History : Apr-May 2015
PROFILES ANNE BOLEYN suffers a nervous breakdown in the Tower of London after learning of her death sentence. Oil painting by Pierre- Nolasque Bergeret. and the queen’s jewels, literally torn from Catherine’s clutches. In early 1533, after her secret wedding to Henry, Anne was queen in everything but name. Cranmer now proposed a radical way to legalize the situation. In April Parliament passed the first of the laws that would lead Eng- land to officially reject Catholicism and establish the Protestant Church of Eng- land. The Act in Restraint of Appeals deprived the pope of his authority to judge Henry’s marital dispute. This meant that Cather- ine could no longer ap- peal to Rome to overturn the decisions of England’s religious authorities. On May 23, Archbishop Cranmer summoned an ecclesiastical tribunal that declared the king’s union with Catherine null and void; five days later the wedding between Henry and Anne was confirmed to be val- id and legitimate. The coronation of Anne Boleyn was one of the most magnificent that London had witnessed. On May 31, dressed in clothes of gold and white ermine, Anne made her grand entrance into the capital and passed through the city in a procession that covered half a mile. The triumphal arches and events organized in her honor praised the chastity of the new sovereign and expressed the hope that she would bear male heirs to the Tudor dynasty. Religion, art, and every aspect of courtly culture were used to exalt the image of the new queen. Meanwhile, Anne used her influence to promote well- educated and committed Protestants into important positions. She was rarely seen in public without a prayer book in her hands and she gave each of her ladies- in-waiting a small book of prayers, which they wore hanging from their belts. Fall from Grace In the summer of 1533 the pregnant Anne found out that Henry had taken a lover. This was a common royal practice at the time, but Anne condemned his behavior. A furious Henry told her that she had to “put up with it, as her betters had done before,” warning that her downfall could ARTARCHIVEAKG/ALBUM CATHERINE OF ARAGON, HENRY’S FIRST WIFE Anne wore the queen’s jewels before being crowned, taking them from Queen Catherine of Aragon.