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Katherine HowardSir Ralph Sadler
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Katherine Howard

(1518x24 - 1542) [ODNB]

Queen of England (1540 - 42); 5th consort to Henry VIII; beheaded

Henry VIII repudiated Anne of Cleves and married Katherine Howard at the time of Cromwell's execution. 1570, pp. 1361, 1385; 1576, pp. 1161, 1181; 1583, pp. 1190, 1210.

Katherine Howard was accused of adultery with Thomas Culpepper and Francis Dereham. She was condemned for high treason and beheaded. 1570, p. 1385; 1576, p. 1181; 1583, p. 1210.

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Sir Ralph Sadler

(1507 - 87) [ODNB; Bindoff]

Diplomat, administrator; Cromwell's secretary; MP Hindon 1536 ; MP Middlesex 1539; MP Hertfordshire 1542, 1553, 1559, 1563, 1571, 1572, 1584, 1586; MP Preston 1545; JP Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire

Privy councillor (1540 - 53, 1566 - 87); principal secretary (1540 - 43); king's secretary to Henry VIII; treasurer (1544 - 53)

After the Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII attempted to improve relations with other monarchs by sending ambassadors. Sir Ralph Sadler was sent to James V, king of the Scots. Upon gaining an audience with the king, he delivered an oration. 1570, p. 1218; 1576, pp. 1043-44; 1583, pp. 1070-71.

When Thomas Cromwell was imprisoned in the Tower, Sir Ralph Sadler remained loyal to him and took a letter from him to the king. 1570, p. 1361; 1576, p. 1162; 1583, p. 1190.

Stephen Gardiner preached a sermon contrary to the king's injunctions. He was arrested and taken to the Tower by Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir Ralph Sadler; Sadler and William Hunnings were instructed to seal off doors to his house. He was transferred to the Fleet. 1563, pp. 728, 760; 1570, pp. 1521, 1529; 1576, pp. 1297, 1304; 1583, pp. 1340, 1353-54.

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Ralph Sadler was a deponent in the case of Stephen Gardiner. 1563, p. 806

Ralph Sadler was one of the signatories to the proclamation against Edward Seymour calling for his removal. 1570, p. 1547; 1576, p. 1318; 1583, p. 1368.

1214 [1190]

K. Henry. 8. The life and death of the Lord Cromwell earle of Essex.

ciuill and politike, do not therein derogate or empaire the high estate of parliaments, but rather geue wholsome admonition to princes and parliament men, to be more circumspect and vigilant what counsell they shall admit, and what witnesses they do credit. For priuate affection which commonly beareth a great stroke in all societies & doings of men, creepeth sometymes into such generall Councels, and into Princes Courtes also, either to much amplifying things that be but small, makyng mountaynes of molehils, or els to much extenuating thyngs that be of themselues great and waightie, according as it is truely said of the Poete Iuuenal: Dat veniam coruis, vexat censura columbas, or as our English Prouerbe sheweth: As a man is friended, so is his matter ended: And where the hedge is lowe, a man may lightly make large leapes: or rather to speake after the Frenche phrase: MarginaliaA French prouerb.Qui son chien veult tuer, la rage luy met sus. That is: He that is disposed to haue hys dogge killed, first maketh men beleeue that he is madde. And thus much hauing declared touching the matter of his accusation, the rest I referre to the high Parliament of that mightie king, who shall one day bring all things to perfect light.

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In the meane season howsoeuer the cause of the Lorde Cromwell standeth, true or false, this is certain, that Steuen Gardiner lacked not an head, nor yet priuie assisters, which cunningly could fetch this matter about, and watch their tyme, when as the kyng being disposed to marrie an other wyfe, which was the Lady Katherine Hawarde, immediately after the beheading of the Lord Cromwell, MarginaliaLady Anne of Cleue diuorced from the king.did repudiate Lady Anne of Cleue, which otherwise is to be thought during the lyfe of Cromwell, could not so well be brought to passe.

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But these things beyng now done and past, let vs passe them ouer and returne agayne from whence we digressed, that is to the lord Cromwell beyng now atteinted & committed to the Tower. Who so long as he went with full sayle of fortune, how moderately, and how temperatly he did euer beare himselfe in his estate, before hath ben declared. MarginaliaThe Christen pacience of the L. Cromwell in his aduersity.So now the said lord Cromwell, always one man, by the contrary wynd of aduersitie being ouerblowen, receiued the same with no lesse constancie, and patiēce of a christian hart. Neither yet was he so vnprouided of counsaile and forecast, MarginaliaCromwell foreseeing & preparing of his trouble before it fell.but that he did foresee this tempest long before it fell, and also prepared for the same for two yeares before smelling the cōspiracie of his aduersaries, & fearing what might happen, he called vnto him his seruants, and there shewing vnto them in what a slippery state hee stood, and also perceiuing some stormy weather already to gather, required them to looke diligently to their order and doings, least through their default any occasion might rise agaynst him. MarginaliaCromwel good to his seruantes.And furthermore, before the tyme of his apprehension, such order he tooke for his seruants, that many of them, especially the yonger brethren which had little els to take vnto, had honestly left for thē in their frends hands to relieue them, whatsoeuer should him befall.

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Briefly, such a louyng and kynd maister he was to his seruauntes, that he prouided aforehand almost for them all: In so much, that he gaue to twelue children which were his Musitians, twenty pound a peece, and so cōmitted them to their friends. Of whom some yet remayne aliue, who both enioyed the same, and also geue recorde of this to be true.

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Furthermore, beyng in the tower a prisoner, how quietly he bare it, how valiauntly he behaued hymselfe, how grauely and discretely he aunswered and entertayned the commissioners sent vnto him, it is worthy nothing. Whatsoeuer articles and interrogatories they propounded, they could put nothing vnto him, either concerning matters ecclesiasticall or temporall, wherein he was not more ripened, and more furnished in euery condition then they them selues.

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Amongst the rest of those Commissioners which came vnto him: one there was, whom the Lord Cromwell desired to cary for him a letter to the kyng, which when he refused, sayeng that he would cary no letter to the king from a traytor: then the Lord Cromwell desired him at least to do from him a message to the king. To that the other was contented, and granted, so that it were not agaynst his alleageance. Then the Lord Cromwell taking witnesse of the other Lordes, what he had promised: You shall commend me (sayd he) to the Kyng, and tell hym: By that he hath so well tryed, and throughly prooued you as I haue done, hee shall finde you as false a man as euer came about hym.

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Besides this, he wrote also a letter from the Tower to the kyng, whereof when none durst take the cariage vpon him, MarginaliaSyr Rafe Sadler, the L. Crōwels trusty frend.sir Rafe Sadler (whom he also had preferred to the kyng before, beyng euer trusty & faythfull vnto hym) wentto the king to vnderstand his pleasure, whether he would permit him to bring the letter or not. Which, when þe kyng had graunted, the sayd M. Sadler as he was reuqired, presented the letter vnto the king, which he commaunded thrise to be red vnto him, in so much the kyng seemed to be mooued therewith.

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Notwithstanding, by reason of the Acte of parliament afore passed, the worthy and noble Lorde Cromwell oppressed by his enemies, and condemned in the Tower, and not comming to his answer, the 28. day of Iuly, an. 1541. MarginaliaThe L. Cromwel brought to the scaffold.was brought to the scaffold on Tower hill, where he sayd these words followyng. 

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Cromwell's scaffold speech and prayer are taken from Edward Hall, The union of two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (London, 1560), STC 12723a, fo. 242r-v.

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I am come hither to die, and not to purge my selfe, as some thinke peraduenture that I will. For if I should so do, I were a very wretch and a miser. I am by the law cōdemned to die, and thanke my lord God that hath appointed me this death for myne offence. For sithens the tyme þt I haue had yeares of discretion. I haue lyued a sinner, and offended my Lord God, for the which I aske him hartelie forgiuenes. And it is not vnknowne to many of you, that I haue bene a great traueller in this world, & being but of a base degree, was called to high estate, and sithens the tyme I came thereunto, I haue offended my Prince, for the which I aske him hartily forgiuenes, and beseech you all to pray to God with me, that he will forgiue me. And now I pray you that be here, to beare me record. I dye in the catholike fayth, not doubting in any Article of my faith no, nor doubting in any sacrament of the church. Manye haue slaundered me, and reported that I haue bene a bearer of such as haue mainteined euill opinions, which is vntrue. But I confesse, that like as God by his holy spirit doth instruct vs in the truth, so the deuill is ready to seduce vs, & I haue bene seduced, but beare me witnes that I die in the catholike faith of the holy church. And I hartily desire you to pray for the kings grace, that he may long lyue with you in health and prosperitie: and that after him his sonne prince Edward that goodly impe, may long raigne ouer you. And once again I desire you to pray for me, that so long as life remaineth in this flesh, I wauer nothing in my faith. MarginaliaA true Christian confession of the L. Crōwel at his death. And so making his prayer, kneling on his knees he spake these words, the effect whereof here followeth.

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A prayer that the Lord Cromwell sayd at the houre of his death.

MarginaliaThe prayer of the L. Cromwel at his death.O Lord Iesu, which art the onely health of all men liuing, and the euerlasting life of them which die in thee: I wretched sinner do submit my selfe wholy vnto thy most blessed will, and being sure that the thing cannot perish which is committed vnto thy mercy, willingly now I leaue this fraile and wicked fleshe in sure hope that thou wilt in better wise restore it to me agayne at the last day in the resurrection of the iust. I beseech thee, moste merciful lord Iesus Christ, that thou wilt by thy grace make strōg my soule against all temptations, and defend me with the buckler of thy mercy against all the assaults of the deuill. I see and knowledge that there is in my selfe no hope of saluation, but all my cōfidence, hope and trust, is in thy most mercifull goodnesse. I haue no merites nor good works, which I may alledge before thee. Of sinnes and euill workes (alas) I see a great heape: but yet thorough thy mercy I trust to be in the number of them to whom thou wilt not impute their sinnes: but wilt take and accept me for righteous and iust, and to be the inheritour of euerlasting lyfe. Thou mercifull lord wast borne for my sake, thou didst suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake: thou didst teach, pray, and fast for my sake all thy holy actions and workes thou wroughtest for my sake: thou suffredst most grieuous paines and tormentes for my sake: finally, thou gauest thy most precious body and thy bloud to be shed on the crosse for my sake. Nowe most mercifull Sauior, let al these things profit me, that thou frely hast done for me, which hast geuen thy selfe also for me. Let thy bloud cleanse and wash away the spots and foulenes of my sinnes. Let thy righteousnes hide and couer my vnrighteousnes. Let the merites of thy passion and bloudsheding be satisfaction for my sinnes. Geue me Lord thy grace that the faith of my saluation in thy bloud wauer not in me, but may euer be firme and constant. That the hope of thy mercy and life euerlasting neuer decay in me, that loue waxe not cold in me. Finally, that the weaknes of my fleshe be not ouercome with the feare of death. Graunt me mercifull Sauiour, that when death hath shut vp the eyes of my body, yet the eyes of my soule may still behold and looke vpon thee, and when death hath taken away the vse of my tongue, yet my heart may cry and say vnto thee: Lord into thy hands I commend my soule, Lord Iesu receaue my spirit. Amen.

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MarginaliaThe death of the L. Cromwell.And thus his prayer made, after he had godly & louingly exhorted them that were about him on the scaffold, he quietly committed his soule into the hands of God, and so paciently suffred the stroke of the axe, by a ragged and butcherly miser, which very vngodly performed the office.

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