Let’s Talk About Hugh
Hugh Cook was the last abbot of Reading Abbey.
Born in 1490 in Faringdon, he became Abbot in 1520 and entered The Big Leagues.
As abbot, Hugh got his own coat of arms and became pals with Henry VIII
They often went hunting together and exchanged gifts
Henry being Henry, he decided he had to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon.
When the Pope refused to allow it, Henry did it anyway and then declared himself as head of The Church
Hugh stayed loyal to Henry when he married Anne Boleyn.
And, when he had Anne beheaded 3 years later.
Henry then married Jane Seymour, and when Jane died in 1537, Hugh led her funeral service.
In 1539, things went sour though.
Henry demanded Reading Abbey be surrendered to him, and when Hugh refused, Henry had his buddy arrested and locked up in the Tower of London.
Hugh was tried and found guilty of High Treason.
Hugh was Hung, Drawn & Quartered in Reading town centre, his body parts were then stuck on spikes and displayed around the town and the abbey.
Friends will be Friends.
Now Hugh is considered Blessed by the Catholic Church and he even has a local school named after him.