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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 454

say that they have any learning" to maintain that they have abetter ground to make Derham's case treason, and to presume that his coming again to the Queen's service, was to an ili intent of a renovation of his former naughty life, than they have in this case, to presume that the breaking of the coffers [Derham's chests] was to the intent to conceal letters of treason !"—A proof that the charge of having made the disgraced Queen an adulteress, was never substituted against Derham. On being informed that she must prepare for her execution, Katherine made the subjoined solemn protestation toher last confessor, Dr, White, who subsequently delivered it to a noble young lord, of her name and near alliance :— " As to the act, my reverend Lord, for which I stand condemned, God and his holy angels I take to witness, upon my soul's salvation, that I die guiltless, never having so abused my sovereign's bod. What other sins and follies of youth I have committed, I will not excuse, but am assured for them God hath brought this punishment upon me, and will in his mercy remit them, for which I pray you pray with me unto his Son and my Saviour, Christ." The uncrowned Queen had been condemned but two days, when, on the thirteenth of February, she and Lady Rochford, accompanied by her confessor, were led to execution. The scaffold on which they suffered was the same on which Anne Boleyn was decapitated, and was erected on the grave, facing the church of St. Peter ad Yincula, within the Tower. The particulars of the execution are graphically detailed in the subjoined letter, addressed by an eye-witness, Otwell Johnson, to his brother, John Johnson, a merchant of the Staple, at Calais. " At London, the fifteenth day of February, 1542. " From Calais I have heard nothing as yet of your suit to my Lord Grey ; and for news from hence, know ye that even according to my writing on Sunday last, I saw the Queen and the Lady Rochford Buffer, within the Tower, the day following, whose souls (I doubt not) be with God, for they made tho most godly and Christian end that ever was heard tell of, I think, since the world's creation : uttering their lively faith in the blood of Christ only, and with goodly words and stedfast countenances, they desired all Christian people to take regard unto their worthy and just punishment with death for their offences, and against God heinously from their youth upward, in breaking all his commandments, and also against the King's royal majesty very dangerously. Wherefore they, being justly condemned (as they said) by the laws of the realm and parliament to die, required the people (E say) to take example at them for amendment of their ungodly lives, and gladly to obey the king in all things, for whose preservation they did heartily pray, and willed all people so to do, commending their souls to God, earnestly calling for mercy upon him : whom I beseech to give us grace, with such faith, hope, and charity, at our departing out of this miserable world, to come to the fruition of his Godhead in j oy everlasting. Amen. " Your loving brother, " OXWELL JOnNSON.'' " With my hearty commendations unto Mr. Cave and Mistress Cave, not forgetting my sister, your wife. I pray you, let them be made partakers of these last news, for surely the thing is well worth the knowledge." The original of this letter is in the Record office in the Tower. It was probably intercepted, as from its tenor we learn that Katherine, whilst she died with Christian meekness and resignation, so far from confessing the crime for which she was beheaded, used the very same ambiguous and unsatisfactory language which Suffolk had just before employed in the House of Lords, a coincidence not likely to be accidental, and which is a further proof of the unjustness of her condemnation. The mangled remains of Katherine Howard were buried with indecent haste, and without funeral pomp, in St. Peter's chapel, within the Tower, close to where those of Anne Boleyn were interred.

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