An article about Anne Boleyn’s fall and the one responsible for it
By Hristoslav Veselinov Stankov
In nowadays there are a lot of things written about Anne Boleyn . There are a lot of pictures with her face on it and a lot of criticism peaces about her and her life , fall and death.Her death is shrouded by enigma but if we are really stubborn and daring to lift the curtain we will probably see one person hiding in the shadows – Thomas Cromwell.
Thomas Cromwell … why him ? A lot of historians wrote quite enough books and reviews through the centuries for somebody interested in Anne Boleyn to draw his own conclusion and I think that the one responsible for the death of the queen was the king’s secretary himself . Cromwell was the instigator of the plot that lead toAnne’s downfall and there are a lot of strong evidence proving it.As we know in the past Cromwell has been Boleyn’s allie and he helped Anne to smoothly reach the throne.He shared her reformist views but with the time their views had begun to change a lot.The first thing that shows him in the light of the murderer is the letter the king sent to the ambassador.And I will cite words from the book “The lady in the tower : the fall of Anne Boleyn “ :
”Cromwell was to tell Chapuys on June 6 that “owing to the displeasure and anger he had incurred upon the reply given to me [Chapuys] by the King on the third day of Easter [April 18], he had thought up and plotted the affair (il a fantasier et conspirer l’affaire) of the Concubine, in which he had taken a great deal of trouble”2—as would become clear. Of course, misleading or even false information could be fed to ambassadors, but the cynical Chapuys was no novice at the game, and he accepted what Cromwell said as the truth”.
These words strongly support the idea of Thomas Cromwell being the one responsible for Anne’s death . But why would he turn away from Anne ? Well , first of all Anne Boleyn had argued with Cromwell over the distribution of the monasteries and the valuable things in them . Cromwell wanted to fill the king’s depleted coffers and of course he wanted a cut for himself . On the other hand Anne wanted to give the money for charity and educational causes (Another scene presenting the queen as a good person and as a queen caring for the society and the needs of the country – although we know that the people didn’t like her so much) . So the queen was against the secretary and she became an obstacle for him to the way of his own wealth and that’s another strong argument that the historian Joanna Denny put forward in her book for Anne Boleyn . But that’s not all .Eric Ives Anne’s biographer suggests that Anne differed Cromwell – the king’s counsellor and in a foreign policies.She wanted to make an alliance with France but the secretary wanted an imperial alliance – the Holy Roman Emperor..Anne had already became such a big threat in the way of the counselor and he had to remove her , he had to take her out of the throne.But Cromwell knew that whilst the king’s affection for Anne had already gone for a long time , she was still having influence over him.And this is something he couldn’t afford having on his path .Some historians like Alison Weir suggest that the queen herself was planning to make a plot against Cromwell and even wanted him dead.So the secretary had to find allies to help him get rid of the queen and he found Chapuys who was still faithful to queen Katherine , people devoted their life to the same queen and the the people of Lady / princess Mary were on his side too .The family of Jane Seymour too wanted the Boleyns out of the court and the queen bringed down .
So from all that taken from historical sources and books two of which “The Spanish chronicles of king Henry 8 “ and “The lady in the tower :The Fall of Anne Boleyn “ we can state that the evil counsellor was afraid of Anne having too much power and that with one move of her hand she could’ve bring him down.
Anne was enormous threat to the counsellor and the views of both of them strongly differed which meant that it was him or it was her at the end.The king could’ve trust only one of them.Some would say that the king was the one to blame and Cromwell was just one of his pawns but the counsellor is the one responsible for Anne’s death and there are evidence proving that theory.We know that Henry 8 had enough reasons to want Anne out of the throne . First he waited too long for her to give him a son (his biggest wish) and after four miscarriages he was too frustrated to want more . On the other hand he wanted to make Jane Seymour his queen , because he loved her .Also the Catholic Europe didn’t recognize the marriage for real and therefore their only child ( Elizabeth ) was taken for bastard. And finally there were bad rumours for Anne connected with men.From the Spanish chronicle moreover we know that by time the king himself was the head of the England church so he could’ve get rid of Anne very easily if he wanted to and without the secretary’s help.
So it was the counsellor , who start the whole thing to get rid of the queen.It wasn’t hard for him with his relations to spy on the queen and from reading the Spanish chronicle for the king we can conclude that the counsellor payed people to listen carefully Anne’s conversations and to spy on her more closely.The historian Alison Weir suggest that with the easy – going and flirting nature it wasn’t hard to find accusations to blame Anne for.Further she was not that discreet and talk things when they go through her mind..Her close relations with Mark Smeaton – the musician , with sir William Brereton and sir Henry Norris were the one leading to the I think wrong conclusion that she was commiting adultery.The conversations Cromwell’s people had with the queen’s maids of honour lead to the absolutely ridiculous accusations for incest (As we know when the queen’s brother George Rochford wanted to talk to her she told the maids to leave the room so they coul be in privacy ).Some people though that Anne was a witch and in addition she was having moles over her body – which as we know at that time were a devil sign .So the rumours and the work of the spies brought to Cromwell enough information for him to easily manage to design a lot of accusations for the queen and the most evil of them – high treason (betraying the king’s trust and love).Then the secretary wrote the letter (with the confessions of Mark Smeaton ,who as I forget to say was tortured to confess what he had done with the queen …. My personal opinion is that his confessions are fake , and he said them just because he wanted the people of Cromwell just to stop torture him ) in which he accused the queen for numerous of charges including adultery , incest and high treason and that was it all . And that was all the trustful king (heard enough rumours for his wife) was waiting for .Then all of us know what the consequences and the end were.
I think that Thomas Cromwell was an evil conspirator , manipulator and my personal opinion is that he is the one responsible for the death of one of the most interesting and important queens of England . I think that the counsellor himself is the one we can blame for breaking the wings of the white falcon and we should all commemorate the date 19 may 1536 in the memory of our favorite queen .