On 13th April 1536, Maundy Thursday, Queen Anne Boleyn took part in her final Maundy Thursday service, distributing Maundy money and washing feet.

The court expenses show that the “costs of the Queen’s Maundy” for that year were “31 l. 3s. 9 ½d.”

Anne’s chaplain, William Latymer, and martyrologist John Foxe both wrote of how the amount in the royal Maundy purses distributed to the poor increased significantly when Anne Boleyn was queen, showing her passion for poor relief, which she believed was her responsibility as queen and as a Christian. Latymer recorded that one Maundy Thursday, Anne, after washing and kissing the feet of poor women, “commanded to be put privily [privately] into every poor woman’s purse one george noble, the which was vi.s viii d. [6 shillings and 8 pence], over and besides the alms that wonted to be given.”

Our present queen usually attends a special royal Maundy service, but this year the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be giving out the annual Maundy money at a special service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Read more about Maundy Thursday here and about Anne’s charitable works here.

The events of 1536 are the focus of my forthcoming online event “The Fall of Anne Boleyn with Claire Ridgway” – click here to read more and register.

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