Francis Dereham was born to John Dereham and his wife Isabel nee Paynell in Crimplesham, Norfolk.
Francis Dereham began a relationship with Joan Bulmer who was living in the household of Agnes Howard, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.
Dereham began a relationship with Kathryn Howard
, granddaughter of Agnes Howard, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. Kathryn lived in the Dowager Duchess’s household.
Kathryn’s music teacher, Henry Manox, with whom she had shared intimate moments, found out about Dereham’s relationship with Kathryn. Filled with jealousy, the music teacher sent an anonymous note to the Dowager Duchess. The Dowager Duchess investigated and discovered Kathryn and Dereham together. Francis Dereham was told to leave the house.
Dereham went to Ireland. Before he left he gave Kathryn £100, possibly hoping to endear himself to her, possibly a token of his intention to return and marry her. Kathryn later claimed that he had told her that if he did not return she could keep the money.
The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk gave Dereham, who had returned from Ireland, a position as a secretary at Hampton Court Palace.
Kathryn had caught the eye of King Henry VIII
. The Howard family, who were Catholics, hoped that if Catherine could win the King’s heart he may return to Catholicism. On the advice of her family she encouraged Henry and he soon fell in love with her.
1540 (28th July)
Kathryn Howard married King Henry VIII at Oatlands Palace, Surrey.
Kathryn and King Henry went on a progress of the north of England.
Francis Dereham sought an audience with Kathryn at Pontefract Castle and asked for a position. Kathryn appointed Dereham as her private secretary.
Dereham had discovered that Thomas Culpeper
was very close to Kathryn. Dereham was jealous and made no secret of the fact that it was he, not Culpeper, that would marry Kathryn after the king died.
1541 (1st November)
John Lascelles, a reformist who did not want Catholicism restored and brother of Mary Hall who had been a chambermaid to the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, told Archbishop Thomas Cranmer about Kathryn’s past.
1541 (2nd November)
Cranmer gave Henry a letter explaining what he had learned about Kathryn. Henry did not believe the accusations and ordered a secret enquiry to prove the stories false.
1541 (early November)
Thomas Cranmer interviewed Lascelles and his sister who confirmed that Kathryn had had intimate relations before her marriage. Francis Dereham and Henry Manox were both questioned. Dereham admitted he had been involved with Kathryn before her marriage but not since. He implicated Thomas Culpeper who confessed to adultery.
1541 (early November)
When Henry learned about Dereham’s earlier relationship with Kathryn and that Culpeper had confessed to adultery, he was distraught. He ordered that Kathryn be confined to her quarters at Hampton Court.
1541 (5th November)
Henry left Kathryn at Hampton Court and moved to Whitehall Palace.
1541 (7th November)
1541 (12th November)
Kathryn was arrested on charge of treason for having committed adultery.
1541 (14th November)
Kathryn was moved to Syon House.
1541 (22nd November)
Kathryn’s status as queen was removed.
1541 (1st December)
Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper were tried for treason at Guildhall. Culpeper was charged with adultery, Dereham with having led the Queen into a base life. Culpeper pleaded guilty but Dereham protested his innocence. Both men were found guilty and were sentenced to death, Dereham by being hung drawn and quartered, Culpeper by beheading.
1541 (10th December)
Francis Dereham was executed by being hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn.