7 May 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s Chaplain is searched – The Fall of Anne Boleyn

On this day in 1536, 7th May, one of Queen Anne Boleyn’s chaplain was accosted and searched on his arrival back in England from the Continent.

Why was he searched?

What had been his business abroad?

What was found in his possession?

And what happened to him?

I explain everything in today’s video.

I’m doing these “Fall of Anne Boleyn” videos daily until 19th May and I started on 24th April. You can catch up with them on the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society Youtube Channel.

You can find out more about my book The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown at http://getbook.at/fallanneboleyn.

If you prefer reading articles to watching videos, you can click here to read more.

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35 thoughts on “7 May 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s Chaplain is searched – The Fall of Anne Boleyn”
  1. It really seems a miracle that during this very dangerous three weeks that he wasn’t at least arrested. Any connection to Anne could have been an excuse.

  2. How I envy your lovely rooftop terrace Claire, it must be great sitting there in the evening with a glass of wine, the apprehension of William Latimer just goes to show that anyone connected to the queen was in grave danger at this time, and I have a feeling that maybe Cromwell thought of bringing the charge of heresy against her as well, Latimer had been Annes chaplain for some time, yet suddenly he found himself being searched and told the shocking news that must have distressed him a lot, that his queen and mistress was in the Tower, it must have been a lot to take in but he was allowed to go his way and as we know he lived to a good age and died in his bed, he was one of a group of evangelicals along with Cranmer who were friends of the queen and because of that, he was now under suspicion, later in Elizabeths reign he wrote a very complimentary book about Anne which was very heartening to not only Elizabeth, but to us centuries later, as we know Anne suffered a terrible injustice and her name was blackened during and after her death, those who had loved her and were sympathetic to her went on to rehabilitate her reputation, Alexander Ales for one who told Elizabeth that Protestantism began with her mother, George Wyatt who wrote a very flattering biography of her, her first biography in fact, and there were lots of paintings done in Elizabeths lifetime to, it was the reign of her daughter therefore Anne became the blessed mother of the great Queen Elizabeth, it is nice to know that after the dreadful circumstances of her death and the complete obliteration of her presence from the court of Henry V111, her name was now being hailed as good Queen Anne, the mother of reform and her works of piety were noted to and her acts of charity, of course there were those of the catholic faith who abhorred her still, and there were the evil spoutings of Nicholas Sander but that was all he could do wallowing in the wilds of Ireland.

  3. If the events of the last week had not have happened one could dismiss this as a normal thing which happens when one goes abroad and returned home, being searched by customs is nothing unusual. However, in the context of arrests for treason and adultery of the Queen and a group of men around her and the questioning of several of her ladies, the stopping of anyone connected to Anne takes on a darker meaning. William Latimer had brought books back from Flanders for Queen Anne before and he had several now, probably some of these were for Anne and he didn’t have any problems but now he was told to make a list of his books and was lucky that they were not considered heretical because they could have been seized and destroyed and he would have been arrested and interrogated. As it was one wonders if this was a targeted incident to find incriminating evidence against the Queen, a mere coincidence or a sting. Was he actually being watched? Was there an order to stop him, give him the information about Anne, search him and let him go and see what happens next or who he talks to? Have I being watching too much Quantico? Yes, probably but remember these people invented the equivalent of the special secret services and secret agents and the methods of espionage haven’t changed that much, just the technology. Latimer would have been seriously unnerved by such information and distressed. Had he been up to no good, he would soon panic and give himself away. In this case, however, everything was above board and no further action was taken.

    William Latymer was the chaplain of Anne Boleyn for a number of years and he wrote a dedicated biography about her, he praised her charity and modesty and her as a decent person. He knew her well so this news would have been devastating for him to hear. He had left on her business and returned to find his mistress and several notable members of the inner circle of the King and the Queen arrested, incarcerated in the Tower on capital charges and facing the death penalty. Now it’s very true that a Queen had not previously been executed but there is a first time for everything and the terrible things that she was accused off rang in every ear. Plotting the death of her husband, the King, sleeping with several men, several times and conspiracy with them to Kill Henry, sleeping with her own brother and who knows what else may arise. It was extraordinary and hardly believable! How could such a pious champion of the Holy Gospel be guilty of such terrible crimes? Latimer must have been in total shock. He clearly didn’t believe any of this as his work is very favourable towards Anne Boleyn and he would go on to serve her daughter. I don’t know much about the character of William Larimer but if he was a man of principles I have no doubt that he would have denounced the service of a woman of infamy. Even Eustace Chapuys who only met her once, the day he acknowledged her as she passed with Henry and he decided she was gracious enough as she had nodded to him as well, who was on paper her implacable enemy, even he didn’t believe the charges against her or the men. As a P.R job this trial was a complete disaster for Henry Viii, very little evidence had been actually gathered or invented and he was not finding anything new to substantiate these lies, nor had anyone other than Mark Smeaton confessed. I doubt that this investigation was going much to plan.

  4. You’ve sparked a thought BQ, as I’m reading this……. because if we ever had Anne Boleyn, the Musical, I can imagine the Cromwell character, leaving perhaps on a boat on the river, breaking into song…
    “I’m making it up as I go along: The Queen’s in the Tower and what can go wrong?!: Smeaton confessed: Not so the rest: the evidence isn’t really that strong: as I’m making it up as I go along.”
    I am sure you can all finish it. Hope it’s not too flippant?!

    1. Soon the queen will be dead and I can sleep safe in my bed, for she would surely have hung me out to dry, for all this as I said, I made it up so I did, I made it up as I tarried along, so ends my merry song and I hope it wasn’t too long, about this evil old sow the queen, pity the five men, but their lives were not in vain, you have to make sacrifices sometimes, and all this I made up I caught the queen in a trap, what a clever fellow I am, today Queen Anne tomorrow Queen Jane all because through me the Queen was slain, not bad for a poor lad from Putney eh? And I made it all up myself! Hope you like this Globerose

  5. Wow Christine, go to, go to! I personally love to play. It seems to let the imagination fly free and that’s when stuff comes up that might never come up. You are the play maker, the dreamer of dreams! This is such an abusive, I mean .. great fat clobbering of an anointed queen, that it almost deserves the musical treatment, don’t you think?

    1. Ha ha yes indeed, Annes story has been made into an opera so surely a musical would do her justice, I’m sure Andrew Lloyd Webber could carry it off marvellously well, in fact I hope he’s on Facebook because I might message him.

  6. This was indeed the biggest miscarriage of justice in history, the mashing up of a Queen, regardless of the consequences, by any means and any cost and the innocent bones of those involved were crushed beneath the juggernaut of Tudor injustices.

    The opera by Gaetano Donizetti conveys the passion and tragedy of Anne’s fall excellently but our musical will surpass them all.

    Anne Boleyn: The Grand Truth Revealed opening Spring 2020,_lyrics by Christine and Globerose, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael and Bandit Queen executive producers and directors and Claire as the historical advisor. Playing on Broadway, the West End, Sydney Opera House, plus Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool Arena and various venues across the world.

    Congratulations ladies. You made the big time.

    1. i can’t wait to see our names in lights and in the entertainment column in the Daily Mail, reviewed by Baz Bamigboye, but who would play our Anne? surely the wonderful Lesley Garrett and I think Susan Boyle could play Henry V111!.

      1. Oh no, Patrick Stewart as Henry Viii. Susan Boyle with her beautiful voice could sing for Anne Boleyn.

        Can’t wait to see our names in lights. What a way to round off the ten years of the Anne Boleyn files!

        Jane Seymour could sing “I will rise like a Phoenix” a very powerful song of renewal and power and her badge of course .

        You need the Kop Quire singing You’ll Never Walk Alone as Anne walks towards her doom and then into glory. It’s a proper classic after all. It will be a fantastic hit.

        1. Yes that song is lovely, as Anne walks to the scaffold I can just hear the music and Jane singing her song about the Phoenix her personal emblem, we should all get together and conduct our own musical fantastic, West End, Broadway here we come !

        2. Anne’s song has to be Kathleen Jenkins Time To Say Goodbye which she sang in the Doctor Who version of A Christmas Carol and which we had at my Auntie Norma’s funeral today. Sad but very beautiful and lifts the soul. She would probably make a good Anne Boleyn as she is stunning and confident. We are definitely on the way to Broadway and the West End.

  7. HaHa, BQ, we’ll all make our fortune and retire to Spain! Love that opening sentence and going to write it down.

  8. Hey Christine, I’m thinking that, “The Bell Tower showed me such a sight, That in my head sticks day and night,” is a lyric waiting for music?

    1. Yes could be il try to put pen to prose and make up a ditty that wouldn’t upset Sir Thomas Wyatt too much!

      1. Thanks, Globerose, perhaps I could narrate and come on stage and put it into a beautiful and moving opening introduced as they did at the time of Shakespeare. Talk about star crossed lovers this real life drama really is Romeo and Juliet meets Othello.

        It has everything a melodrama needs, two people in love, fighting against the system, a world order with great power which stands in their way, the two lovers stand alone against the world, a man in love with one woman, married to another who is faithful and popular but who cannot give him his hearts desire, an heir for his troubled land, he is torn between the love and affinity he once bore his wife and the love he has for his child: the woman he loves has promised him everything he desires but they are denied being together by all around them. Eventually the lovers triumphed, but now the loyal and loving wife is banished and no matter how she pleads she is banished by her now cold husband, the lovers are married and she is soon pregnant, they are delighted. She is crowned and the nation holds its breath on the birth of the child. The child is a girl. Our hero and heroine try again and again but everyone is against them still. Friends are sacrificed along the line and then tragically the longed for son dies and so does the abandoned Queen. The beloved daughter is also banished and is the weapon between two parents she loves but is kept from seeing. She is the beloved of the people. The new Queen is now vulnerable because of the tragedy of the loss of her son and the people who support the old Queen plot against her. Our hero turns bad as he finds a new target for a wife and here we have a new lover who is in favour of the beloved Princess. She abided her time and waits in the wings until suddenly our one time hero turns on his wife and passion turns to hate. He believes she has betrayed him with numerous lovers but it’s all a dastardly plot by his henchman and supporters of his new love. The only way to protect the beloved Princess is for her stepmother to meet her doom. The innocent woman and her lovers are rounded up, put on public trial and sent to their deaths, but not before the once much loved wife pleads with our ex hero, their child in her arms. It is to no avail and she is taken to her doom. The new heroine waits and intercedes for the Princess, winning support from the people, but rebuke from our hero. He is now dark and angry and only finds peace when he finally marries the woman who will bear his son. The Phoenix has risen.

        But fate is cruel. The Phoenix dies giving the land peace and an heir. Our hero is left devastated. Our play is done. The beloved Princess has been brought to Court and the people are glad but now they mourn with their King.

  9. How can such an event occur to such noble men so young and fair? Poor Queen Anne in her ivory tower laments her tragedy by the hour, meanwhile King Henry dines in a secret abode, with Lady Jane Seymour so I am told, as the wretched queen awaits her fate, Lady Jane worries about her weight! As the sword fell down on the poor queens neck, her lady in waiting tried on her bridal dress, as the queen lay warm in an unmarked grave, old Bluebeard announced his latest squeeze, surely such horror could not occur, in merrie Englande yer it did that year, the wedding hfeast was a sumptuous fare, the company as merry as you would see that year, five heads a rotting on London Bridge, and a headless queen in her lonely bed, King Henry was merry on his wedding night, as he lay with his queen in the soft candlelight, yet five shades peered at him in the dark woeful and angry he would not rest that night, one of them was a dreadful sight, an horrific corpse garbed in a shroud so white, blood streaked from wounds around her neck, her hair writhed like snakes on top of her head, horrified the king ran from the room, so afraid of this medusa like queen, she haunted him that night and she haunted him the next, whilst Jane lay alone in the big bridal bed, he never forgot her though he never spoke her name, was it through hate or a sense of shame? Thus I end my little dirge and I bid you farewell, a merrie good evening and I hope you sleep well !

  10. Gosh, shades of Shakespeare, King Henry himself, lying in bed with his virginal Queen Jane and her very pursed lips, breaks into his big number, “Haunted!” And they come, his ruined queens, his proud and Spanish Katharine, with suitable Spanish rhythms on a Spanish guitar, and then his latest queen, his last love, in an exquisite sort of bull dance only with the French executioner and his cutting sword and a most awfully haunting refrain ….. whatever you would like it to be…. come on Michael, your turn!

    1. I have no writing talent but I am very much enjoying what the two of you are doing.

    1. Yes, well done, you are doing very well. We will make a fortune and Anne’s story will go viral.

      Beautiful, keep up the good work.

  11. King Henry V111 had six wives two he beheaded and the last survived, he wed a daughter of Spain and she tried in vain, to give him a son but her day was done, he tore the country apart to wed Anne Boleyn but soon realised it was all in vain, she fared no better, than her royal successor, she lost her head because the king saw red, so it was goodbye to Anne Boleyn, the third was Jane Seymour so shy and fair, she gave the king a son but it cost her dear, her funeral was grand and the king was oh so sad, to lose his sweet dearest Jane, then there was Anna a lady from Cleves but she did not please him, and it was divorce for Anna from Cleves, his fifth was flighty Catherine the youngest of his wives, yet her downfall lay in her past, her behaviour quite unwise, her head rolled in the dust one February day, so tragic for a queen so young and gay, his sixth and last was Catherine Parr, twice married and a bluestocking, no trouble there, she tended the king when he was in pain, and soothed his conscience with soft words and balm, her enemies plotted but they failed to succeed, for King Henry liked his nursemaid and his nightly feeds, thus ends this tale of Henry V111, the king with six wives, some he killed some he kept, never was there a king as Henry V111, his story will be told forever, there will never be another, as the king who had six wives!

    1. That is fantastic. His entire married life summed up in a very accurate and entertaining way. Well done!

      1. Thanks Michael, i do love writing poetry, anyway it’s just gone 1.30 in England now so I will say goodnight from this side of the pond.

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