Anne BoleynYesterday I wrote about Anne Boleyn attending Easter Eve mass as Queen and now we fast-forward three years and find her taking part in Easter celebrations just over a month before her execution.

On the 13th April 1536, Maundy Thursday, Anne Boleyn did her duty as Queen, distributing Maundy money (alms) and washing the feet of poor people. It was traditional for the monarch and his consort to wash the feet of as many poor people as years they were old, as well as giving them purses of coins.1

In 1536, the court expenses show that the “costs of the Queen’s maundy” were “31 l. 3s. 9 ½d.”2 Both William Latymer and John Foxe wrote of how the amount in the royal Maundy purses distributed to the poor increased significantly when Anne Boleyn was Queen, showing her passion for relief to the poor. Latymer recorded that one Maundy Thursday, Anne, after washing and kissing the feet of poor women, “commaunded to be put previlye into every poore womans purse one george noble, the which was vis viiid [6 shillings and 8 pence], over and besides the almes that wonted to be given.”3

Click here to read more about how Maundy Thursday was marked in Tudor times.

Notes and Sources

  1. This article is taken from The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown by Claire Ridgway
  2. LP x. 772
  3. Dowling, Maria (1990) William Latymer’s Cronickille of Anne Bulleyne, Camden Miscellany XXX 39, p53

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5 thoughts on “13 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn and Maundy Thursday”
  1. As there is a dispute over the date of birth of Anne Boleyn, it would have been helpful had the writer stated how many poor people exactly Anne waited on that day as we would then have some confirmation as to her age.

    I wonder if there was any aprehension in her mind at this time about her future and how many clues there were in the air about her forthcoming doom.

    As you state her giving to the poor had increased as she was concerned about them, but she could also be making a public statement to gain sympathy.

    1. Yes, it would be great to know how many she managed to help in order to know her really age.
      It would also be a kind of strategy to gain the people sympathy but is clear that Anne really cared about the misery. Her idea from the reformation was also directed to the people. She wanted them to learn the truth and to stop believing that all their money should go to the church. They could pray by themselves and save their money to the real necessities.

  2. The extra 6/8d on its own would have, according to the National Archives currency converter, purchased a stone of wool, or paid the wages of a craftsman in the building trade for eleven days.

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