Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Monument to Henry VIII

It was never completed. Henry and Jane have to share a tomb with Charles I. I never knew. According to English Historical Fiction Authors:
Henry, never one to let a good thing go to waste, lost no time in acquiring elements of Wolsey’s tomb for his own use, and Cromwell, who was now the project manager, made several payments to Italian and English metal founders. A giant effigy of the king was produced in gilt bronze and work continued until the last decade of Henry’s reign when war with France and Scotland put pressure on the royal coffers. By this time the project was well underway. In his will Henry stated that his tomb was 'well onward and almost made therefore already with a fair grate about it, in which we will also the bones of our true and loving wife Queen Jane be put also.’ But with the king out of the picture the project for his grand burial was no longer of primary importance, even to his children.
Under his successor, Edward VI, work continued half-heartedly and under the new protestant regime even the chantry priests who had been asked to pray for Henry and Jane’s souls were forbidden to continue. The King's tomb was shelved and after Edward’s early demise in 1553 work on his own tomb took precedence over Henry’s.
When Mary Tudor assumed the throne she declined to continue with the work for fear she should be seen as supporting one who broke with Rome, and when Elizabeth's turn came, she showed no more filial respect than her sister. Records show that she did consider continuing with the project but rejected several designs, hampered no doubt by the reluctance to spend too much money on it. After all, her own considerable monument, taking many years to complete and requiring a fortune in white marble, was of more immediate importance. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

The North Coast said...

It's completely fitting that Henry VIII never got to complete his grand tomb, and he never treated any of his children so well that they can be blamed for slighting his memory and spending scarce money on their own purposes. There have been many rulers even less deserving of honors in death than this psychopath,but most of them didn't even get a tomb.