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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 414

cutiorter with one well-aimed blow of the sword smote off her head.* According to another account, Anno stoutly refused to have her eyes covered with a bandage. She said she had no fear of death, and would shut her eyes ; but as she was opening them at every moment, the executioner could not bear their brilliant glances. Being fearful of missing his aim, he drew off his shoes and approached her silently. Whilst he was at her right side, another person, who made a great noise in walking, unexpectedly advanced at her left ; this circumstance drawing the attention of Anne, she turned her face from the executioner, who was enabled by this artifice to strike off her head. The remains of the unfortunate Anne Boleyn, covered with a eheet, were placed by her maids in an elm chest, and immediately afterwards buried by the side of her fellow victims, in the chapel of the Tower, without singing or praying ; but, if tradition is to be believed, her friends in the night disinterred them, and conveying them away in secret, buried them in tbe church of Thorndenon-the-hill, in Essex, or, according to another account, in Salle church, in Norfolk, The King only waited in the neighbourhood of London till the boom of the signal-gun announced to his impatient ears that he was made a widower ; when he rode in breathless haste to Wolf Hall, in Wilts, and on the next day wedded Jane Seymour. Thus fell the unfortunate Anne Bo leyn ; and although it maybe impossible to determine if she were guilty or inno cent of the heinous crime imputed to her, it must be allowed that had Henry's object been simply to make Jane Seymour his bride, the divorce of * The speech in the text is taken from the letter of a Portuguese gentleman, who ia said to have been present on the occasion ; but aa many discrepancies occur in the contemporary chroniclers, it is probable that no faithful transcript of Anne's dying words was ever published. No regard must be paid to Anne's commendation of the King in this speech: for it is a received opinion, that in this reign culprits, if they spoke at the place of execution, were compelled to acknowledge the King's goodness, and the justice of their sentence. Anne without her execution, or the execution without the divorce, would have been sufficient. And when we remember that Henry stamped on her character the infamy of adultery and incest, deprived her of the name and the right of wife and Queen, and even bastardized her daughter, although he acknowledged that daughter to be his own;* we can scarcely believe that base and tyrannical as he might be, he was not provoked to pursue her with such insatiable hatred by great crimes and immoralities on her part, but which, for some reason, have never boen disclosed. Henry, it is true, has bastardized Queen Katherine's daughter, but there is every reason to believe that Anne urged him to the act. And what is further worthy of remark, he wept at the death of Katherine ; but, as if he sought to display his contempt for the memory of Anne, instead of wearing mourning on the day of her execution he dressed himself in white, in anticipation of bis marriage with Jane Seymour on the next morning, f We close these memoirs of one of the most romantic—the most unfortunate Queens of England, with tho following beautiful dirge, said to have been written by Anne only a few days before her execution ; and which, from its rhythm, cadence, and construction, the fair authoress evidently intended to be set to music. * It is singular, that from the hour of her imprisonment to her death, Anne, as far aa is known, not once lamented being separated from her daughter, Elizabeth, then a child, in the third year of her age; once only she alluded to her in her last letter to the King, and then without the least expression of maternal tenderness. I These remarks are penned, not with a view to justify the selfish, murderous conduct of the English Blue Beard, aa Henry the Eighth might not inaptly be named, but simply to show, in the absence of more substantial evidence, the probability that aa Anne's evil doings, combined with a desire of self-justification on his part, had induced the barbarous tyrant to pursue her with such deep and implacable malice, she, if not guilty of adultery, had at least indulged in gross impropriety of conduct. Besides, it appears she was greatly at fault as a parent, and a bad mother, be it observed, seldom makes a good wife.

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