Henry VIII. to Anne Boleyn.
[ June, 1528 ]
Since your last letters, mine own darling, Walter Welsh,1 Master Brown,2 John Care,3
Brion of Brearton,4 and John Cork, the apothecary, be fallen of the sweat5 in
this house, and, thanked be God, all well recovered, so that as yet the plague
is not fully ceased here, but I trust shortly it shall. By the mercy of God, the
rest of us yet be well, and I trust shall pass it, either not to have it, or, at the
least, as easily as the rest have done.
As touching the matter of Wilton,6 my lord cardinal7 hath had the nuns before him,
and examined them, Mr. Bell being present; which hath certified me that, for a truth,
she had confessed herself (which we would have had abbess) to have had two children
by two sundry priests; and, further, since hath been kept by a servant of the Lord Broke
that was, and that not long ago. Wherefore I would not, for all the gold in the world,
clog your conscience nor mine to make her ruler of a house which is of so ungodly
demeanour; nor, I trust, you would not that neither for brother nor sister, I should
so distain8 mine honour or conscience. And, as touching the prioress, or Dame Eleanor's
eldest sister, though there is not any evident case proved against them, and that the
prioress is so old that for many years she could not be as she was named; yet
notwithstanding, to do you pleasure, I have done that neither of them shall have it,
but that some other good and well-disposed woman shall have it, whereby the house
shall be the better reformed (whereof I ensure you it had much need), and God much
the better served.
As touching your abode at Hever, do therein as best shall like you, for you know best
what air doth best with you; but I would it were come thereto (if it pleased God),
that neither of us need care for that, for I ensure you I think it long. Suche is fallen
sick of the sweat, and therefore I send you this bearer, because I think you long to
hear tidings from us, as we do likewise from you.
Written with the hand de votre seul,
1. Sir Walter Walsh (also referred to at times as Walter Welsh), a Groom of the Privy Chamber.
2. Sir Anthony Browne, Esquire of the Body.
3. Sir John Carey, Groom of the Privy Chamber; he was the older brother of Sir William Carey, husband
of Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister.
4. Brian Brereton, Yeoman of the Privy Chamber; brother of Sir William Brereton, Groom
of the Privy Chamber.
5. The sweating sickness epidemic, which raged in London and surrounds
in June, 1528. cf. two letters from the French Ambassador.
6. cf. "A Scandalous Carey Nun" by Danielle Evelyn.
7. Cardinal Wolsey.
8. Stain, sully.]