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Thomas Cromwell’s To Do List for April 20, 1534

Photo by Garsya, via Deposit Photos

So my original plan had been to write an On-This-Day post about the execution of the Holy Maid of Kent (Sister Elizabeth Barton, an English Catholic nun who claimed to have received divine revelations that predicted future events…including the fact that Henry would die soon because he’d married Anne Boleyn…). But as I was going through Letters & Papers for references (which, let’s be honest, is an experience that is sometimes wonderful novel, sometimes phone book) I hit something that stopped me in my tracks. Cromwell’s To-Do list – which like my own, and perhaps yours, startles (and in his case delights) with the juxtaposition of lofty and mundane tasks. The date was probably a little before today (the entry was just with the April papers) but I mentioned it for the broader context. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

  1. To know what the King will have done with the Nun and her accomplices.
  2. To go to the Charterhouse myself.
  3. To remember John Conysbye.
  4. To speak with the King for the part of the Princess Dowager.
  5. To remember the ancient chronicles of Magna Carta and how libera sunt came into the statute.
  6. The letter for the Spaniards to be signed.
  7. Whether the King will have the Dowager removed or no.
  8. Money for provision for wine and Lenten stuff.
  9. Mr. Bedyngfield and Mr. Chamberlayn.
  10. What diets the King will give Dr. Lee, M. Hethe and Pagett.
  11. To cause their passports to be signed.
  12. To speak with the King for the man of Bedfordshire.
  13. His fine for the 500 marks.
  14. To speak with the King for More’s end for the breach of the prison of Evylchester, and for the end of them of the attaint in Surrey.
  15. The forfeiture taken, informed me by one—this day.

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Published inTudor Tidbits

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