15 May 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother, Lord Rochford, are tried for high treason

On this day in history, Monday 15th May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, were tried in the King’s Hall of the royal palace at the Tower of London.

The Boleyn siblings were tried separately by a jury of their peers; a jury presided over by their uncle, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Lord High Steward. A great scaffold had been erected in the hall so that everybody could see what was going on.

Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton had already been found guilty of high treason for having sexual relations with the queen during her marriage to King Henry VIII and plotting to kill the king with her, so Anne Boleyn had no chance of being found innocent of the charges laid against her. She was tried first and as she was taken back to her lodgings, her brother was brought into the hall for his trial.

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Picture: Genevieve Bujold as Anne Boleyn standing trial from the film “Anne of the Thousand Days”.

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