Elizabeth Barton Admonition

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The Holy Maid of Kent - better known as Elizabeth Barton - was a medieval visionary that asserted herself into King Henry VIII’s political sphere with her prophesies. She gathered a large following that were was enchanted by her visions, which created a whirlpool of disruption within Henry VIII’s reign. She was convicted of high treason and was subsequently hanged. Barton and her conviction crimes have have been disputed throughout history since they occurred in 1534. The following document will examine the definition of treason in the Tudor period, the evidence put forth to the judges, and Henry VIII’s motive to silence her.
Barton was charged with high treason because of her a prophecy she told at the age of 19, about the potential separation
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Thomas Cromwell, a prominent Tudor Lawyer, manipulated parliament to approve an act of Attainder which officially declared Barton guilty of high treason. The act of Attainder allowed King Henry VIII to silence Barton and her followers without the need of a public trial, which in turn would have gained a substantial amount of attention throughout England and possiblye turn Barton into a Catholic martyr. Therefore, the Attainder was a legislative rather than judicial device. Another aspect of her ‘trial’ was her execution. Barton was executed by hanging which was an uncommon method for that period.hanging on the 20th April 1534. This was an unusual method of execution for women charged with high treason. Until the late seventeenth century, women found guilty of treason were customarily burnt at the stake. Barton’s death by public hanging is a symbolic act used to show a clear message of what happens to those who defy the monarch. The case against Barton was biased and contained no neutral party. Even though the judges hired by Henry VIII were aware of the lack of evidence, they still carried out their duty of convicting her by an Act of Attainder. The absence of a proper trial and the unusual method of execution confirms Henry VIII’s desperation for a quick and quite disposal of Barton which eludes to the fact that she was not guilty of the such charges. Based on the evidence presented, it is clear Elizabeth Barton was wrongly charged with high treason as she did not commit such a crime. Barton was a victim of Henry’s manic efforts to create a stable monarchy throughout the realm. Barton’s interference with political affairs threatened the stability of the kingdom to such an extent that the government was forced to act against her. Henry VIII saw Barton’s prophecsy as a personal attack and sought to destroy any trace of
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