Who was Anne Boleyn?
Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife,
Lady Elizabeth. She was the niece of the Duke of Norfolk and part
of the great Howard clan on her mother's side (she was the cousin
of Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard). Anne's elder sister,
Mary, was the mistress of Henry VIII and most likely the mother of
two of his children. Anne was the reason and motivation of the
break with Rome and the establishment of the Church of England. At
points in her life she was a lady-in-waiting to Margaret of
Austria, Mary Tudor, the Duchess of Suffolk and Katherine of
Aragon. Anne was a great lady in her own right being the Marquess
of Pembroke. Her ancestors include Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey,
the daughter and heiress of Lord Thomas Hoo, Margaret Butler,
co-heiress of the Earl of Ormonde. Anne Boleyn was the last of
Henry's wives to be coroneted as Queen of England. == Anne Boleyn
was the second wife of King Henry VIII, and the mother of Queen
Elizabeth I. She was executed on false charges of adultery that the
King had put against her so he could remarry Anne was not able to
give him a son due to Henry's impotency not to any fault of her
own. Anne promised King Henry a son and failed to give him one, so
she was disposed of. Out of Henry's six wives, his third wife, Jane
Seymour was the only one to give him a son. (One who would die just
before his sixteenth birthday) Jane died of puerperal fever, twelve
days (just one more than the eleven days that Henry and Jane waited
to marry after Anne Boleyn's execution) after the birth of Edward
VI. It is rumoured that King Henry said Anne Boleyn's name just
before he died; she was probably his only true love. 2nd wife of
Henry VIII. Mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Executed in the Tower of
London in 1536. Jane Seymour's son became King Edward VI. Anne
Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, and was
executed on trumped up charges in order to make way for the third
Second wife of Henry VIII and the first one beheaded.
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England.
Henry renounced Catholicism and divorced his first wife, Catherine
of Aragon, in order to marry Anne. He beheaded her after a couple
of years (a thousand days, to be precise).
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. She was
born either in 1501 or 1507 (1501 seems the more likely). She was
brought up at the courts of Margaret of Austria in the Netherlands
and Louis XII of France.
Her father was Thomas Boleyn, and her mother was Elizabeth
Howard, the sister of the third Duke of Norfolk, and the daughter
of the 2nd Duke. She had one surviving sister, Mary, who was the
mistress of both Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, and
one surviving brother, George. George later married Jane Parker,
the daughter of Lord Morley. Mary married twice, to William Carey,
who died of the sweating sickness in 1528, and William Stafford,
whom she married in secret.
On her return to England, she was supposedly involved with Henry
Percy, the heir to the Earl of Northumberland, and Thomas Wyatt,
the famous poet. Her father was involved in negotiations to marry
her to Piers Butler, the heir to the Earl of Ormonde, though these
plans came to nothing. She became involved with Henry VIII around
1525 or 1526.
During this time, Henry VIII was petitioning the Pope for a
divorce from his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, as he believed he
was married to his brother's wife. Henry wanted to marry Anne
Boleyn instead, and hopefully get a son by her. Anne was supposedly
involved in the fall of Henry's chief advisor, Cardinal Thomas
Wolsey, and the rise of his replacement, Thomas Cromwell.
Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in order to
marry Anne. The French alliance was cemented in October 1532 when
Henry and Anne visited Francis I at the French court. This gave
their forthcoming marriage the necessary political approval. Before
going to France, however, Anne had been made Marquess of Pembroke
in her own right. This was to give her status in France to put her
on a more equal stage with both Henry and Francis.
Anne became pregnant towards the end of 1532, and she and Henry
were married sometime in January 1533 (the exact date is a subject
for debate, and some people even believe they were married while in
France). Anne's coronation was held on 1st June 1533 at Westminster
Abbey, and it was designed to outdo Katherine of Aragon's from
1509. Henry needed his people to know that Anne was the true queen
and her future children were the heirs to the English throne. Henry
was devastated when Anne gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, in
September 1533. She wouldn't bear another live child.
Anne definitely miscarried at least once in 1534 and 1535, more
likely twice, and Henry turned his attention to others. It is said
he was unfaithful to her just a few months into their marriage, and
that Anne conspired to have the woman sent away from court. The
most dangerous relationship to Anne was Henry's with Jane Seymour,
who would in fact replace Anne as Queen of England. This
relationship is rumoured to have begun towards the end of 1535 when
Anne was pregnant for the final time.
The death of Katherine of Aragon in January 1536 meant that Anne
should have been no longer contested as Queen. However, she
"miscarried of her saviour" (a baby boy, around 3 1/2 months
gestation according to Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador at
the time) on the same day that Katherine of Aragon was buried at
Peterborough Cathedral. She blamed it on a fall Henry had from his
horse the week before, and also that it pained her so much to see
that he loved another (i.e. Jane Seymour).
Just over three months later Anne was arrested on trumped up
charges of adultery, incest and treason. Four months later she was
dead. Anne was accused of sexual relations with her brother,
George, a musician, Mark Smeaton, and several courtiers - William
Brereton, Francis Weston and Henry Norris. It was rumoured that
Smeaton had been tortured into giving a confession which also
implicated the others. Thomas Wyatt, and another courtier, Richard
Page, were also arrested but never charged or tried.
Anne, her brother, and the four others were all tried and found
guilty and sentenced to death. The men died on 15th May 1536. Anne
on the 19th May 1536. She was the first execution to happen within
the walls of the Tower of London, and she was buried with her
brother in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower
Just seven years later she would be joined by her cousin,
Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth queen, also accused of
adultery and executed, along with Anne's sister-in-law, Jane Boleyn
nee Parker, Lady Rochford.
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII.
She was the daughter of a minor nobleman, Sir Thomas Boleyn
(Grandson of a merchant) and Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the
2nd duke of Norfolk, and she was therefore the sister of Thomas
Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk, who was one of the most powerful men
in the country after the king.
Anne Boleyn served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Claude of
France, and became lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII's first wife
Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had suffered many miscarriages and
Henry wanted a new wife to give him a son.
Henry soon fell in love with Anne but she refused to be his
mistress, and he was determined to marry her, so he broke with the
pope in Rome, and started the church of England, with himself as
the head. With a new church, he was able to marry Anne. Anne soon
gave him a baby girl, the princess Elizabeth, but suffered many
miscarriages following that. Anne was short tempered and argued
with Henry many times.
Soon, Henry fell in love with Anne's lady in waiting Jane
Seymour. Henry called on his chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, to
hatch a plot to get rid of Anne. Anne was accused of adultery with
4 different men, incest with her own brother, plotting to kill the
king, plotting to poison the princess Mary, and of using witchcraft
to enchant the king. Anne and her brother were accused of laughing
at the king's clothes, as they were more stylish than Henry, and
making fun of Henry's poetry. Her 'lovers' were beheaded on 17th
may, and Anne beheaded on the 19th May at the tower of London. All
historians now agree that Anne and the men were innocent.
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII of England, well
known for being the first wife of Henry to be executed by beheading
in the Tower of London, as well as for being the mother of Queen
Elizabeth I. The English Reformation, involving Henry's separating
the Church of England from Rome, was a direct result of Henry's
marriage to Anne. Songs and stories about her execution and alleged
ghostly haunting of both the Tower and other locales are well known
in English and American folklore.
Anne Boleyn came from a noble family. She was the daughter of
Thomas Boleyn, the 1st Earl of Wiltshire and his wife, Elizabeth
Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire. It should be noted that Elizabeth
Boleyn was the daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. This
made Anne the first cousin of Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's 5th
wife - who happened to be the only other wife of Henry VIII
sentenced to death, also by beheading.
The date of Anne Boleyn's birth, as well as that of her other
siblings, has never been determined. Most scholars believe, though,
that it probably occurred in either 1501 or 1507. It is generally
accepted that her sister, Mary, was the older of the two. Mary
Boleyn had been a mistress of Henry VIII prior to his meeting Anne.
Mary also married earlier, being the custom of the time to marry
elder daughters prior to the younger ones. They also had a brother,
George Boleyn, who would have been born around 1504.
Anne's father, Thomas, was a gifted diplomat who had endeared
himself to many other heads of state. It is perhaps through his
good reputation that he was able to get for her an education in the
Netherlands, help her become the regent to Margaret of Austria,
Duchess of Savoy and eventually secure for Anne a position as Maid
of Honour to Claude of France. It should be mentioned that Margaret
of Austria was extremely impressed with Anne and asked Anne to be
part of her household. Anne was well liked in the Netherlands,
Austria and France.
In 1522 while in France, Anne returned from England in order to
marry her Irish cousin, James Butler, 9th Early of Ormond. However,
those marriage plans failed and she was able to get a post as Maid
of Honour to Henry VIII's Queen consort, Catherine of Aragon.
In 1525, Henry had noticed Anne and started actively courting
her. She refused his attempts as she had no intention of becoming
his mistress, as her older sister Mary had done. It became apparent
to Henry that the only way to get Anne - and a male heir to his
throne - would be to annul his marriage to Catherine so he would be
able to marry Anne. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the
marriage, Henry and Anne proceeded to marry on January 25th, 1533.
On May 23, 1533, the Boleyn's family chaplain declared that Henry's
marriage to Catherine was null and void. Five days later he
declared Henry's marriage to Anne was good and valid. This resulted
in Henry's excommunication from Rome. One September 7th, Anne gave
birth to Elizabeth, who would later become Elizabeth I of
Elizabeth's birth did not initially create a problem for Henry.
He insisted that he loved her like a son and was certain other sons
would follow. Unfortunately for Anne, three miscarriages followed
and by March of 1536, Henry was courting Jane Seymour, a woman who
had been a Maid of Honour to both Catherine and Anne. Jane was also
Anne's half second cousin, sharing a great grandmother while
additionally being Henry's fifth cousin three times removed.
In order to marry Jane, Henry had Anne investigated for high
treason. On May 2nd, 1536, Anne was sent to the Tower of London. On
May15th, she was found guilty of high treason with charges
including adultery and incest. May 19th saw her executed by
beheading. She had been queen less than three years.
Her daughter Elizabeth would later become Elizabeth I of
England, ushering in what many would consider to be England's
Golden Age. As queen, Elizabeth had her mother venerated as a
martyr and a heroine of the English Reformation.
To this day, though, certain slanders still exist about Anne
Boleyn, many of which are mistakenly repeated in history books and
textbooks. For example, it has often been repeated that Anne had
six fingers on one hand, jaundiced complexion and an extended tooth
under her upper lip, among other physical deformities. These words,
however, were penned by a Catholic propagandist, who was opposed to
the English Reformation and a half a century after Anne's death.
Her contemporaries felt quite differently. Lancelot de Carles
called her "beautiful with an elegant figure." Other contemporaries
wrote of her being "young, good-looking, of a rather dark
complexion." It is accepted that Anne exerted a rather powerful
charm over those who met her. Even those who found her appearance
too dark and tall reported the beauty of her black eyes.