Primary Sources: 1536: The execution of Anne Boleyn

 

sketch of Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the YoungerThis account of Anne Boleyn's speech at her execution was recorded in the Annals of John Stow.

The execution took place on 19 May 1536 at 8 o'clock in the morning.  It was the first public execution of an English queen.

This account mentions the famous 'hangman of Calais' who was brought to London for the execution.

All these being on a scaffold made there for the execution, the said Queen Anne said as followeth: Masters, I here humbly submit me to the law, as the law hath judged me, and as for mine offences, God knoweth them, I remit them to God, beseeching him to have mercy on my soul; and I beseech Jesu save my Sovereign and master the King, the most goodliest, and gentlest Prince that is, and long to reign over you, which words she spake with a smiling countenance: which done, she kneeled down on both her knees, and said, To Jesu Christ I commend my soul and with that word suddenly the hangman of Calais smote off her head at one stroke with a sword: her body with the head was buried in the choir of the Chapel in the Tower.

 

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