Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Question from Elizabeth M - Henry VIII expressing regret for Anne's execution


I read somewhere a long time ago that Henry VIII, before his death, expressed regret at having Anne Boleyn executed and admitted her innocence. Is this true or just a fanciful tale? I wish I could remember where I saw it--it is not in any of the books I have, so I don't remember if it was an old magazine article or something I read on the internet.



7 Comments:

Anonymous Roland H. said...

There's some strange account that Henry said, on his deathbed, that he was sorry that he had the innocent Anne executed. Highly unreliable I say.

Anyone else know this story, and the source?

March 04, 2009 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Diane said...

It sounds like something he would have said while being shriven (if he actually did say it. Then perhaps someone at his deathbed not bound by the seal of the confessional heard it and told others.

March 04, 2009 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Tudorrose said...

I have never heard this.Is there any evidence to back this up? Nobody really knows what Henry VIII's last words were before he died.I know he obviously would have wanted his son Edward VI to suceed him.As it says in his will and last testement before he died this is the only last document of his that survives.I have also heard of another tale regarding Henry and his two wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.The story goes that the heads of his two wives as I have mentioned were kept down in the cellar an the king would go down and look at the heads.I don't know how true this is though.I think that this is made up by someone with an imagination.Because I can't see how Henry would do something like this.and he got rid of them by execution because he didn't like them anymore.Anne because she didn't produce a healthy living son.An Catherine Howard because she was seeing other men behind the king's back.so if he did do this it would have only reminded him of them and angered him again.Angered him more.

March 04, 2009 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never heard,nor read in any of the history book that Henry VIII ever express regrets over Anne's death. The only thing that I read that he had regrets over was not finding a suitable husband for Mary. Henry VIII often viewed himself as a victim, so I doubt it.

March 05, 2009 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might seem likely, as the years went on, and Henry became a sickly old man, in chronic pain.

Then the whole embarassing situation with young Catherine Howard might have made him see who had really been loyal, and who had not. I'm sure that he also felt guilt for his poor treatment of Catherine.

March 10, 2009 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Myreah said...

I don't think this is true, for Henry VIII had ordered a coffin for Anne that was too small for her body. This obviously shows that Henry did not regret his executing of Anne. It is possible, however, that on his death bed, Henry regretted Anne's execution, but this is unlikely.

March 14, 2009 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Joey R said...

In her book "Anne Boleyn" Joanna Denny cites this, stating that on his deathbed he "confessed the many injustices of his reign and allegedly was truly repentant, and among other things, on account of the injury and crime committed against the said Queen (Anne Boleyn)".
Her source is D'Aubigny - The Reformation in England (1962-3). Not a primary source though, so it's still a question!

November 24, 2009 1:31 PM  

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