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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 404

from her company ; and unfortunately Suffolk and Norfolk, both Henry's favourites, were her great foes. That her levity and indiscretion accelerated, perhaps caused her ruin, appears probable. So early as February, 1535, doubts, suspicions, and strange thoughts suggested themselves, or had been suggested to the mind of Henry. To what particulars they related is unknown, but Anne certainly secretly implored, through the French ambassador, the aid of her old friend Francis the First, and when that resource failed her, pronounced herself a distracted and ruined woman. The reconciliation which followed proved but a hollow one, and at length Henry, eager to rid himself of the woman he no longer loved, encouraged the authors and retailers of court scandal to circulate reports injurious to her reputation, and collecting these reports laid them before a secret committee, which be caused to be appointed on the twenty-fifth of April, to enquire into the charges against the Queen. This committee consisted of the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Lord Chancellor, her own father, and several earls and judges, amongst whom was the Earl of Northumberland, the juvenile lover of Anne Boleyn; her father it is believed, although summoned to attend, absented himself. That the King had preconcerted his plan, and already decided the fate of his consort, is evident, by bis having in April, and even before she was arrested, convoked the parliament which was to exonerate him fromhisnowdetestcd union, andabrogate the late act of succession in favour of Anne and her posterity. Had Henry's jealousy been derived from love, though it might ou a sudden have proceeded to violent extremities, it would have been subject to many removes and contrarieties, and might at last have tended only to augment the affection on which it was founded ; but it was a more stern jealousy, fostered entirely by pride. Anne being more vain than haughty, was pleased to see the influence of her beauty on all around her, and she indulged herself in an easy familiarity with persons who were formerly her equals, and who might then have pretended to her good grace*, if not her friendship. Henry's dignity was offended with these popular manners; and though the lover bad been entirely blind, the husband whose love (such as it could be) was already transferred to another object, possessed but too quick discernment and penetration. Of the ill instruments who put a malignant interpretation on the, perhaps, harmless liberties of the Queen, the most conspicuous was the Countess of Rochford, who was married to the Queen's brother-in-law, but who lived on bad terms with her sister-in-law. Being a woman of profligate character, her hatred and jealousy induced her to pretend that her own husband was engaged in a criminal correspondence with his sister; and not content with this accusation, she poisoned every action of tbe Queen's, and represented each instance of favour she conferred on the courtiers as a token of affection. Henry Norris, groom of the stool, Weston and Brereton, gentlemen of the King's chamber, together with Mark Smcaton, the musician, were observed to possess much of the Queen's friendship, and as they served her with a zeal and attachment which, although chiefly derived from gratitude, was not unmixed with sentiments of tenderness for so beautiful and captivating a princess, they were pointed to as her paramours. As the King believed, or affected to believe, in these accusations, Brereton was summoned before the secret committee, on Thursday, the twentyeighth of April, and committed immediately to the Tower. The examination of Smeaton, a person of low degree, promoted to be a groom of the chamber, for his skill in the fine art which he professed, followed on the subsequent Sunday, and on the next morning he was sent to the Tower and loaded with irons. On that day, May the first, a tilting match was held at Greenwich before tho King and Queen; Rochford, the Queen's brother, was the chief challenger, and Henry Norris, the principal antagonist. In the midst of the entertainment, the King suddenly rose in apparent anger, and abruptly quitted the scene. It was alleged that Henry's jealousy was er

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