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Anne Boleyn Should be Pardoned

"Divorced, beheaded and died - Divorced, beheaded, survived."

By Rosie J. SargentPublished 11 months ago 5 min read
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An Illustration of Anne Boleyn's execution.

Hello, lovelies, fellow vocalists, and other misfits, weirdos and geeks out there! I hope we are all well and doing our best as always. This week, I wanted to write about the infamous Anne Boleyn on the 486th anniversary of her execution slash death (no pun intended). I think most of us are familiar with the story of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. After so many books and film adaptions, how could you not know who Anne Boleyn was?

When people ask me what was like to grow up in Britain, I am always taken back to my year four class, where I was first introduced to the Tudors. I was utterly captivated by the twisted tales of Henry VIII and his unfortunate six wives. At eight years old, I was exposed to a history where cutting off heads was just standard practice and this, well both shocked and yet fascinated me.

When I think back to this time in my childhood. I also reminisce over the wonderful children's historical comedy sketch show, Horrible Histories (HH). This show took you on a weird, strange, and hilarious journey (with a talking rat) through history. It was all the ridiculous, gross and random stuff you wouldn't necessarily learn in school. In one episode you can go from Vicious Vikings to Gorgeous Georgians, to then Vile Victorians and of course, Terrible Tudors.

HH had our teachers making us belt out songs about the Tudors before half-nine on a wet Tuesday morning. The song in question you ask?

"Divorced, beheaded and died -

Divorced, beheaded, survived.

I'm Henry VIII, I had six sorry wives

Some might say I ruined their lives!"

In my late teens, I visited the Tower of London and accidentally found myself in the gift shop. Whoops. Naturally, I glided over to the 'Tudor section', picking up puppet dolls that depicted the six wives of Henry VIII, where both Anne Boleyn and Katherines Howard's heads came off...

At first, I was assumed by the idea and thought it would make a brilliant historical gift. Yet at that moment, I considered for the first time in that how these women suffered unfortunate fates at the hands of a cruel crown. Ultimately, it was their love, or lack of that got them caught in conspiracies, courtly whispers and power struggles that eventually led to their deaths.

Boleyn along with her Brother George Boleyn, Mark Smeaton (a Swedish musician), Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brereton and even the King's own Groom of the Stool were found guilty of adultery. Boleyn was also accused and trailed for incest, witchcraft and high treason, all of which, she was found guilty of. I believe, as do many credible historians that Anne Boleyn was innocent of the crimes she supposedly committed.

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

"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 pray God to save the King … for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never."

Now it might just be me, but it doesn't really scream guilty. Does it? What drove me to write this piece, is that Anne is technically still guilty of her crimes because no one has ever pardoned her. There's even a rumour that Henry was going to pardon her, but of course, the pardon never came. Henry went off to play a game of tennis and married Jane Seymour eleven days later.

I think we can all agree when I say Henry VIII was a dick.

Imagine tearing up religious relations, throwing your country into political disarray all for a woman you supposedly loved only to condemn her to death and not even be present when she is killed? Twat.

Henry and Anne.

It is common knowledge Anne had a lot of enemies inside and outside of the Tudor court. Henry's decision to separate from Rome kicking off the Protestant Reformation alone made a lot of Catholic haters. Nevermind members of Henry's inner circle who clearly were intimidated by a passionate outspoken woman who knew her own mind. Thomas Cromwell, we are looking at you. Ah an educated woman with an opinion, she must be a witch!

Then there are claims that suggest members of her family had their hand in Anne's downfall too like her sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn, who ended up meeting her fate less than a decade later. In my eyes, it's bloody obvious that Anne was set up to fail, due to one small overlooked detail. Henry ordered the French executer before Anne's trial had even happened. She had no chance. Yep. He was definitely a dick.

Fast forward to 1876 plans to refurbish the St. Peters' Chapel at the Tower of London had the go-ahead. When the concrete slabs began to sink they knew they had to move the bodies carefully one by one. Anne as well as others including again her sister-in-law (also known as Lady Rochford), and Katherine Howard were buried in this chapel. When they eventually found Anne's body buried beneath another Lady might I add? It was noted she didn't have the sixth finger that George Wyatt had written in his sixteenth-century account. Also a dick.

The Tudors were known for producing royal propaganda. They did it with Richard III, so it's not shocking that Henry VIII would re-write history how he saw fit because anyone who disagrees or says otherwise is an enemy. These pathetic tyrannical attempts to rewrite history have failed the test of time. The truth always comes to light no matter if Shakespeare writes a play about it or even if it has been nearly 500 years.

Bones do not lie.

"For a brief five months over the winter of 1886-7, Anne Boleyn resided once more above ground, although not in the royal apartments as she once did, but still within the confines of the Tower, forever its prisoner."

Flowers were laid on the site of Anne Boleyn’s burial.

Even though Anne was re-buried and treated with great care, the conversation of posthumous pardon* didn't present itself. I think Anne Boleyn deserves a pardon which states on record she was innocent of her crimes and a victim of Henry VIII. Even though I think most people agree Anne was innocent it still isn't officially acknowledged by the crown, government or state.

Henry had over 72,000 people executed, he was a monster, and many suffered at the hands of this narcissitic paranoid king. Anne is one of the thousands. This is my opinion of course based on what historians have found and interpreted in addition to the numerous and never-ending documentaries out there surrounding the Boleyns.

What do you think?

_______________________________________________

*Posthumous pardoning is a form of symbolic redemption; a way of redeeming a dishonour that is carried over from one generation to another.

Don't forget to leave some love and subscribe and as always;

Stay safe, stay hopeful and stay blessed! :)

References:

https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/how-to-kill-a-queen-preparing-for-the-execution-of-anne-boleyn-in-may-1536/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTdTDCRKvvM

https://www.history.co.uk/articles/guily-or-innocent-the-crimes-of-anne-boleyn

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK464644/#:~:text=Posthumous%20pardoning%20is%20a%20form,emotionally%20affected%20by%20its%20decisions.

https://thetudortravelguide.com/2021/05/18/the-burial-of-anne-boleyn/

https://olivialongueville.com/2016/04/02/fatal-love-triangle-king-henry-viii-anne-boleyn-jane-seymour-part-1/

https://time.com/5739697/anne-boleyn-biography-women-history/

HumanityHistorical
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About the Creator

Rosie J. Sargent

Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.

Follow me on Twitter/X @rosiejsargent97

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Comments (4)

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  • J. S. Wade11 months ago

    Pardon!! Posthumously charge Henry VIII.

  • C. H. Richard11 months ago

    I always felt bad for Ann Boleyn. She should be pardoned and I only wish there was a way to connect charges to the that dick, King Henry the eighth. Well done ❤️

  • L.C. Schäfer11 months ago

    Man, such a dick. A bigger dick was there never 😑

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