Thomas Cromwell's 'Rememberances'


Thomas Cromwell (1485–1540) was Henry VIII’s chief minister, responsible for enforcing the King’s religious settlement and for prosecuting those who opposed it. To help with his day-to-day work, Cromwell drew up lists, or ‘remembrances’, of points to be followed up at court. In this ‘remembrance’ Cromwell noted in the seventh line, ‘to Remembre the Auncyent Cronycle of Magna Carta and how libera sit Cam into the Statute’. Although undated, it is likely that this memorandum related to Cromwell’s involvement in the trial of Sir Thomas More (1478–1535), since More had invoked this very same clause of Magna Carta when refusing to swear the Oath of Supremacy to Henry VIII. Even if unconnected to More’s trial, this document demonstrates that elite members of Henry VIII’s court were aware of the first clause of Magna Carta which confirmed the liberties of the English Church.

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Thomas Cromwell’s ‘Rememberances’ (Papers, some rough drafts, entitled 'Remembrances', being notes of agenda of Cromwell - from Records and papers, temp . Henry VIII )
Thomas Cromwell
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Cotton MS Titus B I

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