Anne Boleyn Myths – Coming Soon!

Posted By on January 11, 2013

As this is an Anne Boleyn website, I have obviously discussed the various myths surrounding Anne Boleyn before but I’m going to be doing a series of posts on the various myths, lies, inaccuracies, legends and assumptions, taking one at a time and exploring its roots and then debunking it.

I’ve made my own list, but I thought it would be good to ask you lords and ladies if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover.

Please share your ideas as comments below – thank you!

109 thoughts on “Anne Boleyn Myths – Coming Soon!”

  1. Sarah says:

    The myth that I would like explored is the idea that Mary and Anne Boleyn grew up disliking each other. I do not understand where this came from!

  2. Lady Domino says:

    How about the six finger myth?

    1. I just read this in the book I am read (The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell). I had not heard this before and now am curious if this is really true or not. Thank you for asking the question.

  3. Esther says:

    what about that idea about Catherine of Aragon’s murder by Anne Boleyn’s orders?

  4. Olga says:

    Well I’m sure you have most of them covered, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some fun ones. Like the ghost hare!

  5. Megan says:

    Also thought of the six-fingure/third nipple myth. I’d also like to see serious investigation on the suggested (by Philipa Gregory, and I realise you’re not a fan!) homosexual ring of gents surrounding Anne in her heyday. It seems plausible.

  6. Conor Byrne says:

    How about the myth that Anne and Mary Boleyn were rivals, explored in both TOBG and Alison Weir’s biography of Mary?

  7. Daniela says:

    The myth that Anne Boleyn somehow persuaded her brother George Boleyn to sleep with her so that she could get pregnant again as Henry VIII was beginning to tire of her. Something which I believe has been hinted at in some films and books.

  8. What was the point of the “all heirs male” clause at the Pembroke investiture and the point, around the same time, of Anne being made guardian of Mary Boleyn Carey’s son (and, I think, Henry’s bastard, Richmond)? And who got to have the Pembroke title and lands at Anne’s execution? Also, did you read my play, “Most Happy”, which I sent you? George Tynan Crowley

    1. Leslie says:

      Excellent question, George. I have often wondered what happened with Anne’s Pembroke title and lands. I assume she was stripped of this title along with the title of Queen, but what became of it after her death?

      1. karen says:

        Love to know both questions you both have offered.
        Claire…Do you have any ideas regarding Mary Boleyn’s children’s paternity?

    2. Esther Sorkin says:

      FWIW, in May of 2012, at the Q and A blog on tudorhistory.org, there was an extensive debate on the “heirs male” clause of the Pembroke investiture:

      http://queryblog.tudorhistory.org/2012_05_01_archive.html

      As an unrelated myth that I would like to see discussed: the alleged involvement of Anne (and/or the Boleyn faction) in the poisoning of John Fisher.

      1. Judith says:

        I too would love to see a careful compilation and assessment of every single piece of evidence to suggest that Anne Boleyn might have had something to do with the attempted murder of Bishop Fisher and the actual death of people who ate the same meal at his table, if it even was a case of poison (I’ve read at least one suggestion that it was just food poisoning).

        That was, perhaps, what Philippa Gregory referred to when she claimed that Anne was “clearly guilty of one murder”. Catherine of Aragon’s biographer Garrett Mattingly also states:

        “Only one point was left unclear: who had persuaded the unlucky cook to play his fatal joke? No disclosures on that subject which the rack and the thumbscrews extorted were thought fit for the ears of the public. In the absence of an official version, the gossip of court and city was left to draw its own conclusions, and Anne Boleyn and her brother George had added to their already unenviable reputation another and more sinister stain.”

        He’s clearly implying that there’s a strong possibility that she was guilty.

        There could end up being enough of these myths to make another whole published book.

    3. Diego Neri says:

      I have read that Richmond’s guardian was Anne’s uncle.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Have not had my second cup of coffee, so am not awake enough to think of anything to add except that I cannot wait to read all this!

    1. Kate says:

      I agree! Can’t wait to read this!
      Recently bought Claire Ridgeway’s book “The Anne Boleyn Collection” for my Kindle and I loved all the information contained in it and the easy to read format.

  10. Hiya Claire,

    I would like the alleged times & dates of her “affairs/indescretions” to be more closely examined….. if she hadn’t been churched then surely she wouldn’t of been having sex at all, she was on progress for one alleged assignation & without buses & trains how did she get from one place to the other so quickly?

    Thanks 🙂

  11. Sandi says:

    Hi Claire – the most mystifying to me of all…. the myth that Anne was not in love with Henry…

    1. Ashley says:

      I agree thats somethings I’d like more info on. I’be read many books both fiction and non fic and Queen Annes feelings towards henrychange author to authorwas it love or power she wanted? I’d like to think love even as undeserving as henry turned out to be.

  12. I just read that Henry “had” Anne’s mother and there was a hint that he was or would go after her father and brother as well. I would like to know about this as well. Thank you

  13. Casey says:

    Hmmmm, how about the misconception about where her actual execution site was(??)

  14. Leslie says:

    Nice topic! Oh my, how many myths there are surrounding her, and how hard it must be to research them since many documents from the time period can be seen as biased (Chapuys…)

    I would like to know more about the supposed nasty things Anne said openly about Katherine while Katherine was still Queen (i.e. that all Spaniards belong at the bottom of the sea). Did she really say these things so openly for all to hear?

  15. Kara says:

    How many pregnancies did she really have? Was she or was she not a virgin when she married H8? Did she really celebrate Katherine’s death? Did her lady’s in waiting really plot to take her down? Was her last miscarriage really deformed or just early stages of premature birth of an unformed baby?
    I have tons of questions but I will start with this..

    1. Lady Brooke says:

      There were only 2

  16. mariella says:

    Dear Claire, I’d like to know something more about Elizabeth’s feelings towards her mother. I already know about the Cambridge links and her portrait ring, as it was in your site. But are there any letters or documents where she says / asks about Anne? Did she ever try to find out the truth about her? If yes, where and how? If not, why?
    Thank you Claire.
    Mariella

    1. Kara says:

      I’d like to know this too

  17. june tapsell says:

    Since there seems to be no official portrait of Anne Boleyn, is it possible that Queen Elizabeth I had one, yet to be discovered?

  18. Marie Cloutier says:

    Oh, oh, oh!! Please tell us if Anne really did have a secret marriage with Henry Percy and if they did consume it? I always wondered weither or not she was a virgin when she married Henry VIII… Thank you!

  19. Denise Hansen says:

    Are the remains identifed as Anne’s in the chapel at the Tower really those of Jane Rochford? How ironic would that be?

    1. Baroness Von Reis says:

      I agree I want to know where the Great Queen is layed to rest? Why the Duke of Norfrolk did not try to help Anne? How could Henry just turn on a dime from women to women,was he that shallow? Did anyone ever get a fair trail not just at Annes trail,but all the Royal trails for those who were at court with the King? I could go on and on as there are so many things we don’t know and as only Claire can she will bring FACTs not FIC. Kind Regards to All AB Friends Baroness

      1. Hello Baroness, I’m Suzanne from Massachusetts USA. My cousins looked up our family ancestry and I’m related to royalty, French royalty and a Irish king I would love to see a castle what country are you a Baroness in? My e-mail is johnnyandsuzy@yahoo.com

        1. Baroness Von Reis says:

          Hello Suzanne,The answer to your QAs ,I belong to a Renn Society as well as going to other function at the Royal Court. When I attend Court ,I am known as Baroness Von Reis ,we take theses functions very serious.I have been involved for many many years, so yes at Royal functions I am.There are many castles in the U.S just a matter of finding them and most are domestic, nothing like England ,France ,Germany ect; I do live in the States with my husband he also atteneds these Royal function,where we go back to the days of King HenryV111 Queen Anne, Elizabeth1.We go in full dress, many of the gowns can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars ,mine I have custom made as well as my husband clothing.It is wonderfull that you found that you come from a Royal ancestry you must be very proud. Kind Regards Baroness

      2. Noname says:

        Moderated – I will not post comments attacking others, they are not relevant and they are not nice. Claire

      3. Noname says:

        Moderated – I will not post comments attacking others, they are not relevant and they are not nice. Claire

        1. Baroness Von Reis says:

          Noname,I was not going to even entertain this attacking anyone on the AB FILES but assume this was about me?If infact it was about my title durrring Renn Functions ,or anyone of the fine people on this site.I will make this clear,yes my title is Baroness Von Reis aswell as on this site and Renn Functions.When in my personal life ,I am a wife, mother and go by my birth name.Thank you Claire for not posting attacks on any and all AB Friend’s as we on the AB Files have a great love for Claire’s site and that she shared her dream with all ,thank you again Claire.

  20. Marilyn R says:

    Hi Claire
    So glad you are doing this, as I’m on the same sort of caper with my final bash on the book on Katherine Howard and her step-grandmother – I still think the old girl in particular has had a really raw deal from certain biographers. The debunking of the myths is the major thread running all the way through and is the main guts of the concluding chapter. I’m going to the National Archives next week to check up on a few things which seem rather far-fetched. Look forward to reading your stuff. Happy New Year.

    1. Marilyn R says:

      Forgot to ask the question – did Anne really insist on having Katherine of Aragon’s barge? Apparently her chamberlain, Lord Burgh, was taken to task (by Henry?) for ripping all sign’s of Katherine’s heraldry from the barge, which was seen as being in poor taste. Is it true or was it made up later?

  21. Hi Claire, I have an Aunt named Claire. I would like to knew if it is true that Anne Boleyn was a witch, or practiced witch craft. Do they have any proof.

  22. Noelie says:

    The Myth perpetuated in a recent book/film that Anne was a horrible, stupid! Narcissist and that Mary was totally wonderful and sweet. she (mary)might have been, but I think that whole garbage portrayal of Anne should be dumped in the myth dumpster.

  23. Claire says:

    Wow! Thank you everyone for all the ideas, I am busy adding them to my list.

  24. Ramona Sprague says:

    I wonder how some of the love letters between Anne and Henry got into the hands of the Spanish? I suspect some of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting, if not her self pilfered them.

  25. Dawn 1st says:

    Oooh this sounds really interesting, can’t wait. Hope there are some in there I have not heard of before, I am sure there will be.

    The only one I can think of is, Anne’s behaviour in France, I am not mistaking her for Mary, but was there not rumours that she may have had a Lover while she was there, apparently she to seemed to know a lot about the French ways of love making, that Henry commented on and disgusted him at the end. Was it ‘girly’ gossip in the ladies in waiting’s bedrooms at night where she heard and learned about sexual practises, or did she experience the real thing??!!

      1. Dawn 1st says:

        Oh yes, so it was, I had forgotten, I have just re-read it, thanks.
        But then again most of the myths mentioned have reared their heads at some time or another over the many posts, so it will be great to have a re-cap on them all under one heading, especially for those like me who forget, or new comers to the site.

  26. Did Anne, herself, ever check into the actual dissolution of the
    monasteries and religious places? Did she ever go to any of them?
    I know she wanted them to be turned into places of learning, correct?
    Did she ever have any hands-on experience with that in any way?

  27. Vanessa L says:

    My question has been about when is her year of birth 1501-1507 and why people believe certain things about each of the years and your theory

  28. Terri says:

    Hi.

    I . too, would like to hear/read a lot more about Anne’s love for Henry. I believe that she truly did love him. Sure, he wasn’t her first love, but he was her last love.

    Thank you.

  29. Anne Barnhill says:

    Oh, this sounds wonderful! I’d like more info about her early years in France and whether or not you think she was a virgin when she married Henry. Would also like to know her feelings toward her sister, Mary. Oh, and all the above questions! Good luck and thanks!

  30. Sonetka says:

    I’ll be writing about this soon, but might as well mention it here: the idea that Jane Boleyn was a lunatic so obsessed with her insufficiently loving husband that she’d rather have him killed than let him enjoy anyone else’s company is, if not precisely a myth yet, a very firmly entrenched idea. Opposing that we have the older version, probably Metrical Visions-derived story in which she’s a lunatic promiscuous woman who still hates her insufficiently loving husband enough to get him executed.

  31. Jenn says:

    First off, awesome idea! Can’t wait to read these 🙂

    The only myth I can think of that hasn’t been mentioned is the one that Jane Rochford hated Anne. Did she, or did she not? Hmm…

  32. Jen says:

    The six-fingered thing. I recently purchased a copy of The Concubine by Norah Lofts because it had SO many good reviews, but half-way through the first chapter she starts in on Anne’s 6th finger! I know the book was written in the 50’s, but still! Why do people STILL believe this myth?

    1. Sonetka says:

      “The Concubine” is really good, though the sixth finger (and a few other things, like the stepmother) aren’t accurate. I would say that roughly half of the Anne Boleyn novels out there give her a sixth finger, usually the older ones but a few more recent ones have had it as well (“The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn” came out in 1997, for example). The major source for many earlier novelists was Agnes Strickland’s “Lives of the Queens of England” which had a sympathetic account of Anne but which also stated that she had a sixth finger, which is why Lofts et al gave her one and made it a way to set her apart from the crowd, both literally and symbolically.

  33. Shanna says:

    Is the idea that Henry was aware the charges at her trial, ie: adultery, were trumped up and false but permitted the trial to go ahead on those grounds anyway, true?

  34. jodgo says:

    I would like to know if Anne’s mother was alive or not during Anne’s relationship with Henry. I have read where she had died and her father had remarried but then I read that she was alive when Anne was queen. Which was it?

    1. Judith says:

      The stepmother myth was demolished in Philip W. Sergeant’s biography of Anne Boleyn back in 1923. If you can get hold of a copy, the discussion is in Appendix C. It was apparently a mistake made by Agnes Strickland in her Lives of the Queens of England.

  35. Julia says:

    what about Anne Boleyn’s preverence of clothes, jewelry, make up, hair? who was her biggest love? and that she get along better with men than with women?

  36. Katie Holland says:

    I have come to a number of conclusions about Anne Boleyn, based on a lot of research and study. As a documented direct descendant of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, I’ve long been interested in the psychology of different kings and queens…and Anne has long been of great interest to me. I have come to understand and conclude these things: Anne was a young girl forced to comply with the demands of a pimp (her father, Thomas Boleyn) and a tyrant (Henry Tudor). Anne was an intelligent, strong woman, who was left without a choice, but fought to keep her dignity and her personhood against awful odds. The myths about extra nipples and fingers are lies to brand her as a “witch” (as these were seen as ” marks of the witch” at the time). She was NOT lascivious, did NOT try to have sex with her brother to get an heir, nor did she engage in affairs with any other men. She was even seen as suspect for having dark eyes and hair..Henry Tudor used those to create more bad press about her, declaring them “sinister and witchlike”. Anne was a woman under monstrous duress, subject to the whims and predations of a maniac, Henry Tudor. She fought back as best she could…but as Henry VIII successfully blamed everyone else for everything in his life that didn’t go his way, he saw to it that as much dirt as possible was smeared on her, and so was able to more easily kill her to get her out of his life. She lived again in her daughter…who became the greatest monarch in English history…and so, in the end, the extraordinary, brilliant, and courageous Anne Boleyn triumphed. And there wasn’t a damned thing the monster, Henry Tudor, could do about it. I find that particularly and beautifully marvelous. Anne was a great lady…a true beauty, with brains and endless courage and integrity. In the end, what else can she ever be?

    1. Dawn 1st says:

      Hi Katie,
      Can I ask why you think Thomas Boleyn was a Pimp? because this seems to be a mythical as Anne’s sixth finger and ugly moles etc, as Thomas was already a powerful and wealthy Diplomat well before either Mary or Anne caught Henry’s eye.
      .
      Claire wrote a very good post on this called ‘In Defence of Thomas Boleyn’, it really is a good read.

      1. Carolly says:

        His wife and both of his daughters were mistresses of Henry 8th presumably with his encouragement and definitely with his consent…… It was the norm in courts of the period and considered an honour or a dubious kind for the household to be recognised,and rewarded by such activities. The term pimp is likely to have horrified Thomas Boleyn, however, by modern standards it is probably an appropriate label.

        1. Anyanka says:

          Do you have any comntempary evidence that Elizabeth was Henry’s mistress??

        2. Dawn 1st says:

          Firstly we may have to agree to differ on our thoughts on this, and what I might say may not be completely accurate, but hopefully someone will correct me if I go wrong.

          I can not agree ‘Pimp’ is the correct terminology to describe Thomas Boleyn in modern terms, it is too harsh and condemning, and this is why I think so;

          Thomas was already a respected, hard working, interlectual man before either of his daughters climbed into bed with the King.. He had risen and become wealthy on his own merit even before Mary became his mistress, Claire made a list of his achievements in the post ‘The Defence Of Thomas Boleyn’.
          Now I am not saying there was no support for the Ladies in question from their Father/ family, guidence or encouragement either, no one can, there could also have been stern warnings too, about the implications of becoming the King’s mistress. As for Thomas giving consent, would it be needed in this case, this was the King he was up against, I can’t see Thomas having any final say in the matter?

          But if Thomas is considered a Pimp because of this,then may be Jane Seymore and Catherine Howard’s family should be considered Pimps also, as it is probable there was the same support and coaching for those Ladies too.

          From what I have read, and come to believe about Mary’s time as the King’s mistress is, not only did they seem to both have a love for each other, it wasn’t a relationship based on lavish reward for her or her family either, even though she was his longest affair. Mary seems to have been desolate when Henry no longer loved her not from the lack of gain.

          And again, from what I have read in books and on this site about Anne, the conclusion I have come to is, she doesn’t strike me as a Lady who would be pimped out by anyone, not even her Father. She seems to have been her own person, look how long she kept Henry waiting before she chose to sleep with him. I personally can not believe she was pushed or forced into this position by her Father, but by Henry, Yes, definately. He wanted her, he persued her relentlessly, he offered and promised her much and gave her family Fame and Fortune, to get her to succumb to his will. It was Henry who showered these things on the Boleyns, it was he who in his deluded way thought these positions of power and wealth he bestowed on them would get him what he wanted. And who in their right minds could refuse such things, from such a King.

          As for Anne and Mary’s mother, Elizabeth, being the King’s mistress also, this is something I personally don’t believe, and has become another one of those myths built up on court gossip, by those who were against Anne.

          Thomas Boleyn and family did benefit greatly from Henry’s desire for Anne, there is no denying that, I think that made Thomas was a wise man to accept those benefits, not a pimp. It was all paid back in full, with fatal interest.

      2. Baroness Von Reis says:

        Hi Dawn 1st,I must totally agree with your reply Henry was not a pimp,very good info on the family Boleyn. Kind Regards Baroness

  37. jane says:

    Are there any living family of the Boleyns tttaht can trace their family roots back to Queen Anne ?

    1. PHS says:

      You may want to do your own research into this, but I just thought it may be a point of interest. In a book I read a little while ago, I think it was called “The mistresses of Henry VIII” the author put forard the theory that Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin & Elizabeth II (amongst others) were all descendants of Mary Boleyn. I think in her opinion though, Anne had no living descendants. I wish I could remember the authors name, but still a rather interesting point.

      1. Dawn 1st says:

        Hi PHS,

        Is the book you are refering to by Kelly Hart?

        1. PHS says:

          Yes, that’s the one! Thankyou for that.

  38. LizabethRegina says:

    Wow…great topics already suggested, so nothing really to add. But I will say that I would love to know more about how Elizabeth really felt about her mother. Personally, I have always believed that once she found out more about her, she was secretly proud to have had such an intelligent woman for a mother, but I’d be curious to know if I am right.

    Good luck, Claire. Can’t wait to see what you find out!

  39. karen says:

    I am looking forward to purchasing a BOOK that comes from the product of the information that you (Claire) from these wonderful and inquisitive questions!!! Thank you. Karen (Mosthappy1501@hotmail.com.

  40. Victoria Anne says:

    Was there an actual slice mark from a sword or chopping marks from an ax on what they so call, Anne Boleyn remains? This seems like it would be an easy way to identify who the remains belong to. Rochford or Boleyn.

    1. margaret says:

      i am also very curious about the above question regarding anne boleyns remains

  41. H. Elizabeth says:

    I would really like to hear about the myth that when Anne’s head was decapitated all the torches went on in Catherine of Aragon’s tomb. I heard it in a book and it sounded interesting I’m not sure if it was real though, has anyone else heard this myth?

  42. Denise Hansen says:

    I am very curious about the Windsor Castle Holbein sketch of Anne, which curators of the collection now accept as Anne (ok maybe this is not really a myth). Do other Anne scholars (and our blog community) now think it is Anne? I think it is her and I would love to see a computer morphing of the portrait medal, this sketch and the classic National Portrait Gallery painting. But I digress.

  43. Cataluna says:

    I always wondered if it was true that Henry really took Anne’s mother as his mistress and Anne could have been his daughter.

  44. Ashley says:

    Heres one I want to know, did Anne hit jane seymour?

  45. Cynthia Layne says:

    It appears to be a myth that Henry only contemplated separating from Catherine because he met Anne. I believe Eric Ives and definitely Prof. Robert Bucholtz (Loyola U., Chicago) in his course (A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts) state that Henry was looking to end his marriage before Anne came into the picture. There seems to be the perception that Anne ‘started it all’.

  46. Tamise says:

    Did Anne really ask for the christening gown that Katherine of Aragon brought with her from Spain?

  47. Moira M says:

    Hi,
    This is a wonderful website. I love it, and all things Anne Boleyn. I have always wondered about what happened to Anne Boleyn’s beautiful pearls and B necklace.
    Thanks, Claire.
    Moira M

  48. Lady Brooke says:

    Hello
    I have long been following your web-site and find it the best of any out there. I love that you are taking questions on this myth subject that has followed our “anglais Colombe”. There have been a great deal of responses and questions, for which I see most of them already addressed on your wonderful site. I too follow Anne and the whole Tudor era. My question is I read that Elizabeth Howard Boleyn was in deed a lady in waiting to Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother. I found that very intriguing. And the myth I would love to find out, is wether or not, Elizabeth Howard (Boleyn) was indeed a mistress of Henry Vii and possibly a mistress to Henry Viii after she became a lady in waiting to Catherine of Aragon.
    Thank you for this beautiful website and high honor you have given to our Marquess of Pembroke and most noble patron saint Anne. I hope to hear back, thanks for your tireless investigations into these matters. I am also addicted to this and them. And daily your web site satisfies that craving to learn more. Daily I research more. And love that I am not alone.
    God bless you, and God bless our beautiful queen.
    Lady Brooke

  49. hillary says:

    Was king henry the 8th really her father? I heard of this myth before but I don’t think you would’ve been able to marry any kind realitive back then.

  50. Lady Brooke says:

    Oh one final myth going along with my previous question. Do you think it possible that Henry viii could have fathered Anne Boleyn through Elizabeth Howard? Now that’s a scandal I beleive historians rejected the notions. But I know how diligent you are at researching all this. I would love to hear your thoughts on that. I also wrote the previous stuff on Elizabeth Howard being a lady in waiting to Henry viii mother Elizabeth of York and would love to hear your thoughts on that as well. Thanks

    1. Carolly says:

      It’s likely that historians can’t begin to contemplate the possibility of Henry having fathered Anne Boleyn … Evidence of the dates when Her mother served as his mistress may signpost the possibility, but I suspect it is one too many skeletons in an overcrowded cupboard to elicit serious contemplation. Like many of the horrors heaped upon Anne Boleyns head, this one could go either way.

      1. Anyanka says:

        Henry would have been between 10 and 14 yo if he was Ane’s father…. for the given birthdates of 1501-1505 for Anne.

        Plus he was very stictly supervised by his father and teacher so just slipping out to have a spot of casual sex with some-one was not easily accomplished.

      2. Lady Brooke says:

        I totally agree with you. Us being able to interact and debate what a couple hundred years ago we could never do is amazing.

  51. Claire-Louise says:

    Hi Claire

    I’m much looking forward to reading these posts :). Personally I would like to see the myths surrounding Anne and witchcraft in more depth. E.G did anyone at court actually suggest she was a witch or is this the creation of hollywood?

    Thanks

    Claire-Louise

  52. Shoshana says:

    I would like to learn more about Anne’s relationship with her father. Was he the tyrant depicted so often? Did he force her into a relationship with Henry? Or did she gladly go forth to entice Henry because she loved her father and wanted to see him promoted within the Court? Although much has been written lately about Thomas Boleyn not being the mad father pushing his daughters into loveless marriage to advance himself; I wonder if maybe he really did manipulate them through kindness and love; all the while with the goal of making Anne Queen in his mind. Having experienced a relationship based on “loving” lies, I know that certain people will appear to be kind and loving, saying all the right things but with an underlying agenda to further themselves at the expense of others no matter the cost.

  53. Denise Hansen says:

    In response to a few posts asking whether or not Henry had a fling with Anne’s mother…. when someone on the court (Ives mentions this I think in his Anne bio) suggested to Henry that he had affairs with Anne’s sister and mother, which could affect the validity of a marriage to Anne, he inadvertedly blurted out “No, not the mother”. So I think iit is likely that there only rumours to that effect.

  54. Kara says:

    I wanted to add;
    What about her time in France?

  55. Pascale says:

    When she was locked up in the tower prior her death, is it true that she had penned an autobiography which had described all happenings in court and in part also implies her innonce?

  56. PHS says:

    The idea that Elizabeth Howard was Henry’s mistress before Mary and Anne were. I know it’s believed to be a malicious rumour, but I would love to know where it came from and how much truth there was to it.

    1. Emma says:

      There is an even worse version of this rumour where Elizabeth was not only Henry’s mistress but that the result of this affair was Anne herself. Something that Henry and Anne were supposed to have been aware of.

  57. Anne says:

    Did Anne and Henry truly wait until after they were married before they slept together?

    Was Anne really a virgin when she married Henry?

    1. stilltinyclanger says:

      The reason Anne & Henry married when they did was because Anne was pregnant with Elizabeth, and Henry wanted to be sure the child was born ‘in Holy Wedlock’, otherwise he couldn’t take the throne on Henry’s death (always supposing it was a boy). The general concensus seems to be they first slept together on the voyage back from their visit to the French court, after Henry laid out all the jewellery from the Treasury in front of her and told her it was all hers, as was his heart.

  58. Leandra says:

    Here is an absolutely ridiculous bit I read only twice on a couple of ill researched web sites about Anne:they stated that Bishop Fisher’s head was served to Anne on a platter at her request. I was hesitant to even bring this up but just about every myth surrounding her has already been mentioned.

    1. Marie says:

      That was mentioned in the book “Witchcraft and Black Magic”, by Montegue Summers (published in 1946). Summers was an eccentric and rather unpleasant person.

  59. Dawn 1st says:

    Just been reminded of another myth I have heard of by your webinar on the 18th, on the proposed marriage between Anne and James Butler, was she against the marriage and refuse to go through with it if arranged, as she did not want to marry someone she didn’t know, or want to live in Ireland as it was a harsh, barbaric place? No disrespect there to any one from Ireland, as it is a beautiful country, with wonderful history of its own.

    1. margaret says:

      what i read somewhere about this,and i cant remember where, was that james butler or his family called off the marriage ,and not the boleyns ,

      1. Claire says:

        I’ve done extensive research into the marriage negotiations and actually did a one hour talk on Friday on them!

        It is not known why the negotiations fizzled out. The last mention we have of the plans is in a report to Charles V from his ambassadors in January 1522 regarding Francis I’s concern that Anne Boleyn had been recalled from Queen Claude’s service due to Henry VIII intending to make war on France:
        “The ambassadors complained that Boleyn’s daughter, who was in the service of the French queen, had been called home, and said this was not a sign of continued friendship. The cardinal said that he himself was responsible for her recall, because he intended, by her marriage, to pacify certain quarrels and litigation between Boleyn and other English nobles.”
        Wolsey, Henry VIII and the Earl of Surrey had been planning the marriage – there are letters between them about it – but they don’t mention it after this point and by May 1523 Piers Butler was intent on defending his right to the title, so things had fizzled out by then.
        The plans could have stopped for a variety of reasons, including:

        1. Thomas Boleyn did not agree with the plan – The plan meant that he would not have the title, but that it would go to James Butler, who would be married to Anne, and their potential heir.
        2. Piers may have found out about Anne’s relationship with Henry Percy – Some historians have pondered whether Wolsey’s ‘heavy-handed’ treatment of the couple and Percy’s hasty marriage to Mary Talbot were to break the relationship up quickly before it could hinder the marriage negotiations.

        We just don’t know, but a new deal was, of course, brokered in 1528, which pleased everyone.

  60. Hi Claire! I have gathered from assumptions gained at school that Anne’s deformed,miscarried baby was the result of incest with her true father/ husband Henry Viii . Can we dismiss this possability?
    Is there anyway that England would release DNA from the assumed remains of Anne? As no one can be sure of what Anne truly looked like it would be great to identify her remains and with computer technology rebuild her image. Thank you Claire and good luck with your research. Alison

  61. Kirsty says:

    Hi Claire,

    The myth I am most interested in is the myth of George and Anne as lovers and plotters, who thought up this charge? Was it really Jane Boleyn or has she been blamed unfairly?

    Thankyou,

  62. LouiseS says:

    I am curious about the accusations that Anne had tried to poison Mary.

    I would also love to know more about the accusations that Anne and her lovers were involved in a conspiracy to overthrow Henry.

  63. Patty Blackwell says:

    Hi Claire….many thanks again for all of your hard work and dedication to finding the truth about Anne Boleyn. One myth that I haven’t seen mentioned is the one that says that after Anne was executed, someone took her heart and buried it at a separate location, a church. Can’t wait to read this article.

  64. Lin says:

    I have LOADS of opinions on all of the above questions! First, it is my opinion that it was impossible for Anne to plot with George to impregnate her for several reasons, first, that they would both know that a baby of such a close incestuous relationship would be severely compromised in terms of health let alone survival. Secondly, for a man to have sex with his known sister is a very rare situation – he would normally find it too revolting to accomplish the act and could NOT be frightened into performance as fear renders a man impotent (vid sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems etc etc). Just wait till I get started on some of the other slanders and libels ……………………

  65. margaret says:

    my question ,how are all these questions going to be answered if they is not any evidence one way or another ,and can they be answered objectively without bias.

    1. Claire says:

      I will examine and present what primary, contemporary source evidence there is for the myth/assumption/theory and what evidence there is to the contrary and draw my conclusion and let others draw theirs. For example, there is not one piece of contemporary evidence for the idea that George Boleyn, or any of the other men executed along with him, were homosexual, but it is widely believed today.

      I’m always careful to state that my conclusion is my own opinion and to let others draw their own conclusion. The thing with history is that people can read the same piece of evidence and interpret it completely differently. People need to draw their own conclusions and that’s why I always give full references too, so that people can check them for themselves.

      1. margaret says:

        ok,thats good enough for me anyway.

  66. Mary says:

    I would like to talk about Anne being a witch…

    I would like know on what basis was that said, and all that…

  67. Leandra says:

    I thought of another one I read once: That Anne was an inspiration for ‘loose girls’…

  68. Marie says:

    Is it known if Anne Boleyn and Thomas Wyatt really did have an affair?

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