Saturday, December 10, 2011
December 10, 1520 Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate. 1541 Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed for having affairs with Catherine Howard, Queen of England and fifth wife of Henry VIII. Culpeper was beheaded and Dereham was hanged, drawn, and quartered, and their heads were placed on top of London Bridge. Catherine remained imprisoned in Syon Abbey until Parliament passed a bill of attainder on 7 February 1542. The bill made it treason, and punishable by death, for a queen consort to fail to disclose her sexual history to the king within twenty days of their marriage, or to incite someone to commit adultery with her. This solved the matter of Catherine's supposed precontract and made her unequivocally guilty. She was subsequently taken to the Tower on 10 February and was executed on February 13th.