Sunday, September 12, 2010

Question from Ella - Henry VIII expressing regret for treatment of Cromwell and Wolsey

I have read that Henry VIII expressed regret that he had allowed the arrest and execution of Cromwell. Is this true? And did he ever express regret over Wolsey?


Katja Stroke-Adolphe said...

I don't think so. Henry does not usually express regret about anything he does accept for when he says he shouldn't have married Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Anne of Cleves and that the marriages never were. He probably regretted marrying Catherine Howard. But he generally does not regret executions and I have never read anything that suggested it. After he began to do bad things he lost his conscience and became a complete monster. If he ever expressed regret it was like how he had the revolt of the papists suppressed by promising everything they wanted and killing them after they had broken up.

Laura said...

While I can't think of the source off the top of my head, I distinctly recall reading that Henry did in fact come to regret the execution of Cromwell. He is said to have called him a 'true counselor' and regret the loss.

True to form, however, he did not take responsibility for the loss. He blamed those who had poisoned his mind against Cromwell.

I have never heard that he regretted his treatment Wolsey. However, unlike Cromwell, their was a great deal of evidence that Wolsey was working for his own aims, not just Henry's. Furthermore, by siding with Katherine of Aragon at the end of his life, he truly did betray Henry.

kate said...

By the papist I presume you are talking about the Pilgramage of Grace, when pesants and nobles in the north of England rose up against Henry's dicision to abolish the monastic system in England. A deputation was sent to see the king, Henry met and was very gracious to these people and sent them home with assurances that he would carefully weigh their concerns and with a pardon for most of the people. Unsure of the kings senserity, these people rose up again and that rebellion was quelled with force and violence. I don't believe this was Henry's intent but to be pardoned and then raise up against an annointed king again is foolhardly to say the least.

Henry expressed sadness or remorse over the deaths of Thomas Moore and Cromwell and Woolsy was in many respect fatherlike to Henry as a young man, however Henry was lead in many things by the machinicans of others. Henry was never a complete monster. His had a distinct personality change after a serious jousting accident which rendered him unconsciencous for several hours, a closed head injury may have been responsible for his altered behavior, short temper etc...or prehaps it was his inability to ever truely trust, or his desire for an heir that contributed to his despotism later in life, but remember people don't just become "monsters" without the cause