They called it a trial


Short, but not sweet, today:

Today in 1536, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, Sir William Brereton, and Mark Smeaton were taken via barge from the Tower of London to Westminster Hall, where they were tried for the treasonous act of adultery with the queen. Because of their noble rank, Queen Anne Boleyn and her brother George, Lord Rochford were to be tried before a jury of their peers at a later date.

It was not a trial. The jury was made of religious conservatives (those who wanted to destroy the reformist Boleyns, and thus, these men) and friends of darling Cromwell. In short, not a jury that these men wanted. In Tudor times, defendants were not given counsel/lawyers and no time to prepare a defense — they didn’t even know what evidence was going to be used against them! 

The four men were quickly found guilty and sentenced to a traitor’s death: hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.

This could not have been encouraging to Anne. If the four men had been found guilty of adultery with her, then it only made sense that she would be found guilty, too.

The men would die five days later, their sentence reduced to a merciful beheading. Black humour here, people, black humour.

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