The Fall of Anne Boleyn: Day -11

Posted By on May 8, 2020

On this day in 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn had just eleven days left to live. Everything was happening so fast.

Whenever I talk or write about 8th May 1536, I’m always left with a feeling of complete disgust.

Why?

Because on 8th May 1536, before the queen and the men had even been tried, before indictments had even been drawn up, courtiers were considering what spoils there might be from their falls and how they could benefit. And they weren’t keeping these awful thoughts and hopes to themselves, they were taking action…

There are lots and lots of Tudor history videos on my Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube channel, so please do consider subscribing – click here. I add new content on a daily basis. If you prefer audio, then my talks are also available as podcasts on Podbean or your usual podcast app. And, if you prefer reading, then this website has thousands of articles, including one on 8 May 1536.

And today’s normal “on this day” video is about one of my favourite Tudor sources, chronicler and Windsor Herald, Charles Wriothesley:

10 thoughts on “The Fall of Anne Boleyn: Day -11”

  1. But they knew then, just as we know looking back on that time, that a trial was only for show. Once King Henry had decided to get rid of his queen, because he had already had what he wanted from her, or at least all he was likely to get, nobody was going to be found not guilty. And he didn’t give a second thought to what other innocents might be condemned with her. Even his so-called friend, Henry Norris. Would anyone have wanted to be King Henry’s friend? I certainly wouldn’t. I’m constantly amazed that Charles Brandon managed to survive.

  2. Michael Wright says:

    As Margaret said, people knew the trials were basically meaningless but still the whole thing is disgusting. They had to have realized that they could just as easily become carrion themselves that other vultures would feed on them. They all seem a very unfeeling bunch.

    And HAPPY VE-DAY to all those who fought in the allied cause in WWII. 75yrs of freedom!

  3. Christine says:

    Yes VE Day, victory in Europe day, sadly the street parties are cancelled but some are having low key celebrations, in the Daily Mail every day this week they have been printing actual headlines from 75 years ago, so iv been collecting them makes very interesting reading, getting back to the dreadful days of 1536, I agree a disgusting way to behave, these poor men had only been in the Tower for a few days yet already their offices and titles were being haggled over as if they were already condemned to death, vultures they certainly were it was ‘sod you Jack I’m alright‘ in the Tudor world, I have said this before but there’s a very chilling sense of disregard for human life in the way courtiers just appeared to tread roughshod over the lives and feelings of those unfortunate to find themselves prisoners in the Tower and arraigned of high treason, as Michael rightly says, it could happen to them one day, when we consider Queen Anne, Henry had another lined up already to take her place in the simpering form of her lady in waiting, it was a cruel greedy and merciless age and all about power and advancement in Henrys court, when Lady Jane Rochford was in the Tower several years later, an inventory was taken of her goods, yet the poor woman possibly even hadn’t been found guilty yet by the bill of attainder which later condemned her and her mistress Queen Catherine.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      At this point in Henry’s reign if Henry could see you.you could very easily be a victim of his wrath because you were expendable. Didn’t matter if the charges were legitimate or not. We see tat very clearly. In May of 1536.

      Sadly I don’t think most younger people here in the states even know what VE-Day is and certainly not VJ-Day in September. After 75yrs there can’t be more than a handful of vets from that time still alive.

      1. Christine says:

        Yes it’s true, I have an old photo taken in 1919 of a street party to celebrate the end of the First World War, or the Great War as it was also called, I posted it on my Facebook, it’s fascinating because it’s on the local high street outside the local, opposite were some old cottages which have long gone, replaced by council flats, there is an old gramophone on the table and everyone is staring at the camera, I love it as it has my fathers father and his elder brothers and sister in it, so it’s a piece of family history to, they probably had home made sandwiches and coke, lemonade for the kids and of course the men and women would have beer, no pizza and fancy snacks like now ,and I cannot imagine how the gramophone would have sounded, but I bet they all enjoyed themselves, I’m currently watching on the BBC a special VE celebration, Katherine Jenkins is on it and Anton Du Beke from Strictly.

        1. Michael Wright says:

          What neat piece of family history. That would have been an amazing and very memorable celebration. Thank you for sharing that.

  4. Christine says:

    Your welcome.

  5. Banditqueen says:

    The vultures gathered and wanted some of the best rooms and positions available, one position had already gone to Cromwell himself, which is a bit previous as the law stated one could list goods and even one assumes other things, but they shouldn’t confiscate anything before the accused was condemned.

    However, here they are lining up for the spoils of war, Anthony Plantagenet, the King’s illegitimate son and a lawyer with fourteen kids. He would probably demand a huge specially built council house today. The greed of the Tudor Court, the lion’s den, the spiders web, the den of thieves, raising its ugly head as people clambered for the positions left vacant by the arrest of several important courtiers and their personal possessions. The indictments had not yet been published or confirmed as evidence enough for commitment to trial, although that would happen over the next 48 hours. It was horrible to think how people can be so heartless and think only of themselves.

    Happy V.E Day or rather 75 years of peace in Europe, which ended the terrible slaughter in Europe of millions of people on all sides. We remember them all and the sacrifice our grandparents and parents went through and we can understand the celebrations and the commemorations today and in the years since. We have the freedom to talk and debate openly because of their sacrifice and we are thankful that we don’t have to go through that again. I also recall that some places are not so lucky and that wars are still around in Asia and the Middle East and America and Britain have fought against modern terrorism across several continents. Sadly many families still face the loss of men and women in battle today, outside of Europe. Even in some areas of Eastern Europe, that terrible conflict has been responsible for tremendous loss in Bosnia, Croatia, the former Republic of Yugoslavia. We remember them and pray for peace where ever there is loss of life and the shadow of war and suffering.

    My mum went out for two days and didn’t go home for two nights. She was seventeen and my nan and grandad ran a pub in Parliament Street in Liverpool, in the middle of the worst bombed out areas. All kinds of things went on through the pub. Apparently nan had a hand like a sledgehammer so if she caught my mum out over night, she would have given her a wallop. I can really understand the relief and delight people felt because six terrible years had ended, the bombing was over, the war was no more. I enjoy watching the old films from those times and it really was an outpouring of joy. Peace had come at last.

  6. Mary the Quene says:

    The spoils of the condemned had the best chance of being gobbled up by the courtiers who had the fastest ‘ask.’ Says it all, really, about the honour among the courtiers. . .

    1. Michael Wright says:

      Very well put.

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