Anne Boleyn’s Speech on the Scaffold

At 8 am on 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn was taken to a specially erected scaffold within the confines of the Tower of London for execution on charges of adultery and treason. Before placing her head upon the block she briefly addressed the crowd in a calm if sometimes hesitant voice in a speech remarkable for its lack of malice and generosity of spirit which belied her reputation for petulance and excessive self-regard.

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.

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