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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 409

the affair of Queen Anne—her favour raised him, and her friendship nearly ruined him." His disgrace, however, was temporary. Henry knew his worth, and with him had no motive to he vindictive. The letter not being in Anne's handwriting, may he accounted for by supposing it to be a copy which Cromwell had preserved, the original having for some reason been destroyed, Then, the signature, " Ann Bulen," instead of " Anna the Queue," may have been so written by the copyist, or, if the original was so signed, perhaps the fallen consort hoped to touch a tender chord of Henry's heart, by placing before bis eyes the name once so dear to him. This letter, if received by Henry, had no influence on his unrelenting mind. The council having exhausted every expedient to procure evidence, it was at length arranged that the trial should commence. Accordingly, on the twelfth of May, Norris, Weston, Brereton, and Smeaton were tried by a commission of Oyer and Terminer, in Westminster Hall. They were twice indicted, as also was the Queen ; and the indictments were found by two grand juries in the counties of Kent and Middlesex, some of the crimes with which they were charged having been committed, it was alleged, in the one and some in the other of these counties. Smcaton, in the vain hope of saving his life, pleaded guilty ; the other threu stoutly maintained their innocence ; but the jury, as, indeed, was customary with juries in this reign, returned a verdict for the crown, and pronounced them all guilty of high treason. The Queen's enemies still feared they had not sufficient evidence to procure her conviction. Smeaton's confession had been drawn from him by the tortures of the rack, and a false promise of a pardon ; and as he might, or perhaps did, retract, he was not confronted with the Queen. Norris had been much in the King's favour, and an offer of life was made him, if he would confess to tho crimes specified in the indictment, and accuse the Queen; but he generously rejected the proposal, and said, that, in his conscience, he believed her entirely guiltless ; but, for his own part, he could accuse her of nothing, and he would rather die a thousand deaths than calumniate an innocent lady. On the fifteenth of May, the Queen and her brother, Lord Rochford, were brought to trial, before a court of their peers, in the King's Hall, within the Tower. This judicial court was selected by the King, and therefore completely devoted to his interest. It was presided over by Anne's insulting enemy, the Duke of Norfolk, as High Steward, and composed of the following twenty-six peers :*—the Duke of Suffolk, the Marquis of Exeter, the Earls of Arundel, Oxford, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Derby, Worcester, Rutland, Sussex, and Huntingdon, and the Lords Audley, Delaware, Montague, Morley, Dacres, Cobham, Maltravers, Powis, Mounteagle, Clinton, Sands, Windsor, Wentworth, Burgh, and Mordaunt. The Earl of Northumberland, Anne'a juvenile lover, attended in his place, but his feelings so overcame him, that he was taken suddenly ill, and left the court before the arraignment of Anno, which did not take place till after that of her brother. Upon what evidence the crime of incest was proved against Rochford is unknown. His unnatural wife appeared as a witness against him. And although the greatest crime brought to his door was, that he had once been seen, in the presence of company, to lean over the Queen's bed and kiss her, the jury turned a deaf ear to his able defence, and pronounced him guilty He was then removed ; and, in answer to the summons by the gentleman usher, the unhappy Queen appeared, and, followed by her female attendants, was led to the bar by the lieutenant and the constable. The indulgence of a chair was granted to her dignity or weakness. The crimes for which she was arraigned were, that she had conspired with her brother, Lord Rochford, and with Norris, Brereton, Weston, and Smcaton, certain abominable treasons ; that she had per * This number included but half the peerage of England—a tolerable proof that the jury was composed only of such as dared not to thwart the royal will.

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