16 May 1536 – Anne Boleyn hopes to go to a nunnery

Posted By on May 16, 2015

Thomas_Cranmer_by_Gerlach_Flicke Following a visit from Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, earlier in the day, Anne Boleyn told her gaoler Sir William Kingston that “she would go to “anonre” [nunnery]” and that she was “in hope of life”.1 She had been found guilty and sentenced to death the previous day, but perhaps something the Archbishop said gave her hope.

We do not know what passed between Anne and Cranmer. He had been sent to the Tower of London that day to act as Anne’s confessor, to hear her confession, and to obtain Anne’s consent to the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII. Anne’s words to Kingston over dinner that night make me wonder if Cranmer had offered Anne some kind of deal in return for her consent. Of course, we’ll never know but it does seem odd that Anne would be “in hope of life” after her condemnation.

What Anne said to Cranmer at her last confession is also unknown, but it did not change his view of her or where she was going after her death. On the day of her execution, Cranmer told his good friend Alexander Alesius “She who has been the Queen of England upon earth will to-day become a Queen in heaven”.2

While Cranmer was visiting Anne Boleyn in the Tower, Jane Seymour, was receiving guests at her lodgings in Chelsea – courtiers who were there to curry favour with the woman who was sure to be their new queen. And the king? He was signing death warrants.

But what about George Boleyn, William Brereton, Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton and Francis Weston? Well, they were due to be executed the next day so they were preparing for their deaths. Click here to read how they went about this.

Notes and Sources

  1. Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume X, 890
  2. Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 1 – 1558-1559, 1303

46 thoughts on “16 May 1536 – Anne Boleyn hopes to go to a nunnery”

  1. Globerose says:

    Right now, I admit I’m struggling. MANLY HONOUR; we can trace this concept down from Homer thru Henry, Shakespeare, 17th c duellists, the American Founding Fathers, to modern day Honour Killings. If we are ever to understand the psychology and behaviour of men, especially at this time, we ought to ask the question, ‘What is this Honour?’ and why the disgrace of losing it drives men to acts of murderous revenge. As women, we struggle to get our heads around the mentalities of Juries, of Thomas Cranmer (who really did revere Anne), of Thomas Boleyn her father, usw. Whatever possessed them, we ask. Is it actually the case that they are all men and all men automatically understood what was going on here – a matter of Honour. Ah, you tell me.

    1. Clare says:

      “Honour” is a meaningless word; then and now.

    2. JudithRex says:

      Globerose,

      Woman have honor, too, not just men. The meaning is “high moral standards of behavior” as is perceived by oneself and others. For a man to lose his “honor”, it would mean you could not trust him to keep a promise a contract, or a treaty, as he has no moral fiber. For a woman, it was used to refer to her chastity etc, which was of high value in those days for inheritance reasons, if not for moral.

      Honor manners now as well, we just use other terms for it and are less focussed on the moral part as it pertains to sexuality.

      1. Hannele says:

        Kaari Utrio, a Finnish author of many historical novels and books about women’s and family’s history, says that during the Middle Ages when the state was weak men were not stupider or more violent than we, but because there was no such safety nets as we have today, men were had to create order into chaos with other means, such as a concept of honor which meant almost what we call human value.

        The honor of a woman was simple: it was her chastity and faithfulness towards her husband. The honor of a man was more complicated: to it belonged fearlessness, an ability to defend one’s own and faithfulness – not towards a woman but a king and comrades-in-arms.

        A human being could lose his or her honor by behaving dishonorably: a woman by losing her virginity without betrothal or marriage, a man with deceit or cowardice. But honor could be deprived also with violence: a woman could be raped, a man could be humiliated. After that a human being was not a full member of the society until revenging loss of honor. To a woman it was difficult or even impossible: her family had to revenge for her and even then she did not get her honor back unblemished. A man got his honor back by killing that man who had defamed him.

        1. JudithRex says:

          Hannele, yes, that is how i see it too historically. Not sure if I would want honor ssociated with chastity today, but I do think there is a value to honorable behavior in one’s work and relationships. Call me old fashioned, but that it is so lacking in public life now if pretty much a drag.

          However, “honor killings” today are a horrific and stupid twisting of the concept of morality so please none think I refer to that at all.

  2. Rob Jones says:

    What I don’t understand is why on earth would Jane Seymour want to be Queen, given Henry’s history?

    1. Selina says:

      I have wondered about that, too. For one I believe that Henry still had a way to make a woman feel entirely special and loved. He must have been absolutely charming to Jane, who, I think, might also have been a little naive, at least when it came to Henry’s “love”. And on the other hand she must have had learned from Anne’s mistakes, which is well reflected by the motto Jane deliberately chose.

    2. JudithRex says:

      “What I don’t understand is why on earth would Jane Seymour want to be Queen, given Henry’s history?

      Perhaps Jane saw it less as a thing to lust after but as an important role to bring England bad to Rome. She was a Katherine supporter and not a reformer or Evangelical. It isn’t rely fair to compare her to Anne as Henry was not considered married to Anne by people like Jane and the rest of Europe. I would have said “Catholic Europe” but neither Tindale nor
      Luther were supporters of Henry’s annulment from Katherine.

      1. Esther says:

        “What I don’t understand is why on earth would Jane Seymour want to be Queen, given Henry’s history?”

        I’m not sure that Jane would have had much of a choice in the matter. Henry was the king, someone she had been taught since childhood is to be obeyed. There was family pressure, too. She was probably convinced that it was her duty to accept Henry — her duty as a subject (to obey him); her duty to her family (to advance them through her marriage); and her duty to her country (to both give birth to a boy and to reconcile Henry and Mary), as well as her duty to G-d (to reconcile Henry and Rome, or at least stop the gulf from growing)

        1. Hannele says:

          Just so.

          And Jane probably believed or convinced herself that that Anne was guilty. Of course she at the same time believed that Anne had not at all been legally married to Henry but Katherine who was no dead.

          Even if Jane was couched by her brother and Carewe, she must have been secretly ambitious herself as she played her part perfect. To a woman ambition meant to make a advantageous marriage and the option was to remain single which was a despised lot.

          Jane was not a modern woman satisfied with her modest job and life even if single. Anne was shown that a lady-in-waiting could be a queen and live in luxury. Of course it meant also danger but there was also a chance to win the greatest price to become the mother of a future king.

        2. JudithRex says:

          Ester, I think that is a viable option indeed.

          Hannele, as for Jane thinking Anne guilty, she thought she was guilt of many bad things before this incest/treason accusation. Jane would have seen a woman have a relationship with a man who gave her money and jewels and houses and was pregnant without being married or betrothed (you can’t be betrothed if one party is married) so I doubt there was much epee would doubt about the accusation re Anne’s morals.

          Today we think nothing of this behavior so it looks bizarre and suspicious for us to think jane actually might have bad views of Anne that have nothing to do with wanting to be Queen.

    3. Christine says:

      Well men wernt exactly falling over her were they? She looked like the back of a bus so she grabbed a Henry out of desperation ha ha.

  3. JudithRex says:

    Claire this seems like an untrue comment:

    “What Anne said to Cranmer at her last confession is also unknown, but it did not change his view of her or where she was going after her death.”

    All we have of Cranmer’s opinion on the matter of Anne’s innocence or guilt is his postscript in a letter to Henry, which he wrote after seeing evidence that made him believe Anne was not a good woman. So if he thoughts he was going to heaver it was only after something subsequently occurred or her confession.

    I wonder if he ever grew a spine and shared anything about it with Henry? I don’t share people’s affection for Cranmer. I think he was a coward. No honor. ;-/ He should have stood up for her if he believed her innocent.

    1. Roz Brown says:

      Can you point me to the letter you refer to? Thanks so much!

      1. Claire says:

        Roz, you can read the letter in my article https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/3-may-1536-archbishop-cranmer-is-clean-amazed/, or it can be found in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 10 – January-June 1536, 792.

      2. JudithRex says:

        Ron,

        I am referring to the letter Cranmer wrote to Henry to sort of defend Anne.
        The letter broke off as men had come to show Cranmer the evidence thy a had against Anne. Once Cranmer saw it he added a postscript to the same letter doing a 180 degree turn form his earlier to defense to one of agreeing that Anne was a bad woman. I am paraphrasing his words, his were a lot stronger. But this is a letter you can find in any book about Anne Boleyn.

        It is discussed in Alison Weir’s “The lady in the Tower”
        about Anne’s last days.

        1. Claire says:

          His postscript wasn’t a 180 degree turn and he did not agree that Anne was a bad woman, he said “I am sorry such faults can be proved against the Queen as they report”, i.e. he was sorry that there was evidence against the Queen. He is careful in what he says so that he does not call the King’s judgement into question, but he does not say that Anne is a bad woman or that she is guilty, just that he is sorry that there is evidence against her. It’s actually very clever wording.
          As I said, you can find that letter at the link I gave, but here it is from Letters & Papers:

          “Have come to Lambeth, according to Mr. Secretary’s letters, to know your Grace’s pleasure. Dare not, contrary to the said letters, presume to come to your presence, but of my bounden duty I beg you “somewhat to suppress the deep sorrows of your Grace’s heart,” and take adversity patiently. Cannot deny that you have great causes of heaviness, and that your honor is highly touched. God never sent you a like trial; but if He find you no less patient and thankful than when all things succeeded to your wish, I suppose you never did thing more acceptable to Him. You will give Him occasion to increase His benefits, as He did to Job.

          If the reports of the Queen be true, they are only to her dishonor, not yours. I am clean amazed, for I had never better opinion of woman; but I think your Highness would not have gone so far if she had not been culpable. I was most bound to her of all creatures living, and therefore beg that I may, with your Grace’s favor, wish and pray that she may declare herself innocent. Yet if she be found guilty, I repute him not a faithful subject who would not wish her punished without mercy. “And as I loved her not a little for the love which I judged her to bear towards God and His Gospel, so if she be proved culpable there is not one that loveth God and His Gospel that ever will favor her, but must hate her above all other; and the more they favor the Gospel the more they will hate her, for then there was never creature in our time that so much slandered the Gospel; and God hath sent her this punishment for that she feignedly hath professed his Gospel in her mouth and not in heart and deed.” And though she have so offended, yet God has shown His goodness towards your Grace and never offended you. “But your Grace, I am sure, knowledgeth that you have offended Him.” I trust, therefore, you will bear no less zeal to the Gospel than you did before, as your favor to the Gospel was not led by affection to her. Lambeth, 3 May.

          Since writing, my lords Chancellor, Oxford, Sussex, and my Lord Chamberlain of your Grace’s house, sent for me to come to the Star Chamber, and there declared to me such things as you wished to make me privy to. For this I am much bounden to your Grace. They will report our conference. I am sorry such faults can be proved against the Queen as they report.”

    2. Claire says:

      Judith, I’m not sure why you think my comment is untrue. I think his words and his tears on 19th May show his admiration for Anne and his grief at her death. I don’t believe that he would say that she would be a queen in heaven if he believed her to be guilty or he had heard something bad in her final confession. These words were to a personal friend so he had no reason to lie about his feelings.

      I agree with Diarmaid MacCulloch that Cranmer’s reaction to Anne’s execution shows that he did not believe in Anne’s guilt and that her last confession “had revealed no guilty secrets”. I also agree with him about Cranmer’s letter, that his “negotiation of a frightening and complex situation is a model of pastoral widsom and courage. Knowing the King as he did, Cranmer knew the destructive quality of Henry’s grief and anger. Yey still he chose to highlight his own esteem for Anne and his intimate association with her; still he left open the question of her guilt because he did not know the full facts, with every reference to her doings expresses conditionally. And while steadily holding the King’s grief and rage in his sight, he sought to pull Henry back to patience and humility, and to shape that rage so that it did not destroy the gains of the previous three years for the evangelical cause.”
      MacCulloch goes on to say that even though we know from the postscript that Cranmer was brought details fo the charges against Anne before he sent the letter, he still chose to send a letter which expressed his doubts about the Queen’s guilt, simply adding at the end his shock and sorrow at hearing the news.
      I agree with MacCulloch that it was a very wise letter. Cranmer’s duty was to the King and he had to support the King, but he also wanted to support the Queen and balance that with not wrecking the Reformist cause. Cranmer was far from a coward, in my view, he is the one person close to the King who actually expressed his doubts about what was happening. He was standing up for her in the only way that he could while still supporting his master the King.

      1. JudithRex says:

        Calire,

        Your comment that I replied to said

        ““What Anne said to Cranmer at her last confession is also unknown, but it did not change his view of her or where she was going after her death.”

        Specifically ” it idid not CHANGE his view” which implies that BEFORE her confession he thought she was not lying. But the LETTER he wrote to Henry which we are discussing her says the OPPOSITE. That he believed the evidence.

        Therefore the statement you made above looks untrue. It DID change his view on her going to heaven which can only mean he thought her guilty before the confession and innocent after.

        He STILL did nothing. Who is to blame then? The people who thought she was guilty or the one man who knew she was not – or at least had her under a Catholic
        sacrament of confession – and said nothing to anyone. Did he go to Henry and tell him or did he just say, OK I tricked her into thinking she was going to go free if she agreed to the annulment of the marriage. Job done. Too bad she didn’t do any of it, but I will shut up to save my neck and then go cry about it all to some chatty friend in private.

        1. Claire says:

          Huh? I say that “What Anne said to Cranmer at her last confession is also unknown, but it did not change his view of her or where she was going after her death.” and it’s pretty clear that I am saying that Anne’s words at her last confession did not change Cranmer’s view of Anne as an innocent woman. I do not imply at all that he thought she was guilty beforehand.
          As I said, I agree with Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch’s views on Cranmer’s letter and see it as a very clever letter. He gives the King his full support while also defending the Queen. He does not say that Anne was guilty or that she’s a bad woman, he makes good use of the word “if” and makes it clear that he is sorry that evidence has been found against her. Very clever and diplomatic indeed.
          I don’t know why my statement is untrue, I don’t feel like I’m lying.
          Re the offer of her going free, we don’t know where that came from. The fact that Anne talked about it that evening suggests that Cranmer said something about it but he may well have had the wool pulled over his eyes. If he did offer her a deal it may be because he thought a deal existed. And she did agree to the annulment.

  4. JudithRex says:

    Oddly, my posts have disappeared again. Perhaps they will load tomorrow.

    1. Claire says:

      Which comments? I can see 4 comments that you posted within a few minutes of each other:

      1. “Oddly, my post have disappeared again…”
      2. “Claire this seems like an untrue comment…”
      3. ” “What I don’t understand is why….” “
      4. “Globerose, women have honour too…”

      Those were all posted within a couple of minutes of each other and on this same post but replying to different people, so dotted about.

      I can’t see any comments by you in the “spam” box or in the “awaiting moderation” queue. What did your other comments say and on which post were they. You mentioned losing a comment the other day but, as I pointed out, you’d actually posted it on another article.

      We have a spam filter and and some comments get held for moderation and I moderate them as soon as I’m awake and at work at my desk, but none of yours have been held back.

  5. Mrsfiennes says:

    I just want to point out Anne’s supposed letter of May 6 to Henry.In the letter she seems to think Henry has offered her safety upon her true confession so perhaps this was in the back of her mind if the letter was indeed actually written by her.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, that letter says “whereas you sent unto me (willing me to confess a Truth, and so obtain your Favour) by such a one, whom you know to be my ancient and professed Enemy” which is a very interesting comment.

  6. Beth von Staats says:

    Oh heavens… This is quite the spirited debate.

    Judith, here are my thoughts regarding Thomas Cranmer for whatever they are worth. After reading the discussion above, it appears your mind is set. You have stated your opinions clearly and thoroughly, so I am simply stating mine. I have no interested in debating further.

    1. Thomas Cranmer’s letter to Henry post Anne’s arrest is a remarkable example of Cranmer’s willingness and ability to state his opinions king in a manner that did not disrespect Henry’s “supreme authority” or place himself, and by extension his wife and daughter, at grave risk in the process. To state Cranmer should have proclaimed Anne innocent when he actually not only does state his belief she is, doing so in writing, is factually inaccurate. Since you state disagreement with eminent religious historian Diarmaid MacCulloch on this point, there is really nothing more to add.

    2. To be honest, I find the thought that Cranmer was “spineless” amusing. Throughout his Archbishopric, including the reign of Henry VIII, Cranmer demonstrated repeated willingness to not only state disagreement, but to respectfully do so publicly Even Cromwell speaks to this, stating that Cranmer could venture debates with the king that Henry would tolerate from no other. Cromwell was right. For example, Cranmer advocated the release of Thomas More, spiritedly debated with Henry in writing his theological disagreement with the Six Articles of 1539 and also wrote a direct and pointed letter pleading for reconsideration of the arrest of Thomas Cromwell.

    Perhaps most bold in evidence of his fortitude, Cranmer smuggled his wife into the country, ingeniously sheltering her in a way that he was not “found out” by his conservative opponents. If that is not proof Cranmer was not “spineless” given the consequences of such actions, I do not know what is.

    3. Anne’s last confession to Cranmer is unknown, so clearly unwitnessed. His actions speak to his belief of her innocence quite clearly. There is direct witness accounting that on the day of her execution, Cranmer was distraught. There was never a “change of heart” on Cranmer’s part. All contemporary evidence, including the fact that his strong relationship with the Boleyn family continued long AFTER Anne’s and George’s executions, points to this reality.

    Further, I am unclear why Cranmer should have been expected to beat his chest with public proclamations of her innocence when such was not expected of others. Anne’s fall by the time of his knowledge was fait accompli. Why add a sixth man — not only an archbishop, but a husband and father — to those killed with the queen? In 1536, the English Reformation was in need of men who waited patiently for opportunity, not martyrs.

    We will need to agree to disagree. Many blessings to you!

    1. Claire says:

      Thanks so much, Beth, for sharing your thoughts, I know what a Cranmer expert you are.

      I think you’re right about agreeing to disagree, I’m bowing out now too, I’m rather blue in the face!

    2. judithRex says:

      Beth,

      Thank you for your note. I do not know you nor do I recall ever having any exchange with you before so I wouldn’t not know f we agree of disagree. I also have no idea what your credibility on the topic is, though you write very nicely. 🙂

      Re the letter, I do read it differently in postscript from the core as I already said. Maybe Claire is right and he was playing word games in the postscript after seeing the evidence, but I don’t think so. Under the circumstances, with Anne about to be charged, that strikes me as pretty cowardly if he still wasn’t convinced to act is though he were.

      Re Cranmer’s cowardice, I am clearly referring to this situation with Anne and yes, compared to Thomas More’s support of Katherine of Aragon, there is no contest in bravery. However, he also later in life recanted his beliefs to save his life twice and only recanted his recantation when it no longer worked. So maybe he said he believed Anne was guilty and really didn’t, I don’t know. I can only go by what he says and the rest is speculation.

      Not really impressed Cranmer hid a wife. Not a fan of people who break vows they make, be they married people, politicians or clergy. Call me old fashioned, but he sounds sneaky. Not my kind of religious hero and certainly not someone I would feel good about relying on in a pinch.

      As for Cranmer’s relationship with the remaining Boleyns after Anne and George’s death, I see no reason why Thomas Boleyn would have blamed Cranmer for their deaths or made any distinction between what Cranmer thought before her confession.
      Hells bells, Thomas Boleyn broke bread with Cromwell later, and he was the prosecution lawyer!

      Lastly , we do know that Anne did not confess guilt in her confession because of how she spoke on the scaffold. She died “boldly”admitting to nothing and actually implied otherwise. She also kept looking behind her as she walked to the scaffold as though expecting something…if she confessed nothing maybe she thought Henry would give her a reprieve, though that is just conjecture. But it looks like a good guess that she didn’t cough up something that would earn her execution.

      My posts don’t load when I send them , so it may take time for me to see either my post or responses. I don’t do this for my day job. 😉

      1. Claire says:

        “My posts don’t load when I send them” – perhaps you need to do a shift/refresh of your page, i.e. hold down shift while you refresh your browser page, perhaps your browser is caching the page. They’re not being held for moderation.

  7. BanditQueen says:

    I feel sorry for Anne at this point: she really did not know what her fate was. Anne Boleyn will also be historically the first English Queen to have been executed; in fact the first in many other countries as well. Yes, we have a number of unfortunate noble ladies who faced long periods of prison for the rest of their lives for adultery and for witchery. We have the odd burning at the stake in the fourteenth century of even noble ladies and we have banishment. We know that more that one royal lady, members of the royal dukedoms played away; DNA does not lie and the reasons for breaks in the parental DNA in the male line of Richard III is that two ladies played away. The mother of Charles Vii of France was said to have been guilty of adultery, but she was not punished severely and babies born within marriage were assumed to be those of the father by law. We know of a number of famous English ladies accused of both but did not die; including Eleanor Cobbam, and later Joan of Luxemberg was tried twice but found not guilty. Cecilly Neville has raised speculation about the parantage of her son Edmund, but these also were not supported by any evidence. Raymond III of Tolouse had one wife banished and another bricked up in a room for adultery; she did live for many years in such a prison. Eleanor of Aquitaine was not the most chaste Queen in history either, but she was too powerful to be executed and tried; she was divorced instead. Later she would be kept in confinement, but for rebellion, not adultery. Anne had hope, as she others had also been spared and allowed to remain in a monastic situation or be divorced.

    Cranmer had also visited her in order to get her to consent to her marriage being annulled. It is only a guess, but perhaps she was promised her life had she agreed to this and been told she may go to a nunnery? Thomas Cranmer has been portrayed as either very sympathetic and moderate to royal ladies and others or rude and unheroic; he was neither of these. Like everyone else he has a rounded personality which meant he could be compassionate when he had to be; he was angry at the refusal of Thomas More to sign the acts of succession; and he was not heroic when he was being persecuted by Mary, until his death when he clearly was. He both gave comfort to Anne Boleyn and showed shock at the crimes that she was falsely accused off; his letter to Henry expressed his concern that Anne had been accused as she was a pius lady, a reformer, a patron of true religion and he was also keen to say that the King would not do this unless it was just. He has to tread carefully, these are dangerous times and he is caught in between the need to express shock and this true feelings, which are to defend the queen.

    Anne, I believe was in a state of terror and confusion, Cranmer may have merely wanted to give her some hope in order to calm her and to help her to focus on her preparations of death. He did not want her to be alarmed. Maybe Henry had given him orders to say this in order to gain her co-operation or perhaps Cranmer also genuinely hoped that Henry would show mercy. This is speculation, but I feel she did have genuine hope as she knew that it was rare for a Queen to die and that Cranmer gave her hope of life with his words.

  8. JudithRex says:

    From the letter Cranmer wrote to Henry when hearing Anne was being charged:

    ” After I had written this letter unto your Grace, my Lord Chancellor, my Lord Oxford, my Lord of Sussex, and my Lord Chamberlain of your Grace’s house, sent for me to come unto the Star-Chamber; and there declared unto me such things as your Grace’s pleasure was they should make me privy unto. For the which I am most bounden unto your Grace. And what communication we had together, I doubt not but they will make the true report thereof unto your Grace. I am exceedingly sorry THAT SUCH FAULTS CAN BE PROVED BY THE QUEEN,, as I heard of their relation. But I am, and ever shall be, your faithful subject. ”

    Caps mine. He did not say IF they can be proven, but that the evidence he saw as proof. That is very strong wording so he either was a coward bowing to his King and tossing Anne under the bus, so to speak, or he believed what he was told/shown without voicing any concern, puzzlement etc.

    1. Claire says:

      *sigh*, but he is careful not to give his opinion, just to say what he has heard. He says that he is “exceedingly sorry that such faults can be proved by the Queen, as I heard of their relation“, not that he believes them. He can’t argue that they’re untrue when the Star Chamber have told him they have evidence. I also heard the charges against Anne and the fact that some believed they could be proved, but it doesn’t mean I believe them.
      Anyway, as I said I’m blue in the face now…

      1. Beth von Staats says:

        I would suggest that people not be tempted to mind read, read between the lines and/or wordsmith the written words of any historical figure. The letter is remarkable enough for it’s by 16th century standards brazen content, but actions do speak louder than words… and even without the letter, Cranmer’s beliefs can be easily extrapolated

        There is really no debate here, seriously. Done and done.

      2. judithRex says:

        Claire, no reason to “sigh”.

        I don’t see how “as he heard of their relation” negates any reading I made of the prior sentences. In fact, “as he heard of their relation” actually is more support that he believed what he was told and saw.

        You can “sigh” and so can I. I can point out discrepancies until I am blue in the face as well. But I can absolutely say that I do not have a dog in this fight – I do not have a board built solely to exclaim her guilt or innocence – I am looking at what I read and decipher and cannot come to your conclusions.

        1. Claire says:

          “I do not have a board built solely to exclaim her guilt or innocence” – Nor do I, I share my research on this website and how I have interpreted it, and I don’t “exclaim” anything. We are obviously both intepreting things differently and I agree with what Beth said in another comment about saying our piece and moving on. If you think my website is just a board for me to exclaim things, and that does seem to be what you’re suggesting I am doing, then I’m not sure why you visit and I find that comment quite rude. You don’t agree witb me, fine, and we can both quote sources and historians to back up our views, that’s what history is like.

  9. Beth von Staats says:

    I would like to add this for consideration in response to the thoughtful and balanced commentary of Bandit Queen.

    1. There is no direct accounting to any conversations between Cranmer and Anne, so any conclusions are at best speculative.

    2. Although you may be correct that Cranmer was “angry” that More did not sign the oath of supremacy, he clearly also advocated that More be allowed to refrain from signing against his conscience and for the King to accept a compromised position.

    3. I understand why you believe Cranmer was not “heroic” during his imprisonment, but I respectfully disagree. It is my opinion that Cranmer was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. For more on this, there is a comprehensive article available on The Tudor Society, website. It is the freely available “example” article in the November edition of Tudor Life magazine.

    1. BanditQueen says:

      Hello, thank you, yes, I remember that very excellent article; I must give that another read, thank-you.

  10. judithRex says:

    Claire

    His postscript wasn’t a 180 degree turn and he did not agree that Anne was a bad woman, he said “I am sorry such faults can be proved against the Queen as they report”, i.e. he was sorry that there was evidence against the Queen. He is careful in what he says so that he does not call the King’s judgement into question, but he does not say that Anne is a bad woman or that she is guilty, just that he is sorry that there is evidence against her. It’s actually very clever wording.”

    In the first part he says ” if this could be proved” then he sees the proof and comes back and says what i quoted in the postscript. The implication in the core letter itself before the postscript is very clear that he would think she was a bad women (I am paraphrasing the use of the word “bad”)) if she could be proven to be guilt of the accusations. Then he comes back and does a 180 in the postscript in that now he says he saw the documentation etc. and no longer uses the word “IF”. For goodness sake claire, so you think he would call her GOOD if she were proved guilty? I mean, come on? I am actually giggling now, so forgive me. But t this is just silly now.

    But for fun, let’s say he didn’t believe a word of ti, Why come back and say he did or imply he did as you say but not mean it (fingers crossed behind his back, eh) or wiggle off the hook like that? Do you really think he was a coward or a mister trickster word wise? Yikes, so much for the top reformist cleric.

    1. Claire says:

      I give up. We’re going round in circles and you are contradicting yourself. I said “His postscript wasn’t a 180 degree turn” because in your earlier comment you said “Cranmer saw it he added a postscript to the same letter doing a 180 degree turn form his earlier to defense to one of agreeing that Anne was a bad woman”, and now you’re “His postscript wasn’t a 180 degree turn”. We disagree and Cranmer is not here to explain his words to us so let us move on.

  11. judithRex says:

    The content of Cranmer’s core letter which I interpreted as Crnamer saying Anne was a bad woman if the charges were proven:

    ” if she be proved culpable, there is not one that loveth God and his gospel that ever will favour her, but must hate her above all other; and the more they favour the gospel, the more they will hate her: for then there was never creature in our time that so much slandered the gospel”

    Hey, I may not be a Brit, but isn’t that like “BAD”? Aren’t you only supposed to hate bad people?

    I sure would love to know way they showed him that made him go back and change his tune in his postscript. Now I am winking.

    1. Claire says:

      And the key word is “if” which is the very first word of what you have quoted. Cranmer is saying that if Anne is guilty then she should not be favoured and should be hated. But it is clear from his later behaviour that she was never “proved culpable” in his eyes. From the accounts of her and George’s trial, I rather think they would have been found innocent if it had not been for the fact that the men’s trials were first and so Anne could not be found innocent when the men had been found guilty.

      “If” – introducing a conditional clause.

    2. Banditqueen says:

      JudithRex, since you cannot agree with anyone on this site and take delight in bashing home points that have been debated and concluded for the sake of making some other point which none of us can fathom, may I respectfully suggest that you go and train for your marathon, for which I wish you well. Then may I also suggest that as you seem to be unable to allow anyone else to have any opinions, that you set up your own blog, on which you can spout your nonsense till the cows come home, and leave Claire alone. You are very rude.

      1. Dawn 1st says:

        Completely in agreement B.Q. I have not commented on this persons posts to date as I feel she has not learnt the art of discussion or debate and carries on purposely to be antagonistic. Her rude personal comments especially towards Claire, C. Cherry and Beth Von Staats only show that she is not confident and lacking in her knowledge of the subject when ‘debating’ with the experts so sinks to that base level when she is unable to respond adequately.

        But what I would like to know here, as I find this very disturbing, is WHAT THE HELL as being a ‘Brit’ got do do with any of this…what difference does someones Nationality make to a persons comment. This is something I have never seen being brought into a discussion on here before at a personal level, and hope it never does again. The ABF is not one of unsavoury sides of a social media network that rears it’s ugly head J.Rex so keep comments such as that to yourself, or ‘run along’….

        1. Banditqueen says:

          Hi Dawn, quite so. If JudithRex went face to face with Anne Boleyn in a debate or boxing ring, my money is on Anne to sort her out every time. I find her arguments foolish and quite frankly she seems to go round in circles just for the sake of being rude and churlish.

        2. Dawn 1st says:

          Here’s hoping thats the end of it….it’s tiresome.

        3. Dawn 1st says:

          P.S. really pleased to read that your husband is making a good recovery. It must have been such so unbelievably stressful or you all.

        4. Banditqueen says:

          Thanks, Dawn, it was, but yes thankfully on the mend. God bless.

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