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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 367



CHAPTER Y. Katherine persists she is Henry s lawful wife—Refuses to be called Princess Dowager—Her resolute will—She removes to Bungen—Persécutions she endures for her daughter s sake—Change of her servants—The new oath—She refuses to go to Fotheringay, but proceeds to Kimbolton—Her mortal sickness—Visit from her friends—Her last letter to the King—Death— Will—Burial. i HE unfortunate Ka therine was on a bed of sickness when Cranmer's unjust verdict was announc ed to her. The pre late's sentence she heard with firmness, but on being told that as her former marriage with Arthur, Prince of Wales, had alone been lawful, she must change the title and estate of Queen Consort for that of Princess Dowager, her wrath kindled, and with difficulty rising from her pillow, she said : " I have been solemnly married to the King ; I am his true wife, and the mother of his only lawful issue. I have been crowned and anointed Queen, and will never call myself by any other name." Her opposition embarrassed tbe King, for the supporters of the papal supremacy viewed her as the head of their party, and under pretence of supporting her interests, furthered their own views, and retarded the progress of the much-desired reformation of the church of England. Put, be it understood, that other than motives purely religious urged Henry to break with Rome ; for that monarch lived and died a Catholic, and only desired to throw off the yoke of the Vatican, to give uncontrolled sway to his despotism and immorality, and to fill his coffers by mercilessly plundering the religious houses. However, neither threats, entreaties, nor promises, could prevail on Katherine to relinquish her title of Queen. When offered money, she spurned the proposal, declaring that she would not allow that she had been living in incest for four and twenty years, for all the wealth and honours the world could produce. She was then told that her obstinacy would induce the King to withdraw his love and protection for her daughter, the Princess Mary. Put she answered by offering up a prayer for her beloved child, and then calling for the minutes of the conference, and seizing her pen, drew it through the words Princess Dowager, wherever they occurred, and addressing Henry's agents, exclaimed : "So I return the minutes; andl desire ye to say to his grace, my husband, Katherine, his faithful consort, is his lawful Queen, and for no earthly consideration will she consent to be called out of her name." At the close of the summer in 1533, Katherine removed to the Pishop of Lincoln's palace of Bungen, about three miles from Huntingdon. By the King's orders she was deprived of most of her servants, because she would accept of no service from any one that did not honour her as a Queen and call her so. The first months at Bungen, she passed in weeping over her misfortunes, and praying for health and energy to bear her trials with Christian fortitude and resignation. That she had long been impressed with a presentiment of the fate that awaited Anne Boleyn, is evident. Throughout all her adversity she had rather pitied than envied that unfortunate lady ; and so exactly had she estimated her character and the selfish brutality of Henry, that when one of her servants at Bungen, in a rage, execrated Anne, she eluded her, saying, "Hold, hold, curse her not; for in a short time you will have good reason to pity her." In 1534, she became more cheerful than she was wont to be, and the country people came much to her, whom she received and used very obligingly. In her retirement, however, she was suffered no rest ; when not harassed with angry messages from the


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