The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir

  66 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  67 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  68 Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant; LP; Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP911)

  69 Henry VIII: A European Court in England

  70 Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant

  71 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  72 Ibid

  73 Chronicle of King Henry VIII; Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  74 Wriothesley; Harleian manuscripts

  75 Carles

  76 LP

  77 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  78 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  79 Herbert; Strype

  80 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  81 LP

  82 Carles

  83 Ives

  84 Milherve

  85 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911); Excerpta Historica (LP 1107); Aless

  86 Carles

  87 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  88 Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant

  89 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107). Wyatt family tradition had it that, on the scaffold, Anne gave the prayer book she was carrying to Margaret Wyatt, who thereafter always wore it on a chain in her bosom (Strickland). It is sometimes claimed that this prayer book was the illuminated “Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” which had been made for Anne in 1528 in France, and which she inscribed: Remember me when you do pray, that hope doth lead from day to day. This book is now on display at Anne’s former family home, Hever Castle in Kent.

  However, this cannot have been the prayer book Anne is said to have given to Margaret Wyatt, which was preserved in the latter’s family for generations, and was shown in 1721 to the engraver and antiquary George Vertue by its then owner, Mr. George Wyatt of Charterhouse Square, London. It was also mentioned in Horace Walpole’s Miscellaneous Antiquities, printed at Strawberry Hill in 1772. In 1817, George Wyatt’s editor, Samuel Singer, claimed that the Wyatt prayer book was in the possession of the publisher Robert Triphook, who himself produced another edition of Wyatt’s memoirs of Anne Boleyn, which was privately printed in that year. However, the description of Triphook’s book differs from that of the Wyatt prayer book, which was then still in the family’s possession.

  The Wyatt prayer book is now Stowe manuscript 956 in the British Library. It is bound in pure, richly chased gold enameled in black, in an intricate pattern, and closely resembles one of Holbein’s designs for jewelry and goldsmiths’ work, having the same arabesque ornaments. It measures not quite two inches in length and just over an inch and a half in width, and has a ring for threading through a neck chain or girdle. Small as it is, it contains 104 leaves of vellum, on which are inscribed metrical versions of twelve abridged psalms by the Tudor lawyer and writer John Croke. Tiny prayer books like this one had been given by Anne Boleyn, in happier days, to all her ladies, as aids to devotion.

  It is not inconceivable that Holbein himself designed this example for Anne Boleyn, although far more likely that it was commissioned for the Wyatts, as his original drawing shows the initials T.W.I., which are missing from the prayer book binding. These initials suggest that the prayer book was made to mark the marriage of the poet Wyatt’s son, another Thomas Wyatt, to Jane Haute in 1537, a theory borne out by that indefatigable researcher George Wyatt’s failure to mention it in his account of Anne Boleyn. Nor is it mentioned in the family memorials compiled by his descendant, Richard Wyatt, in 1727.

  The tale of Anne giving the prayer book to Margaret Wyatt would appear to arise from a misreading of the first-recorded mention of the book in George Vertue’s manuscripts; in his “Notes on Fine Arts” (1745) he says he saw in the possession of Richard Wyatt “a most curious little prayer book manuscript on vellum, set in gold, ornaments graved gold, enameled black—such as were given to Queen Anne Boleyn’s maids-of-honor—and was thus given to one of the Wyatt family, and has been preserved for seven generations to this time.” This only states that Anne gave such books to her ladies—which is attested elsewhere—and that she gave one to a lady of the Wyatt family who served her. No mention is made of this gift being given on the scaffold, and that circumstance seems to have been inferred by later writers. There is also no record of any lady of the Wyatt family serving Anne Boleyn as a maid-of-honor. Jane Haute passed on what she knew of Anne Boleyn to her son George Wyatt, so if she knew anything about a prayer book, he would surely have recorded it. (See On a Manuscript Book of Prayers)

  90 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  91 Abbott

  92 Wriothesley; Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  93 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  94 Aless

  95 Carles

  96 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  97 Carles; Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP911); Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  98 Harleian manuscripts

  99 Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant; Froude: Pilgrim (LP 911)

  100 Wriothesley

  101 Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant

  102 Ibid

  103 Younghusband

  104 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107); George Wyatt

  105 Wriothesley

  106 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  107 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  108 Ridley: Henry VIII

  109 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  110 Abbott

  111 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  112 Ibid; Tytler; Strickland

  113 George Wyatt

  114 Carles

  115 Abbott

  116 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  117 George Wyatt

  118 Carles

  119 Wriothesley

  120 Chronicle of King Henry VIII

  121 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  122 LP

  123 Milherve; Histoire de la Royne Anne de Boullant

  124 SC

  125 Erickson: First Elizabeth

  126 Carles

  127 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  128 Anthony; Abbott

  129 Carles. Annabel Geddes, the former Director of the London Tourist Board who founded the London Dungeon, has suggested that Anne’s head was sewn back onto her body by her women before burial, as Charles I’s was in 1649, but no eyewitness account mentions this.

  130 LP

  131 Wriothesley

  132 Wainewright; Wriothesley

  133 Maria Hayward; Ives

  134 Lisle Letters

  135 LP

  136 Froude, Note D in Thomas (LP 911)

  137 Harleian manuscripts

  138 Bell


  1 LP

  2 Ibid

  3 Ibid

  4 Corpus Reformatorum

  5 SC

  6 State Papers

  7 LP

  8 Ibid

  9 Ives; “Faction”

  10 LP

  11 Ibid

  12 LP; Erickson: First Elizabeth

  13 LP

  14 Friedmann

  15 Ives: “Frenchman”

  16 LP

  17 Constantine

  18 Friedmann

  19 Williams: Henry VIII and His Court

  20 LP

  21 Jenkins

  22 Lisle Letters

  23 Rawlinson manuscripts

  24 Gross

  25 Additional Manuscripts; Fraser

  26 History of the King’s Works; Fraser

  27 Coverdale’s Bible, with Anne Boleyn’s initials embossed on the binding, is now in the British Library.

  28 LP

  29 Lisle Letters

  30 LP

  31 Hall

  32 LP

  33 Ibid

  34 Ibid

  35 LP; Warnicke

  36 LP

  37 Ibid

  38 LP

  39 Foxe

  40 Lisle Letters; LP

  41 Harleian manuscripts

  42 LP

  43 LP; Lisle Letters
  44 LP; Lisle Letters; Complete Peerage

  45 Wriothesley

  46 Journals of the House of Lords

  47 Lisle Letters; LP

  48 LP; Wriothesley (editorial notes); Kelly

  49 LP

  50 Statutes of the Realm

  51 Elton: Policy and Police

  52 LP

  53 Ibid

  54 Lisle Letters; LP

  55 She died at Reading Place, a tenement of the Abbot of Reading, in the Ward of Baynard’s Castle in London, and was buried in the Howard aisle in St. Mary’s Church, Lambeth (LP; Nichols).

  56 LP

  57 Ibid

  58 Dictionary of National Biography; Complete Peerage

  59 Cavendish: Metrical Visions

  60 LP

  61 Ibid

  62 LP. The original is Cotton manuscript Vespasian, FXIII, f199.

  63 Porter

  64 LP

  65 Ibid

  66 LP; Fox

  67 Smith: Tudor Tragedy

  68 Cited by Williams in Henry VIII and His Court.

  69 Smith: Tudor Tragedy

  70 Statutes of the Realm

  71 SC

  72 LP

  73 Original Letters

  74 By Julia Fox in Jane Boleyn

  75 LP

  76 Lisle Letters

  77 LP; Lisle Letters

  78 Henry VIII: A European Court in England

  79 LP

  80 Ibid

  81 Ibid

  82 Ibid

  83 Ibid. Later, in 1538, Audley was given Walden Abbey in Essex, which he converted into Audley End House; the present house was built on its site in the early seventeenth century.

  84 Murphy

  85 LP

  86 The Renaissance at Sutton Place; LP; Royal manuscripts

  87 LP

  88 Ibid

  89 Murphy


  1 Neale: Elizabeth

  2 Williams: Elizabeth; LP

  3 LP

  4 Perry

  5 Waldman

  6 LP

  7 Neale

  8 LP

  9 Cotton manuscript Otho

  10 LP

  11 Ibid

  12 Ibid

  13 Ibid

  14 Excerpta Historica (LP 1107)

  15 LP

  16 Ibid

  17 Erickson: First Elizabeth

  18 LP

  19 VC

  20 Clifford; Prescott

  21 VC

  22 SC

  23 VC

  24 SC

  25 LP

  26 Cited by Neale in Elizabeth

  27 Lisle Letters

  28 Cited by Somerset

  29 Ridley: Elizabeth I

  30 Strype

  31 Cited by Somerset

  32 Relations Politiques de France avec l’Ecosse

  33 SC

  34 Erickson: First Elizabeth

  35 Gristwood

  36 Foxe

  37 Arnold

  38 VC

  39 Ibid

  40 Erickson: First Elizabeth

  41 Jenkins. It is often stated that she made only two recorded references to Anne Boleyn, but that is not true.

  42 Somerset

  43 Statutes of the Realm; Ridley: Elizabeth; Neale: Elizabeth I and Her Parliaments; Johnson

  44 Dunn

  45 VC

  46 Somerset

  47 Ibid

  48 “Household Expenses”

  49 Parker

  50 Calendar of State Papers, Foreign; Borman. I am indebted to Dr. Tracy Borman for drawing my attention to this reference.

  51 Ives; Somerset; Ives: “Fall Reconsidered”

  52 Elizabeth: Exhibition Catalogue

  53 LP

  54 Ibid

  55 Ibid

  56 Ibid


  1 Ives: “Faction”

  2 LP

  3 “Vitae Mariae”

  4 Clifford

  5 Cavendish: Metrical Visions

  6 Friedmann

  7 VC

  8 Bruce; Loades: Henry VIII and His Queens

  9 Warnicke: “Fall”

  10 LP

  11 SC

  12 Ives: “Fall Reconsidered”

  13 Somerset: Ladies in Waiting

  14 Loades: Henry VIII and His Queens

  15 Ives: “Faction”

  16 Loades: Henry VIII and His Queens

  17 Smith: Henry VIII

  18 Loades: Henry VIII and His Queens

  19 Loades: Mary Tudor

  20 LP

  21 Strickland

  22 Lofts; Strickland

  23 Warnicke; Cutts

  24 Brewer’s British Royalty

  25 Abbott

  26 Bell

  27 This plan is reproduced in Younghusband’s The Tower From Within.

  28 Dodson

  29 LP

  30 Bell

  31 VC

  32 Bell

  33 Abbott

  34 Bell

  35 Abbott


  1 Forman; Jones; Underwood; Westwood and Simpson

  2 Underwood

  3 Foister

  4 Forman

  5 Forman; Underwood

  6 Forman; Jones

  7 Underwood

  8 Ibid

  9 Ibid

  10 Abbott

  11 Jones; Matthews; Underwood

  12 Underwood

  13 Ibid

  14 Forman; Abbott

  15 Underwood


  1 LP; Bernard: “Fall”

  2 Ives: “Faction”

  About the Author

  ALISON WEIR is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth, and several historical biographies, including Queen Isabella, Henry VIII, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Life of Elizabeth I, and The Six Wives of Henry VIII. She lives in Surrey, England, with her husband and two children.

  Copyright © 2010 by Alison Weir

  All rights reserved.

  Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

  BALLANTINE and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

  Originally published by Jonathan Cape, a division of Random House Group Limited, London, in 2010.

  Title page art : detail from The Tower of London, painting by Michael van Meer, Album Amicorum, 1615, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections, ms.La.III.283, fol.346v

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