In ‘The Lady in the Tower’, Alison Weir mentions that Anne ‘had spoken rashly, even treasonously, overstepping the conventional bounds of courtly banter between queen and servant’ (pg 8) – do you know who she had spoken to/what she said?

I haven't been able to find this as I obviously have a different version of the book to you but Alison Weir is referring to Anne Boleyn's altercation with Sir Henry Norris. See http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-may-day-joust-trouble-in-tudor-paradise/5233/ for a full explanation but here's an extract from the article I wrote to explain it to you:-

"On Saturday the 29th April, Anne Boleyn had quarrelled with Sir Henry Norris, her husband’s Groom of the Stool, a member of the Boleyn faction and a man who was courting Anne’s cousin and lady, Madge Shelton. Anne asked him why he was taking so long to marry Madge and when he gave her a non-committal answer she rebuked him, saying, “You look for dead men’s shoes; for if ought came to the king but good you would look to have me”, accusing him of delaying his marriage to Madge because he fancied her, to which Norris replied in horror, “he would his head were off.” Anne then threatened Norris, saying that she could undo him if she wanted.
Why was Norris so horrified and why did act Anne ask Norris to go to her almoner and swear an oath about her character? It was because in anger she had spoken recklessly. Not only had she said something very inappropriate for a married woman, never-mind queen, she had also broken the rules of courtly love and spoken of the King’s death. Eric Ives points out that the rules of courtly love “said that the courtier should proposition the great lady” but that Anne had reversed the roles in speaking to Norris in that way, she had become the “aggressor” and “at once that put Norris’s reply on a different level. Anne was attempting to force a commitment far beyond convention. Even worse, “if ought came to the King but good you would look to have me” could be interpreted as Anne having a personal interest in Norris, hence the oath offered to her almoner.” It was these words that would haunt Anne until her death as they could be used against her, not only to provide evidence of some kind of relationship between her and Norris, but also as proof that she was plotting the King’s death with Norris and others."

Norris was arrested on the 1st May 1536 and Anne was arrested the next day.

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1 thought on “In ‘The Lady in the Tower’, Alison Weir mentions that Anne ‘had spoken rashly, even treasonously, overstepping the conventional bounds of courtly banter between queen and servant’ (pg 8) – do you know who she had spoken to/what she said?”

  1. Christine says:

    That was a very foolish remark to make, it could be she was fed up and angry with Henrys carrying on with Jane Seymour and spoke without thinking, she knew it was unacceptable as soon as she’d said it that’s why she tried to make Norris go to her almoner, she could be very indiscreet at times and considering the stress she was under she grew even more reckless, she was making it very easy for that toad Cromwell to incriminate her, she’d waited so long to be queen dreaming of untold glories and must have realised by then that it hadn’t been worth it, but then having something isn’t as exciting as wanting it, once caught the novelty wears of, hence Henrys obsession with Anne and her longing to be queen, such a shame Norris was caught up in it, he was offered his life if he admitted his guilt but swore the allegations of adultery were untrue, he seemed a very nice man with principles and he was Henrys friend to, within a few weeks six people were unjustly murdered all because of Henrys quest to get a son .

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