Saturday, September 16, 2006

Question from Paul - Glove of Anne Boleyn

Dear all.
Many years ago, I remember walking around a stately home as a young boy, seeing as I remember a 6 fingered glove of Ann Boleyn's and the blood stained dress she was wearing when she was beheaded.
Returning to Coughton Court recently, where I believed this encounter to have occurred, neither object was there. There was Mary Queen of Scots Chemise that she was wearing at her beheading, but the only glove was either the young or old Pretender's, and it certainly didn't have 6 digits.
Can anyone please help as this is going to bother me for the rest of my life. I am always boring my wife about this glove, as I remember it was so small, and I thought that going to Coughton Court and showing her would finally prove it's existence. Obviously I got the execution dress wearer mixed up, but the glove of Ann Boleyn I know exists SOMEWHERE.
Thank you all.


Historian said...

The mostly likely place for such a glove to be, assuming it is even authentic, is Hever Castle in Kent where Boleyn and her family resided. Hever still exists and is well known for its gardens. It is a popular local tourist attraction. Perhaps you can contact Hever directly and ask them if they have such a glove ( I would caution, however, that the number of faked relics of Tudor era figures is HUGE, even among those displayed in National Trust properties.

GarethR said...

I'm afraid both the 'relics' you saw must be false. The dress would either have been buried with Anne, taken by the executioner back to his native France or incinerated. As for the 6 fingered glove, the general consensus is that Anne Boleyn did not have 6 fingers as popular legend believes. The story is not recorded by anyone who knew, met or saw her in her lifetime but first appears in a virulently antiBoleyn tome by Nicholas Sander a generation later. There is a short article on this author at

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this glove, but it is very possible you saw it if you remember it so vividly. However, the six-finger theory is generally believed to be fabricated because there is no record of anyone mentioning it until some time after her death, and these were generally physical accounts from people who disliked her. So, it's possible this glove existed but was found out either to be a fake, or belonging to someone else, which would account for it being removed from the exhibit.

Anonymous said...

actually like you i remember seeing the 6 fingered glove and i saw it when i was about 8 years old at hever castle! when i returned there 10 years later the glove was no longer there and after asking almost every member of staff there one eventually told me that it was sent away for refurbishment and they didnt know when it was coming back, but it used to be in a glass case in what was believed to be Anne Boleyn's bedroom