CROMWELL LETTER ARCHIVE: Cromwell’s Remembrances, 14 January 1534

Cromwell was well-known for writing remembrances, his do-lists that he had on him each day. They are like little mirrors, reflecting his days as he jotted down details, and they show a wide range of things going on in his mind at any time. The lists can be long or short, and widely varied in the importance of the tasks clumped together on any given day. Sadly, not many remembrances have survived. This particular day was most grave, with the discussions on Thomas More,  Elizabeth Barton, Katherine of Aragon, and adding some serious religious opinions into his legislation, and much more. Can you see how insanely busy Cromwell was on an average day? It’s little wonder that by April 1534, Cromwell had fallen so gravely ill with an unknown illness that Henry went to Austin Friars to visit his chief minister. Cromwell’s workload would strike him several more times before his eventual execution.

Sometimes, letters written by Thomas Cromwell are dramatic. Sometimes, they are simple. Either way, they are rare due to the destruction of much of his work just prior to his execution in 1540.  For remembrances, all  bold text is Cromwell’s handwriting (and mine inside the parentheses). All italics are notes a clerk has made on Cromwell’s paper. In this case, I do not recognise the handwriting of the clerk. All has been translated into modern English to save space, but Cromwell’s spelling kept where possible.

(Page 1)

*To cause indictments to be drawn for the offenders in treason and misprision concerning the Nun of Canterbury (Elizabeth Barton)

*To remind the King of the establishment of judges and other officers in Ireland and the state of Wales

*My lord of Northumberland’s end with the King for the money last paid for him, and the escape of two prisoners from the prison of the bishop of Exeter.

* To speak with the King’s counsel for finishing the book of the Staple.

*To remember a certain thing found in Suffolk by Sir Thos. Russhe to the King’s advantage.

*For Sir Thomas. Neville and the jewels of my lord of Suffolk, which he has in pawn for 700l. 

*The men of Mynhed to be sent for to answer for the depredation done upon the Breton ship.

*The prisoners in the Tower; to get all the other pardons signed, and a book made of the names of those who shall be pardoned.

*To speak with the King for the abbess of Wilton.

*To remember the bishop of Worcester, and what the King will do therein.

*To remember my Lord Chancellor for his end.

*To devise instructions for those who shall be sent into Germany, and to cause them and the letters to be signed.

*To know whether the King will present any more money to Cornells and other.

*To show both the books of the value of the lands of Christ Church to the King.

*To remember Conquest, for his lands lying near Ampthill; and Bremycham for his lands of Bremycham. To survey all the pardons that shall be signed.

*To cause warrants to be drawn for the money newly laid out by me for the King. Not to forget to search for money due to the King for his loan, and to set all the books thereof for all shires.

*To remember William Boteres and Dr. Benett’s pardons.

*To show the King the letters come from Hacket, and from my lord of Canterbury. A clause to be put in the instructions for the delivery of the letters.

*To show the King the letters from Wales. To make a bill fur the Parliament touching the augmentation of the annates.

*To remember to pass the first grant of St. Bartholomew’s; Woolf’s Acts with my lord of Cumberland.

*To send for the priest of Norfolk.

*To remember the books of the value of Christ Church; Heron, for acknowledging the fine; that Ric. Sparre and others bound themselves for 300l. for the Venetians’ debts; such specialties as came from Heron to the Chancery with such money as Heron would have “dissavowed” the King, and to cause Candyshe, Raffe and Bodye to survey them.

X – A privy seal to be sent to Dr. Glynne, chancellor of Bangor, for the revenues of that diocese for the last half-year.

X- To devise who shall be sent to Lubeck to treat with the Lubecyans, the king of Pole and other.

X – To remember devices for the bishops to set forth and preach the King’s great cause, and also against the censures, and that the Pope be no more prayed for at Paul’s Cross or elsewhere.

X – To pay the embroiderer, saddler and silkwoman.

X – To remember the Portingales for their free passage from Hampton to London.

X – To know whom the King will appoint to go with Dr. Lee to Lubeck. The letters come from Hacket. How many of them have paid for the wafting of the ships. 

X – To send to my lord of London to order the preacher not to pray for the Pope at Paul’s Cross on Sunday. 

X – To draw the instructions for Dr. Lee.

X – To survey the embroiderer’s and saddler’s bill.

X – Touching the praemunire against the bishop of Norwich.

(Page 2)

 * To remember the ambassador of Venice.

* To speak with the King for sending to Hampton for the trial of the weight of certain things there.

* To remember the depechee (dispatch) of Sir John Wallope’s man.

* To remember to depeche (dispatch) Doctor Hawkynes man.

* To make an end for the bishop of Norwich.

* A letter to be written to the King’s ambassador in Spain.

* To call upon the cofferer for 2,000l., payable at Candlemas last.

* To remember the election of the bishop of Bangor to the King.

* To remember the engrossing of the bill of faculties.

* To remember the engrossing of the bill for butter and cheese.

* To remember my lord of Sussex for Wrytle.

* To remember the friars of Greenwich to have licence to go to Ireland.

* To remember the lord Chamberlain’s son for a benefice.

* To remember to speak with the mayor of London for provision of victual against Easter.

* To remember Anthony Babington, for assigning of his two bills. 

* To call for the last letters from the town of Lubeke to the King, and that answer be made to them.

* A letter to be made to Dr. Lee, the King’s ambassador.

* An answer to be made to Charles Mownte’s letter.

* To get the names of all the promotions of Doctor Hawkyns for the King.

* A bill to be made for the taking of the bishoprics of Salisbury and Worcester into the King’s hands.

* To speak with the King for the Spaniards at Lubeke.

* To remember certain Portuguese that have stolen their custom at Hampton under the name of Englishmen.

(Page 3)

* To speak with the King for sending to Hampton to try the weight of certain things there.

* To remember the election of the bishop of Bangor to the King.

* To remember the friars of Greenwich, for licence to go into Ireland.

* To speak with the mayor of London for provision of victual against Easter.

* An answer to be made to Christopher Mount’s letter.

* To get the names of all the promotions which were master Doctor Hawkins’ for the King.

* A bill to be made for the King to take the bishoprics of Salisbury and Worcester into his own hands.

* To remember the end to be concluded for Pyssowe with Lord Scrope.

* To remember Rice ap Morys Gough, lieutenant of Raydour, and Commotoyether.

* To remember the abbess of Wilton specially.

* To remember the signing of lord Lumley’s letter.

* To know the King’s pleasure for my lords of Kildare and Osserayde, and for the determination of the matters of Ireland.

* To send for the men of Mynhede, and to speak with Sir Giles Strangways for them.

* To remember the bill of complaint of the Frenchman for a piracy, supposed to have been committed in October or November last.

* To remember the letting of the lands at Leznes. For the end to be taken with lord Scrope.

* To remember how the King is ordered in the Exchequer for the farms granted to the Aluegers.

* To put the bill to signing for the King’s household.

* To send to master Tuke for Mr. Cornpton’s bill.

* To cause Palmer’s bills to be assigned.

* To send to my lord of Winchester for 600 marks.

* To remember Henry Whitoffe’s bill to be assigned for the survey of Hampton.

* To remember the letters for my lord elect of Ely to be signed.

* To remember parson Ogle.

* To remember to know the King’s pleasure for Robert Fowler’s answer.

* To cause privy seals to be made for persons in London who have not brought in their fines.

* To speak to the King for answer to Mr. Hacket’s letters.

* To know his pleasure whether he will write to Sir John Wallop.

* To remember the judges for their wages.

* To remember my lord of Sussex 

* To remember Master More to the King.

* To remember Sir Thomas Palmer.

* To send into Wales for those who were supposed to be of counsel with James Griffith ap Howell, the traitor

(Page 4, a series of passages to be added to law)

1. To allege the opinion of the Levitical law, and how that it were better out than in, considering the effect thereof is sufficiently declared in the book of appeals the book touching the Princess Dowager, the book for the Queen her Highness’ jointure.

2. To touch the word, writing or deed. They be contented that deed and writing shall be treason and word be misprision, with a declaration what the misprisoners shall do.

3. For his heir to be rebellious or disobedient they think not meet to be in the book, as rebellion is already treason, and disobedience is no cause of forfeiture of inheritance.

4. That the king of Scots should in no wise be named, for it might give him a courage, or else cause him to take unkindness.

5. Touching the oath of them that shall swear at their liveries.

(Page 5)

1. To know what the King will have done with the Nun and her accomplices.

2. To go to the Charterhouse myself.

3. To remember John Conysbye.

4. To speak with the King for the part of the Princess Dowager.

5. To remember the ancient chronicles of Magna Carta, and how libera sunt came into the statute.

6. The letter for the Spaniards to be signed.

7. Whether the King will have the Dowager removed or no.

8. Money for provision for wine and Lent stuff.

9. Mr. Bedyngfield and Mr. Chamberlayn.

10. What diets the King will give Dr. Lee, M. Heath and Paget.

11. To cause their passports to be signed.

12. To speak with the King for the man of Bedfordshire.

13. His fine for the 500 marks.

14. To speak with the King for More’s end for the breach of the prison of Evylchester, and for the end of them of the attainder in Surrey.

15. The forfeiture taken, informed me by one—this day.


Original text pages 1,2,3 – British Records Office Titus. B. 1. 419. B.M

Original text page 4 – British Records Office Titus B. 1. 417. B. M.

Original text page 5 – British Records Office Titus, B.I. 422. B.M