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Anne Boleyn

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Anne Boleyn

Portrait of Anne Boleyn by an unknown artist, 1525.

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This profile of Anne Boleyn is part of
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Anne Boleyn was also known as:

Anne Bullen

Anne Boleyn was noted for:

Captivating King Henry VIII, whose desire to divorce his wife and marry her would lead to the English Reformation.

Occupations & Roles in Society:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

    Born: c. 1502
    Married Henry: Jan. 25, 1533
    Executed: May 19, 1536

Quotation from Anne Boleyn:

    "I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."
    -- From Anne's speech on the scaffold, moments before her execution

About Anne Boleyn:

Little is known about Anne's childhood. She spent some years in France in the service of the French queens, then returned to England by 1522 at about age 20.

At the English court, Anne attracted many admirers. She fell in love with Lord Henry Percy, but Cardinal Wolsey would not allow him to break his prior engagement to marry her. For this, she never forgave Wolsey. It has been suggested that he broke up her romance on the orders of the king, but there is no real evidence for this. However, Henry did fall in love with Anne himself, though exactly when she first attracted his attention is uncertain.

Anne was unwilling to become just another in a long line of Henry's mistresses. She held out for marriage, in all likelihood recognizing the opportunity that Catherine's failure to produce a male heir provided her. Captivated by Anne's charms, Henry set out to divorce Catherine, and Anne awaited her accession as the next queen and, she hoped, the mother of the next king.

After years of fruitless negotiations and high drama, including the downfall of Wolsey and the poor treatment of the ever-stalwart Catherine, Henry broke with the Catholic Church in order to get his divorce.

Henry married Anne in 1533, but their first child was a daughter, Elizabeth. Anne suffered a miscarriage in 1534 and delivered a stillborn son in January of 1536. Never popular with the people, and testing Henry's patience with her failure to produce a male heir, Anne behaved arrogantly and grew hated at court. The king tired of her quickly, and in May of 1536, he charged her with adultery and sent her to the Tower of London. Though unanimously convicted by a court of peers, Anne was very likely innocent of all charges.

Nevertheless, Anne Boleyn was beheaded on May 19, 1536.

More Anne Boleyn Resources

The Tudor Dynasty: A History in Portraits
Encyclopedia Article about Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn in Print
Anne Boleyn on the Web

Anne Boleyn on Video

The link below will take you to a site where you can compare prices at merchants across the web. More in-depth info about the film may be found by clicking on to the video's page at one of the online merchants.

    Anne of the Thousand Days
    Intense drama covers Anne's romance, marriage and downfall. Geneviève Bujold is quite effective as Anne, and Richard Burton is a powerful Henry. Nominated for ten Academy Awards®.
Medieval & Renaissance Monarchs of England
Medieval Britain
Women and Gender Issues


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