Biography of William Kingston 1476-1540

1536 Arrest of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

1536 Imprisonment and Trial of Anne Boleyn and her Co-Accused

1536 Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

1537 Funeral of Jane Seymour

Around 1476 William Kingston was born.

Around 1508 [his son] Anthony Kingston was born to William Kingston (age 32).

Around 1509 Edward Jerningham and [his future wife] Mary Scrope (age 33) were married.

In or before 1518 [his son-in-law] John St Lo (age 18) and [his daughter] Margaret Kingston were married.

On 28 May 1524 William Kingston (age 48) was appointed Constable of the Tower of London.

Before Oct 1524 [his son] Anthony Kingston (age 16) and [his daughter-in-law] Dorothy Harpur were married.

Before 1532 William Kingston (age 56) and Mary Scrope (age 55) were married.

After 1535 [his son] Anthony Kingston (age 27) and [his daughter-in-law] Mary Gainsford (age 36) were married. She the widow of William "Great" Courtenay (deceased).

Letters and Papers 1535. 24 Jun 1535. R. O. 919. Sir William Kyngston (age 59) to [Lord Lisle (age 71)].

I thank you and my Lady for my "puetts," "which made the King merry in Waltham forest," and also for your letters. The hawk you sent to my lord of Carlisle has not yet come, "bot when she comys you apounted a gud keper fro hyr for Johnnies may now keper well, for my lord his master fell yowt with hym for playing at penny gleke and never will play with hym agayn." No news here worth writing. The King and Queen (age 34) are well, "and her Grace (age 34) has a fair belly as I have seen." Master Treasurer was never better, and thanks you for your continual kindness. You wrote me for Master Elmer. I have not yet spoken with him, but will do for him as for my brother. Master Radcliff recommends him to you and my lady and so does my poor wife, who has had little health since your departure. Do not forget me to my good bedfellow Master Porter (my lady is here), and to Master Marshall and my lady. Greenwich, St. John's Day.

Hol., p. 1. Endd.: 24 June.

In 1536 [his step-son] Henry Jerningham of Cotesby Hall (age 24) and Frances Baynham were married. The marriage arranged by his stepfather William Kingston (age 60) who was her grandfather.

Arrest of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

Wriothesley's Chronicle. 02 May 1536. ... and the same daie, about five of the clocke at nighta, Anne Bolleine (age 35) was brought to the Towre of London by my Lord Chauncelor (age 48)b, the Duke of Norfolke (age 63), Mr. Secretarie (age 51),c and Sir William Kingston (age 60), Constable of the Tower; and when she came to the court gate,d entring in, she fell downe on her knees before the said lordes, beseeching God to helpe her as she was not giltie of her accusement,e and also desired the said lordes to beseech the Kinges grace to be good unto her, and so they left her their prisoner.f.

Note a. "In the afternoon." — Stow.

Note b. Sir Thomas Audley.

Note c. Sir Thomas Cromwell, afterwards Earl of Essex.

Note d. "Towergate" in Stow.

Note e. On her arrest she was informed of the accusation of adultery.

Note f. Anne's prison-chamber was that in which she had slept the night before her coronation.

Imprisonment and Trial of Anne Boleyn and her Co-Accused

Letters 1536. [03 May 1536] Otho, C. x. 225. B. M. Ellis, i Ser. II. 53. Singer's Cavendish, ii. 217. 793. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to [Cromwell].

On my Lord of Norfolk (age 63) and the King's Council departing from the Tower, I went before the Queen (age 35) into her lodging. She said unto me, "Mr. Kingston (age 60), shall I go into a dungeon?" I said, "No, Madam. You shall go into the lodging you lay in at your coronation." "It is too g[ood] for me, she said; Jesu have mercy on me;" and kneeled down, weeping a [good] pace, and in the same sorrow fell into a great laughing, as she has done many times since. "She desyred me to move the Kynges hynes that she [might] have the sacarment in the closet by hyr chamber, that she my[ght pray] for mercy, for I am as clere from the company of man as for s[in as I] am clear from you, and am the Kynges trew wedded wyf. And then s[he said], Mr. Kynston, do you know wher for I am here? and I sayd, Nay. And th[en she asked me], When saw you the Kynge? and I sayd I saw hym not syns I saw [him in] the Tylte Yerde. And then, Mr. K., I pray you to telle me wher my [Lord, my fa]der [Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde (age 59)], ys? And I told hyr I saw hym afore dyner in the Cort. O[where is m]y sweet broder (age 33)? I sayd I left hym at York Place; and so I dyd. I [hear say, sai]d she, that I shuld be accused with iij. men; and I can say [no more but] nay, withyowt I shuld oppen my body. And ther with opynd her gown. O, No[res] (age 54), hast thow accused me? Thow ar in the Towre with me, [and thow and I shall] dy together; and, Marke (age 24), thow art here to. O, my mother (age 56), [thou wilt die with] sorow; and myche lamented my lady of Worceter (age 34), for by c[ause that her child di]d not store in hyre body. And my wyf sayd, what shuld [be the cause? And she sai]d, for the sorow she toke for me. And then she sayd, Mr. [Kyngston (age 60), shall I die with]yowt justes? And I sayd, the porest sugett the Ky[ng hath, hath justice. And t]her with she lawed. Alle thys sayinges was yesterny[ght] .... and thys mornyng dyd talke with Mestrys Co[fyn. And she said, Mr. Norr]es Henry Norreys (age 54) dyd say on Sunday last unto the Quenes am[ner that he would s]vere for the Quene that she was a gud woman. [And then said Mrs.] Cofyn (age 36), Madam, Why shuld ther be hony seche maters [spoken of? Marry,] sayd she, I bad hym do so: for I asked hym why he [did not go through with] hys maryage, and he made ansure he wold tary [a time. Then I said, Y]ou loke for ded men's showys, for yf owth ca[m to the King but good], you would loke to have me. And he sayd yf he [should have any such thought] he wold hys hed war of. And then she sayd [she could undo him if she wou]ld; and ther with thay felle yowt, bot .... and sayd on Wysson Twysday last .... that Nores (age 54) cam more .. age and further ....

"Wher I was commaunded to charge the gentelwomen that gyfes thayr atendans apon the Quene, that ys to say thay shuld have now (i.e., no) commynycasion with hyr in lese my William Kingston (age 60) and [his wife] wyf (age 60) ware present; and so I dyd hit, notwithstandynge it canot be so, for my Lady Bolen and Mestrys Cofyn (age 36) lyes on the Quenes palet, and I and my wyf at the dore with yowt, so at thay must nedes talke at be within; bot I have every thynge told me by Mestrys Cofyn (age 36) that she thinkes met for you to know, and tother ij. gentelweymen lyes withyowt me, and as I may knowe t[he] Kynges plesure in the premysses I shalle folow. From the Towre, thys morny[ng].

"Sir, syns the makynge of thys letter the Quene spake of Wes[ton [Francis Weston (age 25)], saying that she] had spoke to hym bycause he did love hyr kynswoman [Mrs. Skelton, and] sayd he loved not hys wyf (age 22), and he made ansere to hyr [again that h]e loved wone in hyr howse better then them bothe. And [the Queen (age 35) said, Who is] that? It ys yourself. And then she defyed hym, as [she said to me]. William Kyngston (age 60)."

Hol.

Letters 1536. Around 04 May 1536. Otho. C. x. 224b. B. M. Ellis, 1 Ser. ii. 59. Singer's Cavendish, ii. 223. 797. Sir William Kyngston (age 60) to Cromwell.

"Sir, the Quene hathe meche desyred to have here in the closet the sacarment and also hyr amner, who she supposeth to be devet, for won owre she ys determyned to dy and the next owre meche contrary to that. Yesterday after your departynge I sent for my wyf and also for Mestrys Coffyn to know how the had done that day; thay sayd she had bene very mery, and made a gret dyner, and yet sone after she called for hyr supper, havynge marvelle wher I was alle day. And after supper she sent for me; and at my comynge she sayd, Wher have you bene alle day? And I mad ansure I had bene with prisoners. So, she sayd, I thowth I hard Mr. Tresure[r]. I ansured he was not here. Then she began talke, and sayd I was creuely handeled a .... a Greweche with the Kynges consell with my Lord of Norfolke, that he sayd Tut, [tut, tut!], and shakyng hyr hed iii. or iiij. tymes, and as for master Tresurer he was in the [forest of Windsor; y]ou know what she meynes by that; and named Mr. Controler to be a very ge[ntleman. But s]he to be a Quene, and creuely handeled as was never sene; bot I th[ink the King d]ose it to prove me;—and dyd lawth with alle and was very mery. And then s[he said, I shall have ju]stes. And then I sayd, Have now dowt therin. Then she sayd, Yf hony man acuse [me I can say but n]ay; and thay can bringe now wytnes; and she had talked with the gentel .... sayd I knew at Markes (age 24) comynge to the Towre that nyght. I reysayved .... at it was X. of the cloke or he ware welle loged; and then she sayd .... e knew of Nores (age 54) goynge to the Towre, and then she sayd I hold .... next yf it had bene leyd she had wone; and then she sayd, I wo[uld to God I had m]y bysshoppys, for thay wold alle go to the Kynge for me, for I thy[nk the most part of] Yngland prays for me. and yf I dy you shalle se the grettes[t punishment for me] within thys vij. yere that ever cam to Yngland. And the[n, she said, shall I be in Heaven, for] I have done mony gud dedys in my days, bot zit I thynke [much unkindness in the] Kynge to put seche abowt me as I never loved. I showe[d her that the Kyng took them] to be honest and gud wemmen. Bot I wold have had [of my own privy cham]bre weche I favor most, &c. Will'm Kyngston (age 60)."

Hol. Add.: To Master Secretory. Endd.

Letters 1536. Around 05 May 1536. Otho, C. x. 222. B. M. Singer's Cavendish, ii. 220. Ellis, I. Ser. ii. 56. 798. Sir William Kyngston (age 60) to Cromwell.

"After your departynge yesterday Greneway, gentelman yssher, cam to .... Mr. Caro and Master Bryan commaunded hym in the Kynges name to my .... Ratchfort (age 33) from my Lady hys wyf (age 31) and the message was now more .... se how he dyd and also she wold humly sut unto the Kynges hy[nes] .... for hyr husband, and so he gaf hyr thankes and desyred me to kno .... tyme he shuld cum affore the Kynges consell, for I thynk I .... cum forthe tylle I cum to my jogement, wepynge very .... I departed from hym, and when I cam to the chambre the .... of me and sent for me, and sayd, I here say my Lord my .... here; it ys trowth, sayd I. I am very glad, sayd s[he] .... bothe be so ny to gether, and I showed hyr here was .... Weston (age 25) and Brerton, and she made very gud contenans .... I also sayd Mr. Page and Wyet (age 15) wase mo then she sayd he ha .... one hys fyst tother day and ys here now bot ma .... I shalle desyre you to bayre a letter from me .... [to Master] Secretory. And then I sayd, Madam, telle it me by [word of mouth, and I] wille do it. And so gaf me thankes, sayinge I ha[ve much marvel] that the Kynges conselle commes not to me and thys .... [she] sayd we shuld have now rayne tyll she ware [delivered out] of the Towre. I pray you it may be shortly, by [cause, said I, of the] fayre wether; you know what I mayne. The Que[ne said unto me that same] nyght that the Kyng wyst what he dyd w[hen he put such] ij. abowt hyr as my Lady Boleyn and Mestres [Cofyn; for] [Margaret Dymoke (age 36)] thay cowd tell her now thynge of my [Lord her father (age 59), nor] nothynge ellys, bot she defyed them alle. [But then upon this my Lady Boleyn (age 35)] sayd to hyr, Seche desyre as you have h[ad to such tales] hase browthe you to thys, and then sayd [Mrs. Stoner, Mark (age 24)] ys the worst cherysshe of hony m[an in the house, for he w]ayres yernes. She sayd that was [because he was no gen]telman; bot he wase never in [my chamber but at Winchester, and there] she sent for hym to pl[ay on the virginals, for there my] logynge wa[s above the King's] .... for I never spake with hym syns bot upon Saterday before Mayday; and then I fond hym standyng in the ronde wyndo in my chambre of presens. And I asked why he wase so sad, and he ansured and sayd it was now mater; and then she sayd, You may not loke to have me speke to you as I shuld do to a nobulle man by cause you be an inferor [pe]rson. No, no, madam, a loke sufficed me, and thus fare you welle. [Sh]e hathe asked my wyf whether hony body makes thayr beddes, [and m]y [his wife] wyf (age 60) ansured and sayd, Nay, I warant you; then she say[d tha]y myght make balettes well now, bot ther ys non bot .... de that can do it. Yese, sayd my wyf (age 60), Master Wyett by .... sayd trew .... my Lorde my broder wille dy .... ne I am sure thys was as .... tt downe to dener thys day.

William Kyngston (age 60).

Letters 1536. 15 May 1536. R. O. 876. Trial of Anne Boleyn (age 35) and Lord Rochford (age 33).

Record of pleas held at the Tower of London before Thomas Duke of Norfolk (age 63), treasurer and Earl marshal, lord high steward, citing:—

1. Patent appointing the said Duke steward of England hac vice for the trial of queen Anne and Lord Rochford (age 33). Westm., 12 May 28 Henry VIII.

2. Mandate to Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Richard Lister, Sir John Porte, Sir John Spelman, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Anth. Fitzherbert, Sir Thos. Englefeld, and Sir William Shelley, special commissioners of Oyer and Terminer for Middlesex, to return all indictments found against queen Anne and Lord Rochford (age 33). Westm., 13 May 28 Henry VIII.

3. Similar mandate to Sir John Baldewyn, Sir Walter Luke, Sir Anth. Fitzherbert, and Sir William Shelley, special commissioners for Kent. Westm., 13 May 28 Henry VIII.

4. Mandate to Sir William Kyngestone, constable of the Tower, to bring queen Anne and Lord Rochford (age 33) before the Lord High Steward when required. Westm., 13 May 28 Henry VIII.

5. The Lord High Steward issued his precept, 13 May, to Sir John Baldewyn and his fellows in Middlesex, to return the indictments at the Tower before him on Monday, 15 May, and a similar precept to Sir J. Baldewyn, Luke, and his fellows in Kent; a third precept to the constable of the Tower to bring queen Anne and Lord Rochford (age 33) that day before him; and a fourth to Ralph Felmyngham, serjeant-at-arms, to summon such and so many lords of the kingdom, peers of the said queen Anne and Lord Rochford (age 33), by whom the truth may appear.

6. Pleas held before the Duke of Norfolk (age 63), steward of England, at the Tower, on Monday, 15 May 28 Henry VIII.

The justices bring in the indictments for Middlesex and Kent, Sir William Kingston (age 60) produces the prisoners, and Ralph Felmyngham declares that he has summoned the peers. Proclamation being then made, the peers answer to their names; viz., Charles Duke of Suffolk (age 52), Henry marquis of Exeter, William Earl of Arundel, John Earl of Oxford (age 65), Henry Earl of Northumberland (age 34), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 38), Edward Earl of Derby (age 27), Henry Earl of Worcester, Thomas Earl of Rutland (age 44), Rob. Earl of Sussex, George Earl of Huntingdon, John lord Audeley, Thos. lord La Ware, Henry lord Mountague, Henry lord Morley, Thos. lord Dacre, George lord Cobham, Henry lord Maltravers, Edward lord Powes, Thos. lord Mount Egle, Edward lord Clynton, William lord Sandes, Andrew lord Wyndesore, Thos. lord Wentworth, Thos. lord Burgh, and John lord Mordaunt.

7. Indictment found at Westminster on Wednesday next after three weeks of Easter, 28 Henry VIII.1 before Sir John Baldwin, &c., by the oaths of Giles Heron, Roger More, Richard Awnsham, Thos. Byllyngton, Gregory Lovell, Jo. Worsop, William Goddard, William Blakwall, Jo. Wylford, William Berd, Henry Hubbylthorn, William Hunyng, Rob. Walys, John England, Henry Lodysman, and John Averey; who present that whereas queen Anne has been the wife of Henry VIII. for three years and more, she, despising her marriage, and entertaining malice against the King, and following daily her frail and carnal lust, did falsely and traitorously procure by base conversations and kisses, touchings, gifts, and other infamous incitations, divers of the King's daily and familiar servants to be her adulterers and concubines, so that several of the King's servants yielded to her vile provocations; viz., on 6th Oct. 25 Henry VIII., at Westminster, and divers days before and after, she procured, by sweet words, kisses, touches, and otherwise, Henry Noreys, of Westminster, gentle man of the privy chamber, to violate her, by reason whereof he did so at Westminster on the 12th Oct. 25 Henry VIII.; and they had illicit intercourse at various other times, both before and after, sometimes by his procurement, and sometimes by that of the Queen. Also the Queen, 2 Nov. 27 Henry VIII. and several times before and after, at Westminster, procured and incited her own natural brother, George Boleyn (age 33), Lord Rochford, gentleman of the privy chamber, to violate her, alluring him with her tongue in the said George's mouth, and the said George's tongue in hers, and also with kisses, presents, and jewels; whereby he, despising the commands of God, and all human laws, 5 Nov. 27 Henry VIII., violated and carnally knew the said Queen, his own sister, at Westminster; which he also did on divers other days before and after at the same place, sometimes by his own procurement and sometimes by the Queen's. Also the Queen, 3 Dec. 25 Henry VIII., and divers days before and after, at Westminster, procured one William Bryerton, late of Westminster, gentleman of the privy chamber, to violate her, whereby he did so on 8 Dec. 25 Henry VIII., at Hampton Court, in the parish of Lytel Hampton, and on several other days before and after, sometimes by his own procurement and sometimes by the Queen's. Also the Queen, 8 May 26 Henry VIII., and at other times before and since, procured Sir Fras. Weston, of Westminster, gentleman of the privy chamber, &c., whereby he did so on the 20 May, &c. Also the Queen, 12 April 26 Henry VIII., and divers days before and since, at Westminster, procured Mark Smeton (age 24), groom of the privy chamber, to violate her, whereby he did so at Westminster, 26 April 27 Henry VIII.

Moreover, the said Lord Rochford (age 33), Norreys, Bryerton, Weston, and Smeton (age 24), being thus inflamed with carnal love of the Queen, and having become very jealous of each other, gave her secret gifts and pledges while carrying on this illicit intercourse; and the Queen, on her part, could not endure any of them to converse with any other woman, without showing great displeasure; and on the 27 Nov. 27 Henry VIII., and other days before and after, at Westminster, she gave them great gifts to encourage them in their crimes. And further the said Queen and these other traitors, 31 Oct. 27 Henry VIII., at Westminster, conspired the death and destruction of the King, the Queen often saying she would marry one of them as soon as the King died, and affirming that she would never love the King in her heart. And the King having a short time since become aware of the said abominable crimes and treasons against himself, took such inward displeasure and heaviness, especially from his said Queen's malice and adultery, that certain harms and perils have befallen his royal body.

And thus the said Queen and the other traitors aforesaid have committed their treasons in contempt of the Crown, and of the issue and heirs of the said King and Queen.

8. Record of indictment and process before Baldewyn, Luke, and others, in co. Kent.

The indictment found at Deptford, on Thursday, 11 May 28 Henry VIII., is precisely similar in character to the Middlesex indictment, except as regards times and places; viz., that the Queen at Estgrenewyche, 12 Nov. 25 Henry VIII., and divers days before and since, allured one Henry Noreys, late of Est Grenewyche, to violate her, whereby he did so on the 19 Nov., &c.; that on 22 Dec. 27 Henry VIII., and divers other days, at Eltham, she allured George Boleyn, Lord Rochford (age 33), &c., whereby he did so, 29 Dec., &c.; that on the 16 Nov. 25 Henry VIII., and divers, &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured one William Bryerton, late of Est Grenewyche, &c., whereby he did so, 27 Nov., &c.; that on the 6 June 26 Henry VIII., &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured Sir Fras. Weston, &c., whereby he did so, 20 June, &c.; that on the 13 May 26 Henry VIII. &c., at Est Grenewyche, she allured Mark Smeton (age 24), &c., whereby he did so, 19 May 26 Henry VIII.

And further that the said Boleyn, &c. grew jealous of each other; and the Queen, to encourage them, at Eltham, 31 Dec. 27 Henry VIII., and divers times before and since, made them presents, &c.; that the Queen and the others, 8 Jan. 27 Henry VIII., conspired the King's death, &c., and that she promised to marry one of the traitors whenever the King was dead, affirming she would never love him, &c.

And afterwards, Monday, 15 May, queen Anne comes to the bar before the Lord High Steward in the Tower, in the custody of Sir William Kingston (age 60), pleads not guilty, and puts herself on her peers; whereupon the said Duke of Suffolk (age 52), marquis of Exeter, and other peers, are charged by the High Steward to say the truth; and being examined from the lowest peer to the highest, each of them severally saith that she is guilty.

Judgment:—To be taken to prison in the Tower, and then, at the King's command, to the Green within the Tower, and there to be burned or beheaded as shall please the King.

The same day, Lord Rochford (age 33) is brought before the High Steward in the custody of Sir William Kingston (age 60), and pleads not guilty. The peers are charged, with the exception of the Earl of Northumberland (age 34), who was suddenly taken ill, and each of them severally saith that he is guilty.

Judgment:—To be taken to prison in the Tower, and then drawn through the city of London, to the gallows at Tyburn, &c., as usual in high treason.

R. O. 2. Originals of the above indictments, commission to the Lord High Steward, mandates and precept, with the original panel of peers. Several of these documents are a good deal injured.

Note 1. See Report III. of Dep. Keeper of the Pub. Records, App. ii. 243. The whole of the proceedings are printed by Mr. Hamilton in the Appendix to Vol. I. of Wriothesley's Chronicle.

Wriothesley's Chronicle. 15 May 1536. And first the Kinges commission was redd, and then the Constable of the Tower (age 60)e and the Lieutenant (age 56) brought forthe the Queene (age 35) to the barre, where was made a chaire for her to sitt downe in, and then her indictment was redd afore her,g whereunto she made so wise and discreet aunsweres to all thinges layde against her, excusinge herselfe with her wordes so clearlie, as thoughe she had never bene faultie to the same,a and at length putt her to the triall of the Peeres of the Realme, and then were 26 of the greatest peeres there present chosen to passe on her, the Duke of Suffolke beinge highest, and, after they had communed together, the yongest lorde of the saide inquest was called first to give verdict, who sayde guiltie, and so everie lorde and earle after their degrees sayde guiltie to the last and so condemned her. And then the Duke of Northfolke (age 63) gave this sentence on her, sayinge: Because thou haste offended our Sovereigne the Kinges grace, in committinge treason against his person, and here attaynted of the same,' the lawe of the realme is this, that thou haste deserved death, and thy judgment is this: That thow shalt be brent here within the Tower of London on the Greene [Map], els to have thy head smitten of as the Kinges pleasure shal be further knowne of the same; and so she was brought to warde agayne, and two ladies wayted on her, which came in with her at the first, and wayted still on her, whose names were the [his wife] Ladie Kingstone (age 60) and the Ladie Boleyn (age 56), her aunte.

Note e. Sir William Kingston (age 60).

Note f. Sir Edmond Walsingham (age 56).

Note g. Her indictment, which comprised six sereral charges, is preserred in the Public Record Office, with the subsequent proceedings thereon.

Note a. Upon her examination she positively denied she had ever been false to the King; but, being told that Norris, Weston, Brereton, and Smeton had accused her, she said she ought not to conceal certain things which had passed between her and them. See Burnet, tom, i. pp. 191, 280, &c.

Letters 1536. 16 May 1536. Harl. MS. 283, f. 134. B. M. Ellis, 1 Ser. ii. 62. 890. Sir William Kyngston (age 60) to [Cromwell].

Was with the King today, and declared the petition of Lord Rochford (age 33), wherein I was answered. The said Lord desires to speak with you on a matter which touches his conscience. I wish to know your pleasure, because of my promise to him, and also to know the King's pleasure touching the Queen, as well for her confession as for the preparation of scaffolds. The King told me that my Lord of Canterbury should be her confessor, and he was here today with her. "The time is short, for the King supposeth the gentlemen to die tomorrow, and my Lord of Rochford (age 33), with the residue of gentlemen, and as yet without Doctor Allryge (?), which I look for;" but I have told him to be ready to suffer tomorrow, and so he accepts it very well, and will do his best to be ready, "notwithstanding, he would have received his rights, which hath not been used, and in especial here." Yet this day at dinner the Queen said she would go to "anonre" (a nunnery)1, and is in hope of life.

Hol., p. 1. Mutilated. Endd.

Note 1. Misread by Ellis, "Anvures," which he interprets as "Antwerp."

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXII. 16 May 1536. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Secretary Cromwell (age 51), May 16th 1536, upon the preparations for the execution of my Lord Rochford and Queen Anne.

Execution of Anne Boleyn and her Co-accused

Ellis' Letters S1 V2 Letter CXXIII. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Lord Cromwell (age 51), apparently May 18th 1536.

[MS. COTTON. OTHO c. x. foL 223. Orig.]

Syr thys shalbe to advertyse you I have resayved your Lett' wherin yo ...aa have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre and so thay be by the ... of Richard Gressum, & Will-m Loke, & Wythepoll, bot the umbrb of stra ... not xxx. and not mony; Hothe and the inbassit'of the emperor had a ... ther and honestly put yowt. Sr yf we have not anowrec serten ... d be knowen in London, I thynke hee wilbe bot few and I thynk ...f humburg ware bes: for I suppose she wyll declare hyr self to b ... h woman for all men bot for the Kyng at the or of hyr dei ... mornyngk she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at ... asshe reysayved the gud lord to the in tent I shuld here hy ... towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere & in the writy ... she sent for me, and at my commyng she sayd M. Kyngston I he ... l not dy affore none, & I am very sory ther fore; for I thowth ... be dede ... d past my payne. I told hyr it shuld be now payne it w ... m hard say the executr was very gud and I have a lyt ... rn hand abowt it lawyng hartely.

I have sen also wemen executed and atp they have bene in gre ... ige. Thys Lady hasse meche joy and plesur in dethe ... newaly with hyr and hasse bene syns ij of the co ... the effect of hony thyng that ys here at t ... well.

Your ....

Willm Ky

To Mastr. Secretory.

Note a. f. you would have. b. number. c. an hour. d. as it may be. L. Herb. e. here. f. a reasonable. g. L. Herb. h. be a. L. Herb. i. death. k. for this morning. L. Herb. l. I heard say I shall not. L. Herb. m. was so sotell. Herb. n. a lyttel neck and put her hand. Herb. p. that,

The names of those who were called Anne Boleyn's accusers have occurred in the preceding Letters.

The close of her catastrophe shall be detailed in the words of Burnet :

"A little before noon, being the 19th. of May, she was brought to the Scaffold, where she made a short speech to a great company that came to look on the last scene of this fatal Tragedy : the chief of whom were the Dukes of Suffolk (age 52) and Richmond (age 16), the Lord Chancellor, and Secretary Cromwell (age 51), with the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs, and Aldermen of London. She said she was come to die, as she was judged by the Law ; she would accuse none, nor say any thing of the ground upon which she was judged. She prayed heartily for the King ; and called him a most merciful and gentle Prince, and that he had been always to her a good, gentle, sovereign lord : and if any would meddle with her cause, she required them to judge the best. And so she took her leave of them and of the world ; and heartily desired they would pray for her. After she had been some time in her devotions, being her last words 'to Christ I commend my Soul,' her head was cut off by the hangman of Calais, who was brought over as more expert at beheading than any in England : her eyes and lips were observed to move after her head was cut off, as Spelman writes ; but her body was thrown into a common chest of elm tree, that was made to put arrows in, and was buried in the chapel within the Tower [Map] before twelve o'clock.

"Her brother (deceased) with the other four did also suffer. None of them were quartered, but they were all beheaded, except Smeton, who was hanged. It was generally said, that he was corrupted into that confession, and had his life promised him ; but it was not fit to let him live to tell tales. Norris had been much in the King's favour, and an offer was made him of his life, if he would confess his guilt, and accuse the Queen. But he generously rejected that unhandsome proposition, and said that in his consciiaice he thought her innocent of these things laid to her charge ; but whether she was or not, he would not accuse her of any thing, and he would die a thousand times rather than ruin an innocent person."a

On the day of the execution, Henry the Eighth put on white for mourning, as though he would have said, "I am innocent of this deed:" and the next day was married to Jane Seymour (age 27).

The good Melanchton, whose visit to England was prevented by the afflicting news of the Queen's execution, has elegantly expressed his opinion of her innocence, in a letter to Joachim Camerarius, dated on the fifth of the ides of June 1536:

"Anglicas profectionis cura prorsus liberatus sum. Postquam enim tarn tragic! casus in Anglia acciderunt, magna consiliorum mutatio secuta est. Posterior Regina, Magis Accusata quam Convicta Adulterii, ultimo supplicio affecta est. Quam mirabiles sunt rerum vices, mi Joachime, quantam Dei iram omnibus hominibus denunciant, in quantas calamitates etiam ex summo fastigio potentissimi homines hoc tempore decidunt Haec cum cogito, etiam nobis aerumnas nostras et nostra pericula asquiore animo ferenda esse dispute."b

To some it has been a cause of surprize, that Anne Boleyn should have passed an encomium upon Henry the Eighth at her death. Indeed it is remarkable that at almost every execution hi that sanguinary period, the praise of the Sovereign was pronounced by those who fell upon the scaffold. It seems to have been so directed by the Government. Tyndale, from whose "Practice of Prelates" we have already made an extract respecting the disclosure of Confessions, has another passage upon this point, too important not to be given here:

"When any Great Man is put to death, how his Confessore entreateth him ; and what penance is enjoyned him concerning what he shall say when he cometh unto the place of execution. I coude gesse at a practyse that might make mennes eares glowe."e

In Anne Boleyn's case, however, it may be in part ascribed to anxiety for the safety of her daughter.

Anne Boleyn's execution was a fatal precedent for succeeding times. Henry having beheaded one Queen, proceeded fearlessly to the beheading of another. Elizabeth familiarized the application of the axe to royalty one step farther ; for she beheaded a foreign Queen who had taken shelter in her dominions. Half a Century later, and the people beheaded their Sovereign.

Note a. Burnet, Hist. Reform, vol. i. p. 205.

Note b. Melancht. Epist. 8 Lips. 1569.

Note c. Pract. of Prelates, 12" Marborch, 1530.

Letters 1536. [19] May [1536]. Otho, C. x. 223. B. M. Burnet, i. 327. Ellis, 1 Ser. ii. 64. 910. Sir William Kingston (age 60) to Cromwell.

"Syr, thys shalbe to advertyse you I have reysayved your letter, wherin yo[u would] have strangerys conveyed yowt of the Towre, and so thay be by the [means] of Richard Gressum and William Loke and Wythepolle, bot the numbre of stra[ngers passed] not xxx., and not mony hothe (sic), and the imbassitor of the Emperor had a ser[vant] ther, and honestly put yowt. Sir, yf we have not anowre serten [as it may] be knowen in London, I thynke he (sic) wilbe bot few, and I thynke [a reasonable] humbure ware best, for I suppose she wylle declare hyr self to b[e a good] woman for alle men, bot for the Kynge, at the our of hyr de[ath, for this] mornynge she sent for me that I myght be with hyr at [such time] as she reysayved the gud Lord, to the intent I shuld here hy[r] s[peak as] towchyng hyr innosensy alway to be clere; and in the writ[ing of this] she sent for me. And at my comynge she sayd, 'Mr. Kyngston (age 60), I h[ear say I shall] not dy affore none, and I am very sory therfore, for I thowt[h to] be dede [by this time], and past my payne.' I told hyr it shuld be now payne, it [was so sotell. And then she said, 'I] heard say the executor was very gud, and I have a lyt[el neck,' and put he]r hand abowt it, lawynge hartely. I have sene [many men and a]lso wemen executed, and al thay have bene in gre[at sorrow, and to my knowle]ge thys lady hasse mech joy and plesure in dethe. Sir, [her almoner is contin]ewaly with hyr, and hasse bene syns ii. of the cl[ock after midnight. This is] the affecte of hony thynge that ys here at t[his time. And thus fare you] welle. Your Willm. Ky[ngston]." Hol. Add.: To Master Secretory.

On 21 Mar 1537 Flaxby Abbey [Map] was granted to William Kingston (age 61).

Funeral of Jane Seymour

Letters and Papers 1537. 12 Nov 1537. Monday, 12 Nov [1537], the corpse was removed to a chair drawn by six chariot horses, and four banners were borne by four barons (not named). Banners (described) were also borne by Chester, Windsor, Richmond, and Lancaster heralds, by Sir Thomas Denys, Gregory Crumwell, Sir William Godolphyn, Sir John Sandes, Richard Crumwell and Richard Manners. Assistants about the corpse and chair:—Duke of Suffolk (age 53), Marquis Dorset, and earls of Surrey, Westmorland, Wiltshire and Sussex. To the chief mourner:—lords Montague and Clifford. Gentlemen-ushers:—Henry Webbe and Thomas Dauncy. Henchmen that sat upon the chariot horses:—Thomas Kempe, Robert Turwytt, Bennet Lee, and John Hastynges. Officers of arms in attendance:— Garter and Clarencieux, kings; York, Chester, Windsor, Richmond, Lancaster and Somerset, heralds; Portcullis, Bluemantle, Rougedragon, Guisnes, Hammes, Berwick and Blaunchlyon, pursuivants. Serjeants-at-arms:—William Rowte, John Gwillm, Walt. Chalcote, Thomas Dawtry, William Uxley, George Warrenne, Richard Raynshowe, William Clerke, John Stoner, Ralph Framyngham, John Greefelde, Ralph Saintjohn, John up Richards, Edward Slegge, Nicholas Jacsoune. Everything being in order the procession started, Gregory Lovell and Robert Hawkes leading the way, with black staves, followed by 200 poor men wearing the Queen's badges, who at Colbrooke, Exton (sic, Eton), and Windsor stood on each side of the street with their torches. Then came minstrels and trumpets, strangers and ambassadors' servants, the cross with priests, knights, chaplains, abbots, barons and bishops, councillors and head officers, Viscounts and earls. Lord Cromwell lord Privy Seal with the French ambassador Mons. de Schatelon. The lord Chancellor with the ambassador of the Emperor "last come." The cross of the archbishop of Canterbury borne before him by his chaplain; and he himself with the Emperor's ambassador "longest being here." Then Clarencieux and Garter, the Queen's almoner, the chamberlains to the King and Queen, the Earl of Oxford (age 66), High-Chamberlain, the Duke of Norfolk (age 64), High-Marshal. Then the corpse surrounded by banners borne by Sir William Muschame, lord Hungerford, lord Mordaunt, lord Bray and lord Mountjoy; assisted by the earls of Sussex and Westmorland, marquis Dorset, the earls of Wiltshire and Surrey and Duke of Suffolk (age 53). Then my Lady Mary, chief mourner, her horse trapped in black velvet and assisted by lords Clifford and Montague. Noble ladies following, in the first chair:—Lady Fraunces, the Countesses of Oxford (age 19), Rutland (age 42), Sussex, Bath, and Southampton, and lady Margaret Howard. In the 2nd (described) the Countess of Derby (age 52), widow, and ladies Margaret Gray, Rochford (age 32), and Carowe, followed by ladies Morley, Dawbeney, Dudley, Owtred, Browne, Pawlet, Russell, and Baynton. The 3rd chair containing ladies Cobham, Bray, [his wife] Kingston (age 61), and Coffyn; followed by ladies Knevet, Wollope, Henage, and Lyster, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Jernyngham, Mrs. Stoner, and Mrs. Francis Aylmer. The 4th chair containing Mrs. Souche, Mrs. Hollande, Mrs. Asheley, Mrs. Norres, and Mrs. Parre; and followed by Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Pexsall, Mrs. Clarencieux, Mrs. Carowe, Mrs. Poyntes, Mrs. Cromwell, Mrs. Boynton, and Mrs. Tymeo. The 5th chair containing Mrs. Fitzherbart, Mrs. Bassett, Mrs. Rastall, Mrs. Uxbryge, and Mrs. Joscelyn. (All other gentlewomen rode on before to await the arrival at Windsor, and the start was to be made at 5 a.m.) After the 5th chariot came Sir William Kingston (age 61), the King's vice-chamberlain and captain of the Guard, followed by the Guard—three and three—and all other noblemen's servants. Two almoners were appointed to distribute alms by the way. At Colbroke the corpse was reverently received; and so forth at Eaton, where the Bishop of Lincoln, the Bishop of Carlisle "provost of the said college," and all the priests, clerks, and children received it with caps and tapers in their hands. At Windsor the mayor and brethren met it at the bridge-foot with lighted torches, and so passed to the College. Describes the hangings on the way from the bridge-foot to the west door and in the choir. The dean of Windsor and all the College met the corpse at the utter gate, and accompanied it to the west door, where the chair was taken out and borne by Sir Henry Savyll, Sir Marm. Constable, Sir Arthur Darcy, Sir John St. John, Sir Henry Parker, Sir Thomas Poyninges, and Sir Thomas Darcy, assisted by Sir Humph. Radclyff, Sir John Gage, Sir Richard Weston, and Sir Richard Sandys. A canopy (described) was borne over the corpse by Lord Hastyngs, son and heir to the Earl of Huntingdon, and lords Delaware, Morley, Dacres of the South, Cobham and Bray. In the choir was the archbishop of Canterbury, in pontificalibus, assisted by the bishops of London, Lincoln, Chichester, Worcester, Rochester, St. Taxe (St. Asaph), and Carlisle, and the abbots of Westminster, St. Albans, Reading, Waltham, Tower Hill, and Stratford. The chief mourner followed the corpse, having her train borne by the Viscountess Rochforde (age 32), and assisted by lady Fraunces, the Countesses of Oxford, Derby (age 52) (widow), Rutland (age 42), Bath, and Southampton, and lady Margaret Howard. The corpse being passed under the hearse, a Dirge began in which the lessons were read by the prelates in turn (named) and that finished, the nobility went to the Castle. Describes solemn watch that night and services next day, after which the "offering of the palles began" i.e., ladies Bray, Dawbeney, Morley and Cobham offered one each, ladies Margaret Howard, and Marg. Gray two each, the Countesses of Southampton, Bath, Sussex, Rutland (age 42), Oxford, and Derby (age 52) three each, lady Fraunces four, and the Lady Mary, who was lead between the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, seven. That done, the mourners went to the Castle where they were sumptuously provided for, and the corpse was solemnly buried and all finished by 12 o'clock that day.

ii. Liveries given to the officers of arms and payments for diets made to them by Mr. Gostwick.

Pp. 24 in an Elizabethan hand.

In 1539 William Kingston (age 63) was appointed 303rd Knight of the Garter by King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 47)..

On 14 Sep 1540 William Kingston (age 64) died.

On 25 Aug 1548 [his former wife] Mary Scrope (age 72) died.

[his daughter] Margaret Kingston was born to William Kingston and Mary Scrope.

Letters 1536. 902. Sir William Kyngston to [Cromwell].

I have been with my Lord of Rochford, and showed him the clause of your letter. He answered that he had sent you word by Dr. Alryge. Notwithstanding, he says that he made suit to you for promotion of a White Monk, of the Tower Hill, and with your help he was promoted to the abbey of Vale Sante Crewsys, in Cheshire, and he had for his promotion £100, and at Whitsuntide next should receive £100 more, but for this the King has the obligations. He supposes the said abbey is suppressed and the abbot undone, and his sureties also. As yet I have heard nothing of my Lord of Canterbury, and the Queen desires much to be shriven. I am very glad to hear of the "executur" of Calais, for he can handle that matter. For the gentlemen, the sheriffs of London must make provision. As yet I hear of no writ, but they are all ready, and, I trust clean, to God. They shall have warning in the morning, and I shall send at once to Master Eretage for carpenters to make a scaffold of such a height that all present may see it. If you wish more to be done, let me know. The Tower.

You must help my Lord of Rochford's conscience for the monk, if need be; and also he spake unto [me] for the Bishop of Develyn, for he must have of the said Bishop £250

Hol., p. 1. Endd.

[his daughter] Bridget Kingston was born to William Kingston.