Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, is executed

Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, is executed

On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn, the infamous second wife of King Henry VIII, is executed on charges including adultery, incest and conspiracy against the king.

READ MORE: Who Were the Six Wives of Henry VIII?

Catherine of Aragon

King Henry had become enamored of Anne Boleyn in the mid-1520s, when she returned from serving in the French court and became a lady-in-waiting to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Dark-haired, with an olive complexion and a long, elegant neck, Anne was not said to be a great beauty, but she clearly captivated the king. As Catherine had failed to produce a male heir, Henry transferred his hopes for the future continuation of his royal line to Anne, and set about getting a divorce or annulment so he could marry her.

For six years, while his advisers worked on what became known as “the King’s great matter,” Henry and Anne courted first discreetly, then openly—angering Catherine and her powerful allies, including her nephew, Emperor Charles V.

In 1532, the savvy and ruthless Thomas Cromwell won control of the king’s council and engineered a daring revolution—a break with the Catholic Church, and Henry’s installation as supreme head of the Church of England. Many unhappy Britons blamed Anne, whose sympathies lay with England’s Protestant reformers even before the Church’s steadfast opposition turned her against it.

Jane Seymour

At Queen Anne’s coronation in June 1533, she was nearly six months pregnant, and in September she gave birth to a girl, Elizabeth, rather than the much-longed-for male heir. She later had two stillborn children, and suffered a miscarriage in January 1536; the fetus appeared to be male.

By that time, Anne’s relationship with Henry had soured, and he had his eye on her lady-in-waiting, the demure Jane Seymour.

After Anne’s latest miscarriage, and the death of Catherine that same month, rumors began flying that Henry wanted to get rid of Anne so he could marry Jane. (Had he attempted to annul his second marriage while Catherine was still alive, it would have raised speculation that his first marriage was valid after all.)

Henry had apparently convinced himself that Anne had seduced him by witchcraft, and also told Cromwell (Anne’s former ally, now her rival for power in Henry’s court) that he wanted to take steps towards repairing relations with Emperor Charles.

Arrest and Imprisonment

Seeing Anne’s weak position, her many enemies jumped at the chance to bring about the downfall of “the Concubine,” and launched an investigation that compiled evidence against her.

After Mark Smeaton, a court musician, confessed (possibly under torture) that he had committed adultery with the queen, the drama was set in motion at the May Day celebration at the king’s riverside palace at Greenwich.

King Henry left suddenly in the middle of the day’s jousting tournament, which featured Anne’s brother George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, and Sir Henry Norris, one of the king’s closest friends and a royal officer in his household. He gave no explanation for his departure to Queen Anne, whom he would never see again.

In quick succession, Norris and Rochford were both arrested on charges of adultery with the queen (incest, in Rochford’s case) and plotting with her against her husband. Sir Frances Weston and Sir William Brereton were arrested in the following days on similar charges, while Queen Anne herself was taken into custody at Greenwich on May 2.

Duke of Norfolk

Led before the investigators (chief among them her own uncle, the Duke of Norfolk) to hear the charges of “evil behavior” against her, she was subsequently imprisoned in the Tower of London.

The trial of Smeaton, Weston, Brereton and Norris took place in Westminster Hall on May 12. At the conclusion of the trial, the court sentenced all four men to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Three days later, Anne and her brother, Lord Rochford, went on trial in the Great Hall of the Tower of London.

The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial as lord high steward, representing the king. The most damning evidence against Rochford was the testimony of his own jealous wife, who claimed “undue familiarity” between him and his sister.

Trial of Anne Boleyn

As for Anne, most historians agree she was almost certainly not guilty of the charges against her. She never admitted to any wrongdoing, the evidence against her was weak and it seems highly unlikely she would have endangered her position by adultery or conspiring to harm the king, whose favor she depended upon so greatly.

Still, Anne and Rochford were found guilty as charged, and Norfolk pronounced the sentence: Both were to be burnt or executed according to the king’s wishes.

On May 17, the five condemned men were executed on Tower Hill, but Henry showed mercy to his queen, calling in the “hangman of Calais” so that she could be beheaded with the sword rather than the axe.

Anne Boleyn Execution

On the morning of May 19, a small crowd gathered on Tower Green as Anne Boleyn—clad in a dark grey gown and ermine mantle, her hair covered by a headdress over a white linen coif—approached her final fate.

After begging to be allowed to address the crowd, Anne spoke simply: “Masters, I here humbly submit me to the law as the law hath judged me, and as for mine offences, I here accuse no man. God knoweth them; I remit them to God, beseeching Him to have mercy on my soul.” Finally, she asked Jesus Christ to “save my sovereign and master the King, the most godly, noble and gentle Prince that is, and long to reign over you.”

With a swift blow from the executioner’s sword, Anne Boleyn was dead. Less than 24 hours later, Henry was formally betrothed to Jane Seymour; they married some 10 days after the execution.

While Queen Jane did give birth to the long-awaited son, who would succeed Henry as King Edward VI at the tender age of nine, it would be his daughter with Anne Boleyn who would go on to rule England for more than 40 years as the most celebrated Tudor monarch: Queen Elizabeth I.


Antonia Fraser, The Wives of Henry VIII (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992).
Alison Weir, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn (New York: Ballantine Books, 2010).

Anne Boleyn: Facts About the Second Wife of Henry VIII

Here are some facts about Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII.

  • Very little is known about the early years of Anne Boleyn’s life. Historians can’t even agree when Anne was born. Some think she was born in 1500 or 1501, whereas others think a year of 1507 to be more likely. She was probably born at Blickling Hall in Norfolk.
  • Apparently, Anne was not particularly pretty. Contrary to legend, she probably didn’t have a sixth finger on one of her hands. She was, however, stylish, intelligent and quick-witted.
  • Anne spent time in the household of Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, who was married to the French King, Louis XII. Anne learned to speak French fluently.
  • Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn was a mistress of Henry VIII.
  • After Henry VIII took an interest in Anne, it was thought that she too would become one of his mistresses. However, this was not the case, and from 1527 onwards, Henry sought to get his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled so he would be in a position to marry Anne.
  • In 1533 Anne and Henry were secretly married. It is thought that Anne was pregnant with Henry’s child at this point. Henry and Catherine were still officially married, but Archbishop Cranmer proclaimed the marriage to be null and void.
  • Henry’s desire to annul the marriage between himself and Catherine in order to marry Anne, led to the break with Rome.
  • Anne gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, on August 26th 1533.
  • Anne Boleyn fell pregnant again in 1534 but it either ended in miscarriage or the child being stillborn. In 1535 Anne suffered a miscarriage.
  • King Henry VIII desperately desired a male heir and he started to spend time with one of Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour.
  • Anne’s enemies at court, particularly Thomas Cromwell, began to plot her downfall. On May 2nd 1536, Anne was arrested at Greenwich, accused of committing adultery, incest and high treason. It was also said that she plotted to kill the King. She was taken to the Tower of London.
  • On Monday 15th Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother were put on trial. Anne was found guilty of committing adultery, despite a significant lack of evidence, and she was executed on the morning of May 19th 1536.
  • Anne’s head and body were placed in an arrow chest and buried in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula.

Find out about Henry VIII’s other wives by clicking here.

You can also check out more of our Tudor resources by visiting this page.

Chilling find shows how Henry VIII planned every detail of Boleyn beheading

It is a Tudor warrant book, one of many in the National Archives, filled with bureaucratic minutiae relating to 16th-century crimes. But this one has an extraordinary passage, overlooked until now, which bears instructions from Henry VIII explaining precisely how he wanted his second wife, Anne Boleyn, to be executed.

In this document, the king stipulated that, although his queen had been “adjudged to death… by burning of fire… or decapitation”, he had been “moved by pity” to spare her the more painful death of being “burned by fire”. But he continued: “We, however, command that… the head of the same Anne shall be… cut off.”

Tracy Borman, a leading Tudor historian, described the warrant book as an astonishing discovery, reinforcing the image of Henry VIII as a “pathological monster”. She told the Observer: “As a previously unknown document about one of the most famous events in history, it really is golddust, one of the most exciting finds in recent years. What it shows is Henry’s premeditated, calculating manner. He knows exactly how and where he wants it to happen.” The instructions laid out by Henry are for Sir William Kingston, constable of the Tower, detailing how the king would rid himself of the “late queen of England, lately our wife, lately attainted and convicted of high treason”.

Boleyn was incarcerated in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536 for adultery. At her trial, she was depicted as unable to control her “carnal lusts”. She denied the charges but was found guilty of treason and condemned to be burned or beheaded at “the King’s pleasure”.

Most historians agree the charges were bogus – her only crime had been her failure to give Henry a son. The most famous king in English history married six times in his relentless quest for a male heir. He divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to marry Boleyn – the marriage led him to break with the Catholic church and brought about the English Reformation. Boleyn did bear him a daughter, who became Elizabeth I.

Anne’s real ‘crime’ was her failure to produce a male heir. Photograph: Roger-Viollet/Rex Features

In recent years, the story of Boleyn’s life and death have reached a new audience thanks to Hilary Mantel’s bestselling saga tracing the life of Thomas Cromwell, a blacksmith’s son who became one of Henry VIII’s most trusted advisers. In the Booker-prize-winning Bring Up the Bodies, she explored the destruction of Boleyn, writing of her execution: “Three years ago when she went to be crowned, she walked on a blue cloth that stretched the length of the abbey… Now she must shift over the rough ground… with her body hollow and light and just as many hands around her, ready to retrieve her from any stumble and deliver her safely to death.”

The warrant book reveals that Henry worked out details such as the exact spot for the execution (“upon the Green within our Tower of London”), making clear Kingston should “omit nothing” from his orders.

Borman is joint chief curator for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages the Tower of London, among other sites. She will include the discovery in her forthcoming Channel 5 series, The Fall of Anne Boleyn, which begins in December.

She had visited the National Archives to study the Anne Boleyn trial papers when archivist Sean Cunningham, a Tudor expert, drew her attention to a passage he had discovered in a warrant book. Most of these warrants are “just the minutiae of Tudor government”, she said. “They’re pretty dull. The Tudors were great bureaucrats, and there are an awful lot of these warrant books and account books within the National Archives… It’s thanks to Sean’s eye for detail that it was uncovered.”

Borman argues that, despite the coldness of the instructions, the fact Henry spared Boleyn from being burned – a slow, agonising death – was a real kindness by the standards of the day. A beheading with an axe could also involve several blows, and Henry had specified that Boleyn’s head should be “cut off’, which meant by sword, a more reliable form of execution, but not used in England, which is why he had Cromwell send to Calais for a swordsman.

Henry’s instructions were not followed to the letter, though, partly due to a series of blunders, Borman said. “The execution didn’t take place on Tower Green, which is actually where we still mark it at the Tower today. More recent research has proved that… it was moved to opposite what is today the Waterloo Block, home of the crown jewels.”

She added: “Because we know the story so well, we forget how deeply shocking it was to execute a queen. They could well have got the collywobbles and thought we’re not going to do this. So this is Henry making really sure of it. For years, his trusty adviser Thomas Cromwell has got the blame. But this shows, actually, it’s Henry pulling the strings.”

This article was amended on 26 October 2020. An earlier version said that Anne Boleyn “refuted the charges”. To clarify: she “denied the charges”.

Anne Boleyn’s supposed last letter to Henry VIII proclaiming innocence never reached King

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Anne Boleyn: Jodie Turner-Smith stars in Channel 5 trailer

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Anne, the second of Henry&rsquos six wives, was famously executed in 1536 on charges of adultery, high treason and incest, as accurately depicted in Channel 5&rsquos recent drama Anne Boleyn. However, the charges against her have been called into question over the centuries, with many believing Henry&rsquos chief minister Thomas Cromwell fabricated them &mdash especially as she was accused of carrying out an affair with her own brother. Other historians point out that the dates of her alleged crimes provided in her trial make it impossible for her to have carried out such acts.

Related articles

Cromwell is said to have struggled with some of Anne&rsquos political beliefs, while Henry was keen to marry his mistress Jane Seymour in his desperation to produce a male heir.

Four days after she was taken to the Tower of London, Anne is believed to have written a heartfelt letter to her husband promising that she was innocent of any charges brought against her.

However, on the website, author Claire Ridgway explained that the letter &ldquois said to have been found in Thomas Cromwell&rsquos belongings which probably means that it never made it into the hands of the King&rdquo.

Others have suggested the version found in Cromwell&rsquos possession after his 1540 execution was a copy, meaning the original had probably been destroyed.

The letter reads: &ldquoYour Grace&rsquos displeasure, and my imprisonment are things so strange unto me, as what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant.&rdquo

Anne Boleyn&rsquos supposed last letter to Henry VIII proclaiming innocence never reached King (Image: Getty)

Anne being taken to the gallows in May 1536 (Image: Getty)

It added that Henry was repeatedly sending her &ldquoancient professed enemy&rdquo to encourage his wife to confess, presumably Cromwell, but she maintained she would never &ldquobe brought to acknowledge a fault&rdquo.

The letter continues: &ldquoLet not any light fancy or bad council of mine enemies, withdraw your princely favour from me.&rdquo

She added that she was &ldquoyour most dutiful wife&rdquo and reminded him of their daughter, the &ldquoinfant-princess&rdquo Elizabeth.

Anne then pleaded for a &ldquolawful trial&rdquo where her &ldquosworn enemies&rdquo would not sit as her accusers and judges.

But, she claimed if he had already made up his mind that his wife was guilty based on &ldquoan infamous slander&rdquo, then she hoped God would &ldquopardon your great sin&rdquo for his &ldquounprincely and cruel usage of me&rdquo.

Finally, she pleaded: &ldquoMy last and only request shall be, that myself may only bear the burden of your Grace&rsquos displeasure, and that it may not touch the innocent souls of those poor gentlemen.&rdquo

Anne was Henry's wife from 1533 until 1536 (Image: Getty)


She finished by declaring herself: &ldquoYour most loyal and ever faithful wife, Anne Boleyn.&rdquo

However, this final plea was ignored all of the five men she was said to have been unfaithful with were also executed.

Anne&rsquos marriage to Henry was declared null and void two days before she was beheaded with a sword, rather than with a common axe like her alleged lovers.

The letter&rsquos authenticity is sometimes questioned as it&rsquos unlikely a prisoner would have been permitted to write to the King &mdash but Anne was also the first Queen of England to be executed, meaning she may have been granted different privileges.

She was known for often challenging the King and speaking her mind, going against the expectations for women in court during the Tudor era.

Henry's relationship with Anne soured very quickly when she did not produce a male heir (Image: Getty)

Anne was executed by an expert swordsman from France (Image: Getty)

Historians also speculate that if Anne were to have written such a letter, it would have read in a similar manner &mdash especially as she initially believed Henry would be merciful and allow her to live in a convent after a divorce.

Anne was found guilty during her trial on May 15, 1536, and died four days later, believed to have been approximately 35 years old.

As HistoryExtra points out: &ldquoIn Tudor law defendants were presumed guilty until proven innocent (the burden of proof was on the accused to prove their innocence) and defendants were often unaware of the exact charges and the evidence being used against them before the trial.&rdquo

The jury were aware that they were expected to side with the sovereign, too, to avoid any punishment.

Anne, the second of Henry's six wives, was the first Queen to be executed (Image: Getty)

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Contemporary reports from Tudor courtier Sir William Kingston claim that in her final hours, Anne had &ldquomuch joy and pleasure in death&rdquo and seemed at peace with her fate.

Unlike in the Channel 5 drama &mdash where actress Jodie Turner-Smith wore black for the Queen&rsquos execution, Anne is said to have worn red, the colour of martyrdom for her death.

Henry became engaged to Jane Seymour 24 hours after Anne&rsquos death, and they were married 11 days later.

The execution of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn

Henry secretly married Anne before his annulment to his first wife, Catherine, was official. Anne bore Henry a daughter, future queen Elizabeth I, though Henry was hoping for a male heir. Anne became pregnant three more times, but all pregnancies ended in miscarriages. Her third miscarriage, which was carried for about three and a half months, seemed to be male according to imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys, who later said “She has miscarried her saviour.”

Just before this final disappointment, Henry had already begun courting Jane Seymour, even brazenly displaying his affections for Jane in front of his wife. He also began thinking of ways to dissolve his marriage to Anne he had his marriage to Catherine annulled because divorce was a high sin within the Church, but one annulment was difficult enough. Two in a row would be nearly impossible. So Anne was accused of adultery with several men including her brother and high treason (the Treason Act of Edward III stated adultery by the Queen was a form of treason, and the punishment was death).

Anne was convicted, her marriage was considered null and void because of Anne’s supposed actions, and Henry was free to marry his lover Jane Seymour. Her “lovers” were also convicted despite no credible evidence against them and were executed May 17. Anne met her end almost giddily. She smiled as she approached the scaffold, spoke well of the King, and was beheaded swiftly with a single swing of a sword.

Henry VIII Specified Details of Anne Boleyn’s Execution, Warrant Book Reveals

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but truth can also be a lot more unpleasant than fiction. If you’ve had reason to doubt that as of late, a piece of newly-discovered history relating to the English royal family may well surprise you — and leave you horrified. It has to do with Henry VIII, he of the multiple wives and general infamy, and it reveals a deeply sadistic side to the onetime monarch.

Writing at The Guardian, Dalya Alberge describes the discovery of a warrant book in the National Archives with previously-unknown information on Henry VIII — and on the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Specifically, the warrant book in question contains instructions from Henry VIII on just how he wanted Boleyn to be executed. Readers learn that he had decided against burning her to death, and had instead ordered her execution to involve decapitation.

The warrant book also contains instructions from Henry VIII as to where, specifically, Boleyn’s execution was to take place.

“What it shows is Henry’s premeditated, calculating manner,” said historian Tracy Borman. “He knows exactly how and where he wants it to happen.” Henry VIII is not exactly remembered as one of history’s most beloved monarchs, but even so — this is a particularly unsettling piece of information to digest.

The Trial And Death Of Anne Boleyn

Hans Holbein/Frick Collection Thomas Cromwell cleared a path for King Henry VIII to marry Anne Boleyn – and then orchestrated her arrest.

On May 2, 1536, the king’s men arrested Anne Boleyn for treason and adultery. The disgraced queen entered the Tower of London through the Traitors’ Gate.

During a hastily arranged trial, Boleyn was charged with conspiracy to murder her husband, poisoning Catherine of Aragon, and plotting to kill Mary Tudor, the king’s first daughter.

The trial was filled with salacious details of her supposed affairs. She was even accused of having had an incestuous relationship with her brother, George Boleyn.

But the outcome of Anne Boleyn’s trial was certain even before it began as not only had her “conspirators” confessed, some under torture, but the king clearly wanted her out of the picture.

Édouard Cibot/Musée Rolin Several weeks before Anne Boleyn’s execution, she was kept in the Tower of London.

The jury heard the charges against Queen Anne Boleyn and returned a guilty verdict almost immediately. She would have to wait in the Tower of London while her executioners built a new scaffold for her beheading.

The execution of Anne Boleyn had been scheduled for May 18, 1536, but Cromwell pushed back the date to make sure foreign diplomats didn’t witness the sentence. King Henry VIII had already destroyed his reputation abroad by divorcing Catherine of Spain and marrying Boleyn, and so news of Anne Boleyn’s execution may only further alienate the Crown from the rest of Europe.

On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn dressed herself in a crimson gown trimmed with royal ermine and walked to her execution. When she mounted the scaffold, Queen Anne faced a French executioner, who King Henry VIII paid £24 to behead her.

Before the executioner carried out the sentence, Boleyn spoke her final words:

“I have not come here to preach a sermon. I have come here to die. 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.”

With a single stroke, the executioner beheaded Anne Boleyn. She was the first woman crowned queen of England to be executed.

King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour eleven days after Anne Boleyn’s execution.

Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, is executed - HISTORY

Probably THE most recognized of the king's wives, and not for her beauty or her popularity. Anne was born to Thomas Boleyn the 1st Earl of Wiltshire and was educated in the Netherlands and in France where she was a maid of honor to Queen Claudia. In 1522 she returned to England to marry her Irish cousin, James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond, but the engagement was soon to be broken off. Anne secured a position at court for Henry's first wife. A year later Anne again became engaged, this time to Henry Percy, son of the 5th Earl of Northumberland. But once again poor Anne's engagement was broken off on order of the king through Cardinal Wolsey. Everything I read suggests that Henry was not in love with Anne at this point, but me being the romance writer has to say hmmmm, something smells fishy here!

By this point, Henry had already started having mistresses and Anne's sister Mary was one of them. Henry's eyes wander to Anne. Interestingly enough, Anne is not considered an attractive woman, however, she is very popular with the men at court. So the woman must have had a lot of charisma. Henry approaches Anne to be his mistress, but she gives him an emphatic no. Anne had no desire to be any man's mistress, including the king. Even after the king had sent her a note telling her that he would give up all his other mistresses and would devote himself to her. But Anne wanted more, she wanted a marriage and since Henry was already married that wasn't a possibility.

Henry couldn't get Anne off his mind, so he started plotting how to rid himself of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. For six years, under extreme pressure, the pope refused to give the king an annulment or divorce. But in 1533 Henry finally won his case with Anne and she married him while he was still married to Catherine. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer declared the first marriage to Catherine, null and void and five days later declared Anne and Henry's marriage valid. Pope Clemmons excommunicated Henry and Cramer, causing the first rift between the Church of England and Rome. Henry then took control of the church.

Anne had become arrogant and thus became quite unpopular at court. She had gotten what she wanted, or at least what she thought she wanted, the king as a husband.

Anne gave birth to a girl, Queen Elizabeth I on September 7, 1533. Needless to say a girl was not what Henry wanted. Anne had two pregnancies that both ended in miscarriages. In early 1536, Anne gave birth to a still born little boy. By now Henry's eyes began to wander again, looking for the woman who could provide him with a legitimate heir. His desire fell on the third wife to be, Jane Seymour.

But what does a king do with another unwanted wife? Henry sent her to the Tower of London in May of 1536. Charges of adultery were brought against her as well as, incest and plotting to kill King Henry. She was tried by a court of her peers (the ones who thought her arrogant) and found guilty. May 19th, Anne was beheaded leaving the way for Henry to marry Jane Seymour.

What are your thoughts about King Henry or one of his wives? Leave a comment for an entry on the rafflecopter! Follow the rafflecopter link for a chance to win some fun prizes!

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A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass's hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Who was Anne Boleyn?

Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s second wife and was married to him between 1533 and 1536.

While married to his first wife Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII had a brief affair with Anne’s sister Mary, but soon developed an affection for Anne.

Anne refused to be his mistress, however, so Henry VIII wanted his marriage to Catherine to be annulled.

After the Pope refused, a chain of events began that resulted in England breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church, and Henry proclaiming himself the head of the Church in England.

Eventually, Henry’s marriage to Catherine was declared null and void by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, and Henry went on to formally marry Anne Boleyn in 1533.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Anne Boleyn was undoubtedly one of the most important women of Tudor England. Yet there are certainly many unanswered questions surrounding her tragic life. In a number of ways, Anne’s influence persisted even after her death. Her daughter, Elizabeth, for instance, eventually became Queen of England .

Less directly, stories were told about what happened to her heart, as well as an alternate version about the fate of her remains. While we may never know if Anne Boleyn’s heart was indeed brought to Erwarton and buried in its church, it is clear that our fascination with Anne has continued till this day.

Watch the video: Anne Boleyn is sent to the block by Henry VIII, 1536