Anne Boleyn

Henry Gets Rid of A Problem

Henry had a problem. After almost twenty years of marriage to his wife, Katherine, he still had no sons. Out of nine pregnancies, only one child had lived, and she was girl, for pete's sake! Believing that God was showing his divine displeasure at their marriage, he asked the Pope for an annulment of his marriage to Katherine. The Pope refused. In 1532, Henry VII took matters into his own hands by declaring the church in England seperate from the church in Rome, effectively taking power away from Vatican. Free of Rome, Henry had his own clergy renounce his marriage to Katherine. He and Anne Boleyn were married in 1533, with Anne already pregnant with Henry's longed for heir.

Problem Number 2

Henry had already decided before the child was born that the baby would be named either Henry or Edward. However, the baby turned out to be a daughter. Henry was greatly disappointed, as was Anne. Anne had at least one more child, a male who was born dead on the same day Anne's nemesis, Katherine of Aragon, was buried. The termination of that pregnancy resulted in her death.

The Downfall of Anne

Henry wanted Anne out of the way, and he wanted her out of the way quickly and permanently. In May of 1563, Anne was arrested with five men, one of whom was her brother, George, and taken to the Tower of London. She was charged with adultery, incest, 'despising her mariage' and 'entertaining malice against the king' (Plowden 74). She and the other men, accused as her lovers, were also charged with plotting the king's muder. There is no proof whatsoever than any of these charges were true. Anne herself denied all charges, but it didn't matter. She was convicted and sentenced to burning or beheading 'at the king's pleasure.' Henry was enough of a big fuzzy teddy bear to allow the woman he had pursued relentlessly for years the decency of a beheading by sword, which was considered much more quicl and accurate than the sometimes clumsy axe. The five men charged with her were executed on 17 May, and two days later Anne herself was executed.


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