Six spouses into the archives: a view from European countries

Six spouses into the archives: a view from European countries

The signature of Katherine of Aragon for a page to Thomas Wolsey written in 1513 (catalogue guide: SP 1/5, no. 219)

The love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn which are now housed in the Vatican Library in this evening’s episode of BBC One’s Six Wives with Lucy Worsley, Lucy gets exclusive access to film. The way they got here no one knows, but there they’ve been inside their glory, depicting the all-encompassing love of the King for their ‘awne sweth hart’.

The Vatican Library, through its digitisation programme, is making a lot of its unique and stunning manuscripts open to an audience that is worldwide. We can all go through Henry’s letters because they were originally penned – but you must know the numeric archival reference to locate them (Bibl. Vat. Lat. 3731 pt A) as there aren’t any online information to locate.

Many appropriate documents remain concealed from historians within the Vatican and somewhere else frequently because their online archival catalogues offer inadequate information to determine rich sources for British early history that is modern. We could seek out the efforts of my predecessors during the Public Record workplace so as to over come this though.

Within the nineteenth century, the Uk federal government demonstrated its dedication to the analysis of very early contemporary history by utilizing a number of scientists to get results in major European archives, reading a w

Caused by a few of this task ended up being the book of Calendars (this is certainly, chronologically arranged summaries) for the documents present in Spain, Vienna, Brussels, Venice and Milan. Where they occur, these magazines have actually played a part that is crucial the writing of governmental records regarding the reign of Henry VIII and people of their kiddies. For Rome, however, the Calendars just cover the time ahead of the Protestant Reformation and 1558-1578. The Calendar that is spanish ends 1603 and that for Venice in 1675. No Calendars were published at all for France and Sweden.

Numerous scientists are unaware that The National Archives still holds the nineteenth century transcripts that have been used to generate the Calendars along with numerous which may have never ever been translated, summarised or posted. They have been in several record series in professional 31 and, whereas the Calendars have translated summaries, the transcripts tend to be complete copies in their initial language. These were greatly scrutinised by historians if they had been first delivered back to your Public Record Office however now, maybe as international travel for scholars is actually easier, they have been little used. Their obscurity is certainly not aided by abbreviated catalogue explanations (such as PRO 31/9/3: Stevenson: Arch. Secr. Miscellanea, 1516-1612) that are not made for modern the search engines.

The transcripts represent a human anatomy of scholarship within their very own right being a curated variety of papers, collected over many years, sometimes from obscure sources. Clearly, there’s nothing a lot better than reading papers inside their initial state, however for academics with easier use of The National Archives rather than Rome or Paris this collection supplies a finding that is tailored to the resources available across mainland Europe.

The spanish Calendar gives us insight into the early relationship between Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, with a letter written by the Queen on 27 May 1510 from ‘Granuche’ (Greenwich) to her father, Ferdinand of Aragon as an example of the contents. On it she informs him the unfortunate news that her first-born youngster, a child, has died.

The page can be summarised in Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, reporting that Katherine:

Had been delivered of the daughter, still-born, a conference which in England is regarded as unlucky, and for that reason she’s got maybe not written sooner. She and her spouse cheerful. Many Many Thanks Jesus for this type of spouse.

Her love for Henry VIII and optimism when confronted with the increasing loss of their child that is first is poignant even as we understand how her wedding would be to unravel two decades later on.

Extract from Calendar of State Papers, Spain, amount 2, web page 38

Looking at the complete transcript in the initial Spanish in PRO 31/11/5 we observe that the page is much longer than its summary and, although written in an even more contemporary hand, it keeps the fluidity of sixteenth century spelling and does not have the trammels of extortionate punctuation. It really is clear that the Calendar summary is just one interpretation for the text.

Extract from transcript of page published by Katherine of Aragon to her dad, 27 might 1510 (catalogue reference: professional 31/11/5, f. 119)

The letter that is original which includes been digitised and certainly will be located within the Patronato Real Capitulaciones con Inglaterra variety of records when you look at the Archives in Simancas, provides further product clues regarding the state of mind of this journalist while the accuracy for the transcription, however the records in professional 31 available a home for scientists to the riches waiting for them throughout the Channel.