10 May 1533 – Opening of the Dunstable Court

Posted By on May 10, 2016

Cranmer_etching Yes, for this “on this day in history” post we are taking a break from the 1536 countdown of Anne Boleyn’s fall to go back to 1533, the year that Anne Boleyn was crowned queen.

On 5th April 1533, Convocation gave its ruling on Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, stating that the Pope had no power to dispense in the case of a man marrying his brother’s widow, and that it was contrary to God’s law. This ruling led to Archbishop Thomas Cranmer being authorised to set up a trial to examine Henry VIII’s case for the annulment of his first marriage. This trial opened at a special court at Dunstable Priory in Bedfordshire.

On 23rd May 1533, Cranmer’s court ruled that the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was against the will of God, and declared that the marriage was null and void. On 28th May 1533, Cranmer proclaimed the validity of Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn after a special enquiry at Lambeth Palace.

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