From Richard Owen @ Times Online:
A facsimile of an historic document from the Vatican Secret Archives in which English peers appeal to Pope Clement VII to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon is to be given to the Queen tomorrow.
The 95 x 46cm (37 x 18in) parchment, which dates from 1530 and bears 81 red wax seals, is a key document of events leading to the schism between Rome and the Church in England.
Vatican historians say that whatever the later causes of the schism, the “most immediate and determining cause” was Henry VIII’s “wish to get rid of his legitimate wife, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, in order to marry Anne Boleyn.”
But Marco Maiorino, a Vatican historian of papal diplomacy, said the King’s other motive was to ensure succession, since Catherine, of whose six children only Mary Tudor survived, had failed to provide a male heir.