Replay of Anne Boleyn’s Fall and Execution talk and Q&A session with Claire Ridgway
Posted By Claire on May 20, 2021
To commemorate the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s execution, I did a live talk and Q&A session yesterday on the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube Channel.
It went really well and there were lots of excellent questions, so if you missed it then please do catch up with this replay:
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2 thoughts on “Replay of Anne Boleyn’s Fall and Execution talk and Q&A session with Claire Ridgway”
This was absolutely fantastic, Claire. Well done for answering so many questions and for your talk at the beginning. Really enjoyed it.
I agree very interesting and Claire answered most of my questions for me, the execution of Anne Boleyn was certainly horrific and we are indeed fortunate that we have such a detailed account of it, it certainly caused shock waves in England and around Europe, and it had a lasting effect on those that had known and loved Anne, her women had the gruesome task of carrying her bleeding corpse and head to the church of St Peter, certainly not easy and imagine their tears and revulsion as they had to search for a coffin for her, these were only women after all, not hardened soldiers who had witnessed death on the battlefield, they must have been greatly affected by it, her parents were bereft and i believe it hastened their own ends, it may have caused psychological trauma to Elizabeth who as we know never married, and it also
cast a blot on the reign of Henry V111, and he was viewed with mistrust by potential foreign brides, I to like Claire an unsure about the authenticity of Anne’s letter she supposedly wrote to the king in the Tower of London, I would love it to be true but alas we will never know! One question was about the exhumation of Anne’s remains, I found reading Dr Moaut’s original findings very accurate about what we know of Anne, the bones believed to be those of her were described as very slender and elegant with well shaped hands and feet, the eye sockets in her skull very large, her height was described as middling which means average and she was estimated to be between twenty five and thirty I think? It really was a good analysis because this was in the Victorian era, without all the modern equipment we have today which can accurately scan the age of bones and even tell us if they suffered from arthritis and other complaints, she was believed for many years to have been born around 1507 but that has now been debunked. and the popular opinion now centres around a 1500- 1501 birthdate, Mouat’s study of her bones is more accurate than the earlier historical theory, because she would have been about thirty five when she died and he thought the bones belonged to a woman between twenty five and thirty, so that does sound out the earlier birth date, also there are other things, the letter she wrote her father is too mature for a seven year old, and she would have been too young to be accepted into Marguerite of Austria’s court, she herself bewailed her passing youth as the years went by and still Henry was waiting for a dispensation from the pope, had she been younger it would not have been so much of an issue, so Gareth Russell undoubtedly fine historian he is, is probably wrong on this matter, sorry Gareth! I recall visiting the Tower when I was seventeen in 1977, and it had in those days a simple plaque on the green with some of the names of the people who had died, I think William Lord Hastings was on the top, who was executed by Richard 111, there was the Duke of Buckingham after and then Queen Anne Boleyn, their names were listed with the earliest execution down to the last, of course only a few prominent ones were inscribed, Lady Salisbury was mentioned and Queen Catherine Howard Lady Rochford Lady Jane Grey and the Earl of Essex, and it said on it simply,’ on this site stood a scaffold on whom were executed’, then it had the names, I felt it was much better than the glass memorial that is there today, regarding the dresses and many outfits and hats as well as the jewellery that belonged to Anne, is it not distasteful that these were given to Jane Seymour? And why would Jane wish to wear them anyway? But it probably was the practical thing to do, Elizabeth had some of her mother’s jewellery and it is believed that Anne’s famous B initial Pearl necklace was made into another necklace which her daughter wore, in the famous painting which depicts the family of Henry V111 by Holbein, Elizabeth is seen wearing it, she must have cherished it all her life along with her mother’s falcon emblem and she also had her coat of arms woven into her livery and table linen, Elizabeth also destroyed a lot of the so called evidence about her mother, so we do not know all what was said about her, but we can assume it was highly toxic, her mother’s name had been tainted dreadfully and Elizabeth understandably did not want future generations reading about it, the slur on her mother was a slur on Queen Elizabeth and well into her reign, she was slandered again most dreadfully by Nicholas Sander, to the catholics Elizabeth was the heretic queen and her mother the infamous concubine still, I would love to ask Anne some questions also, like Claire I would ask her when she was born and if she ever truly loved Henry V111, I would ask her trivial things like what was her favourite food and what colour she favoured, did she get on with Jane Rochford lastly did she really deceive the king? Fascinating video Claire thanks so very much.