George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, Part 3

Posted By on December 21, 2009

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

In last week’s post on George Boleyn, I examined the beginning of George Boleyn’s downfall, his arrest and the role that his wife, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, had in the downfalls of both George and Anne Boleyn. Today, I’m going to continue George’s story to its tragic end.

The Case Against George Boleyn

George Boleyn was arrested on the 2nd May, the day after the May Day jousts, and taken to the Tower of London to await trial.

The part of the Middlesex Indictment pertaining to George Boleyn says:-

“Also that the Queen, 2 Nov.27 Hen.VIII [1535] and several times before and after, by the means therein stated, procured and incited her own natural brother, George Boleyn, knight, Lord Rochford, to violate her, alluring him with her tongue in the said George’s mouth, and the said George’s tongue in hers, and also with kisses, presents and jewels, against the commands of God, and all laws human and divine, whereby her, despising the commands of God, and all other human laws, 5 Nov.27 Henry VIII [1535], violated and carnally knew the said Queen, his own sister, at Westminster, which he also did on divers days before and after, sometimes by his own procurement and sometimes by the Queen’s…Moreover, the said Lord Rochford, Norris, Brereton, Weston and Smeaton, being thus inflamed with carnal love of the Queen, and having become very jealous of each other, gave her secret gifts and pledges while carrying on this illicit intercourse…”

The indictment of the Grand Jury of Kent  accused Anne of soliciting George on 22nd December 1535 at Eltham Palace, committing incest with him there on the 29th December and compassing the King’s death with him, Norris, Weston and Brereton on 8th January 1536 at Greenwich.

Alison Weir writes of how accusing Anne and George of incest in November 1535 may have been intended to imply that George was the father of the child that Anne miscarried in 1536.

Both Eric Ives and Alison Weir state that many of the charges against Anne were impossible, due to her being in different places or with the King on the dates mentioned, but however illogical these dates and charges were, Anne, George and the four other men were all found guilty and sentenced to death.

George Boleyn’s Trial

Norris, Brereton, Smeaton and Weston were tried as commoners at a special sessions of oyer and terminer on the 12th May at Westminster Hall and then the Queen, Anne Boleyn, was tried on Monday 15th May in the King’s Hall at the Tower of London, by a jury of her peers, with George following directly after. The fact that Norris, Smeaton, Brereton and Weston were all found guilty of adultery with the Queen meant that the trials of George and Anne were extremely prejudiced – how could they be found innocent now?

On 15th May, the Letters and Paper, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII (LP 10.876) tell us that the Duke of Norfolk, the uncle of Anne and George, was the Lord High Steward presiding over the trial and that the panel consisted of:-

“Charles duke of Suffolk, Hen. marquis of Exeter, Will. earl of Arundel, John earl of Oxford, Hen. earl of Northumberland, Ralph earl of Westmoreland, Edw. earl of Derby, Hen. earl of Worcester, Thos. earl of Rutland, Rob. earl of Sussex, Geo. earl of Huntingdon, John lord Audeley, Thos. lord La Ware, Hen. lord Mountague, Hen. lord Morley, Thos. lord Dacre, Geo. lord Cobham, Hen. lord Maltravers, Edw. lord Powes, Thos. lord Mount Egle, Edw. lord Clynton, Will. lord Sandes, Andrew lord Wyndesore, Thos. lord Wentworth, Thos. lord Burgh, and John lord Mordaunt.”

The Letters and Papers (LP 10.876) go on to say of Anne:-

“And afterwards, Monday, 15 May, queen Anne comes to the bar before the Lord High Steward in the Tower, in the custody of Sir Will. Kingston, pleads not guilty, and puts herself on her peers; whereupon the said duke of Suffolk, marquis of Exeter, and other peers, are charged by the High Steward to say the truth; and being examined from the lowest peer to the highest, each of them severally saith that she is guilty.

Judgment:—To be taken to prison in the Tower, and then, at the King’s command, to the Green within the Tower, and there to be burned or beheaded as shall please the King.”

Straight after Anne’s trial was George’s trial and the Letters and Papers say of George’s trial:-

“The same day, lord Rocheford is brought before the High Steward in the custody of Sir Will. Kingston, and pleads not guilty. The peers are charged, with the exception of the earl of Northumberland, who was suddenly taken ill, and each of them severally saith that he is guilty.

Judgment:—To be taken to prison in the Tower, and then drawn through the city of London, to the gallows at Tyburn, &c., as usual in high treason.”

Charles Wriothesley recorded that after George pleaded not guilty, “he made answer so prudently and wisely to all articles laid against him, that marvel it was to hear, but never would confess anything, but made himself as clear as though he had never offended” and Lancelot de Carles wrote of “his calm behaviour and good defence. More [Thomas More] himself did not reply better”.

Elizabeth Norton, in her book “Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s Obsession”, quotes Chapuys as saying the evidence presented for the charge of incest was that “he [George] had been once found a long time with her” – was a man not meant to spend time with his sister?? Norton writes that “George contemptuously dismissed it” and no wonder! According to Norton, George was also charged, like Anne had been, with having laughed at the King and the clothes he wore, something that Norton feels that Anne and George could have been guilty of because of their own stylish way of dressing.

In a letter from Chapuys to Charles V, written on 19th May (LP 10.908), Chapuys writes:-

“I must not omit, that among other things charged against him as a crime was, that his sister had told his wife that the King “nestoit habile en cas de soy copuler avec femme, et quil navoit ne vertu ne puissance.” This he was not openly charged with, but it was shown him in writing, with a warning not to repeat it. But he immediately declared the matter, in great contempt of Cromwell and some others, saying he would not in this point arouse any suspicion which might prejudice the King’s issue. He was also charged with having spread reports which called in question whether his sister’s daughter was the King’s child.”

The French in this quote translates to mean that Henry VIII was not able to have sexual intercourse with a woman because he lacked the potency and vigour, i.e. he was impotent. As Chapuys writes, George was instructed not to read this out in court but by this George did not care and he rebelliously and contemptuously read it out. Norton points out that the Act of Succession made this kind of talk, and his gossip over whether Elizabeth was the King’s daughter, treason because it impugned the King’s issue.

George defended himself as strongly and eloquently as Anne had done and Chapuys wrote:-

“Her brother was charged with having cohabited with her by presumption, because he had been once found a long time with her, and with certain other little follies. To all he replied so well that several of those present wagered 10 to 1 that he would be acquitted, especially as no witnesses were produced against either him or her, as it is usual to do, particularly when the accused denies the charge.” (LP 10.908)

No witnesses and an eloquent defence, but George was still found guilty:-

“Her brother, after his condemnation, said that since he must die, he would no longer maintain his innocence, but confessed that he had deserved death. He only begged the King that his debts, which he recounted, might be paid out of his goods.” (Chapuys LP 10.908)

What do Chapuys’s words mean though? Do they mean that once he was condemned, George confessed to incest? No, I don’t think so. I think George was just admitting that he, as a sinner, deserved judgement from God. I don’t think we should read too much into Chapuys’s words. As Leanda de Lisle explains, in her book “The Sisters Who Would be Queen”, people convicted of a crime “did not doubt that they deserved to die” and that it was a punishment from God for their sinly life, even if they were innocent of the crime they were convicted of.

George Boleyn’s Execution

On the morning of Wednesday 17th May, George Boleyn, Norris, Weston, Brereton and Smeaton were led out of the Tower to a scaffold on Tower Hill. George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, was the highest in rank and so was the first to be executed. Letters and Papers (LP 10.911) has the following record:-

“The count (viscount) Rochefort, brother of the queen (unjustly so called) Anne Boleyn, was beheaded with an axe upon a scaffold before the Tower of London. He made a very catholic address to the people, saying he had not come thither to preach, but to serve as a mirror and example, acknowledging his sins against God and the King, and declaring he need not recite the causes why he was condemned, as it could give no pleasure to hear them. He first desired mercy and pardon of God, and afterwards of the King and all others whom he might have offended, and hoped that men would not follow the vanities of the world and the flatteries of the Court, which had brought him to that shameful end. He said if he had followed the teachings of the Gospel, which he had often read, he would not have fallen into this danger, for a good doer was far better than a good reader. In the end, he pardoned those who had condemned him to death, and asked the people to pray for his soul.”

The Spanish Chronicle says:-

“Then the Duke turned to the people and said in the hearing of many “I beg you to pray to God for me; for by the trial I have to pass through I am blameless, and never even knew that my sister was bad. Guiltless as I am, I pray God to have mercy upon my soul. ” Then he lay upon the ground with his head on the block, the headsman gave three strokes, and so died this poor duke.” (” Chronicle of King Henry VIII of England”, translated by Martin A Sharp Hume P67)

The Chronicle of Calais records George Boleyn’s execution speech as:-

” Christen men, I am borne undar the lawe, and judged undar the lawe, and dye undar the lawe, and the lawe hathe condemned me. Mastars all, I am not come hether for to preche, but for to dye, for I have deserved for to dye yf I had xx. lyves, more shamefully than can be devysed, for I am a wreched synnar, and I have synned shamefully, I have knowne no man so evell, and to reherse my synnes openly it were no pleaswre to you to here them, nor yet for me to reherse them, for God knowethe all; therefore, mastars all, I pray yow take hede by me, and especially my lords and gentlemen of the cowrte, the whiche I have bene amonge, take hede by me, and beware of suche a fall, and I pray
to God the Fathar, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghoste, thre persons and one God, that my deathe may be an example unto yow all, and beware, trust not in the vanitie of the worlde, and especially in the flateringe of the cowrte. And I cry God mercy, and aske all the worlde forgevenes, as willingly as I wowld have forgevenes of God ; and yf I have offendyd any man that is not here now, eythar in thowght, worde, or dede, and yf ye here any suche, I pray yow hertely in my behalfe, pray them to forgyve me for God’s sake. And yet, my mastars all, I have one thinge for to say to yow, men do comon and saye that I have bene a settar forthe of the worde of God, and one that have favored the Ghospell of Christ ; and bycawse I would not that God’s word shuld be slaundered by me, I say unto yow all, that yf I had followecl
God’s worde in dede as I dyd rede it and set it forthe to my power, I had not come to this. I dyd red the Ghospell of
Christe, but I dyd not follow it; yf I had, I had bene a lyves man amonge yow : therefore I pray yow, mastars all, for God’s sake sticke to the trwthe and folowe it, for one good followere is worthe thre redars, as God knowethe.”
(The Chronicle of Calais In the Reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII to the Year 1540, edited by John Gough Nichols, page 46)

The editor of The Chronicle of Calais points out that this speech is very similar to the one given in the Excerpta Historica, 1831, in a contemporary account by a Portuguese man.

The monument on Tower Green

The monument on Tower Green

I get goosebumps when I think of the three blows that it is said to have taken for the headsman to finish George off. An execution by beheading is a scary enough death but prisoners always hoped that they would die from one swift, clean blow. Three sounds rather awful.

Once the men had been executed and their bodies stripped of their clothing, George, as a nobleman, was taken to the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula where, according to John Whitcombe Bayley in “The History and Antiquities of the Tower of London” 1821 (cited by Alison Weir), Rochford’s head and body were interred before the high altar.

George Boleyn’s Legacy

George and Anne were dead and gone, but they left behind a family who were lucky to escape Cromwell’s coup against Anne and the Boleyn faction.

Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire – George and Anne’s father, Thomas, has escaped with his head and neck intact and remained on the King’s Council, but he lost his position as Lord Privy Seal in June 1536. Alison Weir writes of how there is record of him attending the christening of Prince Edward in October 1537 , lending Cromwell his garter insignia and helping to suppress the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1537. Although there were rumours of him marrying Lady Margaret Douglas, the King’s niece, after his wife’s death, he never remarried and  actually died on 12th March 1539 at Hever, one year after his wife.

Elizabeth Boleyn (nee Howard) – Both Weir and Norton give April 1538 as the month of George and Anne’s mother’s death. Norton writes that Elizabeth remained a countess until her death and was given a “grand funeral on 7 April 1538 as befitted her rank.”

Mary Boleyn – Mary, the sister of George and Anne, died on 30th July 1543 in relative obscurity at Rochford Hall in Essex. She left behind her husband, William Stafford, and her children Henry and Catherine Carey.

George Boleyn, Dean of Lichfield – This man was Dean of Lichfield under Elizabeth I and Weir writes of how “he described himself in his will as the kinsman of her cousin, Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, who was Mary Boleyn’s grandson and Anne Boleyn’s great nephew.” Weir points out that it is unlikely that he was a son of George and Jane Boleyn because when Thomas Boleyn died his heir was Mary Boleyn, not a son of George, but it could be that he was an illegitimate son of George’s.

Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford – After George Boleyn’s execution, his goods and assets were seized by the crown and Jane was left in financial difficulties, so difficult that she wrote a letter in that same year begging Cromwell for help. At the end of May 1536, there is record of this letter in Letters and Papers (10.1010), saying:-

“Jane, widow of Lord Rochford, to [Cromwell].
Beseeching him to obtain from the King for her the stuff and plate of her husband. The King and her father paid 2,000 marks for her jointure to the earl of Wyltchere, and she is only assured of 100 marks during the Earl’s life, “which is very hard for me to shift the world withal.” Prays him to inform the King of this. Signed.”

There is evidence that Cromwell did help Jane and by the end of 1536 she was back at court working as a lady-in-waiting to the new Queen, Jane Seymour. Jane Rochford carried on at court, serving Jane, then Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard until she was executed on 13th February 1542, along with Catherine Howard, for acting as a go-between for the Queen and her lover, Thomas Culpepper. Those who believe that she falsely accused Anne and George of incest may feel that she got her come-uppance.

Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn and niece of George Boleyn – The little girl who was just two years and 8 months old when he mother and uncle were executed on her father’s orders was to become one of the greatest monarchs in English history. What a legacy!

Whatever we think of George Boleyn, his personal life and behaviour – whether you believe that he was a reckless libertine or that he was a talented diplomat and poet – George Boleyn did not deserve to die a gruesome death on the block and to still have his reputation maligned today. In my eyes, he was a highly intelligent man who was passionate about religious reform and the Arts. He was a man of his time in that he probably had an unhappy arranged marriage and may well have enjoyed the odd dalliance on the side, but his rise at court and his popularity shows that he was held in high esteem by those around him and the King trusted him with highly sensitive information and important jobs.

I leave you with the words of another poet, Thomas Wyatt, who wrote about the executions of the five men in his poem “In Mourning Wise Since Daily I Increase”:-

As for them all I do not thus lament,
But as of right my reason doth me bind;
But as the most doth all their deaths repent,
Even so do I by force of mourning mind.
Some say, ‘Rochford, haddest thou been not so proud,
For thy great wit each man would thee bemoan,
Since as it is so, many cry aloud
It is great loss that thou art dead and gone.’

and the words on the Tower of London’s monument to those who died there:-

“Gentle visitor pause a while,
Where you stand death cut away death cut away the light of many days.
Here, jeweled names were broken from the vivid thread of life.
May they rest in peace while we walk the generations around their strife and courage,
Under these restless skies.”

Sources

Thank you to Paudie Kennelly for the photos.

53 thoughts on “George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, Part 3”

  1. Louise says:

    Hello Claire.
    This is a brilliant three part series on George Boleyn and I completely agree with your assessment of him. Thank you so much for doing this, and for helping put the record straight. x

  2. Melissa says:

    I wonder if the Lord Morley who sat on the jury is the same Lord Morley who was George’s father-in-law? Some impartial jury!

  3. Louise says:

    Hello Melissa.
    Yes it was George’s father-in-law. The jury were chosen mainly because of their Boleyn bias. But irrespective of that, to be fair to the members of the jury, it was the King’s wish for George and Anne to be found guilty. It would have taken a very brave man to have found them innocent. Not even their own father had that amount of courage. He put his life, career and wealth above his own children, even so far as sitting on the jury of the four commoners. That is something very difficult for our twenty-first century sentimentality to understand or excuse. In fact, we are probably harder on Thomas Boleyn and Jane Rochford than either Anne or George would have been.

  4. lisaannejane says:

    Hi Claire! Thanks for you great articles on George Boleyn. I think you make a strong case for his being portrayed incorrectly and that he was a man of his times but also someone who was intelligent and interested in religious reform.

  5. Carol says:

    What an excelllent series on George Boleyn. I have always thought that George was a clever man and I believe that he would have risen further had it not been for the fact that fate so cruelly intervened. He was obviously very close to Anne but I feel sure that their
    relationship was completely innocent – a meeting of minds and natural affection between
    between brother and sister.

    Claire may I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and offer a big
    thank you for designing such a wonderful site for all us Anne Boleyn fans.

    Best wishes from Carol

  6. Jenny says:

    I think it should be a “Case against Henry VIII” – Spoiled as a child before he became heir apparent and then even then he had a “whipping boy” who took the slack if H. did anything wrong. It is said that his father oersuaded him to sign a paper negating his proposed marriage to Katherine of Aragon but when father died, Henry VIII was still in love with Ktherine (who lasted much longer than any of his other queens). Henry was into entertainment and left most of the government of the country in the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, UNTIL the Cardinal coudn’t get him out of the Ann Boleyn problem but Wolsey cheated on henry by dying on route to what would have been a more terrifying death. Thomas Moore, Henry’s dear freind nd sometime chancellor, also lost his head because he would not sign the paper giving Henry the right over Rome. Both men were grieved over by Henry in later days. However, it was Anne Boleyn who probably (besides his father) was the first person to say “no” to Henry which was fine at the time BUT she didn’t poduce the wanted/needed “heir” Wolsey had taught Cromwell well and so Henry carried on with his games and left everything in “Crum’s” hands until things did not fo the way he wanted. Would Jane Seyemour have survived if she hadn’t given birth to a mle child? And Cromwell made the mistake (in Henry’s eyes) of arranging the marriage to Anne of Cleeves.

    But back to George Rochford and the other accused men!!! It seems that in those days everyone looked out for” their own skin” and “kin” had nothing to do with survival. All was based on who could persuade Henry what was going on.

    In my opinion, Anne and he friends/family were innocent of all charges but had to go because Henry wanted something else and only felt remorse after events.

  7. Jenny says:

    And one thing I did forget – As a late comer to the site which I discovered by accident, I agree with Carol – Thanks so much to Claire for setting up the site – but also thanks to everyone for giving their own oponions about various subjects. This has been great and I wish everyone all the best for Christmas, New year and if you live in Spain or South America, also “Reyes”.

  8. julia says:

    I totally disagree with this. Where there is smoke there is fire. I said before and I will say again that both Anne and her brother were lovers. She was an ambitious, evil sexually charged woman and her brother turned her on. never before or after was a Queen charged with the things she was charged with. i don’t care what you or alison weir say. you are feminist revisionists who change history in an inaccurate and harmful manner. i read weir’s book on the she wold islabella and she was evil too. women like you and weir do harm to history with your insistence that these scoundrel, evil, licentious women were the Virgin mary. please. when I saw this post today by you and your feeling bad about George’s three blows i realized how naive you are. Good bye. i am going to unsubscribe from this newsletter. good luck re-writing history. i will make sure my daughters don’t read you or alison weir’s books in the future. what a shame the truth has to be twisted by stupid women.

  9. Melissa says:

    Um, Julia, no need to take these things personally. It is 500 years later, after all. Besides, none of Anne Boleyn’s biographers-not just Weir-believe she was actually guilty. Where are you getting your information from?

    And Louise, I agree with you that it seems strange that even Boleyn family members were quick to jump ship to our modern ears, but it also would have seemed weird to other Europeans at the time too. The day Catherine Howard was executed, her brothers rode their horses publicly through London in order to show that they didn’t care about the death of a traitor, even if it was their sister. A visiting diplomat wrote home that that was a crazy “English custom,” implying that in Europe it would have been seen as perfectly proper to mourn.

  10. Louise says:

    Hello Clare.
    Wow! Anyway, I can only reiterate what everybody else has said about how grateful we are that you took this project on. My partner has no interest in any of this; he supports Liverpool; what more can I say! So it is great for people like me to be able to discuss Anne and George with like minded people. Claire, you are probably the most tolerant person I have ever come across. We all love you. God bless and happy Christmas to every rational person on the site.

  11. Sheena says:

    Claire- Once again, thank you for your research. Those of us who are interested in this time period really do appreciate the work you have put in to this site, and look forward to your posts. Thank you for publishing your sources as well so we can all read what you have read, and allow us form our own conclusions, and become more informed. Have a very blessed, and merry Christmas.

    Louise, Mellissa, Jenny, Carol, and lisaannejane- Thank you for your objective comments that provoke scholarly discussion.

    Julia- if we are to assume that where there is smoke, there is fire- then that would mean Anne of Cleves really did look like a horse and smelled, Thomas Seymour was a pedophile, Czar Nikolas and Czarina Alexandria were engaging in orgies with Rasputin, and Hiter was justified to do what he did in WWII. If you do not agree with what is posted, then provide a counter argument that has historical evidence to support your claims. Don’t just call the webmaster a stupid woman, and those who subscribe or comment on this forum feminist revolutionists. No one here is calling Anne Boleyn a saint. She was ambitious and argumentative. Regardless, she is still arguably the most influential Queen Consort of Great Britain. She inluenced the creation of Church of England, encouraged the publication of the bible and prayer books in French and English, and was the mother of Queen Eliabeth I.

    So what if Claire felt sorry that it took 3 blow’s to cut a guy’s head off. It’s a human response to not want to prolong someone’s suffering- regardless if they deserved death or not.

    Feel free to unsubscribe- you are not going to hurt anyone’s feelings. But I do have a question; if you are not a fan of Anne Boleyn, why did you subscribe to this website in the first place?

  12. Anne says:

    Aloha, all.
    Thank you, Claire, you have created a very insightful and historically accurate series on these Tudor-era players. Glad we have free speech so everyone can vent, even those who are more oriented to emotional, reflexive opinions based on (generally sectarian) dogmatic conditioning passed on through generations of certain families. There is still a small minority of people who have been brought up to regard Anne Boleyn (and her crew, of course) as the most scoundrelly, low-class miscreants of deplorable morals who were responsible for everything bad in England, starting with the break from Rome. This seems to be a holdover from the Catholic defense of Queen Katherine and Mary, her daughter. The resulting conflict from these times really does continue to fall into sectarian sides, although responsible historical research, I believe, has revealed the facts that this regressive faction does not want to be confused with! Even on the Find-A-Grave site, where people leave flowers to various persons who are gone, Anne Boleyn’s fans way outnumber her detractors, but there are those few who who would still sit in judgment and throw stones. It is amazing how people can pass on poisonous attitudes in their family generation after generation, under the guise of moral rectitude. Humanity is afflicted with this sad situation in many forms; this is only one small example. Merry Christmas to everyone! May the love of God reach into every heart.

  13. Louise says:

    I completely agree with Anne, and I love the phrase ‘dogmatic conditioning’. But don’t you think that programmes like The Tudors and books like The Other Boleyn Girl perpetuate that conditioning? After all, both of them vilify Anne and George, and The Other Boleyn Girl actually has them committing incest. They may be entertaining, but when you read certain comments on this site, which may very well have been influenced by these works of fiction, you have to question whether it’s ethical to portray real people in a way that cannot be supported by evidence.

  14. Sheena says:

    Well said, Anne. =)

  15. julie b. says:

    Please don’t confuse me with “julia”, for I do not share the same opinions as her. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion I guess.

    This was a great read Claire, I really enjoyed reading about each family member following the deaths of Anne and George. I can imagine how difficult it must have been for their father. Especially to have his only living son die. Was he present at their executions? How did he and his wife Elizabeth die?

    Well Claire, keep up the great work and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and to everyone!

    julie b.

  16. Tudorrose says:

    We have all come an end of the five men who were so cruelly and wrongly unjustified.George Boleyn being a lord had the most high ranking profile out of all the men who were accused with Anne for many crimes unjust.George who had been one of kings closest companions for the majority of his short lived life was interred in the Tower.He had gone from being page to squire and had risen to popularity when the king took a fancy to his sister Anne.George had backed and supported Anne all the way through from Anne’s courtship to marriage then queenship to the king of England.George had been taken by cromwells advisors to the tower under house arrest on the 2nd of May 1536 this being just a day after the may day joust when the Henry would never see his wife Anne again.I think that from accusation to trial from prosecution then death Georges fate had been masterfully planned just had it had been for the others.This concocted plan took twenty days no more no less to get Anne interrogated and executed,as for her brother George and the co-accused it had taken eighteen days to get each and every one of the five men arrested,tortured,interrogated,inprisioned and executed.I will still say that both the king of England and Cromwell had been involved in this plot and downfall just as much as one another but with Cromwell making up the stories and doing the torturing and the condenming of all six.With Henry only having to ask Cromwell to get him out of his marriage and do the quetioning of Norris during the may day joust then all he had to do was sit and stand by plus watch until the procedure and conviction had been done so he could then authorise and acknowledge his right hand mans plans and then sign the death warrants.I do wonder if it had taken three blows of the headsmans axe to sever Georges head then it does make me wonder how many blows it took of the other mens heads before they too were off.The axeman could not have been a skillfull one that is all I can say.As George was well off I am sure he would have had the money to give the axeman to sharpen the blade so his head came off in one blow would he have not but then again he had been a man in debt.So the axe could have been a blunt one as a result of him having not a penny.I would like to know where the wittnesses were while this was going on because all I can see is that it being looked at one sidedly by one religion.Basically it was Cromwell versus the Boleyn faction and it was down to who was the strongest mentally and which side won as a result.Also the parents could not do anything for their sons and daughter to try and save their lives and the ones that did were let down to no avail.The Boleyns and their circle were trying to fight a losing battle which they undoubtedly did not and could not win.Cromwells intelligence and plan outsmarted them all.Basically if it had not been their heads it would have been his.On the 17th and the 19th of may all their fates had been sealed and there had been no going back.I do think it was case of victims and the victimizer.The Boleyns in my eyes were the victims and Cromwell being the victimizer.I think he new that he could win them over and thus he suceeded.He picked on easy targets just like a bully in the school playground.At the end of it all Henry had become a different man and the whole world must have been able to see it.1536 marked the end of a year of a lot of bloodshed.The most that England had seen at any one time.Henry is the only king known to me who has accutually executed one or more of his wives.King Henry VIII of England was deffinately unique in more ways than one that is something that can deffinately be said.

    Julia you are obviously someone who is anti-Anne Boleyn plus anti the Boleyn faction.Can I ask what is your religion?
    Also can you tell me if that was just the way you see it from your perspective or was it due to the fact that you just do not like Anne Boleyn and what she stood for?

  17. lisaannejane says:

    To Louise – I think you have a good point about historical fiction. I remember having to tell my brother that HBO’s “Rome” was not accurate in many ways and he thought it was 100% accurate, which amazed me. I know that many books and shows play up the sordid side of things but I guess a lot of people assume these fiction works are non-fiction. I really enjoy this site because I can chat with people who are interested in what I am but I also learn so much from others. I wish I could go on the May trip and meet some of you! Thanks Claire for promoting such valuable discussions. Happy holidays to all and once again, thanks for your wonderful sharing! Sincerely, Lisa

  18. Janette Parlett says:

    Hi I thought George Boleyn was executed before Anne his sister, because Anne was made to watch from a window she was taken to. Anne was executed on May day (19th May 1536) yet you have stated George was only arrested on that day, May day 1536. Is it a typing error?

  19. Claire says:

    Hi Janette,
    May Day is the 1st May in the UK and that was the day of the May Day jousts and the day on which Norris, and George were arrested. George was executed on the 17th May and Anne was executed on the 19th so yes, George was executed before Anne.

  20. Louise says:

    George was actually arrested the day after the joust, i.e. 2nd May.

  21. Claire says:

    Yes, my mistake, he was arrested around lunchtime of the 2nd May. Why did I put May Day? I don’t know!! Sorry. I’ve corrected it now, think my brain is turning to mush!

  22. Claire says:

    Hi Louise,
    Thank you for your kind words about this series. I really do feel that George has been as much maligned as Anne and I don’t see any foundation for the scandal that still surrounds his name today.

    Hi Melissa,
    Yes, Cromwell did a great job at picking the jury!!

    Hi Lisa,
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed researching George and the other men, it has been a fascinating journey and I’ve particularly enjoyed reading the various primary sources, I get lost in them!

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you, I’m so glad that you have enjoyed the series and I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas too.

    Hi Jenny,
    I still can’t get my head around Henry VIII’s psyche, he’s a real puzzle. I too wonder if Jane Seymour would have survived as Queen. Henry definitely looked back on his marriage to her with rose tinted glasses yet he was cruel to her when she was alive.

  23. Claire says:

    Hi Julia,
    It is fine to disagree with me, after all there’s nothing better than discussing history and our opinions, but you should be able to do that without getting offensive. If you had written that to another member of the site then I would have removed your comment, as my aim with this site is to provide a forum where people can have rational and friendly discussions without feeling that they will be picked on or criticised. I am sorry that you think I am stupid just because I have a different point of view to you.

    This website is a kind of diary of my journey to find the truth about Anne Boleyn and other Tudor characters, a journey which many share. I try to be as balanced as I can and to look at all the evidence from that period. Having studied primary sources and read widely on the subject, I am convinced, like many historians and biographers and even contemporary enemies of the Boleyns (Chapuys for example), that Anne was framed, as were the five men. I’m not sure how you can say that there is no smoke without a fire as there are miscarriages of justice all of the time and we all know how mindless gossip, which has no foundation at all, can harm a person’s reputation. One example is a report in a newspaper in the UK the other day of a doctor accused of molesting a female patient. The case has now fallen apart because the woman lied, the doctor was innocent but his career is probably in tatters now.

    I am not a feminist revisionist and I certainly do not rewrite history and neither does Alison Weir. I simply report on my findings and my views on what I have uncovered. I have also never made out that Anne is like the Virgin Mary. In fact I have spoken against her being painted as some kind of Reformation martyr. I am proud that I feel compassion when reading of the three blows that it took to take George Boleyn’s head off. It was a horrible end to a life and nobody deserves it.

    Why do you think that Anne and George committed incest? As far as I can see, there is absolutely no evidence to back up this charge. Also, why do you think Anne was evil and sexually charged, after all, she was the one saying “no” to Henry and keeping him at bay. Again, I can’t see any basis for this “charge”. It would be great if you could write more about your views and why you hold them because that would be really interesting and would be a great debate, but only if we can discuss things in a rational and friendly manner.

    I thank you for your comment. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Regards,

    Claire

  24. Claire says:

    Hi Louise, Lisa, Tudorrose, Julie B, Sheena, Anne, Melissa, Jenny and Carol, and anyone else I have missed out (sorry!),
    I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your support over the past few months. I think of this website as a shared journey to find out the truth about Anne and I learn so much from you all. I’m glad that you loved the AB Files as much as I do.

    Thank you also for the quality of your comments, you all know so much! You always put such effort into your comments and people learn as much from you guys as they do from the original post. Thank you!

    Have a wonderfully happy Christmas and God Bless you and your families. Looking forward to more of the journey in 2010!
    Loads of love,

    Claire x

  25. Jenny says:

    Hi Claire,

    As you well know I am not a Henry VIII fan at all. I repeat that he was spoiled as a child (being the younger brother) and when he had to go into the limelight as heir was very much controlled by his father who actually improved considerably the treasuryfunds (okay he was supposed to be a miser) which, Henry VIII, on coming to the throne decided to spend. I do not doubt that Henry VII was in love with Katherine of Aragon at first (younger man and older (but young) woman) who was also highly educated. We all know that Henry’s eyes roved even before Anne Boleyn came on the scene and Katherine, being reared as a princess of the Blood, turned a blind eye. My feeling is that Anne had a different allure and actually had the strength to say no to Henry which was something he was unused to. But he was also obsessed with an heir and when Anne didn’t deliverthe goods plus the fact that she continued to contradict him , apparenely flirted with younger men (and Henry was getting older, more obese and disease ridden), as he was able to get away with it once, he did it again. I am sure that if Jane had lived after the birth of Edward, she was have continued to be Queen although Henry’s eyes would have wandered, but if she hadn’t given him a son, then I wouldn’t have rated her chances. I spoke about “skin deep” and “kin” before and let’s remember that Thomas Seymour, apparently Edward’s favouite uncle, was put to death and at the command of not on the King but his brother Edward Seymour, who later suffered the same fate. Of all the six wives, I think Anne of Cleves came out very well. Whether the “novels” are true in that she wanted out of Cleves and loved England, she got a really good deal, outlived Henry and attended Mary Tudor’s coronation.

    Perhaps someone should write a bookk – fiction or non fiction -” Henry VIII, the Mind of a Pyschopath”

    Also going back to Anne Boleyn, what would have been her fate IF she had given Henry a son and continued the way she did? The Tudors didn’t mind putting anyone to death if that person got in the way!!! Was it young George, Duke of Clarence who was beheaded in order to show the Spanish King and Queen that Henry VII Tudor meant business when it came to the marriage of Arthur and Katherine?

    But remember, Henry had that trait of looking at past acquaintances/friends, some of whom he personally had killed, through rose tinted glasses – Wolsey, Moore and even Cromwell (as he never found a real successor to the man)

    But I am rambling on now.

  26. Louise says:

    Henry VIII, the Mind of a Psychopath. Brilliant! Someone HAS to write that book!

    On a positive note, I’m far from convinced that it took three blows to remove George Boleyn’s head. I have never come across a primary source which says so. The reports from witnesses and the court chronicles only say that following his speech he knelt down and his head was striken off. If it had taken three blows to do so I am sure they would have commented on it. Weir took this from a secondary source writing in the eighteen hundreds, and I think her secondary source may have confused George’s execution with Cromwell’s, because it did take three blows to remove Cromwell’s head. Horrible, but I really believe George had a relatively quick death. At least, I sincerely hope so.

  27. Jenny says:

    Hi Louise,

    Two things – I am aklso unsure about how many blows it took to get rid of Groeg’s head but like you, hope it was only one. Somewhere in my stack of books I think I do have notes that it took three blows for Cromwell (no comment on hwther he deserved it or not)

    But Louise, Claire and eveyone – Why don’t Claire start a post on Henry VIII so that people can chiop in thei comments/knowledge, etc, and someone as erudite as Clairew can write the book “Hennry VIII – Mind of a Pyschopath” Obviously would need some physcologists on this one as well, family bckground which was dodgy if one goes back even one generation – Upbringing!!!! There are so many recent movies that one could draw on as well!!!!

  28. Melissa says:

    Thank you Claire. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you too!

  29. Eliza says:

    Another great article!! I agree with most of you that George was a bright mind and that he was innocent of incest with his sister. I enjoyed learning more about him!

    Merry Christmas to all of you!!

  30. rochie says:

    What a pity that we have to end what has been such a fascinating and thought-provoking year (nearly a year) on a little bit of a sour note. Claire, I cannot think of anyone more impartial and fair than yourself. Thank you for all your hard work – I marvel at how you do so much, and that you do it so well time after time.
    Happy Christmas everyone!
    May I wish you all a peaceful and tolerant New Year.

  31. Andrea says:

    Hi Claire! Thanks for another great post on AB and her supporters.

    I just wanted to say that if Anne had delivered a healthy son -or if Jane Seymour had lived- I’m pretty sure they would have been safe as Queens. Henry would have probable still had tons of affairs, but whoever the Queen was, she would’ve never been touched for one simple reason: annulling her marriage to Henry would’ve made their son a bastard, and Henry probably prefered to be married to a woman he didn’t love anymore than declaring his heir a bastard.

    However, IMO, while AB would’ve been able to attract Henry for a long time had she not miscarried, Jane couldn’t. I mean, H8 wasn’t even all that nice to her while she lived, it was after she died delivering Edward that he started worshipping her. I know it’s a long shot, but can you picture the King poisoning Jane (or any other way of getting rid of her that made it seem “natural”) in order to marry someone like, say, Kat Howard? As much as I dislike Jane, I want to believe he wouldn’t, but we all know he was capable of just about anything!

  32. Jenny says:

    Hi Andrea,

    H8’s ancestors on his mother’s side (i.e. the Beauforts) were legalised bastards in any case and on his father’s side, “in theory” bastards again because there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive evidence that Catherine of Valois married Owen Tudor. So one could say he father was a” bastard”
    who married Elizabeth of York, who, under the “Titilus Regius” was proclaimed a bastard after the so-called pre-contract between Edward IV and (I can’t remember her name at the moment). However, HVII dated his reign back to the day before the Battle of Bosworth – and cancelled the “Titulus Regius” which meant that at least Elizabeth was born in wedlock.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, there are theories, especially in Worcester, where Prince Arthur is buried, is that he was poisoned by his father to make way for a stronger, younger son (That claim has not been acknowledged by everyone including David Starkey). But HVII was prepared to execute Elizabeth’s cousin George of Clarence (???) to prove to the Spanish King and Queen that he had a strong hold over England.

    Therefore I would not be surprised at any H8 did, including getting rid of Jane. However, if I remember correctly, there was some time between her death and his marriage to Anne of Cleves.

    Sorry to be so vague – I am in my office and don’t have any of my books with me.

    Jane is for me seems a colourless creature – However, her elder brothert Edward divorced his first wife because the wife had an affair with Edward’s and Jane’s father then E went on to marry a very strong woman. BUT the male Seymours seemed to have stuck around, at least in H8’s reign.

  33. Jenny says:

    Hi Louise,

    There is a NOVEL – “The Autobiography of Henry VIII” by Margaret George which seems to high-light Henry’s excuses for having various acts done. As I said it is a novel, but it’s interesting how a number of pyschopaths do come up with, what they think, valid excuses for their actions.

    I used to know a “legal Executive” in the U.K. who actually told me of the debate as to whether paedophiles should be put in pirson with any other prisoners, kept locked up by themselves or have a wing to themselves. The argument against the latter was that they could join together and back each other up on their reasons for having done what they did

  34. emma says:

    hi claire
    great post. i with you it was not a nice way to die as it but three blow is just not worth thinking about it make you think about how the other man must felt seeing that! and how anne felt seeing her brother die that way.

    merry christmas and happy new year everyone xx

  35. Andrea says:

    Hi Jenny! Thanks for the info on H8’s background, there are a lot of things I didn’t know. For me, Jane wasn’t such a colourless person, it was just that she hid those colours in order to attract Henry. She saw that a lady-in-waiting could replace a queen and went out for the crown. She was just as ambitious as Anne, but she learned from the example of her predecessor and acted like a wallflower. I don’t buy the whole goody goody image about her, not as a wife, nor as a stepmother (her interest in Mary could’ve been simply political, to make sure the Catholic faction supported her). Some say that she couldn’t refuse the King, and that was partly true, but she never made serious attempts to get away from him, if I recall correctly.

    Merry Christmas to everyone at the ABfiles!!

  36. Matterhorn says:

    Many thanks, Claire, for all your painstaking work. I’ve always admired your efforts to be fair-minded and objective.

    As for smoke and fire, I am reminded of the comment of a Belgian historian (in a different, but rather similar context- rumors of a love affair between Belgian King Baudouin I and his stepmother, Lilian Baels): “People say, ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire,’ and often, it is true. But sometimes the fire is the work of arsonists…”

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  37. I’d like to thank Claire for all her effrts. I would like to thank all of you who took your time to make positive and negative comments. Yes it has been 500years and we shall always arrive at the truth as we know it. Perhaps all that was hidden will soon come forward.
    May all of you have a Very Happy New Year. Please continue the good works.
    Renee’

  38. lourdes says:

    Hello everyone, As a result of one of the comments directed to Claire, I would like to add this about the site: I read your website, the forum and the comments all the time. I don’t give my opinion or, ask many questions (I have only posted one or two) because I feel I can’t be as knowledgeable as you all are. I just want to tell you that I have a passion for everything Tudor and mainly Anne Boleyn. I have been reading about the men executed with Anne. It has been fascinating and it has kept me busy for part of our 10 hour trip from our home down to visit our family for the Holiday (best reading I ever had during this long trips!) It is truly amazing that to this day we have so may unanswered questions. My thanks to Claire and everyone else on this forum for sharing your knowledge and treating everyone with respect. Claire my family thanks you because since I found you they don’t have to hear about my “Looney stories”, they don’t care about Anne or Henry they don’t understand my need and fascination. Keep up the good work; your efforts, research and time are very much appreciated. Thanks for making me and so many others feel like welcome and not outcasts! Happy Holidays everyone!

  39. Beth says:

    I enjoy reading all the different posts and opinions. But, one question I have is – does anyone proof read their submissions, before submitting them? There seems to be lots of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Unfortunately, it makes one question the veracity of some opinions and presentation of facts.

  40. Anne's fan says:

    Julia, get a grip ! This is all in good fun. Take your anger out on something worth it.

    I think the reason that George, Anne and others had no support from families or friends is that their deaths were a foregone conclusion. If it was at all possible, what Henry wanted Henry got. What a bastard!

  41. lisaannejane says:

    To Beth: Making a typing error does not negate the value of the statement. I know I have made errors because I get too caught up with what I am doing and don’t see the mistake until it is too late! Some contributors may have English as a second language so it is understandable that errors in grammar will occur, but what counts is the overall message. To all AB writers, Happy New Year and I look forward to more discussions! Lisa

  42. Claire says:

    Hi Jenny and Louise,
    Yes, David Starkey was too kind when he did that series “Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant”! I love “Henry VIII: Mind of a Psychopath”!! Brilliant!

  43. Claire says:

    Hi Eliza,
    Thank you for your comment and I’m glad that you enjoyed the article.

    Hi Rochie,
    Thank you so much for all your support over the past few months and your help with Elizabeth I astrology charts, you’re a star!!

    Hi Andrea,
    I too think that Jane would have been safe because she had provided Henry with a son but it would have been a very unhappy marriage as I don’t think there was any real chemistry between them and Henry would have looked for that elsewhere. Thanks for the comment.

    Hi Emma,
    As Louise says, the three blows story comes from The Spanish Chronicle which is high on gossip and low on fact so we don’t really know but it is a horrible thought. George did not deserve to be executed anyway. Poor chap!

    Hi Matterhorn,
    Thank you so much for your comment and I love what you say about the whole “no smoke without a fire” argument, that’s so true. I have never believed in that phrase as gossip and slander can lead to perfectly innocent people suffering.

    Hi Renee,
    Thank you for your comment and I’m so glad that you like the Anne Boleyn Files.

    Hi Lourdes,
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading the series of articles and that it made such a long journey bearable, that’s quite a journey! I know what you mean about your family being fed up of your talk about history, I know there are many of us who are history obsessed. The forum is a great place to chat about Tudor history so please do contribute. I look forward to getting to know you better.

    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    I agree with Lisa. There are many people on here who don’t have English as their first language and also people who are very passionate about what they are writing and so don’t always notice a mistake. I really don’t want people to feel bad about their spelling or grammar or to start feeling paranoid, what I want is for people to feel comfortable here and free to write about their views and opinions. This is not an “academic” site, this is a site of like-minded people who are passionate about Tudor history and I love reading people’s comments, whether they contain mistakes or not.

    Hi Anne’s Fan,
    Yes, I agree that Anne and George’s deaths were a foregone conclusion and there was no hope for them.

    Hi Lisa,
    Happy New Year to you too! We have a really great community of Anne fans here and it’s wonderful that we can have discussions like this and share our points of view. Thanks for all your comments this year.

  44. Catherine East says:

    would just like to say that this site is so brilliant and love the research and debate. On the subject of Anne’s guilt one point weir makes at the end of her book is that unlike with Katherine Howard no maids or accomplices were tried with her and thus it would have been virtually impossible for the Queen in the suffocating life at court to have perpetrated such crimes without being caught out without help. there is also the point that Cromwell was shoddy in his evidence on dates where most cases it would have been impossible for Anne to have committed these crimes as she was either not there or recovering from or pregnant. Cromwell went for the shock factor as treason and adultery and incest were so abhorrent to comtemporaries that the unpopular Anne would have been hard pressed to defend herself even if the justice system of the time allowed that. Anne was nosaint but was a remarkable woman who is my heroine. Henry was a flawed king and i feel very sad that he loved Anne so much and changed so violently against her. I feel that if Jane seymour had not produced edward then she may have suffered the same fate despite being the submissive weakling she was. Thankyou again fro your hard work on this site and giving us Anne fans an outlet to vent our opinions xx

  45. Mary Benedict says:

    I’m sometimes troubled by the religious aspect of the pro-Anne anti-Anne debates. I see it in a lot of sources, which makes it hard to get to the truth. I’m adhere to no organized religion, hail from an Irish Catholic family, am no fan of either Catholism or organized Protestantism, and I feel that Catholics and Protestants have done a pretty equal job of killing and torturing each other for the relatively trivial differences that exist between the religions. So my interest on the subject is not based on religion but the issues of relationships, power, and human behavior.

  46. Claire says:

    I know what you mean, Mary, I think some people do see it as a Catholic v Protestant thing but Anne Boleyn died a Catholic, not a protestant. Yes, she was of a reformist persuasion but she was not a protestant as such. I don’t think her death, or even her marriage, is really a religious issue, but more, as you say, to do with relationships, power and human behaviour. By putting Tyndale’s teachings in Henry’s hands, she simply gave Henry the mechanism he needed to get his divorce, Henry didn’t see that he was leaning towards protestantism, he was a Catholic through and through, much to the disappointment of Cranmer and Cromwell. Obviously, Anne looked on Tyndale’s teachings in a different way, but to Henry they just gave him the excuse he needed to fight the Pope.

  47. veronica says:

    I find it strange that anyone would actually believe that Anne and George, were guilty of the crimes they were convicted of. There verdict was already a foregone conclusion before the trial even took place. The fact that Henry was planning on marring Jane, within days of there deaths or I should say murders, is evidence that they were going to be found guilty no matter what. Julia I agree that you are entilted to your opinion, but there’s alot more evidence towards vindication, then guilt.

  48. Anamaria says:

    I just need someone to clear up one thing for me: why were Anna and George accused of incest when the King/Cromwell had enough material to execute them without that conviction?
    As much as I admire them, I cant get out of my mind that it has to have at least a bit of sense.

  49. Louise says:

    Anamaria, George died because he was a powerful and influential courtier, not the simpering wimp depicted in The Other Boleyn Girl or the vile monster depicted in The Tudors. He was far too intelligent to be allowed his freedom because he would certainly have defended his beloved sister to the best of his ability and would therefore have been a major thorn in Henry’s side.
    The incest charge actually made no sense whatsoever, and it’s implausibility actually weakened the prosecutions case due to the fact that very few people with any knowledge of the case actually believed it. All it was was a way of getting rid of an irritation, particularly if Henry believed George and Anne had laughed at him behind his back. The charge was nothing more than pure malice, which Cromwell exploited to the maximum because George’s death also rid him of a powerful opponent.
    To suggest that two people as religious as Anne and George Boleyn would have even considered incest is nonsense, and not even G W Bernard tries to suggest they did.

  50. hgs says:

    hey everyone,
    i think you’ll find it interesting that even the sequence of the trials of the five men and the queen was planned so as to secure a guilty verdict. that’s why the four commoners were tried first , and pronounced guilty. then came the queen . even though she was quite eloquent and could plead her case well, how could she be pronounced not guilty after all the others had been sentenced. and then was the turn of rochford, who everyone agreed was the most able defendant of them all, even better than his sister. dont forget that the odds were 10 to 1 that he would be freed. but once again, how could he be not guilty if his sister had already been convicted of incest. so it won’t be unfair to say that rochford was guilty mainly due to a technicality. seems like cromwell gave the order in which the accused were tried quite a thought.

  51. Anamaria says:

    Louise, thank you very much, yes, i belive that way also – anne and george where highly inteligent and strong people, and, therefore, i cannot believe that cromwell made such a fool out of himself to charge them for incest, i dont think anyone belived that! seem like everyone here agrees on that point, so i just have to say that I do as well. I understand all the circumstastances in whic they were convicted, and it is sad to know, at least halfly to know, what actually happened.
    After reading all his defenses, and taking a deeper insight on his biography, i’ve came to respect george boleyn as much as his sister anne, or his niece elizabeth, I am enchanted by the family of anne boleyn and the way she lived and died, as a history student, and as… well, anne & george boleyn fanatic. 🙂

  52. Louise says:

    Hello Anamaria, thank you so much for your comment. What I love about this site is that it is so well researched and informative. It teaches people, who may have only known of this era of history from what they have seen on TV, the truth. These articles are so informative and often far more acurate than you would find in the books of some so-called historians. Although she probably wouldn’t agree, I actually think Claire has become ten times the historian that Alison Weir is. x

  53. Dale Rice says:

    Forgive me for dropping the names: Margaret Beaufort is my maternal First cousin x13, Henry VII is my 2nd cousin Henry VIII is my third cousin and Great Uncle since he bedded My 13th great grandmother Mary Boleyn and there begins the flow of blood to my mother’s family through Catherine Carey, Anne Knolleys to the rest of the downline family of Chalfant, Collins to Cookston acording to GENI.

    That said by way of ham handed introduction: the King was more than determined to be Rid of his wife so the charge had to be monstrous and Incest did the job. The king likely told his council to “Find her Guilty whatever has to be said say it”. Thus the instruction to all Kings and Queens beware of your surroundings and whom you are with at all times as a lapse of memory may be your undoing. As an investigator for 11 years I paid no attention at all to what people said unless I could get them to speak without thinking they were in the cross hairs, and looked exceedingly close at what they did. Measuring the two has a way of showing up the deceits people use to commit their crimes.

    In this case: Anne should have never entertained her brother for so long a time, and kept the King’s spy with her at all times foiling the lies the King wanted spread. D. Charles Rice 1948

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