Monday, May 14, 2012

The First Trial in the Fall of Anne Boleyn

The First Trial in the Fall of Anne Boleyn
      This last Saturday (May 12) marked the anniversary of the first trial in 1536 of, at least indirectly, Anne Boleyn on charges of adultery.  Anne, however, was not a participant in the trial.  Rather, at this trial each of Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, William Brereton and Francis Weston were charged with multiple acts of adultery with the Queen.  Sadly, no transcript of the proceedings, if made (and that is doubtful), survives.  All were found guilty, thereby sealing Anne’s fate.  She did not attend the trial; rather, at that time she was confined in the Tower of London.  Her father, Thomas Boleyn, did sit on the jury – his vote in favor of conviction sealed the fate of his children.
      All four, along with George Boleyn, would be executed on May 17. 

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