Posted By Claire on May 2, 2015
According to Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, on the same day that Anne Boleyn was arrested and taken to the Tower of London, Henry VIII met with his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond:
“On the afternoon of the very day on which the concubine was lodged in the Tower, as the duke of Richmond went to his father, the King, to ask for his blessing, according to the English custom, the latter said with tears (larmoyer), that both he and his sister, meaning the Princess, ought to thank God for having escaped from the hands of that woman*, who had planned their death by poison, from which I conclude that the King knew something of her wicked intentions.”1
We don’t know where Chapuys heard this, but Anne Boleyn was never charged with attempting to poison either Mary or Fitzroy and this may well have been ‘bluster’ from a king who had also been “heard to say that he believes that upwards of 100 gentlemen have had criminal connexion with her.”2
*The word used was actually “putain”, meaning “whore”.
Notes and Sources
- Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, 55
- Ibid., 54