Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

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Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

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Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

Catherine Howard
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Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII
This last letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII was written on November 7, 1541  before her execution on 13 February 1542. The authenticity of this letter is not confirmed, as only a copy exists. The life story of this fascinating and tragic Tudor woman is one of the most famous of the Tudor period. Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. The motto of Catherine Howard was '"No other will but his"... 

Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII
This last letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII was written on November 7, 1541  before her execution on 13 February 1542.

"I, your Grace's most sorrowful subject and most vile wretch in the world, not worthy to make any recommendation unto your most excellent Majesty, do only make my most humble submission and confession of my faults. And where no cause of mercy is given on my part, yet of your most accustomed mercy extended unto all other men undeserverd, most humbly on my hands and knees do desire one particle thereof to be extended unto me, although of all other creatures I am most unworthy either to be called your wife or subject.

My sorrow I can by no writing express, nevertheless I trust your most benign nature will have some respect unto my youth, my ignorance, my frailness, my humble confession of my faults, and plain declaration of the same, referring me wholly unto Your Grace's pity and mercy. First, at the flattering and fair persuasions of Manox, being but a young girl, I suffered him a sundry times to handle and touch the secret parts of my body which neither became me with honesty to permit, nor him to require. Also, Francis Derehem by many persuasions procured me to his vicious purpose, and obtained first to lie upon my bed with his doublet and hose, and after within the bed, and finally he lay with me naked, and used me in such sort as a man doth his wife, many and sundry times, and our company ended almost a year before the King's Magesty was married to my Lady Anne of Cleves and continued not past one quarter of a year, or a little above.

Now the whole truth being declared unto Your Majesty, I most humbly beseech you to consider the subtle persuasions of young men and the ignorance and frailness of young women. I was so desirous to be taken unto your Grace's favor, and so blinded by with the desire of worldly glory that I could not, nor had grace to consider how great a fault it was to conceal my former faults from your Majesty, considering that I intended ever during my life to be faithful and true unto your Majesty ever after. Nevertheless, the sorrow of mine offenses was ever before mine eyes, considering the infinite goodness of your Majesty toward me from time to time ever increasing and not diminishing. Now, I refer the judgment of my offenses with my life and death wholly unto your most benign and merciful Grace, to be considered by no justice of your Majesty's laws but only by your infinite goodness, pity, compassion and mercy, without which I acknowledge myself worthy of the most extreme punishment."

King Henry VIII was merciless and showed no pity towards his 'Rose without a thorn". When she was executed Catherine Howard said that she, "desired all Christian people to take regard unto [her] worthy and just punishment" requesting that the people "take example at [her], for amendment of their ungodly lives and gladly to obey the King in all things."

Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII
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Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

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Letter from Catherine Howard to Henry VIII

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