7 May 1536 – William Latymer Runs into some Trouble

Fishergate in Sandwich, one of the medieval town gates
Fishergate in Sandwich, one of the medieval town gates

On Sunday 7th May 1536, William Latymer, one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s chaplain, was stopped and searched on his arrival at Sandwich in Kent. He was on his way home from a business visit to Flanders, a visit he had undertaken on behalf of the Queen.

A letter from the Mayor and Jurates of Sandwich to Henry VIII recorded that a list of Latymer’s books were made and also a list of books that were “in is mail” and on their way to London. Things might have been bad for Latymer if the books had been deemed heretical, but he was not arrested and was escorted to London to see the King.

Of course, bad news was waiting for Latymer in London; his mistress was in the Tower.

Notes and Sources

  • LP x. 827

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7 thoughts on “7 May 1536 – William Latymer Runs into some Trouble”
  1. Is this the same William Lytamer who gave touching letter to Elizabeth about her mother and the King and the argument that they had and Anne pleading for her with the child in her arms? What was his mission from Anne about? Where they just looking for heretical or forbidden books or did they use this as a pretext to search him hoping Anne had written something that would incriminate her or that he had some instructions that would point to the Queen trying to rally support or being involved into some plot? Mind-boggoling is it not?

    1. It was Alexander Alesius who wrote about Anne with Elizabeth on her arms, but Latymer was the one who wrote The Chronicle of Anne Boleyn for Elizabeth in her reign. I assume the mission was about buying books, and perhaps supporting printers, but I don’t know. I have got his chronicle so I’ll see if it says anything about it.

      1. Thank you very much Claire; very helpful and good of you to go to this trouble. Cheers.

        1. I’ve just read through Latymer’s chronicle and it really is just a treatise on Anne – her personality, charitable work, support of the Reformed faith etc. – and doesn’t mention his mission in 1536. Maria Dowling, the editor, writes that Latymer had been sent to Flanders to buy books for Anne but that the list that the jurates took of those being sent to Jane Wilkinson, Anne’s silkwoman, and the others being sent is not extant. Latymer does, however, talk of Anne giving her chaplains French evangelical books.

  2. Claire

    Thanks for this. I cannot find a link to the chronicle written by Latymer on this site or elsewhere. Apologies if it is obvious somewhere.

    Can you help?


    1. It’s in Camden Miscellany XXX, Camden Fourth Series, Volume 39, London 1990, p23-65 and is edited by Maria Dowling. I think I got my copy from Abe Books.

      1. Thank you for this information: I will try and get a copy through our University Library if they have one. Thank you for taking the time: most kind.

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