19th May 1536 – The Execution of Queen Anne Boleyn

Posted By on May 19, 2012

At dawn on 19th May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn celebrated the Mass for the last time, receiving the Sacrament from her almoner, John Skip. She then ate breakfast and waited to hear Sir William Kingston’s footsteps outside her door.

At 8am, the Constable appeared, informing Anne that the hour of her death was near and that she should get herself ready.

Read more over on The Fall of Anne Boleyn timeline – click here – where you can also listen to an audio of me reading my account of Anne’s execution.

23 thoughts on “19th May 1536 – The Execution of Queen Anne Boleyn”

  1. fiona shaw says:

    Anne ,every day I think of you .wishing I could change your fate ..trying to put myself in your shoes ,wondering how you remained composed.I would have been hysterical.
    To say that I love you would be an understatement .my obsession with you has endured since I was small. my poor dad had to drive me to Hever castle several times and Hampton court too ! I know everyone thinks they have a connection with you and.maybe I’m delusional ,but I had an experience when in the school playground age 7 of merging with you and I have never forgotten it and am CONVINCED that for, however
    brief, we were the same person ,If it were up to me, you would have a very fabulous tomb placed right on top of Henrys’ (laughing at the thought?) Im currently working on a book about you but this book will have a surprise ending, a happy one which changes the entire course of history (good) all my love to you friend from fiona xxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Claire says:

      Sounds like it will be an interesting book, Fiona. I was amazed when I started this site just how many people around the world were fascinated with Anne, it’s incredible how her story reaches out to us all.

  2. Lauren says:

    It breaks my heart every time the anniversary of her death is reached. Anne was such an intelligent, passionate, strong woman who could’ve done so much for the country of England had she been allowed to live. The only thing that comforts me is that without Anne providing a male heir, Elizabeth I was able to take the crown and become one of the best monarchs in England’s history. You are loved everyday, Anne, and there are still people fighting (like the exceptional Claire Ridgeway) to make sure the truth about you is known. We love you Anne. Rest in peace, beautiful lady.

  3. Emma says:

    Just come out of the tower where I stood on the real spot of her execution, amazing experience.
    R.I.P Queen Anne Boleyn

  4. Kimberly says:

    Dearest Anne:

    Your sacrifice has not been forgotten. Because of you we are free from the grips of a corrupt and powerful church. Free to follow our own hearts and minds. By forcing Henry’s hand to separate from the Vatican and bringing into this world such a strong and charismatic as well as intelligent woman as Elizabeth to rule England…alone changed the world and brought us out of a dark and ignorant existence.

    Like our Princess Diana of today your sacrifice will not be forgotten and we are all thankful of it. You are always in my prayers, dear Anne.

  5. Katherine says:

    RIP to an amazing woman. I just hope somehow she can see the legacy she left behind. Anne Boleyn, a true Queen of England!

    1. Baroness Von Reis says:

      Katherine,Very well said and I am sure our Bloved Queen Anne is looking down from heaven how proud she must feel. Kind Regards Baroness Von Reis

  6. Tiffaney says:

    I too, am amazed at my own connection to Anne along with so many women throughout time and space. I believe that Anne’s life has so many representations that women of all cultures can identify with and truly appreciate. The end of her life and much of her time after meeting Henry must have felt incredibly strained. I have always felt as though no matter how she pulled the rope, the people on the other end pulled back just as hard. It’s so difficult to see ourselves objectively while we’re in the midst of living. Anne could not see the changes that she had already made within the collective psyche of England and Europe. She only knew that each step felt painful and probably more foreboding than the last. Hail to Queen Anne who gave us an incredible mirror of ourselves and who continues to push us towards justice and the courage to claim what is ours in this world. ~Eternally Rest Quietly Queen Anne Boleyn~

  7. Baroness Von Reis says:

    This is a very sad day,for all who love QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN,and hope we shall all give her our prayers. Rest In Peace Beloved Queen Anne. Baroness

  8. Emma H says:

    This morning at 9.am I prayed for Anne and those who died with her. Went downstairs where my husband was watching Being Human on DVD just as the ghost Annie was crying ‘I was killed by the man I loved’. It was such an odd coincidence.

    She was a remarkable, complex woman. May she rest in peace.

  9. Aynne says:

    Like so many who died for “King and Country”, Anne died for “Queen and Country”. All she had at the end was her daughter and herself. She died a Queen’s death and her sacrifice was as much for England’s future with Elizabeth as for the safety of Elizabeth herself. With Anne alive, Elizabeth’s life would be even more dangerous. Anne had been certain she would give birth to the heir to the throne… and although no one knew it or could see it at the time, she was right. Anne’s sacrifice was huge, and yes, she left us a tremendous legacy of a more liberal church, a role model for women’s independence, a symbol of courage. Far from perfect, Anne’s path had made blunders and mis-steps and failed to always recognize respectfully in the role and contributions of all in the court. She was human. But she had dreams for her child, as she was first and foremost a wonderful mother. And she had dreams for the country of which she was Queen. Although she did not live to see the rich results of her short-lived efforts, her influence survives today in countless ways… from the right for women on the throne, for the great patronage of arts and culture from the monarchy, and yes, in a church that broadens the scope of Christianity. No one deserves the denigration, destruction and cruel ending Anne endured. Throughout all, she kept her soon-to-tumble head tall and showed us what a Queen she had indeed, become. So she died as one. We remember her and her sacrifices… made so long ago. And while we seek her truth and her “pardon”, I think she would also want us to look at the world we live in today, and ask what, with her sacrifice (like Diana’s) we can heal. Men continue to vilify and destroy women today. We consider it “Victorian” or “medieval”, but there are women who have no way out because of controlling men in marriage, or in business. There are unstable men (and women) who have power and can cause the downfall of others in families and in workplaces. This is not just the stuff of Desperate Housewives, etc. This is the ugly side of human nature. It is this side Anne most wanted to save her child from. And are there things in today’s world where Anne would make charitable causes for victims of abuse, of constructive dismissal, of families of individuals with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness, people who have survived or are trying to survive hate crimes, and children who have lost parents tragically too soon. The woman who called herself “most happy” did not die so, but would rest happily, I believe, if we could take up her causes consciously in our daily lives and try to make this world less prone to the crimes thrust upon Anne. Then, I believe Anne Boleyn would need no official pardon (It still would be nice). Then, Anne Boleyn’s legacy would grow forward. Her spirit would live. And we all, collectively, with her mission and her desires for a better world in these areas, would do her great service. Anne Boleyn would not only Rest in Peace. She would live anew. Over five hundred years later, we would still be serving Anne the Queen, and WE, with her, and with one another, would make this great world “most happy”.

    1. Leandra says:

      Shout out to the wonderful,tempestuous,tragic,brilliant,sexy,fun loving,talented,attractive, naughty,graceful,diligent,daring,humorous,sensual,witty,ruthless,proud,gutsy,charming,
      ambitious,fashionable,exquisite, AMAZING,renaissance-Queen:ANNE BOLEYN. RIP. And thank you so much for getting me into history and keeping me and so many others so fascinated with you even nearly 500 yrs. later.<3

      1. Leandra says:

        Sorry Aynne. I meant to just put my comment up and messed up and replied to yours. oops! But great piece on Anne Boleyn you wrote up there!

  10. Madeleine says:

    What an amazing woman…

  11. Sheena says:

    Last year I was fortunate enough to be able to be at the Tower of London for the Executed Queens’ Tour. Even 476 year later, she still inspires and intrigues- RIP, Anne Boleyn.

  12. Eliza says:

    RIP Queen Anne.. I lit a candle and prayed for your soul.. We always remember you.

  13. Dawn 1st says:

    A day to pay remember with sadness, and a day to celebrate her life, wipe away the tears and smile for her. She is ‘The Most Happy’ now.

    1. Dawn 1st says:

      omit the word ‘pay from that last post, silly me!

  14. Jean says:

    Thinking of you today. Thinking the best and with great admiration and love.

  15. Dawn 1st says:

    May I just say something on a lighter note, you have mentioned your Anne Boleyn Rose bush a few times in the last few monthes, and stirred some interes and comments on how pretty it was, today, as I mentioned on the time line page, I planted mine today in rememerence, I also looked through my gardening books and found other roses that have a connection to this period in time if anyone is interested, here they are:-

    ‘Kent’ – white ground cover rose’
    ‘MaryRose’ – shrub rose,deep pink, scented
    ‘May Queen’ – vigorous rambler,rose-pink, apple scented. I know Anne was crowned 1st June, but the build up was in May, and I have heard her called this.
    ‘Tournament of Roses’ – bush rose, salmon/light rose pink
    ‘Queen Elizabeth’ – bush rose, pink,(tho think this is after present Queen)
    ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ – this is a thornless climber, deep pink and scented, the connection….a ‘Rose without a Thorn’ pretty little Catherine Howard.
    And lastly one for you Claire:- Spanish Beauty – (sometimes called Mme. Gregoure Staechelin), a vigourous climber with ruffled red flushed/pink flowers and has lovely rose hips.
    I was so suprized that at the Hampton Court Flower Show on the 500th celebration of Henry coming King that the rose growers/breeders had not bred a new one in his name, or the other 5 wives, I for one would love those grouped in the garden, any suggestions what colour they should be!!

  16. carol stevenson says:

    I said a prayer for Anne today and I felt very sad. I will never forget visiting her grave in St. Peter’s Church at the Tower of London on May 19, 2010. It will forever be in my memory. Rest In Peace, Queen Anne. “Grief is the price we pay for love”.

  17. Anerje says:

    Made it to the Tower on the anniversary – wonderful to meet so many other enthusiasts and see the bunches of flowers grow throughout the day. Anne Boleyn will never be forgotten!

  18. I have always admired the wives of Henry the 8th. It sure was a man’s world. Queen Katherine suffered terribly and her only crime was not producing a boy. These women were incredibly dignified. I kept thinking of the victims like Anne Askew, Katherine Howard. Why did he have to kill them. I hope the law in England regarding the path to the throne is changed.

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