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Henry VIII branded ‘pathological monster’ over Anne Boleyn Tower of London execution plan

Anne Boleyn 'did conspire to kill Henry VIII' reveals expert

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The Tower of London is being put centre stage in a Channel 5 documentary tonight. ‘Inside the Tower of London’ revisits some of the pivotal moments of the 11th century citadel, which was built by William the Conqueror. In the latest instalment of the new series, presenter Tracy Borman discovers the filthy side of the Tower’s history. The Tudor historian, who is joint chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, looks at how, for centuries, rubbish from the site was thrown into the River Thames.

Tracy joins a team of archaeologists as they conduct a survey near the Tower, which sits on the northern bank of London’s primary waterway.

The group makes some remarkable finds, including 1,000-year-old pottery and ancient armour.

The episode also looks at a devious plot by Henry VIII to steal money from his subjects.

England’s former King planned a scheme to manufacture fake silver coins and pocket the profits for himself.

As well as his financial scheming, Henry’s history at the Tower of London has a much darker side.

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The ex-monarch had his second wife Anne Boleyn executed at the Tower after she failed to produce a male heir to the throne.

Ms Borman explained how a new discovery from the archives related to Anne’s execution showed that Henry was a “pathological monster”.

The expert shared her expertise in an interview with the Observer last year, as a key document was discovered in the National Archives.

The find, a Tudor warrant book, laid bare crimes committed in the 16th century in minute detail.

In the document, the King was quoted as saying that his Queen “adjudged to death… by burning of fire… or decapitation”.

In the document, the King was quoted as saying that his Queen “adjudged to death… by burning of fire… or decapitation”.

Henry added, however, that he had been “moved by pity” and had thus decided Anne would not be given the more brutal execution of being “burned by fire”.

However, the King also added: “We, however, command that… the head of the same Anne shall be… cut off.”

Anne was famously beheaded by the use of a sword, considered a merciful way to execute someone.

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Ms Borman said: “As a previously unknown document about one of the most famous events in history, it really is gold dust, one of the most exciting finds in recent years.

“What it shows is Henry’s premeditated, calculating manner. He knows exactly how and where he wants it to happen.”

Henry had also written that he wanted to get rid of the “late queen of England, lately our wife, lately attained and convicted of high treason”.

His instructions were for Sir William Kingston, the constable of the Tower.

Anne was arrested in 1536 and taken by barge to the Tower of London.

Anne had only been crowned Queen three years earlier, but was accused of adultery, incest and treason.

At her trial, she was found guilty and imprisoned in the Tower, where, at Henry’s orders, she was put to death.

Henry opted for Anne to be beheaded by a French swordsman however, rather than an axe being used, which would have been more painful.

‘Inside the Tower of London’ airs on Channel 5 tonight from 8pm-9pm.

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