Monday, 19 May 2008

Henry VI

Poor unfortunate Henry VI of England (and the only English monarch to be crowned King of France), I've always had a soft spot for him. Maybe it is the way kingship seemed to weigh so heavy on him, maybe it was the way he seemed so keen to avoid conflict and always ended up in it, maybe it was his bouts of insanity. Maybe it is just his piety and the strength of his faith despite his weaknesses in matters like politics and governance.

I was aware that Henry VII had long fought his cause for sainthood and that his tomb at St George's chapel Windsor was like the Lourdes of its day, full of empty crutches due to the number of miraculous cures attributed to his intercession. I was also aware that his cause floundered in the reign of Henry VIII for fairly obvious reasons. What is didn't realise is that the cause was still being progressed as late as 1926. I found a prayer card at MIL's flat with an Imprematur from Thomas Henshaw, Bishop of Salford at that time. The card reads:

In furtherance of the cause of
King Henry VI

O God, Who didst choose Thy servant King Henry to be a pattern of innocence and most patient meekness, a lover of the priesthood and a patron of godly learning; and Who hast, as we confidently hope, restored to him in heaven the crown which he lost on earth; grant we beseech Thee, that for Thy greater glory and the salvation of souls he may be glorified on earth as in heaven.

Moved by that faith and loyalty towards the Holy See, which he ever showed in the hour when its privileges were in most danger, we humbly beg this favour through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God world without end. Amen.

King Henry VI
Born December 6th 1421
Began to reign, September 1st 1422
Deposed March 4th 1461
Restored October 9th 1470
Murdered May 21st-22nd 1471

I can only assume that with the advent of the second world war, his being an innocent and a pacifist, meant his cause waned once again.

I wonder what he makes of the old boys from the school he founded, David Cameron and Boris Johnson? I wonder what he makes of this "royal wedding" next to his very bones and the lady's renunciation of the Catholic faith?

For your interest, here is comment on the Autumn Kelly wedding from a blogging canon layer.


ukok said...

Interesting post. I'm not an academic and have no formal qualifications, deciding to not turn up for my exminations and to mess about in the ones I did turn up for (not distracting others, but doodling on my papers etc)..and so i feel fairly ignorant on subjects taught in schools, particularly maths, english, history, the sciences and languages.

(I bought Simon Schamas history dvds and enjoy watching them to learn more about history, but then one can never take all he appears to say, as the absolute. )

I do know a bit about Catholic stuff though and that's why I'm so saddened to read that the bride of this royal wedding renounced her Catholic faith.

I'm also saddened by the aged legislation which meant that it was necessary for her to renounce her faith in order for her now husband, to have a shot at the throne someday. By the time he has a crack at it though, will she regret it in her aging years?


ukok said...

...and of course, their offspring will all be raised C of E....or whatever else the Royals embrace these days....anything other than Catholicism it seems....

Rita said...


I wonder what they are all frightened of?!

Tom in Vegas said...


I had no idea that Henry VI had a movement focused on canonizing him. WOW!

I don't know that much about Henry VI, but based on the things you wrote, he reminds me slightly of Dostoevsky's Idiot. Again, this might be the wrong comparison since I don't know enough about his life.

As for the renunciation of Catholicism for Anglicanism, what a sham. Before I continue with some inflammatory diatribe, let me stop myself and simply state that, apparently, Catholicism never meant that much to Miss Kelly. And since the conversion to Anglicanism was compelled by factors that do not deal directly with Anglicanism itself, I sincerely doubt her conversion is all that substantive.

This is one pendulum that is just waiting to swing back eventually.

Thank you for your comments in the post “Desolation.”