Love Letter 17

To inform you what joy it is to
me to understand of your con-
formableness with reason, and of the
suppressing of your inutile and vain
thoughts with the bridle of reason. I
assure you all the good in this world
could not counterpoise for my satis-
fadtion the knowledge and certainty
thereof, wherefore, good sweetheart,
continue the same, not only in this,
but in all your doings hereafter; for
thereby shall come, both to you and
me, the greatest quietness that may
be in this world.

The cause why the bearer stays so
long, is the business I have had to
dress up gear for you; and which I
trust, ere long to cause you occupy :
then I trust to occupy yours, which
shall be recompense enough to me
for all my pains and labour.

The unfeigned sickness of this well-
willing legate doth somewhat retard
his access to your person; but I trust
verily, when God shall send him
health, he will with diligence recom-
pense his demur. For I know well
where he hath said (touching the say-
ing and bruit that he is thought im-
perial) that it shall be well known in
this matter that he is not imperial;
and thus, for lack of time, sweetheart,

Written with the hand which fain
would be yours, and so is the heart.

R. H.

7 Responses to “Love Letter 17”

  1. Sarah says:

    In most of the letters, he signs them H.R.
    What did the r stand for? I searched for a possible last name but all I found was Henry Tudor.


    Claire Reply:

    Hi Sarah,
    The R stands for Rex, the Latin word for King. Kings use Rex and Queens use Regina, hence Elizabeth R or Elizabeth Regina.


    Sarah Reply:

    Thank you so much! I love the website by the way.


  2. Stephanie M. says:

    It blows my mind how Henry can go from being so in love with Anne Boleyn, asking for reassurances and almost seeming a little insecure with the way she feels about him to hating her and wanting to get rid of her and remarry! I know he hated writing and he wrote all those letters. I wonder throughout the rest of his remaining years if he ever regretted it or was saddened by it.I know he never spoke of her. Nuts!


  3. Cynthia Layne says:

    I think it is more than a little scary that Henry could express such loving thoughts to Anne, and then ‘turn’ on her so completely. Seeing how his emotions could change so thoroughly, I doubt he regretted or was saddened by what he did (or caused to happen) to Anne.


    Gillian S. Reply:

    Henry always was terribly black-and-white in his thinking, though. While he was a true romantic, I think this was because he raised up the woman he loved to be almost goddess-like – the most perfect, the most beautiful, the one who could make him truly and completely happy.

    Of course, the issue with this is that all of us are human and imperfect, including Anne Boleyn and each of Henry’s other wives. And when he realised this, his black-and-white view of things turned the beauteous angel of his dreams into an utter disappointment and (in his mind) someone who had tricked him into believing she was The Perfect One.

    In short, I think Henry wanted something that doesn’t exist – the pefect woman. When he couldn’t get that, he threw a tantrum and blamed the woman herself…with devastating consequences. Of course, this was compounded by his consuming need for an heir – and he always blamed the woman for failing to produce that, too.


  4. sawt' says:

    Henry VIII may have seemed mad during his latter times. I have read endlessly and watched documents. The wretched ulcers he suffered, which were horrid, couldn’t have helped his moods much, probably inflamed them. He had the ulcers cut and drained of pus, almost on a daily basis, just to keep him conscious. What I wonder is, why did he believe Cromwell whom he charged to carry out the investigation on Anne Boleyn? How come he never suspected her of being set up. Surely he must have been of known and expected there to be enemies within the palace as the norm, or was it that he had given up on her having a male heir to the throne?


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