Monday, November 17, 2008

Question from Nikki - Anne wearing red at her execution

i read that anne boleyn wore a red petticoat to her execution. mary queen of scots wore a red dress to her execution. red was a sign of martyrdom within the catholic faith. why it was a big deal that mary had on red, while nobody makes a big deal of anne wearing the same color, aside from the obvious explination that mary was catholic and anne was not? i think it's ironic for anne, since she was right in the middle of the break from the cathoic church. do you think she did this on purpose?


Bearded Lady said...

Hmmmm...Where did you read that Anne wore red? I could be wrong but I don't think she wore red. She did wear a dark grey damask robe covered by a white ermine mantle and a gable hood. (I have a sick fascination with what people wore to their execution)

Mary Queen of Scots wore a red petticoat not a red dress and it was actually more a crimson or brownish red. She also had brownish red sleeves to complete her martyr fashion statement.

Anonymous said...

i read that on this website under the info for anne boleyn.

"She wore a red petticoat under a loose, dark grey gown of damask trimmed in fur. Over that she was a mantle of ermine."

Anonymous said...

Anne Boleyn wore a gown of grey and red damask trimmed with fur being ermine and the red being crimson.
That is what she wore to her execution.
Anne would not have worn the colour red for her execution since she was a reformed lutheran. Red was the colour associated with catholics it represented catholic maytrdom not lutheranism/prodestantism.

mary queen of scots was the one who wore red to her execution.

Lara said...

Hmmm, so now the question is "where did I get it?"!

It's been quite a while since I wrote Anne's bio, so there is no telling for sure. I'll see if I can dig up something.

Bearded Lady said...

I know where you got it!...Alison Weir wrote that she wore a red kirtle underneath. I love Weir, but she also wrote that Anne wore a french hood...which she did not. She wore a gable hood (according to both Ives, Starsky and primary sources).

If anyone else wants to know more about what people wore to their execution - I dug up an old post here:

Yes, I have a thing for morbid history. heehee

Lara said...

I was thinking Weir or Fraser, so that must have been it. I'll replace it with a primary source quote as soon as I get a chance!

Anonymous said...

I just don't think the red petticoat Anne wore signifies much. I read somewhere that she often wore crimson, so obviously she would wear a favoured color to her death.

I don't agree that Anne was "a reformed Lutheran" either. Without question she read books about the reformed religion and gave these books to the king to read as well. She simply died too early in time. She appears to me to have remained nearly Catholic - excepting obedience to Rome of course, much like Henry did. Yes she gave aid to the reformers, but I don't think she fully was one. Had she lived longer she would almost certainly have become Protestant, but she didn't.

My point is that Anne wasn't quite a reformer and therefore if the red had any significance at all (which I don't think it does) it may indeed have had something to do with martyrdom and the remnants of older beliefs.

Lara said...

I went to Ives and copied out all of the various sources of the execution and I thought I would post it here for those who are interested. Several of the sources are available for download from Google Books.

(1a) An Italian account by 'P.A.' possibly a Venetian diplomat in England, dated 1 June 1536: in Hamy, "Entrevue", pp. ccccxxxi-ccccxxxvi, also printed version (Bologna, 1536);

(1b) A Portuguese translation of (1a), dated 1 June, in Bentley, "Excerpta Historica", pp. 261-5.

(2a) An imperial account, printed in William Thomas, "The Pilgrim", pp. 116-17

(2b) A Spanish version of (2a) at Vienna, "Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII", x. 911 (1)

(3) A French account, printed partially in Ascoli, L'Opinion, p. 273, and partially in Hamy, "Entrevue", pp. ccccxxxvii-ccccxxxviii, possibly derived from (2a)

(4) de Carles [see pp. 60-1]

(5) Les regretz de Millort de Rocheffort, printed in Ascoli, "L'Opinion", pp. 274-8

(6) Constantine, in "Archaeologia", 23, 64-6

(7) Wriothesley, "Chronicle", i. 39-40

(8) "Chronicle of Calais", pp. 46-7

Anonymous said...

actually it was sa she wore a white dress , with a golden trim, a priveledge for a queen on exicution. over it she wore a gray robe-like over cape and her hair was tied up. Also . she wore a (not very well built) crown it is said. but no red. what website did you hear that from???

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what anne wore to her coronation?

Anonymous said...

I am planning on making a replica of the dress Anne Boleyn wore to her execution. Now after reading all the comments I'm a bit confused on colors and what to make. I was originally going to work off the painting of her in the tower.
Now I'm wondering if I should do a red underskirt or even a white dress. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you.
Michelle Huntemann