The Fall of Anne Boleyn – 15 May 1536 – The Trials of Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford

On 15th May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, were tried separately in the King’s Hall of the Tower of London.

Due to their ranks, Anne and George were tried by a jury of their peers presided over by their uncle, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, who’d been appointed Lord High Steward of England…

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One thought on “The Fall of Anne Boleyn – 15 May 1536 – The Trials of Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford”
  1. George Lord Rochford was so convincing there were wagers betting on a not guilty verdict being brought in, but alas this young man, handsome and charming whose flowery verses had delighted so many, could not win over his judges, one of the most charismatic figures of the Tudor court and one of the most unfortunate, he was condemned to death by his uncle who later was to condemn his sister, Thomas Howard was duty bound as Earl marshal and one of the most senior peers in the realm to sit on both niece and nephews trial, but there were tears in his eyes when he read out the sentence to Anne, I don’t think they were false tears, the ordeal of the trial would have had a lasting effect on him and this was his sisters child who stood before him, two of them sentenced to die! How could he explain this to his sister Lady Elizabeth and her husband? Apart from the fact he and Anne disliked each other, his fortunes had risen with hers one can argue this crucial fact, why would he wish her to fall? At George’s trial it erupted in embarrassing silence when he read out the charge that his wife and queen had discussed the kings love life, or lack of it and we can picture the steely looks on the faces of the jury,Thomas Howard knowing his spirited nephew probably expected him to do something like that, and the audience who had crammed in must have smirked and tittered and really, although highly toxic I cannot blame George for this reckless behaviour, as bold as his sister he was showing everyone his complete contempt of this sham of a trial, there was no evidence no witnesses were called just a load of women’s gossip, he was far cleverer than the pompous men who sat before him, and there must have been many who admired his skill his boldness his command of the situation, at the end although the verdict was a foregone conclusion they had found nothing against him, after he was led out of the hall his sister the queen was escorted in and sat in a special carved chair for she was still the queen, albeit a fallen one, it was said she was so calm and controlled that she to must have inspired pity amongst the throng of spectators, she answered no to each charge and was so composed even when the terrible sentence was passed on her, she spoke ‘lord knowest if I have deserved this death’, addressed the judges and her words must have made them feel uncomfortable ‘ there were other reasons she said why she was condemned’, she then spoke of the five men who were also condemned to die and it was said her colour never changed she showed no hysterics, only her old nurse Mrs Orchard let out a dreadful shriek, it was a highly volatile day and no one in the audience must have thought she would actually die, the ordeal over Anne was taken back to her apartments, it was time for her to prepare herself for death.

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