Catherine and Anne

Yet another one of those days where two events coincided, this time also in the same year.

On January 29th 1536 Catherine of Aragon was laid to rest in what is now known as Peterborough Abbey, at the time Catherine_of_Aragon_Portrait_at_Lambeth_PalacePeterborough Cathedral. To the very end of her life, Catherine refused to acknowledge anything else but that she was the rightful Queen of England, and she lived out the final years of her life in isolation and as an exile within the country, without even the possibility of ever seeing her daughter Mary. There are many who routinely refer to Henry as a cruel despot without putting events in their context, and while I normally find myself arguing against such casual judgement, I find the treatment of Catherine of Aragon to be one of his cruellest and most pointless acts.

Today, still, there are people putting down flowers at her grave.

Anneboleyn2This is also the day when Anne Boleyn lost a child, the son that most likely would have made her untouchable in the eyes of Henry. But instead this miscarriage was the beginning of her end.

Rumours were spread that the foetus was deformed, and from this accusations of witchcraft, incest with her brother George and extramarital with a number of men were derived. There are a number of theories of who was the instigator of Anne´s downfall, did Henry come to Thomas Cromwell and ask for an investigation of did Thomas Cromwell on his own launch and investigation and presented the evidence to Henry. The answer to this we will maybe never fully know, but while Henry wasn´t a monarch who took kindly to being told what to do, I personally am of the opinion that Thomas Cromwell both initiated the investigation and fabricated the evidence. Less than 5 months after her miscarriage, Anne was dead, beheaded by a French executioner at the Tower. She is now buried in the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula within the Tower precinct.

Sources: The Lady in the Tower, the downfall of Anne Boleyn – Alision Weir

The Six Wives of Henry VIII –  Alison Weir






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