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Historic letter donated to cathedral

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: February 28, 2009

<P>Lincoln Cathedral librarian Nicholas Bennett with the letter</P>

Lincoln Cathedral librarian Nicholas Bennett with the letter

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A 500-year-old letter written by the father of one of Henry VIII's six wives has been donated to Lincoln Cathedral.

Visitors will now be able to see the note about Anne Boleyn which is said to have started a chain of events radically altering the course of English history and ended with her being beheaded.

International opera singer Jane Eaglen, from Lincoln, has donated the letter.

It will go on display at the cathedral's Medieval Library in September to commemorate the 500th anniversary of King Henry's ascension to the throne.

The letter was penned on August 14, 1514, by Sir Thomas Boleyn – Henry VIII's diplomat.

It was written to Archduchess Margaret of Austria, regent of the Netherlands and aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Sir Thomas had used his influence to place Anne in the Margaret's Court as an opportunity for advancement.

But then King Henry ordered that Anne be taken to France to become lady-in-waiting to King Henry's sister Mary who was betrothed to Louis XII.

Writing from Greenwich, Thomas Boleyn sent the letter to the Regent Margaret asking her to release his daughter.

Dr Nicholas Bennett, cathedral vice-chancellor and librarian, said: "It is quite a significant letter in Anne's life because it concerns a big event in her early career.

"Spending those early years in France had an impact on her future.

"The French court was considered to be very sophisticated and when she returned to England she would have had an aura of that sophistication which turned Henry's head."

For the full story see Saturday's Lincolnshire Echo.

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  • RedHev  |  December 07 2013, 9:15PM

    Anne did not actually go to France at this time, she remained with the Regent. The Regent refused to let her go. Her younger sister Mary did go, but nearly all the people who accompanied Princess Mary now Queen of France were sent back home after a few days.

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