On this day in history, 31st March 1532, King Henry VIII was “much displeased” with the Easter Sunday sermon preached by Princess Mary’s confessor, Friar William Peto, in the King’s presence at Greenwich’s Franciscan chapel.

Rather than preaching on the Easter story and focusing on Christ’s victory and resurrection, Friar Peto chose to preach on 1 Kings 22, the story of the prophet Micaiah sharing his prophecies with King Ahab. Ahab ignored Micaiah’s prophesies, which told him he would die if he chose to go into battle against Ramoth Gilead, and imprisoned the prophet. Ahab then died from wounds he suffered during the battle.

Click here to read more and to find out why this sermon was so displeasing to the king.

Picture: Micaiah’s prophecy, woodcut by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695, from Wikimedia Commons.

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9 thoughts on “31 March 1532 – Henry VIII is much displeased”
  1. “—– he DEHORTED the king from the divorce.” Now there’s another word I’ve not heard before; and what a good one. ‘strongly dissuade.’ verb, to dehort. (My computer just told me it doesn’t recognise this word either, and substituted ‘deport’!! Thanks Claire.

      1. What a great word!

        If only I could dehort Amazon from bombarding me with ads for Nicolas Cage pillowcases.

      2. How’s this: In order to persuade Amazon not to send me ads for Nicholas Cage Sexy Banana Pose pillowcases, I would send them a dehortatory email. ?

      3. Whish that a man would fight for my love even for what reasons. Think that Henry could have had any woman of choise but he fought for Ann but time came between them the passion died and for Henry there was no heir. This is so timeless, at first the passion is so strong aspecially ina case of forbidden love like this
        But once they were married and she became a mother we all understan Ann exept Henry..


  2. In The Tudors it had a good scene with the King and Anne in church and the Friar mentioning Ahab and Jezebel, no doubt taken from this source, Anne was openly disliked for her reforms and so no doubt we can safely assume here was a dig at her comparing her to Jezebel, incidentally wasn’t she thrown to the dogs in the end? (I seem to recall my RK studies at school) the Friar was a supporter of both Katherine and Mary as well as being the latters Catholic confessor so he had no love for Anne, really it was a rather bold thing for him to do knowing the Kings temper and how little something could be construed as treason.

  3. Now we all know that Henry Viii enjoyed a great debate but he probably didn’t have this mess in mind. Friar Peto was obviously warning Henry about his future fate if he married Anne Boleyn and replaced lawful Catholic clergy with new reformed clergy. To him this was a false doctrine and he saw that all the clergy would be replaced by members of this false doctrine to the dishonour of the King. He probably didn’t have a good opinion of Anne either, seeing her as the pagan False Queen Jezebel who led Ahab into attacks on the One True Lord. Now, of course we know Anne was no Jezebel but this was how this sermon was meant to read. We also know that Henry wanted to hear from a preacher who held his own beliefs but it all went wrong, became angry and personal and Henry put the two men in prison. What a pair of hotheads. Henry got more than he bargained for and the prophecy regarding dogs and his coffin is put back into its context of hindsight. Boy would have loved to have been a fly on the wall with all this dehorting or should it be exhorting going on lol.

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