I just finished watching youtubes collection of videos about Anne Boleyn, and there were many. I love history anyways and this particular woman was very interesting. She was very intelligent, well versed in many languages and I think she was wrongly accused and should not of been beheaded.
With that said lets explore her early life: She was presumably born sometime around 7/1501 in Blickling Hall, Norfolk or Hever Castle in Kent to Thomas Boleyn – father and Lady Elizabeth Howard – mother.
Her father was a well respected diplomat with a gift of languages. So it seems that Anne was from a very wealthy family. Her early academic education included arithmetic, reading, history and grammar. Her domestic skills included many game playing skills such as cards, needlepoint, singing and of course how to run a house. As well as many women’s teachings, she learned archery, horseback riding, and hunting. She was well diverse in almost everything.
In France, Anne was a lady’s maid to Queen Mary and her fifteen year old step-daughter, Queen Claude. She learned many of the French customs and became well versed in the French language. Anne learned how to move within the very aristocratic circles and became an expert in flirtation and the game of courtly love. She was also known for her quick temper and very sharp tongue. In those days women should control their temper, but Anne never did. This might of been part of her downfall.
When Anne returned from France to England around 1521, details of a marriage with the heir of the earldom of Ormonde, in Ireland were trying to be worked out. After these wedding plans did not work out for whatever reason, she began an apparent affair with Henry Percy who was the heir of the earldom of Northumberland. Now Percy had already become secretly promised to the daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury. The King heard about this and told his Cardinal Wolsey to have Percy break off with Anne. She became banished from the court because of this foolishness and did not return until somewhere around 1524.
Exactly when Anne Boleyn came back to court, I am not sure. But when she did, King Henry VIII noticed her and he really fell for this beautiful woman. I believe at first he wanted to make her one of his mistresses as he had with her sister Mary. Anne would have nothing to do with King Henry and told him “I would rather lose my life than my honesty”. He supposedly sent her many gifts that she returned to him. She would only be with him if she was his queen. This is what she told him. There are different stories as to whether she and King Henry VIII had been intimate. But, I believe they had because they were together for six or seven years before they were ever married. I do not think the King would wait that long, do you? Anyway, I did dig up something very interesting: Apparently there is some argument going on even today with scholars that Anne had an extra digit on her left hand!
In 1527 King Henry VIII tried to get an annulment from Queen Katheryn of Aragon since she couldn’t produce a male heir. They had been married for some twenty years at this time. Since England was under the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope would not give him an annulment. So, King Henry VIII moved to separate from the Church of England. Eventually separating and starting the Protestant Reformation. Anne Boleyn had a lot to do with how Henry broke with his church and I think it haunted him to his dyeing day. The advise he received were from his advisers and Thomas Cromwell. The King of course had the last say….but, he saw no other way of getting his annulment.
In early 1533 Anne became pregnant. On January 25, 1533 Anne and Henry were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon after the Queen’s coronation was held in honor of the new Queen.
Anne Boleyn had many pregnancies, only one was viable. This baby girl was named Elizabeth and she was born on September 7, 1533. The King wanted a heir, a male. Queen Anne went through two more pregnancies, one in 1534, one in 1536. Each delivery produced a stillborn birth. This angered the King, he wanted a male heir. The marriage quickly fell apart some two years after they were married because King Henry VIII had taken on more mistresses, he so much wanted a male heir. One mistress was known as Jane Seymour who was a lady in waiting to Queen Anne, this of course angered the Queen and everything started going south from there.
The King wanted another annulment, this time from Queen Anne. Thomas Cromwell who is an adviser to the King had a lot to do with the Queen’s downfall. He was able to show the king where he had proof the Queen had committed adultery, incest and conspiracy. The King had Anne Boleyn detained at the Tower of London while he figured out what her fate would be. Anne went to court in 1536. This day she was convicted of said crimes and sentenced to death by beheading. The marriage was also declared invalid and annulled. The same day she was taken to the Tower Green in London, England. Henry had brought a french swordsmen to carry out the beheading. This swordsmen was known far and wide for his quick beheading. This I think was Henry’s only mercy for Anne Boleyn. It was quick and swift and her head and body were buried in an unmarked grave. Within twenty four hours of Anne’s beheading King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour.
It is said that in his earlier days King Henry VIII was a just and understanding King. Sometime during his marriage to Anne he had some type of horrible fall from his horse. He was knocked off by a joust and this left him unconscious for several hours. I think scholars feel this may have had a personality change in him. Still, I don’t think Anne was guilty and she paid a very high price for being Queen for only three years.
Above photo is supposedly where the Tower of the Green was in England