Tag Archives: arrest

May 10, 1536: “News” (!) travels

spinetThe Bishop of Faenza, in the Vatican, tells Signor Protonotario Ambrogio that “news came yesterday from England that the King had caused to be arrested the Queen, her father, mother, brother, and an organist with whom she had been too intimate.” (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII)

This is just one of many examples of how freely false gossip circulated around the arrests. Earlier, on May 2, Chapuys had reported to Charles that the reason for Anne’s arrest was that “she has for a length of time lived in adultery with a spinet-player of her chamber” and that Norris was arrested “for not having revealed what he knew of the said adulterous connexion.” Later on, ┬ávarious dispatches report that “The so-called Queen was found in bed with her organist, and taken to prison. It is proved that she had criminal intercourse with her brother and others, and that the daughter supposed to be hers was taken from a poor man.” (to Charles, from Hannaert, LP) And:

“The reports from England are more than tragic. ┬áThe Queen in thrown in prison, with her father, brother, two bishops, and others, for adultery.” (Melancthon to Justus Jonas, LP).

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May 6, 1536: News of Anne’s Arrest Spreads Throughout Europe

By May 6, news of Anne’s arrest was beginning to spread throughout Europe. In a May 26th letter to the Signory in Venice, the Venetian Ambassador at Rome, Lorenzo Bragadino, wrote,

“On the 21st, by way of Lyons, the merchants received letters announcing that the King of England had caused the Queen Anne, with her father and brother, to be arrested on suspicion of adultery. This intelligence was not credited, but has since been confirmed and a prelate who at the time of the divorce suit was the proctor of the true Queen of England, the Emperor’s aunt, lately deceased assured me that he yesterday received letters from Queen Maria the Emperor’s sister, Governess of the Low Countries, dated the 6th instant, acquainting him with this.”

The Emperor in this letter refers to Charles II, and his aunt was Catherine of Aragon. From this, we can infer that news of Anne’s arrest had reached the continent by today, May 6th. From there, it reached Rome 20 days later.

Maria, Charles II’s sister, and Governess of the Low Countries

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