Bloodthirsty death notice dictated by Henry VIII to go on display

King Henry was outraged that priests had stopped his men from closing Norton Priory in Runcorn, Cheshire, during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536

King Henry was outraged that priests had stopped his men from closing Norton Priory in Runcorn, Cheshire, during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536

A 16th century death warrant in which King Henry VIII orders an abbot be 'hung drawn and quartered' before deciding he should just be hanged has gone on public display.

The letter is believed to have been dictated by the notoriously temperamental monarch, who then changed his mind and had the words 'drawn and quartered' crossed out.

King Henry was outraged that priests had stopped his men from closing Norton Priory in Runcorn, Cheshire, during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536.

He demanded the abbot be hanged, disembowelled and then chopped into four pieces with his body parts displayed 'around the country' in a warrant written under dictation from King Henry to a secretary.

It is not known why King Henry changed his mind and crossed out the line.

The letter is set to go on public display from May 5 at Norton Priory Museum.

It will be on loan from the National Archives until the end of August.

The letter will be accompanied by a 16th century silver-gilt reliquary from the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is demonstrative of the wealth of the monasteries at the time.

The objects illustrate the tumultuous story of the dissolution of the monasteries.

The letter (pictured) is believed to have been dictated by the notoriously temperamental monarch, who then changed his mind and had the words 'drawn and quartered' crossed out

The letter (pictured) is believed to have been dictated by the notoriously temperamental monarch, who then changed his mind and had the words 'drawn and quartered' crossed out

Sean Cunningham, head of medieval at the National Archives, said: 'As a king with a reputation for delegation of the routine business of state, this draft signed warrant shows that Henry VIII did, in fact, take a very close interest in events that threatened his power and undermined his

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