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: