Photos

"An Allegory of the Tudor Succession: The Family of Henry VIII," ca. 1590, oil on panel, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Jacobus Houbraken, "Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex," 1739, engraving, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
From the Lewis Walpole Library: "Ann Boleyn" [sic], etching and engraving, from "A Description of the Villa of Horace Walpole, 1784; George Vertue, "Henry VIII," from "The heads of the most illustrious persons of Great Britain." Folios 49 3582 and 734 H432.
Thomas Shotter Boys (1803–1874), "Queen Anne Boleyn's Room, Windsor Castle," undated, watercolor with pen and black ink over graphite on thick, moderately textured, cream wove paper, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
William Hogarth, “King Henry VIII bringing to court Anna Bullen,” 1728, etching with engraving, on laid paper. London: Wm. Hogarth. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 728.00.04.02+
Pages from Henry VIII’s “Bouche of Courte,” a manuscript ca. 1571, which apportioned by rank the specific food and drink that every courtier was entitled to aside from two common meals per day, provided by the king. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Edwin Austin Abbey, "Henry and Anne Boleyn. King Henry: “The fairest hand I ever touched. O beauty, till now I never knew thee” - Act I, Scene IV, King Henry VIII," 1908, pen and ink on composition board, Yale University Art Gallery, Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Collection
Sir Thomas More was executed for refusing to support Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and England's break from the Catholic Church. The Beinecke houses the prayer book he kept in the Tower of London, ca. 1535, which includes More's handwritten notes in the margins.
Anne Boleyn soon followed More's fate. Here, an engraving by James Stow depicts the “Condemnation of Anne Boleyn,” 1804. London: R. Bowyer, Historic Gallery, Pall Mall. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, Folio 724 B68.
"Seventeenth-century copy of a letter written by Anne Boleyn to Henry VIII, May 6th 1536," James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Visit the Beinecke's website for a fascinating blog entry about this object.
Silver Groat of Henry VIII, 1526-1544, silver, London Mint, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Thomas H. Johns, B.A. 1818
The Beinecke houses a copy of the “Act of the Attainder” for the execution of Thomas Cromwell. It also holds this 1613 edition of the play, "The true chronicle historie of the whole life and death of Thomas Lord Cromwell.” William Shakespeare is credited as the playwright.
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Henry VIII, Cromwell, and Anne Boleyn: Yale's Tudor treasures

For those who follow PBS or The New York Times bestseller list, Thomas Cromwell's name is a familiar one. The subject of Hilary Mantel’s bestselling trilogy, he burst onto the popular culture scene six years ago in the book “Wolf Hall” and its 2012 sequel, “Bring up the Bodies,” both winners of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The books have sold millions of copies and the third installment is in the works. PBS just wrapped its series based on the first two novels. Cromwell has also taken center stage on Broadway with the Royal Shakespeare Company production based on Mantel’s historical fiction. Fans have followed Cromwell's rise from humble beginnings to become the most powerful man in England, next to Henry VIII. He engineered Henry’s divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and made possible Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. When the king became disenchanted with Boleyn, Cromwell orchestrated her execution, 479 years ago on May 19. His role in Henry’s unhappy arranged marriage to Anne of Cleves paved the way for Cromwell’s downfall. He was executed on July 28, 1540, the day that Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Yale houses a number of paintings, prints, drawings, manuscripts, and coins related to Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, and Anne Boleyn. To view the material, visit Yale’s online digital collections at discover.odai.yale.edu, or the websites of the Yale Center for British Art, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Lewis Walpole Library.