• Today in Tudor History...

    15 July 1497 - Birth of William Neville.He was the second son of Richard Neville, 2nd Baron Latimer, and Anne Stafford


    1526-Erasmus to Catherine of Aragon

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    It is now two years since I promised Wm. Mountjoy, steward of your household, to write "De Institutione Christiani Matrimonii." I have been prevented from completing my wish; and possibly, therefore, what is now written may, from my numerous interruptions, appear frigid; but wherein I have failed, you will be a living example by your piety, "vel sanctissimi vel felicissimi conjugii. Absit adulationis suspicio! Non tua bona, sed dona Dei in te, tum miramur, tum prædicamus." I expect nothing less of your daughter Mary; for what is not to be expected of a daughter sprung from such pious parents, and educated under such a mother. Basle, idus Julii 1526.


    1534- Chapuys to Charles V.

    Six days ago lord Rochford set out for France in great haste. I do not know the reason, unless the King thinks that Francis wishes to be excused from the interview, in consequence of what he has said about the papal authority, or to ask him to send to Scotland to counteract your majesty's envoy, as they are informed, and perhaps complain to the said king of France of the man you have sent to Ireland, so as to incite the said king to some enterprise.

    The ambassadors of Lubeck and Hamburg have not been in Court since St. John's day, and have had no opportunity of communicating with the Council, unless it was yesterday, when they dined with the archbishop of Canterbury, and met the Chancellor, Cromwell, two bishops created by the new pope and Dr. Foxe. After dinner they were a long time together, and I am told the chief subject of their conversation was about certain articles of the Lutheran sect, both relating to the Pope and other things, on which those here wished to consult the doctor of Lubeck and to consider the best means of enforcing them among the people. This is very probable, because the above-named persons are the most perfect Lutherans in the world. I will inquire about it all I can.

    Two days ago the earl of Wiltshire and the Comptroller went again to summon the Princess to renounce her title, in which case the King would treat her better than she could wish, but if she refused it would be quite the contrary. She replied so wisely that they returned quite confounded. I had given her notice the day before of their visit, writing to her what seemed advisable to confirm her in her good purpose and keep her in hope, as I do almost every day. I don't know if hereafter [I shall have] such an opportunity, as they have threatened to shut her up in her chamber.

    Yesterday, when Cromwell was at the house of the archbishop of Canterbury, I wrote to him a note (billiet)that since he would give me no answer about the leave to visit the Queen, which I had continually solicited since Whitsuntide, I was determined to leave and go to her tomorrow, where I should find the porters, “que men escrerciront du si ou non”; and because the said porters knew what they had to do, and as I did not wish to work underhand, I had informed him. Having received my note he communicated with the others, and reported to my messenger the charge that I had given him, and afterwards said that he had not been able till then to persuade the King to grant me the said licence, but considering the determination expressed in my letter, he thought he would consent; and he would forthwith despatch a man to the King with my letter, and I should have an answer this evening. Of late a number of hackbutmen and gunners have been assembled to send with the deputy governor of Ireland, but it appears they are in no hurry, and I do not see that they are taking any other measures, though it is necessary they should do so secretly on many accounts. London, 16 July 1534.


    1536-Reginald Pole to Henry VIII.



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    I received your letters dated 14th June on the 30th, and learn the receipt of my book and letters to your Grace, sent by my servant, and your Grace's desire that, as divers places could best be explained by conference with the writer, I should repair to your presence; so that as I learn by your Grace's letter (but much more by Mr. Secretary's, "stirring me more vehemently," and most of all by the bearer of both) you expect not a letter but me in person. Protests there is nothing he desires more than to do so, but that the King himself alone prevents it, for to come to him would be "temerariously" to cast himself away; seeing that, ever since the King cast his love and affection to her whose deeds have declared she never loved him, every man is a traitor that will not accept him for head of the church in his realm. This law enforced "with so sore severity" against the best men of the realm, suffering the pain of traitors, who throughout their whole lives had been the King's most faithful servants,— this law, against which is the whole process of the writer's book, is a sufficient impediment to his coming. The extreme heat of the season and other causes might have excused delay in coming; but had he been sick in bed when the King's message arrived he would have run through fire and water to obey. But the cause above rehearsed forbids it, except he should be accounted a traitor of his own life which he is bound to keep to God's pleasure and not temerariously to cast away.

    As to explaining the book; thinks he made it so plain that it could not be misunderstood, and that if one thing be lacking it is what he cannot give, — "that is, an indifferent mind in the reader; such a mind to the reader as I had when I writ it, delivered of all affection but only of the truth and your Grace's honor and wealth." The book to be understood must be read all through. From some passages the writer would appear to be the King's greatest enemy, but the whole taken together will show that sharp handling to be for the most loving end, and that there was never book written with more sharpness of words nor again more ferventness of love. "My whole desire it was and ever shall be that your Grace might reign long in honor, in wealth, in surety, in love and estimation of all men," and this desire "(remaining those innovations your Grace hath of late made in the Church)" cannot take effect. Never read of a Prince spoken of with more dishonor when his actions "came abroad to be known." Has jeopardied his life in defending the King's cause, and touching these innovations and the acts following, never yet found but one that did praise them.

    Now to give an account of his writing. Received the King's command, by Mr. Secretary's letters, to write his "sentence" in that principal matter which was the ground of all innovation, when the King took the name of Highest Head of the Church in his realm, grounding himself upon passages of Scripture which divers books written for his justification did express. The first that came to his hands was Dr. Sampson's. Answered it, taking away (as my book shows) all Sampson's arguments (as nothing concluding), and then went on to confirm in his place as head of the Church, him whom the Church has so long confessed to be instituted by Christ himself, confounding Sampson's arguments to the contrary. This done, as the verity of a sentence is sometimes shown by its fruits—"the acts which followed of this title taken,"—he proceeded to point out to what dishonor and peril the King had cast himself and his realm, so that "remaining any sparkle either of goodness of nature or grace of God," he should seek the only remedy, a return to the ordinances of the Church. The wisest man that ever was (Solomon) made great errors (whereof the grievousness and jeopardy he saw), being blinded like the King "by inordinate affection which he bare to women." All lies in making the King know what he has done, for he that defends his act augments his dishonor. And here is all the difficulty in a prince. Who will tell him his fault? And if one such be found where is the prince that will hear him? But God has provided the King a faithful subject in a sure place where he may speak at liberty, and by prompting the King to ask his sentence, has given him the opportunity. Likens himself to a surgeon anxious to heal a wound, and urges the madness it would be in the wounded man when the surgeon "draweth his knife to cut the dead and superfluous flesh, according to his craft," to cry out against him as an enemy.

    In fine, it rests only with God to send the light of his Spirit, and the King will abhor his acts more than any man. Does not despair of this, "seeing God hath rid you of that domestical evil  at home, which was thought to be the cause of all your errors, and with her head, I trust, cut away all occasion of such offences as did separate you from the light of God;" and, moreover, "hath given you one full of all goodness to whom, I understand, your Grace is now married." There only remains for the King to put off the burden of being head of the Church in his realm, which no other prince dare take upon him since the Church began. No doubt there is a great appearance of profit and revenue coming into his coffers. Wishes he might confer with him in person, and show how no profit gotten this way were worthy to compare with the profit to be got by leaving off this title. The King may think he speaks like a young man, but he has long been conversant with old men, and has long judged the eldest living too young to teach wisdom to him (Pole), who has learnt of all antiquity and by conversation with those "who have been the flowers of wisdome in our time." Knows this, that God has sent the King an occasion to do more good than if he had gotten Asia from the Turk, for he himself may be the "occasion of the reformation of Christ's Church, both in doctrine and manners." "Wherefore, this is the time, sir, to call to God that he will not suffer you to let pass this so noble an occasion," that "your ancient years now growing upon you, you may finish your time in all honor and joy." Venice, 15 July


     Countess of Salisbury to Reginald Pole

    "Son Reginald," I send you God's blessing and mine, though my trust to have comfort in you is turned to sorrow. Alas that I, for your folly, should receive from my sovereign lord "such message as I have late done by your brother." To me as a woman, his Highness has shown such mercy and pity as I could never deserve, but that I trusted my children's services would express my duty. And now, to see you in his Grace's indignation,—"trust me, Reginald, there went never the death of thy father or of any child so nigh my heart." Upon my blessing I charge thee to take another way and serve our master, as thy duty is, unless thou wilt be the confusion of thy mother. You write of a promise made by you to God,—"Son, that was to serve God and thy prince, whom if thou do not serve with all thy wit, with all thy power, I know thou can not please God. For who hath brought you up and maintained you to learning but his Highness?" Will pray God to give him grace to serve his prince truly or else to take him to his mercy.


    1544 – Death of René of Châlon, Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelre.

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    1553 - The royal ships guarding the Eastern coast for ‘Queen Jane’ swapped their allegiance to ‘Queen Mary’.

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    1573 –Birth of  Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen's House

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