The tone of this letter differs remarkably from the preceding letter. The disastrous and humiliating legatine hearings at Blackfriars in May 1529 had finally convinced Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn that Wolsey could not secure the annulment. Anne now believed, and with good reason, that the Cardinal had never intended for her to be queen of England and had hoped the endless delays of the annulment would cool Henry’s passion for her. She was angry, and now more receptive to the anti-Wolsey machinations of her uncle, the duke of Norfolk, and other other noblemen who resented Wolsey’s influence with the king. Anne now became their willing partner in destruction; they had their way and in October of 1529, the Cardinal fell spectacularly from grace.
Upon Wolsey’s fall, his position was filled by his far less ostentatious and more cunning protégé, Thomas Cromwell. He learned the lessons of Wolsey’s life well, and his initial support of Anne Boleyn was tempered by a realistic understanding of Henry VIII’s temperament.
Though you are a man of great understanding, you cannot avoid being censured by every body for having drawn on yourself the hatred of a king who had raised you to the highest degree to which the greatest ambition of a man seeking his fortune can aspire. I cannot comprehend, and the king still less, how your reverent lordship, after having allured us by so many fine promises about divorce, can have repented of your purpose, and how you could have done what you have, in order to hinder the consummation of it. What, then, is your mode of proceeding? You quarreled with the queen to favor me at the time when I was less advanced in the king’s good graces; and after having therein given me the strongest marks of your affection, your lordship abandons my interests to embrace those of the queen. I acknowledge that I have put much confidence in your professions and promises, in which I find myself deceived. But, for the future, I shall rely on nothing by the protection of Heaven and the love of my dear king, which alone will be able to set right again those plans which you have broken and spoiled, and to place me in that happy station which God wills, the king so much wishes, and which will be entirely to the advantage of the kingdom. The wrong you have done me has caused me much sorrow; but I feel infinitely more in seeing myself betrayed by a man who pretended to enter into my interests only to discover the secrets of my heart. I acknowledge that, believing you sincere, I have been too precipitate in my confidence; it is this which has induced, and still induces me, to keep more moderation in avenging myself, not being able to forget that I have been Your servant,
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Letter from Anne Boleyn to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey 1529" https://englishhistory.net/tudor/letter-anne-boleyn-cardinal-thomas-wolsey-1529/, February 27, 2015