On June 13, 1536, the Lady Mary finally submitted to her father, formally accepting the invalidity of her mother’s marriage to the King and her own illegitimacy, as well as the authority of the English Church. She had tried to avoid this – she sent a letter congratulating her father on his marriage to “Queen Jane” but that angered him because it wasn’t nearly explicit enough. Thomas Cromwell fixed things by drafting and sending her a “sample” letter – she copied it verbatim just to be sure it would be acceptable. This is the letter she wrote to Cromwell explaining what she’d done and thanking him for his guidance. Interestingly, it is dated the day before her formal submission to her father.
Good Master Secretary:
I do thank you, with all my heart, for the great pain and suit that you have had for me, for the which I think myself very bound to you. And whereas I do perceive by your letter that you do mislike my exception in my letter to the King’s Grace, I assure you I did not mean it as you do take it. For I do not mistrust that the King’s goodness will move me to any thing which should offend God and my conscience, but what I did write was only by the reason of continual custom, for I have always been used, both in writing and in speaking, to except God in all things.
Nevertheless, because you have exhorted me to write to His Grace again, and I cannot devise what I should write more but your own last copy, without adding or misleading, therefore I do send you, by this bearer my servant, the same, word for word; and it is unsealed, because I cannot endure to write another copy: for the pain in my head and teeth hath troubled me so sore these two or three days, and doth yet so continue, that I have very small rest day or night. Wherefore I trust in your goodness that you will accept this, and find such means, by your wisdom, that the King’s Grace may do the same; which thing I desire you, in the honor of God, to procure, as my very trust is in you. For I know none to make suit unto nor ask counsel of, but only you; whom I commit to God, desiring him to help you in all your business.
From Hundson, the 13th day of June. Your assured, bounded, loving friend during my life,
FOR FURTHER READING:
Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, June 1536
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