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