News on the Tudor Court grapevine is that the sheriffs of London were instructed to assemble a grand jury of “discreet and sufficient persons”1 to make a decision on alleged offences committed at Whitehall and Hampton Court Palace. Apparently, they have managed to organise a jury of 48 men who will go before the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, John Baldwin (Henry Norris’s brother-in-law!), tomorrow at Westminster.
This is very bad news as it means that Thomas Cromwell is sure that he has enough evidence against the Queen and the men who are presently imprisoned in the Tower of London.
We have also heard that the King has called a Council meeting today and that he has written to Cromwell “commanding him to repair to the King to treat of matters relating to the surety of his person, his honor, and the tranquillity of the realm”2. The King is obviously needing reassurance from Master Secretary that everything is in hand. Things seem to be moving at quite a rate!
Notes and Sources
- Quoted in The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Eric Ives, p338
- LP x. 833, Henry VIII to the Earl of Essex (Cromwell), Westminster, 9th May