Sir Christopher Hales and the Boleyns by Amanda Harvey Purse
Posted By Claire on August 25, 2020
Thank you to author Amanda Harvey Purse for sharing this article with us here today. Over to Amanda…
‘Sir Christopher Hales’ is perhaps one of those names that may feel as if they briefly pop up as a part of a historical Tudor fact within a Tudor event and then goes away again. However, the person behind that name in reality rarely does. Sir Christopher was the Attorney General in many of the famous Tudor trials that were formed mainly because of King Henry VIII’s anger and/or mistrust.
But what of the man that sat in the courtrooms, facing these famous Tudor people of King Henry VIII’s court that were at one point high ranked?
Christopher Hales had his family roots set firmly in Norfolk, just like the Boleyns, with Roger de Hales, sometimes called Ralph de Hales, gaining property in Norfolk in the reign of King Henry II. However, before the end of King Edward III’s reign, the Hales family had moved down to Kent in a similar fashion to what the Boleyns would do later. The Boleyns would, in fact, later own many properties around the Hever area, whereas the Hales would situate themselves in the nearby town of Tenterden in Kent (Hales, Sir Christopher Master of Rolls by J. M. Rigg. Dictionary of National Biography 1890).
With this known, can we now wonder if, through a distant connected way, the Hales and Boleyn had known each other for many years? With this questioned, would this have made a future event that will be mentioned later, even more poignant to Christopher?
Christopher was born to Thomas and Alicia Hales by the late 1400s. He went straight into a legal career, learning his trade at Gray’s Inn. By 1516 he was an ancient and became a member of the learned counsel in the Cinque Port town of Rye in East Sussex, one year later. In 1520, after John Hales, his cousin, was Baron of the Exchequer, Christopher became solicitor general before gaining his cousin’s seat in the House of Commons for Canterbury in 1523 (Rye Chamberlains accounts. 3, f.52v; Cinque Ports White and Black Books. Kent Archives).
Christopher became the attorney general to the Duke of Buckingham as well as being the appointed resident counsellor for Princess Mary, the future Queen Mary I. Although he was appointed ‘resident’, there are doubts whether he actually travelled to Ludlow Castle or was her council from afar. As attorney general, he appeared for the king in many famous trials such as those of Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher, who refused the oath of Supremacy, to name but a few.
Christopher became closely linked to Thomas Cromwell, a temporary supporter of Anne Boleyn, when he married Elizabeth Caunton, the sister of Cromwell’s servant, Nicholas Caunton. There was also correspondence later between these two men about the Lincolnshire Rebels of 1536 (Letters and Papers Henry VIII – xiii SP1/29 f.179; Elton, Policy and Police 295, 311, 404).
Christopher would take over Cromwell’s previous role as Master of Rolls on 10th July 1536, before gaining a knighthood within the same year, he would keep this role for the last remaining years of his life. As well as having a high ranked friend in Thomas Cromwell, Christopher would also work later within his life, with Thomas Cranmer, Lord Chancellor Rich, and other well-known men within Henry VIII’s court on the remodelling of the foundation of Canterbury Cathedral in 1540. This included removing the monks that were living there, for a clergy that was not bound by religious rule. All in all, Christopher did profit largely from the Dissolution of the Monasteries, gaining many lands within Kent because of it (Hales, Sir Christopher Master of Rolls by J. M. Rigg 1890).
It would be through Christopher’s daughter, Elizabeth, that his family would have links to the famous Elizabethan courtier, Sir Frances Drake of the Golden Hind fame. This would be because his daughter Elizabeth would go on to marry Sir George Sydenham and have a child, also called Elizabeth. This Elizabeth would then become the second wife to Sir Francis Drake. Christopher would also have two other daughters, Mary and Margaret, and one son, who they named John Hales, sadly this John Hales was to pass away at the young age of fourteen in 1546.
Being closely linked to Kent, having been a steward of Canterbury and Rochester, he had many properties within this county, one of which, at Hackington near Canterbury he had allowed to be used as somewhere to rest for King Henry, Anne, and Mary Boleyn as they travelled down from London to Dover, before crossing the English Channel to France in the October of 1532. The Royal party had already visited Canterbury Cathedral at this point and if this event was to help Anne Boleyn to become popular in the eyes of the public, this point at Canterbury, made the trip a disaster. As King Henry and Anne entered the cathedral, a nun called Elizabeth Barton, who had become famous of her prophecies and who King Henry himself had visited twice before, shouted that if he was to marry Anne, the king would die within months, this caused a scandal and enhanced many of the public’s suspicions of Anne. Elizabeth was executed over a year later; the lateness of the execution was due to the popularity of her claims.
The place Christopher could have used to house King Henry, Anne Boleyn, and her sister, would dip in and out of his family’s hands after his death in 1541, with the estate passing into the hands of Christopher’s wife as directed in his will. However, she was to later marry John Culpeper, and the Culpepers went on to sell it. Eventually, the estate fell back to a Sir Edward Hales in 1675, and Edward knocked the whole place down to build a Palladian styled building, before the property was eventually demolished. The area where Christopher’s home was once located, is now a part of the local school’s playing field with St Stephen’s Church, Hackington in the background (Letters and Papers Henry VIII, xvii).
This church would have been known to Christopher, as it once held a statue of him inside. However, there is a suggestion that Christopher had convinced the king to take it from the archdeacon and probably gained a temporary grant of it afterwards for Christopher to have it for himself (The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9. W Bristow, Canterbury 1800).
On 15th May 1536, the strangest event occurred within Christopher’s career. He walked into the King’s Hall within the Tower of London (no longer there) and took up his role as Attorney General for the King of England at a trial like no other. Christopher had to preside over a trial of treason. The criminal? None other than the Queen of England, King Henry’s wife, Anne Boleyn.
One wonders how Christopher truly felt over this moment?
Of course, we will never know for sure, Christopher would certainly not have been allowed to show any thought of his own in this matter and in all probability, he had possibly been told what would happen.
However, now knowing his background. Knowing that he may have had a connection to the Boleyn family, knowing that he had once given one of his homes for Anne and her sister to stay in. Knowing his closeness to Thomas Cromwell, who at one time was a supporter of Anne but now was probably the architect, from orders higher than himself, of this whole event. Knowing all that, one wonders how Sir Christopher Hales felt when he stared into the eyes of Anne Boleyn on this day in May 1536.
In this vast room, Christopher was with the Mayor of London, Sir John Aleyn, the French ambassador, diplomats, members of the public and the panel of judges that were considered to have been Anne Boleyn’s ‘peers’, however it’s debatable whether Anne viewed them as such.
The panel included the Earl of Sussex and Charles Brandon, who were King Henry’s best friends and no supporters of Anne; the king’s friends, Lord Grey of Powys, Lord Monteagle, Lord Sandys and Lord Windsor; and the Marquis of Exeter and Lord Montague, both of whom were supporters of Lady Mary, daughter of King Henry and Katherine Aragon, and so by definition, no supporters of Anne.
There was also the Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy, the man Anne had wanted to marry before the king took an interest, but he was too ill to sit for the full trial. There was Ralph Neville, an already proven loyal servant to the king; the Earl of Worcester, whose wife had given evidence against Anne; the Earl of Rutland and the Earl of Huntingdon, who were not only loyal to the king but were related to him; Lord Dacre, who had previously been accused of treason himself and only just survived, so would have been on good behaviour for the king; Lord Cobham, who quite possibly had a wife who gave evidence against Anne, and Lord Clinton, who was the step-father of King Henry’s illegitimate, and, at that time, only son, so he had an invested interest in getting Anne out of the way.
Finally, two people who really sit uncomfortably to be considered as Anne’s ‘peers’ to be able to judge her, and they, themselves probably did sit uncomfortably within the courtroom at the time too. These were Lord Morley, father-in-law to Anne’s brother, George Boleyn (also on trial that same day), and Lord Wentworth, who, believe it or not, was actually related to Jane Seymour, whom King Henry would marry within days of Anne Boleyn’s death! One could say… this trial was a one-sided affair (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII).
Nevertheless, the room was packed. Everyone was watching every move, every action that was made, and of course, the king had ears and eyes everywhere, even if he wasn’t in the actual room. What pressure Christopher must have felt at this point?
There was one person we have not mentioned who was within this room too, and it would be this person who read Anne’s sentence out – her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk.
He stated out loud ‘Because thou hast offended against our sovereign the King’s Grace in committing treason against his person, and here attained of the same, the law of the realm is this, that thou hast deserved death, and thy judgment is tis: that thou shalt be burned here within the Tower of London on the Green, else to have thy head smitten off, as the King’s pleasure shall be further known of the same’ (Spelman Reports i.71 as Quoted in The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives. Wiley-Blackwell 2005).
It has been suggested, through Sir Henry Norris’s manservant, that as the Duke of Norfolk read out this sentence to his niece, tears had coursed down his face.
Was he the only one to show emotion?
Would Christopher have shown emotion, whether it be through physical tears or a lump in his throat? Sadly, we will probably never know. What we do know is, that at this point of hearing Anne’s sentence, the Earl of Northumberland, Anne’s past sweetheart, collapsed and had to be taken out of court, showing the deep emotion many people could have possibly had at the time (The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives. Wiley-Blackwell 2005).
Anne herself was described later as being calm. Ambassador Chapuys wrote, ‘The Concubine was condemned first, and having heard the sentence, which was to be burnt or beheaded at the King’s pleasure, she preserved her composure…’ (Letters and Papers Henry VIII).
Would this have helped others in the room to find their feet, to focus on the task at hand? Would this have helped Christopher in his role? Or make the situation more special, more poignant for him?
After being found guilty, Anne Boleyn was escorted out of the room and taken the short distance back to the Queen’s Royal Apartments (no longer there) within the Tower of London, where she had been held as a prisoner. Later that same day, Christopher would be in the King’s Hall again to hear the sentence of Anne’s brother, George Boleyn.
How did Christopher feel over this most strange of events? Did he let the emotion of the day drain him? Did he care? Or did he see this as another moment within his career, that pushed his importance within the Tudor court? Sadly, we will probably never know.
Christopher was to pass away in the June of 1541, being buried within the church that was close to the property that Christopher had provided for the king, Anne Boleyn and her sister to use to rest in 1532, at Stephen’s Church, Hackington, near Canterbury.
Written by author and historian Amanda Harvey Purse.
Amanda, a member of the Royal Historical Society, has worked with many museums and television programmes on a range of subjects from the Tudors to the Victorians. She has written many historical books such as Martha, the life and times of Martha Tabram, a suggested victim of Jack the Ripper. Jack and Old Jewry: The City of London Policemen who Hunted the Ripper and the award-winning, Inspector Reid: The Real Ripper Street.
This article is a part of her research for her next book, titled The Boleyns: From the Tudors to the Windsors, published by Amberley Publishing and due out in 2021.
61 thoughts on “Sir Christopher Hales and the Boleyns by Amanda Harvey Purse”
Thank you Amanda. Amazing information. My personal opinion regarding the tears streaming down the cheeks of Thom Howard Third Duke of Norfolk is that it was either fear that he could also face the block or relief that he didn’t. From all of the things I’ve read about him he was much more concerned with his own well being than with the well being of any other living person, even in his own family.
As to the subject of this article I would imagine he did grieve. If not openly in court, certainly when alone. Overall he seems to have been a good man and I am sorry he had to be part of this travesty of justice.
Thank you Claire for putting this on your blog.
Thanks, Amanda, for this wonderful and informative article about Sir Christopher Hales and their family and to Claire for hosting her interesting and very detailed research. The research is very thorough and authoritative.
It’s certain that the Hales and Boleyn families knew each other well as two of the great landowners and wealthy gentle families of the same county as well as being employed members of the Royal Court. The families had probably known each other since Boleyn moved to Hever in 1505 and as a courtier Thomas Boleyn would have sought the advice of Hales in legal matters. As high ranking courtiers and the favourite first family whose daughter was the honoured and beloved mistress of the King, the Boleyn family would be well acquainted with the legal work of Sir Christopher and had dealings with him regularly. As a courtier he would have served Anne as Queen as well as the King and as with any high ranking courtiers, they did business regularly. Sir Christopher, the same as anyone else had his duty to do the King’s will as well as to work not only within the law but to advise on the law. He would have been caught between both worlds when he sat in Court and prosecuted traitors.
The people Sir Christopher prosecuted were not strangers dragged before the Courts on felonies but the members of the same Royal Court in which he served. One, Sir Thomas More, knew the law as well as he did, if not better; the Attorney General had probably served with More when he was a magistrate. He could only have been thoroughly uncomfortable when More stood before the Court on treason charges, charges which were totally bizarre as More used the legal stance that consent equalised consent. More was convicted with perjury. Sir Christopher, therefore, like many others before him, did his duty to the King, regardless of the law. I doubt very much we can speculate on his feelings in the performance of his duties. He knew many accused of treason personally and no doubt he wondered how they had fallen so low, but didn’t question the truth of the matter because the King at the end of the day wasn’t to be questioned. Cromwell for his part was more than capable of presenting an air tight case and he took his own advice from the Attorney General.
The case of the Queen, however, was difficult and as different as night is from day, because here was the Sovereign Lady on trial for treason, adultery and incest. Knowing the Boleyn family, Hales must have formed some opinion as to the character of the woman before him on that day in May. Anne was reputable for her virtue as Queen and her character wasn’t one that indulged in the terrible things she was accused off. Hales would have understood the type of man Sir Thomas Boleyn was, his reputation for hard work and loyalty and I doubt he really believed the charges. Anne may have had a common reputation as a whore for her relationships with Henry and her time in France but those who knew her well, those in her household at Court as Queen, they knew better. Anne was fashionable but modest and she kept a strict and religious household. She was a,reformer, not a Protestant, but she believed in the morality of the Christian New Testament and so was unlikely to be cavorting all over the place and taking part in incestuous romps with her brother and the men of the King’s household. When Anne was brought before the High Court on those treason charges, the men before her were mostly the enemies of herself and her family. Some would have sympathy for her because they had personally known and loved her, like Northumberland. Others like Charles Brandon probably couldn’t wait to get rid of her, guilty or not. However, as Attorney General, it wasn’t Sir Christopher Hales problem to devise if Anne was guilty or not, or to care if she was, it was his job to oversee the proceedings and to ensure everything was legally done and to direct the King’s justice. No matter how he felt, and for once he may have felt some doubt or compassion or had questions in the back of his mind about the truth of the matter, but his first duty was to the law and the state and none of that mattered. The public in the Hall at The Tower that afternoon certainly had sympathy for the Queen and they were on the side of George Boleyn when he took the stand. Many betted on him being acquitted. The first duty in treason trials was to put the case in such a manner that it blackened the name of the accused, who were assumed to be guilty, to put on a show and to make them all appear as agents of Evil. It wasn’t a case of evidence or the truth, it was the crown v the diabolical traitors and the crown was righteous and the crown was meant to win. Very rarely the defence won, but usually the crown got its verdict. The prosecution of the Queen was a weighty matter, but Henry had made up his mind: it didn’t matter how the heavily loaded jury felt. Anne was guilty from the moment she entered the Court room and so was George. Sir Christopher was also connected to Cromwell, the Architect of the crowns case and this was another thing which weighted the case in favour of the prosecution. Whether Norfolk was genuinely upset at the awaiting fate of his niece or his own family shame, we can only speculate, but the fact was, very few of the Jury were conscious of anything but the will of the King. Regardless of Anne’s behaviour as Queen, the majority of her judges and the juries were men picked to find against her. Sir Christopher Hales was no different to anyone else at the Tudor Court. His position would not have allowed him the luxury of feeling sorry for the accused, no matter how well his family knew them. Today, if the officers of a law Court or judge knew the accused they would have to recuse themselves. That wasn’t going to be an option in these state trials either.
Well, here we go again or rather here Professor Bernard goes again with the Lancelot de Carles poem which accused Anne of adultery with her brother and Mark Smeaton and which he claimed was true in 2010. Now in the Express he has repeated the allegations yet again and that historians didn’t know the poem which is why they accepted Anne wasn’t guilty. What a load of nonsense! Historians who have actually studied this are well aware of the near contemporary poem made in 1536 but possibly published in 1545. The allegations in the poem are based on the gossip of Elizabeth Browne, not solid evidence. The poem wasn’t well known to the general public before the book by Professor Bernard but it has been well-known for the last decade. Is it the anniversary of his book perhaps? Is he trying to boost book sales perhaps? The claim that this is new information ignored by historians I find offensive but of course the papers have to sell. It’s not as if this is new evidence or recently discovered, although it’s translation is farely recent compared to other well-known evidence. We are aware of it now, so why make such a provocative claim? No, historians are aware of most documentary evidence on the so called affairs of Anne Boleyn and the charges against her have long been proven false by Professor Ives. You don’t need to be a great scholar to understand that nobody can be in two places at the same time and in more than one third she was elsewhere or the men were. Another third makes the circumstances impossible. The rest can also be picked apart with some work. Anne didn’t hold off King Henry Viii for seven years in order to sleep with half his Court, she could have done that any time she chose before getting married. She obviously didn’t and she didn’t afterwards either. Anne needed and wanted to give Henry a son, sleeping with her brother or servants would not achieve that and it was impossible without help. Nobody else was even accused of helping the Queen. Sorry for the rant but articles like this which make claims to be authoritative and based on new evidence, when they are not make me mad. I just happened upon it online. Mystery Unravelled..Anne Boleyn Accused of Adultery. Ridiculous title and its not as if we are being told something new here. We have been aware of this poem for at least a decade and it has been dismissed by real historians as hog wash or at least the way it was interpreted has. Rant over. What do people think?
That is quite aggravating. Does he currently have a book to sell? Maybe he’ll be ignored.
The only book I am aware off on Anne Boleyn is the one he wrote trying to show the so called evidence for the allegations and in which the Professor claims that Anne was guilty of some of the stuff she was accused off and he certainly believed she slept with one man, Mark Smeaton and probably Henry Norris. The chief prosecution witness in this mess is Lady Elizabeth Browne, the Countess of Worcester, sister of Sir Anthony Browne. The poem is the source of the famous quarrel between brother and sister, in which he says she isn’t being faithful to her husband. Now, this is probably nonsense as well. Elizabeth retorted that if he thinks she is bad, then he really should hear what the Queen gets up to and she is said to accuse the Queen of sleeping with Smeaton and Norris. There is a more sinister background to this. Sir William Brereton, one of the men executed was the brother by law and he also came up in conversations from other sources. It is believed that the Countess, who was heavily pregnant, may have been pressurised into naming him as a suspect. Anthony Browne was well in with Thomas Cromwell who saw Brereton as a rival and someone who stood in his political way in Wales. Anthony B was concerned about what his wife had said and repeated it to Cromwell. Cromwell reported it to the King and then the investigation began with the invitation of Smeaton to diner by Master Secretary. In his book Bernard is determined that the Countess of Worcester was in as he put it “a place as to be able to know what was going on”. In other words she was a chief lady of the Queen and would be aware if she was seeing men late at night and if she was up to no good. Elizabeth was noted as a potential witness by Lord Lisle and Judge Spelman but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t merely repeating gossip. Her words do not appear to have been used directly in evidence. The book goes on to assume that Anne wanted to have children by Henry but he was impotent part of the time. Therefore she would do the one thing which makes no sense at all and she would sleep with another man and pass off his son as the King’s. Not only would that definitely be treason but political suicide as well, because an impotent man would know the child wasn’t his. It was simply too much of a risk. Bernard also undermined the Queen and her reformation role and other aspects of her importance. I don’t disagree with Professor B or anyone else interpreting a little known source or saying he believes Anne is guilty of some of the charges against her. He is perfectly entitled to do so. I do have a problem with his press statements which read as if everyone else wasn’t aware off or have ignored the accusations in the poem and this is new evidence which he has brought into the light. That really annoyed me in 2010 and it annoyed me today. He is well aware that historians have been aware of the poem for several years and have examined it. They are not ignoring the poem or its potential as incriminating evidence against Anne Boleyn. They merely dismiss it as being nothing more than gossip, pointing instead to the study of the Indictments, most of which have been shown to be nonsense. Historians also point to the background surrounding the trial, the hostile Jury and the impossibility of any Queen being able to commit adultery without inside help. The unreliability of the evidence and Anne’s confession of innocence to a priest are things which Processor B seems to have overlooked. As you say, Michael, perhaps he will be ignored. The fact that he has repeated this nonsense ten years after his book was published is rather self promoting.
In an article entitled ‘The Fall of Anne Boleyn’ (‘English Historical Review’, July, 1991), G.W. Bernard, in defense of his Anne was guilty theory, claimed that Lady Worcester (the woman who allegedly said that the Queen had worse morals than she herself, as she was an adulteress, which led to Anne’s downfall) may have been Thomas Cromwell’s mistress!
According to Bernard, Lady Worcester’s brother berated her (Lady W. that is) as a loose lady because she might have been made pregnant by a man other than her husband Henry Somerset. He writes – ‘It is just possible that the Countess was Thomas Cromwell’s mistress’ (pg. 598).
Bernard thinks that their relationship was probably more than a friendship as their letters to each other implied a special intimacy.
Was Bernard suggesting that Cromwell was the father? He actually doesn’t say so, but then why put forward that Lady W. might have been having an extramarital affair, and that she might have been Cromwell’s mistress?
Good morning, Roland, I had heard talk about Cromwell having a mistress, probably Lady Worcester, but I haven’t read that article. Wow! That makes sense and maybe his hold over her was used in her alleged evidence? Thanks for that information, I will definitely give it a read. It gets worse. It really makes it all sound very sordid. It’s certainly what her brother was implying, that someone else was the father of her baby.
The poor woman sounds as if she was being bullied by a lot of overly imaginative and aggressive men.
That article (from 1991) is an oldie!
I notice that when he later wrote ‘Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions’ in 2010, Bernard dropped the Lady Worcester and Cromwell having an affair theory. No more mention of it.
I don’t recall it in his book. He also published a later article in response to one by Eric Ives but I don’t think he added anything of consequence but its all part of the debate, except for me, the work done by Eric Ives was case closed. As to the why and was it a conspiracy, that’s a whole other melting pot. At the end of the day, King Harry had wife no three on hold and could not have Anne around any longer and the poor lady was put out of the way permanently because the King would look a fool having turned the world upside down to marry her.
Of course coming out with a theory that Anne was guilty sells books, newspapers and novels, even if they are totally nonsense. I don’t think Cromwell needed to be in a relationship with a potential witness to get what he wanted from her. I think he could frighten anyone into saying what he wanted and on the King’s business he was ruthless..
I have read the various articles and the relevant authors on Anne’s Fall and I have to agree with Ives that there isn’t any evidence for Lady Worcester being the mistress of either Cromwell or the King. I agree with Tracy Borman and others that the movement against William Brereton was political and the use of Elizabeth Countess of Worcester for information was convenient. She may have been a bit promiscuous but there isn’t any evidence that her child belonged to anyone but her husband Charles Somerset. Elizabeth was obviously indignant but she was pregnant and I don’t blame her. Her reaction was probably born out of her Indignation.
Cromwell also hired William Fitzwilliam her half brother by law to assist in the investigation of Anne Boleyn and the interrogation. Its likely to be that he was mixed up with Sir Anthony and that he pressurised her for information about the Queen. Elizabeth W was upset about money she owed the Queen as her husband didn’t know about it and Cromwell later told her to forget about it. Anne was concerned about the baby her friend carried but she was fine and named in hee her honour. Ives in his papers in 1992 found no evidence of her being any ones mistress and as Roland says Bernard does not mention it in 2010. He still believes that Elizabeth had accurate information about Anne, but although she is mentioned in the Trial records, it isn’t clear what evidence she gave and her testimonials were not mentioned as witness testimony, although it wasn’t unusual not to be a witness in the court room. Written testimony was enough. Her evidence may have been vague and misinterpreted as with most of the evidence relating to Anne Boleyn and the men accused with her and was probably given under pressure.
My take on Lady Worcester is that she was part of the government’s ‘spin’ to explain Anne Boleyn’s arrest.
According to the official version of events (later set down by De Carles in his poem), the Queen’s arrest was the result of Lady W.’s confession. In truth, it was to hide the fact that the whole affair was a plot by Cromwell to frame Anne. He admitted as much to Chapuys.
Bernard, in his 2010 book, raises the point that if Princess Diana could have secret affairs out of the palace, so could have Anne.
But you can’t compare the modern times to the Tudor era. The situations were different. Diana wasn’t surrounded by dozens of ladies-in -waiting at Kensington Palace keeping their eyes on her as they would on Anne. Also, Diana had a car to quickly get from one place to another!
I find Cromwell and the Lady Worcester set up convenient for Cromwell and the Government because she just happened to be related to Fitzwilliam who was part of the Government investigation and interrogation team. I also think Cromwell conspired against Anne, even if Henry initiated it and it had to be Cromwell who went for suspects who were acceptable. At the same time he could get rid of an inconvenience or two. By forcing a confession out of Mark Smeaton and finding a couple of helpful ladies with some juicy information, perhaps in his pay, he could make the case look good, even though it was a frame up. Cromwell then went home and invented a load of dates and times and nobody questioned them. The King didn’t care, he just wanted her out of the way. It was a terrible thing to do, framing so many people, just because they were expendable so as Henry could be free.
I don’t believe for one moment any of the so called evidence amounted to anything more than gossip, rumours and flirting talk taken out of context. Most of the things Anne said would not normally equate to anything but they were spun, alongside some juicy eye witness testimony, which wasn’t anything, out of proportion and somehow turned into “evidence” . It was all nonsense and both Cromwell and the King knew it, but the Government had to make it look plausible.
With regards to Anne not being able to sneak out like Princess Diana, I agree. She was watched day and slept with another lady, was surrounded by them and she didn’t have transport on hand. She was probably also watched very closely and although the distances were not far, the roads were not safe at night and Anne would have been at risk travelling on horse or even the river by herself. High born women didn’t do such things. She would have needed to take a couple of her women aside and planned everything very carefully. It would be safer to bring her lovers to her. Even then any back stairs, private entrances up to her apartments on the second floor would need to be clear and someone to guide them up. It was dangerous enough for Katherine Howard in the same palace, helped by Jane Boleyn and at least one other lady, let alone people sneaking from one palace to the other. Some of the men were the personal attendants of the King and in his household, not the Queen’s. Henry Norris was the Groom of the Stool, which meant he might be needed any time of the day or night. He for one thing might be easily missed. When he was in the chambers of the Queen it was with other people. There is no way Anne would sleep with her brother as they were Bible believing people and this was an abdominal sin. Her ladies might think little of her brother coming and going but its doubtful she was absolutely alone with him. Without help and condemning another woman with her, the secret love life of Anne which nobody had any suspicions about before April 1536,_are impossible. In other cases, Anne was confined to her birthing chambers or heavily pregnant or had not long had Elizabeth. In these cases no man was allowed access to her or sexual activity was considered harmful to the baby. To be honest, to be guilty of everything Anne was accused off, with five plus men, on the number of occasions and to be constantly plotting to kill the King, I really don’t know were she found the time or the energy, let alone the opportunity. Her reputation was painted as black as possible and she was made out to be some kind of she Devil who had no morals at all and was capable of every terrible deed going and was out of control and Henry had to be made to look like an innocent victim. He couldn’t admit he had been wrong about Anne and all the decisions he had made regarding breaking from Rome, the annulment from Katherine and the executions because of the Supremacy because he would look foolish. Cromwell had to make a case which vindicated the King. Six innocent people had to die for a King’s honour. That to me is a dreadful thing for anyone to devise and shows how Henry was slipping into ruthless Tyranny and Cromwell was more than willing to do his will.
I agree, Prof Bernards claims are quite bizarre, to compare Princess Diana’s situation to Anne Boleyn’s, Diana was unfettered from the chains that bound Tudor queens and princesses, from early times right through the medieval and Tudor period and onwards, from the moment they arose to the minute they retired to bed, kings and queens were always in the company of others, they had someone sleep outside their door, and when not sleeping together, they had servants sleep in their room, it was impossible in fact for those long ago monarchs to have any form of private life whatsoever, even in the closet they were attended by those fortunate enough to be privy to them in their most intimate moments, the king had his stools checked regularly and it was well known he suffered from constipation, Anne had striven so hard to be queen she would not have been so foolhardy as to attempt to deceive the king, why risk her very position for a few fumbles? Her very behaviour through the long years of waiting is testament to her strength of character, her enemies called her a whore but in fact, she proved she was highly moral, to meet with any man she would have had to had several women in her employ who she trusted implicitly, as Catherine Howard had several years later, she had the co operation of Lady Rochford and some other women who had been in her grandmothers household when she was a girl, Catherine was risking her very life as well as her maids, and they both died for it, Anne was no young girl like Catherine, she was older more experienced and knew the way of the court, moreover, she had seen how he had treated his first wife when he tired of her, she may have been arrogant and argumentive, sometimes vindictive and downright cruel as when she insisted Mary should attend on Elizabeth and when she unwisely declared she would kill the poor girl when Henry went to France, but immoral – never, she was a flirt and loved the attentions of men and yes the courtly love language was turned by Cromwell into proof of treasonous adultery, she unwisely blabbed to Norris that he would marry her if the king were to die, very foolish remark and I think Cromwell got the idea about charging Anne with plotting to murder the king from that, those words were not put down as evidence surprisingly enough, because it was treason to imagine the death of the king, but Cromwell had enough evidence mostly gossip amongst her ladies to convict the queen, Elizabeth Browne was named as one of the first accusers against the queen, but I do not believe she would have thrown her friend and mistress to the wolves, I believe that she was pressured into saying what Cromwell wanted her to say and possibly the same went with Anne’s other ladies, it is easy to frighten women, they all had good positions in Anne’s household and they would not want to lose them, every noblewoman vied for a place in the queens household it was the ultimate prize in life at court, and I should imagine Cromwell could be quite ruthless when he wanted to be, Mark Smeaton was in his presence and the outcome was that he confessed to adultery with the queen, obviously some pressure had been put on him, same with Anne’s women, yet anyone at court the king himself, knew how impossible it was for a queen to commit adultery with so many men over a period of two years and not be discovered, it was something her daughter Queen Elizabeth herself mentioned many years later, there were rumours about herself and the Earl of Leicester and she declared to her women how was it possible she could conduct a love affair in secret as every minute of the day she was attended to by so many? Maybe Anne herself said as much when she was first arrested, the charges against Anne would have looked more plausible more believable if she had only been charged with committing adultery with one man maybe two? The murder plot itself was enough to condemn her but no, her name her very character had to be blackened so completely that Henry gained more sympathy and so it seemed that death was the only option, the innocent lives of the five men did not matter, a very real threat to the happiness of the king and the continuation of his dynasty had to be removed, and if by doing so others had to perish, then so be it.
I don’t even think that Lancelot de Carles had any motive to write the facts as he heard them in his life of Anne Boleyn in poem form. I believe he wrote what he had heard. I even think that whatever Elizabeth B said or was told to say was as vague as “Yes, my lord, I saw men in the Queens chamber at night” or “Yes, I heard her speaking with Henry Norris. I heard her laughing with William Brereton.” Anything else may even have been added and never read in court, although she was named by Judge Spellman, who had read the report. Everything was really vague and could be twisted. It must have been very handy for Cromwell that one of his assistants was related to the husband of one of Anne’s close friends and main ladies. William Fitzwilliam who conducted the interrogations was her half brother. A pregnant woman who was vulnerable and a bit of a gossip was easy to threaten into saying what Cromwell wanted and hide the fact he was preparing a false case against the Queen in order to frame her for his master the King.
Anne was a flirt and that made it possible to frame her and twist everything she did and said. She simply wouldn’t have risked herself and her daughter and her life after standing off from the King for seven years. Anne, we are supposed to believe went from saying no to the mighty and sexy King for several years to becoming a sex addict within months of the wedding. Oh yeah, of course she did. And nobody noticed until the end of April, less than a month before her death? The woman is surrounded by dozens of people, men and women and nobody saw or heard anything about her rampant sex life for three years. Not a very observant lot or loyal lot, to the King, that is, were they? As you say, Christine, absolutely bizarre.
This had been such an interesting conversation to read. I know virtually nothing about Prof. Bernard but he seems like someone who read the syllabus to a class but never took the class or read other information on the subject. Historical novelists can do this sort of thing but for an academic to do so really damaging. Does he truly believe the stuff he says or does he like the attention he gets from going against the historical grain?
Yes, I believe so because he is repeating it ten years later. It’s not that he believes Anne was guilty, that’s his provocative. It’s the I am the only one who understands the significance of Lancelot de Carles writing and nobody else gets it or they ignore it. No, Professor, they just don’t agree with it, and your reasoning that because Princess Di could leave Kensington Palace today, without too much apparent difficulty, Anne could do the same is ludicrous. As Roland points out Diana had a modern car and wasn’t watched every five minutes. The comparison just makes no sense at all. I am not convinced even Diana could simply drive out of the palace without someone trying to stop her. The Royal family are assigned the equivalent of the Secret Service for their protection. Not that its impossible to give them the slip, but they must have been ordered to step aside and they probably followed her anyway. I doubt any member of the Royal family could leave the palace grounds without security being aware of it, even if they drove themselves. Anne definitely couldn’t. Even in the fictional Three Musketeers Queen Anne only meets the Duke of Buckingham with the help of her dress maker, one lady in waiting and a musketeer. So even Dumas doesn’t create the impossible. Anne of Austria really did meet the Duke of Buckingham and received letters from him, but the King and the Cardinal knew about it and it caused a stink so she was obviously being watched and she wasn’t alone. It wasn’t possible for Anne to meet lovers without someone knowing. Maybe he doesn’t believe that part, but he certainly believes everything else. Oh well it adds to the debate, but please don’t try and say only you understand a controversial poem, just because most historians disagree.
Well said. How many times have we had the conversation that if you want to understand what happened in the past you have to put your mind into the era you are studying. If all people he should know better than to liken the 16th & 20th centuries as being at all comparable. With all of the new wonderful historians we have now I hope he is ignored.
Thank you, Michael for your kind words. It has long occurred to me that if Anne had the opportunity, warning, could she or would she have escaped. It occurred to me again last night because if Anne could sneak about with no problems and no ladies, why couldn’t she escape before her arrest? I know it sounds like a stupid question but there is actually an interesting novel by Olivia Longueville which has just that alternative history as its premise. Anne is pregnant at the time of her arrest but she is somehow rescued and smuggled to France. I can’t remember the full story but Anne has a healthy son and Jane doesn’t. The book was meant to be one of two, but only one was written. I have often pondered would it be possible to warn Anne and for an escape, with help but have dismissed the thought because the palace would have been on high alert with treason in the air and arrested men. Normally the palace had all kinds of people coming and going in its courtyards and even with guards, it was possible for a wagon to conceal someone. But with arrests for high treason, suspicious happenings, tension everywhere, the Court in turmoil, the orders out for more arrests and on high alert, nobody was getting in or out. I did imagine Anne in a laundry basket being lowered over the walls but that’s the stuff of fanciful fiction and it would need to be a big basket and a strong rope. She could be warned. The first arrest was in the morning or afternoon of 30th April and Anne was arrested two days later. The King did nothing until later on 1st May. If Anne was tipped off and attended the tournament so as not to raise suspicions, then Henry’s sudden exit was a blessing. Once he was out of the way, she could feign illness and retire to her rooms or even turn her horse and flee. Anne was not attended by the King that evening but her women only. Feigning her illness, she could dismiss her ladies but a few and when it was quiet dress quickly and in a cloak, taking a few things and with trusted help escape via the private stairs, the guards being already bribed and Anne is escorted outside. I imagine a horse waiting and with a few servants and a body guard Anne escapes into the night. The alert isn’t given until she is out of the way. A bit too fanciful though but one can imagine. Too many movies perhaps? However, it wouldn’t be possible in real life, not under the watchful eyes of a Court on high alert. It also illustrates how Anne was watched and guarded and attended by ladies and servants and her Council at all times, even in the middle of the night. Not even Henry rode out alone. Nor did he sleep alone, dress alone or even go to the loo alone. Even if he made love, two guards sat outside the door. The Queen didn’t always sleep with him. They had separated apartments and mirrored households, they could lead separate lives, but not totally alone. Anne couldn’t have slept with a lover or even the King without someone knowing and being outside the door. Protocol determined that the King came to his wife’s bed and even that was flowered and accompanied by ceremony and rituals. The King would send word ahead and the Queen would be prepared. The Chamberlain came along to rooms of Kathryn Howard when the Royal Court was on progress in 1541 in order to announce that the King would sleep with her that night. However, he found the outer doors locked and he couldn’t gain entry. Kathryn was entertaining her lover that night, Thomas Culpeper and when Henry turned up unexpectedly there was a scramble to get him down the back stairs, the Queen pretended to be asleep and making ready and the King was kept waiting for her. She couldn’t have achieved any of that without help. Access to the King and Queen and to which chamber one was permitted was strictly controlled but the King’s messenger should have found the outer chambers unlocked, if guarded. The protocols in Tudor times allowed them to have more privacy than before but even then, someone was always close by. Even if Anne somehow had a lover hidden in the cupboard to be brought to her with the Marmalade as one bawdy story goes in the Spanish Chronicle, her love making would have been heard, if not observed and who was bringing him to her anyway? Again even in this funny but ridiculous story Anne has help. If the King was guarded, had someone sleeping under or at the foot of his bed for safety and security, how much more closely was the Queen watched. Apart from anything else, there were probably spies. How else did Chapuys get his inside information but from spies in the Royal Household? I suspect Cromwell had his spies as well. Yet, not one person ever reported any of these hordes of lovers coming and going in the middle of the night during the three years Anne was Queen. I find that extraordinary and have to ask how and why, especially if she was never alone or was within ear shot of her servants and guards. Someone would have said something before this convenient conspiracy against her was launched if those ridiculous Indictments and invented dates had one shred of truth to them. Professor Bernard can believe what he likes, I think he will continue to be ignored by most historians, the poem may represent some kind of official version for the Government or the benefit of France, but the truth is there in black and white and anyone who can read can take up most books and see there isn’t any integrity in the charges against her and the five innocent men sacrificed with her. You don’t need to be a historian to know that a man who has his wife executed in order to marry another eleven days later is up to no good and his version of events is shaky at best. You only need common sense to see the entire thing doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. No other monarch did what Henry did, not once but twice, not without being mad or really thinking she was guilty and then showing remorse. Anne was inconvenient and had become a nuisance, she had not delivered on her promise, that’s all and Henry didn’t want the embarrassment of another Katherine. That’s why she was executed. Anyone with an ounce of common sense should see Henry was just making the path clear and getting rid of Anne because he wanted to. You don’t need PhD or a Professorship to see that, just a bit of intelligence. In my experience, too many academics lack either.
Hi BQ. I love that scenario. Too bad it’s not true. It seems, especially in this instance that all of the arrests happened so quickly there was no escape. If instead the accused were summoned to court and the plan was to aorrest the accused upon their arrival an escape could be attempted. I don’t know but at this time disobeying the king’s summons was probably a treasonable offense punishable by death so nothing gained there. IF escape was initially successful where could you go? There were spies at all of the ports on the lookout for all sorts of things and people the king deemed undesirable. As to Anne I admitted in the past that I don’t think I would have liked her. Today I would just ignore her. In her time the enmity she created among the powerful didn’t just lead to her being snubbed. It led to backstabbing and deceit with the hopeful outcome of her destruction. Positionally and physically. It seems courtiers in Henry Viii’s court were always acting this way.towards one another. As you say she was always attended, never alone. Without 100% support of all of her ladies in waiting and attendants escape was impossible. As we have seen a single accusation in the reign of this monarch could cost you your head without proof or a trial. The nonsense Prof. Bernard spouts is unbelievable. Of all of the books I’ve read on this subject they are but a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of actual published works produced. I am no academician but it’s even obvious to me that Anne and the five men were absolutely 100% innocent of all charges. Bernard’s continued ridiculous insistence on her guilt doesn’t just blacken her name, also the names of 5 men he never met. If he trully believes this even with all of the evidence to the contrary that’s bad enough but if he knows otherwise and still touts this drivel as accurate historical fact I don’t know how he sleeps at night.
Hi Michael, no you probably wouldn’t get far and even successful escapes from the Tower were planned in advance. She would need to be hidden until she could get half an hour down river and out of the country. However, you would need to arrange for a vessel to be waiting and catch the tide. Anne would only be hidden in a house along the Thames or have to ride further North or South but the ports would soon be covered as would the likely roads and bridleways were treacherous at night. A huge man hunt would soon be underway. It was certainly a capital crime to aid a fugitive and especially the escaping Queen. If you didn’t turn up at Court, I would think that you would be outside of the law still and anyone could get you. There were successful escapes from the Tower of London because it was a busy hub of people coming and going and not always secured. The Yoemen were founded by Henry Vii in order to be a professional body who protect the Tower and the person of the King. The ceremony of the Keys goes back to the time of Edward I who came back to the City early from his progress and found his Tower unguarded and his gates open. Now every gate is locked at ten o’clock and strangers removed. The entire place is under lock down by midnight and nobody, not even the Governor can go out or return after midnight. The Governor and his family live at the Tower. He has to stay elsewhere if he is away after midnight. However, bizarre escapes still happened. Sir William Seymour the husband of the ill-fated Arbella Stuart walked out dressed as his own barber. She escaped dressed as a man, rode to Barnet and then to a small inn. She waited too long for her delayed husband and then took ship. She waited again, the ship was searched and she was taken to the Tower. William was two hours away but he caught the tide and the wind and was blown to Holland. He was in exile in France but returned years later. Poor Arbella died of either a wasting illness or starvation for love of William.
Father Gerard who was a Catholic priest condemned to death and forgotten about for three years escaped successfully. His friends wrote to him using orange juice for invisible ink and he had a guard allow him to pray with another prisoner in a cell by the River. One night he was in the cell when his friends shot a rope to him. The priest had to crawl along the rope over the final court yard and then in to a boat to safety. Half way across he had to stop for to get his strength back but he made it. He was rowed down the Thames and to France. His account is still in print today. These escapes were all well planned and not last minute and involved bribery. I can’t see how with short notice that Anne could have escaped and not been captured. However, it is still a good scenario to imagine.
I agree with you that the claims that Anne and the innocent men who died with her were in any way guilty is an insult to their memory. It flies in the face of the hard work done by reputable people to show how and why they were innocent. Its bad enough that we get it from fiction such as PG but for an academic to go in the face of the evidence and the reasoning of every other historian is beyond belief or understanding. Even new historians are convinced that Anne was innocent. Now don’t get me wrong, she was no angel but having a sharp tongue wasn’t a capital offence. Nagging wives were put in an iron mask called the scolds bridal, not beheaded. Henry wanted a quick and pernament fix and Anne did not deserve to be set up and executed with other people on terrible fake charges for his convenience.
Ha the Scolds Bridal, I bet many a man would have loved to put their wives in that! Prof Bernard was interviewed in the documentary ‘The Last Days Of Anne Boleyn’, I enjoyed it very much and there was Weir and Mantel and the ever debated Philippa Gregory being interviewed as well, why Miss Gregory I cannot imagine, she is no historian, Starkey himself dismissed her as merely a novelist, there is Bernard saying Anne could have committed adultery with Norris and Smeaton and Gregory saying she thinks Anne and her brother committed incest, another bizarre claim! However if we try to put ourselves in Anne’s position what would any of us do? Your very position your very future depends on the birth of a healthy son, your husband has a poor fertility record, you had just lost a baby after the birth of your daughter Elizabeth, (it is believed Anne was pregnant and then mysteriously we hear no more of it), your husbands eyes are wondering and you know your enemies are waiting to pounce, did Anne believe her husband was incapable of siring healthy children? She knew Katherines sad obstetric history, did she wonder if the fault lay with her or the king? All these facts we have to take into account because they may have had a bearing on Anne’s actual behaviour and if she really did commit adultery or not, it was something Norah Lofts considered in her research into the tragic queens life, she wrote ‘she could have in desperation taken another man into her bed’, she was referring to Mark Smeaton but no one else, it is just possible that Anne could have turned to the lowly musician but it would have had to be a closely guarded secret possibly just between the two of them, Smeaton was of poor birth and is said to have come from the country, such lads are capable of siring healthy broods of families, if Anne actually did sleep with Smeaton it would have been just to get a child, not out of lust or wanton disrespect for her husband or her own position as queen consort, not because she was a sinful wicked woman, but just so she could win over her enemies, keep her position as queen and continue to be the kings dearly beloved wife, the so called affairs Lofts dismisses as all sensible historians do, but maybe just in even thinking Anne could have slept with Smeaton to get a son we are doing her a great disservice, we have to remember she was a pious deeply religious woman, and she swore on the sacrament she had never been unfaithful, in Tudor times it meant a great deal to swear on the sacrament, to lie would have meant eternal damnation, the immortal soul was something all people in Tudor times meant a great deal to, their fleshly life was merely a gateway to the delights in heaven, Prof Bernard does not seem to think of that, he said she could have slept with Norris as well as Smeaton just because he had that ill fated conversation with the queen about the king dying, he conjectures there could have been intimacy between them, yet Norris was engaged to her cousin and although that does not mean he did not find the queen attractive or any other woman at court, he was a long time faithful retainer of the king and was considered one of his closest friends, he had the enviable position of Groom Of The Stool, why would he risk his life and position to sleep with the queen, Norris was considered a decent noble person not the sort to betray his master, and he did not say those words it was Anne ever reckless who did, Norris‘s reaction was one of shock and said he would rather his head was off, Anne realising too late the enormity of what she had said begged him to go to his almoner and say what a good woman she was, Anne in the past probably had flirted with Norris like she must have with Weston and many others, but it was courtly love tradition and it was prevalent in many sophisticated courts in Europe, yet by mentioning the kings death she had overstepped the bounds as she then immediately became the knight instead of the longed for lady, the beautiful untouchable queen whose would be lovers sang to her of their love and adoration and how they longed to be with her, Miss Gregory’s claims are more bizarre as she believes Anne and George both slept together to get a child which they could then pass of as the kings, she says Anne was ruthless enough to commit such a deed, and she chose her brother because out of all men, he alone was whom she could trust, here she is forgetting Anne’s piety and also George’s to, to indulge in such a wicked sinful and perverted act would have made the heavens open on them, neither would risk the fires of hell to bring a baby into the world, she also does the queen injustice, in her novels she has them both sleeping together, her novels we can dismiss and yet many do read them and believe that’s what could have happened, the crime of incest is abhorrent and we know it has existed for centuries and continues to exist in some households, yet it is rare and is more prevalent in poor households like the 18th c where London slums housed families of between six and twelve, brothers and sisters sharing maggot ridden straw mattresses, gin – mothers ruin was the cheap drink of the poor and vice was there in ever corner, there was drinking and prostitution and so we can see that incest was practised more, yet in normal households where you have several attractive and clever individuals, where they are themselves surrounded by other attractive individuals incest would hardly be able to rear it’s ugly head, I cannot see Anne suggesting such an idea to her brother and I cannot see George ever agreeing to it even if she had, normal brothers and sisters would be sickened by such an idea, Anne may have been ruthless she had waited long to be queen and she was desperate to give the king a son, but to try to seduce her own brother – no! Her piety was well known, and so was George’s they were not capable of such depravity, she had received the best of education in Margaret of Austria’s court where the most strictest of moral behaviour was upheld, she had then lived in France and no scandal was attached to her there, as we have discussed her behaviour during her long courtship by King Henry shows her to have been deeply moral, no scandal was attached to her throughout the long years of waiting, so it makes no sense whatsoever that she should suddenly turn into this wanton depraved creature who slept with her own brother, and decides to plot her own husbands death, and worse intends to rule with her lovers after his demise, that accusation makes Anne out to be not the intelligent creature she was, but very foolish as she would have known the council nor parliament would ever allow her to rule on behalf of baby Elizabeth, who was her fathers heir, it was a ludicrous charge amongst the many ludicrous charges of incest and adultery, Anne Boleyn was the only queen in English history whose name was blackened thus, and yet by doing so her husband and King has rarely escaped condemnation, her execution is seen as a stain on his rule and it did ruin his reputation amongst his own people and Europe from which it never recovered, gone was merry King Hal, in his place a tyrant was slowly forming, a ruthless despotic tyrant, his hasty marriage to Jane Seymour barely two weeks later, merely confirmed the rumours that his second queen had been simply murdered on false allegations, in order to make Jane Seymour his queen.
It drives me nuts when I watch a documentary and PG is introduced as an historian/novelist or historian. I personally have nothing against her but there are so many historians out there who actually do the research. Claire would be excellent on one of these programs. She does the research and can cite her sources. Gregory doesn’t do the research and Weir doesn’t cite sources. So many people are interested in this subject that dressing it up in lies and unsupported allegations isn’t necessary. Just state the facts, there is nothing boring in them.
Hi BQ. You bring up an important fundamental constraint I had not considered: the time needed to plan. Late April/early May 1536 when the indictments were written up and arrests made did not allow time for even basic planning.
New Talking Tudors podcast episode on Thomas Cromwell’s letters.
Good morning and Happy Bank Holiday. I know the program very well. PG should be introduced as a novilist who has her own take on things, not as an expert. I read her for entertainment not for history. She seems a likable lady but her alternative history is a bit hard to read at times without wanting to scream.
She also raised the miscarriage of January 1536 but she did so as if Anne had given birth to a deformed child and taking the idea from Professor Warnicke that such an incident would be seen as evidence of the mother leading a bad life. She spoke as if she was an expert and Anne’s deformed child was a very well established fact. Unfortunately, as Suzanne Lipscomb pointed out the story of the deformed child is 60 years later from Father Sander who was writing to defame Anne and Elizabeth. The contemporary sources only say Anne had a miscarriage of a four month term baby which appeared to be a boy. The King was devastated and he believed his marriage was cursed, not Anne personally. A row broke out between them and Anne was left vulnerable and unprotected. The idea of a child being deformed because of the behaviour of the mother wasn’t official Church teaching, although a couple of tracts were written in the sixteenth century on this theory. I think PG has tapped into those and come up with the idea that Anne and George committed incest. However, Professor Warnicke believes Anne was innocent and the victim of the sexual politics of the Tudor Court. She is convinced that Anne was targeted because Henry thought the marriage made by witchcraft and the men who were targeted were guilty of living debauched lives as in the sin of homosexuality. Both now brought the death penalty. However, we have neither evidence of the men being homosexual or Anne ever being accused of witchcraft. She certainly was never charged with it. The premise fall down because Anne could have been charged under a new law that allowed execution of those who used witchcraft to do harm. The new penalty in England was hanging not burning as it was associated with homicide not heresy as in Scotland and Europe. The death penalty for sodemy came in during 1536 but the first person executed for it was Lord Hungerford in 1540 on the same scaffold as Thomas Cromwell.
I think we have to be careful even thinking Anne might sleep with a servant if she was desperate for a child because if she conceived then passing her child off as the heir was treason, even if adultery wasn’t. She may have been desperate but she would hardly have chosen a mere musician as her lover. The blood line would be too diluted. I would think Henry Norris was of better stock or young Francis Weston. She told Smeaton off for looking at her. In fact Anne could be said to have committed treason under the 1534 Treason Act with her words to Henry Norris had it not been her the circumstances. She was teasing him and she rebuked him. Anne realised that she was in danger with her words as Christine said. The dead man’s shoes incident wasn’t used although Henry was probably aware of it and angry. Norris said Fitzwilliam tricked him into a confession, probably of this but be withdrew it in Court and denied the charges. However, any such action would be highly dangerous and the King would know the child wasn’t his. It was far less likely that Anne would try to get pregnant if Henry was occasionally impotent. The only evidence that he was is another viciously made remark by Anne to her sister in law. There is no evidence of any impotence in the King until 1540. Anne made the remarks and then these were read out by George in Court and the King was humiliated. I don’t see why a remark by a wife in a huff should be allowed as historic proof any more than the dead mans shoes was evidence of treason. Anne could have made Henry prove his potency and had the marriage annulled. The way to do this was to have a hearing and the judge had several prostitutes come in and prove that the man was impotent in front of the court. His problems would soon have been resolved. Most men declined.
Professor Bernard and PG forget the fundamental risks involved in adultery in a Queen. No doubt it did happen and three high born Princesses were accused in France at the same time. Two were found guilty and imprisoned but it caused outrage. The wife of Prince Louis, son of Philip iv died in prison. The accused were victims of the vicious politics of the time. The wife of Charles the mad, Isabeau of Bavaria who ruled for her husband and son, was accused by the Burgundian Chronicles of adultery and that Charles vii wasn’t her husband’s son. He was but that didn’t stop the allegations. Joan of Kent was a bigiamist and other women were accused. The story goes that John had the lovers of his first wife hung before annulling the marriage. None of these women were killed. The only example is that of Maria of Brahrant whose husband Louis of Baveria left his wife in charge of the court when he was away fighting snd and on his return he had her executed for adultery. He then recovered his senses and did penance. For Anne it was more of a risk because unlike most of these women she was not a Princess or high ranking noble’s daughter whose military might may come down on you. She had no power base and she had fought for her position for years. Her personal morality was well known and I am sure she was desperate but she was also married to the most dangerous man in Europe. Anne was aware of the power Henry now had. I just don’t see her taking the risk.
Michael, you are right. This all took place with remarkable speed. The entire investigation and legal process was very rushed. Much of the preparation was done in advance but it certainly was fast. The time taken over Kathryn Howard really does stand out by comparison. There certainly could never really be any time to plan anything like an escape. It made certain Anne and the men were doomed.
Personally I think she was too aware of the danger to risk discovery, and as mentioned there was the moment she swore on the sacrament she had never betrayed the king, she was making a statement to the whole world as well as to the court and her husband of her innocence, Henry V111 may have dismissed it as do Gregory and Bernard, but it meant a great deal at the time to the Tudor mind and belief in the very real horrors of the flames of hell, Michael is correct it was such a hasty affair that it reeks of being a set up, a proper investigation would have been a long drawn out process like with Henry’s fifth queen, Ann deserved a proper investigation, a chance for her voice to be heard, Catherine Howard was questioned by Cranmer several times and more probing led to her grandmothers household and grandmother as well being questioned, it went on for several months, as any slander against the queen must be investigated thoroughly, Henry hoped nothing would be discovered he was in love with his enchanting young queen and wanted it to be spiteful malicious gossip, no doubt put about by her enemies, yet with Anne Boleyn no one had time to draw breath with the terrifying speed the way the two juries of Kent and Middlesex were enacted, the sudden shocking arrest of the queen without any chance to defend herself, and this is highly significant, she was taken to the Tower right away, as if she were already condemned, yet Catherine Howard was merely placed under house arrest, she was still being treated as queen, still had her ladies and jewels, still dined under her chair of state, no grim forbidding Tower for her, Anne was treated as if she was guilty already and her alleged lovers as within days, they too were rounded up and escorted to the Tower, two trials and executions happened within days and her devastated ‘betrayed’ husband carried on as if nothing had happened, slipping of to wine and dine his latest love and becoming engaged just twenty four hours after Anne’s head had rolled in the straw, the speed at which everything was done made people murmur, and afterwards the forsaken queen had every trace of her existence removed from the royal palaces in England, her portraits were destroyed, her initials wiped out every vestige of her gone as if she had never been, it was as if Henry V111 wanted to obliterate her from history, from the past ten years he had been her willing slave, wiped out and forgotten, but the scandal of the charges against her and her unprecedented execution made many believe she had not received proper justice, there was no sense of fair play which is so important to the English, the merry bridegroom however was oblivious of the muttering of his people or he chose to ignore them, as he blithely appeared at court with his new queen on his arm.
Not every vestige of her existence was removed. Intertwined initials still extant at Hampton Court and the onion domes on the White tower.
According to Gareth Russell one of the reasons for the very thorough investigation of Catherine Howard was that those involved were well aware of how things looked with Anne and did not want a repeat of that or any question of propriety or legality in the Howard case.
Yes with Anne the investigation the whole proceedings looked very sloppy, you are quite right Michael, the clock tower aptly named Anne Boleyn’s clock tower still has her initials entwined with the kings, the stonemasons were working so hastily to eradicate any trace of her that they overlooked them, and the onion domes on the Tower still there today, are proof of a kings great love and honour to his lady, they were built there as a tribute to Anne on her coronation day, on the very same building that was to become her prison and where she later perished, just three years later, my Facebook friend just posted a video in tribute to Princess Diana who died twenty three years this very day, it seems like only yesterday it was such a dreadful shocking time, and the royal family’s popularity was at an all time low because of it.
Hi Michael, I forgot to ask if you have been affected by the terrible troubles and tragic events in Portland? I hope you and your family are safe.
The investigation into Kathryn Howard was indeed done with much caution and in fact great discretion for several days partly because at first it was an investigation into the allegations regarding her past. Henry simply didn’t believe it. To him his little honey bun could do no wrong, she was his perfect little honey bunny and the perfect wife for whom he had given thanks to Heaven. The letter from Thomas Cranmer knocked Henry for six, he wanted it kept quiet and he ordered a discreet investigation. Kathryn was only confined to her to her quarters with her women and the investigation took several days, speaking to her and the women of her Grandmother’s Household. Kathryn was very distressed, however, with the Archbishop having to return to her in order to question her. He was careful and reassuring of Henry’s compassion and slowly her story emerged about her relationship with Francis Dereham when she was about fifteen and with her teacher as an even younger girl. Henry left Hampton Court in disgust but there wasn’t any evidence of relationships within her marriage. The rest of the story came out after several rounds of investigation and more pressure on Dereham for the truth. He eventually framed Thomas Culpeper and the investigation moved up a notch. However, it still took time and was thoroughly conducted. Kathryn was sent to Syon House, not the Tower and the men didn’t come to trial until December. Even after they were tried and executed what to do with Kathryn lay up in the air. It was eventually decided to try her through an Attainder in Parliament. That of course meant a delay but even then the Council were not satisfied with the process and asked to summon her to give her defence. Henry wanted to avoid that because of everything which had happened with Anne Boleyn whose trial was an embarrassment for the crown. They were only allowed to speak with her before her arrest and she and Lady Jane Boleyn, Vicountess Rochford were condemned in Parliament. The entire process took more than three months, compared to one month in Anne’s case if one includes the two Grand Juries. From arrest to execution was eighteen days. The accused in the case of Kathryn Howard were questioned on several occasions and the scope of the investigation was extremely wide, encompassing many members of her family as well as Royal and pre Regnal Households. Several gentlemen were questioned, although only two were tried and executed although others were interrogated, fined and held in custody for a time. Several members of the Howard family were rounded up and interrogated and imprisoned. The Tower could not accommodate all of them. Anne’s trial had worried the crown and Council and they were determined to not make the same errors as in the case of Anne Boleyn. In her case, the rush to judgement and the public nature of her trials left the Government open to criticism. With Kathryn, while she was treated relatively gently compared to Anne, everything was done in order to get things right. The haste of Anne’s trial in comparison is really shocking as was the haste in which Henry remarried. In that he showed total disregard for his former wife and was thinking only of his own comfort and enjoyment of life.
Anne’s last confession is the most compelling piece of evidence for her innocence because at that moment her immortal soul was in peril. She swore on the Holy Sacrament that she hadn’t betrayed Henry and she gave leave for what had been witnessed to be told to the world. It didn’t make any difference, however, and Anne’s life was taken anyway which was the plan from the start. It’s very true that there are reminders of her as in the gateway at Hampton Court and her coat of arms elsewhere. Henry might have tried to erase the memory of Anne Boleyn but the fact that she has so many websites and blogs dedicated to her shows that he failed miserably.
I remember I was on my way to work when I heard about Diana’s death and what a shock I was in for the entire day. I greatly admired her and was so impressed with her campaign to eliminate land mines that continue to claim lives years and even decades after the wars ended. Her death was a loss to the world. She was born only a year before me.
We were going on a family day out to Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark and visit the maritime museum, it was so sad everyone on the trains had their faces absorbed in their newspapers, I was at work the next day and we were all crying we could not believe it, I remember my father saying the best one went there, she made such an impact on most who met her and grew to know her like those who worked in the charities she was a patron of, she did try to make the world a better place she used her name and position to help those less fortunate, like those who suffered terrible injuries through the land mines, she could have been like any other glamorous socialite air head whose main topic of conversation was where to lunch that day, and shall she go to have a manicure first or the gym, no she tried to help those less fortunate those who were ill, those who suffered from AIDS and she raised people’s awareness of that dreadful disease, she could have done so much more had she not died so tragically, her legacy lives on in William and Harry however, William especially who is a son any mother would be proud of.
Steve and I arrived back from Italy at the time and didn’t know anything. We went to Church on the Sunday morning and the preacher was talking about the sad news regarding Princess Diana. He was praying for her children but didn’t actually say what had happened. It wasn’t a Catholic Church so we didn’t know she had been killed and as prayers would have been offered for her soul we would have quickly become aware. We had the embarrassment of asking what had happened after t the service. We were absolutely shocked. It happened in the early hours of the morning and it was hard to take in. As we watched the news during that sad Sunday, I was really upset and then angry that scum on motor bikes had chased her and her fiancee down a dangerous road in Paris. Yes, their car was going at high speed but the driver was trying to escape the so called press. That’s actually protocol when an important person is in fear for their life to drive as fast as possible. Unfortunately, her driver had been drinking which was bad but he was actually off duty. A second driver should have taken over when she left the restaurant with Dodi. Something went wrong and the original driver took the couple. The Paparazzi were outside and following them at speed. The tunnel is actually quite narrow and dangerous but it was probably taken to shake them off. There was a crash and all three were killed or died afterwards. Diana was alive when the ambulance arrived and her last words were recorded. However, she died soon afterwards. A fourth passenger, her bodyguard was badly hurt. It was a dreadful shame because she was just starting out on her new life and she deserved better. Much went wrong that fatal night which could have been avoided. It wasn’t murder, treason, conspiracy or anything else rubbish some people want to make sensational claims about, it was a terrible accident caused by drinking, high speed driving and the Paparazzi. If anyone was to blame it was whoever told the press she was there.
Diana was no angel but she was a beautiful human being and she cut through many taboos. She helped children in war zones and started an international campaign to remove war mines. She met children badly hurt with missing limbs from stepping on mines. She ended the taboo of shaking hands with AIDS patients and she knew how to be fun. She was the most popular woman to marry into the stuffy House of Windsor or Royalty for centuries. It was a shame she wasn’t treated better and her marriage was a nightmare rather than the fairy tale the public thought it was. However, within months of her divorce she had fallen in love and was looking forward to a new future. She died too young.
Her beautiful dresses were shown in an exhibition and then sold in a magnificent auction for her charities. Whatever else Diana did, she modernised the Royal Family. Her funeral was for the people because she was the Princess of the People. Her brother, Lord Spencer ensured her sons, William and Henry were raised without much of the interference and stress previously put on them. He strongly condemned the Establishment at her funeral. Her casket is on a beautiful island at the Country Estate Althorp in Northamptonshire. There are several memorials to her, in Hyde Park, at Kensington Palace, her home, in Hungary and India, in Paris and at Harrods department stores in London. The outpouring of grief for her was spontaneous and the funeral was as she would have wished, a state funeral but with modern music, the representation from many charities, Elton John singing Candle in the Wind and thousands lined the route. Her legacy is her beautiful spirit and her outreach to so many people, the causes she sponsored abd her elegance and beauty. Diana was full of real grace and she was taken from us too soon.
Rest in peace, Princess Diana Spencer, HRH and Dodi Fayed and Mr Paul. Amen.
Hi BQ. Thankfully I don’t have a family to worry about. it’s just me But no, the rioting has not affected me directly. It’s still mainly downtown which is about 10 miles away. The problem is our absolutely horrible worthless mayor Ted Wheeler. He lies constantly, he blames all of this on the president. He does not acknowledge the fact that we had riots starting for 40 days before the federal police officers ever got here, before Trump ever got involved. And I remembered something yesterday that back in the late 1980s I was working downtown and the first President Bush came to Portland. I wasn’t downtown when this incident happened but I read about it in the newspaper. President Bush’s motorcade went up the Main Street in Portland which is Broadway and was attacked. And the spokesman for the Secret Service made a comment that Portland was one of the most dangerous places they’d ever been. The reason I bring this up is Ted wheeler in a speech on either Friday or Saturday said that prior to Trump being in office nothing like this ever happened in Portland. I want this man out and I want him out now. There was a recall effort going on over the summer to get rid of our governor who is also worthless she has been done doing nothing to curb the violence in this state and it failed. And part of that reason is because the Democrats who are in power have changed the rules to make it almost impossible to get anything on the ballot. Sorry I sound so irate I’m just very frustrated. I just want to let you know I didn’t come into this disliking Ted wheeler. He ran for state treasurer maybe about 15 years ago or so I was a republican he was a Democrat and I voted for him. I was very happy I did he was really great is our state treasurer. When he ran for mayor many of us on the right voted for him we thought he would be fantastic is Portland’s mayor. We were wrong. When the Occupy Movement happened a few years ago when Obama was in office not Trump that was when wheeler started telling the police to stay out of it. If people got beat up downtown the police were not to interfere in any way. So don’t let whatever you’re watching on the news tell you otherwise. I live here I know exactly what’s going on not the media. Much of the media says that there is no rioting in Portland. They need to come here and take a look at what downtown looks like it looks like a war zone burnt buildings buildings boarded up graffiti on everything there was even at one point a couple of weeks ago and this happened in Seattle last week where rioters locked police in a building and tried to burn the building down. I don’t know if the world news or national news is reporting this but it’s happening.
Beautiful. I’ve seen photos of where Diana is laid to rest and it’s a very lovely and most appropriate. I agree with you Diana was no saint, she was a human being just like the rest of us but she was a human being who was making a difference in the world and I don’t know of anybody who took up her mantle after her death. I also agree with the fact that what happened was a terrible terrible accident. That driver should not have been at the wheel but I still primarily blame the paparazzi and the Press 4 putting her and the rest in the car in a position to where they felt they had to escape the way they did. I read of an incident, I don’t know how true this is and how much veracity there is to it but after the accident that one of the photographers came up and saw her in the car injured and just stood there snapping pictures. I realize he couldn’t have helped her in any way but he could have put his camera down.
Hi Michae, yes, this was a bad tbing and the press had to be forced not to publish the last pictures of Diana in the car because they were distressing.
Glad to hear that you are fine. I saw it all on social media including something like a wheel protector from a car being hurled at a cop and he was seriously hurt. I think he died. That’s murder and I hope they get the person. The media is a battle ground but one sided. You actually get more information on Twitter because people put up videos as it’s happening. The cops are doing the same. As you say it is a thing that goes on a lot when people go nuts and don’t stay calm. Nobody is trying to bring it to an end. Stay safe. We have a useless elected Mayor who smiles a lot but is useless. I don’t trust people who smile a lot. He is a liar as well and he was highly criticised recently during some trouble. Telling the cops to act the next day when nobody gathered to protest BLM after the damage was done was useless.
Hi BQ. I mentioned that Ted wheeler gave a speech this weekend. In it he said that everything was under control and that he did not need Federal help. Well, so much for that. Last night more riding. Fireworks were set off in front of his office the dangerous kind of course and the mayor was shout it out and Shout It Down and told to quit his job and things were even thrown at him and he had to run for his life. I don’t know if you would heard there was a murder this weekend of someone wearing an m a g a hat. In other words of trump supporter. This person was shot point-blank in Cold Blood simply because they supported the right and not the left. Something at least good came out of this was at the sister of the suspect saw the cell phone footage of the incident And recognize her brother as the one with the gun and turn him in. The police are still looking for him but it is not expected that the district attorney will prosecute him because he has already said he would not prosecute crimes for the most part of anything associated with the rioters. This is a man who was put in place with money provided by George Soros. George Soros has Boston the office of many District Attorneys across our country. He is probably pulled the same kind of stuff all over the world. this is not speculation this is well known published fact.
Hi BQ. a bit of a correction. Ted wheeler was actually threatened and intimidated outside of his multimillion-dollar condo. I also just heard that the governor of Oregon said she had a plan in order to help with the violence in Portland. First off let me say that the city of Portland is in Multnomah County. Her plan consisted of asking the sheriff’s of Clackamas and Washington counties in order to volunteer some officers to help with Portland. The sheriff’s told her no. They said that with the way the police are being treated in Portland they were not about to put their officers in danger for a problem that the mayor should be trying to solve. And that Multnomah county is not their jurisdiction. I am very happy that they said no to her. Our mayor and governor should be doing something about this not asking another jurisdiction to volunteer. I also just heard that in the month of August alone 50 Portland police officers have resigned.
Hi Michael, yes we saw the video on Social Media of the murder and the media reports of the nut who did it. It was terrible. Just because someone supports someone politically doesn’t give anyone the right to gun them down. It’s like a Tory coming to town here and a Socialist killing them. Wasn’t there a procession of cars there over the weekend to promote President Trump? It looked good. This kind of senseless violence by one fruit cake is an attempt to disrupt the democratic process. Everyone is entitled to their political opinion but if you don’t like the incumbent then vote them out or stand against them, protest peacefully, stage a sit in and walk round with a sandwich board, don’t riot, destroying life and property or shut people. We had a well-known and well liked Labour MP who had a big social justice agenda and helped people with mental health and disabilities and was very popular. She was also a young mother. A fruit cake shot and killed her about two years ago, even though she had helped him as a constituent in the past. There are sad people who come off their medicine and then become obsessed and attack innocent people. I assumed the riots afterwards were as a result of the murder but these incidents seem to be caused by radical vigilante groups according to some reports. Yes, I heard the Mayor’s speech and I agree he should be taking more responsible action himself. On the other hand the Government should be trying to find a way forward because these problems have been going on for several months without anything positive being proposed by either side to bring this to a peaceful conclusion. A lot of bad blood has passed on both sides but surely bringing all parties together to find a solution is the way forward not more riots, oppression or inaction? There is more to this BLM group and the violence, much more. I really wish I knew what the answer was, happy pills in the water perhaps? It’s a very sad state of affairs, I understand that people who have been kept down through racism or because of disability or sexual orientation or poverty or other inequalities are angry and want change, but a lot of these killings and riots and destruction has nothing to do with that, its just evil selfishness.
I am sorry, I should have said thank you first of all for your kind words on my earlier posting. Perhaps we should just go back to history. At the end of the day, much of this is to do with history and not learning from or about it and a distortion of history. That’s what the destruction of status is about, hiding history, not the true telling of it. That is why Henry Viii tried to obliterate his second wife’s memory in order to wipe her out of history and destroy her reputation. He failed, but it has taken 500 years to rebuild and rediscover Anne’s story and real reputation. Then after one two hour film it is almost destroyed again. Will historians ever win the day over drama and inaccurate popular novels? It’s almost a losing battlefield but one that we have to protect otherwise what is the point of telling the truth or doing research to uncover that same true story?
Yes, there was another group there. They’re called Patriot prayer and there are right-wing group but they’re very peaceful. They don’t cause any problems and they always clean up after themselves. They try to stay out of trouble and no matter how far away they are having their own Gathering and T4 looks for them and causes problems and then Ted wheeler gets on the news and says that Patriot prayer caused the problems and then antifa wouldn’t have done anything if it wasn’t for them. It’s a no-win situation in this city. And I just a couple of minutes ago heard some more about the suspect who is accused of murdering that Trump supporter. He had a couple of other run-ins with the law regarding weapons namely guns and the district attorney let him go on both of them.
Oh boy, what a mess. You could do with Sir Christopher Hales and Thomas Cromwell time travelling and taking control. A bit of Tudor style justice would not do some of these people any harm. Such a shame that innocent people who are peaceful and praying are blamed for the violence of criminals and crazy looters and people who are out of control. I feel really sorry that this is happening in your country and will pray that peaceful law and order are restored. You need stronger leadership and more compassionate law enforcement as well as people with vision to work together and move forward. It’s very sad hearing and reading about all this terrible break down of society and justice and the businesses that are being destroyed in the cross fire. It must be soul destroying to even put the news on. Take care.
Hi BQ. The cities and states where these riots and problems are taking place are almost exclusively Democrat controlled. Although Wisconsin, also Democrat held did call in the National Guard to quell any problems as soon as they started so they don’t end up like Portland. A van load of Portland and Seattle protesters drove to Washington DC and are now complaining about being arrested when they started causing problems and doing damage.
The George Floyd autopsy report has come out. He had a lethal amount of phentonol in his system and no damage to his trachea. He wasn’t killed by police. Unfortunately the officer blamed had been accused of this kind of abuse in the past. I do hope he at least loses his badge.
The coroner noticed a whitev substance on Floyd’s tongue and it’s thought that when he was confronted by police he swallowed the drugs causing extreme hypertension, increased heart rate and other problems that basically made him a ‘dead man walking’.
BTW. I don’t watch the news. I do a bit of research each morning online and try to cull information from the most neutral sites as I don’t trust the right or left media. If I turned the news on I would be in a depression I don’t think I could recover from. I’m currently watching The Hobbit. I just finished the The Lord of the Rings. Last week was Fawlty Towers and previously Are You Being Served or reading history. I have a real proclivity for being a chronic worrier so I need to distract myself.
You sound like me. I try to avoid the news but it filters through and I watch almost anything to avoid it. I was watching Ghost Busters last night. I have several history series to catch up with. Its the only way to remain sane.
Our wonderful mayor, who continues to claim that everything is under control is hurriedly moving out of his condo because of what happened in front of his place a couple of nights ago.
I saw the videos of the mob outside his home or his official residence and they looked angry, almost threatening to burn the place down. They were threatening, chanting, demanding, throwing stuff, out of control, howling for his blood or resignation and were intimidating. They were hardly singing Happy Birthday. They looked as if they would tear the place to pieces. His family were in real danger. Nothing wrong. The videos tell a very different story and now no doubt he is in protective custody with round the clock details to keep him and his family safe. I don’t normally agree with mob rule but in the case of the Mayor of Portland the right thing would have been to resign long ago. We have elected Mayors now as well and Regional Mayors with limited powers but some and each and every one are useless. I don’t understand the purpose of them, but if one was constantly at the Government without being proactive to stop riots and protect lives and property I would demand their resignation. I wouldn’t resort to the kind of behaviour that obviously threatened the Portland Mayor and his family but I can understand how the present tensions are overwhelming people who are angry at the moment. People seem to be unable to behave rationally. If your Mayor is denying what is happening when its visually obvious that violence and riots are happening all over Portland last weekend and previously, then he really needs to stand down. Some States have taken positive steps, it must be frustrating when a political leader at any level denies the horrible truth of what is in front of them. I don’t understand the powers of Mayors in America, but calling for assistance to restore law and order and working for a conciliatory resolution isn’t rocket science. It’s not helpful to simply blame the Federal Government and the President either, even if they don’t appear to be helping or even if their policies are to blame. Local Government is responsible for it’s own problems and has a duty to work with National Government. The blame game is always negative, being in denial is extremely dim and dangerous, especially when the visual evidence is against those claims. We had riots in 1981 and they spread across half of the city very quickly. The same problems caused them, conflicting evidence about the treatment of black people in police custody, economic reality and political ideologies that are poles apart. The Brixton Riots resulted in the brutal murder of a young police officer. The riots in Liverpool and Birmingham followed. The usual rubbish was trotted out by the Council, the reports which followed, the media hype, race riots and unemployment. I don’t know about Birmingham but I can tell you now the Liverpool riots might have been economic but race had nothing to do with them. We had in control of the City Council during the period 1980 to 1985 the equivalent of Marxist Government. Derek Hatton and his extremist left wing version of Labour somehow claimed a mandate. They practically encouraged the riots and predicted them two days earlier. The violence was appalling. One redeeming feature was they stopped to evacuate an old person’s home they had just set on fire. They then went on looting and rioting. Our City Centre wasn’t residential but the outskirts called Toxteth were and this is where the trouble was, two miles away. There were conflicting stories and the reports afterwards I still only partially accept. As a result the Government who condemned the riots as a rebellion, poured money into the area. Problems remained but never as they were back then. Well that’s Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Lady. The City Council tried to hold central government to ransom for the next four years until the electorate threw them out and Hatton almost ended up in jail because of corruption. I was a union rep at the time on two Government projects. Believe me, not everyone supporting Labour had any time for Hatton. Even local unions tried to get him to go, because they had no money as the Council refused to set a budget. That means no money for anything and the Government can legally fine the local Government. In the end a Minister for Merseyside was appointed and the Government took control. Seriously the City has never seen so much money from local, national and EU funds. If it hadn’t have been for Hillsborough the relationship with central Government would still be positive. Now we have a lovable smiley cuddly Mayor, Joe Johnson who has a big heart but no political know how whatsoever, who is wasting Government money on measuring traffic flow, while closing half the roads for road works, causing chaos and pop up bike lanes which nobody uses. Cycling is much more fun on the side where you can mow down a few pedestrians even though it’s illegal. Not that the cops ever do anything about it. Goodness knows how he would be in a crisis. Thank goodness for history, at least we can escape all this terror and fear.
You’re absolutely right, the crowd hates him. It was his birthday and what they were singing was happy teargas to you. Because of their animosity towards him we can’t figure out why he is bowing to them. It’s not as if they will vote for him.
I heard a clip of Joe Biden today describing the murder that happened this weekend here. There bus video of the incident. The Patriot Prayer rally was over and all of the cars were gone. The victim was walking down the street with a friend and had a MAGA hat on. Someone walked up to him and shot him in the chest twice with no warning or provocation. What Joe Biden said was that the victim brought it on himself. He was in a van full of people shooting paint balls band rubber bullets at protesters and someone shot him to protect themselves. I can find this comment either audio or print nowhere on the internet. The mainstream media is not reporting it. It isn’t a mistake by Biden, it is a lie. I may have already mentioned bthat the shooting suspect had had 3 previous run-ins with police since July 13. This was discovered by an independent local journalist.
Speaking of bicycles? We’ve had that problem here for a long time. When the Cove Apartments started they were blocking off some streets so that people could go to and from places without getting too close to people and kids would have places to ride their bikes. What what they’ve done is they’ve kept them closed off and no cars can go there only bicycles. These are residential streets only the locals can go. And they have over the past few years taken up so many lanes to put in bike pads that nobody uses. They also get rid of parking places so that people will take the max train or the bus is. It’s done absolutely no good nobody’s doing any of that stuff. But this is what the progressives like to do. The people here pay for gas and that money that is made from that where the tax money is supposed to be used to pave the roads they don’t fix the roads they paint bike Lanes. And if anybody on a bike gets in an accident usually the person on the bike is not blamed it all even if it’s obviously their fault with Witnesses. It’s very very aggravating and that’s been going on for a good ten or fifteen years here and people are not happy but that doesn’t seem to make any difference at all.
Hi Michael, yes I saw the murder video before it was on the news
and you are absolutely correct all they did was cross the road and they were shot by someone shouting about him being a Trump supporter. I am sure the sbooter had skate board. He was very casual and then fired. It was shocking.
Here they have closed off a popular eating area to cars completely and put tables in the street. You can cycle down the road in the middle but if you want to take your family to the restaurant there’s no access or any place available for parking. The area is off the park on one side and duel carriageway on the opposite side which is now railed off. The parking space is a garden. Very nice but what about disabled people? They have taken the disabled parking spaces for gardens as well. Might have gone but with no access its impossible. Bold Street in the City centre is one huge open space cafe and restaurant. At least there they were forced to keep one side open for access to the disabled parking because the business owners made them. It is illegal to stop access to the disabled parking and they should not have done anything without consultation. Smiley Joe thinks it’s wonderful. All the cafes want is people, they don’t want one big eating street. Ever since then it’s never stopped raining.
Hi BQ and Christine. I don’t know if you’ve heard but the feds got the suspect in Portland’s last weekend murder. He had crossed state lines and so it became a federal crime. When he was confronted by the officers he pulled a rifle on them and so they had to take him out. His sister who is the one who turned him in said she is relieved but also disappointed that they shot him. She said the reason she said that is because she’s afraid that the media is going to turn him into a martyr and more violence is going to ensue. She was right, that is exactly what the media has done. Prior to his being shot he was giving an interview and said that he was protecting himself that he felt in danger that he felt people were after him if they had American flags on their trucks or cars. Though the video shows otherwise that he did just walk up and murder this person they’re playing him as the victim and it is just terrible. But thought you should know the truth because I have no idea what is actually being shown on TV.
I also wanted to let you know that beginning tomorrow morning and keep in mind I am 8 hours behind you that I will not have internet access for quite some time so if you don’t hear from me that’s why.
Apparently Sir Christopher Hales wasn’t that compassionate because he once timed a treason trial to see how quickly he could get it over with and was very pleased as it was done within less than two and a half hours. I don’t believe a man with that attitude would be really affected about doing his duty on high treason in a state trial. Numerous treason trials appeared before him as prosecutor which were not the famous state trials we know because the definition of treason was wide and could equate to minor things such as forging the King’s seal which of course was usurping his authority. They also included minting coins without the correct amount of copper or silver and authority. Both brought the death penalty. Treason trials could also be reviewed before the King’s Bench and execution thus delayed. This swift trial resulted in a delay of execution by several months. Obviously this wasn’t going to happen in the case of Anne Boleyn and although a legal acquittal was a huge possibility in the case of Thomas More, the crown manipulated the evidence against him but it almost backfired. The crown actually failed to prove its case until Rich appeared but even then it hung in the air, but the King’s orders were the real decision makers. The crown wanted More and Fisher to accept the Supremacy or perish and had decided to up the stakes against them with treason charges in May because they were being seen by too many people as examples of resistance. They hoped to persuade them to collapse but the opposite happened. Fisher saw himself as a martyr and made no secret of his opinion but More admitting he wasn’t martyr material and stood instead on legal principles. The Treason Act didn’t condemn silence on the matters of either the Supremacy or the Succession. More believed his silence was a protection and legally he was correct. Hence the trap and alleged if hypothetical conversation in the Tower. Rich committed state sponsored perjury. Perjury itself was punished by the witness being given the same punishment the accused would suffer although it was often reduced to a fine, prison or flogging as the crown may be involved. Rich was the only way to convict Thomas More and I suspect Hales knew it. Uncomfortable or not, his duty was obviously made clear to him and he performed his duty. More once he was found guilty before the sentence made one of the most famous and inspiring speeches of history. Everything one needs to know about More and his mind at this time is in that speech of witnessing for the true faith. It doesn’t actually matter if today one believes how Catholic Europe did about the authorities of either the Pope or Scripture, it mattered that for 1500 years Christendom had believed, or at least Western Christendom. More stated clearly why the King could not unilaterally change things and opened his mind. More was already condemned so he had nothing left to lose and his speech is a testament to his faith and legal mind as well as his courage, given his months in prison and his weakened health.
I would love a biography on Hale because of his importance in famous trials during the reign of Henry Viii and his contribution to some legal proceedings. His son was also important during the following reigns and the websites give some important links to famous state trials, but there is nothing like a good detailed biography. Thanks to the wonderful research above by Amanda we have beautiful information and we have good links and sources and a detailed article based on her excellent research. Looking forward to the publication of her book.
That being the case I have certainly lost a lot of respect for him. That reminds me of the episode ‘Head’ from the second series of Blackadder where Edmund, for his own convenience sake decides to do all of the executions on Monday so he can have the rest of the week off. Terrible.
Trials could be complicated and throw up technicalities, reviews, appeals to a higher authority, the delays could even lose the crown their rights in certain cases, such as property as in a dispute with the Merchant Taylors and Sir Christopher complained to the Council, but had to uphold the ruling as the crown had run out of time, much to the King’s annoyance. This was in 1531 but trials if they proceeded correctly ran into just as many problems as today. Speedy trials came as a shock and yet State Trials compared with now were just that, although the Azzizes often ran into legally complex problems. Believe it or not legal proceedings also limited the powers of the crown. In the Trial of Anne Boleyn one might get the impression that wasn’t the case, such was the pressure which many scholars believe that came from the crown, through the appointment of those most likely to find the verdict expected. I don’t believe Hale was a man who was unnecessarily harsh in the execution of his office, but he was certainly the case that his duty came first.
What you say about the Boleyn proceedings seems absolutely correct. If there had been no limit on the power of the crown it would not have been necessary to lie or make up evidence in order to get convictions.
As the Attorney General and Master of the Rolls and connections with reformed ideas and families, especially Cromwell, certainly in a professional way, he was responsible for much of the same legal decision-making that lead to the fall of the monasteries, execution of the Holy Maid of Kent, the execution of a number of holy religious and benefited greatly from the closure of the monasteries. I don’t think that makes him a bad person, particularly as most of this was the enforcement of established crown political and religious policies established now in English Law. He certainly wasn’t the only one to benefit from the closure of the monasteries but this was the sort of abuse of power Anne was on about. The King’s idea of better use for the monastic real estate wasn’t schools and social institutions, it was to sell it off to those who faithfully upheld his desires and powers in these changes and to give loyal courtiers chunks of land confiscated under the new Acts of 1536 and 1539. A number of well-known people benefited, some more than others. Cromwell even committed fraud and doctored records in order to reserve certain monasteries to himself. Windcombe in the East Midlands not far from Hailes Abbey, visited on the direct orders of Queen Anne, staying not far away with the King, is known as a beautiful stone town but it had one of the bigger houses and most hospitable in the area. Cromwell stayed there often and put off its closure until the last moment, while falling like a ton of bricks on Hailes just literally down the road. The story of how he did it is a bit murky but it certainly involved some favourable fibs, which saved the monastery for three years. Not that the Abbey had any more or less allegations than any other religious house under investigation by the thugs of himself and Cranmer, but they were played down. At Hailes it was the opposite, the Visitation came out with a right load of nonsense. The famous Holy Blood relic may well have been a fake, but the monks were accused of all kinds of deprived life, of which there was actually no sign on the official Royal commission visit. Nor was it ducks blood as reported, it was actually resin. There were other holy relics and genuine miracles happened at Hailes and the important thing was faith not the significance of the relics themselves. Actually Hailes Church which is still intact as a Medieval Church has a well preserved thirteenth century painted wall and murals revealed when the Tudor whitewash was removed. Its only a small but peaceful little Church but its worth the diversion after a visit to Hailes or Sudeley, just follow the restored Victorian railway signs that run behind it. Refreshments can be found 100 yards up the roadside and carpark, through the gate to the farm cafe. Hailes Abbey have remarkable collections of Medieval tiles, reconstructed to show the numerous coats of arms and mosaic designs of families and ages past. Men like Cromwell, Hales, Boleyn, Seymour, Brandon and Audley and dozens of others all benefited during the legal, political and religious upheavals, even if some then themselves fell, mostly because they backed the right candidate, i.e the King and because the position they arose to demanded they demonstrated the right kind of loyalty and this was their rewards. I doubt very much that the prosecution of others for religious matters, treason, which adherence to the faith of their ancestors was even if it was wrapped up in a question of authority, Pope or King, rather than doctrine, for seditious sentiment, for prophecy and imagination of the King’s death as in the case of the Holy Maid of Kent and her followers, was personal or for gain, anymore than the prosecution of men of integrity like Thomas More or John Fisher or Father John Houghton and his brothers from the Charterhouse or even the prosecution of Queen Anne, whose trial he opened on behalf of the crown, had anything to do with personal malice or to benefit on the part of Sir Christopher Hales. All of these trials were ordered by the crown. Henry made himself, with the consent of Parliament, lawfully Head of the Church in England (I must empathize in not of here as there is a legal difference) meaning the Catholic Church in England. In my opinion to say that Henry Viii established a new Church is historically and legally and grammatically incorrect. He broke from the authority of Rome, he remained Catholic. He legally made himself head in England, he didn’t care about anywhere else. His laws changed the way things were done superficially, there was no great doctrinal change, in fact, the Six Articles are entirely Catholic. It was Elizabeth in fact who fully established the Church of England and became Anglican, not Protestant, although by the end of her reign this was the true state of religious observance in England. In making the statement that he, not the Pope had temporal and spiritual power in England and Wales, and indeed Ireland, Henry made it impossible for a number of good loyal people to remain fully on his side. The legislation was enforced by an oath, the wording of the oath really was a two edged sword, More said it was. You condemned your soul or your body. The men who chose to refuse the oath were some of the best educated, most holy and revered people in the country, many well known to Henry and his enforcement brigade. Cromwell wasn’t malicious either in his official role. He was practically despite to get More and Fisher to accept the oath and used kinder methods than he was authorised to use. More would have signed if he was able to, but he knew full well the ancient traditions of the Church were under severe attack and he tried a legal maxim to escape condemnation. Fisher and the Holy Fathers prayed but simply refused. In the case of More, Hale found himself floundering in the courtroom with Rich lying through his teeth because More had cleverly exposed his perjury. In desperation Hale called the two men who were packing the books to remove them from More’s cell and told them to give witness to the conversation between More and Rich, which was in his imagination. Neither said anything other than they were too busy and didn’t pay attention. Legally Hale and the Court were screwed. However, Henry had made it clear, More signed or he didn’t. He was accused of being obstinate and refusing the King’s legal title. His legal maxim was silence gives consent. It was by twisting his silence and refusal the crown was able to make any case at all. More was again offered mercy and a pardon if he agreed. It was of no avail and I am sure even Hale and Norfolk, his Judge, wanted to bang their heads on the walls, but they more or less directed the verdict of guilty which took fifteen minutes to arrive at. Hales and Cromwell and Norfolk carried out their duties and their rewards followed. However, they were men of the law and Norfolk the highest peer in the Realm after his illegitimate son, they were officers of the Court, sworn to do their duty loyally and with integrity and to the best of their ability. Uncomfortable or unfortunate that this duty may at times have been, as in the case of Anne Boleyn or any of those religious fathers, or even in the case of Elizabeth Barton, which Hales did show some reluctance and unease over, it was always one maxim that dictated everything. We have to remember Hales and Cromwell were state prosecutors, who worked for the crown, they had to get the best results for the crown. Sadly that was going to be especially true in the one case which every emotion must have played apart, that of the Queen, Anne Boleyn. I doubt Hales showed anything, I wouldn’t even speculate how he felt in private, it cannot have been easy. Having read about his attitude to the trial of William Knell I mentioned earlier, trying to get it done quickly, however, he sounds like he would have had very little problem with the rush to judgement displayed during and before and following the set up of Anne Boleyn and her co accused. I don’t believe he was involved in any conspiracy but I am sure the need to get it all done quickly on behalf of the crown suited Hales well enough.
It’s sad to say but it seems the best way to survive at this time if you were rich or held a high position was to take advantage of all of the questionable dealings going on but keep your head down and not flaunt it.
If the monasteries had really been dissolved because of corruption that would have been a positive thing and I know a few were but so many were given false reports, all so that the king could take their stuff and fill his coffers. I do agree with Anne that the proceeds from the dissolutions should have been used to help the needy who had their safety net taken away and not on self enrichment.
This was the thing about the religious houses, they provided the social and medical care of the day. The King provided schools but Cromwell wanted to provide employment for vagrants and vagabonds and this Bill was watered down by Henry. The source is Schofield his biographer but he was still going full steam ahead to give the land to the courtiers. Anne wanted to see the lands used by the people. This would also have continued their social function. They had food kitchens, infirmaries, built and maintained roads and water ways and employed people and had farm tenants. They had servants and provided hospitality and hospice care and shelter for pilgrims. Even if the monasteries were somewhat a corrupt organisation full of homosexuality, as they were accused, they provided many social services which vanished. They did very little of the accusations and many got good reviews. However, the King needed cash and the Church had some so they were attacked and the crown took the wealth. Henry had to open more schools to replace the institutions and provide pensions to the monks and nuns who went quietly. He restored the Chantry Chapels. Much remained lost, especially the homeless and the poor and unemployed. If Henry had listened to his Queen and Cromwell he may have pioneered a unique state sponsored welfare programme. He is remembered for the palaces, navy and coastal defences he built instead, the latter was definitely needed.
I’ve said this before, at this point in Henry’s life the only person he cared about was himself and siring an heir. I don’t think he really gave a fig about the welfare of his subjects.
This is very true. He had become obsessed by it now. If you went to Hampton Court you would see that Henry made it twice the size and Nonesuch was built from the proceeds and of course the coastal defences became essential as Henry had alienated the whole of Europe. He didn’t care about general welfare.
I do wish Edward had lived longer. I am so curious as to what kind of king he would have become. Serious and concerned about the realm and it’s people or Luke his father later in life, cold and selfish.
Edward was reputedly called a new Josiah, after the boy King in the Hebrew Bible who rescued Israel from paganism, cleansing the Temple and destroying the idols and restored true worship of Yahweh. He had his own plan for Reformation and much of it was already being implemented. He also kept a journal and we know what he said about a number of things. Unfortunately, most of his entries as time passed are cold and very limited. He showed no emotion when Tom Seymour was executed. It appears Edward was heading towards radical reforms. His description of Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth in his Devise are hardly complimentary and he believed Anne had betrayed his father. His mind was clearly shaped more by his father than is generally known. He must have also been brought up on the memory of Jane, almost as if she was a saint. His anti Catholic stance was shown in his rebukes and movement against the household of his half sister, Mary. I believe he would have been a severe King, but a strong one. How that would translate into social justice and good laws is very difficult to imagine. We don’t know if Edward was fertile, either or if the Tudor curse would follow on to the next generation. Like Mary Edward only ruled a few years and so achieved only a limited amount of what could have been achieved through a longer reign, including the fulfilment of their religious settlement. Like Mary, his religious policy was not a failure, it only ended because he died and it was reversed by his ultimate successor. Had Jane not been removed by the determination of Princess Mary who had the people behind her, Edward’s legacy would have been very different because he had chosen a Protestant heir who was also a radical. Mary reversed everything to the much welcomed restored Catholic Faith. It was only her own premature death that ended the successful transformation of England back into a fully Catholic country. Elizabeth eventually made a new religious settlement. We don’t really know how far Edward would have gone, his ability to have children or his long-term ambitions, but its interesting to wonder at what if.
Thank you for that insight BQ.