Love Letter 1

IN turning over in my
mind the contents of
your last letters, I have
put myself into great
agony, not knowing how to interpret
them, whether to my disadvantage,
as you show in some places, or to my
advantage, as I understand them in
some others, beseeching you earnestly
to let me know expressly your whole
mind as to the love between us two.

It is absolutely necessary for me to
obtain this answer, having been for
above a whole year stricken with the
dart of love, and not yet sure whether
I shall fail of finding a place in your
heart and afFeftion, which last point
has prevented me for some time past
from calling you my mistress; be-
cause, if you only love me with an
ordinary love, that name is not suit-
able for you, because it denotes a sin-
gular love, which is far from com-
mon. But if you please to do the office
of a true loyal mistress and friend, and
to give up yourself body and heart to
me, who will be, and have been, your
most loyal servant, (if your rigour
does not forbid me) I promise you
that not only the name shall be given
you, but also that I will take you
for my only mistress, casting off all
others besides you outof my thoughts
and afFeftions, and serve you only. I
beseech you to give an entire answer
to this my rude letter, that I may
know on what and how far I may
depend. And if it does not please
you to answer me in writing, appoint
some place where I may have it by
word of mouth, and I will go thither
with all my heart. No more, for fear
of tiring you. Written by the hand
of him who would willingly remain
yours, H. R.

28 thoughts on “Love Letter 1”

  1. Anastasia says:

    Very fascinating, seeing what he at some point thought of her and what he thought of her when he had her executed. It is clear that he did love her, and he did not just merely love her, she had for a while made a huge impact on his life. Claire, if you happen to see this could you send me some links of your site where I can find stuff about Henry and Anne’s relationship – I am having a Tudor research you know so that would help a lot.

  2. Deborah says:

    Does anyone happen to know what H.R. means? I thought it might be Henry, regent or something, but I am not sure.

    1. Claire says:

      Henry Rex, meaning Henry the King. Queens have an R after their name too for Regina, or Queen. So, our present queen is ER Elizabeth Regina.

      1. Rick says:

        Correct !! It was not permitted for royalty to have a last name as that would diminish their status. When the french aressted Louis they insulted him by giving him a last name.

      2. Sheila M Tagg says:

        There wouldn’t be the ERa’s well as the Elizabeth. Also, there would only be an R after the person’s name if they were the monarch, not if they were the spouse of a monarch.

        1. Claire says:

          Sheila, what do you mean when you say “There wouldn’t be the ERa’s well as the Elizabeth”?
          All of Henry VIII’s wives took the “R” for Regina after their first name. On the 1534 medal, Anne Boleyn has “AR” for Anna Regina, and we have examples of documents, ciphers etc. in architecture with these queens being KR, AR and JR.

  3. sylvie ross says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. Thank you so much for putting the original words of the letters here for us. What a romantic love affair it was and it is still…it resonates vibrantly throughout time…bless their hearts that they left these for us…historical…! Love and Light..

  4. Charlotte Haslam says:

    I am doing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) at sixth form and my title is ‘How far was Henry VIII’s decision to marry Anne Boleyn due to his desire for a son?’ I was wondering if there are any links on your website that I could look at to do with this.

  5. Anne says:

    If it was edited back so the type wasn’t all broken up it would look better. I’ll bet you go in and
    put the sentences back together.

  6. aubrey says:

    i love the letter cause its inspire me

  7. aubrey says:

    did queen elizabeth daughter of king henry Vlll and mistress anne have a daughter

    1. Sheila M Tagg says:

      No. There are rumours but no evidence.

    2. Kirsty says:

      No, Elizabeth I had no children. She did not marry during her reign and when she died she passed her throne to King James of Scotland.
      What I find brilliant about Elizabeth is her relationship with Queen Catharine Parr. She learned a lot from her when Catherine was regent when Henry was in France for the last time. She learned how to be a Queen in her own right.

  8. Mary Boleyn says:

    Been there, done that. Wouldn’t bother Sis.

  9. 1027texas says:

    Are there any scans of the original letters anywhere online?

  10. Henry really did love her before he execuatrd her.

  11. James Bryant says:

    I believe Henry was really just self centred. These letters show a false sense of love being portrayed to Anne Boleyn. If I was Henry, I too would have used her to bear a child and toss her aside like yestrdays trash because that was the role of women at the time. Additionally Henry was clearly scared to address her in person and hence used letters to communicate with her, a simple phone call would have been much more productive and show the love he really had for her in his own words rather than ink on paper, which quite possibly could have been written by anyone else on behalf of the king. This shows the false love that actually existed.

    1. Biekm says:

      I disagree with that. Henry HATED writing letters and yet he wrote them to Anne. He certainly did not treat her like trash – if he thought she was, why would he go to such lengths to marry her? If he wanted an easy way out of his marriage to Catherine, this was certainly not it.

      1. Matt Ross says:

        I have seen no evidence that Henry hated writing letters, did you know him? Did you know what he liked and disliked? Were you special friends? 😉 In any case I firmly believe locking one’s loved one in the tower of london and beheading them constitutes treatnng them like trash. I agree with Mr Bryant – he did not truly love her as his goal was to bear a child and toss her aside, as he did with HER SISTER, only this time the child would be legititmate. Unfortunately for Henry she only gave birth to a girl so he would not have the extension of his lineage he wanted. After he stopped believing he could get the hier after she gave birth to Elizabeth and had at least one recorded miscarraige he tossed her aside as I would have in his situation.

        1. James Bryant says:

          Thanks for the support, Mr Ross. I’m glad that you, a fine intellectual, can understand that not only did he treat her like trash, but also put her in her place. I feel that Biekm is completely wrong in saying that Henry hated letters as he really did write some filthy smut in his letters to come. Very saucy.

        2. Janice says:

          Henry VIII did hate writing letters. Many historians will tell you this,and nobody has to be special friends with Henry to know this. If that were the case, nothing would be known about any historical figure. The fact is Henry himself stated in writing (oh the irony) that he hated writing and avoided it as much as he could.

    2. Janice says:

      A simple phone call? In the 1520s?

  12. shaz says:

    what was the year Anne wrote her first love letter to henry???

    1. Claire says:

      We don’t have her letters to Henry, I’m afraid, but they would have been in reply to his, so 1526 onwards.

  13. charlotte Bruce says:

    This reminds me of the early days of my courtship. It always starts so wonderfully. My partner was not too sure of my feelings and actually nor was I, then he won me over after his persistence. It’s always so lovely in the beginning but I’m afraid we are fickle creatures and so like many of us so was Henry. I try to refrain from using the words ‘typical man’ but I’m afraid in my experience and Anne Boleyn’s too it can quickly turn to dislike, and love dies. It just goes to show nothing changes.

  14. Victoria Myhand says:

    Hi there. I am wondering if there is a scanned copy of this letter anywhere online? I am writing a research paper in America and would love to see a copy! Thanks x

  15. Carole M. Christensen says:

    Anne Boleyn is my 27th great grandmother if Ancestry is correct. I think there is resemblance between her portrait and a picture of me – or maybe it is wishful

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