[pictured: engraving depicting Queen Anne Boleyn’s beheading with husband Henry VIII to the left and subsequent third wife Jane Seymour to the right; the latter two did not attend in actuality, however; c. 17th century by J.T. de Bry]
On 14 May 1536, Henry and Anne’s marriage was declared “dissolved” by Thomas Cranmer, shortly thereafter Anne was sentenced to death for her charges of incest (with her brother, George, whom along with four other men was executed three days later), adultery, and witchcraft. Despite her death sentence and being imprisoned in the Tower of London, it is reported Anne’s previous optimism stayed to her final days. Anthony Kingston, the Constable of the Tower, wrote that Anne, learning that little pain would be involved in her execution, exclaimed, “I heard the execution was very good. And I have only a little neck,” after which she wrapped her hands around it and laughed heartily.
On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded at White Tower. Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England, was dead.