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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Anne Boleyn: Selected full-text books and articles

Henry the Eighth By Francis Hackett Dorace Liberight, 1929
FREE! The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon: The Story as Told by the Imperial Ambassadors Resident at the Court of Henry VIII By 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 By Conrad Russell Oxford University Press, 1971
Librarian's tip: Includes a section on Anne Boleyn
English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors By Christopher Haigh Clarendon Press, 1993
Librarian's tip: Includes "Politics and Parliament"
The Earlier Tudors, 1485-1558 By 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 By John Cannon Oxford University Press, 1997
Marrying for Love the Experience of Edward IV and Henry VIII By Ives, Eric History Today, Vol. 50, No. 12, December 2000
Henry VIII and the Reformation By H. Maynard Smith MacMillan, 1948
Librarian's tip: Includes "Anne Boleyn 1527-1536"
Anne of the Thousand Days By Maxwell Anderson William Sloane, 1948
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.