29 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn, the Marmalade Cupboard and Dead Men’s Shoes

Anne Boleyn, marmalade and dead men's shoesIt sounds like a weird game of Cluedo doesn’t it? Well, the spring of 1536 was a bit like a game of cluedo or a crime novels, lots of twists and turns, and alleged dirty deeds.

According to Anne Boleyn, in a conversation she had with Mrs Stoner in the Tower, she had a run-in with the court musician, Mark Smeaton, on Saturday 29th April 1536:

“I never spake with him since but upon Saturday before May Day [29th April], and then I found him standing in the round window in my chamber of presence; and I asked why he was so sad, and he answered and said it was no matter. And then I said, ‘You may not look to have me speak to you as I should do to a noble man because you be an inferior person.’ ‘No, no,’ said he, ‘a look sufficed me; and thus fare you well.'”1

From Anne’s account of their conversation, it appears that Smeaton had a crush on her and that Anne nipped it in the bud and put him in his place. However, the notorious gossipy chronicle, The Spanish Chronicle, tells an interesting story about the Queen and musician:

“One night, whilst all the ladies were dancing, the old woman called Mark and said to him gently, so that none should overhear, ‘You must come with me;’ and he, as he knew it was to the Queen’s chamber he had to go, was nothing loth. So she took him to an ante-chamber, where she and another lady slept, next to the Queen’s room, and in this ante-chamber there was a closet like a store-room, where she kept sweetmeats, candied fruits, and other preserves which the Queen sometimes asked for. To conceal him more perfectly the old woman put him into this closet, and told him to stay there till she came for him, and to take great care he was not heard. Then she shut him up and returned to the great hall where they were dancing, and made signs to the Queen, who understood her, and, although it was not late, she pretended to be ill, and the dancing ceased. She then retired to her chamber with her ladies, whilst the old woman said to her, ‘Madam, when you are in bed and all the ladies are asleep, you can call me and ask for some preserves, which I will bring, and Mark shall come with me, for he is in the closet now.’

The Queen went to bed and ordered all her ladies to retire to their respective beds, which were in an adjoining gallery like a refectory, and when they were all gone but the old lady and the lady who slept with her, she sent them off too. When she thought they would all be asleep, she called the old woman, and said, ‘Margaret, bring me a little marmalade.’ She called it out very loudly, so that the ladies in the gallery might hear as well as Mark, who was in the closet. The old woman went to the closet and made Mark undress, and took the marmalade to the Queen, leading Mark by the hand. The lady who was in the old woman’s bed did not see them when they went out of the closet, and the old woman left Mark behind the Queen’s bed, and said out loud, ‘Here is the marmalade, my lady.’ Then Anne said to the old woman, ‘Go along; go to bed.’

As soon as the old woman had gone Anne went round to the back of the bed and grasped the youth’s arm, who was all trembling, and made him get into bed. He soon lost his bashfulness, and remained that night and many others, so that in a short time this Mark flaunted out to such an extent that there was not a gentleman at court who was so fine, and Anne never dined without having Mark serve her.”2

It is a very tall tale, it is not corroborated by any other source and it is from a source that needs taking with a hefty pinch of salt – The Chronicle has Cromwell interrogating Catherine Howard even though he was dead at the time – but it shows the gossip that was going around after Anne’s fall and the propaganda that was being spread to blacken her name.

So where do the dead men’s shoes come into the story?

Well, they come into another event which happened on this day in 1536, an argument between Anne and Sir Henry Norris, the King’s Groom of the Stool. It appears that Anne asked Norris why he was taking so long to marry Madge Shelton, her cousin and lady-in-waiting. Norris gave her a rather non-committal answer so Anne rebuked him, accusing him of delaying the marriage because he fancied her instead:

“You look for dead men’s shoes, for if aught came to the King but good, you would look to have me.”3

The horrified Norris replied that “if he [should have any such thought] he would his head were off.”4 He was horrified not only by Anne’s suggestion that he fancied her but by Anne’s words concerning the death of the King. In uttering these words, Anne had been reckless. Not only had she said something very inappropriate for a married woman, let alone Queen; she had also broken the rules of courtly love and spoken of the King’s death. The courtier was meant to proposition the lady; however, in this argument Anne had been the ‘aggressor’. She had turned the courtly love tradition on its head and had also spoken words which could be construed as treason.

Anne obviously realised what she had done as soon as the words had left her mouth. She immediately instructed Norris to go to her almoner and swear an oath about her character, to say that she was “a good woman.”5 We don’t know what Norris did but it appears that it was this argument which was used as proof that Anne was having an affair with Norris and that they were plotting the King’s death.

Update on whether Henry Norris was a Knight

You may remember that Teri Fitzgerald wrote an excellent article for The Anne Boleyn Files about whether William Brereton and Henry Norris were “sirs” or not – see Henry Norris and William Brereton – The Knighthood Confusion by Teri Fitzgerald. Well, historian Leanda de Lisle had been researching Norris and found mention of him being paid 18l 5s for his role as Black Rod, an office of the Order of the Garter. He was appointed in October 1526 and this office was only open to knights, so he was a “sir”. The reference for the payment is LP x.878 ” 18l. 5s.; Black Rod” in the accounts from May 1536 after his trial. Thank you so much to Leanda for finding this information.

Notes and Sources

  1. LP x.798
  2. Chronicle of King Henry VIII of England: Being a Contemporary Record of Some of the Principal Events of the Reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, written in Spanish by an Unknown Hand (The Spanish Chronicle), Translated, with Notes and Introduction by Martin A. Sharp Hume (1889), p57. This can be read online at www.archive.org
  3. LP x.793
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.

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48 thoughts on “29 April 1536 – Anne Boleyn, the Marmalade Cupboard and Dead Men’s Shoes”
  1. Having been a Tudor fanatic from an early age, and being fascinated by dear Anne, it was with huge delight that I discovered your amazing Files. I cannot thank you enough for all your work. In South Africa, the decent books, especially about “Euro-centred” stuff, are all but unobtainable. If there is even one, it is priced way out of my budget.
    I found your feelings about”The other Boleyn Girl” chimed most musically with mine. If one writes fiction, one should clearly state this fact, not pretend to knowledge that is so obviously lacking.

    1. Hi Elrine,
      Welcome to The AB Files and thank you for your lovely comment. http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ do free worldwide shipping and seem to stock most Tudor books if that helps you at all.
      I love historical fiction but my preferred books are those that make it clear what is fact and what is fiction.

  2. Its so unfair that she should be guilty of incest , i remember another trial where Maria Antoinette defending herself – they said she had been vith her own son -to blacken her name .. a woman cant defend herself of thise things – and the dirtymindet other people .. i know and feel Anne Boleyn only loved her brother and did not have sex vith other men , she was too intelligent to take any chance . Flirt perhaps but that is not adultery . Im very happy that she got her revenge by Elisabeth 1 -ruling England for 44 year -a golden age .. i prefere to think of the positive things in this – and i hope her death was painless -i dont think it was psychic – it must have been so hard for her to get all thise knifes in her back -even by people she supported .

  3. I’ve always wondered about this story–it seems so farfetched, yet it’s imaginative which gives it some element of believability–not that I believe it! I can’t imagine Chapuys being that creative! Thanks!

  4. Claire,Great read,I still and will always believe that ,Q’Anne never had long eyelashes for any other men!She may have like Smeaton,but just as a singer,someone that liked the arts as she did,she love to sing herself and played insturments aswell.You have tought me not too read those Spanish Cronicales anymore!!THX Baroness x

  5. Great article. I read a recent biography of Thomas Cromwell claiming that Henry was originally seeking to annul the marriage, and there was no criminal charges planned until Anne’s comment to Norris “you look to have me”. The call for a new Parliament would fit with a planned annulment (the succession would need to be altered … again), but would the commissions of oyer and terminer be needed for an annulment? Possibly, perjury charges against Northumberland for denying the pre-contract when his wife wanted to annul their marriage in 1532?

    1. Which biography was that? I’m looking for a good bio of Cromwell and if you have any recommendations I’d really appreciate them.

      As for the debate over whether it was supposed to be an annulment and then got upgraded … the more I read the more I feel like most of the major participants didn’t know *themselves* what they were doing except trying to cover their backsides somehow, which would make it really difficult to untangle the “real story” afterwards. (I feel similarly about the events that saw Edward V deposed and Richard III in his place, for what it’s worth).

      1. John Schofield’s biography of Cromwell is excellent. Doesn’t say that Anne is guilty; just says that Cromwell was working on an annulment when comments by the Countess of Worcester started an investigation … and the “dead men’s shoes” comment was the “evidence” that made Anne look guilty, no matter what.

        1. Thank you! I shall procure it as soon as I reasonably can. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that an annulment was in the works and then opportunity knocked, so to speak. But I do have a problem with the idea that Cromwell managed to pull one over on Henry, as much as I like Ives. Henry’s later reaction to Katherine Howard, when he had likely been genuinely cuckolded and then surprised, was just so different.

  6. I know that anne could not have been guilty and did not deserve execution ,but was it normal,aside from the courtly love thing,for her to be having these conversations such as the dead mens shoes talk,with courtiers,which were in rank quite below her,it is hard to imagine what court life was like back then ,but its really inviting trouble of a big nature to be having these conversations ,and she must have realised that henrys ego would have been severely bashed over this ,she really was quite reckless ,im sorry to say and this would have made it so very easy for the seymours to just bolster henry ego up ,she must have realised that there was serious trouble ahead ,hence that talk with henry while with Elizabeth.

    1. also her life those last few months on this earth must have been a living hell for her watching that ugly slob of a husband parade himself around with “the new in crowd”the seymours,its a great pity that she couldn’t have disappeared somewhere and got herself to safety maybe an obscure country somewhere ,but then again it happened with such alarming speed that none of them had a chance .

      1. margaret,I really agree with you it must have been painful,in the Tower just knowing that she would never see her Elizabeth again.Also we have to remember that ,Anne was forced to be with Henry ,were as Jane willing wanted to be with himand just think after her death that would make Q’Jane, the stepmother too her child! It would be unbareable!! Kind Regards Baroness x

        1. mararet,I have always wanted to say this too SCREW HENRY and his EGO!!! I hope he’s toasting marshmellows with the Devil! Thx Baroness x

        2. Hi Baroness,
          Can I ask why you think Anne was forced to be with Henry, I know he pursued her passionately, but I think she still had a choice, 7 years is a long time to wait and waste your youth on if you didn’t want something. Anne was no fool, and I do think she loved him, though maybe not at the start.
          As for Jane, did she want it?, or was it thrust on her? did her family want it? on that score I think they did, the Crown is a very tempting prize to go for. We know Henry wanted it, and who could say no to him at this stage of the game, or was it a combination of all of them.
          Whether she made the choice or others for her, I certainly don’t think Jane was unprepared for becoming Queen, or the complacent women she has been made out to be, she had had a lot of insight to the ways of Queen ship by now, and I feel went into it with eyes wide open and with caution, she had seen how the previous two had faired, and knowledge is power. There is also the side of whether she felt duty bound by her religious beliefs to become Queen, she was more towards the old ways, and maybe thought she could bring Henry back to them.

        3. Dawn1st, She was too be married to Henry Percy of Northumberland, they were all contracted to be married,and the King refused them to marry,as he had his eyes on Anne.When he sent Wolsey to let both of them know the King refused them permission to Wed.Anne went bolistic, and hated him for making Percy marry another.Its allways been known, thats why she hejd out for so long she was not going too be mistess to the King,like her sister.Henry orderd her to be Lady in waiting to Q’ Kate,so she would be at arms length to him. What are you thinking?yes intime she did forget Percy, but she never persued the King, she refused him.Its in the books did you not see ‘Anne Of The Thousand Days,Hal B. Wallis did alot of factual research on the making of that flim, and so did the actors ,Sir Richard Burton, Ms Bujiold.I’m not trying too rewrite history ,it’s how it went down Dawn! THX Baroness

        4. The main source we have for the Percy/Anne romance is Cavendish and he suggests that Wolsey was ordered to break-up the relationship because the King was interested in Anne. However, as Ives points out, the evidence points to Percy’s marriage to Mary Talbot taking place in 1524 and the Earl (Percy’s father) “made an unexpected journey to London in June 1523”, so that was probably when he went to speak to Wolsey and his son. This makes it too early for the King to be seriously interested in Anne as this is when it is thought that he was sleeping with Mary Boleyn at the time. Cavendish was writing 35 years later than the actual events and with the benefit of hindsight. It was more likely that the King stepped in because the Percy/Talbot marriage negotiations had been under discussion since 1516 and were in their final stages in autumn 1523 and because Wolsey and the King were also arranging for Anne to marry James Butler.

          Ives also argues that “Cavendish’s interpretation of Anne’s reaction is also improbable. To go about making threats against the cardinal in 1522 or 1523 was both unwise and childish, and Anne was neither” and I agree with Ives. Evidence shows that Anne had a good relationship with Wolsey until it became clear that he was not working towards the annulment.

          There is no evidence that Henry ordered Anne to be part of Catherine’s household so that he could be near her. She was recalled from France to marry James Butler and to serve in Catherine’s household. Henry did not know her then.

          I just don’t think we can use “Anne of the Thousand Days” as a source. It is a wonderful movie and lots of research was done, as it was done for The Tudors too, but there are many inaccuracies or scenes from artistic licence, e.g. the amazing scene where Henry visits Anne in the Tower. I love that scene.

        5. I think we may have to differ on this one Baroness.
          I agree I think there was a close relationship between Anne and Percy, and seemed serious enough to set tongues wagging, and bring in intervention of those higher up.

          When Percy ‘fell’ for Anne he had been engaged/betrothed to Mary Talbot for 6 years, which entailed long involved negotiations by the parties involved. This engagement was a legal commitment, so Percy was not free to marry.
          There was also talks of marrying Anne to Butler, with Wolsey involved. I think this is right…

          Now I personally don’t think that these powerful men where going to let two young, love struck people cause any impediments, problems and embarrassment to their families and others involved concerning these on going arrangements. So the relationship was nipped in the bud, cruel yes it was, but a fact of life then. To disobey in any way would probably bring disinheritance on both, without income or property what would they do… Even though Anne seems to have been a spirited Lady, but not stupid, I personally don’t think she would disobey her father in this.
          Neither of them were free to marry, there is no prove they were going to marry, and neither parents had agreed to such a union.
          Did the King stick his nose in this business, who knows for sure, maybe on a political point of view, possibly with Wolsey’s guidance, as he was practically running the ‘show’ at this time, Henry did seem to rely heavily on Wolsey to govern, while he ‘played’.
          Both Anne and Percy swore at later times there was no pre-contraction to each other.

          I don’t think she loved the King to start with, but I do think she came to love him dearly, at great cost to herself. The holding back from becoming his mistress, was in respect to herself, I feel she didn’t want to become another discarded Mistress with a string of royal illegitimate children, and who can blame her, she had seen it too often, at home and abroad.

          Anne of a Thousand Days is my favourite film too. But what ever research was done it was still only loosely based on facts.
          The research done by Burton and Bujold was to do with the characters of the people they were playing, and they both captured them wonderfully, in fact all the cast were brilliant. She is my favourite Anne to date. But there was still a lot of artistic license there, which helped underline the strong personalities of the main people, more than show everything as historical fact, to me anyway.

          I don’t think for one minute Anne ripped into Wolsey like it was shown, he was a very powerful, scary person, not someone to pee off, and I don’t think Anne was that selfish that she would destroy her whole family.

          Nor do I believe that Henry confronted Anne in the court room, or in the Tower, though it appeals to my sense of irony and satisfaction of him getting a few home truths. It was mainly fiction, and supposition. But still I love this film, and the Man of all Seasons, and have them both on DVD.

          Of course you are not trying to re-write history Baroness, but we do interpret history, to suit our perspective of things, even the best of the best Historians all have a different take on events.
          But the truth could never be accurately portrayed in a film, it would be far to long, and boring for most, because of all the politics involved, and even then people would disagree about it.

  7. I always found this story entertaining — very much in the line of celebrity gossip today, where all sorts of lurid stuff is supposed to be happening beneath the candy-coated magazine spreads and people love repeating and embellishing the worst stories :). The maid Margaret was supposed to have been burnt at the stake in punishment, if I recall correctly; luckily, she didn’t actually exist!

    Nice to see proof positive of Norris’s knighthood; I had assumed he was, as Cavendish called him “Sir Harry Norris” and Cavendish would have been in a position to know.

    1. Sonetka,It’s just a real good thing they did’nt have reality TV back then or the national enquier ,people mag!! Could you imagine how that would have played out ,having Henrty V111and his wives on reality shows ,OMG!! Regards Baroness x

        1. They would have to call it, KEEPING UP WITH THE TUDOR”S. thx Baroness

  8. gossip was and still is very dangerous and really cowardly and can do untold damage to innocent peple who usually have no idea whats being said behind their back .

  9. I had never heard the marmalade story before–but it does in some ways strike me as similar to the goings-on with Kathryn Howard. Lady Rochford hiding Culpepper in the latrine/privy (if I am not mistaken) and her own quarters, or so they claim.

  10. Whilst I do not believe any of the charges against Anne Boleyn, I accept that she may have said or even done minor inappropriate things. But for sure, the punishment far outweighed the crime. As for the Spanish (at that time of course), I personally would take anything they said about her with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila.

  11. I have just found this website and I find it quite fascinating. I am finding myself drawn to the Tudor story and the highs and lows and deceptions of this time in history. Keep the good work coming!

    1. M’Lady,Much more lows then highs for the TUDOR Queens and Henry V111,welcome,No this is not my site ,it’s CLAIR RIDGEWAYS SITE. I”m a mear commenter. Welcome Kind Regards Baroness x

  12. My…thats a new take on a ‘Mid-night Snack’ 🙂

    That story is on par with parts of The Other Boleyn Girl book, definately the film! , I’m surprized actually, that it wasn’t included…or was it I forget That story is as far fetched as the last book I read on C.Howard by F. Madox Ford.

    I wonder who the ‘old woman’ was meant to be, anyway too unbelievable for me.

    Though I do agree with Jed that at times she may have made some inappropiate comments that could well have been twisted, as they do now-a-days, into incriminating words, especially by the ‘local paperazzi’ of that time, and especially at this time of her life too, she must have been in a very nervous state by now, I feel she must have felt something was in the air…poor Anne.

  13. P.S. Good to know the debate on whether Norris was a Knight, or not, has been answered.
    Well done Leanda.

    1. Dawn1st,I keep seeing Norris called Sir all over the place and spent 2 days,now I see it again called Sir??? Baroness

      1. I replied to you when you asked about it the other day at https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/bios/sir-henry-norris/, Baroness, but you mustn’t have seen my answer. Here it is again for you:
        “The result of the investigation was that historian Leanda de Lisle found that Henry Norris held the position of Black Rod, an office of the Order of the Garter, in 1526 and this position was only open to knights so he was in fact knighted. See Leanda’s comments under https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/henry-norris-and-william-brereton-knighthood-confusion-by-teri-fitzgerald/

        1. Claire,All the research I did on him and was told he was not knighted??Well I am happy to here he was knighted. Kind Regards Claire

        2. You weren’t told he was not knighted, but you were citing secondary sources like Wikipedia and TudorPlace which are known for their errors and inaccuracies. What was needed was primary sources, sources from the time Norris lived, which was what Teri was citing and which Leanda found in her research on Norris for her book on the Tudors. I hope you understand.

        3. Claire, Not so ,Sorry I went to the arcives ,as you do and a lot of other sources, as your friends whom write there books do, and was told he was not a KNIGHT.I was told he was not a knight by you,I hope you understand. Thx B x

        4. You quoted Wikipedia and Tudorplace in your comments. I didn’t tell you that he was not a knight, I simply pointed out that you can only go on primary sources and I asked for the references you found. The majority if primary sources list Norris as simply “Henry Norris” whereas they referred to Weston as “Sir Francis Weston”. The only primary source that we found calling him “sir” was Cavendish and then Leanda found the payment in LP for his office as Black Rod, I still haven’t found another primary source that refers to his actual knighthood or which refers to him as “sir” so please do let us know as I can then update the article. Thanks.

      2. Hi Baroness, if you read the last paragraph of Caire’s post it will explain why. Leanda did some indepth reseach and found the evidence, and passed it on to Claire. 🙂

        1. Sorry Claire misspelled your name, nursing a stinking cold, numbng whats left of the brain cells…. 🙁

        2. Dawn1st Claire,I ‘mj just happy too no he was infact knighted thats all ,thank you ladies,it was qwite a puzzle, weather or not he was!Happy too have the info! You have a Great Day! Kind Regards Dawn1st/Claire Baroness x

        3. Sorry about my spelling malfunctions I was late for work had to run! Baroness x

        4. Dawn ,I read everything thats peope write on this site and elsewhere and also keep a very open mind.I had read and seen that’ Norris was knihgted in several reads and sites that is why I asked CLAIRE IF HE WAS OR WAS NOT !!I KNEW HE WAS KNIGHT A LONG TIME AGO,even before this post was written,also I am always Q”S about why and what my srouses our ,what are everybody elses??I’m not here to say who’s right or wrong ,but I do know alot about this subject,and as everyone else you must read and learn and keep an open mind ,do not just asume that your right and everyone else is wrong!!!! That goes for I think everyone,do your own research.!I do. B

        5. I always ask people what their sources are when we are debating an issue like this because that’s the whole point of historical debate, arguing and then backing up your point with evidence. The whole Henry Norris topic was about sources and what they said, and you just kept saying that he was a knight but not offering any primary sources to back this up. When we state something as fact then we have to be able to back it up.

          What I love about the way that this site has developed is that there are sooooo many people on here who have knowledge and we can all share it. Teri’s investigation was really good fun as we had people from all walks of life, all levels of knowledge, all hunting through archives and feeding back what they found. As you saw from Teri’s post, even seasoned historians were divided over whether Norris was a “sir” or not. The one piece of evidence that solves it is that payment for his office of Black Rod which was only open to knights. Leanda very kindly shared what she found during her research for her book on the Tudors and I’m so thankful to have the matter solved. We still haven’t found anything to prove that Brereton was knighted though.

          Dawn was just pointing out that I explained Leanda’s find in the article that you commented on, I assume she thought you missed that bit as it was an extra bit on the end.

        6. You obviously took my remark the wrong way Baroness, though I can not see why., I did think you had missed the last paragraph that’s all, there was nothing else in my comment to suggest anything but that, and it certainly was not a criticism to yourself, and nothing at all to suggest ‘I know better than you’, or anyone else.
          What I know is but a grain of sand on the beach to many of the knowledgeable people on this site, and I have the greatest respect for them, learn from them, and most of all enjoy it. many of my original thoughts of the people of this time has been changed by the intellectual comments placed on here.
          My interest in the Tudors is a hobby, not a vocation or a job. I read books, read this site and form an opinion. I am not a historian or do in depth research, I do not have that kind of discipline, or the time to devote to one subject, as I have many interests, one is horticulture which I have studied at college and Uni.
          I would apologise. but I cannot see there is anything to apologise for.

        7. Dawn 1st,I really did not think that you were being rude or other wise !Dawn,you and I have had a great many Q’sA’s back and forth! I take it very’ serious too what each and every one thinks on the ,’Claire Ridgeway,The Anne Boleyn Files Site,and too we our all ,here for the same thing too learn about what we can find out about this Happy, yet Tragic, time for the people that lived,loved and died,at the hand of Henry V111,thats why were here,right??? I consider your knowledge ,a very inportant part of Claires site ,and do welcome it with the utmost respect, to you and all of the AB Friends .I am not asking for an apololgires from you, in any way shape or form,You ask me a Q’s and I gave you my reply,thats it ,and so lets just move on.What are your feelings on what happen on The May Day Joust?? Very Kind Regards Baroness x

      3. Yes of course we can move on from this, but I am still a little confused here concerning your remark ‘you asked me a Q’s and I gave you my reply’, because my original post was not a question to you on Norris, just a comment that you may have missed that last paragraph concerning him….

        As for the May Day Jousts, I think it clearly shows how precarious life was in those time, irrespective of rank or status…no one was on safe ground.

        As for the poor Queen, she must have felt an overwhelming sense of confusion and abandonment, with the impending onset of ruin, though I can not imagine even Anne with her intelligence could realise her final destiny.

        1. Hi Dawn1st,Yes’ The May Day Juost ,must have really ben most unconfterble,I amazed how, Henry could just have a good old time!!I have this picture in my head of him ,and Q’Anne,and the Seymours all gatherd together,OMG!!!!!!Ireally wonder if ,Q’Anne had a gutt feeling theres something going down,but what was it?? Kindest Regards Baroness x

  14. I’ve seen and read some dramatizations that suggest Anne simply thought the marriage would be annulled (like Catherine’s had been) and she would then go back to France and live quietly, so long as Elizabeth was safe/still in line of succession. Of course, as is usually pointed out at the same time, that would more or less put Henry in the same position as he had been in 3 years previous, and he had found that rather uncomfortable.

    And of course I mean that just as Catherine of Aragon had been his brother’s wife, Anne was sister to a former mistress; Anne had her supporters just as Catherine did even if the bulk of them were domestic and could not bring war like the Emperor could; there was a healthy child of the marriage, albeit female.

    I think it would be safe to say that he had been the laughingstock of Christendom, at least for a while, having 2 wives and all, that he refused to go through it again. At least that’s the line often taken by the fabulists.

    1. I would imagine that Anne would, indeed, have thought that the worst that could happen would have been that she would be set aside in favour of Jane Seymour, just as Katherine of Aragon had been for her. I can only imagine her terror when she was arrested and taken to the Tower.

      1. Marry Heneghan,I truely think that is was a horrible exsperience, for all,and the more so for, Q’ Anne,but Q’Anne, was also a very brave women to take Henry on as she did,be it was only 10 years,too long in my opionion,he was selfish, moody, Ill Tempered ,and so on.How could anyone really please this King,but a son who would live to be King after Henrys death,that seems to me is all he wanted? Thx Baroness X

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