Biographies

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn is considered one of the most famous queens in England's history, although she ruled for only three years. She is known as one of the most divisive figures in British history. Her love affair with Henry VIII and her subsequent execution in the Tower of London after very few years of marriage, have inspired dozens of books and films.

Anne Boleyn

Personal information

  • When she was born: 1501
  • Where she was born: Blickling, England
  • When she died: 19/05/1536
  • Where she died: London, England

Who was Anne Boleyn?

English noblewoman and queen of England after marrying Henry VIII, which led to the rupture of English monarchy through Roman Catholicism and the founding of the Anglican Church.

Anne Boleyn biography

Anne Boleyn was born around 1501, in England. She was daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard. After living in France for some time during her youth, Anne returned to England in 1522 and soon established a residence at the court of King Henry VIII as the maid of honor of Catherine of Aragon, the queen consort of Henry VIII at that time.

By mid-1520, she had become one of the court’s most admired ladies, attracting the attention of many men, including Henry Percy. When Henry VIII learned of Lord Henry Percy’s desired marriage to Anne, he ordered the marriage not be performed and fell in love with the young maiden.

Henry was desperate to marry Anne, so he came up with a way to officially abandon his marriage to Catherine. In his petition to the Pope for his annulment, he quoted an extract from the Book of Leviticus which states that a man who takes his brother’s wife will remain childless and stated that he and Catherine (who was his brother’s widow) would never have a child because their marriage was a condemnation in God’s eyes.

After a six-year debate Anne discovered that she was pregnant and without the Pope’s blessing, on January 25, 1533, Henry and Anne quickly married in a secret ceremony becoming in the second wife of King Henry VIII.

Her popularity as a religious reformer ran across Europe, and she was exalted as a heroine by Protestant figures; so much that even Martin Luther saw her reign as a good sign. He also saved the life of the French reformer Nicholas Bourbon, who was condemned to death by the French Inquisition.

After Anne gave birth to a dead boy in January 1536, Henry VIII decided it was time to begin his legacy. He quickly decided on Jeanne Seymour as his future wife and sought his marriage annulment with Anne. He then arrested Anne in London Tower under several false charges, including adultery, incest and conspiracy. Thomas Cromwell, the king’s prime minister and Anne’s former friend, were supposed to have planned her downfall. She was executed by decapitation on May 19, 1536, and her daughter, Elizabeth, emerged as one of England’s best queens.

Descendants of Anne Boleyn

Because of Henry’s desire to have a child, Anne is estimated to have had more than three pregnancies, which ended in miscarriages, the sex of the children could not be determined. Reliable sources certify Isabel’s birth in September 1533, an abortion in the summer of 1534, and the abortion of a male fetus, approximately four and a half months gestation, in January 1536.

Importance

Its importance lies in the participation and influence it exerted within Anglicanism and in the religious influence on the king. She was intelligent and approached her husband to Protestant ideas in order to achieve her goals. It can be assured by history, that Anne Boleyn was a key figure for the birth and consolidation of Anglicanism.

Acknowledgements

There are no registered acknowledgements of Anne Boleyn yet.

Anne Boleyn in popular culture

Several films have been produced taking the story of Anne Boleyn, among them we mention:

Among the books that have also been written narrating her story, we can find:

Phrases

Among her most famous phrases we find:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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