7 May 1536 – A queen’s chaplain is accosted and searched – The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Posted By on May 7, 2021

On 7th May 1536, five days after Queen Anne Boleyn’s arrest, her chaplain, William Latymer, was accosted and searched on his arrival back in England from the Continent.

Why was Latymer searched?

Why had the queen’s chaplain been abroad?

Was anything found on him and what happened to him?

Find out in this Fall of Anne Boleyn video:

Here’s the transcript:

On this day in 1536, 7th May, five days after Queen Anne Boleyn’s arrest, Anne’s chaplain, William Latymer, was searched by the mayor and jurates of Sandwich in Kent.

Latymer had just landed on English soil after a trip to Flanders on the queen’s business.

The mayor and jurates recorded the search in a letter to King Henry VIII the following date, sending with it a list of “the books he had with him, and of others in his mail, which had not yet arrived, but which were to be conveyed to London to one Mrs. Wilkinson”. They also informed Latymer that the “Queen and others were prisoners in the Tower”.

Latymer was then allowed to continue his journey.

Latymer had often brought back religious books back from the Continent for the Queen, so it was lucky for him that he did not have anything which could have been deemed as heretical in his luggage.

William Latymer went on to serve Queen Elizabeth I, who was, of course, Anne Boleyn’s daughter. During her reign, he wrote a sympathetic treatise on Anne Boleyn, a Chronicle of Anne Boleyn. He was one of the lucky ones to be close to the crown but to live a long life, He died at around the age of 84 in 1583 and was laid to rest on 28th August 1583 in Peterborough Cathedral.