When we left off Katherine was behaving the same way so many of Henry’s other wives did when finding out how blood thirsty Henry could be. She had a royal hissy fit. Let’s see if she fairs any better than the others.***
So sayeth the doctor to Katherine; “First, don’t say anything to anybody else about the warrant! When you talk to Henry, tell him that you could sense that he was upset about something. That after much soul searching you concluded he was upset because you were such a smart-ass know it all. Tell his Royal Husbandness that you will never, EVER do or say ANYTHING that will EVER contradict or upset His Most Benign and Forgiving Royal Self EVER AGAIN! Cross your heart and hope to die!
And tell your servant to put that frick’n warrant back where she found it! Without being seen! If Henry knows you know what he knows, you’re toast. Um…Your majesty will forgive me that last bit. Just a figure of speech.” Katherine continued to carry on as loudly as before, but now she had a plan. The doctor returned to Henry shaking his head. Henry decided to pop in and see what was upsetting his little armchair theologian.
He stayed with Katherine for about an hour, them returned to his rooms. As soon as he was gone Katherine ordered her ladies to gather up any books, pamphlets, letters, anything that might be considered heretical and burn them. Then, in deep remorse mode, she went to Henry’s room for a little chat. Henry was there with some chaps, discussing…religion! Henry invited Katherine in. Perhaps she’d care to add her two shillings on the subject.
Katherine answered Henry’s questions very carefully. She then stated that, as the supreme head of the One True Church, she would never dream of contradicting him on matters of doctrine. Henry was having none of that.
He said, “Not so, by St. Mary! Ye are become a doctor, Kate, to instruct us, as often time we have seen, and not to be instructed or directed by us.”
Katherine had to proceed with the utmost care. If she couldn’t convince Henry she was behind him on matters of the church… She started by saying she had been misunderstood. She was a woman! How could she possibly know as much as her vastly superior husband? If she argued with him it was only for the sake of taking his mind off the cares and burdens of being a king! If she played the devil’s advocate it was for entertainment purposes only! She truly believed she was making her beloved husbands life more pleasant by giving his brain cells a run for their money.
Henry’s heart melted. His little Kate had only noble intentions from the very beginning. He knew it all along. Said Henry,
“Is it so, sweetheart? And tended your arguments to no worse end? Then we are perfect friends, as ever at any time heretofore.”
He bought it all. He hugged her and kissed her and told her he would never doubt her again. After she left, he turned his attention to those who had badmouthed her. The scales had fallen from his eyes. He could see the plans of Wriothesley and Gardiner plain as day. Something would have to be done about those two.
Meanwhile, the butterfingered councilor had found the warrant right where he dropped it. Yowza! That was a close one! His relief can only be imagined. At some point in the evening Wriothesly became aware of the document’s existence. Since it bore Henry’s signature, he decided not to wait for Henry to make up his mind. He was going to move in for the kill the next day. Lord Chancellor Wriothesley was about to discover how mercurial a prince Henry could be.
What a foolish, foolish man. Wriothesly, I mean.
No, this does not end the Tudor Follies. Mr. Al has one last episode ready to go. I couldn’t resist; I went ahead and read it. I promise, next Tuesday we will end the series with a great post.
Thank you Mr. Al, both for today’s episode, and for your willingness to continue your history lessons after you are done with Henry VIII.