brought as well, touching the performance of the covenants sent before from hence to Doctor Wootton [Nicholas Wotton (age 43)] to have been concluded in Cleves, as also in the declaration how the matters stood for the covenants of marriage between the Duke of Lorraine’s son [Francis Lorraine I Duke Lorraine (age 22)] and the said lady Anne. Whereupon, Olisleger and Hoghestein were called and the matters purposed, whereby it plainly appeared that they were much astounded and abashed and desired that they might make answer in the next morning, which was Sunday. Upon Sunday in the morning, your said Councillors and they met early, and there again it was proposed unto them, as well touching the omission for the performance of the treaty and articles sent to Master Wootton, and also touching the contracts and covenants of marriage between the Duke of Lorraine’s son and the lady Anne, and what terms they stood in. To the which things so proposed, they answered as men much perplexed that as touching the commission they had none to treat concerning the articles sent to Mr. Wootton, and as to the contract and covenant of marriage they could say nothing but that a revocation was made, and that they were but spouseless, and finally after much reasoning they offered themselves to remain prisoners until such time as they should have sent unto them from Cleves, the first articles ratified under the Duke, [William La Marck Duke of Jülich Cleves Berg (age 23)] their Master’s, signature and seal, and also the copy of the revocation made between the Duke of Lorraine’s son and the lady Anne. Upon the which answers, I was sent to your highness by my lords of your said Council to declare to your highness what answer they had made, and came to your highness by the privy way into your privy chamber and declared to the same all the circumstances, where your Grace was very much displeased, saying I am not well handled, insomuch that I might well perceive that your highness was fully determined not to have gone through with the marriage at that time, saying unto me these word or the like, in effect that, "if it were not that she is come so far into my realm, and the great preparations that my states and people have made for her, and for fear of making of a ruffle in the world, that is to mean to drive her brother into the hands of the Emperor and French king’s hands, being now together, I would never have nor marry her," so that I might well perceive your Grace was neither content with the person nor yet content with the preceding of the Agents. And after dinner, the said Sunday, your Grace sent for all your said Councillors, and in repeating how your highness was handled as well as touching the said articles and also the said matter of the Duke of Lorraine’s son, it might, and I doubt not, did appear to them how loathe your highness was to have married at that time. And thereupon and upon the considerations aforesaid, your Grace thought that it should be well done that she should make a protestation before your said Councillors, and notaries to be present, that she was free from all contracts which was done accordingly. Thereupon, I repairing to your highness, declaring how that she had made her protestation, whereunto your Grace answered in effect the words, or much like, "there is none other remedy but that I must need against my will, put my neck in the yoke," and so I departed, leaving your highness in a study or pensiveness. And yet your Grace determined the next morning to go through, and in the morning which was Monday, your Majesty, preparing yourself towards the ceremony, there was some question who should lead here to church and it was appointed that the Earl of Essex [Henry Bourchier 2nd Earl Essex 3rd Count Eu] desist, and an earl that came with her should lead her to church, and thereupon one came to your highness and said unto you that the Earl of Essex was not yet come, whereupon your Grace appointed me to be the one that should lead here. And so I went unto her chamber to the intent to have done your commandment, and shortly after I came into the chamber, the Earl of Essex had come, whereupon I repaired back again in to your Grace’s privy chamber and showed your highness how he had come, and thereupon your Majesty advanced towards the gallery out of your privy chamber, and your Grace, being in and about the middle of your chamber of presence, called me unto you, saying the words or the like in sentence, "my lord, if it were not to satisfy the world and my realm, I would not do that I must do this day for no earthly thing." And there, with one brought your Grace’s word that she was coming, and thereupon your Grace repaired into the gallery towards the closet and there paused her coming, being nothing content that she so long tarried as I judged then, and so consequently she came, and your Grace afterwards proceeded to the ceremony, and then being finished travelled the day, as appertained, and the night after the custom. And in the morning on Tuesday, I repairing to your Majesty in to your privy chamber, finding your Grace not so pleasant as I trusted to have done, I was so bold to ask your Grace how you liked the queen, whereunto your Grace soberly answered, saying that I was not all men, surely my lord as you know I liked her before not well but now I like her much worse. For to quote your highness; "I have felt her belly and her breasts and thereby as I can judge she should be not a maid, which struck me so to the heart when I felt them that I had neither will nor courage to proceed any further in other matters," saying, "I have left her as good a maid as I found her," which me thought then you spoke displeasantly, which I was very sorry to hear. Your highness also, after Candlemas, and before Shrovetide, once or twice said that you were in the same case with her as you were before and that your heart could never consent to meddle with her carnally. Notwithstanding, your highness alleged that you, for the most part, used to lie with her nightly or every second night, and yet your Majesty ever said that she was as good a maid for you as ever her mother bore her, for anything that you had ministered to her. Your highness showed me also in Lent last passed, at such time as your Grace had some communication with her of my lady Mary how that she began to wax stubborn and wilful, ever lamenting your fate and ever verifying that you had never any carnal knowledge with her, and also after Easter your Grace likewise at diverse times. In the Whitsun week. in your Grace’s privy chamber at Greenwich, exceedingly lamented your fate and that your greatest grief was that you should surely never have any more children for the comfort of this realm if you should so continue, assuring me that before God you thought she was never your lawfully wife, at which time your Grace knows what answer I made, which was that I would for my part do my uttermost to comfort and deliver your Grace of your affliction, and how sorry I was, both to see and hear your Grace. God knows your Grace diverse times since Whitsuntide declared the like to me, ever alleging one thing, and also saying that you had as much done to much the consent of your heart and mind as ever did man, and that you took God to witness, but ever you said the obstacle could never out of your mind, and gracious prince, after that you had first seen her at Rochester, I never thought in my heart that you were or would be contented with that marriage, and Sir, I know now in what case I stand in, which is only in the mercy of God and your Grace, if I have not to the uttermost of my remembrance said the truth and the whole truth in this matter, God never help me. I am sure as I think there is no man living in this your realm that knew more in this then I did, your highness only except, and I am sure my lord Admiral, calling to his remembrance, can show your highness and be my witness to what I said unto him after your Grace came from Rochester, and also after your Grace’s marriage, and also now of late since Whitsuntide, and I doubt not but many and diverse of my lords of your Council, both before your manage and since, have right well perceived that your Majesty has not been well pleased with your marriage, and as I shall answer to God I never thought your Grace content after you had once seen her at Rochester, and this is all that I know.

Most gracious and most merciful sovereign lord, beseeching almighty God, whoever in all your causes has ever counselled perceived, opened, maintained, relieved and defended your highness so he now will save to counsel you, preserve you, maintain you, remedy you, relieve and defend you as may be most to your honour, wealth prosperity, health and comfort of your heart’s desires. For the which, and for the long life and prosperous reign of your most royal Majesty, I shall, during my life and while I am here, pray to almighty God that He of his most abundant goodness, will help aid and comfort you, and after your continuance of Nestor’s1 years, that that most noble Imp, the prince’s grace, your most dear son, may succeed you to reign long, prosperously and felicitously to God’s pleasure, beseeching most humbly, your Grace to pardon this, my rude writing, and to consider that I am a most woeful prisoner, ready to take the death when it shall please God and your Majesty. Yet the frail flesh incites me continually to call to your Grace for mercy and pardon for my offences and in this, Christ save, preserve, and keep you. Written the Tower, this Wednesday the last of June, with the heavy heart and trembling hand of your highness’ most heavy and most miserable prisoner and poor slave.

Most gracious prince, I cry for mercye, mercye, mercye

Thomas Crumwell

Note 1. Nestor from the Iliad, known for wisdom and generosity, which increased as he aged. The comparison was considered a compliment

Hall's Chronicle 1540. 19 Jul 1540. The xix. day of July, Thomas Lord Cromwell (age 55), late made Earl of Essex, as before you have hard, being in the counsel chamber, was suddenly apprehended, and committed to the Tower of London [Map], the which many lamented, but more rejoiced, and especially such, as ether had been religious men, or favoured religious persons, for they banqueted, and triumphed together that night, many wishing that that day had been seven years before, and some fearing least he should escape, although he were imprisoned, could not be merry. Other who knew nothing but truth by him, both lamented him, and heartily prayed for him. But this is true that of certain of the clergy, he was detestably hated, and specially of such as had borne swinge, and by his meanes was put from it, for in deed he was a man, that in all his doings, seemed not to favour any kind of Popery, nor could not abide the snoffing pride of some prelates, which undoubtedly whatsoever else was the cause of his death, did shorten his life, and procured the end that he was brought unto which was that the xix. day of the said month, he was attainted by Parliament, and never came to his answer, which law many reported, he was the causer of the making thereof, but the truth thereof I know not. The Articles for which he died, appear in the Record, where his attainder is written, which are too long to be here rehearsed, but to conclude he was there attainted of heresy, and high treason.

Letters of Thomas Cromwell. 24 Jul 1540. Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) to the Privy Council. [LP xv no. 910]

It pleases your good lordships to understand that I have read the letter sent to the king’s Majesty, sent from the French king, touching Monsieur de Rochepot, in which it appears that the French king supposes that, by my means, the said matter has not been ordered, and that I should have a great part of that prize. My lords, first, as I shall answer to God, I never bore favour in the matter otherwise than to justice appertaining, which was that Easterlings, who said they were, being in league with the French king, robbed by his subjects, desiring that forasmuch as their goods were safe within the king’s ports that they might have justice here. Whereupon, the matter was committed to the hearing of the Judge of the Admiralty, and the Proctor of Monsieur de Rochepot agreed and consented to the jurisdiction of the court, and so the French party as well as the Easterlings contended upon the matter as to whether it should be tried in France or England. Thereupon, as I remember a sentence was given that the matter should be tried in England, whereupon the French party departed and after sent hither an advocate of France, who took himself to be satisfied with the order taken, and also departed. After the ambassador, now present here, made suit to the king to have the matter remitted to be determined in France, at which time a consultation of learned men before the king’s honourable council was had at Gilford, and there it was thought that the king’s Majesty might, with his honour, remit the matter into France. But it was agreed on the king’s part that if the French king would send his commissary to a place indifferent, then his Majesty would the like and whatsoever should be determined there should be performed. My Lord of Norfolk [Thomas Howard 3rd Duke of Norfolk (age 67)], me Lord Privy Seal, my Lord of Durham [Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall (age 66)] and my Lord of Winchester were at that Council, and my Lord of London was at that time, being the king’s ambassador, fully instructed of the whole matter, but that ever I had any part of that prize or that I were promised any part thereof, my lords, assure yourselves I was not, as God shall and may help me. This, my good lords, I pray the eternal Redeemer to preserve you all in long life good health with long prosperity. At the Tower the 24th day of July with the trembling hand of your bedesman.

Thomas Crumwell

Execution of Thomas Cromwell

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1540. 28 Jul 1540. This yeare, the 28th dale of Julie Sir Thomas Crumwell (age 55), Earle of Essex, was beheaded at the Tower Hill, and Walter Lord named Hungerforde (age 37) was beheaded with him, also for treason of boggery,d their heades sett on London Bridge, and their bodies were buried within the Tower of London; they were condemned by the whole bodie of this last Perliament,e Thomas Cromwell for heresie, treason, I and fellonie, and extortion.f

Note d. Lord Hungerford (age 37) at the hour of his death seemed so unqoiet that many judged him rather frenzied than otherwise; he suffered, as it was said, for buggery. Stow.

Note e. The unanimity of Parliament is attested by the entries on the Journals, "Hodie (June 19) lecta est pro secundo et tertio, villa attincturs Thorns Comitis Essex, et communi omnium procerum tunc prssentium concessu, nemine discrepante, expedita est."

Note f. The summary process of an attainder without a trial, which Crumwell had first devised against the aged Countess of Salisbury (age 66), was resorted to against himself. He was declared by his peers a manifold traitor and detestable heretic, but his real crime was having urged his royal master, as a means of advancing his grand Protestant scheme, to solicit the hand of Anne of Cleves.

On 28 Jul 1540 Thomas Cromwell (age 55) was beheaded at Tower Hill [Map]. Earl Essex, Baron Cromwell of Wimbledon in Surrey forfeit. He was buried at St Peter ad Vincula Church, Tower of London [Map].

Chronicle of Greyfriars. 28 Jul 1540 ... and the 28th day of July was he [Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55)] and Lorde Walter Hungerforthe (age 37) beheaded at at Tower Hill, Cromwell for treasone and lord Hungerforthe for buggery.

Letters of Thomas Cromwell. 28 Jul 1540. Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex (age 55) Scaffold Speech.

I am come hither to die, and not to purge my self, as some think peradventure that I will. For if I should so do, I were a very wretch and a Miser. I am by the Law condemned to die, and thank my Lord God, that hath appointed me this death for mine Offence. For sithence the time that I have had years of discretion, I have lived a sinner, and offended my Lord God, for the which I ask him heartily forgiveness. And it is not unknown to many of you, that I have been a great Traveller in this World, and being but of a base degree, was called to high estate, and sithence the time I came thereunto I have offended my Prince, for the which I ask him heartily forgiveness, and beseech you all to pray to God with me, that he will forgive me. And now I pray you that be here, to bear me record, I die in the Catholic Faith, not doubting in any Article of my Faith, no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church. Many have slandered me and reported that I have been a bearer of such as have maintained evil Opinions, which is untrue. But I confess, that like as God by his holy Spirit doth instruct us in the Truth, so the Devil is ready to seduce us, and I have been seduced; but bear me witness that I die in the Catholic Faith of the holy Church; and I heartily desire you to pray for the Kings Grace, that he may long live with you in health and prosperity; and that after him his Son Prince Edward that goodly Imp may long Reign over you. And once again I desire you to pray for me, that so long as life remaineth in this flesh, I waver nothing in my Faith.

O Lord Jesus, which art the only health of all men living, and the everlasting life of them which die in thee; I wretched sinner do submit my self wholly unto thy most blessed will, and being sure that the thing cannot Perish which is committed unto thy mercy, willingly now I leave this frail and wicked flesh, in sure hope that thou wilt in better wise restore it to me again at the last day in the resurrection of the just. I beseech thee most merciful Lord Jesus Christ, that thou wilt by thy grace make strong my Soul against all temptations, and defend me with the Buckler of thy mercy against all the assaults of the Devil. I see and knowledge that there is in my self no hope of Salvation, but all my confidence, hope and trust is in thy most merciful goodness. I have no merits nor good works which I may allege before thee. Of sins and evil works, alas, I see a great heap; but yet through thy mercy I trust to be in the number of them to whom thou wilt not impute their sins; but wilt take and accept me for righteous and just, and to be the inheritor of everlasting life. Thou merciful Lord wert born for my sake, thou didst suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake; thou didst teach, pray, and fast for my sake; all thy holy Actions and Works thou wroughtest for my sake; thou sufferedst most grievous Pains and Torments for my sake; finally, thou gavest thy most precious Body and thy Blood to be shed on the Cross for my sake. Now most merciful Saviour, let all these things profit me, which hast given thy self also for me. Let thy Blood cleanse and wash away the spots and fulness of my sins. Let thy righteousness hide and cover my unrighteousness. Let the merit of thy Passion and blood shedding be satisfaction for my sins. Give me, Lord, thy grace, that the Faith of my salvation in thy Blood waver not in me, but may ever be firm and constant. That the hope of thy mercy and life everlasting never decay in me, that love wax not cold in me. Finally, that the weakness of my flesh be not overcome with the fear of death. Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up the eyes of my Body, yet the eyes of my Soul may still behold and look upon thee, and when death hath taken away the use of my Tongue, yet my heart may cry and say unto thee, Lord into thy hands I commend my Soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen.

Hall's Chronicle 1540. 28 Jul 1540. The twenty and eighth day of July, as you have heard before in this year, was the Lorde Cromwell (age 55) beheaded, and with him likewise was beheaded the Lord Hungerford of Heytesbury (age 37), which certainly at the time of his death, seemed to be very unquiet in mind and rather in a frensy then otherwise.

Around 1625 based on a work of 1532. Unknown Painter. Portrait of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex.

[his daughter] Anne Cromwell was born to Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex and Elizabeth Wyckes.

Strype Ecclesiastical Memorials Volume 5 Letter LXXI. The Lady Brian, governess to the Lady Elizabeth, her letter to the Lord Crumwel, from Hunsdon [Map] ; for instructtions concerning the said lady, after the death Queen Anne her mother.

Cott. Librar. Otho. C. 10.

[his daughter] Grace Cromwell was born to Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex and Elizabeth Wyckes.

Royal Ancestors of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex 1485-1540

Kings Wessex: Great x 19 Grand Son of King Edward "Elder" of the Anglo Saxons

Kings England: Great x 13 Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Kings Franks: Great x 21 Grand Son of Louis "Pious" King Aquitaine I King Franks

Kings France: Great x 16 Grand Son of Robert "Pious" II King France

Royal Descendants of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex 1485-1540

Queen Consort Camilla Shand x 1

Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 1

Ancestors of Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex 1485-1540

Great x 4 Grandfather: Richard Cromwell 7 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Great x 3 Grandfather: John Cromwell 8 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Great x 2 Grandfather: Robert Cromwell 9 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Great x 1 Grandfather: William Cromwell 10 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

GrandFather: John Cromwell 11 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Father: Walter Cromwell 12 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl Essex 13 x Great Grand Son of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England

Mother: Katherine Glossop