Official Blog of Author MICHAEL THOMAS BARRY.
A blog which discusses varied topics that are related to the authors many books. Michael is a columnist for CrimeMagazine.com and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.
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Sunday, January 6, 2013
Henry VIII Marries Anne of Cleves - 1540
On January 6, 1540, King Henry VIII of England marries
Anne of Cleves at the royal palace of Placentia in Greenich, London. Anne was the
fourth wife of King Henry VIII; it was a very brief marriage, to the
astonishment of all observers but the relief of both spouses. Henry infamously
referred to his bride as a 'Flanders mare' and told courtiers and ambassadors
that he could not perform his husbandly duties because of Anne's appearance.
Anne's reaction to Henry's physical charms was not recorded, but she agreed to
an annulment very quickly and remained in England for the rest of her life.
Henry was grateful for her cooperation and granted her a generous income and
several homes, including Hever Castle. Anne enjoyed an independent lifestyle
denied most women, often visiting Henry's court as an honored guest. Her
fondness for English ale and gambling were her only vices. Along with her
successor as Henry's wife, Catherine Howard, Anne remains a mysterious figure
about who too little is known. Had she and Henry remained married and had
children, the course of English history might have changed dramatically. But
the mysteries of physical attraction denied Anne her place on the throne, ended
the brilliant career of Thomas Cromwell, and thrust the king into the arms of
his ill-fated fifth queen, Catherine Howard. Anne died at Chelsea Old Manor on July 16, 1557, eight weeks
before her forty-second birthday. The cause of her death was most likely to
have been cancer. She was buried in Westminster Abbey on August 3rd, in what
has been described as a "somewhat hard to find tomb" on the opposite
side of Edward the Confessor’s shrine and slightly above eye level for a person
of average height. She is the only wife of Henry VIII to be buried in the
Abbey. She also has the distinction of being the last of Henry VIII's wives to
die (she outlived Henry's last wife, Catherine Parr, by 9 years).
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Royal Tombs: A
Guide to the Lives and Burial Places of British Monarchs. The book can
be purchased from Amazon through the following links: