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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 370



himself by unjustly gaining possession of her property, without even fulfilling the conditions of her Will. Henry, instead of paying toKatherine's executors the arrears of five thousand pounds per year, due to her as Princess of Wales, by the advice of Biche, afterwards Lord Chancellor, on the grounds of some pretended informality, declared her Will void, caused the Bishop of Lincoln, in whose diocese she had died, to grant an administration of her goods to such persons as his grace should appoint, and on the grounds that her possessions were insufficient to pay the funeral charges, confiscated the whole. By this means did the dishonest King possess himself of the property of his injured wife, little or no part of it being appropriated as she had requested. That the King equally disregarded Katherine's request, to be interred in a convent of Observant Friars, is evident from the following letter, circulars to the same effect being addressed to the leading personages in Kimbolton castle and neighbourhood. " ITESKY BEX. " By the King. " Bight dear and well-beloved, we grete you well, and forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God to call unto his mercy out oi this transitorie life, the Princesse, our derest sister, the Lady Katharyne, relict, widow, and dowager, of our natural brother, Prince Arthur, of famous memorie, deceased, and that we entende to have her bodie interred according to her honor and estate, at the enterrement whereof, and for other ceremonies to be doon at her funerali, and in conveyance of the corps from Kymbolton, wher it now remaynetb, to Peterborough,where the same shall be buryed ; it is requested to have the presence of a good number of ladies of honor. You shall understand that we have appoynted youe to be there oon of the principal mourners, and therefore desire and pray you to put yourself in red3'nes to be in anywise at Kymbolton, to aforsayd the twenty-fifth day of this month, and so to attendo uppon the sayd corps tyll the same shall be buryed, and tbe ceremonies to he thereat done befinished ; letting you further wito, that for the mourning appararli of your own person, we send you by this bearer, yards black cloth for two gentlewomen to waite upon you, yards for two gentlemen, yards for eight yeomen, yards ; all which apparaill ye must cause in the meane tyme to be made up as shall apportarne. And as concerning the abilimcnt of lynen for your head and face, wc shall, before the day limittcd, send the same unto you accordingly. "Given under our signet, atourmanor of Greenwich, the tenth daye of January. "P.S.And for as moche as sithensthe writing herof, it was thought ye should be enforced to send to London, for making of the sayd apparali ; for the more expedition we thought it convenient to you, immediately on the receipt of this, to sende your servant to our trusty and well - beloved Councellor, Sir William Poulet, Knight, Comtrollerof our household, living at the freres Augustines in London, aforesaid, to whom, bringing this letter with him for a certcn token, that be cometh from you, the said cloth and certein lynden for yr bead shall be delivered accordinglie. " To our right dear and well-beloved, the Ladye Bcnyngfeld." * On the twenty-sixth of January, 1536, the remains of the truly virtuous and amiable Katherine of Arragon were conveyed in solemn procession from Kimbolton to the abbey church of Peterborough, and there interred with regal, hut not imposing funeral rights.The obsequies were peifonned by John Chambers, the last abbot of Peterborough, No richly wrought sepulchre or finely chiselled effigy was erected to the memory of the first Queen of Henry the Eighth ; but although her grave was only pointed out by a small brass plate, long since removed by the destroying hand of time, the King, at the suggestion of some of her friends, it is said, spared her resting-place from de * The original copy of this letter is in the possession of Sir Henry Bedingfield, Bart, of Oxborough Hall, Norfolk.. AA2


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