“The Fall of Anne Boleyn Boleyn”
By G. W. Bernard
In this article G. W. Bernard talks about the reasons why Anne Boleyn was charged and convicted of adultery. The main reason presented is that King Henry VIII wanted to cast Anne Boleyn aside, in order to marry his latest mistress, Jane Seymour. G. W. Bernard argues that King Henry VIII was upset because Anne Boleyn had not produced a male child, and that King Henry VIII found Anne Boleyn’s abrasive character and pride intolerable. G. W. Bernard states that he believes these were the main reasons that King Henry VIII charged Anne Boleyn for Adultery. G. W. Bernard argues, however, that this interpretation does not fit the evidence of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII’s marriage. Their relationship, like most relationships, had its ups and downs, but up until around April 18, 1536 King Henry VIII still regarded Anne Boleyn as his wife and did not have any thoughts about discarding her. The first reason behind why King Henry VIII would have wanted to get rid of Anne Boleyn is that she miscarried in January of 1536, possibly giving birth to a deformed fetus. It is said that giving birth to a deformed fetus was evidence of witchcraft, and King Henry VIII might have thought Anne Boleyn was a witch if she had indeed given birth to a deformed fetus. G. W. Bernard argues, however, that if Anne Boleyn was indeed a witch, she would have used witchcraft to ensure a healthy fetus. Also, Anne Boleyn was never charged with witchcraft, and if King Henry VIII really thought her miscarriage was a result of witchcraft, he would have charged her with witchcraft instead of charging her for adultery. The second reason why King Henry VIII would have wanted to get rid of Anne Boleyn was that illicit sex acts were often blamed as the cause for giving birth to a deformed fetus. It is a reasonable claim that King Henry VIII may have seen the fetus as evidence of adultery, and therefore had charged Anne Boleyn with adultery. The third, and...
Cited: Bernard, G. W. “The Fall of Anne Boleyn.” English Historical Review. 106. 420 (1991): 584-610. Web. 26 Feb 2012.
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