28 May 1533 – Anne Boleyn is the rightful queen!

I always find it strange at this time of year to switch from writing about Anne Boleyn’s final days in May 1536 to the lead-up to her coronation in May 1533. How different things were just three years apart.

On this day in Tudor history, 28th May 1533, over four months after Henry VIII had married Anne at Whitehall, and six months after a possible secret marriage at Dover, Archbishop Cranmer proclaimed the union valid. Anne was now officially queen and it was just in time for her coronation!

Here’s my #TudorHistoryShorts video on this event:

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5 thoughts on “28 May 1533 – Anne Boleyn is the rightful queen!”
  1. Of course we all know and most of England did to that Anne Boleyn was not the true queen, that honour was Katherines still, it is conjectured that Mary 1st never forgave Cranmer for dissolving her parents marriage and declaring Anne Boleyn as the true queen, and vengeance was hers years later as the fires of Smithfield crackled in the air, one minute he was wed to Spanish Katherine and England was under the seal of Rome and a Catholic country, now he had ripped her from that stability and created a furore over his new bride whom the people loathed, and steadily embracing the new religion, he had ignored the Pope whom had refused the dispensation and wed Anne anyway, the priest who had officiated at his wedding was in a quandary because he knew effectively he was breaking the law, Henry V111 was a bigamist he was still married to Katherine, in fact Henry V111 was really the husband of five wives not six but he had did the impossible, he was free at last from Katherine and all his future hopes were pinned on Anne, the poor priest must have said a dozen Hail Marys after the illegal ceremony and worn a hair shirt for the next six months, both Henry and Anne were sure the child she was carrying was a boy and it is very sad that it was not, because then the miscarriages she suffered later tragic though they were, would not have mattered so much if Elizabeth had been an Edward, it is strange that the merry month of May was the time of both her earlier triumphs and later tragedy, but for now this May 28th in 1533 was a time of great celebration, she was now recognised by the canon lawyers and churchman due to the court at Dunstable, set up by Henry V111, as the true Queen of England, no matter what the Pope said or the emperor Charles or the rest of Europe, England had cut ties with Rome he had in fact made history, he had did what no other monarch had dared to do, he had founded a new church and made himself head of it, he had declared that England was not subservient to Rome as he was gods anointed chosen by god to rule, he was answerable only to that god, but his actions caused far reaching consequences not only for his country the citizens of whom who still felt very much they were Catholic, and for his eldest daughter who never really recovered from the stain of illegitimacy he had branded her with.

  2. I must admit I was a bit confused with the dates and actually thought Anne and Henry’s marriage had been declared at Dunstable soon after the marriage with Katherine was dissolved. Well, if I am confused with the evidence in front of me, imagine how confusing it was for ordinary people. One moment Henry and Katherine are the true King and Queen, then the Convocation says no, then the Pope says yes, then another Court says no, then Anne and Henry are the true King and Queen and so on. I think the Pope will also give a ruling in favour of Katherine as well. Can you imagine it? Just what are you meant to believe?

    I can imagine the poor priest who married Henry and Anne secretly saying Hail Mary and keeping his fingers crossed. One tale was that he asked to see the Dispensation that the couple were free to marry and Henry lied and said it was on the way. Well, what are you supposed to do? You can’t call the King of England a liar. You dare not refuse to accept that there is a dispensation. No wonder some old bloke got reported for praying for Queen Katherine instead of Queen Anne. Cromwell realised he was old and it was a perfectly excusable thing. A lot of other things were not so acceptable.

    Thomas Cranmer was very beholden to Henry Viii but he was more than willing to declare the marriage with Anne as good. He had studied the theology and was on the same page as the King. His efforts had produced a number of these pamphlets which put forward his arguments on why the King’s marriage was outlined. It was a collection of old sources which basically supported the King’s ideals and Henry was delighted. Now Anne was officially Queen and she was ecstatic.

    1. No, it had been ruled at Dunstable and then Cranmer set up the special enquiry at Lambeth and then proclaimed its validity. Yes, mad times!

      1. Thanks, Claire. It was a totally mad and confusing time and dangerous. You couldn’t say anything either because of the legislation. Mad times indeed.

    2. Yes I heard that Henry tried to bluff the priest into marrying him and Anne by telling him the dispensation was on the way, one can see the ceremony in ones eye, the happy couple both ecstatic, and the troubled priest timidly asking the king if he could see the important document that declared Henry was free to marry Anne Boleyn, I agree the priest was in a very awkward situation, he was bound by church law yet he could not very well refuse the King of England’s orders, the film with Genevieve Bujold and Richard Burton portrayed it marvellously, Henry was impatient and he kept saying to the priest, ‘on man on’, but legally it was not a true marriage, and it was only when Henry split from Rome that the legal ties were cut forever, he risked excommunication in doing so but he was not the first king to do that, in medieval France king Philip left his wife Bertha to marry Bertrand de Montfort who was a great beauty and was already the wife of Fulk of Anjou, he had several children with Bertha including his heir, and several with Bertrand, the Pope informed him to put Bertrand aside and return to Bertha but like Henry V111, he was besotted with his mistress, he was excommunicated by the Pope but he continued to live in bliss with Bertrand and they later married, Philip and Fulk amazingly became good friends a strange situation indeed, back to Tudor times, the people of England must have been bemused with what was going on, if we can imagine being in court circles at the time or merely a person having a mug of ale in the local tavern, one of the middling classes a merchant maybe, rich or poor or the lowliest peasant it didn’t matter what status you were, you knew you were duty bound to accept the kings authority on all things but he had created a storm by putting Katherine away and wedding Anne, the people sympathised with Katherine and Mary they were always very fond of Henry’s eldest daughter, particularly in the north, and they simply could not accept that Henry had defied the Pope and that England was no longer a Catholic country, she had been Catholic for hundreds of years, they still believed the Pope was their master, many must have prayed for his soul which they believed was damned, but the king and his new queen were to wrapped up in their glee to worry about their subjects, and Anne was carrying the heir to England, however the people still muttered and whenever Katherine and Mary rode out they rushed to greet them, and clapped and shouted their support, in all their misery, it must have brought them some vestige of comfort.

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