A letter with Henry VIII's seal

Contributed by Louise Maudsley

A letter with Henry VIII's seal

This sealed letter is about land ownership. It involves a battle between two land owners, one of whom was the Portman family. The document records the details and outcome of the court case about the land. The wax seal made the document official and was the ultimate seal of approval to the outcome of the trial. We think that it helps us to understand how the courts worked in the time of Henry VIII, and that litle has changed in that people still have disputes which are sorted out by the court system. We loved how impressive the seal and letter looked and we learned that the official langiage of the court system was Latin. This made it very hard to decipher but we tried to look for words which we recognised.
We also thought that the King's seal meant he was in charge of everything which happened in the country at the time, and that this changed when Charles 1 was executed and although the Queen is the head of state, she doesn't have the same power as Henry VIII did.

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