28 May 1533 – Archbishop Cranmer Proclaims Validity of Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn

Posted By on May 28, 2011

Henry VIII and Anne BoleynI am so glad to be going from writing of the brutal events of May 1536 to writing about the happy events of May and June 1533, the lead-up to the coronation of Queen Anne Boleyn. I definitely need a break from all that bloodshed and injustice!

As I wrote a few days ago, on the 23rd May 1533, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declared that Henry VIII’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had been annulled and this was followed, five days later on the 28th May 1533 by a proclamation that Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was valid.

Phew, just in time seeing that Anne was due to be crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey on the 1st June!

8 thoughts on “28 May 1533 – Archbishop Cranmer Proclaims Validity of Henry VIII’s Marriage to Anne Boleyn”

  1. Esther Sorkin says:

    Henry’s marriage to Anne is declared valid, even though everyone knew of all the impediments (Henry’s relationship with Mary, etc.) that would later be used to annul it. Henry doesn’t change … this is the same sort of thing that Chapuys noted about Jane Seymour’s virginity.

  2. Dawn says:

    Katherine of Aragon marriage declared null and void
    Mary declared illegitamate and removed from line of succession
    Anne Boleyn’s marriage declared valid
    Elizabeth declared as legitamate heir to the throne
    Anne Boleyn’s marriage declared null and void
    Elizabeth declared illegitamate and removed from line of succession
    Mary replaced to 2nd in line of succession, though still declared a Bastard
    Elizabeth replaced to 3rd in line of succession, though still declared a Bastard

    Phew!! thats an awful lot of declarations (and I am sure there was alot more inbetween these too). The paper work must have been a nightmare!!

    Jesting aside though, it shows just how unstable the moods and mind of the King had become.

    Flitting from one decission to another on a whim. His councillors, as much as we dislike some of them, deserve a modem of respect on their ability to be able to juggle all these amendments under that sort of pressure, knowing that if they did not please His Majesty their heads could also be food for the crows on the Tower spikes.
    Those ‘Bump’ on the head received in his jousting accidents really did make Henry, shall we say, indecisive.

  3. La Belle Creole says:

    Cranmer earned his end, that’s for sure.

    1. Claire says:

      No, he didn’t, nobody deserves to be burned alive.

      1. La Belle Creole says:

        Cranmer had his hand in the downfalls of several people who didn’t deserve what happened to them.

        1. Claire says:

          So did a lot of people at the Tudor Court but I really don’t think anybody deserves to die in such a brutal way.

        2. Dawn says:

          I think Cramner was as much a victim as anyone in those turbulent times. He worked for a very demanding master, and once you were in his pay there was little chanch of a way out, except via the executioner. I am sure alot of the things he had to do were against all that was natural to him, and haunted him for all his life For sure there would have been an element of self endorsement and reward but when people joined court life in the early days, Henry was not the monster he developed into, therefore it would be very difficult free yourself from the web you were entangled in. Life became very much dog eat dog!! For all his ‘sins’ burning him at the stake was barbaric, a sentence passed on to him by another obessional cruel monarch Mary. Too many of her fathers genes maybe!

  4. Lyn-Marie says:

    Thomas Cramner is a complex and sometimes misunderstood man, who was as much a product of his times as his master, King Henry. He went from being a man who did his own thing, that is going to Germany and getting married although a cleric and a bishop in England, to a man who was bright and educated, well educated, and who had an insight into the theology behind Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon. He was impulsive and ambitious, but he also had a gentler side and this is often forgotten about. He tried to calm and to save Katherine Howard, for all that he was involved in bringing the sad facts of her evil life to the King, and he protected Katherine Parr. But he could also be callous, as his attacks on Thomas More at the commission that questioned him about the King’s great matter proved, when Cramner produced the King’s Book and claimed that Thomas More forced Henry to write it. He was also a coward; in that he did not stand up for his own principles but pretended to be a faithful Catholic when charged with heresy in Henry VIII’s court and hid behind the king, who protected him. He became more and more zealous, however, and far bolder under Edward, when he produced the two prayer books, the latter which we have now as the Book of Common Prayer. He became more and more political in his declarations and he was vocal in stating that Catherine was not Henry’s Queen and in his cruel treatment of the Princess Mary.

    He could not make his mind up when it came to his own trial and he retracted or recanted his confession of the Protestant Faith three times, before he finally made up his mind that he was going to stick by his claims. He was tried for treason and heresy, an unusual mix, but he was guilty of both, and he changed his mind again. He finally recanted and was forced to repeat the recantation from the pulpit in Oxford six times. He was still going to be burnt, because of his treatment of Catherine, Mary’s mother and his declaration that Mary was a bastard, which he stuck to.

    He finally, at the moment of his death, changed his mind again and decided he did not recant his faith, and legend says that he placed his hand in the fire as it had sinned. This is probably just a story.

    He may have deserved to die because of his treason, but I think that he truly believed that Henry had every right to divorce Catherine of Aragon and he was a good friend to the king. Henry trusted him to the end of his life and he was at his side when the great king died. It is not true to say that he deserved everything that happened to him. The story is much more complex and Mary was not cruel for burning him at the stake. This sentence was accepted by every monarch in Europe as the just punishment for the high crime of heresy, which was seen as the worst sin in the world and which threatened the fabric of society. Edward, Henry and Elizabeth burnt heretics. It was carried out all over Europe and Mary was not obsessive and cruel. She may have burnt more than normal in a short period, but that was the law and as God’s anointed, that was her role and her right. No-one calls Elizabeth obsessive and cruel for he hundreds of people she killed for being Catholic, so why should Mary be condemned by an obsessive Protestant nation. Her actions were seen as perfectly normal at the time and she was not hated by her people.

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