10 June 1540 – To the Tower for Thomas Cromwell!

Posted By on June 10, 2016

Thomas Cromwell after Hans HolbeinAt 3pm on 10th June 1540, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord Privy Seal and Henry VIII’s former right-hand man, was arrested during a Privy Council meeting at Westminster. Cromwell was then taken to the Tower of London and imprisoned there until his execution on 28th July 1540, the day that Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. He was executed for the crimes of corruption, heresy and treason.

You can click here to read more about his arrest and you can click here to read about his rise and fall at Henry VIII’s court.

Also on this day in history, 10th June 1537, Blessed Thomas Green and Blessed Walter Pierson, Carthusian monks from London Charterhouse, died in Newgate Prison from starvation. They were two out of nine monks who were purposely starved to death for refusing to accept the royal supremacy. Others were hanged, drawn and quartered. Between 1535 and 1536, eighteen Carthusian monks were executed and you can read more about them in my article 19 June 1535 – 3 Carthusian Monks Hanged, Drawn and Quartered. All 18 have been recognised by the Catholic Church as martyrs.

Picture: Thomas Cromwell after Hans Holbein the Younger.

4 thoughts on “10 June 1540 – To the Tower for Thomas Cromwell!”

  1. Globerose says:

    Anyone see Cromwell as a working-class hero: a common man who perhaps helped smash the aristocratic glass ceiling?

  2. Maryann Pitman says:

    He did that, and made plenty of enemies, as had Wolsey before him.
    Cromwell was a man of his time who went the way of the powerful at Henry’s Court….that Charles Brandon did not shows he was smart enough to know when he was doing well and let it go at that…..but those who wished to rule in Henry’s name did not end well, however Henry might have regretted some of them later.

  3. Banditqueen says:

    Thomas Cromwell went too far in using his power for his own agenda, he had also made a number of arrests from among the conservative elements at court, the nobility by now we’re seriously worried about who was next. The alliance with Anne of Cleves had been his baby and gone south. Henry was fed up and receptive to the possibility of charges being brought against Cromwell. Led by Norfolk his enemies placed incriminating evidence that showed Cromwell plotting with the German League, to promote the Protestant faith, made a case against him and Henry, angry and upset about Anne being less than the pretty wife Cromwell had promised him, listened. Angry that Cromwell failed to find a way out of the marriage or to annul it, Henry was very open to the accusations against Cromwell and ordered his arrest.

    Henry also tried Cromwell using his own way of doing things, with a Bill brought before Parliament called an Act of Attainer, traditionally used to confirm guilt and conviction and to make your family share the blame, but now used to read out the evidence and with a vote in Parliament declare the person guilty. Some of the changes in the act are theatrical and bizarre. For example it was declared that on a certain date in a certain parish Cromwell had been heard to declare that he would further the reforms of the church and let nothing stand in his way, that if the King stopped him he would take his dagger and stand fighting in the streets. Yes, of course he would.

  4. Maryann C Pitman says:

    The beginnings of lay meritocracy is one of the best things about the Tudors. It was dangerous to those advanced, as the aristocracy opposed them and worked to get rid of them, but it was a beginning.

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