Permission to bury the Harpenden dead, 1537

Hertfordshire archive and local studies
The document is written in Latin on parchment, with the great seal attached. The Rector was permitted to show the deed to any parishioner desiring to see it.
Hertfordshire archive and local studies
South view of the church at Harpenden [Clutterbuck Vol 4 p411]
Hertfordshire archive and local studies

In 1320 the Pope granted the inhabitants of Harpenden permission to bury their dead at the chapel, rather than make the three mile arduous journey in all weathers to the parish church at Wheathampstead.

Here, Henry VIII is declaring this to be a ‘pretended and usurped Authority’, by which they have been ‘seduced and deceived’. Fortunately for the people of Harpenden he decides to ratify it with the Royal seal. This document highlights the divide between the King and the Pope at the time of the Reformation.

This page was added on 12/08/2011.

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