Sunday, September 15, 2013

Episode 8 Season 3 – The Tudors Episode Summary 3.8

The Tudors Undoing of Cromwell Episode 8 Season 3
Synopsis: King Henry VIII orders his council to find a way to annul his marriage with Anne of Cleves.  Knowing of Thomas Cromwell’s hand in the union the King detests, the council uses it as a stimulus to turn the King against him.  The council orders the arrest of Cromwell for charges of treason, and he was imprisoned and sentenced to death.  Meanwhile, Charles Brandon instructs Sir Francis Bryan to find a mistress for the King, and Sir Francis presents to them Katherine Howard.

Episode Summary: King Henry VIII announces to his council of his reluctance to consummate his marriage to Anne of Cleves.  Moreover, he uses her previous betrothal to the son of the Duke of Lorraine as a way to release him of this marriage.  He makes an excuse that his wife is another man’s wife, and sharing a bed with her consumes him with guilt.  He, however, confides in Charles Brandon that he only married Anne for political reasons. Seeing that his realm is no longer in danger of an attack, he finds no use for her.  He desires the dissolution of his marriage, and assigns Thomas Cromwell to the task.  However, because it was Cromwell who endorsed the marriage, the King later appoints the task to Charles.Continue reading...

Anne of Cleves informs Princess Mary of her cousin’s interest in her.  Princess Mary allows Duke Philip of Bavaria to court her with the blessing of her father, but cautions Anne not to expect much of the courtship.  Duke Philip, however, surprises Princess Mary with his unscheduled arrival at court, and charms the young princess.  Princess Mary is even more enamored with Duke Philip when Anne of Cleves asks him of his opinion of the young princess.  Duke Philip, unaware that Princess Mary is in the room hiding and listening in to their conversation, confesses of having been struck by her beauty that he believes comes from the inside.  He finds Princess Mary a true heir of Queen Catherine of Aragon.  Princess Mary has fallen in love with Duke Philip.  However, Anne of Cleves regrettably informs Princess Mary of Duke Philip’s return to Bavaria as per the order of King Henry VIII.  Although clearly hurt, Princess Mary hides her true feelings and explains that she would not have married the Duke anyway due to his religion.

The King is finding it difficult to find a mistress to satisfy his needs.  The Duke of Suffolk knowing of the King’s unhappiness in love turns to Sir Francis Bryan for help in the matter.  Sir Francis sets out to Lambeth Palace in London where the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk cares for the illegitimate children of aristocrats.  He sets his eyes at a young woman, Katherine Howard.  Sir Francis reports his finding to the Duke of Suffolk and the Earl of Hertford.  Katherine, as it happens, is a distant relation to the Duke of Norfolk.  Sir Francis finds her a suitable amusement for the King.

The Duke of Suffolk informs King Henry of the council’s work towards the dissolution of his marriage to Anne of Cleves.  He apprises him of their findings, and is hopeful that it can be legally terminated due to a technicality.  It was discovered that the Duke of Cleves’ claim that there is no binding contract that betrothed Anne to the son of the Duke of Lorraine is incorrect.  After some review of the document, the council found the words “per verba de praesenti” in the betrothal making it a binding contract.

The Duke of Suffolk and the Earl of Hertford implants Katherine in court, and the King immediately takes notice of her.  The young woman’s blithe seems infectious that King Henry finds himself laughing again.  Moreover, Katharine’s sensuality appears to have awakened the King’s virility.  She has seduced him so that the King instructs Cromwell to give Katherine the recently confiscated land and the houses that sit upon it.  He also gives her expensive jewelry, and starts an affair with her.

The Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Hertford with Anne Stanhope, Sir Francis, and Bishop Gardiner hold secret meetings.  Soon after, Thomas Cromwell is arrested for treason, and all of the King’s council except for Sir Richard Rich believes his guilt.  Bishop Gardiner presents Cromwell as a corrupt traitor, deceiver, and heretic.  He has found evidence of Cromwell’s use of his authority as vice-regent for religion to license heretics to preach and teach, and has even pardoned those accused of heresy.  Bishop Gardiner claims to have evidence of Cromwell publicly defending heretics, and declaring turning against the King if His Majesty refuses reform.  All the Lords find him to be a traitor including his closest friend, Sir Richard.

King Henry informs Anne of Cleves that he has decided to send her to his palace at Richmond.  Anne agrees to this without contest, but with some foreboding of what is to come.  She has reason to fret for the council found that the King being the head of the Church has authority to annul their marriage.  The council, however, recommends that providing proof that their marriage was not consummated is the most diplomatic approach.  They also suggest that he declare his reluctance towards the union.  King Henry, therefore, instructs the Earl of Hertford to obtain from Cromwell written letter supporting the annulment of his marriage for he is witness to his loathing of Anne.  The Duke of Suffolk pays Cromwell a visit to convey the King’s desire for him to support the dissolution of his marriage.  Moreover, because he was his confidant, the King wants him to put in writing the things he disclosed regarding his dislike of Anne, and whether or not the marriage was consummated.  Cromwell is to confess arranging the marriage despite the knowledge of impediments that faced it.  He sets upon the task given him, and writes in detail the statements King Henry made towards Anne.  In his letter, he also pleads the King for his mercy and pardon

The enemies of Cromwell including Charles rejoice his upcoming execution much to Catherine Willoughby’s disgust.  They, including Bishop Gardiner, delight in knowing of Cromwell’s ignominious execution with him using the same scaffold as the lowliest criminal.  Moreover, Sir Francis and Thomas Seymour had seen to it that Cromwell’s executioner is extremely inebriated at his beheading.  Cromwell appears before a crowd and accepts his fate with humility.  He asks them to pray for the King, his council, the clergy, and for him that he may lose his head with a single blow that he may not suffer much.  Unlucky for him, the executioner is still intoxicated from the previous night’s drinking that it took several attempts to complete the task.

At the same day of Cromwell’s beheading, the Earl of Hertford informs Anne of Cleves that his marriage to the King was found invalid due to her betrothal to the son of the Duke of Lorraine, the King’s lack of consent and non-consummation of the marriage.  The King requests that Anne refer to herself as the King’s sister.  Anne of Cleves consents to the annulment of their marriage receives a generous settlement, and permission from King Henry VIII to remarry.  Anne’s only request is for the King to allow her to see him from time to time.

Watch Episode 8 of Season 3 of The Tudors
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