Sir Thomas More writing on the coronation of Henry VIII
Shelfmark: Cotton Ms. Titus D iv, ff.12v-13
‘Heaven smiles, earth rejoices; all is milk and honey and nectar,’ wrote William Blount, Lord Mountjoy, to Erasmus upon Henry VIII’s accession. Though affairs did not turn out as hoped, the accession was seen as bringing opportunities for a younger humanist generation that had been excluded from royal benefaction in the later part of the reign of Henry's father, Henry VII.
Erasmus’s close friend Thomas More was one of those who welcomed the accession. More composed a ‘coronation suite’ of Latin poems for presentation to the new King in the form of this manuscript presentation copy. The decoration incorporates the Tudor rose, the pomegranate of Granada, the fleur-de-lis and the Beaufort portcullis badge. The poems were later republished in print, as an addendum to the 1518 Froben edition of Utopia.