Monday 5 May 2014

5 May 1536 - Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir Richard Page

The investigation into Anne's alleged adultery continued while she was in the Tower and, probably on 5 May 1536, Sir William Kingston informed her that Sir Richard Page and Sir Thomas Wyatt were also prisoners in the Tower.

Sir Richard Page was a member of the king's privy chamber and friendly with Anne, who is recorded to have made gifts to him durign her time as queen. It was evidently this familiarity with Anne that brought him to the Tower, although he was lucky to escape serious suspicion By 12 May 1536 it was widely known that he would be released without charge, although his punishment was to be banished from court.

Sir Thomas Wyatt had a more serious association with the fallen queen and was probably very lucky to escape with his life. Before Anne's marriage, he had engaged in a flirtation with her, calling her 'Brunet' and referring to his love for her in his poems. Wyatt was a courtier and a poet and firm friend of the king, with it even rumoured that it was he who had originally brought Anne to the monarch's attention. The two were rivals for her love for a time, although Wyatt tactfully backed away.

For Wyatt, his time in the Bell Tower at the Tower of London, amongst the soon to be condemned, profoundly affected him, writing:

'These bloody days have broken my heart.
My lust, my youth did them depart,
And blind desire of estate.
Who hastes to climb seek to revert.
Of truth, circa Regna tonat.

The bell tower showed me such sigh
That in my head sticks day and night.
There did I learn out of a grate,
For all favour, glory, or might,
That yet circa Regna tonat.'

Sir Thomas Wyatt knew that he was out of danger within days of his arrest - like Page the evidence was not there to even suggest a relationship with Anne. However, both men remained amongst their less fortunate fellows and were present in the Tower when Anne's alleged lovers were arrested. As Sir Thomas Wyatt observed - Circa Regna Tonat - It thunders through the realms.

Sir Thomas Wyatt, a handsome courtier and poet. He was profoundly shocked by what he observed in the Tower in May 1536.

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