From the Royal Archives: Henry VIII’s Break-Up Letter

I suspect we’ve all been plagued with a passive aggressive break-up text or two in today’s day and age. I most definitely have. But unlike the following scenario, I doubt the guys in my life who chose such a cowardly approach to do it would thought more than 5 seconds about what to write.

Unlike… King Henry VIII who called a counsel to craft the perfect break-up letter. (And I’m not sure which is the worse of the two, calling a council or firing of a text with little to no thought at all.)

[The following takes place during the divorce of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.]

Catherine waited a few days; then, as more and more of the courtiers that remained rode off to join the King, she wrote her husband a letter. She was sorry she had not been roused before he left to bid him Godspeed. She would be happy to know that he was well.

Back came a curt and querulous reply. Little she cared about his health or peace of mind. Her obstinacy was destroying both. He was better when he did not see her.

Catherine wrote again, submissively, but with a dignified hint that if this was good-bye, at least their long life together made it only decent that good-bye should be spoken face to face.

This time Henry chose to treat his wife’s letter as a state document. He made it the subject of a council meeting which consumed several days in drafting a short, harsh answer, the gist of which was that the Queen’s disobedience in refusing the neutral court at Cambrai had so displeased the King that he did not wish to see her again.


Source:

Mattingly, Garrett. “Part III: The Divorce of Henry VIII (1527-1536); Chapter Three, Section iv” Catherine of Aragon. New York: Quality Paperback , 1990. 334. Print.

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