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Should Anne Boleyn be Pardoned and Reburied as Queen?

Posted By on May 26, 2011

St Peter ad Vincula Chapel, Tower of London

The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula

Before I start this article, I would just like to say that I am not criticising anyone’s beliefs or views and I realise that this is a very controversial topic which will undoubtedly lead to heated comments, but I just needed to state my own position on this subject and reaffirm what my mission is in running this website.

Claire and The Anne Boleyn Files

First of all, I want to explain how The Anne Boleyn Files website began. In early 2009, I had a very vivid dream about being a spectator at Anne Boleyn’s execution. I was a member of the crowd and all I can remember now is hearing Anne’s speech, being impressed with her courage and dignity, and being overcome with sheer horror and terror as I realised that this innocent woman was going to be executed. It was one of those times when you are so terrified that you cannot move or speak, you are just rooted to the spot and your mouth is like sandpaper, and all I wanted to do was to stop the execution and save Anne. As the French swordsman swung his blade I woke up in a cold sweat and shook Tim awake telling him that he had to design a website for me called The Anne Boleyn Files and that I had to get the real truth out there about Anne Boleyn. That dream led to the birth of The Anne Boleyn Files and I now spend every waking hour researching Anne Boleyn and Tudor history.

Now, I don’t believe in reincarnation or the idea that Anne was reaching to me from beyond the grave etc. I think it was just my brain’s way of giving me purpose at a time when I really needed it. I was a freelance writer at the time and I’ve always loved history, so creating The Anne Boleyn Files was the perfect project and it’s grown from a project to a full-time job or perhaps a “mission”. My mission statement, if you look at the top of this page is to give “The REAL TRUTH about Anne Boleyn “The Most Happy” ” and I try to do that by looking at the contemporary sources, researching the period, debunking myths and sharing my findings with you all. At the end of the day, it is hard to get at the truth when history is written by the victors and attempts were made to obliterate Anne, to pretend that she never existed, or to paint her as a witch and whore, but I try my hardest and I have dedicated my time and energy to revealing the truth as I find it.

Should Anne Boleyn be Pardoned and Reburied as Queen?

So, that’s me and my mission but what has that got to do with the question “Should Anne Boleyn be Pardoned and Reburied as Queen”? Well, plenty, because I didn’t wake up from that dream with the urgent need to get Anne Boleyn pardoned and reburied, I woke up knowing that my mission was to educate people, and even now, with all I know about Anne and the passion I have for her and her story, I do not feel the need to start a campaign to get her pardoned and to get her re-interred in a magnificent tomb at Westminster Abbey.

Again, I’d just like to re-iterate that I am not criticising anybody who believes that Anne should be pardoned and I have the greatest respect for Wing Commander George Melville-Jackson who, in 2005, called on Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, to pardon Anne Boleyn and who also wanted her remains laid to rest alongside her daughter, Elizabeth I. The Wing-Commander worked tirelessly on his campaign, writing to the Queen and historians, consulting a barrister etc. but it was all in vain and sadly he died without completing his mission. I wholeheartedly believe that Anne Boleyn was innocent and that her trial was a sham and she suffered a huge miscarriage of justice, and I have nothing against those who want to get her pardoned, it’s just not my mission and does not fit in with my own feelings on the subject.

So, what are my feelings and why haven’t I led a campaign to get Anne Boleyn pardoned and reburied?

  • Time and evidence – Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536, 475 years ago, and, as a barrister told the Wing Commander, it is impossible to go to court and get a judicial review when there is no new evidence. We can see that the indictments against Anne Boleyn and the five men just don’t make sense, but a court of her peers accepted these indictments and found her guilty. It is impossible for us now, 475 years later, to challenge that evidence with our own evidence and we don’t even have the full trial records to challenge. We can believe and know in our hearts that Anne Boleyn was innocent, we can question the evidence used against her, we just cannot definitively prove her innocence.
  • Where do you stop? – It’s not only Anne Boleyn who suffered a miscarriage of justice, what about George Boleyn, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brereton and Mark Smeaton? What about Margaret Pole? What about Francis Dereham? What about all the other innocent victims? I don’t feel I could campaign for Anne Boleyn without campaigning for all of them!
  • History – As I’ve said before, history is written by the victors and my mission is to correct bad history and to try and reveal the truth of Anne Boleyn’s life and death, not to rewrite history.
  • My feelings on Anne Boleyn’s resting place – People often say that Anne Boleyn’s remains should be dug up and re-interred in somewhere more befitting of a Queen of England and that she is not buried as Queen, however, Anne Boleyn is buried as Queen. In 1876 and 1877 when work was carried out in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, the chapel of the Tower of London, the Victorian workers unearthed the remains of a woman thought to have been Anne Boleyn, in that she was buried where records suggest that Anne was buried. After Dr Mouat had examined the remains of Anne and others found in the chancel, they were “soldered up in thick leaden coffers, and then fastened down with copper screws in boxes made of oak plank, one inch in thickness. Each box bore a leaden escutcheon, on which was engraved the name of the person whose supposed remains were thus enclosed, together with the dates of death, and of the year (1877) of the re-interment.”1 The boxes were then buried where they had been found and memorial tiles placed on the floor of the chancel to mark the graves. These memorial tiles are “octagon panels of white marble, in which are inserted the armorial bearings of those historic persons who were interred in the chancel; their names being inscribed on the border of yellow Siena marble which surrounds each panel.”2 Anne’s tile says “Queen Anne Boleyn” so she was buried as a Queen in 1877 and does not rest in some mass grave.If you have visited the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, you will know that it is a beautiful chapel, a place of God and a place that is used regularly for services. Anne’s tile is there for all to see and on the 19th May it receives a basket of roses and flowers from visitors. I, personally, would hate to see the beautiful tiled floor ruined and the peace and tranquility of the chapel disturbed in order to re-inter Anne in Westminster Abbey. The tile may act as a focal point for Anne Boleyn fans and Tudor history lovers, but Anne Boleyn is not there. Her remains lie under that floor but those who have the same faith that Anne Boleyn had believe that Anne is in Paradise, she is with her Father in Heaven. She has no need to be re-interred and I don’t believe for one minute that she is a restless spirit haunting the Tower and other places crying out to be moved to the Abbey.I actually feel that her resting place is a fitting memorial to her. That tile at the Tower of London speaks to people about Anne’s story. Tourists wonder why a Queen of England is buried in a little chapel at the Tower and I hope that it makes them ask questions. When I go to visit that tile, I feel such peace and am very moved, I’m not sure I’d feel that in the busy Westminster Abbey.
  • Time and Energy – Researching Anne Boleyn’s life takes up all of my time, I just do not have the time or energy to launch a campaign, to seek legal advice on the matter and to rally the troops. My aim is to educate and re-educate people about who Anne Boleyn really was and I see that as a hugely important mission.
  • It won’t change anything – Pardoning Anne Boleyn and moving her body will not, in my opinion, change anything. It won’t change history, it won’t help Anne and we will still be arguing with those who are convinced that she was a whore and traitor. I sincerely believe that a pardon will not change people’s attitudes, only re-educating people will change those.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about Anne Boleyn – just ask my husband Tim who calls himself an “Anne Boleyn widower” and my children who are completely indoctrinated! – but my passion lies in education and challenging the misconceptions that are out there. Also, please don’t read this as an attack on people who do believe that pardoning Anne is their mission and I am certainly not setting out to alienate people or to say that they are wrong, I just wanted to explain why I, a woman who freely admits to being obsessed by Anne Boleyn, am not campaigning.

Anne Boleyn was Queen of England and mother of Elizabeth I and no-one can take that away from her.

I hope that makes sense and I would love to hear what you feel about this issue.

For those of you interested in Anne Boleyn’s resting place, there are some photos of the Chapel in our album from last year’s Anne Boleyn Experience – see http://www.flickr.com/photos/theanneboleynfiles/4622969596/.

Notes and Sources

  1. Notices of the Historic Persons Buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London, with an account of the discovery of the supposed remains of Queen Anne Boleyn, by Doyne C Bell, 1877, p30
  2. Ibid., p18

158 thoughts on “Should Anne Boleyn be Pardoned and Reburied as Queen?”

  1. Stevie says:

    hmm this one’s a toughie. I agree with you that nothing will change if this is done, but on the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice to see her resting beside her daughter? One of , if not the best, queens of England? Maybe it would change peoples minds about her, maybe not. Will this change anything if she’s moved? Probably not. Would it be nice to move her to a burial place where she belongs? Yes.

    1. Claire says:

      I think if Anne was ever moved then the memorial to Elizabeth and Mary would have to be changed, I do think it is strange that the two women were buried one on top of the other like that and I’m not sure Mary would have liked the idea of being buried with Elizabeth and definitely not with Anne Boleyn!

      1. Stevie says:

        haha yeah she would be rolling in her grave for sure! 😛 I myself have never been to London, let alone Europe, but I do plan on going someday. London is my top place that I want to visit 🙂 Just looking at pictures of London makes me want to go there sooooo bad haha

        1. Claire says:

          London is a great city, so much to see and do particularly for history lovers and culture vultures.

    2. seasparkle says:

      I agree. Queen Anne Boleyn Should be resting beside her most beloved Daughter. We all know she was not guilty and King Henry viii took away the most wonderful thing Queen Anne from watching her beloved Daughter grow up and that can never be returned to her. So at least she can be resting with her that is owed to them both.

  2. Anna says:

    If it’s impossible to legally pardon Queen Anne, her remains should be at least buried in Westminster Abbey next to her daughter. She deserves respect and justice even after 500 years. She didn’t want to be King’s mistresss, she wanted to be recognized as a queen and she should rest among other queens and kings.

    But I also understand your reasons and am not going to fight 🙂 Keep educating people about our beloved Queen, you’re doing a great job 🙂

    1. Claire says:

      Thanks, Anna, it is only my personal point of view and many people feel differently. It’s just not my mission.

      1. Nancy Barr-curtin says:

        I have always been drawn to Anne boelyn too,why I never could figure out.in her times women were no more than chattel ,ordered and told what to do bye men.she might have had a better life if not for the plotting of her father and her uncle.she might of lived out her life with Thomas wyatt who loved her ..nonetheless her daughter ELizabeth carried on her legacy and ruled for 40 yrs.Henry on the other hand died a miserable lonely man ,which I think he rightly deserved.

    2. BanditQueen says:

      Anne Boleyn should either be buried, not at public expense at Westminster, not next to her daughter as this is not possible, the place is taken up already, but fairly close to the same Tudor corner of the Abbey. I am certain they could find a spot somewhere, although to be honest there is no room for anyone else in Westminster which is why modern monarchs are no longer buried here. If not here, just to annoy Henry who is there with Jane, bury her in the quire in the space before his vault. I do not believe she should have a great burial service, just a small Christian one and some prayers, as she was not Queen when she died and some people believe she never was legally Queen, but she should still have a dignified internment. A nice plaque should mark her resting place. If not then leave her in peace where she is. Saint Peter at the Tower is a living church and she lies in holy ground. She was re-buried with dignity and I believe a simple service. A nice plaque marks the grave of herself, Katherine Howard, John Dudley, Henry Grey, Lady Margaret Pole, and Jane, Lady Rochford. She is recalled every year in a special service and a basket of flowers is laid by an anon donor. Cheers

      1. Paula says:

        My apologies, hope you don’t mind my correction but Henry and Jane are buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor, not Westminster.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          Of course, should have made that plain, thanks.

    3. Carol Hornby Clements says:

      I feel that way too. i plan to visit St Peters ad Vincula this year. I have been to the Tower many times and never in the church. I may change my mind after that but it would be a tribute to her to be buried with Elizabeth. Interesting topic.

    4. Rosemary Balfour says:

      Anne Boleyn was the mother of a Queen….arguably one of our greatest monarchs…and she was married to a King. I would like to see her re-buried near Elizabeth. Though acknowledging that this would not change our feelings for Anne, nevertheless, I think it would be an act of mercy and open recognition of the fact that Anne was treated with appalling cruelty and disrespect by the man she married.

  3. Lauren says:

    Claire, I am in complete agreement. I do not think anything could change what people feel-we all know she innocent…and Is not the only innocent who deserves such a treatment. In the end, I don’t feel it’s necessary, we should concentrate and celebrate her life, not focus on the injustice of her death.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Lauren,
      I started making a list of people who were innocent and executed and it got rather long so it just doesn’t seem right to just fight for Anne Boleyn. I also began to think that if we’re going to campaign about injustice perhaps it is better to campaign for those who face injustice today, things that CAN be changed. Not sure!

      On the 19th May at Hever, we raised a toast to Anne because I felt it was better to celebrate her life and achievements than to feel miserable about her end, so I agree with you.

  4. Avril says:

    Absolutely agree with everything you say. I sat in St Peter’s for thirty very quiet peaceful minutes, just thinking about Anne and praying for her. She was politically very astute and knew she and those indicted with her were innocent pawns in Henry’s game. Yet, this most reviled of women went along with it because she had belief in the future of her daughter and didn’t want to jeopardise that. I also agree that Westminster Abbey is NOT a place of quiet contemplation. Leave her where she is. I believe she is at peace because she accepted what was happening and she had a deep faith that she would go to heaven.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, St Peter’s is so peaceful and, like you, Avril, I believe Anne is at rest and at peace. I’d hate that place to be spoiled.

  5. Christine says:

    I am curious to look at your fotos, as I’ve only been once to Tower Green but not in the Chapel itself! I wouldn’t change anything either. But I would assume she is already pardoned? I don’t know, but in case there was an Act of Parliament under Henry VIII confirming her or the five men’s attainder it should have been undone at the latest in 1977 by the UK Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1977.

    As far as I understand, this act in a sense rehabilitated all these people. For example, the act confirming the Duke of Northumberland’s “and others'” attainder (September 1553) was repealed by section 1(1) of, and Part 4 of Schedule 1 to, the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1977 (c.18).

    1. Claire says:

      Interesting! I’ll have to look into that, Christine. Thank you!

    2. Claire says:

      Just wondering though if it only covered those convicted by Act of Attainder, whereas Anne Boleyn was judged by a jury of her peers, along with her brother, and the other men by the commission of oyer and terminer.

      1. Christine says:

        Thanks, Claire. Lawyers sorely needed!! …The point is probably whether Anne was in any way condemned via an act of parliament; I’d think her brother would probably have been because he would have lost his possessions that way? Most people who were tried by their peers were also attainted afterwards (to get hold of their goods). Sometimes they were just attainted without a trial, like Lord Thomas Seymour (or Richard III, posthumously), or they were attainted but not imprisoned or executed, like Mary Sidney nee Dudley (the mother of Sir Philip Sidney, she was included in the attainder of her father and lost her legal rights like the ability to inherit and so on).
        Those tried by oyer and terminer were perhaps not so wealthy, so are they still out in the cold? I sometimes don’t know whether this British continuity is funny or not at all funny, you won’t find that many other countries debating about “pardoning” people who have been dead for centuries! We all do love the folklore, the Tower and so on (don’t we), but the sharpness of the debates are very intimidating sometimes (and I really don’t mean your site, Claire, I’ve seen this elsewhere, in extremely “serious” surroundings).
        Good to know that “sub specie aeternitatis” all this doesn’t matter (and never, never did matter)!

    3. BanditQueen says:

      You cannot rehabilitate the Duke of Northumberland or Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, they got exactly what they deserved. Both of them rebelled against lawful authority, twice, both of them tried to kill Queen Mary Tudor, and both replaced lawful Queen Mary with Lady Jane Grey. Both took up arms against Queen Mary and both were guilty of High Treason. It is not reasonable to rehabilitate everyone that has been tried and found guilty of treason in England or anywhere else, just because you do not like it. While some people were obviously stitched up or not guilty of anything more than religious beliefs, others did lead rebellions and deserved to die. Sorry, that is the way it is. Yes, also innocent people died and some cases could be rehabilitated, but that should not be the case for everyone, just because you do not know your history.

  6. Lilac says:

    I completely appreciate your comments regarding the fact that pardoning Anne Boleyn would not change anything.
    However, I actually do not believe that pardoning her is a valid point anyway. A pardon would infer she was guilty of the accusations against her, but forgiven. I believe she should be exonerated – in other words for it to be admitted she was innocent! I also believe the same should occur for the five men accused and executed with her.
    I am absolutely passionate about this and do not believe new evidence is necessary, as it seems the opinion of most historians – even those who are blatantly not the biggest fans of Anne, that no evidence to support the charges existed in the first place!
    This said, my fascination with Anne would not be increased by an exoneration – I could not be more obsessed with her and Tudor history than I already am!
    I just wanted to make the point. I find it a gross misjustice that this blatantly innocent woman cannot be exonerated! I believe one of the reasons it will never happen is that to do so would be for the powers that be today to admit to a King as being no less than a murderer!
    I could go on but I think enough said!

    1. Claire says:

      Here is what Wing Commander George Melville-Jackson said about why he was seeking a pardon:-
      “Ideally, I would like her to be posthumously declared not guilty of the crimes she was convicted of because a pardon only means that you are being excused the crimes you have committed…But I got a barrister’s opinion and it seems that we would not be able to go to court to get a judicial review because, after nearly 500 years, there was not much of a chance of being able to come up with new evidence. So a pardon is the next best thing.”

      So it appears that it would be impossible for Anne to be exonerated.

      Although most historians believe that Anne Boleyn was innocent, there is G W Bernard who is an esteemed historian and academic who argues that she may have been guilty so it is a minefield. I will always fight for Anne Boleyn and her story and to educate people about the truth, it’s something I’m passionate about.

  7. miladyblue says:

    What is interesting, is that Mary, when she became Queen, had the annullment of her parents’ marriage declared null and void, and did everything she could to reinstate her mother, who by this time was many years dead, as Queen, and thus, nullify Mary’s own “bastardy.”

    Compare and contrast this with Elizabeth, who did not nullify her parents’ annullment or her own “bastardy.” In fact, unlike Mary, Elizabeth rarely (never?) mentioned her mother.

    While it would be nice for Anne to be pardoned, and buried properly as a Queen of England, there are some problems with it:

    1. Proving her innocence beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt (or, however that would be stated in the UK). To our modern eyes, yes, the evidence IS fishy, and as you point out Claire, it was accepted by the peers standing as jury over Anne and her “accomplices.”

    2. Risk of damage to the chapel she currently rests in – Again, another telling point, since a disinterrment, even a careful, respectful one, still runs the risk of damaging a historic building. Then, too, would be the potential for damage to Westminster where Elizabeth rests.

    Would it, in the end, really make a difference, though? Anne is dead, and well “past my pain,” as she herself stated it. It would be a nice gesture, but I think it would be an empty gesture, since the lady herself is dead, and everything happened so long ago.

    It is similar to something a few years back here in the US. One of the most famous expeditions here was the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which explored the territory of the so-called Louisiana Purchase, which the US government bought from France. On the bicentennial of that event, Lieutenant William Lewis, one of the explorers, was given the rank, posthumously, of Captain.

    A nice gesture, but did it include back pay? And considering at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition he was a Lieutenant, this means in all of the history books, there would be NO change in referring to him as Lieutenant Lewis.

  8. Lynski46157 says:

    Claire, history is being re-written everyday and new information and eivdence is discovered. What a wonderful quest you are on. Keep up the good work, for a most wonderful cause!

  9. Neil Kemp says:

    Yes Claire, the petition for a pardon was first reported in the “Telegraph” in 2005, but it seems nothing came of it, despite widespread support. Also the Home Office say a pardon could not be granted as evidence relating to the case has since been destroyed. What evidence was there in the first place one could ask!
    I agree with your thoughts Claire, but it seems unlikely that anything can be actually achieved. All we can do is show the weight of our feelings and make our views known in the hope that, one day, this may change.

  10. Daniela says:

    Pardoned by whom? I mean all the people that were responsible for her fall are long dead and people nowadays individually make up their minds if they believe in her conviction or her innocense. For me it’s the latter. Uness it is found out for sure, we can only speculate if she really had committed the crimes she was acused off or not. I’d say it is acknowledged today what that poor woman went through, but a pardon surely wouldn’t be able to make her ordeal undone…unfortunately, for she is long dead and gone! (Wasn’t that a line of that poem by Wyatt btw?)

    About the re-burial: She would surely have deserved a better grave than being put in an elm chest and hastily buried under some stone in the Tower Chapel, but I am torn between that and that I would be not so nice, digging her remains out again and disturb the rest. And what would be about her brother and the others who -apart from poor Mark- were of some rank aswell. They all had to suffer because of this conspiracy. They are dead aswell, they would need to get their honour back too and even Mark. He might not have been of any rank, but surely a very talented man…and no matter if rank or not, a human being is a human being and deserves dignity and respect too.

    Seeing that they all had such a hard time towards the end of their lives at least they are buried close together -at least Anne and George-and respect

  11. Rebecca says:

    There is a similar situation here in Adelaide, South Australia. A woman named Elizabeth Woolcock was executed in 1873 (the only woman in South Australia to be executed) for poisoning her husband. She wrote a confession, but it was more because she knew she wouldn’t win her case. She was hanged and buried in the cemetary inside the jail. Then in 2009 a guy called Allan Peters applied for a Posthumous Pardon. He argued that there was no evidence she had poisoned her husband, and that his symptoms were consistant with TB and Dysentery (which were both found during the autopsy). He’s been researching the case for years and reading police reports etc. There is currently a petition going around to have her pardoned. I don’t know what they’ll do if she is pardoned but I guess it’s more to do with once and for all clearing her name. So anyway, not really related, but interesting either way!

  12. Daniela says:

    whoops the last paragraph wasn;t meant to be there…the stupid keyboard is f***** up….

  13. Lucy says:

    What do you think about the debate as to whether the body under Anne’s plaque is that of Anne, or of Lady Rochester or Katherine Howard?

    I believe Dr Frederick Mouat said that the skull, which was believed to belong to Anne, had a square chin. Some later historians have suggested that that this fits better to the description of Katherine Howard”s features (who was also decapitated and buried there) rather than Anne Boleyn.

    I totally understand that a) there are other ways to honour Anne’s memory than scrabbling around disturbing bones, and b) it is highly unlikely that the Tower of London would agree to the disruption that such an excavation would cause to this popular venue. However, I do think that it would be fascinating to use the techniques that we now have to reconstruct the features of the threee decapitated females, and to compare these with contemporary portraits.

    The age of the skeletons could also be assessed, a process which is more accurate now than in the Victorian times. If the bodies could be identyfied by reconstructing the facial features from the skulls, we could come closer to knowing how old Anne was likely to have been at the time of her death. (And therefore how old she was at the key points of her life…)

    Quite apart from that, I think the daily thoughts and discussions back and forth are the best memorial that Anne could have wanted :>)

  14. Sharon Nicole says:

    Yes,she should be buried as Queen because she was Queen.She was Queen no matter what her monster of a husband said.Being reburied as Queen next to her daughter is only right.

  15. Fleur says:

    I do not think that Anne should be reburied, the grave is sort of a reminder of her fate but I do hope that they will pardon her and by that put an end to the viscious prejudices about Anne…

  16. T. J. Banks says:

    My understanding has always been that Elizabeth chose not to bring up her mother’s case because to do so would also have meant bringing up the question of her own legitimacy at a time when Mary Stuart was publicly calling herself queen of England. I think it’s pretty clear that Elizabeth tried to quietly honor her mother’s memory in other ways — wearing the portrait ring her entire life, favoring her mother’s family, etc.
    I agree with Avril and Claire about the peacefulness of the chapel. I also think that the tile with the words “Queen Anne Boleyn” on it is a simple, moving tribute, giving back what was taken away without a lot of legal commotion.
    Claire, please e-mail me about the possibility of doing an interview for my “Sketch People” blog. In it, I interview people about their work, and what you’re doing here is very important historical work. Thanks.

  17. As was pointed out the skeleton identified as Anne may be one of the other women buried there. Alison Weir gives a good acct of the 1877 disinterment and think it’s possibly Rochford. To be definitive you’d have to dig up Thomas Boleyn for DNA testing.

    1. Claire says:

      It’s hard to say one way or another. I have the reports from 1876 and 1877 and in them it explains how a plan of the chancel, showing the positions in which it was believed that Anne Boleyn, Catherine etc. were buried. This plan was “prepared after consulting various historical authorities”. When the pavement was lifted on the spot marked as Anne Boleyn’s resting place, they did indeed find the bones of a female which were not mixed with any other bones and which had “been heaped together into a smaller place”, perhaps an arrow chest? Dr Mouat examined the bones and pronounced them to be those of a woman aged 25-30 with a delicate frame, slender and perfect proportions, small forehead and jaw, small vertebrae etc. See https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyn%E2%80%99s-body-found/6444/ and https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyns-remains-the-exhumation-of-anne-boleyn/6426/ for more details. “No other female bones were found on this spot” and Bell wrote:-
      “Not much doubt existed in the minds of those present that these were the remains of Anne Boleyn, who is recorded to have been buried in front of the altar by the side of her brother George Rochford.”
      I think Weir makes valid points but the Victorians found that body where they expected to find Anne so I’m just not sure. Whatever the truth, the bodies found were treated with the utmost respect and buried underneath the tiled floor with memorial tiles.

  18. Hayley James says:

    I realise that it might be a massive undertaking to go down the route of a full legal Pardon, but to my mind, the saddest thing of all is that not only was Anne obviously murdered but that she was then even denied the basic right to a Christian burial. This is particularly terrible because Religious belief and practice were considered central to just about everything in Tudor Times! Surely Anne’s soul cannot be at rest while this situation persists? So I reckon the way to go is to press for a ‘public’ ( ie invited dignitaries and representatives) funeral service. The service should also be as authentic to the original Tudor State funeral she was entitled to, as possible. I think that it would also be appropriate to then erect a monument – ideally an effigy of Anne in the Tudor style -, in the grounds of the Tower of London, close to the chapel itself, where visitors are able to leave their tributes and pay their respects in the same way they can at any normal grave. I think Anne would appreciate that I think.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Hayley,
      Although Anne was denied a funeral, I think her ladies would have prayed while they prepared her body and she was buried in hallowed ground, actually in the Chapel, a house of God. As a practising Protestant Christian, I don’t believe that it matters what happens to our earthly bodies and I don’t believe that Anne’s spirit would not be at rest, her soul would have left her body at death and gone on to be with her saviour in Heaven. She commended her soul into God’s hands and that’s where she is now. Obviously everyone believes different things but Anne believed in justification by faith and she had a strong faith, God would not have let her down.

  19. Hayley James says:

    P.S. Sorry I should have made it plainer -but a funeral service would not require Anne remains to be removed or disturbed. It’s the ritual itself and public acknowledgement which are important.

  20. Lisa Johnson says:

    I have so loved reading everyone’s comments-there is such a passion in each and every one!! Claire, you have created a monster!! M-E!!!! lol Since the Tudors debuted a few years ago, I started watching, casually interested. JRM helped pique that interest as well!!!! 🙂 Anyway, I found your website and YOU have enlightened me and made me digging into everything Anne Boleyn, leading to everything Elizabeth I. My husband says we’re going to have to add a wing for my ever-growing library of AB and E1! Anyway, thank you for your effort and hard work, your labor of love I’m sure. I was in a serious car accident in December and am off work for quite some time and I am living vicariously through you and your website! You have saved my life!!!!hahaha I am saving my pennies so I can do a tour or two with you! Cannot wait!

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Lisa,
      You made me go all weepy! I’m so glad that you like the website, that means so much to me. Yes, it is a labour of love, my baby! I love running it and I’m so glad that it has become a community rather than just a website. I love interacting with people and sharing thoughts and opinions. I know what you mean about books, I have books piled everywhere!

  21. Esther Sorkin says:

    I think Anne should be left in peace (although Weir’s book gives some justification for DNA testing, and, if necessary, re-arranging the memorial stones). I want the injustices of the Tudor era to be left open and obvious … as a better reminder. Furthermore, if Anne is pardoned, then the five men also should be … and I don’t know how many other victims of the Tudor trials were innocent. Also, I think that Henry’s first wife was also a great consort, and, I don’t think that Anne should be honored more than Catherine of Aragon, simply because Anne’s daughter was a better ruler than Catherine’s daughter.

    1. BanditQueen says:

      How is that the fault of Queen Catherine of Aragon and who says Elizabeth was a better ruler than Mary? In fact that is actually a load of rubbish caused by Protestant British propaganda. Historians have shown that as an administration that as a ruler Mary was fair and efficient. She did not rule long enough and if she had have done we would be looking at her reign a lot differently. Yes she burnt nearly 300 Protestants: so what? Elizabeth martyred more than 300 Catholics. Elizabeth is regarded as a better ruler because she ruled for 45 years and was able to maintain a balance of power in Europe for a long time before sending us headlong into war with Spain. Her ships did discover new lands: so did Mary’s: Walter Raleigh set out on his first voyage in 1552! The ships that Elizabeth later built she did so reluctantly and they were based on Spanish proto types built under Mary. The last 10 years of Elizabeth’s reign were marked by rebellion, war with Spain, France and Ireland, a crisis in Ireland that we have never recovered from, and three years of famine, plague and poverty. The country was broke when James came to the throne just as it was when Henry VIII died. There are a lot of good points under Elizabeth but look at whole of the evidence, not just what the rosey tinted glasses of propaganda tell you.

      Catherine of Aragon was almost a saint who stood up for herself and her marriage and the future of her child. She was a mother fighting for her life. She was loved in the whole of the country and she led the country in time of war. She was pushed aside for Anne Boleyn and her husband’s desire for her as well as his imagined need for a son. Henry was consumed with Anne and his desire for a son. Catherine stood by him, even when he had thrown her out of her home and put her in the damp and unhealthy palaces of Kingbolton and others. She was bullied and threatened and pushed from one place to the other. She died of cancer and was probably driven to her death prematurely. Catherine was separated from her child and did not see her or her husband again. She loved Henry to the end. She is more to be admired than Anne.

      Even if Anne was innocent, who is going to pardon her? And where do you draw the line?

  22. VMatinnia says:

    Well said, Claire.
    I’ve been thinking these thoughts since the age of 8 or 9 when I first came across her life story. I’ve just never had the ability to voice them as eloquently as you do. Now in my 50th year, I am finally getting to go and see and experience what has always felt like a magnet to me.
    You are correct in assessing your dream to be one of awakening to your soul’s purpose. Always seeking, your inner self connected with the universe and, guided by the intelligent energy of Queen Anne’s spirit, sought out that with which you are now flourishing by.
    It is clear from your writing and website that you are where you should be and doing what is most enlivening for you. It’s lovely to read your thoughts on this, and somewhat validating to see some of my own views and opinions in your writing.
    Thanks, Claire. You rock The Anne Boleyn files! 🙂
    See you in July-
    Velvet

  23. mariella says:

    Claire, you are right, you transmit your passion for Anne Boleyn. If nothing exists after death, Anne Boleyn will have no consolation from our love, but thiss ame love will better our lives. Thank you for what you write.
    I wish I could keep the files that I receive via e-mail, in a computer file or on a CD. I’m not a compuer expert: Is it possible? And is it legal?
    Thank you again.
    Mariella

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Mariella,
      The articles you get sent are all on the website in the archives so they will always be there and you could always print them out. The emails are not the full articles so it would be best to read them on the site anyway. You could always click on the “read more” link in the email and save that link in a text file so that you know where to find that article. Anyway, I’m so glad that my passion shines through in my writing and thank you for your support.

  24. Sarah says:

    Yes, I think Anne Boleyn should receive a full, legal pardon and be reburied as Queen. Why not bury Anne in Westminster Abbey and bury Mary I in Peterborough Cathedral?

    Elizabeth I and Mary I hated each other. Why on earth are they buried together? I didn’t know one was buried above the other. Who is on top?

    I suggest that Catherine Howard likewise receive a full, legal pardon.

    1. Tidus says:

      Actually I think Anne and the men executed with
      her should all be exonerated. I am mixed on digging
      them up again though. At the least they should all
      have seperate memorials. I also think Queen Anne
      Boleyn should have an effigy.

  25. Kimberly says:

    What I think would be the loveliest of honors for these women is if a Royal Mausoleum were built and decorated with the most beautiful and royal treasures and art that can be found and commissioned today. Then inter all 6 wives of Henry VIII there. All 6 Queens. They were all his victims, as well as the victims of their own families. The greed and ambition of the men who put them forward for their own benefit. They were put in a position to displace and envy each other. They destroyed one another and themselves for the sake of “duty”. They were all burned in the out of control fire that was Henry’s temperamental insanity, a fire stoked by the ambitions of his courtiers. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have one gorgeous place to honor them all and their ultimate sacrifices, from their children to their very lives?

  26. Sherri says:

    Claire

    I love this site and have learned so much from you and your research – thank you.
    I have been interested in Anne Boleyn since I was young but had only scratched the tip of the iceberg until your site came along.

    I was one of the many who would have liked to see Anne pardoned and reburied. I would also have liked to see from a computer model etc what Anne really looked like. I wouldn’t be willing to have her remains disturbed for that.

    After reading information on your site and researching much about Anne myself I have changed my thoughts on this.

    Anne was innocent of the charges – for what reasons was she charged, convicted and executed we will probably never know in our life times. I believe that in pardoning Anne we would be doing her a big disservice. She never admitted her guilt and went to her death proclaiming her innonence. So, in that alone a pardon is not necessary. An exoneration would be what I personally would like to happen but being that we don’t have enough evidence to re try her then I say let Anne rest in peace.

    I also don’t think that moving her to Westminister Abbey would be what Anne would have wanted. Anne’s resting place would be among the others who betrayed her and ultimately sent her to her death.

    There is the fact that she would be with Elizabeth. I’m sure that Anne knew from wherever she is that Elizabeth became a great monarch and she died for something in the end. Her daughter’s rights to become a ruler, her religion and her country.

    Anne should be with her brother, George. Let her rest in peace next and with her beloved brother.

    Maybe some day Anne will be declared and proclaimed innonent for all to know. Maybe some day a true picture of Anne will be found. In the meantime we can pay homage to Anne at the quiet and peaceful church where she was laid in her final resting place.

    Sherri

    1. Claire says:

      Sherri,
      Thank you, you summed up my own feelings so eloquently! She is at peace, as is her brother and those 4 men, and nothing really is gained from moving her in my own opinion. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I’m so glad that the site has been useful to you.

    2. Carolyn says:

      I so agree, Sherri! Leave her with her brother in the peace and hallowed ground of the Chapel. I’ve been there and it is very peaceful. There is no need to disturb Anne and move her to honor her. And why separate her from the brother who died for her? She looked forward to spending eternity with him; so leave them be. As Anne said,

      “…God hath taught me how to die, and He will strengthen my faith. As for my brother, and those others who are unjustly condemned, I would willingly suffer many deaths to deliver them, but since I see it pleases the King, I shall willingly accompany them in death, with this assurance: that I shall lead an endless life with them in peace.”

      I believe she is and should be allowed to remain with them in earth as in heaven.

      1. Tidus says:

        Carolyn,

        Beautiful post.

  27. Chelsea says:

    I definately agree with Lisa. This website is amazing Claire and it is so very obvious the ammount of dedication passion and love that you have for our dear Queen. 3 years ago my best friend handed me a book and said “you have to read this!” It was Phillipa Gregory’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” and although it is rather taboo to say on this site 🙂 I loved it (and I loved it as historical fiction not fact). So I began to investigate. I was instantly in love with this firey, voltile, in your face woman who was raised in a time when women had no voice. It peaked my interest enough and I began to watch the Tudors and now I eat, sleep, and breath Anne Boleyn. Even now I am at work completely distracted by this website and everyone knows when ive been at a computer because The Anne Boleyn Files is ALWAYS pulled up on it. After reading your articles, Claire, and curently reading “The Lady in the Tower” by Alison Weir, my passion has doubled ten fold. Before I was moved by Anne, but was never really moved to tears becuase there is injustice everywhere and ive tried to harden myself against it. I am bi racial and grew up in a very conservitive rural town in western maryland here in the states. Most of my highschool life I had to deal with students ramming me into lockers and calling me the “N” word. Now, after learning the extent of the cruelty that occurred, even reading or watching or thinking about Anne I can barely keep the tears from running. Last night I rewatched the scene where Anne found Jane Seymore on Henry’s lap and was overcome with such devastation and anger towards what she and those 5 men went through I had to turn it off and take a walk. Sometimes I feel like she is somewhere deep inside all of us letting us feel what she felt, know what she knew. I am glad that you have ‘meddled in her cause” Claire, and am thankful that everyone here at The Anne Boleyn Files has “judged the best”.

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Chelsea,
      Don’t worry, nothing is taboo on this site and many, many people become interested in Anne from reading The Other Boleyn Girl. Your comment moved me to tears, Chelsea. I am so passionate about Anne and I always try to do the best by her memory as I am conscious that I am ‘meddling in her cause’. How awful that you experienced such bullying, you must be such a strong person now having got through that time, why oh why do people act like that?! I’m so glad you found this site, Chelsea, and hopefully leaving it on your work computer will indoctrinate your colleagues!!

  28. Anne Barnhill says:

    Claire, this was one of your best pieces yet! Your passion is contagious and palpable and I echo what the rest have said–this is just the best site ever! That said, I agree with what you said about Anne and her peaceful resting place. It would be impossible to go back and make restitution for all those Henry disposed of, those who were innocent of any crime except standing in Henry’s way. Sir Thomas More and the Carthusian monks come to mind. I say let Anne rest in peace and we all continue to get at the truth of who she was. ANd, she is with her daughter even now in paradise. There is no need to put their bones side by side when there spirits are together–

    1. Claire says:

      Tim thinks I’m funny when I get on my soapbox and get all passionate about Anne! Thank you for your very kind words about me and the site, I appreciate them and I also appreciate all your support, you are an inspiration too. I agree, there is no need for her to be laid to rest with Elizabeth, they are together already.

  29. Chrissy jones says:

    I agree with you. I believe that it matters not where or how she was buried. She was Queen and the mother of Elizabeth I and that is it, no one can change that.

  30. Richard says:

    Well, I say : Let her body in peace (even when I secretly realy want to know if it is really Anne , just Like I would love to know what was wrong with Henry if they digg him up). but what I like the most is to see a lifesize statue in the tower for her with a plaque that says “in loving memory of Queen Anne Boleyn ”
    Sorry for my English but I think you all know what i mean I think.

    1. Lucy says:

      Brilliant idea!

    2. Tidus says:

      Great post Richard. I love your idea.

  31. Lorri says:

    Here’s an opinion from the United States. Under our system of justice the burden falls upon the accuser to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; not for the accused to prove innocence. There never was sufficient conclusive evidence to prove her guilt so she should in fact be exhonerated. However, I think that moving her ould be further insult to her and she should be left at peace yet memorialized such as she is here.

  32. Janet Silvester says:

    Hello Claire, I just love this site and look forward to receiving your emails! I too am passionate about QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN. Anne was much maligned but I’m sure that Henry has realised that he made a mistake as they both will be in heaven together. I don’t want to see her moved either. I used to believe she was in Salle Church but I am now coming round to your way of thinking. When so much is put out there by different authors it is sometimes difficult to know who to believe about things written about our favourite Queen isn’t it? My bookcase is also bulging from all my history books that I now don’t have any room so I get new books from my local library! Best wishes to all who love her as I do, RIP Queen Anne Boleyn xxxx

  33. lana norris says:

    Well said! You do more for Anne’s memory on this website than could be accomplished by a formal pardon and reburial.
    Thanks for all you do for all of us who love history and are fascinated by her unique place in it.
    Lana

  34. Sheena says:

    Claire- this just might be your most heartfelt article yet. =)

    After visiting St. Peters, I too feel that Anne should be left to rest where she is. Despite all the horrible things that have happened in the history of the Tower, St. Peters is one of the most overwhelmingly serene places I have ever been to!

    In Victorian times, she was given a proper coffin and laid to rest under the name “Queen Anne Boleyn.” She is there next to her brother in the house of god, with a front row seat to each Sunday’s service. I think that she would have perferred it that way.

  35. Lady Claire,

    I am quite moved by your passion for clearing the air concerning our Queen Anne Boleyn. Whether a pardon, exhoneration, or re-burial is possible matters little when compared with the fact that Queen Anne died as a believer in Jesus Christ, (who was also unjustly executed). However Jesus’s death was actually His Father’s plan for salvation for all those who believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus as our substitute(and Anne’s
    substitute), kept God’s law in our place, suffered our deserved punishment for sin, and rose from the dead for our justification. Hence, Anne’s soul is at rest awaiting the resurrection of all believers. When that great day comes, Anne will receive her crown of glory in Heaven along with all the redeemed in Christ. Queen Anne’s own lips declared her saving faith in her Lord and Saviour. Let us rejoice in this saving faith that will one day unite us all, including our beloved Queen Anne, in the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
    Respectfully submitted,
    …..Robert Denman

  36. alwaysprayingforAnne says:

    I was reading this at work today and i didn’t get to read all of it at first. Claire your right. I believe that no matter how much you fight, its never going to make the difference. your always going to have the people who wish to bad mouth and talk trash and then there will be those who want only the truth of what had gone on with her. Anne was executed a Queen if not than Queen Elizabeth I would have never been able to succeed the throne after Mary. A bastard child would never been allowed to rule as a Regent of England. I have to agree 110% it would take much more research and evidence that hasn’t been used and looking at court documents to find out what was said and what wasn’t…and then cross reference like mad to make sure that your understanding everything. I hope that Anne knows that we would if we could and we do hold her best interests at heart.

    1. Dawn says:

      Hi, on you comment on no illegitamate person would be allowed to rule England, There was actually one William the conqueror (William 1st) 1066 and all that, I know he was a french invader, but he ruled all the same, there has also be a question mark against a few of the others in the past but that could be just sour grapes!!! Hope you don’t mind me saying.

  37. Tudorrose says:

    This is an interesting theory which makes a good and valid point but what would really be the point really and like a previous poster said it would not change anything even if it was done. The only thing that would be good and that I would agree on is facial re-construction as well as D.N.A testing of the skull’s and the bones be done for our research as well as interest but if she should be buried anywhere I think that if not left where she is, she should really be buried at Hever where she was born and brought up, I know some sources say that Blicking was her birth place and some say Hever but it was Hever where she spent most of her time despite spending time in Austria, France and last but not least Hampton Court and the reason I say Hever is that is where the rest of her family is buried, the Boleyn side of her family that is and not the Howard. So it would only be the right place in my eyes.

  38. Emma says:

    I think Anne should stay buried in the Chapel. Firstly, as has been said it is a very beautiful and spirtual place. Secondly her place of execution would still remain somewhere where those who admire her would visit and I think most people would prefer a short walk to her burial place rather than getting a bus/tube/boat to Westminster Abbey. (When I entered the Chapel I suddenly realised that my route was the same Anne’s body may have taken to it’s burial place). Thirdly, and this is a bit sentimental, but I rather like the fact that the Tower is the final resing place of both reformists and conservatives. During Anne’s lifetime reformists and conservatives were often quite happy to tortue and kill those of the ‘wrong’ faith. Now we have a place where people pay their respects to both.

  39. Conor Byrne says:

    Personally, I think Anne Boleyn was an amazing queen, and to an extent both her and Katherine Howard were the victims of court politics and Henry VIII, but I think the saying is true that you should let the dead lie. They died almost 500 years ago, I think it is best to just leave Anne in peace. We know she was innocent, and surely that is enough. And well done Clare – much appreciated again!

    1. LInda says:

      I wholeheartely agree with Conor
      Linda

  40. LInda says:

    Claire

    I thank you for creating this website. I DO believe we have lived before. Perhaps you were there on that day. Go with your gut! It appears there a several of us who, in this time, are drawn to the 16th century and those times. I am one of them. It’s not thoughts I have, but feelings about those times. I decorated my finished basement in 16th century furnishings and tapestries etc. and it makes me happy and comforted somehow. I listen to Thomas Tallis, lute music…you name it. YOu are providing us with a place to share this “thing” we all have for Anne and those times. It is a challenge to find words for the resonance I feel with 16th century England. It must be a challenge for you to express what happened when you had your dream. Anyway, I am glad that you had that vision (dream). For those of us out here that share the passion/obsession with you. I believe I was there in some form/capacity (maid) (poor beggar) (nun…) I was there. It’s all TOOO familiar to me. I wanted to thank you for putting the pictures on the web and for having this site. I am gratefule.

    Linda

  41. Melanie says:

    I deeply love the Abbey, but I think Anne’s story, including the injustice of her death, is better told by her resting place in St. Peter ad Vincula.

    (I don’t believe the inscription on Elizabeth’s tomb mentions Anne. Now that would a nice addition.)

  42. Wendy says:

    For me, Anne’s journey as Queen is inextricably linked with the Tower of London. From her Coronation to her execution, a journey which began and ended in the Tower. St. Peters is beautiful, and a far more intimate place to visit than Westminster Abbey. The poignancy of the memorial tile and the annual basket of flowers says that those who have meddled in her cause have judged her kindly, and that is all she asked. After 475 years I don’t think it would be right to move her from George’s side. She is in good company.

    1. Tidus says:

      Wendy. I love this post.!

  43. Ceri C says:

    I agree with your Claire. What matters most is disseminating the truth about Anne’s life and death. I don’t think her rest should be disturbed and I don’t think she needs a legal pardon, when those of us who care about her story know that she was innocent.
    Pardoning her or moving her to Westminster Abbey would almost seem like wallpapering over the circumstances of her death, as if they never occurred. Let her stay where she is where her tragedy is best remembered.

  44. Dawn says:

    I agree with Lilac that you can not pardon someone who was not guilty and even if she was exonorated, I am afraid it wouldn’t change the minds of the ‘anti Boleyn’ faction. As for being re-buried in a more desirable place, in my mind I agree with tudor-rose on that one, I think Hever would be the place of my choice too.But I honestly think that her remains have been disturbed enough times now, and after all she has thousands of people paying their respects to her every year, hearing her story, and inspiring new interest in her cause,especially with the Tower being one of the major tourist attractions in the country. She doesn’t need any Grand tomb to remind us of who she was and how she was sacrificed on the whim of a sociopathic king and his ‘yes’ men. I also think that with leaving the Tower as her resting place it gives her a kind of ‘Martyrdom’, don’ you think. Wonderful site, I am a newcomer to it, thought I was the only Tudor/Anne nut until I found this website I am bowled over by how many of us there are, Brilliant

  45. Juanita Richards says:

    Thanks for sharing your dream with us. I really feel that Anne Boleyn has been pardoned in the eyes of the people, and even those who still think she is guilty, know that she faced her death with courage and dignity and at least admire her for that. I think Anne Boleyn represents “every woman” and we must ask ourselves what we would have done and how we would have reacted to find ourselves in such extraordinary circumstances as hers…stalked obsessively by a King who wouldn’t take no for an answer, a married king at that. I think things may have ended just as badly for Anne and her family had she kept refusing him. The as a commoner raised to the level she was, on the throne and surrounded by powerful politicians and enemies…who knows how we would have coped…losing the kings love, unable to produce a son, surrounded by ruthless competitors…I take my hat off to her.

  46. Anne's Fan says:

    Claire,

    I agree with you that Anne’s body should be left where it lies. The Chapel is such a serene and peaceful place………perfect for reflecting on the life of our beloved Queen Anne. We honor her best by respecting her wishes, in that she requested that “if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best”. And we do.

    I look forward to seeing you in July as I repeat my Anne Boleyn experience from last year.

    Jean

  47. Shoshana says:

    Claire,
    You have done another remarkable job in stating your feelings & beliefs concerning Queen Anne; as you say, we all are entitled to our opinions and we all should respect one another beliefs. Like you, I do not believe a pardon or moving Anne’s remains would accomplish anything now; after 475 years too much evidence and contemporary writings have been lost. Prehaps, someday, we will be lucky and some historian/fanatic will find a long lost letter or written testimony that will give us another small piece of the puzzle. I agree with you that Anne was probably innocent of all charges, after all, as Queen she would have had her Ladies around her 24/7 unless she was with Henry. It would have been virtually impossible for her to carry on one affair much less 5 without many people helping her to conceal it. She would have guards at her doors, a Lady sleeping – if not in the same bed with her for warmth – on a pallent near her bed, and as she had assitance in dressing, bathing, and even the most private of bodily function, he would have been hard for her to conceal any evidence; even the most gentle of lovers sometimes will leave a bruise or mark unintentionally within the throes of passion. Considering Henry’s lack of attention during her last months, it would have been impossible to hide her interests in others when she was probably being spied on in hopes of discovering evidence to use against her.

    Having said all that; and being a woman whose ex-husband cheated on her the last two years of their marriage, let me say it is harder to conceal than most people realize. Our bodies actually change during passtion – I won’t go into the medical details here, but both men and women have physical changes just after sexaul intercourse. Knowing just one thing that a man’s body does let me know something was going on with my husband. I am sure just the perfumes of the times could be telling; another clue for me – I didn’t use baby powder and neither did her and as our children and only grandchild were much too old to be powdered it was kind of obvious. Once you suspect your spouse is cheating and your start watching for signs; there are so many of them. Schdules that are have been the same for months or years suddenly becoming very flexible, clothes that just don’t look as they should at the end of a work day (not wrinkled because they were washed or ironed), a just out of the shower freshness about a man that had a physically demanding job, and little “notes” from clients that were just a touch too intimate, flowery, and grateful for a “job well done.” If Anne had been guilty I am sure there would have been many stories such as these floating around the court about her and I am sure that some of them would have found their way into correspondence and official reports; even if most of the written documents of the time have been lost, these types of stories get passed around so much surely one or two would have survived somewhere – especially in the writings of the Spansih Ambassador who would have loved to use such against her.

    As to laying her remains next to her daughters; she has rested in St. Peters for 475 years, and while I would love to see a forensic investigation of her remains including a rebuilding of her features via her skull porportions, and DNA testing for reasons I’ve stated elsewhere, moving her would do nothing for her or Elizabeth I now. However, I would love to see a new museum whereby all the information and evidence and relics of Queen Anne were gathered in one place. A place to commenorate her life and where one could visit to learn about her life and the injustice ofher death. It would be heaven to be able to go to one place and read some of the contemporary letters written about her, see modern historians speak about her, and see some of the things that may have been hers. While it is nice to visit all the places that are associated with her; some of us will never have the means to make more than one trip and having a museum dedicated to her, and maybe all the wives of Henry, would be magical.

    Well, I have written a small book here! Sorry for that but it is the price of inspiring your readers, Claire! Like another reader, I am in bed recovering from an unexpected arthritis attack and today, like other days, the Anne Boyleyn and Elizabeth I Files have been a life saver and taken my mind away from what I’d like to be doing and flown me back into a time of interest.

    To all the readers of “The Files” – keep writing comments! They are one of the best features of the sties; from many opinons come many new ideas and thoughts on Queen Anne and continues the quest for knowledge and explanation. Thank you all.

  48. RxPhan says:

    Claire,
    Keep on your soap box.
    I remember in the 70’s watching Masterpiece Theater “The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ with Keith Mitchell as Henry. Although not as slick and glossy as “Tudors”, I was fascinated by the story. Fast forward to the 2000’s and “The Tudors.” Again, fascinated. Since then, I can’t get enough of Anne’s story. I’m like the other resopnder that might have to add an extra room for all of the Tudor and Anne Boleyn books in my collection. Having said that, just finished Joanna Denny’s book on Anne and it casts Thomas Boleyn in a somewhat more sympathetic light than other sources so that may be what’s swaying my opinion.
    My first opinion is like a lot of other responders, that a pardon would be nice but at this point, but probably not obtainable. Digging her remains to reinter her somewhere else would probably be disrespectful (although it would be nice if DNA and facial reconstruction could be done). But if you are taking opinions on reintering her remains anywhere else, my vote would be for her and her brother’s remains to be moved and reinterred at St Peter’s Church at Hever with her father. He died in March1539. His wife had died in April 1538. Although he was probably as ambitious as anyone else at court, I can’t help think that grief about the executions his son and daughter, and the recent death of his wife brought about his death quicker.

  49. Molly says:

    Hi Claire! I have a burning question for you, since you’ve been to the site and seen everything for yourself. I may have this completely wrong, but I recall seeing a picture somewhere of Anne’s tile, and it looked as though the tile was underneath or nearly obscured by a large table. This struck me as very odd. Is that true, or is the tile in a very visible place? I don’t think her bones should be moved, but they should move the darn table! If I’m remembering correctly, which I may not be. On the issue of reburial, I agree that she should remain where she is, because digging her up to rebury her would lead to a whole slew of perplexing questions- if we rebury Anne we should rebury others,
    can we be sure the bones belong to Anne, Mary might not appreciate sharing eternal rest with the stepmother she hated as well as the half sister she must have resented, etc. Thank you so much for your dedication!

    1. Sheena says:

      It’s not a “table,” It’s the altar of the church.

      1. Molly says:

        But does the “altar” obscure the view of Anne’s tile?

        1. Claire says:

          Hi Molly,

          Anne’s tile is not obscured by the altar at all. It is off to the left hand side of the altar as you face the front of the church.

  50. La Belle Creole says:

    Anne Boleyn should not be pardoned. Pardons are intended for criminals and Anne Boleyn was not a criminal. She was guilty of a bigamous marriage (which was invalidated prior to her execution) and she was guilty of pretending to be Queen of England (which she could not have done had Henry VIII not backed her all the way. By nullifying their marriage, Henry effectively “cancelled” Anne’s position as Queen of England..) With those two matters corrected, Anne’s accounts with England should have been settled.

    I think formally pardoning Anne would be an insult. It would imply she was actually guilty of the bogus charges placed to Anne and to the accused co-conspirators. Careful inspection of the known facts indicates the trial was a mockery of justice acting for Henry because, however whacky he was, he wasn’t quite whacky enough to murder Anne himself.

    It is Henry VIII, Cromwell, and the other cretins participating in the charade who should be seeking a pardom.

    Prisoners who are wrongly convicted are not pardoned. They are released and awarded compensatiion. Anne’s sole heir, Elizabeth 1, ruled England for 44 years and died childless. During that time, Elizabeth offered numerous prizes and honors to Mary Boleyn’s children and grandchildren, Anne’s closest surviving kin besides her daughter. It is simply beyond earthly remedy to compensate Anne or her heirs any further.

    I think the only other thing that might help would be some sort of official declaration acknowledging Anne’s innocence, something pretty much everybody already knows. It would be a thoughtful gesture, but it doesn’t make great difference in the general scheme of things.

    I do not support exhumation of Anne’s remains and re-interring them in Westminster Abbey. Anne’s queenship was always suspect due to its unconventional nature (her marriage to Henry.) It would be highly insulting to Katherine of Aragon’s memory for Anne Boleyn to receive a new burial honoring Anne as a true Queen of England while Katherine is interred as Princess of Wales. Whoever did up her slab in the chapel gave her the courtesy title “Queen Anne Boleyn” which is more than she had a right to after her marriage to Henry was pronounced invalid.

    1. Tidus says:

      I disagree that she was guilty of a bigamous marriage. Just because Catherine refused to accept that her marriage was dissolved didn’t make it so. She was not guilty of pretending to be Queen of England. She was in fact, Queen of England. I do agree about the pardon. I think she should be exonerated. And her innocence formally acknowledged.
      Anne being acknowledged as queen is not insulting to Catherine. On the other hand refusing to acknowledge Anne as Queen is insulting. Plain and simple fact, they were both at different times Queen of England. Denying such would be like me claiming my ex husbands new wife is not his true wife, I am. Now see how ridiculous that sounds.

  51. Anne B says:

    Hi Claire, Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your telling us about how and why you started this website. I am so in agreement with your passion of our Queen Anne and about if she should be moved. I agree with you that she is at peace where she is and have also visited her resting place and it is such a lovely peaceful chapel. Very glad she is inside the building too, and at the altar there for all to be reminded of this amazing lady and her story for all future generations. I also read a comment here from one of the readers about why Elizabeth perhaps did not talk about her Mother very much and I have to say I would think it was because she was afraid to do so, as she was a single woman all her life and the knives were constantly out to replace her and perhaps she lived in fear of igniting the enemies of her Mother against herself? Please do keep up the good work, its a most worthy cause and I do very much enjoy the website. I live in Australia, and am heading to London again in November and will be visiting her resting place and Hever Castle again then. Anne B

  52. Sarah Rooke says:

    I think its a llovely thing each year that the Tower place flowers on Anne Boleyn’s tile in her memory. I am not sure what moving her remains or campaigning for her pardon will achieve, Times were different 475 years ago
    It is interesting Claire that you mention your dream. In July 2009, i too had a dream of Anne Boleyn that i cant explain. I was walking in some forest with a group of others and came across a chapel that had a red carpet. I peered inside and said, ‘Oh look its Anne Boleyn’. I rushed up to her and hugged her. she was wearing a grey sation damask dress and had her hair up in a bun. She was beautiful. I said to her’I am so sorry for what happened to you’ and she replied ‘Oh i got over what happened a long time ago, buit i have never forgiven him. But we do not have long to talk, and you must come and visit ne at Hampton Court or Richmond Palace’
    And with that i woke up. I do not know what all this means, i do believe in reincarnation so maybe i was a lady in waiting of Annes or maybe i was a member of her court, i dont know. I have always felt strongly about what happened to Anne Boleyn. i just wish i knew what to make of the instruction to visit Hampton Court and Richmond Pallace

    1. juliane says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Go and visit those places. There might be something there for you. And if you believe in reincarnation, then you would know that Anne is living in the same time as you under another name. X juliane

  53. Why didn’t Elizabeth pardoned her mother. Just curious love your web page big fan of English history

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Brian,
      I think Elizabeth thought it was best to let sleeping dogs lie. If she had attempted to legitimise herself or move her mother it would have brought attention to the fact that she was the daughter of a convicted traitor and was also illegitimate. I think Elizabeth was sensible.

  54. Lauren says:

    I think it would be really lovely to get Anne pardoned – not so much to move her body, I think that the chapel is a beautiful and peaceful resting place – but just because I believe she suffered so much injustice. However, I totally agree with your points as to why this is illogical; being a huge fan of George Boleyn, I would find it extremely unfair and frustrating if Anne was cleared and he was not. I think that Anne’s life as we remember it is tribute enough for her, whn we think of all the wonderful things that she did for our country. I will always admire her whether she is buried under her little tile at St Peter Ad Vincula or whether she has a massive marble monument at Westminster Abbey. As you said, where she is buried does not change who she was.
    By the way, I love the term ‘Anne Boleyn Widow’. My husband will be a ‘George Boleyn Widow’, I think. Actually, just a ‘Boleyn Widow’ in general! xx

    1. Sharon says:

      I wonder if Anne was cleared of those charges, would it stand to reason the George and the others be cleared as well? If Anne was innocent of affairs with them, then there would be no charges against them anymore. Right? Maybe? Not that I think anyone should try to change history. Just an observation.

  55. Amelia says:

    Keeping my feelings of this matter out of it, I shall say this:
    Whatever the beliefs may be, Anne was Queen for quite a period of time. Thus she should be buried as such.
    Even if not pardoned she did give the world Elizabeth I whom ruled The Golden Age. And in this aspect aloneshe shouldbe given proper respect.

  56. Professor Hermione says:

    So many people have agreed with you, Claire, that I scarcely need write my own response. I agree with everything you say. And yet I will add a few more comments because I feel strongly about them.

    First, however, let me thank you so, so much for what you’ve done for Anne’s memory. Your devotion to her is amazing, and the Anne Boleyn files is a wonderful achievement, providing a historically nuanced, detailed forum for discussions of Anne and Tudor history. Bravo!!

    As for Anne’s resting place: personally, I don’t set store by distinctions of class or rank. My almost life-long attraction to Anne stems not from my interest in her as a queen but from my admiration for her as a strong-minded woman in a period which viciously policed female sexuality and power. Not being a royalist, I don’t see Westminster Abbey as a more hallowed or appropriate space than St. Peter’s Chapel. More to the point, since Anne’s courage at her death was so very great, I think the most fitting place for her to rest is the spot where she demonstrated it. And how appropriate, too, that the chapel is dedicated to St. Peter “in chains”; it is a prisoner’s chapel. Let’s face it: the victims of feudal monarchs were generally executed for political reasons rather than because they committed what we would judge as crimes. Even someone who quite possibly did what she was accused of–Katherine Howard, who may have committed adultery–did nothing deserving of death or judicial penalty (those who would kill a woman for sexual infidelity are not, I think, the people we should identify with). So in that case the victims resting with Anne in the tower chapel are all her true comrades, linked by their sacrifice to the brutal politics of their time and their courage and dignity in meeting their fate. They are outcasts and martyrs, and I myself would much rather keep company with them than with history’s apparent winners.

  57. Thank you for your reply on why Elizabeth didn’t pardoned her mother that makes sense. Is there a deathmask of Henry VIII and maybe of George III

  58. gwenne says:

    I am going to stray out of the ‘norm’ here. While not necessarily believing that HRH Anne’s remains should be re-interred, I do believe that she should receive a full pardon by not only the English Parliament but by the current monarchy. Why bother now? Because it would be sending a statement, a huge one, that HRH Anne and all the others who suffered at the hands of a tyrant are remembered and honored for their sacrifices. Sure we can’t re-write history, however, what we can do is move forward, and with this pardon a heinous crime that has been committed is acknowledged publicly as wrong. I think it’s not so much that people can’t see the forest for the trees, but more a long the lines of an ‘anti-hero’ worship of ‘good king Hal’ whom by the way, is still celebrated within British society. Maybe we need to truly acknowledge what a complete tyrannical monster he was, take him down from this ‘pedestal’ of hero worship and bring back some dignity to those who suffered so horribly at his hands. Just my opinion, and I make no bones about the fact that I consider Henry IV to be in the same company as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and the many other monsters that have savaged humankind throughout history. I believe a formal pardon and consecration of HRH Anne Boleyn would at least be a step in the right direction of de-popularizing a man who made everyone around him suffer according to his whim or mood.

    1. gwenne says:

      Henry VIII I meant..lol spell check gwenne, spell check

      1. margaret says:

        well said

  59. Julia says:

    I’m also fascinated by Anne Bolyen but not sure what good a pardon would do at this stage – it would make a lot of people who feel that Henry VIII treated (me among them) Anne badly feel better.. I’m of the belief that when we die we become source energy and move on to the next world. All the stuff that happened in the lifetime here is a lesson to take to the future. To use Anne’s words, after the execution she was “past her pain”. I don’t even visit relatives’ grave sites because my feeling is that their bodies are there, not their souls.

    I love this site and everything Claire has done and getting the truth out about Anne is more useful than working towards a pardon. Thank you Claire for all your hard work.

  60. Lori says:

    Hi Clair,
    I too believe that Anne’s body should not be moved. But I wonder why Elizabeth didn’t give her mother a more fitting tomb or at least a marker. Of course, I am assuming that Anne’s remains did not have a marker until the 1800s. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I love Anne and am sorry that people described her as having a sharp tongue and being a “goggle eyed whore”. I’m sure Anne was no saint but then haven’t we all had those times when we’ve felt like screaming? I know I have. Rest in peace Anne.

  61. BoleynBlue says:

    i would not like to see Anne’s body moved, but I would like her to recieve a pardon, I think that she deserves that.

  62. Lilly says:

    I don’t think she should be moved. It seems to me very disrespectful to uproot her and disturb the peace of the chapel now. I also think that pardoning her would be unfair to all the inoccent men who died with her, and the many more innocents who died at the hands of Henry. If we reburied her, surely that would mean we should also honour the other innocent people buried in the chapel? and What difference is it going to make if she’s buried in the chapel of st. peter or Westminster abbey? She has been there for nearly 500 years! I think that wherever she is she will be at peace now and that we should have respect to leave her alone.

  63. Rachel McNeil says:

    I agree with Claire completely, whilst I do not think a tile on the floor is that befiting for a Queen of England, it would be disturbing her resting place, not to mention disturbing the course of history as it was written.

    Also Henry VIII own resting place with Jane Seymour is in the floor, with a tile on the top to mark their memorial place. Moving Anne would mean having to move Henry VIII and Jane Seymour too! Like Claire says we would want to move them all and we really can’t.

    Claire your work on this website is brilliant, and I enjoy coming on and reading the various articles etc.

    I am visiting Sudeley Castle again tomorrow with my mother, and I shall enjoy the gardens and the castle, but most of all I shall enjoy visiting Catherine Parr in her memorial place most befiting to her in St Marys Church.

    Keep up the good work!

    Rachel

  64. Nancy says:

    Although this comment comes a bit late, I’d like to add my own “two cents worth” to the mix. I’ve just returned from England (after attending the Executed Queens tour followed by some time traveling on my own). When in London I always attend services at St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower and – although Macauley wrote in the 19th C. that “in truth there is no sadder spot on earth than this little cemetery”, I feel that it is a beautiful, serene place which is the perfect resting place for Anne and all of the other unfortunates who were buried there following their executions. After I attended services there on May 22, I asked the Chaplain if I could look at the flowers left on the altar for Anne. The basket of flowers that is always sent was still there (it arrived when our group was leaving the chapel on May 19), along with several other bouquets that were brought for Anne, including the one from The Anne Boleyn Files. While Westminster Abbey is beautiful, it isn’t really a place of quiet comtemplation. While it would be nice to see Anne be exonerated, it would really be to make her admirers feel better – Anne is in a better place now, and really isn’t affected by things that happen on earth. Besides, there are people who are as violently anti-Anne as most of the people on this site are admirers of hers, and an exoneration wouldn’t change their minds. I believe in my heart that Anne was innocent (as I’m sure that most of the people reading this believe), and nothing can change that!

  65. Savarnah says:

    I honestly think that Anne should be pardoned and re-buried as a Queen. Anne couldn’t have been that bad a Queen or a woman. But then again that’s my own opinion, which won’t officially count until I’m 18.

    1. margaret says:

      you mean give her back her title as queen ,as she was stripped of her titles at that trial so sadly she did not die a queen

  66. Michele Villafana says:

    Claire, I have just found your website. I have been a Tudor addict since the young age of 12 (I am now 53). I have always felt that Anne Boleyn was innocent of the charges for which she was put to death. I feel very strongly that she did not deserve the punishment she received, nor did the others that were tried and sentenced to death. Although I believe that she was innocent of treason, witchcraft and adultery (after her marriage to Henry VIII) she was not innocent of adultery while Henry was married to Catherine. I think sometimes we get caught up in her trial and murder, that we forget she was having an affair with a married man. She took a huge risk carrying on with the King of England. I have sympathy for Catherine as well as for Anne. Catherine was a faithful and loving wife to the end. Henry tossed her aside when she became unable to bear him the longed for son for the younger, prettier Anne Boleyn. I sincerely believe that seeking a pardon or moving her remains serves no real purpose. Those of us who have studied the Tudors know that she was most probably innocent of the charges that brought her down. Anne is at peace now. She asked God to forgive her sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ as her Savior. She is in a much better place now and has been there almost 500 yrs. She was only human and gave in to human weaknesses. Unfortunately those weaknesses cost her her life. I will be in Europe in two weeks. We will spend a total of eight days in England, I plan on visiting the Tower of London (missed it on my last trip) and I will be sure to stop by Anne’s final resting place. Thank you for all you are doing to educate people about Anne, the Tudors and all the others associated with this time period.

  67. Sebastian says:

    You know Claire, I actually had a Tudor times dream, too! In mine I was at Queen Elizabeth I’s christening.

    I agree that Anne is innocent, but a reburial ipdiesnt seem necessary. Thanks for the website by the way, I check it ALL THE TIME!!!!

  68. Sebastian says:

    Oops sorry, I mean’t a reburial doesn’t seem necessary. Spell check tends to rearrange my words haha.

  69. samridhi says:

    Your article is very much supporting you mission to re-educate people about QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN OF ENGLAND.Keep it up !!! Just like everyone on this page I too am a tudor history addict.Let me inform you that I am 16 and from India , where one might rarely know a thing about Anne Boleyn. I first read about her in a history magazine about henry viii. There were just few lines about her and same for the rest of his wives but her story attracted me so very much. my drawback is the lack of sources in India. I have to work my ass off just to find a book.My only source of info is internet .I too had the same views about anne’s innocence from the very first time I googled her.i wish i could visit her grave at St. Peter’s Chapel but that s far from possible.I think that she should not be reburried but definitely should be pardoned.keep up the good work and thanks for providing enormous info to the world.
    (P.S.:sorry about the length . its just that this topic makes me very enthusiastic.)

  70. Lisa says:

    I don’t see where it is necessary to have Anne pardoned. She wasn’t really guilty. Perhaps a declaration of her obvious innocence might be more appropriate.

  71. Lady E says:

    Very well said, Claire. Articulate, factual, and very supported defense of your position; just like all of your articles!

    I for one am incredibly grateful you had that dream and found your purpose. I’ve been an “Anne-dict” since I was about 11 years old. For a Midwestern girl in the US, that was perceived as a bit odd!! What I love about your site is that it has the proper mix of fact and fantasy (i.e. speculation).

  72. Aynne says:

    WE have pardoned Anne. Our work, our forum, our constancy to the truth and her memory — all those are forms of pardon. Her resting place may not be as grand as other royal residences. But Anne truly has almost solo rights on St. Peter’s. She stands alone, and her people must go to her and seek her there, and share in the peace of that beautiful sanctuary. Just as one does a pilgrimmage to Princess Diana’s final resting place, one does one for Anne. The solitary nature of their resting places also allowed their children privacy — a rare thing in regal circles — to grieve and remember. As we can ,too.

    1. juliane says:

      This is beautiful.

  73. Sharon says:

    Personally I feel as you do Claire, that it won’t change anything except to possibly distroy a beautiful and tranquil setting. It won’t change history’s view of Anne. What I feel is important is that she is buried as Queen. She was an influential Queen of England and should rest in peace as Queen. It is her right. Queen Elizabeth was the only one who could have changed a bit of history and chose not to do that. We do not have the right to do something her own daughter did not want to do. ( Not to say Elizabeth didn’t want to reinterr her mother, she possibly decided the church was a fitting place for Anne to rest) We should respect those wishes and leave Anne to rest in peace where she is.

  74. Shoshana says:

    It is the love, respect, and admiration the visitors bring to Queen Anne’s grave that makes it a memorial that can never be out done; not even if an entire cathedral was built and dedicate to her and her remains placed within in a solid gold tomb. Part of the feeling you get from visiting her comes from the fact she was buried in a simple place of worshop compared to other monarchs and even her daughter. That a Queen would be buried so sparingly and still generate such love and respect 475 years after her death is truly inspring. Her life, the simple beauty of St. Peter’s, her untold millions of visitors over the years are memorial enough. My she soar with the Angels.

  75. MARTHS says:

    TOTALLY AGREE. SHE SHOULD REMAIN AT THE TOWER IN THAT LOVEY CHAPEL. I HAVE BEEN THERE ON 2 DIFFERENT OCCASIONS AND I LOVE THE IDEA OF BEING IN THAT WONDERFUL ANCIENT COMPOUND WHERE SHE STAYED BEFORE HER CORONATION, WHERE SHE WAS HELD PRISONER -THEN EXECUTED AND LAID TO REST (AT FIRST IN AN ARROW BOX). THE FACT THAT SHE WAS LATER LAID IN A PROPER CASKET WITH A MARBLE TILE CLAIMING HER QUEEN IS ALL THAT IS EVER NEEDED.

  76. lynn donovan says:

    I guess it’s based on perspective. If u believe she was legitimately queen then perhaps.
    I don’t believe in my poor mind she was. I believe that Katherine of Aragon was truly Queen of England to her death. As much as I find Anne fascinating and not of the crimes she was accused I feel she was never legimately Queen. Again just an opinion and again just looking at a still argued point.

  77. Karen says:

    Although I believe Anne was framed at her trial, I also believe she was guilty of treason by manipulating the King.

    Don’t get me wrong. He was a spoiled selfish brat who was manipulated by practically everyone in his court, except Thomas More. I think he was truly loyal to King Henry VIII. He was an innocent victim if there ever was one.

    I think Anne was guilty of treason by association since she was forced to manipulate the King in the beginning of their relationship. However, I feel she came to manipulating him for her own purposes in the end.

    I believe they truly loved each other. Courtiers destroyed their relationship. To me, Katherine of Aragone was the true Queen of England. If anyone should have an advocate, it should be her. She was an innocent; and, cared very deeply for King Henry. To be wronged in that way was a travesty. Anyway, that is how I feel about it. I’m not trying to disagree with anyone, just stating my opinion.

    1. Kathy says:

      St Thomas More was definitely an innocent victim.

      Katherine of Aragon was the true queen until her death in January 1536. Although I am a fan of Anne Boleyn, she was never legitimately queen as Henry never had a wedding ceremony with Anne after Katherine’s death. Next legitimate queen was Jane Seymour as he wed her after the death of Katherine of Aragon.

      I agree with your observations that Anne was guilty in other actions – not those for which she was tried and executed.

  78. BanditQueen says:

    Thank you Claire for a passionate and another excellent article, but I have to disagree with one point. We can pardon Anne Boleyn without new evidence as we do not need to re-open a case to pardon someone. We are not asking that she be declared innocent or to put it a modern legal way that the verdict and death sentence against her be vacated and overturned; that requires new evidence and it is hard enough doing that with innocent people framed before DNA proved the real killer. To pardon someone is to state that there is a recognition either that some injustice was done and the process was not fair, but that by the standards of the time it was. However, the state can graciously pardon someone by letting them off the crime that they committed. This is an Act of Pardon and it used to be a regular method of early release for life sentences. Kings and Queens can pardon a wrong doer that they feel merits that favor and Anne Boleyn may fit that brief. It does not need a long campaign and it does not need a waste of money state funeral.

    As you have said, she has a proper tomb and prayers are said here every anniversary and a relative leaves flowers each year as well, although they are unknown. Queen Victoria had a plaque naming her queen and I consider that sufficient especially for someone who was not Queen. Catherine of Aragon was the true Queen of England, although she had died, and by 1536 it could be said that Anne Boleyn is now to be seen as Henry’s Queen in reality and we can back date the coronation. I would not wish to see Anne removed from her tomb as there is no shame in being placed in the Chapel Royal at the Tower and here all prayers are said for everyone in the Tower and she is in the book as well of marriage, deaths and births and also a royal prince is buried here.

    The Tower is also a royal palace. The first born son to Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, Prince Henry born on 1st January 1511 and died 58 days later is buried here. So it is no shame to be buried in this beautiful church dedicated to Saint Peter in Chains.

    Also if a memorial is here then she is at peace and flowers are left here as well, so someone remembers Anne. I also believe there is a crest on her stone memorial stone on the floor over her coffin. To remove her now would be to insult her grave and she should be left in peace. She has a grander memorial in that of her daughter, Elizabeth whom England claims as its greatest monarch. I do not agree with that claim, but then I have personal reasons for doing so that would make no sense to most people. I also believe that giving Anne Boleyn a grander funeral than Catherine of Aragon and many others who deserve it to be a complete waste of money. When is Sir Thomas More going to get a state funeral for example? He should be in the middle of Westminster Cathedral in a large and expensive tomb as a Catholic saint and martyr, so you see we can go on forever.

    1. Claire says:

      As Wing Commander George Melville Jackson said:
      “Ideally, I would like her to be posthumously declared not guilty of the crimes she was convicted of because a pardon only means that you are being excused the crimes you have committed…But I got a barrister’s opinion and it seems that we would not be able to go to court to get a judicial review because, after nearly 500 years, there was not much of a chance of being able to come up with new evidence. So a pardon is the next best thing.”
      He contacted the Home Secretary, the Queen and historian Simon Schama but didn’t get anywhere with either a pardon or judicial review.
      I don’t believe that there should be a campaign to get Anne pardoned or declared innocent because where do you stop? What about the men? What about Margaret Pole? Lady Jane Grey? etc. etc. As you say, “we can go on forever”. I think we’re best to leave the past as past, as far as trials and legal proceedings are concerned, but tell these people’s stories and educate people about them.

      I found it a very moving experience laying flowers on Anne’s tile and I also went and put a rose on Tower Hill for the men as they often get forgotten.

    2. margaret says:

      i stated on another post here that i thought that she should be identified by some means and given some sort of funeral/burial service i believe strongly that no soul can rest otherwise and that she anne ,is not at rest ,she effects and haunts people to this day but regarding a pardon i dont know,no one knows any thing that went on ,im not sure thats all ,i maybe think she acted very rashly around henry and should have known better ,she did manipulate events to suit herself ,holding off for approx six years ,that i dont and never will understand how anyone so in love could have the presence of mind to be so un emotional and very clinical about not sleeping with henry i know she didnt want to get a “bad name” as mistress but plenty of mistressas back then did ok and kept their heads,she did want to become queen and did not care about who was hurt in the process ie katherine and mary ,she was not liked by many at all .what im saying sounds as if im anti anne im not but the facts speak for themself ,she was the other woman and no one can say she had no choice she didand took a huge gamble and lost through vanity ,she was dispensable and should have been more careful ,the tudor to me were all corrupted bt power includind elizabeth who was not the greatest monarch of all times ,she was as cruel as her father and murdered also

      1. margaret says:

        and even though i think she should not have been executed nor should anyone else have had to endure this barbaric and brutal death these tudors should be viewed in history for what they were and how they lived and not elevated to sainthood and not romanticised as heroines and heros ,sir thomas more is the only person i think that was a good and decent person but not anyone else .

  79. Formerly Known as Anne Boleyn says:

    Thanks for your article,
    I really understand what you mean, i think to move her would be disturbing her remains but a pardon would be nice. Like you i had a dream once, except i saw the execuetion through Anne`s eyes and when i woke up my neck was bleeding. I do believe in reincarnation, and all my friends pointed out to me i may be Anne. I didn`t believe it but i started having visions and moments like the dream more and more often. Now i recognise them as flashbacks, because i can no longer deny that they match perfectly to real events that happened to Anne-to me- so i would like to thank you for your attempts to spread the truth. Some of the comments about my innocence and how much i am remembered and admired brought me to tears. That I am remembered fondly by some people even though others still call me a whore and a traitor is a blessing i could never have hoped for. I know many people will see this and think it`s a load of crap-me being Anne and all- and i can`t blame them, but to all of you who believe me thank you. Being a supporter of me must be hard with all the les floating around, just know i have a hardtime coping too. Know i swell with pride over Elizabeth and my hatred for Henry has never lessened since my death.
    Anne
    The Queen
    “le pleux heureux”

  80. Tara S. says:

    I love Tudor history. It is fascinating to me. Yes Anne Boleyn was framed by the King and his counsel. She did not get a fair trial those men accused of having an affair were tortured and confessed under distress. What was the Court suppose to do. Here was a King who threw away his wives like they were rag dolls waiting for the son of his dreams to be born. And want his wife gone, because he fell in love with Jane Seymour so why not trump up charges on Anne having an affair with four other men and incest charge for her brother. Which is ironic because the all of European Monarchy is based on marrying relatives with blood ties. i.e. Queen Victoria Married her First Cousin Prince Albert. they could not use the same reason he divorce his 1st wive Queen Catherine. If King Henry the VIII was not a King he would be tried as a Serial Killer. I think he took pleasure on torturing and killing people. which is sadistic sociopath and with a title as King he could and got away with it. The men on the court who tried her , convicted her,and found her guilty had to do what they had to do or they could be losing there own heads themselves. King Henry VIII killed people on the whim or if he didn’t like what people had to say and trumped up charges on others too.

    Yes Queen Anne Should be pardon or since she did do nothing they so drop all charges against her and reinstate as Queen. But to disturb her resting place is not right, I have native American blood in me, So disturbing a burial is not a good idea a burial place is sacred and should be consecrated meaning declared holy. She was the Queen Mother of Queen Elizabeth I . that should give her over due respect and Honor

    1. Tara S. says:

      I read an article that King Henry VIII might of had a Kell Positive blood or McLeod Syndrome that cause schizophrenic episodes. So he was mentally ill and also didn’t he have a Jousting accident on where he was hit in the head, that could have cause him to become irrational and ill-tempered With Queen Anne.

  81. Of course she was innocent, she could have saved her life if she denied her daughter…. and thank god for England she did´nt her daughter became one of the most famous Queens in Englands history. Where her innocent mother lies??? let her remain so.. IN PEACE:

  82. This might be way out there, but we don’t know what moving a body buried for 500 years does to the soul. Obviously our souls leave our body, but the soul, I’m guessing , is pure energy. It would have to feel SOMETHING? It might be compared to when a baby is born and thrust from its warm, dark, safe quiet place, to loud, cold, feeling not so safe place. She should definitely be recognized for her achievements during her reign, however. She was, after all a Queen. And some kind of monument would be the order of the day.

  83. BanditQueen says:

    Anne Boleyn cannot be pardoned; she could have a judge declare that she was not fairly tried and her conviction was not safe. A pardon suggests that Anne did something and is getting let of from her sentence early. Or if dead, is being pardoned despite being guilty. As for her being buried in Westminster: this is not possible or practical. For one thing many people do not seem to be aware that Westminster Abbey is the personal property of the crown and belongs to the Queen. The dean at the time of Elizabeth I gave it to her and it has belonged her ever since. Anne would have to be given special permission by the Queen to be buried in Westminster and that is not likely to happen. In any event there is not any room to bury her in Westminster. No-one has been buried there since Winston Churchill and it is not a public place of burial: you need special permission and special honours to be buried there. I doubt that today Anne would get that honour. There are other alternative that are just as good, but for me the best is to leave her in peace where she is.

    May-be raise a better memorial to her or have her declared innocent in a special service and a memorial said for her. I would like to see special services on her execution site on May 19th for example. She is recalled each year with a basket of flowers from an anon donor who recalls her. I am sure she is well remembered. If she was re-buried as Queen then leave her alone. She has the right to rest in peace. I do not want to see a statue at the Tower, that would be ridiculous. But what about a statue in some other place: Hampton Court for example or Hever or in Norfolk. She has countless paintings in any event. It is not as if she is forgotten.

  84. Amber B. says:

    The thing is I was talking to my cousin earlier about Anne Boleyn what I want to go to college for and I want to go for history and to study Anne. The reality is I want her grave site moved. She deserves-sorry. We’re talking about a woman who gave birth to the Golden World Henry wanted so bad. Without Anne there wouldn’t have been an Elizabeth 1 there wouldn’t have been the prosperity Anne had- I’m aware it was due to Anne’s treatment (as well as Kitty Howard’s) that Elizabeth felt certain ways on certain subjects but Anne birthed her. Anne was also instrumental in the English Reformation- to say otherwise is just ignorant. She played a huge role in shaping the face of England. If only for a few years she WAS a Queen. Even if people now don’t recognize her as one at one point they did. And I’m Christian so I do believe in letting the dead rest but I don’t think she’s resting as well as she should be and that’s just my opinion on the matter.

  85. Sarah says:

    I agree. I’m sorry to say it, but I’d sooner campaign for Henry VIII and his vile cronies to have memorials erected by their resting places noting the truth of what they did. Or, on a more positive note, an Anne Boleyn campaign against politically motivated present-day injustices.

  86. AMY says:

    Hi Claire,

    I have been following your posts for a while now and was intrigued by your dream. I do believe in reincarnation since I payed a visit to a spiritualist 2 years ago. He told me that I was a Queen of England and died on the same day that I was born in this life. After doing my homework I found that Catharine of Aragon died on 7th jan 1536 and I was bor 7th Jan 1987.

    I found this quite spooky as i have had this obsession with Anne Boleyn since i was very young. I have alot of respect for her boldness and strength but also this strange remorse for her ruthless climb to the throne, casting aside a good wife and Queen into exile.

    I strongly agree with you regarding her title as Queen of England and believe it should be reinstated as she was innocent to the crimes against her, she died with her dignity intact and she deserved a dignified royal buryal and not the tarnished ending she was given. Not to mention that she left us with one of the strongest heirs this country has ever known!

    Amy.

  87. Billijo Maynard says:

    My belief is that Mary I remains should be taken out of Westminster Abbey and reburied with her Mother, Katherine of Aragon. This is what she requested before her death but it was never carried out. I also believe that Anne Boleyn should receive a pardon and be buried next to her daughter. Also i believe anyone during the reign of the Tudors who was known to be unjustly put death or charged should also receive pardons. This list includes, Margaret Pole, and her son, Henry Courtney, Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton, Francis Weston, Mark Breteton, Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, John Plantagenet,(John of Gloucester), Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Anne Askew, Lady Jane Grey, Thomas Cranmer, Mary, Queen of Scots and anyone else who was put to death because of their faith.

    1. Corinne Young says:

      Billijo I totally agree with you, and it should be let known so their ancestors know and so there is no re shame.

    2. Liz says:

      Mary, Queen of Scots wasn’t executed for her Catholic faith. She was executed for having plotted, again and again, to murder Elizabeth and take her throne. Elizabeth was hugely reluctant to carry out the sentence and had to be Shanghai’d into it by her ministers. Mary was not a good Catholic. Whilst Queen she took a pragmatic approach to religion, for which I don’t blame her, but her actions in conniving at Elizabeth’s death were a total betrayal of the Catholic faith.

  88. Christine says:

    History has vindicated Anne Boleyn the trial she had was nothing less than a kangaroo court, however it just isn’t possible to exonerate her as the evidence was lost as Claire points out, as for moving her remains since no one knows where she is actually buried, even tho they think they buried her under her plaque, it isn’t proved that the bones were hers, therefore it would be disturbing a burial place and I don’t think that’s right, let her rest in peace, i do think it would be great if they could do dna tests on the skeleton tho that lies under lady Rochfords plaque with Elizabeth 1 skeleton as Alison Weir thinks that could be Anne’s, then she could be re buried under the proper plaque, I think she is owed that!

  89. Paula says:

    in simple terms, as a Historian, Anne’s story is a story in History. Tragic but it happened. Anyone who has studied Anne, her life and her death can see the injustice and that the falsehoods need correcting. However, to start asking for exoneration, digging up her remains and so forth in my opinion alters that story. An in doing so, we lose the injustice, which is an integral part of the story.
    Put it into perspective, if you could go back in time and save Anne, or somehow prove her innocence and change Henry’s mind, would you?
    I wouldn’t. Because Anne has her story and her place in History, and so does Jane and Edward and the Catherines and everything happened the way it was meant to, and without the Anne story, we don’t have their stories either.
    So as Claire says, we keep fighting to put the truth out there, and that will be enough to keep her memory alive.

  90. Martin Lake says:

    I think you are absolutely right in your decision. You argue the pros and cons with great insight and I agree that your energies are better spent in educating people rather than engaging in a possibly forlorn mission.

  91. Kathy says:

    I agree with you that it will not change what happened. Actually I think it is more fitting to keep her at the Tower where the events transpired. She probably receives more prayerful reverence at the quietly beautiful chapel rather than at Westminster Abbey where she would be lost among the multitudes. Funny how Anne of Cleves is the only one of his wives buried at Westminster Abbey (the only wife he didn’t want). As the other 5 queens are not buried at the Abbey, why should she be moved – especially not at public expense. No need to do that. I agree that Anne was innocent of the charges and that will most likely have to be enough for all of us.

    1. Kathy says:

      My phrase – As the other 5 queens are not buried at the Abbey, – should read the other 4 queens (referring to Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr)

      The phrase about public expense is that Anne Boleyn should not be moved at public expense.

      Sorry.

  92. Susan Leith says:

    Perhaps Anne is enjoying this controversy as we speak! I have not seen her resting place as I am in the states. It sounds quite beautiful. A place of reflection, to contemplate and be near to her and her life. A sacred place where one can pay their respects. I say let Queen Anne rest. After all, she is everywhere…

  93. pauline Lever says:

    I believe Anne was innocent, the charges against her were trumped up, I do believe she could be difficult, but what a position to be in. She is remembered with ,love and offection as she lies in the chapel grounds , alongside Catherine Howard, who was also murdered, after she had been abused and used. Please leave Anne in the Tower Chapel grounds, its History its how we remember her

  94. megan says:

    i say leave her be, she knew in her heart what really happened, i mean yes it would be awesome for all of this to happen, but i say leave her be, she has a nice burial.

  95. Marie Ryan says:

    I believe with all my heart that Anne was and is pardoned.
    1: By our Loving Heavenly Father God who forgave us when He gave His only Begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ. All of mankinds’ sins were washed away and we(and that includes Anne Boleyn!) were/are forgiven for all our past/present/future sins.
    2. We are commanded to love each other and not remember each others’ sins/wrongdoings.

    Anne died for what she believed in, and to this day is a martyr and a saint!!

    1. Claire says:

      Anne Boleyn had a true faith and did much for the Reformist cause but she did not die for her faith, she died because of a miscarriage of justice.

  96. Sheila says:

    I am not an extremely religious person. However, I firmly believe that the dead should stay as they lay. I do believe that where ever Anne is now she knows her innocence or guilt. I can not see just having her pardoned without as you said doing the same for the others that suffered the same miscarriage of justice. If they could pardon them all then yes I would be all for having her pardoned. I can not think she would not want those she knew and loved pardoned along with her.

  97. KarenAnn says:

    Fascinating website!

  98. yes she should be given a Royal pardon and like I said on another page why has this not been done..or its it down tp the fact our queen does not like admitting other kings made a mistake and the there then must admit to one of the biggest conspiracy to Murder of Queen Ann Boleyn.

    is there nothing us common folk can do to make this happen? even after 600 = years
    it would dream for millions world wide if this come true Clair.

    but sadly it will never happen as i just said … truth hurts and it will hurt the Royals if they finally they had to admit what Henry 8th and his band of merry lying buffoons who he called Privy men did was wrong how many other action like this would have been found to be wrong by other kings and queens? who also killed in the name of a lies

    bring Anne to Westminster Abby..let her rest in peace knowing she is now in her rightful place and she was NEVER a traitor or anything of the things She was made out to be..the only things this young women Anne was guilty of and that was being INNOCENT

  99. ANDREW perry says:

    The church at the Tower is quite beautiful and she should remain there – but it would be nice to know that her bones are the correct ones – is there any way to ‘prove’ this? Then re – bury her with a proper stone and ceremony.

  100. sszorin says:

    No, definitely no. She was guilty of real queen being removed and kicked aside. Remove her bones and dissolve them in acid.

  101. Jenna says:

    I think an alternate opinion on all this is if you believe Anne was truly a Queen, or not. As a Catholic, Anne Boleyn was not a Queen of England. King Henry VIII was nothing more than an adulterer. He was already married. So that is where my personal problem with this begins. And I guess it falls onto interpretation of today is what is court recognized marriage, and a marriage by God.

    I myself don’t recognize Anne Boleyn as any Queen. And I believe we should let history rest as is. I think Henry VIII was a terrible King who thought the rule of God didn’t apply to him. He simply did what he wanted when it didn’t suit his needs. It’s called being a sinner.

    That being said of my opinion of Anne Boleyn, I do believe her death was a travesty engineered by Henry. I don’t believe in any of the charges that were brought against her. Again, another sin committed by Henry when he didn’t get what he wanted, so he had a woman murdered.

    I don’t try to over think this Tudor period. I see it very clearly. Henry the VIII was a tyrant that totally went against his church to do exactly what he wanted to do, and be damned with anyone else. May he rot where he is, and moving 500 year old bones will not change anything. Let those who deserve so rest in peace where they are. They’ve been disturbed enough.

    1. Tidus says:

      Anne Boleyn was definitely Queen. All 6 wives were
      Queen at one time or other wether one likes them or not.

  102. Doreen Bilotto says:

    I am enjoying reading everything as I have also become obsessed with learning about the Tudors an especially Queen Anne Boleyn who I am convinced was innocent. Looking forward to reading more.

  103. Mattie Buchanan says:

    There is nothing to pardon, as Queen Anne committed no crime. She was unfortunate enough to marry a narcissistic serial killer, who should be put on trial even now for the many murders he committed. The history of Henry Tudor needs to be set straight, and his posthumous trial(s) and hopefully subsequent guilty verdicts would set history straight as to what kind of douche canoe he really was in real life.

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