Thomas Cromwell's Henry VIII letter up 71.8% at Bonhams



2015-06-26 12:53:18

Thomas Cromwell's Henry VIII letter up 71.8% at Bonhams

A Thomas Cromwell letter aiming to expedite Henry VIII's marriage saw impressive results today

A rare letter from Thomas Cromwell, in which he attempts to expedite King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves, saw a dramatic increase of 71.8% on estimate today (June 12).

Henry VIII Thomas Cromwell letter The letter that led to Cromwell's downfall

The letter featured as part of Bonhams' Books & Manuscripts sale in London, which also saw a collection of Howard Carter's remaining papers and personal effects sell as top lot at 109,250. Thomas Cromwell wrote the letter on November 8, 1539, as Henry VIII's chief minister. The letter was sent to clerical diplomat Dr Nicholas Wotton to complain about the slowness of negotiations with Anne of Cleves' father, who was uncertain of the arrangement. Wotton had been sent to Cleves by the king to secure Anne's hand in marriage. Cromwell's own interests were at stake in the deal, after he promoted the matchas a way ofcementing the Reformation in England. Anne of Cleves and her family were staunchly protestant, with Anne's elder sister married to John Frederick, head of the Protestation Confederation of Germany. But the match was to be Cromwell's undoing after Henry VIII finally saw Anne in the flesh and made no secret of his dislike for her. "She is nothing so fair as she hath been reported," he complained, before having the marriage annulled and Cromwell locked up in the Tower of London. The impressive 71.8% increase experienced by the letter was likely boosted by Hilary Mantel's latest novel, Bring up the Bodies, which features Thomas Cromwell as the main character. It sold for 13,750 ($21,403), against a pre-sale estimate of 6,000-8,000. Paul Fraser Collectibles is pleased to offer a Henry VIII item that far surpasses the historical importance of the Bonhams letter. This personal divorce plea was written by Henry VIII,requesting a special dispensation from Pope Julius II to marry his brother Arthur'swidow, Catherine of Aragon. You can view our other fascinating Henry VIII items here.

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