The ruins of Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire. Established in 1132 and dissolved in 1538 by the orders of Henry the 8th during the period of the dissolution of the English Monasteries. It was one of the largest and wealthiest abbeys in England.
Anne Boleyn (1501 - 19th May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Henry’s marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation.
She is known as the ‘Kings obsession’ due to her refusal to become his mistress, some say that Anne resisted the King’s attempts to seduce her, refusing to become his mistress, often leaving court for the seclusion of Hever Castle. But within a year, he proposed marriage to her, and she accepted. There is no evidence to suggest that they engaged in a sexual relationship until very shortly before their marriage; Henry’s love letters to Anne seem to suggest that their love affair remained unconsummated for much of their seven-year courtship.
Henry and Anne married on 25th January 1533.
Anne was crowned Queen of England on 1st June 1533.
On 7th September, she gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I, whose gender disappointed Henry.
Three miscarriages followed afterwards and Anne had still not produced a son for the King.
By March 1536, Henry was seen to have grown tired of Anne and was now courting her lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour.
Henry had Anne investigated for high treason in April 1536.
On 2nd May she was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, where she was tried before a jury of peers – which included Henry Percy, her former betrothed, and her own uncle, Thomas Howard – and found guilty on 15th May where she was charged of adultery, incest and treason.
She was beheaded four days later.
Anne has been called “the most influential and important queen consort England has ever had”, since she provided the occasion for Henry VIII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and declare his independence from Rome.
During her execution it was said that she did not look afraid and was rather composed, as if she had already accepted death. Anne climbed the scaffold and made a short speech to the crowd: “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.”
It has been 477 years since her death and for almost five centuries historians, authors and people who are generally passionate about Anne still argue to this very day whether Anne was innocent of the charges made against her or whether she was guilty.
The meeting of Sir Thomas More with his daugther after his death sentance. Sir Thomas More was an important councillor to Henry the 8th after the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey. He took over his title as Lord Chancellor and it seemed as if he would fill the same powerful shoes as Wolsey. More was a famous Humanist on the content and is known for his deep religious convictions. He helped King Henry the 8th write a scathing attack on Martin Luther and his Protestant 95 Theses and proved himself as a merciless persecutor of heretics, condemning many to burn at the stake. However he refused to be a part of the Great Matter which involved Henry the 8th’s divorce with Catherine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn. This high moral ground which he took was to mark the beginning of his downfall. After the Break with Rome and the Submission with the Clergy, More could no longer be a part of Henry’s government and resigned from his position of Lord Chancellor which was the highest position of government below the King himself. Knowing that the King was deeply unimpressed with his opinions, he tried to live a quiet life and remained silent on any future matters. When Henry was married to Anne Boleyn, More refused to attend the ceremony and when the time came for all men to sign the Oath of Supremacy which recognised Henry the 8th the supreme head of the English Church, he outright refused. This was the last straw. Despite the efforts of Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer to save him, he was brought to trial under charges of high treason. More put on a spectacular performance for his trial and defended himself excellently. He openly attacked, shamed and ridiculed the King, his marriage and his idea of Royal Supremacy. He was sentenced to death and was hung, drawn and quartered in the Tower of London on 6th of July, 1535.
I’m not going to pretend to be a Queen Elizabeth I scholar or anything, but you don’t need to know much about English history to appreciate how darn forsaken awesome this lady was.
THE OVERVIEW (of things I remember from Western Civ.)
1. She refused to get married because she didn’t want her husband to take over England. Instead, she was “married to England.
2. She covertly ordered swashbuckling English pirates to hijack Spanish treasure ships from the New World! SHE INVENTED PIRATES
3. She wrote letters to the king of Spain being all sexy like basically to piss him off!
4. Annnnnd she (really because of a storm) took down the Spanish in the Spanish Armada! The world would look politically absolutely nothing like it does today if it weren’t for this!
”… And therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.“
Whoa powerful stuff man! This is from "Speech to the Troops at Tillbury which she read in 1588 before the Spanish Armada! Thank you my English textbook for the speech!
And that is all I know about Queen Elizabeth I. Happy Tuesday!
Fun fact about Catherine of Aragon–while Henry was out of the country during a war with Scotland, she gave a battle speech to the army in full armor, while heavily pregnant. After said battle, she sent the dead king of Scotland’s bloodstained cloak to her husband in the mail.