At some point between Jane’s arrival at Chelsea and Anne Boleyn’s execution, Henry VIII wrote to Jane regarding some pamphlets which were being spread around London deriding their relationship. It is understandable that speculation and gossip were rife: the Queen was in the Tower awaiting trial and yet Henry VIII was having a relationship with Jane Seymour.
Here is Henry’s letter to Jane:
“My dear friend and mistress,
The bearer of these few lines from thy entirely devoted servant will deliver into thy fair hands a token of my true affection for thee, hoping you will keep it for ever in your sincere love for me. Advertising you that there is a ballad made lately of great derision against us, which if it go much abroad and is seen by you, I pray you to pay no manner of regard to it. I am not at present informed who is the setter forth of this malignant writing, but if he is found out he shall be straitly punished for it. For the things ye lacked I have minded my lord to supply them to you as soon as he can buy them. Thus hoping shortly to receive you in these arms, I end for the present your own loving servant and sovereign,
As I have said before, the letter is nothing like the passionate love letters Henry wrote to Anne Boleyn while they were courting, but it may be that this letter was simply a quick, functional letter to put Jane’s mind at rest and that Henry sent Jane other, more romantic letters and they have got lost over time. He did include “a token of my true affection” with it.
Notes and Sources
- Halliwell-Phillipps, James Orchard. Letters of the Kings of England, Volume 1, 353.