Anne Boleyn Timeline 1501-1536

Anne BoleynBorn – c1501
Died – 19th May 1536 (executed)
FatherThomas Boleyn (1477 – 1539)
MotherElizabeth Howard (1480 – 1538)
Spouse – m. 1533 – King Henry VIII (1491 – 1547)
ChildrenQueen Elizabeth I (1533 – 1601)
Queen Consort of England 1533 – 1536
Preceded byCatherine of Aragon 1509 – 1533
Succeeded byJane Seymour 1536 – 1537


1501 (around)
Anne Boleyn, was born to Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard at Blickling Hall, Norfolk. She was the couple’s second child, her sister Mary had been born around 1500.
1504 (April)
Anne’s brother George, was born to Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard at Blickling Hall, Norfolk.
1505 (during)
The family moved to Hever Castle in Kent after Anne’s father inherited the property from his father.
1509 (21st April)
King Henry VII died. He was succeeded by his son, King Henry VIII.
1513 (Spring)
Anne was sent to the court of Archduchess Margaret of Austria, Governor of the Netherlands.
1514 (August)
Anne and her sister, Mary were selected to go to France as maids to Princess Mary, sister of King Henry VIII who was to be married to King Louis XII of France.
1514 (early October)
Anne left the Netherlands for France where she joined her sister, Mary, as lady in waiting to Henry VIII’s sister, Mary.
1514 (9th October)
Henry VIII’s sister, Mary, married King Louis XII of France.
1514 (31st December)
King Louis XII of France died.
1515 (January)
Anne was asked to serve the new Queen of France, Queen Claude, wife of Francis I.
1519 (during)
Anne’s elder sister, Mary, began an affair with Henry VIII.
1520 (4th February)
Anne’s elder sister, Mary, married William Carey.
1522 (January)
Anne Boleyn returned to England from France because her father was negotiating for her to marry James Butler, Earl of Ormond.
1522 (February)
Anne Boleyn, aged 15 years was given a place in Catherine of Aragon’s household after marriage negotiations for her to marry James Butler broke down.
1522 (4th March)
Anne Boleyn took part in her first court pageant. Her sister Mary, who was the King’s mistress, partnered Henry in the dances.
1522 (Summer)
Anne began a relationship with Henry Percy.
1523 (Spring)
Henry Percy and Anne Boleyn made an agreement to marry as soon as they were able.
1523 (Autumn)
Thomas Wolsey discovered that Henry Percy had made a secret betrothal to Anne Boleyn. Percy, who was already betrothed to Mary Talbot, was forbidden to see Anne Boleyn and sent back to his homeland of Northumberland to marry Mary Talbot. Anne was sent home to Hever Castle. She was very angry and swore to seek revenge on Wolsey.
1525 (early)
Anne Boleyn, who had returned to court, had attracted the attention of the poet Thomas Wyatt. This meant that she was drawn into the King’s circle at court.
1526 (early)
Henry VIII aged 35 years asked Anne Boleyn aged 19 years to become his mistress. He was amazed when she refused saying that she would only surrender her virginity to the man she married.
1526 (March)
Thomas Wyatt was sent on a diplomatic mission to Italy. It is thought that Henry wanted him away from Anne Boleyn.
1526 (Summer)
Anne Boleyn, unable to cope with the King’s attention, spent much time at her family home of Hever Castle. Henry who was still infatuated with her wrote her many letters protesting his love for her.
1527 (late Spring)
Anne Boleyn returned to court. She was given beautiful apartments and showered with jewellery and fine clothes. She had accepted Henry’s proposal to marry as soon as he was divorced from Catherine.
1527 (June)
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, declared himself to be against an annulment of the King’s marriage.
1527 (22nd June)
Henry told Catherine that they must separate because they had been living in sin. He asked for her cooperation and said that she could choose a house to retire to until the matter was resolved. Catherine was very upset and told Henry that her marriage to him was lawful and that she would resist any move to have the marriage annulled.
1527 (Summer)
Thomas More told Henry that he believed the marriage with Catherine was lawful.
1527 (August)
Anne joined Henry at Beaulieu where he was spending a month hunting. They lived together openly and the rumour that Henry was planning to marry Anne Boleyn soon spread. The King’s plan to divorce Catherine had met with strong disapproval by most of the population who blamed Wolsey and Anne Boleyn for trying to replace Catherine.
1527 (August)
The realisation that Henry intended to marry Anne Boleyn left Wolsey in a difficult position for he was working to secure the rise of the woman who had sworn revenge on him for breaking up her relationship with Henry Percy in 1521.
1527 (September)
Anne and Thomas Wolsey were blamed by the population for the poor harvest.
1527 (late September)
Anne and her family warned Henry that Wolsey was working for his own interests rather than those of the King.
1527 (October)
Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, who had the Pope under his control, warned the Pope that he should take no steps that would further the annulment of his aunt’s marriage.
1527 (December)
The Pope had negotiated his freedom from Charles V but was reluctant to offend Charles by furthering Henry’s divorce.
1528 (January)
The Pope refused to allow Wolsey to pass judgement on the King’s marriage. Instead he sent the legate Campeggio to try the case.
1528 (January)
Anne Boleyn was extremely unpopular and was booed and jeered whenever she appeared in the streets.
1528 (mid June)
One of Anne Boleyn’s ladies was taken ill with sweating sickness. Henry sent Anne to Hever in case she had caught the disease. Henry moved the court to Tittenhanger where he kept himself virtually secluded and heard mass three times a day.
1528 (16th June)
Anne Boleyn was taken ill with a mild form of sweating sickness. When he heard the news Henry sent one of his own physicians to Hever.
1528 (22nd June)
William Carey, Anne Boleyn’s brother-in-law, died of sweating sickness.
1528 (late July)
Anne Boleyn returned to court having fully recovered from sweating sickness.
1528 (late Summer)
Anne persuaded Henry to grant her sister, Mary, a pension of £100 per year when it emerged that Mary’s husband’s death had left her penniless.
1528 (29th September)
Cardinal Campeggio reached Dover. He had been delayed by storms and heavy rainfall. Campeggio refused a state welcome preferring to travel quietly to London. Wolsey and Campeggio met and Wolsey was astounded to learn that Campeggio intended trying to effect a reconciliation between Catherine and Henry before he would even consider hearing the case.
1528 (Autumn)
The Boleyn family were intent on working to see Wolsey fall from favour. They made pointed comments in Henry’s presence about the lavishness of Wolsey’s ‘court’. Wolsey became concerned about losing favour with Henry and so made Henry a gift of Hampton Court Palace.
1528 (9th October)
Cardinal Campeggio reached London and announced that he was so tired from his journey that he needed to rest for a few days.
1528 (22nd October)
Campeggio met Henry and suggested that Henry should attempt a reconciliation with Catherine. Henry told Campeggio that he would settle for nothing less than an annulment of his marriage. Campeggio therefore agreed to try to persuade Catherine to enter a convent.
1528 (24th October)
Campeggio met Catherine and advised her to enter a convent and retire gracefully. However, Catherine made it clear that her first marriage had been unconsummated and that she intended to live and die a married woman.
1528 (late October)
Catherine stated that she would not accept the findings of Wolsey and Campeggio’s court and that she would only accept the findings of the Pope himself. Campeggio was annoyed that Catherine would not retire to a convent and felt that she was compromising the position of himself and the Pope since the case would necessitate questions of theology and the relationship of theologians and God.
1528 (December)
Campeggio was concerned that Anne Boleyn, who was in favour of Church reform, was persuading Henry of the virtues of Church reform. Henry was impressed by the argument that the clergy should not be so greedy and should not have great possessions or sums of money. He was also interested by the idea that the King should be majestic and should rule over all.
1529 (during)
Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire was created Earl of Ormond.
1529 (January)
Stephen Gardiner was sent to Rome to warn the Pope that unless the two cardinals gave Henry a favourable decision regarding his marriage Henry would renounce his allegiance to the Papal See.
1529 (January)
Catherine lodged an appeal to Rome against the authority of the legatine court and the ability of Wolsey and Campeggio to try the case.
1529 (31st May)
Wolsey and Campeggio opened the legatine court at Blackfriars. Henry and Catherine were summoned to appear before the court on 18th June.
1529 (18th June)
Catherine was loudly applauded as she made her way to the Legatine Court. Once inside, she challenged that authority of the Court and the qualification of the two legates to hear the case. She stated her wish for the case to be heard in Rome, but this was denied. Both Catherine and Henry were told to reappear on 21st June.
1529 (21st June)
The Legatine court reassembled at Blackfriars. Henry spoke of his fears that his lack of male heir was evidence of God’s displeasure that he had married his brother’s widow. Catherine, in reply, made a very moving speech asserting the validity of her present marriage. She then walked over to Henry and knelt at his feet. She asked him to take pity on her as she was a foreigner. She also asked Henry to bear witness that she had been a virgin on their wedding night. Turning to the two legates she then stated that she did not recognise the authority of their court and asked for the case to be referred to Rome. When this was refused she turned and walked out of the court. Catherine was declared in contempt of court and a citation was made calling for her to return on 25th June.
1529 (25th June)
The legatine court reopened. Catherine did not appear and was declared in contempt of court. The trial continued in her absence.
1529 (28th June)
At the legatine court John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, spoke saying that in 1527 Henry had asked all bishops to voice their opinions on his marriage. The Bishop now stated that in his opinion the royal marriage was legal for he believed that the papal dispensation granted in 1503 had removed any impediments there might be to the marriage.
1529 (16th July)
Pope Clement VII decided to revoke the commission granted to Wolsey and Campeggio and refer the King’s divorce case to Rome.
1529 (22nd July)
News of the Pope’s decision reached England. Wolsey was very worried as the King’s reaction to the news.
1529 (23rd July)
The legatine court reassembled at Blackfriars. The court was packed as it was rumoured that a decision would be made. However, Campeggio merely announced that because of the large number of documents to be examined he would be unable to give judgement today. He went on to say that the court would now have to be adjourned until October because it was practice in Rome to break for the summer months. The court was shocked and the duke of Suffolk shouted “It was never merry in England while we had Cardinals among us.” Henry walked out of the court.
1529 (late July)
Wolsey wrote letters to the Pope begging him to return the legatine authority. He also wrote letters to Charles V begging him to allow Henry to divorce Catherine and letters to Catherine begging her for the sake of the country to enter a convent. Wolsey knew that if no new move were made he would be finished.
1529 (August)
Henry was furious when he received a summons from Rome to appear before the papal curia. He was becoming aware that the Pope may never grant him a divorce. He realised that he needed to find another solution.
1529 (early August)
Bishops Fox and Gardiner suggested that Henry listen to the ideas of Thomas Cranmer who believed that Henry might have more luck securing his divorce if the validity of his marriage was tried by theologians in the universities rather than canon lawyers in ecclesiastical courts.
1529 (2nd August)
Anne accompanied Henry on his summer progress.
1529 (Autumn)
Thomas Cranmer was summoned to appear before the King. He told him that it was his opinion that the marriage should be tried by the Doctors of Divinity in the universities for it was them that studied the Bible and were therefore better qualified to discuss its meaning. If the marriage was found to be invalid then all that would be needed was for the Archbishop of Canterbury to pronounce the King a free man. Henry was impressed with the idea and ordered Cranmer to set aside all other work and devote himself to the divorce.
1529 (October)
After many requests the new Spanish ambassador, Chapuys was granted an audience with Henry. However, the ambassador soon realised that the King was set on a divorce and would not be persuaded otherwise.
1529 (9th October)
Henry now had no further use for Wolsey and so he was summoned to appear before judges to answer a charge of praemunire (exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction without the King’s permission)
1529 (22nd October)
Wolsey pleaded guilty to the charge of praemunire. He surrendered York Place as well as “the lands, offices, goods, all temporal possessions, all debts due and all arrears of pensions” to the King. Wolsey told his household officers that they were to make detailed inventories of each room, closet and cupboard.
1529 (24th October)
The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent by Henry to take back the Great Seal from Wolsey. Wolsey knew that this act meant that he was finished and there was no hope of regaining favour with the King. Wolsey left for Esher taking with him just a few trusted servants.
1529 (25th or 26th October)
Henry appointed his friend, Thomas More as Chancellor. However, More only accepted the position on condition that he would not be involved in the King’s divorce. More believed the King’s marriage to be valid though he was careful to remain silent on the subject.
1529 (30th October)
Although he had written to the King begging for mercy Wolsey was stripped of all his offices except Archbishop of York. Wolsey began a journey north to the province of York which he had never seen in the sixteen years he had been archbishop.
1529 (November)
Anne was now twenty-eight years old and constantly reminded Henry that if it had not been for him she would have been married with children by now. She accused Henry of deliberately keeping her waiting. She also demanded that Henry send Catherine away from Greenwich and stop sending all his mending and embroidering to her.
1529 (3rd November)
Reformation Parliament summoned. This parliament was called the reformation parliament primarily because it passed a number of acts concerned with reforming the Church. Reforms included plurality, fees charged for probate and mortuary and sanctuary. Bishop Fisher angrily commented “Now with the Commons it is nothing but Down with the Church!”
1529 (late November)
Henry changed the name of York Palace to Whitehall and began renovating the palace for use by Anne Boleyn.
1529 (early December)
Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, was created Earl of Wiltshire. Anne was now Lady Anne Boleyn while her brother George was Lord Rochford.
1529 (early December)
Catherine was ordered to leave Greenwich Palace and go to Richmond.
1529 (24th December)
Henry told Catherine that even if the Pope declared their marriage to be lawful he would still have his divorce. He told her that the Church of Canterbury was more important than that of Rome and that if the Pope found against him he would declare the Pope a heretic and marry whomever he chose.
1530 (24th January)
Anne’s father, Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire was created Keeper of the Privy Seal.
1530 (mid February)
Anne was furious when Henry allowed Wolsey to continue as Archbishop of York.
1530 (March)
Wolsey was told that as Archbishop of York he must now go to his diocese of York.
1530 (April)
Catherine wrote to her representative in Rome, Dr Pedro Ortiz and begged him to put pressure on the Pope to find her marriage lawful.
1530 (May)
The Pope issued a brief which forbade anyone from expressing an opinion on the King of England’s marriage.
1530 (June)
Wolsey wrote letters to Francis I and Charles V hoping to secure their aid to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. However, neither expressed interest in Wolsey’s plans.
1530 (June)
European universities were canvassed to find their position regarding Henry’s marriage. All scholars deciding that Henry’s marriage was unlawful received a sum of money.
1530 (June)
The Duke of Suffolk was banned from court after he told Henry the lie that Anne Boleyn was having an affair with Thomas Wyatt.
1530 (July)
The Pope was sent a petition signed by the majority of Lords Spiritual and Temporal asking him to annul the King of England’s marriage. The petition warned the Pope of the consequences of not annulling the marriage.
1530 (23rd October)
Henry discovered that Wolsey had been trying to bring about Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Henry saw this as working against the King.
1530 (1st November)
A warrant for Wolsey’s arrest was drawn up. It was sent to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was instructed to arrest Wolsey and bring him to London.
1530 (29th November)
Thomas Wolsey had been taken ill on the journey south and he died at 8am at the Abbey of St Mary in Leicester.
1530 (December)
Henry was summoned to Rome to state his case regarding his marriage. Henry was furious with Rome.
1530 (December)
Anne Boleyn organised a masque called ‘Of the Cardinal’s Going to Hell’ to celebrate Wolsey’s death. Henry was not happy with this.
1530 (Christmas)
Anne was furious when Henry sat at the same table as Catherine during the Twelfth Night celebrations.
1531 (5th January)
The Pope issued a brief which ordered Henry to separate from Anne Boleyn. The brief had been issued at Catherine’s request. When it was presented to him, Henry merely glanced at the paper and put it aside.
1531 (February)
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, continued to support Catherine’s cause. He made a statement saying that it would be against God’s law for the King to make himself Head of the Church, a move Henry was now planning.
1531 (11th February)
Despite resistance from some members of the clergy, an Act was passed which confirmed that Henry was now Supreme Head of the Church in England. Henry proclaimed that the Pope should now be referred to as The Bishop of Rome.
1531 (23rd April)
Henry wrote to the English ambassador in Rome ordering him to tell the Pope that if he continued to summon Henry to Rome then Henry would destroy papal authority in England.
1531 (Summer)
Anne Boleyn was impatient to be married and displayed fits of tempers and bad moods. Henry was finding her difficult to be with. Thomas Howard was concerned by his niece’s behaviour and removed his support.
1531 (late October)
Henry was now living openly with Anne Boleyn.
1531 (24th November)
Anne Boleyn was extremely unpopular with the people who tended to support Catherine. A mob of some 7,000 women marched on a house where she was dining intent on lynching her. She escaped unhurt but was badly shaken.
1531 (Christmas)
Catherine was not invited to court for Christmas and Henry returned her gift saying that as they were no longer man and wife it was not proper for them to exchange gifts.
1532 (January)
Anne Boleyn returned to court after visiting her family at Hever.
1532 (15th May)
Submission of the Clergy
This was a short document which made three concessions: 1. The clergy would make no new laws without the consent of the monarch. 2. The clergy would allow all existing ecclesiastical laws to be reviewed by a deputation appointed by the King. 3. Convocation would not meet without royal permission. The document had to be signed by all the clergy and it was done so, reluctantly by many.
1532 (16th May)
Thomas More, who disagreed with any move to break with Rome, resigned his position as Chancellor on the grounds of ill health.
1532 (June)
Anne and Henry were furious when John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, preached a sermon defending Queen Catherine’s rights.
1532 (August)
Anne and Henry began a Summer progress of the southern counties but the tour had to be abandoned due to the extent of hostility shown to Anne Boleyn.
1532 (August)
Thomas Abell, who had spoken in public for Catherine, was sent to the Tower.
1532 (early September)
Thomas Cranmer was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
1532 (1st September)
Anne Boleyn was created Marquess of Pembroke. It was the first time a hereditory title had been given to a woman. The ceremony took place at Windsor.
1532 (Autumn)
Anne Boleyn finally surrendered to Henry and they began living openly as man and wife. Anne had her own court which included George Boleyn and his wife Jane, Lady Rochford, Sir Francis Bryan, Francis Weston, William Brereton, Sir Thomas Wyatt and other members of the Boleyn family. Mark Smeaton frequently joined these gatherings to play and sing.
1532 (7th October)
Anne and Henry arrived in Dover where they would cross to Calais. While there the nun, Elizabeth Barton told Henry that an angel had told her to tell Henry that he needed to return to both the Pope and his wife or face a life of damnation. Henry ordered that the nun be watched.
1532 (10th October)
Anne and Henry accompanied by Henry Fitzroy, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, the duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cromwell as well as other members of the nobility crossed the Channel from Dover to Calais.
1532 (21st October)
Anne did not accompany Henry when he rode out of Calais to meet with Francis II at Boulogne.
1532 (25th October)
Anne was ordered to remain out of sight when Francis II visited Henry at the Exchequer Palace in Calais because Henry did not want her presence to affect the outcome of the summit meeting.
1532 (27th October)
Anne was fed up with remaining out of sight and made a grand entrance at the masked ball held to celebrate the summit meeting with Francis II. After unmasking she boldly led Francis to dance.
1532 (11th November)
Anne and Henry returned to England.
1532 (December)
The nun, Elizabeth Barton again approached the King and told him that if he married Anne Boleyn then he would die within a month and the plague would reach England within six months.
1533 (early January)
Anne told Henry that she was pregnant. In order to ensure that the child was legitimate Henry knew that he had to marry Anne as soon as possible.
1533 (25th January)
Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII were secretly married in the King’s chapel at Whitehall by Dr Rowland Lee, one of the royal chaplains.
1533 (late January)
Although her marriage and pregnancy were still a secret, Anne told the court that she had a strong craving to eat apples and that Henry had suggested she were pregnant.
1533 (February)
Henry ordered Catherine to move to Ampthill which was some distance from London.
1533 (1st April)
Convocation declared by 14 votes to 7 that if Catherine’s first marriage had been consummated then her marriage to Henry was against God’s law.
1533 (3rd April)
A group of lawyers told Convocation that after considering all the evidence they were certain that Catherine’s first marriage to Arthur had been consummated.
1533 (5th April)
Convocation ruled that the Pope did not have the authority to issue a bull that set aside passages in the Bible and that no man should marry his brother’s wife.
1533 (7th April)
Act in Restraint of Appeals
This Act forbade all appeals to foreign tribunals in all spiritual, revenue and testament cases. Spiritual and secular jurisdiction was to be the ultimate responsibility of the King. The Pope now had no right to intervene in England.
1533 (8th April)
Henry announced to his council that he had married Anne Boleyn and that she was pregnant with their first child.
1533 (9th April)
Catherine was informed that Henry and Anne were married. She was told that as she was now no longer queen she must use the title Princess dowager of Wales. She was allowed to keep her property but her servants and household expenses would now be her responsibility. She was also told that if she submitted to the King’s will she would be generously provided for.
1533 (12th April)
Thomas Cranmer was formally authorised to pass judgement on the King’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
1533 (May)
Anne Boleyn’s pregnancy became common knowledge.
1533 (May)
Jane Seymour became a member of Anne Boleyn’s household.
1533 (23rd May)
Thomas Cranmer declared that Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon was null and void on the grounds that it was contrary to divine laws. Bishop Fisher protested against the decision.
1533 (28th May)
Thomas Cranmer pronounced that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was legal.
1533 (29th May)
Lady Anne, Marquess of Pembroke was received by the Lords as Queen of England.
1533 (1st June)
Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen consort of England in St Peter’s Abbey, Westminster. She walked in procession from Westminster Hall to the Abbey but despite the fact that people lined the streets to watch there was no cheering for the new Queen.
1533 (July)
Anne Boleyn went to Hampton Court to rest in preparation for the birth of her child in September.
1533 (4th July)
A deputation visited Catherine trying to persuade her to submit to the King’s wishes. However, Catherine steadfastly refused to deny the validity of her marriage to Henry.
1533 (late July)
Henry was furious with Catherine’s continual obstinacy and ordered her to move to the Bishop of Lincoln’s Palace at Buckden in Huntingdonshire.
1533 (August)
Elizabeth Barton was brought before Cranmer where she confessed that she had fabricated her ‘prophecies’
1533 (mid August)
Anne and Henry moved to Windsor where Anne took to her chamber to await the birth of her child.
1533 (7th September)
Anne gave birth to a baby girl with red hair and her mother’s features. Henry was disappointed that the child was a girl and blamed both God and Anne for denying him a son. She was named Elizabeth after Henry’s mother.
1533 (after 7th September)
Anne and Henry quarrelled because Anne wanted to breastfeed her child herself. Henry forbade this and employed a wet nurse for the child.
1533 (10th September)
Anne’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was christened and confirmed by the Bishop of London in the church of Franciscan Friars at Greenwich. Her godparents were the dowager duchess of Norfolk, the dowager marchioness of Dorset and Thomas Cranmer.
1533 (December)
Anne’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth was assigned her own household at Hatfield Place. Lady Margaret Bryan, Anne’s aunt was appointed lady governess at the head of an army of nursemaids, laundresses, officials and servants. Mary was sent, against her will, to be maid of honour to the baby Princess.
1533 (December)
Anne announced that she was pregnant again.
1534 (during)
Anne was furious when she discovered that her sister, Mary Boleyn, had secretly married William Stafford, second son of an Essex landowner. Anne and the Boleyn family disowned her and her pension was cut off.
1534 (March)
Henry declared that Anne would be ‘regent and absolute governess of her children and kingdom’ if he were to die prematurely.
1534 (20th March)
Elizabeth Barton and many of her followers were found guilty of treason.
1534 (23rd March)
The Pope declared that the dispensation issued to allow Henry to marry Catherine of Aragon was legal and therefore his marriage to Catherine was lawful. He ordered Henry to leave Anne and return to Catherine.
1534 (24th March)
Act of Succession
This act was introduced to exclude Mary from the succession and settle it instead on the children born from the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The Act also registered the invalidity of Henry’s marriage to Catherine and imposed severe penalties on those who opposed Henry’s second marriage.
Oath of Succession
The Act of Succession also included a clause allowing Henry the power to extract an oath from any of his subjects regarding the provisions of the Act. Henry insisted that all his councillors were to take the oath and they would then supervise the taking of the oath by their officers who would then ensure that all householders took the oath. This system meant that all men, women and children over the age of fourteen would swear to uphold the succession of the children of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Refusing to swear the Act would be an act of treason.
1534 (early April)
Catherine refused to swear the Oath of Succession.
1534 (13th April)
Both John Fisher and Thomas More refused to swear the Oath of Succession.
1534 (17th April)
John Fisher and Thomas More were taken to the Tower of London for refusing to swear the Oath of Succession. Fisher was tricked into stating his allegiance to the Pope but Thomas More was careful to keep his answers neutral. Both men were tried for treason and found guilty.
1534 (20th April)
Elizabeth Barton and four of her supporters were executed at Tyburn.
1534 (June/July)
Anne was delivered of a stillborn child. Henry who did not want to lose face ordered the details be kept secret.
1534 (November)
Act of Supremacy
This act declared England as a sovereign state with the King as the head of both the country and the church. The Act gave the monarch the power over all areas that had previously been the province of the clergy and ecclesiastical courts. It also meant that his injunctions would be binding on the clergy and that he had the power to define faith in parliament. All heresy cases would now be prosecuted by special commissions. The King would also now appoint men of his choosing to ecclesiastical posts.
1534 (November)
Treasons Act
This act made it a treasonable offence to deny any of the King’s titles. It stated that any malicious wish, will or desire to deprive the King or Queen of title or name of their royal estates was to be deemed treason. Slanderous publication of writing or words uttered describing the King as heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper would also be deemed treason.
1535 (January)
It was suggested that since England had broken with the Pope and the monasteries owed allegiance to the Pope they should be closed and their wealth taken by the crown. It was decided that monasteries should be visited and found guilty of mismanagement and immoral living in order to give a good reason for their closure.
1535 (February)
Henry had an affair with Madge Shelton, Anne Boleyn’s cousin.
1535 (mid March)
Anne Boleyn declared she was pregnant again.
1535 (17th June)
John Fisher, who continued to support Catherine of Aragon, was found guilty of high treason under the terms of the Treasons Act.
1535 (22nd June)
John Fisher, aged 76 years, was beheaded on Tower Hill. Fisher was the first bishop to be executed since Thomas Becket in 1170 and the people were deeply shocked.
1535 (late June)
Anne was prematurely delivered of a stillborn child. Henry again kept the news secret because he was worried that people would say it was God’s revenge for the murder of Fisher.
1535 (1st July)
Thomas More was tried for treason. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.
1535 (5th July)
Anne and Henry left London for a Summer Progress to the West Country.
1535 (6th July)
Thomas More was executed by beheading. He made a short speech asking people to pray for him and saying that he died the King’s good servant but God’s first.
1535 (4th September)
Anne and Henry visited Wulfhall in Wiltshire, the family home of the Seymour family.
1535 (Autumn)
A Bad harvest meant that food prices rose and people faced a hard winter. The poor harvest was blamed on Henry’s marriage to Anne and the execution of Bishops and monks.
1535 (26th October)
Anne and Henry returned to Windsor Castle.
1535 (late October)
The first complete Bible written in English was published. It was written by Miles Coverdale and dedicated to Henry and Anne. Henry approved the Bible and decreed that it should be circulated among the people.
1535 (November)
Henry was openly courting Jane Seymour.
1535 (late November)
Anne discovered that she was pregnant again. She was aware that everything depended on the outcome of this pregnancy.
1536 (7th January)
Catherine of Aragon died. It was commonly believed that Anne Boleyn had slowly poisoned her to death. Nowadays it is believed that she died from cancer.
1536 (mid January)
Catherine and Henry’s daughter, Mary, was taken very ill and it was commonly believed that she was being poisoned by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (24th January)
Henry fell from his horse during a joust and was unconscious for two hours. The fall caused a head injury that left him more bad tempered than before and also opened up an old wound on his leg that would cause him problems for the rest of his life.
1536 (29th January)
Anne Boleyn miscarried of a son four months into her pregnancy. The child was badly deformed and Henry saw this as clear evidence of God’s displeasure with the marriage. Anne blamed the miscarriage on concern following Henry’s fall and Henry’s interest in Jane Seymour.
1536 (February)
Henry believed that the miscarriage of a son was God’s way of declaring that his marriage to Anne Boleyn was unlawful either because of her earlier pre-contract to James Butler or because of Henry’s affair with Anne’s sister, Mary Boleyn. He decided that he needed to find a way out of his marriage to Anne.
1536 (Spring)
Thomas Cromwell began collecting evidence against Anne. During the course of his investigations he heard that some members of Anne’s court were admitted to her chamber at late hours. Those named were George Boleyn, Henry Norris, Francis Weston, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton. Cromwell used this information to construct a case that Anne had committed adultery with all five men and that they had plotted to murder the King. The information was passed to Henry.
1536 (April)
Jane Seymour was sent home to Wulfhall. Henry did not want her at court while a case was being made against Anne Boleyn.
1536 (24th April)
Henry signed a document authorising commissioners to enquire into any kind of treason committed by Anne Boleyn.
1536 (29th April)
Cromwell presented Henry with a list of charges against Anne Boleyn. Henry was furious and ordered the arrest of all those concerned including the Queen.
1536 (30th April)
Mark Smeaton was arrested and taken to Cromwell’s house for questioning. After being tortured he admitted committing adultery with the Queen.
1536 (1st May)
Anne was watching the May Day joust with Henry she noticed that Henry was in a very bad mood and did not speak to her. Both Henry Norris and George Boleyn were taking part in the joust. At the end of the joust Henry publicly accused Henry Norris of committing adultery with the Queen and ordered his immediate arrest.
1536 (2nd May)
Henry Norris and George Boleyn were taken to the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn was also arrested and taken by barge to the Tower.
1536 (4th May)
Francis Weston and William Brereton were arrested and taken to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason.
1536 (5th May)
Thomas Wyatt and Richard Page were arrested on suspicion of committing adultery with the Queen. However they were later released. Cromwell reasoned that if two men were allowed to go free then the others accused would seem more guilty.
1536 (10th May)
Anne was indicted before a grand jury for treason. She was charged with having committed adultery with Norris, Weston, Brereton, Smeaton and incest with her brother George. It was alleged that George was the father of the deformed baby. Anne was also charged with plotting to murder the King and making fun of him in public.
1536 (12th May)
The trial of those accused of committing adultery with the Queen, Mark Smeaton, Henry Norris, Francis Weston and William Brereton, took place. The Duke of Norfolk presided over the trial which found all men guilty. They were sentenced to death.
1536 (15th May)
Anne was tried by 26 peers of the realm including her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, who presided over the trial. Although Anne argued her innocence she was found guilty and sentenced to die by burning or beheading whichever the King chose. Her brother George was tried after Anne and was also found guilty.
1536 (17th May)
Anne Boleyn was able to watch the executions of her brother and those men who were found guilty of treason.
1536 (18th May)
Anne was told that her execution was postponed until the following day because the executioner had not arrived from France. Henry wanted her death to be as quick as possible and had sent to St Omer for a headsman who was known for his skill in severing heads with a sword.
1536 (18th May)
Thomas Cranmer declared that Henry’s marriage to Anne was null and void due to Henry’s earlier affair with Mary Boleyn.
1536 (19th May)
Anne Boleyn was executed by beheading with a single stroke of the sword. She was buried in the choir of the royal chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.


Published Dec 24, 2017 @ 1:42 pm – Updated – [last-modified]


Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). Anne Boleyn 1501 – 1536. Last accessed [date]


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