On 7th May 1536, five days after the arrest of Queen Anne Boleyn, the queen’s chaplain was accosted and searched on his arrival back in England from the Continent.

Why? What were the authorities expecting to find?

Find out more in this video:

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. If you prefer reading articles, you can click here to read about what happened on this day in 1536.

And today’s normal “on this day” video takes us back to 1567, when, eight days before James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, married Mary, Queen of Scots, the Catholic court granted him a divorce from his wife, Lady Jean Gordon.

Who was Jean Gordon? Why did Bothwell divorce her? And what happened to Jean afterwards?

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4 thoughts on “The Fall of Anne Boleyn: Day -12”
  1. Good on him for living such a long fruitful life. God was certainly smiling down on him this day in 1536 when he landed as he could so easily have been transporting heretical material to Anne and then he would have been caught up in this whole unpleasant business possibly have been a casualty along with the others.

  2. He was Dean of Peterborough in 1560 and was an Evangelical reformer, one of those amongst others like Cranmer and Mathew Parker who were supporters of Anne Boleyn, his work on Anne was called ‘The Chronokille ‘ , and it centred on her reformist teachings, he did have a good life Michael and we can imagine how shocked he was when he arrived back in England, only to be told his good mistress and patron was in the Tower, but he did not believe the charges they were too ludicrous to believe, and he knew Anne to be a good pious and charitable woman, this he wrote in his book which was published in her daughters reign, he witnessed the fall of Anne and the kings subsequent marriage to her lady in waiting, he witnessed her death and many other events during his long life, he married and had a family and went onto serve Elizabeth 1st faithfully and died in his bed, a good ending as Claire recounts he did not go the way of so many of them, he could so easily have been caught up in the dreadful events of 1536 but what could they have put on Latymer? His books were searched but there was nothing heretical in them and he was allowed to go his way, a fortunate man indeed, his friend and contemporary Mathew Parker also went onto serve Queen Elizabeth due to a promise Anne Boleyn had extracted from him, that he would guide her daughters spiritual welfare, Anne had her enemies but at least she had some good friends as well.

    1. I’m just glad that there were people who knew Anne and what she was really like and we’re able to tell her daughter that the terrible stories she had probably heard about her mother we’re completely untrue.

  3. William Laytimer was one of the people who knew Anne well and went on to write about her life in a positive way and who spoke of her as a reformer, a good woman, a moral woman, a lady of charity and who had a social character and who served in the reign of her daughter, Elizabeth. He must have been well trusted by Anne and discreet because he often travelled abroad and picked up books for her, most probably of the new learning and he may have gone to do that on this trip. Latymer was searched and one has to wonder what the authorities were looking for. Where they just carrying out a routine customs check or did they think he had something incriminating? He was very lucky on this trip not to have any books considered heresy, but then he may have been tipped off and known that Anne had been arrested. Did the authorities hope to find incriminating letters perhaps? We just don’t know.

    I am just starting to realise how much we don’t know or understand about what was going on during these unhappy days of May 1536_ so secretly was everything done and much information, I believe has gone missing through time.

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