On this day 482 years ago Anne Boleyn was made to wait for her beheading. She believed her sentencing was to be on this day… Yet she was made to wait an extra 24 hours till it actually happened.
Queen Anne Boleyn had been set to die on 18th May 2018. Her scaffold her been built the entire night of the 17th and Anne was preparing herself for her death by praying constantly in her rooms with her ladies.
Thomas Cranmer was the only one to visit Anne’s rooms where he went to hear her final confession and have Mass with her. Sir William Kingston was present during her sacrament since he had been the main man sending daily information back to Cromwell on how she had been behaving while in the Tower. Anne spoke and swore of how she had never been unfaithful to her husband, the King, and she then proceeded to receive the body of Christ. This information during Anne’s sacrament was then passed back to Cromwell from Kingston but it changed absolutely nothing. Anne was guilty in the eyes of pretty much everyone around her. Her fate was sealed.
Anne’s execution was scheduled for 9:00am on the morning of the 18th, but when that time rolled around and nothing happened, Anne was told it had been postponed to 12pm. Calling upon Kingston to find out what was going on she said to him “I thought to be dead by this time, and past my pain”. Noon came around and nothing happened with this Kingston came to tell her that everything had been postponed and she was to die tomorrow instead. Anne was in some hope that she might actually be dispatched from the Tower immediately and set free, just shamed for everything she had been accused of instead.
However, when the morning of the 19th rolled round Anne was indeed to be executed. She wore a grey gown of damask with a red petticoat under it and her gown was trimmed with fur. On her final walk from the Queen’s House to her scaffold she has been described as having looked “as gay as if she was not going to die”. She made a 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”
She begged everyone within the crowd to forgive her and asked for their prayers. Anne also asked them to pray for her husband, the King, who she had had great kindness from. The execution consisted of one single stroke and she held herself in the French fashion while waiting to be executed, knelt down. Once dead, Anne’s body was buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St Peter and Vincula at the Tower.
With love, Charlotte x