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Tudor Minute January 5, 1531. Henry Gets Instructions.

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for January 5.

Today in 1531 Pope Clement VII wrote to Henry in England telling him that if he remarried he would be excommunicated. Henry was still waiting to hear what the papal court had to say about the legitimacy of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, and it had been several years since the pope first heard the case, still with no answer. Henry was becoming impatient, wanting to marry Anne Boleyn, and he was threatening to take matters into his own hands.

He wrote
“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.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.”

Of course henry wouldn’t listen in the end, would marry Anne two years later, and declare himself the head of the Church of England and have Archbishop Thomas Cranmer declare his marriage illegitimate.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.