The events of 1536 give me goosebumps and nightmares (yes, I actually dreamed about Cromwell and Smeaton last night!), so I wanted to share this spoof written by our regular anonymous spoof writer who has been ‘inspired’ by The Tudors, The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne of the Thousand Days and other such movies and books. I hope it brings a smile to your face when all my other posts may make you rather depressed!
Trials and Tribulations
Obviously being charged out of the blue with incest is a bit off-putting, but even setting that aside, as soon as George Boleyn entered the Tower he knew something strange was happening. To start with, what was truly amazing was how young and attractive Thomas Cromwell had become, when previously he had looked like a chubby toad. When he had been interrogating George and making him cry, Cromwell had looked younger than he did. It was most peculiar, particularly as Cromwell was twenty years older than George. Cromwell had gone from middle aged lawyer to sex symbol overnight without anyone commenting on it, or even appearing to notice.
Anne also found her time in the Tower a bit of a challenge. Primarily she blamed it on the fact she was staying in apartments that hadn’t actually been built yet. It had been quite disturbing lying in bed looking up at the stars. She was sure she was supposed to be housed in the Queen’s lodgings rather than on a muddy hillock.
The trials were extraordinary too. George’s trial sort of disappeared without a trace, never to be referred to again, save in passing. Despite that, he had managed to be found guilty of sodomy as well as incest, even though he hadn’t actually been charged with sodomy, which was quite strange when you came to think about it! As for Anne, as well as incest, adultery and plotting the King’s death, she had also been found guilty of witchcraft, multiple murder and attempted murder, which was remarkable bearing in mind she hadn’t been charged with any of those crimes. Both siblings were feeling a bit down about it all and were trying to fathom out what on earth had happened.
In addition to being found guilty of crimes they hadn’t been charged with, George was also racking his brains as to how Henry thought he was guilty of incest when on one of the occasions in the indictment he had actually been playing cards with the King at the time. Surely Henry would have noticed! Let’s face it, it’s not every day your wife gets off with her brother. Most husbands would notice that kind of behaviour even if they did have an excellent hand at the time. At the very least you would have expected the King to have raised a quizzical eyebrow, even if it was only because the cards were getting bent.
William Brereton was also a very confused man. For the life of him he couldn’t remember entering the order of Jesuit priests. Surely there were exams and stuff? He kept going over it in his mind to see if perhaps he may have inadvertently forgotten about it. His wife was also a bit shocked.
As for Mark Smeaton, he had arrived on the scaffold covered in bruises. He still couldn’t remember how he got them and could only think that he may have fallen down the stairs on the way and lost his memory. It must be that because he usually had a brilliant memory. He could remember very clearly being present when George Boleyn met Jane Parker, even though he was only a foetus at the time.
Henry Norris was still in a state of confusion as to how he could be in this situation. He was one of Henry’s best friends, despite very rarely being seen at court, yet here he was having been found guilty of adultery with the Queen, who he couldn’t remember meeting.
On the day of his son’s execution, Thomas Boleyn found himself locked up in the Tower, which was extraordinary bearing in mind he’d never been arrested. He still couldn’t remember how he got there. He thought perhaps it was for being evil in a public place.
As for William Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, he was shocked to notice that on occasions the Tower inadvertently turned into Dover Castle. He may not have noticed save that he knew for a fact you couldn’t see the sea from the Tower, and the seagulls were deafening.
Mary Boleyn was amazed she was allowed to see Henry after Anne had been found guilty of trying to kill him, although admittedly she had been frisked at the door. She had begged for her sister’s life, obviously having given up on George as a lost cause. What she couldn’t get her head round was that she had actually been nowhere near London at the time, but suddenly, poof, there she was.
Jane Boleyn also found the whole thing rather odd. She had always thought of Cromwell as ancient, yet all of a sudden she was strongly drawn to him, so much so that she forgot all about George, and in the middle of her interrogation leaped on Cromwell and seduced him. Of course it all ended in tears as she accused George of incest. She really couldn’t explain where that come from, or why, but then she remembered that she was evil, or alternatively George was evil, or they both were. She couldn’t explain her behaviour at George’s execution either as his head was forcibly removed from her with the remonstration that it wasn’t a play thing.
George found his execution very confusing as well, although for a different reason. Sometimes it seemed that he was the only one being executed and sometimes Francis Weston completely disappeared. He also found it very odd that William was dressed as a priest. Under normal circumstances he would have blamed it on the alcohol. Even weirder, George was dragged kicking and screaming to his death, giving an undignified little squeak as the axe fell. He had intended to give a lengthy speech to the crowd. He had practised it and everything. He couldn’t for the life of him think what had gone wrong. One minute he was standing proud and brave, the next minute he was crying like a baby. All very strange, especially as his wife was in the crowd selling party poppers. George had expected a crowd of thousands to be present, including his fellow courtiers. Instead he was met by a handful of grubby commoners. He suspected a shortage of extras. He was also surprised at the size of the scaffold. It was supposed to be high enough so that the whole of London could witness his death. Instead, as he laid his neck on the block, he found himself face to face with some strange person with black teeth.
Anne found her execution rather strange too. Like her brother she had practised her speech over and over again, but when it came to it she sobbed her way through it as her sister Mary watched with tears in her eyes. How on earth had Mary got there anyway when she wasn’t even in London?
After the execution Mary found herself walking from court while holding Elizabeth’s hand, thinking how well Elizabeth walked for a child who wasn’t even three yet. As there was absolutely no way a royal child would be allowed to be removed from court and brought up as a commoner, Mary’s actions were very daring, and in fact she was doing her best to lose Elizabeth in the crowd. If caught she would no doubt be accused of kidnapping Elizabeth, which was a treasonable offence. Oh dear, would these Boleyn’s never learn!
To be fair to him, Henry also found the events a bit peculiar. Francis Weston had evaporated, William Brereton had taken religious orders overnight, George Boleyn had turned into a bumbling coward, and he couldn’t remember who Henry Norris was for love nor money. He had had no intention of seeing Anne again, but as he was walking down a corridor at Hampton Court he had suddenly found himself facing her in the Tower. It had been a horrible experience as she had a real go at him! Even more disturbing was the fact that he had started talking with an Irish accent when he had never actually visited Ireland, although when he had been with Anne in the Tower he had found himself inexplicably talking with a Welsh accent. He suspected the bump on the head was causing it. On the positive side he looked no different now to how he had looked twenty years ago, but he did wonder at how Jane Seymour had gone from being a rather plain girl to a stunning beauty overnight. He thought it may be something in the water, other than dysentery.
Everyone involved in the strange circumstances surrounding the events of May 1536 would think that they had entered the twilight zone, whereas we now know they had actually entered the fiction zone, which is similar although slightly more disturbing!