The Middlesex and Kent Indictments – Do the Dates of the Alleged Crimes Make Sense?

Posted By on May 11, 2011

In my articles on the indictments last May, I discussed the views of the historians Eric Ives, Alison Weir and G W Bernard on the dates given for the alleged offences committed by Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton and George Boleyn. Here is an extract from that article:-

The Dates of the Alleged Offences

If we combine the Kent and Middlesex Indictments, we get a clearer picture of the dates of the alleged offences:-

  • 6th and 12th October 1533 – Anne and Henry Norris at Westminster
  • 16th and 27th November 1533 – Anne and William Brereton at Greenwich
  • 3rd and 8th December 1533 – Anne and William Brereton at Hampton Court
  • 12th April 1534 – Anne and Mark Smeaton at Westminster (date for Anne procuring Smeaton)
  • 12th and 19th May 1534 – Anne and Mark Smeaton at Greenwich
  • 8th and 20th May 1534 – Anne and Sir Francis Weston at Westminster
  • 6th and 20th June 1534 – Anne and Sir Francis Weston at Greenwich
  • 26th April 1535 – Anne and Mark Smeaton at Westminster
  • 31st October 1535 – Anne and some of the men compassed the King’s death at Westminster
  • 2nd and 5th November 1535 – Anne and her brother George Boleyn,Lord Rochford at Westminster
  • 27th November 1535 – Anne gave gifts to the men at Westminster
  • 22nd and 29th December 1535 – Anne and her brother George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, at Eltham Palace
  • 8th January 1536 – Anne compassed the King’s death with Rochford, Norris, Weston and Brereton at Greenwich

Both Eric Ives and Alison Weir have commented that the dates just do not make sense. In his book “The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn”, Ives comments:-

“Investigation, furthermore, shows that even after nearly 500 years, three-quarters of these specific allegations can be disproved. In twelve cases Anne was elsewhere or else the man was”1

and Weir writes:-

“Close scrutiny of the facts suggests that thirteen out of the twenty-one charges were impossible, and that if, four and a half centuries later it can be established that only eight were even plausible – which in itself suggests that even these were not genuine offences – then the case against Anne is shaky indeed.”2

So, why do these dates not make sense?

The Case for the Defence

If Anne Boleyn was alive today and the Crown used those dates then her lawyer would tear them apart and they’d be laughed out of court. Anne would be found innocent on all counts because the dates are complete nonsense. Let us look at the key dates which Anne’s lawyer in today’s law court would question:-

6th and 12th October 1533

Ives points out that seeing as Anne Boleyn had only given birth to Elizabeth the previous month she would still have been recovering from childbirth and probably would have been unchurched3 – would Anne really be in the mood for an affair? Also, as Weir points out, the court was at Greenwich, not Westminster4.

Weir wonders if these dates was chosen on purpose to suggest that Sir Henry Norris was responsible for the pregnancy reported by Chapuys at the end of January 1534, thus compromising the succession.

3rd and 8th December 1533

Weir writes that there is no way that Anne could have committed adultery with William Brereton at Hampton Court when records show that the court was at Greenwich on the 8th December 15335. Anne was also in the early stages of pregnancy at this time and is unlikely to have felt like having an affair as she was exhausted.

13th and 19th May 1535

Ives argues that there is no way that Anne could have committed adultery with Mark Smeaton at Greenwich on the 19th May as she was in Richmond at the time.

April, May and June 1534

A letter from George Taylor to Lady Lisle dated the 27th April 1534 says that “The Queen hath a goodly belly, praying our Lord to send us a prince”6 and in July, Anne’s brother, Lord Rochford, was sent on a diplomatic mission to France to ask for the postponement of a meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I because of Anne’s condition: “being so far gone with child she could not cross the sea with the King”7. So, there is evidence that Anne was visibly pregnant at this time, a time when she was allegedly seducing and sleeping with Mark Smeaton and Sir Francis Weston.

Anne could also not have slept with Weston on the 20th June at Greenwich when the court was at Hampton Court from the 3rd to the 26th June.

31st October 1535

Alison Weir points out that Anne is unlikely to have plotted the King’s death when Catherine of Aragon was still alive and there would have been support for the Lady Mary to succeed and become queen8.

27th November 1535

Seeing as Anne Boleyn miscarried a baby on the 29th January 1536 at around 15 weeks, she would have been pregnant at this time, although in the early stages. If she had an inkling that she was pregnant, what benefit would it be for her to give gifts to the men to get them on side? Also, Anne was not at Westminster on this date, she was at Windsor.

22nd and 29th December 1535

Would a woman in the early stages of pregnancy really have the reason or the inclination to seduce her brother?

8th January 1536

How could Anne be plotting the King’s death at Greenwich when she was actually at Eltham Palace

Nonsense

I have to agree with Alison Weir when she says that “the illogicality in the charges strongly suggests that they were cobbled together in a hurry, without having been carefully scrutinised”9 but they are not complete nonsense, as Ives points out, in that Anne did not have an alibi for the offences committed at Greenwich in November 1533 and Christmas 1535/1536 and Ives wonders if Christmas was chosen to give credence to the allegations in that everyone can remember where they spent the previous Christmas. The catch-all phrases “and on divers other days and places” and “on several days before and after” also meant that if the dates were challenged then the indictment was still valid. As Ives says, “Only a wife confined to a closed nunnery would hope to escape that trap.”10

Although the dates do not make perfect sense, we can see that the indictments against Anne were drawn up “with the specific purposes of character assassination and providing a foolproof means for getting rid of her”11, in that Anne was accused of harming the King, conspiring to kill him, taking five lovers (including her own brother) to satisfy her lust and passion and provide an heir, compromising the succession by getting pregnant by her lovers, and stooping so low as to take a lowly musician as a lover.

But although Anne’s lawyer today would probably be able to get the case dismissed on the grounds of the sloppy dates, both Weir and Bernard point out that it does not necessarily mean that Anne Boleyn was innocent, although Weir does conclude that it is likely that Anne was framed. Bernard12 makes the point that the problem with the dates could be due to lawyers having to attach dates to the offences to make the indictments properly legal but that witnesses could not remember the specific dates or locations of Anne’s crimes. A valid point but Anne Boleyn Files visitor Louise, a lawyer, argues that

“Even with the introduction of the Human Right’s Act, specific dates in an indictment are not required in the twenty-first century, let alone the sixteenth century. It is sufficient to put in an indictment ‘on or about’. Obviously, if a specific date is not entered, it makes it more difficult for the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but that is besides the point which I’m making. Specific dates were not a necessity, yet in Anne’s case they were added anyway, even though most of them were found to be impossible.

I think dates were added purely in an attempt to give the charges more credence. The prosecution knew the convictions were a forgone conclusion and that the jury was not going to weigh the evidence. Therefore, they made no attempt to make the charges realistic. It was a lazy indictment because it didn’t have to be anything else.”13

Also, it is interesting to note that the one day that we do know that Anne mentioned the King’s death, by saying “you look for dead men’s shoes” to Norris on the 30th April, is not in the indictments. How strange!

Innocent or Guilty?

Looking at the dates of Anne’s alleged adultery I find it difficult to believe that a woman, never-mind a queen, could hop from bed to bed like that over a period of just over 2 years and not be caught earlier. How could she possibly have five lovers and not be gossiped about?  As Ives says, “quadruple adultery plus incest invites disbelief”14 and, as Weir points out, not even Anne’s biggest enemies, like Eustace Chapuys, heard any gossip about possible affairs during this period. Anne had her faults and often opened her mouth without thinking first but there is nothing to suggest that she was unfaithful to the King or that she conspired to kill him.

G W Bernard, in “Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions”,  agrees that “there simply is not sufficient evidence to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that Anne, her brother, Norris, Weston, Brereton and Smeaton were guilty” but points out that this “does not mean that they were all innocent.”15 He concludes that her flirtatious and reckless behaviour and her household’s climate of “dancing and pastime” could have led to  a “series of misunderstandings” but he is of the opinion that Anne did commit adultery with Norris, that she probably did with Smeaton and that she could also have committed adultery with Weston. I don’t agree and neither do many historians. There is no solid evidence either way but I choose to believe in Anne’s innocence, not her guilt. The Anne Boleyn I believe in had no reason to commit adultery – she had her crown, she had her Henry, she had every hope for the future and knew how precarious her position was as Queen, she would not have done anything to risk that. Also, Anne was very religious. She believed in living a virtuous life and doing good deeds, there is no way that she would have contemplated risking her immortal soul by committing adultery, never-mind incest, however desperate she was to provide the King with an heir. She knew that the baby had to be the King’s. The indictments, therefore, are nonsense and pure fiction, but they were successful in bringing about an awful miscarriage of justice and the tragic death of an innocent queen and five innocent men.

Notes and Sources

  1. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, Eric Ives, p344
  2. The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn, Alison Weir, p186
  3. Ibid., p344
  4. Ibid., p187
  5. Ibid., p188
  6. LP vii.556
  7. Ibid., vii 958
  8. Weir, p189
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ives, p344
  11. Weir, p186
  12. “Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions”, G W Bernard, Chapter 11 “Anne’s Lovers?”
  13. Comment on article “Book Review – Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions” by G W Bernard”
  14. Weir, p184
  15. Bernard, p183

36 thoughts on “The Middlesex and Kent Indictments – Do the Dates of the Alleged Crimes Make Sense?”

  1. Louise says:

    I re-read the Bernard book recently, and what he never fully explains is, if Anne was guilty of adultery with Norris, Smeaton and Weston, then why did Rochford, Brereton, Wyatt and Page have to be brought into the proceedings. I know Wyatt and Page were released, presumably in an attempt to exhibit the ‘fairness’ of the other mens convictions, but why bring innocent men into the equation if the other three were guilty? Strangely I could have understood Bernard’s views more if he was arguing that they were all guilty.
    The incest allegation was so ridiculous that it actually damaged the prosecution case because most people watching George’s trial believed he was innocent. So. if this wasn’t a set up, and if Cromwell was not using Henry’s desire to get rid of Anne to his own advantage by also ridding himself of men he saw as a threat, then why murder men who even Bernard thinks were innocent.
    Please believe me, I don’t think any of them were guilty, but I just don’t see Bernard’s logic.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, I didn’t understand his logic either and he never really said why he felt that those particular men were guilty. What I don’t understand about the indictments is that they make no mention of Anne’s argument with Sir Henry Norris when they did actually mention the King’s death. That seemed, to me, to be the perfect conversation to twist and use against them both. Also Wyatt’s previous love for Anne Boleyn made him the perfect scapegoat, yet he escaped possibly due to his father’s influence and his friendship with Cromwell. None of this makes any sense, it’s just one big conspiracy.

      1. Louise says:

        Makes you wonder whether the indictment had been cobbled together prior to Anne’s argument with Norris, and was simply never amended. If so, it also points to the obvious conclusion that the allegations had been put together prior to any evidence being gathered.

  2. Eliza says:

    I don’t buy the theory that witnesses did not remember well the dates and places.. Who wouldn’t remember the day or the place that they made love with the Queen? Even Smeaton who “confessed” couldn’t get the facts right. This for me is a proof that everything was staged.

    1. Courtney says:

      and that if you torture someone long enough…they will confess to anything…

      1. Eliza says:

        Right!!

  3. Nima says:

    Now matter how hard I try to understand what lead Henry to have some much hatred towards a woman he had loved so much …I cant.

    1. Louise says:

      I suppose it all depends on whether you believe Henry was the innocent victim of Cromwell’s plots.
      I have to say that I don’t believe Henry was an innocent victim. The reason I think he was the main instigator against Anne is because, if he had been completely ignorant of the plot against Anne, then at some point Cromwell would have had to have gone to him and tell him of the allegations against Anne (as set out in the above indictment). If, by 1st May 1536, Henry had still been in love with Anne, then there was a huge risk he wouldn’t have accepted the allegations unquestioningly. There was a risk Henry may have called for Anne and given her the oppurtunity of defending herself. If he had done so she would obviously have been able to expose the ridiculous nature of the allegations, and the outcome would have been very different. It may well have been Cromwell’s head on the block for falsely accusing Henry’s beloved wife.
      For Cromwell to have risked going to the King with these allegations he would have had to have been 100% certain that Henry would swallow them unquestioningly, without giving Anne the chance to defend herself and without investigating the truth. The only way Cromwell could have been 100% certain of this is if Henry had already indicated a desire to be rid of Anne. Without that indication I don’t think Cromwell would have been foolsh enough to chance his arm, or his neck!
      I really don’t think Henry was stupid enough to believe this plot unless he wanted to believe it, but I do believe he was a monster.

      1. princesssmaz says:

        I think you’re right Louise.

        Henry wanted to believe Anne was guilty to clear the way for Jane, I think he left all the dirty work to Cromwell but he must have at least hinted that he was open to Anne’s removal by any means, if there is anything that both Henry and Cromwell would have learned from Henry’s first divorce it is that a dead ex wife can’t cause the problems that a living one can, after all by this time Katherine was already dead and if Anne was too, no one would be able to question the legitimacy of Henry’s next marriage or any children that resulted from it.
        I have always thought that as much as Henry wanted the whole Anne/Jane situation “fixed” the how would have been left to Cromwell.
        I have also always been struck by how different Henry’s reaction to the news that Katherine Howard had cheated on him was to his reaction to the charges against Anne, the reaction to Katherine’s adultery seems a lot more genuine, which leads me to believe that he, at least, had prior knowledge of or was expecting the allegations against Anne.

        1. Claire says:

          I completely agree with you, princessmaz, but I think that Henry was responsible for the incest charge. I believe that Cromwell would have picked the most straightforward legal way of getting rid of Anne, and a watertight case, but that Henry wanted her name completely blackened. Cromwell, I believe, was the faithful servant doing his master’s bidding.

          Yes, Henry weeping on front of his council over Catherine H is in stark contrast to him gallivanting with ladies each night while Anne was in prison.

        2. princesssmaz says:

          I’d never thought of it like that!
          I always just assumed that George was included in the plot because he would have been Anne’s staunchest supporter, so charging him as we’ll made sure that there was no one to fight for Anne. The other charges levelled against George would have been enough to get rid of him, so the charge of incest must have been personal…..why would Cromwell bother! Also the wording, all the talk of alluring with tongues, not very practical legal speak is it!

          You have opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at this, think I need to hit the books again. Thanks Claire

        3. Claire says:

          I think George being Anne’s supporter was definitely a reason too, but the charges against them were definitely to blacken the Boleyn name completely. The language of the indictments is definitely “shocking”, even to us today, so you can imagine how depraved people of that time felt that Anne and George were.

          John schofield’s biography of Cromwell is very good, it really made me think about him differently and I’m now convinced that Henry was the one behind it all.

  4. Julie B says:

    “Innocent”, period. No reason to question any further.

  5. Anne Barnhill says:

    I agree that Anne was innocent–she would have had be like James Bond to keep such things secret in a palace full of people–the King certainly couldn’t keep his affairs secret–everyone knew about Anne, everyone knew about Mary, everyone knew about Bessie Blount…every move he made was observed and even with the help of his dearest friends, he couldn’t keep a lid on it. Such behaviour would have been impossible–remember what Elizabeth said about accusations of an affiar–eyes were everywhere and she was never alone. So, the evidence doesn’t wash as far as I’m concerned.
    Great article!

  6. Jessica C says:

    I did a school project on Anne Boleyn and I pointed out these many inaccuracies. I mean with Katherine Howard at least that had solid proof of intent for adultery, with Anne it was just so over the top that it just had to be fake. No way could a woman who was pregnant a good number of times in the span of just two to three years have so many affairs. The jury is in for me: innocent.

  7. La Belle Creole says:

    Whether Anne could have committed adultery is immaterial. The point is Anne’s alleged adultery and other conspiracy was never convincingly proved.

    I don’t find it impossible that Anne may have considered adultery or actually committed adultery in efforts to conceive, particularly if Henry VIII exhibited impotence at times. I suppose it depends on what Anne most cared for, her queenship or her husband.

    If retaining queenship/position mattered most, a son/heir was a necessity. Anne watched Henry VIII repudiate and abandon his wife of 24 years — by all accounts, a woman he’d passionately loved — due to the absence of male issue. After the disappointment of Elizabeth’s birth, and the other failed pregnancies, Anne may have felt desperate enough to seek out an alternative father.

    If Henry VIII, the man/husband, mattered most, things get murkier. Anne had to be aware Henry’s affection was waning. She may have hoped for a healthy son as a means of regaining and holding Henry’s love. Did she love Henry enough to cuckhold him? Who knows?

    I think it’s pointless to cite Anne’s religious faith as proof she’d never commit adultery. Anne’s religious beliefs did not curb other un-Christian behaviors she is known to have done. Like many other Tudor courtiers, Anne’s moral compass was tempered by her ambitions. If bearing a live, healthy son meant Anne kept her husband, her pride, and her crown, and Anne suspected Henry might be at fault for her miscarriages, I don’t see why Anne would not have considered attempting to conceive with another partner. It’s rather out of character for Anne to just sit back, do nothing, and wait for Henry to dump her for Jane Seymour.

    Did Anne have motive to commit adultery? Absolutely. Did she have opportunity? Probably.

    None of that means Anne is guilty, though. Even if she is guilty, her guilt remains unproved. Which makes the investigation, the trial, and the sentences an outrage.

    However, without

  8. Chelsea says:

    I just find it very interesting that after what? 6 years of pursuing Henry and being wooed and seduced by him and holding him off and how frustrating that must have been then Finally! in 1533 all those years pay off and she has the king, the crown, and a baby in her belly – for her to just say “ah well im just ssooooo turned on by all these men (including my super sexy brother) I just MUST have them” is ridiculous. The dates the cousel provided make it look like she jumped into bed with the accused men way too soon after marrying Henry. Even if she was at all even slightly guilty (which i will never believe she was) it is not plausible that she would risk everything SO soon. She was way more educated than Catherine Howard was and was raised under much more elite circumstances. Poor Anne. I wish there was a way to tell her that she has an entire following in mulitple countries and we are all routing for her innocence.

    1. Chelsea says:

      Oh and I also wanted to ask- has anyone read Margaret George’s book “The Autobiography of Henry VIII”? Although much of the book is fiction (who knows what Henry was ever thinking) but what I did like about it is that it painted Henry as a product of his environment instead of a tyrannical SOB. Ive never once thought of him as such and I want to believe that he was merely manipulated by the ppl around him he held close and trusted in regards to the whole Anne issue, instead of just following his groin to Jane Seymore and deciding Anne had to go.

      1. miladyblue says:

        I read the Autobiography of Henry VIII and the section with Anne was flat as a pancake – even in the driest history books, Henry’s passion for her makes the pages smoulder, and yet, in that book, she was just another woman who caught his eye, not the woman he defied everything he held dear (the Church, Katharine of Aragon) to have.

        1. Chelsea says:

          I definately agree that the book lacked that “ZA ZA ZING” that is so loved between Henry and Anne, but I do think it showed the conflict Henry may have had inside between loving a woman so unlike everything he had experienced thus far. He was always absolutely drawn in by anne but at the same time he was repelled by the fact that she was so opposite of what he knew, and at the same time that is why he so desperately loved her. I would never recommend the book to anyone wanting historical reference I just think its a different side than alot of the books focusing on the wives. I would love to get inside Henry’s head.

    2. Juanita Richards says:

      I agree Chelsea. If she had been married 10 y6ears and been ignored and neglected by the king for that long, then she might have been tempted to stray, or even take revenge for his infidelity, but not after such a short period of marriage.

  9. lisaannejane says:

    The dates and the testimony are fiction, The reality is that Cromwell delivered what he knew the king wanted, A way to marry again and get rid of anyone who may have been on Cromwell’s bad list. Cromwell put together a bunch of junk that he knew would give the message to any potential juror that the king wanted out of his marriage. Justice had nothing to do with this case. The conclusion was a done deal and they just went through the motions of having a trial.

  10. Linda says:

    What I can not understand about Anne is that she seems to understand the strife that she caused her country..So do you continue the strife or step back and say I need to consider my King and country and not myself????

    1. Camille Dvorak says:

      I don’t think she knew about the strife, not completely. Court life was so separate from “real world” think “living in a bubble”. Plus she was pregnant, I think we all get a bit self-absorbed during the early stages, hormones, morning sickness, add in her duties at Court and sycophants, and she was too busy to concern herself with mundane things.
      Kind of like our president golfing when people are being flooded out and losing everything.

  11. Tudorrose says:

    Yes, all of the indictments and sayings are not right and are all false. I mean they are all really untrue as there is enough evidence sufficient enough to state so, during all of those dates Anne and the men co-accused if not both were all in different places during the time, Anne was either pregnant or recovering from childbirth and the men were all probably out and about around and outside of court elsewhere doing something else. Yes and it is a bit conspicuous that April the 30th was not included in that / them indictment / indictments because if this was true, if any of it was true or planned out properly I am sure that this date would have been included and an investigation a proper investigation would have been carried out just like in the case of Katheryn Howard but it was not unfortunately and this just gives reason that it was done and put together all very quickly without much if any thought, well a little bit but not much, because to accuse her of what they did to begin with of course would take some kind of thought of some sought but afterwards what ever information that they had or was out there they just fabricated and put as well as placed together without using any logic and of course without any sense. Anne’s only fault or downfall was not giving birth to the most hoped for son that was wanted apart from this this is the only thing that I can see and say. Maybe also she opened her mouth without thinking sometimes and perhaps maybe she ridiculed the King and made him a laughing stock perhaps and her brother but surely just that and this alone would not have brought on as well as procured her downfall surely? I do not think so myself surely the King would have not liked it at all, I am sure none of us would like that to be laughed at and ridiculed for what ever reason but I lay the problem solely on the people around her, her enemies at court, Cromwell and her husband included plus not giving birth to her saviour a son which would have in due course saved her from execution and if any rumours were a rift and brought up and anybody tried to get rid of her by brining her to court she would have had back up, all she would have had to done is produced her child her son and there would of been nothing that they or anyone could do to her, not a thing even if they tried. This is the only thing that would of saved her unfortunately but then had she had the much long awaited for son would have situations such as this arised anyway, I do not know, I highly doubt so myself.

  12. Gena says:

    i’ve read George’s “Autobiography” ; it’s an interesting take. Henry is insecure about women and is always the victim(in his own mind), did you notice? He’s been bewitched into marriage with Anne – he can’t be at fault – so she must have bewitched him! I know guys like that – it’s never their fault!

    1. Chelsea says:

      I definately got that sense. Maybe stemming from his mother issues in the beginning of the book since he always saught aproval of his mother but at the same time he was distant and sort of worshipped her…..perhaps that common trait in mammas boys where no other woman measures up and everything is there fault…yes Ive met a few men like that myself ;). However I could feel more towards Henry as an insecure King than I could as he is portrayed in the Tudors as sex crazed and fornicating every other scene. I like to believe he had some sense of virtue….maybe im hoping.

      1. Juanita Richards says:

        Some of the scenes portrayed in the Tudors did happen…picking up William Webbs sweetheart in the forest, the affair with Madge Shelton..possibly engineered by the Boleyns, Bessie Blount, Mary Boleyn and other mistresses, some very short lived. I don’t think he was sex crazed but was expected to be a “mans man” and keep up with his more lecherous courtiers. What man with absolute power wouldn’t take every offer that came his way? He may have been insecure but certainly not virtuous…virtuous people are not unfaithful tom their spouses, cruel to their wives and daughters, and outright sadistic to anyone who gets in their way.

  13. lisaannejane says:

    I think “The Tudors” did exaggerate Henry’s many one night stands and affairs. Certainly he was not a faithful husband but he had to rule the country and needed some time for that and all his other hobbies. Even a king has to sleep sometimel

    1. Juanita Richards says:

      The affairs were all factual and documented, the one night stands we know less about, but some of his affairs lasted for years. I don’t think the king’s love life was exaggerated on The Tudors, I think they portrayed Henry the impetuous young king, really in love for the first time in his life, and the heat of the passion between him and Anne Boleyn. He would never feel that kind of heat again. He chose as long term partners women who were “safe” after Anne’s demise. Maybe it’s just me, who would never settle for a “tame” sex life, and what you see as exaggeration, I see as not even scratching the surface of Henry’s real passions.

  14. Marie says:

    I too add my voice to the chorus of “not guilty”, it is clear to my novice eyes that the charges were tossed together with a good dose of legalese and called good. I always find it interesting to play the “what if” game and with the Tudors this leads to some very interesting day dreaming !

  15. Claire says:

    I firmly believe Anne was not guilty. Being a psychology grad I have an opinion on why Henry married so many times. The example set before him in his childhood was the marriage of his mother and father, Elizabeth of York and Henry VII. In any Kings eye’s Elizabeth of York could be described as being the perfect Queen….she provided an heir, a spare and princesses that could be married off to the benefit of England. Although it was a marriage of convenience to start with, I also believe that Henry VII and Elizabeth of York did grow to care for each other, maybe even love. I think this can be seen in how they comforted each other on the death of Arthur and I think I read somewhere that he was deeply sad when Elizabeth died and she had a lavish funeral. To a young boy like Henry who had grew up at court with his mother, one could argue his numerous marriages were his attempt to find a wife as agreeable as she had been to his father. The quest for an heir can be based on his youth as well…Henry may have remembered the numerous pretenders to the throne during his fathers reign and knew his own throne was insecure without a male heir. On top of that the death of his brother highlighted the need for multiple sons. One was not enough if England was to be free from civil war again. Some people may completely disagree with my opinion, but it is just that an opinion =]

  16. There were entirely too many questions that were unanswered, and too many instances where there was no wrong-doing for this trial to be anything less than a grand set up and of course a conspiracy. It had to have been extremely frustrating, along with being horribly terrifying to realize that there was no hope of coming out of that situation…..any of them….alive. And what an immense conspiracy it was!!!!!
    6 human beings done away with for no other reason than that the King was wanting to be rid of yet another wife.

  17. FabNayNay says:

    I can’t remember where I read this, but I know I read somewhere that a modern day trial to prove Annes innocence was denied because too much time has passed, and there was no evidence available that would prove her innocence or guilt.
    So, I have a question; if weir & ives have both concluded the following;

    ‘If Anne Boleyn was alive today and the Crown used those dates then her lawyer would tear them apart and they’d be laughed out of court. Anne would be found innocent on all counts because the dates are complete nonsense.’

    Then why wouldn’t they consider these indiscrepancies with the dates as being enough proof? I just don’t understand how a new trial could be denied based ‘not enough evidence’. Have you heard anything about this Clair? And wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Annes name cleared, officially, once and for all?

    1. Princesssmaz says:

      The way I understood it is that Anne was found guilty by a jury of her peers based on the evidence that has survived and more that has been lost to historians, so unless new evidence comes to light there are no legal grounds for a retrial. Trial by jury is the basis of the British legal system and unfortunately we don’t have all the facts that were presented in the original trial so as much as I hate to say it, being able to prove that the dates in the indictment are mostly fictional is not enough!

  18. Banditqueen says:

    I don’t believe that the dates or arguments that Anne could be guilty make any sense. I have just read the full list, and noticed one set of dates, November to December 1535, Anne may or may not have any alibi, but she was pregnant. She was also pregnant on 8th January 1536, but in any event she and Henry were too busy publicly celebrating the death of Katherine for Anne to be able to find time to sleep with five men. She wouldn’t have had sex while she was pregnant as it was believed to harm the baby. Anne was desperate to give Henry a son, this child was precious, may be her last chance, why would Anne or any mother do anything to put herself and her child at risk? The problem Anne and the men faced was that they had no defense lawyer, the idea of the accused having rights simply did not exist. The entire system was stacked against her and her fellow defendants. Even the argument that the case against two other men were dropped cannot be used to point to the fairness of this prosecution weighed legal system.

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