Monday 30 August 2010

"A well-formed woman of middle height, with a short and slender neck"

“The bones found in the place where Queen Anne Boleyn is said to have been buried are certainly those of a female in the prime of life, all perfectly consolidated and symmetrical, and belong to the same person... The remains of the vertebrae, and the bones of the lower limbs, indicate a well-formed woman of middle height, with a short and slender neck. The ribs show depth and roundness of chest. The hands and feet bones indicate delicate and well-shaped hands and feet, with tapering fingers and a narrow foot.”
- The 1876 pathology report on the remains said to be those of Anne Boleyn, Queen of England

Claire Ridgway at The Anne Boleyn Files discusses the 1876 exhumation of the bodies buried in Saint Peter-ad-Vincula's, amongst them the alleged remains of Anne Boleyn.


  1. Do you think the bones belong to Anne?

  2. Matterhorn, I have to say that, unfortunately, I'm not sure whether the bones are indeed Queen Anne's. However, erring on the side of caution, I would say that, yes, they are hers. I don't particularly buy into the theory put forward (very persuasively) by Alison Weir in her most recent book "The Lady in the Tower" that the bones examined in 1876 and presented as Anne Boleyn's were, in fact, Catherine Howard's, because of a mistake in the "map" of the crypt. I tend to think that, given their physical characteristics, they are most likely to have been Anne's, out of all the women buried near her. At a stretch, they could - I suppose - be the bones of her sister-in-law, Lady Rochford. But, who knows? Claire is due to do a follow-up article on it on "The Anne Boleyn Files," so I'll be intrigued to see if she thinks the 1876 bones were genuinely Anne's.

  3. Was the skull present? It would be very interesting to do a facial reconstruction.

  4. The skull was, but there are currently no plans to re-open the crypt, since Saint Peter's is still an active church.


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