1000 piece jigsaw based on the legal document KB 8/9 m.17 held in the collection of The National Archives. A fiendishly difficult puzzle with a sense of history.
In 1536, putting an English queen on trial for high treason, adultery and incest was deeply shocking and set all kinds of precedents. The paper trail linked to Queen Anne Boleyn’s prosecution, therefore, is lengthy but it shows us all the legal steps that had to be taken to ensure her conviction.
This document is part of the bundle of papers from the ‘secret bag’ of the Court of King’s Bench, for the trials of Queen Anne and her brother George, Lord Rochford, in the Tower of London on 15 May 1536. It is the commission to Anne’s uncle, Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, Treasurer and Earl Marshal of England to sit as High Steward of England. His responsibilities in that legal office were to ensure that Henry VIII’s view of justice as ‘a most excellent virtue’ was carried out in the proceedings of the trial.
Norfolk was to receive the indictments against Anne and George at a special court and call them before him to answer the charges. He was required to assemble the nobles and lords of the kingdom, as peers of the queen, to form a jury and give a verdict and sentence according to the law.
This commission is a letter patent – an open document with the Great Seal of England attached, written as public proof of a major grant or appointment. Other documents that we have are the formal records of proceedings, but not what was said in court, and the orders for the executions once Anne, George and the other defendants were found guilty.
Finished size 690 x 480mm