11 May 1536 – The Grand Jury of Kent rules on Queen Anne Boleyn’s case

Posted By on May 11, 2017

On this day in history, Thursday 11th May 1536, the Grand Jury of Kent met at Deptford.

The jurors, who were presided over by Chief Justice John Baldwin and six of his colleagues, ruled that there was sufficient evidence to send Queen Anne Boleyn, Sir Henry Norris, William Brereton, Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, to trial for crimes allegedly committed at Greenwich Palace, East Greenwich, and Eltham Palace.

The Grand Jury of Middlesex had already ruled, on the previous day, that the queen and the men would go to trial for crimes allegedly committed at Whitehall and Hampton Court Palace.

Read more…

Also, on this day in history, 11th May 1537, two Carthusian monks from the London Charterhouse, Blessed John Rochester and Blessed James Walworth, were hanged in chains from the battlements of York. They had been tried in York for treason for denying the king’s supremacy following the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion in autumn 1537. You can read more about the eighteen Carthusian monks who were put to death between 1535 and 1540 in a previous article – click here.

Picture: Medieval Great Hall at Eltham Palace, © Copyright David Hatch and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence, geograph.org.uk.

3 thoughts on “11 May 1536 – The Grand Jury of Kent rules on Queen Anne Boleyn’s case”

  1. Banditqueen says:

    The dates are clearly invented, but would the jury be aware or just do their duty anyway? We have hindsight, they had Henry Viii and ways of making things look convincing. Nobody looked at the dates too closely. It was all done to make Anne look like a terrible person and Henry a wronged King and husband. Who was going to question anything? Very sad, but very much in the spirit of doing your duty. Poor Anne, ignored, set up, her enemies chosen as judges, a load of rubbish for evidence, her letter hidden and a husband out having a party. The ordinary reading of these indictments would have probably believed them as they won’t know anything different and Anne’s friends are too afraid to say anything. What a travesty of justice!

  2. Mary Sharp says:

    Can someone please explain oyer and terminer to me?

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, taken from my article https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/24-april-1536-two-commissions-oyer-terminer-set/:
      “‘Oyer and terminer’ comes from the French ‘to hear and to determine’ and denotes a legal commission formed to investigate and prosecute serious criminal offences, such as treason, committed in a particular county. A grand jury in the county would first investigate the alleged offence and then approve a bill of indictment, if there was sufficient evidence. The case would then go on to the commission of oyer and terminer, the court with jurisdiction to try the offence(s).”

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