In The End: Anna Bolina, Part I

Author: Mel Brownlee /

A little story I have been working on about Anne Boleyn, her last days in the Tower and what I would like to imagine happened...

I took a seat - if you could even call it that - on the stone cold floor, willing myself to write. It had been a plan of mine to pour out my heart to the King and now it came to it, I couldn't help but wonder if such an outpouring, such a plea for mercy would even matter to Henry.
He seemed, by the encouragement of his men and Master Cromwell, bent on my destruction. He had not asked for an explanation, nor had he sent any word of his final judgment on me, the Queen - his wife.

His most loving, humble wife, a wife who had never betrayed his trust or committed the vile acts she was therefore accused of. Yes, I had been a good wife, temperamental at times, envious and volatile as well, but always a good wife, never forsaking my lord, never purposefully setting out to displease my husband, the King.
I have provided the King with an heir, albeit a little girl, but an heir nonetheless and there was still time, we were but young in the eyes of God and through Gods good graces, sons would come.

And yet here I was, shut away in the Tower, awaiting my death, my release, awaiting anything that would end the misery of my most dreadful situation.
My thoughts turned to Elizabeth, my beautiful little princess, who would be stripped of all her titles. All the privileges of her household and the rights of her birth would all be removed, and would count for nothing.

How I had failed her. What would she think of me when she came of age? Would she believe the charges to be true? I prayed she would know better and not think ill of her Mother. In that moment, I began to regret the time I had not spent with my daughter, the months I had let pass by before I realized how much she needed me, how much she had changed and how beautiful she was becoming even at her young age. She was her father’s daughter, but by all means was she mine as well, it shone through her eyes. I feared for her because of it, though. I did not want her to end up as I, ill-tempered and emotional, it had left me vulnerable and open to attack and, I knew this to be true, in many people’s most honest of opinions, my downfall.

I gently touched my pen to the paper I had been given later that morning, having waited all day to compose my letter.

Your grace's displeasure and my imprisonment are things so strange to me, that what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant.

Much to my disadvantage, I no longer had the slightest idea of how to write the King. I had once wrote to him with love and uncharted affection, without fear of how he would take my words. But now, in my most delicate and fragile time, my most uneasy and dangerous situation, I could hardly think of what to say, for fear of displeasing Henry even further. If that were even a possibility.

Whereas you send to me (willing me to confess a truth and so obtain your favor), by such a one, whom you know to be mine ancient professed enemy, I no sooner received this message by him, than I rightly conceived your meaning, and if, as you say, confessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all willingness and duty, perform your duty.

All I had to confess was my undying love for his Majesty and my subjection to him, of which was endless. But surely, I had hoped, he was well aware of this fact and would not profess to know, think or believe otherwise. God only knew what Cromwell had fed to his Majesty, the lies he had spoken through his vile, unyielding and merciless tongue. Was there any hope? I knew the charges that had been brought against me but knew not of how such stories had come to light, who had told them, who had thought them up? It seemed to me that the blame lay wholly with Cromwell, a master fabricator, a class manipulator. Why had he so suddenly sought my downfall? He was an intolerable man and I had, on more than one or two occasions, made known my disdain for him and the action I could take if he persisted in disrespecting his Queen. Perhaps such a small indiscretion had made him desire to seek revenge upon me, and what better way to ruin a Queen than to turn her King against her?

But let not your grace ever imagine that your poor wife will be brought to acknowledge a fault,

There was no fault to be guilty of, unless loving a man too much was now considered a fault. But I knew better than that, my love for the King was considered no great fault, not one that had been brought into question, anyway. My fault was that of well thought up lies conceived by men whose high positions made them over reach themselves. And for all their vices and discretion's, it was I who would pay the highest price and one day, unbeknownst to them, so would the King.

where not so much as a thought ever proceeded. And to speak a truth, never a prince had wife more loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in Anne Bulen - with which name and place I could willingly have contented myself, if God and your grace's pleasure had been so pleased.

I sighed heavily in defeat - was there any point to this? I could be sure that my letter would never even reach the eyes of the King nor would it grace his ears. Cromwell would do his utmost to keep it between just him and I, and unknowingly, I was writing a plea that would most certainly fall on deaf and merciless ears.

Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation or received queenship, but that I always looked for such alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your grace's fancy, the least alteration was fit and sufficient (I knew) to draw that fancy to some other subject.

You have chosen me from low estate to be your queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire; if, then, you found me worthy of such honor, good your grace, let not any light fancy or bad counsel of my enemies withdraw your princely favor from me; neither let that stain - that unworthy stain - of a disloyal heart towards your good grace ever cast so foul a blot on me, and on the infant princess your daughter.

If I had even slightly pitied myself, it was nothing to how I pitied Elizabeth. I couldn't help but think of how her own father, her own sovereign Lord would soon disown and disinherit her due to the lies and stories of men. Long ago, I could not have ever imagined a time where my word, my truth was not the final word, the final truth for Henry on any matter that rose in regards to myself. He had never doubted me, nor distrusted me, not even his closest companion, the Duke of Suffolk could cause the King to hold any air of doubt over my head. And, to my most saddened self, his Grace, Charles Brandon had a few times spoke up against me and attempted to turn the King from me and therefore unto another lady, and as of late, that had been the Lady Jane Seymour. I resented her not, how could I when her actions towards me where once mine towards Katherine of Aragon, the late Queen? It was assumed that I despised Mistress Seymour but truthfully, I envied her position and favor with the King, something I had slowly but surely lost and only despised her for bearing the love and the affection of my most beloved Lord and husband.

She was but a young girl and I saw her families hand behind every move she made. Everything she said, everything she did, every gesture towards the King was a carefully set up ploy by her kinsmen, especially her over ambitious brother, Sir Edward Seymour. I had once been the same, a puppet of men, my Father and Uncle, but it did not take long for a change in power and those whom I once knelt to where soon ruled over by me, the Queen of England.


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