Was Anne Boleyn treated as queen in the Tower of London?

Posted By on March 24, 2021

Thank you so much to Edith and Lucy the dog for their excellent question regarding Anne Boleyn’s imprisonment in the Tower of London in May 1536.

In series like The Tudors, Anne Boleyn is shown being treated like a queen even though she’s a prisoner, and she’s shown being attended by ladies-in-waiting? But is this true? That’s what Edith and Lucy want to know.

In this video, I talk about where in the Tower Anne Boleyn was imprisoned and who attended her during that time. I also consider whether Anne was forced to watch the executions of the men, and who accompanied her to the scaffold on 19th May 1536.

By the way, the queen’s apartments of the royal palace at the Tower of London were situated between the Lanthorn Tower and the Wardrobe Tower, on the South Lawn behind the White Tower.

Here is a plan of what the Tower of London was like c.1597 (click on image to enlarge):-

Tower of London in 1579

The White Tower is the black squarish blob in the middle and below that you can see an x below it which marks the site of the Great Hall and if you follow that around to the right you can see 2 which marks the Palace Building and then a 4 which marks the Queen’s Lodgings.

In the plan below, you can see the Queen’s Lodgings marked with a “g” (click on image to enlarge):-

If you then compare these plans with the present day Tower plan found at https://www.hrp.org.uk/media/1587/tower-map-2018.pdf, you can see that the Queen’s Lodgings would have stood on the present day lawned area between the White Tower (2) and Lanthorn Tower (3).

Here is a video on the Royal Palace that Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII would have known:-

19 thoughts on “Was Anne Boleyn treated as queen in the Tower of London?”

  1. Mariella Moretti says:

    Thank you, Claire.
    Mariella, from Italy

  2. LindaMary says:

    Hmmmm…no women’s rights in those days!

  3. Christine says:

    I enjoyed this very much and Lucy is gorgeous, also noticed your two cats getting in on the act Claire, they to are lovely, Anne was still queen so yes she would still be treated as such and be kept in her own apartments befitting of her status, but how ironic for her as she could only have compared her stay this time to her previous one, then she had arrived in triumph to the boom of canons and her joyous husband greeting her, then the company was merry but now, three years later she had arrived in disgrace a black cloud hanging over her, her companions she did not like, and so she did not even have the company of friends to comfort her in this sad time, two were her aunts one by blood and one by marriage, and one was the mother of Madge or Mary Shelton who Anne tried to coerce into a love affair with the king, to keep him from her enemies, maybe this was the reason her aunt had fallen out with her as has been suggested, it was not a very nice thing to put the girl through but we do not have Anne’s cousins feelings on the matter, her other aunt was married to her uncle James and they were supporters of the Lady Mary, so it just goes to show blood isn’t always thicker than water, in any case they were still bound to treat her with the deference due to a queen, but there must have been quite a bad atmosphere with some snide and catty remarks going on, Lady Boleyn certainly made her feelings known, she sounded as if she believed Anne was the hussy she was made out to be, they were all informed to spy on her and poor Anne’s moods alternated between sunshine and despair, but even if they were not her favourite people I have said this before, when closeted together for a certain length of time, a camaraderie dies grow between persons, and no woman would have failed to be moved by her sobs and her bouts of hysteria, maybe they like Anne believed that she would be banished from court as no queen had ever been sent to death before, but after her alleged lovers we’re found guilty and sentenced to death, they must have grown increasingly anxious, for her own trial was two days away and if they were found guilty so must she, when she was sentenced to death they still must have thought she would not die and Anne herself believed she would go to a nunnery, it was after all the place where most banished queens had gone before, she was in a good mood after she had received a visit from Cranmer, as it was noted she sat down to dine quite cheerfully, we do not know what was said but she could have agreed her marriage was invalid and her child a bastard, one ponders wether she had been offered her life for agreeing to this shame, which would not have been easy for her, the marriage which had meant so much to her and which had been promised to her by the king ten long years before, on being offered hope of glorious life one can only try to understand the raw despair and terror she must have felt when told she was to die after all, it was a cruel thing to do to anyone and she was only around thirty six years old with a little child not quite three, her ladies on hearing that she was to die must have changed their attitudes completely, they could well have witnessed her confession on the sacrament or at least heard about it from Kingston as his wife was one of her ladies, and they must have been convinced of her innocence then, one can also imagine their distress when told they had to attend her at her execution, these were only women after all, no hardened soldiers, and it is to their credit bunch of harpy’s they may have been in the early days at the Tower, that they conducted themselves well at her execution and cared for her after her death, they themselves carried her body ‘not wishing male hands to handle her’, to her final resting place, they themselves searched around pitifully for a coffin and found an old arrow box, to contemplate the once revered remains of a king, a crowned and anointed Queen of England being laid to rest in a dusty old arrow box is quite frankly shocking, they must have found a priest who performed the last rites for her whilst they wept and said their prayers, it really is pitiful to imagine these group of wretched women huddled round the meagre little box in the little chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula, and the horror of the queens execution must have stayed with them all their lives, a very sad memory indeed.

    1. Edith says:

      Lucy says thank you for saying she’s gorgeous!

  4. Banditqueen says:

    Anne was housed in the Royal Apartments, the same place where she stayed before her coronation. Anne was treated according to her status as were all prisoners. However, although she was treated well, bowed to and obviously treated with dignity and courtesy, the ladies were not her normal ladies in waiting. The ladies were appointed by the King and they were to report everything to Cromwell. Anne would have taken her meals with William Kingston and his wife in his house and slept in luxury, but her conditions were still those of a prisoner.

    Anne had four ladies around her at any one time, but they were not sympathetic. They did their duty and Anne was waited upon, helped to dress and everything else a high born lady could expect. However, she was under the watchful eyes and listening ear of these women who reported everything she said to Kingston who wrote it all down to Cromwell who sent the report to the King. This is a good thing for us historians as we have a very detailed set of sources about what happened to Anne in the Tower of London.

    Even though these ladies don’t appear to have liked her much and disapproved of her, they became more sympathetic as time went by. Three ladies stayed and slept with Anne in her room. She probably bored them silly with tales of life at Hever and France and the Netherlands. Anne showed every emotion going and these ladies were human beings and must have felt her distress and despair as she tried to reason put why she was there. Anne rambled and became hysterical. You can’t tell me they didn’t try to sooth her and calm her. Maybe they even obtained medicine for her to help her sleep. Anne was still the Queen and she was addressed as Madam. William Kingston was very careful not to alarm or upset Anne and was respectful in the way he addressed her. Anne might have complained about having these ladies because they probably didn’t bow and scrape to her as before and she recognised that they were spies, but they still served her according to her status.

    Finally, yes they were distressed to see Anne die; Anne was beheaded right in front of them. That in itself would be upsetting enough. However, they had also grown used to Anne and perhaps they were not as unfeeling towards her as Cromwell assumed. They may well have witnessed her declaration of innocence before taking the last Sacrament and now accepted her as being unjustly condemned. They had grown close to their mistress and they were still human beings, affected by the horror and distressing sight of a woman being beheaded before them. Perhaps these ladies had formed a bond with Anne in her final days. They might have had some genuine affection for her after spending 17 days caring for her during a time of intensity and trauma. Whatever else, we know that the four ladies on the scaffold with Anne were visibly shaking with grief and they treated her remains with respect, ensuring that no man handled the body of a Queen.

  5. Christine says:

    Yes no one likes to witness a woman being butchered because decapitation is that, – just a butchery of a living breathing human being, I should imagine they all closed their eyes prayed for when it was all over, imagine seeing the crumpled remains of their mistress lying on the floor and her poor head oozing blood over the scaffold, although described as very weak and languid they forced themselves to gather her body up and head, which for a woman meant a huge amount of iron will was needed, for they must have been repulsed by it and felt quite nauseous, and you mention obtaining some medicine, that’s a good point, and I should imagine maybe one of the ladies trying to smuggle more wine in, she was dining with Kingston and was eating the same fare she was used to, she was still dining of silver plate and silver goblets and could have been drinking more due to her state of mind, in fact she and her ladies could have had a good few glasses that morning and I wouldn’t blame them, because two of her ladies were related to her they must have known her for a lot longer than the others, maybe since she was a little girl? In which case their grief would have been worse and they no doubt would have thought of her poor mother and father, particularly her mother who was unwell at the time, so much slaughter in two days as the men were beheaded two days earlier, so much bloodshed grief and sorrow, all so a selfish egomaniac king could wed the object of his affection and secure a son for his rather frail dynasty.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Albert Pierpoint was deeply affected by the hanging of Ruth Ellis, not because he thought she was innocent but because he just saw a beautiful and sensitive young woman and he wrote in his diary that there was something about her and her execution which got to him. Dhe was of course mentally unstable and eould never have been killed today because she was brutalised and controlled by the lover she shot. Pierpoint was an executioner and he had to become detatched as his father had been, but Ruth Ellis affected him deeply. Je retired very soon afterwards.

      The feeling was such in the country that the capital murder law was introduced which separated those murders with some other eliment, such as killing a violent partner, to yhem from cold blooded heartless slaughter. The former didn’t bring the death penalty with it and capital punishment had gone within the next decade. Today Ruth Ellis might not even have been found guilty, certainly not of murder. She was tried as much for being an adulteress as anything else as her character was slammed in the papers and the courtroom. She was asked only one question. What did she she intend? I intended to shoot him. That was it. Not why? Evidence was produced about his treatment of her but not considered in the sentence and yes she could have been sent to an insane asylum or prison. The way the law was written, however, any sense of intent, she was guilty of capital murder. Her capacity was acknowledged as being diminished at the time but her intent said she wasn’t mentally incapable of knowing that she did wrong. The fact that she had just had a miscarriage caused by the beating her lover had given her and her emotional state was actually unstable was never even mentioned. The fact that her husband had given her the gun, which today reduces your willingness to commit the crime to being under someone’s orders or control, like Myra Hindley claimed, that wasn’t even considered in the Ruth Ellis case. The fact that she was obsessed over and caught between not one or two but three different men, two of whom had hit her for years and had a brutal father and a career which put her life in danger, none of this was even considered. No, she was seen as an out of control sexual being with three or more illegitimate children, she was seen as a party animal, a good time gal, she was the temptress and that’s why she was practically found guilty automatically by the all male jury.

      Yet, there was something about Ruth Ellis which even her executioner saw as a vulnerable human being and which captured the public imagination to the extent that it was noted. Not only that but the public outrage saw hundreds of thousands signing a petition to spare her from the rope. Of course it failed, but the wider impact saw far reaching law changes and an ongoing review into violence against women.

    2. Christine says:

      Sadly for Ruth Ellis the Home Secretary was the tough and rather strict Lord Tenby, he was not known for his mercy, and young Derek Bentley also was given no reprieve, he to suffered the death penalty, we have to remember this was the staid fifties, and Ruth was not your average woman, she was as you say, a good time girl, she was a night club hostess and so was seen as immoral person, she had several failed relationships behind her, an abortion when young by a Canadian serviceman, and two children by her then respectable dentist husband, she was in a toxic relationship with Blakey and seeing another man, apart from sleeping with many of her patrons at the club where she worked, so although the judge at her trial said not let immorality sway your verdict, her lifestyle obviously did have some bearing on her, Ruth it was noted at her trial wore a black suit, which with her bleached hair and dark lipstick made her look more like a vamp not vulnerable at all, in fact no woman in the fifties dyed their hair at all, a lawyer today would advise his client to dress differently, although details of Blakey’s mistreatment was produced in court, and Ruth claimed he had punched her in the belly causing her to miscarry, the judge did not seem to have much sympathy for her, he said although her lover had been unfaithful to her so had she been to him, and afterwards when a petition was signed and the Home Secretary was expected to offer a reprieve, he declared that jealousy is no defence for murder, the trouble with Ruth is like you said, she was asked at her trial if she intended to kill him, and she said yes, that was enough to hang her as the law decreed it was pre meditated, had she answered she was not thinking straight, she was stressed upset, anything else in fact and the gun went of by itself she may well have lived, but she answered calmly ‘there was no doubt in my mind I intended to kill him,’ but when she was sentenced to die there was a huge uproar as it was rare to execute women, and she was a young mother, immorality aside, the letter her father wrote to Lord Tenby pleading for her life is heartbreaking, and he must have been a very hard man not to let it affect him, in fact it could well have, he said at the time that Britain does not recognise a crime of passion, unlike in France, but it must have moved him greatly to read all the petitions piling up on his desk, and there was a huge crowd outside Holloway in the morning of her death, you are right Pierrepoint was greatly affected by her execution and did retire afterwards, he said also she was the calmest person he had ever executed, she said whilst in prison it would be no worse than having a tooth out, an incredible thing to say , I saw the film ‘Dance With A Stranger’ which was about her starring Miranda Richardson and the sexy Rupert Everett, a wonderful film but it was also very sad because you knew it ended in tragedy, today you are right, even if we still had the death penalty she would be pardoned, there would be more people for one thing sympathetic towards her, she would not be frowned upon for being a night club hostess or having an abortion or how many lovers she had, a lot of psychological evidence would be submitted, the trauma she had suffered which would be in her defence, she would be imprisoned for maybe ten years then released, it rather reminds me of another case that occurred in the thirties, Edith and Freddie Bywaters, she was having an affair with their lodger and she wrote several soppy letters where it appeared, she egged him onto to murder her husband, though it was mainly what the prosecution inferred, there was no actual mention of killing him, however the foolish lover attacked him one day and he died as a result, I think he beat him then strangled him I cannot remember, but news of their affair came out and the letters were produced in court, poor Edith she was described as an attractive flighty girl rather silly in fact, and I don’t believe she wanted her husband dead, but those letters were damning and they were both sentenced to hang, her end was described as terrible, she was so weak and terrified she had to be supported to the scaffold, and after she was hung, she started haemorrhaging between the legs, so a type of standard iron underwear for females came into practice, it was said afterwards it appeared she had been hung for immorality, shades of Ruth Ellis again, I know capital punishment has been abolished now for many years in this country, but it was a good deterrent if you believe in it or no, I feel in the rise in crime over the past decades, especially those towards children, pedophilia for one, and the terrorist attacks more harsher treatment should be given, at one time murder was quite rare, but now it’s become commonplace which is very scary.

      1. Banditqueen says:

        I saw a four part documentary on the Ruth Ellis case last year in which all kinds of experts, reconstructions and evidence was examined. I must admit I didn’t know too much about her early life, about her previous relationships before her marriage so it was fascinating. There were even extracts from Albert Pierrepoints diary and notes from his executions. The shooting was also reconstructed and psychological reports made at the time published for the first time. Intimate and passionate letters between Ellis and Blakely show the storm and sunshine relationship they both had. The Court transcripts clearly show a bias against Ruth because of her lifestyle and her class. Maybe because her family were not British as well, that may have played a part in public bias. Ellis was an escort at the famous Little Club and that meant sex with clients, let alone her own love triangle and sexual past. There were cases were women had killed but walked away with prison, even been found not guilty because they were Middle Class and had no hint of sexually based motives. Ruth Ellis was stunning to look at. Whoever her defence were, they didn’t challenge the prosecution enough. The Court didn’t hear half of the psychological investigations and interviews with Ruth who was interrogated immediately after the arrest. Who asks a defendant just one question? I think Ellis was in shock and really didn’t know what she was doing. Today one might say she acted like an automaton. This is were the body shuts down but the mind is active and it appears as if the person is acting normally when in fact they are on what we might term, remote control.

        The ladies on the scaffold with Anne may have reacted much the same way. The shock and horror of what they had just witnessed, the sudden beheading with a single stroke of their mistress and charge, the brutal act of violence before their eyes, this would have taken time to process. I am suggesting that their reaction was immediately separated from reality, time stopped momentarily and then moved forward slowly as they acted in a manner that they were not accustomed to. These ladies were high born, they had never handled a dead body before, one would guess, let alone that of the Queen of England. This lady had been speaking with them, handed them her prayer book, handed them her hood from her beautiful brunette head, said her final prayers with them and they had wept with her and now they wept for her. Now she lay dead, not moving at their feet and they didn’t know what to do. Then something inside woke them from the slumber of shock, the revulsion and horror of what they had just witnessed. A natural need to care for and protect the Queens body was awoken as with tenderness and care someone covered Anne’s face and carefully wrapped her head before lifting it in their hands. In movement which was slow and almost robotic, again on automatic pilot, the ladies surrounding Anne’s body, protecting her from the hands of men, weeping and weak with grief, the awful task before them, yet with loving concern and respect, worked out how to carefully lift their mistress and place her lifeless body into the arrow chest which has appeared on the scaffold. Fortunately arrows are packed end to end so the box is long enough and Anne was slightly built, so the Queens remains fit perfectly. It must have been an awful task and a physically difficult one, even for four women because a dead body weighs more than expected and at the end of the day, this had been a member of their family, a human being, a woman they knew well and their Queen. The struggle to remain detached and to complete their task with dignity could only have given way to a terrible sorrow once Anne was lain in the rough hewn coffin, covered and finally sealed for burial. Even now a sense of disbelief must have been real, acceptance slow and unbearable. What happened next? Who carried Anne’s borrowed coffin to the Chapel and her resting place? We don’t know or even if she received any burial rites. What did these ladies feel now as grief and reality hit them? Where they relieved after having charge of Queen during her last days and some of the most traumatic events in their history? Did the static efficiency of automated shock now give way to collapse and the tears and shaking of grief or did they still need to slowly process and recover from the nightmare they had been forced into?

        One simple act of deep respect for me sums up how these ladies attending Anne felt, that of covering her face and head with a cloth or shroud. This is a last act of pious love and tells me these women didn’t relish their task as spies and jailors, they were won over by Anne’s dignified stance and her innocence. Their grief was genuine.

        1. Christine says:

          The other problem surrounding Ruth Ellis is that she shot him three times that proves deadly intent, I think maybe the one shot may have saved her, she could have said she only meant to scare him and the gun went off by mistake, she had never handled a gun before and so she was shaking badly, her defence could have argued that, yes it’s true she was in a state of shock, and really you cannot question a person right away in that condition, Blakey was a bastard excuse my language, but punching a pregnant woman in the stomach especially when the child she is carrying is his, and the result being she lost the baby, is murder in my mind anyway, the baby was not born but it was still a living breathing being, she should have had him arrested I don’t know the ins and outs of their toxic relationship, so it’s possible he was questioned by the police but apparently nothing was done about it, so poor Ruth had to suffer the trauma of her baby’s death, the problem here was she was besotted with him, another thing that went against her was as the prosecution said, she was not Blakey’s wife merely his lover, and sex before marriage was frowned on, so she was painted as this hard nosed immoral woman instead of the vulnerable person she really was, yes shock can render a person speechless, victims of car crashes and other horrific events can do that to the brain, in the army they call it shell shock, which is much more severe, at Anne Boleyn’s execution Anne was described as so weak and languid and after the awful deed her ladies were also, they had never been called upon to attend anyone’s execution before, and the horror of it would have affected their state of mind, other people who were executed have been described thus,
          like in the case of Catherine Howard and Lady Rochford, the person becomes detached from reality, they probably thought it was like a bad dream and one minute they would wake up, and how did witnessing these bloody executions affect the onlookers, I doubt if families took their children to witness them, but by the 18thc it was considered something of a day out to witness a hanging, there would be souvenirs on sale and the gingerbread man and muffin man would be there, the crowd would be jeering and some would be applauding the condemned, imagine going to see a hanging, they must have had strong stomachs in those days, but regarding the subject of shock and what it can do to the human mind, there was an interesting story I read once concerning a passenger on board the Titanic, only a young boy when she drowned, he was put in a lifeboat and so lived to tell the tale, years later he was by then in his seventies or eighties he decided to have a bath, he had been in the bath for a few hours when his family became quite worried, and started banging on the door and calling his name, there was no response and so one member kicked the door down, fearing the worse because they must of thought he had had a heart attack or a stroke, in fact he was in the bath still alive, but staring straight ahead, his countenance one of shock, afterwards he explained he had got in the bath as normal, and then suddenly his brain triggered an awful memory, he was back on the deck of the doomed ship and was once again reliving the horror of it all, the feel of the water around him in the bath sent him right back to that horrifying moment, he could hear the anguished cries for help and people running around, some of the officers were firing pistols in a vain attempt to keep order, he could hear the splash of the lifeboats in the water, it was strange because this old man had had frequent baths throughout his life, and possibly gone in the sea on holidays, yet somehow that one day, something happened to his brain, very interesting, I have a book called Titanic Survivor, and it’s the story in her own words of one of the crew of the doomed liner, she described what happened in great detail and afterwards, surprisingly enough she found work on another liner, her disastrous experience on the Titanic did not put her of in her choice of career, then that same ship floundered, I cannot recall her name but she was certainly a plucky girl, to still serve on ships when she had nearly drowned in two of them.

        2. Christine says:

          I should imagine also that they must have felt some grievance against the king and his new queen, who they were then called upon to serve two weeks later, these women were traumatised by having to attend their mistress to her bloody death, and as we know no counselling was available in those days, stress was not a recognised medical condition, and today these women would have had some counselling, but no they had to go back to their apartments dust their clothes and settle down to court life again, I like to believe Anne did have a Christian burial, they cared for her remains after her death, and it was so important in those days to have a priest officiate at a burial, it still is today and only those who took their own lives were not buried in consecrated ground, so yes it would be nice that her ladies found a priest, or maybe the one who was at the execution attended her burial and they all said prayers as the mean little coffin was lowered into its grave, who would ever have thought that this woman, once so beloved of King Henry V111, who had had riches and honours bestowed upon her, who had sat in St Edwards chair and had been crowned with the crown of King Edward, who had been arrayed in ermine and velvets had sat with the orb in one hand, and the sceptre in the other, had danced and partied and sang at banquets, who had entertained ambassadors and the King of France, would be lying now in a cold dank grave, stripped of her royalty her name tainted forever, her fate served as a sad warning to the other brides of Henry V111 who followed after, indeed the memory of her must have made them quake in fear, Anna of Cleves tentatively asked one of her women if she displeased the king would he have her killed, and little Catherine Howard gave way to hysteria when interrogated by Cranmer, Catherine Parr also gave way to hysteria when she saw the document of her arrest, the memory of Anne Boleyn was so very much alive in the court of Henry V111, even though her name was never spoken, she had a deep and lasting effect on those that had known her, even those that had not liked her even hated her, her violent death was shocking as no queen had even been executed before, there was no precedent and it rocked the country and the world.

      2. Banditqueen says:

        I think you are right with regards to Ellis, she stepped over him while he was down and fired two more shots, four in total. They know this for certain now, just as they know the lost bullet from the Kennedy assassination ended up inside the traffic light. A reconstruction showed she called to him, shot once, stepped behind him as he went to unlock his car door, shot a second time and missed, but he fell from the first shot, then she shot him twice on the ground. She had found out exactly where he was after looking for him all day and night from his neighbours and gone to his club deliberately. It was kinda hard to argue that it wasn’t pre meditation afterwards. However, if you examine the evidence of what led to Ruth taking this action now and not after earlier beatings or arguments, the previous seven days are vitally important. For one thing abortion wasn’t legal so a child was a person and the Assault Against the Person Act recognised that. Ruth should have been able to get a conviction against Peter Blakely. He had punched her in the stomach, causing a miscarriage. The Act covered this but Ruth didn’t receive medical attention straight away and may not have even realized she was having a miscarriage. However, she did seek medical attention, she was actually admitted to hospital. Her beating and miscarriage were recorded. Blakely was arrested and questioned but its not clear why he wasn’t held, although Ruth, like a lot of these stupid women, apparently depending on him for support, had a history of withdrawing the charges. She probably did this time as well. Ellis had another lover at the same time and he gave her the gun. I believe Ruth simmered and then snapped. I am not convinced that she actually set out that night to kill him but a bit of Dutch courage and Blakely was dead. Ruth apparently phoned him at the club and then waited for him. She confronted him and he walked away. That’s what triggered her. Rejection. Both men and women can become deadly if rejected and she shot him. Personally, for me, her ordeal with the loss of her baby, came flooding back and she fired, blindly at first, then she became focused and finished him off. She even called the police and handed herself in. If anyone thinks any of that is normal killer behaviour, they are insane. Her state of mind has always been up for debate and it was at the time. It was the wording of the law which failed Ruth on the question of diminished capacity. Even today a prosecution attorney would quite rightly ask how one can act in the calculated way Ellis did, get a gun and deliberately seek out Blakely and then shoot him four times, while claiming to be out of their mind? The defence would quite rightly argue that the person was in shock and desperate and that she acted out of self defence. She was triggered by her ordeal and shot blindly. The fact that she handed herself in is not the action of a guilty dangerous criminal. Today we know about something called Automaton Syndrome. This is when the body switches off from logical thought but we act almost as a programmed robot and something sets off the programme, like a memory of trauma. The person is only vaguely aware of what they are doing and are in deep shock. Ruth Ellis was probably aware that she was at the club for a purpose, to confront Blakely, but once her PSD was triggered she acted almost with raw instinct and deadly force, against her normal logical thinking process and shot him, almost as if some kind of programming had kicked in. Afterwards, she realised what she had done and called a local copper. Ruth was in a state of confusion and shock when she was questioned and confessed. There is no way a woman who had been regularly beaten up, who had just suffered a miscarriage because of an assault and who was in her state of mind would be found guilty of murder. It’s even possible that today Ruth Ellis might have walked. She is certainly more likely to find herself being treated in a psychiatric facility than sent to jail. At most she might have gotten manslaughter. Domestic violence is recognised as a valid defence in murder cases. For one thing her confession could be viewed as faulty because of her state of mind and the absence of counsel. Yes, maybe there was a degree of premeditated decision making, but did she really intend to kill Blakely or warn him off? The fact that she had just suffered a miscarriage caused by his assault on her and violence towards her had unbalanced her mind. The fact that it was even considered as part of her case and that so many people signed a petition against hanging her, the fact that the law was changed soon afterwards and within a decade capital punishment was abolished, that shows there were problems with her prosecution and execution at the time.

        In the eighteenth century it was like a family day out and in London of course Tyburn was still the place for public execution. In fact they had hanging days. This meant that they waited until they had so many people and on the next hanging day they rolled out the condemned and hanged them. You also had 200 plus things which people were hanged for. You might have a couple of horse thieves, highwaymen and women, murderers, house breakers, thieves, even beggars, men arrested in a Mollie House, someone being burned at the stake for minting fake coins, a woman being burned for killing her husband or servant for killing a superior, just about anything you can think off, even children over the age of 14 or 15, then considered adults, the variety of crimes was beyond belief. Even rioters were hung as it was considered rebellion. A woman or highwayman brought the biggest crowds. A woman because of the novelty and a highway robber because of their notoriety and romance. People made papers about them and published them and their deeds of daring. They were romantic heroes. The biggest crowd pullers were Irish rebels. They were both adored and hated but the crowds loved them just the same. It was very bazaar but it didn’t matter how many executions there were, they still pulled in the crowds.

  6. Christine says:

    I would also like to add it’s such a shame Anne’s royal apartments and the hall where she stood trial for her life are gone, it would have been wonderful to walk on the same spot she walked on, to gaze out at the windows she must have gazed out on, run ones hands over the oak panelling and imagine her sitting with her ladies plying her needle through her embroidery, the apartments were lavish indeed, and must have housed beautiful tapestries and maybe velvet covered window seats, how very very sad they were not maintained, I read that William Pitt spent a million pounds on the Empire it’s a pity he did not put some towards preserving our building heritage, especially one that had such close connections to Queen Anne Boleyn.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Yes, when you watch the three D reconstruction and see the model come to life on the video, following the camera through the doors of the halls and the rooms of the Royal Palace, into the magnificent gardens, its really amazing how luxurious the building was. You get a bit of a sense at the Tower when you see the way it was decorated and the copy of the Royal bed of Edward I and the fireplaces and wall paintings and so on. The Medieval Hall at Winchester is close but the one at Westminster must give us an idea of how it looked. Think colour. Think bold colours and everything colourful, exotic and international designs, lots of flowers and imaginary beasts and stories from mythological times or the Bible or saints and lots of symbolism and very very bright, lots of gold and sparkling things, red and white roses, blue ceilings with stars and so on and I think we can picture it. Of course nothing can replace the original and its a great pity that more money and effort wasn’t put into restoring our lost history and buildings.

      1. Christine says:

        It must have been beautiful, in my home town of Enfield which is closely connected to the Tudors, there once stood a very fine building, called the Palace of Enfield, it was surrounded by parks and was a really beautiful Tudor building, I have seen old photos of it and the rooms were exquisite, with painted ceilings fine old oak carved fireplaces depicting flowers and cherubs, a right little gem and yet the council decided to pull it down in the 1900’s, and for many years now Pearsons department store along with other shops stands in its place, such an awful shame, we know over time buildings do sometimes fall into disrepair, the landscape does change roads are built nothing lasts, yet they could have made it into a museum with a cafe it would have been a wonderful place to visit, it’s like Henry V111’s Nonsuch Palace, the cost he lavished on it and yet that was not maintained and yet in its day, it was described as magnificent beyond belief, it took many years to build and it was his pride and joy, yet now nothing remains of it, so we only have contemporary descriptions to go on, very very sad.

        1. Banditqueen says:

          I would definitely love to time travel back in time perhaps to 1541 and see all of Henry’s Palaces in their glory including the recently opened Nonsuch Palace Without Compare. Richmond had golden domes as well, in fact they all did, including the White Tower. Some of the contemporary sketches of Richmond show some of the features of Nonsuch but it really was unique. For one thing there was no Great Hall. There were many smaller rooms and a grand throne area. Elizabeth I particularly enjoyed Nonsuch and Richmond. The Tudors did excellent CGI to bring is Nonsuch and there is a fantastic visual movement of real impact when Katherine Howard and Henry are riding out just before they are married and they come up the hill and look across a vast open space before them and the camera turned and panned out and there was Nonsuch. I paused the TV for 15 minutes just starring. Henry’s words to Will Somers when he scoffed at the designs Henry is drawing because the Palace like everything else one day will fade away stands out.

          “Yes, but people will know and remember that here once stood a Palace, a marvel beyond compare and King Henry built it.”

          Its one of those moments when the visual people get it right. Apparently there was a huge stucco statue of Henry and Edward vi as you approached and a parade of the Beauties and the gods and goddesses of the Ancient World and oriented stuff.

          Then there is Hampton Court and we still get a sense of how it looked but to see it after Henry had just extended it, with his jousting towers, his bowling green, when the kitchens and tennis courts were new, the Chapel, the ceiling in the Great Hall painted. Oh boy to see the rooms and the council chamber. To see the murals.

          Henry had 60 palaces. Enfield was on a documentary last year. Even the Moor was no small Manor House. It originally belonged to Thomas Wolsey and Katherine and Henry were guests there. It was almost as grand as Hampton Court. When Katherine was sent there after Henry abandoned her, she was quite comfortable but of course she moved to smaller and less luxurious houses.

          Then there is Whitehall, the crown jewel on the river in London. It was a huge complex and we can still see the outline today from Horse Guards down to Cheapside. The entire long road was part of the Palace with King James and Charles I building the Great Banqueting Hall. Henry’s wine seller and tennis court are still inside.

  7. Christine says:

    I wished I could go back in time to, I’d love to see Tudor England because I’d just love to look on the faces of the people we discuss every day, that iconic King Henry V111 and his wives, what did Anne really look like, were her eyes really as bewitching as what we have read, what did her voice sound like, was the king really as terrifying in his rages as we are led to believe? I’d love to see George Boleyn as we have no portraits of him and also his wife Jane, and other Tudor personalities, also I would visit Restoration England, because Charles 11 is my favourite king, he was kind hearted and benevolent, and I would just love to see him wandering around the gardens with his many mistresses in tow, and his little spaniels skipping along happily, the gorgeous gowns the women wore and then, the tradespeople of London, the orange sellers and the men carrying their pails of milk on each shoulder, the forerunner of the milkman! The muffin man and gingerbread man, the lavender ladies, what a colourful sight, I have a book called Restoration London and Georgian London and they are absolutely fascinating, both books shows you what life was for the poor, then the ones who were more better of, the middling class as they were called, like Samuel Pepys who lived quite comfortably and had servants, the rich and of course the king and his court, the details it went into was fascinating, they had records of the mortality rates for some years, the medical conditions people suffered and the medicines used to help them, some which did more harm than good, the funerals which took place and how they spent their leisure time, the games people played, the make up women wore and the professions they undertook, some which would be called strange today, how much they earned and then there were the shops, the theatres and the fairs, for the poor life was not rosey, prostitution was rife and of course, so was syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, families were large and London didn’t have a proper sewage system, everything was thrown out of the windows, and pity the poor person who happened to be passing underneath, the past really is a completely different world.

  8. MBoleyn says:

    Thanks again, Claire!
    I enjoyed the intro music. It reminded me of
    Fa la la lan, a “15th Century song, by Anonymous, and lyrics attr to Juan Del Encina.
    Or, a Bassa dance…
    More lyrics, because I can’t get them out of my head…
    Fa la la lan,fa lan, fa la la lera
    Fa la la lan, de la guarda riera
    Fa la la lan, fa lan, fa la la lera
    Fa la la lan, de la guarda riera…
    Make it stop…
    Have a wonderful day!

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