Hi! Was Anne Boleyn innocent when she was executed? Or did she really have affairs? xoxo
Odds are, Anne was innocent. Nothing in history is 100% certain, bear in mind, but the charges laid against her in regards to adultery (especially concerning her brother, George) were most likely false. They were based the testimony of her sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn, who had been imprisoned by the king’s guards and terrorized until she gave testimony against Anne and George. During her interrogation, Cromwell and his men would repeatedly ask her over and over again until she gave them information that they could twist to their means—ie, how Anne’s miscarriage of her son, who was deformed at the time of his premature birth, became her punishment for having sex with her brother, and that her brother was clearly the father of the deformed son, not Henry, absolving Henry of any guilt. The testimony and information taken from Jane’s interrogation probably would not have any standing in a modern court of justice. Then again, we no longer execute people for adultery.
Anne truly loved Henry. Unfortunately, thanks to the sexism and misogyny rampant in the time, her staunch political views and outspoken nature made her a much better royal mistress than deferential queen, angering in turn Henry’s advisers the privy counsel, and Henry himself. That, coupled with the couple’s inability to produce and heir, created the political climate for the end of the time of the Boleyn family’s time in royal favor.
Regardless of whether or not Anne had any affairs, an execution on the grounds of adultery was wrong. In the end, most historians believe she and George fell prey to the quick and ruthless coup against the Boleyns in court during 1536, and as a woman, adultery and witchcraft were two of the easiest charges to lay against a woman they would have found a way to depose anyway. George, who was one of Anne’s closest friends and confidants, would have had to of accompanied her political downfall, and so sadly, the two were executed together.