Monday, 9 September 2013

Katherine Howard's Letter

Thanks to the National Archives UK the only surviving letter written by Katherine Howard is still beautifully exhibited. Katherine Howard was the least educated of Henry VIII's wives and she could barely write at all when she first arrived at court which is why this letter is written in such a nervous hand. This sole letter of hers to survive was directed to Thomas Culpepper and it reads:

This is the only surviving letter written by Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife.    The ill advised letter to Thomas Culpepper, a gentleman of the Privy Chamber and other reports of her infidelity led to Katherine's execution in 1542, less than six months after her marriage to Henry.    Date: 1541
Master Coulpeper,
I hertely recomend me unto youe praying you tosende me worde how that you doo. Yt was showed me that you wassike, the wyche thynge trobled me very muche tell suche tyme that Ihere from you praying you to send me worde how that you do.For I never longed so muche for [a] thynge as I do to se you andto speke wyth you, the wyche I trust shal be shortely now, thewyche dothe comforthe me verie much whan I thynk of ett andwan I thynke agan that you shall departe from me agayneytt makes my harte to dye to thynke what fortune I havethat I cannot be always yn your company. Y[e]t my trust ysallway in you that you wolbe as you have promysed meand in that hope I truste upon styll, prayng you than thatyou wyll com whan my lade Rochforthe ys here, for thenI shalbe beste at leaysoure to be at your commarendmant.Thaynkyng you for that you have promysed me to be sogood unto that pore felowe my man, whyche is on of thegrefes that I do felle to departe from hym for than I doknow noone that I dare truste to sende to you and therforI pray you take hym to be wyth you that I may sumtymhere from you one thynge. I pray you to gyve me a horsefor my man for I hyd muche a do to gat one andthefer I pray sende me one by hym and yn so doying Iam as I sade afor, and thus I take my leve of youtrusting to se you s[h]orttele agane and I wode you waswythe me now that yoo maitte se what pane I takeyn wryte[n]g to you.

Yours as long aslyffe endures
One thyng I had forgotten andthat hys to instruct my man to tare here wyt[h] me still, for hesas wat so mever you bed hym he wel do et and [...]

If you have any troubles reading it just message me and I will add the "translation" into modern language

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