“Recantations” — In Memory of Saint Thomas More, Executed July 6, 1535

July 6, 2016 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), The Tudor Thomases, Tudor Y Writer's Group by Beth von Staats

by Beth von Staats

st-thomas-more-rubens-12x14-2052212 (1)

_____________________________________________________

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

— Book of John 20:27, King James Bible —

_____________________________________________________

“I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

Over twenty years ago, Sir Thomas More spoke those words for all to hear just before the executioner swung the ax, just before his head rolled from his shoulders onto the straw, just before his self-serving martyrdom. For months beyond a year holed up in The Tower, he stoically embraced his fate, faithfully hung to his God, stubbornly held firm in his convictions, and refused to see the truth, no matter how hard dearest Cromwell, Audley and I tried to convince him, no matter how much his wife and children begged he compromise his self-righteous scruples. In scripture, there is no Pope. There is no purgatory. There are no idols, relics, or indulgences. Mary is the mother of Jesus, not a saint interceding on behalf of all who pray to her. It’s really that simple. What is not written in God’s word is not truth. Why could More not see the obvious? Was he blind? Was he daft? Was he of Satan?

And why after 20 years does More’s sorry fate still weigh my conscience down like a stone?

“More was not satisfied to be Lord Chancellor, Your Grace. His heresy burnings were not enough to fill his soul. More yearned for a higher calling than service to the realm and His Majesty. He yearned to be a martyred saint. He yearned for pilgrims to travel long journeys to touch his hair shirt and gaze upon his pickled head, disgusting as that be.”

Dearest Cromwell, I hear him ringing through my mind as if he were sitting in this dank horrid cell right alongside me. The Earl always found a way to rationalize quandaries, bless his soul. All we asked, all His Majesty wanted, all that was required to save his very life was for Sir Thomas More to take the oath, say the words out loud publicly, and do what he wanted in private. More could worship his Latin Mass, give confession, fondle his rosary, collect his idols, venerate his relics, wear his hair shirt, and whip his back bloody to his heart’s content.

“Just take the damn oath, and then do what you will.”

“No, and I will speak nothing of it.”

Again, again, again, the Earl pleaded for this simple sign of obedience to the King. Again, again, again, the same reply. My God in heaven, the Pope is the antichrist. To this day, I am still dumbfounded. The man was brilliant, scholarly, eloquent. So why was he such a fool?

After hours of mulling over my fate, I look down at the parchment. My couched recantations, written to baffle His Eminence and the Queen without sully to my conscience, baffled them not. Cardinal Pole then took a quill to parchment and wrote out another, and then an another and yet another, one that clearly says to all in the far more eloquent words of the papal whore, “The last twenty years of my life were heresy. The liturgy of the Church of England is heresy. The lyrical Evensong at Friday service is heresy. The Collects said in worship all through the year are heresy. The Book of Common Prayer is heresy. Holy Communion as a commemoration to the Lord’s Last Supper is heresy. I recant. I recant it all. The Eucharist correctly turns wine to Christ’s blood, turns bread to Christ’s body. The holy church in England and its clergy are led by His Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome. Unless you purchase an indulgence, your mother will remain rotting to the bones in purgatory. There I said it. Now, you know my truth.”

Thomas Cranmer, Parish Church of St. George

Thomas Cranmer, Parish Church of St. George

If I want to live another day, die in my own bed, not burn pitifully as my beloved friends Ridley and Latimer, I must copy this in myne own hand, and sign my name to it. And, no, this is not the same challenge More faced. More was never forced to endure a trial for treason, found guilty, and yet a second trial for heresy, found guilty again. More did not have to debate at Oxford, over and over, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year with papist religious scholars wearing him down, chiding his every word. More did not have to watch his friends burn at the stake, poor Ridley lingering for hours due to a poor man’s misguided attempt to help. More did not have the entire Church of England and its future laying squarely on his shoulders. No, it is not the same challenge More faced. No, it is not.

If I say it enough, I might believe it.

I confess Sir Thomas More’s writings so authored while he himself imprisoned give me strength. A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation is just brilliant in all truth. Though they believed pushing More down my throat would wear me down, instead, his writings give me hope, nourish my soul. As More so correctly alluded through his story telling, persecution for one’s faith is a hazardous quandary indeed. It brings upon us at the same time both the lure and comfort rewarded for recantation — and the dread of torture and a painful death if we remain steadfast and true.

I look at the parchment yet again. No, I will not copy it in myne own hand. No, I will not sign it.

More conceded, and I agree, that it is not acceptable to escape persecution by compromising some of God’s truths, while keeping true to the rest. His err laid in not knowing what God’s truths truly are, by placing his faith and belief as defined by a papal authority instead of God’s word in scripture.

I look to the flickering candle, the only light in this stench laid cell and hold the parchment near. I will burn this parchment, and then I will burn. God, give me strength.

The cell door slams open, bashing the stone wall like a death knell.

“The recantation, is it ready Dr. Cranmer?!”

I startle upright. Damn, it be the Spaniard friar, Juan de Valligarcia, bellowing at me yet again. I look to the man wearily and hold out the parchment. He snatches it from me.

“No, I refuse to write it.”

This friar, I swear he is paid handsomely just to torment my soul. He saunters to the front of me and glares me down — evil incarnate, I do swear.

“I have word from Her Majesty. She desires I give you a message and one last chance to comply. Do you wish to hear it?”

I remain silent, mulling over how best to respond. The dirty dog drums his fingers impatiently on the table.

“Am I commanded to hear it? If not, I choose you leave with her words unsaid.”

“Yes, you are so commanded!”

“Carry on then.”

“As you so professed these many years, a monarch is supreme and heads the clergy is this realm. His Majesty King Henry chose to delegate to you and the heretic Emissary of Satan, Cromwell, while Her Majesty chooses to delegate to His Holy Father,” the friar scowls. He then holds out a parchment, its wax seal of the Queen made evident for myne benefit.

“Dr. Cranmer, as your monarch I command that you recant in writing as so drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and sign your name in full. I further command that you attend Latin Mass and recant publicly through a sermon approved in advance by His Eminence. From this day forward, you will attend Mass, celebrate the Eucharist, and worship the Roman Catholic faith with all humility.”

That bastard friar begins pacing to and fro. I say nothing. What be there to add to that?

“Will you abide Her Majesty’s command? If not, I need not remind that you will burn, mayhaps hanging in a giblet liken you and the concubine’s butcher did unto poor Friar Forest. The poor man be roasted hours on end like a chicken on a spit.”

Forest? He dares speak of the devil Forest?

I be in a rage now. “Forest’s burning fulfilled God’s prophecy! Saint Derfel burned with the forest as foretold from one to the next for many a moon — a suitable punishment for the evil Franciscan. He was both a sin-filled heretic and heinous treasoner of the King’s Majesty!”

I grab hold tight onto the table. Myne humors be in a twist, near to spew. The damn Spaniard steps up right close to me and leans into myne beard, so close his putrid rank breath near makes me faint.

“Cranmer, you are a hopeless, spineless, wretched, evil little man. God forgive you.”

My gout raging in my legs, I steady myself by the table, push him back and stand strong. What there be to lose? I am already a dead man. “No, I will not abide the damn command. Leave me to rot and be gone. You can light the fags another day.”

“But Dr. Cranmer, Her Majesty is supremely your head as you define by scripture, eh? Are you not by your own interpretation of God’s Holy Word sinning through your treason?”

The man, he is of Satan and chides me mockingly, finding my greatest weakness yet again. This very issue, this very dilemma, has me confused and conflicted once more. This pitiful servant of the antichrist is right, but in my heart to recant is a larger sin, an unforgivable sin.

“I said, NO, I will not abide by the damn command.”

Unsteady of feet, I sit back down.

“Dr. Cranmer, Her Majesty in her great benevolence wishes to extend this offer. Queen Mary, Regina remains steadfast in her vision to route this realm of all heresy, and will burn it all wherever it lays. Her Majesty desires to reassure you that should you recant, your Lutheran whore and bastard children will sleep safe. If not, they will burn as the heretics they are  — before you, as Ridley and Latimer did.”

Did myne heart just stop? Frozen in fear, I look at the Spanish friar, my blood frozen cold, just like that. Satan speaks through him as sure as Christ died for his sins. Mary, Regina — no one could be this evil, no one, especially a woman. De Villagarcia is trying to trick me. He must be. Margarete, my children, they fled to Nuremburg. Edmund promised me.

Aye, but Satan reached Tyndale. Why not them? My mind, it be cloudy, worn thin. I can’t concentrate. Think, Thomas – think. Would she really command my Margarete burned? Thomas and Marge? Would she really kill them before myne very eyes? Or is this man baffling me? Are they safe on the Continent or did Pole’s spies find them?

I gaze just beyond the Spaniard, and dearest Bishops Latimer and Ridley stand before me, burning pitifully, screaming in agony. Yes, the friar speaks truth. The Queen of England, Satan’s mistress, seeks revenge. This is hopeless. Either way I go, I be damned.

Broken, yes, after two long years, I am finally broken. I am sorry, Sir Thomas More. For this tribulation, there is no comfort. To route out this tribulation, I am willing to burn in hell so they don’t burn. Am I selfish? Or is that God’s will? Your writing, your gentle and humble wisdom, they tell me not.

I hold out my trembling hand, and the Spaniard hands back the parchment. My voice quivering, I say in complete surrender, “Come back in the ‘morrow. It shall be done.”

The friar sits down on the table before him, and holds out a fresh quill.

“Now, Dr. Cranmer, or Her Majesty’s offer is not guaranteed.”

I swallow hard, tears welling. O Lord forgive me.  I take the quill in my hand, and though shaking,  dip the quill in ink and seal my fate.

—– fade to black —–

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.
Given the overwhelming breadth of the magnificent life of Saint Thomas More, many people do not realize that he was an outstanding poet. In memory of Saint Thomas More, his poem, “The Words of Fortune to the People”:
.
Lady Fortune and her Wheel. Boccaccio De Casibus Virorum Illustrium

Lady Fortune and her Wheel.
Boccaccio De Casibus Virorum Illustrium

The words of Fortune to the people.
~~ Master Thomas More — 1504 ~~

.Mine high estate, power, and authority
If ye ne know, ensearch and ye shall spy1
That riches, worship, wealth, and dignity
Joy, rest, and peace, and all things finally
That any pleasure or profit may come by
To man his comfort, aid, and sustenance,
Is all at my devise and ordinance.

.Without my favour there is nothing won,
Many a matter have I brought at last
To good conclude that fondly was begun,2
And many a purpose, bounden sure and fast
With wise provision, I have overcast.
Without good hap there may no wit suffice,3
Better ’tis to be fortunate than wise!
.And therefore have there some men been ere this
My deadly foes, and written many a book
To my dispraise.   And other cause there n’is4
But for me list not friendly on them look.5
Thus like the fox they fare, that once forsook
The pleasant grapes, and ‘gan for to defy them
Because he lept and yet could not come by them.6
.But let them write, their labour is in vain;
For well ye wot, mirth, honour, and riches7
Much better is than penury and pain.
The needy wretch that ling’reth in distress
Without my help, is ever comfortless,
A very burden, odious and loath
To all the world, and eke to himself both.8
.But he that by my favour may ascend
To mighty pow’r and excellent degree,
A commonweal to govern and defend,
O! in how bless’d condition standeth he,
Himself in honour and felicity,
And over that, may farther and encrease
A region whole in joyful rest and peace.
.Now in this point there is no more to say,
Each man hath of himself the governance;
Let every wight then follow his own way.9
And he that out of poverty and mischance
List for to live, and will himself enhance
In wealth and riches, come-forth and wait on me;
And he that will be a beggar, let him be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saint Thomas More “Prayer Card” of the Roman Catholic Faith

ThomasMorePrayerCard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tudor Martyr of Archbishop, King and Saint: John Frith

July 4, 2016 in The Tudor Thomases by Beth von Staats

by Beth von Staats

John Frith going to his martyrdom, July 4, 1533 (Credit: Universal Images Group)

John Frith going to his martyrdom, July 4, 1533
(Credit: Universal Images Group)

 ________________________________________

Merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou has made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels and heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word: and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Isrealites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord…

— Thomas Cranmer, The Book of Common Prayer, 1549 —

________________________________________

In 16th century Tudor Era England and Wales, religion was serious business. Unfortunately for the subjects of the realm, just what religion one was to adhere to changed with the theological whims of the reigning monarchs and was particularly confusing during the reign of King Henry VIII. Overstep the mark of the King’s ever changing religious philosophies, and a person would very quickly become the victim of judicial murder.

During the course of King Henry VIII’s reign, hundreds and perhaps thousands of people were executed for belief in their chosen faiths. Roman Catholics with one notable exception, Blessed John Forest, were executed for treason, while Evangelicals most commonly were executed for heresy.

Were convicted Roman Catholics actually traitors or convicted Evangelicals really heretics? Well that all depended on the King’s religious beliefs at any given point of his 37 year reign. What was treason or heresy today changed tomorrow.

Whether Saint Thomas More was Lord Chancellor or Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop was irrelevant. Revered by many as great martyrs themselves, people were executed for their religious beliefs at the hands of both men — those convicted of heresy typically burned at the stake, those convicted of treason, commonly hanged, drawn and quartered. Convicted women were burned at the stake to prevent the disrobing necessary of the “traitor’s death” or were simply hanged to death or decapitated.

Saint Thomas More (Holbein)

When we think of Saint Thomas More, his religious beliefs are straight forward, and thus his life choices and the rationale for his decisions are easily grasped and understood. A staunch Roman Catholic his entire life, there is no gray in any decision he made.

To More, Roman Catholicism was the one and only true religion. Those who did not accept the true religion and papal authority were heretics. It was that simple.

Thomas Cranmer’s religious beliefs, on the other hand, are far more complex in sorting out, because this was a man whose religious theology evolved over time. While a young Cambridge don, he was a humanist Roman Catholic with similar beliefs to Thomas More.

Incrementally over time, however, Thomas Cranmer’s theology became increasingly Evangelical and ultimately Protestant. Thus, while Cranmer was Archbishop, people were convicted of heresy and burned at the stake for exercising the very same beliefs Cranmer would later embrace himself.

Though Saint Thomas More and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer were steadfast rivals, disagreeing vehemently regarding the sanctity of marriage, the justification of papal authority, King Henry’s break with Rome, and the King’s ultimate Supremacy over the Church of England, the two men came together with their beloved King to defend the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and in so doing, hold joint responsibility with Henry VIII for the tragic martyrdom of Evangelical Reformer John Frith.

The story of John Frith began long before Thomas More was appointed Lord Chancellor and later Thomas Cranmer consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. Educated at Eton College and later Cambridge University, John Frith was ordained a priest in 1525.

While still a student at Cambridge, Frith began meeting with Thomas Bilney, a graduate student at Trinity Hall. Bilney organized a group of scholars that met at the White Horse Inn to study scripture and theology through the reading of the Greek New Testament.

It is believed that John Frith first met William Tyndale in these group meetings. Tyndale greatly influenced Frith’s theological beliefs that became decidedly Evangelical in leaning.

Upon ordination, John Frith was recruited to became a junior canon at Thomas Wolsey’s new Cardinal College in Oxford. While at Oxford, he was arrested with nine other men hiding in a cellar that stored fish for possessing books considered “heretical” by the university. In close confinement in unsanitary conditions for six months, four of the men died.

John Frith survived the torment and was eventually released. He wisely fled to Europe, joining William Tyndale in Antwerp, Belgium in 1528. There, Frith assisted Tyndale in his scripture translations into English and subsequent publications.

While in Antwerp, John Frith translated the Latin work of the Scottish Evangelical martyr Patrick Hamilton. Patrick’s Places became the first explanation of Reformation Doctrine published in the English language.

Soon after, Frith translated an assortment of other religious articles, including A Pistle to the Christian Reader: The Revelation of the Anti-Christ and An Antithesis Between Christ and the Pope. These historic works originally penned by an unknown author were the first anti-papal works printed in the English language.

Thomas Cromwell (Artist: Hans Holbein the Younger)

Thomas Cromwell
(Artist: Hans Holbein the Younger)

While completing these translations, both William Tyndale and John Frith secretly met with English merchant Stephen Vaughan, agent and suspected smuggler and spy to Thomas Cromwell. Authorized by King Henry VIII, Cromwell through Vaughan offered both Tyndale and Frith safe haven back in England. Suspecting a trap, neither man accepted the offer.

Unknown to both, some historians conjecture that Stephen Vaughan smuggled Evangelical and Lutheran works to Thomas Cromwell, both men highly Evangelical themselves. Cromwell’s admiration of Tyndale in particular is well documented. Whether this was actually a missed opportunity for both Tyndale and Frith is lost to history.

Instead, Frith stayed in Antwerp, married and entered with Tyndale into a spirited debate with Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher and John Rastell. His original work, Disputation of Purgatory Divided Into Three Books, disputed the existence of purgatory to each Roman Catholic scholar in turn.

Although neither More or Fisher were swayed, Rastell was so persuaded that he was won over to the Evangelical cause. Ironically, Rastell was More’s brother-in-law. More’s opinions of the conversion can be easily imagined.

In 1532, John Frith decided to return to England, while William Tyndale remained in Europe. Irrespective of their individual decisions, both men eventually perished for practice of their faith. Upon returning home, Frith was quickly arrested in Reading, mistaken for a vagabond. He was released with the assistance and persuasion of school master Leonard Cox, who was impressed with his obvious scholarship. From there, Frith traveled secretly from place to place, preaching the gospel.

Learning John Frith was in England, Saint Thomas More issued a warrant for Frith’s arrest, offering a large reward for his apprehension. On the run, Frith was ultimately arrested by More’s agents and local authorities while attempting to board a ship bound to Antwerp.

Imprisoned in the Tower of London, Frith was charged by Saint Thomas More in his role as Lord Chancellor with heresy. Against his mentor Tyndale’s advice and all reasonable caution, Frith began writing comprehensively of his views of purgatory and more alarmingly his denial of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Concurrent with Frith’s substantiated Evangelical writings becoming increasingly pronounced and obvious, Saint Thomas More resigned his Lord Chancellorship upon the clergy’s ultimate submission to King Henry VIII’s authority. Soon thereafter, Archbishop William Warham died.

It is within this context and timeline that Thomas Audley was appointed Lord Chancellor. Soon thereafter Thomas Cranmer was consecrated Archbishop, leaving both men to inherit the unenviable task of dealing with John Frith’s controversial theology, most pointedly Cranmer.

Although secretly married himself and becoming increasingly Reformist in theology, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1533 agreed with Saint Thomas More, King Henry VIII, Pope Clement V and Martin Luther of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Consequently, John Frith was summonsed to Cranmer’s palaces at Lambeth and Croydon for several intense interrogations about his “sacramentarian” Eucharist theology.

Thomas Cranmer attempted repeatedly to counsel John Frith to alter his Eucharist theology to those of the King to no avail. Per Cranmer in frustration, Frith “… looketh every day to go unto the fire.” 

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (Gerlach Flicke)

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (Gerlach Flicke)

Interestingly, Thomas Cranmer never labeled any Evangelical a heretic openly, but his opinion regarding John Frith’s religious interpretations was clearly documented in a letter to his friend Nicholas Hawkins.


“His said opinion is of such nature, that he thought it not necessary to be believed as an article of our faith, that there is a very corporal presence of Christ within the host and sacrament of the altar, and holdeth of this point… And surely I myself sent for him three or four times to persuade him to leave that to his imagination; but for all that we could do therein, he would not apply to any counsel.”

With Cranmer unable to convert John Frith’s views, the law of England inevitably proceeded in due course through the offices of the new Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley. On July 4, 1533, by command of King Henry VIII, John Frith was burned at the stake for heresy.

In 1535, Saint Thomas More refused to take the Oath of Supremacy in accordance with his religious beliefs. As a Roman Catholic, he was charged and convicted of treason, then executed. Though not charged with heresy or burned at the stake, he is a martyr to his faith, as were many Roman Catholics executed during the reigns of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

Already in agreement with John Frith’s views of the non-existence of purgatory, thirteen years after Frith burned at the stake, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s views of the Eucharist took a dramatic shift. Now Protestant in his beliefs, Cranmer’s views of the Eucharist ultimately mirrored those of the man he, King Henry VIII and Saint Thomas More together martyred.

King Henry VIII dead and no longer an impediment, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s sweeping Protestant reforms during the reign of King Edward VI personified the beliefs John Frith embodied. The premature death of the young king, however, resulted in a return of a Roman Catholic monarch.

In 1556, at the command of Queen Mary I, like John Frith before him, Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake for heresy, a martyr to the Protestant beliefs he ironically and ultimately shared with the man he once steadfastly attempted to convert.

Today, Thomas Cranmer and John Frith, once greatly divided in theological beliefs, together are considered among England’s most cherished Protestant Martyrs.

___________________________________________

 SOURCES

Ashdown, A.G., Roman Catholic and Protestant Martyrs Contrasted.


Author Unidentified, A Puritan’s Mind, John Frith.


Graves, Dan, John Frith Burned for Beliefs, Christianity.com.

MacCulloch, Diarmaid, Thomas Cranmer, A Life, Yale University Press, 1996.

Samworth, Dr. Herbert, John Firth: Forging the English Reformation, Grace Solar Foundation, Inc.

 ___________________________________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth vo

Beth von Staats

Beth von Staats is a history writer of both fiction and non-fiction short works. A life-long history enthusiast, Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is the owner and administrator of Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers website, QueenAnneBoleyn.com.

Beth’s interest in British History grew through the profound influence of her Welsh grandparents, both of whom desired she learn of her family cultural heritage. Her most pronounced interest lies with the men and women who drove the course of events and/or who were most poignantly impacted by the English Henrician and Protestant Reformations, as well as the Tudor Dynasty of English and Welsh History in general.

__________________________________

"Thomas Cranmer In a Nutshell" Final Blog Stop

Thomas Cranmer -mini-bio

TO PURCHASE THOMAS CRANMER IN A NUTSHELL

CLICK THE LINK BELOW!

(free of charge via Kindle Unlimited)

THOMAS CRANMER IN A NUTSHELL

__________________________________

“Historia Richardi Tertii…” Saint Thomas More — 7 February, 1478 to 6 July 1535

July 6, 2014 in Beth von Staats (REVELATION), Tudor Y Writer's Group, Wars of the Roses by Beth von Staats

___________________________________________

Richard III

___________________________________________

Men use, if they have an evil turn, to write it in marble; and who so doth us a good turn, we write it in dust.

— Saint Thomas More, History of King Richard III 

___________________________________________

Sir Thomas More

Here at Chelsea, I find my refuge. Now resigned from His Grace’s service, I find my peace. This evening I entertain my dear friend, Bishop John Fisher. I need to be near men of like mind, like conscience, and like values. The stench of court is overwhelming, the corruption raised to the very right and left of the King, the devilry all around him, like a thick, dense fog. I raise my goblet in toast and smile. “Fortune changes with character, dear friend. Fortune often changes with character.”

The Bishop nods back with a smile. I pause and reflect a moment. “So what do you think? I wrote that years ago, and yet only my dear Erasmus and now you have laid eyes upon it. My heart bleeds infinitely as although unfinished, it foretells our sorry state.”

Bishop John Fisher

Sir Thomas More, such a learned man, such a wise man, such a Godly man. I fear we will martyr together, along with my dearest Maid of Kent, yet I pray if God’s will, it be done to celebrate His glory, to celebrate our beloved Bishop of Rome, for in this realm Satan curses them both. Here at Chelsea, with this man’s gentle wisdom and his loving family, I feel our Virgin Mary close, so close my heart fills with love for her. I hold up the parchments along with my goblet of ale. “Thomas, Historia Richardi Tertii is magnificent, though damning… and aye, yes, much vision it provides. I trust the words on the parchment were written with divine intervention.”

Sir Thomas More:

I look to the fire, my mind full. Free finally to speak my conscience with a man I trust, I venture, “Your Grace, you are too kind.”

I decide to lighten the mood. God knows we both need it. “Did you hear Cardinal Pole’s latest missive?” The Bishop shakes his head no. “He declares Cromwell the ‘Emissary of Satan’. His Eminence speaks truth.”

We both laugh lightly, and I say in all seriousness as I point to the parchments, “Can you imagine what the King’s Secretary would do with that retelling of the sinfulness of the child killer, the monster King Richard the Third and the corrupt men around him? The man would crucify me, nail me straight to the cross. Cromwell is so full of himself, the man would think this all be an allegory of dear Harry, the sinful Archbishop and him.”

Bishop John Fisher

I snicker and nod in agreement. “Yes, I fear so. Best this be well hidden, good man. Your commentary on the failures of kingship, the corruption inherent in nobles and the clergy to gain advantage, your profession that the people need reign in truth by Parliament, is damning. Power corrupts, and absolute power especially so, I dare say.”

I point to the parchments. “You lay that bare here. ‘The lamb is given to the wolf’.”

I lay the parchments down on my lap and sigh deep. “I will never take the oaths, Thomas. A king supreme over God’s clergy as if God himself? Never. ‘Tis devilry personified.”

Sir Thomas More

I rise and stoke the fire, speaking as I do. “Me either, Your Grace, but it best we comment on our opinions not. Then by law we should be safe, but we will not I do fear. His Majesty and Cromwell make the laws or change the laws to suit their purpose. What be law today be treason tomorrow.”

I turn, look at Bishop Fisher, anxiety suddenly filling me whole. “Cromwell and the Archbishop, they are like King Richard’s secret second council, but spinning their evil web for all to see, His Majesty stuck within it, like an angry wasp. We will be stung, and stung deep, either by their attacks on the Holy Maid of Kent, God keep her — or their insistence all take an oath that the King is now God Himself.”

I take a deep breath, and rest back into my favorite chair, worn thin. “I am ready to martyr if need be, but my family suffers at the thought of it, my Alice wailing at every turn. Only my dear Margaret understands me, Lord God bless her. It is with she I will trust those parchments, no one else. If there ever be a day it is safe to promulgate, my Margaret knows to do so.”

___________________________________________

King Edward V of England and Richard, Duke of York

King Edward V of England and Richard, Duke of York

___________________________________________

Bishop John Fisher

“I will pray for you all, dear friend. I have no family I need so worry, just my conscience.  Though God’s will is clear, you suffer more. May the Virgin Mary protect you all through these days of misery.”

I draw a deep breath and drink some ale, my throat parched. “Thomas do listen. The Archbishop, he knows how close I am with the Holy Maid of Kent, how I revere her and the priests that so take charge of her care, but you have been more cautious in your dealings. I suggest you keep quiet. What Lord God knows, they need not know.”

Sir Thomas More

I smile awkwardly, my full truth known but to me, the Maid and God. “Aye, the Archbishop is a two headed serpent, good man. As he burned the heretic Frith for denying the presence, a sin even obvious to him, so Canterbury will burn our beloved Maid. Anyone who oversteps his arbitrary mark, heretic or God’s messenger, is doomed.”

Bishop John Fisher

I drink some ale and ponder his words of Canterbury. “As I read of Queen Elizabeth on these parchments, may she rest with the angels, I wondered why she did so allow the Cardinal with the care of her sons? Was she too trusting? Did she lack judgment? Was she blinded somehow, leading to a poor twist of fate? A quandary, yes, a quandary.”

I pause, and then continue. “And, was His Eminence King Richard’s unwitting dupe? Or as Archbishop Cranmer is for King Henry, his knowing accomplice?” I sigh. “You leave many questions unanswered, dear friend, but this much of our current plight is clear. The Archbishop’s treatment of our rightful Queen Catherine and the Princess Mary is of Satan. May his heresy be laid bare and burnt out from him.”

I cross myself, and dearest Thomas does likewise. “God make it so.”

Sir Thomas More

I nod and rub my the crucifix around my neck, so long there ’tis worn thin. “Yes, God make it so. Burn the heresy out, I do pray.”

I say pointedly, “The Archbishop, the Lord Chancellor, Wiltshire, and Cromwell — they are fools, more so than the bonny Will Somers. As I wrote to you, ‘If the lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him.’ Your Grace, the lion now roars. So long as he keeps the love of the people, Harry will stomp his way across this blessed realm, killing all we know as dear. I blame the heretics for turning him, the pretend queen, the Archbishop and Cromwell most pointedly — a whorish concubine, a chaplain of Luther, and a low born rogue — all Satan’s clergy.”

Bishop John Fisher

“Your speak truth, dear man. Satan’s clergy indeed.”

I attempt to rise, my gout aching to my bones as I do. Thomas rushes to me, guiding me to my feet. I place my hand on his shoulder to steady myself and speak plain.”Thomas, I grow frail. Perhaps the Saints will intercede, God calling me home before the henchman, eh?”

He nods, and rests his head for a moment on my shoulder, as a son to his father. “I do need your help to find my courage. Pray for me, Thomas. I fear I will waver. I wish to die in my bed, truth be told.”

Sir Thomas More

I place my hands on the shoulders of this dear and holy man of God. “May we find the simple and innocent grace of children, the simple and innocent grace of the boy King and the blessed imp Duke — and with all humility, may we move forward, as God’s lesson in conscience, God’s lesson in His ultimate truth.”

—– Fade To Black —–

___________________________________________

.

This video focusing on the life and martyrdom of Saint Thomas More is part of a video series from Wordonfire.org. Father Robert Barron comments on subjects from modern day culture from a Roman Catholic perspective. For more information and videos visit http://www.wordonfire.org/

___________________________________________

NOTE:  The History of King Richard III, though unfinished, is widely considered to highlight Saint Thomas More’s veiled views of the perils of excessive power and political corruption. More “historical fiction” than “accurate history”, this work greatly influenced the writing of William Shakespeare. To read “Historia Richardi Tertii” click here: http://www.thomasmorestudies.org/docs/Richard.pdf

___________________________________________

St_Thomas_More__card_ (600x488)
___________________________________________

To My Dearest Father.

March 15, 2014 in Tudor Uk Court by ADMIN: Royal Squire

_________________________________________________________

Let not your Spirits be cast down, for I hope we shall see one another in a better Place, where we shall be free to live and love in Eternal Bliss.” -Sir Thomas More

_________________________________________________________

My Dearest Father,

Tis only been but a  few days that you have been taken from this earth. My grief has not been lessened, dare I say it has been growing more so with each passing day. I pray to God every day to bring our family and dear friends peace. Tis not easy for them either dear papa. They tell me that they are angry with King Henry, that you did not deserve to be humiliated and killed for standing up for your beliefs. You were the kings oldest and most trusted friend, stood by him though many things and this is how he repays you? Father, I can not help but be most angry towards him. He took away our loving and pious father for no other reason to assert his dominance. However, you have taught my siblings and I to be kind and peaceful while keeping our faith. I need your guidance in this matter papa, tis not fair that we shall have to be without you whilst the king goes on his merry way as though nothing has happened! For God sakes, will nothing stop this tyrant? -sighs heavily and continues to write, trying to control her shaky hand-

thomas

No, dear papa I do not think anything will. I shall try my best to remember the good memories we shared. Nothing nor no one can take them from my mind. Some nights, I can not help but dream about the last time I saw you, in the tower. How dreary and vile of a place. Barely any food or water to keep you alive. No place for my papa. My heart, though barely kept together knowing that you were still alive one more day and then utterly falling apart seeing a man, who looked nothing like the papa I knew. For no one but my husband knew how much I wept that day I saw you. It was too much to bear.I sometimes sit up at night, staring off into space. Searching for an answer but one never does come. Such a kind and loving husband and father just to be thrown away by his once closest friend. Every letter you hath wrote to me, I shall keep close to me, no matter the subject that is contained in them. They are the very last words that I shall ever see from my papa.

 thomas1

 

I very much wish that I could send letters to you in Heaven. I long to see your smile and how your eyes light up even the darkest room. -Fighting tears back- I will not let your legacy die with you. No papa, I will see to it that my children carry on what you have taught our family. Do not fear, I shall take care of mama. She also has been devastated by your death. Your death has been hard on all of us. I would move Heaven and earth to have you back here. I still need your loving guidance. You always had the most sage advice that I have ever heard. I am lost without you papa. No one will ever be able to replace you. Henry has made a huge mistake and he shall have his comeuppance soon. Oh papa, I love you very much! Please watch over our family and close friends. We need you now more than ever.

thomas2

 

Your loving daughter,

Margaret

thomas3

_________________________________________________________

A Daughter’s Tears , UK Court

October 21, 2013 in Historical Fiction, Tudor Uk Court by ADMIN: Royal Squire

More10

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the corridors of the Tower, a jailor turns a key, unlocking the cell door. Margaret Roper steps cautiously into the dank, dimly lit cell and sees a disheveled-looking man seated at the small table… The overcast sky outside barely allowing any sunlight through the barred windows… as she walks closer toward him she begins to recognize beneath the growth of beard and pallid complexion, the face of her father, Thomas More.

 

More9

 

 

Thomas More

Thomas More was deep in prayer ” Propicietur Dues Majestatis. In Omine Patris et Spiritus, Sancti, Amen.” and did not even hear the cell door open. He heard the voice of an angel and squinted to try to see who was there. It was an angel, his daughter, Meg. He knew she was in shock to see him this way. That was why he pleaded with his family to not to try and see him. He wiped his tears with his filthy hands and croaked out his angel’s name. ”Meg you disobeyed me, I told you , I wanted no visitors when I was arrested. I have not changed my mind. This is no place for you. I will not allow it. ” The wind blew in and Sir Thomas, wrapped the tattered blanket tighter as he shivered. ” MEG, LEAVE NOW! ” He turned his back to her and started to pray again.

 

mEG2

 

 

 

Margaret Roper

Standing at the cell door, hearing it creaked open, I close my eyes tightly, trying to keep the warm tears from falling.. Unprepared for what I was to see next. As the jailer opens the door, my eyes open and adjust to the light. Turning quickly back to the jailer, I dip into my deep red velvet coin purse and take a few coins out. ”Thank you for letting me see my father, it is most appreciated”. Half smiling at him, I step through the doorway and my foot settles on the stone floor covered with stale hay and a most pungent smell. I slowly open my eyes and immediately they settle on my father, but he does not look at all like the father I once knew. The tears that I was so desperate to hold back, now fall down my red cheeks. Silently standing there, with my hands folded in front of me, I wait for him to finish his prayer. Startled by his voice, jumping slightly and my heart racing.. I reply ”Oh father, I had to come and visit you, home is just not the same without your loving precense there. We all miss you very much.” Saying in a comfortable, but shaky voice, lowering my voice slightly so that the jailer or anyone else eavesdropping could not hear. “I wish very much that you would stop being so adamant in your refusal to sign the Oath of Supremacy! One does not have to believe in this oath to sign their name upon it. The king will not hesitate to put you aside for good if you continue with this foolishness. Have you not thought about your family father? Your faith in God will not change if you sign your name upon it. Please father, I beg thee! I can not live another day without my father!” I almost scream as the tears fall faster down my cheeks and fall to his shoulder. My trembling hand rests upon the damp cloth of his shirt, I look at him looking up at me, as the wind blew in the damp, wet cell, his voice telling me to leave. My eyes flood with more tears, wanting to hold him and take him away from this hell. I firmly stand behind him, my hands on his shoulders. “I’m not leaving father”…

 

 

More12

Thomas More

My heart breaks listening to Meg’s pleading; I know I cannot, will not give what everyone wants of me, especially the king. As much as I do not want Meg to see me like this, she is here and I turn around and embrace her tightly, kissing her warm cheeks. ” Meg, I hate for you to see me in this condition but this may be the last time we see each other in this life.” I take her clean hand in my grimy, dirty ones. ” I am sorry Meg, you know what you and our family mean to me but God must come first. Before the king and even my most beloved family. You are asking me to give up who I am if I compromise my beliefs. The lion has found his strength, there is no stopping him. What will he ask of me next? If being a loyal and faithful servant of his Majesty is not enough to keep my life then it is a life I no longer wish to have” The wind blows in the foul stenches and I shiver, wrapping the tattered blanket around me to try to warm myself. The damp stone keeps everything cold and putified. I look into my beloved daughter’s face, taking it in as it is the air I need to breathe. ” Meg, my dearest child, if you could only know the pain I feel leaving you, Alice and rest of our family. My happiest moments were sitting in the bossom of my family. Teaching you and watchimg you grasp everthing taught to you with ease. You have made me proud Meg, you have become a scholar that can rival any man. But I cannot turn away from my beliefs and God because it would destroy my soul. Can you understand Meg? ” I wipe her tears and hold her to me, breathing in the scent of my beautiful daughter for the last time.

 

More8

 

 Margaret Roper

Wrapping my arms tightly around my father, my cries no longer silent. As the coldest wind blows, I take my shawl and wrap it around his thin frame. I know that it won’t do much to keep him physically warm, however maybe it will keep him mentally warm knowing that I will always be here with him. Trying to keep him safe and warm from this living hell that his once beloved friend and king has put him in.

“Father, please do not say such things. it worries me even more how freely you talk of death. As if you have lost your will to live. That’s not the father I knew. If you have lost hope, what hope do I have left, our family? God must always come first, I know this. You also know that He is a forgiving God as well.” I sit closer to my father so that no one else may hear. The smell coming from this room and himself is almost too much to take. I desperately want to take him away from here. However I fear that would only anger my beloved father more than it would help.

“The king knows what he is doing is wrong. Yet he so carelessly does so with abandon and no regard for anyone but himself. Father, you have dutifully served our Lord and if you ask for forgiveness, I know it will all be alright. Please father, I do not want this to be the last time that we meet and see each other” I rest my forehead against his, the dirt and grime settling on to my face as well. I do not care, trying to take in all that I can of him, for I do fear that I will never see his loving face again.

“Father, you have taught me well. I will not stand by and watch you suffer like this. Please reconsider signing the Oath of Supremacy. If the kings wrath comes towards your way again, we shall handle him at that time. Retire to the countryside with your family, let the king have his way here at court. If you are not here, he will turn his gaze upon others. Please father” I beg, holding him tighter, shielding him, trying to keep him warm as the wind starts to grow colder and stronger.

mEG3

 

Thomas More

I can smell my Meg as she wraps her shawl around me; I shall hold it up to my face at all times to smell her lovely scent and keep the rotting, putrid stenches away. She lays her forehead on mine that is covered with the filth of this hell hole. I cling to her tightly as she sobs, hating that this will be one of her last memories of me. It pulls at my heart strings; how I would love to be home sitting in my den amongst my cherished books and loving family. I remember Meg sitting on my lap, reciting her Greek, smarter then most men. My special little Meg; I stroke her hair and try to dry her tears with her shaw.

” Shhhhhhhh, hush child, everything will play out as it was meant to. God wants me to show our king that he is not above the laws of God and if my death will serve that purpose, then I will not have died in vain. Remember my darling daughter that what we do in this life is only a prelude to our eternal life. I am ready to face God, for this life on earth now holds nothing for me. The reformists are twisting the words of God and spreading their heresy. It has taken hold of our king who was once ” Defender of the Faith ”. I have kept silent and would have remained so but the king will not rest till he makes an example of me as he did with Fisher. It is true that in time God may forgive me but I could not forgive myself. When we are constantly asked to bend our beliefs, at what point do we then break? Do you see that my child? Submitting to the false oath will break me and that I cannot allow.
Do not shed anymore tears for I am at peace I will die as the king’s faithful servant but as God’s first.”

I kiss her soft forehead and tear stained cheeks, ” pray for the king Meg for his soul is now damned and he will have the blood of innocents on his hands. Pray for Queen Katherine and Princess Mary for they have been treated cruelly.” I embrace my daughter, memorizing her beautiful face. I call for my jailer. ” You must leave this foul and odious place and NEVER return Meg. We have said our goodbyes but will see each other again, where we will rejoice amongst the righteous.” I kiss her one more time and turn from her as the jailer leads her out of this cave of pestilence and doom.

 

More7

~~~~~~~~~~~CELL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By Margaret Roper UK and Thomas More UK

A Day at Hampton Court, by Sofia Arellano

June 26, 2013 in News, Uncovering The Most Happy by ADMIN: Royal Squire

Please note:

I took so many beautiful pictures of what I saw but unfortunately the website will not let me upload anything above 2MB! When I edited and fixed all my pictures they were all about 5MB, so please excuse the lack of original pictures. Many of them I had to find online as mine would not upload!

This last Sunday I journeyed to Hampton Court to see for myself where Henry VIII set up his court during the early part of his reign. During the 1700’s a huge part of his original castle was demolished because the monarchs at the time wanted a baroque style court. I curse them today because so little is left of Henry’s original design. That being said, a little is left and the parts of the Tudor castle that are present are very relevant, as a history buff, I find these parts of Hampton court to be important and I myself can see Anne very much at home there during its glory days.

Upon my arrival I dedicated myself to asking the curators specifically about Anne Boleyn. This was my second time at Hampton Court so I didn’t feel shackled to the tourist aspect of the grounds, but rather committed myself to talking to a few strangers about Anne Boleyn. The first and most obvious part of Hampton I want to talk about is Henry VIII’s great dining hall. The dining hall was used rarely, as Henry and his Queen would have eaten in their private chambers. It was mostly used to entertain high profile guests and to celebrate Holidays. The space itself is pretty grand, but the most notable thing to take into account is the tapestries that Henry VIII had made specifically for the walls of the dining Hall at Hampton Court.

At the time, Henry’s tapestries (which detail the biblical story of Abraham) were the richest tapestries in existence. Indeed the picture you will note below, now thread bare, was originally mostly silver and gold thread. By silver and gold I mean the precious metals, not the colors 🙂 These tapestries cost more than the ones displayed in the Vatican. By decorating these walls with these extravagant furnishings of gold and silver Henry was sending a distinct message to Rome. He was simply not to be messed with. Obviously it was in his divine right and power to be able to afford and display such emblems of power, and if his allowance money was greater than the pope’s then certainly his word would take greater precedent than the Pope’s any day. Some would argue that this is inferring too much on the behalf of some threads, but I disagree wholly because of what we know about the idea of hem monarch in the Tudor period.

An example of one of Henry’s grand tapestries

The monarch was a supreme human chosen by god to lead nations. In the Tudor era (according to the gentleman curator who I asked about Anne Boleyn) Henry’s servants were fed meat twice a day, when in other European courts the likes of were simply unheard of. That in and of itself shows the grandeur that was Henry’s court. The cloak of Abraham contains more silver threads in one tapestry then in all the tapestries in the Vatican combined, which would have been quite controversial. Not only was the material of the tapestry sending a blatant message but Henry through the story of Abraham was detailing his own life to everyone who was lucky enough to enter the great Hall. Henry of course was parallel to Abraham, the father of Israel who is bent to god’s will. Abraham essentially starts a new life over due to God’s bidding. His wife Sarah becomes pregnant with a son at an old age and therefore provides for the land of Israel an heir apparent who is begotten of divine will.

An excerpt from Hebrews 11:8-12 details:
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

Henry’s Great Hall at Hampton Court

 

Through his choice of biblical story we can see that Henry VIII was supposing himself to be the will of god. He was hinting at the birth of a new empire. He wanted an England independent of outside influence as well as absolute obedience and respect to his name, and he did it by using biblical influences. Perhaps he was foreshadowing his marriage to Anne in the tapestries as being willed by a higher power. Because this is an Anne Boleyn blog, let’s just assume that at the time Henry hung the tapestries he was enamored of her. In any case, one of the biggest fallacies about Anne is that she was a great deal younger than Henry. Although Sarah was exponentially older than Anne in the tapestries, to many Anne was no spring chicken. She was courted by Henry through the last years of her twenties and was not crowned until she hit her thirties.Even if Sarah does not allude specifically to Anne Boleyn, and alludes more specifically to Catherine of Aragon we can quite plainly see that Henry was hinting at greater forces controlling the birth of a male heir, including the timing of the birth of his much anticipated prince. He was trying to console himself and his people and wanted everyone to know a prince was coming; somehow, someway he would leave an empire behind.

In any case we can see what a sensitive subject not having a male heir was to the very masculine Henry.

The Hall itself is not exceedingly large, so I found it incredible that there were two H’s entertwined with A’s that people just missed after Anne’s death. To me they were very obvious, and it’s hard to think Henry never noticed them when he was out and about. The curator who was speaking to me about Anne just seemed to think they were overlooked, but to me the placement is so obvious that I have a difficult time understanding how these monograms went unnoticed. Anne is literally in the woodwork of the great hall, and her mark is apparent. When one considers her tragic death and the women that came after her it is unthinkable that they could have not noticed Henry and Anne’s initials sewn together in the woodwork of the Hall. What must they have thought being in the face of the man who was behind his wife’s own execution? How could they have brought themselves to sit in the chairs in which she sat, and eat off the plates she did, knowing of what ill Henry had done her? Having those initials glare at me from down the hall would have given me chills as I was courted by Henry after the fact.

Henry and Anne's Initials in the middle wooden panel.

Henry and Anne’s Initials in the middle wooden panel.

I was lucky enough to talk with my new friend the Curator for about a half hour after he pointed out the woodwork. I am always thrilled to be able to talk to people who are passionate about history. He said he wasn’t as sympathetic as I towards Anne, although he did admit there were many people in court out to get her. He really opened my eyes to the idea of Henry as king and just how highly he regarded himself as being the supreme being of the land. From what I got from my conversation with him, he felt that Anne’s allure for Henry was simply in her refusal. Anne from his perspective completely flat out refused the king at all costs. She held out to get the ultimate prize of being wed and crowned.  I got that he felt that king was merely lusting after her and as result really played the fool. I threw into the pile that I thought Henry really did love Anne due to the fact that he ripped his country open for her and executed people who defied the act of supremacy, especially his lifelong friend sir Thomas More. More ,Henry went out of his way to acquire and possess Anne. He made her a special title, showered her with precious gifts, and gifted her estates. Henry was seemingly a perfect gentleman. For someone who hated writing he wrote to her beautiful letters, he seemed to go out of his way to make her his equal, and that in and of itself was rare for the time and indicative of just how much he treasured her. I then proceeded to utter my discontent and horror to the curator that he dispatched of her so quickly. Its always a sensitive subject, and seeing the monogram made me want to debrief!

The curator agreed to a certain extent but then added in that Henry was taught to take what he wanted. At a certain point Henry believed that it was in god’s will for him to wed and impregnate Anne Boleyn, whether this was because of the love her bore her, or because he believed her to be fertile, or because he thought she conducted herself worthily of becoming his equal we will never know.

I for one feel that although Henry did love her, once he broke with the Catholic Church it became a question of his own honor. Was he man enough to see this separation in his life through? Would he finally be able to claim the prize of Anne’s sex and claim his rightful kingdom? Would he be able to forsake Catherine to raise Anne up? Of course he had convinced himself thus, and being the stubborn, passionate man I envision him to be he was going to have his way one way or another.

The curator pointed out the concept that Anne fell out of Divine favor. Once her virginity was relinquished she was unable to produce a son, and Henry’s biggest nightmare came true, he had broken apart a nation to be with a woman who was only producing daughters. When the charges came up against her it is possible that Henry felt that the divine was giving him a way out, so he rolled with it. In his mind, Henry could do no wrong and instead the other people in his life who were failing him were the ones that needed to vacate a seat for those that could perform the godful duties of being a ruler. The curator added that Anne was extremely prone to tempers. He talked about an account of her dog, Purkoy, being killed, and nobody wanting to tell her for fear of upsetting her. He felt this of itself showed what rages she was capable of, and he felt if people were scared of her she was obviously doing something wrong.

When I pointed out that no one should have laid a finger on her dog in the first place he agreed, but then focused more on how a woman in the Tudor period should not have behaved the way Anne did. When I thought about his claim everything started to make sense. The example he gave was here all the English women were walking around court with their heads covered in modesty and her comes the lady Anne showing off her beautiful waist length hair. That is a quick way to make enemies. People were trying to dispatch of her as soon as she stepped into Henry’s court, so her violent fall was not exactly unpredictable, and although it was swift it was meant to be so. What happened to poor Anne Boleyn was not an accident. But perhaps at the time it was seen as a fit punishment for a woman prone to quick tempers and for daring to flaunt her sexuality in public.

 

In the words of the curator “She was playing a dangerous game, and she lost.”  When he asked me what I thought about her, I brought up that there was always going to be a feminist view on her. He replied something to the effect of, “Ah, but you see there were no feminists at the time. Had she lived today she would be accepted, but for her times she just was not acceptable.” Which I felt was an extremely valid point. Indeed, if Queen Anne Boleyn would have been an acceptable lady for her time she would not have been the first Queen to lose her head.

I was surprised to learn that the curator had not heard the new theories about Henry being Kell positive, so when I whipped out that evidence from the new book I’m reading he seemed intrigued. Personally I find that explanation for King Henry VIII’s madness to be very convincing, when you mix that with the curator’s description of Henry’s mentality as King it makes so much sense, add in a jousting accident and you are right on the money for figuring how he went from showering Anne with gifts one day to ordering her death the next. Those three incidents are what allow me to sleep at night and not ponder why true love can turn into hatred so quickly.

An obvious example of Henry and Anne’s love

Philosophical questions like that are the bane of my life.

Anyway sorry for the side note. Moving onto Anne Boleyn’s Gateway at Hampton. I did not enter Anne’s apartments because they are not open to visitors but say the outside of the apartments where Henry set up Anne’s household for her before they were wed. Below is a picture of the outside. Her apartments themselves would have been very convenient for her to see exactly who was coming and going at Hampton Court. I wonder if she requested this specifically to keep an eye on Henry? It’s hard to say, but in any case, Henry’s private chambers and her apartments are not a far walk apart at all.

Anne apartments are to the left

 

The ceiling of Anne Boleyn’s gateway has several Henry and Anne monograms as well as her falcon crests everywhere! It is hard not to get teary eyed with romance as you glance up and look at it. Once again a beautiful example of the love between them both that was so ill fated.

The ceiling at Anne Boleyn’s Gateway. It has her falcon Badge and more of her and Henry’s monogram.

 

 

Anne’s badge

Although this is more of an abstract idea, I felt that the gardens at Hampton Court were really full of old Tudor energy. From Cardinal Wolsey’s old rooms you have a clear look at what he would have seen and where he would have walked, and if he walked there then I’m sure Henry and Anne would have at some point too. Walking the grounds themselves is what gave me the clearest idea of the romance between Henry and Anne. When strolling the gardens and parts of the palace it is easy to imagine them sneaking off to have a private moment, or to imagine Anne walking the gardens and admiring the flowers with her ladies. To walk where she would have been was a really heartwarming experience, in a way I felt that perhaps I was walking some of the better years of her life, when her star was rising, and when she was falling deeply in the love with the king.

Rose garden at Hampton Court.

 

I also really felt a connection in the rose Garden in Hampton Court. I don’t know whether or not it was around in the mid 1500’s or not, but when I was walking around smelling the roses, all of the sudden I felt this calm and peace rush over me. For the first time during that day I was not concerned about finding out the facts about Anne, or telling people what I thought about her story, I just enjoyed being amongst the roses and for a split second I thought, ‘everything is beautiful.’ From someone who is doom and gloom all the time I can assure you this is rare, and then I related it back to Anne because her motto was ‘the most happy,’ and if she had any kind of gorgeous flowers to waltz by at Hampton and had the promise of being crowned queen, I can see why. The gardens both elated me and refreshed me so I felt willing to continue on my stretch of palace.

Beside the garden the other place I felt the most Anne presence was in King Henry’s Royal chapel by his private apartments, in the Queen’s Pew. I felt chills down my back as I stood where the queen’s pew would have been and immediately asked a curator if the chapel was in use when Anne was Queen. He said it was and she indeed would have been to mass there quite frequently. He said she would have been the first queen to have attended mass in the chapel since by the time it was built Catherine had already left Hampton. I smiled immediately when he said that because I attributed the shiver down my spine to being in the same place Anne had stood in the chapel. He started laughing and said “so I take it, it all begins and ends with Anne Boleyn for you?” to which I nodded excitedly. I couldn’t get any pictures of the chapel because it is still a place of worship but I urge anyone who goes to Hampton court to take 30 minutes and visit it. It is one of the most beautiful historical things I’ve ever seen, it is so true to the period and any Tudor fan will immediately transcend the ages and feel the history in the paint and woodwork.  I felt blessed to for a second have felt so connected to the court of that time.

View from the Royal Pew at the Royal Chapel at Hampton Court

 

All in all my day visit to Hampton was extremely eye opening. My conversation with Curator gave me a completely different perspective on what people generally think about Anne Boleyn. Although I could have sat and talked to him for days, I was happy to have a first hand experience of whatever is left of Anne at Hampton Court. I was delighted to find that if you look for her, she is still there waiting for someone to judge her story correctly.

I came out of my visit with a more general understanding of the times and by the time I left, I truly felt like I had experienced something that made me want to continue learning about Anne and the Tudors,

Who knows maybe one day I’ll discover a stone not yet over turned?

Goodnight lovely Queen Anne Boleyn followers.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

What Were They All Thinking? (Humorous)

June 23, 2012 in Historical Fiction, Tudor Y Writer's Group by ADMIN: Royal Squire


Thomas Cromwell: (I am awaiting Sir Thomas More’s arrival to meet with His Majesty. Once that is done and over with, I will keep my promise to Nicoleen and resign the King’s service.)

(Watch You Tube before reading below… I promise, it’s worth it.)

Henry Tudor: *I sit on my throne speaking with Thomas Cromwell of our success. The Clergy has submitted to me. I then hear a guard announce Sir Thomas More. *He enters* “Sir Thomas” *I say with a peaceful heart mind.*

Thomas Cromwell: (The asshole walks by me…. I wish I could trip him.)

Thomas More:  ~I enter the throne room with one thought in mind, I resign this day. I am full disbelief that the clergymen have taken the information this donkey Thomas Cromwell has fed them. I see my King. His eyes are peaceful, With a heavy heart, Ibow~ “Your majesty” ~I then kneel at the feet of his throne~ “I come to offer my resignation from my post as Lord Chancellor” ~As I say these words I feel that bastards presence in the room. It is as if the devil himself is breathing skaata in this room.~ I beg you my King to allow me refuge away from court so that I may ready my mind for the Lord, his work and my family. You see I have found the great seal a weight that I can no longer bare. I have it here.” ~holds the seal up and meets his majesties eyes.~ “In the most humble of hopes that you will accept its return.” ~Give it to that Jackass behind me PLEASE!!! DAMN , here he comes~

Thomas Cromwell: (I instantly recognize a major problem…. Oh My God… That man is determined to ruin my life…. As the King nods my way, I walk up to the bastard, and glare right through the dog. I accept the great seal for safe keeping, and return to the back of the room…. irate, but composed.)

Henry Tudor: *I have seen this coming. I knew Thomas More would not be pleased with this. After Thomas Cromwell takes the seal, I glare at him*

Thomas More: ~I meet Thomas Cromwell’s eyes and glare at the devil. Please Dear father God do not let him touch me. He takes the seal. Phew, I escaped the evil bastards touch.~

Thomas Cromwell: ( I wish I could shove the seal up his ass.)

Henry Tudor: ”I most willing allow you to resign. Retreat to your life with God. You have always been a gentleman both in public and private. You have held your loyalty to me first most. You have been a good friend to me Sir Thomas More” *

Thomas Cromwell: (His Majesty is too kind…. He should send the dickhead to the tower. How dare he do this? Now?)

Thomas More: ”Your Majesty, I swear on my honor that I will never speak publicly of your great matter. I must unburden my heart one time only. ~And like this jackass in the room hear it all!~ After I say this I swear to never speak of it again, public or private. As your once truest confidant” ~UNLIKE THE DEVIL BEHIND ME! PLEASE READ BETWEEN THE LINES MAJESTY! I pause for a response from my King~ ” may I continue your majesty?”

Henry Tudor: *Motions my hand and nods for him to go on………If he mentions Catherine…..begins to feel the rage rising!*

Thomas Cromwell: (Holy Shit. Don’t tell me he is going to actually spew to His Majesty about his love and devotion to the Dowager. Shoot me dead now.)

Thomas More: ”I am of the deepest belief that if your Majesty could reconcile with Queen Catherine, the realm could be mended and healed. The division within the realm would have cause to come together again.”

Thomas Cromwell: (stifles a laugh)

Henry Tudor: *Did he really just call HER THE FUCKING QUEEN?*

Thomas Cromwell: (Did he really just call HER THE FUCKING QUEEN?)

Thomas More: ”Now that I have said this, I will never mention it again My King.” ~Begins to retreat backwards, Thank God I will not have to look Satan in the eye.~

Thomas Cromwell: (Oh My God. This man has a death wish.)

Henry Tudor: ”Thomas, you will honor that promise for if you ever” *ponds my fist on the arm of my throne* “make a public mention of you feelings, there will be a price you my friend will pay.*

Thomas Cromwell: (Go ahead, More…. say it again. Do it.)

Thomas More: *Nods and retreats, damn there is Satan, shivers, that man should be set a fire*

Henry Tudor: *feelings of dispare overwhelm me. Saddens me. I look to Thomas Cromwell and notice he seems to be feeling the same way* Thomas, what are your thoughts?

Thomas Cromwell: “Well, Your Majesty…. I know you trust Sir Thomas, but there are many capable men who could step in and be Lord Chancellor and Chief Minister… Sir Thomas Audley, for example. Or even Sir Richard Rich. In fact, anyone could be replaced. Sir Richard could do my job quite capably too for that matter.

Henry Tudor: “Yes, I have in mind the man for the job. And as for you Thomas Cromwell, I will need you to head Chair of committee to oversee the canons of the Church of England. There is no other man for the job. Your works for the submission of clergy has earned you this position. I proudly bestow it upon you.”

Henry Tudor: ”I also will bestow another title of most honor to you for indeed you have most honorable earned it ” *My heart is still so heavy oh Thomas More,* “You are know Chief Minister of England” *I smile as this has lifted my heart*

Thomas Cromwell: (Holy Shit… now what? Damn. Face shows stunned look, there’s no hiding it.) “Your Majesty, your benevolence and confidence in me is a great honor and I am very touched, but I could not possibly….”

Henry Tudor: ”SILENCE! You will not pretend to be humble and act that you not wish for these graces I have given you.”

Thomas Cromwell: ”Yes, Your Majesty. I am most honoured. Thank you. I pray to never fail your trust in me.” (bows) (How am I supposed to explain this to Nicoleen?)

Henry Tudor: ”Leave me now” *Waves him out*

~~~~~ Fade To Black ~~~~~

 

 

I Pay The Penance…

June 17, 2012 in Historical Fiction, Tudor Y Writer's Group by ADMIN: Royal Squire

Thank you, Virgin Mary, Mother of God. He is gone. After His Majesty’s Secretary leaves my home, I ask Alice to open up the windows to air the demons out. I have to. The man breathes sin straight into his pores. He sat right at my dining room table, before my St. Peter Statue on the mantle, and admitted to me that he has no wife because he beds whores. He then offered me heretic Lutheran literature. The toad even insulted my beloved Margaret. Pole is right, the Emissary of Satan is the King’s Secretary. Poor Harry, counseled by the likes of him, the Boleynys, Audley and Cranmery. God help him, I pray. God let him see the error of his ways, I pray. God free him from the counsel of Lutheran heretics, I pray. They say they will implement reforms, separate this great realm from our Holy Father, descended from the rock of St. Peter. Virgin Mary, Mother of God, I pray you interceed. Save England. I beg you.

After praying the rosary with Margaret, I decide I need to warn my beloved friend Bishop Fisher. Together we hold firm. Together we remain pious. Together we lay all in the Virgin Mary’s hands; through her, His will be done. Through her, we gain our strength to remain true to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. God help us. I fear we will be martyred if the Emissary of Satan has his way, and the King’s Supremacy becomes law. As scripture teaches us, we first must obey the word of God, as taught by His Holy Father, our Pope and his disciples. Then we obey Caesar. I give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Harry once knew this. Harry once embraced this. Then he was bewitched by the whore, and counseled by her and the evil low-bred counselor she patronized. Cromwelly errors in his strategy. He is creating a monster. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts completely. I bring my quill to paper.

Dearest Bishop Fishery,

I hear you struggle with pain in your hands and feet, and I pray for you. May the blessed mother bring you comfort with your ailments. I need tell you that the Emissary of Satan, the King’s Secretary, did visit my home today, sent by His Majesty to inquire why I failed to attend the Coronation of the new Queen. He further took great pleasure in informing me that the succession will change to the child the Queen now carries. What does this do to poor Princess Mary? In the eyes of the secular law, will she be considered a bastard? Further, he questioned me as to my opinion of the King’s supremacy over the church, insinuating law will be passed to confirm such in England. The man went so far as to refer to Our Holy Father as the Bishop of Rome. I assume Cromwelly will be paying you a visit sometime soon, if he has not already done so. God help us, Bishop Fisher. 

If you have not already heard, our poor rightful Queen Catherine suffers much indignity. I was told by the Duke of Suffolk that she receives no allowance to pay for the upkeep of her home or her servants wages. He further relays that Her Majesty remains strong in her conviction to remain faithful to her Roman Catholic teachings, and she gains much comfort in her suffering for the blessed Virgin Mary. May we follow her example in the very difficult days ahead.

In The Grace of His Holy Father, Thomas Morey

I fold the letter, affix a wax stamp and sprinkle holy water on the parchment. Then I call over one of my few remaining servants and instruct him to deliver it forthwith. I need to cleanse the sin I was exposed to, pay penance for allowing it into my home. As I move to my prayer room to begin my holy flagellation, I feel my hair shirt against my skin, a reminder that all sin. I enter, light my altar candles, disrobe and drop to my knees. I grab the whip. Before beginning, I pray. “Oh Holy Blessed Mother of God, our Virgin Mary, please interceed on my behalf. I have sinned by allowing Satan in my home, allowing Satan to preach his sinful message. For you and God’s glory, I begin the penance. Amen.” I strike my back… again… again… again. Fade. To. Black.

Flies and Fleas….

June 16, 2011 in Historical Fiction, Tudor Y Writer's Group by ADMIN: Royal Squire

The birds chirp, and I awaken, wrapped tight in our blankets, still holding tight to her pillows. My God, I am sweating profusely. Although temporary comfort it did provide, this is no way to sleep in June. Groggy, I rise and decide I must cleanse before I arrive at court as dirty as I am, so I throw on some clothes quickly and walk out to the Lily Pond. As I approach, my heart sinks. How can I be here alone without her? I gaze over to the soft grass, where we first made love – where Iris was conceived, and the memories flood my mind. She was exquisite… so anxious, so beautiful, so soft, so emotional, so yielding and so in tune with me – sweet memories, with a bitter after taste. I undress and jump into the pond for a swim, and the fresh clear water and scent of lilies in bloom feels of her, smells of her. I swim briskly to the center of the pond, turn around and swim on back. Rushed to insure I arrive at court as expected, I walk out of the pond, dry off, dress quickly, and return back to Theo and Thea’s. What a love she is. Thea must have heard me rise, as upon my return, she has breakfast waiting. Thea brings me a plate, kisses my head, and places it on the table. I look at her and nod in appreciation. After the stress and hurt of last night’s conversation, we remain silent… the emotions hanging plainly in the stillness. After eating swiftly, I return back to our bedroom to wash more thoroughly and dress in court attire. I look over to our dresser. My status chain lies next to a set of her crystals… how appropriate. Before leaving for court, I look around our room and drop to my knees in prayer, “Holy God, you know my heart, my soul, my mind. Give us the strength to endure this separation, and I beg you keep my Nicosa and our baby safe and comforted. Also, give me the wisdom to counsel His Majesty with loyalty and knowledge, and give me the perseverance to do what must be done, despite the risks and opposition. Amen.” Before leaving, I walk up to Thea, give her a gentle hug and whisper, and “Thank you, dear woman. I will send word when I hear anything. Please do the same. I don’t know when I can return, but I shall. I have to, Thea Nia. Being here with you makes me feel close to her.” As I pull away, she remains silent and nods, with a single tear running down her cheek. I simply wipe it dry, and quietly leave.

As I arrive at court, it is already bustling. Servants clean and attend their duties, and Lords and Ladies are scampering all over. As I pass each, I respectfully remove my hat and tip a nod. Though close to the King, I am a commoner still. I know my place within the etiquette of court, and respond accordingly. The power is within my quill, at Privy Council, at Parliament and within His Majesty’s inner chambers. The outward appearances matter not. I know it. The Lords know it. There is no need to belabor it. Upon entering my offices, Sir Thomas Wyatty is already attending to his duties. He looks up, and joyously says, “Welcome back, Mr. Secretary. We missed you. His Majesty has commanded that you seek him out this morning. He wishes to discuss the issues related to Sir Thomas Morey. I do hear he is none too happy.” I swallow hard. Morey, what am I going to do about him? The man is brilliant, pious, well loved by the people, and a huge thorn in my side. I swear that his actions speak to the desire of self-serving martyrdom. I desire to counsel His Majesty to ignore the man and his challenges to the supremacy we seek, but I am not hopeful. Morey needs to be careful not to push His Majesty too far, as if he does, it matters not his contributions of the past, His Majesty will cut him down… crop his head… and England will look poorly to the rest of Europe, most assuredly.

After being announced, I enter His Majesty’s inner chamber and bend a knee. There he sits, a God among men, with a glass of wine in one hand, and papers in the other. I bow deeply, and I am invited to sit with him and wine is served. As usual, only the finest of wines touch the King’s lips. Just as I approach, he unexpectedly rises and places his hand on my shoulder.

Henry Tudory: “Thomas, I do hope your two days away from court provided you with much needed respite. You worked hard on the coronation, and both Her Majesty and I are most pleased. I have your financial recommendations here, and although my Lords will be angered, I command you implement them immediately. Good work, Tom.” I sit at the table and motion he do likewise. “Boy, pour Thomas some wine.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I nod in appreciation and take a sip to buy a few seconds to collect my thoughts. “Thank you most humbly for the time of rest Majesty. I am quite pleased that both you and Her Majesty were satisfied with the coronation celebrations. They certainly were a noble testament to her rightfulness to be our reigning Queen. And yes… of course I will begin implementation. I will meet with Sir Richard Rich to set the strategies needed to implement the governmental reforms this afternoon.” I sip a little more wine, and decide to get to the topic of the day. “In you letter, Majesty, you mentioned your concern with the behavior of Sir Thomas Morey. How do you desire to have this issue addressed?”

Henry Tudory: At hearing Morey’s name, I become angry. That man, one of my closest friends of this world, betrayed me. I raise my voice, and bang my goblet down hard on the table. “Meet with him Thomas! Find out his excuse for not attending the coronation, and make it clear that I am displeased. Mince no words. I expect his full cooperation and support, and I will settle for nothing less.”

Thomas Cromwelly: “Yes, Majesty, of course.” I take a deep breath. “If I could be so bold, I would suggest we approach this situation as delicately as possible. Sir Thomas is beloved by the people and is respected by the Bishop of Rome. If you are viewed too punitive, that could impact your standing among the other European monarchs.”

Henry Tudory: I see the sense of what I am told, but I hold firm. I hit the table with my fist for emphasis. “He will yield to me Thomas. I am King, and Head of the Church. He must submit. He must. Go now. Leave for Chelsea, and meet with Sir Richard in the morning.” I wave my hand dismissively.

Thomas Cromwelly: “Yes, Majesty.” I rise from my chair, bow deeply and back out of the inner chamber.

Damn, I hate this barge ride. How Sir Thomas lives in Chelsea right on this river, I have not a clue. Flies and fleas abound. As we arrive at the dock at Morey’s home, I look around. I am told he has a wide collection of exotic animals. Why? What a waste of crowns, I think. The man is daft. Upon arriving to the front entrance, a servant answers and I introduce myself and request to be seen by Sir Thomas. If looks could have killed, I would be a dead man. “Wait right here,” she says curtly. “I will see if my Lord is available.” Well that was very telling. After a very rude wait of over 15 minutes, the woman comes for me. Abruptly she states, “He will see you. Follow me.” Heavens, Austin Friars this is not. Even the Imperial Ambassador is welcomed cheerfully at my home. I follow the maid, and look around. What is see is “worn opulent”, riches of more prosperous times. I follow her to the dining room, where More sits with one of his daughters. This must be Margaret, the favorite.

Thomas Morey: I look at Cromwelly and try to hold the disdain from my face. Here in my very home is a heretic. I motion him over to sit. “Welcome Mr. Secretary. Do join my daughter, Margaret and I.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I look over at Morey and am almost completely distracted by an enormous Holbein, taking nearly the whole wall. My God, the entire Morey family and God knows who else is depicted. What an ugly crew. I pull myself quickly together, remove my hat, and bow deeply. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, Your Grace.” Before sitting, I suggest, “Perhaps it would be best if we met privately.” As he is responding, I seat myself across from him.

Margaret Morey: So this is Thomas Cromwelly. The devil himself dressed black as ink is better looking than rumors told… just another tool from Satan to spin his evil web.

Thomas Morey: “That will not be necessary. Whatever you have to say, can be said in front of my daughter. I trust her all.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I look over at Morey, and state evenly, “Well I trust her not. We are discussing the King’s business.” I then peer over at his daughter. “Please leave now, Lady Margaret. His Majesty commands that I speak with your father, not you.”

Margaret Morey: Oh my, this man really is the devil. I look to my father, and he nods that I comply. I rise, stating nothing to the heretic. “Father, I will be in the den.” Just to annoy our company, I add, “When you are done, let’s do pray the rosaries together. I will have mine from Queen Catherine ready.” I leave the dining room, closing the door hard as I go.

Thomas Morey: I offer the man some ale, and he “politely declines”. Is not my ale good enough for this low-born? “Well, Mr. Secretary. I see you noticed my beautiful family portrait. Holbein outdid himself, would not you say?” I point out all my family members, awaiting his response.

Thomas Cromwelly: The man is observant, just as Audley warned. “Oh yes, Your Grace. One can’t help but scan the detail. Your family looks quite adoring towards you, your lovely wife in particular.” My God, that woman is homely. How does he ever bed her?

Thomas Morey: “You are a widower several years now, correct?” As he nods in agreement, I add pointedly, “Won’t any woman have you?”

Thomas Cromwelly: I can’t help it; I laugh a little and respond honestly. “Well, let’s just say none that you would approve of, Your Grace.” I become suddenly serious. “You know why I am here, and it’s not to discuss my private life. His Majesty is very concerned that you have not supported him or Her Majesty in their marriage, or her reign as Queen of England. He was highly offended that you chose not to attend the coronation.” I look over at him as say gently, “Look, he is only seeking that you acquiesce, Your Grace. No grand announcement need be made.”

Thomas Morey: I state with conviction, “Mr. Secretary, you were present when I resigned my position as Lord Chancellor. You know my opinions on the matter. I promised His Majesty that I would not speak of my views. I say no evil. I think no evil. I just desire to be left in peace so I may live my remaining days in prayerful reflection.”

Thomas Cromwelly: “Your silence speaks louder than a priest at the pulpit, Your Grace. I need tell you that soon I am presenting a Parliamentary Act to change the succession to the child in Her Majesty’ belly, and the other children they may have together. His Majesty will want your support. I ask plainly, will he have your support in the matter?”

Thomas Morey: My heart bleeds at the thought that Harry has turned away from the teachings we shared. I state matter-of-factly, “Despite my private opinions, I have no dispute of that. I accept that Anne Boleyn is now Queen of England, and much as it pains me. I will speak no more of it.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I nod my head in approval. “His Majesty will be very pleased to here that, Your Grace. I will be sure he is duly informed, albeit it may go a long way if your wrote to him or visited him at Whitehall. Her Majesty, I am sure, will also desire to be present.”

Thomas Morey: In resignation, I state simply, “I will consider your recommendation, Mr. Secretary.”

Thomas Cromwelly: “Your Grace, may I ask your opinions regarding the King’s supremacy?”

Thomas Morey: I look the bastard who turned Harry to sin in the eye and state, “I choose to remain silent on the matter. I will not speak one way or the other on it.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I hit a raw nerve, and I remain composed, and flatly speak. “Your Grace, His Majesty is master and supreme of all in this land, including the clergy. It will be law soon enough. I strongly suggest that you reconsider your position while His Majesty is in the like mind to accept it. Many speak one thing, but believe another. I suggest that this may be the best course for you. I wish you no harm. I say that most sincerely.”

Thomas Morey: This man must think I have the compromised morals he holds so dear. “As I said, I choose to remain silent on the matter. I will not speak one way or the other on it.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I swear this man has a death wish, and I pray on His Majesty’s behalf that he heeds my veiled warning. “So be it. I will inform His Majesty. He will decide what to make of it. He also desires to know your reasons for not attending the coronation. What shall I tell him?”

Thomas Morey: This heretic scares me not. I know he and that Edwardsy character he cavorts with were smuggling contraband Bibles. I almost had them, and if luck went my way, he’d been burned by now. “You may tell Harry, I mean His Majesty, that I was ill. And, Mr. Secretary, when you tell him the details of our meeting, please also relay that I remain his most faithful and humble servant.”

Thomas Cromwelly: I respond politely, “Of course, Your Grace,” and then add in a direct tone, “Since your daughter is waiting patiently to pray the rosary to the Virgin Mary and Bishop of Rome with you, I will take my leave now.” I rise, and bow respectfully, “Good afternoon, Your Grace. Should you desire to expand your prayerful reflections, I have a few books I would be willing to gift you.”

Thomas Morey: He is the devil incarnate, emissary of Satan, as Father Reginald Pole proclaims. “That will not be necessary, Mr. Secretary. Thank you for your gracious offer.”

I could not get out of Morey’s home quickly enough. His servants, rude; the home, adorned with relics. As I am “escorted” out by his rude servants, I feel dirty, like I have sinned against God just being there. As I walk towards His Majesty’s barge, an animal scampers by. What the hell was that? No matter, I am leaving, that is all that matters. Upon stepping on to the barge, I look at the tender and say honestly, “Get me the hell out of here. The flies and the fleas are offensive.” The tender paddles along, and I think through this situation and quickly realize that if this man digs his heels in and sticks to his convictions, I will have to take him down. His Majesty will expect no less. I need the fall out from that not, and more importantly, nor does England.

Skip to toolbar