3 May 1536 – Sir William Kingston Reports Back to Cromwell on Anne Boleyn
Posted By Claire on May 3, 2014
On 3rd May 1536, Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, wrote his first report to Thomas Cromwell regarding Anne Boleyn’s imprisonment in the Tower of London. The ladies appointed to serve Anne during her imprisonment had been ordered to act as spies and report to Lady Kingston what the Queen said. Lady Kingston then passed the news on to her husband, who, in turn, reported back to Cromwell.
Kingston’s first report included his description of Anne’s arrival at the Tower and her ramblings about her altercations with Mark Smeaton and Sir Henry Norris on 29th April – see 29 April 1536 – A Sulk and an Argument. In trying to work out why she had been arrested, Anne also spoke of Sir Francis Weston, one of the King’s favourites and a man who had been made Knight of the Bath at Anne’s coronation in 1533. Anne said that “she more feared Weston; for on Wysson Monday last Weston told her that Nores [Norris] cam more unto her chawmbre for her then for Madge…” She went on to explain how she had also reprimanded Weston for loving her relative, Madge Shelton, and not his wife, and he “made answer to her again that he loved on in her house better than them both”. When Anne asked who, he replied “It is yourself”. The Queen then “defied him”. Weston was arrested the next day, so it appears that Anne’s mention of him led to him being implicated. Poor Weston.
Sir William Kingston also reported that Anne had asked if the King would allow her to have the Sacrament placed in a cupboard in her chamber so that she could “pray for mercy.” She went on to say “for I am as clere from the company of man as for syn, sayd she as I am clere from you, and am the kyngs trew wedded wyf.”
You can find out more about the ladies appointed to serve Anne Boleyn in the Tower in my article Cruelly Handled – Anne Boleyn in the Tower.
Notes and Sources
- Cavendish, George (1825) The Life of Cardinal Wolsey, Volume 2, 218-22o