Jangles with Jane: Volume 7

As expected, Henry, her blood staining the ground after the words she said, silenced forever yet another woman displeased him.

Grab a mug of mead and sit, and I will fill you in.  

There was a 19-year-old domestic servant named Elizabeth Barton, who predicted the future. Her followers referred her to as the Nun of Kent or the Holy Maid of London. And she had many. Elizabeth would go before groups of commoners. She would go before the commoners and give them a divine message. She would tell these predictions to the people. One of her first predictions, was that a baby would die, and with the infant mortality rates, the fact that the baby died shouldn’t have been a shock, but it was. 

News of her soothsaying spread around and she began to climb up the social ladder. Elizabeth was on her way to becoming a wealthy woman in her own right.

It was when Cardinal Worsley took notice of her that Elizabeth’s life took a rapid and drastic turn. As her practice picked up, Worsley became more and more impressed with her, so much so that he eventually introduced her to the king. Elizabeth felt the need to be dramatic when she was in a trance. She would flail around and act strangely, and the king loved it, especially since her predictions suited him, his wants, his needs, and his political beliefs. 

Unfortunately, Elizabeth Barton made the mistake of prophesying that if Henry Viii married Anne Boleyn, he the king, would be dead within months. 

We all know that didn’t go well. The Nun of Kent suddenly became known as the Mad Maid of Kent. So as events unfolded within the Tudor dynasty, Elizabeth was arrested, tried, and convicted of giving false prophecies and conspiracy to kill the king. They hung her at Tyburn on April 20th, 1534.

Rumor has it she was hung, drawn, and quartered as a witch. But was she?


Share this post