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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Miscellaneous Tudor Musings

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great weekend. I just spent the nice sunny day poolside with my boyfriend's family to celebrate the 4th of July. I also finished reading The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell this evening on the ride home. My review will likely be posted tomorrow. I'm a little too tired for that tonight. But in the meantime I thought I would post some random thoughts that have come to me from reading this book as well as others about the Tudor period.

Nan Bullen
I have seen Anne Boleyn called this in several places. Sometimes I have seen it used by commoners but I have also seen King Henry call her this. So far I have found 2 possible explanations for this. The first, relating to the commoners, is that this was a name used for her because they did not like her. This was used as well as "the Great Whore". I have also heard that Bullen was the actual family name until an ancestor changed it to Boleyn to actually sound better and more regal. What is your opinion?

Execution Fee
I have also read that people had to pay the executioner for their execution. It sounds very ironic to me that the person who has been sentenced to death by beheading would have to pay the executioners fee. Talk about really rubbing it in your face!

Anne Boleyn's Execution
There are 2 things here that I want to address. First of all she asked if she could be beheaded by sword as opposed to an ax. It might just be me not knowing too much about swords and axes, but I would think that an ax would have more leverage and be sharper... but apparently I am wrong. The French were talented in beheading with swords and there were less horror stories of these long drawn out executions. As Anne was kneeling with her blindfold on the executioner supposedly yelled out "Where is my sword" or something similar and then struck her so that she would think that she still had a few moments and not expect it. I'm not sure how true this is.

Also, the night before the execution, Anne and Henry's marriage was annulled and declared void - as if it never happened. Following this theory she shouldn't have been executed, because if the marriage never existed, then she couldn't have committed adultery, therefore not having committed treason. But we all know Henry really didn't care for those fine points.

Well that is all I have for now, be sure to stay tuned for my review tomorrow! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Yes Dolleygurl, I so agree! And...if we really wanted to push buttons (oh I know people will hate me for this...)was Elizabeth ever legitimized? ...you know what I'm getting at..was hers a legitimate reign?? Just playing devil's advocate..

  2. I didn't know that about the execution fee. LOL!

  3. thanks for clearing up the nan bullen thing, i have read numerous books about Anne in the last few months and the inference around the use of this name changes so yes i suppose it could be for either of the reasons you suggested. cheers


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