William Kingston's dispatches

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The Dispatches of Sir William Kingston
Constable of the Tower of London May 1536
to Sir Thomas Cromwell
Primary Source: Letters & Papers of Henry VIII (British History Online) in the original language

On my lord of Norfolk and the King's Council departing from the Tower, I went before the Queen into her lodging. She said unto me, "Mr. Kingston, shall I go into a dungeon?" I said, "No, Madam. You shall go into the lodging you lay in at your coronation." "It is too g[ood] for me, she said; Jesu have mercy on me;" and kneeled down, weeping a [good] pace, and in the same sorrow fell into a great laughing, as she has done many times since. "She desyred me to move the Kynges hynes that she [might] have the sacarment in the closet by hyr chamber, that she my[ght pray] for mercy, for I am as clere from the company of man as for s[in as I] am clear from you, and am the Kynges trew wedded wyf. And then s[he said], Mr. Kynston, do you know wher for I am here? and I sayd, Nay. And th[en she asked me], When saw you the Kynge? and I sayd I saw hym not syns I saw [him in] the Tylte Yerde. And then, Mr. K., I pray you to telle me wher my [Lord, my fa]der, ys? And I told hyr I saw hym afore dyner in the Cort. O[where is m]y sweet broder? I sayd I left hym at York Place; and so I dyd. I [hear say, sai]d she, that I shuld be accused with iij. men; and I can say [no more but] nay, withyowt I shuld oppen my body. And ther with opynd her gown. O, No[res], hast thow accused me? Thow ar in the Towre with me, [and thow and I shall] dy together; and, Marke, thow art here to. O, my mother, [thou wilt die with] sorow; and myche lamented my lady of Worceter, for by c[ause that her child di]d not store in hyre body. And my wyf sayd, what shuld [be the cause? And she sai]d, for the sorow she toke for me. And then she sayd, Mr. [Kyngston, shall I die with]yowt justes? And I sayd, the porest sugett the Ky[ng hath, hath justice. And t]her with she lawed. Alle thys sayinges was yesterny[ght] . . . . . . . . . . and thys mornyng dyd talke with Mestrys Co[fyn. And she said, Mr. Norr]es dyd say on Sunday last unto the Quenes am[ner that he would s]vere for the Quene that she was a gud woman. [And then said Mrs.] Cofyn, Madam, Why shuld ther be hony seche maters [spoken of? Marry,] sayd she, I bad hym do so: for I asked hym why he [did not go through with] hys maryage, and he made ansure he wold tary [a time. Then I said, Y]ou loke for ded men's showys, for yf owth ca[m to the King but good], you would loke to have me. And he sayd yf he [should have any such thought] he wold hys hed war of. And then she sayd [she could undo him if she wou]ld; and ther with thay felle yowt, bot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . and sayd on Wysson Twysday last . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that Nores cam more . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . age and further * * *

"Wher I was commaunded to charge the gentelwomen that gyfes thayr atendans apon the Quene, that ys to say thay shuld have now (i.e., no) commynycasion with hyr in lese my wyf ware present; and so I dyd hit, notwithstandynge it canot be so, for my lady Bolen and Mestrys Cofyn lyes on the Quenes palet, and I and my wyf at the dore with yowt, so at thay must nedes talke at be within; (<a class="external" href="http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=75429&strquery=kingston+may+1536#n6" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fn. 6</a>) bot I have every thynge told me by Mestrys Cofyn that she thinkes met for you (<a class="external" href="http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=75429&strquery=kingston+may+1536#n7" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fn. 7</a>) to know, and tother ij. gentelweymen lyes withyowt me, and as I may knowe t[he] Kynges plesure in the premysses I shalle folow. From the Towre, thys morny[ng].

"Sir, syns the makynge of thys letter the Quene spake of Wes[ton, saying that she] had spoke to hym bycause he did love hyr kynswoman [Mrs. Skelton, and] sayd he loved not hys wyf, and he made ansere to hyr [again that h]e loved wone in hyr howse better then them bothe. And [the Queen said, Who is] that? It ys yourself. And then she defyed hym, as [she said to me]. Will'm Kyngston."

"Sir, the Quene hathe meche desyred to have here in the closet the sacarment and also hyr amner, who she supposeth to be devet, for won owre she ys determyned to dy and the next owre meche contrary to that. Yesterday after your departynge I sent for my wyf and also for Mestrys Coffyn to know how the had done that day; thay sayd she had bene very mery, and made a gret dyner, and yet sone after she called for hyr supper, havynge marvelle wher I was alle day. And after supper she sent for me; and at my comynge she sayd, Wher have you bene alle day? And I mad ansure I had bene with prisoners. So, she sayd, I thowth I hard Mr. Tresure[r]. I ansured he was not here. Then she be gan talke, and sayd I was creuely handeled a . . . . a Greweche with the Kynges consell with my lord of Norfolke, that he sayd Tut, [tut, tut!], and shakyng hyr hed iii. or iiij. tymes, and as for master Tresurer he was in the [forest of Windsor; y]ou know what she meynes by that; and named Mr. Controler to be a very ge[ntleman. But s]he to be a Quene, and creuely handeled as was never sene; bot I th[ink the King d]ose it to prove me;—and dyd lawth with alle and was very mery. And then s[he said, I shall have ju]stes. And then I sayd, Have now dowt therin. Then she sayd, Yf hony man acuse [me I can say but n]ay; and thay can bringe now wytnes; and she had talked with the gentel . . . . . . . . . . sayd I knew at Markes comynge to the Towre that nyght. I reysayved . . . . . . . . . . . at it was X. of the cloke or he ware welle loged; and then she sayd . . . . . . . e knew of Nores goynge to the Towre, and then she sayd I hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . next yf it had bene leyd she had wone; (<a class="external" href="http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=75429&strquery=kingston+may+1536#n10" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fn. 10</a>) and then she sayd, I wo[uld to God I had m]y bysshoppys, for thay wold alle go to the Kynge for me, for I thy[nk the most part of] Yngland prays for me. and yf I dy you shalle se the grettes[t punishment for me] within thys vij. yere that ever cam to Yngland. And the[n, she said, shall I be in Heaven, for] I have done mony gud dedys in my days, bot zit I thynke [much unkindness in the] Kynge to put seche abowt me as I never loved. I showe[d her that the Kyng took them] to be honest and gud wemmen. Bot I wold have had [of my own privy cham]bre weche I favor most, &c. Will'm Kyngston."
Hol. Add.: To Master Secretory. Endd.

"After your departynge yesterday Greneway, gentelman yssher, cam to . . . . . . . . . Mr. Caro and Master Bryan commaunded hym in the Kynges name to my . . . . . . . . Ratchfort from my Lady hys wyf and the message was now more . . . . . . . . . . se how he dyd and also she wold humly sut unto the Kynges hy[nes] . . . . . . . . for hyr husband, and so he gaf hyr thankes and desyred me to kno . . . . . . . . . tyme he shuld *** affore the Kynges consell, for I thynk I . . . . . . . . . . . *** forthe tylle I *** to my jogement, wepynge very . . . . . . . . . . . . I departed from hym, and when I cam to the chambre the . . . . . . . . . . . . . of me and sent for me, and sayd, I here say my Lord my . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . here; it ys trowth, sayd I. I am very glad, sayd s[he] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bothe be so ny to gether, and I showed hyr here was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weston and Brerton, and she made very gud contenans . . . . . . . . I also sayd Mr. Page and Wyet wase mo then she sayd he ha . . . . . . . . . . one hys fyst tother day and ys here now bot ma . . . . . . . . . . . . . I shalle desyre you to bayre a letter from me . . . . . . . . . . [to Master] Secretory. And then I sayd, Madam, telle it me by [word of mouth, and I] wille do it. And so gaf me thankes, sayinge I ha[ve much marvel] that the Kynges conselle commes not to me and thys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [she] sayd we shuld have now rayne tyll she ware [delivered out] of the Towre. I pray you it may be shortly, by [cause, said I, of the] fayre wether; you know what I mayne. The Que[ne said unto me that same] nyght that the Kyng wyst what he dyd w[hen he put such] ij. abowt hyr as my lady Boleyn and Mestres [Cofyn; for] thay cowd tell her now thynge of my [Lord her father, nor] nothynge ellys, bot she defyed them alle. [But then upon this my lady Boleyn] sayd to hyr, Seche desyre as you have h[ad to such tales] hase browthe you to thys, and then sayd [Mrs. Stoner, Mark] ys the worst cherysshe of hony m[an in the house, for he w]ayres yernes. She sayd that was [because he was no gen]telman; bot he wase never in [my chamber but at Winchester, and there] she sent for hym to pl[ay on the virginals, for there my] logynge wa[s above the King's] * * for I never spake with hym syns bot upon Saterday before Mayday; and then I fond hym standyng in the ronde wyndo in my chambre of presens. And I asked why he wase so sad, and he ansured and sayd it was now mater; and then she sayd, You may not loke to have me speke to you as I shuld do to a nobulle man by cause you be aninferor [pe]rson. No, no, madam, a loke sufficed me, and thus fare you welle. [Sh]e hathe asked my wyf whether hony body makes thayr beddes, [and m]y wyf ansured and sayd, Nay, I warant you; then she say[d tha]y myght make balettes well now, bot ther ys non bot . . . . . . de that can do it. Yese, sayd my wyf, Master Wyett by . . . . . . . sayd trew. . . . . . my Lorde my broder wille dy . . . ne I am sure thys was as . . . tt downe to dener thys day. Will'm Kyngston.