Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies Plays Review by Marcia Wadham

| July 23, 2014

Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies Plays Review by Marcia Wadham

Thank you so much to Marcia Wadham for writing this wonderful review of the RSC’s adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies… Hilary Mantel’s books are wonderfully brought to life in these stage plays from the RSC. It was hard to imagine how each book, with around 800 pages of […]

Your Most Sorrowful Subject – Thomas Cromwell’s Plea to Henry VIII in June 1540

| June 12, 2014

Your Most Sorrowful Subject – Thomas Cromwell’s Plea to Henry VIII in June 1540

Following his arrest two days earlier, Thomas Cromwell wrote to Henry VIII on 12th June 1540, from his prison in the Tower of London, asking for mercy and pleading his innocence. Here is his letter: Prostrate at your Majesty’s feet, I have heard your pleasure by your Controller, viz., that I should write such things […]

10 June 1540 – The Arrest of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, at Westminster

| June 10, 2014

10 June 1540 – The Arrest of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, at Westminster

At 3pm on 10th June 1540, the Captain of the Guard strode into the council chamber at Westminster, interrupting a meeting of the Privy Council, and announced that he had a royal warrant for the arrest of Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, on a charge of treason. Charles de Marillac, the French ambassador, described the […]

14 May 1536 – The Queen’s incontinent living was so rank and common

| May 14, 2014

14 May 1536 – The Queen’s incontinent living was so rank and common

On 14th May 1536, Thomas Cromwell wrote to Stephen Gardiner and Sir John Wallop, Henry VIII’s ambassadors at the French court, to update them on the situation in London. Here is the letter: “The King has deferred answering their letters sent by Salisbury till the arrival of the bailly of Troyes. Has to inform them, […]

9 May 1536 – Meetings and Preparations

| May 9, 2014

9 May 1536 – Meetings and Preparations

On Tuesday 9th May 1536, Henry VIII sent a message to Thomas Cromwell “commanding him to repair to the King to treat of matters relating to the surety of his person, his honor, and the tranquillity of the realm”. The King also organised a council meeting for that day. Those men summoned to attend included […]

8 May 1536 – The Vultures Descend

| May 8, 2014

8 May 1536 – The Vultures Descend

On 8th May 1536, just over a week after the first arrest and four days before the trial of Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton, courtiers were already clamouring over the spoils that may result from their falls from grace. These men had not been found guilty of anything yet, […]

22 April 1536 – Archbishop Cranmer’s Strange Letter

| April 22, 2014

22 April 1536 – Archbishop Cranmer’s Strange Letter

On the 22nd April 1536, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, who had been away from court staying at his country residence, Knole House, wrote a letter to Thomas Cromwell. In it he said: “I was ever hitherto cold, but now I am in a heat with the cause of religion, which goeth all contrary to mine expectation, […]

28 July 1540 – The Executions of Thomas Cromwell and Walter Hungerford

| July 28, 2013

28 July 1540 – The Executions of Thomas Cromwell and Walter Hungerford

While Henry VIII was busy marrying wife number 5, his former chief minister Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, was being beheaded on Tower Hill. Cromwell had been arrested on 10th June 1540 at a council meeting, and a bill of attainder was passed against him on 29th June 1540 for the crimes of corruption, heresy […]