28 April 1536 – Long council meetings

Apr28,2017 #Thomas Cromwell

On this day in history, 28th April 1536, it was reported that the king’s council was meeting every day, from first thing in the morning 9 or 10 o’clock at night.

And not only that! Thomas Cromwell was said to have been meeting with Dr Richard Sampson, a royal chaplain, Dean of Lichfield and an expert on canon law, for the past four days “continually”.

Something was definitely going on.

Read more in an article from the AB Files archives – click here.

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3 thoughts on “28 April 1536 – Long council meetings”
  1. I think Chapuys is right, Henry was planning to end his marriage, the question is how. He doesn’t have the news from Cromwell about his investigations, nobody has been formally arrested, there is something afoot with the jury courts and other people looking into rumours about the Queen. Anne was not totally oblivious. She suspected something was wrong and she had made Matthew Parker promise her something, possibly to care or watch over Elizabeth, now about two years, seven months, a very small innocent child, who had no responsibility for anything either of her parents did and couldn’t be held so in law. The fears she held would prove all too real, a real nightmare. Anne was innocent and so were the men, even hapless Mark Smeaton, who if not actually formally tortured, certainly had some painful things applied in his interrogation at Cromwell’s house to make him confess. The actual details were invented by Cromwell and close examination makes them laughable. I am sorry but I am going to write this in big as some people out there, one scholar in particular, still don’t get it, even though the evidence is in black and white: ANNE BOLEYN DID NOT SLEEP WITH HER BROTHER TO HAVE A BABY!!!!! ANNE BOLEYN DIDN’T HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH HENRY NORRIS. HENRY NORRIS IS NOT THE FATHER OF ELIZABETH. MARK SMEATON IS NOT THE FATHER OF ELIZABETH!!!! ANNE BOLEYN DID NOT SLEEP WITH SIR WILLIAM BRETHERTON WHO WAS NOT A JESUIT SPY. ANNE BOLEYN DIDN’T SLEEP WITH FRANCIS WESTON AND ANNE BOLEYN DIDN’T SLEEP WITH ANY ONE ELSE WHILE MARRIED TO HENRY VIII AND FINALLY ANNE BOLEYN DID NOT GIVE BIRTH TO A DEFORMED BABY!!!! IT IS POSSIBLE SHE FOUND ONE OF THESE YOUNG MEN CHARMING AND SHE PLAYED THE GAME OF COURTLY LOVE, BUT THAT DOESN’T EQUAL A LOVE AFFAIR OR ACTUAL AFFAIR. THE FIVE MEN AND QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN WERE SET UP ON FALSE CHARGES AND INNOCENTLY EXECUTED BY EITHER CROMWELL, THE KING, SOME OF HIS ROYAL COUNCIL OR A COMBINATION OF BOTH BECAUSE HENRY SUDDENLY WANTED HER OUT OF THE WAY!!!! THE EVIDENCE, THAT IS THE LIST OF DATES ARE NONSENSE AND ACTUALLY PROVES THEIR INNOCENCE. NO MOVIE OR PROFESSOR OR POPULAR NOVELIST CAN MAKE IT OTHERWISE. I RECOMMEND THAT YOU GO TO SOME OF THE LINKS ON THIS SITE WHICH PROVE THESE NONSENSE ALLEGATIONS, LONG DEBUNKED AND ACCEPTED AS NONSENSE BY MOST HISTORIANS AND SEE THE EVIDENCE IF PEOPLE THINK I AM MAD OR JUST SOUNDING OFF. I APOLOGISE FOR MY RANT BUT IT JUST HIT ME LIKE A TRUTH WAVE.

    Ah, that’s better. Anne must have felt something was going on and Henry may not have made any decisions. Perhaps he genuinely was seeking a more civilised way of getting out of the present marriage using canon law. After all Cranmer and Cromwell had fixed it once, so they could do it again. What were the council discussing? The law, the rumours, allegations, possibly arrests to come, being kept up to date, the succession, the coming Parliament, Anne and Elizabeth? It was all very cloak and dagger. The business of the court went on, Henry appearing to still being going to France with Anne, everything appeared normal, but behind the scenes a hive of activity. Again, apologies for rant.

  2. Just curious … would the services of a canon lawyer, such as Sampson be necessary if Cromwell was plotting criminal charges against Anne? (According to Cromwell biographer Schoenfeld, this shows that Cromwell wasn’t plotting a frame up). IMO, Sampson was concerned with an annulment. An expert might be needed to determine if Henry Percy’s 1532 denial of a pre-contract with Anne would prevent an annulment on those grounds. I would think an expert would also be necessary to determine the implications for the supremacy if the annulment was based on alleged witchcraft (since Henry made himself Supreme Head to marry Anne, if the desire to marry Anne was based on witchcraft — then seen as truly demonic — wouldn’t the supremacy be tainted?)

    1. Hi Esther, good point. It’s a pity we don’t know more. I think Henry is showing two faces, one which makes everyone think all is well, one exploring ways to get rid of his Queen. Dr Samson was a close friend of the King’s, as well as a canon law lawyer. Yes, he would definitely know exactly what grounds Henry had for an annulment and when you recall what happened to Anne after her trial, it fits. Henry had their marriage annulled as well as Anne executed on the grounds of his relationship with her sister Mary, but he did try the Henry Percy thing first but got nowhere as Percy denied any contract with Anne. Scoffield could well be right, Cromwell may simply have been Henry’s creature in all this: there is evidence for both his instigation and Henry as the instigator and both. Practically every historian or author on Anne’s fall has a different view on Cromwell’s involvement. One thing is clear, however: Cromwell was a minister, he couldn’t do anything without Henry’s consent or orders. What he could do was go home after his dressing down by Henry and come up with something to present to the King in order to get his permission for a criminal investigation. The Cromwell did it party argue this is what he did, the Henry did it party see this as a stretch. Cromwell later wrote a letter admitting he cooked it up but historian Suzanne Lipscomb argues this was taken out of context and the line before is that Henry told him to find a way out of his marriage. So what is going on with the canon law expert? I honestly believe Henry was undecided on the issue and Cromwell and Chancellor Audley were looking at the options and then two incidents dropped the means for a trap into their laps. News got out a couple of days later about Anne teasing Henry Norris and Mark Smeaton was targeted for further information when another innocent but deadly conversation was over heard. Cromwell took in Smeaton, Norris was implicated, although his dead mens shoes talk was not pursued and Smeaton said he had slept with the King. Cromwell, maybe unexpectedly had what he hoped for and why go to the trouble of getting an annulment if court members are going to incriminate themselves? Everything was then taken out of context, a case built on nothing more than idle gossip and Henry ordered arrests. The canon law would still come in handy to ensure that all the issue with Anne were set aside and her marriage annulled to make certain that only the heirs gained with Jane Seymour succeeded. This is my theory which I cannot prove, but as I said, if only we knew more. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at those council meetings.

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