Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was tried and executed within the walls of the Tower.
An educated and influential queen with strong opinions on matters of policy, she fell foul of vicious court faction and religious politics.
Her failure to produce a son for the King also made her position precarious.
Her fall was swift
On 2 May 1536, Anne was arrested, accused of adultery and incest by a king anxious to remarry. On 19 May she was beheaded.
Anne was held and tried in the Lieutenant’s Lodgings, not The Queen’s House which was built on the site in 1540.
Even so, some attribute strange happenings in the Queen’s House to Boleyn’s ghost.
A morbid interest
The idea that the Tower possessed the axe which took off Anne Boleyn’s head was encouraged in the 18th century.
Tower authorities were keen to provide morbid interest for visitors. Anne, however, was granted special dispensation to be beheaded by an expert French swordsman.
She is buried in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula inside the Tower of London.