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Henry or Cromwell the mastermind behind Anne's death?
September 3, 2014
7:50 pm
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Boleyn
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I have to ask What exactly did K.H die for? She certainly hadn’t committed adultery all she had done was live an immoral life before her marriage to the King. She hadn’t plotted with anyone to kill the King, and I don’t think she had actually said “I wish Henry was dead” she may have thought it but surely couldn’t be constued as plotting.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

September 3, 2014
8:54 pm
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Sharon
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Henry, Henry, and Henry!
After her confession about what had occurred with Mannox and Dereham, Henry was still thinking annulment. If only Katherine had admitted right off the bat that there had been a pre-contract with Dereham, Henry would have willingly annulled the marriage, but she refused.

Jane testified to the meetings with Culpeper. Jane said she assumed Katherine had slept with Thomas. He said he hadn’t but he intended to sleep with her. Apparently, that nailed his coffin shut. Dereham was accused of ill intent by coming into the queen’s service. Katherine was executed for the appointment of Dereham and Katherine Tylney as proof of her “will to return to her abominable life.” She was also charged with Jane to help bring her wicked purpose to fulfillment. She met with Culpeper in a “secret and vile place at 11 o’clock at night and remained until 3 am with only “that bawd, the Lady Jane Rocheford.” That is what the Bill of Attainder against Katherine and Jane said.

September 4, 2014
3:44 am
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Aud
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Sharon said

Henry, Henry, and Henry!
After her confession about what had occurred with Mannox and Dereham, Henry was still thinking annulment. If only Katherine had admitted right off the bat that there had been a pre-contract with Dereham, Henry would have willingly annulled the marriage, but she refused.

Jane testified to the meetings with Culpeper. Jane said she assumed Katherine had slept with Thomas. He said he hadn’t but he intended to sleep with her. Apparently, that nailed his coffin shut. Dereham was accused of ill intent by coming into the queen’s service. Katherine was executed for the appointment of Dereham and Katherine Tylney as proof of her “will to return to her abominable life.” She was also charged with Jane to help bring her wicked purpose to fulfillment. She met with Culpeper in a “secret and vile place at 11 o’clock at night and remained until 3 am with only “that bawd, the Lady Jane Rocheford.” That is what the Bill of Attainder against Katherine and Jane said.

But then doesn’t this beg the question, that if Katherine Howard being executed didn’t require charges of plotting the King’s death, etc, why did Anne Boleyn’s trial require it? Adultery as said before, prejudiced the line of succession which could cause civil wars or give rise to claimants to the throne. As for the nunnery option, I have a question: I know during Anne’s reign some monasteries were dissolved as it was an issue she fought over with Cromwell, but at this point did Henry plan to close down all the monasteries? If so, then Anne couldn’t go into a nunnery, because she would doubtless leave again when it was dissolved.

September 4, 2014
11:41 am
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Boleyn
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Thank you Sharon but the whole case against K.H was like Anne’s totally unfair.
The accusations leveled at Anne and her trial (Ha Ha) Were that she had comitted treason by adultery with many of Henry’s freinds, Incest with her brother, and that she was supposed of said words that were constued (and twisted) into that she plotting the Henry’s death. Henry wanted Anne dead so the last charge leveled at her was enough to swing the deal. Anne was a dead woman whatever she said or did.
All K.H did was have diddle with Dereham, and fumble (Furtive gropings) with Mannox. I don’t believe that K.H and Culpepper had sex although as Culpepper confesses the intention was there. Nothing and no one had said K.H had said “I wish the king was dead” which Aud had rightly pointed out, had to be said in order for the charge of treason to stick with Anne’s trial.
Admitting Dereham into her household was a bad move on K.H’s part, but he had proved himself whilst he was in the Duchesses household to be a very able secutary, plus it wasn’t as if K.H had asked for him personally to join her household, he joined her household at the request of the Duchess. I agree it was in bad taste for K.H to take Katherine Tylney into her household and even worse Joan Bulmer, but you can understand why she did. A young woman stuck in a court with a load of old crumblies (Henry being the most crumbliest of all) Court at first for K.H was exciting full of light, colour and music but I should imagine that once the novelty had worn off she felt very much like a fish out of water, in a world that despite all the light, colour and music was very dull and boring. She had nothing in common with anyone in court, she couldn’t talk to anyone about fluffy bunnies or kittens. In short she was lonely and made the fatal mistake of asking her old freinds of coming to court to keep her company.
But even that wasn’t enough to warrant her death. That wasn’t in my opinion reason to charge her for treason, or I believe it was called presumptive treason. How can you guess the motives for another person’s actions? You can’t.
In short she did nothing wrong, she did the best job she could and tried to make the best of a bad situation.. Henry murder of her was nothing more than pure and utter vindictive spite, jealously and most of all his over inflated ego.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

September 4, 2014
8:06 pm
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Sharon
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HaHa! I knew what you were asking Boleyn, but I do not have good answer. I don’t know where the treason comes in, but the indictment continued after mention of Jane to say “For these treasons, Culpeper and Dereham have been convicted and executed, and the Queen and Lady Rochford stand indicted.” Is the queen’s abominable lifestyle treason? It seems that way.
Supposedly, Henry believed Katherine had committed adultery with Dereham and Culpeper. However, Katherine confessed to sleeping with Dereham, but not with Culpeper.
There was no trial. The indictment in the Bill of Attainder is all we have. Parliament approved that they were guilty and condemned them.
Was there treason on the part of Katherine and Jane? I don’t see it. Neither Jane nor Katherine were allowed to defend themselves. It looks like the women were being convicted on the treason of Culpeper and Dereham. Maybe someone else understands the charges? I got nothin’!
What was done to Katherine was unforgivable in my book. Katherine was no more guilty of treason than Anne was.

Aud, there would be no nunneries left. I was reading the other day that KOA had requested to be buried at a nunnery, and Cromwell had explained that was impossible since there were no longer nunneries in England. So, if there were any at the time, they wouldn’t be there much longer.

September 4, 2014
11:57 pm
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Sharon said

HaHa! I knew what you were asking Boleyn, but I do not have good answer. I don’t know where the treason comes in, but the indictment continued after mention of Jane to say “For these treasons, Culpeper and Dereham have been convicted and executed, and the Queen and Lady Rochford stand indicted.” Is the queen’s abominable lifestyle treason? It seems that way.
Supposedly, Henry believed Katherine had committed adultery with Dereham and Culpeper. However, Katherine confessed to sleeping with Dereham, but not with Culpeper.
There was no trial. The indictment in the Bill of Attainder is all we have. Parliament approved that they were guilty and condemned them.
Was there treason on the part of Katherine and Jane? I don’t see it. Neither Jane nor Katherine were allowed to defend themselves. It looks like the women were being convicted on the treason of Culpeper and Dereham. Maybe someone else understands the charges? I got nothin’!
What was done to Katherine was unforgivable in my book. Katherine was no more guilty of treason than Anne was.

Aud, there would be no nunneries left. I was reading the other day that KOA had requested to be buried at a nunnery, and Cromwell had explained that was impossible since there were no longer nunneries in England. So, if there were any at the time, they wouldn’t be there much longer.

I think even if Katherine Howard was guilty of treason, Henry certainly had no business condemning someone to death for a crime he had done several times throughout his own lifespan. He was absolutely wrong for executing Katherine Howard.

Thanks Sharon, for the nunnery info, so going to a nunnery really wasn’t an option for Anne unless she was sent outside of England, which I strongly doubt Henry would have been willing to do.

September 5, 2014
1:26 pm
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Aud rumour has it that Henry offered Anne the chance of going abroad and taking Elizabeth with her. Something which knew would mean death for both of them anyway. If she had accepted Henry’s proposal 6 months down the line once Jane had got pregnant he would have sent his assassins to kill her and Elizabeth. Henry couldn’t take the risk of having any rivals for his throne. It would be a repeat performance of the hassle with the pretenders in H7 reign. Anne knew that the only way she could save Elizabeth’s life was to sacrifice her own. He couldn’t kill Elizabeth for she was just a child not even 3 yet and it wasn’t her fault that her mother was according to Henry was the biggest incestious whore and witch in christendom. Anne telling Henry to poke his get out of Marriage free card right up where the sun don’t shine saved Elizabeth and safegarded her future (despite being named a bastard), as future Queen.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

September 5, 2014
4:12 pm
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Boleyn said

Aud rumour has it that Henry offered Anne the chance of going abroad and taking Elizabeth with her. Something which knew would mean death for both of them anyway. If she had accepted Henry’s proposal 6 months down the line once Jane had got pregnant he would have sent his assassins to kill her and Elizabeth. Henry couldn’t take the risk of having any rivals for his throne. It would be a repeat performance of the hassle with the pretenders in H7 reign. Anne knew that the only way she could save Elizabeth’s life was to sacrifice her own. He couldn’t kill Elizabeth for she was just a child not even 3 yet and it wasn’t her fault that her mother was according to Henry was the biggest incestious whore and witch in christendom. Anne telling Henry to poke his get out of Marriage free card right up where the sun don’t shine saved Elizabeth and safegarded her future (despite being named a bastard), as future Queen.

Although I think Henry was an unpleasant man, I do not think he would ever have killed Elizabeth. She was undoubtedly his daughter and he did not have that many heirs available, that he would kill his own child. He kept both Mary and Elizabeth in the line of succession, despite naming them bastard.

September 5, 2014
5:29 pm
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But he only named them as such in 1544, knowing he had no other choice.
Unpleasent isn’t the word I would call Henry, it’s one of the many words I would call him however. I won’t say what words I think about him because 1 Anyanka will get out her Iron Maiden, 2 Sharon will oil up the rack again (Which given how my back is today will probably do it some good.) and 3 I don’t like the taste of soap much LOL…
I think he would have killed Mary if she had of continued to defy him, he was capable of anything in my opinion, after all he killed many of his own family members, Cousins mainly and I don’t think he would have allowed family sentiment to get in his way. Although I don’t think he would have actually chopped their heads off or burnt them at the stake. I rather think he would have them poisoned. Mary was often ill with one malady or other, (mainly down to stress and mental anquish I think) Elizabeth too had a few illnesses in her childhood so if they suddenly died, it would be seen as just one of things.
Look at his treatment of Margaret Pole for instance, she was a cousin of sorts and yet he chopped her up, and he happily signed the death warrants of 2 of his wives.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

September 6, 2014
5:47 am
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There’s quite a difference between executing a distant cousin for perceived treason and poisoning your own daughters. Despite everything Henry did and all the people he executed, I will never believe he would have been capable of executing his own daughters……..He was very angry with Mary at times and treated her badly, but AFAIK there were never any attempts to have her executed or poisoned. Henry’s chosen course of action was to banish his daughters and see them only rarely. He provided for them and left them considerable property in his will.

September 6, 2014
10:03 am
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Sharon said

HaHa! I knew what you were asking Boleyn, but I do not have good answer. I don’t know where the treason comes in, but the indictment continued after mention of Jane to say “For these treasons, Culpeper and Dereham have been convicted and executed, and the Queen and Lady Rochford stand indicted.” Is the queen’s abominable lifestyle treason? It seems that way.
Supposedly, Henry believed Katherine had committed adultery with Dereham and Culpeper. However, Katherine confessed to sleeping with Dereham, but not with Culpeper.
There was no trial. The indictment in the Bill of Attainder is all we have. Parliament approved that they were guilty and condemned them.
Was there treason on the part of Katherine and Jane? I don’t see it. Neither Jane nor Katherine were allowed to defend themselves. It looks like the women were being convicted on the treason of Culpeper and Dereham. Maybe someone else understands the charges? I got nothin’!

Catherine Howard had behaved in such a way (she been alone with Culpepper in the middle of nigh, not once but many times) that, as she was not inexperienced, common sense would tell that she had had sex with him. By that, they had put the royal succession in danger.

And if they had not had sex, they had intent to do do, as Culpepper confessed. And an intent was defined as treason.

September 6, 2014
10:07 am
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Jasmine said

There’s quite a difference between executing a distant cousin for perceived treason and poisoning your own daughters. Despite everything Henry did and all the people he executed, I will never believe he would have been capable of executing his own daughters……..He was very angry with Mary at times and treated her badly, but AFAIK there were never any attempts to have her executed or poisoned. Henry’s chosen course of action was to banish his daughters and see them only rarely. He provided for them and left them considerable property in his will.

Henry certainly threatened to execute Mary if she did not take the Oath. But that would mean that the act was (to his mind) lawful.

Poison was not Henry’s method although with it he could have easily got rid of Anne and avoided the scandal of the trial.

September 6, 2014
1:38 pm
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Hannele said

Sharon said

HaHa! I knew what you were asking Boleyn, but I do not have good answer. I don’t know where the treason comes in, but the indictment continued after mention of Jane to say “For these treasons, Culpeper and Dereham have been convicted and executed, and the Queen and Lady Rochford stand indicted.” Is the queen’s abominable lifestyle treason? It seems that way.
Supposedly, Henry believed Katherine had committed adultery with Dereham and Culpeper. However, Katherine confessed to sleeping with Dereham, but not with Culpeper.
There was no trial. The indictment in the Bill of Attainder is all we have. Parliament approved that they were guilty and condemned them.
Was there treason on the part of Katherine and Jane? I don’t see it. Neither Jane nor Katherine were allowed to defend themselves. It looks like the women were being convicted on the treason of Culpeper and Dereham. Maybe someone else understands the charges? I got nothin’!

Catherine Howard had behaved in such a way (she been alone with Culpepper in the middle of nigh, not once but many times) that, as she was not inexperienced, common sense would tell that she had had sex with him. By that, they had put the royal succession in danger.

And if they had not had sex, they had intent to do do, as Culpepper confessed. And an intent was defined as treason.

Thank you Hannele. That’s it.

September 30, 2014
9:12 pm
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I’ve already seen Wolf Hall, and I’m going to see Bring Up The Bodies on Friday. Has anyone else seen them both yet?

January 10, 2015
11:23 am
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I have now read Claire’s book about Anne’s fall. In it the question was just the title: there was a plot against Anne, and according to Claire’s opinion it was initiated by Henry, though action was done by Cromwell as his servant. To my mind, Claire makes a good case.

However, I wonder how could Anne have been condemned if she herself had had not made the fatal mistakes on 29-30 May and babbled about them in the Tower? I short, was there really no reasons why the special commissions (oyer and terminer) were appointed a week earlier?

There is also a theory by Susanna Lipscomb in her book 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII that there was no plot: although Anne was innocent, she had acted such a way that both Henry and Cromwell sincerely believed that she was guilty and thus acted in good faith. Also Lipscomb makes a good case but I think it has one fatal weakness: would there had been any “proofs” if Anne herself had not make the fatal mistakes on 29-30 May, nor babbled about them in the Tower? Was there any reason why the special commissions (oyer and terminer) were appointed a week earlier?

Lipscomb claims that it was lady Worcerter’s words to his brother that Anne had acted morally worse than she herself, mentioning Marc, Norris and Rochford, that initiated the matter, as the brother told to the two favorites of the kind and they told the kind who, though doubtful, ordered the the instigation, but at the same time ordering that if the accusation were false, the penalty would have to put to them who claimed it true.

Once the instigation was begun, the crux of the matter was the confession of Marc Smeaton. After that, the king could not help but act – although he had a certain freedom to chose how to act. After all, usually only the men were put to death with adultery with the queen, not the queen herself.

Lipscomb makes good assumptions of the strange behavior and character of Marc Smeaton, comparing him with the present-day stalkers who had fantasies with celebrities. If these assumptions are true, one cannot of course know.

However, one can also wonder how impartially Cromwell conducted the interrogation of Marc Smeaton. Let us presume that Cromwell did not use physical torture as there is no prof of it. But did he know that all confessions are not true? Did he believe in the confession or (like in Mantel’s novel) was he simply satisfied to have a case for the court? Did he, even if he had not invented any plot nor ordered it by Henry, took the chance when it was given to him to get rid of Anne, knowing that in his heart the kind wished it also?

January 10, 2015
8:25 pm
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Cromwell knew darn well that in order to get an adultery conviction, Mark Smeaton would be the one who he could get to confess. The other men would not confess. They would not be bullied. My opinion is that Mark was told he was going to die anyway, but if he stuck to his confession, his death would be by beheading and he would not face being hanged, drawn and quartered.

I personally don’t think Smeaton was tortured, but the threat was there. He, of all the men, was chained the entire time he was in the Tower. Why do that unless you are trying to scare the man to death? He could be bullied and threatened. I do think Smeaton was enamored of Anne. I also think he was a hanger on, a wanna be. And I think Cromwell knew this and used it to his advantage at the trial. Cromwell knew that with Mark’s confession that people would be sickened by the thought of Anne bedding a musician. He needed to use this against Anne. It was demeaning, and that’s what Cromwell was looking for by accusing Smeaton of bedding her.

Anne, George, and the others were the victims here and I find it hard to blame them. Yes, she did blabber in the Tower. She was trying to figure out what she was doing there. Her so-called attendants were put there with her to record everything she had to say. What was said by her in the Tower was used as evidence against her. And who knows how those words were twisted before they were used at trial?

It is my personal belief that Henry was well pleased when this whole thing came about. I think he did order Cromwell to put a case together and that it had better be airtight against Anne, and I think he was in on every single part of Anne’s demise. So, no, I don’t blame Anne for any of this, and I am not an apologist for her. She was innocent. Blame belongs on the heads of the accusers.

January 11, 2015
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Sharon said Anne, George, and the others were the victims here and I find it hard to blame them. Yes, she did blabber in the Tower. She was trying to figure out what she was doing there. Her so-called attendants were put there with her to record everything she had to say. What was said by her in the Tower was used as evidence against her. And who knows how those words were twisted before they were used at trial?

It may be that Anne’s words were twisted, but if it was done later and not by her attendants who told them to Kingston, the happenings she told were strange indeed. It must mean that Anne’s nerves had broken down on 29-30th May and she made fatal mistakes especially with Norris.

January 11, 2015
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Sharon said It is my personal belief that Henry was well pleased when this whole thing came about. I think he did order Cromwell to put a case together and that it had better be airtight against Anne, and I think he was in on every single part of Anne’s demise.

It may be that Henry was pleased that he could get rid of Anne and marry again, but I find it hard to believe that any man, much less a king, would be pleased when all the world knew him to be a cuckold instead simply annulling the marriage.

January 11, 2015
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Sharon said So, no, I don’t blame Anne for any of this, and I am not an apologist for her. She was innocent. Blame belongs on the heads of the accusers.

I don’t think this is so simple. When Henry was told what lady Worcerter had said to her brother, he had to order an investigation (cf. Catherine Howard).

In general, already Caesar divorced his wife, not because he believed her committing adultery but because “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”.

On the other hand, it is an old habit in power struggle to blacken a woman’s reputation sexually. The most famous cases are Marie Antoinette and Alexandra with Rasputin.

Anne was especially vulnerable because to the Catholics Henry’s marriage with Katherine was valid and Anne was thus a whore and Elizabeth a bastard. She had no power base of her own but her position was entirely dependent on Henry.

January 11, 2015
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Hannele said

Jasmine said

There’s quite a difference between executing a distant cousin for perceived treason and poisoning your own daughters. Despite everything Henry did and all the people he executed, I will never believe he would have been capable of executing his own daughters……..He was very angry with Mary at times and treated her badly, but AFAIK there were never any attempts to have her executed or poisoned. Henry’s chosen course of action was to banish his daughters and see them only rarely. He provided for them and left them considerable property in his will.

Henry certainly threatened to execute Mary if she did not take the Oath. But that would mean that the act was (to his mind) lawful.

Poison was not Henry’s method although with it he could have easily got rid of Anne and avoided the scandal of the trial.

Henry certainly threatened Mary, but I still do not believe he would have actually killed her. She was, however flawed in his eyes, a potential heir. There had been talk earlier of marrying her to her illegitimate half-brother, but that was never pursued. There were times when Henry said that Elizabeth was not his daughter because of her mother’s behaviour, but he kept her in the succession, along with Mary.

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