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

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 413



execution were made, may be gathered from the following letter addressed by the lieutenant of the Tower to Cromwell. " Sm, " These shall be to advertise you I have received your letter, wherein you would have strangers conveyed out of the Tower ; and so they be, by the means of Hi chard. Gresham, William Lake, and Wythspall. But the number of strangers passed not thirty, and not many of them hath arms, and the ambassador of the Emperor had a servant there honestly put out. Sir, if we have not an hour certain ere it maybe known in London, ί think there will be but few, and I think a reasonable number were best, for I suppose she will declare herself to be a good woman for all men but for the King, at the hour of her death. For this morning she sent for me that I might be with her at such time as she received the sacrament, to the intent I should hear her speak as touching her innocency to be always clear. And in the writing of this she sent for me ; and at my coming she said, Mr. Kingston, I hear say I shall not die before noon, and I am very sorry therefore, for I thought to be dead by this time, and past my pain. I told her it should be no pain, it was so subtle. And then she said, I heard say the executioner was very good and f have a little neck, and put her hands about it, laughing heartily. I have seen many men, and also women, executed, and that they have been in great sorrow, and to my knowledge, this lady has much joy and pleasure in death. Sir, her almoner is continually with her, and hath been since two o'clock after midnight. This is the effect of any thing that is here at this time, and thus fare you well, " Yours, "WILLIAM KINGSTON." Twelve o'clock at noon, on the nineteenth of May, 1536, was the time appointed for Anne's execution. Amongst those who came to witness the fatal tragedy, were the Dukes of Suffolk and Richmond, and by the King's order the Lord Chancellor and Secretary Cromwell, with the mayor, the sheriffs, and the aldermen of London. At about a quarter to twelve the portal opened, and Anne, attired in a robe of black damask, was led forth by the lieutenant of the Tower, As she advanced to the scaffold she had to detach herself from her four weeping"maids of honour, whom she vainly attempted to reconcile to her fate. The most che. rished amongst these was her sincere friend, Wyatt'e sister Margaret, to whom, at the parting moment, she presented a beautifully bound manuscript prayerbook, a precious relic of imperishable attachment, which Margaret received with tearful eyes, and ever afterwards wore in her bosom. Anne ascended the scaffold, and approached the block with a calm, dignified air; and by permission of Kingston, is said to have thus spoken : " Good Christian people, I am here to willingly suffer that death to which I have been condemned by the law, how justly I will not say, I intend not to justify myself, nor accuse any one; I beseech the Almighty to preserve the King, who is one of the best princes on the face of the earth, and whose bounty to me hath been special. I entroat all who intend to scrutinize my actions not to hastily condemn me, nor lend too willing an ear to the slanders of my calumniators, therefore I bid the world adieu, trusting you will commend me to God in your prayers." Having uttered these words with a smiling countenance, she took her coifs from her head, covered her hair with a linen cap, and said to her maids, "As I cannot reward you for your services, I pray you to take comfort for my loss ; howbeit, forget me not, be always faithful to the King's grace, and to her whom, with happier fortune, you may have as your Queen and mistress, value your honour far before your lives, and in your prayers to the Lord Jesus, remember to pray for my soul." She then knelt down, her eyes were bandaged by one of her attendants, and as she solemnly reiterated " Lord, Jesus, receive my soul I" the exe


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