It was a fresh Friday morning — the 19th day of May on the year 1536. A crowd, of more or less a thousand; composed of both commoners and aristocrats, gathered around a scaffold. On this sea of faces, plunged a woman wearing under her petticoat a loose gown of damask trimmed with ermine fur. Whispers began to circulate. The woman was followed by her attendants, all of them weeping while she remained calm and showed no fear at all. She went up the black-clad scaffold, delivered a speech then was blindfolded as she knelt. Her mouth utters the words, “To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesus receive my soul”, repeatedly. With her lips still in motion, the swordsman stroked his sword and in an instance, the woman was headless. The severed head was then raised by the executioner, holding it in the hair, not for the crowd to see it but for the head to see the crowd and its own body. Such was done at any execution in England during the Middle Ages. It was gruesome and unsightly to see yet also a great spectacle to witness for it was the first public execution of an English queen.
Her name was Anne Boleyn. She was the second wife if the Tudor King, Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. She was the key figure to the English Reformation and was famous for her death.
During our childhood, we read fictional tales about fairies, princes and princesses, Lively and colorful illustrations on story books fascinates us, making us wish ourselves to be on the book itself. We all believed and waited for happy endings, wherein all the bad guys lost and the good ones celebrate victory.
Anne’s life could either be a fairytale; where she, the evil queen, falls down; or a tragedy, wherein a great person like her was lead to destruction by fate. It depends on how you see her. Of course, people have their own opinions. Was she a sinner or a saint? Did she really loved the king or did she only wish for more power? Was she a traitor or was she betrayed? These questions may be answered but the answers will never be accurate. We can study about her but we will never learn the whole and absolute truth. She lived at least five centuries ago and has been dead for 476 years. We can’t simply interview Anne Boleyn, ask her about the controversies around her and certainly, she can’t defend herself from what is written in history.
What you are about to read is the story of Anne, not written nor told by herself but a product of thorough research. I’m not here to support on side of an argument but to simply give facts about the events of her life and unravel all possible reasons for her early and, as others say, unjust demise. Use these facts to form your own opinion for all has the right to choose and express their thoughts. The judgment lies on your hands but Anne Boleyn yearned for one thing shortly before her death — “And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best."
ANNE BOLEYN BIRTH CONTROVERSY
Anne Boleyn was quoted as the “Most Controversial Woman” of her time. And I wouldn’t wonder at all for even her birth date was a center of academic debates.
A mistress of King Louis XV of France insisted that there is only one rule in polite society that could never be broken—never ask a pretty woman her age. It may be rude but it is substantial to know when Anne was born. Why is it so? If she had lived in her 80s then her early rise would not have mattered so much and only had she been properly buried, then her birth date might have been recorded. Yet she died early and was laid in an unmarked grave. We must accurately date her birth because it might simply unravel the reasons for her execution.
There are many dates proposed by historians. An Italian, writing in 1600, suggested that she was born on 1499 while Sir Thomas More’s...