The Fall of Anne Boleyn – 17 May 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s alleged lovers are executed on Tower Hill

On 17th May 1536, five men who’d found guilty of high treason were executed on Tower Hill.

George Boleyn, Lord Rochford; groom of the stool Sir Henry Norris; Sir Francis Weston; William Brereton; and court musician Mark Smeaton had been accused of sleeping with Queen Anne Boleyn and plotting with her against the king…

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One thought on “The Fall of Anne Boleyn – 17 May 1536 – Queen Anne Boleyn’s alleged lovers are executed on Tower Hill”
  1. Sir Thomas Wyatt’s beautiful poem takes us back to those terror stricken days and one can almost see the poet, quill in hand deftly writing his sad verses, tears falling down his cheeks and onto the parchment, his family had known the Boleyn’s since childhood, they had been neighbours in Kent, the Wyatts seat was Allington Castle and the Boleyn’s Hever, possibly both families had attended Sunday church services and hunted together and socialised to, Anne he had once been very attracted to but we do not know if he had ever loved her, he withdrew his pursuit gracefully when the king showed an interest and had seen her rise to the very pinnacle – that of queen consort, then witness her tragic fall, there is a memorial to the men who were slain this day in the grounds of the Tower May 17th 1536 it is very sad very poignant, Norris left behind a weeping lover, and children, Brereton two left behind children, young Weston a young widow and son, George’s widow Jane would be in financial hardship for some time and her future undecided, but she did return and became one of Queen Janes ladies, possibly thanks to Cromwell, we know nothing of Mark he may not even have been English, there is a take he was Flemish but apart from being court musician, there is nothing else we know of him, Anne was angry when she heard he had not cleared her name but even if he had, there would have been no reprieve for her, interestingly the butchered men’s heads were not displayed on Tower Hill, which is where all traitors heads ended up, a sign of their innocence maybe? A charitable gesture from a guilty king? There is a story that the queen watched their bodies return back in a wagon past her window to theur final resting place, but I doubt she would have witnessed such an awful sight, she knew all to well she would be joining them soon in eternity, it is a wonder and a sign of her great inner strength that she never broke down in her final hours on earth.

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