Tag-Archive for » Execution «

Why was Anne Boleyn buried in an arrow chest?

Anne Boleyn's resting place

Anne Boleyn was executed on 19 May 1536. Although the executioner from Calais was ordered even before she was tried and found guilty, no one took care of a proper burial for Anne Boleyn. After she was decapitated with a French sword, her distressed ladies wrapped the late queen’s head and body into a cloth and buried her in an arrow chest within the walls of St. Peter Ad Vincula chapel.

But why was Anne Boleyn buried in an arrow chest?

During her time as Henry VIII fiancée, Anne Boleyn was showered with magnificent gifts. As Retha M. Warnicke wrote in her book:

“Throughout 1530 Henry continued to purchase gifts for her, often for her amusement, as, for example, a shaft, bows, arrows and a shooting glove in May. Archery was a sport she seems to have especially enjoyed, since additional bows were obtained for her. “(p. 96)

Henry VIII loved hunting and Anne Boleyn shared his passion. But Henry loved hunting also in a symbolic meaning – he loved to chase the ladies of the court. And he chased Anne Boleyn for almost a year before she finally surrendered, and agreed to become his wife. For the whole year the king was “stricken with the dart of love”.

Henry’s love for Anne Boleyn caused him many frustrations.  He was consumed with passion that was fuelled with Anne’s refusal.  He wanted her and no other woman. But she was playing him to her own advantage, or perhaps she hoped that the king will soon forget about her and find a new mistress. In any case, even when Anne withdrew herself from the court life, the king was eager to have her. In one of his letters he wrote:

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How the mighty had fallen: Jane Boleyn and her role in fall of Anne and George Boleyn

"The Tudors"

On this day in history 13 February 1542 Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, widow of George Boleyn and former sister-in-law of ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn, was executed along fifth wife of Henry VIII, teenage Catherine Howard.

Lady Rochford remains a mysterious and controversial historic figure. Through centuries she was perceived as a wicked wife who provided a false testimony against her husband and his sister. I must admit – Jane Boleyn is one of those historic characters that I feel especially drawn to. In today’s article I will take a closer look at Jane and her involvement in the Boleyn’s downfall.

My article is also a guest post on the blog On the Tudor Trail

 Who Jane Boleyn was?

She was born as Jane Parker, daughter of Henry Parker, 10th Baron Morley and Alice St John. Jane was related to King Henry VIII and therefore her family was politically active, respected and well-connected at the court. Jane’s date of birth remains unknown although the most probable date seems to be c. 1505.

Although no portrait of Jane survived, she was probably considered attractive in her times – she was chosen to play in prestigious “Château Vert” masque at Court in 1522, where also her future sisters-in-law (Anne and Mary Boleyn) played their parts. Jane played the role of Constancy, Anne Boleyn was Perseverance, Mary Boleyn was Kindness, and the King’s sister Mary Rose Tudor was Beauty.

Jane & the Boleyn family

The date of marriage between Jane Parker and George Boleyn is not recorded; according to Alison Weir they married ‘late in 1524’. They were both about the same age, young and attractive, members of prominent English families.

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