The Fall of Anne Boleyn: Day -5

Posted By on May 14, 2020

On 14th May 1536, while his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, was imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting her trial for treason, Henry VIII was having his new sweetheart brought closer to his lodgings and having her treated as his queen. He really wasn’t wasting any time.

Find out more about this, and imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys’ rather unflattering description of Jane Seymour, in this video:

And today’s normal “on this day” video is about King Henry VIII’s leg problems, the leg ulcers he was plagued with for nearly twenty years:

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23 thoughts on “The Fall of Anne Boleyn: Day -5”

  1. This is what annoys me about so-called experts like Dr Lipscombe, who insists that Henry believed everything that Anne was charged with and was forced to condemn the woman he loved to death. Yeah, right. Obviously, he just wanted rid of her as someone else had taken his fancy. I firmly believe he only wanted Anne because he couldn’t have her and once he had had her, the novelty wore off. She might have lasted had she produced a son, but he would never have loved her.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      Perfectly said.

    2. Dorothy Willis says:

      I often wonder how the minds of some people work to produce a theory as downright silly as Dr. Lipscombe’s. Of course any novelty will attract attention and sell some books, get you on a talk show, that sort of thing.

    3. Esther says:

      IMO, Henry was too selfish to “love” anyone. However, Lipscombe isn’t alone … Ives (and Weir) also think that Cromwell convinced a Henry-still-in-love-with-Anne that Anne had betrayed him. Seriously, the “case” against Anne Boleyn didn’t convince her worst enemy (Chapuys) — so IMO the idea that this same weak case could convince a man who allegedly loved her means that Lipscombe, Ives and Weir must have a really warped idea of love.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        This is more than ust your opinion. When you look at how Henry behaved during this whole episode these were not the actions of a man in love with his wife and concerned about her well being. Moving Jane closer to him is like Henry standing up, brushing himself off and declaring ‘my work here is done’. Everything was in place for the death of Anne and so he was done.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          I believe Henry did love Anne, very much, but he had stopped loving her several months earlier at least. I remember the comments by Dr Lipscomb on various documentaries that Henry was in love with Anne and was desperately hurt by the thought that his beloved Anne had betrayed him. He believed the charges and she also thinks any other theory i.e that there was a factional conspiracy (including or not including Henry) is nuts and anyone who believed it was also unintelligent. I was rather put out by those remarks in her article on this site, but she is entitled to her opinion, flawed though it is. Well my husband always said she looked too nice to be a historian, but then again she is his secret crush but she does come across a little naive at times.

          I believe her general idea that Henry was violently and radically changed by the events of 1536, starting with his accident is based on sources and sound reasoning, but I believe his changes in personality began in the early 1530s with the start of his break from Rome, the years of difficulty getting an annulment and the power gained via his Supremacy. Henry had more than one jousting accident, his brains were almost scrambled by the lance of the Duke of Suffolk in 1524 and he hurt his foot playing tennis and his ulcers came from his tight garters. The one in January 1536 may have caused a brain injury, regardless of him being unconscious or not and the sources are divided on that, his leg injury was opened up and he was most certainly unable to joust afterwards. In 1536 he was already 45 and a big lad, although still in his prime physically. However, that changed fairly quickly with comfort eating, lack of exercise and the pain in his injured legs made him even more grumpy. After that accident it was noted that he quickly had become more short tempered, was incapable of making some decisions, had difficulty sleeping and his behaviour was more bizarre. He was also becoming more paranoid. A combination of these things had contributed to the transformation to a man and King who was reasonable and a decent ruler and person into the start of the one we associate with tyranny. However, I don’t believe Henry was still in love with Anne Boleyn, although I agree he had been passionately, maybe even obsessively and that Anne fell in love with him. I also believe his relationship with her had changed him, both positively and later for the worse to the extent he would do anything to have her and protect his claim to her. The lion had learned of the extent of his power.

  2. Michael Wright says:

    Henry’s actions here are a great illustration of something I mentioned in an earlier post, that he was terrible at pretending to be the cuckolded victim in this affair. Not only could he not wait for Anne’s body to get cold, he couldn’t even wait for there to be a body. There is no doubt in my mind he already knew the outcome of the trials to come and in his obvious joy that he and Cromwell’s plans had born the desired fruit he was getting on with his life.
    Cromwell’s letter to Gardner and Wallop is obviously rubbish. Not only the information in it but if it were true I really doubt it would have had to be as long as it was. Too many words. IMO.
    As an aside, and I want to preface this by saying I mean this as a compliment to Cromwell: Thomas Cromwell was a very good accomplished lawyer. As such he knew how to do things quietly. For instance Mark Smeaton’s interrogation. We have to guess what went on because there’s no record. That was smart and intentional. We wonder about it because of other ‘funny’ things that went on during the destruction of the six innocents. As someone who could keep his head down and not let people know what he was doing I wonder what he thought of Henry constantly poking his head up exposing what we now know definitely were nefarious plans? If Thomas Cromwell did have reservations about the part his master played he dared not speak them.

    1. Dorothy Willis says:

      Speaking of keeping his head down, whenever I see a portrait of Thomas Cromwell I always think of a turtle peeking its head out of its shell.

      I agree with you. He was an excellent shyster lawyer, but he failed to take into account his master’s lack of loyalty. Henry had a track record from the beginning of turning on those who had served him best, but I suppose, like all of us, Cromwell thought he would be the exception to the rule.

      1. Michael Wright says:

        I absolutely agree with you and your description of Cromwell is perfect.

        1. Esther says:

          I don’t think Cromwell thought that he would be the exception to Henry’s lack of loyalty; I think that Cromwell had no choice. It is not like he could refuse to enter Henry’s service, or, once in that service, refuse to obey orders (like Thomas More did). Instead, he had to do what the king wanted, and take his chances.

  3. Christine says:

    it was interesting listening to the video about Henry V111’s health especially his badly ulcerated legs, according to the fashion of the day he always wore very tight garters, being very vain about his well shaped calves he liked to show them of and yet the garters made his problem worse, he could have had varicose veins which today are treated but he suffered from very bad ulcers which would weep and ooze pus, it was said they smelt so bad the court could smell him before he came into a room, imagine the wrinkling noses of those in attendance on him, deep vein thrombosis could also have caused the condition and here he was very lucky as that can cause clots that appear anywhere on the body, if a blood clot had gone to the brain he would not have survived, Henry V111’s health seemed to have a gradual decline over the years and he also suffered from bad migraine attacks, this was caused by a heavy blow to his head when he forgot to lower his visor at the joust, any blow to the head is dangerous and the blinding headaches he would have endured would not have helped his humour, coupled with the marital problems he had he began to be increasingly ill tempered and merciless when it came to his many victims, at the end he probably did suffer from type two diabetes due to his fatty diet and there is another theory to, he may have had Cushings disease which makes the heart enlarged and can cause paranoia and mood swings, he had another serious and could have been fatal injury when he fell from his horse and was crushed beneath him, by now Henry was pretty weighty and he must have fallen like a sack of spuds, he was out cold we do not no how long for as reports differ, but another blow to the head and the injury caused to his legs did not help his current condition, Anne Boleyn was to blame the shock of his fall on her final miscarriage and it did not help the already frail state of their marriage, Henry once so athletic and fit and robust by the time he died was a grossly overweight man whose waist measured at around fifty two inches, he was so heavy he had to be winched onto his horse and was wheeled around his palaces, his physical decline was tragic and yet had he eaten less his health would not have been so bad, bad legs need less weight to carry and Henry should have reduced his food and wine intake, he added sugar to his wine and carried on eating large amounts of meat and pies as if he was still in the saddle for hours at a time, when young he would play tennis and archery and wrestling, all that now was gone and possibly due to boredom and depression, he began to eat and possibly over eat as well, there is a wax figure of the old king surrounded by his wives at Madam Tussauds in London, he was huge and quite possibly they had taken his actual measurements to fit, by comparison his wives are slim as reeds and shorter by about seven to eight inches, he dominates the whole room in the hall of monarchs, the one monarch most visitors stand around and stare at, his decline was tragic and there is another theory osteomyelitis which Claire mentions, I too have heard of this theory it affects the bone and doctors think this condition affected little King Edward V the kings uncle, he suffered from a painful jaw and when he was in the Tower was seen by the kings physician several times, it is caused by an infection but could it be genetic to, as Henry V111 suffered from painful legs? It is a very real pity that we cannot exhume the skeleton of Henry V111 as we could then determine for good what caused his mental and physical decline.

    1. Michael Wright says:

      I posited on YouTube yesterday that I believe there is a very good possibility that he was diabetic and even if that didn’t cause the ulcers it certainly could have been one of the contributing factors in them not healing. I must say that even though I’m not a fan of his I am very sorry he had to suffer through that.

      1. Christine says:

        Very obese people do tend to get diabetes but of course sometimes there’s just a pre disposition towards it, it could also be caused by genetics, but as Henry V111 was very fat we can assume it was his unhealthy lifestyle that caused diabetes if he did have that, he ate loads of sugary confections as well as gargantuan amounts of red meat cooked in pies, which would have caused high cholesterol to, he also suffered from constipation and there is one report of him having an enema and afterwards he was able to go much better, sounds revolting but his bowel habits were the topic of conversation amongst his doctors, Tudor doctors did not know about the need for fresh fruit and roughage in the diet to encourage regular bowel movements,although he and Anne Boleyn were fond of cherries he is known to have had cherry orchards, he liked seasonal fruit such as strawberries and possibly blackberries and raspberries, but it was not enough to stop his constipation, he was known to take sugar in his wine and it was said of him by the end of his days he was so huge two men could get inside his doublet, he must have been terrifying in old age, with his huge face and white beard and bellowing temper yet I should imagine, still very like a king as he had always had presence and men cowered before him, I to pity Henry V111 for his poor health, he had been fit and healthy and for an active person to suddenly have to give up jousting and tennis and other sports he loved would have made him miserable, but he did make himself worse by overeating and the weight piled on, extra weight causes mobility issues and he did his bad legs no favour, it is common sense really as today people are advised to lose weight if they are quite overweight and have to have a hip operation, but imagine telling Henry V111 not to eat too much, kings did eat a lot, hence the saying ‘eat like a king’, he was not old when he died either though past middle age in Tudor standards, people today when they hear the name Henry V111 think only of a fat old man with a red beard and a bad temper, but that was only in old age, in his youth he was like a Demi god but that image is always obliterated by the picture of him in old age.

        1. Michael Wright says:

          You’re right, obese people are prone to diabetes. When I was diagnosed in 2007 I was a bit overweight but not obese. I had a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop and went to the emergency room and found I had extremely high blood pressure (runs in my family) sand in the course of doing blood work discovered I was diabetic. Not caused by weight but how I ate. I craved meat and didn’t eat much in the way of veggies or fruit. That had since changed. I also believe Henry’s eating was brought on by depression from not being able to be as active as he once had been.

      2. rose says:

        Diabetes could have been the cause. didn’t his doctors advise him on diet? didn’t they know anything about blood sugar?

        1. Michael Wright says:

          Short answer is no. That knowledge is fairly recent. Also in the 16th century a lot of meat was cosumed and vegetables were cosidered suspect. Doctor at the time were still working under the belief that health was controlled by balancing the 4 humours. Look up ‘humour theory’ online for a good explanation.

        2. Banditqueen says:

          Rose they knew a few things about diet, the Greek doctors knew that and there were several writings on diet, but no they didn’t know about blood sugar and meat was generally fatter than now in any case. Meat was also salted and cooked in its juices because it gave better taste and helped with cooking and preservation. Being overweight was a symbol of status, it meant you could afford to eat and eat well. Fresh vegetables were seasonal, yes, herbs and fruit was available, many from the New World but there wasn’t the advice on nutrition as there is now. In fact the rich had some very odd ideas about veg and even about bread. It was believed that too much veg was only for the poor or middle class because they ate a lot of home grown veg in pottage with dumplings and other things. The rich looked down on eating too much veg or fruit, unless it was rare. The further it came from the more expensive it was, the better it was for the rich. Food had a lot of regulations around it, as did everything else, clothes included, white soft rolls were the best breads and the rich ate them. The harder brown bread was for everyone else. The King didn’t eat gargantuan tons of food, that’s a complete myth, he ate as did his nobles and special guests had three courses, each consisting of several dishes, but they took what bits from those dishes, not great piles from them, although they ate well, the best of everything. The real killer was sugar. After super or on every special occasion, a spread called the Banquet was laid out of the best iced sugars used to make beautiful sweetmeats, beautiful decorations from sugar and colourful jelly, iced sculptures of sugar, various candy, a wide variety of themes and dozens of things one could enjoy. The Tudors had an exceptionally sweet tooth. I wouldn’t be surprised if diabetes wasn’t endemic but they wouldn’t know it. Dietary advice consisted of very general ideas of not over eating, watching ones input and output, how to control indigestion, healthy stools and some ideas on not over indulging. Like today, very few people took the advice seriously. Herbs were added to aid indigestion as well as flavour food and a special wine called hypacius was made to help as well. Henry wasn’t massively over weight in 1536,_but certainly as the next decade showed he grew to 28 stone and had a 56 inch waist. We know exactly how big he was because of his last suite of armour. Built to specific measurements and the equivalent of Armani Suites this item would capture Henry’s outline accurately in 1544/5 when it was made. The last decade of his life saw an every growing decline, at first slow, but as he became more and more immobile, he also became heavily depressed and the leg ulcers more painful and caused infection because the wisdom was to keep them open and cure them with hot pokers. The King later ate more, less so in public, but in private, he had less exercise and the inevitable weight gain, with the potential life threatening conditions that came with that. Many of the cures for his leg he invented themselves, but a lot of the others used contained lead. Another problem therefore could have been lead poisoning. When you consider Henry was going through that, I can’t but have some sympathy for him. One historian I was listening to the other day made the important observation that he only went through all of those wives after his head injury. Now, as I said, the evidence for a head injury is debatable because the sources that say Henry was unconscious for two hours were not present. The other sources are not very helpful. He certainly would have come to earth with a bang in full armour at 30 to 40 miles an hour and if the horse also fell, it was some accident and he didn’t need to be out to suffer a head trauma. The frontal lobe damage, whether immediate or not would have been enough to set in motion a long list of psychological, neurological and physical changes in Henry’s body and personality, adding his leg injury to that and his own contribution to his decline in health, all of these things may have led to some not very wise decisions. There are a number of theories one might consider, a rare blood disorder, too much power all at once, the years of bitter divorce and opposition, a psychological condition, a number of health conditions, a brain injury, lead poisoning, but one thing is clear, the King of the Holbein painting was not the man who had gone to the Cloth of Gold, been a fine athlete or was dedicated to one woman for almost twenty years. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything his doctors could really do and Henry’s status demanded he keep up the show of opulence, even if it killed him.

  4. Christine says:

    Lady Jane Seymour was related by blood to her mistress Queen Anne Boleyn sharing the same grandmother, but they had no cousinly feelings towards each other, in fact they could not have had much in common, as Anne was a great wit and loved the company of men, she loved to dance and surrounded herself with all the witty men and women of the court, Jane on the other hand was described as mouse like, quiet and retiring, Jane possibly preferred to sit in a corner and sew, rather than take part in masques and dance, Chapyus himself wrote in his dispatches no one thinks she has much beauty, she was described as having a very white complexion, we know fairness was much lauded, but a healthy colouring was to and people then as now find rosy cheeks attractive against a white complexion, Jane was said to be very pale and her portrait shows a woman with a rather large head on narrow shoulders, her eyes are small and slant slightly and her nose is rather too large for beauty, she has a small pursed mouth, we can see why she did not make much of an impression on her contemporaries but beauty is after all, only skin deep and Henry V111 liked her shy little smile and her reverence towards him, she was modest and humble and that’s exactly what he liked in a woman and his subject, Anne’s moods wearied him and he was getting increasingly fed up with her, by contrast Jane must have appeared like a breath of fresh air just as Anne herself had years before to Katherine of Aragon, it looked like history was about to repeat itself and this day in 1536 Jane was taken to a house in Chelsea to be nearer the king so he could visit her often, whatever Jane felt about Anne Boleyn in the Tower we do not know, but she knew as one of Anne’s ladies how impossible it would have been for her to commit adultery, and as many times as the crown alleged, Anne had slapped her many times when she discovered Henry was seeing her, as mistress she was allowed to hit and rebuke her ladies and men, and we can assume Jane bore the full brunt of her anger, there was an occasion where the king gave Jane a locket with a miniature of himself enclosed, Anne asked to see it and Jane immediately acted guilty, covering her hand over it, Anne angrily ripped it from her neck which hurt her hand and saw it was a gift from the king when she opened the locket, that would not have endeared Jane to her either, Jane we can assume disliked the queen maybe even before her ill treatment of her, as she had served Queen Katherine and was fond of her daughter the Lady Mary, she was also from an old catholic family and abhorred the reform, she must have wept over the treatment Katherine and Mary had endured and must have told herself it was all Anne’s doing, we can see there could not have been much love lost between the two women, but history is silent on Janes true feelings on her mistress and because of that I find her an enigma, she is said to have been schooled by her brothers on how to act towards the king, she sent back his purse of coins which was a gift from him to her, replying when she makes an advantageous marriage she would hope then to receive such a gift, was she hinting at marriage I don’t think so, she could hardly expect a marriage proposal from the king but everyone knew his marriage by now was not a bed of roses, her maidenly words however enchanted the king, he was attracted to her but I feel he just found Jane a pleasant companion, a much calmer diversion from his fiery queen, I doubt he loved her with the passion he had felt for Anne as after their marriage, he commented on two ladies both recently arrived at court, and he was heard to say it was a pity he had not seen them before his marriage, that tells us he was not very infatuated with his third queen, but then his love could have grown as he was bereft at her death and shut himself away with only his fool Will Summers for company, for now Jane settled in her fine house on the Thames and was feted as if she was queen already dining on the finest of fare and sipping the finest of wines, it was like Katherine all over again, two queens in the kingdom, one abandoned and the other honoured, her one time mistress languished in the Tower whilst Jane sat at her table and kept merry company, the sounds of the music must have wafted down the river and past the old fortress, had Anne heard it she would have smiled a bittersweet smile.

  5. Michael Wright says:

    Hi BQ. I have no doubt that at one time Henry was passionately in love with Anne and she with him. My comment is in reference to her fall where all that love fell by the wayside and turned to a hatred so hot she had to die and the great thing was, I’m sure in his mind was he didn’t have to get his own hands dirty.

    1. Christine says:

      Well kings never got their hands dirty Michael they had others to do their dirty work for them, it is very very sad that the marriage so long sought after only lasted three years, Henry and Anne had been together for ten years and I believe Henry did genuinely love Anne, he would not have broke with Rome and left Katherine if it was pure lust, lust can easily fizzle out but love endures, Anne really has to take some of the blame for the failure of this marriage, she could not conform to the role of queen but still carried on like a demanding mistress, even though she had not granted the king that ultimate favour she held him in thrall for seven long years, then they were married and as Weir puts it, the long struggle had wearied them both, they were both by now world weary less patient people but if Anne had managed to give the king a son, I believe her position would have been secure, she would have still angered him by her catty remarks and arguing over his mistresses but he would have endured that if there was a Bonny boy lying in the cradle in the royal nursery.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        That’s why Kings have important and capable men like Thomas Cromwell in their service. Feelings aside, they don’t make a habit of getting involved, save from afar, giving the final and most important orders only, once a traitor was handed over to the legal authorities, they were left to face that process and a monarch rarely became involved. Henry was certainly a man and King who rarely involved himself in the legal process, unless a prisoner, an ordinary prisoner, asked for judgement before the King. Treason rarely allowed for this unless the King became involved. James Vi and I was such a King, involved in questioning prisoners and trying them, even going so far as to attend executions. Henry was much more withdrawn and took a back seat. He hated government, but he did become more involved during the last decade, with some considerable success, but he appointed people who were talented and left everything to them. That doesn’t mean he didn’t know what was going on, he obviously had regular reports and kept his finger on the pulse, he was astute and well informed. Cromwell had everything in hand, he had regular reports from Kingston and Fitzwilliam and he knew the King’s wishes. They were being carried out and Henry was now able to step back and now that the trial was over he was off to play with his girlfriend. Henry’s love for Anne had fallen on stony ground long ago, he had been waiting for a way out now for months, it wouldn’t have taken much to persuade him to allow her to fall permanently. Let’s face it, nobody ever really pushed a rival out of favour while that rival was high in favour, not without some conspiracy and false evidence against them. Henry was easily persuaded to relinquish friends when they had fallen or failed and were vulnerable. He wasn’t easily manipulated otherwise. He became more malleable as he aged, as his paranoia became more apparent and it was within months of a catastrophic failure that Cromwell himself was brought down. Henry even rewarded Cromwell a few weeks before his arrest with the title Earl of Essex. Yet his enemies were able to form a faction, led by Norfolk and present Henry with evidence of treason. Henry turned on his old servant without too much of a problem, used him to get evidence to annul his marriage to Anne of Cleves and then Cromwell was condemned via an Act of Attainder in Parliament, without trial, found guilty and executed. Henry regretted his execution and blamed deception by others for it. Some experts think his mind was such that he didn’t remember giving orders to execute people or that they had been executed. Henry had hesitated over early executions, taken time and care, but now he really didn’t appear to care if someone was guilty, he was persuaded and that was it. Henry wanted Anne out of the way, he wanted it over as quickly as possible, the Commission of Oyer and Terminer would have saved a lot of time once the arrests were made. A man who still loved his wife would not surely have behaved with such cold indifference. Now his wife was about to be found guilty and Henry would be free to travel down river to be with the new love in his life, Jane Seymour. Henry could forget about Anne, did forget about Anne, he was acting as if he was already free and I think he was just looking forward to his next wedding.

        1. Christine says:

          That’s what I think, Henry’s almost jovial behaviour during the arrests and trial of his wife show that he really did not care about her at all, he was seeing Jane Seymour and planning his next wedding with gusto, Chapyus said of him he wears his horns lightly, he was no fool, Chapyus had been at court a long time and knew the king was tired of Anne, everyone knew he was tired of Anne, Henry whilst complaining about Anne to anyone who would listen about her betrayal, was not really acting like the betrayed husband as much as the husband who found a way to rid himself of a tiresome wife, he could bluster all he liked and say he thought she had slept with upto a hundred men, yet in between planning his wife’s trial and execution he was also planning his coming nuptials, why had his love for Anne died and when did it die? One would think that a love that could move mountains would endure till death, but it fizzled out till in the end the only feelings Henry had for her was tedium annoyance and possibly indifference, I think his attraction for her had really been that of seeking the unattainable, the minute she became his the novelty wore of, the excitement was more in the thrill of the chase and once married their roles changed, Henry was the ardent lover and Anne the petulant demanding mistress, but now they were married and she had to act like a queen obedient dutiful and fertile, sadly she failed at all three, though it is assumed she became pregnant three times, there is a mystery over her second pregnancy, some think it could have been a phantom pregnancy as we hear no more about it, or she could have miscarried but it was covered up so discreetly that not many knew about it, she was also getting on in years in 1536 she would have been around thirty five to thirty six, depending on when she was born, in Tudor times she would have been considered past her childbearing best, and this is what is so tragic about the marriage of Henry V111 and Anne Boleyn, it was the long years of waiting that really ruined Anne’s chances of bearing a healthy son, unless we think she did have an unknown medical condition where she could not have had another living child, it seemed that this once grand passion was doomed to wither and fade, and with it the marriage of Henry V111 and Anne Boleyn.

  6. Banditqueen says:

    Jane Seymour had been kept out of the way at her family’s home while all of these horrendous events were going on, probably preparing for her wedding, wondering what was really going on, maybe hearing the news, maybe considering her next steps, but certainly we have no idea how she felt or if she believed the charges. Now she moved to the home of Sir Nicholas Carew at Chelsea, which once belonged to Thomas More. It was opulent and well worthy of a Queen, it had entertained Henry on a number of occasions. Here Jane was treated as a Queen, in royal estate, with the King’s cooks, royal robes, dresses, probably ladies to wait upon her and in grand style.

    I don’t believe we can blame Jane for the events of these last days of Anne Boleyn but Jane had her own reasons for wanting to be Queen. Although brought back to Court by her family to serve Anne as she had Queen Katherine, encouraged to show herself sympathetic to the King, maybe put before the King, Jane thought of herself as having a genuine mission. Far from being the pawn of a pro Marian anti Boleyn faction, that included at some point, Cromwell, Jane was promoted as the head of that faction. The most recent scholarship on Jane sees her not as a quiet and submissive woman who did as she was told, but as a very clever and shrewd woman who chose to be just as the King wanted. Jane had learned from both Katherine and Anne and vowed not to make the same mistakes, but she had her own ideas. She did receive coaching from Carew and others on how to attract and deal with Henry during his courtship, preparing for her wedding and the way to distract him from Anne. There are reports that Jane whispered to Henry that his marriage to Anne was unpopular and we don’t know what else, but that is a far cry from causing Anne’s death. That was down to Henry, Jane could do nothing to change that, didn’t have any hand in any of the King’s orders regarding her fall and it might have happened any way. The faction around her, who influenced her rise were made up from those who wanted a new Queen and those who supported Princess Mary and a pro Imperial foreign power and included Cromwell. Henry wanted to end his marriage quickly and Cromwell provided the means to ensure it was quick and permanent. Nobody could have prevented it either, because Henry had made up his mind and everything was set in motion and in stone from the first arrest. Henry might have killed Anne to marry Jane but she had nothing to do with pushing him towards that terrible decision; so those who blame her have to remember who was in charge, King Henry Viii.

    There would have been nothing Jane could do to stop Anne’s execution and she was sent away to protect her from that horror. To protect her reputation Jane was closeted at home, but now she was rolled out as Queen and she took on the role in full. Jane saw it as her mission to help Henry reconcile with his daughter Mary and hopefully that may lead to the Princess being restored to the succession and she also hoped that with a Catholic Queen, Henry might move back towards traditional Catholicism. She was just what Henry needed, a peace maker, a traditional Tudor wife, submissive by choice, yet she wasn’t a doormat. She was also ruthless because while she didn’t cause Anne’s death, she stepped into her shoes without too many nightmares. As she received her welcome in Chelsea as if she was already Queen, I suspect she enjoyed the attention and looked forward to her wedding.

    Now for the famous letter written to the English Ambassadors, Gardiner and Wallop, in which Cromwell lays out how shocking Anne’s behaviour has been. Good grief talk about exaggerating; talk about we must all bow down and show our loyalty and sympathy for the poor innocent victim, the King, really Cromwell! Her Majesty and her incontinent living has shocked us all and you must be made aware of how it has been here with this dreadful conspiracy by the wicked Queen and her lovers to kill our beloved King. Get me a bucket, please! The man is either hiding his role in all this or doing some super bottom kissing. The two Ambassadors must have been sitting there open mouthed at this and seriously, I doubt either of them believed it. It reads too fanciful. It’s worse than the actual indictments and it mentions the conspiracy to kill Henry and how they have all fallen on their knees and made sympathetic noises of support three times. The letter is over the top. The Queen is portrayed as out of control, well out of control, everyone knows she was out of control, all her ladies knew she was out of control and have given testimony against her and on and on he goes. Actually, very little evidence and testimony has been given against her and the others and there is only the confession of Mark Smeaton which is worth anything. Who are all these women who know all about Anne’s love affairs and the conspiracy to kill the King and where are they? No such women have given evidence. Three women are mentioned as being questioned but what they said is unknown and none were called as witnesses. None of them have been issued pardons for hiding her crimes in exchange for their testimony. None of them are on trial with her. Cromwell made it all up and he is making this up as well. It’s a treason trial and four of the men have already been tried and found guilty. Anne and her brother are therefore already condemned. Cromwell anticipated the verdict but in reality he knew what the outcome would be. The two Ambassadors must have wondered what they were returning to. Goodness knows what went through their mind. Both men had been involved in the King’s annulment from Katherine early in the process and I can just imagine how they felt hearing that the woman Henry had wanted as his bride all those years ago, whom he had clearly loved at that time, who was meant to be destined to give him his much-needed son and heir, was allegedly revealed to be a whore, conspirator, deceiver and an evil woman who wanted to murder their King, her husband. Shock doesn’t cover it!

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