Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused is in 1536 Death of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn's Miscarriage.

Letters 1536. 11 Jun 1535. Add. MS. 28,588 f. 289. B. M. 1122. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.

On the first day of Whitsuntide the convocation of the Council at Mantua was promulgated.

Chapuys writes that "La Ana (age 34)" and her five lovers, one of them being her brother, were imprisoned in the Tower on May 2. They were beheaded on May 17, and she on the following Friday. The King has ordered Parliament to be summoned after Whitsuntide. It is hoped that many good things will be done. The Princess has been suffering in her head and molar teeth, but it is not of much consequence.

La Ana (age 34) was beheaded before many people. She took the Sacrament in prison before her execution, and complained that she had not been executed on Wednesday with her brother, saying that she hoped to have gone to Paradise with him, and that she died by the laws of the kingdom. Two of the five confessed their guilt. One, who was the principal gentleman of the King's chamber, said a great deal about the justice of his death, and that a favoured servant ought not to flatter his prince and consent to his desires as he had done. Rome, 11 June 1536.

Sp., pp. 3. Modern copy.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. R. O. 918. Antony Pykeryng to Lady Lisle (age 42).

I have delivered to William Colle 7½ oz. of gold and 2s. 6d. st. to pay for dyeing and dressing your kersey. The gold cost 5s. an oz.; you gave me 7½ cr., which is 37s. 6d., and owe me 2s. 6d. On the 17th instant Lord Rochford (age 33), Master Norys (age 54), Master Weston (age 25), Master Brwerton, and Markes (age 24) of the Privy Chamber were put to death on Tower Hill.

Letters 1536. 17 May 1536. 908. Today1 Rochford (age 33) has been beheaded before the Tower, and the four others above named, notwithstanding the intercession of the Bishop of Tarbes, the French ambassador resident, and the sieur de Tinteville, who arrived the day before yesterday, in behalf of one named Weston (age 25). The Concubine (age 35) saw them executed from the Tower, to aggravate her grief. Rochford (age 33) disclaimed all that he was charged with, confessing, however, that he had deserved death for having been so much contaminated and having contaminated others with these new sects, and he prayed everyone to abandon such heresies. The Concubine (age 35) will certainly be beheaded tomorrow, or on Friday at the latest, and I think the King feels the time long that it is not done already. The day before the putain's condemnation he sent for Mrs. Semel [Jane Seymour (age 27)] by the Grand Esquire and some others, and made her come within a mile of his lodging, where she is splendidly served by the King's cook and other officers. She is most richly dressed. One of her relations, who dined with her on the day of the said condemnation, told me that the King sent that morning to tell her that he would send her news at 3 o'clock of the condemnation of the putain (age 35), which he did by Mr. Briant, whom he sent in all haste. To judge by appearances, there is no doubt that he will take the said Semel [Jane Seymour (age 27)] to wife; and some think the agreements and promises are already made.

Note 1. This part of the letter was written on the 17th. See further on, at the beginning of the last paragraph.

Hall's Chronicle 1536. 17 May 1536. And all the gentlemen were beheaded on the scaffold at the Tower hyll.

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 30. 17 May 1536How the Duke, and Norris, and Brereton, and Mark were beheaded the next day1.

We have told how the old woman was ordered to be burned in the great courtyard of the Tower, and they made the Queen see it from an iron-barred window. She said, "Why do you grieve me so? I wish they would burn me with her." To which the keeper answered, "Madam, another death is reserved for you." I do not care for all the harm they can do me now," she said, "for they can never deny I was a crowned Queen, although I was a poor woman."

The next day they brought out the Duke and the others, and it was a surprising sight to see the great crowd there was. There came with the culprits over five hundred halberdiers, and when the Duke ascended, a gentleman said to him, "My lord Duke if you have anything to say, you can say it." Then the Duke turned to the people and said in the hearing of many, "I beg you pray to God for me; for by the trial I have to pass through I am blameless, and never even knew that my sister was bad. Guiltless as I am, I pray God to have mercy upon my soul." Then he lay upon the ground with his head on the block, the headsman gave three strokes, and so died this poor Duke.

Then Master Norris mounted, and made a great long prayer; and then, turning to the people, he said, "I do not think any gentleman at Court owes more to the King than I do, and none have been more ungrateful and regardless of it than I have. I deserve the death they condemn me to, and worse still, and so I pray to God for mercy on my soul, and acknowledge the justice of my sentence." Then he cast himself on the ground, and was beheaded. The next was Brereton, who said nothing but "I have offended God and the King; pray for me," and he was executed.

The last was Mark, and he cried in a loud voice that all could hear, "Oh, woe is me! Only four months ago I was a poor man, and my good fortune raised me to better things, and would have lifted me higher still, but for the devil's tempting, and my inability to resist the pride which has been my undoing. I thought treason would never come to light, but I confess now I erred, and do not deserve so honourable a death as that which the King has ordered me. I ask pardon of God and the King, for I have wronged him more than any other, and I beg you, gentlemen, to pray to God for me;" and then he threw himself down and was beheaded; but before he died he said, "Gentlemen, I ask pardon of Master Percy, for he would have been killed if I had not been arrested, as I had set men on to murder him;" and fortunately Master Percy was there, and answered, "God pardon thee, Mark, as I pardon thee2."

The good Wyatt was witnessing all this from a window of the Tower, and all the people thought that he also was to be brought out and executed; but Wyatt that night wrote a letter to the King, and sent it to him by a cousin of his, which letter was as follows.

Note 1. Sir Henry Norris, Lord Rochford, William Brereton, Mark Smeaton, and Sir Francis Weston were beheaded on 17th May, 1536. The Chronicle makes no mention of Sir Francis Weston.

Note 2. Lingard positively asserts that Smeaton was hanged, and not beheaded; but quotes at length the letter of a Portuguese gentleman, then resident in London, to a friend in Lisbon, in which the account given of the affair agrees with the present Chronicle.

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXIII. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Lord Cromwell (age 51), apparently May 18th 1536.

[MS. COTTON. OTHO c. x. foL 223. Orig.]

Syr thys shalbe to advertyse you I have resayved your Lett' wherin yo ...aa have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre and so thay be by the ... of Richard Gressum, & Will-m Loke, & Wythepoll, bot the umbrb of stra ... not xxx. and not mony; Hothe and the inbassit'of the emperor had a ... ther and honestly put yowt. Sr yf we have not anowrec serten ... d be knowen in London, I thynke hee wilbe bot few and I thynk ...f humburg ware bes: for I suppose she wyll declare hyr self to b ... h woman for all men bot for the Kyng at the or of hyr dei ... mornyngk she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at ... asshe reysayved the gud lord to the in tent I shuld here hy ... towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere & in the writy ... she sent for me, and at my commyng she sayd M. Kyngston I he ... l not dy affore none, & I am very sory ther fore; for I thowth ... be dede ... d past my payne. I told hyr it shuld be now payne it w ... m hard say the executr was very gud and I have a lyt ... rn hand abowt it lawyng hartely.

I have sen also wemen executed and atp they have bene in gre ... ige. Thys Lady hasse meche joy and plesur in dethe ... newaly with hyr and hasse bene syns ij of the co ... the effect of hony thyng that ys here at t ... well.

Your ....

Willm Ky

To Mastr. Secretory.

Note a. f. you would have. b. number. c. an hour. d. as it may be. L. Herb. e. here. f. a reasonable. g. L. Herb. h. be a. L. Herb. i. death. k. for this morning. L. Herb. l. I heard say I shall not. L. Herb. m. was so sotell. Herb. n. a lyttel neck and put her hand. Herb. p. that,

The names of those who were called Anne Boleyn's accusers have occurred in the preceding Letters.

The close of her catastrophe shall be detailed in the words of Burnet :

"A little before noon, being the 19th. of May, she was brought to the Scaffold, where she made a short speech to a great company that came to look on the last scene of this fatal Tragedy : the chief of whom were the Dukes of Suffolk (age 52) and Richmond (age 16), the Lord Chancellor, and Secretary Cromwell (age 51), with the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London. She said she was come to die, as she was judged by the Law ; she would accuse none, nor say any thing of the ground upon which she was judged. She prayed heartily for the King ; and called him a most merciful and gentle Prince, and that he had been always to her a good, gentle, sovereign lord : and if any would meddle with her cause, she required them to judge the best. And so she took her leave of them and of the world ; and heartily desired they would pray for her. After she had been some time in her devotions, being her last words 'to Christ I commend my Soul,' her head was cut off by the hangman of Calais, who was brought over as more expert at beheading than any in England : her eyes and lips were observed to move after her head was cut off, as Spelman writes ; but her body was thrown into a common chest of elm tree, that was made to put arrows in, and was buried in the chapel within the Tower [Map] before twelve o'clock.

"Her brother (deceased) with the other four did also suffer. None of them were quartered, but they were all beheaded, except Smeton, who was hanged. It was generally said, that he was corrupted into that confession, and had his life promised him ; but it was not fit to let him live to tell tales. Norris had been much in the King's favour, and an offer was made him of his life, if he would confess his guilt, and accuse the Queen. But he generously rejected that unhandsome proposition, and said that in his consciiaice he thought her innocent of these things laid to her charge ; but whether she was or not, he would not accuse her of any thing, and he would die a thousand times rather than ruin an innocent person."a

On the day of the execution, Henry the Eighth put on white for mourning, as though he would have said, "I am innocent of this deed:" and the next day was married to Jane Seymour (age 27).

The good Melanchton, whose visit to England was prevented by the afflicting news of the Queen's execution, has elegantly expressed his opinion of her innocence, in a letter to Joachim Camerarius, dated on the fifth of the ides of June 1536:

"Anglicas profectionis cura prorsus liberatus sum. Postquam enim tarn tragic! casus in Anglia acciderunt, magna consiliorum mutatio secuta est. Posterior Regina, Magis Accusata quam Convicta Adulterii, ultimo supplicio affecta est. Quam mirabiles sunt rerum vices, mi Joachime, quantam Dei iram omnibus hominibus denunciant, in quantas calamitates etiam ex summo fastigio potentissimi homines hoc tempore decidunt Haec cum cogito, etiam nobis aerumnas nostras et nostra pericula asquiore animo ferenda esse dispute."b

To some it has been a cause of surprize, that Anne Boleyn should have passed an encomium upon Henry the Eighth at her death. Indeed it is remarkable that at almost every execution hi that sanguinary period, the praise of the Sovereign was pronounced by those who fell upon the scaffold. It seems to have been so directed by the Government. Tyndale, from whose "Practice of Prelates" we have already made an extract respecting the disclosure of Confessions, has another passage upon this point, too important not to be given here:

"When any Great Man is put to death, how his Confessore entreateth him ; and what penance is enjoyned him concerning what he shall say when he cometh unto the place of execution. I coude gesse at a practyse that might make mennes eares glowe."e

In Anne Boleyn's case, however, it may be in part ascribed to anxiety for the safety of her daughter.

Anne Boleyn's execution was a fatal precedent for succeeding times. Henry having beheaded one Queen, proceeded fearlessly to the beheading of another. Elizabeth familiarized the application of the axe to royalty one step farther ; for she beheaded a foreign Queen who had taken shelter in her dominions. Half a Century later, and the people beheaded their Sovereign.

Note a. Burnet, Hist. Reform, vol. i. p. 205.

Note b. Melancht. Epist. 8 Lips. 1569.

Note c. Pract. of Prelates, 12" Marborch, 1530.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. 920. "The late Queen (age 35) suffered this day in the Tower, who died boldly; and also her brother (deceased), Mr. Noreys (deceased), Bruirton, Weston (deceased), and Markes (deceased) suffered the 17th day of this instant upon Tower Hill; all which died charitably. God take them to his mercy if it be his pleasure. Mr. Paige and young Wyat (age 15) are in the Tower. What shall become of them God best knoweth."

Spanish Chronicle Chapter 32. 19 May 1536. How Anne was beheaded, and what took place five days after the execution of the Duke and the others1.

The King ordered the Queen to be beheaded. He had sent a week before to St. Omer for a headsman who could cut off the head with sword instead of an axe, and nine days after they sent he arrived. The Queen was then told to confess, as she must die the next day, and she begged that she might be executed within the Tower, and that no foreigner should see her. So they erected the scaffold in the great courtyard of the Tower, and the next morning they brought her out. She would not confess, but showed a devilish spirit, and was as gay as if she was not going to die. When she arrived at the scaffold she was dressed in a night-robe of damask, with a red damask skirt, and a netted coif over her hair. This lady was very graceful, and had a long neck; and when she mounted the scaffold she saw on it many gentlemen, amongst them being the headsman, who was dressed like the rest, and not as executioner; and she looked around her on all sides to see the great number of people present, for although she was executed inside, there was a great crowd. They would not admit any foreigner, except one who had got in the night before, and who took good note of all that passed. And as the lady looked all round, she began to say these words, "Do not think, good people, that I am sorry to die, or that I have done anything to deserve this death. My fault has been my great pride, and the great crime I committed in getting the King to leave my mistress Queen Katherine for my sake, and I pray God to pardon me for it. I say to you all that everything they have accused me of is false, and the principal reason I am to die is Jane Seymour (age 27), as I was the cause of the ill that befell my mistress2."

The gentlemen would not let her say any more, and she asked which was the headsman. She was told that he would come presently, but that in the meanwhile it would be better for her to confess the truth and not be so obstinate, for she could not hope for pardon. She answered them, "I know I shall have no pardon, but they shall know no more from me." So seeing that she would not confess, the came and knelt before her, saying, "Madam, I crave your Majesty's pardon, for I am ordered to do this duty, and I beg you to kneel and say your prayers." So Anne knelt, but the poor lady only kept looking about her. The headsman, being still in front of her, said in French, "Madam, do not fear, I will wait till you tell me." Then she said, "You will have to take this coif off," and she pointed to it with her left hand. The sword was hidden under a heap of straw, and the man who was to give it to the headsman was told beforehand what to do; so, in order that she should not suspect, the headsman turned to the steps by which they had mounted, and called out, "Bring me the sword." The lady looked towards the steps to watch for the coming of the sword, still with her hand on her coif; and the headsman made a sign with his right hand for them to give him the sword, and then, without being noticed by the lady, he struck her head off on to the ground. And so ended this lady, who would never admit or confess the truth.

Her body was presently carried to the church within the Tower and buried, and a few days afterwards her father died of grief3 for the loss of her and the Duke. God pardon them!

Note 1. Anne was beheaded on the 19th of May, 1536.

Note 2. Constantyne, who was present, gives in his memoirs a report of Anne's speech not materially different from the above; but the Portuguese by Lingard, furnishes a much longer Constantyne says that Anne was dressed in black damask.

Note 3. He survived her more than two years.

Hall's Chronicle 1536. 19 May 1536. But the Queen (age 35) was with a sword beheaded within the Tower. And these following were the words that she spoke the day of her death which was the nineteenth day of May, 1536.

Good Christen people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the King and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and Sovereign Lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul. And then she kneeled down saying: To Christ I commend my soul, Jesu receive my soul diverse times, till that her head was stricken of with the sword. And on the Ascencion day following, the King wore white for mourning.

Calais in the Hands of the English. 19 May 1536. The nineteenth of May Queen Ann Boleyn (age 35) was behedyd in the Towre of London, by the hands of the hangman of Calais, withe the swerde of Calais.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. Having written the above the day before yesterday, thought it well to delay the despatch to inform the Emperor of the execution of the Concubine (age 35), which was done at 9 o'clock this morning within the Tower, in presence of the Chancellor, Cromwell, and others of the Council, and a great number of the King's subjects, but foreigners were not admitted. It is said that although the bodies and heads of those executed the day before yesterday have been buried, her head will be put upon the bridge, at least for some time. She confessed herself yesterday, and communicated, expecting to be executed, and no person ever showed greater willingness to die. She requested it of those who were to have charge of it, and when the command came to put off the execution till today she appeared very sorry, praying the Captain of the Tower that for the honor of God he would beg the King that, since she was in good state and disposed for death, she might be dispatched immediately. The lady who had charge of her has sent to tell me in great secresy that the Concubine, before and after receiving the sacrament, affirmed to her, on the damnation of her soul, that she had never been unfaithful to the King. London, 19 May 1536. Fr., from a modern copy, pp. 10. The original endorsed: A Lempereur —De lambassadeur en angleterre du xixe de May, receues a Asti le ve de Juing.

Letters 1536. [19] May [1536]. Otho, C. x. 223. B. M. Burnet, i. 327. Ellis, 1 Ser. ii. 64. 910. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Cromwell.

"Syr, thys shalbe to advertyse you I have reysayved your letter, wherin yo[u would] have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre, and so thay be by the [means] of Richard Gressum and William Loke and Wythepolle, bot the numbre of stra[ngers passed] not xxx., and not mony hothe (sic), and the imbassitor of the Emperor had a ser[vant] ther, and honestly put yowt. Sir, yf we have not anowre serten [as it may] be knowen in London, I thynke he (sic) wilbe bot few, and I thynke [a reasonable] humbure ware best, for I suppose she wylle declare hyr self to b[e a good] woman for alle men, bot for the Kynge, at the our of hyr de[ath, for this] mornynge she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at [such time] as she reysayved the gud Lord, to the intent I shuld here hy[r] s[peak as] towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere; and in the writ[ing of this] she sent for me. And at my comynge she sayd, 'Mr. Kyngston (age 60), I h[ear say I shall] not dy affore none, and I am very sory therfore, for I thowt[h to] be dede [by this time], and past my payne.' I told hyr it shuld be now payne, it [was so sotell. And then she said, 'I] heard say the executor was very gud, and I have a lyt[el neck,' and put he]r hand abowt it, lawynge hartely. I have sene [many men and a]lso wemen executed, and al thay have bene in gre[at sorrow, and to my knowle]ge thys lady hasse mech joy and plesure in dethe. Sir, [her almoner is contin]ewaly with hyr, and hasse bene syns ii. of the cl[ock after midnight. This is] the affecte of hony thynge that ys here at t[his time. And thus fare you] welle. Your Willm. Ky[ngston]." Hol. Add.: To Master Secretory.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. 919. The Queen (age 35) suffered with sword this day within the Tower, upon a new scaffold, and died boldly.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. The said Queen (unjustly called) finally was beheaded upon a scaffold within the Tower with open gates. She was brought by the captain upon the said scaffold, and four young ladies followed her. She looked frequently behind her, and when she got upon the scaffold was very much exhausted and amazed. She begged leave to speak to the people, promising to say nothing but what was good. The captain gave her leave, and she began to raise her eyes to Heaven, and cry mercy to God and to the King for the offence she had done, desiring the people always to pray to God for the King, for he was a good, gentle, gracious, and amiable prince. She was then stripped of her short mantle furred with ermines, and afterwards took off her hood, which was of English make, herself. A young lady presented her with a linen cap, with which she covered her hair, and she knelt down, fastening her clothes about her feet, and one of the said ladies bandaged her eyes.

Immediately the executioner did his office; and when her head was off it was taken by a young lady and covered with a white cloth. Afterwards the body was taken by the other ladies, and the whole carried into the church nearest to the Tower of London. It is said that she was condemned to be burned alive, but that the King commuted her sentence to decapitation. Thus, he who wrote this billet says that, according to old writings, he has seen the prophecy of Marlin fulfilled.

Sp., from a modern copy, pp. 2.

Ib. 2. French translation of the preceding, pp. 2 (modern copy).

A copy of this will be found in the Rymer Transcripts in the Record Office (145, No. 7); and the part relating to Anne Boleyn's execution has been printed by, Gachard in his "Analectes Historiques," I., 17, note. An English translation of the whole, except the heading, will be found in Froude's "The Pilgrim," 116.

Note 1. The date is wrong. Anne Boleyn was executed on the 19th, the others on the 17th.

On 19 May 1536 Queen Anne Boleyn of England (age 35) was beheaded at Tower Green, Tower of London [Map]. Unusually a sword was used. Her execution was witnessed by Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (age 52), Catherine Carey (age 12) and Henry Fitzroy 1st Duke Richmond and Somerset (age 16). Marquess Pembroke extinct.

She was buried at St Peter ad Vincula Church, Tower of London [Map]. There is myth that her corpse was subsequently removed for burial at the Boleyn family church Church of St Peter and St Paul, Salle [Map].

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. 918. Today the Queen (age 35) was put to death within the Tower in the presence of a thousand people. London, 19 May.

Letters 1536. 19 May 1536. Vienna Archives. 911. Anne Boleyn (age 35), Rochford (deceased), &c.

"Execution criminal hecha en Inglatierra el 16 de Mayo 15361."

The count (Viscount) Rochefort (deceased), brother of the Queen (unjustly so called) Anne Boleyn, was beheaded with an axe upon a scaffold before the Tower of London. He made a very catholic address to the people, saying he had not come thither to preach, but to serve as a mirror and example, acknowledging his sins against God and the King, and declaring he need not recite the causes why he was condemned, as it could give no pleasure to hear them. He first desired mercy and pardon of God, and afterwards of the King and all others whom he might have offended, and hoped that men would not follow the vanities of the world and the flatteries of the Court, which had brought him to that shameful end. He said if he had followed the teachings of the Gospel, which he had often read, he would not have fallen into this danger, for a good doer was far better than a good reader. In the end, he pardoned those who had condemned him to death, and asked the people to pray for his soul. After him Norris (deceased) was beheaded, then Weston (deceased) and Brereton, and Marc (deceased), the player on the spinnet, who said scarcely anything except to cry mercy of God and the King, and beg people to pray for their souls. Brereton and Marc (deceased) were afterwards quartered.

Letters 1536. 24 May 1536. Add. MS. 8,715, f. 252. B. M. 956. Bishop of Faenza (age 36) to Mons. Ambrogio.

According to information from England, received by the King yesterday, on the 15th inst. the Queen (deceased) was degraded, and the following day was to be executed,—either burnt or beheaded; but first her brother (deceased), four gentlemen, and an organist (deceased), with whom she had misconducted herself, were to be quartered in her presence. It is not true that her father (age 59) and mother were imprisoned, but the former (age 59), being on the Council, was present at his daughter's (deceased) sentence. All was done in the presence of the French ambassador only. It is said that the King has been in danger of being poisoned by that lady (deceased) for a whole year, and that her daughter (age 2) is supposititious, being the child of a countryman (villano); but these particulars are not known for certain, according to what the King said today. The discovery was owing to words spoken by the organist (deceased) from jealousy of others. They are expecting now the declaration of the true daughter to reinstate her and annul what was done in favor of the other. Has not omitted to show what may be done on this occasion for the honor of God, &c. The French king answered that he ardently desired to bring back Henry to the Church, and that he would not fail in endeavouring to do so. He knows that the Imperialists have offered the king of England the queen of Hungary as a wife, but it is thought he will not take her, as she is in bad health, and not fit to bear children. He has today sent a person to his Ambassador about these affairs. He thinks it would be easy to bring back the King if it were not for his avarice, which is increased by the profit he draws from Church goods. The English ambassadors here are in very great joy. Knowing that one of them was a good man, and a friend of his, caused the opportunity and advantage of the King's coming back to the Pope to be shown to him; and that he should be neutral, and give the Emperor and (French) king to understand that he would oppose whoever refused peace; that there was not a better opportunity of wiping out the stains on his character, and making himself the most glorious King in the world; that every one should do his duty, and they would find in the Pope that true piety and goodness which ought now to be known to all the world. The Ambassador, and Winchester also, who is the other, thanked him, saying, with many tears, that this was their only desire, and they would do their part, so that they hoped we should soon embrace each other.

Ital., modern copy, pp. 6. Headed: Al Signor Protonotario Ambrogio, Da Lione, li 24 Maggio 1536.

Letters 1536. 25 May [1536]. R. T. 145, No. 8. Gachard's Analectes Historiques, 1 S. 17. 965. Mary of Hungary to Ferdinand King of the Romans.

I hope the English will not do much against us now, as we are free from his lady (deceased), who was a good Frenchwoman. That the vengeance might be executed by the Emperor's subjects, he sent for the executioner of St. Omer, as there were none in England good enough.

Letters 1536. 26 May 1536. Add. MS. 28,588, f. 281. B. M. 973. [Hannaert] to Charles V.

There is news from England that the so-called Queen (deceased) was found in bed with her organist (deceased), and taken to prison. It is proved that she had criminal intercourse (hazia el maleficio a si mismo) with her brother (deceased) and others, and that the daughter (age 2) supposed to be hers was taken from a poor man. The English ambassador says that she and her brother are condemned to be burnt, and a valet (camarero) of the King's, who was very intimate with him, and three others, to be beheaded, for conspiring the death of the King. The King has sent for the Princess, made much of her, and given her many jewels belonging to the unjust Queen. De Leon Solarrona (Lyon sur le Rhone), 26 May 1536.

Sp., pp. 5. Modern copy.

Letters 1536. 01 Jun 1536. Corpus Reform. iv., 1036. 1035. Melancthon to Wolfgang Bock.

Has not a copy of Bucer's opinion, and it is not fit that it should be published yet, as nothing is yet settled about agreement. The matter is to be referred to more on both sides. He may tell the Prince that there is good hope of concord, and that Bucer declared the same opinion that he had previously written to the people of Munster (Monasterienses), and which some people in Silesia have followed. Thinks the word of revocation should be avoided; there are many serious things. Does not wish him to disturb lightly the Prince's mind. Hopes the Prince will be pleased with Bucer's declaration. The last queen of England (deceased) has been beheaded in May for adultery, with others. Lat.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1536. Allso the 17th day of May, beinge Weddensday, the Lord of Rochforde, Mr. Norys, Mr. Bruton, Sir Francis Weston, and Markys, were all beheaded [Note. Smeaton was hanged] at the Tower-hill [Map]; and the Lord of Rocheforde, brother to Queene Anne, sayde these wordes followinge on the scaffolde to the people with a lowde voyce: Maisters all, I am come hither not to preach and make a sermon, but to dye, as the lawe hath fownde me, and to the lawe I submitt me, desiringe you all, and speciallie you my maisters of the Courte, that you will trust on God speciallie, and not on the vanities of the worlde, for if I had so done, I thincke I had bene alyve as yee be now; allso I desire you to helpe to the settinge forthe of the true worde of God; and whereas I am sclaundered by it, I have bene diligent to reade it and set it furth trulye; but if I had bene as diligent to observe it, and done and lyved thereafter, as I was to read it and sett it forthe, I had not come hereto, wherefore I beseche you all to be workers and lyve thereafter, and not to reade it and lyve not there after. As for myne offences, it can not prevayle you to heare them that I dye here for, but I beseche God that I may be an example to you all, and that all you may be wayre by me, and hartelye I require you all to pray for me, and to forgive me if I have offended you, and I forgive you all, and God save the Kinge. Their bodies with their heades were buried within the Tower of London [Map]; the Lord of Rochfordes bodie and head within the chappell of the Tower [Map], Mr. Weston and Norys in the church yeard of the same [Map] in one grave, Mr. Bruton and Markes in another grave in the same churche yerde within the Tower of London.

Archaeologia Volume 23 Section V. Deane. But what can ye tell of Brerton?

George. By my troeth, yf any of them was innocent, it was he. For other he was innocente or els he dyed worst of them all.

Deane. How so?

George. Apon thursdaye afore Maye daye in the mornynge I spake with hym abowt nyne of the clocke, And he tolde me that there was no waye but one with any matter. For I did aske hym & was bold apon hym because we were borne within foure myles together, And also we wente to grammar scole together. And the same daye afore ij of the clock was he in the towre as ferre as the best. What was layed against hym I know not nor never hearde. But at his deeth these were his wordes: I haue deserved to dye if it were a thousande deethes, But the cause wherfore I dye judge not: But yf ye judge, judge the best. This he spake iij or foure tymes. If he were gyltie, I saye therfore that he dyed worst of them all.

Letters 1536. 2 June. Add. MS. 28,588, f. 286. B.M. 1044. [Hannart] to the Empress.

Wrote last on the 27th ult. * * * Supposes the Empress has heard how Ana de Bolan has been sent to the Tower with her brother "el conde de Sefort" (Rochford), and three other gentlemen of the King's chamber, named Norris, Wasten, and Brecton, and an organist. On the 16th they were publicly beheaded for adultery with the Queen and conspiracy against the King. The Queen's head and body were taken to a church in the Tower, accompanied by four ladies. The other bodies were quartered. It is now said that her pretended daughter was taken from poor parents.

The king of Scotland seems to be putting off his marriage with the daughter of the duke of Vendome. De Leon Solarrona (Lyons), 2 June 1536.

Sp., pp. 5. Modern copy.

Letters 1536. 19 May. R. O. 919. John Husee to Lord Lisle.

I have received your letter with the spurs. With all my efforts I have been unable to come to the King's presence. "His Grace came not abroad except it were in the garden, and in his boat at night (at which times it may become no man to prevent him), this 14 days." But now that these matters of execution are past I hope soon to speak with him and deliver your spuis. Lord Rocheford, Mr. Norrys, Bruriton, Weston, and Markes suffered with the axe on the scaffold at Tower Hill on Wednesday the 17th, and died very charitably.