Posted By Claire on January 5, 2012
On this day in history, 5th January 1531, Pope Clement VII wrote to Henry VIII forbidding him to remarry and threatening him with excommunication of he took matters into his own hands and disobeyed Rome:-
“At the request of the Queen, forbids Henry to remarry until the decision of the case, and declares that if he does all issue will be illegitimate. Forbids any one in England, of ecclesiastical or secular dignity, universities, parliaments, courts of law, &c., to make any decision in an affair the judgment of which is reserved for the Holy See. The whole under pain of excommunication. As Henry would not receive a former citation, this is to be affixed to the church gates of Bruges, Tournay, and other towns in the Low Countries, which will be sufficient promulgation. Rome, 5 Jan. 1531. (LP v.27)
See my article “A Timeline of Anne Boleyn’s Relationship with Henry VIII – From 1528-1533” for more information on Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII’s relationship and how Henry VIII did go about annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and marrying Anne.
You can read more correspondence between the Pope and the King in Letters and Papers Volume 5 January 1531 – click here – particularly documents 30 and 31.