The story

Anne Knight

Anne Knight

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Anne Knight, the daughter of third of the eight children of wholesale grocer, William Knight (1786–1862), was born in Chelmsford on 2nd November 1781. Anne's mother was Priscilla Allen Knight (1753–1829), the daughter of William Allen, a well-known radical and Nonconformist. The Knight family were members of the Society of Friends and were pacifists and social reformers. (1)

Anne became active in the struggle against slavery and became a close friend of Elizabeth Heyrick and during the early 1820s sent each other pamphlets on social reform. They both favoured immediate rather than gradual abolition of the slave-trade. (2)

In 1824 Heyrick published her pamphlet Immediate not Gradual Abolition. In her pamphlet Heyrick argued passionately in favour of the immediate emancipation of the slaves in the British colonies. This differed from the official policy of the Anti-Slavery Society that believed in gradual abolition. She called this "the very masterpiece of satanic policy" and called for a boycott of the sugar produced on slave plantations. (3)

In the pamphlet Heyrick attacked the "slow, cautious, accommodating measures" of the leaders. "The perpetuation of slavery in our West India colonies is not an abstract question, to be settled between the government and the planters; it is one in which we are all implicated, we are all guilty of supporting and perpetuating slavery. The West Indian planter and the people of this country stand in the same moral relation to each other as the thief and receiver of stolen goods". (4)

The leadership of the organisation attempted to suppress information about the existence of this pamphlet and William Wilberforce gave out instructions for leaders of the movement not to speak at women's anti-slavery societies. His biographer, William Hague, claims that Wilberforce was unable to adjust to the idea of women becoming involved in politics "occurring as this did nearly a century before women would be given the vote in Britain". (5)

George Stephen disagreed with Wilberforce on this issue and claimed that their energy was vital in the success of the movement: "Ladies Associations did everything... They circulated publications; they procured the money to publish; they talked, coaxed and lectured: they got up public meetings and filled our halls and platforms when the day arrived; they carried round petitions and enforced the duty of signing them... In a word they formed the cement of the whole anti-slavery building - without their aid we never should have kept standing." (6)

On 8th April, 1825, Lucy Townsend held a meeting at her home to discuss the issue of the role of women in the anti-slavery movement. Townsend, Elizabeth Heyrick, Mary Lloyd, Sarah Wedgwood, Sophia Sturge and the other women at the meeting decided to form the Birmingham Ladies Society for the Relief of Negro Slaves (later the group changed its name to the Female Society for Birmingham). (7) The group "promoted the sugar boycott, targeting shops as well as shoppers, visiting thousands of homes and distributing pamphlets, calling meetings and drawing petitions." (8)

The society which was, from its foundation, independent of both the national Anti-Slavery Society and of the local men's anti-slavery society. As Clare Midgley has pointed out: "It acted as the hub of a developing national network of female anti-slavery societies, rather than as a local auxiliary. It also had important international connections, and publicity on its activities in Benjamin Lundy's abolitionist periodical The Genius of Universal Emancipation influenced the formation of the first female anti-slavery societies in America". (9)

Anne Knight was inspired by the Birmingham Ladies Society for the Relief of Negro Slaves for form a similar organisation in Chelmsford. Other groups were established in Nottingham (Ann Taylor Gilbert), Sheffield (Mary Anne Rawson, Mary Roberts), Leicester (Elizabeth Heyrick, Susanna Watts), Glasgow (Jane Smeal), Norwich (Amelia Opie, Anna Gurney), London (Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, Mary Foster) and Darlington (Elizabeth Pease). By 1831 there were seventy-three of these women's organisations campaigning against slavery. (10)

In early 1833 Anne Knight joined forces with the London Female Anti-Slavery Society to organise a national women's petition against slavery. When it was presented to Parliament it was signed by 298,785 women. It was the largest single anti-slavery petition in the movement's history. (11)

The Slavery Abolition Act was passed on 28th August 1833. This act gave all slaves in the British Empire their freedom. The British government paid £20 million in compensation to the slave owners. The amount that the plantation owners received depended on the number of slaves that they had. For example, Henry Phillpotts, the Bishop of Exeter, received £12,700 for the 665 slaves he owned. (12)

In 1834 Anne Knight toured France where she gave lectures on the immorality of slavery. Knight argued for the immediate abolition of slavery without compensation in the rest of Europe. Later, her contribution to the anti-slavery campaign was recognised when a village for Jamaican freed slaves was named Knightsville. She was also active in the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. (13)

Anne Knight attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention held at Exeter Hall in London, in June 1840 but as a woman was refused permission to speak. She did meet two American delegates Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Stanton later recalled: "We resolved to hold a convention as soon as we returned home, and form a society to advocate the rights of women." (14) Mott described Knight as "a singular-looking woman - very pleasant and polite". (15)

She became aware that the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon, had started a group portrait of those involved in the fight against slavery. She wrote a letter to Lucy Townsend complaining about the lack of women in the painting. "I am very anxious that the historical picture now in the hand of Haydon should not be performed without the chief lady of the history being there in justice to history and posterity the person who established (women's anti-slavery groups). You have as much right to be there as Thomas Clarkson himself, nay perhaps more, his achievement was in the slave trade; thine was slavery itself the pervading movement." (16)

When the painting was completed it did not include Lucy Townsend or most of the leading female campaigners against slavery. Clare Midgley, the author of Women Against Slavery (1995) points out that as well as Anne Knight and Lucretia Mott, it does feature Elizabeth Pease, Mary Anne Rawson, Amelia Opie and Annabella Byron: "Haydon's group portrait is exceptional in that it does record the existence of women campaigners. Most other memorials did not. There are no public monuments to women activists to complement those to William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson and other male leaders of the movement... In the written memoirs of these men, women tend to appear as helpful and inspirational wives, mothers and daughters rather than as activists in their own right." (17)

Marion Reid published A Plea for Women in 1843. Knight was grateful that she had stated the case for greater equality but thought that the author had unestimated the abilities of women. Knight wrote on her own copy of the book that it was "excellent with the exception of the great folly" where she said that women faced natural barriers. Knight complained that women did not have natural barriers "but those placed equally before men." (18)

The behaviour of the male leaders at the World Anti-Slavery Convention inspired Knight to start a campaign advocating equal rights for women. (19) This included having gummed labels printed with feminist quotations that she attached to the outside of her letters. In 1847 she wrote a letter to Matilda Ashurst Biggs on the subject of gender equality. Later that year the letter was published and it is considered to be the first ever leaflet on women's suffrage. (20)

Knight wrote: "I wish the talented philanthropists in England would come forward in this critical juncture of our nation's affairs and insist on the right of suffrage for all men and women unstained with crime... in order that all may have a voice in the affairs of their country... Never will the nations of the earth be well governed until both sexes, as well as all parties, are fully represented, and have an influence, a voice, and a hand in the enactment and administration of the laws." (21)

Knight also became active in the Chartist movement. However, she became concerned about the way women campaigners were treated by some of the male leaders in the organisation. She criticised them for claiming "that the class struggle took precedence over that for women's rights". (22) Knight wrote "can a man be free, if a woman be a slave." (23) In a letter published in the Brighton Herald in 1850 she demanded that the Chartists should campaign for what she described as "true universal suffrage". (24)

An anonymous leaflet was published in 1847. It has been persuasively argued that the author of the work was Anne Knight. In argued: "Never will the nations of the earth be well governed, until both sexes, as well as all parties, are fully represented and have an influence, a voice, and a hand in the enactment and administration of the laws". (25)

Knight also became involved in international politics. In 1848 she was the first French government elected by universal manhood suffrage repressed freedom of association. The decree prohibited women from forming clubs or attending meetings of associations. Knight published a pamphlet criticising this action: "Alas, my brother, is it then true that thy eloquent voice has been heard in the heart of the National Assembly expressing a sentiment so contrary to real republicanism? Can it be that thou hast really protested not only against women's rights to form clubs but also against their right to attend clubs formed by men?" (25a)

At a conference on world peace held in 1849, Anne Knight met two of Britain's reformers, Henry Brougham and Richard Cobden. She was disappointed by their lack of enthusiasm for women's rights. For the next few months she sent them several letters arguing the case for women's suffrage. In one letter to Cobden she argued that it was only when women had the vote that the electorate would be able to pressurize politicians into achieving world peace. (26)

Anne Knight and Anne Kent established the Sheffield Female Political Association. Their first meeting was held in Sheffield in February, 1851. Later that year it published an "Address to the Women of England". This was the first petition in England that demanded women's suffrage. It was presented to the House of Lords by George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle. (27) The following year she was "forbidden to vote for the man who inflicts the laws I am compelled to obey - the taxes I am compelled to pay". She added that "taxation without representation is tyranny". (28)

Anne Knight, who never married, spent the last few years of her life in Waldersbach, a small village south-west of Strasbourg, where she lived in the former home of pastor Jean-Frédéric Oberlin (1740-1826), the founder of the Christian Socialist movement in France and a man she greatly admired. Anne Knight died on 4th November, 1862. (29)

Alas, my brother, is it then true that thy eloquent voice has been heard in the heart of the National Assembly expressing a sentiment so contrary to real republicanism? Can it be that thou hast really protested not only against women's rights to form clubs but also against their right to attend clubs formed by men? Is all this true?

Is it possible that thou, a minister of religion, hast spoken a language so contrary to the commandments of thy "Divine Master," for thus I have heard thee call him. This divine Master has said: "Do unto others as thou wouldst have others do unto thee." Well then! Would thee like it if thee were forbidden to hold meetings and to uphold thy opinions there?

Oh! reflect on thy words. What terrible events have taken place since the letter I wrote to thee [in April] soliciting thee to place thy mind and thy voice in the service of women's emancipation. Dost thou remember what M. Legouvé said in one of his lessons on the first revolution? "It failed," he said, "because it was unjust toward women." Then think on this: Could the horrible massacres that took place a few days ago have taken place if the citizens, less preoccupied with their own egotistical interests, had proclaimed liberty for all men and all women? Wouldst thou be living under a state of siege? Ah! no. Thou knowest well that if a woman had been seated in the councils at man's side, these horrible events would never have occurred. With the clairvoyance and the sentiment of justice that moves women, they would have opposed such measures, which they foresaw from the beginning would lead to such dreadful consequences. As long as this great injustice toward women remains, misery and insurrection will persist.

Hasten then, I beg thee, in the name of thy beloved fatherland, and also in the name of my country, poor England! Demand that the disinherited women of the nation be reintegrated into the rights enjoyed by the women of the Gauls, rights that were not denied to my Anglo-Saxon ancestors in 1515, if history is to be believed. Cast away this awful yoke of prejudice; mount the steps of this tribune, I beg thee, dressed in the armor of the just, like a Christian warrior! Protest in the name of the rights of humanity, without distinction of garb...

Sound the retreat, so that all devoted men can hear thee and, following the example of the noble archbishop of Paris, mount the barricades, proclaim the law of peace, prepare the happiness of thy nation and, thereby, of the earth. Then thou wilst have raised the true tricolor flag destined to circle the world with its slogan: Liberty, equality, fraternity - justice, compassion, and truth.

I wish the talented philanthropists in England would come forward in this critical juncture of our nation's affairs and insist on the right of suffrage for all men and women unstained with crime... Never will the nations of the earth be well governed until both sexes, as well as all parties, are fully represented, and have an influence, a voice, and a hand in the enactment and administration of the laws.

It is justice that we demand for all who bear their share in the burdens of the State, and who does not pay taxes in this miserably tax-ground country? Is she exempt whose part it is to work 18 hours out of 24, to sleep little, and to be too much worn with labour to think.

Child Labour Simulation (Teacher Notes)

Richard Arkwright and the Factory System (Answer Commentary)

Robert Owen and New Lanark (Answer Commentary)

James Watt and Steam Power (Answer Commentary)

The Domestic System (Answer Commentary)

The Luddites: 1775-1825 (Answer Commentary)

The Plight of the Handloom Weavers (Answer Commentary)

Road Transport and the Industrial Revolution (Answer Commentary)

Early Development of the Railways (Answer Commentary)

(1) Edward H. Milligan, Anne Knight : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(2) Clare Midgley, Women Against Slavery (1995) page 58

(3) Stephen Tomkins, William Wilberforce (2007) page 206

(4) Elizabeth Heyrick, Immediate not Gradual Abolition (1824)

(5) William Hague, William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner (2008) page 487

(6) George Stephen, letter to Anne Knight (14th November, 1834)

(7) Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains: The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery (2005) page 326

(8) Stephen Tomkins, William Wilberforce (2007) page 208

(9) Clare Midgley, Lucy Townsend : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(10) Richard Reddie, Abolition! The Struggle to Abolish Slavery in the British Colonies (2007) page 214

(11) Clare Midgley, Women Against Slavery (1995) page 58

(12) Jack Gratus, The Great White Lie (1973) page 240

(13) Edward H. Milligan, Anne Knight : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(14) Crista Deluzio, Women's Rights: People and Perspectives (2009) page 58

(15) Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2000) page 327

(16) Anne Knight, letter to Lucy Townsend (20th September, 1840)

(17) Clare Midgley, Women Against Slavery (1995) page 2

(18) Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2000) page 327

(19) Elizabeth J. Clapp, Women, Dissent and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790-1865 (2015) page 67

(20) Dale Spender, Women of Ideas (1982) page 398

(21) Anne Knight, letter to Matilda Ashurst Biggs (April 1847)

(22) Edward H. Milligan, Anne Knight : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(23) Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2000) page 327

(24) Anne Knight, letter published in the Brighton Herald (9th February, 1850)

(25) Edward H. Milligan, Anne Knight : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

(26) Anne Knight, To Pastor Coquerel (1848)

(27) Ray Strachey, The Cause (1928) page 43

(28) Anne Knight, letter to Richard Cobden (13th August 1850)

(29) Elizabeth Crawford, The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2000) page 327

(30) Edward H. Milligan, Anne Knight : Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2014)

Anne Knight Ruff

Anne Knight Ruff‘s charming and colorful interpretation of the 1890 view of Bank Avenue serves as a cheery welcome to our Local Artists page.

A January 1983 Burlington County Times article explains how she crafted a “Society of Friends” from reclaimed cast iron bathtub claw feet and gave them as presents.

Indeed, the medium of choice for her artistic expression was often local clay, found objects, and recycled materials such as salvaged wood, and second-hand furniture.

Known to her friends as “Bay” Ruff, at age 81, she authored a book of stories about growing up in Riverton that grew out of the weekly gatherings of the Friday Ladies, a group she was invited to join.

Her 256-page paperbound book captures bygone days of Riverton, her home for over 80 years. One need not be from Riverton in order to be amused and entertained by this collection of brief essays organized by stages in her life.

Told against the backdrop of life in our unique borough, her insightful musings on friends, acquaintances, relatives, and a lifelong love of swimming, made as she dealt with hearing impairment and household upkeep both informs the mind and touches the spirit.

Read more details about Anne Knight Ruff’s life and how the book came to be in this 2002 New York Times interview by Jill P. Capuzzo: “IN PERSON A Born Storyteller, She Took Her Time”

William Probsting wrote a marvelous profile of Anne Knight Ruffthat appeared in the 2002 Riverton July Fourth Program when the town honored her as the Parade Marshal.

When she passed in 2013, many attended her Memorial Service at Westfield Friends Meeting. Friends and family who have been the recipients of many of Ms. Ruff’s works of art over the years brought them to display during the service.

Recap of February 2011 HSR Meeting

Congratulations on a successful roll-out of the new web site for the Historical Society of Riverton. Our appreciation goes out to the web site development team led by John McCormick and the Solins – Mike and Pat.

Members of the Society marveled at the rich content and beautiful stereo slides and postcard images of life in the 1920s. John McCormick’s blog is a fresh and informative perspective on Riverton, its people and historic structures.

Thanks to the many Society members and friends who have shared their images on the web site.

Dr. Cliff Johnson attended the Society meeting to hear the oral history of Francis Cole whose family owned Cole Dairy at 501 Main Street in Riverton. Dr. Johnson, who was born in 1920, and lived in the Riverton-Palmyra areas since he was three years old, commented tonight, “I went to school with the girl who painted your masthead- Anne Knight Ruff,” and he went on to identify the members of the Palmyra Police Department during the Depression when Police Chief Maurice Beck and patrolman Bucky Wallace led the force.

Dr. Johnson is the father of Society member Cheryl Johnson Smekal. Dr. Johnson’s dentistry practice was located at 433 Thomas Avenue in Riverton and is still the oldest structure on that street dating from circa 1869. Dr. Johnson purchased the home from the Coddington family which operated a paint and wallpaper store in town.

The mysteries of Riverton’s past continue to be revealed as more people explore the web site and contribute images, memories and identify the faces of town folk long forgotten yet whose contributions to our community made Riverton such a special place to live along the banks of the Delaware River in New Jersey. – Gerald Weaber, HSR President


Richard Ingersoll: In his will of 21 July 1644, proved 2 Jan. 1645, he mentions: wife Anne (Langely) sons George, John, and Nathaniel, the youngest son-in-law Richard Pettingell, who m. his daugh. Joanna, and William Haines, who m. his daughter Sarah, (she had 2nd hus. Joseph Houlton) daughters Alice (wife of Josiah Walcot), and Bathsheba, the youngest, (who later m. John Knight, jr., and bef. 1652, his father John Knight, sr. married her mother Anne, wh. d. 1677.) In his inv. a pair of oxen is set down as of the value of ꌔ, and his farm of fifty acres ਷.

The following abstract is taken verbatim fr a copy made by Joshua Coffin when researching the Salem Quarterly Court Records: "I give to Ann my wife all my estate of land, goods & chattels whatsoever except as followeth, viz. I give to George Ingersoll my son six acres of meadow lying in the great meadow. Item I give to nathaniel Ingersoll, my youngest son a parcell of ground with a little frame thereon, which I bought of John P[ease?] but if the said Nathaniel dy without issue of his body lawfully begotten then the land aforesaid to be equally shared between John Ingersoll my son, & Richard Pettingel & William Haines my sons in law. I give to Bathsheba my youngest daughter two cowes. I give to my youngest daughter Alice Walcott my house at town with 10 acres of upland & meadow after my wife's decease. R (his mark) I." I read this will to Richard Ingersoll & he acknowledged it to be his wll. Jo. Endecott." Wit: Townsend Bishop.

Inventory taken 4 Oct. 1644. As illustrating the relative value of land and stock, I give some items of the appraisement of the estate. 7 cows 𕌴, 2 young steers ᔴ, bull ᔷ, pair of oxen 𕌔, 2 horses and mare and a young colt 𕌥, a farm of 80 acres ᔷ. Among other items was a moose Skin Suit. (E. I. Hist. Coll. 1:12.)

He was a Ferryman.7681 He was also known as Richard Inkersall.9766 He came to New England with his family on the 2nd Mayflower in 1629. The Master of this Mayflower was the famous Capt William Pierce. The ship left Gravesend, London, England March 1629 and arrived at Plymouth, May 15, 1629. There were approximately 35 passengers including Richard Ingersall, his wife Anne and their children: George, Joanna, John, Sarah and Alice. He kept the ferry at North River.

(REF: Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-33, Comments on Richard Ingersoll) In the 1636 Salem land grant, Richard Ingersoll appears in that portion of the list which included "non-freemen," which in Salem tells us clearly that he was not a member of the church. In the 1637 Salem land grant, Richard Ingersoll is shown with a family of nine. Seven of his children living at that date, but his eldest daughter Alice was already married to William Walcott and would have been included in her husband's household. Thus, there may have been an additional child otherwise unrecorded, but this child in turn must have died before 1644 alternatively there may have been a more distant relative or a servant living with the Ingersolls that year.

An inventory of the property taken on Oct. 4, 1644. Some of the items listed were as follows: 7 cows, 34 lbs two young steers, 4 lbs. bull, 7 lbs. pair of oxen, 14 lbs. two horses and mare and young colt, 25 lbs. a farm of 80 acres, 7 lbs. A moose skin suit was another item.

Among Richard Ingersoll's papers was found this recipe: "A metson to make a man's hear groe when he is bald: Take some fier flies and some Redd worms and sum black snayles and sum hune bees and drie them and pound them to powder and mixt them in milk or water."

It is claimed that a certain house in Salem was built by Richard Ingersoll and was the original house of the romance novel by Nathanial Hawthorne-House of the Seven Gables.

Several years after, the widow, Anne, married John Knight, Sr. of Newbury and litigation arose over the farm her husband had willed her. In the trial, her son-in-law gave the following testimony: "I Richard Pettingell, aged about 45 years doe testify that this farm o land that is now in contriversy was reserved by the widow Inkersoll to herself before her marriage to John Knight, Sr. and she verbally gave this land to John Inkersoll, her son. I, Richard Pettingell doe farder testify that about the year 52 the said John Knight came home to Newbury and tould his wife that hee had promised Mr. Pain sum timber at frost fish river she was then troubled at it and said what have you to doe to sell my timber wher upon the said John Knight promised her twenty shillings, and the said John Knight, Sr. did then own that he had no right in that land". (Essex Court Files XIV 28-32) John Knight then joined with his wife in conveying the farm to her sons John and Nathaniel "Ingerson".


Anne Knight oli kirjoittanut useita lastenkirjoja, joista osa on erehdyksellisesti katsottu hänen kveekkarin nimekampansa ja nykyaikaisen naisten oikeuksia puolustavan Anne Knightin (1786–1862) mukaan. Niihin kuuluvat School-Room Lyrics (1846) ja todennäköisesti Poetic Gleanings (1827), Aamut kirjastossa (Lontoo, s. 1828, johdantoeron kirjoittanut Bernard Barton), Mary Gray. Tarina pienille tytöille (mukaan lukien myös Bartonin jae, Lontoo, 1831) ja Lyriques français: pour la jeunesse. Morceaux choisis par AK (3. e., Norwich, 1869).

Knightin säkeet ovat hyvin muotoiltuja ja hänen tarinansa hyvin kerrottuja, mutta niissä esiintyy didaktiikkaa, joka ei sovi nykyaikaiseen makuun. Otetaan esimerkki: "" Vaikka nämä eläimet [kanit] ovat niin pieniä ", jatkoi rouva Gray," heidän on todettu olevan erittäin hyödyllisiä ihmiselle. Heidän lihastansa on hyvä syödä ja pehmeä harmaa turkki, kasvaa lähellä ihoa. , tehdään hattuiksi sekoitettuna majavan kauniiseen hienoon pohjoiseen, Amerikan löydetty utelias eläin. "( Mary Gray , s. 11).

Radio54 African Panorama Broadcaster Anne Nhira passed on early morning at about 1 am today 11 March 2021.

The Queen Diva, as she was popularly known by Radio54 fans and listeners succumbed to injuries sustained after she was mugged by a solitary armed robber on Monday, 8 March 2021 late afternoon.

Anne was alone and she had gone to a nearby shopping centre for her private prayers as she routinely did every Monday. Her brother Juan Nhira called me on Tuesday morning to alert me of the incident that had happened in Bedfordview, South Africa close to the house she had moved to a few weeks ago.

She was picked up by a white good Samaritan who then arranged for her to be taken to hospital as she could not move. She got treatment and was discharged at around 5am on the same day. I requested him to go to her as I wanted to speak to her.

I managed to speak to her on his brother’s phone, but she was struggling to talk. She was groaning and complaining of severe pain on her left side. After comforting her, she managed to gather some energy to share with me some details of her ordeal.

According to her, she was kneeling and praying when she heard some footsteps from her back. When she turned, the armed robber pointed a gun to her head and he demanded that she gave him her phone.

The deceased attempted to run away, but she fell awkwardly and immediately lost consciousness. That was the last she remembered. The armed robber got away with her phone, her handbag with all the particulars that were in it.

When she regained consciousness, she realised that she was in hospital where she underwent treatment. The hospital attended to her, but strangely concluded that she was fine and that she had sustained only minor injuries.

I probed her further and tried to encourage her to tell more more, as I suspected she was worse than she was saying, judging from her voice texture and the was she was crying. At that point she told me that she had also lost her appetite and she had been vomiting blood constantly.

I immediately called our Radio54 Station Pastor Weston Muranda and our Technical Director Steve Muzite and told them about them the devastating News. She insisted that I tell no one but those two as they are part of the senior management team at Radio54.

Mr Muzite and myself immediately sent her brother some cash to help her with medical expenses and to buy herself another phone and other things that she needed urgently. She texted me using his brother’s phone to confirm that she had received the cash.

I called her immediately as i wanted to hear if there was any improvement and if the pain had subsided. She was a little better, but was still emitting blood through her mouth.

I asked her to go to hospital as blood coming through her mouth was a definite sign of internal injuries. She said she would go on the next day since it was late.

I then asked her to text me as soon as she gets a phone and she said she would do so using her brother’s wife number since she would be the one who would take her to hospital. Sadly, that was the last time I heard from her.

Anne Nhira was the Presenter of the weekly music and talk show ‘The Love and life Bites’ broadcast on Radio54 every Tuesday evening and also ‘The Real African Talk’ Show every Saturday evening where she would invite prominent guests to tackle issues affecting the continent Africa.

Some of the guests she has hosted include Professor P.L.O Lumumba, an outspoken Kenyan Pan Africanist and Lawyer. Radio54 will be broadcasting a tribute to Anne Nhira next Tuesday that I will personally host in remembrance to one of Zimbabwe and Africa’s greatest talents and daughter of the soil.

At the time of this publication, her family were, preparing for the repatriation of her body to Zimbabwe, where she will be laid to rest. We will advise of further details.

Rest In Peace ‘The Queen Diva’. You shall forever be missed my special friend.

How I Wrote the Pandemic: The Writer of ‘Locked Down’ Explains

Steven Knight unpacks his new quarantine film, starring Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the process of memorializing very recent history.

How do you tell the story of the coronavirus pandemic? How will the events of the past year — both catastrophic and intangible, global and intimate, diffuse but interconnected — be inevitably abridged for audiences of the future?

Historically, epidemics have had a way of resisting collective memory. After the bubonic plague in London, it took more than half a century before the arrival of an enduring literary account of the scourge, Daniel Defoe’s “A Journal of the Plague Year,” in 1722. The flu pandemic of 1918, which killed tens of millions around the world, left a remarkably small footprint on 20th-century literature and film.

This pandemic will be different. Contemporaneous television shows about life during Covid-19 are already available, offering previews of how posterity might remember this moment, even as it remains far from resolved. Recently, they were joined by the first major feature film to be set during the pandemic — “Locked Down” (HBO Max), in which an unhappy couple (Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor) uses forced downtime to plot an improbable heist at Harrods, the London department store.

I called the screenwriter of “Locked Down,” Steven Knight (the writer-director of “Locke”), in Gloucestershire, England, to talk about how he wrote the pandemic, what archaeologists will uncover about this era and the value of pre-empting the “tidiness” of history. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

When did you first think of writing about the pandemic?

STEVEN KNIGHT It was late summer, about six weeks before we started shooting. I had started writing an exchange on Zoom between two people just for fun. It was the idea that, rather like “Locke” [the 2014 Tom Hardy film that takes place almost entirely during a long, late-night drive], you could take the limitation and do something with it. At the same time, I was talking to Doug Liman [the director of “Locked Down”] about another project, and we started talking about Zoom and lockdown and how it was affecting us. And then we started imagining that we could make a film, and talking about plots, and Harrods, and then we just did it.

There are some Zoom scenes in the movie, but obviously it changed from that initial idea. What made you go in a different direction?

KNIGHT We thought it would be a good idea to cut between Zoom and live action, so that you get to see the characters go to the real world. But we still wanted to keep it as claustrophobic as possible until we get to Harrods. We had such great actors, I think it would have been a shame to just limit them to the head and shoulders.

Did you always know who the characters were?

KNIGHT I knew I wanted a relationship that had run its course, with one person who had outgrown the other. In the normal world, they would be separating, but, because of the crisis, they’re forced to stay together. Their identities have been defined by what they do for a living: one’s a delivery driver, the other’s doing really well in a marketing company. What happens when those definitions become less important because they’re not working anymore? Do they go back to who they were when they fell in love? That’s the thing I wanted to explore, as well as the madness that was going on in London at the time.

What aspects of life amid the pandemic felt important to include? Had you been keeping notes?

KNIGHT What was interesting to me was the way that vocabulary changed, the way new words and phrases were created. People were responding to a brand-new situation, so you get expressions like “social distancing,” “new normal” or “Covid-friendly.” Even the way people talk and the way they behave on Zoom is something new. The idea of what your background is, or that who you are is identified by the bookcase behind you. If you were an archaeologist digging into this time period, you’d find all these little changes in culture starting to emerge.

Was there a moment with the screenplay when you felt confident that the movie would work?

KNIGHT At a certain point I learned that the big department stores in London had emptied out all of their super-expensive stock. They were afraid there would be riots and looting, and so, over a five-day period, all of this stuff was taken out in a kind of panic. I got talking to people at Harrods, and they said that they’d had franchise managers from places like Gucci taking millions of dollars’ worth of stuff in plastic shopping bags and getting into black cabs.

When reality offers you such an unusual dislocation of what is normal, a situation that no one has been through before, it can be quite gleeful to write about — it’s like stepping on fresh snow. It also felt like an opportunity to offer up some characters who find an opportunity. There’s the Churchill expression about never wasting a good crisis.

Were there multiple drafts of the script?

KNIGHT No, I didn’t have time. For better or worse, I would write the first act, and the production crew would start preparing to shoot it, and then I’d write the second act, they’d start preparing that, and so on.

Was it challenging working that way? With no safety net?

KNIGHT I personally love it. It’s more like theater — it’s almost live. You just have to get it out. And it felt like the right way to do it in this situation, because we wanted to prove that it can be done. It’s funny, now there are all these new ways and techniques of filming [during] Covid. But we were doing it before any of that was in place.

I think when most people think about their lives over the past year, stuck at home all day in sweats or pajamas, it doesn’t feel especially cinematic. What about the experience did you think lent itself to watching onscreen?

KNIGHT I’m always attracted to situations that enclose people. I think if you have two people stuck in an elevator for a long period, their conversation is going to be so heightened. There’s something about that environment that it gives you a shortcut into who people are underneath. And the thing that I’m interested in is how people talk, what people reveal when they’re under that sort of circumstance.

There’s a French filmmaker whose name I’ve forgotten who said, “If you point the camera at anyone and ask them to talk about themselves for four minutes, by the end of the four minutes, you will be convinced they’re insane.” In daily life, we are the delivery driver, or we are the marketing personnel, we are the thing that’s defined by our roles. But when all of that is uncloaked, when everybody is just still and can’t go anywhere, the thing they really are, I think, starts to come to the surface. I’m sure it happens in huge adventures and crises and war. But when it happens in these small situations, like in “Locke,” where it’s one man driving from one place to another, that isolation is what I see as the microscope.

The other big question that hangs over a project like this is the timing of it. I think a lot of people aren’t sure they want to revisit the spring of 2020 right now. How did you approach that problem in writing the story?

KNIGHT I’m a believer in you write what comes to you. If you have the conversation with yourself in advance, “Is this what’s going to be popular?” I don’t think I can do that. At the time we started this, I was writing lots of other things as well, but this is what kept coming up. The great thing is people have a choice. If it is painful, I completely understand that is the case for some people. But I’m hoping that doing something like this — it’s the human reaction to adversity throughout history. You try to make sense of it somehow, or you look for a silver lining.

What’s your appetite for watching movies about the pandemic?

KNIGHT Well, I think it’s going to spawn all kinds of things, just like the Second World War: novels, films, comic books. We were very anxious to be the first. We may not be the best, but we’re the first, and we did it while it was still fresh and raw. History tends to tidy things up, to find patterns and discard things that don’t fit into the pattern. And I think as this moves on, there’ll probably be a view that it had a beginning, middle and end, and that certain things were inevitable while others were never going to happen. But, in the middle of it, like a war, you don’t know who’s going to win. You don’t know what’s going to happen. And I think it’s important to capture that phase of uncertainty as it really was.


Anne Knight számos gyermekkönyv szerzője, amelyek közül néhányat tévesen tulajdonítottak Quaker névmáskájához és kortárs Anne Knight-hoz (1786–1862), a nők jogaiért küzdő kampányhoz. Ide tartoznak az Iskolai Lyrics (1846) és valószínűleg a Poetic Gleanings (1827), a Reggel a könyvtárban (London, 1828 körül, Bernard Barton bevezető versével), Mary Gray. Mese kislányoknak (beleértve egy Bartoni verset, London, 1831) és Lyriques français: pour la jeunesse. Morceaux choisis par AK (3. e., Norwich, 1869).

Knight versei jól kidolgozottak és történeteik jól elhangzottak, de olyan didaktikát mutatnak, amely nem felel meg a modern ízlésnek. Példakénti példát: "Bár ezek az állatok [nyulak] olyan kicsik - folytatta Mrs. Grey -, az ember számára nagyon kiszolgáltathatónak találják őket. Húsuk jó enni, a puha szürke szőr pedig a bőr közelében növekszik. , kalapokká alakulnak, amikor összekeverik a hód gyönyörű finom finomságával, egy kíváncsi állat Észak-Amerikában. "( Mary Gray , 11. o.).


Anne Boleyn’s birthdate is unknown even the year is widely debated. General opinion now favors 1501 or 1502, though some historians persuasively argue for 1507. She was probably born at Blickling Hall in Norfolk. Her father was Sir Thomas Boleyn, a minor courtier with a talent for foreign languages he was of London merchant stock and eager to advance in the world. Like most men, he chose to marry well. His bride was Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the second duke of Norfolk and sister of the third duke.

Anne had two surviving siblings, Mary and George. Their birthdates are also unknown, as is the order of their births. We only know that all three Boleyn siblings were close in age.

miniature portrait of Anne Boleyn

In 1514, Henry VIII married his youngest sister, Mary, to the aged king of France. Anne accompanied the Tudor princess as a very young lady-in-waiting and she remained in France after the French king died and Mary Tudor returned home. Anne gained the subsequent honor of being educated under the watchful eye of the new French queen Claude. This education had a uniquely French emphasis upon fashion and flirtation, though more intellectual skills were not neglected. Anne became an accomplished musician, singer and dancer.

In 1521 or early 1522, with war between England and France imminent, Anne returned home. When she first caught Henry VIII’s eye is unknown. He was originally attracted to her sister, Mary who came to court before Anne. She was the king’s mistress in the early 1520s and, as a mark of favor, her father was elevated to the peerage as viscount Rochfort/Rochford in 1525. Mary herself would leave court with only a dull marriage, and possibly the king’s illegitimate son, as her reward. Anne learned much from her sister’s example.

Anne’s first years at court were spent in service to Henry VIII’s first wife, Katharine of Aragon. She became quite popular among the younger men. She was not considered a great beauty her sister occupied that position in the family, but even Mary was merely deemed ‘pretty’. Hostile chroniclers described Anne as plain, sallow, and possessing two distinct flaws – a large mole on the side of her neck and an extra finger on her left hand. Such praise as she received focused on her style, her wit and charm she was quick-tempered and spirited. Her most remarkable physical attributes were her large dark eyes and long black hair.

The king’s attraction was focused upon her sharp and teasing manner, and her oft-stated unavailability. What he couldn’t have, he pined for all the more. This was especially difficult for a king used to having his own way in everything. Anne was also seriously involved with Henry Percy, the son and heir of the earl of Northumberland there were rumors of an engagement and declarations of true love. The king ordered his great minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, to end the match. Wolsey did so, thus ensuring Percy’s unhappy marriage to the earl of Shrewsbury’s daughter and Anne’s great enmity. It was safer to blame the Cardinal than his king. Also, Henry’s jealousy revealed the depth of his feelings, and Anne quite naturally thought – if she could not be an earl’s wife, why not try for the crown of England?

When Anne avoided Henry’s company, or when she was sullen and evasive to him, he sent her from court. The king hoped that a few months in the country would persuade her of his charms. It did not work. Anne was already playing a far more serious game than the king. Later, after she had been arrested, Henry would claim he had been ‘bewitched’ and the term wasn’t used lightly in the 16th century. But perhaps it was simply the contrast between her vivacity and Katharine’s solemnity, or perhaps the king mistook the inexplicable ardor of true love for something more ominous, long after that love had faded.

It is impossible to fully explain the mystery of attraction between two people. How Anne was able to capture and maintain the king’s attention for such a long while, despite great obstacles and the constant presence of malicious gossip, cannot be explained. Henry was headstrong and querulous. But for several years, he remained faithful to his feelings for Anne – and his attendant desire for a legitimate male heir.

Miniature portrait of Katharine of Aragon

One cannot separate the king’s desire for a son, indeed its very necessity, from his personal desire for Anne. The two interests merged perfectly in 1527. Henry had discovered the invalidity of his marriage to Katharine. Now it was possible to annul his marriage and secure his two fondest hopes – Anne’s hand in marriage and the long-desired heir.

Cardinal Wolsey had long advocated an Anglo-French alliance. For that reason, he disliked the Spanish Katharine of Aragon. He now set about securing his monarch’s annulment with the intention of marrying Henry to a French princess. And if not a French princess, perhaps a great lady of the English court. Wolsey did not like Anne, and she despised him for that earlier injury to her heart. She did what she could to work against the Lord Chancellor. And Wolsey’s ambitious protégé (and successor) Thomas Cromwell became her close ally.

But Anne alone did not cause Wolsey’s fall from grace, though she took the blame for it. Indeed, ‘Nan Bullen’, as the common people derisively called her, became the scapegoat for all the king’s unpopular decisions. But it is important to remember that no one – not Wolsey, not Cromwell, and certainly not Anne Boleyn – ever controlled Henry VIII, or made him do other than exactly what he wanted. He was a king who thoroughly knew and enjoyed his position. Sir Thomas More would aptly point this out to his son-in-law, William Roper – ‘If a lion knew his strength, it were hard for any man to hold him.’ And later, when Roper commented upon the king’s affection for More, the philosopher replied that if his head would win the king a castle in France, then Henry would not hesitate to chop it off.

But most people found it easier to hate Anne than to hate their monarch. As the king’s desire for an annulment became the gossip of all Europe, she was roundly criticized and condemned. She was not popular at the English court either. Both her unique situation and her oft times abrasive personality offended many. And Katharine’s solemn piety had impressed the English court for three decades her supporters were numerous, though not inclined to face the king’s formidable wrath. In truth, Anne was sustained only by the king’s affection and she knew his mercurial temper. It is possible that she was as surprised by his faithfulness as everyone else.

As the struggle for an annulment proceeded and the pope prevaricated between Henry and Katharine’s nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Anne’s position at the English court became steadily more prominent. There were at first little signs. The king would eat alone with her she received expensive gifts she began to dress in the most fashionable and expensive gowns the king paid her gambling debts since Anne, like most courtiers, enjoyed cards and dice.

The king was not too outlandish at first for he had no desire to prejudice the pope against his case by flaunting a new love. But as the delays mounted, and rumors of his new love spread, Henry realized there was no purpose in hiding the truth. By 1530, Anne was openly honored by the king at court. She was accorded precedence over all other ladies, and she sat with the king at banquets and hunts while Katharine was virtually ignored. The pretense of his first marriage was allowed to continue Katharine continued to personally mend his shirts and send him gifts and notes. But it was an untenable situation. It grated on both women. Anne perhaps taxed the king with it. To placate her, she was titled marquess of Pembroke on 4 September 1532 at Windsor Castle she wore a beautiful crimson gown and her hair hung loose. Now elevated to the peerage in her own right, she had wealth and lands of her own. But when she accompanied Henry to France on a state visit a short while later, the ladies of the French court refused to meet with her.

It is believed that her elevation to the peerage marked the physical consummation of Anne and Henry’s relationship, as well as a secret wedding. The circumstantial evidence is compelling. Anne would give birth to Elizabeth just a year later, in September 1533, and it is very unlikely that she and Henry – after waiting for years to be together – would suddenly have sex and risk an unplanned and, most importantly, illegitimate pregnancy. Secret weddings were hardly uncommon at the Tudor court. If they had a secret ceremony and consummated their relationship, then Anne became pregnant with Elizabeth just a few months later and that made a second, unquestionably legitimate wedding necessary.

Sepia-tinged sketch of Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger

The king had his fondest wish within his grasp. Anne was pregnant with his long-awaited son, or so he thought, and this son must be legitimate. He could no longer wait upon the pope. Henry rejected the authority of the Holy See and Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, annulled his marriage to Katharine. Henry and Anne married again in January 1533 in a small ceremony. But though they were now husband and wife, few recognized the fact.

Her coronation was a lavish affair the king spared no expense. But the people of London were noticeably unimpressed. They cried out ‘HA! HA!’ mockingly as tapestries decorated with Henry and Anne’s entwined initials passed by. Henry asked, ‘How liked you the look of the City?’ Anne replied, ‘Sir, I liked the City well enough – but I saw a great many caps on heads, and heard but few tongues.’

And so her coronation was yet another reminder of her complete dependency upon the king.

Anne enjoyed her triumph as best she could. She ordered new blue and purple livery for her servants and set about replacing Katharine’s badge of pomegranates with her own falcon symbol. She chose as her motto, ‘The Most Happy’, in stark contrast to her predecessor. Katharine had been ‘Humble and Loyal’ Henry’s mother, Elizabeth of York had chosen ‘Humble and Reverent’. But humility was not a marked characteristic of Anne Boleyn.

She was pious, though not as rigid and inflexible as Katharine of Aragon. Anne’s sympathies naturally lay with the progressive thought now challenging Catholic orthodoxy with Henry’s rejection of the papacy and his creation of a new Church of England, the Reformation had come to England. It was not as revolutionary as Luther’s movement in Germany. Henry actually remained a devout Catholic, only denying what he now regarded as the illegitimate authority of the papacy. Anne knew that her marriage and future children would never be recognized as legitimate by Catholic Europe. She had to support the new church, otherwise she was no more than the king’s mistress.

And this new emphasis upon debating even the most esoteric bits of theology appealed to her nature. She was always curious and open to new ideas she never blindly acceptedThe above portrait is of Anne Boleyn, painted by Lucas Horenbout dated 1525-27. Sir Roy Strong identified the portrait. Anne wears a necklace with her falcon badge. anything. But this is not to deny her deep faith. As queen, she was close friends with Thomas Cranmer and she also sponsored various religious books. She had none of the hard-fought pragmatism of her daughter, Elizabeth. Religious faith was a vital part of Anne’s life, as it was for every person in the 16th century.

She entered confinement for the birth of her first child on 26 August 1533. The child was born on 7 September 1533. The physicians and astrologers had been mistaken it was not a prince. But the healthy baby girl called Elizabeth was not the disappointment most assumed, nor did she immediately cause her mother’s downfall. The birth had been very easy and quick. ‘There was good speed in the deliverance and bringing forth,’ Anne wrote to Lord Cobham that very day. The queen recovered quickly. Henry had every reason to believe that strong princes would follow. It was only when Anne miscarried two sons that he began to question the validity of his second marriage.

Elizabeth’s christening was a grand affair, though the king did not attend. This fact was much remarked-upon, but Henry confounded all by his continuing affection for Anne. He also promptly declared Elizabeth his heir, thus according her precedence over her 17 year old half-sister, Princess Mary. Anne could breathe a sigh of relief, recover, and become pregnant again.

Immediately after Elizabeth’s christening, Henry wrote to Mary and demanded that she relinquish her title of Princess of Wales. The title belonged to his heiress. He also demanded that she acknowledge the validity of his new marriage and legitimacy of her half-sister. But Mary could be as obstinate as her mother she refused. Enraged, Henry evicted Mary from her home, the manor Beaulieu, so he could give it to Anne’s brother, George. In December, she was moved into Elizabeth’s household under the care of Lady Anne Shelton, a sister of Anne’s father. It was an understandably miserable time for Mary. When told to pay her respects to the baby Princess, she said that she knew of no Princess of England but herself and burst into tears.

The above portrait is of Anne Boleyn, painted by Lucas Horenbout dated 1525-27. Sir Roy Strong identified the portrait. Anne wears a necklace with her falcon badge.

Henry was infuriated and Anne encouraged the estrangement. Her daughter’s status depended upon Mary remaining out of favor. In the two and a half years she lived after Elizabeth’s birth, Anne proved herself a devoted mother. Soon after the birth, Elizabeth had to be moved from London, for purposes of health London was rife with a variety of illnesses – sweating sickness, smallpox, and plague. Elizabeth and Mary were sent to Hatfield. Both Henry and Anne visited their daughter often, occasionally taking her back with them to Greenwich or the palace at Eltham. During these visits, Mary was kept alone in her room.

There are account books and letters which reveal certain facts about Elizabeth’s early childhood: bills for an orange satin gown and russet velvet kirtle, for the king’s heir had to be fashionably dressed a letter in late 1535, after her second birthday, from the wet nurse asking permission to wean her a plan of study in classical languages, for Anne was determined her daughter would be as educated as Mary.

The conflict with Mary dominated a great deal of Henry and Anne’s thoughts. In January 1534, the king’s new chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, went to visit Mary at Hatfield. He urged her to renounce her title and warned her that her behavior would lead to her ruin. Mary replied that she simply wanted her father’s blessing and the honor of kissing his hand. When Cromwell chastised her, she left the room. Mary, and indeed most of England, believed Anne to be the cause of Henry’s disgust with his eldest child. In truth, Henry had far more to do with it than Anne this was proven after Anne’s execution. Mary believed that she would regain her favor with the wicked stepmother out of the way but she was proven terribly wrong. Eventually, under threat of her life, she wrote the letter her father had long desired.

He and Anne also tried a gentler course with Mary their goal was to show that she had brought Henry’s displeasure upon herself and that he and Anne were quite willing – under reasonable conditions – to receive her. At their next visit to Hatfield, Anne arranged to see her stepdaughter. She invited Mary to come to court and ‘visit me as Queen.’ Mary responded with a cruel insult – ‘I know no Queen in England but my mother. But if you, Madam, as my father’s mistress, will intercede for me with him, I should be grateful.’ Anne did not lose her temper she pointed out the absurdity of the request and repeated her offer. Mary then refused to answer and Anne left in a rage. From then on, she made no attempts to gain Mary’s friendship.

The problem with Mary highlights the untenable positions Anne and Elizabeth occupied in English politics. Many of Henry’s subjects did not know who to call Princess, who was the rightful heir, and who was the true wife. Katharine of Aragon lived on, still calling herself Queen, and Mary, encouraged by the spiteful Imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys, still called herself Princess. Furthermore, Chapuys, who openly despised Anne, told Mary that Anne was planning to have her murdered. It was a terrible lie but one that Mary, in her hysterical state, was inclined to believe. When word came that she and Elizabeth’s household was moving from Hatfield to The More, she refused to go. She believed she would be moved and quietly murdered. Guards had to actually seize her and throw her into her litter. Her distress naturally made her ill.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, was too young to notice any of this. But such events helped cement the lifelong hatred Mary would have for her half-sister. Her Spanish friends continued to spread rumors about Anne and Elizabeth, saying the infant princess was physically deformed and monstrous in appearance. To dispel this, in April 1534, Henry showed the naked infant to several continental ambassadors. In that same month, Anne announced she was once again pregnant. Nothing could have pleased Henry more. She may have had a miscarriage in February for there were rumors she was pregnant in January but nothing came of it given the heightened circumstances, it is unlikely she could have hidden her condition. Even a suspicion of pregnancy was sure to become gossip. But the main source of this miscarriage is Chapuys, hardly an impartial observer. At any rate, she was definitely pregnant again in April 1534.

sketch of Anne Boleyn by Hans Holbein the Younger

The elated king took his wife to the medieval palace at Eltham there, they sent for the princess Elizabeth. Henry was often seen carrying her about and playing with her. The king and queen soon returned to Greenwich and then Henry left on a progress, leaving Anne at the palace. This was probably out of concern for her health and lends some credence to the belief she miscarried in February. If she had, Henry would show special concern for her health, and this he did. He was supposed to meet Francis I of France in June at Calais to sign a treaty but decided not to attend, writing that Katharine and Mary, ‘bearing no small grudge against his most entirely beloved Queen Anne, might perchance in his absence take occasion to practice matters of no small peril to his royal person, realm, and subjects.’

His extra attention to Anne did not help her health. In September 1534, she miscarried a six-month-old fetus it was old enough for features to be discerned – it was a boy. Henry was bitterly disappointed. Anne was likewise. She was also angry for Henry had begun a casual affair that summer. She reproached him and Henry replied, ‘You have good reason to be content with what I have done for you – and I would not do it again, if the thing were to begin. Consider from what you have come.’ The scene was furious and overheard by her attendants. But it was a passing storm. Henry was already tired of his new mistress and, within days, Chapuys was sadly writing to Charles V of Henry’s continued affection. But there were other signs that things were not progressing smoothly.

For example, Henry had hoped to cement his relationship with Francis I by betrothing Elizabeth to Francis’s son, the Duc d’Angouleme. After Anne suffered two miscarriages, as the French ambassador reported to Francis, the French king grew wary of such a betrothal. To him, it must have seemed that Anne’s position was weakening after all, Henry had dismissed one wife because she had no sons – would he do the same to Anne? And, if he did, then what good was a marriage to Elizabeth? Of course, it was in France’s interests to promote Anne for Katharine of Aragon and her daughter were Charles V’s pawns. But his doubts highlighted the instability of Anne’s position.

This undoubtedly affected her mental and physical health. Henry was never the mercenary adulterer of legend. In fact, he was remarkably conventional in his sexual appetites, unlike his French rival. Any affairs would have been widely reported and yet, during his long marriage to Katharine of Aragon, there were just a handful of mistresses. He enjoyed being around attractive women. He was flirtatious and would joke with them, compliment them, but only rarely did he enter into a physical relationship.

But for Anne, any occasional fling was devastating, especially if it followed upon a miscarriage. Such behavior was said to indicate his displeasure with her this she could not afford. They were occasionally estranged and the effect was to increase her already-noticeable anxiety. In late 1534 Anne, accompanied by the duke of Suffolk, her uncle Norfolk, and other courtiers, visited Richmond Palace, where both Elizabeth and Mary resided. Anne entered her daughter’s rooms only to realize that the two dukes had left her. They were paying court to Mary and remained with her until Anne had left. Still, this slight could be forgotten when the Treason Act was passed in November. It was now a capital crime to deny the legitimacy of her marriage or children. By December, she and Henry had made up yet again.

A scandal occurred shortly thereafter which added further damage to Anne’s reputation. Her sister, Mary, who had been Henry’s mistress years before, married Sir William Stafford without her family or the king’s permission. Because Stafford was poor, Mary’s father was angry and cut off her allowance. She appealed to the king and Anne but they would not help. (Mary did not attend court during Anne’s reign, since her presence would have been an embarrassment for the king and queen.)

Always fascinated with rumors surrounding his English ‘brother’, Francis I decided to hedge his bets in the mercurial Tudor court. In other words, he would remain friendly with Anne and also with Mary Tudor. And so he instructed his new ambassador, Admiral Chabot, to ignore Anne when he arrived at court. Chabot was received by Henry and two days passed without any mention of the queen. Henry asked if Chabot wanted to visit her. The ambassador replied, ‘As it pleases Your Highness’ and then asked permission to visit Mary. Henry refused, but Chabot made certain everyone knew of his request. He also told courtiers that Francis wanted to marry the Dauphin to Mary when Henry reminded him of the union with Elizabeth, the ambassador said nothing. Still, Francis did enrage Charles V by acknowledging Elizabeth’s legitimacy.

It was a tedious and frightening dance for Anne. During the two and a half years after Elizabeth’s birth, she was rarely secure, certain of her position and the king’s affections. Her little daughter received every favor she could bestow Anne insisted Henry favor Elizabeth because it strengthened her position. But she was surrounded by fair-weather friends who, at the slightest sign of Henry’s disfavor, ignored her. She only trusted her brother, George, whose wife, Jane Rochford, was a viper in their nest. Meanwhile, Henry was again flirting openly with another woman. This time it was Anne’s cousin and lady-in-waiting, Madge Shelton. Anne still had influence over her husband, but knew only one way to make his favor permanent. She must bear a son. Henry would never dismiss the mother of his long-awaited heir. Her enemies would at last be silenced.

Meanwhile, Henry’s health had begun to worsen. The first signs of the illness which would kill him (occluded sinus on the leg) appeared . Headaches became frequent and severe. The king was a hypochondriac. Now unable to indulge his love of sports, he instead indulged his fear of pain and illness. And he was frequently impotent. He was in his mid-forties and increasingly obese this, combined with his other ailments, made his continued virility questionable. Certainly his ‘mistresses’ did not conceive. But the continued lack of an heir and Anne’s miscarriages must have reminded him of Katharine. How could it not? Like most of his contemporaries, the king blamed his wife when she did not conceive or carry to term.

And, like Francis I, Thomas Cromwell – that influential and brilliant man – was keeping his options open as well. He visited Mary and was rumored to promise support for her reinstatement. Anne was terrified at this loss of her one-time supporter who was also the king’s most trusted advisor. But Anne had one last chance, and in June 1535, became pregnant again. She lost that child as well, in January 1536 she was reported to have said, ‘I have miscarried of my savior.’

When her destruction came, it was rapid and unbelievable. Henry had always been one to plot against people while he pretended affection. Anne suffered the same fate as Katharine. She knew he was dissatisfied with her but he maintained their lifestyle together. And all the while, he was seeking the best way to destroy her. Katharine of Aragon died in January as well, just a few days before Anne’s miscarriage. These events, taken together, pushed Henry into action. While Katharine lived, most of Europe, and many Englishmen, had regarded her as his rightful wife, not Anne. Now he was rid of Katharine if he were to rid himself of Anne, he could marry again – and this third marriage would never be tainted by the specter of bigamy.

an 18th century portrait of Anne Boleyn

Henry’s decision to thoroughly destroy Anne baffled even her enemies. There was a possible way out which would spare Anne’s life. Henry had admitted an affair with her sister,Mary. He could have argued that was as damning as Katharine’s marriage to his brother. But he chose a more direct route. He had her arrested, charged with adultery, witchcraft, and incest the charges were ludicrous even to her enemies. Her brother George was arrested as well. His despised wife, Jane Rochford, testified about an incestuous love affair. Whether anyone believed her was irrelevant. Henry VIII wanted Anne convicted and killed. George would also lose his life, as did three of their friends. Only one had confessed to the charge, and that was under torture it was still enough to convict them all.

As queen of England, Anne was tried by her peers the main charge was adultery, and this was an act of treason for a queen. No member of the nobility would help her her craven uncle Norfolk pronounced the death sentence. Poor Henry Percy, her first love, swooned during the trial and had to be carried from the room. As a concession to her former position, she was not beheaded by a clumsy axe. A skilled swordsman was brought over from France. She was assured that there would be little pain she replied, with typical spirit, ‘I have heard that the executioner is very good. And I have a little neck.’

‘You have chosen me from low estate to be your queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire if, then, you found me worthy of such honor, good your grace, let not any light fancy or bad counsel of my enemies withdraw your princely favor from me neither let that stain – that unworthy stain – of a disloyal heart towards your good grace ever cast so foul a blot on me, and on the infant princess your daughter.’ from Anne Boleyn’s last letter to King Henry VIII, 1536 its authenticity is debated.

She had prayed for exile, to end her days in a nunnery, but now faced a more tragic fate. She met it with bravery and wit. She was brought to the scaffold at 8 o’clock in the morning on 19 May 1536. It was a heretofore unknown spectacle, the first public execution of an English queen. Anne, who had defended herself so ably at her trial, chose her last words carefully: ‘Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.’ She was then blindfolded and knelt at the block. She repeated several times, ‘To Jesus Christ I commend my soul Lord Jesu receive my soul.’

It was a sardonic message to the king. Even now he waited impatiently to hear the Tower cannon mark Anne’s death. He wished to marry Anne’s lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. They wed ten days after the execution.

Elizabeth was just three and a half when her mother died. She was a precocious child, though when her governess visited her just days after the execution, Elizabeth asked, ‘Why, Governor, how hap it yesterday Lady Princess, and today but Lady Elizabeth?’

Anne was buried in an old arrow box since no coffin was provided. But the box was too short her head was tucked beside her. The remains were taken to St Peter ad Vincula, the church of the Tower of London, where they would later be joined by her cousin, and Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

‘And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.’
from Anne Boleyn’s speech at her execution

Anne Hutchinson&aposs Final Years 

After William’s death in 1642, ministers from Massachusetts were dispatched to force Anne to renounce her beliefs and coerce her into believing that Massachusetts would soon take over the Rhode Island territory.

Wishing to escape Massachusetts’ meddling, Anne and her children moved to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City), homesteading on Long Island Sound.

One afternoon in the summer of 1643, Anne’s family was attacked by Native American Siwanoy warriors at their home. Fifteen people including Anne were axed to death, their bodies burned.

Watch the video: 16 October 2021 (August 2022).