Primary Sources: 1536: Anne Boleyn's speech at her execution

 

sketch of Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the YoungerThis account of Anne Boleyn's speech at her execution was made by the Tudor chronicler Edward Hall.

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.

'Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it.  I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord.  And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.  And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.  O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.'

After being blindfolded and kneeling at the block, she repeated several times:
'To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesu receive my soul.'

 

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