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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 444



hor niece, instructed her how to demean herself in the King's presence, so as to please him. To heighten her charms in the eyes of the amorous monarch, she fitted her out with jewels and costly apparel ; and, according to a manuscript in the State Paper Office, she even went so far as to commend her to Henry's notice, as a person in every way worthy to share the throne with him as Queen Consort. Whilst the Duchess of Norfolk was thus strenuously urging forward the royal match, Derham, although forced to keep out of the way by the dread of punishment for his crimes, heard of the intended marriage of his betrothed to the King, and vowed to prevent it. But the Duchess, either by bribery or threats, urged him to waive his claim to the fair Katherine, and remain quiescent, which he did with reluctance, declaring that, although he dared not oppose his sovereign, he was sure of her, and as soon as Henry was dead, he would marry her. Immediately after Henry's divorce from Anne of Cleves, the obsequious parliament humbly besought him, for the welfare of his people, to venture on a fifth marriage, in the hope that God would bless him with a more numerous issue. Whether or not the King was married to Katherine Howard when this petition was presented to him is questionable ; for, of the place, the time, or of the performance of these nuptials, as far as is known, no account exists. Marillac, the French ambassador, in a letter to Montmorenci, dated July twenty-first, 1540, states that " it is reported that the lady [Katherine] is already married to the King, and Likely to prove a fruitful consort." However, be this report true or false, Henry, on the eighth of August, not a month after his divorce from his German wife, formally introduced Katherine to court as his Queen. On the fifteneth, the clergy, throughout the realm, by royal orders, prayed for her as Queen Consort ; and such, till the hour of her fall, she was afterwards acknowledged to be. Katherine being a Catholic, and first cousin to Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, and the King also being a Catholic, their marriage required a dispensation from tbe Pope. This ceremony, Henry, as head of the church, dispensed with, and thus established a precedent for all other marriages of persons similarly related. He, however, that the validity of the contract might not be hereafter questioned, caused an act of parliament to be passed just previously, pronouncing such mar riages to be lawful and binding. Henry, at the period of his marriage with Katherine, was so poor that he could neither afford her tho pomp of a public wedding or a coronation. The expenses of his previous marriage and other extravagances had emptied his coffers, and all that he could or would lavish on the present occasion was a bridal medallion in gold, bearing the royal arms on one side, and a rose, as the symbol of Katherine, on the other. A few days after Katherine had been acknowledged Queen, Henry conducted her to Windsor, and after tarrying there till the twenty-second of August, the royal pair made a progress, quiet and private, into Buckinghamshire. On the seventh of September, they proceeded from Grafton to Ampthill, and from thence, on the first of October, to the sylvan retreat of More Park, in Hertfordshire, where, for several weeks, Henry so completely devoted his time and attention to his charming young bride, that he issued strict injunctions forbidding any one to intrude on his privacy, and refused to receive suits or petitions, or transact business of any kind. On the twenty-second of October, the court returned to Windsor, and a month afterwards the King and Queen, accompanied by only a few attendants, departed to Oking,* where they tarried till the seventh of December, when they proceeded to Oatlands, and there remained till the eighteenth, when they went to Hampton Court, where his Highness, with the Queen's grace, passed a happy Christmas, in quiet retirement—ostentatious pomp and gorgeous pageantry being a stranger to the court of Katherine Howard—a Queen who, gross as her other * Now called Woking.


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