by Heather R. Darsie
The sixteenth love letter from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn was written around the middle of September 1528. Pope Clement VII, captured by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in June 1527 after the sacking of Rome in May, was still Charles V’s prisoner. The Pope did not return to Rome until October 1528. When Henry wrote this letter, he was seeking an annulment of his marriage to Katharine of Aragon. Katharine just so happened to be Charles V’s aunt. Despite his other motivations for attacking Rome and capturing the Pope, it is reasonable to consider that Charles V was holding the Pope in part to delay or stop Henry’s obtaining an annulment.
Anne Boleyn, via Wikimedia Commons
Henry wrote to Anne Boleyn,
“The reasonable request of your last letter, with the pleasure also that I take to know them true, causeth me to send you these news. The legate which we most desire arrived at Paris on Sunday or Monday last past, so that I trust by the next Monday to hear of his arrival at Calais: and then I trust within a while after to enjoy that which I have so longed for, to God’s pleasure and our both comforts.”
The papal legate, Cardinal Campeggio, was to hear Henry and Katharine’s case in place of Pope Clement VII. This was Cardinal Wolsey’s attempt at appeasing Henry and securing the annulment.
“No more to you at present, mine own darling, for lack of time, but that I would you were in mine arms, or I in yours, for I think it long since I kissed you.
Written after the killing of a hart, at eleven of the clock, minding, with God’s grace, to-morrow, mightily timely, to kill another, by the hand which, I trust, shortly shall be yours. Henry R.”
Unfortunately, Henry and Anne Boleyn would not be married until 25 January 1533. Even then, the January 1533 wedding was a kept very quiet. It is possible that they secretly married on 14 November 1532 while in France. Henry and Anne’s marriage was not declared valid until 28 May 1533. By then, Anne was becoming noticeably pregnant with Henry’s child, whom the couple hoped would be male.
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Sources & Suggested Reading
1. Luce, John W. and Company, with designs by Florence Swan (1899). Love Letters of Henry Eighth to Anne Boleyn. Pp. XLI-XLII. Boston and London: John W. Luce & Company (1906).