Monday, April 6, 2009

Henry VIII's Prayer Roll

Here's a link to an interesting article about the discovery of a prayer roll, a long piece of parchment inscribed with Latin prayers and devotions, that a young Henry presented to one of his attendants and which bears an inscription in Henry's own handwriting. The scholar studying the prayer roll claims it is evidence that in his youth Henry was quite pious and traditional in his relationship with the Catholic church; it was only after the difficulties he faced obtaining his divorce from Catherine of Aragon that Henry turned hostile towards Rome. 

4 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

Oh thanks so much for this informative link:)

Shauna Roberts said...

Interesting article. I'm surprised that his piety in his youth had been in doubt. I had had the impression that Anne Boleyn's fervent protestantism was what led him to question his earlier beliefs.

Julianne Douglas said...

Shauna, it surprises me, too, especially since Pope Leo X bestowed the title "Defender of the Faith" on Henry in 1521 as a reward for a pamphlet Henry wrote against Luther, the "Declaration of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther" (Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum). Henry was hardly embracing lutheranism at that point! I didn't realize that people ever questioned his early fidelity to the Church so much that the discovery of the prayer roll would be viewed as a remarkable occurrence. However, it would appear that some people claim he always had doubts about Catholicism, even as a youth.

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

That is too cool! I bet Mr. David Starkey was as giddy as a little school girl when he heard about this discovery =)