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Henry or Cromwell the mastermind behind Anne's death?
January 11, 2015
10:57 am
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Jasmine
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Hannele said

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.

But Henry had already gone down the anullment route with Katherine. He probably thought it would be better to have been regarded as a sincere man brutally betrayed by a devious whore, than to risk international amusement at getting out of a second marriage. Also by killing Anne, and with Katherine already dead, any children by Jane Seymour would have been unquestionably legitimate. If Anne had lived, with just her marriage anulled (and remember Henry had Cranmer annul the marriage anyway before her execution) then there would always have been people willing to say Jane’s children were not legitimate.

January 11, 2015
12:26 pm
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Jasmine said

Hannele said

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.

But Henry had already gone down the anullment route with Katherine. He probably thought it would be better to have been regarded as a sincere man brutally betrayed by a devious whore, than to risk international amusement at getting out of a second marriage. Also by killing Anne, and with Katherine already dead, any children by Jane Seymour would have been unquestionably legitimate. If Anne had lived, with just her marriage anulled (and remember Henry had Cranmer annul the marriage anyway before her execution) then there would always have been people willing to say Jane’s children were not legitimate.

Which people? Only supporters of Boleyns and they were very few. In any case, what really mattered were the Pope and the Empereror for without the help from outside, there could be no threat to the position of Henry’s successor.

Besides, by making also Elizabeth a bastard and keeping Mary a bastard, Henry had no legitimate child and heir, only three bastards and Fitzroy even died in the summer. He could have no certainty that he would have a son by Jane. That was a very dangerous situation.

Although Claire says in her book that one lover of Anne (Smeaton) would have made Henry a cuckold to laughed at but five lovers made him a pitiable man betrayed by an evil woman, I am not concinved. Would any man, still less a king, really want pity? After all, one feels pity only towards one’s inferior. In choosing such a wife and not suspecting her for years, Henry would have shown to have a very poor judgment and in that case, he was not fit to be a king.

January 11, 2015
1:06 pm
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Jasmine
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Hannele said

Which people? Only supporters of Boleyns and they were very few. In any case, what really mattered were the Pope and the Empereror for without the help from outside, there could be no threat to the position of Henry’s successor.

Besides, by making also Elizabeth a bastard and keeping Mary a bastard, Henry had no legitimate child and heir, only three bastards and Fitzroy even died in the summer. He could have no certainty that he would have a son by Jane. That was a very dangerous situation.

Although Claire says in her book that one lover of Anne (Smeaton) would have made Henry a cuckold to laughed at but five lovers made him a pitiable man betrayed by an evil woman, I am not concinved. Would any man, still less a king, really want pity? After all, one feels pity only towards one’s inferior. In choosing such a wife and not suspecting her for years, Henry would have shown to have a very poor judgment and in that case, he was not fit to be a king.

Any people who were dissatisfied with the situation at any time. You have only to look back at TWOTR to see how a disputed succession could create opportunities for alternative kings. There were still people alive in Henry’s reign who had a Yorkist claim to the crown. Henry, left at the time of Anne’s execution with two bastard daughters and a bastard son, could not afford for any questions to be raised over Jane’s children. Henry was confident he would have a son – the earlier ‘faults’ being down to his wives, – so he had no concerns that Jane would not produce an heir.

What he needed above all else was for that son to be unquestionably legitimate. By killing Anne, he made sure of that.

I am sure Henry could picture himself as a genuine man betrayed by a whore. If he could suggest that Anne’s power over him had been by witchcraft, then no blame could attach to him – it would all be Anne’s fault. Thus, in his own eyes at least, Henry bore no responsibility for what had happened with Anne and he would be sure his fellow monarchs would sympathise with him.

January 11, 2015
3:50 pm
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Hannele
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Jasmine said

Hannele said

Which people? Only supporters of Boleyns and they were very few. In any case, what really mattered were the Pope and the Empereror for without the help from outside, there could be no threat to the position of Henry’s successor.

Besides, by making also Elizabeth a bastard and keeping Mary a bastard, Henry had no legitimate child and heir, only three bastards and Fitzroy even died in the summer. He could have no certainty that he would have a son by Jane. That was a very dangerous situation.

Although Claire says in her book that one lover of Anne (Smeaton) would have made Henry a cuckold to laughed at but five lovers made him a pitiable man betrayed by an evil woman, I am not concinved. Would any man, still less a king, really want pity? After all, one feels pity only towards one’s inferior. In choosing such a wife and not suspecting her for years, Henry would have shown to have a very poor judgment and in that case, he was not fit to be a king.

Any people who were dissatisfied with the situation at any time. You have only to look back at TWOTR to see how a disputed succession could create opportunities for alternative kings. There were still people alive in Henry’s reign who had a Yorkist claim to the crown.

If there was dissatisfaction, Henry himself had created it. He had reigned without any threat until Pilgrimage of Grace.

Henry never seems to have realized that it would have been a far less riskier course to have one legitimate, nearly adult daughter as an heir than a minor. But of course he could not know that a son would born only in 1537. In practice, there was a succession crisis of ten years.

Henry, left at the time of Anne’s execution with two bastard daughters and a bastard son, could not afford for any questions to be raised over Jane’s children. Henry was confident he would have a son – the earlier ‘faults’ being down to his wives, – so he had no concerns that Jane would not produce an heir.

He must have had at least some doubts as the new Succession Act said also that king could decide about his heir with his will. This was really a bad policy.

March 16, 2015
4:03 pm
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Hannele said

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.</blockquote>

Well, it didn’t seem to bother him too much, did it? He should never have allowed the charges of adultery to be used if he didn’t want to be seen as a cuckold. Adultery was not a crime at this time. At least not if the queen consented, which in this case they said she did. Adultery did not become a crime until 1542. The charges of adultery with 5 different men was to make Anne look like the worse type of woman, which was accomplished. If the world thought of him as a cuckold, he was working to change that image quick enough before and after she was dead. Marrying Jane so soon after Anne’s death was to put an end to the rumors of him being a cuckold. Henry was aware of what might be said about him, and he worked diligently to dispel rumors of his cuckoldry.

March 16, 2015
4:09 pm
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Hannele said

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.

Well, it didn’t seem to bother him too much, did it? He should never have allowed the charges of adultery to be used if he didn’t want to be seen as a cuckold. According to Eric Ives, adultery was not a crime at this time. At least not if the queen consented, which in this case they said she did. Adultery did not become a crime until 1542. The charges of adultery with 5 different men was to destroy Anne and make it look like she was the worse type of woman who deserved beheading, which was accomplished. To counteract that cuckold title he was partying every night while Anne was in the Tower. Marrying Jane so soon after Anne’s death was to put an end to the rumors. Henry was aware of what might be said about him, and he worked/played diligently to dispel rumors of cuckoldry.
Pleas ignore the first post. An error on my part. Sorry that was not supposed to show up twice.

March 24, 2015
5:26 pm
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Something which perplexes me and troubles me greatly is why Anne wasn’t permitted a defence at her sham ‘trial’.

RIII introduced the legal principles of the Presumption of Innocence and Blind Justice during his reign 1483-1485, some 40 odd years before Anne was ‘investigated’ in April 1536. This law shifted the burden of proof firmly to the accusers, meaning the prosecution have to prove the case, as opposed to the defendant disproving it. It still protects English citizens today. Without credible witnesses (not many people committing adultery perform in front of an audience, I wouldn’t think, certainly not in the snake-pit of the Tudor court) meant the case would be extremely hard to prove.

Evidence given under oath was serious (remember, these people staunchly believed they would pay for lying (a sin) in the afterlife). Ditto proving ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ the preposterous accusations of treason. The flimsy, gossip ‘evidence’ of Jane Rochford should have been torn apart by any defence barrister worth their salt. Where was the hard proof? Without it, it’s just her word and would have been discounted. Why Smeaton confessed, only he knows. Cromwell may not have used torture, but he would, I am sure, have made the minstrels life worthless if he didn’t go with the accuser’s agenda, and would have taken great pleasure in telling him so. Personally, I doubt Smeaton was telling the truth. Anne had a complex personality perhaps, but one thing she wasn’t, was stupid.

Where is the evidence of Anne’s will to commit serial adultery? Surely, anyone capable of such actions would have a huge sex-drive? The written evidence we have indicates she rejected Henry’s advances for many years until it was ‘right and proper’. So much so, she had him virtually begging her, but still she resisted. Does it not seem out of character for a serial ‘adulterer’ to behave like that, rejecting the most powerful codpiece in the country?

Allowing Cromwell to hide behind the ‘he was acting on orders’ excuse is tantamount to allowing the SS to get away with their crimes on the grounds they were ‘only’ acting on the orders of Adolf Hitler. Cromwell had a choice. If someone ‘instructed’ you to commit murder, would you?

The legal principle of the Presumption of Innocence and Blind Justice law binds EVERY person in the land, it did then, as it does now. By this law, Anne was entitled to a proper defence. Sadly, no one had the guts to challenge this on her behalf.

Quite simply, those who murdered Anne, broke the Treason Act of 1351: ‘compassing the death of the sovereign, or of the sovereign’s wife or eldest son and heir’

Isn’t that a thought.

RIP Anne. Your treatment was unjust, brutal and a tragic end to such a joyful, powerful, bright flame.

March 26, 2015
5:53 pm
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Hi A.B,
I don’t know about the treason laws in Richard’s time; but did he not have Lord Hasting, Anthony Woodville, Richard Grey, and Thomas Vaughan killed for treason, all without trial?

In Henry VIII’s time, the people accused of treason were not allowed a defense attorney. So no, no one was able to challenge the so-called “evidence” for Anne. No witnesses were ever brought forth, but Anne and George both acquitted themselves quite well. However, the fix was in.

There was also attainment. In that case there was no trial at all. Goods and property were confiscated by the king, and the accused’s life was forfeit, as in Katherine Howard’s case. Attaining the accused was so much easier than giving them a trial. Especially after Anne and George.

Henry was king, and that was the end of it. Everyone around him did what he wanted them to do or else.

April 4, 2015
9:19 am
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Sharon said In Henry VIII’s time, the people accused of treason were not allowed a defense attorney. So no, no one was able to challenge the so-called “evidence” for Anne. No witnesses were ever brought forth, but Anne and George both acquitted themselves quite well. However, the fix was in.

Well, after the four commoners were condemned, Anne was in practice condemned as one cannot be guilty of adultery alone. And after Anne was condemned, George was in practice condemned for the same reason. That shows that the case against George was the weakest, which also the the spectators at that time thought.

If Anne had had any chance, she should have tried first. And it would also proper as she was accused to seduce the men, not vice versa.

April 5, 2015
8:16 pm
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Good point Hannele, but to be honest I don’t think it would have made any difference to the outcome. Anne was deadfrom the minute Cromwell and Lard Arse put their dunces caps on.
I think the reason to why the men were tried first, is to perhaps, emphasis or convince the jury that Anne was guilty, by blackening her name and the full stop on that was George, the jury believed that Anne was a sex crazed nympho, who had been in more beds than a crocus.
It may also be down to the fact of all the crap he went through at the Blackfriars divorce from K.O.A case. K.O.A defended herself very well, and I believe that if the case had been left to it’s natural end, Campagio would pronouce the case valid anyway.
Lard Arse was made to look a big fat prat (as well as being one) at Blackfriars, and he didn’t want to do that again, so playing the poor bleeding Sad sack of lying crap, he hoped that people would feel sorry for him and that Anne was a coniving little baggage who had corrupted him…..
Yeah right Lard arse, you ain’t fooling no-one…

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

January 17, 2016
11:00 pm
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Both, and more I believe too. They were not the only ones that wanted rid of her…some others did too. So much just piled up and made it convenient for her death to happen. If only she could have known what it was she had walked into…

Her Lady In Waiting Forever, Ms Sara Marie

January 18, 2016
12:55 am
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HerLadyInWaitingForever said

Both, and more I believe too. They were not the only ones that wanted rid of her…some others did too. So much just piled up and made it convenient for her death to happen. If only she could have known what it was she had walked into…

Certainly Henry wanted it to happen and so it happened..Cromwell was his Mr Fix-It who got the job done and yes there were a lot of other men who were glad to see the backs of the Boleyn faction, including former members such as Norfolk and Sir Francis Bryan.The Seymours and the Imperial faction had their own agenda to follow which required Anne to be gone…permanently as they didn’t want a former queen hanging around casting a shadow like KoA had done.

It's always bunnies.

January 18, 2016
6:49 am
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Anyanka said

HerLadyInWaitingForever said

Both, and more I believe too. They were not the only ones that wanted rid of her…some others did too. So much just piled up and made it convenient for her death to happen. If only she could have known what it was she had walked into…

Certainly Henry wanted it to happen and so it happened..Cromwell was his Mr Fix-It who got the job done and yes there were a lot of other men who were glad to see the backs of the Boleyn faction, including former members such as Norfolk and Sir Francis Bryan.The Seymours and the Imperial faction had their own agenda to follow which required Anne to be gone…permanently as they didn’t want a former queen hanging around casting a shadow like KoA had done.

Quite right Anyanka.
It was a case of Lard arse “I’m sick of the Queen get shot of her I don’t care how you do it, but just do it. Say what you like about her Cromwell do what you have to do and I will agree.”
Cromwell “Yes your majesty.” as he smiles slyly, and thinks “Have a go at me over what I do with the money from the Monastries and church lands will you? Well try this for size too big for your boots, Queeny.”
I wonder if this whole travesty with Anne’s trial and murder would have come about if Katherine had lived for 5 maybe 10 more years.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

January 19, 2016
4:32 pm
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None of this would have happened had Henry not desired it. Cromwell would never have attempted to do it on his own. He was Henry’s loyal advisor, and the best lawyer in town. Henry knew that Anne was not well liked by most of his court. There was no one to take her side. By including the 5 men who died with her, Cromwell and Henry were assured that no one else would take up her cause. They would be destroyed as well. (consider Cranmer who loved her, but dared not go against the king)

Yes, I think Henry did say to Cromwell that he should use whatever means necessary to be rid of Anne and her faction. I believe none of this could have happened otherwise. Although I think Brereton was thrown in by Cromwell for his own political reasons. As to Henry believing the charges, he pretty much had to say that he believed them, didn’t he? He didn’t want the world to think he killed his innocent wife.

Bo, do you think he would have remained married to Anne if Katherine had been healthy and had lived longer? I’ll have to think about that one.

January 19, 2016
8:53 pm
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Boleyn said

I wonder if this whole travesty with Anne’s trial and murder would have come about if Katherine had lived for 5 maybe 10 more years.

I doubt it…Henry would have had to put up with not getting his way in the manner he did. Anne would most likely have died in repeated child-birth given the era or possibly be poisoned, I wouldn’t put that past Cromwell acting for Henry.

Katherine being alive kept Anne safe since Henry wouldn’t have risked the reputation of his much desired male heir by disposing of his mother. He couldn’t dump Anne without admitting he was wrong about Katherine.

Anne dying while Katherine was alive would have caused a lot of problems for Henry on the international marriage market. No king or noble probably would have wanted their sister, daughter or niece to marry a king whose dumped wife was still alive. He would have needed to look at his own court for a wife again..

It's always bunnies.

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