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Re: Executioners and such (was: An historical question)

> On Wed, 15 Feb 1995, Mike.Andrews wrote: 
> > Didn't Henry VIII make special arrangements for a French headsman 
> > to cross the Channel and use a sword, rather than an axe, to behead 
> > Ann Boleyn? 
> I haven't heard that, but it would show how much he loved her - I 
> mean importing an executioner when any one of the locals would have 
> done just fine...

<thinking of the years spent as milady Queen's loyal lady-in-waiting:>
Yeep!!!  What a way to show love ....

There are 2 rather interesting theories on Anne's execution.  One is that 
Henry couldn't care less by that point, was already giving orders for the 
wedding feast for Jane Seymour, and gave the swordsman as a slap against all 
Anne's Frenchified habits, which had po'ed some folks at court.  

The other theory, advanced in _The Divine King in England_ by---uhh, by-- erg, 
can't remember, (noted British Occultist--I'll remember at some point & post 
it, the book is really hard to find but makes fascinating reading for people 
interested in the SCA periods!) is that Anne died willingly, as a sacrificial 
substitute to insure the health of her husband and the continuation of his 
reign, having come to the conclusion that she wasn't going to have a son to 
carry on his line for him.  Among the evidence advanced: she was executed in 
the Beltane season, after being advanced far beyond the rank she had 
originally had--she was from a highborn family, her mother was one of the 
Howards of Norfolk, but Henry made her Marchioness of Pembroke in her own 
right, then gave her her own coronation, when he married her and she was 
preggers with Elizabeth.  None of the other wives got their own coronation 
except (I think) Katherine of Aragon, whom he married after he was King.  She 
died in the company of a chosen band of followers--her brother, her bard (to 
possibly give Mark Smeaton more than he was due) and other likely young men of 
her court.  And then that special headsman as a regal concession--in this 
case, indeed a mark of love .... because it was quicker and more neat, and 
because it still satisfied the requirement of spilling the victim's willing 
blood on the land.

There's a whole section in the book on Anne's death.  Other sacrificial 
victims mentioned: the unwilling ones, such as Dafydd ap Griffith, final 
Prince of independant Wales and brother of Llewelyn the Last, who died only a 
few months before him; and William Wallace, Father of Scots Independance, 
executed in the same barbaric manner as Dafydd (hanged, drawn, & quartered) 
and for the same monarch (Edw. 1, may God forgive him!).  Royal victims: the 
princes in the tower for Richard 3, Anne for Henry 8, William Rufus dying as 
king for the health of his heir, his brother Henry 1; Henry 6 unwillingly 
murdered for the health of Edward 4.

It's not light reading, and one can believe it or not, but the royals 
apparently take it seriously.  The Occult community in Great Britain think 
that the Duke of Kent who died in WW2 in a plane crash died to secure George 
6's reign and save England from the German invasion, and that Lord 
Mountbatten's murder a while back was a similar attempt by the IRA to secure 
Northern Ireland's whatevers.  The royal family banned publication of 
Katherine Kurtz's wonderful occult thriller, _Lammas Night_, because it 
specifically deals with an "aware" member of George 6's family, a fictional 
and barely disguised younger brother, asking for the right to die to save his 
country.  Many a copy has been mailed from here to there; some of them even by 
myself! :) 
Truth is stranger than fiction?  

Just my opinion, honest .... too many neat things cluttering up my mind these 
days! :)