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Queen Anna committed to the Tower.
Offence she was charged with. In answer the af firmed, she was wronged, and begged to fee the King. This was refufed, the Lords not having any fuch Commiffion. When she came into the Tower fhe fell upon her Knees, befeeching God to help her, as fhe was not guilty. -William Brereton, and another Gentleman of the King's Privy-chamber, with one Mark Smeeten, were alfo committed.
The Queen found it difficult to get even a Letter delivered to the King, Sir William Kingston, Conftable of the Tower, at firft refufing to carry it. However, on the 6th of May, he was prevailed upon to deliver the Letter.* But this made no Impreffion on
QUEEN ANNA BULLEYN's laft Letter to KING HENRY.
Yfure, and my Imprifon
ment, are Things fo ftrange unto me, as what to write, or what to excufe, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas you fend unto me (willing me to confefs a Truth, and fo obtain your Favour) by such an one, whom you know to be mine antient profeffed Enemy, I no fooner received this Meffage by him, than I rightly conceived your Meaning; and if, as you fay, confeffing a Truth indeed may procure my Safety, I fhall with all Willingness
⚫ much as a Thought thereof pre-
and Duty perform your Com-Fancy, the leaft Alteration, I
knew, was fit and fufficient to draw that Fancy to fome other Subject. You have chofen me, • from a low Estate, to be your Queen and Companion, far be
The Manufcript is ftill extant in the Cotton Library. Othe. 10.
the King; for, May the 15th, she was arraigned in the Tower, and the Duke of Norfolk fitting as High Steward, assisted by the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Suffolk, an dother Peers, (and among whom, as fome affirm, even the Queen's Father appeared) fhe was found guilty of defiling the King's Bed. Her Brother alfo with the others were tried, &c. found guilty of Treason, and, on the 17th, executed.
It seems the King had a mind to have made an Evidence of Norris, for whom he had fome Kindness ; but the Man declared he could not accufe the Queen, which being told the King, he cried out, Hang him up then!
ter. Try me, good King, but let me have a lawful Trial, and let not my fworn Enemies fit as my Accufers and Judges;
yea, let me receive an open
Trial, for my Truth fhall fear · no open Shame; then shall · you fee, either mine Innocence cleared, your Sufpicion and • Confcience fatisfied, the Igno'miny and Slander of the World ftopped, or my Guilt openly declared. So that, whatfoever God or you may determine ' of me, your Grace may be freed from an open Cenfure,
⚫ and mine Offence being fo lawfully proved, your Grace is at Liberty, both before God and 'Man, not only to execute worthy Punishment on me as an unlawful Wife, but to follow your Affection, already fettled on that Party, for whofe Sake now as I am, whose • Name I could fome good while fince have pointed unto, your Grace being not ingnorant of my Sufpicion therein.
But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my Death, but an infamous Slander must bring you the enjoying of your Happinefs; then I defire of God, that he will pardon your great Sin therein, and likewife mine Enemies, the Inftruments thereof; and that he will not call you to a ftrict Account for your unprincely and cruel Ufage of me, at his general Judg'ment-feat, where both you and myfelf must fhortly appear, B b b 2 and
then! as he, to be fure, thought he justly deserved, who, for the Sake of Truth, would be fo impudent as to fpoil all his Measures, by hindering him from having a new Wife.
The Queen's Death, as a Mark of particular Favour, (as it was then termed) was refpited till the 19th, on which the was brought to a Scaffold erected in the Tower of London, where, before a large Company, among other Things, fhe faid, If any one intends an inquifitive Survey of my Actions, I intreat bim to judge favourably of me, and not rafhly to admit any bard, cenforious Conceit. Then, kneeling whilst fhe was at Prayers, the Executioner struck off her Head with a Sword.
Obferve how fwift the Wheel of Providence turn
ed round this Month!
The fudden Fall of this Lady made many call
and in whofe Judgment I doubt not (whatfoever the World may think of me) mine Innocence fhall be openly known, and fufficiently cleared.
My lalt and only Request fhall be, that myself may only bear the Burthen of your Grace's Displeasure, and that it may not touch the innocent Souls of thofe poor Gentlemen, who (as I understand) are likewife in flrait Imprifonment for my ⚫ Sake. If ever I have found Favour in your Sight, if ever the Name of Ann Bulleyn hath been pleafing in your Ears, then let me obtain this Requeft, and I will fo leave to trouble your Grace any fur⚫ther, with mine earnest Prayers to the Trinity to have your Grace in his good Keeping, • and to direct you in all your • Actions. From my doleful Pri
Mr. Banks, in his Tragedy of Anna Bulleyn, or Virtue betray'd, makes Wolfey to be the Author of the Difgrace and Death of this Queen: Whereas nothing is more notorious, than that the Fact was quite otherwife; for the Cardinal had been gone to his quiet Repofe near fix Years before this. Therefore we prefume, this Tragedian must have picked up this Piece of Slander from fome infamous Defamer, fuch as Polydor Virgil, Rapin, and other Writers of the fame Stamp.
* Great Favour truly, condemned the 15th.
Lady Jane the
The People ge nerally difcontented.
to mind her Behaviour to Wolfey in his Adversity, her Cafe at last proving worse than his, he only dying under his undeferved Afflictions, but fhe by the Hands of a vile Executioner; though, perhaps fally accufed too. But no fooner was fhe dif patched than the Lady Jane Seymour was in Poffeffion of her Royal Bed. The People in general were greatly discontented at seeing fo many Religious Houses, which were had in high Veneration, destroyed; and the Nobility and Gentry took it ill, that the King fhould have the Lands belonging thereto; for by this Means they were deprived of the Conveniency of providing for their younger Children, and of being well entertained when they travelled. The Poor murmured ftill louder, because Multitudes lived by the Alms which were daily diftributed by those Houses. The Devout thought the Souls of their Ancestors muft now lie in Purgatory, fince fo many Maffes, that were to be faid for their Deliverance, were abolished by the Suppreffion of the Monafteries.
The Court hearing of this, by Crom- The King fells well's Advice, the King speedily endeavoured to allay in fome measure these Discontents, by felling the Lands at very eafy Rates, and obliging the Purchasers under a Penalty to keep up the wonted Hofpitality.
Notwithstanding this a Rebellion broke A Rifing in out in Lincolnshire, headed by Dr. Mac
karel, Prior of Barking, and the Revolters immediately fent an Account of their Grievances to the Court, which related to the Suppreffion of the Religious Houses, as well as other Innovations. To which the King answered by a Manifefto; the Duke of
* We cannot fay how the Pur- very certain, that Time has worn chafers firft behaved, but it is out the Cuftom.
of Suffolk, who was employed to fupprefs the Rebellion, finding himself too weak to encounter them, entered into a Negotiation with the Heads, inftead of fighting; and, upon the King's granting them a Pardon, the Uproar was
Appeased upon Terms.
appeased. A fecond Revolt.
This was no fooner effected, but another broke out in Yorkshire, of a much more dangerous Nature, headed by one Afke, a Man of Authority and great Abilities. The Earl of Shrewsbury muftered his Forces in the King's Behalf, but he was not able to Stop their Progress; for they took not only York but Hull, and their Chief even obliged the Archbishop of York and the Lord D'Arcy to accompany him.
The Duke of Norfolk alfo marched to oppose the Revolters, but, his Forces being much inferior to them, he took the fame Method as the Duke of Suffolk had done, by entering into a Treaty with them, and a Conference was held on both Sides at Doncaster, and this at last happily ended, they accepted of a Pardon, and the King proSuppreffed. mifing to redrefs their Grievance, every Man returned to his Houfe, and the King to taking the most effectual Measures for fuppreffing all the Religious Houses.
Breaks out a
As the King broke his Word with his People, by not calling a Parliament gain. 1537. in the North, according to Promise, a new Infurrection was raised in Yorkshire. Upon this Afke, who commanded the Malecontents, was ordered to Court, and well received; but the Lord D'Arcy, who had received the like Order, not attending fo foon as was expected, was fent to the Tower.
Suppreffed, and many executed.
Shortly after two Gentlemen of the North, Nicholas Mufgrave and Thomas Tilby, put themselves at the Head of 8000 People, and appeared before Carlisle, which they en