Primary sources for Anne Boleyn’s Fall 1536

Discover the Tudors Tour

In today's Claire Chats video, Claire talks about how you can access primary sources on Anne Boleyn's fall in 1536 wherever you are in the world.

The following links to primary sources should keep you busy!

  • Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII - These can be bought as books, downloaded as ebooks from Medieval and Modern Sources Online (Memso)
    or read online at British History Online
  • Calendars of State Papers - These can be downloaded as ebooks from Medieval and Modern Sources Online (Memso)
    or read online at
    British History Online
  • A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, Volume 1, by Charles Wriothesley, can be read online at Archive.org
  • Hall's Chronicle: containing the history of England, during the reign of Henry the Fourth, and the succeeding monarchs, to the end of the reign of Henry the Eighth, in which are particularly described the manners and customs of those periods. Carefully collated with the editions of 1548 and 1550 by Edward Hall can be read at Archive.org
  • The Life of Cardinal Wolsey and Metrical Visions from the Original Autograph Manuscripts, Volume II - This book by George Cavendish includes George Wyatt's "The Life of Anne Boleigne" as well as letters from May 1536. It can be read at Archive.org
  • The chronicle of Calais, in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII. to the year 1540. Ed. from mss. in the British museum can be read at Archive.org
  • Chronicle of King Henry VIII. of England: Being a Contemporary Record of Some of the Principal Events of the Reigns of Hnery VIII and Edward VI (The Spanish Chronicle) can be read at Archive.org
  • A Memorial from George Constantyne to Thomas Lord Cromwell can be found in Archaeologia, or, Miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity, Volume XXIII, at Archive.org
  • Baga de Secretis, Pouch VIII, the King's Bench Records for the trial and convictions of four of the men from May 1536 in can be found in the Appendix of A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, Volume 1, at Archive.org, p. 189-207. The records concerning the trials and convictions of Queen Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, are from p. 207 onwards.
  • Memorials of the Most Reverend Father in God, Thomas Cranmer, sometime Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, In Three Volumes, can be read online at Archive.org
  • The Lisle Letters - This six volume set of letters received by Lord and Lady Lisle, between 1533 and 1540, when Lord Lisle was Deputy of Calais, is worth getting hold of if you're a serious researcher. Do not bother with The Lisle Letters: An Abridgement as it really is not much use, you need the six volumes published by the University of Chicago Press. You may be able to pick them up second hand on eBay, Abe Books or Amazon.
  • Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland by Raphael Holinshed - Anne Boleyn's fall is covered from p. 796 of Volume 3 which can be read online at Archive.org

There are 8 comments Go To Comment

  1. Karen /

    A lot involved when researching – great that there is so much available online.

  2. Dawn Hatswell /

    You have a tremendous amount of patience, discipline and application Claire to set yourself to be able to do so much intricate reasearch….some of the things l don’t have in great quantity, lol. So, thank you very much for doing it for me, though l will go and look at the sources now, you never know l may shock myself and find ‘inner strengths’ l didn’t know l had 😊

  3. Tisha brugman /

    Tisha says:
    May 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm
    Hi Claire,
    I was wondering if you can share the pathologist report on the remains of Anne Boleyn , I would like to read it. It sounds interesting for such a infamous Queen like Anne Boleyn

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      Hi Tisha,
      It would be tricky to share the whole report as it’s in the 19th century book I own and I don’t want to damage the spine by scanning it and I can’t type it all out, but I quote most of it in articles I wrote for the Anne Boleyn Files:
      https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyns-remains-the-exhumation-of-anne-boleyn/
      https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/anne-boleyn%E2%80%99s-body-found/

      I hope that helps.

      1. ANNE /

        Hi Claire,
        Can you see about get that 19th century book re-published ? At this point maybe no one owns the rights to it ?

        As far as damaging the book spine by copying it, my “2 cents” is I’d rather damage the spine and access all the info so others can read it, than never spread the information.

        Best bet would be see if the entire book can be re-published though,of course. This has happened with many ancient memoirs and such, for instance from key people’s memoirs of during the French Revolution.

        1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

          Hi Anne,
          Scanned copies of the book are available on Amazon, but I think Tisha just wanted the pathologist’s report (rather than the whole book), which I quote from and explain at those links.
          I have no problem sharing things from books out of copyright and lots of these types of books have been scanned and put on sites like Archive.org. It’s just that this book is very very dear to me. It’s a beautiful book and there is no way that I would risk damage to it by scanning it. It’s one of my favourite possessions.
          I have spread the information in it in the detailed articles I’ve written over at the Anne Boleyn Files and in talks I’ve done. But, yes, you can buy modern scanned copies of it on Amazon, I just like owning the original as collecting old books is one of my hobbies.
          Yes, republication is happening with a lot of old books. I was involved in the translation and republication of Edmond Bapst’s book on George Boleyn and Henry Howard, it was a great project to be involved in.

  4. Tisha brugman /

    This was a question I posted a few days ago and I know you can’t comment on every topic on the site but I was hoping you can share this

  5. RealTudorLady /

    Wow…many thanks for sharing these resources.

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Primary sources for Anne Boleyn’s Fall 1536