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2<!DOCTYPE Archive SYSTEM "http://greenstone.org/dtd/Archive/1.0/Archive.dtd">
3<Archive>
4<Section>
5  <Description>
6    <Metadata name="gsdlsourcefilename">import/englishhistory.net/tudor/ab-percy.html</Metadata>
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11    <Metadata name="SourceFile">ab-percy.html</Metadata>
12    <Metadata name="Language">en</Metadata>
13    <Metadata name="Encoding">windows_1252</Metadata>
14    <Metadata name="Title">Primary Sources: The romance between Anne Boleyn and Henry Percy, 1523</Metadata>
15    <Metadata name="FileFormat">HTML</Metadata>
16    <Metadata name="URL">http://englishhistory.net/tudor/ab-percy.html</Metadata>
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19    <Metadata name="lastmodified">1522032934</Metadata>
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27  <Content>
28
29&lt;div align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
30  &lt;center&gt;
31  &lt;table border=&quot;0&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; cellspacing=&quot;4&quot; width=&quot;94%&quot;&gt;
32    &lt;tr&gt;
33      &lt;td valign=&quot;bottom&quot; colspan=&quot;3&quot;&gt;
34      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;br&gt;
35      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
36&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;_httpdocimg_/1523.gif&quot; alt=&quot;Primary Sources: 1523: The romance between Anne Boleyn &amp;amp; Henry Percy&quot; width=&quot;417&quot; height=&quot;101&quot;&gt;&lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/td&gt;
37    &lt;/tr&gt;
38    &lt;tr&gt;
39      &lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
40      &lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
41      &lt;td&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
42    &lt;/tr&gt;
43    &lt;tr&gt;
44      &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;48%&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#FFFFE8&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;The account
45      at right &lt;/font&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;was written by George Cavendish, Cardinal Wolsey's gentleman-usher.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;p&gt;
46    &lt;img SRC=&quot;_httpdocimg_/anne2.jpg&quot; ALT=&quot;portrait of Anne Boleyn&quot; BORDER=0 height=194 width=139 align=LEFT&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
47      &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII.&amp;nbsp;
48      The year of her birth is unknown; it was possibly 1501 or 1507.&amp;nbsp; She
49      spent her adolescence at the French court but returned home to England in
50      1522.&amp;nbsp; As the daughter of an ambitious courtier and niece of the duke
51      of Norfolk, she was invited to serve at court as lady-in-waiting to
52      Katharine of Aragon.&amp;nbsp; It was here that she caught the attention of
53      King Henry.&amp;nbsp; Anne, however, had fallen in love with Lord Henry Percy,
54      heir to the earl of Northumberland.&amp;nbsp; They were secretly engaged and
55      planned to marry.&amp;nbsp; As Cavendish's account makes plain, Henry ordered
56      Cardinal Wolsey to end the engagement.&amp;nbsp; The Cardinal did so, thus
57      earning Anne's lasting enmity.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
58      &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;Henry's 'secret love' for Anne was highly controversial,
59      and not merely because he was already married.&amp;nbsp; Kings did, after all,
60      have mistresses.&amp;nbsp; But he had already had an open affair (and possibly
61      a son) with her sister, Mary.&amp;nbsp; His relationship with Anne, however,
62      was far more serious.&amp;nbsp; In love and desperate for a legitimate male
63      heir, Henry planned to annul his marriage to Katharine of Aragon and marry
64      Anne.&amp;nbsp; The pope's refusal to help eventually led Henry to break with
65      the church of Rome and declare himself supreme head of a new English
66      church.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
67      &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;It was all for naught.&amp;nbsp; Anne did not give Henry a
68      surviving son and she was executed on 19 May 1536.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
69      &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/td&gt;
70      &lt;td width=&quot;4%&quot;&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
71      &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;48%&quot;&gt;
72
73    &lt;p&gt;    I will tell you as best I can how the king's love came about and what
74    followed thereafter.&amp;nbsp; When this lady, Mistress Anne Boleyn, was very
75    young she was sent to France to be a lady-in-waiting to the French queen.&amp;nbsp;
76    When the queen died she was sent back to her father who arranged for her to
77    become a lady-in-waiting to queen Catherine, wife of Henry.&amp;nbsp; Such was
78    her success in this post, shown both by her exemplary behavior and excellent
79    deportment that she quickly outshone all the others.&amp;nbsp; To such an
80    extent, in fact, that the flames of desire began to burn secretly in the
81    king's breast, unknown to all, least of all to Anne herself. &lt;/p&gt;
82
83&lt;p&gt;At this time Lord Percy, the son and heir of the earl of Northumberland,
84
85was aide and secretary to Wolsey, the lord cardinal, and whenever the lord
86
87cardinal happened to be at court Lord Percy would pass the time in the
88
89queen's quarters where he would dally with the ladies-in-waiting.&amp;nbsp;
90
91Of these, he was most familiar with mistress Anne Boleyn, to such an extent
92
93that a secret love grew up between them and they pledged that, in time,
94
95they intended to wed.&amp;nbsp; When knowledge of this reached the king's ears
96
97he was greatly distraught.&amp;nbsp; Realizing that he could no longer hide
98
99his secret love, he revealed all to the lord cardinal and discussed with
100
101him ways of sundering the couple's engagement to each other.
102
103&lt;p&gt;When the lord cardinal had left the court and returned to Westminster,
104
105he remembered Henry's request and summoned Lord Percy to his presence,
106
107saying in front of us, his servants: 'I am amazed at your foolishness in
108
109getting entangled, even engaged, to this silly girl at court - I mean Anne
110
111Boleyn.&amp;nbsp; Have you not considered your position?&amp;nbsp; After the death
112
113of your noble father you stand to inherit one of the greatest earldoms
114
115in the country.&amp;nbsp; It would thus have been more proper if you had sought
116
117the consent of your father in this affair and to have made his highness
118
119the king privy to it, requesting his royal blessing.&amp;nbsp; Had you done
120
121so, he was not only have welcomed your request but would, I can assure
122
123you, have promoted you to a position more suited to your noble estate.&amp;nbsp;
124
125And thence you might have gained the king's favor by your conduct and wise
126
127council and and thus risen further still in his estimation.
128
129&lt;p&gt;'But now look what you have done by your thoughtlessness.&amp;nbsp; You
130
131have not only offended your own father but also your sovereign and pledged
132
133yourself to someone whom neither would agree to be suitable.&amp;nbsp; And
134
135do not doubt that I shall send for your father and when he comes he will
136
137break off this engagement or disinherit you forever.&amp;nbsp; The king himself
138
139will make a complaint to your father and demand no less an action than
140
141I have suggested.&amp;nbsp; Indeed, I happen to know that the king has already
142
143promised this lady to someone else and that though she is not yet aware
144
145of it, the arrangements are already far advanced.&amp;nbsp; The king however,
146
147being a man of great prudence and diplomacy, is confident that, once she
148
149is aware of the situation, she will agree to the union gladly.'
150
151&lt;p&gt;'Sir,' said Lord Percy, weeping, 'I knew nothing of the king's involvement
152
153in all this, and I am sorry to have incurred his displeasure.&amp;nbsp; I considered
154
155myself to be of sufficient age and in a good enough situation to be able
156
157to take a wife of my own choosing and never doubted that my father would
158
159have accepted my decision.&amp;nbsp; And though she is just a simple maid and
160
161her father is only a knight, yet she is of very noble descent.&amp;nbsp; On
162
163her mother's side she has Norfolk blood and on her father's side she is
164
165a direct descendant of the earl of Ormond.&amp;nbsp; Why then, sir, should
166
167I query the suitability of the match when her pedigree is of equal worth
168
169to mine?&amp;nbsp; Thus I humbly beg your favor in this matter and ask you
170
171to beg the king to be benevolent concerning this issue of my engagement,
172
173which I cannot deny, still less break it off?'
174
175&lt;p&gt;'See, gentlemen,' said the lord cardinal to us, 'what nonsense there
176
177is in this willful boy's head!&amp;nbsp; I though that when you heard me explain
178
179the king's involvement in this business you would have relented in your
180
181suit and have submitted yourself to the king's will, allowing his highness
182
183to decide on the matter as he thinks fit.'
184
185&lt;p&gt;'Sir, and so I would,' said Lord Percy, 'but in this matter I have gone
186
187so far that I am no longer able to renounce my commitment in full conscience.'
188
189&lt;p&gt;'What?' said the cardinal, 'Do you think that the king and I do not
190
191know what to do in such a serious matter as this?&amp;nbsp; One thing's for
192
193sure, I can see no point in your making any further pleas in this case.'
194
195&lt;p&gt;'Very well,' said Lord Percy, 'if it please you, I will submit myself
196
197completely to the king's will in this matter and will release my conscience
198
199from the heavy burden of the engagement.'
200
201&lt;p&gt;'So be it, then,' said the cardinal, 'I will send for your father in
202
203the north, and he, the king and I will take whatever measure for the annulment
204
205of this hasty folly the king thinks necessary.&amp;nbsp; And in the meantime,
206
207I order you - and in the king's name command you - not to see her again
208
209if you intend to avoid the full wrath of his majesty.'&amp;nbsp; Having said
210
211this, he got up and went off to his study.
212
213&lt;p&gt;Then the earl of Northumberland was sent for, who, learning of the request
214
215being at the king's command, made great speed to court.&amp;nbsp; his first
216
217port of call after leaving the north was to lord cardinal, by whom he was
218
219briefed about the cause of his hasty summons and with whom he spent a considerable
220
221time in secret discussions.&amp;nbsp; After their long talk, the cardinal ordered
222
223some wine and after they had drunk together the meeting broke up and the
224
225earl left.
226
227&lt;p&gt;As he was leaving, he sat down on a bench that the servants used and
228
229called his son Lord Percy to him, saying, in our presence: 'Son, you have
230
231always been a proud, presumptuous, headstrong wastrel.&amp;nbsp; And you have
232
233so proved yourself once more.&amp;nbsp; What possible joy, comfort, pleasure
234
235or solace could I ever receive from you who have so misconducted yourself
236
237without discretion and in such secrecy.&amp;nbsp; With no regard for your own
238
239father, nor for your sovereign to whom all honest and loyal subjects give
240
241faithful and humble obedience, nor even for your own noble estate, you
242
243have ill-advisedly become engaged to this girl and thereby incurred the
244
245king's displeasure - an action intolerable in any of his subjects!
246
247&lt;p&gt;'If it wasn't for the wisdom of the king and his benevolence towards
248
249your empty-headedness and willful stupidity, his wrath would have been
250
251sufficient to cast me and all my family for generations to come into abject
252
253poverty and desolation.&amp;nbsp; But by the supreme goodness of his grace
254
255and the worthy lord cardinal, I have been excused your transgression -
256
257they have decided to pity your stupidity rather than blame it - and have
258
259presented me with a command concerning you and your future conduct.
260
261&lt;p&gt;'I pray to God that this may serve as sufficient warning to you to conduct
262
263yourself with more care hereafter, for I can assure you that, if you do
264
265not amend your ways, you will be the last earl of Northumberland if I have
266
267anything to do with it.&amp;nbsp; You do nothing but waste and consume everything
268
269that all your ancestors have built up and cherished with great honor.&amp;nbsp;
270
271But in the name of the good and gracious king, I intend - God willing -
272
273so to arrange my succession that you will benefit from it but little.&amp;nbsp;
274
275For I have no intention, I can assure you, of making you my heir.&amp;nbsp;
276
277I have, after all, praise be to God, a wide choice of sons who will, I
278
279am sure, prove themselves worthier than you and abler to conduct themselves
280
281as true nobles should.&amp;nbsp; And from these I will choose the best as my
282
283successor.
284
285&lt;p&gt;'Now gentlemen,' he said to us servants, 'it may so happen that when
286
287I am dead you will see these things that I have spoken of to my son prove
288
289to be the case.&amp;nbsp; Yet in the meantime, I would be grateful if you could
290
291be his friends and tell him when he strays from the path or is at fault.'&amp;nbsp;
292
293And with that he took his leave of us and said to his son: 'Go on your
294
295way and serve the lord cardinal, your master, and make sure you carry out
296
297your duty.'&amp;nbsp; And thus he departed and went down through the hall and
298
299out to his barge.
300
301&lt;p&gt;After much debate and consultation about lord Percy's case it was finally
302decided that his engagement to Anne Boleyn should be dissolved and that he
303should instead marry one of the earl of Shrewsbury's daughters, Mary Talbot,
304which he later did.&lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
305    &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fmonarchs%2fboleyn.html&quot;&gt;
306    &lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;to the Anne
307    Boleyn website&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
308    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fprimary.html&quot;&gt;
309    &lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;to Primary Sources&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
310    &lt;/tr&gt;
311  &lt;/table&gt;
312  &lt;/center&gt;
313&lt;/div&gt;
314
315
316
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319</Content>
320</Section>
321</Archive>
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