Friday, September 14, 2012

Anne Boleyn's Jailer Dies

Illustration: Anne Boleyn in the Tower, speaking with William Kingston, the Constable of the Tower. c1855Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower, died on September 15, 1540. On 28 May 1524 he became constable of the Tower at a salary of £100 and when Anne Boleyn and those accused of adultery with her were brought to the Tower, he was in charge.

He met Anne when she was conveyed to the Tower and he reported on her to Thomas Cromwell, for example, when he had to tell her of a delay in her execution:

"This morning she sent for me, that I might be with her at such time as she received the good Lord, to the intent I should hear her speak as touching her innocency alway to be clear. And in the writing of this she sent for me, and at my coming she said, "Mr. Kingston, I hear I shall not die afore noon, and I am very sorry therefore, for I thought to be dead by this time and past my pain." I told her it should be no pain, it was so little. And then she said, "I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck", and then put her hands about it, laughing heartily. I have seen many men and also women executed, and that they have been in great sorrow, and to my knowledge this lady has much joy in death. Sir, her almoner is continually with her, and had been since two o'clock after midnight."

The Tudors (show) wiki has more detail about him here, including his letters to Cromwell about her behavior and her requests--for example, for the Blessed Sacrament and her confessor.

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