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Henry VIII Part IX: The Fate of Anne Boleyn

A trial was held for Anne on May 15, 1536. Anne expressed her innocence and although she articulated her case well, she was still found guilty of high treason. She was sentenced to die by either losing her head or burning. It was up to the King how she would die.

Anne was noted as being calm when she received news of her sentence and she was prepared to die. However, innocent men would die along with her and that gave her a pang of remorse. After she learned of her fate, she was escorted back to the Tower.

Before Anne was executed, she was made to watch the deaths of her brother and the other men that were accused of sleeping with her. Two days later, it was Anne’s turn to die. She appeared from the Tower at 9 in the morning and went to Tower Green. It only took one stroke of the sword to sever Anne’s head. When her head fell to the ground, guns were fired to alert the public to her end. Anne’s body was buried in the Royal Chapel of St Peter Vincula within the Tower of London.

It was less than two weeks after Anne’s death that Henry took Jane Seymour as his new wife , marrying in a ceremony at Whitehall Palace, London.

On June 8, 1536, Cromwell persuaded Parliament to pass the Act of Suppression, which led to the closure of all monasteries that were worth less than £200 per annum. Their properties would become available to the King. In July of the same year, a new Act of Succession was passed, which cancelled the two previous acts of Succession. Henry’s first two marriages became invalid and Elizabeth was given the same status as his first daughter, Mary. Both daughters did not have the title of princess, but were instead, referred to as ‘the King’s daughter, Lady Elizabeth or Lady Mary. The new act gave rights of succession to the children that would come from Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour.

Cromwell went about putting a set of injunctions into place that would improve the conduct of the clergy and the worship of the people. It was called the Ten Articles and it was placed in effect in July of 1536. It stated that children were expected to learn the Lord’s Prayer, The Holy Creed and The Ten Commandments in English among other things. Relics were not allowed to be put on display for gain. Leading a decent life at home was preferred over embarking on a religious pilgrimage.

In 1537, the Bishop’s Book (also referred to as ‘The Institution of a Christian Man”) made an appearance.  Views regarding Christian Orthodoxy were put into perspective. The book actually reinterpreted the fifth commandment “Honor thy mother and thy father” and said that it meant that subjects were supposed to “love the King as the father of his subjects and that all Christians must love the King more than they loved their natural father.”