Nicholas Sander (or Saunders) is one of those names you cannot avoid when investigating this case. He wrote the book Schismatis Anglicani (The Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism) in which he delivers a description of Anne Boleyn's appearance:
She had a projecting tooth under the upper lip, and on her right hand, six fingers
|This well-known portrait of|
Anne certainly shows no
extra finger - but then again
One other person who would certainly have jumped on the opportunity to trash Anne's name was the Spanish ambassador Eustace Chapuys. But he never mentions anything about either the Queen's fingers or her nails. It is hard to believe that a man who mainly referred to Anne Boleyn as "the concubine" or down-right "the whore" would miss out on the opportunity of using an extra finger to call her a witch.
George Wyatt (grandson of the Thomas Wyatt who adored Anne) wrote in 1605:
"There was found, indeed, upon the side of her nail upon one of her fingers, some little show of a nail, which yet was so small, by the report of those who have seen her, as the work-master seemed to leave it an occasion of greater grace to her hand, which, with the tip of one of her other fingers, might be and was usually by her hidden without any blemish to it"Now, George Wyatt's book is mainly in defence of Anne and not meant as yet another attack on the long-gone Queen. This leads us to the more likely conclusion that there may have been a hint of another nail of one of her fingers but that is still far from a new finger. And having grown up in the aftermath of Anne's reign George is most likely to have heard the nasty rumours which must have influenced him despite his good-look of Anne.
And let's not forget the wonderful thing that is pure logic. Henry VIII was .. well, a vain man and it seems very strange that he should become so attached to a woman who had a such an obvious deformity. He certainly would not have married her! Actually it is doubtful that Anne would even had been a lady-in-waiting to the Queen with a sixth finger. After all, it was a dangerous time to have such imperfections.
Finally during the excavations within the Tower of London in 1876, Dr. Mouat found the body of a woman "between twenty-five and thirty years of age" who is widely believed to have been Anne Boleyn herself. If this true and that it actually is Anne herself then there is nothing to prove that an extra finger troubled Anne. According to Dr. Mouat's report the body had "well-shaped hands and feet" - no trace of a deformity.