1501 - 1536 (35 years)
||Anne Boleyne, Queen of England |
||Blicking Hall, Aylsham, Norfolk, England
||Crowned as Queen
||19 May 1536
||Executed - beheaded on the Tower Green
||16 May 2005 |
||Henry VIII, King of England, b. 28 Jun 1491, Palace at Greenwich, London, England , d. 28 Jan 1547 (Age 55 years) |
||25 Jan 1533
||married, in secret at York Place, renamed Whitehall PalaceEngland
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- Queen of England
Lady Marquess of Pembroke
nne Boleyn was probably born in 1500 or 1501. Her father was an English diplomat and her mother was the daughter of an earl. When Anne was around 12 she became a maid of honor to Margaret of Austria, the regent of the Netherlands. A year and a half later she moved to the French court, where she served Henry VIII's sister Mary, who had married the king of France. King Louis soon died and Mary returned to England, but Anne stayed in France as maid of honor to the new queen, Claude.
In 1522 Anne returned to England and went to live at King Henry's court as a member of Queen Catherine's household. There she became secretly betrothed to a young courtier, Henry Percy - secretly because Percy was already promised to another woman, and his family would not approve of his marrying Anne Boleyn. But the lord chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, heard of the engagement and alerted the king, who told Wolsey to end the relationship. Wolsey did just that, lecturing Percy for becoming involved with a "foolish girl" and summoning Percy's father, who forbade him to see Anne again. Percy was forced to marry the bride his father had chosen for him, and Anne never forgave Wolsey.
Anne was banished from the royal court after the abrupt ending of her romance with Percy and did not return until 1524 or 1525. In 1526 Henry began to pursue Anne openly. But Anne refused to become his mistress, saying, "I would rather lose my life than my honesty."
Bewitched by Anne's sparkling black eyes, long dark hair and vivacious personality, the king began scheming to end his marriage to Catherine. He claimed that it had never really been a marriage because she had been his brother's wife. Catherine insisted that her first marriage didn't count because it hadn't been consummated, and church authorities agreed. For years Henry struggled unsuccessfully to have his marriage annulled. In the end, determined to have his way, he broke free of the Catholic Church, established the Church of England, banished Catherine from court, had his first marriage declared invalid, and married Anne Boleyn.
ueen Anne was crowned in June of 1533. Later that year she gave birth to her only surviving child, Princess Elizabeth. The years of waiting had been hard on Anne. She was in her thirties now, moody and sharp tongued, and Henry was falling out of love with her. She had friends at court, but also many enemies. She had brought about the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, who died in 1530, and she also plotted against Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary.
Catherine died on January 7, 1536, and Anne rejoiced. She was pregnant again, and if she gave birth to a healthy son her position as queen would be secure. But Anne had a miscarriage. According to one story, it happened because she became hysterical after finding one of her maids of honor, Jane Seymour, sitting on the king's knee on the day of Catherine's funeral. Anne herself is said to have blamed her miscarriage on her panic after the king fell from his horse during a joust and was knocked unconscious. Whatever the cause, the baby was lost, and Anne was doomed. "She has miscarried of her savior," the Spanish ambassador wrote.
In May Anne was arrested and charged with having affairs with five men, including her own brother George. The charges were false, but Anne and all of the men were convicted and sentenced to death. On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn was beheaded. And on May 30 Henry VIII married his third wife . . .