• Today in Tudor history...

    27 May 1444 - Death of John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset, English military leader


    27 May 1510-Henry VIII to Ferdinand,King of Aragon

    Has not written lately, having no news; but takes this occasion, as the Spanish ambassador is returning to Spain, to write that he and his Queen are happy and his kingdom tranquil. Heard with pleasure what the newly appointed Spanish ambassador communicated, and commissioned some of his chief Councillors to negociate; which has already led to a satisfactory result. Greenwich, 27 May.

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    27 May 1510-Catherine of Aragon to Ferdinand,King of Aragon

    Was delivered of a daughter, still-born, an event which in England is considered unlucky, and therefore she has not written sooner. She and her husband cheerful. Thanks God for such a husband. When in labour vowed a rich head-dress to St. Peter the Martyr, of the Franciscan Order; and sent it by a niece of the Treasurer Morales who wishes to become a nun of that Order. The girl's father has detained both Katharine's letter to the Prioress and the head-dress, as his daughter's property. Begs Ferdinand to reprimand the father. Considers favours done to her confessor as done to herself. Greenwich, 27 May.

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    27 May 1536- Cardinal Reginald Pole sent to Henry VIII a copy of De Unitate Ecclesiastica


    After expressing the difficulty he has in writing either against the King or against his own conscience, seeing that others have been punished with death for their loyalty, he says he nevertheless feels it a duty, as he is the only one of the English nobility whom the King has educated from a boy. He then enters into a long argument in reply to Sampson's defence of the King's authority; and taunts Sampson with conduct like that of Judas in betraying the Church for some money promised him in past years by the King out of the bishopric of Norwich, expecting also that bishopric for himself. Speaks of the execution of Fisher and More, and of More's character as a judge, of his trial, and of his daughter embracing him on the way to execution,—how he was seen looking grey for the first time on coming out of prison, and how even strangers could not refrain from tears on hearing of his fate. Pole himself can hardly write for tears, having known the man as he did. Describes also Fisher's character, and refers to the Carthusian and Bridgetine martyrs, especially to one whom he knew personally, by name Reynolds (ei Reginaldi erat nomen), remarkable for his holiness of life and for his learning. He was the only monk in England who knew the three languages "quibus omnis liberalis doctrina continetur." Such was his constancy that, as an eyewitness informed Pole, he put his own neck into the noose, looking more like one putting on the insignia of royalty than one about to undergo punishment. Refers also to the Observants. Though it seems a hopeless task to recall Henry to virtue, yet as the prayers of Mary and Martha recalled a brother from corruption, so Katharine now prays for her husband, and Mary for her father; even Achab repented. Compares Henry's conduct to that of Nero and Domitian, and appeals to the Emperor to protect thousands of Christians from a far greater danger than the Turk. At the very time of Charles V.'s glorious expedition to Africa, Henry, bearing most untruly the name of Defender of the Faith, did not merely kill but tore to pieces all the true defenders of old religion in a more inhuman fashion than the Turk. Who that knew Fisher would have expected that a man so old and feeble in health and slender in body could have endured imprisonment even for one month? Pole, certainly, when he left England three years before, did not believe that, with the utmost care, he would have lived more than a year longer. Was told afterwards that when he was brought to London to be sent to prison he was so weak that for some time he lost consciousness. Yet he endured 15 months' imprisonment. "Who," the writer asks, "does not acknowledge the hand of God beyond nature that lengthened his life to your shame that he might perish by your sword, and allowed him to be enrolled among the number of cardinals, that it might be known to the whole world that you had slain not merely an excellent bishop, against whom you had no just cause, but a cardinal over whom you had no authority?" The writer then warns the King that the Pope is urgently entreated to expel him from the Church as a rotten member, nor can Henry expect his subjects to keep faith with him when he has broken it so shamefully with them. During the 27 years he has reigned he has continually plundered them, and if he was liberal in anything, it was certainly not in things making for the common weal. He has robbed every kind of man, made a sport of the nobility, never loved the people, troubled the clergy, and torn like a wild beast the men who were the greatest honor to his kingdom. What epitaph is to be placed on Henry's tomb except the recital of these facts, unless this is to be added, that he has obtained for himself from the universities the name of an incestuous person, and by the slaughter of his best men has got himself acknowledged 'Head of the Church.' Warns him by the fate of Richard III., that he may find few friends one day, and concludes with a strong exhortation to repentance.

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    27 May 1538-Princess Mary to Cromwell.


    Thanks his Lordship for his gentle and friendly letter received on Sunday last, for his diligence, to further her in the King's favour, and for his wise and friendly counsel to eschew things whereby she might seem to give any other occasion than should be expedient' for her. Protests she would rather suffer bodily pain than lose any jot of the King s favour. As to the lodging of strangers that he writes of, fears it has been reported to the worst, but promises to refrain altogether from doing so in future. Begs him to continue to counsel her. Richemont, 27 May.

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    27 May 1541 -Execution of  Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, daughter of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and his wife Lady Isabel Neville,niece of Edward IV,Richard III and Anne NevilleI.Her husband was Sir Richard Pole and she was the mother of Reginald Pole

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    27 May 1544-Henry VIII. to Hertford.

    Thanks him for his accomplishment of the charge committed to him in Scotland, and requires him to give Henry's thanks to those whose courage and manliness he has (like a good captain) in his letters commended, viz.:—the earl of Shrewesbury, Viscount Lisle and all others who were with him in this journey. Westm., 27 May 


    27 May 1564-Death of John Calvin, one of the dominant figures of the Protestant Reformation



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