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Can I answer your questions on Anne Boleyn and the Boleyns?

Posted By on October 2, 2018

There are quite literally thousands of posts here on the Anne Boleyn Files blog about Anne Boleyn, the Boleyn family and the period in which they lived, and these can be found and read by using the “Categories” section in the left-hand side menu bar or by using the Google Search box in the right-hand side menu bar. If you have spare time on your hands, then do browse through the archives.

But I thought it would be fun and interesting to do a series answering your questions on Anne Boleyn and her family. Whether you’re a newbie or someone who has been reading about the Boleyns for years, I’m sure you have a question that you’d like answered, either for yourself or because you’d think it would be good for others to read. So, have a think and then write your question in the comments section below this post. Please don’t worry about your question being “silly” or too basic, just ask! There are no silly questions as far as I’m concerned because we all have very different levels of knowledge about these people. I’ll then create a list of these questions and start answering them.

Note: Although it’s tempting to answer each other’s questions, I’d really like the comments section to be questions only. When I answer them in the future then I’d of course welcome feedback and for other Anne Boleyn Files followers to share their views and answers too, but for now I’d like to leave these questions unanswered – thank you!

Ask away!

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80 thoughts on “Can I answer your questions on Anne Boleyn and the Boleyns?”

  1. M. Shane Plantagenet says:

    Is there any real evidence -either written or circumstantial — that Anne Boleyn committed treason against Henry VIII? In other words is there any foundation to the allegations of adultery and incest made against Anne Boleyn — allegations for which she paid the ultimate price? Or is it more likely that the charges were false and that Anne was executed an innocent person?

  2. Andrew smith says:

    Hi

    I really like the blog!

    I’m really interested in Anne’s father. I’ve seen it said that he abandoned his daughter and let her and his son be executed – but I haven’t seen any evidence of this and I don’t understand what he could have done anyway to sway the court or the KIng. Was he in any way blameworthy or actually another victim of the King?

  3. Christine says:

    Hi Claire, I’d like to know what happened to Annes beautiful dresses and nightgowns after her death, also the gown she was wearing to her execution, I know her ladies undressed her and buried her in her shift ready for burial, and that it was normal for the condemned to have their clothes taken away but was it Kingston who took them and if so did he hand them to the King or their families? Henry bought her a roll of black silk to be made especially into a nightgown and various other sundries hats and gloves, there must have been hundreds of clothes she possessed and surely they wouldn’t have just been discarded, I read once there is a gown she owned on display somewhere in a stately home but cannot recall its name, iv always been intrigued by this thankyou.

  4. Louise Hornby says:

    I’m reading a book at the moment “Lady Mary” by Lucy Worsley
    I’m up to chapter 3 and have noted that Anne is being portrayed as being a really quite nasty price of work, threatening Mary and Catherine and being really calculating and cold. I wonder is there any basis to this characterisation of Anne? Is there any evidence she was a cold unfeeling woman with a ruthless abdication to be Queen and a deep hatred of Mary and her Mother. Did Anne in fact go as far as attempt to poison 1 or both or them?

  5. Samantha Finn says:

    Hi Claire do you have any idea what happened to Anne’s B necklace after her death.

  6. Debra Cole says:

    Hi Clare. I’ve been reading about the Tudors for many years. My question is, do you believe Anne loved Henry? Or was it the lure of power and wealth? I believe she had a lot of people pushing her but she seemed to be a strong woman. I wonder what she was thinking during that time? Also, how could she just let herself be executed? It seems she was innocent!

  7. Arlene Lerner says:

    I know there were strict rules as to who could wear what in Tudor times such as no one but kings and queens could wear purple. What about the clergy, in particular Cardinal Wolsey? We know he wore red as he is seen that way in his portrait. But what of jewels and furs? Could he wear ermine or sable?

  8. Dave Steward says:

    Hi Claire, i am doing Family history research, and my Ancestor Sir William Fitzwilliam 1460-1534 KG, left in his will ” to my good Lord- the Earl Wiltshire (Thomas Boleyn) my rich rose of diamonds and rubies”, any idea on a value for the piece that us described ?

  9. Claire says:

    Do you believe that there are still paintings in private collections of Anne Boleyn that were not destroyed and are not known to the general public? It has always interested me as to whether someone may have hid small paintings of her and have now been lost or were they all really destroyed?

  10. Daphne says:

    Do you there is a tendency to treat Henry VIII a pantomime villain and judge him and indeed Anne from the perspective and standards of our own time? I always felt Henry had a bad press. The Wars of the Roses weren’t that long ago and a male heir was a must if the country wasn’t to be plunged back into chaos. Katherine was past the menopause and must have known his dilemma whether or not Anne was on the scene. She could have borne in mind that most Royal marriages were for the dynasty and gone quietly. Likewise Anne probably didn’t commit treason but she was generally disliked by the then population and the facts were therefore believable to people because of her flirtatious demeanour. Because she died so tragically everyone comes down hard ion Henry but I thought Cromwell presented him with the “facts” and that records show he went pale when he was told she had been unfaithful. I feel she has somehow come round to be idolised rather as an extreme and her faults not acknowledged while Henry has been slated. He was known as Bluff King Hal and the public seem generally to have reacted with affection towards him. Surely he wasn’t all bad? What are your thoughts please?

  11. Elizabeth Mannox says:

    Hi Claire,
    thanks for the opportunity to ask our questions. I’d like to know if there’s any evidence that Elizabeth Boleyn ever saw her grandaughter Elizabeth again after Anne was executed?

  12. Jonathan C says:

    Hi Claire

    Do you think it’s possible that as time goes on previously lost records, letters ect could be found pretaining to Anne Boleyn?

  13. Wendy says:

    Do you think that Smeaton was ‘selected’ as one of Anne’s purported lovers partly because he was a commoner? I understand that noblemen could not be put to torture, and Cromwell needed at least one confession for appearance sake and to convince the King. Was Smeaton just an easy target and their best chance of getting a confession because he could be tortured?

  14. Debbie says:

    When did Elizabeth Howard, Anne’s mother die, before or after Anne and George? I have read that she died before and after but have not seen a date/year of her death. Why do some authors say George was a homosexual?

  15. I’d like to know how Anne Boleyn really felt about Henry VIII. Was the relationship based on some chemistry or was it all politicking?

  16. Gaill says:

    Is there a record of a document or confession they wanted Anne to sign while she was imprisoned in the tower, which said in essence that the marriage to Henry wasn’t valid, therefore Elizabeth was illegitimate. I believe it also was a confession to all the charges of adultery etc. (Which would really show how trumped up they were being as if the marriage wasn’t real & valid, she couldn’t possibly be an adulteress, could she?)
    I believe there was such a document which they tried to trick her into signing but she absolutely refused. Don’t know if it survived. Do you?

  17. selkie says:

    Much has been written about what could have been medically or psychologically wrong with Henry, but very little about the wives besides what may have caused their miscarriages.
    Is it possible that Anne may have manic-depressive?

  18. Megan MacDonald says:

    I would like to know more about Uncle Thomas. According to Wikipedia he was 84-odd when he died, which is a ripe old age today, certainly a riper old age in the 16th century and certainly a ripe old age when you had a king with a penchant for executing people who displeased him, as opposed to simply firing them. Is there a biography on him you could recommend?

  19. Sharon Hutchinson says:

    I am still confused as to which painting, sketch etc. is actually that of Anne. Do we know for certain if something is a true representation of her, or just based on artists’ perceptions and relying on descriptions by others. In any case, Anne might not have been a ravishing beauty according to the standards of the time, but she certainly attracted men..

  20. Linda Francid says:

    Was thomas Boleyn at the jury during Annes trial in the Tower or not?
    Did Anne had an pregnancy in 1535 thus before autumn ?

  21. Bob Glynn says:

    I am interested to hear all answers to these questions. My question is are there any descendents of Anne alive today and if so do any still hold titles?

  22. Esther says:

    Has anything ever been determined about Henry’s affair with Mary Boleyn — i.e., when it occurred, how long it lasted, etc?

  23. Jane Flynn says:

    Are there any contemporary portraits of Anne and Henry together? I’ve seen several paintings showing them both but they seem to be largely Victorian depictions and hence very stylised.

    Also I once read a novel which suggested Anne Boleyn’s mother had an affair with a London based toymaker, called Rene Jouet, and that he attended her funeral. The authors notes included several supposed pieces of ‘evidence’ that allegedly backed up her claims, however I’ve never been able to find anything that indicates this story is genuine. Do you know if there is any truth in this theory

  24. Mary the Quene says:

    Claire, thank you for this ‘question free-for-all’ – how brave of you!! 🙂

    Regarding Thomas Wyatt the Elder and Anne Boleyn: are there any places I could look to find evidence of their having spent time together in childhood/teen years? I’m thinking about registers of Kent events/parties/celebrations, official events, etc.

    Also – did Wyatt *actually* watch the executions of G. Boleyn etc.? And is it true Anne Boleyn was forced to watch in a punitive and fear-mongering act?

    Thank you again. – Mary

  25. Bolijn says:

    Hello from the Netherlands,

    My name is Karel Bolijn.

    When i was a kid i grew up with the story that our family is related to Anne Boleyn.
    But i alway’s wondered in what way we are related (if we are).
    I assume that if we are i should be related to Anne’s forfathers or something

    Is there any way to find out more about that ?

  26. Rebecca says:

    Why was Sir Thomas not more helpful to Mary once she was widowed? Why did it require Henry to intervene on her behalf?

  27. Anira says:

    Hi Claire, I’m wondering about Anne’s date of birth. As per now, we don’t have any written proof as to when she was born. But what was the practice of registering births at the time? Were only births of Royal children registered? What about the aristocracy? And others? Could Anne’s birth have been registered and the document later lost? Is there a chance of finding such a document or not? Thank you for your time.

  28. Isabel says:

    Do you think Anne loved Henry from the start or would you say she felt uncomfortable by his courting and only came to love him with time? Also which of these two do you think presented Anne and Henry’s relationship more accurate “The Tudors” or “Anne of the Thousand Days.” Thanks for answering!

  29. Morgan says:

    I read somewhere once that Anne spoke with a French accent instead of an English one since she was with the French for so long in her youth. Is this correct?

  30. Isabel says:

    How much hand did Anne really have in the treatment of Mary Tudor and Katherine of Aragon? I’m a big Anne fan but I see that those who dislike her do so because they think she was cruel to the before mentioned women. I think the blame should lay with Henry and not Anne. Of course, she wasn’t perfect either and did say some bad things about Mary and Katherine but I want to hear your opinion on this. Thanks!

  31. Cheryl Allen says:

    I was wondering whether Mary Boleyn or her brother had any children and their family tree

  32. Janny 08 says:

    I’ve read that the common people disliked Anne, but loved Katheryn of Aragon. How did the commoners feel when they heard Anne had been executed? Also, how did people feel about these executions back then? How did they feel about torture and the awful other ways of execution?

  33. Cassie says:

    As a fan of both Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour I would be interested in knowing your opinion of Jane’s role in Anne’s downfall and Jane as a person in general. Also, do you have any information on their relationship or familiar ties before Jane became Henry’s love interest?

  34. Daniela says:

    Hello Claire,

    What was Anne’s relationship with her sister really like? Was there rivalry between the two or a genuine understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

    Thank you Daniela

  35. Teo says:

    Hi Claire!
    I love your blog, it’s very informative and helpful.
    I want to ask if the Boleyns are descendants of Morgan Le Fey. There are some rumors claiming that. Also, we know that some historians believe that the Boleyn origins may came from the Normans. Although little is known about the Boleyns tracks, I would like to hear your oppinion about that.
    Again, congrats to your immaculate work.

  36. Nancy says:

    What happened to Ann’s pearl necklace? And her wedding ring?

  37. Peter Morgan says:

    Hi, Claire. Are you able to indicate, not why, but the grounds upon which Cranmer found that justified him announcing that Henry’s marriage to Anne was ‘null and void’? Regards Peter

  38. Banditqueen says:

    Hi Clare, I would like to know do you believe Anne suffered from post partum depression or psychosis as she may have suffered two more miscarriages in 1534/5 and she was very anxious that she could not conceive while Mary and Katherine lived. It was during this time that a deep fear and made threats against their lives, saying that if Henry went out of the country she could order their deaths. She was under terrible stress at this time and I was wondering if she could have been suffering post partum psychosis?

  39. Kayla says:

    Hi Claire,

    I am a Tudor history fan planning a trip to England next Spring. I have explored many Tudor places in the past, including the Tower of London, Tower Hill, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace, National Portrait Gallery, Hever Castle (my favorite!), and St. Peter’s church. What other places do you recommend going to learn more about Tudor History- more specifically about the life of Anne Boleyn?

    Also, I have always dreamt of seeing the Chequer’s ring. Based off your research, do you believe the women hidden within to be Elizabeth I and her mother, Anne Boleyn?

  40. Michelle Tercha says:

    Hi Claire! Thank you! I recently read your book about George Boleyn and LOVED it. I’m tired of the way he’s portrayed, especially the ridiculousness in The Tudors, they played him a buffoon. Anyway, my question is about the dad, too. I think I read it here, you guys (historians) don’t believe he pushed her to have a relationship with Henry. Why? My question isn’t influenced by his portrayal on The Tudors, but what I’ve read that makes me wonder. He hated Wolsey, and even paid for the masque performed around the time of Wolsey’s death. He abandoned his children to the wolves at the end. Is there any sort of evidence, letters left, etc that would say he orchestrated it, or he didnt? Thanks again. Michelle t

  41. Casey says:

    Hi Claire!

    I wonder what would have happened if Anne gave Henry a living son and heir? How would that have affected the Act of Succession and especially the Elizabethean Era? To add on that, what if Katherine of Aragon bore Henry a living son? Would Anne at that point just be a mistress and nothing more?

  42. Pascale says:

    Who is the current descendant from Anne Boleyn’s family? Thank you

  43. I was wanting to ask You,as a person whom has retained so much information and knowledge about the Tudors…what is your opinion of Anne Boleyn,in whole,as a woman ?

  44. Caren Watson says:

    Hello Claire
    I was wondering why it is so difficult to identify and authenticate Tudor portraits. It seems several have be seen as one person then another. Any information you could pass on would be most interesting!

  45. Michael Wright says:

    Hi Claire. Is it known if any drawings, sketches or a portrait of Anne of Cleve’s was made after she moved to England?

  46. Bennett says:

    Hi Clare, I have always wondered why, if Anne has been proven innocent of the charges laid against her, why has she never been moved from her traitor burial place and given a proper burial for a Queen of England? Why didn’t Queen Elizabeth investigate her mother’s charges?

  47. Arlene Ross says:

    Why do you think Cromwell was so careless with the dates accusing Anne of “adulteries”? Was he in such a frantic hurry that he didn’t realize it was impossible for the events to have occurred at those times? Or was he feeling (perhaps subconsciously) guilty and left evidence he was condemning an innocent woman?

  48. Daphne says:

    Anne’s possible goitre and nervous quickness makes me wonder if she was hyperthyroid. Also whether Henry’s jousting fall and the pain of his ulcerated leg affected his temperament medically, rather than his being a genuinely wicked person. I can imagine how tetchy and irritable anyone would be in constant pain never mind in those days.

  49. MrsFiennes says:

    Hello Claire,I’m very interested to know what books would you recommend on Hever,Anne’s childhood home.Would love to visit but as someone who lives in the US it’s a bit difficult.I really would like something very detailed and was hoping you might know of a few.

  50. Nan says:

    Weird question: I hear a lot about Tudor era people being buried beneath the floors of churches and cathedrals. Did the stone floors have to be continually torn out and replaced for these burials to happen? Or would the floors not have been stone at the time? It just seems like a tremendous amount of effort, especially with the required human effort, to be always pulling up and replacing stone floors…

  51. Carol-Ann says:

    I have just finished re-reading the Lady in the Tower by Alison Weir and its got me thinking, how on earth was no coffin provided for Anne? Was it the same for her brother and the others? How was this allowed to happen?

  52. Trezza says:

    I have read that there was an elder Boleyn brother who died as a teenager. Do you have any information about him, such as was he at court, was he close to Anne, how did he die?

  53. Tina Samuels says:

    Hi
    Clair,
    Regarding when Anne was taken to the tower and told that she would be in the queens apartments and not the dungeon, she says :It is too good for me”. I know some authors have interpreted this to imply that Anne has been guilty of some serious offense even if not adultery or treason. How do you re-interpret this statement of hers?.

    1. Gaill says:

      I’m thinking what was said was more like, “Isn’t that too good for me?” Considering what she had been accused of..

      1. Gaill says:

        Not an admission of guilt. An ironic statement.

  54. Hannah says:

    Hi Claire, my question is about Anne Boleyn’s ghost. Why do you think so many places all over England claimed to be haunted by her and where did they all originate from? Thank you for running this blog, you’ve really helped change my perception of Anne <3

  55. Anne McLeod says:

    Is there anything original (from the Boleyn’s time) left of the interior of Hever Castle? Or was it completely redone in the 1920s?

  56. Nick says:

    What time was Anne’s execution??

  57. jeri ralston says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you know what the relationship was between Jane and her sister Mary. Mary married one of my Staffords. and it’s been said that she (Mary) had a relationship with Henry. Thanks

  58. Globerose says:

    Here’s a question to which I realise you can only give your answer as opinion….. As Henry VIII’s claim to the crown came to him via the female line (grandmother Margaret Beaufort) which was also an illegitimate one, should he not actually have stood by Katharine of Aragon and his daughter by her, the Princess Mary, rather than do what he famously did in pursuit of a son?

  59. Kayla says:

    Hi Claire!

    Wolsey was arrested and accused of treason. He died the same year on his journey south to face trial. If he had not died, what do you think would have been Wolsey’s fate? Would he have been executed? Would he have been stripped of his titles and banished from court?

  60. Cidinha Mello says:

    This might be a silly question but I wonder if Henry did believe Anne was a virgin and how she convinced him she would give him a son. How could she possibly know the sex of a baby? I believe he was so in love with her that he used this excuse to himself rather than the others in order to marry her and by doing so, possess her.

  61. Lisa H says:

    Hello Claire!

    I have wondered since seeing Anne of the Thousand Days for the first time, where was Henry during Anne’s execution, or how did he hear confirmation that it was carried out?

  62. Carol Hornby Clements says:

    I would like to know about her mother because she is in my family tree. Any help appreciated.
    Carol

  63. Linda MacDonald says:

    Is it true that Anne had 6 fingers on one of her hands?

    1. Gaill says:

      No, it’s a lie. Sorry couldn’t resist.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        Excuse me, Gaill but can you resist answering as Claire wishes to do so herself. A few of us have knowledge I am certain we are dying to share, but people want to ask questions to be answered professionally as requested by Claire.

        Thanks

        LynMarie

        1. Claire says:

          Hi BQ,
          Thanks, yes, I want to do a series of posts and perhaps even videos answering these questions. I think it will be fun to do.
          Claire x

  64. Kate Arthur says:

    Hello Claire,
    Thank you for this extraordinary opportunity! Anne’s date/year of birth is contested as either being 1501 or 1507. Based on her activities abroad, I find it difficult to believe that she was born any later than 1502. In your research have you narrowed down Anne’s exact date of birth, or even the year and the season in which she was born?

    I have also heard that she had other brothers than George, who were miscarried or stillborn. Can you please clarify this and share the years of birth for all the surviving Boleyn siblings, Mary, Anne and George, as well as any other siblings who did not survive infancy? ( I have heard of two other siblings named Henry and Thomas, but have no guarantee that those names are true.)

    What year did Anne begin to have a friendship with Thomas Wyatt, and his sister Lady Margaret (Wyatt) Lee? Did they know each other as neighbors before Anne was sent away to France and the Low Countries?

    After Anne and George were put to death, did their mother and father ever again cohabitate? They are buried in different places, and I would like to know if there is any evidence of what happened to them after Anne and George were killed.

    With sincere thanks for all you do!

  65. Michelle Tercha says:

    I just thought of another question, I won’t ask any more. What was Henry’s relationship with Princess Mary (his daughter), after Anne’s death? Thanks again. Michelle t

  66. Anira says:

    How many pregnancies did Anne Boleyn have? We know for sure about two: the first, which ended in the birth of Elizabeth, and the last, in 1536, which sadly ended in a miscarriage. But in between those, weren’t there at least one more, or maybe two? What documentation is there? Or indications? Thanks, Claire.

  67. Amy hamn says:

    Hi Claire,

    Did Dr Mouat find the elm arrow box that Anne’s remains were placed in at the time of her burial?
    Did he find any piece of clothing when her remains were exhumed?
    Did he find anything at all apart from her bones?
    Why didn’t he make a sketch of her remains?
    His description of Anne’s remains seems to be based on portraits that he might have seen of her and not scientific evidence, I have the impression that his description was to satisfy the Victorian audience who were romanticizing Anne’s tragic story, sort of like us today!

  68. Deores Horn says:

    Did the Boleyn’s come to America and change their name to Bolling?

    Also according to one of my Terrell ancestors he supposedly buried Anne’s heart in his chapel. Is this true?

  69. Banditqueen says:

    How much to the Embassy of her father, first sent by Fox to the Netherlands, to Margaret Archduchess there, then in France, do you believe Anne owed her time there? It only appears to make sense that a knights daughter would be considered for the former when put into the context of Thomas and his skills of an Ambassador. I was just wondering your thoughts?

  70. Lisa says:

    I have always wondered, if Henry’s and Anne’s marriage was annulled, why she was put to death for treason. If the marriage never happened, then how could the cuckolding occur? Does it have to do with the comment Anne made to Henry Norris about looking for dead men’s shoes?

    1. Many of the questions have echoed what I’ve wanted to ask, but here’s another one. I’ve always been fascinated by the love story between Anne Boleyn and Henry Percy and have even written plays about them. Was it Cardinal Wolsey or the King himself who ended the relationship? Why did Percy give in? What would have happened if he insisted on marrying her, eloped, for example? Would Anne have been happy with him? It seems so, but … And lastly, why didn’t he admit the relationship between them when the King was looking for an excuse to annul his marriage? And why did he say “yes” about her guilt at the trial? Thanks.

  71. Renee Leininger says:

    Why was Anne not buried at her family’s estate chapel since she basically signed off on being Henry’s wife before her execution?

  72. Sheila says:

    So. Purkoy. Did he fall or was he pushed?

  73. Heather says:

    What are your top 3-5 places to visit in or around London for Anne Boleyn enthusiasts? Also, do you know of any day tours that are specific to Anne and the Tudors? Does Tower of London or Hever offer any? Going on a trip in April 2019!

  74. Richard says:

    I just read this, I never heard of this so is this thrue?:

    After Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded in 1536 on the orders of her husband, King Henry VIII, her heart was stolen and secretly hidden in a church near Thetford, Norfolk. Her heart was re-discovered in 1836 and re-buried under the church organ where it remains still.

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