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Anne Boleyn on Trial Again

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1 Some 1,200 words are devoted to Retha Warnicke's views on Anne's miscarriage which were exposed twenty years ago, for example in Loach, J., ‘The usurped and unjust empire of women’, this Journal xlii (1992), 287. There is no engagement with E. W. Ives, ‘The fall of Cardinal Wolsey’, in S. J. Gunn and P. G. Lindley (eds), Cardinal Wolsey: Church, State and art, Cambridge 1991, 286–315. Bernard (p. 218) draws attention to my Anne Boleyn (Oxford 1986), 376, where I dismissed comments by de Carles (and others) as popular gossip, and contrasts my conclusion in The life and death of Anne Boleyn, Oxford 2004, 60, that the poem versified Cromwell's media message. He has forgotten that I changed my view in 1992 because he had drawn attention to the description of de Carles as attendant and neer about thambassador’: ‘The fall of Anne Boleyn reconsidered’, EHR cvii (1992), 659.

2 It especially targets Ives, Life and death of Anne, and David Starkey, Six wives of Henry VIII, London 2003.

3 BL, ms Royal 20. B xvii, fo. 1.

4 L. Febvre, Au Coeur religieux du XVIe siècle, Paris 1957, 66.

5 R. Marius, Thomas More, Cambridge, Ma 1984, 347–9.

6 Ibid. 269–70.

7 A. McGrath, The intellectual origins of the European Reformation, Oxford 1987, 79–93, and Reformation thought, 3rd edn, Oxford 1999, 31–3, 72–7, 104–5; D. Bagchi, ‘Catholic theologians of the Reformation period before Trent’, in D. Bagchi and D. C. Steinmetz (eds), Cambridge companion to Reformation theology, Cambridge 2004, 228–9.

8 E. Cameron, ‘The Reformation in France and Italy to c. 1560’, and J. J. Martin, ‘Elites and reform in northern Italy’, in P. Benedict, S. Seidel Menchi and A. Tallon (eds), La Réforme en France et en Italie, Paris 2007, 26–7, 316–17; cf. K. Austin, ‘Immanuel Tremellius and the avoidance of controversy’, in L. Racaut and A. Ryrie (eds), Moderate voices in the European Reformation, Aldershot 2005, 73–6.

9 Bernard (p. 115) claims that ‘all of this was essentially Henry's policy’.Yet what Henry understood by it was very different. To him, Christianity was a matter of moral living and correct liturgical performance, and faith was the acceptance of propositions, not a personal, life-changing commitment. Cf. ‘Luther's Catholic opponents … understood sola fide as implying exclusive reliance on a human mental faculty’: Bagchi, ‘Catholic theologians’, 228–9.

10 Nicole Lemaitre, ‘Les Évêques réformateurs français’, in C. Giry-Deloison (ed.), François Ier et Henri VIII, Lille 1996, 102–19; Guillaume Briçonnet et Marguerite d'Angoulême: correspondence, ed. C. Martineau and M. Veissière, Geneva 1975, i. 124; ii. 64. Anne was looked up to by Claude's younger sister Renée whose interest in reform developed into full-blown Protestantism: Calendar of state papers, foreign series of the reign of Elizabeth, ed. Joseph Stephenson and others, London 1863–1950, 1560–1, in progress, no. 870.

11 ‘the literal sense and the spiritual sense coincide’: P. E. Hughes, Lefèvre, pioneer of ecclesiastical renewal in France, Grand Rapids, Mi 1984, 56.

12 McGrath, Intellectual origins, 140–8.

13 Hughes, Lefèvre, 157.

14 Ibid. 75.

15 Ibid. 74.

16 BL, ms Harleian 6561.

17 Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, Épistres et évangiles pour les cinquante et deux dimanches de l'an, facsimile of the Lyons printing (Etienne Dolet, 1542), ed. M. A. Screech, Geneva 1964, 13. There are, in fact, seven citations of Augustine and one of Jerome: Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples et ses disciples: épistres et évangiles pour les cinquante et deux dimanches de l'an, ed. Guy Bedouelle and F. Giacone, Leiden 1976, 403. The earliest edition is Simon du Bois, conjecturally Paris 1525–6.

18 Épistres et évangiles (Screech edn), 41–51, for example ‘Propositio xvii’, ‘For from the will of God alone comes our salvation, without any benefit of so great goods [‘biens’] or merits from us. Censura: This proposition, that merit arising from good works is not necessary for salvation and has no part in it, is heretical.' By 1525 Lefèvre had also abandoned the cult of saints along with belief in purgatory and had reduced priestly authority to expounding the Scripture: ibid. pp. xxiii–xxiv, clxx v, ccxxiv; Épistres et évangiles (Bedouelle and Giacone edn), 31–2, 227, 297.

19 J. P. Carley, ‘Her moost lovyng and fryndely brother sendeth gretyng’, in M. P. Brown and D. S. McKendrick (eds), Illuminating the book: makers and interpreters, London 1998, 267–8; The libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. J. P. Carley, London 2000, pp. lvii–lviii; M. Axton and J. P. Carley (eds), The triumph of English: Henry Parker, Lord Morley, London 2000, 37; J. P. Carley, The books of King Henry VIII and his wives, London 2004, 126–7, 131 and plate 121. Bernard (p. 100) nevertheless regards Rochford's involvement as ‘implausible’.

20 CSPSpanish, 1536–8, 91; LP x, no. 699. Bernard questions Rochford's reformist credentials on the ground that he gambled (p. 99). On the problem that gambling posed for reformers see E. W. Ives, Lady Jane Grey: a Tudor mystery, Oxford 2009, 74–5. See also Ives, Life and death of Anne, 263, 272.

21 Libraries of King Henry VIII, p. lviii.

22 Alnwick Castle, Percy ms 465, fos 147–8.

23 Épistres et évangiles (Screech edn), 16.

24 He did, however, describe that union as spiritual, said that the eucharist contains no ‘mystery other than the remembrance effected by the presence of the body and blood formerly offered … which is all sufficient for salvation’, and that ‘the sacrament does not effect anything without faith’: Hughes, Lefèvre, 87, 89.

25 BL, ms Cotton Otho Cx, fo. 224v (LP x, no. 797).

26 Épistres et évangiles (Bedouelle and Giacone edn), 309. This follows St Paul: ‘work will be shown for what it is because the Day [of Christ] will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames’: 1 Cor. iii. 12–15; cf. ‘Certain it is that if we desire to follow him in all humility (which is to us necessary to have salvation) we will not be without reward but we will be exalted in eternal glory with him’: Épistres et évangiles (Bedouelle and Giacone edn, 149).

27 LP x, no. 827. A significant number of other French reformist texts in the sixteenth-century royal collection can be associated with the Boleyns: Libraries of King Henry VIII, p. lviii.

28 LP vi, no. 613.

29 M. Dowling, Humanism in the age of Henry VIII, London 1986, 81–2. It is not clear whether Anne was interceding for Thomas Garrard or the equally suspect Dr Robert Forman of Queens' College, Cambridge.

30 Original letters illustrative of English history, ed. H. Ellis, London 1824–46, i/2, 46.

31 Letters of royal and illustrious ladies, ed. M. A. E. Wood, London 1846, ii. 188–9 (LP vii, no. 693).

32 Correspondence of Matthew Parker, ed. J. Bruce and T. T. Perowne (Parker Society, 1853), 1–2, 4–5; John Strype, Life and acts of Matthew Parker, Oxford 1821, 16–18.

33 For Barlow see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 262; for Latimer and Shaxton see LP x, no. 1257 (ix). Bernard (p. 111) queries ‘any direct involvement’ of Anne in Foxe's career, but the numerous Boleyn devices on the King's College organ screen (erected when he was Provost) point to a close link: Ives Life and death of Anne, 243, 249–50 and plate 34. For Foxe's strong credentials as a reformer see J. V. Pollet, Martin Bucer, Paris 1962, ii. 456, and C. Hopf, Martin Bucer and the English Reformation, Oxford 1964, 199, 251.

34 Borbonius [Nicholas Bourbon], Nugarum libri octo, Lyons 1538, vii. 90, p. 402.

35 Étienne Dolet, Deux Livres d' epigrammes, Lyons 1538, bk iii, p. 162.

36 Miscellaneous writings and letters of Thomas Cranmer, ed. J. E. Cox (Parker Society, 1846), 323–4.

37 LP x, no. 942.

38 For example see ‘Le Pasteur Évangélique’; Psalter (translation attributed to Louis de Berquin who was martyred in 1528); New Testament, trans. William Tyndale (1534); Bible, trans. Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples (Antwerp 1534), stamped with ‘HA’; and evangelical texts, viz. vol. i: ‘Ainsi Que Tovs Mevrent Par Adam: Avssy Tovs Seront Vivifies Par Christ [1 Cor. xv.22]; vol. ii: La Loy A Este Donnee Par Moysse: La Grace Et La Verite Par Iesv Christ [ John i. 17]: see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 240, 242–3, 269, 270, 273–4, and plates 23, 28, 29, 45.

039 LP xi, nos 860, 1250.

040 P. J. Montana and B. H. Charnov, Management, New York 2008, 253.

041 Ives., E. W., ‘Stress, faction and ideology in early-Tudor England’, HJ xxxiv (1991), 134.

42 Idem, Faction at the court of Henry viii: the fall of Anne Boleyn', History lvii (1972), 169–88; cf. J. E. Neale, ‘The Elizabethan political scene’, in his Essays in Elizabethan history, London 1958, 59–84; G. R. Elton, ‘Sir Thomas More and the opposition to Henry viii’, and ‘Thomas Cromwell's decline and fall’, in his Studies in Tudor and Stuart politics and government, i, Cambridge 1974, 155–72, 189–230.

43 CSPSpanish, 1536–8, 85, 106; LP x, nos 601, 752. For faction at work see TNA, PRO, SP1/59, fos 141–2 (LP iv, app. no. 235(1)); BL, ms Stowe, 141, fo. 33; Letters and accounts of William Brereton of Malpas, ed. E. W. Ives (Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society cxvi, 1976), 75, 93.

44 Ives, Life and death of Anne, 361–2, and ‘The fall of Anne Boleyn reconsidered’, 660. Henry was determined to break Mary's will, and it is hard to see why the arrest of various courtiers should put pressure on the princess unless they were known as her supporters.

45 SP 1/59, fos 141–2 (LP iv, app. no. 235(1)); Letters and accounts of William Brereton, 75.

46 CSPSpanish, 1536–8, 137 (LP x. no. 1069).

47 Bernard (pp. 133–4) now accepts my conclusion that Henry's public commitment to Anne was demonstrated on Easter Tuesday (18 April) when a confrontation was set up to get Charles v's ambassador to acknowledge her for the first time.

48 The material on the sermon consists of two hostile summaries and a set of interrogatories: SP 6/1, fos 7–11v; SP 6/2, fos 11–13; SP 1/103, fos 78–84. There are related mss: SP/2, fos 18ff. and SP 6/6, fos 70ff.

49 Documents of the English Reformation ed. G. Bray, Cambridge 1994, 173; G. W. Bernard, The king's Reformation, New Haven–London 2005, 288.

50 ‘The kynges office is to se thabuses taken awey and not the good thinges themselffes except hit so be that thabuses can nott be taken awey, as Ezechias toke awey the brason serpentt when he cowde nott take awey thabuse of hitt’: SP 6/1, fo. 10. The reference is to 2 Kings viii. 4.

51 The story had been used against Wolsey: G. Walker, ‘Cardinal Wolsey and the satirists: the case of Godly Queen Hester’, in Gunn and Lindley, Cardinal Wolsey, 245–60. It would also be used against Cromwell by the Pilgrimage of Grace: M. H. Dodds and R. Dodds, The Pilgrimage of Grace, London 1915, i. 281.

52 For details see Ives, E. W., ‘Anne Boleyn and the early Reformation in England: the contemporary evidence’, HJ xxvii (1994), 398–9.

53 SP 6/1, fo. 9v.

54 Cf. Alexander Ales, ‘Cromwell, Wriothesley and certain others … hated the queen because she had sharply rebuked them … that under the guise of religion they were advancing their own interests [and] that they had put everything up for sale’, Calendar of state papers foreign, 1558–1559, no. 1303.

55 SP 6/1, fo. 8v. For recollections of Anne mobilising other preachers to defend monastic assets (including Hugh Latimer) see William Latymer, ‘A briefe treatise or cronickille of … Anne Bulleyne’, Bodleian Library, Oxford, ms Don. C 42, fos 28v, 29, and ‘William Latymer's Cronickille’, ed. M. Dowling, in Camden Miscellany XXX (Camden 4th ser. xxxix, 1990), 57–8; Ives, Life and death of Anne, 310.

56 SP 6/1, fo. 11.

57 Ibid. fo. 8.

58 Ibid. fos 8v, 9; SP 6/2, fo. 12.

59 P. Hughes, The Reformation in England, London 1956, i. 387; Ives, Life and death of Anne, 310.

60 State papers published under the authority of His Majesty's Commission, King Henry VIII, London 1830–52, i. 352 (LP iv, no. 6114); Ives, Life and death of Anne, 130. The letter must have been among Cromwell's papers seized in 1540. Bernard (p. 53) reads this letter as evidence that Wolsey did not see Anne as responsible for his fall, but he did (reportedly) call her ‘the nyght Crowe’: George Cavendish, The life and death of Cardinal Wolsey, ed. R. S. Sylvester (Early English Text Society ccvliii, 1959), 137. On 1 April Chapuys had reminded Cromwell of Wolsey's fate: Calendar of state papers Spanish, 1536–8, 83–4 (LP x, no. 601).

61 CSPSpanish, 1536–8, 83–4 (LP x, no. 601). There were also diplomatic and political considerations: Ives, Life and death of Anne, 312–16.

62 Cavendish, Life and death of Wolsey, 137.

63 SP 6/1, fo. 11. For Anne's possible involvement in petitions to reprieve monasteries see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 312. For Stoke by Clare see pp. 286–7.

64 BL, ms Cotton Faustina C iii, fo. 456 (LP x, no. 345). William Latymer reported that the remission also covered ‘subsidies’: Latymer, ‘Treatyse’, fo. 28v (Dowling, ‘Cronickille’, 57).

65 Dawson, J. E. A., ‘The foundation of Christ Church, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge in 1546’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research lvii (1984), 208–15; A. Ryrie, The Gospel and Henry VIII, Cambridge 2003, 164–9.

66 Donald Rumsfeld, US Department of Defense briefing, 12 Feb. 2002.

67 Lancelot de Carles, Histoire de Anne Boleyn jadis royne d'Angleterre, exécutee à mort à Londres, lines 1319–20. For bibliography see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 376 n. 58, and Bernard, Anne Boleyn, 202 n. 15.

68 LP xii/2, no. 78. It is noticeable that the only alleged ‘lover’ to whom de Carles gives much attention is Francis Weston whom the French did try to rescue: Histoire, lines 789–809; CSPSpanish, 1536–38, 128 (LP x, no. 908); Lisle letters, ed. M. St Clare Byrne, London 1981, iii. 695 (LP x, no. 865).

69 LP x, no. 873.

70 LP xi, no. 29.

71 de Carles, Histoire, lines 28, 339–74; Lisle letters, iii. 703a; iv. 847 (LP x, nos 953, 964). Roland Bulkeley said that a number of ladies were accessories, but gave no names: SP 1/103, fo. 218 (LP x, no. 785).

72 LP xii/2, 78. The literary character of the poem (as Bernard says, p. 159) is evident in the construction: de Carles, Histoire, lines 16–24, 280–8, but note also the elaborate speeches, for example at lines 348–74, 399–444, 846–79, 993–1039.

73 de Carles, Histoire, lines 420–8.

74 The force of this was recognised by the Elizabethan writer George Wyatt: The life of Cardinal Wolsey, ed. S. W. Singer, 2nd edn, London 1827, 445–6. For Wyatt's sources see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 51–2. For Katherine and Lady Rochford see Starkey, Six wives, 673–84, and Julia Fox, Jane Boleyn, the infamous Lady Rochford, London 2007, 292–303.

75 The reports of John Spelman, ed. J. H. Baker (Selden Society lxliii, lxliv, 1977–8), i. 71.

76 For Lady Wingfield see Ives, Life and death of Anne, 330–1. Edward Baynton, Anne's vice-chamberlain, was (unlike de Carles) at the centre of things and he reported that Margery Horsman, another of Anne's attendants, must have been complicit: BL, ms Cotton Otho C.x., fo. 209v (LP x, no. 799). Yet by 18 June, Margery was ‘in her old room with’ Queen Jane: Lisle letters, iv. 663 (LP x, no. 1165).

77 She died in 1565: ODNB s.v. ‘William Somerset, 3rd earl of Worcester’.

78 LP vi, no. 613.

79 ‘my lady Bolen sayd to hyr, “Seche desire as you heve had to soche tales hase browthe you to thys”’: ms Cotton Otho C x, fo. 222 (LP x, no. 798). Bernard (p. 191) identifies the speaker as Anne's mother, but as a countess her title was ‘my lady Wiltshire’. The most probable ‘lady Bolen’ is Anne's aunt Elizabeth (née Wood).

80 ms Cotton Otho C.x, fo. 225 (LP x, no. 793). G. Walker rightly points to the importance of ‘unguarded speech and gossip’ in the 1536 crisis, and suggests that this adequately accounts for the episode: Rethinking the fall of Anne Boleyn’, HJ xlv (2002), 26. The drip drip of gossip does explain the progressive arrests over more than a week: Ives, Life and death of Anne, 328, 335–6. It does not explain why the public altercation between Anne and Norris on Saturday 29 April (the basis for the treason charge) was followed by the arrest of the insignificant Mark Smeton. That strongly suggests an intention to extort confessions which would turn the excuses of Anne and Norris into evidence of guilt: ibid. 325–7.

81 Ives, Life and death of Anne, 343–50. Bernard appears to believe that Anne was condemned for adultery and also to ignore the fact that having the other co-defendants condemned three days previously pre-judged the trials of Anne and Rochford.

82 ‘so that there was never such a whore in the realm’: Reports of John Spelman, i. 71. Henry made adultery with a queen a treasonable offence after the Katherine Howard episode.

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