On 6th May 1536, it is said that Anne Boleyn wrote a letter to her husband, King Henry VIII, from her “doleful Prison the Tower.

The letter was headed with the words “To the King from the Lady in the Tower”, alleged to have been written by Thomas Cromwell.

Find out more in my article “6th May 1536 – From the Lady in the Tower” over on The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown timeline.

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6 thoughts on “6th May 1536 – From my Doleful Prison”
  1. I just finished reading your first book or collection. It was well done. It was truthful. And probably the most exciting account of Anne’s short life. Thank you. Ramona

  2. Hello Claire: nice article on the letter at the Timeline. I am curious though … does anyone have any theories as to why someone would forge such a letter?

    1. One theory bounced around was that it was actually an exercise carried out by a school student, a bit like the competition I’m running now for Anne Boleyn’s execution speech. Can you imagine someone in a few hundred years stumbling upon one of our competition entries and thinking it’s Anne Boleyn’s speech?! Well, no, but I’m sure you get what I mean.

      I don’t see why it would be a forgery. The handwriting and signature (Bullen) can be explained by it being a copy that was made of the original letter and although some believe that Anne wouldn’t have risked her daughter’s safety by writing it, I feel it’s quite a polite letter really and not offensive.

  3. The letter that survives is a copy and isn’t trying to copy Anne’s handwriting. Working in an office I feel sorry for the Tudor clerks at the time who must have had to painstackingly copy out all documents by hand. As for the orginal being a forgery I would have thought that after al the love letters Henry had received from Anne during their courtship he would have known her handwriting.

  4. If in indeed it is a forgery, maybe that was to further the cause of Anne’s execution. I am quite sure that Cromwell would not want Henry to feel compassion to Anne. I believe he wanted her out of the way and was afraid of her influence on Henry had she lived. Women did not stand a chance back then; men had all the power and used that power to their advantage and women be damned. By this time, I believe Henry was out of his mind; his only desire was to have a son and he would do whatever he could to achieve this goal. Cromwell and his cronies knew this and plotted and schemed to achieve their goal and further their grasp for power. They would remove whomever stood in their way. This is just my opinion, but it is what I believe.

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