On this day in 1536 – Lady Mary writes to Thomas Cromwell

With the execution of Anne Boleyn a week earlier on the 26th May 1536 the Lady Mary wrote to her father in order to repair their relationship. Mary had always blamed Anne for the breakdown of her parent’s marriage and the treatment of her mother and herself after the divorce. Mary wrote to Thomas Cromwell asking for him to intercede on her behalf. The letter is badly damaged and only fragments of it now survive but some of it reads as follows;

“Master Secretary,

I would have been a suitor to you before this time to have been a mean for me to the King’s Grace to have obtained his Grace’s blessing and favor; but I perceived that nobody durst speak for me as long as that woman lived, which is now gone; whom I pray our Lord of His great mercy to forgive.” Is now the bolder to write, desiring him for the love of God to be a suitor for her to the King, to have his blessing and leave to write to his Grace. Apologises for her evil writing; “for I have not done so much this two year and more, nor could not have found the means to do it at this time but by my lady Kingston’s being here.

Hunsdon, 26 May.”

The letter to Cromwell did not work as Mary planned and Henry VIII continued to be hostile to Mary until she the oath that declared Henry the Supreme Head of the Church and that the marriage between Henry and Katherine of Aragon was never valid.


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