The future Queen Mary I’s letter to Cromwell after Anne Boleyn’s execution

(public domain)

On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn was executed within the Tower of London. For Mary, who never liked her stepmother and would probably die before calling Anne her stepmother it was a turning point, or so she must have thought.

She wrote to Thomas Cromwell,

“Master Secretary, I would have been a suitor to you before this time to have been a mean for me to the King’s Grace to have obtained his Grace’s blessing and favor; but I perceived that nobody durst speak for me as long as that woman lived, which is now gone; whom I pray our Lord of His great mercy to forgive. Is now the bolder to write, desiring him for the love of God to be a suitor for her to the King, to have his blessing and leave to write to his Grace. Apologises for her evil writing; for I have not done so much this two year and more, nor could not have found the means to do it at this time but by my Lady Kingston’s being here. Hunsdon, 26 May.”

If Mary believed she would be welcomed back into her father’s arms, she was mistaken. Though most of the ill-treatment of Mary was believed to have stemmed from Anne, Henry was also responsible. It is known that Anne regretted her treatment of Mary and on the eve of her execution begged Lady Kingston, “requested her to go in her name to the Lady Mary, to kneel before her in like manner, and beg of her to pardon an unfortunate woman the many wrongs she had done her” For Henry, Mary and her mother while she was alive, had to be punished for defying him. It would not be until two months after this when Mary had completely submitted to her father’s will that her treatment would improve.



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My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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