Letter from Henry VIII to Cardinal Wolsey (June 1518)

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The original letter written by Henry VIII to Cardinal Wolsey in June 1518, wholly in King's own hand. British Library, Cotton Ms. Vespasian F iii, f. 73 (formerly, f. 34b).[1][2][3][4]

Original text[edit]

My Lord Cardinall I recommand unto yow as hartely as I can, and I ame ryght glade to here of your good helthe, wyche I pray God may long contynu; so it is that I have resavyd your letters, to the wyche (by cause they aske long wrytyng) I have made answar by my Secretary; tow thyynges ther be, wyche be so secrete that they cause me at thys tyme to wrytte to yow my selfe; the won is, that I trust the Quene my Wyfe be with chylde, the other is, the chefe cause why I am soo lothe to repayre to London werd, by cause aboght thys tyme is partly of her dangerus tymes, and by cause of that I wolde remove har as lyttyll as I may now. My Lord I wrytt thys unto nott as a ensuryd thyng, but as a thyng wherin I have grette hoppe and lyklyodes, and by cause I do well know that thys thyng wyll be comfortabyll to yow to understand, therfor I do wrytt itt unto yow at thys tyme. No more to yow att thys tyme, nisi quod Deus velit inceptum opus bene finiri. Wryttyn with the hand off your lovyng Prynce.

Henry R[1]

Modern transcription[edit]

My lord cardinal, I recommend unto you as heartily as I can, and I am right glad to hear of your good health, which I pray God may long continue. So it is that I have received your letters, to the which (by cause they ask long writing) I have made answer by my secretary. Two things there be which be so secret that they cause me at this time to write to you myself; the one is that I trust the queen my wife be with child; the other is chief cause why I am sloth to repair to London ward, by cause about this time is partly of her dangerous times, and by cause of that, I would remove her as little as I may now. My lord, I write thus unto you, not as an ensured thing, but as a thing wherein I have great hope and likelihood, and by cause I do well know that this thing will be comfortable to you to understand; therefore, I do write it unto you at this time. No more to you at this time, nisi quod Deus velit inceptum opus bene finire. Written with the hand of your loving prince,

Henry R[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 State Papers (vol. I pt. I), Letter I, p. 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Letters of the Kings of England (vol. I), pp. 234–235
  3. "Letter from Henry VIII to Wolsey". British Library. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  4. "Catherine of Aragon's pregnancy (June 1518)". British Library. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 


  • Letters of the Kings of England, Now First Collected from the Originals in Royal Archives, and from Other Authentic Sources. Volume I. Edited by James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. London: Henry Colburn, 1846. google books
  • State Papers Published Under the Authority of His Majesty's Commission. Volume I. King Henry the Eighth. Part I. Correspondence between the king and Cardinal Wolsey, 1518-1530. London: George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1830. google books