Could this letter have been sent from Anne Boleyn to her husband, Henry VIII, while she was imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting her trial or is it a forgery?
The letter in the British Library
A legend claims that ‘Anne’s’ letter was found amongst Thomas Cromwell’s belongings, In his rooms after his execution, in June 1540. The letter above is said to be a copy of Anne’s original letter which had been damaged.
Cromwell was the king’s Principal Secretary who many historians believe planned and arranged the fall of the Boleyn family and their friends in one foul sweep in May 1536. Cromwell certainly, gained prestige from the disgrace of the Boleyn family:
An ancient remedy found inside an old leather bound manuscript, called ‘Bald’s Leechbook,’ in the British library has been found to kill the MRSA super bug. The recipe which was designed to cure eye infections, called wens or sty’s, could hold the key to killing other antibiotic-resistant super-bugs. Dr. Erin Connelly at Nottingham University estimates that:
‘700,000 people around the world die annually from drug-resistant infections. If the situation does not change, it is estimated that such in will kill 10 million people per year by 2050.’
Before her execution Anne Boleyn heard Mass and took Holy Communion for the last time. She declared her innocence before and after taking the Eucharist before witnesses. This is important because She believed, like all Tudors, that if she lied that she would be condemned to hell.
No commoners mocked or goaded the Queen on the way to the scaffold because it was a private execution within the tower walls. Anne kept looking behind her as if waiting for a message from her husband. The message that never came.
Her ermine cloak, a symbol of Royalty, was removed from her shoulders by her ladies. She took off her English Gable hood and tucked her long chestnut brown hair into a coif. She then said goodbye to the ladies who had been with her during her incarceration. After her arrest, Anne said the King knew that none of these women were her friends and that they had been sent to spy on her. Nevertheless every one of those woman wept. As the horror of her death became a stark reality. She asked her ladies to pray for her. One of them tied a blindfold over her eyes.
During a bout of jousting on 24th January 1536, Henry VIII fell from his horse, Smashing to the ground with the fully armour plated horse landing on top of him. Henry lay unconscious and ‘Without speech,’ for two hours.
The impact that the consequent injuries had on his personality, his life and his government are often debated. Henry was a powerful man who was in constant and insufferable pain. His accident, clearly made him very aware of his own mortality and led to unprecedented changes in his life.
If the King had of died on that January day he would have left his kingdom in chaos. Not only because of his lack of a male heir but because Princess Elizabeth was a baby, his first daughter, Lady Mary, had been made illegitimate and his present Queen was the most unpopular woman in the country.
I had a good look at this image in the early hours of this morning and I noticed that the medallion does not show the usual ‘AB’ or ‘A’ initials. But instead, had the initials ‘AR, instead. Anne was a queen consort and not a queen regnant wasn’t she?
Well no. Anne was the only queen consort to be crowned with Saint Edwards crown (Which is reserved solely for the ruling monarch.) Making her a monarch too and means she was able to use the Initials ‘AR.’ Henry never crowned another queen after Anne died.
Link to the original site with lots of information:
It is thought that only about 10% of all Tudors lived to be beyond their 40th birthdays and one of the reasons was the poor standard of Tudor medicine and medical knowledge.
Smallpox was a highly contagious, potentially disfiguring and deadly disease. There was no cure and no effective treatment.
Henry VIII contracted smallpox, as did his forth wife Anne of Cleaves but his daughter Elizabeth I was the family member to become seriously ill with the disease. In 1562 her doctors thought that she would die. Fear gripped her people because Elizabeth was unmarried and had no heirs. The queen was lucky and she survived with only a few pockmark scars. The ‘cure’ was thought to be caused by ‘the red treatment’ which was administered to the queen by being wrapped in a red blanket and placed by a fire.
When Edward IV died unexpectedly of a short illness aged forty in April 1471 he left two sons. Richard Duke of York, aged 9 and Edward, Prince of Wales aged 12. After young Edward V was proclaimed King, his uncle Richard of Gloucester went to York Minster to declare his loyalty to his nephew.
This was a very cruel way to die and it was used to convince a prisoner who refused to give a plea of innocent or guilty to change their mind. If no plea was given then a trial could not take place. Pressing took place inside prisons like Newgate or the fleet. The accused was laid on a table and had another table put on top of them. Then lead, rocks and weights were put on until they either decided to plea or were crushed to death.
The prison guards or ‘Keepers’ fed the victim with ‘Three morsels of barley bread without drink for the first day and as much filthy water as they like if they survived to the next day.’