Anne’s Execution Speech

May 19th 1536- Tower of London

8 o’clock in the morning

Lady in the Tower

‘Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it.  I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord.  And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.  And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.  O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.’

Once blindfolded and kneeling, she repeated several times:

‘To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesu receive my soul.’

As recorded by Edward Hall.

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Comments

  1. Madeline Solk says:

    This speech says nothing of what Anne must have been thinking. I think she wanted her executioner to do a good job and not make her suffer. If she said anything less about her “merciful” king, the execution might have taken more whacks. She probably believed that Jesus would get her into Heaven if she said the right words and also begged people to pray for her. What a shame she had to grovel at the end while her kind and good husband was out of hearing range, hunting.

  2. Jacki Milbank says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine the fear

  3. Lillyanna says:

    Poor, poor Anne ;( when I watched this scene of the other Boleyn Girl I cried my eyes out (At first i thought i didn’t like her but i took it all back and now she is my favorite)

  4. Does anyone know where people would have entered into the Tower Of London, if they were coming to witness Anne Boleyn’s execution? Also, would all the spectators have simply stood infront of the scaffold to watch the Queen die? Or did higher up nobles coming to witness it have a special area to view?

    • Hello Lena, as far as I’m aware, there’s no contemporary report of Anne’s execution that mentions which entrance the spectators used. Stands were often erected for public executions on Tower Hill, as the crowds could number thousands, however, there is no record of stands being erected within the Tower complex for private executions and so we have to assume that the spectators watched from ground level. It’s very possible that the nobility were positioned towards the front of the crowd to afford them a better view. Also, the scaffold was elevated and so even people at the back of the crowd would have been able to see the execution. Best wishes, Natalie.

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