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Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon  before Papal Legates at Blackfriars, 1529

© estate of Frank O. Salisbury. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection

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The divorce of Henry VIII from Katherine of Aragon, instigated by the Kings desire for a male heir to the throne, was a major catalyst in the break from Rome and the introduction of Protestantism to England. This illustration shows the dramatic moment where, during the Kings petition for divorce before the Papal Legate and Cardinal Wolsey, the Queen enters the courtroom and kneeling down in sight of the whole court and assembly at the King's feet and in broken English makes her protest against the divorce, 'I take god and all the world to witness that I have been a true, humble and obedient wife'.

Parliamentary Art Collection

  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    205.7 x 210.8 cm

  • Accession number

    WOA 2590


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Parliamentary Art Collection

The Curator's Office Department of Information Services House of Commons 1 Canon Row, Greater London SW1A 0AA England

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