11th May 1536 – The Grand Jury of Kent Meets at Westminster

Posted By on May 11, 2011

King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn in happier times

Just as the Grand Jury of Middlesex met at Westminster yesterday, the Grand Jury of Kent met today in front of Chief Justice John Baldwin and six of his colleagues at Deptford. They met to rule on the alleged crimes committed by Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry Norris, William Brereton, Sir Francis Weston, George Boleyn (Lord Rochford) and Mark Smeaton at Greenwich Palace, East Greenwich, and Eltham Palace. Unsurprisingly, it was a repeat of yesterday’s meeting and the Queen and the five men will be tried for these crimes.

We have managed to get our hands on a copy of the Kent Indictment and here is a transcript:-

“Record of indictment and process before Baldewyn, Luke, and others, in co. Kent.

The indictment found at Deptford, on Thursday, 11 May 28 Hen. VIII., is precisely similar in character to the Middlesex indictment, except as regards times and places; viz., that the Queen at Estgrenewyche [East Greenwich], 12 Nov. 25 Hen. VIII., and divers days before and since, allured one Hen. Noreys, late of Est Grenewyche, to violate her, whereby he did so on the 19 Nov., &c.; that on 22 Dec. 27 Hen. VIII., and divers other days, at Eltham, she allured Geo. Boleyn, lord Rocheford, &c., whereby he did so, 29 Dec., &c.; that on the 16 Nov. 25 Hen. VIII., and divers, &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured one Will. Bryerton, late of Est Grenewyche, &c., whereby he did so, 27 Nov., &c.; that on the 6 June 26 Hen. VIII., &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured Sir Fras. Weston, &c., whereby he did so, 20 June, &c.; that on the 13 May 26 Hen. VIII. &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured Mark Smeton, &c., whereby he did so, 19 May 26 Hen. VIII.

And further that the said Boleyn, &c. grew jealous of each other; and the Queen, to encourage them, at Eltham, 31 Dec. 27 Hen. VIII., and divers times before and since, made them presents, &c.; that the Queen and the others, 8 Jan. 27 Hen. VIII., conspired the King’s death, &c., and that she promised to marry one of the traitors whenever the King was dead, affirming she would never love him, &c.”1

The same accusations as yesterday’s indictment – seduction, adultery incest, jealousy, plotting to kill the king etc. – just at different venues, so it is no wonder that the jury decided to send it to trial after yesterday’s decision.

Here at The Anne Boleyn Files, we doubt that the Queen or any of the five men will experience justice in this matter. If a jury can decide that there is sufficient evidence to send them to trial, when there has never once been any rumour at court of such behaviour between the King and these men, then we have to conclude that they are being framed. Justice has fled from England and we are in dark times, our Queen is in danger. We pray for her and these men.

Notes and Sources

  1. LP x.876

2 thoughts on “11th May 1536 – The Grand Jury of Kent Meets at Westminster”

  1. lisaannejane says:

    I wonder what was going though Henry’s mind at the time these so called allegations were read out loud. Was he so desperate for a son that divorce was not good enough anymore and he had to have murder committed to have a go at a third wife? Did he even acknowledge to himself that he was condemning innocent people to death because he was panic stricken at still not having a male heir?

  2. I don’t think much time was even put in to this sham of a trial. She was guilty , in all of their minds, before she even walked through the door of Westminster. And did any of the men, other than George, even get a chance to speak at these so called trials? Little did some of these men who judged them know that their days, too, were numbered.

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