7 November 1541 – Queen Catherine Howard’s Jewels are Seized

Tamzin Merchant as Catherine Howard in The Tudors
Tamzin Merchant as Catherine Howard in The Tudors

On this day in 1541, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and the Duke of Norfolk went to Hampton Court Palace to interrogate Queen Catherine Howard, and to arrange that she should be confined to her chambers there.

They did not confiscate Catherine’s keys to her apartments, so she could move between her chambers, but her jewels were seized so that they could be inventoried.1 It was clear that he was in terrible trouble, and Catherine burst into tears and became hysterical. Cranmer recorded Catherine’s state in a letter to the King:

“I found her in such lamentation and heaviness, as I never saw no creature; so that it would have pitied any man’s heart in the world to have looked upon her: and in that vehement rage she continued, as they informed me which be about her, from my departure from her unto my return again…”2

It was impossible to interrogate her while she was in such a state, so Cranmer decided to come back the following day. It appears that Catherine had a very restless and upsetting night.

Notes and Sources

  1. LP xvi. 1331, 1333
  2. The Remains of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Volume 1, p307-308

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