Unfortunately, halfway through the jousting, a messenger came to deliver a message for the King, which told him that Mark Smeaton had confessed to an adulterous relationship with the Queen. However, it is important to note that Smeaton had been tortured for the past day - which included having a rope tied around his head and tightened in excruciating pain, as well as being put on "the rack" - an extremely agonizing torture device which stretched out its victim's limbs until the body broke. Smeaton was tortured because he initially denied any suspicion that he had carnal knowledge of the Queen, and Thomas Cromwell ordered that the truth be tortured out of him. Because of this, it is easy to assume that Mark Smeaton was, in fact saying what Cromwell wanted to hear - as we can assume that one's senses are a bit muddled when they are in such extreme agony and pain. Historians tend to agree that Smeaton's "confession" was purely the result of torture, and that it was in no way true.
In any case, during the confession Smeaton apparently pointed a finger at Sir Henry Norris, whom Anne Boleyn had argued with just days earlier, accusing him of being in love with her. When this information was given to the King at the jousting tournament, he abruptly rose from his seat and called Norris to follow him, leaving Queen Anne oblivious to what was going on. Henry outright asked Norris if he had slept with Anne, and the horrified Norris denied it vehemently - this having been the second time in days that he was confronted by the notion of being in love with Anne Boleyn. The King tried to bribe Norris into a confession by offering him a pardon if he told the truth, but the noble Norris declined and said that if he was to be cursed to live in a world where a man could only prosper by condemning an innocent woman to death on the whim of a lie, then he would rather die. Furious, the King had him immediately arrested and taken to the Tower of London.
After the jousting celebration, Anne Boleyn returned to her rooms at the Greenwich Palace and was informed that her husband the King would be spending the night at Whitehall instead. Given the recent turmoil of their marriage, she most likely was not terribly troubled by this, and probably did not notice the absence of Smeaton and Norris either, seeing as they did the King's bidding and were not always with her. Therefore, we can expect that, although Anne may have had an uneasy feeling during the past several days, she would have had no reason to expect that her life would greatly change the next day - when she would become the first English Queen to be publicly arrested.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post about Anne's arrest - which begins the real countdown to her tragic execution...