241 The Illness of King Henry

Henry’s attitude to illness, and possible medical explanations for his character  and events of his realm. And a negotiation starts for a new wife.

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A royal marriage proposal: Amelia and Anne of Cleves

Amelia of Cleves HolbeinJohn III, Duke of Cleves, had 4 children.  His eldest, Sybilla was born in 1512 and married in 1527 to the Anne of ClevesElector of Saxony. Anne was born in 1515, then William born in 1516 and finally Amelia born in 1517. Discussions about a possible marriage started with Duke John, and then went quiet for a while until the French and Hapsburgs arranged a temporary peace and were no longer interested in English marriage proposals. John died in 1539, and it was his son William who would make the decision then about where and how his sisters married.

Holbein arrived therefore to paint both of the unmarried Cleves ladies in 1540; as well as having painted Christina of Denmark and other potential marriage partners. Henry himself seems to have chosen Anne, even before he saw her portrait, on the basis that as the older of the two she would be more appropriate given his own age. Amelia never married, and died in 1586.







We’ve been a little distracted from the main story, have we not over, the last couple of episodes, and I’d like to apologise for that, and I’d like also to extend that tradition for a while longer if I may, because I think the time has come, as the Walrus said, to talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax, and of Henry’s health facts. It is a favourite, favourite topic is it not?  Seriously there is so much talk out there about Henry’s waistline, even Ian Botham would have been envious. But by 1539 the king’s health, physical and mental was indeed becoming something of an issue, and the king’s health would probably have a direct and significant impact on politics and the future of England, and so, as the newspapers say, it’s surely in the public interest. Not just prurient intrusion into peoples’ private lives to increase sales no no no.

So all the discussion about Henry and his health sits against the backdrop of his later years; I meant there’s a basic thing about the fact that his chest slipped a bit and he put on the odd pound – well quite a few pounds – but mainly the idea is that maybe there is some medical explanation for the fact that during the last 8 or 9 years of his reign he could be described as little irritable. Or, as some might say he’s a little bit of a blood-soaked tyrant. And then also there’s al that trouble getting hold of an heir.

It’s worth putting it very briefly in the context of the level of medical knowledge of the time – something I must do properly sometime, but for now just to reflect that if you fell ill, if the disease didn’t kill you then the physicians probably would. There are lots of articles about how patronising we are about Tudor medical knowledge, and that really they were much better than we think, and I am sorry about that but really, there are significant gaps in their knowledge. This led me to find out a fact of which I was completely ignorant – which is that in 1518 it was Henry who granted a charter to the College of physicians, later to become the Royal College of Physicians, still going strong today. Their core mission is to improve the quality of medicine through the accreditation of those entering the medical profession, and they are celebrating their 500th anniversary this year. Happy birthday College of Physicians. It is deeply appropriate of course, since Henry was somewhat sensitive about his health; the best way to get him out of London was to shout Sweating Sickness’ and he’d be gone; being mighty careful to avoid even Anne Boleyn the love of his life to make sure he didn’t catch the lurgy. On his famous Summer Progresses, riders would be sent out days ahead to make sure there’d been no plagues or epidemics, and if there had the route would be changed. However, it has been pointed out to me by Saoirse that I have to be a bit careful – it’s too hard actually to describe Henry as a hypochondriac, since although he gets the best medical care, avoiding plague and sweating sickness could hardly be described as a hypochondria, his fear was not without foundation. While I’m responding to comments on the website, completely unconnected, congratulations to Elaine for spotting the Joseph reference.

A lot of careful thought goes into diagnosing the various illnesses and epidemics in days medieval and Tudor; but it is always worth issuing a general warning. That theories are necessarily advanced without full information being available, but more fundamentally that the very diseases themselves may simply not exist in the modern day, or may have mutated beyond recognition. But the big killers at the time about which Henry really panicked were two fold; the sweating sickness, a kind of viral pneumonia probably, which had epidemics  in 1485, 1508, 1517, 1528 and 1551. Epidemics were substantial; 50 died a day in London in the 1528 outbreak, which probably carried off Thomas Cromwell’s wife and daughters. And then there’s our old friend the good old Bubonic plague, still firmly with us with epidemics in 1509-10, 1516, 1527-30, 1532 and 1544-46.

There were plenty of other big killers; Tuberculosis, which probably killed quite a few Tudors – Henry VII, probably Prince Arthur, Henry Fitzroy and Edward VI. Malaria was around – called ‘tertiary fever’; there was Typhus – sometimes called ‘jail fever’, and caused by lice living on humans. Are we enjoying this list of pain? Dysentery, referred to as the ‘the bloody flux’ or camp fever on campaign, and did for Henry V of course.  The first epidemic of flu was in 1510, and then Smallpox.

They tell me that just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you, and so it seems to be in Henry’s case. Despite his medical care, in 1513 he seems to have contracted Smallpox and for a while his life was thought to be at risk. In 1521 and 1528 he had bouts of malaria. Up to 1536 he had a couple of nasty mishaps, caused by a lot of running around and generally being a sporty type; a lance in the face from his mate Charlie Brandon, face stuck in the mud running after the hunt, a story I have always though a bit suspect. But really, the serious medical history, in so much as it doesn’t actually begin before his birth, starts in 1536. Anne was pregnant, Henry was jousting and had a bad fall – unconscious for 2 hours, or more worrying maybe without speech for 2 hours; people were seriously considering sidling up to Mary and saying how much they’d always liked her really, that they’d always preferred Catherine, and would she like to see them jump, at all? Because they are actually able to jump quite high, would she like to see? But Henry recovered – though there’s a suspicion that maybe it left a legacy. You have to wonder about the fall; I had a colleague at work who fell off a ladder; before the fall they always used to laugh at my jokes, afterwards he stopped. I’ve been told there are other possible explanations for that.

But also, he badly hurt his leg during the joust, and the leg didn’t heal very well; indeed the royal peg seems to have turned ulcerous. This is a bad thing of itself, but also a formerly very active man, always zipping about using up the calories, suddenly no longer could. It was recorded that

‘The King goes seldom abroad because his leg is something sore.’

So, the king began to put on weight, and was grumpy.  Because of his armour, we know quite a bit about Henry’s size, and we know that up until 1536 he had put on only 2 inches round his waist, so by 44 he had a 35” waist, blimey O’riley, that’s pretty good for a tall man, 6 ‘ 4”. Just 5 years later in 1541, he has a 50” waist, will end up with a 54” waist, and his chest has gone the same way to 57 inches. By the time of his death he was probably around 28 stones in weight – 177 kilos. He’s a big lad. It couldn’t, and didn’t, go without notice. One contemporary wrote

The King was so stout that such a man has never been seen…Three of the biggest men that could be found could get inside his doublet.

There’s got to be some exaggeration in that – come on, three big men – but we can also see that Henry was taking the Demis Roussos approach of wearing very loose fitting clothing to try to hide his growing weight. In the finest tradition of courtly sycophancy, his courtiers started doing the same – wearing several layers of heavy clothing to bulk up in sympathy. Also, the king’s hair was thinning; I’ve always wondered why thinning hair is a problem, I dream of a receding hairline, there are things living in my barnet that have been lost to science for centuries, but Henry started wearing bonnets to hide it – so his courtiers did so too. Seriously, did they have no shame?

Now normally, someone somewhere faced with this kind of increase in weight would mutter something about the lad being on the pies; and in Henry’s case they would not be far from the truth. Because Henry’s appetite was prodigious, and his love of red meat was prodigious too. One of the myths you can consign to the dustbin of history is Charlie Laughton’s chucking of chicken bones onto the floor, of the vulgar and coarse king tearing at food with the grease running down his chin. There’s every reason to suppose Henry was more than usually good mannered; very often he would prefer to eat in his private chambers as it happens rather than feasting with the court; and his servants would come round offering plates of various courses. And it’s not that he would not eat vegetables and things – although at the time, veggies were not considered particularly good for you – prone to make you sad and give you wind apparently – but nine the less, maybe that’d be a first course. After that he’d plough into all manner of birds, including things like gannet and Swan, and then the red stuff, beef and oxen, lamb, black pudding; there’d be a lot of fish, along with bread and ale. But Henry was particularly keen on Red wine which meant of lot of visits to the close stool as it was, the loo, toilet, going to see  man about a dog, whatever phrase you use, and it also gave him a tendency to be dehydrated.

It’s a diet that had an impact and I’m going to get graphic here so if you don’t want to hear about enema’s turn away now. The diet gave Henry bad and painful constipation. So once again, it meant many long visits to the close stool, along with one of two gentlemen in particular, his Grooms of the Stool. From 1536 – 1546 this was Thomas Heneage, and as we have said his proximity and access to the king gave him considerable power and influence; but in fact by 1539, Heneage’s influence appeared to be waning, probably because he was wanting to retire back to Lincolnshire. The coming guy was the much younger man supposed to be his deputy – one Anthony Denny, who was 38 in 1539. Denny it was who came to head the Privy Chamber and control the chamber finances from the early 1540s, who was at Henry’s side as he reacted to his new bride, Anne of Cleves, and would have a very significant role at the time of his master’s death. He was also a client of Thomas Cromwell’s. However, and this brings us to the graphic bit, it was Thomas Heneage who reported to Thomas Cromwell in 1539 that the king had a real problem with a severe bout of constipation, and so the physicians were called.

They prescribed an enema – a pig’s bladder with a greased metal tube fixed in it, which was inserted into the king’s anus; the bladder contained a pint of a solution of salt and herbs. It would stay so inserted for two hours. Sound hideous. But, apparently, it worked. Henry retired to bed, and as Heneage reported

‘slept until two of the clock in the morning and then his Grace rose to go to the stool, which…had a very fair siege’

Well glory be. Though the recurring problem led to piles, for which rhubarb was prescribed. Rhubarb as it happens, would be a constant companion for Henry, since it was also agreed to be a good treatment for the Choleric condition from which the king was supposed to be suffering.

The more serious problem by 1540 was his leg ulcer. It could well be that the jousting accident in 1536 had dislodged pieces of bone; and these led to open, seeping, and open smelly leg ulcers. In 1538 there was another very nasty scare. The ulcers were constantly trying to heal up, and in 1538 they apparently managed it, and the result was worse

For 10 or 12 days, the humours which had no outlet were like to have stifled him so that he was some time without speaking’

Henry was reported to be ‘black in the face and in great danger’ and it could be that a blood clot had reached a lung. Arguments about whether it was Mary or Elizabeth who should succeed him were breaking out – before the king miraculously recovered.

By the time Henry met Anne of Cleves then, he was fat and suffering, but it would get worse through his reign; for the sake of completeness, I am going to carry on and ignore where we are in time. Henry was in constant pain or at least discomfort from here on with less and less exercise; his leg ulcer had to be regularly treated and drained, which was sore. He was rarely without his gold topped staff, along with handy accessories such as a pomander, or one with inkpot and pen. Later on, from 1545 as he slid towards his death in 1547 and during his marriage to Catherine Parr he was so fat and immobile that he was transported around his palaces on chairs called trams – an early form of wheel chair basically. Edward Hall recorded that he

Could not go up or down stairs unless he was raised up or let down by engine

Probably some sort of pulley, or hoist. He also, incidentally came to wear spectacles, which is something I did not know; they were called ‘gazings’ and were clipped to his nose. More seriously though, the image of the king in his last years after the execution of his penultimate wife, Catherine Howard, in 1542 is of an increasingly paranoid and reclusive king; it was noted how rarely he came from his private chambers to mix with his courtiers. He was irascible, changeable, moody – and in a man quite clearly prepared to execute at the drop of the bonnet, this was a dangerous attribute. For such people, comatose is a more comfortable condition. Here’s a quote from 1541, when once again the ulcer closed up, and it shows not just the physical worry, but how folks worried about his behaviour:

The king’s life was really thought in danger, not from the fever but from the leg which often troubles him because he is very stout and marvellously excessive in eating and drinking so that people worth credit say he is often of a different opinion in the morning than after dinner’.

And a change of character in his reign after 1536 has been the subject of debate; folks have marvelled at the transformation of the dashing renaissance prince in all his physical and mental glory into a man who appears to be physically moribund, and the very template of a suspicious, murderous autocrat, ready at any moment to lash out with his blood soaked claws and rip out the exposed white throat of a young innocent courtier who came to his side purely to serve his prince. I’m exaggerating for effect of course but you know what I mean. It might well be that you really don’t need to look far to explain all of this. You might partly put it down to exaggeration – yes Henry did withdraw, but he was feeling poorly and old most of the time, most of us would be tempted by the thought of staying in doors with a bun and a nice cup of Tea rather than having to pretend to be full of life and friendly to everyone in the presence chamber; yes Henry did become changeable and suspicious; but he was dealing with a superbly complicated religious and political situation.

But such explanations are of course a little dull, and there’s no doubt that there is a massive contrast between the man of the 1540s and the man of the 15 10s. And of course there is the other medical consideration – the history of his difficulty producing an heir with all his wives. Particularly of course with Katherine of Aragon and with Anne Boleyn, both of who have multiple miscarriages – it does seem a little extreme, though again Tudor hygiene might go a long way to explain it.

But there are other theories. Syphilis used to be a popular one, his ulcer of 1527-8 could have been a broken-down growth, a symptom of tertiary syphilis. The disease can cause miscarriages and still-births. But everyone I have read discounts the idea these days – there seem to be none of the hideous side affects reported on the treatment of the day by mercury, or any sign in the records of the substance being ordered; nor is there any sign of syphilis in Henry’s descendants, which apparently would be likely if not inevitable. So it’s the long grass for Syphilis.

Next theory up is Cushing’s Syndrome; this is a hormonal abnormality, very rare; its symptoms includes gross obesity in the body trunk, increased fat around the neck, a ‘moon face’, buffalo hump to back. People with Cushings can be irritable, easily depressed, suffer from anxiety, insomnia and sudden mood swings; and in 20% of cases, they may even become psychotic, exhibiting paranoia that drives a deep suspicion of everyone around them. They can be quarrelsome, unnaturally aggressive and become emotionally detached from loved ones or those close to them. Does that sound familiar? It can also cause impotence; and there is more than a suggestion that Henry suffered from impotence later in life – partly encouraged by the enthusiasm with which he announced that he still had nightly emissions. I think that, by the way, is as high as I can turn the ewe factor. The idea is that in the 1530s, Henry fell prey to the disease, and that this accounts for the dramatic change in his character and physical appearance.

It’s a theory that has much to commend it – have a look at the Cornelius Metsys picture,  and compare with the earlier pictures to confirm Henry’s physical change; there is little doubt that Henry has become hugely fat. But the theory plays also to the extraordinary ease with which Henry ordered those closest to him killed, while showing absolutely no sign of it to the victim; Anne Boleyn obviously, but in a funny kind of way Henry Norris is almost as shocking.

Given the current interest in Type 2 Diabetes it’s not surprising that this has also been suggested for Henry; and you’ve got to think it’s highly likely do you not? It would explain the enormous appetite and thirst; plus apparently Diabetes prevents effective healing; however, if we are now engaged in the search for a grand unified theory, it would not explain the problem of producing an heir.

In the search for the GUT, in 2010, Catrina Whitley and Kyra Kramer published a paper with a new idea – that it all could be solved by a series of unfortunate medical events and coincidences. Or more specifically two conditions working together. The first was blood type; the idea was that along with 9% of the population, Henry could have been blood type Kell positive. The way this works is that if a Kell positive man impregnates a Kell negative woman, the first pregnancy should be fine, but then afterwards the mother’s body produces antibodies that causes subsequent foetuses to abort. This was then combined with McLeod syndrome a rare genetic disorder which affects only men and usually sets in around age 40 with symptoms including heart disease, movement disorders and major psychological symptoms, including paranoia and mental decline. I read a paper analysing the theory which concluded that the Kell Positive could well have come from Jacquetta Woodville – Jacquetta’s curse they called it. But there is an obvious problem – that Mary, Catherine of Aragon’s surviving child was not the first; and their paper did not support the idea of the Mcleod’s Syndrome. And anyway – 2 very rare conditions at the same time – probability theory was never a personal strength, but mathematically speaking, doesn’t very unlikely x very unlikely = ‘frankly forget it’?

Enough I think. You pays you money and takes your choice, and it’s a fun game but I would reflect two things. Firstly there’s no way ever of resolving the theories, unless possibly we dig Henry up and test his DNA. Secondly, it seems to be that in common with most conspiracy type theories there are perfectly reasonably common or garden explanations available, so why not take those, however dull? It seems to me that Henry’s cruelty and ability to snuff out life in the interests of what he considered best was present from the day he had Empson and Dudley killed. And in this attribute he has good company – namely a reasonable percentage of the leaders of the western world before 1600, to pick an arbitrary date.  And it seems to me that Henry did everything to himself to cause his condition – a well attested and evidenced diet that amounted to self harm and suicide. He got extremely fat – because he took no exercise and ate like a maniac. He behaved unpredictably and sometimes aggressively and angrily – and hey presto he was in pain most of the time, which can do that to you. And I think that the idea that his worsening relationship with his people, the pain of the reformation, the response the divorce – all of this ate at his self image of the happy renaissance Prince, The death of that dream of golden youth must have had an impact. Anyway it’s a fun game. But the main point to hold on to from all of this is that by 1540, Henry was unfit, and in pain.

Now then, when Edward was born it finally took the pressure off Henry’s desperate search for a male heir. Not that anyone though that was the end of it – a spare would be handy. But you know, the pressure was not quite the same. And it’s a couple of years after the death of Jane Seymour before Henry married again. So it’s easy to get the impression that everyone just breaths a deep sigh of relief and takes a break from the marriage market thing for a while.

Not a bit of it; actually the search for a replacement started straightaway. But in the same way that Henry’s younger daughter Elizabeth would ruthlessly play the marriage market for every possible diplomatic advantage, Henry now had the leisure to do the same. Unfortunately of course he was less of a catch than he used to be – mid forties, putting on the pounds; and with a reputation for being more than a little hard on wives. In the first flush Henry dithered between marrying to cement a French alliance or an imperialist one. One front runner as far as Henry was concerned was Mary of Guise, so in February 1538 Holbein was sent off to paint a picture – Holbein, I have to tell you, in painting potential wives for Henry could have got himself a platinum travel card with more horse miles than you could wish for if such things were possible back then – he went rushing all over northern Europe chasing eligible women to paint for Henry. The 16 year old Christina of Denmark was one of those, and for a while Henry was convinced this was the one. Christina was less keen

‘for her Council suspecteth that her great aunt was poisoned, that the second was put to death and the third lost for lack of keeping her child‐bed’.

And anyway, she was related to Charles V, was well within the degrees of affinity and therefore the marriage would need special dispensation…from who exactly? The Bishop of Rome, probably, and that could just possibly maybe perhaps prove a problem. Then Mary of Guise went and married the Scottish king – but never mind, there were two other female members of the Guise family, Louise and Renee; and then no less than 3 other French women were suggested by Francis I, so that poor old Holbein was rushing up and down France with his palate and his easel, robes probably flapping around his knees as he panted after another horrified French Noblewoman.

It all gets a bit like a sketch show if you’ll pardon the pun; the French complained henry was trying to drive far too hard a bargain, but then that’s what happens in a negotiation I guess. And at one stage Henry suggested that all these ladies be brought to Calais so that he could view them all. This was enough for the exasperated French ambassador. Would the knights of the Round Table have treated their womenfolk like this? He asked, and Henry apparently had just enough good feeling left to blush. Francis was equally acidic; it was not the French custom to send damsels of good houses to be passed in front of his eyes like horses for sale, possibly adding you English pig dog, but that could have been added by a later chronicler.

All of this was then blown out of the water in 1538 and 9 by the deal between Charles V and Francis I that left England diplomatically isolated. Suddenly the options dried up, much to the relief of the women concerned I imagine. This rather left the evangelical German princes as the only group who might be interested; and Henry never seems to have considered an English bride at this point. Such a choice would always produce complications at court of course, though that wouldn’t stop him, and was not the normal approach for English kings who had historically used marriage as part of the process of diplomacy as well as of producing heirs. Anyway, Cromwell had made sure that diplomatic feelers had been going on with the group of Lutheran German princes called the Schmalkaldic league; but they hadn’t gone well. It depends on your perspective – you might either think the league had been rather precious about demanding England sign up to the Lutheran Augsberg Confession, or Henry was rather cavalier about the religious implications of a marriage. Cromwell had so far been thwarted in his attempt to bring about alliance with the German Princes, now that his favoured Imperial route appeared to be stymied.

So into this story entered the Duchy of Cleves. The idea of a potential relationship had been floated as early as June 1538, and in January 1539 raised again, and now given that the Hapsburgs and Valois were not at home to Mr & Mrs Marriage proposal, it was much more interesting. Cleves is a substantial duchy on the lower Rhine, which also had claims to Gelderland – which if it managed to make stick would be quite a thing, since it’d create a substantial territory with access now to the north Sea. Its Duke was not actually a Lutheran; he was more of an Erasmian reformer, but at least he was broadly speaking in the reformist camp, and willing therefore to risk the ire of the Emperor. And, he had two unmarried daughters, Amelia was 22 and Anne 24. Then the Duke died to be succeeded by his son William, also a reformer, and much keener than his father on the English match. Here was Cromwell’s chance; and discussions were duly started in earnest in 1539, about whether it would be Anne or Amelia who was to be the lucky winner. An instruction from Henry to his envoy Christopher Mont actually made it clear at this point that Henry had made up his mind, long before any portraits were sent back, that it would be one of them – nobody could cleave him from the idea now. Cromwell had his way, and now just needed to deliver the right person, so that the marriage would be a success and his own personal reputation and shaky position at court reinforced.

So there’s the start of a long series of discussions between the minister of Cleves, Olisleger, and an English party including Christopher Mont and Nicholas Wotton. Henry of course was very keen to see what both Amelia and Anne were like, and there was something of a barney about that. Olisleger offered two recent portraits; Wotton said they were worse than useless since they could not verify them, at which Olisleger was a bit affronted, since they had already met them. The issue seems to have been the amount of material involved in the accepted dress of the court – i.e. in Cleves you’d need a meat cleaver to get under the weight of clothes to see who was actually under it.. You’ve seen them already, said Olisleger. Wotton responded

We have not seen them for to see but a part of their faces and that under such monstrous habit and apparel, was no sight, neither part of their faces nor of their persons

Olisleger’s outrage grew:

What, would you see them naked

I’m a bit afraid that Henry, had he been there, might have missed the outrage and irony and taken it for a sensible suggested way forward. Oh I say, yes, good idea what?

Anyway, there’s to’ing and fro’ing; among the negotiations was the matter of a previous negotiation to marry Anne to the son of the Duke of Lorraine, but the English weren’t worried about it, so that was fine. And eventually Holbein appeared with his easel and stuff and painted both Anne and Amelia.

Now interestingly there were various reports that came back. Christopher Mont happily compared Anne to her elder sister Sybilla. Anne, ‘… excelleth as far the Duchess as the golden sun excelleth the silver moon’. He said that ‘every one praiseth the beauty of the same lady, as well for the face as the body’. Henry was quite early convinced that Anne was the one for him as the older of the sisters, and therefore he thought more appropriate for a man of his age. Amelia, incidentally, would be the subject of many more intrigues on behalf of Cleves over the years, but never get married, and die aged 68. There’s a Holbein drawing of her too on the website – there’s a strong family resemblance.

Nicholas Wotton sent quite detailed descriptions home, and he can’t be accused of dishonesty. He described how Anne had been very strictly brought up and spoke only German, that she could neither dance, sing, nor play an instrument, since Germans regarded such accomplishments below the dignity of the well born. She could wield the needle well, and was not given to drink. He noted that Holbein’s portrait was ‘quite lively’ – meaning that it was a good likeness. Coded in Wootton’s language therefore was a warning that maybe Anne did not have the strong talents and character that henry liked around him. Now, it’s not 100% certain that Wotton’s description reached Henry – Cromwell may well have supressed it. Cromwell was certainly keen enough for the marriage to go ahead to support his favoured foreign policy. Interestingly, this is one of the few areas where Cromwell and Cranmer fell out. Cranmer argued against going any further with the whole marriage; he felt it was purely diplomatically driven, and would not make the king happy. He said he

Thought it most expedient the king to marry where he had his fantasy and love, for that would be most comfort to his Grace

And that he thought

that it would be very strange to marry with her he could not talk withal

Interesting; maybe one reason why Henry always held his hand from Cranmer, why Henry appeared to like him – because Cranmer appears to have genuinely put his master’s interests first, personal and political. And he got the psychology right, where Cromwell got it wrong. In the light of what happened later, I hope I won’t be shouted at for saying that the evidence that Henry and Anne were unlikely to get on was there if anyone had cared to listen. Henry fell for Catherine of Aragon, a strong minded and older woman; and for Anne Boleyn, witty, intelligent, again strong minded. But who’s to know I guess; when he saw the portrait Henry was delighted, and the court noted that his mood improved. Cromwell won some significant concessions towards the Calais evangelicals who were released from prison. Essentially everyone wanted this to be a success, and therefore in common with so many such situations, nobody really evaluated the likelihood of success – they all saw what they wanted to see apart from Nicholas Wootton and Thomas Cranmer. But anyway who was to know, maybe they’d just hit it off?

Henry therefore put Cromwell in charge of the final negotiations, a group came over from Cleves, and the details were signed by October. Anne was informed, and plans began for her trip to England.



2 thoughts on “241 The Illness of King Henry

  1. Just a note on the endocrine side— cushings can lead to type 2 diabetes so all could be unified there. i vote that we dig him up and see if he has adrenal glands the size of cricket balls.

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