Who was the real Anne Boleyn? When was she executed and why?

Timeline and extra facts on Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry viii and the mother of Elizabeth Tudor. Find out why was Anne Boleyn beheaded


  • Anne Boleyn was born around this time, the daughter of Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard.
  • Anne’s brother George Boleyn is born
  • Thomas Boleyn , Anne ‘s father was sent on a diplomatic mission by Henry VIII to Brussels. During his trip he arranged for Mary Boleyn to work in the household of Margaret, Archduchess of Austria
  • Anne is invited to join the schoolroom of Margaret of Austria and her four wards, at the Hapsburg court
  • AUGUST: Anne’s name is listed as one the of attendants chosen to accompany Mary Tudor to France for her marriage to King Louis XII.
  • AUGUST 14TH: Thomas Boleyn writes to Margaret of Austria, asking her to release Anne from her duties, and send her back home with the chaperone he has sent.
  • OCTOBER: Anne attended on Henry VIII sister Mary Tudor, who was about to marry Louis XII of France, Anne was a maid of honor to Mary Tudor Queen of France during her time as queen consort of France.
  • Anne’s sister Mary returns from France back home to England.
  • JUNE: Anne is believed to of been present at the Field of Cloth and Gold in France
  • Anne’s sister marries William Carey at Greenwich, Henry VIII attended, Mary soon became his mistress between now and 1525
  • Anne’s European education ended and she was summoned back to England
  • JANUARY: Anne sets sail from Calais
  • Anne returns to England, to marry her Irish cousin, James Butler, 9th Earl Ormond James, had joined the household of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who praised him as a young gentleman "both wise and discreet. the marriage negotiation, came to a halt for unknown reasons. Thomas Wyatt the poet, was another admirer of Anne’s around this time also.
  • 4TH MARCH Anne made her debut at the château vert (green castle) pageant in honour of the imperial ambassadors, playing "perseverance." there she took part in an elaborate dance accompanying Henry VIII younger sister Mary, several other ladies of the court, and her sister. all wore gowns of white satin embroidered with gold thread. She quickly established herself as one of the most stylish and accomplished women at the court, and soon a number of young men were competing for her.
  • Anne develops an attraction to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. Henry Percy, who was being educated in the household of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. Many believe that Henry VIII may have had his eye on Anne as early as this stage, and for this reason the relationship would be stopped.
  • Anne is secretly betrothed to Henry Percy, Henry Percy was cousin to Anne’s brother in law, William 1536, Henry Percy was one of the jury in Anne Boleyn’s trial in May 1536.
  • JANUARY: Thomas Wolsey breaks of Anne ‘s betrothal to Henry Percy
  • 21 MAY: Anne’s grandfather Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke Norfolk died
  • Anne becomes maid of honour to Queen Catherine of Aragon
  • It is thought to of been around this time, Henry VIII began his interest in Anne
  • A series of love letters are written by  Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, including one asking her to be his one and only mistress. Anne stays away from court and away from Henry VIII. Henry  realizes that Anne will only be his if he marries her and asks the pope for a dispensation to marry again.
  • FEBRUARY: Stephen Gardener is sent to Rome with Edward foxes to argue “”
  • JUNE: Anne goes into quarantine at Hever Castle when one of her ladies is taken ill with sweating sickness
  • Anne catches the sweating sickness but recovered. Henry VIII sent his own physician to Hever Castle to care for Anne.
  • Anne was granted wardship of her nephew Henry care after his father had died of the sweating sickness. Anne arranged for her nephew to be educated at a respectable Cistercian monastery. Anne also interceded to secure her widowed sister an annual pension of £100
  • Anne acquires a copy of “the obedience of the Christian man and how Christian rulers ought to govern” published by William Tyndale.
  • Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father has given the titles Earl of Ormonde and Earl of Wiltshire.
  • Catherine of Aragon is banished from court, and Anne is given Catherine’s rooms.
  • AUTUMN: Anne was dined at a manor house on the river Thames and was almost seized by a crowd of angry women. Anne just managed to escape by boat
  • JUNE Mary Talbot asks for an annulment from Henry Percy on the grounds that her husband had a pre-contract with Anne Boleyn. Percy was questioned by Henry VIII and the petition was thrown out by parliament; the Percy’s remained married.
  • Anne was living in the Durham House, London.
  • Thomas crammer is appointed the Boleyn’s family chaplain.
  • 1ST SEPTEMBER Anne is named marques-sate of Pembroke
  • work starts on refurbishing the royal lodgings in the Tower of London in preparation for Anne’s coronation.
  •  11TH OCTOBER: Henry VIII and Anne set sail for Calais, Henry VIII takes Anne with him to the French court to meet with Francis 1st in France.
  • 27TH OCTOBER. Anne and her ladies, including her sister Mary, made a grand entrance, to a banquet held by Henry VIII for king Francis
  • 12 NOVEMBER: Henry and Anne set sail back home to England, after delays due to bad weather conditions.
  • Henry and Anne arrive at Dover
  • 14 NOVEMBER Anne’s secret marriage to Henry VIII of England
  • 24 NOVEMBER: Henry VIII and Anne have arrived back in London.
  • 25TH JANUARY: Henry VIII, married Anne
  • Thomas Cranmer declared Anne and Henry VIII marriage valid and Catherine of Aragon null and void.
  • Anne had a decisive role in influencing the Protestant reformer Matthew Parker to attend court as her chaplain, and prior to her death entrusted her daughter to Parker's care
  • 12 APRIL: Anne made her first appearance as Queen of England
  • 31ST MAY: there was a huge coronation procession as Anne made her way from the Tower of London to Westminster Hall
  • 1ST JUNE coronation of Anne Boleyn. There were four days of celebrations, to follow, pageants and processions. Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, was lord high steward for the day. Thomas Cranmer the archbishop, crowned Anne at Westminster Abbey. William Coffin was master to the horse for the coronation. John De Vere the Earl of Oxford, bore the crown at her coronation
  • 7TH SEPTEMBER The Birth of Anne and Henry VIII England's daughter, the future Elizabeth the 1st of England.
  • 10TH SEPTEMBER: Anne’s daughter Elizabeth christened, by the arch Bishop Thomas Cranmer Henry Courtenay, Lady Elizabeth Stafford, Margaret Wotton were chosen as Elizabeth’s godparents
  • JANUARY: Anne gives Henry VIII a table fountain designed by Hans Holbein
  • MARCH: . the act made princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII by Anne Boleyn, who had been born on the 7th September 1533, the true successor to the crown by declaring princess Mary, daughter of the king by Catherine of Aragon a bastard
  • the act of supremacy
  • Mary Boleyn, marries William Stafford, and because of his low birth name, the family are furious, and Mary is then banished from court with her husband.
  • Anne miscarries a son
  • FEBRUARY: Henry VIII takes Anne’s cousin Margaret Sheldon as a mistress for a short while
  • 5TH NOVEMBER: Anne was at Windsor castle on this day
  • JANUARY: Catherine of Aragon is dead. Catherine's doctor claimed that she had been suffering from "slow poisoning
  • Henry VIII takes an interest in Jane Seymour
  • 29TH JANUARY: Anne miscarries son at four months pregnant, her cousin Margaret Sheldon attends to her.
  • APRIL: Investigations begin on Anne
  • Thomas Wyatt, William Brereton. Sir Francis Weston and Henry Norris all arrested for adultery With Queen Anne. Richard Page was also accused of sexual relations with Anne. however, he and Thomas Wyatt were released and free of all charges. the final one accused was Anne’s own brother George. George is charged with incest on two occasions.
  • 29TH APRIL, Anne Boleyn quarreled with Henry Norris, her husband’s groom of the stool, Anne asked him why he was taking so long to marry Madge, her cousin and when he dismissed her words she you look for dead men’s shoes; for if ought came to the king but good you would look to have me”, accusing him of delaying his marriage to Madge because he fancied her, to which Henry Norris was horrified by this comment.
  •  30TH APRIL Flemish musician in Anne’s service named Mark Smeaton was arrested and is question in the house of Thomas Cromwell. he initially denied being the Queen's lover, perhaps under torture, however he did admit he had sex with queen.
  • at Greenwich
  • 1ST MAY:The Mayday joust, at Greenwich Henry VIII
  • 12 MAY The four of the accused men were tried in Westminster on. Weston, Brereton, and Norris publicly maintained their innocence and only the tortured Smeaton supported the crown by pleading guilty. Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, presided over the trial.
  • Anne Gainsford was, one of Anne’s lady's, was forced to give evidence against the men. Few details survive of the proceedings. Witnesses were called and several spoke of Anne Boleyn's alleged sexual activity. One witness said that there was "never such a whore in the realm".
  • At the end of the trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and the four men were condemned by Thomas Audley to be drawn, hanged, castrated and quartered
  • 14TH MAY Thomas Cranmer declared Anne and Henry VIII England marriage null and void.
  • 15TH MAY  Anne and George Boleyn were tried separately at the king's hall, in the Tower of London, before a jury of twenty-seven peers. She was charged, not only with a whole list of adulterous relationships going back to the autumn of 1533, but also with poisoning Catherine of Aragon, "afflicting Henry with actual bodily harm and conspiring his death
  • 17TH MAY Henry Norris, Mark Smeaton, George Boleyn, Francis Weston, William Brereton were all executed for high treason, adultery with the queen.
  • 19TH MAY The execution of Anne Boleyn in Tower Green.
Anne was laid to rest in the chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula at the Tower of London


  • Anne Boleyn was the second wife and Queen consort of Henry VIII of England for just under three years.


  • Anne’s roots came from two noble families. From her father the “Boleyn’s”, and from her mother’s side the “Howard's”. Anne was a great-granddaughter of John Howard, the 1st duke of Norfolk.


  • Anne and her siblings grew up either at Hever Castle in Kent or possibly at Blickling Hall.


  • Anne had two brothers who died in childhood, Thomas and Henry. Mary, George and Anne were only three of their parent’s children to survive to adulthood.


  • The Most happy . Was Anne ‘s Motto, she had  also chosen a white falcon as her personal device


  • Anne was a first Cousin to Henry the VIII of England’s, fifth wife Catherine Howard.


  • Anne was Distant Cousin Henry's VIII third wife, Jane Seymour


  • Elizabeth Howard, Anne’s Mother had been a lady in waiting to Queen consort Elizabeth of York, and also to Catherine of Aragon.


  • Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII sister, had developed a strong dislike for Anne Boleyn, whom she had first encountered in France when Anne was one of her maids of honour. Anne was Lady in waiting to Mary Tudor at her wedding in October 1514. Anne did not return with the dowager queen of France, after King Louis XII sudden death in January. Anne stayed on in France as one of Queen Claude’s ladies. The two women Mary Tudor and Anne exchanged insults during a trip to Calais for a meeting with François I in 1532.



  • Anne was referred to by some of her subjects as "The king's whore" or a "naughty paike [prostitute]


  • Thomas Wyatt the poet, who was close to Anne, said she had a second nail "upon the side of her nail on one of her fingers". Anne was rather self-conscious, for she took pains to hide it with long hanging over sleeves, another of her fashionable innovations. Nicholas Sander described it as a sixth finger, as did Margaret Roper, the daughter of Sir Thomas More.


  • After her coronation, Anne settled into a quiet routine at the King's favourite residence, Greenwich Palace, to prepare for the birth of her baby the future Elizabeth I England.


  • Elizabeth Barton who was also known as the “Nun of Kent” had warned the King that if he married Anne Boleyn he would die within a month and that within six months the people would be struck down by a great plague. He was disturbed by her prophesies and ordered that she be kept under observation. Elizabeth and a monk named Edward Bocking were eventually executed on the 20th April 1534, for spreading this prophecy, but only after publicly telling people that was what they said were lies, as King Henry feared people would turn on him and rebel if he didn’t do something to prove that what was said was not truth.


  • Anne Boleyn was one of those who complained about Thomas Cromwell's treatment of the monasteries. Anne's support for the redeployment of monastic resources directly contradicted Cromwell's intention to put the proceeds of the dissolution into the king's coffers. The bill dissolving the smaller monasteries had passed both houses of parliament in mid-March, but before the royal assent was given Anne launched her chaplains on a dramatic preaching campaign to modify royal policy.... Cromwell was pilloried before the whole council as an evil and greedy royal adviser from the Old Testament and specifically identified as the Queen's enemy. Nor could the minister shrug off this declaration of war, even though, in spite of Anne's efforts, the dissolution act became law



  • In the January of 1536, after news of Catherine of Aragon’s death. Henry and Anne wore the colour of yellow. In England, the colour yellow is a symbol of joy and celebration. The royal couple wore this colour head to toe and celebrated Catherine's death with festivities. In Spain, the home country of Catherine of Aragon, yellow was the colour of mourning, in addition to black. For this reason, the wearing of yellow by Henry and Anne may have been a symbol of mourning.


  • Anne Boleyn was tried in the King’s Hall in the Tower of London. By jury that consisted of twenty-six judges.


  • “Death Rock Me Asleep” is a poem that is believed to have been written by Anne Boleyn in her imprisonment,


  • George Wyatt, who was the grandson of Thomas Wyatt, the elder. Wrote one of the first biographies of Anne Boleyn many years after her death



The Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, was to represent the King and would have to put Aside The fact that Anne and George were his niece and nephew. The Duke sat in Splendor On his throne, holding his white staff of office and with his son Henry Howard The Earl of Surrey, sat at his feet holding the golden staff of the Earl. Anne was tried in front of at least two Thousand Spectators.




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