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4<Section>
5  <Description>
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14    <Metadata name="Content">Letter of Queen Anne Boleyn to her husband, King Henry VIII, 6 May 1536</Metadata>
15    <Metadata name="Title">Primary Sources - Letter of Queen Anne Boleyn to her husband, King Henry VIII, 6 May 1536</Metadata>
16    <Metadata name="FileFormat">HTML</Metadata>
17    <Metadata name="URL">http://englishhistory.net/tudor/letter10.html</Metadata>
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27  <Content>
28
29&lt;table border=&quot;0&quot; cellpadding=&quot;3&quot; width=&quot;100%&quot; height=&quot;667&quot;&gt;
30  &lt;tr&gt;
31    &lt;td width=&quot;15%&quot; height=&quot;29&quot;&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
32    &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;70%&quot; height=&quot;29&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/td&gt;
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35  &lt;tr&gt;
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42    &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;70%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#FFFFFF&quot;&gt;
43    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;FONT size=+1&gt;Letter of Queen Anne Boleyn to her husband, King
44Henry VIII&lt;br&gt;6 May 1536&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/b&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
45  &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;b&gt;Background&lt;br&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;
46  &lt;IMG height=194 alt=&quot;Queen Anne Boleyn&quot;
47  src=&quot;_httpdocimg_/anne1.jpg&quot; width=150 align=left&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;First of
48  all, this letter may be a fake.&amp;nbsp; Then again, it may not.&amp;nbsp; The debate
49  over its authenticity continues and no definitive answer is possible.&amp;nbsp;
50  The original no longer exists; a copy was said to be found amongst Thomas
51  Cromwell's papers after his execution.&amp;nbsp; Most of Anne's modern biographers
52  believe it to be a forgery.&amp;nbsp; Their reason?&amp;nbsp; They don't believe any
53  16th century prisoner would have been allowed to write to their monarch in
54  such a familiar manner.&amp;nbsp; Yet Anne was not just any political prisoner -
55  she was Henry VIII's wife and had been his grand passion for several
56  years.&amp;nbsp; Locked away in the Tower, aware of the concurrent arrests of her
57  brother and friends and worried about her young daughter, she may very well
58  have written to the king.&amp;nbsp; She was in a desperate situation, of course,
59  but she also believed (as witnesses attest) that Henry would be merciful and
60  simply divorce her and send her to a convent.&amp;nbsp; She was proven wrong and
61  executed thirteen days after this letter was supposedly written.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
62  &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;In debating the authenticity, another point to consider is
63  Anne's personality.&amp;nbsp; Her combative temperament was well-documented by her
64  contemporaries; they observed with awe that she dared to chastise and insult
65  the king.&amp;nbsp; Henry VIII himself commented upon her boldness.&amp;nbsp; It had probably helped to attract his attention.&amp;nbsp;  But the appeal of such a passionate
66  and emotional woman did not hold him forever.&amp;nbsp; By the end of their
67  relationship, Henry was comparing her to a shrew and warned her to hold her
68  tongue in his presence.&amp;nbsp; His next wife was the very quiet and meek Jane
69  Seymour, and a more glaring contrast to Anne Boleyn cannot be imagined.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
70  &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;If Anne had written a letter to Henry from her prison, it
71  would undoubtedly read exactly like this one.&lt;/FONT&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;FONT size=-1&gt;As to
72  its authenticity..... I have included this letter because it is an interesting
73  historical curiosity, whether authentic or forged.&amp;nbsp; It is up to the
74  individual reader to reject or accept it.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
75    &lt;hr&gt;
76    &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;&gt;Your grace's displeasure and
77    my imprisonment are things so strange to me, that what to write, or what to
78    excuse, I am altogether ignorant.&amp;nbsp; Whereas you send to me (willing me
79    to confess a truth and so obtain your favor), by such a one, whom you know
80    to be mine ancient professed enemy, I no sooner received this message by
81    him, than I rightly conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, confessing a
82    truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all willingness and duty,
83    perform your duty.&amp;nbsp; But let not your grace ever imagine that your poor
84    wife will be brought to acknowledge a fault, where not so much as a thought
85    ever proceeded.&amp;nbsp; And to speak a truth, never a prince had wife more
86    loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in
87    Anne Bulen - with which name and place I could willingly have contented
88    myself, if God and your grace's pleasure had been so pleased.&amp;nbsp; Neither
89    did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation or received
90    queenship, but that I always looked for such alteration as I now find; for
91    the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your grace's
92    fancy, the least alteration was fit and sufficient (I knew) to draw that
93    fancy to some other subject.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT
94    face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;&gt;You have chosen me from low estate to be your
95    queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire; if, then, you found me
96    worthy of such honor, good your grace, let not any light fancy or bad
97    counsel of my enemies withdraw your princely favor from me; neither let that
98    stain - that unworthy stain - of a disloyal heart towards your good grace
99    ever cast so foul a blot on me, and on the infant princess your
100    daughter.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;&gt;Try me, good king,
101    but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my sworn enemies sit as my
102    accusers and as my judges; yea, let me receive an open trial, for my truth
103    shall fear no open shame.&amp;nbsp; Then you shall see either my innocency
104    cleared, your suspicions and conscience satisfied, the ignominy and slander
105    of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared.&amp;nbsp; So that, whatever
106    God and you may determine of, your grace may be freed from an open censure;
107    and my offense being so lawfully proved, your grace may be at liberty, both
108    before God and man, not only to execute worthy punishment on me as an
109    unfaithful wife but to follow your affection already settled on that party
110    for whose sake I am now as I am, whose name I could some while since have
111    pointed unto - your grace being not ignorant of my suspicions therein.&amp;nbsp;
112    But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my death, but an
113    infamous slander must bring your the joying of your desired happiness, then
114    I desire of God that he will pardon your great sin herein, and likewise my
115    enemies, the instruments thereof; and that he will not call you to a strait
116    account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me at his general
117    judgment-seat, where both you and myself must shortly appear; and in whose
118    just judgment, I doubt not (whatsoever the world may think of me), mine
119    innocency shall be openly known and sufficiently cleared.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT
120    face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;&gt;My last and only request shall be, that myself
121    only bear the burden of your grace's displeasure, and that it may not touch
122    the innocent souls of those poor gentlemen, whom, as I understand, are
123    likewise in strait imprisonment for my sake.&amp;nbsp; If ever I have found
124    favor in your sight - if ever the name of Anne Bulen have been pleasing in
125    your ears - then let me obtain this request; and so I will leave to trouble
126    your grace any further, with mine earnest prayer to the Trinity to have your
127    grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your actions.&lt;/FONT&gt;
128    &lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;&gt;From my doleful prison in the Tower,
129    the 6th May.&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
130    &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
131
132  &lt;BLOCKQUOTE&gt;
133    &lt;P&gt;
134    &lt;HR width=&quot;100%&quot;&gt;
135  &lt;/BLOCKQUOTE&gt;
136    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A
137href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fletters.html&quot;&gt;to Letters of the Six Wives
138of Henry VIII&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
139    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fprimary.html&quot;&gt;to
140Primary Sources&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A
141href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor.html&quot;&gt;to Tudor England&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;
142    &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fmonarchs%2fboleyn.html&quot;&gt;to Anne
143    Boleyn website&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
144    &lt;/td&gt;
145    &lt;td width=&quot;15%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
146  &lt;/tr&gt;
147&lt;/table&gt;
148
149
150
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153</Content>
154</Section>
155</Archive>
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