Monday, May 25, 2009
Incidental Plaidy Lady: Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton (circa 1506 – 1534)
Such controversy about this lady! She’s referred to briefly in Plaidy’s St. Thomas’s Eve (The King’s Confidante) as one of the voices against King Henry’s right to divorce.
The ‘Nun of Kent’, as she was otherwise known, was against Henry’s religious reform (in order to permit his divorce to Queen Catherine and proceed to marry Anne Boleyn) and prophesized that if the King were to marry Anne, he would die right after, along with other doom and gloom events that were sure to happen in consequence…
When she was about fifteen and working as a servant in Kent, she became very ill and often fell into trances after that. Her visions were of a religious nature. Elizabeth became a Benedictine nun shortly after having the religious authorities verify the validity of her predictions and seeings. She had great credibility among the faithful who believed and were inspired by her prophesies.
This posed a great problem for Henry VIII, since he feared (not only the nun’s predictions) but also the people’s opinions. The King need not have anything encumber his way. So by Henry’s orders, off went the non of Kent.. executed for treason and hanged at the Tyburn gallows in Westminster.
So, for some Elizabeth was an imposter and for others a saint; a debatable issue on the side of both Catholics and Protestants alike.
What is your opinion on Elizabeth Barton?