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Tudor Minute June 10: Thomas Cromwell is Arrested


Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for June 10.

Today in 1540 Thomas Cromwell went to a meeting of the privy council. That would be the last thing he did as a free man, because at that meeting, at around 3pm, he was arrested as a traitor and heretic. He saw the guards coming, and apparently threw his hat, not going willingly, raging at what was happening. Of course he would have recognized the moves, many of the Machiavellian machinations at the Tudor court had been developed by Cromwell himself.

Archbishop Cranmer wrote this letter to Henry about Cromwell:

“Who cannot be sorrowful and amazed that he should be a traitor against your majesty? He that was so advanced by your majesty, he whose surety was only by your majesty, he who loved your majesty, as I ever thought, no less than God; he who studied always to set forward whatsoever was your majesty’s will and pleasure; he that cared for no man’s displeasure to serve your majesty; he that was such a servant, in my judgment, in wisdom, diligence, faithfulness, and experience, as no prince in this realm ever had …

If he be a Traitor, I am sorry that ever I loved him, or trusted him, and I am very glad that his treason is discovered in time; but yet again I am very sorrowful; for who shall your grace trust hereafter, if you might not trust him? Alas!”

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


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