King Henry VIII of England


Anne Boleyn

Born 1502: Married 1533: Executed 1536

Hever Castle home of Anne Boleyn

Very little is known for sure about Anne's early years. Even her date of birth is disputed, although 1502 is the general excepted date. We are often led to believe that Anne Boleyn had six fingers on one hand and many warts and moles; if true it is hard to figure why Henry at the prime of life would want to marry her.

   Henry VIII Statue

Henry VIII Statue Considered to be moderately pretty, and sister of one of Henry’s mistresses, she had already been married to the heir of Ormonde and is said to have had several affairs before she became finally noticed by Henry Tudor. Anne and Henry were secretly married on January 25, 1533, although Henry was still married to his first wife Catherine.

On May 23, the Archbishop of Canterbury officially proclaimed that the marriage of Henry and Catherine was invalid.

On the 1st of June, dressed in cloth of gold, Anne was brought by water from Greenwich to the Tower of London. Barges following the procession were said to have “stretched four miles along the river towards Westminster Abbey” where Anne was crowned Queen of England. Then on September 7, around 3 pm, Queen Anne gave birth to Princess Elizabeth.

Over the next two years, the Queen suffered two miscarriages. One of them was a boy. Knowing that without a son her life was in danger, Henry flirting with Jane Seymour, Anne’s time was running out.

On April 30, 1536, Anne's musician and friend for several years, Mark Smeaton, was arrested and made to make false 'revelations' about the Queen. Also, Sir Henry Norris was arrested and sent off to the Tower. The Queen's own brother George Boleyn Lord Rochford was also arrested.

Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton were charged with adultery with the Queen. They were joined at the trial with Smeaton and Norris at Westminster Hall on May 12th, 1536.

Not allowed any defence, as this was the case on charges of treason.

They were all found guilty and then were taken to be hanged at Tyburn, then cut down while still living and disembowelled and quartered.

On Monday the 15th, the Queen, and her brother were put on trial at the Great Hall of the Tower of London.

They were also found guilty and were to be beheaded, at the Tower of London.

An expert swordsman from Calais had been summoned for a cleaner cut, instead of Anne facing the traditional axeman with his bad reputation for the use of a blunt axe.

On the morning of May, the 19th Anne was taken to Tower Green, where she faced a private execution.

Within days of Anne Boleyn's execution, every evidence of her queenship was gone. Her coat of arms was removed from linens and liveries, and from the royal barge. Her body and head were put into an arrow chest and buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula next to Tower Green. Her body was rediscovered during renovations of the chapel in the reign of Queen Victoria; Anne's final resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

London Time

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