Anne Boleyn in her own words

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Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn

The Letters
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn's letter to her father in 1514c. 1514 letter in (idiosyncratic) French by Anne Boleyn to her father.
Written while under the care of Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands.dictated by "Semmonet", a male tutor in Margaret of Austria's household

I understand by your letter that you wish that I shall be of all virtuous repute when I come to Court and you inform me that the Queen will take the trouble to converse with me, which rejoices me greatly to think of talking with a person so wise and virtuous. This will make me have greater desire to continue to speak French well and also spell, especially because you have so recommended me to do so, and with my own hand I inform you that I will observe it the best I can. Sir, I beg you to excuse me if my letter is badly written, for I assure you that the spelling is from my own understanding alone, whereas the others were only written by my hand, and Semmonet tells me the letter will wait unless I do it myself, for fear that it shall not be known unless I write to you, and I pray you that in the light of what you see you will not feel free to part from the will which you say you have to help me. For it seems that you are sure where you can, if you please, make me a declaration of your word and on my part be certain that there shall be neither [??] nor ingratitude which might check or efface my affection, which is determined to [?] as much unless it shall please you to order me, and I promise you that my love is based on such great firmness that it will grow less, and I will make an end to my [?] after having commended myself right and humbly to your good grace. Written at five o’clock by Your very humble and obedient daughter, Anna de Boullan

If Anne had been born in 1507, she would have been seven years old at the time she wrote this letter. She did not have the advantage of lined notebook paper, yet her handwriting is small and consistent, and her lines are remarkably evenly spaced. This is not an ability enjoyed by most, if any, 7 year olds. Therefore the conclusion is that Anne Boleyn was an adolescent at the time she wrote that letter in 1514, and therefore was born between 1499 and 1502.
<a class="external" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="See also Nell Gavin's website re: handwriting">See also Nell Gavin's website re: handwriting</a>
[thanks to VerelaiR for her image of the letter]
Letter from the Tower by Anne Boleyn

Written in 1528 to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

My lord, after my most humble recommendations this shall be to give unto your Grace, as I am most bound, my humble thanks for the great pain and trouble that your Grace doth take in studying by your mission and great diligence how to bring to pass honourably the greatest wish that is possible to come to any creature living, and in especial remembering how wretched and unworthy I am in comparing with his Highness. And for you I do wish myself never to have deserved by my destiny so that you should take this great pain for me, yet daily of your goodness I do perceive by all my friends and though that I had most knowledge by them the daily press of your deeds doth declare your words and writing told me to be true. Now, good my lord, your discretion may consider as yet how little it is in my power to recompense you but all only with my good will, the which I assure you that after this matter is brought to pass you shall find me, as I am bound in the meantime to owe you my service, and then look what thing in this world I can imagine to do you pleasure in; you shall find me the gladdest woman in the world to do it and next unto the king's grace of one thing I make you full promise to be assured to have it, and that is my hearty love unfeignedly during my life. And being fully determined with God's grace never to change this purpose, I make an end of this my rude1 and true unfeigned letter, praying our Lord to send you much increase of hour with long life. Written with the hand of her that beseeches your Grace to accept this letter as proceeding from one that is most bound to be
Your humble and obedient servant,
anne boleyn

Only one of Anne's love letters to King Henry VIII has survived. It is undated, but its contents place it in late summer/early autumn of 1526 :

Sire, It belongs only to the august mind of a great king, to whom Nature has given a heart full of generosity towards the sex, to repay by favors so extraordinary an artless and short conversation with a girl. Inexhaustible as is the treasury of your majesty's bounties, I pray you to consider that it cannot be sufficient to your generosity; for, if you recompense so slight a conversation by gifts so great, what will you be able to do for those who are ready to consecrate their entire obedience to your desires? How great soever may be the bounties I have received, the joy that I feel in being loved by a king whom I adore, and to whom I would with pleasure make a sacrifice of my heart, if fortune had rendered it worthy of being offered to him, will ever be infinitely greater. The warrant of maid of honor to the queen induces me to think that your majesty has some regard for me, since it gives me means of seeing you oftener, and of assuring you by my own lips (which I shall do on the first opportunity) that I am,

Your majesty's very obliged and very obedient servant, without any reserve,
Anne Bulen.

Letter to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
mid-summer 1528:

My lord,
In my most humble wise that my poor heart can think, I do thank your grace for your kind letter, and for your rich and goodly present, the which I shall never be able to deserve without your help, of which I have hitherto had so great plenty, that all the days of my life I am most bound of all creatures, next the king's grace, to love and serve your grace, of the which I beseech you never to doubt that ever I shall vary from this thought, as long as any breath is in my body. And as touching your grace's trouble with the sweat, I thank our Lord that them I desired and prayed for are escaped; and that is the king's grace and you, not doubting that God has preserved you both for great causes known alonely of His high wisdom. And as for the coming of the legate, I desire that much. And if it be God's pleasure, I pray him to send this matter shortly to a good end; and then I trust, my lord, to recompense part of your great pains. In the which I must require you, in the mean time, to accept my goodwill in the stead of the power; the which must proceed partly from you, as our Lord knoweth, whom I beseech to send you long life, with continuance in honor. Written by the hand of her that is most bound to be your humble and obedient servant,
Anne Boleyn.

Letter to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey1529:

My lord,
Though you are a man of great understanding, you cannot avoid being censured by every body for having drawn on yourself the hatred of a king who had raised you to the highest degree to which the greatest ambition of a man seeking his fortune can aspire. I cannot comprehend, and the king still less, how your reverent lordship, after having allured us by so many fine promises about divorce, can have repented of your purpose, and how you could have done what you have, in order to hinder the consummation of it. What, then, is your mode of proceeding? You quarreled with the queen to favor me at the time when I was less advanced in the king's good graces; and after having therein given me the strongest marks of your affection, your lordship abandons my interests to embrace those of the queen. I acknowledge that I have put much confidence in your professions and promises, in which I find myself deceived. But, for the future, I shall rely on nothing by the protection of Heaven and the love of my dear king, which alone will be able to set right again those plans which you have broken and spoiled, and to place me in that happy station which God wills, the king so much wishes, and which will be entirely to the advantage of the kingdom. The wrong you have done me has caused me much sorrow; but I feel infinitely more in seeing myself betrayed by a man who pretended to enter into my interests only to discover the secrets of my heart. I acknowledge that, believing you sincere, I have been too precipitate in my confidence; it is this which has induced, and still induces me, to keep more moderation in avenging myself, not being able to forget that I have been Your servant,
Anne Boleyn.
Letter to Sir Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex 1535

Master Secretary, I pray you despatch with speed this matter, for mine honor lies much on it, and what should the king's attorney do with Pointz's obligation, since I have the child by the king's grace's gift, but only to trouble him hereafter, which by no means I will suffer, and thus fare you as well as I would ye did.
Your loving mistress,
Anne the Queen.
Birth announcement 12 September 1533 dictated by Anne Boleyn - famous for the word Prince being changed to Princess

By the Queen
Right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. And where as it hath pleased the goodness of Almighty God, of his infinite mercy and grace, to send unto us at this time good speed in the deliverance and bringing forth of a princess, to the great joy, rejoice [sic] and inward comfort of my lord, us, and of all his good and loving subjects of this his realm. For the which, his inestimable benevolence so showed unto us, we have no little cause to give high thanks, land and praising unto our said Maker, like as we do most lowly, humbly and with all the inward desire of our heart. And inasmuch as we undoubtedly trust, that this our good speed is to your great pleasure, comfort and consolation. We therefore by this our letter advertise you thereof Desiring and heartily praying you to give with us unto Almighty God high thanks, glory, land and praising, and to pray for the good health, prosperity and continual preservation of the said princess accordingly. Given under our signet at my lords' Manor of Greenwich. The 12th day of September, in the 25th year of my said lord's Reign.

Anne's letter at the British Library

The original of this letter is lost and this letter is not in Anne's handwriting
but said to be a copy of a letter found in Thomas Cromwell's papers after his death. There is a debate over it's authenticity but if she had written a letter, it would undoubtedly have read exactly like this:

Your grace's displeasure and my imprisonment are things so strange to me, that what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas you send to me (willing me to confess a truth and so obtain your favor), by such a one, whom you know to be mine ancient professed enemy, I no sooner received this message by him, than I rightly conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, confessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all willingness and duty, perform your duty. But let not your grace ever imagine that your poor wife will be brought to acknowledge a fault, where not so much as a thought ever proceeded. And to speak a truth, never a prince had wife more loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in Anne Bulen - with which name and place I could willingly have contented myself, if God and your grace's pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation or received queenship, but that I always looked for such alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your grace's fancy, the least alteration was fit and sufficient (I knew) to draw that fancy to some other subject.

You have chosen me from low estate to be your queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire; if, then, you found me worthy of such honor, good your grace, let not any light fancy or bad counsel of my enemies withdraw your princely favor from me; neither let that stain - that unworthy stain - of a disloyal heart towards your good grace ever cast so foul a blot on me, and on the infant princess your daughter. Try me, good king, but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my sworn enemies sit as my accusers and as my judges; yea, let me receive an open trial, for my truth shall fear no open shame. Then you shall see either my innocency cleared, your suspicions and conscience satisfied, the ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared.

So that, whatever God and you may determine of, your grace may be freed from an open censure; and my offense being so lawfully proved, your grace may be at liberty, both before God and man, not only to execute worthy punishment on me as an unfaithful wife but to follow your affection already settled on that party for whose sake I am now as I am, whose name I could some while since have pointed unto - your grace being not ignorant of my suspicions therein. But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my death, but an infamous slander must bring your the joying of your desired happiness, then I desire of God that he will pardon your great sin herein, and likewise my enemies, the instruments thereof; and that he will not call you to a strait account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me at his general judgment-seat, where both you and myself must shortly appear; and in whose just judgment, I doubt not (whatsoever the world may think of me), mine innocency shall be openly known and sufficiently cleared. My last and only request shall be, that myself only bear the burden of your grace's displeasure, and that it may not touch the innocent souls of those poor gentlemen, whom, as I understand, are likewise in strait imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found favor in your sight - if ever the name of Anne Bulen have been pleasing in your ears - then let me obtain this request; and so I will leave to trouble your grace any further, with mine earnest prayer to the Trinity to have your grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your actions.

From my doleful prison in the Tower, the 6th May.