Anne Boleyn

Boleyn, Anne

Anne Boleyn (bŏŏl´Ĭn, bŏŏlĬn´), 1507?–1536, second queen consort of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, later earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde, and on her mother's side she was related to the Howard family. After spending some years in France, she was introduced to the English court in 1522. Soon Henry, who had already enjoyed the favors of her older sister, fell in love with Anne. Unlike her sister, however, Anne refused to become his mistress, and this fact, coupled with Henry's desire for a male heir, led the king to begin divorce proceedings against Katharine of Aragón in 1527. In 1532 Anne finally yielded to the king, and the resulting pregnancy hastened a secret marriage (Jan., 1533) and the final annulment (May) by Archbishop Cranmer of Henry's previous marriage. Anne was crowned queen on June 1. Her delivery of a daughter (Elizabeth), in Sept., 1533, bitterly disappointed Henry. In 1536, after the miscarriage of a son, Anne was brought to trial on multiple charges of adultery, including incest with her brother, accusations that have been disputed ever since. Under great pressure, a court headed by her uncle Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, condemned her, and she was beheaded. Two days before her death her marriage was declared void by the Church of England.

See the often published love letters of Henry VIII; biographes by M. L. Bruce (1972), C. Erickson (1984), and E. W. Ives (1986); W. S. Pakenham-Walsh, A Tudor Story (1963); M. H. Albert, The Divorce (1965); A. Weir, The Lady in the Tower (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England: Retha Warnicke Unravels the Evidence on the Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Second Wife. (Profiles in Power)
Warnicke, Retha.
History Review, March 2002
Henry the Eighth
Francis Hackett.
Dorace Liberight, 1929
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII
Karen Lindsey.
Perseus Books, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes "The Great Whore"
FREE! The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon: The Story as Told by the Imperial Ambassadors Resident at the Court of Henry VIII
J. A. Froude.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891
Librarian’s tip: Includes a section on Anne Boleyn
The Crisis of Parliaments: English History, 1509-1660
Conrad Russell.
Oxford University Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Includes a section on Anne Boleyn
English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors
Christopher Haigh.
Clarendon Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Politics and Parliament"
The Earlier Tudors, 1485-1558
J. D. Mackie.
Clarendon Press, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Henry in Love with Anne Boley" and "The Fall of Anne Boleyn"
The Oxford Companion to British History
John Cannon.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Marrying for Love the Experience of Edward IV and Henry VIII
Ives, Eric.
History Today, Vol. 50, No. 12, December 2000
Henry VIII and the Reformation
H. Maynard Smith.
MacMillan, 1948
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Anne Boleyn 1527-1536"
Anne of the Thousand Days
Maxwell Anderson.
William Sloane, 1948
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