It is interesting that the Middlesex Grand Jury found enough evidence for these crimes - especially when we consider what I wrote about a few days ago about the sloppily-put-together accusations of Brereton and Weston, and how the locations and times of their alleged misconduct did not make any sense. With this being said, it is possible that the entire Grand Jury simply said what Cromwell wanted to hear - and that evidence was not actually found. It was blatantly clear that this was all Cromwell's game and he was in charge (except for the King), and that at this point there was really no hope for Anne or the men accused.
The indictment against Anne is actually quite shocking, and I think it is meant to be that way - considering nothing like this had ever happened to a Queen before. Here is an example of what was said against Anne on this day:
"Queen Anne has been the wife of Henry VIII for three years and more, she, despising the solemn, not to mention most excellent and noble marriage between our lord the King and the same lady the Queen, but even at the same time having in her heart malice against our lord the King, seduced by evil and not having God before her eyes, and following daily her frail and carnal appetites, did falsely and traitorously procure by base conversations and kisses, touchings, gifts and other infamous incitations, divers of the King’s daily and familiar servants to be her adulterers and concubines, so that several of the King’s servants yielded to her vile provocations."
These accusations are bad enough, but then the council goes on to talk about her involvement with her brother...
"...procured and incited her own natural brother, George Boleyn, knight, Lord Rochford, to violate her, alluring him with her tongue in the said George’s mouth, and the said George’s tongue in hers, and also with kisses, presents and jewels, against the commands of the Almighty God."
This indictment also accused the Queen and men of plotting the King's death, and saying that Anne had promised to marry some of her lovers whenever the King died. These would have been serious offences indeed, in a time when even thinking about the King's death was considered treason. It is also interesting to note that, in this indictment (which is much longer than what I've included here), Anne and the men accused with her are frequently referred to as "traitors," although by this time they had not even had their formal trials yet. In "The Other Boleyn Girl" film starring Natalie Portman as Anne, she has a great line - "Charged is not convicted, Uncle. Or is it in this court?" -- I think in this case, it certainly was. All of these men on the Grand Jury were working for themselves, for Cromwell, and for the King - and both of those men wanted Anne out of the picture. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that there was absolutely nothing Anne could have said or done to save herself - it seemed that false accusations and "evidence" were just being made up as everyone went along. After the Grand Jury's meeting ended, Constable William Kingston was ordered to "bring up the bodies" from the Tower of Smeaton, Norris, Brereton, and Weston on 12 May for their official trials. Anne and George would have their trials on 15 May.
- Quotes from the indictment are from Claire Ridgway's website "The Anne Boleyn Files" from 10 May 2010.