Today is the anniversary of the executions of Henry Norris, William Brereton, Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford. I find it a sad day because these men were innocent victims of a plot against the Queen. They were dragged into something they didn’t deserve to be and ended their days on a scaffold on Tower Hill, beheaded as traitors. Families lost sons, brothers and fathers that day and had to live with the stigma of being related to traitors, and not only that, traitors who had slept with the Queen!
What is worse is that they are forgotten or they are remembered as “libertines”, deviants, or, in Brereton’s case, as a Jesuit assassin! I will be thinking about these men today and remembering them for who they really were – successful courtiers, and, in George’s case, a talented poet and diplomat.
You can read about their executions in my timeline article at The Fall of Anne Boleyn website – click here.