7 September 1533 – Queen Anne Boleyn gives birth to Elizabeth, future Queen of England

On this day in Tudor history, 7th September 1533, at Greenwich Palace, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

This daughter would, of course, grow up to be Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess, a queen who would rule England for over 44 years.

Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)!

Find out more about her birth, the reactions and celebrations in today’s talk.

You can find out more about Elizabeth I and her reign in this 60-second history video:

And about Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth in this video:

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39 thoughts on “7 September 1533 – Queen Anne Boleyn gives birth to Elizabeth, future Queen of England”
  1. It’s my birthday tommorow the 8th and I am getting everything ready for my party tonight, I always have them on a Saturday as its so much easier for folk, so I must of course mention our good Queen Bess, happy birthday Elizabeth you have gone down in legend as every bit an autocrat like your father, but without his cruelty, born of two strong complex personalities it was inevitable you would inherit some of their traits, it was not all doom and gloom as Chapyus stated as your gender of course, was female but you were born healthy and that was all that mattered, Chapyus was biased and reported that Anne Boleyns coronation was a meagre affair whearas it was in fact, a spectacular display of pomp and age old ceremony, Anne appears to have recovered easily from her first experience of childbirth and although both parents were a little disappointed, her birth proved that Anne could bear healthy children, why she was fated to never have any more living children is a mystery and something we have discussed many a time, but for now Anne was exhausted and Elizabeth was taken of to be swaddled and a suitable wet nurse was found for her, later Anne was to develop strong maternal feelings for her baby and delighted in having her near her as much as possible, she loved having her dressed in exquisite clothes and there was probably as element of girl playing with doll kind of thing, and for the kng, this was merely a set back sons would follow, Henry had sired a healthy boy on Bessie Blount, he could do so with Anne there was plenty of time, but there was never to be another son with Anne, she had a false pregnancy or maybe she lost it, it is shrouded in mystery like Mary Blounts pregnancy with her second husband, it is rumoured Anne was pregnant four times but some say three, what we do know is she miscarried her last baby on the day of her rivals funeral, Katherine of Aragon, and I believe from than Henry V111 decided he would never be able to have a son with Anne, it was very very tragic but her inability to give the King a son meant her downfall was inevitable and death was the only outcome for her, however now we are in September a month I have always loved because it is my birthday, the apples are falling of the trees and the leaves are turning golden brown, there is an autumnal nighttime chill in the air, balmy September, neither too hot or too cold, Queen Elizabeth1st’s birthday month and mine as well, how she celebrated her birthday I do not know but she probably held a fine banquet, as for myself I have the wine and beer chilling in the fridge and have plenty of food for my guests, happy weekend everyone.

    1. Happy 21st Birthday, Christine for tomorrow, have a great time. My favourite article on this day is the one from a few years ago about Anne the Mother, although it might have been a mother’s day article, because it is so precious. The icon of a mother’s hand cradling her baby’s head and the information of how much close contact Anne had with her infant daughter, taking her to work with her as it were. Anne had little Elizabeth on a cushion at her side during audiences and took great care over her wardrobe. In fact she had just ordered a load of new clothes for the rapidly growing little Princess in April 1536, as can be seen from the list of debts made in the Tower. Many of these were bonnets, probably like the one in Anne of 1000 Days when the little Elizabeth was learning to walk with a train, the moving fictitious scene when Anne is confronted and arrested. I can just imagine her red curls sticking out from under a pink bonnet.

      Anyway I will have to come back to this later. I am watching the cricket highlights.

      Happy Birthday.

  2. Happy birthday Christine.
    I have seen Princess Elizabeth’s christening gown, it was at Sudeley Castle. Legend has it that Queen Anne embroidered it., Catherine of Aragon had refused to hand over a christening robe she had brought with her from Spain, I can’t say I blame her, if the stories are true, it seems to be very callous to ask for it, in view of Catherine’s pregnancy records.
    It must have been an awful shock after all the predictions of a male heir, and suffering the confinement, and labour(without the medications of today) to be told you have given birth to a girl. I bet Anne was scared to tell Henry. Letters announcing the Prince’s birth had been written and had to be quickly adjusted.
    History would have been very different if Elizabeth had been a boy. We are lucky to know what a wonderful monarch she became,. I know it’s fictitious but the last scene in Anne of the thousand days when the young Elizabeth is walking alone after Anne’s execution and Anne says about her being a great queen, and her (Anne’s) blood well spent gets me every time.

    1. That scene always gets me all emotional. I would have loved Anne to have shouted all that at Henry in real life.

      Elizabeth’s christened robe is delicately beautiful and you just know a lot of love went into that gown. I really understand Katherine saying no, after all it was all she was left with of her daughter and had put her heart and soul into her daughter’s gown. I still have the gown which was hand crochet for me as a baby. It is very long, I must have been swamped as I was long and skinny, the term looked like a skinned rabbit apparently was used, in jest of course. A lot of love goes into the christening gowns of a precious baby; Henry had a nerve. I don’t know for certain but I can imagine Anne making this lovely gown, maybe hoping her child was a son but nevertheless she loved Elizabeth and Henry was very fond of her as well.

      I wonder what happened to all those astrologers and prophets. A lot of boats heading for the continent on that evening?

      1. Hi Bq that’s lovely having in your possession your own christening gown, what a lovely keepsake! I don’t know what happened to mine I think my mother must have borrowed it as she came from a large family, with the nobility and Royal and wealthy families christening gowns were handed down from generation to generation, the one that Williams and Harry’s offspring was dressed in is I believe from Queen Victoria’s time? They were exquisitely embroidered and in many an old country house you can see the nurseries with the playthings on display and the beautiful long christening gowns, once pure white but now tinged yellow with age, they nevertheless are proof of the love and care that their children inspired.

      2. Hi. In my possession I have a christening gown, it is 99 years old. It was used first for my uncle who was killed in the 2nd world war, then for my mum who is 97, then my sister 72, me 67, my daughter Elizabeth 42 , my other daughter Victoria 40. Then Victoria’s daughter Chloe 16, Emily 15 and Mia 14. It is very delicate now and has been lovingly packed away. I hope one of my granddaughters will use it for their children…..but not yet!!! Lol! Jean

  3. Thank you to everyone for my birthday greetings, I had some lovely presents, the christening robe Anne requested of Katherine shows how spiteful she really could be, she really was rubbing her nose in it, the woman was broken she had lost her husband, her Royal status of being Queen of England, she was banished from court and without her daughter, and here was Anne about to give birth having taken all she held dear, and she had the gall to ask for her christening robe which was her sole property, having one she had brought from Spain and which her babies had been christened in, Katherine very naturally refused exclaiming she wanted no part in anything so horrible, I have been to Sudeley but cannot remember seeing Elizabeths christening gown, but it’s lovely to think Anne did embroider it, one can imagine her stitching away at the ivory silk and lace, she did make clothes for the poor when she was queen so she must have had a fine hand, it was something all well brought up ladies did, sew and embroider, Jane Seymours work was particurlaly fine and it was said she encouraged the King himself to try his hand at embroidery, I have always been interested in the toys Tudor children would have played with, I know girls had dolls, probably carved out of wood and dressed, were there swords for boys and maybe balls and bow and arrows? They had the baby walkers which shows how old there origin was, it was to help them to walk properly, I can see Elizabeth and her brother little Prince Edward tottering down the long gallery at Hatfield their nurses hovering nearby, clapping their hands, the portrait of Edward is beautiful he looks cheerful with his plump rosy cheeks dressed in his finery, they wore adult attire as the children that came after, in the centuries that followed, there were no special baby and children clothes they were like mini adults, Edward looks the picture of health in his portrait so where the myth arose that he was sickly is odd, maybe because of the dreadful time his mother had in labour but he was perfectly healthy and as he grew up he like his sisters, was very intelligent, Henry V111s first two wives had angered him but he was always enormously proud of his daughters whose skill at music and languages was well known, with Edward he obsessed about his health so his nursery was scrubbed daily, and every care was taken he did not fall foul of some horrible disease, I read in the paper recently about some child who had contracted measles and died of some illness some time after, that was what is conjectured, happened to Edward, he had caught measles and chicken pox which left him vulnerable to the infection which he suffered from a year later, his resistance was low and of course we know he died leaving England without a male monarch, before he had reached his prime, every care was taken of royal children and adults but in the end it’s the body’s own resistance that staves off illness’s.

  4. Hi. In my possession I have a christening gown, it is 99 years old. It was used first for my uncle who was killed in the 2nd world war, then for my mum who is 97, then my sister 72, me 67, my daughter Elizabeth 42 , my other daughter Victoria 40. Then Victoria’s daughter Chloe 16, Emily 15 and Mia 14. It is very delicate now and has been lovingly packed away. I hope one of my granddaughters will use it for their children…..but not yet!!! Lol! Jean

  5. Anne’s delivery appears to have been routine, although she apparently had some difficulties during the pregnancy. Elizabeth was healthy and perfectly formed and a Bonney babe. Henry and Anne may have been somewhat disappointed because obviously she wasn’t the expected male heir and Anne had “promised” Henry a son. In Henry’s eyes that was her primary duty, especially as he had turned the world upside down to get the son he desired by the woman he very much desired. The situation was perhaps a little embarrassing, as the alterations to the official notices to squeeze in an S shows. The mother was believed to have female sperm and to be responsible for the sex of the child, her diet could affect the sex and so on, so it was her fault if the child wasn’t a boy. That was the mindset of the day and Henry cannot be held responsible for believing something he had been raised to accept. However, it wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t the reason Anne was later executed for, it wasn’t the great disappointment it is sometimes portrayed. The situation was salvaged by the fact the baby was healthy and this was a good sign, one which would mean boys would surely follow and be just as healthy. I really don’t think Henry showed anything but pride in his little daughter.

    The celebrations more or less proceeded as normal, bonfires were lit, free wine flowed, the Baptism was held with the usual pomp and ceremony and the noble households were well and truly represented, Elizabeth had a beautiful cradle and heraldic beasts and all of the attention of a Royal Princess, there was a grand foundation made by Holbein and she had the usual arms and rockers and attendees. The only thing missing was the tournament, reserved for a son. This was cancelled but everything else heralded Elizabeth as the King’s heir until she had a brother. Elizabeth was valuable in the International Marriage Market and she was soon attracting interest from France, although enquiries were also made about Mary, still regarded as the King’s true daughter.

    Elizabeth was given her own household as befitting a Royal child, away from the City to protect her from disease and Mary was ordered to wait on her and found herself declared illegitimate in Parliament. From this time onwards Henry’s attitude towards Mary changed, partly encouraged by Anne, because he demanded his daughter accepted her baby sister as the new heir and his now completed annulment of his marriage to her mother, the abandoned Queen Katherine. Anne visited her as often as possible as did Henry and received regular reports about her and made sure she had everything she required and was an interested mother. Elizabeth was carried about before special occasions, shown off to Ambassadors to show how perfect she was, she was paraded to Mass with great pomp, especially after Katherine died. Henry was proud of Elizabeth, even though afterwards he sometimes tried to denounce her, because she reminded him of Anne and he was trying to kid himself that he wasn’t her father. There is both evidence for a temporary breakdown in her provision after Anne’s death but also that Henry continued to show affection to both of his daughter’s and ensured they had a splendid education. Once he had a son of course he even restored them to the succession, although both remained legally illegitimate.

  6. The fall out from Anne Boleyns execution and the scandal and defamation of her name I think did haunt Elizabeth for some years afterwards, there were the accusations that she was the daughter of Mark Smeaton or far worse, her mothers brother, her sister Mary liked to tell anyone who was listening that she believed Elizabeth was not really her sister but Smeatons child, Elizabeth must have been aware as she grew older that many believed she was merely a bastard, it must have hurt and although she was surrounded by many of her maternal relatives, and her mothers friends the seed of doubt must have nagged at her continuously, looking in her mirror she must however have seen the strong likeness between the king and herself, she was fair skinned and red haired and had his long aquiline nose and small mouth, but these were not enough to assuage her and all her life she loved to draw comparisons between herself and King Henry, she delighted in the fact that many commented on her resemblance to him, she was told by one contemporary that her father never had any doubts she was his daughter, and although after Anne fell he was heard to mutter he believed she had slept with up to a hundred men the paternity of Elizabeth was never in doubt, but it must have been very hard for her growing up in the shadow of her infamous mother, there must have been whispers that stopped suddenly as she drew near, she must have been aware of odd looks cast in her direction, worse if she remembered her mother she would have felt her loss and one can just see the questions the pitiful cries for her mother, but her nurse would have cared more for her and she would have been in her company a lot, and Anne would have been merely a fleeting presence in her life, Elizabeth was sharp witted such children have fertile memories, she could have had some bittersweet memory of her tragic mother but as she herself declared many years later, we are more indebted to those who bring us up than those who are responsible for our birth, Elizabeth enjoyed a close relationship with a Katherine Ashley who served in her household, known as Kat, she had married a relation of Anne’s and Elizabeth was very fond of her, she was also close to her cousins Mary Boleyn’s children so although she walked in her mothers shame these had a positive influence on her life and how she was to regard her mother in the years ahead, whilst careful not to criticise her father which of course would be seen as treason, they must have informed Elizabeth how her mother was the victim of a plot that sadly made her father feel he had no choice but to order her death, in doing so Henry was exonerated but merely seen the victim himself like Anne, of the noxious intrigues that were rampant in the court, we will never know how Elizabeth really felt towards her parents and their doomed relationship but we know she adored her father, and whilst she was never heard to speak her mothers name in public, she acknowledged her in lots of other ways,

    1. She had a number of ways as you say Christine, including, and I like this one the best hanging her own with her mother’s falcon emblems on the banners and hangings at a dinner she held at the Guild Hall in London, had the dishes and table clothes imprinted with the arms as well. If you want to make a statement about mum, this was one everyone was going to see. Elizabeth may or may not have spoken about Anne but she certainly didn’t hide the fact she was as proud of her mother as she was being the Lion’s Cub, that is the daughter of Henry Viii. She inherited the fire within both of them if her temper was anything to go by and fire red hair. If she did belong to something else then mother nature slipped up; Elizabeth was meant to look startlingly like her father and act like him as well.

      1. Yes there were lots of ways she drew attention to her mother and I too like the fact that she had Anne’s falcon emblem on the hangings and her arms entwined with hers on the plates and dishes, it was as you say a statement, there were also lots of paintings of Anne done in her daughters reign, and a biography written by Wyatts grandson, so we can see how Anne began to be portrayed in a more positive light, she was the mother of the queen and began to be hailed as the mother of reform, the dark cloak that had blotted her existence from the minute her head rolled in the straw was lifted, to reveal a woman of pious and good character, a woman who instead of being seen as the monster who destroyed Roman Catholicism in England, a woman who was of a deeply perverse sexual nature a wicked woman who plotted to murder her husband the good king Henry, was instead shown as a victim of character assassination, a deeply wronged woman a martyr of the new religion, of course abroad her name was still mud, there was the ever vocal Catholic recusant Nicholas Sander spouting his nonsense, and in France the French King was calling her a bastard and ordered his son and daughter in law the Queen of Scots to bear the arms of England, but I feel Elizabeth did not worry so much about her continental neighbours as much as she did her English subjects, she was also much more fond of her mothers relatives than her fathers, maybe they reminded her of her often bruited illegitimate status, that she loved her cousin Catherine Cary there is no doubt and if she believed her to be her half sister as well that would explain the closeness, she commissioned a ring that is now housed in Chequers the country seat of the current Prime Minister, it contains a tiny locket that when opened, discloses two portraits, that of Elizabeth and another woman, many historians believe this woman to be the queens mother Anne Boleyn, the subject has been the object of much scrutiny and the sitter does resemble Anne’s face in portraits of her with its high cheekbones, she also wears a gable hood and it is very alike the sitter in the Nidd Hall Portrait, it was not a recent painting as by then when commissioned the gable hood was out of fashion and the question was who could it be? Elizabeth had been very fond of her stepmother Catherine Parr yet this was debunked, one has said it could be of Elizabeth as a young girl yet why should the queen have two portraits of herself in a ring, the easy and by far most likely subject is that of her mother, it was another silent tribute to the woman whose name she never spoke and whose image she ever wore on her little finger, after her death it had to be cut off as it had been embedded so long in her flesh, proof that Elizabeth did have a deep and profound love for the woman who gave her life, and and who died in such tragic circumstances.

  7. Happy Belated Birthday Christine!

    Happy Belated Birthday Elizabeth. Although I know many will disagree with me I see Elizabeth’s reign as a nice high point to end the Tudor dynasty on.

    I too love the scene in the tower between Anne and Henry in ‘Anne of…. ‘ Historical hindsight make that scene so powerful knowing what Elizabeth became. Though it never happened I wish it had. I also love it because I love watching 2 great actors play off each other.

    1. Thank you Michael, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Anne and Henry had their rows, of course that piece was pure fiction thrown in for drama but it was great, in reality Anne never saw her husband again that fatal May Day when he got on his horse and galloped away, leaving her to reside over the May Day celebrations, I thought the bit that was daft in that film was when it showed Henry standing outside the great hall at Westminster listening in during her trial, as if a king would behave so, no Henry V111 had a habit of distancing himself from his victims after he had thrown them to the wolves, let the wheels of justice commence, and whilst Anne was locked up in the Tower the King was entertaining his new soon to be bride not far down the river.

    2. Hi. I love that scene too and wish it had happened. I read somewhere and heard an interview with Genieve Bujold and Richard Burton and they said that after “anne” had delivered that speech the whole crew burst into applause and it had to be ‘re shot. Those were the days of films being chosen for the royal performance and an interval. The interval was when Wolsey goes riding off to see the pope. I have a little smile about that when I watch it.
      I’ve visited Never many times and also Penshurst where some of the film was made. Jean

      1. That’s one stately home I have never visited and it is supposed to be very lovely, I have seen photos of it in a book I used to own, about Britains Stately homes, did not Thomas Boleyn own Penshurst Place at one time I am unsure?

  8. Hi Jean. Very interesting about the interview. If what we saw was the second take how much more powerful must the first take have been? Her performance in that scene gives me chills.

  9. I agree with you Christine about that scene. It makes me cringe. The movie is based on a play first performed in the late 1940’s and the playwrite is the one who adapted it for the screen. I can sort of see that scene working on stage but it did not transfer well to film

    1. Yes I heard the movie was based on a play it probably worked well on the stage as the theatre has an air of fantasy about it, for the screen however one looks for reality or closeness to it, at the beginning of the film the King was in Hampton Court when Cromwell arrived and he asked him nervously what the verdict to Annes trial was, that was daft as well as he knew perfectly well what the verdict would be, the jury were handpicked for their biased opinion of the queen and the sword had been ordered prior to the trial, a guilty verdict was the only verdict that would satisfy the King and Cromwell, I agree it is a great movie but I do wish producers and directors would show history how it actually occurred, when they decide to put it on the silver screen.

  10. That opening scene does not work in a movie but that is a great way to begin the play. I’ve said this before- The 118yrs between 1485 & 1603 are so full of drama and excitement that when any movie or TV show is drawn from here there is really no reason to change a word to make it more interesting.

  11. Good Afternoon Ladies and Michael, I loved everything about Anne of 1000 Days, yes, of course it had Henry painted up like the stitched up victim, rather than his innocent wife and Cromwell was the arch crook of the plot, but I really loved that opening scene, because it had Henry in a quandary, looking back on his life with the woman he had passionately loved and was about to destroy. I thought as a dramatic device it worked very well. For me it works because it actually underpinned the harsh reality, which was that Henry knew full well his wife was innocent and, as in the mirrored scene near the end of the film when Henry signs her death anyway, even though he knows it.

    You need both scenes to compliment the Tower scene which is possibly one of the most cinematic and passionate and dramatic discourse scenes in cinema history. Genevieve Bujold, French Canadian, beautiful, petite, genuine French accent, flashing beautiful eyes and sparkling, hair down and somewhat untidy, looking tired yet defiant against a larger than life Richard Burton, going from humble to outrage and flame in the same scene, which was sometimes loving, sometimes filling with anger and passionate outrage, was brilliant. Henry may have had the intention to try and save Anne as he entered her cell or find out the truth but Anne flings it all back in his face, despite being glad to see him, the shouting begins and Anne’s speech following the famous words we now love, cut him to the quick. His honour is broken, his wife disrespectful of his status as usual, fired off arrow after arrow; Henry beats a retreat and we return to Henry in his chambers with Cromwell. Anne had lied to him, Elizabeth was his, she wasn’t unfaithful, but must die anyway, because she lied to him. Oh, so now we get it Henry, Anne is dying because she is an inconvenience, she is disrespectful, she challenged him and made him look a fool. That one thing; Henry signing Anne’s death warrant, with the realisation his wife is actually innocent, because she lied to him, revealed Henry at his worst, his callous disregard for anything anymore than his hurt honour and pride. Looking back now, it is brilliant, a very simple dramatic device which revealed Henry Viii as heartless.

    The one scene I thought was naff was Henry hiding at the Court, listening behind a screen when he was actually miles away. It didn’t add anything to the film, not even when Henry questioned Mark Smeaton himself. The only thing which it did do was use Henry as the media by which it is revealed that the evidence was made up. This is actually clever, if a bit naff, because Henry asks when and where it all happened and Smeaton comes out with stuff like “Greenwich” Henry says she was with him at Greenwich, ” Westminster ” nonsense the Court was elsewhere on that date: you see where I am going…then BOOM!!! “Anywhere, everywhere, whenever, wherever she wanted it” the ” various ” times and dates, taken from the actual indictments. Cromwell is being shown to the audience as having planted and invented the evidence, the dates don’t make sense and Anne or the men were not present at the alleged rendezvous at the alleged times. Yes, it is a bit naff in the way Henry is there, but it does have a very good purpose for conveying information, rather than Cromwell reading out pages of indictments and we also get the vital information that Anne and Henry or the men where not even at the places she was alleged to have committed adultery and treason; Cromwell invented the said dates and places to make his case.

    Henry, of course was off with Jane Seymour by this time and waiting for news of his wife’s execution. Henry distanced himself, as was probably correct, from the proceedings. The presence of the monarch at a trial was actually rare and would have been scene as prejudicial. Since the time of Henry iii, the Royal Justice was in theory actually available to everyone in the form of his judges who went from place to place bringing the same justice as could be found in the Kings Bench at the High Court of Justice, London. Not that a King could not or didn’t intervene if appealed to, but they didn’t need to hear cases themselves. Henry was probably embarrassed by his wife’s trial as well, he distanced himself, he distracted himself from reality and instead in this case he was off having a good time, almost as if poor Anne was already dead the moment she entered the Tower. He did the same thing when Thomas Cromwell was executed, getting married on the same day, miles away in the English countryside at Oatlands Palace to Kathryn Howard and again he is rumoured to have had a banquet with a lot of beautiful women after she was executed. Unlike James I he didn’t attend the execution either.

  12. Henry V111 was I think embarrassed by Annes trial, it showed him upto the world as well as his own country that he had been a cukold, and the speed at which she fell was very unusual, that alone invites suspicion, it was Cromwells plan but I can see it must have made the king squirm when the idea was put to him, that of having the queen charged with adultery and high treason, the film portrayed that marvellously with the King ( Burton) telling him rather goodnaturedly to get out, but it showed him deep in thought when he was on his own and you could see the idea going like quicksilver through his mind, the atmosphere was ominous, was that what had happened ? Did Cromwell put that idea to the King as it was a sound way of ridding himself of his irritating wife, Cromwell said later he had thought the idea up, but what history is silent on is did the King know about it or was he fooled into believing Annes guilt by his chief minister? That he must have told Cromwell he wanted out of this cursed marriage is obvious and Cromwell was left to find a plan in order to make that possible, Anne was youngish by Tudor standards and healthy, it would not do to simply strangle her in her bed and make out she had caught a malady and died, or have an arrow carelessly find its way into her neck whilst out hunting, murder was easy but it had to be seen to look legal, with no hint of suspicion aimed at the King, Cromwell put his master plan into action and we hear of Henrys shock and outrage when the queens infidelities came to light, did he express too much shock what we do know is his unnatural joyful attitude was arousing suspicion as Chapyus noted, ‘he wears his horns lightly I guess you to wonder why’, we will never know if Henry colluded with Cromwell in Annes adultery or if he was innocent, but Cromwells boast after her death that it had been his own handiwork shows he knew he had the Kings protection, and the queens downfall was very convenient to Henry as he was in love with her lady in waiting and married her in just under two weeks, at her trial the question of his impotence was raised which must have been highly embarrassing and several years later, another queen of his was confined to her quarters on her earlier behaviour in her grandmother’s household, this time the Kings rage was great he had been in love with his fifth queen and it transpired she had been meeting with a gentleman of the kings household and worse, a former love of hers was now in her own household, no doubt embarrassed by this he wanted no trial and his queen was found guilty by attalnder, at least Anne had a chance to defend herself, we can see Henry was really irked by what Europe was thinking about his two queens infidelities, he was genuinely saddened and fell into a deep depression at Catherine Howard’s death so different from his behaviour after his second queen was executed.

  13. Anne’s trial was embarrassing alright, or rather the separate trial of her brother, George, her alleged lover, especially when he read out that comment that the King wasn’t skilled in bed and couldn’t satisfy a woman. This was in front of a crowd of 2000 commoners and I can imagine the laughter. George had been told not to read out the charges on the paper he was given, but as he already knew that he had nothing to lose as his life was almost certainly forfeit anyway, he read it and Henry’s reputation as a lover was undermined. It was just as well King Henry wasn’t there because I can just imagine this would be the moment he really would burst into the Court and challenge such insolence.

    It is very much the stuff of debate as to who initiated the conspiracy to bring down Anne and when. Henry himself, Cromwell himself, Henry and Cromwell, Cromwell and the Conservatives or a series of unfortunate events are all theories which have previously been debated several times on this site and others. Henry did seek advice on the possibility of annulment in February and March but he certainly did nothing to act on this idea and apparently he was still committed to his Queen as late as early April 1536. However by 18th that had all changed and Anne’s fall was swift in the following two weeks. The fall out came on 29th and 30th April after a weekend of arguments and foolish words, namely Anne’s public arguments with Henry Norris and then her husband, with the first arrests. The fall guy for the Government was the musician in the service of Henry and Anne, Mark Smeaton who was pressurised by Cromwell into confessing to adultery with the Queen. He named two others, including Henry Norris and the trap was sprung. Cromwell had his victims and the case began to take shape.

    The most likely scenario is that Henry who was fed up with Anne and wanted to marry someone not quite like a firework, Jane Seymour, by whom he still held out the remote hope of having a living legitimate son and heir, expressed this wish to Cromwell and left the means to him. Henry wanted a more permanent solution by the end of April but who the real instigator was is unclear. Cromwell had his own agenda for being rid of the Queen and his own star became hitched to the rising Marian facton, the Seymour family and their allies. He disagreed with her over the use of the monies from the monasteries and over foreign policy and he was a,supporter of Princess Mary. He was also loyal to the King and couldn’t have done anything without Henry’s say so. I believe Cromwell came to know Henry wanted a more permanent solution to the ending of his marriage to Anne and he took advantage with his own agenda, putting the legal apparatus in place and bringing the so called evidence to the King ready for His Majesty to give the order to open an investigation into the Queen on the accusations of adultery. Fortunately for Cromwell, Anne provided him with the opportunity to act on these rumours. Her careless words to Henry Norris angered Henry and he gave Cromwell permission to do what he needed to find out the truth. Cromwell soon had one confession and two suspects at least and within a couple of days, 1st and 2nd of May the Queen, her brother, Norris and Smeaton were in the Tower. By the time the Grand Juries met in Kent and Middlesex on 10th and 11th May, the set up was completed. The legal apparatus was in place before any arrests had been made and these juries were rigged, the indictments were invented and the conspiracy clearly began well in advance of Anne’s arrest. Henry and Cromwell were working together in this and the simple fact is Henry wanted Anne gone and he didn’t care how it went down. If a way could be found to have her killed, he was ruthless enough to go along with it and Cromwell only too ready to do the dirty work.

  14. Hi Claire. You truly are the ‘Tudor Fairy’. Such wonderful goodies. As you know I am a magazine-only memb of the Tudor Society and I want to give a big thank you for opening up the magazines all the way back to the first issue. I downloaded the few I didn’t have. Looking forward to reading the earlier editions. I posted here because it’s actually easier since I’m on my phone.

  15. Thanks for the wonderful offer of three free courses with an annual subscription and for such a value price which I have signed up for and for sorting out the gremlins. I have enjoyed the site for almost three years now and it is really worth it, the videos and magazines have a lot of work put into them. If you want to spoil yourself this is an offer not to be missed. The magazines really are high definition and good quality, although smaller definitions are available, without losing quality. I have read dozens of articles and they are all to be recommended and scholarly as well as well documented. There is something for all Tudor nuts or just for the curious as well as articles on the Wars of the Roses and a number of guest and expert talks to follow and chats twice a month. Excellent site and well worth every penny.

    Thanks again, Claire and Tim and Happy 5th Anniversary.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Sorry, I haven’t really been coping. I’ve had some health issues and been under the weather and so with my research, writing, Tudor Society and videos I just haven’t been able to do much more. Juggling and drowning!

      1. Oh bless you I’m sure I am not the only one who sends you the heartiest of good wishes and best of luck, i hope your getting good treatment and Tim and family are looking after you, I’m sure they are.

        1. Hi Claire, sorry to hear you are struggling. Keeping up with everything must be hard, especially with headaches and other health problems. You just rest and don’t worry about the videos until you feel better. Take it easy and get well. All the best.

  16. If you ever get a few bob for your birthdays or Christmas, then I highly recommend one of the Medieval Courses which have been published on the site. I am currently part way through the one on Anne Boleyn and have really enjoyed it up to now. I was lucky to get a package of three courses with my annual membership of the Tudor Society which was a five year birthday special offer, so I have a lot of fun to come. The courses are very well done, you get about a dozen units or modules, with a video of about 15 to 20 minutes and a short test to submit and links to other resources, such as family trees, original sources, further readings and other links. Once you have signed up you can take as long as you wish to complete each course and access for all time. Impressive bibliography and recommendations for further reading just make you want more. Claire, as we all know is our expert in residence on Anne and very knowledgeable and she is running the Life of Anne Boleyn Course with her usual fascinating detail, professional presentation and wonderful details. I am really enjoying and heartily recommend it or any of these well produced and deeply researched courses at Medieval Courses.com.

    Again, take care, Claire and get well soon. Have a good rest.

  17. Thank you BQ. I had not known anyone who had taken one of these courses so the positive review is most appreciated.

  18. A very interesting interview on the ‘Talking Tudors’ podcast with Dr. Kristin Bundesen on the Knollys Carey family.

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