May 3, 1536 – Thomas Cranmer Defends Anne Boleyn

Great post, I recommend this blog. Today is the day that in 1536, Thomas Cranmer defended Anne Boleyn. As many of you will know. Thomas Cranmer was Anne Boleyn’s chaplain so the two knew each other (somewhat). And he believed she was an honest reformer and while he knew he couldn’t disobey the King, he risked his own life trying to defend her. Granted, it can be argued it was not enough, but it was nonetheless a mammoth attempt by a man who had much to loose and for a woman the King wanted gone.

Janet Wertman

Thomas Cranmer, by Gerlach Flicke Thomas Cranmer, by Gerlach Flicke

On May 3, 1536, Thomas Cranmer weighed in on the news of Anne Boleyn’s arrest. Because of his close ties to the Boleyn family, Cranmer was in an awkward position: he owed her his support, but was also at risk of being brought down with her. You can see that split in the letter, in which he starts out incredulous at the possibility of her guilt but then backs off completely (“I am exceedingly sorry that such faults can be proved by the Queen, as I heard of their relation. But I am, and ever shall be, your faithful subject.”). Still, the man deserves credit as one of the only people around the King to try to defend her.

Pleaseth it your most noble Grace to be advertised, that at your Grace’s commandment by Mr. Secretary’s letters, written in your Grace’s name, I came to…

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