Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“True” History Tuesday – Anne Boleyn’s Head

Clearly, most people know the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.  Who cannot be impressed with her ability to hold out and not only get her man, but also spark the start of the English Reformation?  Pretty impressive stuff.  Of course, the ultimate outcome was not so impressive for Anne…getting your head chopped off just never ends well for the beheaded.  What most people don’t know is what actually happened to Anne’s head. 

After Boleyn’s execution on May 19, 1536, Jane Seymour (Henry’s new hottie) sold Boleyn’s head to a strange woman named Dr. Quinn.  All that is really known about Dr. Quinn was that she was a medicine woman.  After Dr. Quinn, the head nodded off into obscurity for many many years.  Oddly enough, the head resurfaced again around 1764.  It was a favorite piano display for the eight year old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  How Boleyn’s head ended up with the Mozart family is unknown.  What is known is that Wolfgang died at 36.  His family was so distraught that they sold Boleyn’s head to the highest bidder on EBay. 

The highest bidder was the well known headhunter, Ichabod Crane.  Crane was very proud of his collection of heads.  He had a special lighted, rotating display case.  The case contained the head of Goliath, John the Baptist, Mary Queen of Scots, General Holofernes and Kathryn Howard.  Naturally, Crane gingerly placed Boleyn’s head next to Howard’s.  He was big into theming his collection.  The head has remained in the Crane family for centuries with some additions, including the special French Revolution Collection.  Although repeatedly pressed, the Crane family has refused to allow the public to see their collection.  Thankfully, the family has promised to give the press a heads-up if they ever change their minds.

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