19th May 1536 – The Execution of Anne Boleyn

I know this post on the execution of Anne Boleyn is a bit late but I felt the need to still post it as a way of sort of commemorating the day one of England’s queens died on the execution block. To this day, many of us still wonder if Anne’s downfall was her own doing or the doing of Henry. That is just one of those things that we will never know, many of us Historians will just have to live with never knowing this.

On this fateful day, the bravery and courage that Anne had when taking her final journey to the scaffold where her life would tragically end, not many people could do this, if I was to be extremely honest, I definitely could not do it myself.

Once upon the scaffold Anne Boleyn spoke her final words in this life to her people that had three years before championed her. These final words are as followed:

“Good Christian people, I have not come here to preach a sermon; I have come here 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 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 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 may 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.”

After making her final words her ladies-in-waiting took their places at the side of her and began to remove Anne’s hood and loosening her famous dark locks before they finally tuck them into a cloth cap so that her neck was visible to the executioner. At this point her ladies sobbed silently while Anne paid her own executioner, while he begged her for his forgiveness for the most horrifying event that he was about to commit. Yet Anne still showed no fear even though she knew the fate that she was about to face. Once Anne had told the executioner that she forgave him he placed a blindfold over the eyes that had once seen so much love from her husband the king. While the executioner was doing this she knelt to the ground and prayed: “To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesus receive my soul.” By this point the crowd went down on their knees to show their upmost respect for the woman that they once called their beloved Queen. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of Anne Boleyn whispering her prayers. By this point the executioner was shaken by the fact that Anne has no fear and so much courage. He knew that Anne was expecting the blow to her neck any moment so he called on his assistant to create a distraction so that he could take that fateful blow to her tiny neck without her realising the blow was coming.

Her tragic ordeal was over!

Henry denied Anne her proper burial with a Christian service instead her devastated ladies-in-waiting gathered up their Queen’s body and head and wrapped them up in a white cloth and they took them to the Tower Chapel. Once in the Tower Chapel the Queen and mother of the future Queen Elizabeth I was finally laid to rest however in an unmarked grave and buried as a traitor to the crown of England.

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2nd May 1536 Anne Boleyn is Arrested

On this day 477 years ago Anne Boleyn was arrested. On this day Henry Norris, Groom of the Stool and Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, had been take to the Tower of London, Mark Smeaton, Court Musician was racked and confessed to adultery with the queen, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, who was also the Queen’s brother was also taken to the Tower of London along with his beloved sister Queen Anne Boleyn who had been interrogated by the Council and then was arrested and was then taken to the Tower of London.

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Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary William & Kate

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20 Year Anniversary of Horrible Histories

Today is the 20 year Anniversary of Horrible Histories!

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Scotney Castle

On Sunday I visited a lovely National Trust property with my family. The property that we visited was Scotney Castle which is located in Lamberhurst, Kent. In total the Estate is 770 acres in size so there is plenty of land for you and your family to enjoy. On this estate there is a Victorian Mansion House and a distances walk from the house is the Old Castle that was once the main house of the Estate. The Scotney Castle Estate lies in the valley of the River Bewl on the Kent/Sussex border and has been inhabited since at least the 12th century.

The Old Castle:

In 1778 when Edward Hussey purchased Scotney the ‘Old Castle’ was described as being: surrounded by a large moat of running water which was well stocked with fish. The ground floor of the Castle consists of front and back kitchens, Housekeeper’s room and a Parlour. On the first floor their was 2 Parlours, a large dinning room, a Breakfast and 2 Dressing-rooms, 5 Bedchambers, a study and library. On the second floor, 8 rooms; Kitchen and Pleasure gardens within the moat, planted with plenty of Fruit trees and Flowers; without the Gates a Garden, Shrubbery, Warren, Orchard, coach-house, Brew-house, Stabling for 8 horses and other offices; a cold Bath with an excellent Mineral Well of the same quality as that at Tunbridge Wells.

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The Victorian House:

Within the Victorian Mansion House The Hall this is actually the heart of the house which connects with all the other principal rooms. The Hall is simply decorated with plain oak panelling with painted walls. The Study has a plasterwork ceiling which was designed by Salvin in the Jacobean Revival style. The chimney piece within the Study was originally wood-grained and marbled. It was painted white around 1900. The Library had many book cases on the walls all away around the library. Also within the library was inviting sofas and a drinks trolley. The Garden Lobby was the little room below the main stairs which provided access to the garden. The Dining room has a huge buffet sideboard and many pictures on it’s walls. The Small Dining Room was placed between the Kitchen and the Dining Room, this was originally used as a servery, where food would be served up before being brought to table next door. It then became the family’s everyday dining room. The Kitchen it placed next to the Small Dining Room. Next to the Kitchen is the Kitchen Lobby and Servants’ Corridor this area was the connection between the main family house and the servant wing. Part of the set of 19th century servants’ bells can be seen in the corridor, as well as the fire buckets. The Butler’s Pantry is next which contains an extensive collection of Hussey family china and pottery. Next the Flower Room Betty Hussey loved flowers, both real and artificial. This room was created during the 1950s as a space where flowers from the walled garden could be arranged. Upstairs is a Dressing Room and a Drawing Room which was an informal sitting room. The Hussey Bedroom was immediately above the library with a view of the Old Castle. The Bathroom and Wardrobe was installed as an en suite and walk-in wardrobe by the Husseys. Next was the Red Bathroom, the Red Bedroom and the Green Bedroom. Following onto this is the Bamboo Bedroom, Friends Bedroom, Corridor and Salvin Bathroom and the Salvin Bedroom.

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As well as the Old Castle and the Victorian Mansion House you can visit the gardens and walk acres of woodland, parkland and farmland. The Scotney Castle estate is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Scotney Castle is well worth a visit and I would definitely recommended it to everyone especially families. There is definitely plenty to see and do while you are visiting Scotney Castle so why not come a long and have a look around for yourselves.

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Happy 100th Birthday Mary Leakey

Today marks the 100th Birthday of Archaeologist’s Mary Leakey. Mary was born on the 6th February 1913 and died in December 1996. Mary is best known for her discovery of the first fossilised Proconsul skull, the skull of an extinct ape which is believed to be an ancestor of humans.

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Confirmed: DNA confirms bones are King Richard III’s!

It has been confirmed that the bones that were beneath a Leicester car park are in fact King Richard III’s. Finally this King can have a burial that he deserves. Experts at the University of Leicester said that they match the DNA of the King with a descendants of the Monarch’s family. The descendant they found was a 17th generation descendant of Richard’s sister. Richard was killed in battle in 1485 and will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. However, over the pass few months many people have debated where Richard should be buried. BBC History Magazine actually did a poll and they had four options for the general public to chose from. These four places are: Reburied in Leicester, Interred in Westminster Abbey, Buried in York Minster as Richard III allegedly wished and the final one was to put the bones on public display. Many people have different views on where he should be buried. I believe that Richard should be buried at York Minster were he said he wanted to be buried. I feel that his last wishes should be respected and where he wanted to be buried to be honoured.

The skeleton of Richard III had suffered 10 injuries in total including eight to his skull, at around the time of his death. It is said that two of the wounds to his skull were potentially fatal. One of the wounds to his skull was a slice which removed a flap of bone and the other wound to his skull that was considered potentially fatal was caused by a bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of his skull so this meant that this wound was a depth of more than 10cm which is 4 inches.

It is said that Leicester plans to build on the area where the King was found. A permanent museum to Richard III is expected to open in Leicester by early 2014 says officials.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet where Richard will be buried yet but a bid to get the King’s skeleton interred in York, where he did have close ties, continues.

A facial reconstruction has been done on the King’s skull and they have now released a picture of what the King might have looked liked before his death in 1485.

Below is the well know picture and most famous Picture of Richard III and the other picture is a facial reconstruction using the King’s skull and this is what he might have looked like before his death. The third picture is of the Richard’s skeleton.

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