Book owned by Henry VIII discovered in Cornwall

The book dates from 1495 and was discovered at Lanhydrock, Cornwall Credit: Steven Haywood/National Trust/PA

A book that helped King Henry VIII in his efforts to annul his first marriage has been discovered at the National Trust’s Lanhydrock in Cornwall.

The book from 1495 is by philosopher William of Ockham, who was a major figure in medieval political thought.

Henry VIII sent his agents to gather evidence to support an annulment to his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, as he wished to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn.

His agents scoured the country for texts such as Ockham’s which questioned the authority of the Pope and argued for the independence of the monarch.

The book contains notes and marks made by Henry VIII’s staff to draw his attention to relevant sections.

The book has been at Lanhydrock for many years but its connection to the Royal library was only discovered when an expert, Professor James Carley was invited to look at some of the volumes in Lanhydrock’s collection.

It's thought at some point in the 17th century the book was acquired by Cornish chaplain Hannibal Gamon, who bequeathed it to the Robartes family at Lanhydrock.

The book will now go on display as part of the Monarchy and the Book exhibition at Lanhydrock, which opens on March 1st.