Sir Henry Norris – Anne Boleyn Week 2024 – Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of Anne Boleyn Week!

Today, I’m delving into the life, career and downfall of Sir Henry Norris, who was Henry VIII’s groom of the stool and Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber…

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One thought on “Sir Henry Norris – Anne Boleyn Week 2024 – Day 2”
  1. Yes I believe your theory is correct regarding Norris Claire, this was a golden opportunity for Cromwell to bring down those he considered a nuisance, Brereton was in the Tower another courtier he had clashed with, but Norris was a friend of the kings of many years standing and had links to the monarchy that stretched back generations, all faithful servants of their master, Henry was fond of Norris and wished to spare his life, but Norris preferred death to dishonour and this put the king in a pickle, I believe he did not care so much about admitting to adultery with the queen but the wish to preserve his old friends life, but with no confession forthcoming, the king could not merely pardon him and have him released, he must have mourned Norris more than the others, Anne’s clumsy words to him about the death of the king were akin to treason and unknowingly she created the perfect excuse for Cromwell to add the charge of plotting the kings life to her as well, but oddly this conversation was never included in the indictments, it could have been that Cromwell thought to record the whole conversation was unnecessary, this dangerous conversation was merely courtly love stretched too far, it was mere flattery but it was for the men the servants of the queen to sing of her praises and adore her from afar, it was not for the queen their mistress to instigate and certainly not to infer their desire to marry her if their master were to die suddenly, Anne’s foolish blabbing worried her a great deal and she told the aghast courtier to seek out her almoner and praise her character, but the damage had been done, it was not Norris’s fault that the queen spoke unwisely but it did infer there may have been feelings between them whatever way you look at it, then the following day king and queen were involved in an argument, it was a very foolish thing for Anne to have said as it did give certain credence to the charge of adultery but nothing was ever proved against her, or indeed the accused men, Norris was also spoken of earlier in a conversation she had with Francis Weston who declared that he came to the queens chamber to visit the queen more than Madge Shelton his fiancée, again this was mere courtly love but Anne’s flirtatious ways were well known and this was the weapon Cromwell used against her, Anne had been pursued by three men in her youth including the king, and her sisters morals had also been the butt of conversation, once the kings mistress and could well have been the French kings also, there was this air of immorality about them especially the queen, who was not popular and seen by many as a wh*re and not the true queen and wife of the king, it was easy therefore to stick the label of adulteress on her and her enemies of her faction would be delighted to see them fall, she was not a well loved queen of many years standing unlike the kings first wife, and therefore to darken her character her very morals was quite easy, it delighted the catholics and those supporters of the Lady Mary, what however was not so easy was in proving her infidelities and there were many at court who were quite simply astonished and sympathy started to creep in for this condemned queen and the four courtiers arrested with her, especially when rumours began to surface about Jane Seymour,, it was that innate sense of fairness so evident in the English that looks on the underdog with sympathy, it must have been prevalent then as it is now, certainly after her death and courtiers and young musician, there were muttering about how ill she had been treated, especially how on the day after, Henry V111 became betrothed to Jane Seymour.

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