♕ the reign of the tudors ♦ anne boleyn’s execution
Anne Boleyn, Queen consort of England, was charged with acts of treason and adultery and was executed on 19 may,1536.Why did England’s King Henry VIII, who risked his reputation and kingdom in order to marry her, have his beloved wife and queen charged with acts of treason and adultery, which swiftly led to her execution in May of 1536? According to Hester Chapman, an English historical biographer, the world in which Anne Boleyn lived was like that of a “…snake‐pit, of which nearly all the occupants were venomous…” In her 1974 book,The Challenge of Anne Boleyn, Chapman describes a sinister milieu without regard for the truth or kindness, and in which Anne herself was one of the major players.According to Chapman,Thomas Cromwell, concerned with the succession since Henry had no legitimate male heir by Anne, devised a plan to bring about “…Anne’s destruction.” Chapman asserts that Cromwell, knowing that if Anne was charged with “high treason,” there would be no escape.Chapman explains that during this time, those unfortunate enough to be charged with high treason were not allowed to have someone represent them, not allowed to interrogate any “witnesses”, nor allowed to see the proof of the alleged crime.The jurors themselves were not allowed to inquire about the validity of the supposed facts, or they themselves could be imprisoned. A guilty verdict was absolute.Through “bribery and threats,” as well as information freely given from her many enemies,Cromwell obtained the required evidence that he needed to make a damning case against Anne.Chapman asserts that Mark Smeaton, the court musician, only declared guilt because he was promised he would later be set free if he admitted to “carnal knowledge” with Anne.When Henry was told of the matter and shown the evidence, Chapman asserts that Henry was aghast, but believed the charges.Chapman concluded in her epilogue that, while Anne was innocent, there should be no “question of blame.”The King, Chapman claims, was bound by law to endorse her “death‐warrant.” While most historians share common themes or focus on the key players, Retha M. Warnicke, asserts in her 1989 book,The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII, that the primary reason for the fall of Anne Boleyn was that Anne gave birth to a deformed fetus in January of 1536. According to Warnicke, most Europeans during this time believed in demons and witches, and that “…witches gave birth to deformed children…and committed incest.In conclusion,this was all a bad timing for Anne Boleyn,surrounded by such lies ,it only took her step by step closer to the grave.