On 16th May 1536, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was sent to the Tower of London to act as Queen Anne Boleyn’s confessor.
Sir William Kingston recorded his visit in a letter to Cromwell and also wrote of how at dinner that day, following Cranmer’s visit, Anne spoke of how she would be going to “anonre” (a nunnery) and that she was “in hope of life”. Did Cranmer offer Anne a deal? It appears that the main reason for his visit was to get Anne to confess to an impediment to her marriage to Henry VIII, so that the marriage could be annulled, so perhaps the deal was “confess to an impediment and you can avoid death and be sent to a nunnery instead”. It is impossible to know whether this was the case but something gave Anne renewed hope that day.
While Cranmer was visiting Anne in the Tower, Jane Seymour was settling into her new home at Chelsea and receiving guests there. Henry VIII, meanwhile, was signing death warrants. It was a busy day.
Notes and Sources
- LP x. 890