Historical Timeline of Anne BoleynThis is a featured page

Historical Timeline of
aka Anna Boulan & Nan Bullen
Anne Boleyn
aged approx 24 - 29
copy of a contemporary portrait
c. 1520's
Henry VIII
aged about 44 yrs
c. 1535

c. 1501 Born either at Blickling Hall or Hever Castle in Kent

[NB. Earlier historians considered 1507 to be the accepted date but in 1981, the art historian Hugh Paget successfully demonstrated that a letter Anne had written in 1513 from Brussels when she was a maid of honour in that court, a position which was only open to a 12 or 13 yr old was not the hand of a 6 yr old. [Ives - Life & Death of Anne Boleyn]
1513 Sent to the Burgundian court of Margaret of Austria, in Mechelen, in 1513 (Belgium) & stayed there until late 1514, when she was transferred to France upon the marriage of Mary Tudor to Louis XII.
1515 - 1520 Anne remained in the service of Queen Claude, wife of Francis I, and was befriended/influenced by the brilliant and influential Marguerite d'Alençon, Duchess of Angoulême and the sister of Francis I.


1519Mary Boleyn returns to England and is appointed Maid of Honour to Queen Katherine of Aragon


1520 February 4 - Her sister, Mary Boleyn marries William Carey. King Henry VIII attends the wedding.

June 7 - 24 - Anne is present at the Field of Cloth of Gold summit in France


1521 Arranged marriage of Anne to a distant cousin James Butler, heir to Ormonde (Irish) title is proposed.

In November Anne is recalled to England (aged 20) however, the alliance to Ormonde is dropped without reason.

Sometime this year Anne's sister Mary Boleyn becomes Henry's mistress; shortly after Mary's marriage to William Carey, lasting a few years at the most.


15222nd March - the Shrovetide joust had the theme of unrequited love and Henry VIII rode out on a horse decorated with a wounded heart and wearing the motto “elle mon coeur a navera”, meaning “she has wounded my heart”. This was thought to refer to Mary Boleyn, Anne's sister

March - Anne debuts in court at a masquerade known as "Chateau Vert" as 'Perseverance' while her sister Mary Boleyn plays 'Kindness', the king's sister Mary is 'Beauty' and Jane Parker who will eventually marry Anne's brother George is 'Constancy'

Henry prompted by doubts raised by his confessor, John Longland, Bishop of Lincoln, starts questioning the validity of his marriage to Queen Katherine of Aragon


1523 Spring - Secret Betrothal between Anne and Henry Percy son of the 5th Duke of Northumberland (reputed to be a love match); an extremely ambitious match.


1524 January - Cardinal Thomas Wolsey breaks the betrothal, Anne was sent back home to Hever Castle ("so furious she smoked" - Cavendish)

September - Percy is married to Lady Mary Talbot, to whom he had been betrothed since adolescence (1516). The marriage was disastrous.

Mary Boleyn gives birth to a daughter, named Catherine

Doctors are brought from Spain to help the 39 year old Queen Katherine of Aragon conceive but it becomes obvious she can no longer fall pregnant probably due to the onset of menopause.
Henry ceased to visit Queen Katherine's bed after approximately 15 yrs of marriage.


1525 Anne returns to court.

February 24 - The Battle of Pavia The Habsburg army defeats the French and King Francis I is captured by Charles V & forced to sign the Treaty of Madrid

June 18 - Thomas Boleyn achieved his peerage; created Viscount Rochford

Summer - Henry starts to build up his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy as an alternative heir. The Venetian Ambassador reports that Katherine is deeply offended and 3 of her ladies are dismissed from court for supporting her.

August - 9 year old Princess Mary Tudor is sent to Ludlow to establish her own court.


1526 February/March - Henry begins courtly pursuit of Anne

March 4 - Mary Boleyn gives birth to a son named Henry Carey

July 26 - Charles V marries Isabella of Portugal, spurning Princess Mary Tudor and Henry takes out his anger on Katherine

Autumn - Henry sends the first of a series of love letters to Anne

c. October - There is friction between Henry and Thomas Wyatt over Anne

December - Katherine becoming isolated at court


1527Early part of this year - Anne spent an extended period of time at Hever Castle. Her absence had caused Henry ‘greater heart-ache than the Angel [Gabriel] or Scripture could express’ (Starkey)

Easter - Henry asked Anne to be his mistress (maitresse en titre). She refused saying she would only surrender her virginity to the man she married. She had kept her distance for more than a year. (She is 25 & Henry is 35)

April 30 -Treaty of Westminster. Cardinal Wolsey signs an alliance between England and France against Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire

April - Henry consults his advisers about annulling his marriage to Katherine

May 5 - one of the ‘grandest and most lavish events of Henry’s reign’, A reception given for the French ambassadors at Greenwich. De Turenne, the principal French ambassador was commanded to dance with the 11 year old Princess Mary and the King danced with Anne. This was Anne Boleyn's first public appearance with Henry.

May 6 - German and Spanish troops under Emperor Charles V sack Rome, Pope Clement VII is taken prisoner

May 17 - Preliminary annulment hearing of Henry and Katherine's marriage held in secret

May 19 - Henry Percy succeeds his father and becomes 6th Earl of Northumberland

June 22 - Henry tells Katherine that they must separate because they have been living in sin. He asks her to co-operate & to choose a house to retire to until the matter is resolved.

June /July - Anne sends Henry a trinket - a ship with a lone woman on board & a diamond pendant signifying her surrender to the King.

July 22 - Cardinal Thomas Wolsey left for France knowing of Henry's plan to reject Katherine but unaware of any serious liaison with Anne

August 27 - Henry applied to the Pope for the dispensation to marry again but Anne is not mentioned by name.

August - Henry sends Anne an emerald ring, the first in a torrent of expensive gifts of jewellery (rings, bracelets, brooches, diamonds for a head-dress etc) indicating Henry and Anne had an understanding - they were betrothed.

December 1527 - October 1528 - Henry sends another series of letters to Anne - in total 17 letters (which she kept & are now in the possession of the Vatican; unclear how they arrived there)


1528January 22 - Henry VIII and Francis I of France declare war on Emperor Charles V

February 28 - The Venetian ambassador first becomes aware of Anne

February - Henry orders Stephen Gardiner and Edward Foxe to stop off at Hever Castle to report on their embassy to Anne. Their mission, to gain an audience with Pope Clement VII and be granted a decretal commission allowing the annulment case between Henry and Katherine to be settled on English soil, by Cardinal Wolsey and a representative of the Pope, without the ability to appeal to Rome.

February/ early March - Anne leaves Hever where she had spent the entire exceptionally harsh winter to rejoin Henry at Windsor Castle. Henry and Anne are recorded picnicking in Windsor Great Park during their stay at the Castle.

March 3 - Anne entertains Thomas Heneage at Windsor.

June - Unrest in England caused by economic difficulties due to the war forces the government to seek a truce with the Empire

June/July - Major outbreak of the sweating sickness in London

June 23 - One of Anne's ladies is stricken by the 'sweating sickness' & Anne is quarantined at Hever Castle but survives a bout with the illness and is back at court a month later

June 23 - William Carey, husband of Mary Boleyn died of the sweating sickness

Summer - There is public support for Katherine of Aragon and the people shout "Victory over your enemies" when she is in public

Autumn - Cardinal Campeggio arrives from Rome and stalls as much as possible.

September - Anne retires to Hever Castle

October 24 - Campeggio, the Pope's emissary meets with Katherine of Aragon and advises her to enter a convent & retire gracefully.She refuses.

Late October - Katherine receives a letter telling her that by riding out & attracting the cheers of the people, she was inciting rebellion. The council also tells her that if she continues to work against the King in this way she will be completely separated from both the City & Princess Mary.

November - Henry visits Anne at Hever Castle. There is also a serious rift between Anne & Wolsey at this time.

Sometime this year - Anne acquires a copy of “The Obedience of the Christian Man and How Christian Rulers Ought to Govern” published by William Tyndale which she shows to Henry. This book stated that rulers were accountable to God alone, not the Pope.


1529May 31 - Legat proceedings begin

June 21 - Katherine confronts Henry with an impassioned speech at the Blackfriars hearing

July 31 - Campeggio called a summer recess of the hearing

August 3 - Treaty of Cambrai signed and Charles V and Francis I make peace, leaving Henry to face Katherine's nephew unsupported

August - Sir Thomas More, on the continent, helps negotiate a general peace between all the major players in Europe.

October 9 - Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is charged with praemunire (being an agent of a foreign power ie. the Pope)

October 17 - Henry VIII strips Cardinal Wolsey of his titles of office. This was due to his failure to secure an annulment of his marriage to Katherine from the Pope.

October - Thomas Cranmer meets with Henry at Greenwich who engages him to write a thesis regarding "the Great Matter"

October 26 - Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor of England to replace Cardinal Wolsey

November - Henry became concerned about the popular support of Katherine and called a meeting of leading citizens in London where he stated what a good wife she was but received a poor reception to his speech.

November 30 - Henry dined with Katherine who poured scorn on him and he walked out in a huff

December 8 - Anne's father Sir Thomas Boleyn created Earl of Wiltshire

December 9 - Du Bellay, the french ambassador reported that Anne was back at court and lodged near the king

Christmas - Henry celebrates with Katherine of Aragon in an attempt to get her to acquiesce which ends in anger. (Anne was not present)


1530From The New Year, Henry spends more time with Anne than Katherine

January 26 - Thomas Boleyn becomes Keeper of the Privy Seal

January - Cranmer is sent to solicit views of the Italian universities and in the company of Anne's father Thomas Boleyn is sent to argue Henry's case, this time to Charles V and Pope Clement VII

January - Wolsey fell ill

Henry Percy was separated from his wife, Mary Talbot. She charged him with being neglectful.

May - Chapuys reported a rumour that Charles Brandon was banned from court after he rakes up a story of Wyatt and Anne in an effort to convince the king that she was a woman with a past

Summer - Henry reminds Anne of how much she owes him and how many enemies she had made him. Her reply: 'That matters not, for it is foretold in ancient prophecies that at this time a queen shall be burned. But even if I were to suffer a thousand deaths, my love for you will not abate one jot'

June 30 - Henry VIII convenes a meeting of lords and prelates to sign a letter to Pope Clement asking that he grant the king's request for an annulment of his marriage. Sir Thomas More does not sign the document.

September - King Henry VIII issues a proclamation preventing enforcement of any papal bull inconsistent with his own view concerning the unlawfulness of his present marriage. Sir Thomas More openly expresses his disagreement with Henry's action, believing it to be a direct attack on the authority of Rome.

November 29 - Wolsey died after being arrested for plotting (along with Katherine of Aragon & the Pope) to force Anne into exile.

Christmas - Anne has the livery coats of her servants embroidered with the motto "Ainsi sera, groigne qui groinge" (Let them grumble, that is how it is going to be) but has it removed a few weeks later


1531February - Parliament first recognises King Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England

Early this year - An angry King Henry VIII summons the clergy to Westminster, where he demands reimbursement for the costs of sending a delegation to Rome after it failed to achieve its goal of securing an annulment of his marriage. Henry also demands that he be recognized as the "sole protector and supreme head of the English Church and clergy." In the Parliament, John Fisher, the Bishop of Rochester, expresses strong disagreement with giving this new title to Henry.

March - Sir Thomas More tells the House of Lords that King Henry VIII is seeking annulment of his marriage not "out of love for some lady," but for reasons of conscience.

April - Henry and Anne fall out over Princess Mary and Henry complains to Norfolk about her attitude saying that Katherine had never spoken to him like that.

Spring - Duke of Suffolk openly espouses a pro-Imperial policy and in the summer he tells the King that he is the 3rd person Katherine would obey. When Henry asks who the first two were and expected the reply to be "the Pope" and "the Emperor", the duke answered that God was first and her conscience was the second.

May 3 - Katherine suggests that Mary should pay them a visit. Henry replies that Katherine can visit her if she wants to.

May 31 - a delegation of some 30 nobles, courtiers and clerics visit Katherine at Greenwich and ask her for the sake of the country and to save Henry's dignity to consent to settle the case. Katherine was impervious and they leave empty handed.

June - Henry appeases Katherine by allowing her to see Mary

June 13 - Henry officially separates from Katherine of Aragon & never sees her again. She is banished from court.

Christmas - Anne occupies the consort's lodgings but due to the increasing polarization of opinion, finds herself somewhat isolated. Henry returns Katherine's Christmas gift saying that they are no longer man & wife it is not proper for them to exchange gifts


1532January - Princess Mary visits her mother Katherine of Aragon

March - Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex acting on behalf of the king, moves to limit the authority of the Church (and Sir Thomas More) to punish heretics.

Early May - Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex prepares a bill to transfer powers of the Church to Parliament. Cromwell also asks that the bishops be denied their longstanding authority to arrest heretics--an action that Sir Thomas More cannot stomach.

May - with Cromwell now the key man in government , Anne's father as Lord Privy Seal and her brother one of the two noblemen of the Privy Chamber, the tide is turning in Anne's favour

May 15 - In accord with king's demands, the clergy submits, thus accepting that all ecclesiastical law required royal consent. The submission effectively makes King Henry VIII the head of the Church of England.

May 16 - Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor

June - Mary Talbot sought an annulment from Henry Percy, on the grounds that her husband had a precontract with Anne Boleyn

July - Henry Percy is interrogated and he swears under oath that there was no pre-contract. They remain married

August - Maria de Salinas, Lady Willoughby is ordered to leave Katherine of Aragon's & she is told not to make any attempt to communicate with her.

September 13 - Katherine is moved to Enfield

September - Anne was created 1st Marquess of Pembroke at Windsor

Late October - Anne begins living openly with Henry at Greenwich

October/November - Anne accompanies Henry on a state trip to Calais to meet with Francis I

November 14 - This date may have been a formal commitment by Henry & Anne or a first wedding date as affirmed by certain supporters and opponents of the couple at the time. (Elizabeth always believed her parents were married before she was conceived)

November 15 - Pope Clement VII threatens King Henry VIII with excommunication if he does not leave Anne and return to his lawful wife Katherine


1533 January 25 - secret wedding to Henry (aged 32 + Henry is 42)

February - Henry orders Katherine to move to Ampthill which was some distance from London. She writes letters to both the Pope and Charles saying that she wanted no bloodshed and would not sanction any invasion of England on her behalf.

March 26 - Anne's first public appearance as Queen Consort at High mass for Paschaltide. Her first public words as Queen of England, after the blessing; "Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen."(translated into modern english - 'As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.')

March 30 - Thomas Cranmer is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

April 1 - Convocation declared by 14 votes to 7 that if Ktherine's first marriage had been consummated, then her marriage to Henry was against God's law and as such invalid.

April 5 - Convocation ruled that the Pope did not have the authority to issue a bull setting aside the ruling in Leviticus that no man shall marry his brother's wife. The ruling was opposed by Bishop John Fisher.

April 9 - Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk were sent to Ampthill to tell Katherine that Henry and Anne were married. She was told that as she was now no longer queen she must use the title Princess dowager of Wales. She was allowed to keep her property but her servants and household expenses would now be her responsibility. She was also told that if she submitted to the King's will she would be generously provided for.

May 13 - Thomas Cranmer pronounced judgement on Henry's marriage to Katherine as being invalid. He declared the marriage null and void on the grounds that it was contrary to divine law.

May 28 - Anne's and Henry's marriage is validated by Thomas Cranmer (She is approx 5 months pregnant)

June 1 - Anne is crowned

June - Katherine of Aragon has her entourage put into new liveries embroidered with H & K to celebrate their marriage of 24 years.

June 8 - Parliament extinguishes Papal authority in England

June 25 - Mary Tudor, younger sister of Henry VIII, dies at Westhorpe, Suffolk.

July 3 - Katherine is visited by a deputation of Councillors led by Lord Mountjoy. She is told that if she would submit to the King's wishes he would provide her with a handsome estate but that if she persisted in her obstinacy things would go badly for her daughter and servants.

July 10 - It is reported that Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and George Boleyn, caught up with the French court. While they were there both Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond became violently sick, at the same time. Richmond was so ill, that for a while, it was feared he might die. Later, George Boleyn's wife, Jane Boleyn would claim that Anne and her brother had tried to poison the Duke of Richmond and Princess Mary Tudor.

July 11 - Henry and his advisers, including Thomas Cranmer were excommunicated by the Pope

Summer - Thomas Cromwell begins an investigation into the activities of Sir Thomas More

Late July - Henry is furious with Katherine's continual obstinacy and orders her to move to the Bishop of Lincoln's Palace at Buckden in Huntingdonshire

September 7 - Sunday, between 3:00pm and 4:00pm
Daughter, Princess Elizabeth Tudor is born at Greenwich

November 25 - Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII's illegitimate son, marries Mary Howard (daughter of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk)Anne Boleyn is said to have worked for this pairing

December 1 - Anne nearly caused an international incident at a banquet by bursting into laughter when she was talking to the French ambassador Admiral Chabot Offended, he had asked,'How now, Madam! Are you amusing yourself at my expense or what?' Trying to mollify him, Anne explained that Henry had gone to bring another guest for her to entertain, and an important one, but on the way he had met a lady and the errand had gone completely out of his head.

Early December - Katherine writes to Henry asking if she might be allowed to move to a healthier house. Henry replies that she could move to Fotheringay Castle if she chose. Knowing it to be worse than Buckden, she declines.

December/January 1534 - Anne announces she is pregnant for the 2nd time


1534New year - Jane Seymour may have left court when Katherine of Aragon's household was reduced in the summer of 1533 however documents show she was back in Anne Boleyn's entourage and received a gift from the king along with all her other ladies.

February - Parliament enacts the Act of Annates, which provides that bishops in England will be selected by the king. Parliament also indicts Elizabeth Barton for treason by a Bill of Attainder. A bill drafted by Sir Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex identifies Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More as among her accomplices.

February/March - Anne offers for 18 year old Princess Mary Tudor to reconcile with Henry if she would accept her as queen. Mary's response is that she knew no queen but her mother but if the king's mistress wished to intercede she would be grateful. Anne would try this again on two more occasions with the same result.

March 5 - Sir Thomas More writes letters to Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell stating his loyalty to the king, denying any conspiracy with Barton, and expressing his desire to see the king's interests furthered.

March 23 - Act of Succession. This Act was introduced to exclude Mary from the succession and settle it instead on the children born from his marriage to Anne. It registered the invalidity of Henry's first marriage and proclaimed his second to be legal. Severe penalties were to be imposed on all those who opposed Henry's second marriage and this Act, either openly or secretly. The Act also gave Henry the power to extract oaths from any of his subjects regarding the provisions of the Act. Anyone refusing to swear the oath would be guilty of treason.
*This Act made Anne queen by statutory right, and not by right of marriage to the King. So later when Cranmer dissolved her marriage, this did not automatically strip Anne of her title. Since the act of 1534 was never repealed, Anne in fact died a Queen.The Act was superseded by the 1536 Act of Succession, which came into effect after Anne's death.

Early April - Katherine refused to swear the oath of succession. She starts to fear for both her own and her daughter's life.and only eats food prepared by trusted servants.

April 12 - While leaving church, Sir Thomas More is handed a summons to appear before the king's commissioners at Lambeth Palace and take the oath of succession.

April 13 - Sir Thomas More leaves Chelsea for Lambeth after telling his family he will likely be imprisoned. At Lambeth, More, when asked to take the oath, requests to see both it and the Act of Succession. More tells the commissioners that although he will deny nothing contained in the oath, he would not swear to it

April 17 - Sir Thomas More is imprisoned in the Tower of London

April 20 - Elizabeth Barton, known as the "Nun of Kent" is executed for high treason at Tyburn.

May - Katherine moves to Kimbolton and her apartments were more comfortable than those of Buckden

May 23 - Pope pronounced the marriage of Henry and Katherine of Aragon as still valid

June - The Bishop of Durham is sent to make Katherine of Aragon swear to the Oath of Succession. However, she steadfastly refuses to take the oath.

Between June 28th and July 3rd - Anne suffers a miscarriage/stillbirth. Henry orders it kept secret and leaves Anne to grieve alone.

July - Katherine's health deteriorates & both Chapuys & Maria De Salinas are denied permission to visit her. However, Ambassador Chapuys makes a great show of the journey although five miles from the castle he is met by one of her messengers who tells him that she has been forbidden to meet him. He turns back satisfied that the people knew Spain supported Katherine

Summer/Fall - There are rumours of Henry taking a new mistress and Chapuys writes calling her "the Imperial Lady" :
"[Her] Influence increases daily, while that of concubine diminishes, which has already abated a good deal of her insolence. The said young lady has of late sent to the Princess [Mary] to tell her to be of good cheer, and that her troubles would sooner come to an end than she supposed, and that when the opportunity occurred she would show herself her true devoted servant."

September 7 - Elizabeth was a year old

September 25 - Pope Clement VII dies


October 13 - Alessandro Farnese, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia becomes Pope Paul III

November - Francis I's special envoy Admiral Chabot de Brion,visits and is chillingly aloof to Anne in her presence. He proposes a marriage between the Dauphin and Lady Mary, ignoring Elizabeth entirely. The king of France is no longer her friend and she has failed to give Henry the son he desired which puts Anne under immense strain.

November 1534 - Early 1535 - A bill is introduced, and later enacted, called the Act of Supremacy, which declares Henry to be the supreme head of the Church of England

December - Anne's little dog Purkoy suffers a fall and dies of his injuries. None of her attendants dared to tell her, so the King took it on himself to tell her the news.
Anne's sister Mary Boleyn, appears at court visibly pregnant and informs her family she had secretly married a landless nobody called William Stafford. The family cut her off.

Christmas - It is reported that Henry discusses with Cranmer and Cromwell the chances of leaving Anne Boleyn without having to return to Katherine of Aragon


1535January 15 - King Henry VIII assumes the title "Supreme Head of the Church."


Early this year - Henry makes Thomas Cromwell his Vice-Regent in spiritual matters and orders him to make a survey of all the religious houses in England.

February - August - Henry was rumoured to have a mistress. Anne's cousin Lady Mary Shelton (Madge Sheldon in series)

April/ May - There are plans for Katherine to escape organized by Chapuys & Charles V but they are cancelled because of the fear that if they were discovered both she and her daughter would be executed.

Easter - Anne distributes Maundy money in larger purses than any other queen

May 2 - Sir Thomas More meets with Cromwell and four others in a room at the Tower. He was told that Henry VIII demanded his opinion on the recently enacted Act of Supremacy.

Late May - King Henry VIII is angered to learn that the Pope has made Bishop Fisher, an outspoken opponent of his marriage to Anne Boleyn, a cardinal.

June ?? - Rumour that Anne has a miscarriage; not all historians record this

June 3 - Sir Thomas More appears for a third interrogation before Cromwell and other councillors of the king. He is asked to give an oath to the supremacy of Henry as head of the Church of England, but he remains silent.

June 22 - Five days after being convicted of treason, John Fisher is beheaded on Tower Hill.

June - Chapuys records that Cromwell tells him that if Anne knew how close their relations were, she would have his head

June 26 - A special commission is established to hear the case of Sir Thomas More

July 1 - Sir Thomas More is tried for treason in Westminster Hall. More pleads "not guilty,"After one hour of deliberation, the jury of twelve men finds More guilty.

July 6 - Execution of Sir Thomas More

Summer spent on progress to the Severn with Henry VIII

September 10 - Henry VIII visits Sir John Seymour at Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire. Possibly meets his daughter, Jane Seymour.

September/October - Progress across to Hampshire.

September 7 - Elizabeth was 2 years old

While court was away, there was a public demonstration at Greenwich in support of Mary by the wives of a number of London citizens aided and abetted by some ladies of the royal household not on duty including Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford and Anne's aunt Lady William Howard

October - Katherine of Aragon writes to her nephew Charles V to intervene

This year, Anne assumes political power independent of Henry VIII: meets with foreign diplomats, religious and cultural patron, responds to petitioners

Chapuys says : "The concubine, who long ago conspired the death of the said ladies [Katherine of Aragon & Princess Mary] and thinks of nothing but getting rid of them, is the person who governs everything, and whom the King is unable to contradict.”

Late October - On returning to Windsor, Anne is pregnant again

November - Henry may have started courting Jane Seymour this month

November/December - Anne tries to encourage a french match for baby Elizabeth

December 1 - Katherine if Aragon is seriously ill. She is complaining of chest pains, unable to eat and confined to bed.

December 14 - Katherine has recovered slightly and able to sit in a chair. She writes to Charles V asking for money to pay her servants as her funds were depleted

December 17 - Katherine of Aragon celebrated her 50th birthday

December 26 - Katherine relapses and takes her bed again

December 30 (?) - Ambassador Chapuys is given permission to visit Katherine because she is considered to be dying. Henry is still considering if he will allow Mary to visit.


1536 January 7 - Katherine of Aragon dies.

January 8 - Both Henry & Anne appear in joyful yellow from top to toe and 16 month old Princess Elizabeth is paraded triumphantly in Church that Sunday morning

January 24 - Henry VIII's horse falls heavily in the tilt-yard at Greenwich knocking him unconscious for 2 hours

January 29 - Anne has a sillborn son 5 days later.
(There is NO primary source evidence
to support foetal abnormalities.) Chapuys quotes Henry as saying
“I see that God will not give me male children.”

Katherine of Aragon was buried Peterborough Cathedral on the same date


January 29 - Chapuys' letter mentions a rumour of a third marriage but as he then had no name, he dismisses the tale even though from a "good authority'" - the natural conclusion is that the matter was of fairly recent origin - indeed he termed it "une nouvelle amour" (a new love)


February 10 - Henry's interest in Jane Seymour was first recorded by Ambassador Chapuys in his letter to Charles V


March - At Rome, Charles V offers the English Ambassador, in return for legitimation of Mary, Imperial support for 'the continuance of this last matrimony or otherwise' as Henry wished.


March - Henry sends Jane Seymour a letter & a purse of sovereigns. She returns it unopened. The letter implies a summons to the King's bed. Jane showed her price was now marriage and nothing less.

Late March - Ambassador Chapuys reports that Cromwell had fallen out with the Queen, probably because of his compliance in vacating his rooms for the Seymours. Cromwell begins to see Anne as a threat and starts planning to remove her from “power”

April - Jane's brother, Edward Seymour and his wife are moved to Cromwell's old rooms which are connected through a secret passage to the king's apartments and allows Henry private access to Jane Seymour


April 1 - Chapuys describes Jane Seymour as 'the lady whom he [Henry] serves", his courtly mistress. He also confirms the fatal split between Anne and Cromwell with a meeting with Cromwell himself.

He also writes “the heretical doctrines and practices of the concubine” [Anne] are “the principal cause of the spread of Lutheranism in this country.”

April 2 - Anne’s almoner, John Skip, preached a controversial sermon in front of the King. The theme was “Which of you can convict me of sin?”. In it Skip used the story of King Ahasuerus “who was moved by a wicked minister to destroy the Jews” but Queen Esther stepped in with different advice and saved the Jews. In Skip’s sermon, Henry VIII was Ahasuerus, Anne Boleyn was Queen Esther and Thomas Cromwell, who had just introduced the Act of Suppression of the Lesser Monasteries into Parliament, was Haman, the “wicked minister”. This was sanctioned by Anne and thus a statement that although Anne believed in reform and tackling abuse and corruption, she did not agree with Cromwell filling the Crown's purses rather than using the proceeds for poor relief & education.

April 18 - Henry has a formal meeting with Imperial Ambassador Chapuys and this is the only recorded meeting of Chapuys and Anne whom he publicly acknowledged in the Chapel Royal, for the first time.

April 23 - The annual chapter meeting of the Order of the Garter took place at Greenwich. Votes were taken for the election of a knight; and the next day, after mass for the dead, the King declared Sir Nicholas Carew elected. This was considered a snub to George Boleyn and Carew was part of the anti-Boleyn faction.

April 24 - With the King's approval, two commissions of oyer and terminer were set up by Cromwell and Audley to cover criminal offences in the counties of Kent and Middlesex, the two counties which were the locations of the alleged criminal offences committed by Anne and the five men in the coming indictments.


April 25 - Henry calls Anne his "entirely beloved wife" in a letter to his Ambassador in Rome, Richard Pate announcing "the likelihood and appearance that God will send us male heirs".


April 27 - writs were issued summoning Parliament and a letter was sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking him to attend Parliament.


April 29 - Anne and Henry Norris argue about his feelings for her and probably after becoming aware of court gossip instructs him to go to her almoner and swear an oath that she was "a good woman".

April 30 - As Anne the queen watched a dog fight in Greenwich park, Cromwell laid out the "evidence" of her plot for regicide to marry one of her lovers and rule as regent, to Henry.

April 30 - Sunday, Alexander Ales witnesses Anne carrying Elizabeth entreating the King who was angry, at a window overlooking the courtyard at Greenwich

April 30 - Mark Smeaton was detained at Cromwell's house in Stepney accused of adultery with the queen. Twenty-four hours later Cromwell has his confession.

April 30 - at 11 pm Sunday night, Henry & Anne's plans to visit Calais were cancelled.

May 1 - Monday - the May day jousts at Greenwich went ahead.
However, it was said that the King suddenly got up and left the jousts possibly after receiving a message, which may have informed him that Mark Smeaton had confessed to adultery with the Queen and that he had also implicated Henry Norris, and William Brereton. Immediately after the jousts, Brereton was detained for questioning but he was not formally arrested until the 4th May and the charges against him were never made public. Instead of using his barge, the King chose to ride overland back to Whitehall with Norris who he questioned himself.


May 2 - Tuesday - at dawn, Henry Norris was sent to the Tower

*May 2 - Anne was arrested later that morning after watching a tennis match, by her uncle Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Sir William FitzWilliam and Sir William Paulet. 4 days later she would remark that "I was cruelly handled at Greenwich"...After charging her, she was taken back to her apartments under guard and later after a meal, her uncle along with Cromwell and several lords of the council came with the warrant for her to be taken to the Tower. She was given no time to pack or say goodbye to her child. She was taken by barge "in full daylight" and arrived at the Tower at 5 pm.

May 2 - Through Cromwell, Henry ordered Thomas Cranmer to find grounds for annulling his marriage to Anne and declare their child, Elizabeth, a bastard.


Chapuys writes that "the King has shown himself more glad than ever since the arrest of the Concubine, for he has been going about banqueting with ladies, sometimes remaining after midnight, and returning by the river" - not acting like a cuckolded husband at all and further he wrote: "I hear that, even before the arrest of the Concubine, the King, speaking with Mistress Jane Semel[Seymour] of their future marriage, the latter suggested that the Princess should be replaced in her former position...”


May 2 - George Boleyn was detained at Whitehall and transferred to the Tower at 2pm

May 3 - Wednesday - It was reported from the Tower that Anne had remembered an incident with Sir Francis Weston.

'She had spoke to him
', she said 'because he did love her kinswoman Mrs Shelton and that....he loved not his wife'. Weston had replied that, 'He loved one in her house better than them both,' Anne asked 'Who is that?' and he answered. 'It is yourself,' within a few hours he too was in the Tower."


May 4 - Thursday - William Brereton was arrested

May 5 - Friday - Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested.

A letter thought to have been written on the evening of the 5th May 1536 by Sir William Kingston: “After your departing yesterday, Greenway, gentleman usher, came to me and [said that] Master Carew and Master Bryan commanded him in the King’s name to my Lord Rochford from my lady his wife [Jane Boleyn] and the message was now more [to] see how he did; and also she would humbly [make] suit unto the King’s Highness for her husband.”

There are no records of any other family members of the prisoners being able to contact them leading to suspicions that she was given preferential treatment for assisting in the investigations.

May 7 - letters were sent out to every sheriff in England explaining that:-"since the dissolution of the late Parliament matters of high importance have chanced, which render it necessary to discuss the establishment of the succession in a Parliament assembled for that purpose. Writs have been already sent, which the King doubts not he will execute" which suggests that there was going to be some change in the succession meaning Anne's fate was a foregone conclusion


May 11 - Thomas Cromwell met with King Henry at Hampton Court Palace to discuss the upcoming trials

May 12 - Special sessions of oyer and terminer of Norris, Brereton,Weston & Smeaton were held. Only Mark Smeaton pleaded guilty to adultery but insisted he was not guilty of conspiring the death of the King. All were judged to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Richard Page was banished from the King's presence forever possibly because his step daughter Anne Stanhope had recently married Edward Seymour.

May 13 - Anne's household was broken up before the trial indicating that there was no hope of her being found innocent.

May 9 to 14 - For the French swordsman to have travelled in time for her execution he would have had to have been ordered before the trial possibly as early as May 9


May 14 - Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland wrote to Cromwell denying there ever was a pre-contract for marriage between him and Anne saying:
“I perceive by Raynold Carnaby that there is supposed a pre-contract between the Queen and me; whereupon I was not only heretofore examined upon my oath before the archbishops of Canterbury and York, but also received the blessed sacrament upon the same before the duke of Norfolk and other the King’s highness’ council learned in the spiritual law, assuring you, Mr. Secretary, by the said oath and blessed body, which afore I received and hereafter intend to receive, that the same may be to my damnation if ever there were any contract or promise of marriage between her and me.”


May 15 - Trial of George and Anne.
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland sat on the jury that found Anne guilty of adultery. When the verdict was announced, he collapsed & had to be carried from the courtroom.

Ambassador Chapuys who hated her wrote :
'condemned on the presumption and not evidence, without any witnesses or valid confession'

That evening Francis Bryan brought the news of Anne's condemnation to Jane Seymour at Hampton Court Palace and soon after the King arrived for dinner, having been conveyed along the Thames with an almost festive air of pageantry.

After her trial, Anne was moved to what is now known as "the Queen's house" where she would remain until her execution and may have been able to see the scaffold being built.



May 16 - Henry signed the death warrants of the 5 men. However, as late as after dinner, Kingston was begging Cromwell to let him know what method of execution was to be used, but word didn’t come until much later, possibly the following morning that all their sentences had been commuted to beheading.

Also on this date, Cranmer met with Anne, possibly to admit an impediment to her marriage. After he left, Kingston reports that Anne was “more cheerful” and told him that she was “in hope of life” in a nunnery.

May 17 - The Marriage between Anne and Henry was officially annulled by Thomas Cranmer on the grounds of consanguity since Henry had had an affair with Anne's sister Mary Boleyn

May 17 - Wednesday - five men were led out of the Tower of London to the scaffold on Tower Hill.George Boleyn (Lord Rochford) was the first to be executed, due to his higher rank, and was followed by Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brereton and then finally Mark Smeaton. Only Smeaton had confessed. All their sentences of being hanged, drawn and quartered had been commuted by the King to beheading.

*Chapuys reported that "the Concubine [Anne] saw them executed from the Tower to aggravate her grief".


May 18
2 am Anne' almoner, John Skip, arrived to pray with her and she was still in prayer when Thomas Cranmer arrived just after dawn to hear her final confession and celebrate the Mass.

“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." Chapuys wrote to Charles V

“This morning she sent for me, that I might be with her at such time as she received the good Lord, to the intent I should her speak as touching her innocency always to be clear.” Constable of the Tower, Lord Kingston wrote to Cromwell

9 am her execution is scheduled but after 3 hours of waiting Anne is told at noon that it has been postponed to the next day due to the swordsman from Calais being delayed.

“Master Kingston, I hear say that I shall not die afore noon, and I am very sorry there for, for I thought to be dead by this time and past my pain. I have heard say the executioner was very good and I have a little neck.” Kingston wrote and said she laughed

Anne sends Henry a message through one of the Privy Chamber:-
"Commend me to his Majesty, and tell him that he has ever been constant in his career of advancing me. From a private gentlewoman he made me a marchioness, from a marchioness a Queen; and now that he has no higher degree of honour left, he gives my innocence the crown of martyrdom as a saint in heaven.”


May 19 - Executed at 9 am on Tower Green with a single blow from a sword and interred in the afternoon in an arrow box in the chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula in the Tower precincts (Anne was likely aged 35, Elizabeth was 2 yrs 8 months old & Henry 45)

The night after Anne's execution, Henry left Whitehall Palace and was rowed upriver to Hampton Court where Jane would meet him.

May 20 - at 6 am, Jane Seymour was conveyed from Chelsea "secretly by river to the King's lodgings". Henry was betrothed to Jane Seymour at 9 am (exactly 24 hours after Anne's beheading)


May 21 - Sir Nicholas Carew was installed as a Knight of the Garter when the feast was kept, on May 21. On this occasion the earl of Northumberland was seized with vertigo and weakness, so that it was feared he would not be able to take his part as deputy, but he recovered.

on or before May 26 - Lady Kingston is known to have visited Princess Mary at Hunsdon to report her observations of Anne before and at her death. This was recorded in a letter from Mary to Cromwell.

Elizabeth was also at Hunsdon during her mother's trial and execution and would remain there in the care of Lady Margaret Bryan

May 30 - Henry married Jane Seymour

June 6 - Cromwell tells Chapuys that he had decided Anne should be eliminated back in April

Letters & Papers: " He said it was he [Cromwell] who had discovered and followed up the affair of the Concubine, in which he had taken a great deal of trouble, and that, owing to the displeasure and anger he had incurred upon the reply given to me by the King on the third day of Easter [
April 18, 1536], he had set himself to arrange the plot (a fantasier et conspirer led. affaire), and one of the things which had roused his suspicion and made him enquire into the matter was a prognostic made in Flanders threatening the King with a conspiracy of those who were nearest his person. On this he praised greatly the sense, wit, and courage of the said Concubine and of her brother."

September 7 - Elizabeth was 3 years old


1537January 30 - Henry Percy, 6th Duke of Northumberland died - 8 months after Anne's death. He had suffered from stomach problems and spent most of his inheritance, transferring various estates to friends, since he had chosen to disinherit his Percy relations as much as possible. He bequeathed the remainder of his estates to the Crown. The Earldom of Northumberland passed to his nephew as he had no children.



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