Sorry for the depressing title, but every year when it gets to this day in my countdown of the fall of Anne Boleyn I feel very sad.

By 8th May 1536, Anne Boleyn, Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton, George Boleyn, Sir Richard Page and Sir Thomas Wyatt had all been arrested and taken to the Tower of London. Obviously, the arrests of the queen and these influential men, many of them royal favourites, had come as a shock to many, but others got over their shock quickly and were rubbing their hands with glee. The fall of these people would mean that grants, offices and lands would need new homes and owners – oh goody!

So, who were the people clamouring over these spoils like vultures?

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9 thoughts on “8 May 1536 – The way of the world”
  1. These vultures and others like them disgust me. They seem completely oblivious to the fact that if any of them displease Henry they could end up the same way. What’s worse is this is before any trial! This just shows that all knew the verdict was decided before the trials took place.

    Today is also VE Day. 73 yrs. Thank you to those who sacrificed so much, both living and dead.

  2. What I find very disquieting is how little morales or regard for human life they had in those days, how they were all too ready and willing to climb over the backs of others to get what they wanted, the way of the world is an apt title and yes, it may sound depressing but it seems that common decency did not exist then, Richard Stavertons letter sums it up perfectly when he writes he would like the rooms that Henry Norris occupied, how jealously they all coveted their neighbours possessions, oh and he throws in he has fourteen children for good measure, even Henrys natural son Fitzroy wanted to get in on the spoils, young as he was he had been brought up at court and soon became as ambitious as his contemporaries, we say today how disgusting they were but it may not have seemed like that then as the world was a much different place, they was just looking after their interests for themselves their wives, and their families, perhaps this behaviour was expected and normal in a royal court but it does appear callous to our modern eyes, of all the prisoners in the Tower only two were released Wyatt and Page, Wyatt was never in any danger he had a most useful friend – Master Secretary himself, it seems he was just in the Tower along with Richard Page to make the charges seem plausible, thank you for reminding us about VE Day Michael we must never forget the sacrifices so many people made back then.

  3. Henry Fitzroy wrote of Mr, Norres’ trouble, many men thinking that there is no way but one with him.’ Fitzroy believed Norris was a dead man walking . Many other men seemed to agree, certainly Lord Lisle, who wrote of ‘most abominable treason.’ The lawyer only mentioned ‘various offenders committed to the Tower’ (who stand as much chance from it’s hopeless gates as sinners before the gates of hell. )
    When Queen Anne arrived at the Tower, she said, Mr Kyngston, shall I die without justice?”
    Kyngston replied, The poorest the Kyng hath, hath justice.’ And there with she laughed.
    The Queen laughed.
    Those vultures, it would appear, were merely being opportunistic, getting in first. They knew the score.

  4. We need to stop insulting vultures. Vultures wait until their intended prey is dead to feed. These people are not that kind. I am so glad to not have lived during this time.

    1. I agree. However, methinks the vulture reference is to their hovering, eyeing the spoils before their victim has died.

  5. Yes, today is V.E. Day for which we are grateful to those who served and pray for those who lost their lives for the peace and security of those who have followed. May our generation and the present ones not know such wars again.

    Why not ask for the shirts of their backs as well? It was illegal to confiscate property before a person was found guilty, but that didn’t prevent an inventory being taken and as a treason trial practically guaranteed a guilty verdict it was very much a safe bet that people would be lining up for the spoils, especially those involved in bringing someone to justice. Norris had the best rooms and was close to the King, so these are being eyed up. It truly is terrible that people should act in that way, both then and now, with people so willing to demand the roles and property belonging to those in prison, before an actual trial had taken place.

    Yes, Michael, we shouldn’t insult vultures. I met one once at a Medieval fair, they are magnificent birds.

  6. I cant believe the wedding date is set for the 19th of May! The exact date another charismatic red haired second son called Harry lopped off his wife’s head! Does anyone else think this is an unlucky date or is it just me?

    1. I assume you mean the modern wedding of Harry and Merkel? No, I don’t think it or any other date is unlucky. It is a mere coincidence and probably has more to do the schedule of other members of the Royal Family. It is, however, a poor choice, given what we commemorate on that day and it is also the day of the FA Cup final which has had to move to the next day. No, I don’t believe it is an unlucky day. Actually, I will be wishing the couple well but not watching anything to do with the wedding as I am not interested. I will be tuned into Anne Boleyn Day instead.

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