Author Topic: The Mad Nun of Kent  (Read 8168 times)

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Offline Red Rose

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The Mad Nun of Kent
« on: January 24, 2009, 02:35:02 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone had any information on Elizabeth Barton, aka The Mad Nun of Kent? I know she was supposed to be a poor working class woman who claimed to have psychic powers during Henry the VIII's time, but that's about it.  Any information would be appreciate. Thanks!

Offline Kimberly

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 07:27:16 AM »
Elizabeth Barton became famous for her fits and her prophesies. She was a professed nun who became violently opposed to the royal divorce and her prophesies became distinctly subversive
In 1532 she had "a vision of Christ recrucified by the King's adultery and of AB as a Jezebel whom dogs would eat". The rumours were that she had "seen" Lord Montague as the successor to Henry's throne. Queen Catherine refused to grant the woman an audience but More and Fisher had contact with her as indeed had the Convent of Syon (supporters of Catherine of Aragon).
The nun of Kent was condemned to death for having prophesied the death of Henry within a month if he married Anne Boleyn. She died at Tyburn on 20th April 1534, together with a priest, two monks and two friars. (taken from Antonia Fraser's "Six Wives of Henry VIII).
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Offline Red Rose

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 03:53:35 PM »
Thanks Kimberly!   :)

Offline Mari

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 04:04:36 AM »
Thank You Kimberly! Very interesting....

according to Wikipedia..which had some  footnotes and book recommendations: 

Quote
unfortunately for Barton, the existing order changed when Henry VIII, in order to obtain an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, decided to break with Rome, and create the Church of England. Barton was strongly opposed to the Henrician Reformation, and around 1532 she began prophesying that if the King would remarry he would die shortly thereafter. (He would in fact live for 15 years.) Remarkably, Barton went unpunished for nearly a year, in large part because she appears to have been more popular than the King in many quarters. In fact, Barton was tried for treason only after supporters of the King had spread rumors that Barton was engaged in sexual relationships with her priests. Others asserted that Barton suffered from mental illness. With her reputation damaged, in 1533 the crown arrested her and forced Barton to make either a real confession or a fabricated one. According to the confession presented Barton admitted that she had fabricated her revelations[2]. In 1534 she was executed for treason and hanged at the Tyburn gallows in Westminster[2]
from: References

   1. ^  "Elizabeth Barton". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Elizabeth_Barton.
   2. ^ a b http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_%281913%29/Elizabeth_Barton

3. Diane Watt, ‘Barton, Elizabeth (c.1506–1534)’, 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography', http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/1598

Looking at the "engaged in sexual relations" which seems a pattern in Henry VIIII's dealings with Women in general and probably the times also.... I went to the Catholic Encyclopedia and found this part interesting also:

Protestant authors allege that these confessions alone are conclusive of her imposture, but Catholic writers, though they have felt free to hold divergent opinions about the nun, have pointed out the suggestive fact that all that is known as to these confessions emanates from Cromwell or his agents; that all available documents are on his side; that the confession issued as hers is on the face of it not her own composition; that she and her companions were never brought to trial, but were condemned and executed unheard; that there is contemporary evidence that the alleged confession was even then believed to be a forgery. For these reasons, the matter cannot be considered as settled, and unfortunately, the difficulty of arriving at any satisfactory and final decision now seems insuperable.

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=1553   Interesting also....

 Thomas More escaped...

here is another paragraph from the Catholic Encylopedia:

In January, 1534, a bill of attainder was "framed" against her and thirteen of her sympathizers, among whom were Fisher and More. Except the latter, whose name was withdrawn, all were condemned under this bill; seven, including Bocking, Masters, Rich, Risby, and Elizabeth herself, being sentenced to death, while Fisher and five others were condemned to imprisonment and forfeiture of goods.

More to read:

# John McKee: Dame Elizabeth Barton OSB, the Holy Maid of Kent: London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1925.
# Alan Neame: The Holy Maid of Kent: The Life of Elizabeth Barton: 1506–1534: London: Hodder and Stoughton: 1971: ISBN 0-340-02574-3
# Ethan H. Shagan, Popular Politics in the English Reformation, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003: chapter 2, "The Anatomy of opposition in early Reformation England: the case of Elizabeth Barton, the holy maid of Kent," p. 61–88.
# Diane Watt, 'Secretaries of God', Cambridge UK: D S Brewer, 1997.


Offline Red Rose

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 09:35:29 PM »
Thanks for the information. I heard once that she prophesied Anne Boleyn's downfall. I don't know if this is entirely true or not...
Also, has anyone heard of the rather morbid prophesy that Henry VIII's blood being licked up by dogs after his death? I looked at many biographies, and some report that the sides of his coffin burst after his funeral, and a dog did in fact lick the excretions of the coffin. Rather disgusting, don't you think? Has anyone else heard this? Many biographies of Henry do not mention it at all, which is what makes me doubt its credibility.   :)

Offline Mari

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2009, 11:32:53 PM »
When King Henry was in the process of divorcing Queen Katherine of Aragon, he went to a sermon at Greenwich and heard a sermon by Friar Peto. In this sermon, the fiery friar compared King Henry to Ahab and Anne Boleyn to Jezebel, the wife of Ahab who slaughtered the true prophets and had them replaced with others. This was bold stuff, as Anne Boleyn was known to be sympathetic to what Catholics believed were heresies (printing God's word in English for the masses, having the King be the supreme head of the English church and not the Pope). Friar Peto said if King Henry persisted in his course, then he would become like Ahab, and the dogs would lick his blood after he died.
When King Henry died in January, 1547, he was hugely corpulent, and his leg was covered by pussy sores which had given him agony for many years. The embalming process in Tudor times was not the same as we know today. The internal organs were removed usually, including the heart, and the cavity was stuffed with straw and herbs. I don't think the blood was actually drained.
King Henry died at Whitehall, and his body was conveyed to Windsor for burial. On the first night, the cortege stopped at Syon, and it was there, after hours of being jerked around on the primitive roads, the casket sprung a leak and the deceased King's bodily fluids leaked onto the floor. Sure enough, a dog came around and lapped at the blood. However, since dogs were a common and popular pet in Tudor times, and were particularly useful in gobbling up table scraps from the dinner tables, it would not have been uncommon for a dog to be at Syon. It just happened to be an eerie coincidence that a dog lapped the King's blood as had been prophesied.
Quote


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Slightly OT, but since it involves Henry after death - after Henry was interred at St George’s Chapel it appears his coffin burst. In 1813 the then Prince Regent (later George IV) acquired several artefacts belonging to Charles I including alleged fragments of bone and locks of hair. The prince wished to rebury the items with Charles who is buried in the same vault as Henry VIII and Jane Seymour (Henry’s third wife). So the vault was opened in the presence of the prince, several canons and workmen. They noted that Henry’s coffin had burst open and subsequently members of the party alleged to have seen the skeleton (namely the skull). According to one witness, Canon Dalton, the coffin ‘had been burst by the gasses evolved by the corpse’.
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..

http://tudorhistory.org/queryblog/2008/07/question-from-leanne-scaddan-mistress.html

The first story comes from Francis Aidan Gasquet a Cardinal and Historian but his work has been attacked!

http://books.google.com/books?id=l8qXF-7Yzt8C&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=Friar+Peto&source=bl&ots=xa3AuX8U4z&sig=AiVJYow0eDxdGHkuDz2n5zHTdAw&hl=en&ei=H-3SSYyKNNuMtgfyhpTpBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA160,M1

This is the page in the Book from Gasquet when you click the link!

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2009, 07:44:53 PM »
Really interesting!! Thanks to post it!! :-)

Offline Lucien

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 08:33:28 AM »
Oh heck,I thought this was about Kimberley... ::)
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: The Mad Nun of Kent
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2009, 04:09:49 PM »
Nah I am the mad nun of gloucestershire mwahahah
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