Anne Boleyn: The king’s passion, the people’s enemy

by Karla Pouya

I believe those who were primarily involved in the downfall of Anne Boleyn were Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII among others who heavily influenced her fall like Eustace Chapuys, ambassador of Spain, Pope Paul III, and Thomas Boleyn.

Thomas Cromwell was a family friend to the Boleyns and was on good terms with Anne’s protestant belief of religion. However, as the king’s love for Anne had faded so did Cromwell’s friendship towards the Boleyn family, especially Anne. Therefore as the king’s secretary, it was Cromwell’s duty to get rid of Anne, and thus began Cromwell’s plotting the affair. As Alison Weir had put it in The Lady in the Tower: The fall of Anne Boleyn: “Cromwell was to tell Chapuys on June 6th that “owing to the displeasure and anger” he had incurred upon the reply given to me [Chapuys] by the king on the third day of Easter [April 18], he had thought up and plotted the affair of the concubine. He would build his case on the king’s obsessive fear of treason and the queen’s flirtatious nature. By totally annihilating the Boleyn influence, Cromwell could preempt all risk of its resurgence and its power to bring him down. His words to Chapuys were crucially significant, as they prove that it was Cromwell’s determination, rather than any evidence that brought about Anne’s fall”.

As it was Cromwell’s duty from the king to get rid of Anne, it was also his personal duty. He felt intimidated by Anne’s high status and authority to crush him. Cromwell’s plan to get rid of Anne was not one of a difficult matter, for from the beginning of Anne’s rise, many people had objected the Boleyns and much disliked them, such as those were Eustace Chapuys, the ambassador of Spain, Pope Paul III and a vast majority of the people of England, both at court and outside. Chapuys would always be on good terms with Cromwell regarding Anne’s downfall and of the king’s wish to supplanting her with Jane Seymour. Along with Chapuys, who disliked the Boleyns was Pope Paul III, the Pope from the start never was in agreement and much ill favoured Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, because he and the church were already on troubled terms with Henry due to the troublesome divorce of Katherine of Aragon. And of course there is Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father who would push Anne constantly over the limit in order for him to be at a high status and to keep his position. To him all his children were merely chess pieces in a game, especially Anne, given the fact that she was the Queen of England, he had indeed led Anne in the wrong path, if he had not kept on abusing her position as queen and not insisting her on what to do regarding political affairs then I believe Anne wouldn’t have been brought down so low. I believe that because Anne had no one else to confide in for comfort and proper advice, she had only left, her father, who was the only choice she had for advice, with her brother at the same position as she was and her sister Mary away, banished from court and away in the country side. Therefore all of these candidates were heavy influences in Anne’s downfall, Chapuys, Pope Paul III and Thomas Boleyn. When planning the whole treasonous affair of the queen, Cromwell took Anne’s flirtatious nature and turned it upside down in such a way, that he came up with the idea that Anne had slept with several men, which were Henry Norris, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton, Francis Weston and her own blood brother, George Boleyn. He had also planned that she preformed witchcraft on the king and had committed incest with her brother, therefore Anne Boleyn was charged with witchcraft, adultery and incest.

Henry is another primary figure of being responsible of Anne’s downfall. He was tired of Anne and her inability to produce any living male heirs, and he had taken Cromwell as his partner in getting rid of Anne permanently. Anne was also to Henry a difficult obstacle in political affairs, if she were to be out of the way, for Henry, it would be far easier and better. In The Lady In The Tower, Alison Weir has put “Nevertheless, were Anne to be removed, the path to a rapprochement with the emperor would obviously be far smoother. The rumours that Henry had once heard and denied, now had become true, he had now met Jane Seymour and their courtship was rapidly growing as Anne’s days as queen were numbered. In the end it was Henry’s decision to get rid of Anne, and so she was sentenced to beheading on the 19th of May 1536, with all the passion that Henry had loved her and made her to rise, came all the hatred and problems with political affairs with Anne. However Anne was a great opposite of Jane therefore it was another reason that Jane became better for Henry and of more reason to get rid of Anne. The people of England much disliked Anne, Henry was tired of a wife that was a huge complaint and that was no longer use to him or to his people, Anne was just an overbearing obstacle for him, and Jane was a pot of gold, fresh, young, and the total opposite of Anne.

In conclusion I accuse both King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell for Anne Boleyn`s downfall although Chapuys, Pope Paul III and Thomas Boleyn were heavy influences on the matter, it is primarily Henry and Cromwell in which I blame because it was a great benefit to them to be rid of Anne Boleyn and her family as well because she especially produced a great problem to them in both personal affairs and public, therefore leading Henry to no longer want her and tire of her and Cromwell to see her as a dangerous political obstacle in his high status, life and ability to “crush“ him and overthrow him by her great influence over the king as she had on the execution of Cardinal Wolesly, Thomas More and Bishop Fisher.

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