My queen, Anne Boleyn, is probably the most well known of Henry's wives. Her fate, and the impact of the marriage is a huge part of history. I am going to shed a bit of light of on Anne's story, her marriage to Henry and, of course, the events leading up to her unfortunate and tragic end.
Anne was brought into the Court of King Henry by her family. Her father Thomas Boleyn was influential at court. Anne's sister, Mary, is believed to have been one of Henry's mistresses prior to his persuing Anne.
Henry obviously fell in love with the vivacious Anne and was willing to do anything to be with her. He was married to Catherine of Aragon at the time. Anne refused to be just another of Henry's mistresses and insisted that if he wanted her that it be legitimate and that he marry her. She wanted to provide him with the heir that Henry so badly wanted.
Henry became consumed with finding a way out of his marriage to Catherine. He petitioned Pope Clement VII to annul the marrige, which was declined. The only way out of the situation was for him to take matters into his own hands. He declared himself head of the English church so that he was able to grant his own divorce. This was monumential as the Church of England was now serperated from Rome and under the King's control.
There were many who did not support the King's new marriage. Many of them specfically did not support Anne as Queen. She was not favoured by anyone still loyal to the beloved Queen Catherine whom they felt was the King's rightful and true wife. There were others who wished to see a woman from their own family wearing the crown. It made Anne's position precarious and a situation that was ripe for rumours, and scandal.
Anne's time was Queen was short, lasting just 3 years. Henry's desire to have a legitimate heir to the throne was growing. Anne was feeling the pressure and strain. She suffered miscarriages and and struggled to become pregnant after having their first (and only) child - a girl named Elizabeth. Elizabeth would go on to become one of the greatest monarchs in history.
The King, having grown increasingly desperate for a heir after having an accident that caused him to face his own mortality started to grow even more distant from Anne. The death of Henry's first wife left Anne desperate to provide a son. Henry would be free to marry again now that Catherine had passed away, and with nobody challenging the legitimacy of the marrige. Anne suffered another miscarriage from the stress of Henry's accident, and with this her fate was sealed.
During this time plans were set in motion that would change everything - Anne was accused of "tricking" the King into marriage by witchcraft and committing adultery with Francis Weston, George Boleyn, Mark Smeaton, William Brereton, and Henry Norris. These young men ended up being executed for their perceived crimes against the King. It is thought that the charges against Anne were completely untrue, and that it was a means to rid Henry of a wife he no longer really wanted. A new girl had caught his eye - Jane Seymour. It is uncertain who started the allegations against Anne. Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell is thought to be involved, and he was asked by the King to invested Anne and the charges against her.
Mark Smeaton confessed after being tortured to being one of Anne's lovers. This sealed the fate of himself, Anne, and the other young men. Anne's fate was discussed by means of a trail that took place May 15 1536. She was found to be guilty of treason by means of adultery and plotting to kill the King with her "lovers".
Anne's sentence was carried out May 19, 1536. Henry extended the "courtesy" of having a French swordsman perform the execution. Anne was poised and acted like a Queen until the very end offering this speech before accepting her fate:
Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.Henry married his next wife Jane Seymour shortly after Anne's death. They married May 30.1536. You will find out more about Jane at the next stop - Rebecca @ Reading Wishes next Tuesday.
Your GILT teaser at this stop features King Henry and is from one of my favourite scenes in the novel.
A servant thrust the box into my hands and I opened it slowly. Lying on a scrap of blue velvet was a chain of gold from which hung a single pendant of startling emerald.Make sure to get your word for the scavenger hunt (featured in YELLOW) to enter to win one of 3 GILT prize packs. 3 people will receive a finished copy of the book, and some GILT bookmarks.
“It’s beautiful,” I said.
“Come here, Kitty,” the king said, and I knelt before him.
“You are my wife’s closest friend,” he whispered. “She told me this when you arrived at court. I have never forgotten.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” I breathed.
“Remain a friend to her, Kitty,” the king finished. “She has many enemies at court.”
He no longer looked delighted, just old. Haggard.
“I will, your Majesty,” I said. Knowing, as I said it, it would mean betraying him.
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In the ____ of King ____ VIII, who you ____ can get you in, but ___ you ____ can get you ______
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