This is Part 5 of Esther Hyams’ wonderful series of poems on the life of Anne Boleyn.
In 1528 Anne emerged from the shadows of the Queen’s household
The secret object of the King’s passion a graceful woman of 27 years old.
Anne had unexpected depths and strengths behind those eyes so black
With genuine interests in politics, reform of religion she did secretly back.
She did not follow the traditional flock or the accepted norm
She detested the corruption of the clergy in all its immoral forms.
Her independence was clear, through her interest in religious reform
She longed to change the corrupt Catholicism and put an end to its storm.
Anne began to show King Henry radical ‘reformist type’ books
With subtlety, intricacy, care and innocent looks.
Like William Tynedale’s ‘The Obedience of a Christian Man’,
Attacking papal power in favour of kings, who were more than a man.
King Henry was impressed with the good sense this could bring
He said, “This is a book for me, and a book for all kings.”
Pope Clement VII now sent Cardinal Campeggio, a papal legate
Aiming along with Wolsey to discuss the royal marriage debate.
Anne was sent to Hever, for now, it would be tactless for her to remain
Until something could be decided and the King’s Lady could return again.
7th October 1528, Cardinal Campeggio arrived in London at last
Trying to convince Catherine to go into a nunnery, to which she was aghast.
The impatient King created separate apartments for the Lady Anne
Grand apartments with her own waiting women who read books and sang.
There was a terribly formal ‘menage a trois’ now in English court life
Henry openly kissed the Lady Anne, as if she was already his wife.
The people hated Anne as ‘the hussy with designs on a husband of a queen’
Thus began the period of hatred towards a woman deemed by many as obscene.
November 1528, the King tried to stop this slander and end impending disasters
Praising Catherine but saying that none should criticise for Henry was their master.
At Christmas 1528, Henry was at Greenwich Palace with the Lady Anne
Queen Catherine was also there but greater court was paid to the Lady Anne.
She was lodged in apartments close to the king, where her motto she would mumble
“That is how it is going to be, however much people may grumble.”
By Esther Hyams
Click here to read Part 6 “The King’s Great Matter”