This entry was written by Katherine Wilhelm and her daughter, Amanda Eichberger:-
A Most Unhappy Execution – An Eyewitness Account
Betwixt my true queen of Aragon and loyalty to Rome, I hath made myself merry upon this auspicious occasion. For surely God has made known to man His favor upon the Catholic Church. It is for certain that such blasphemy against the true church of God would result in such vengeance as apparent today. It is with this in mind, that I bore witness to the consequences destined to be carried out today.
Upon arrival, I beheld a scaffold – and not a burning bier; an executioner bearing sword – and not a torch in hand as is befitting for treason. One can hardly imagine how this perfidious woman could secure such a gracious fate for grievous acts. For as black as this day should bear in history to those whose loyalty should lie with Anne, so were the ravens that circled and screeched about our feet and paths. Irony should strike at such a small symbol within the Tower; that for as many as the ravens scattered under foot, the crow should threaten and cloud my view.
Twas not more than a passing moment since I arrived before our lady of the hour was escorted into sight. Without doubt, I marked this moment in time as one most unusual. For as I watched the “concubine” approach, I regrettably found within my own self a strong emotion of awe. Herewith death before her eyes, her body bore no sign of guilt as one would expect. So strong and confident her demeanor, yet her eyes beheld the sadness of which had been endured and was about to endure. Even I must note the outward beauty she reflected with the dreaded execution so pressing on the mind.
Apprehension seemed to fall beneath her steps as she mounted the makeshift wooden scaffold. Should not such an event behold a spectacle of some sort? I was most certain of this as she begged permission to speak. Tis of what she spake that took those of us present by surprise. She begged our prayers and confirmed God’s blessings upon the King. If enraged or remorseful she was, it was kept within, for she spake of devotion to the law and to her loving king. On bended knees she prayed aloud, but with caution about her, for she cast rapid glances aside to prepare herself for the blade. So swift was her execution, that she herself was uncertain to the second of her demise. Mercifully distracted from the movements aft her, the blade made only one quick slice to terminate her life.
Hopeful that the actions of the day would bring about resolution for our nation, it is with trepidation that I now take my leave. In lieu of witnessing a treasonous woman burn at the stake, I instead find a merciful beheading forever to be burned in my mind.
- The Lady in the Tower. Weir, Alison. Ballantine Books, 2010.
- “birdforum.” http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=28879, 29 Apr 2011
- The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn. Warnicke, Retha M. Cambridge University Press, 2003