Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thomas, Thomas, Thomas

As I recently posted on both Thomas Wolsey and Thomas More, I thought I'd pause to consider how many Thomases we know at Henry VIII's Court.
  • Thomas Wolsey, Chancellor and Archbishop of York--died on the way to probable execution; accused of treason
  • Thomas More, Chancellor--executed by Henry VIII's orders

  • Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor and Earl of Essex--executed by Henry VIII's orders
  • Thomas Cramner, Archbishop of Canterbury--executed by will of Mary I for heresy (could have been executed for treason too)
  • Thomas Wriothesley, Lord Privy Seal, Chancellor--died during reign of Edward VI (pictured)
  • Thomas Seymour--executed during Edward VI's reign; last husband of Catherine Parr (they had been contemplating marriage before Henry VIII got interested in the oft-married Catherine Parr)
  • Thomas Howard--survived Henry VIII; he was in the Tower awaiting execution when Henry died
  • Thomas Boleyn--father of Anne Boleyn; in disgrace after his daughter's fall
  • Thomas Culpepper--lover of Catherine Howard; executed
  • Thomas Wyatt--poet, held in the Tower of London, witnessing the executions of Anne Boleyn and her lovers while facing the same accusations

Of these ten men, half were executed, and three of the five who died of natural causes faced execution. Of course, no one was going to get out of there alive; but it was an achievement to die with one's head attached to one's body in the Tudor era.

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