17 May 1536 – The Executions of Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and Rochford

| May 17, 2014

17 May 1536 – The Executions of Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and Rochford

On 17th May 1536, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton, William Brereton and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, were executed on Tower Hill. They had all been found guilty of high treason and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, but their sentences had been commuted to the more merciful death by […]

16 May 1536 – The Men Prepare for Death

| May 16, 2014

16 May 1536 – The Men Prepare for Death

On 16th May 1536, George Boleyn, Sir Francis Weston, Sir Henry Norris, Sir William Brereton and Mark Smeaton prepared for their deaths by confessing their sins to Dr Allryge (or Alridge), the chaplain sent to them. Sir Francis Weston wrote out a list of his debts, which can be found in Letters and Papers, and […]

12 May 1536 – The Trial of Norris, Weston, Brereton and Smeaton

| May 12, 2014

12 May 1536 – The Trial of Norris, Weston, Brereton and Smeaton

On 12th May 1536, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton were brought before a special commission of oyer and terminer at Westminster Hall and arraigned for high treason. Smeaton pleaded “guilty”, while the others pleaded “not guilty”. Although the jury included Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, who would certainly not […]

10 May 1536 – Bring Up the Bodies

| May 10, 2014

10 May 1536 – Bring Up the Bodies

On 10th May 1536, Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, was ordered “to bring up the bodies of Sir Francis Weston, knt. Henry Noreys, esq. William Bryerton, esq. and Mark Smeton, gent.” for trial at Westminster on 12th May. These four men, as commoners, were going to be tried by a special […]

8 May 1536 – The Vultures Descend

| May 8, 2014

8 May 1536 – The Vultures Descend

On 8th May 1536, just over a week after the first arrest and four days before the trial of Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston and William Brereton, courtiers were already clamouring over the spoils that may result from their falls from grace. These men had not been found guilty of anything yet, […]

3 May 1536 – Sir William Kingston Reports Back to Cromwell on Anne Boleyn

| May 3, 2014

3 May 1536 – Sir William Kingston Reports Back to Cromwell on Anne Boleyn

On 3rd May 1536, Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, wrote his first report to Thomas Cromwell regarding Anne Boleyn’s imprisonment in the Tower of London. The ladies appointed to serve Anne during her imprisonment had been ordered to act as spies and report to Lady Kingston what the Queen said. Lady […]

1 May 1536 – Henry VIII Abandons Anne Boleyn at the May Day Joust

| May 1, 2014

1 May 1536 – Henry VIII Abandons Anne Boleyn at the May Day Joust

Queen Anne Boleyn attended the traditional May Day joust at Greenwich Palace on 1st May 1536 with her husband Henry VIII. She did not know that court musician Mark Smeaton had been apprehended and interrogated over night, but she may have had an inkling that all was not well following an argument she’d had with […]

29 April 1536 – A Sulk and an Argument

| April 29, 2014

29 April 1536 – A Sulk and an Argument

On 29th April 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn had two encounters which would be twisted and used as evidence against her. The first involved musician Mark Smeaton. According to Mrs Stonor, one of the ladies chosen to attend Anne Boleyn during her imprisonment in the Tower, Anne said of Smeaton: “I never spake with him since, […]