The Tudor Society

May 11 – King Henry VIII accuses the English clergy of treason

On this day in Tudor history, 11th May 1532, Henry VIII suggested that the English clergy were traitors.

Chronicler Edward Hall records that Henry VIII sent for the Speaker of the House of Commons and 12 members of the House of Commons, "havyng with hym eight Lordes", and while holding a copy of the bishops' oath to Rome, he addressed them, saying:

Welbeloved subjectes, we thought that the clergie of our realm, had been our subjectes wholy, but now wee have well perceived, that they bee but halfe our subjectes, yea, and scarce our subjectes: for all the prelates at their consecracion, make an othe to the Pope, clene contrary to the othe that they make to us, so that they seme to be his subjectes, and not ours. The copie of bothe the othes I deliver here to you, requiryng you to invent some ordre, that we bee not thus deluded, of our Spirituall subjectes.

Hall states that the speaker then left and ordered the oaths to be read out in the Commons.

Convocation had refused the king's demands that all future church law should receive royal assent, that a royal committee could annul past church laws that it didn’t agree with, and that the remaining laws could be retained with royal assent.
On 15th May, convocation finally surrendered to the king in what was called the Submission of the Clergy.

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May 11 – King Henry VIII accuses the English clergy of treason