Henry-VIII-kingofengland_1491-1547On 27th April 1536, John Stokesley, Bishop of London, was consulted for advice regarding the King wanting to abandon Anne Boleyn. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, was told the news by Geoffrey Pole and passed it on to Charles V:

“The brother of lord Montague told me yesterday at dinner that the day before the bishop of London had been asked if the King could abandon the said concubine, and he would not give any opinion to anyone but the King himself, and before doing so he would like to know the King’s own inclination, meaning to intimate that the King might leave the said concubine, but that, knowing his fickleness, he would not put himself in danger. The said Bishop was the principal cause and instrument of the first divorce, of which he heartily repents, and would still more gladly promote this, the said concubine and all her race are such abominable Lutherans. London, 29 April 1536.”

Chapuys does not say who consulted the King, but the sensible bishop would not share his thoughts with anyone but the King.

Notes and Sources

  • LP x. 752

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7 thoughts on “27 April 1536 – The King considers abandoning Anne Boleyn”
  1. Poor Anne. My heart breaks for her. A man so much in love suddenly wishes to abandon you. She didn’t know what form that abandonment would take. She must have suspected he was no longer enthralled. Little glances of annoyance. Sharp words. And, worst of all, interest in another woman. Henry was not capable of long relationships.

  2. I agree with the previous comments, Ane was in a now win situation, Henry was obviously looking for excuses to get rid of her, it was s is said a right royal frame up!, Henry couldn’t believe thatuit could be his fault no boys were born. I feel so sorry for Anne and her friend.

  3. Yes, Henry definately was plotting against Anne after Jane Seymore came to court because the charges he came up with were ludicrous! Incest with your brother, your brother’s lover, Sir Henry Norris, who was a good friend of the King, and even, the hired assassin, who had tried to kill her several times! A royal frame up indeed! I’ve never felt more sorry for a person in my life than Anne B!

    1. Nobody tried to assassinate Anne that was a work a work of fiction but you are right about the rest! :/

  4. This is a strange one; it sounds more like Henry was going to ride away from the palace and leave Anne there as he had with Katherine, thus abandoning her, then having her move out and then moving on to his new wife. Was he at this point aware of the so called charges against Anne or plotting to levy them? Did Cromwell’s revelations of Anne’s adultery mean that Henry no longer needed to find a way to divorce Anne? Was Henry hoping he could walk away from his second marriage as he now believed it to be null and void and fix up the details: that is get Cranmer to do it lawfully later as he had with Katherine? Was Montague just reporting rumour or is there anything more to this story? If Henry was about to abandon Anne then the false charges and allegations towards her seem to have put an end to that plan and a much harsher and rigerous response into action.

    Anne must have been fearful and aware that something terrible was going on behind the scenes; and as Rowen says: poor Anne the man she loved about to abandon her: it reminds me of these men who just up and leave their wives and children without any apparent cause; after they have provided for them for years and then make no further attempt to see them; fickle and gutless! And before a load of fathers suddenly post that women also abandon their kids; yes; that is true and I would say the same about them as well. But this is Henry VIII; he does not do things that are expected; he does what he pleases: he has now taken absolute power to himself; abandoned one wife for another one; he will not stop at anything to walk away from Anne. The unfortunate events that followed Cromwells plot and the arrest of Mark Smeaton gave him grounds for acting in a way that made him come off as the victim and justified his ending his marriage without the need for another messy divorce.

    Anne may not have had attempts to assassinate her, but it was reported that the Pope or someone in Rome suggested that it would be a good idea if someone got rid of her an d the Boleyns made a number of enemies along the road to making her Queen; there would be many who surely gave killing her some thought. It was thsoe enemies who came out of the woodwork in April 1536; it was those enemies who saw an opportunity to get rid of Anne and replace her with a more agreeable model; it was one of those enemies Nicholas Carew, an old friend and jousting, drinking buddy of the King, a member of the Conservative elite at court; a supporter of Princess Mary and Queen Katherine who was coaching that replacement: Jane Seymour. The enemies of Anne now saw her as prey and swooped to bring her down. She had been vulnerable for some time: she was insecure in any event; and now the poor woman was afraid and powerless; her enemies could move in for the kill and that is what happened; Henry did not need to abandon Anne; it was easier to just get rid of her with false charges and a show trial that in fact made him look like the person who was wronged, even if in the end it did gain some sympathy for Anne.

  5. Your comments are very interesting to read ! I can’t agree more I’m fascinated by Ann but also very saddened by her downfall and the cruel way her enemies persued her to the scaffold wicked . Henry harassed her like a love sick puppy then disposed of her like garbage so very cruel ! Still I believe in Karma and Katherine Howard broke his heart . As Ann boylen said in the Tudors they was like two moths drawn to the flame and burned !!!

  6. He threw her to the wolves, in this case it was Cromwell and The supporters of Jane Seymour, Cromwell wanted her dead hence the ludicrous charges against her, it didn’t matter that five innocent men had to die, all he wanted was Anne out of the way, and convinced Henry she was guilty.

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