Tag Archives: gossip

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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