Queen Anne Boleyn, 19th of May 1536

Posted By on May 19, 2014

The basket of roses and other flowers waiting outside the chapel to be laid on Anne's tile. c. Paudie Kennelly

The basket of roses and other flowers waiting outside the chapel to be laid on Anne’s tile. c. Paudie Kennelly

“Queen Anne Boleyn, 19th of May 1536” is the wording on the card that accompanies the basket of red roses delivered to the Tower of London each year on 19th May and placed on Anne Boleyn’s memorial tile in the chancel of the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Whenever I go to the Tower on 19th, I am moved by these roses – such a simple message, but one that moves me to tears.

Today, people will lash out in anger at Thomas Cromwell and/or Henry VIII. Henry VIII is bound to get called some choice names on Twitter, Facebook etc., and people will point out that Thomas Cromwell “got what was coming to him” in the end, but I’m going to forget about those men and the plot; I’m going to think about Queen Anne Boleyn.

Anne stole my heart in January 2009 and hasn’t let go since. My fascination with her has grown from a hobby into a career, she has quite literally taken over my life. If it wasn’t for the dream I had about her execution on that January night, I would still be ghost-writing for other people instead of researching and writing about what I am interested in. Her impact on my life is undeniable and I feel truly blessed to do what I do and to have met the people I have. My interest in her has grown into an interest in her whole family (George also owns a sizeable portion of my heart now!) and Henry VIII’s reign, and I’m now a self-confessed Tudor nut.

At her execution, Anne Boleyn chose to face death with dignity. She was a woman known for her quick temper and reckless words, but at a time when she could be forgiven for losing her cool and lashing out she followed scaffold etiquette and accepted her death sentence, even praising the King:

“Good Christian people, I have not come here to preach a sermon; I have come here to die. For according to the law and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak of that whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the King and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never, and to me he was ever a good, a gentle, and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.”

I will leave you with the words Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Anne Boleyn’s friend and confessor, uttered on that awful day:

“She who has been the Queen of England upon earth will to-day become a Queen in heaven.”

Here’s to Queen Anne Boleyn!

Please feel free to comment below saying what Anne Boleyn means to you or what you’re doing today to remember her.

71 thoughts on “Queen Anne Boleyn, 19th of May 1536”

  1. love anne…always thought she was innocent and henry a massagenist ego maniac.

  2. SemperEadem says:

    She had a lion’s courage and, as Henry himself put it, “a spirit worthy of a crown”, and it really showed there on the scaffold. It must have been horrible and terrifying to stand there knowing she was about to DIE, but she faced her brutal fate with so much strength. With her speech she let the world know that she was innocent, but it also strikes me that, apparently, she knew that people were going to talk about her downfall and death for years to come – “I require them to judge the best”. She died boldly!

    1. Claire says:

      Elizabeth described herself as “the lion’s cub” and although she was talking about Henry VIII, she definitely had a lot of her mother in her. I just cannot imagine what it must have been like to stand there knowing you’re just about to be decapitated. I would have been a mess.

      1. SemperEadem says:

        Í know what you’re saying, I would have been a mess too, I imagine. So utterly terrified. But I’m inclined to think Anne was exhausted, physically and emotionally, and although she did not desire death, she had some resigned herself to her fate. But still her courage amazes me. I think she was a very deep and complex person, and although she was a tad manic during her imprisonment, I think by the time of her execution she had made her peace with God and found her inner strength. But isn’t it amazing that she was a real person, that she truly lived and died all those years ago? It’s amazing to me. On this day in history, she really stood there upon the scaffold, delivered her speech…. and perished. But her death made her immortal; she will never be forgotten.

  3. JudithRex says:

    Lovely post,Claire. For me, the interest lies in the
    Mystery; was she or wasn’t she…or are both true?
    To me Anne’s life is always a cautionary tale with
    The morals of the current time projected upon it.
    To me, hers is all about not stepping on others on the
    Way to the top as one may need them on the way down.
    Anne had no friends and actively alienated people who
    May have protected her in some way. That doesn’t
    Mean she was guilty, it just means she didn’t have
    The wisdom to restrain parts of her personality in order
    To get by. That is a lesson for all people, not just women.
    I am sure not saying women should be sweeties and
    Take it all with a smile, just that she didn’t have to make
    The enemies she did. It was foolish and there were so many!

    1. Claire says:

      Anne may have been unpopular with those who favoured Catherine and Mary, but she had friends and her patronage of reform and education led to many people liking and respecting her. I don’t think that anybody could have protected her. Charles V did nothing to actively help Catherine, and he was a powerful man, and Anne did not have a royal family or emperor to help her.
      Yes, Anne made enemies, but she had many supporters too and some of those were brought down with her.

      1. JudithRex says:

        There were a handful of reformers who thought her position as queen
        Would benefit them and she did help a few. But she clearly
        did not have many friends, unlike Katherine. Not
        Even Cranmer stood up for her and he was right there on
        The spot and had Henry’s ear. Her own family didn’t like her.

        1. Courtney Snyder says:

          I’m not trying to be rude, but, “her own family didn’t like her” !?! I’m not sure what you’ve been reading, but perhaps you should do some further research.

        2. Claire says:

          I have to agree with Courtney, “her own family didn’t like her” is a very sweeping statement and not at all accurate. Anne had fallen out with her uncle and she had banisher her sister Mary when Mary had defied convention and married without her family’s permission, but she was close to the rest of her family.

        3. SemperEadem says:

          JudithRex, I’m sorry but I have read a couple of your posts now and much of what you’re suggesting is just WRONG. Please do some further research before making untrue assertions.

        4. BanditQueen says:

          I agree. Anne’s family had a mixed reaction to her rise; although I do not actually read of any of them refusing or moaning about any benefits her rise and years as Queen may have brought to them. In some ways the story of Anne is similar to Elizabebeth Woodville; save the fact that she of course had many children and three sons; and Anne was Queen for three short and tragic years. Both women though were daughters of knights, both were people the King should not have married, both women who drove the King wild with desire; both had enemies and both raised members of their families to positions of power, gaining more enemies. Anne’s aunt did not like her, was with her in the Tower for that reason to report on what she said; but how close to Anne was she? Norfolk assisted in his neices rise, but when he heard she was to be Queen he was not that happy, but he seems to have gotten over that. He is even said to have shed a tear as he read out her sentence of death. But Norfolk seems not to have liked many people and had no problem with his other niece being Queen. Her parents were supportive of Anne and at least we know of her father being active on her behalf when she was Queen; we do not know much about what her mother was up to at this time. Her brother was certainly close to his sister; and that cost him his life, although there was nothing improper between them, and yes she did fall out with Mary, but that was as much family politics as personal. Mary had a baby with a man who was not suited to be her husband, but she married him and her family did not accept him as he had little money or standing, and she did not ask Anne as Queen for permission. Mary was sent from court and she, as far as we know did not come back. But Anne helped her financially later on and so could not have fallen out with her fully. Anne did have a number of enemies: look at the line up in the juries and at her trial; it is a complete whoes who of them; but they are also all connected via marriage, family connections, or through a system of patronage. Anne also had friends and was a patroness to several artists, writers, musical people, to clerics and to those of the reformed faith. She had friends at court as well, Sir Thomas Wyatt certainly liked her; Cromwell until she fell out with him seems to have liked her; her cousins seemed to have liked her, one of her so called accusers, the Countess of Worcester was her friend; and there were friends amongst her ladies. Cranmer loved her for her devotion to the Bible and his religious ideal, and was shocked at her arrest. His letter is not a betrayal as some have said; it was a diplomatic approach to an angry and grieving King to show some sympathy to him while stating he believed her to be good and pure and innocent. He has to balance his own shock with what he knows the King wants to hear; he does not want to fall from grace as well. Her Almoner seems to have liked her; and Alex Alais (sorry abput spelling) wrote with great sympathy about her to her daughter. Anne even won sympathy from the ladies who were meant to be there in the Tower to spy on her and those on the scaffold wept when she died. I even suspect that many in the crowd were sympathetic as well, those in the courtroom certainly were.

          I agree, some statements that are made at times are not always accurate and many of us need to do more research, even if we have read everything that we know there is to read; because some older writers do get it wrong about Anne, Henry, Jane Seymour and all other historical people; they do not use the original sources at times and have strange opinions, and assertions can become blurred when commentators do not read or understand the evidence in the light of those sources. I think Anne raises strong emotions in people and we have to remember that she lived and died over 500 years ago and not get too heated when talking about her, but attempt to promote the truth and balance when possible.

  4. Theresa Roche says:

    Claire, I read somewhere that because of what Queen Anne Boleyn said on the scaffold, Catherine Howard was not allowed to make a speech. Is there any chance that Anne delivered that last speech about Henry being good to her with sarcasm? Probably not, as she would want to protect her daughter from any backlash – yet food for thought? It would be a stroke of genius to say what she said sarcastically.

    Also – I find Cranmer’s opinion of her interesting – yet no one could stand up against the King.

    1. Claire says:

      According to an eye witness (merchant Ottwell Johnson), Catherine Howard did make a speech:

      “I see the Queen and the Lady Rochford suffer within the Tower, the day following, whose souls (I doubt not) be with God, for they made the most Godly and Christian’s end, that ever was heard tell of (I think) since the world’s creation; uttering their lively faith in the blood of Christ only, and with goodly words and steadfast countenances they desired all Christian people to take regard unto their worthy and just punishment with death for their offences, and against God heinously from their youth upward, in breaking all his commandments, and also against the King’s royal Majesty very dangerously: wherefore they being justly condemned (as they said) by the Laws of the Realm and Parliament, to die, required the people (I say) to take example at them, for amendment of their ungodly lives, and gladly to obey the King in all things, for whose preservation they did heartily pray; and willed all people so to do: commending their souls to God, and earnestly calling for mercy upon him: whom I beseech to give us grace, with such faith, hope, and charity at our departing out of this miserable world, to come to the fruition of his God-head in joy everlasting. Amen.”

      I’ve never read of her being denied the chance to make a final speech, where did you read that?

      I think that contemporary reports would have commented on Anne’s tone if she had used sarcasm, so I think her words rang true to the witnesses. Poor Cranmer, he wept after he said those words and I believe that he must have been beside himself with grief at what had happened.

      1. Ceri C says:

        I believe Cranmer did write a letter to Henry, expressing his amazement at the charges and saying that he thought Anne was innocent, although for the sake of his own skin, he tempered this by saying that of course, the king must know best. Quite a brave act from a man who was not renowned for bravery (at least not until his own execution). I’d like to hope that his presence was of some comfort to Anne in her last days, as there was genuine affection between them.

  5. Gail Marion says:

    Anne certainly understood her fate was sealed and a public display of her inherent outspokenness would be for naught. Also, perhaps included in her prayers was that one day her daughter Elizabeth would inherit the realm and, if so, the dignity shown by her mother prior to execution would be memorialized. If so, her prayers were answered.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, and I’m sure she thought about Elizabeth’s future relationship with her father when she composed her speech.

  6. Sandra says:

    Knowing that you are about to die, knowing that you have to pay and forgive your executioner/killer beforehand, knowing that you’re innocent yet being unable to scream it at the people standing there, gawking at you and awaiting your imminent death, to protect your child, knowing the injustice of it all and still keeping calm, be collected and face the end with dignity…Anne had remarkable strength that still, so many years, later commands respect.
    Rest in peace, Queen Anne.

  7. Sally-Ann Matthews says:

    In memory of a truly fascinating woman. Oh, if only it were possible to talk to Anne & hear the truth of her life from the lady herself! Inspirational & unforgettable, may she rest in peace.

  8. Nancy says:

    I always spend a good portion of May 19 thinking of Anne and the innocent men who had died two days earlier. I have been at the Tower on May 19 several times, and hope to be there in the future to pay my respects.

  9. Monica says:

    ”As it was in the beginning,is now,and ever shall be,world without end,Amen”.
    (Mass on March 26th 1533)

  10. Patricia O says:

    One thing that annoyed me about a certain film and source book of said film which claimed to be about Anne Boleyn was that (the film anyway) had Anne going to her death sniveling. I feel sorry for both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn in different ways. They both were blamed for not providing Henry with sons (that lived) and of course in those days it was not known that the cell that decided the sex of a child was the sperm not the ovum. I am in the camp that believes Anne did not commit adultery,but it just shows how unfair life was in those days regarding men and women. Henry VIII was hardly a choir boy but nobody thought he should be put to death for not “keeping it in his trousers” or whatever the equivalent of trousers was back then.

    1. Lisa says:

      The reason why the rules were different for Kings than for Queens was because the King had to make sure that the child borne by the Queen was truly his heir. If the Queen was allowed to sleep with whomever she wanted then the line of descent would be horribly muddled and bloody chaos would ensue. I’m not saying I agree with it mind you.

  11. Claire Boulden says:

    I became obsessed with Queen Anne Boleyn when my Nan took me to Hampton Court Palace when I was about 6 years old.
    I remember being transfixed by her picture. I didn’t know who this woman was in the picture but I remember becoming very emotional and I just stood there crying. My Nan had to drag me away she couldn’t understand why I was getting do upset by the picture. On the way home she told me briefly the history on Anne Boleyn and since that day I have become obsessed with her.

    Today at 8.00am I will remember Anne and what she must of felt walking to the scaffold. My thoughts are always with her epecially on this day

    Claire (Hampton, Middlesex, England)

  12. dina says:

    beautiful words for a beautiful live. one day I will meet Queen Anne Boleyn in heaven, and I will thank her for all she did and the way she lived. what a courageous woman!

  13. JudithRex says:

    It doesn’t matter about DNA, Anne had no living child after
    Elizabeth. If she had had another living girl she would have been
    In better shape, but she had 3 miscarriages in a row.
    Her own sister did not. This looked bad and a judgment on
    Henry’s choice.

    1. Claire says:

      She did not have three miscarriages in a row. She had a baby girl, Elizabeth, in 1533 then a probable stillbirth in summer 1534 and then a miscarriage in January 1536. It was quite normal for women in that era to have an obstetric history like that and is not abnormal today.

    2. Mary Elizabeth says:

      JudithRex

      You say very nasty things, and tell of fiction, as fact. and WHY do you capitalize the first letter of every sentence? Your ramblings are not poetry, at least compose properly.

  14. JudithRex says:

    Okay, 1 still birth and toe miscarriages. All dead,
    And she was not the corner Grover’s wife – she was made
    Queen to have a son. It was her job.

    1. Mary the Quene says:

      While England was a nearly 100% Christian nation, there was still a great deal of weight placed on omens, disfigurements, and happenstance acts as being a harbinger of misfortune.

      It is doubtful that Anne Boleyn possessed the number and the scope of disfigurements often heaved at her reputation, or Henry VIII, even besotted with her, would have shrunk from contact with such a woman as had them.

      Propaganda from Spanish equivalent of today’s public relations word-spinners.

      Had she borne a boy who survived it would have secured her position with her husband – his inner circle, and those in the next few concentric, larger circles, no doubt would have eventually sharpened the long knives for her, anyway; her power was greater than theirs in all ways but gender.

      Elizabeth I wasn’t the willful brainiac she was by accident.

    2. margaret says:

      agree with you

      1. Mary the Quene says:

        🙂

    3. Claire says:

      No, one stillbirth and one miscarriage. Yes, it was her job, but she didn’t lose the babies on purpose and it was not abnormal to have stillbirths and miscarriages. What’s a corner grover?

  15. Tammy says:

    Anne was truly an amazing woman. I wish I could be in London today to pay my respects.
    Rest in Peace Queen Anne, you are always in our thoughts.

    1. Anne says:

      Lovely thoughts Tammy. I shall drink a glass in Anne’s honor today and start reading my new George Boleyn book!

  16. JudithRex says:

    Her uncle voted for her death. Her cousin actively worked to get her
    Replaced by jane. Her aunt, in the tower with her, told her she
    Was there by her own fault. Nice!

    It didn’t take much research to know that. And it is ok to be rude, but
    I wonder at people getting so upset by debate or a fresh
    Opinion? It doesn’t get me upset, why would it you? They were all
    Power hungry and greedy people who have been dead a long time.

  17. GADawn says:

    I spent the whole weekend in tribute between housekeeping task) and even ate my meals off tray so I could watch the entire 2nd season of the Tudors of Anne (I know, not historically correct but still good) and Anne of the Thousand Days (my favorite) and even popped in the DVD from Six Wives of Henry VIII series with Dame Dorothy Tutin as Anne.

    Like you, Claire, I have spent my live fasinated by not just the entire Tudor dynasty and history of the era(reading anything I can get my hands on) but in particular, I have always found Anne to be amazing subject of history. Think of the ‘If Only she had bore a live son” how might history have been so different. I always believed there was a touch of sarcasm in her scaffold speech. And never have I believed she committed adultery – a look, a glance, perhaps the game of courly love, but never more… Be at peace, Queen Anne. As Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Anne Boleyn’s friend and confessor, uttered on that awful day:
    “She who has been the Queen of England upon earth will to-day become a Queen in heaven.” As of course, he knew in his hearts of hearts, she was innocent…
    GADawn

  18. Anne says:

    Claire, your post quite literally has left me with a tear in my eye and a heaviness in my heart for the fate of Queen Anne.

    I can only imagine her disbelief at first, then her fear, then an overhwhelming sadness and at last acceptance of her fate. ‘How could this have happened? What did I do that has so disppleased the king?’ she must have thought. ‘How can they not see that I am innocent of these abominmable acts?”

    I suppose my interest in the life and death of Anne Boleyn has always stemmed from her being falsely accused and then executed for nothing more than to satisfy her husband’s ego. Something that seems so preposterous today but yet still happens. But that is another story ….

  19. Tessa P. says:

    Anne Boleyn was a brave woman, from the beginning of her time in court to her death, and I hope that I can be as brave as her. She faced her fate with grace and courage, and she still remains as an interesting figure today. RIP Queen Anne; you’re one of the historical figures who drew me into loving history to begin with, and you’ve left your mark on history.

  20. Mia says:

    I, too, have been fascinated by Anne Boleyn most of my life. Since reading Brief Gaudy Hour as a teenager; where my fascination began, I have always searched for her, always looking for yet another tiny nugget of research and information that would bring me closer to knowing her better. Even through the veil of time, her unique personality and spirit stand out as something special.

    Rest in peace Queen Anne Boleyn.

  21. Ania says:

    I prayed for her and all men who died on the 17th of May. I think we often forget that they were real people not just some fictional characters from books.

    1. JudithRex says:

      True, they were real people. But they are also the stuff of fantasy
      And romantic musings…not to mention book sales (which as a book buyer is cool by me!). I see them more clearly than the ones who make one totally evil or one totally innocent. The truth is never so black and white.

  22. “Anne of the Thousand Days” (1969) was one of the best films on the subject. Genvieve Bujold gave an outstanding performance, portraying Queen Anne as a strong and brave woman attempting to survive in trying times under difficult conditions. Anne was truly an excellent example for strength of the human spirit during adverse circumstances.

    R.I.P. Queen Anne.

  23. Maureen says:

    I have never cared for Anne Boleyn but no one could have saved her, after Henry’s jousting accident I think he realized how close he came to death and all bets were off. I do feel sympathy her, there was never any doubt in my mind she was innocent of all except not giving Henry the son he wanted. She played the game and lost, sad but I have no doubt she knew there would be a harsh penalty to pay if she failed.

    1. JudithRex says:

      Yes, she had first hand knowledge of how Katherine
      Was treated.

      I actually think Anne and I might have enjoyed spirited
      Debate as she apparently enjoyed that as I do. I am more of
      A fan of Cromwell as he tried to make life better for the
      Poor and jobless. Mary Boleyn, Katherine and Mary
      All depended on his compassion in a fix. That says a lot.

      1. margaret says:

        It did not it seems bother anne one bit on the way Katherine or mary was treated so why did she think she would be treated any better ,feel sorry for her brutal death but she was not a popular person and did not even have her father do anything about the death of his son or daughter I find this fact hard to understand.

        1. Cheryl says:

          You view the past with hindsight and living in the 21st century. Tudor times were very political and brutal. Anne would not have felt 100% secure until she knew Catherine was out of the way and her daughter Elizabeth would have her place in the accession of the throne. Anne would not have been popular with Catherine and Mary supporters but this does not mean that she was not a poular person! Also Henry was a volitile man (probably made worse after his jousting accident in Jan 1536) if Anne’s father wanted to srurvive there would have been little he could do to save his daughter or his son. As I said Tudor times were brutal

      2. Caitie says:

        I believe, if you do more research, you will find that Anne Boleyn was more active in trying to “make life better for the poor and jobless” than Cromwell was. I do not deny that Cromwell was brilliant, a force in his own right, but he did exploit religious houses and monasteries for their treasures, which were deposited into the royal treasury. Anne wanted these houses to be converted to help the poor and promote reforming the faith. She also gave more money to the poor than even the pious Queen Catherine of Aragon did.
        As for Catherine, Mary, and Mary Boleyn “depending on Cromwell in a fix,” I would bet that none of these people were fans of Cromwell. Catherine of Aragon was a Catholic, and Cromwell was a Reformer, so it was highly unlikely that either would be willing to do the other favors. Cromwell was also promoted by the Boleyns, the family that replaced Catherine and Mary Tudor (Henry’s daughter) in the King’s favor. Also, Cromwell was clearly supportive of Catherine and Henry’s divorce, and was an active force behind it after Cardinal Wolsey was deposed!
        As for Mary, after Anne banished her sister for marrying outside the permissions of her family, she lived abroad. I’m pretty sure we (the modern populace and those interested in these times) don’t even know where she was buried. She would hardly have been in a position to ask Cromwell for help.
        After all of these facts (and more) if any of these historical figures were to ask Cromwell for help, it would have simply been because he had the ear of the king. It wouldn’t have mattered who was in that high courtly position.
        If you do actual research about the time period and not just read popular books and watch popular shows (something about “book sales?”), you would discover how intricate and exciting this time period is. I invite you to check out some non-fiction books! They’re more fascinating that what Hollywood has to offer.

  24. wendy says:

    RIP Queen Anne; you were born before your time. Your strength was amazing. You died with dignity and grace. There will always be those who dislike you because of what you did, but how would we as women have acted in your shoes at the time. It is easy to say that we would not have done as you, but being women and under the thumb of the men in our family, who knows? It is quite apparent that the men of the time would do anything to save their butts and social standing and condemn you without another thought in the matter. I admire you dear lady. You were an amazing woman.

  25. Emma M. says:

    Rest In Peace Queen Anne Boleyn, I am sure you are “The Most Happy” in Heaven now.

  26. catia says:

    Anna ha avuto il cuore di una leonessa, era una donna intelligente e coraggiosa, enrico 8′ non era degno di lei,penso spesso alla triste fine che ha subi’to, spero che la sua anima abbia trovato la pace, io prego che Anna, si sia reincarnata piu’ e piu’ volte in donne coraggiose, che abbiano riscattato non solo il suo sesso, ma anche la sua forte personalita’.

  27. Kathy Swartz says:

    I’m remembering Anne Boleyn today by watching The Tudors. I have all four seasons. I look at Anne Boleyn as someone to look up to, Her courage, strength and character were amazing. Her motto The most happy, I have adopted for myself. I have had 3 back surgeries and have to endure a lot of pain. I have made up my mind to be happy even when I don’t feel like it. I have recommended The Anne Boleyn files to many people who are interested in Anne Boleyn and The Tudor period. I hope others enjoy The Anne Boleyn files and Claire’s novels as much as I have. I have many novels on my bookshelves on english history and on my Kindle as well. Thank you, Claire.

  28. JP Feldmann says:

    Queen Anne Boleyn was my wife’s 13th great grand aunt. Mary Boleyn was her 13th great grand mothr.

    1. GADawn says:

      How totally cool that is to be able to trace your wife’s ancestry back to Mary and Anne. Very interesting to hear of someone related….

  29. Christine says:

    Who would have thourght all those years ago that today she is still remembered,that thousands and thousands of people know her story that has travelled throw time so,she will therefore never be forgotten

  30. BSmyth says:

    In remembrance of a Queen and mother of one of the greatest rulers of all time.

  31. Conor Byrne says:

    I admire this woman for her resourcefulness, her courage, her driving will, her ambition, her loyalty, her intelligence, her piety… Above all, she was a complex, two-dimensional and multifaceted human being, a concept which so many people still seem to struggle with. I have not found anyone in history who fascinates me as much as Anne Boleyn. I think she was an absolutely incredible woman who achieved things others could only dream about. She was cut down cruelly and unjustly in the prime of her youth, who knows how much longer she could have lived and how much more she could have achieved. I think her continuing legacy speaks volumes about her as a person, and I hope she has achieved the peace in death she was denied so cruelly in life, whether by the suspicion of her husband, the pressures of her position, or the slanders of court gossips and the nation at large. She has been so maligned and misrepresented even nearly five hundred years on. I admire Anne Boleyn and I congratulate her for everything she achieved in her inspiring life. RIP the Queen!

  32. maureen a says:

    anne has never been my favorite. she was a schemerand though I don’t feel that she deserved the fate she received, she gotwhat she plotted and karma hit.

    1. Cheryl says:

      I dont think Anne plotted but her family did, women were just pawns in a mans world and when she was Queen she was adored and when it all started to go wrong, she was left on her own.

      She was a remarkable woman and gave England Elizabeth 1st!

  33. kirstin says:

    Thoughts and prayers for queen Anne today, she was a strong and driven woman far ahead of the times she lived in. She has always been an inspiration to me, she went out to get everything she wanted regardless of what people thought, and followed her heart. A remarkable woman. Rest in peace Queen Anne xxx

  34. Anne was very much a Queen when she walked to her death. That title may have been taken from her before she was executed, but she was still a Queen. It amazes me, still, that royalty that high or priests, bishops, etc., COULD be executed.
    Had Henry died before Anne, would she have remained Queen, or would there have had to have been another King? Could she have ruled England on her own?

    1. Sandra says:

      I may be wrong, so if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct me, but Anne was Queen consort, not Queen regnant, so she couldn’t have ruled in her own right. The crown, according to the First Act of Succession, would have passed to Elizabeth, and due to her being a child, Anne could’ve become Queen regent, i.e. a temporary stand in for Elizabeth until she was old enough to rule in her own right, but I think there would have been much influence taking and manipulation from the privy council. Later, in his will Henry named a bunch of executors to be Edward’s council until he was of age, I don’t know when he wrote that will and if he had similar plans for Elizabeth should he die before Anne.

  35. Rubyrosebuds says:

    A beautiful English rose snuffed out in the prime of her life will live forever in the memories of many.
    I am sure she spent many a sleepless night dreaming about her Henry, praying to God for him to be hers. Hours lost In tears, wishing and hoping. And In the light of day, being as merry and sweet to win her love over. In the end, her dream became a nightmare and she lost her life. Ah but what joyous moments she must have had over those short 3 years. Was it worth it? Would any of us had made the same choice if the future was, as it was for her, simply unknown and full of hope?
    Let us pause and remember Anne Boleyn for being the woman who could not only turn the head of Henry but win him over with her wit, charm and grace one who lived her life with hope and cheerfulness and achieved her goal of marrying a King and producing a daughter who would reign long and successful as Elizabeth I. God bless Queen Anne.

  36. Monica says:

    Just some friendly advice rather than a comment (doesn’t need to be published): You might want to change the idiom in the phrase ‘whose life was caught short’ to ‘cut short’ — ‘caught short’ refers to an urgent need to go to the toilet or to an urgent need for cash. ‘Cut short’ means to finish something suddenly before its proper ending, which of course applies very much to Anne, indeed quite literally so.

    1. Claire says:

      Thank you, didn’t spot that one! I know the meaning, it was an error but thanks.

  37. Nancy says:

    I have a red headed daughter so I get strangely teary eyed at the final scene of Anne of the Thousand Days, when the cannon booms after Anne’s execution and the three-year-old “Elizabeth” is shown toddling off in the palace garden alone ….

  38. Lisa says:

    I will have a moment of silence in Queen Anne Boleyn’s memory. I recently found out why I am so fascinated by her. I was recently reminded that my maternal grandmother had two small oval portraits by her bed: Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn! I inherited the portrait of Lady Jane Grey as well as my grandmother’s fascination. Where can I get information on the Anne Boleyn tour?

  39. Ingrid says:

    “And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.”

    S2

    R.I.P dear Anne.

  40. BanditQueen says:

    Rest in peace Anne Boleyn. YNWA. I do not care if Anne had 10,000 enemies or 10,0000 friends, she was innocent of the charges and that is all that matters. While I do not believe she was executed because she sadly could not give Henry the son that she had promised him; I think the last failed pregnancy was the straw that broke the camels back. We have little indication of an emotional or open rift with Anne and Henry at this time and it seemed for a few months that things had been patched up. However, her position was vulnerable and Henry it appears was no longer prepared to defend her from her enemies as he had been. When Suffolk accused Anne of having other lovers i.e Wyatt before the marriage Henry did what Anne wanted and banished him. Now others, that is Cromwell brings him so called evidence that she was guilty of the same thing but now they are married and he is more than willing to listen. Why? I think Anne had lost Henry’s love and there were many things that year that led to the passion dying and even turning to hate. Henry heard the list of lies and believed them, he had an investigation, the juries came back that the lies were true and Henry allowed Cromwell to rig her trial so he could get rid of her. Did Henry believe the charges? Yes, I think he had decided that he did and he for reasons we will never fully get to the bottom off cruelly wanted Anne gone; not just banished and out of court; but gone for good. She was innocent and she did not stand a chance.

    Anne may have had a temper, she may not have always said the right thing or the nice thing; she made enemies, she may have influenced Henry in a direction that was not good for the country and cost him some of his friends and religious people in the country; she may have threatened his daughter or been glad that Catherine had died to make her secure for a few brief weeks; she may have been the reason Henry set aside a woman reverred throughout the country and Europe; she may have been the woman that Henry broke with Rome for and put his country at risk for; but did she deserve this death? No, of course not. Anne was not to blame for the children that she lost anymore than Catherine was. Henry blamed her for the death of Thomas More; but he signed the death warrant; he put him in the Tower and on trial and he allowed Parliament to pass the laws that caused Thomas More to disobey him and not swear he was head of the church of England. That does not make Anne responsible for his death; Henry never took responsibility for anything in his life: someone else was to blame: Anne was his scapegoat just as Thomas More had been.

    But it is the complexities of her life and character; the contradictions of her being as above and yet a woman who promoted religion in a real way, was a woman in favour of reform and a friend to bishops and to learned men that makes her so fascinating. Anne did something not done before: she got a King to set aside a popular and revered Queen with whom he was happy, save for their loss of children, on the promise that she could do better and succeed where Katherine of Aragon had failed. Such was Henry’s faith in this promise that he endured 7 years of waiting and a troubled divorce, he set aside the faith of his fathers and the allegience to the office of Pope, an office that he had in 1521 defended; he would force the obedience of council, clergy, Parliamnet and people to accept their marriage and his succession on the promise that Anne would give him a son, and he would divide his kingdom and people forever to ensure that promise became a reality. That is how much Henry became fascinated with Anne Boleyn. She must have been some woman.

    Anne was not even by her own times standards a great beauty, but there was something about her that held Henry’s attention, and she said NO to him. He was attracted to her sophistication, to her education and to her intellect. Anne and Henry shared many of the same interests and she eved persuaded the King, who was no patron of what he called heretics; to read a great heretical book that changed his life. Anne brought to Henry a book by William Tyndale who translated much of the Bible and who wrote The Obedience of A Christian Man. The book demonstrated that a King need not worry about being tied down to the rules of the Church and to traditions; a King must make his own laws and be bound by them, free from the influence of foreign powers: that is the Pope in Rome. Henry was well and truly converted and this gave him the means to achieve the divorce, so he had a lot to thank Anne for. And yet that love and respect at some point came to an end and led to the cruel and needless end of Anne as Queen and her life. Surely Henry could have found another way?

    Whatever the entanglements that led to the fall and trial of Anne Boleyn, no matter who she had upset, she did not deserve to die and she was innocent and powerless. She had been 19 days in the Tower, a helpless prisoner and tried and unjustly condemned by the man whom she had loved, and whose bed she had shared for more than 3 years. Their marriage was sunshine and storms; their break-up an earthquake. Anne had been seperated from her baby daughter, heard of if not seen the deaths of her beloved brother and his friends; had been given women to attend her who did not like her, although she may have won them over, and was not even sure of what she was accused until she came to trial. Even after she was condemned she was not merely allowed to prepare in peace. Cranmer had come with false hope, to cause her more hurt by the annullment and bastarization of her marriage and daughter. The execution had been put off: twice. She had been prepared to die and was ready to die and past her pain when she was told she had to wait another day. Not that Anne must have been grateful for another night of life, but she could not sleep and was still afraid and up all night in prayer. She wanted to go home. Poor Anne was dressed to face her execution three times! I am glad that she died with dignity and boldly; but to have to prepare three times must have been shere agony!

    At last her last morning came and she came to her end with dignity and grace. I believe that she found peace in the words that she said and was comforted by the kindness of the women with her. Even though Anne must have been afraid, she held her nerve and made a speech that gave thanks to the King who had condemned her and that would have meant protection for her little daughter. Anne must have wondered about the sword; but the executioneer at least distracted her and mercifully it was swift and with grace. And Anne’s soul was taken to heaven and to rest. Yes, Anne, rest in peace and blessing. YNWA

  41. BanditQueen says:

    I would like to add one final thing: I find it very moving that there is a tradition that someone who must be related to a close friend or family member of Anne Boleyn carries on every year on her anniversary: that of presenting to the chaple in the tower the beautiful flowers to be placed on her grave. This has been going on for almost 400 years and is every year. The kind person is a private doner and that is how it should be. There is someone out there who loved Anne so much that this beautiful and moving gesture was made to commemorate her every year on her death and is carried on through the generations to this day. Someone loved Anne very much; someone still does and still remembers in this very moving way. I find that very touching and lovely. Amen.

  42. francis linda says:

    Every free hour I have, is filled with my devotion to Anne, Henry’s other wives and the Tudor era in general. For me it is the ultimate relaxation to read about her although I have to translate all the time because I speak dutch and live in flanders. Love yoy Anne and I am so happy to receive your mailnews now and then !

    Greetings from Antwerp, Linda Francis

  43. Elaine Chambers says:

    I became entranced by Anne at the age of nine, when I saw an illustration of her in a book I had checked out of my church’s library. A very good recent book I read about her is called “The Creation of Anne Boleyn”. I can’t remember the author’s name, but she did a very good job of comparing facts and mere opinions. Personally, I agree with the Lord Mayor of London at the conclusion of her trial when he stated, “I can see nothing in this but that they have made an occasion to be rid of her”.

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