kajivar: (Tudor // Anne Boleyn)
kajivar ([personal profile] kajivar) wrote in [community profile] tudors2009-05-19 11:24 pm
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On this day in Tudor History...Anne Boleyn is executed

On the morning of Friday 19 May, 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed upon a scaffold erected on the north side of the White Tower, in front of what is now the Waterloo Barracks. She wore a red petticoat under a loose, dark grey gown of damask trimmed in fur and a mantle of ermine. Accompanied by two female attendants, Anne made her final walk from the Queen's House to Tower Green and she looked "as gay as if she was not going to die." 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.
She then knelt upright, in the French style of executions. Her final prayer consisted of her repeating, "To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesus receive my soul." Her ladies removed her headdress and necklaces, and then tied a blindfold over her eyes. The execution was swift and consisted of a single stroke. Thomas Cranmer, who was at Lambeth Palace, was reported to have broken down in tears after telling Alexander Ales: "She who has been the Queen of England on earth will today become a Queen in heaven." When the charges were first brought against Anne, Cranmer had expressed his astonishment to Henry and his belief that "she should not be culpable." Still, Cranmer felt vulnerable because of his closeness to the queen. On the night before the execution, he had declared Henry's marriage to Anne to have been void, like Catherine's before her. He made no serious attempt to save Anne's life. However, on the day of her death a Scottish friend found Cranmer weeping uncontrollably in his London gardens, saying that he was sure that Anne had now gone to Heaven.

Henry had failed to provide a proper coffin for Anne, and so her body and head were put into an arrow chest and buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Her skeleton was identified during renovations of the chapel in the reign of Queen Victoria, and Anne's resting place is now marked in the marble floor.

Source: Wikipedia

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