The Tudor Society
  • Behind the series: Anne Boleyn

    Anne Boleyn series

    After many clips and images surfaced on social media over the past few months, the new Anne Boleyn series is finally here. It is a fresh take on the story we have read and seen so many times, focussing on the final five months of the queen’s life.

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  • Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Quiz

    As it’s coming up to the anniversary of the coronation of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, I thought we’d mark the occasion with an Anne Boleyn coronation quiz.

    How much do you know about Anne Boleyn’s coronation celebrations and ceremony?

    Test yourself with this fun quiz.

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  • 29 May – A fire-breathing dragon for Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th May 1533, the citizens of London were treated to a spectacular river procession. It was part of the coronation celebrations for England’s new queen, Anne Boleyn.

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  • 28 May – Anne Boleyn is the rightful queen!

    On 28th May 1533, over four months after Henry VIII had married Anne Boleyn at Whitehall, and six months after a possible secret marriage at Dover, Archbishop Cranmer proclaimed the union valid.

    Anne was now officially queen and it was just in time for her coronation!

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  • One Book Unites Two Rival Queens by Kate McCaffrey

    Thank you so much to Kate McCaffrey for sharing this guest article with us today. Kate has been in the news recently because of her discovery of previously hidden inscriptions in one of Anne Boleyn’s Books of Hours at Hever Castle – a wonderful discovery.

    Do follow the link at the end of this post to read Kate’s guest article on the Anne Boleyn Files too.

    Over to Kate…

    Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Two queens, two wives, two rivals. They are both highly recognisable leading women from sixteenth-century England, but are also famed rivals in love and power. At best, we consider them to have had a fraught, divisive relationship. In today’s society, as is so often the case, we frequently see them as two women pitted against each other: one ‘good’, one ‘bad’, one Catholic, one Reformist, one wife, one mistress. Certainly, they were rivals and had many differing opinions and standpoints, but they also had key qualities in common. They were both highly educated, pious women who were at the whims of their changeable husband and who, in their own ways, were victims of patriarchal circumstance.

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  • Book news – Coming soon – The Boleyns of Hever Castle

    The 19th May, the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn’s execution, seems a fitting day to announce some news regarding a Boleyn-themed book, don’t you think?

    Many of you will know that Dr Owen Emmerson and I have been working on a book about the history of Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Well, the original book idea had to be postponed due to travel restrictions and the closure of archives, so we decided to focus on 77 years of Hever’s history, the time when it was owned by the Boleyn family.

    The Boleyns of Hever Castle will be launched at Hever Castle on 1st August 2021 – hurrah!

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  • 13 May – Queen Anne Boleyn is on her way out

    On 13th May 1536, eleven days after her arrest, the royal household of Queen Anne Boleyn was broken up and her household discharged.

    The queen hadn’t even been tried yet, never mind found guilty!

    Find out more about this day and what happened to members of her household in this #TudorHistoryShorts video…

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  • The Cast in the Fall of Anne Boleyn Wordsearch

    May is the anniversary month of the events leading up to the execution of Queen Anne Boleyn on 19th May 1536. Things moved so quickly that spring!

    But how much do you know about the cast of Anne Boleyn’s fall – the people who were involved, either as victims or on the side of the Crown?

    Test yourself on the people caught up in the events of May 1536 with this fun word search puzzle.

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  • 2 May – Queen Anne Boleyn is arrested

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd May 1536, in the reign of King Henry VIII, the king’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was arrested. What happened on that day? What was she told? Where was she taken?

    Find out in this #TudorHistoryShorts video…

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  • Lucy Churchill – The 1534 Anne Boleyn medal and King’s College Chapel Choirscreen – Expert Talk

    Our May expert speaker is stonecarver Lucy Churchill who has done extensive research on two Anne Boleyn-related items – the 1534 medal, which she has reconstructed, and the choirscreen of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

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  • 12 April 1533 – Outrage at Anne Boleyn’s behaviour

    I’ve gone back to doing “on this day” videos as I know people enjoy daily videos. The new ones, however, are YouTube Shorts, so under a minute long, just to give key interesting facts. If I’ve done a longer video in the past then I will share those too. Doing these shorts just gives me more time to create longer videos on Tudor topics.

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th April 1533, Anne Boleyn’s behaviour caused a stir and Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, was outraged. He didn’t know she was actually queen. In his eyes, there was one queen: Catherine of Aragon.

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  • These Tudors Are Your Favourites

    A couple of weeks ago we asked our Instagram followers to vote on their favourite Tudor Monarch and wife of Henry VIII. We combined the votes with the most searched questions on Google and the country in which they are most popular. Here are the results!

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  • Artists in the spotlight – Siouxsie

    This artists in the spotlight, we are highlighting Siouxsie from England. She is 30 years old and makes beautiful intricate paintings. Recently she finished her first Tudor painting of Anne Boleyn. We asked her about this piece of art and her interest in and family connection to the Tudors.

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  • The Boleyns of Hever Castle – A talk by Dr Owen Emmerson and Claire

    Those of you who are in the UK or planning on visiting the UK this summer (fingers crossed!) many be interested in knowing that I will be speaking with my dear friend, Hever Castle Supervisor Dr Owen Emmerson, at Hever Castle on Sunday 1st August 2021.

    The talk is on our very favourite subject, the Boleyns, and it will take place at the Two Sisters Theatre in the grounds of Hever Castle at 8pm.

    Anne Boleyn’s parents weren’t the only Boleyns linked to the castle, it was connected to the Boleyn family for 77 years before it was taken by the Crown, and we’ll tell you all about its Boleyn owners.

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  • The Life of Anne Boleyn course discount

    As it’s the 12th birthday of the Anne Boleyn Files website, the blog that started Claire’s career researching and writing, Claire is offering 25% discount code for her online course The Life of Anne Boleyn.

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  • Off with her head – A History Channel Podcast including an interview with Claire

    Just before Christmas I recorded an interview with the History Channel podcast team, which was fun to do as it’s always lovely to talk about Tudor history, and especially Anne Boleyn.

    If you’re in an English speaking country, you should be able to find the podcast on your usual podcast platform. Here’s the blurb and a few links for you:

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  • 17 December – A promise made to Anne Boleyn

    On this day in Tudor history, 17th December 1559, fifty-five-year-old Matthew Parker was consecrated as Queen Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury. It was an office which Parker did not want and would not have accepted if “he had not been so much bound to the mother”.

    What did he mean by that?

    Well, when he was Anne Boleyn’s chaplain in 1536, the queen had met with him just six days before her arrest and he made her a promise.

    Find out more about Matthew Parker, his life and that meeting with Anne Boleyn, in today’s talk:

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  • 11 November – A stressed George Boleyn, Lord Rochford

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th November 1534, Philippe de Chabot, Seigneur De Brion and Admiral of France, landed on English soil. The purpose of the diplomatic mission he was leading was to renew Anglo-French relations.

    George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, brother of Queen Anne Boleyn, had been put in charge of meeting the admiral and escorting him on his journey from the south coast to London, but it was no easy task. The admiral did not make things easy at all, and George was rather stressed about the situation.

    Find out what happened, and how and why the ambassador’s visit was bad news all round for the Boleyns, in today’s talk.

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  • Who’s your favourite Anne Boleyn actress?

    There have been some wonderful portrayals of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, but which one is your favourite?

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  • 26 July – Anne Boleyn and St Anne

    Today, 26th July, is the feast day of St Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Happy St Anne’s Day to any Annes or Annas out there! Have a wonderful day!

    St Anne was very important to Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and a pageant at her coronation procession in 1533 took St Anne, combined with Anne Boleyn’s falcon badge, as its theme.

    Find out more about the pageant at Anne Boleyn’s coronation, and why St Anne was chosen as the theme, in today’s talk.

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  • 25 July – A fool gets into big trouble

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th July 1535, the Feast of St James, t, the imperial ambassador wrote about a furious King Henry VIII who’d apparently been nearly driven to commit murder!

    What had angered the king? Well, it involved Henry VIII’s fool and some foolish name-calling. Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 19 May – A dispensation for Henry VIII to marry wife number 3

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn was executed within the confines of the Tower of London.

    It must have been an incredibly hard day for the queen’s friend, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Not only did he have a visit from a friend regarding a terrifying vision, in the early hours… Not only did he have to cope with the idea of his friend and patron being beheaded, but he had to issue a dispensation for the king to marry again!

    Find out more in today’s talk.

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  • The Fall of Anne Boleyn Wordsearch

    As we’re coming up to the anniversary of Queen Anne Boleyn’s anniversary, on 19th May, I thought I’d test you on your knowledge of those involved in her fall.

    Get those little grey cells working with this fun wordsearch. Warning: the words can go in any direction!

    Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out.

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  • 28 April – A man involved in the falls of two queens

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th April 1548 (some sources say 6 May), courtier, diplomat, soldier and Keeper of Oatlands Palace, Sir Anthony Browne, died at Byfleet in Surrey. He had been one of Henry VIII’s most important and richest courtiers and was also involved in the falls of two queens: Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves.

    Find out more about this man and how he was involved in the falls of the two Annes in today’s talk.

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  • 11 April – Victory for Anne Boleyn, finally!

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th April 1533, Good Friday, King Henry VIII informed his council that Anne Boleyn, the woman he’d married in January 1533, was his rightful wife and queen, and should be accorded royal honours.

    Finally, things were going right for the couple, who had been waiting for this moment since 1527.

    Find out more about what had led Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to this point, and why they thought that the Great Matter would be sorted out much quicker, in today’s talk.

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  • 29 January – Queen Anne Boleyn miscarries

    On this day in Tudor history, 29th January 1536, the same day that Catherine of Aragon was buried at Peterborough Abbey, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII suffered a miscarriage.

    Contemporary accounts state that she was around 3 1/2 months pregnant and that it was a boy.

    In today’s talk, I share information given by the imperial ambassador on Anne Boleyn’s miscarriage, including the gossip concerning the king and a certain Jane Seymour.

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  • Remember me when you do pray – what’s Anne Boleyn’s message?

    Thank you so much to Tudor Society member Corinna Hahn for asking the following question for our “Expert Answers” section. It’s a very interesting question.

    I (Claire) opted to answer this one as I’ve done lots of research on the two books of hours in the collection at Hever Castle, and I was lucky enough to hold them and talk to my dear friend, castle supervisor, Owne Emmerson, about them back in May. I’ve included the video below my answer so that you can find out all about these beautiful books.

    Here is Corinna’s question in full:

    “I’ve got some questions about one book of hours that Anne Boleyn owned and that is now at Hever Castle. It’s the one with Anne Boleyn’s inscription under a prayer adjacent to a miniature of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. The inscription reads “Remember me when you do pray that hope doth lead from day to day.”

    This rhyme has intrigued me for years, since we don’t know when and where Anne wrote it, to whom she wrote it and what the real message behind her inscription was.

    It seems to me that Anne didn’t write in her prayer books heedlessly, every inscription she has left somewhere is there for a reason and where she placed her “Remember me” rhyme could possibly be a clue to the point of time when she wrote these words.
    My questions are: Under which text did she write her “Remember me” rhyme? Is there a transcription and/or translation of this text? Why did she place her message there? Was the rhyme she wrote meant as a prayer request or a farewell to someone? Is it known who owned the prayer book after her death? Where was the book before Hever Castle acquired it?”

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  • 27 October – Anne Boleyn makes an entrance

    On this day in Tudor history, Sunday 27th October 1532, Anne Boleyn, Marquess of Pembroke, made a dramatic entrance to the great banquet held by King Henry VIII in Calais in honour of King Francis I of France.

    I share details from contemporary sources regarding the banquet and the masque that followed. Anne Boleyn definitely knew how to make and entrance and the English ladies must have looked spectacular. You’ll recognise some of the names of Anne’s ladies and those present in Calais.

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  • 21 October – Henry VIII leaves Anne Boleyn behind in Calais

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st October 1532, King Henry VIII left his sweetheart, Anne Boleyn, behind in Calais while he travelled to Boulogne to spend a few days at the French court with Francis I.

    The kings were beautifully attired for their meeting and there was a bit of a bromance, with Henry calling Francis his “beloved brother” and Francis instructing his sons to be “loving always” to Henry. However, Anne Boleyn was disappointed with the situation and you can find out more in today’s talk.

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  • 2 October – William Tyndale, Anne Boleyn and a book for “all Kings to read”

    On this day in Tudor history, 2nd October 1528, reformer and Bible translator William Tyndale’s book “The Obedience of a Christian Man” was published in Antwerp.

    A copy of this book owned by Anne Boleyn ended up being a catalyst of the English Reformation when it was confiscated from the suitor of one of Anne’s ladies as a heretical book. Henry VIII ended up reading it and proclaiming that “This Book is for me and all Kings to read.” It set him on his path to the break with Rome and saw him marrying Anne Boleyn as his second wife.

    Find out the full story in this talk…

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