May 5 – Eight prisoners in the Fall of Anne Boleyn
Posted By Claire on May 5, 2022
By this day in history, 5th May 1536, eight people had been arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London due to the fall of Anne Boleyn. They were Queen Anne Boleyn herself and seven courtiers.
And another man had also been called to London for questioning.
Who were these men and what was going on?
Also on this day in Tudor history…
On 5th May 1543, religious radical, Adam Damplip, also known as George Bucker, was hanged, drawn and quartered in Calais, which was an English territory at the time.
Although it was his heretical preaching that had got him into trouble, he couldn’t be executed as a heretic, so he was condemned as a traitor instead – clever, but nasty!
On 5th May 1542, just under three months after the execution of her stepgranddaughter, Queen Catherine Howard, Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, was pardoned and released from the Tower of London.
2 thoughts on “May 5 – Eight prisoners in the Fall of Anne Boleyn”
Really there was nothing on any of them, all there was were the words of Lady Wingfield telling her brother a lot worse went on in queens apartments, after admonition from him about her affair with another courtier, flimsy evidence indeed, and then the so called confession from poor Mark Smeaton who was quite possibly tortured into doing so, damning though it was for himself and Anne, and this just shows so called Tudor justice at its worst, torture was used to extract confessions from the guilty, but was used in this case to condemn an innocent woman Smeaton being the unlucky scapegoat, we do not know if Cromwell had any torture instruments at his house but I believe mental pressure was put on him, it could be he was offered a quick death in exchange for a confession to adultery, for his lowly birth meant he would be hung drawn and quartered, Hilary Mantel in her book had him locked in a tiny cupboard full of Christmas decorations, being locked up in a tiny hole for several hours would have made anyone confess, the Spanish chronicle which is unreliable said he was tortured with ropes and a cudgel bound round his head, till he cried out in pain, he was not taken to the Tower and tortured there, Cromwell probably knew he could frighten him into a false confession, this evil genius of Henry V111 I imagine could be very frightening to a young boy who had no powerful family behind him, a young boy inferior in status to many of his contemporaries at court, he looks in his portrait like the typical school bully, corpulent and steely eyed his own death years later one could say, was karma for the dreadful way he engineered the slaughter of six innocent souls, at Anne’s trial later reports were that the evidence was just a lot of bawdy gossip rather like a woman’s parlour room, titillating for the onlookers but there was a queen on trial for her life, the arrests of Richard Page and Sir Thomas Wyatt were more than likely to give credence to the investigations into the queens so called adultery, and Sir Francis Bryan was a supporter of the Seymour faction anyway, he answered the summons so quickly almost as if he knew it was just for appearances sake, Sir Thomas Wyatt was beloved of Cromwell, strange that this one time suitor of Anne Boleyn who must have felt very uneasily in the middle, cared for the two people who were now mortal enemies, at court there must have been a dreadful atmosphere, many of the men whom had chatted to the queen maybe only passed a lingering smile or word with, must have felt very frightened they would soon face an armed guard waiting to escort them to the Tower, both Bryan and Wyatt were later released on no evidence and they were soon back at court, but Wyatt never forgot the awful events of 1536 he lost many friends and a woman he had once loved, as for Richard Page whatever Henry V111’s animosity towards him he was never allowed back at court again, the fall out from the dreadful events of May 1536 meant life was never the same again for many.
I was in error there I meant Lady Worcester, I do tend to get her and Lady Wingfield mixed up.