26th April 1536 – Anne Boleyn Sees Her Chaplain and Cromwell Locks Himself Away

Posted By on April 26, 2011

Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth ITwo worrying and strange events have come to our notice here at The Anne Boleyn Files. According to our sources at court and in the Queen’s household Queen Anne Boleyn has made an appointment to see her chaplain of two years, 32 year old Matthew Parker, and Thomas Cromwell has locked himself away with Dr Richard Sampson, Dean of the Chapel Royal.

Sir Tim Ridgway, our trusty court reporter, has heard that Queen Anne Boleyn is going to ask Parker* to watch over her daughter, the two year old Princess Elizabeth, in case anything should happen to her. This is worrying news when we consider the gossip around court that Henry VIII is very taken with a certain Lady Seymour. Is the Queen expecting to be set aside like her predecessor, Catherine of Aragon, or is she simply asking Parker to care for her daughter’s spiritual welfare as an adviser? We just don’t know, but Parker is close to both the King and Queen and has links with well-known Cambridge men and reformers like Hugh Latimer. He is a good choice as a spiritual adviser for Princess Elizabeth.

As for Cromwell locking himself away with Dr Sampson, who knows what is going on? What we do know is that Dr Sampson is known to be an expert on canon law**.

We will of course update you if we hear anything else about these two strange meetings. We always have our finger on the pulse and we have a network of trusted informants so you’ll hear it first at The Anne Boleyn Files!

*According to The Correspondence of Matthew Parker, Anne Boleyn charged him with the care of Elizabeth “not six days before her apprehension” and Eric Ives comments “That charge, and the debt he felt he owed to Anne, stayed with him for the rest of his life.”

**Chapuys wrote on the 29th April 1536 that ” Dr. Sampson, dean of the chapel, has been for the last four days continually with Cromwell.”


  • The Correspondence of Matthew Parker, D.D., Archbishop of Canterbury : comprising letters written by and to him, from A.D. 1535, to his death, A.D. 1575, edited for the Parker Society by John Bruce, and Thomas Thomason Perowne, p58
  • LP x. 753, Chapuys to Granvelle, 29 April 1536
  • The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Eric Ives, p267 and p321

6 thoughts on “26th April 1536 – Anne Boleyn Sees Her Chaplain and Cromwell Locks Himself Away”

  1. DuchessofBrittany says:

    Anne must have been terrified at this time. Since she was an intelligent woman, she must have known a game was afoot, but could never have guessed its ending. Going to Matthew Parker, speaks to Anne’s genuine concern for Elizabeth, her security and her future.
    The court was always a suffocating place, but I can only imagine with rumors ripe how Anne must have wondered exactly what was going on, and what her fate might be. I am sure in her darkest moments, she must have thought of Katherine of Aragon and Mary. Would she meet the same fate? What would become of her daughter? What treatment would she and Elizabeth be subjected to? Anne knew better than others when Henry turned on you, his cruelty knew no bounds!

  2. Esther Sorkin says:

    I agree that Anne must have been terrified, but I think that she may well have guessed that things could end with her death. She knew, very well, that she didn’t have the backing of foreign powers that provided some protection for Catherine of Aragon. I am curious, however as to why Cromwell would need to spend four days with an expert in canon law . I would think his studies of Leviticus during the divorce would have introduced him to chapter 18,
    verse 18 of that book … so he would known from the beginning that his relationship with Mary Boleyn (even without the formalities of marriage) could affect the validity of his marriage to Anne … he even got a conditional dispensation from the Pope allowing him to marry Anne if his marriage to Catherine proved invalid.

  3. Matterhorn says:

    I love that image of Anne and Elizabeth! It’s a great moment in the film.

  4. lisaannejane says:

    One day you are a beloved wife and now you worry if you will not be there and ask someone to look after your daughter, More rumors going on at Henry’s court than even about Lindsy Lohan. Not good news,

  5. Wendy says:

    Anne was no fool, and if she suspected that Henry may try to ‘put her away’ in favour of Jane Seymour then she would have foreseen a separation from Elizabeth. If she were sent to a Nunnery she might never see Elizabeth again, and would have wanted someone of her own choosing to watch over her and guide her. I doubt Anne actually thought at this point that Henry would try to kill her.

  6. Anne Barnhill says:

    Anne must have known something was coming–Henry had made no secret of his interest in Lady Jane. She definitely would want someone she trusted to see after Elizabeth’s spiriutal training and just be responsible. All of this is so sad.

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