Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant

By Robert Hutchinson

A blazing narrative historical past that boldly captures the tip of England's such a lot despotic ruler and his court docket — a time of murderous conspiracies, terrifying betrayals, and sordid intrigue

Henry VIII's crimes opposed to his other halves are good documented and became ancient lore. yet less cognizance has been paid to his monarchy, in particular the last years of his reign.

Rich with info together with information from new archival fabric and written with the nail-biting suspense of a contemporary mystery, The final Days of Henry VIII deals a very good clean examine this attention-grabbing determine and new perception into an fascinating bankruptcy in history.

Robert Hutchinson paints an excellent portrait of this egotistical tyrant who ruled with a ruthlessness that opponents that of contemporary dictators; a monarch who had "no recognize or worry of an individual during this world," in accordance with the Spanish ambassador to his court docket. Henry VIII pioneered the fashionable "show trial": cynical propaganda workouts during which the sufferers have been condemned ahead of the lawsuits even opened, proving the main strong males within the land might be introduced down overnight.

After thirty-five years in energy, Henry used to be a bloated, hideously overweight, black-humored previous recluse. And regardless of his having had six other halves, the Tudor dynasty rested at the mild shoulders of his in basic terms male inheritor, the nine-year-old Prince Edward — a state of affairs that spurred rival factions right into a lethal clash to regulate the throne.

The final Days of Henry VIII is a gripping and compelling heritage as interesting and memorable as its subject.

Robert Hutchinson spent numerous years in unique archival study. He advances a certainly new concept of Henry's clinical historical past and the reason for his dying; he has unearthed a few marvelous eyewitness fabric and papers from demise warrants, confessions or even love letters among Katherine Parr and the Lord excessive Admiral.

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The bullion and coinage have been taken, escorted via fifty archers lower than the command of Sir Thomas Cheyney, to Henry’s mystery jewel residence at Westminster. forty seven Cromwell’s different family items have been systematically looted quickly after. forty eight there have been additionally his substantial holdings of lands and sales in different places to sequester, it all a welcome providence for the ruthless and avaricious king. Cromwell – ‘a individual of as negative and occasional measure as few be inside [the] realm’ – used to be condemned with out trial by way of Act of Attainder on 29 June49 for being ‘the such a lot fake and corrupt traitor, deceiver and circumventor opposed to your royal individual and the imperial crown of this realm that had ever been identified on your entire reign’. He used to be additionally labelled a heretic and accused of circulating many faulty books among Henry’s topics, relatively a few that contradicted the idea within the holy sacrament of communion, in addition to licensing heretics as preachers. He had taken bribes in trade for permission to export funds, corn, horses and different commodities, opposite to Henry’s personal proclamations. He had issued many commissions with no the king’s wisdom and, being of base beginning, had hopefully stated that ‘he was once yes of the king’. 50 Cromwell’s comfortably came across crimes knew no bounds. After the relaxing and ecocnomic diversion of sequestering his leader minister’s wealth, Henry nonetheless confronted significant difficulties in looking his new annulment. to start with, there has been the response of Anne herself – her contradictory proof may possibly harm or invalidate his declare of non-consummation – and secondly, the continued and urgent diplomatic have to retain the Duke of Cleves, Henry’s all-important Protestant best friend in Germany, chuffed, even after the rejection of his sister as a spouse and the queen of britain. The quite often Henrician resolution used to be copious amounts of demanding funds and upkeep of prestige. It used to be dire information for the regularly hard-pressed royal exchequer, yet that was once an element that by no means entered the king’s head while he sought after whatever badly adequate. In go back for last in England as ‘the king’s sturdy sister’, the place she will be firmly below Henry’s surveillance and keep watch over, Anne used to be to obtain a beneficiant annual pension of £500 for all times (£216,265 in today’s values), including a couple of manors and lands, such a lot of them, with heavy irony, forfeited through Cromwell himself, who used to be to pay the scapegoat’s terrible rate at the scaffold for his hand in arranging the disastrous marriage. What the king taketh away, the king giveth. Anne might stay the top-rated girl in all England after any new queen and Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. She may maintain all her outfits, jewels and plate. She used to be given a fifteen-strong loved ones of German servants acceptable to her rank and station, together with Schoulenburg, her personal cook dinner. doubtless she may also hold her puppy parrot. Wriothesley, Southampton and Suffolk journeyed to Richmond via river to inform her the grim information. there have been wild rumours afterwards that she fainted whilst advised of the annulment, probably with reduction on the prospect of freedom from extra nights of fumbling awareness by way of the grunting, overweight and possibly flatulent Henry, yet those clearly don't determine within the courtiers’ record of this tough assembly.

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