18 April 1536 – Chapuys bumps into Anne Boleyn

Apr18,2020 #Eustace Chapuys

Ok, so the imperial ambassador and Queen Anne Boleyn didn’t physically bump into each other, but on this day in Tudor history, 18th April 1536, just a month and a day before Anne’s execution, Chapuys was manoeuvred unto a position where he was forced to pay reverence to Anne, the woman he referred to as “the concubine”. By paying her reverence, he was acknowledging her as queen, something that he had managed to avoid doing until now.

What happened and how did Chapuys get into this awkward position?

Find out in my latest “On This Day in Tudor History” video or scroll down to read the transcript.

Chapuys had arrived at Henry VIII’s court at Greenwich Palace on 18th April 1536 to meet with the king regarding negotiations between England and the Empire. He was met by George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, the brother of the queen, and a series of events led to him encountering the queen. Chapuys recorded what happened in a letter to his master, Emperor Charles V:
“Before the King went out to mass Cromwell came to me on his part to ask if I would not go and visit and kiss the Concubine, which would be doing a pleasure to this King; nevertheless, he left it to me. I told him that for a long time my will had been slave to that of the King, and that to serve him it was enough to command me; but that I thought, for several reasons, which I would tell the King another time, such a visit would not be advisable, and I begged Cromwell to excuse it, and dissuade the said visit in order not to spoil matters.”

But Chapuys was not going to get out of seeing Anne.

Chapuys continues the story:
“I was conducted to mass by lord Rochford, the concubine’s brother, and when the King came to the offering there was a great concourse of people partly to see how the concubine and I behaved to each other. She was courteous enough, for when I was behind the door by which she entered, she returned, merely to do me reverence as I did to her.”

As the late Eric Ives pointed out in his book on Anne Boleyn: “Chapuys’ visit to court on 18 April was clearly stage-managed to compel the ambassador to recognise Anne”, i.e. to recognise her as queen, which he did by bowing to her after she’d stopped and bowed to him. Although Chapuys downplays this event in his letter to the Emperor, and it has been noted that Anne was paying her respects to Chapuys, and through him, Charles V himself, and that Chapuys was simply acknowledging that rather than recognising her as queen, his behaviour upset his dear friend Mary, daughter of Henry VIII by his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Chapuys explains that “Although I would not kiss or speak to the Concubine, the Princess and other good persons have been somewhat jealous at the mutual reverences required by politeness which were done at the church.”

Here is an extract from my book “The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown” explaining what else happened that day:

“Later that day, after dining with George Boleyn, Chapuys met privately with the King to discuss a potential alliance between the Emperor and England. This was a meeting which had been set up by Thomas Cromwell, who seems to have been intent on negotiating a twin alliance, allying England with both the Schmalkaldic League and with Charles V.The only obstacle was Chapuys’ condition that England should accept papal authority. Cromwell had worked on this, leading Chapuys to believe that Henry VIII might come to an agreement with France, instead of with the Empire, if Charles continued to be so demanding.
Unfortunately, at the meeting, Chapuys made it plain that for any alliance to go ahead, the Lady Mary would need to be restored to the succession. Although Cromwell had led Chapuys to believe that this would not be a problem, Henry VIII would not tolerate this idea. In his eyes, Mary was illegitimate and Elizabeth was his heir. Henry blew up, reacting “confusedly and in anger” and “reproached” the Emperor with “great ingratitude”. He made it clear that his relationship with the Pope and his daughter Mary’s future were nobody’s business but his, and that he would not be told what to do by Chapuys and the Emperor. According to Chapuys, Cromwell and Audley “appeared to regret these answers” and when Chapuys spoke to Cromwell, the secretary was “mortified” by what had happened and was “hardly able to speak for sorrow”. The stress of the situation led to him arguing with the King and then taking to his bed “from pure sorrow”. The King was ruining Cromwell’s negotiations!”

So, a stressful day for Cromwell back in 1536, but soon Anne Boleyn would be out of the way.

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53 thoughts on “18 April 1536 – Chapuys bumps into Anne Boleyn”
  1. Why is Chapuys bowing to Anne considered so important? It didn’t make a bit of difference. For example, neither he nor the Emperor — (and the Emperor’s son) — ever wrote or acted as though Elizabeth was legitimate. This seems like a gesture that would please Henry, but otherwise, nothing of great significance.

    1. I don’t know if there was more to it than that. A bit of a ‘gotcha’ moment towards Chapuy who, I’m sure Henry and Anne knew did not approve of her. I chuckle whenever I read about this incident knowing how much Chapuy hated Anne and did his best not to give her any legitimacy and here was inadvertently forced to do so.

      1. Mary felt deeply wounded on hearing of this unfortunate affair, by bowing to Anne Chapyus was in effect insulting Katherine but he was backed into a corner, and really there was little he could do about it, of course he played it down, but Anne was very pleased about it and crowed about it to her friends when she dined later, she was hoping Chapyus would be present but he was not, that was really expecting too much, Cromwell I find quite baffling, as on hearing about the interview between Chapyus and the king in which the latter told Chapyus his imperial highness was to keep out of England’s affairs, Cromwell was quite disconcerted at his masters choice of words, but he was a supporter of Anne’s and knew the king would not consider placing Mary above Elizabeth in the succession, however we do know that Cromwell had joined the Seymour faction by now and was not as friendly with Anne as he used to be, maybe that’s why the interview made him rather unhappy? The demands of Charles V were too much for Henry to contemplate, he had effectively had his first marriage annulled thus making Mary a bastard, he had effectively made himself head of his new church and the split from Rome was complete, he would never contemplate undoing all that just to form an alliance with the emperor, besides now he had untold power, he was supporting Anne by creating this turn of events in which the Spanish ambassador acknowledged Anne, even if in his own mind he had not, he had merely bowed because Anne had bowed to her first, but this is what is puzzling and adds to the mystery of Anne Boleyn’s fall, Henry was supporting his second queen and yet a month later, her head rolled in the straw, from openly supporting her to publicly condemning her in a matter of weeks, Henry’s mood swings were unpredictable, and by putting on this big show he was trying to fool the world he was still pleased with Anne, (even though there was reports of him not speaking to her for some weeks and their numerous arguments) we know he was heartily sick of the shrew he had married, he was fed up with Anne yet still supporting her and no matter who was his queen, he would not bow to Charles V’s demands, now that is typically Henry! Anne’s fall after that event was a complete shock to her the court, even to Chapyus himself.

    2. It seems trivial to us but Mary was friends with Chapyus he was a supporter to both her and her mother, he hated Anne and never referred to her as queen merely the lady or the concubine, by bowing to her it appeared that he was acknowledging her as the true queen, therefore Mary was understandably hurt, we have to remember this was the 16th c when events like this spoke volumes, especially to a volatile sensitive girl like Mary who was deeply wounded by the separation of her parents, and which caused her own illegitimacy and status in her fathers kingdom.

      1. I believe this event was really orchestrated for Henry’s pride. It must’ve killed him to have the emperor and Chapyus not recognize his choice of Anne. By denying her as Queen they were denying that he had the power to choose her even if he was also regretting his choice at the time.

        1. I agree that this was for Henry’s pride. The dispatch doesn’t indicate that this was the first time Chapyus attended mass at Henry’s palace — so, why wasn’t this meeting arranged earlier — when it could have really demoralized not merely Mary but Katherine of Aragon also?.

  2. This was actually the beginning of the end for Queen Anne Boleyn despite the “triumphant” moment and moment it was.
    Chapuys while he was conscious of how Mary saw this, a public courtesy to Anne Boleyn and she had probably had a different version of events, he didn’t acknowledge that he had recognised Anne as Queen and saw this as courtesy. He bowed to both Henry and Anne, so how was this different? It wasn’t but Henry and Anne imagined to be so and he was manoeuvred into this move. He was at the door as the couple passed and had little option but to bow as they passed, Anne bowed to him as well. You might call it a draw.

    Eustace wasn’t daft though, he was aware of being set up and he wrote for damage control. Mary was very upset, but she was an emotional and very frightened young woman and may have been told her mentor had kissed Anne’s hand or some other tale. Chapuys didn’t wish to upset this young woman whom he saw as the true English heir and had a great responsibility for and he was probably embarrassed.

    However, there was more to the day. Chapuys and Cromwell, apparently with input by Henry himself had for months been working on a reproachment between England and the Empire. Cromwell worked on his foreign policy and promoted an agreement which would mean that Princess Mary would be restored to the succession and a trade agreement follow between England and the Holy Roman Empire. Henry was more than willing to listen it appeared but suddenly everything went wrong. Henry was changeable at this time and although he listened to the proposals put to him by Chapuys until the mention of Mary. Henry exploded. He demanded first that the Emperor apologised for all the problems he had caused over the years and that he acknowledged Anne as Queen. Anne was not party to any of this but Cromwell apparently blamed her for the failure of this policy and Henry turned on Cromwell and Chapuys over suggestions of how to treat Mary. Cromwell was taken aside and although we don’t know what was said, Cromwell turned pale and excused himself from Court. Henry was persuaded to ratify something of an agreement by the Council but Cromwell went home and put the legal apparatus into operation that would lead to the arrest of Anne and several members of both royal households. One of the reasons behind that may or may not have been that Cromwell saw Anne as standing in the way of his foreign policy or that he simply protected himself while persuading Henry that Anne was not the pure lady she professed to be. This is all very much the subject of debate.

    It would be another two and a half weeks before things came to a head and Henry ordered a swift investigation into his wife’s alleged adultery but those next two weeks saw preparations behind the scenes by Audley and Cromwell in the form of two Grand Juries and consultation with legal experts. We don’t know what exactly pushed Henry into suddenly wanting Anne out of the way days after demanding the Emperor recognised her as Queen, but I believe rumours about her behaviour were already starting to emerge, that Henry was already looking for an end to his marriage and Cromwell was looking for an opportunity to do his bidding. Anne’s fall was terrifyingly swift but the conspiracy started on 18th April 1536 with the unity of the Conservative factions at Court, who supported Mary, Jane Seymour and the Imperial alliance. Cromwell joined that faction sometime in March and it was made up of people like Sir Nicholas Carew, the Seymour family, the friends of Mary and Chapuys. Although not actively mentioned, it is also possible that sympathetic support for Jane and her family came from the Duke of Suffolk, even though he didn’t join the conspiracy in Anne’s fall until her trial.

    1. It must have been a hot bed of intrigue the court of Henry V111 that spring in the year 1536. Cromwell had given his suite of rooms to Jane Seymour and I’m not sure if Anne had heard of that but in The Tudors she was seen acidly asking him if the rumour was true, the Suffolk’s had always disliked Anne because Henry’s younger sister was good friends with Katherine, and there was more to it than that, it was unthinkable to this fiery Tudor princess that someone so far down in status as Anne Boleyn was, should ever replace her mistress as queen, the resentment continued after Mary’s death and Suffolk took as his bride Maria de Salinas daughter Katherine, Maria had been a good friend to Katherine and had been with her at the end, there was also another supporter of Mary’s, Henry Parker Lord Morley whose daughter Jane was Anne’s sister in law, it is believed because of her fathers influence, that Jane also sympathised with Mary, possibly this could be part of the reason Janes name has been smeared with stitching up her husband and Anne with the incest charge, but really it’s all hearsay, Anne Boleyn’s world was about to come to a horrific end very shortly, but for now she was delighted with what had occurred between herself and Chapyus and she must have heard about the king refusing to bow to the demands of Charles V.

  3. Mary was devastated by the news that Chapuys had “bowed” to Anne but he had actually “bowed” to Anne and Henry, a fact not mentioned here. The Royal couple went downstairs from their private balcony chapel from which they watched the Mass in private comfort, away from everyone and passed the open doors to the main chapel where the Court and guests waited to partake first in the offering and then the Sacrament before everyone else. Chapuys had been placed in the front, a place of honour actually, but in this case he was assisted into his place by Rochford and others behind him. When Henry and Anne, not Anne alone passed him he had to bow because Henry was present. His bow was also in recognition of Anne as a Lady, a matter of courtesy and her response was to acknowledge him, another act of courtesy. Now could this be recognised as homage? No, not unless his bowing was sufficiently low and he himself officially recognised her as Queen. Knowing Chapuys it was probably a small bow, a polite bow. Forget what one sees on TV, that’s not the correct way to bow in the presence of a sixteenth century monarch. Did he even remove his hat? One removed ones head geer to show respect to nobles and gentlemen and ladies and you put it back on in order of status. The King was present! It isn’t remarkable here but every hat on every head in that doorway would have been off and replaced in order of status. Chapuys was an honoured guest so his status was raised. He was also nobility, yet we have no details about anything other than his nod to Anne Boleyn. I find that very odd and if it had not been manufactured I doubt it would have drawn much comment. His bow was therefore not remarkable, he was being polite and nothing more and did reverence to the King and his Lady, nothing more. He also remarked that she was pleasant enough.

    Anne was also being used here and apparently was disappointed that he didn’t stay for dinner but dined elsewhere with his friends. The diplomatic meeting certainly didn’t go to plan, something else which probably upset Mary because she was the main subject discussed. The poor young woman was probably in turmoil over the whole incident. Mary was almost like a daughter to Chapuys who had no children as far as we know and he was a father figure to her. Henry’s agents no doubt exaggerated everything and Chapuys was keen to play them down. Had this been anything but a manipulative ploy by the King and the Boleyn family, although I believe Anne herself was in the dark and any other Queen but Anne, who Chapuys wished to avoid, it would not have been very note worthy. It would have been very routine and mundane. However, we don’t do either when it comes to Anne, Henry or Chapuys, history exploded and so did the Princess. I suspect Chapuys was more concerned about how Mary had reacted than the Emperor who did not appear bothered. Poor Mary was sensitive to everyone and everything at this moment in time and very anxious. The poor lass probably felt betrayed but everything was blown up in her mind to give far too much significance to a very insignificant incident. But then that was Henry’s plan all along and he really played this up.

    I must admit this is one of my favourite incidents because there are two very different versions of what happened and it really can be dissected until the cows come home. Chapuys doesn’t see himself as acknowledging Anne as Queen and for him that’s what is important but Henry goes further, demanding public recognition for a woman he will have arrested just over two weeks later. I have a couple of hypothetical questions which we really can only guess at because we don’t know the answer to either of them. Was Henry playing some weird and warped game while his plans were being put in place to rid himself of Anne? Or was he still torn about his wife and committed to her in public at least? What was Henry up to?

    1. I could certainly see Henry doing what you suggest. The incident where Cranmer left some of his papers on a barge and he panicked and when to Henry. Henry gave him his ring and told him to show it to those who wanted to do him harm. Cranmer met with those who wanted to arrest him because his misplaced documents incriminated him and he showed them the ring, Henry enters and tells them off. Though this isn’t the same as with Anne it does show that he could wait for things to be in place.

    2. Yes that’s what I cannot understand, it seems strange that he was publicly supporting her if he was in secret going over in his mind to desert her, was he playing mind games with not only Europe but his queen as well ? I think he felt she had failed him in his quest for a son, and he believed deep down she would never be able to give him a healthy prince, his words said in anguish in January after she gave birth to a still born foetus proves that he was losing faith in her, they had argued and he said bitterly to a passing courtier that he believed god would not permit him male children, and then he said he believed she had bewitched him into marrying her, yet they must have made up as it was now April three months later and they could well have slept together,but I feel Henry did think Anne could not carry a son to full term, I think Anne’s age was also against her according to Henry, because if we believe she was born c1500 – 1501 that would have made her thirty five or thirty six in 1536, and that was considered well past the age of healthy childbearing in Tudor times, I think the death of her last child sounded the death knell for her and ever since the king was pondering over in his mind, possibly with Cromwell, how to rid himself of her, she once his darling was now a thorn in his side, I don’t think he wanted to divorce or annul the marriage as he did not want to appear foolish in the eyes of Europe, after going to such lengths to obtain Anne, I think the king also thought of Jane Seymour as a brood mare, being young virginal from a large family, and she represented to him an ideal wife figure she was younger than his wife who was by now middle aged and incapable of giving him a son, so I believe even though he appeared to be supporting her, I think he was just playing a game of political expediency, when the opportunity came to rid himself of Anne, he seized it with both hands wether he was fooled into believing the queens adultery or not, masterminded by Cromwell, it suited him very well to believe it as now he could let the ‘so called wheels of justice’ take its cause.

      1. Henry was capable of great deceit and had no problem setting people up for a fall if it suited his needs. His making Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl of Essex so soon before his arrest looks like it was a calculated move so that the minister would have farther to fall and the humiliation greater. I would not put Henry’s ability for deviousness past him if it would help him achieve his goals. That he could do this with the woman he pursued for so long and professed to love I find abhorrent but I do believe by this time such an act was part of his nature.

      2. I can easily imagine Henry involved in setting up something like the Chapuys meeting after he had decided to dump Anne. He would have wanted to make it crystal clear that ending his marriage to Anne was not intended to be a sign of agreement or compliance with the wishes of Charles V

        1. Henry was a master manipulator and he wanted to do everything his own way, even if it meant a great deception. He had seen experts to look at the possibility of annulment of his marriage to Anne and he consulted another one later in April. He sent out official letters hoping to have a son with his beloved wife but he was speaking of his hope for a son with a future wife. He was putting his plan into action because he wanted the world to know he could do anything he wished, put his wife away or have her honoured in public and he would do so on his own terms, not those of the Emperor or Francis. Henry believed his own propaganda, he became so self absorbed as to believe whatsoever lies his head came up with and to think of himself as a righteous man who was always honest. Henry may not have decided to cut off Anne’s head or arrest her just at this moment, that would come about later as the confession of Mark Smeaton and the allegations against her emerged but I don’t believe he was still committed to Anne at that point. The Commission of Oyer and Terminer was set up on 24th April, six days later but preparations probably took a few days. It’s really not clear as to when Henry decided he had had it with his marriage but he had definitely set something in motion behind-the-scenes by Easter 1536.

          Anne was heading for a collision and I suspect she knew something was wrong. In fact I suspect she had felt uneasy for several weeks. Henry’s interest in Jane Seymour wasn’t waning and I believe she knew the signs because of her own experience with the King. I believe Henry had already indicated to Cromwell he wanted a solution to his marriage crises and now Cromwell saw an opportunity. Another incident which made up Cromwell’s mind or put away any doubts he had about giving Henry a permanent way out was the sermon that compared him to Hamen the wicked counsellor in the story of Esther on Passion Sunday. Henry’s dressing down of his chief minister after his meeting with Chapuys must have unnerved him, especially if that sermon was on his mind. Speculation among historians varies widely about Cromwell and Anne’s fall, but a number believe he turned on her and went the extra mile to build a fake case against her. That is controversial but some evidence suggests that Cromwell feared for his future if he didn’t convince Henry Anne had to go for good. Henry was ultimately responsible for her death and execution, his own behaviour shows us that he acted as if she was in fact already dead, but Cromwell brought him the evidence and Henry was convinced by it. He ordered an investigation and Cromwell ensured the lies stuck. Henry may not have been planning to arrest Anne for several more days, but he certainly had it in his mind that his marriage was over.

          The public display was because Henry was making certain anything he was up to was done in secret, he would decide, nobody else. His alliance was not dependent on whom he was married to and vice versa and he made that clear to everyone, he would decide foreign policy not his ministers, he would control his children, not outsiders, he would rule his country any way he chose and the succession was his business. Henry might be planning an exit strategy from being with Anne but for now everyone was going to acknowledge her and how he went about it was his business. Henry was imposing his authority. He was being deceptive partly because everything wasn’t sorted out, there was a lot to do, he was partly undecided. However, that fatal decision wasn’t long in the making. Commissioned Grand Juries, intrigue that led to unguarded tongues, a highly pressured confession, arguments between Anne and the King that were witnessed, arrests and angry confrontations, night time council meetings, emergency Parliament meetings, all of these happened over the next two weeks. Within another three days, five people were in the Tower, including the Queen of England.

          Henry could really put on a good show, could lure people into believing they were secure, only to pounce when the time was right. His treatment of Thomas Cromwell is proof of that. His reward of him may have been genuine in 1540 but a couple of months later and he is set up at a Council Meeting. Henry knew days earlier of the allegations against him and had already seen enough “proof” to order his arrest. Why the very public and humiliating arrest? Was that all part of the bargain? The wolves wanted a pound of flesh as well as their pleasure in his arrest and political execution. However, Henry didn’t put him on trial or put a bill through Parliament until he had made use of him. He made Cromwell write down everything he knew about Henry’s failing marriage to Anne of Cleves, in line with the other depositions and what the Council had agreed. Much of those letters, which end with a plea for mercy are merely what Henry wanted to hear in order to show why he hadn’t been able to consummate the marriage, putting all the blame on Anne’s appearance, which we know was nonsense. Henry kept Cromwell alive for as long as it took to get his evidence and then he was thrown to the wolves and found guilty in Parliament. In a shocking act of indifference and deliberate stage managing poor Cromwell was humiliated further by having to share his scaffold with Walter Hungerford who had been found guilty under the sodomy laws of 1534 of sodemy, incest and other sexually infamous crimes and who was the first gentleman to die for them. Henry further managed to make sure it was clear he had distanced himself from Cromwell and the past by marrying the pretty teenager, Kathryn Howard miles away at Oatlands Palace on the same day as Cromwell was brutally executed. In addition, as a sign of more callous behaviour or as part of the revenge by his enemies who wanted to see him suffer, Cromwell was executed by a man who was drunk or incapable. It took several strokes of the axe to remove his head. And Henry? Oh he was loved up with Kathryn for nine days before he even told his courtiers that they were married.

          Henry wasn’t the only King to mislead everyone and show the world he acted on his terms alone while setting someone up for a fall, but somehow it appears as if he did it best and in style. He was certainly remembered for this spectacular and shocking side to himself.

  4. The incident you describe is very famous. Several conservative members of the Court used this as an attempt to get rid of Cranmer by incriminating him in charges of heresy and treason, especially as Cranmer was married against the ordinances of the King but it backfired. Cranmer was called before the Council to make a defence and they hoped to trap him, but Henry had intervened with his ring and assured his friend of his support. Henry waited until everything was in place and during the session came in after Cranmer had shown them all the ring. Henry wasn’t very happy and brought the house down upon their heads as one of them later remarked. Henry could put on a good show when he wanted to. Cranmer must have been terrified. Luckily for him Henry was so grateful because of the previous service the Archbishop had done him and was right behind him. Henry knew he was married, really didn’t care, he knew he had reformed beliefs, really didn’t care, despite being against those beliefs, unusually he stood behind a man on his friendship and service and rewarded him by showing his trust in this man despite his enemies and their faces fell with the King’s telling off. Cranmer was one of a few men who would survive Henry or at least die in old age near the end of his reign. Henry died in 1547 but one man died just eighteen months earlier and aged 61,_the boon companion Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk who was his best friend and was buried at the King’s expense not far from his own tomb in Windsor. Thomas Cranmer was the last man Henry sent for as he himself died and sent his soul on its way. He was to survive his son, but unfortunately not his daughter, being burned in 1556, although by then he wasn’t a young man. His services were well remembered by the King, which again is remarkable given he abandoned so many others.

  5. Retha Warnicke came up with a controversial (and widely dismissed) theory that Anne’s encounter with Chapuys was deliberately engineered by Henry VIII to humiliate her.

    Warnicke claims that since persons disliked by Anne were not allowed access to her by protocol, by having Chapuys close to her and bowing to her, Henry was telling his court that he no longer favored Anne and was throwing her to the wolves!

    1. Retha has got some funny ideas, she actually believes that Anne’s alleged lovers were sexual deviants and that Anne actually gave birth to a deformed baby, this was only a scandalous bit of gossip that Nicholas Sander bruited abroad fifty years later.

    2. I admire the work that Retha Warnicke has done on the sexual political nature of what happened at the Tudor Court, she really has done some excellent and respected research but some of her ideas have been misinterpreted and used in the wrong way. I don’t agree with her conclusions about the sexual behaviour of the men concerned or the emphasis on Anne’s last pregnancy being a deformed foetus mainly because she was giving credence to Nicholas Sander, but her work on the ideas people had about how sexual deviance was viewed is very important. However, in this case with Henry and the incident of Anne and Chapuys, to be honest nothing would actually surprise me. It’s an interesting interpretation, I don’t really interpret it that way, but it’s possible because we really have no idea what was in Henry’s mind and its something he was capable of. It certainly adds positively to the debate.

  6. My dear friend and boss passed away in the early hours of Monday morning from covid 19 we are all so devastated as she truly was a lovely person, I have not stopped crying since I heard the news, thank you to all of you who have been remembering Paula in their prayers it’s been much appreciated, we don’t think the shop will open now and we wouldn’t want to work there without her anyway, she was the manager for nine years for the charity that raised money for sick and abused and homeless cats, and did what she could for them all, she was shortly to be a grandmother to twins and she had so much to live for, she was only 56 and it’s just so horrible that she could be taken in this way, she was a healthy vibrant person and we all feel so very cheated.

    1. Oh Christine I am so sorry. Paula sounds like she was a wonderful person. I wish I could give you a big hug. I agree, she died too young.
      Raising money to help all those needy kitties is such a great cause. Keep in mind though your friend is gone there are lots of kitties that still need help and maybe continuing the work would be a nice way to honor Paula.

      1. So sorry, Christine, for your loss of a lady who was your friend and your boss. Paula would probably want you to carry on but you all need to mourn first and time to reflect. She was far too young to die, this terrible disease is taking people of all ages, it really is bad. It’s so unfair. I am so devastated for you and just wish I could be there with you.

        Try to remember all the good times you had and how Paula was before she became sick. The first thing to do is to look after yourself and keep well. Raise a glass for your friend who I am sure is in heaven. My thoughts go with you and Paula’s family. Hugs. YNWA.

    2. Oh Christine I am so very sorry. She sounds like she was a wonderful person. She certainly died too young. I wish I could give you a big hug.
      Raising money for needy kitties is a great cause. Keep in mind that though Paula is gone there are still a lot of kitties that need your help. Perhaps continuing with the shop would be an appropriate way to honor her.

  7. Thanks to you both, we just cannot believe it, we all prayed she would pull through, this disease is fatal and it brings it closer to home which is frightening, my other friends father passed away last week through covid 19, we think they both caught it before the lockdown, it’s very hard to take in, we were numb when we heard and it only began to sink in a few hours after, it would be great if we could keep the charity going as it does help towards a good cause, but it wouldn’t be the same without our Paula.

    1. Please take care of yourself and be sure to wear a mask when you go out.I’m sure it’s more dense where nyou live than where I do so it’s even more important. And take BQ’s advice.

      1. We think it’s been around longer than we thought, I’m looking after myself, I think I may have already caught it but they do say that your body’s antibodies may not protect you from another attack, this is a fatal illness and we must all be on our guard, thanks for your kind words both of you, it really is a dreadful shock, we were hopeful when they lowered her oxygen level but then heard her kidneys had failed, she had a boyfriend who wanted to marry her but she’d been married before and didn’t want to go down that road again, he absolutely adored her, god knows how’s he’s feeling, he must be wrecked, and because this is the Anne Boleyn website, just posting this about Paula makes me think of all the families Henry V111 destroyed when he sent so many to their deaths, we can emphasise with those long dead people who lost loved ones to, the difference in time does not make grief any different.

        1. You had mentioned Paula had asthma and this virus is primarily respiratory so that is probably why she couldn’t fight it. There are many more surviving than dying and many who have it and don’t show symptoms. Don’t despair.

  8. Yes those with breathing problems are more at risk but apart from asthma she was so strong, guess we just underestimated how deadly this virus is, we know it’s killing younger people worldwide but on the other end of the scale, in the uk we had a very ancient lady of 106 who survived it, we’re all so heartbroken.

    1. Here in the States there was a 102 year old WWII vet who survived the virus. How’s that for a charmed life.

      1. Take care, Christine, and I wouldn’t take too much notice of it attacking a second time, the scientists don’t actually know if it will. Only listen to up to date advice, not speculation. Antibodies normally do attack a virus, no matter how bad they are. A second wave isn’t impossible but second infections usually only come if people have not fully recovered and are immune compromised. Its very rare. Just take care of yourself and time out to mourn and remember Paula as she was before her illness. It’s not good to think too much on her time in ICU, but she would have been asleep and well looked after and passed quietly. More and more people are coming through this now. It’s so sad your friend wasn’t one of them but she is at rest now. Mourning is different for everyone. Take your time and don’t worry about taking about things. We are all here for you. Love to you and to all of Paula’s family and friends. You need to take care of you.

        If you want someone else to talk to ICU Steps website and Family and Friends ICU Forum can be accessed via local NHS hospital and they can offer services and stories and sharing experience or just talking. Its a very helpful resource. Steve wrote everything down and shared it in writing on a number of forums. Many families find it helps afterwards even if their loved ones don’t survive and the forum is very supportive. You can find other resources on there as well. Take care and many hugs for you.

        1. Thank you both, we want to keep the shop going as a tribute to her and our boss is thinking of doing a collection to help pay for her funeral and a memorial, I suggested to our other boss we could rename it with her name at the front, it was called The Scratching Post, it may sound a funny name but it was a charity for cats, I sed we could rename it Paulas Scratching Post, she put a poster with her picture at the front on the shop window, and arranged a nice flower display, Sue our boss was thinking of shutting it down as it wasn’t taking much money, but I hope now she decides to keep it going out of memory for Paula, thanks for all your kind words I just can’t imagine how devastated her family and boyfriend are.

        1. The scratching Post is such a cute name. I love the idea of adding her name to it. I know what you mean about the family’s emotional devastation. I find it heartbreaking that she won’t know her grandchildren and they won’t know her. Your shop helping to cover her funeral costs is a beautiful thing to do.

  9. Funerals are very expensive so yes I think itl be a nice gesture, and I know most of us would love to go but unfortunately because of the lockdown we don’t think it will be possible, I just hope the shop stays open in memory of Paula, even though I would be very sad working there without her.

    1. You’re right, for a time it will be sad because her absence will be very much felt but don’t dwell on that, concentrate on the memories you have of her. I know this is cliche but it is true- as long as you keep her in your heart she’ll always be with you.

        1. What a wonderful gesture, Christine. At least now they are allowing close family to go to the funeral as long as safe protocols are followed. Keeping her memory alive through the shop will help everyone. Our local Oxfam shop has not made any money for years but its kept open because its very popular and helping people and has lots of volunteers. It’s a real shame more people don’t still give through local charity shops rather than via mobile phones and so on. I love going in to see what books they have and some of our furniture is from them. They are doing work which Government negligence doesn’t cover and are a local hub. Its going to be hard but I believe it will help you all to heal. It will honour Paula and keep everything going for her. She will always be with you. Our loved ones are very much part of us. Take care of yourself and take time to mourn. Everything will be fine again and I am sure you all have lovely memories. Maybe afterwards share some memories together over tea in a re opening ceremony in Paula’s memory. Its always good to talk. Take care and much love.

  10. Oh so sad for your Christine: I was really enjoying your conversation here but we cannot forget this virus, can we. My granddaughter Ella, aged 10, was tested for coronavirus this morning and we await the result this evening. She has eyes full of something, big and brown and watery looking. Her mother is a nurse at the Royal Bournemouth so she is in good hands.

    1. Hope she is alright, Globerose. Eye conditions can be caused by a number of things, conjunctivitis being one which can cause a range of horrible symptoms. Hope she is better soon.

      Take care.


      1. Hi LynMarie,

        Good news – test clear. But we now know that the tests being used for NHS staff are
        FLAWED and they are to stop using them and use commercial ones instead, as of today. My late husband Joe was a GP and a great organiser: we need men like him right now, I’m thinking!!

        1. Hi Globerose. I’m not BQ but I just wanted to say that’s wonderful news about your granddaughter! Here in tmy state we’re having a different problem regarding the tests. Our governor keeps complaint to the federal government that we don’t have enough tests to do more than 8000 a week. A local reporter did some digging into this and discovered that we have enough to do twice that much but the governor isn’t allowing it and won’t talk to the public, not just about this but about anything. She goes so on national TV but refuses interviews by anyone in the state.

    2. Globerose I’m sure Ella will be fine, children are very hardy and better at fighting this virus then us oldies, if she does have covid19 then try not to despair as she will be in expert hands, and as you say her mothers a nurse so she will know what to do, try not to worry

      1. Hi Globerose, sure everything will be fine for little Ella. Glad the test was clear but still monitor her as although most are o.k there may have been flawed ones but most are accurate. Just follow the advice and keep and eye on her. Will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

        Christine, hope you are continuing to rest and recover. I have been really tired for two days and actually glad of the lockdown today. Just putting feet up with a cuppa and Father Brown.

        Take care all and stay safe.

        1. Thanks BQ and Christine too. I raise an early glass of rose to all our carers, in the home, in care homes and hospitals and hospices. To you all, each and every precious one, our profound love and thanks. Clapping with my neighbours tonight.

        2. Amen to that! Thanks to our nurses, doctors, post people, bin men, shops staff, our food producers and all key workers, delivery people, nursery staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers, and everyone else who have to keep working on the frontline. I applaud and appreciate all of you.

          Keep safe everyone and please keep in touch. Take care.


  11. I know charity shops are so handy, I got a lovely little table for just £5 to put my stylus player on recently and it has a shelf so my music centre goes on there, most of my clothes are from my charity shop and iv got some little knick knacks to, when I was younger I was such a snob I thought those places were dreadful, and didn’t like the thought of wearing someone’s seconds, now I think differently, I could never understand my mum or aunt shopping in there but you do get great bargains, a friend of mine works for the Nightingale Trust and he also worked for the British Heart Foundation, unfortunately because of the lockdown they are all closed now,
    from time to time we would get new clothes in already sealed up like men’s shirts and after Christmas we would get the usual toiletries that were unwanted Christmas presents, we would get a load of old tat to and really some of the clothes were dirty and ripped, and those we would throw, watching ‘Flog’ It some of the items people would bring on the show only fetched about £20 or a tenner and I would think why don’t they just donate to charity, it’s such a good cause, I have often bought books from there, we sell them at 50p for paperbacks and 75p hardbacks, children’s books are 30p, we have had rare books in like an old Rupert annual from 1961 and Beano and some very old Enid Blyton, we sell those for a few pounds, my friend snapped up some old children’s books and I managed to get an Enid Blyton one from the 1940’s, I loved Blyton as a child and so treasure these old books, they say now some shops are opening like B&Q and some cafes itl just be great when it’s all back to normal, the social distancing is really hard and folk are so fed up with it, at least we have phones and social media.

    1. I know what you mean. I used to feel the same way, that they were just junk stores but I’ve found good stuff in them. Small appliances, dress shirts, used TV’s, a stand for my stereo. I soon discovered that these items aren’t junk, they’re just no longer wanted by their previous owners.

      1. Yes often it just means people have bought something which was the wrong size, or an appliance that was the wrong one and so they just donate them instead of taking them back to the shop, I got a lovely large Spode plate with a willow design on not so long ago, some customers do make me laugh though, we had one come in who was interested in some shoes and asked if we had them in a different size! You have to remind them we only have one offs as it’s a charity shop, then you get the Rumanians and Albanians who come in and try to haggle with you to get the prices down, we have to inform them our items are very good value for money and we do not reduce them further, a Greek friend told me it’s because they haggle in their own country and think it’s acceptable to do it in the shop as our items are donated to us and therefore free, also they don’t have charity shops abroad it seems to be a uniquely British thing and also American, these customers are certainly irritating! But then it takes all sorts.

  12. Thank you Bq, her daughter has set up a fund raising charity in her name for PETA, she wants to raise £500 that’s the target so I’m definitely going to donate, i just hope Susan decides to keep the shop open as it wasn’t doing very well and she wanted to close it down, and open a posher shop near where she lives in Waltham Abbey, Paula wanted it left open and maybe just sell £1 items, I just hope she will consider this as itl be great if it does stay open and have her name on it.

  13. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for replying. Whew! But flawed tests for nursing staff?!? We are flying around on a wing and a prayer. For you, so frustrating to be kept in the dark like children. History in the making and we are living it. I have a whole new empathy for Henry’s frantic flights from contagion.

    1. Glad that problem was caught. It shouldn’t have have happened to begin with so hopefully soon, if not sooner they’ll have the accurate tests. I absolutely agree with you, history indeed. I could do without this history but in the distant future people will find this as interesting as we do the distant past.

  14. I have been thinking of the families who were hurt by people like Henry, as Christine said so many of the families of England and just how the punishment for alleged treason didn’t just affect the person accused, it was extended to punish whole families. Depending on the mood of the monarch, they may have nearly everything confiscated. A bill was passed in Parliament to Attaint the family of the same treason. That was a disaster for surviving members of the traitors family. The crown could take land and property and titles and even the personal property which was valuable. Lists were made of property, a bit like when a bailiff comes, including jewellery and dresses and underwear. Henry was one man who used this method more than most of his ancestors and he even used the alternative to finding people guilty called Attainment. By this method a Bill was put to them to vote on saying what the accused was charged with and laid out the evidence and then the Parliament voted on the guilt of the accused. Given the King and times the vote was yes. This method had been used for centuries but sparingly and King’s had often intervened to refuse the vote. Henry used this via Cromwell and then his own authority more and more. He also used confiscation more often.

    Margaret Beaufort was attainted under Richard iii but the vote was refused because of her status and sex and she wasn’t executed or even locked up in jail. Instead she lost her freedom as a landowner and was placed under the control of her husband Lord Thomas Stanley who wasn’t punished or even charged and her property and wine was given under his control. However, Henry Viii took much of the property of a faithful servant Thomas More and impoverished his widow and even his daughter, who pleaded to be allowed to keep Chelsea but were refused. Lists made of the Howard family women after the arrest of Kathryn Howard show dresses and girdles as well as cash and property. The confiscation was wide ranging, although some was later restored. Thomas Cromwell suffered the same fate and people laughed at the fact his house was being searched for goods and papers. His son was lucky in that he was granted the lands of his family and something of his property when he married Elizabeth Seymour and was granted a title for his own loyal service. Henry’s use of these laws was far reaching and reduced the nobility to administrative yes men and soldiers. These families had to carry on in royal service as well as best they could and try to regain the family fortunes and status at Court or at least within their own professional status. How many families were destroyed or reduced in this way? I haven’t counted them but the consequences reached beyond immediate family to retainers, servants, anyone connected with you or employed by you because of the financial loss suffered and the stain on the family name which might last for generations. Regime change was good for such families as the new monarchy needed local support and you had a chance to show your loyalty as well as gain your stuff back by a grateful King or Queen. The English Civil Wars devastated most of the gentry as well as ordinary families who then ended up escaping abroad to get away from Oliver Cromwell, conforming or in big trouble and these families restored the old King’s son, Charles II who promised to restore them to their former titles. The family got back land and titles but unfortunately not the compensation promised by Charles who actually had no money. After the restoration commerce was where the money was, not land or titles. The power of Kings sent the country on a collision course with its own people and that power has never been the same since, yet for some reason we can’t do without a monarch to suck us dry. Oh well, that’s the oddness of humanity I suppose.

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