Queen of England (1533-1536)
Anne Boleyn Boleyn is also spelled Bullen (born 1507 - died 19 May 1536, London, England), second wife of King Henry VIII from England and the queen's mother Elizabeth I . The events surrounding the annul of Henry's marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Ana, led him to break with Roman Catholic Church and caused the Reform English .
Anne's father was Sir Thomas Boleyn, later Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde. After spending part of her childhood in France, she returned to England in 1522 and lived at Henry's court and attracted many admirers. A desired marriage to Lord Henry Percy was prevented by Henry's order by the Cardinal Wolsey And at some undetermined moment the king himself fell in love with her.
In 1527, Henry began a secret process to obtain an annulment from his wife, the elderly Catherine of Aragon; his ultimate goal was to beget an heir legitimate to the throne. For six years, the pope Clement VII under pressure from Henrique's rival, Carlos V , refused to grant the annulment mainly because she was Spanish and therefore power could be divided between these nations, but all the time Henry's passion for Anne strengthened his determination to get rid of the queen. Around 25 January 1533, Henry and Anne were secretly married. The union was made public at the Easter of that year, and on May 23, Henry received the Archbishop of Canterbury , Thomas Cranmerto declare her marriage to Catherine null and void. In September, Anne gave birth to a daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I. The behaviour arrogant of Anne soon made her unpopular in court. Although Henry lost interest in her and began links with other women, the birth of a child may have saved the marriage. Anne had a spontaneous abortion in 1534 and in January 1536 she gave birth to a stillborn son. On May 2, 1536, Henry committed her to the Tower of London on the charge of adultery with several men and even incest with her own brother. She was tried by a court of peers, unanimously convicted and beheaded on May 19. On May 30, Henry married Jane Seymour . It is unlikely that Anne was guilty of the charge; she was the apparent victim of a temporary faction of the court supported by Thomas Cromwell .
There is much curiosity about what happened to the items belonging to Anne after her death. Mainly about the famous pearl necklace with the letter "B" of Boleyn, which she wore with such pride.
Today, unfortunately, it is difficult to define clearly what happened to her jewellery and clothes, or any other object she wore; but there is a clue in Antonia Fraser's book The Six Women of Henry VIII. In the chapter devoted to Catherine Parr, she writes:
"In addition to the clothes she commissioned, Queen Catherine inherited a vast collection of dresses from the late Queen Catherine Howard, stored in Baynard Castle (the traditional wardrobe-deposit of the Queen Consort). This, which to us may seem macabre, was actually a perfectly practical move in the 16th century, when rich robes were quite valuable."
So with this quote we realise that queens often wore dresses of their predecessors and no one was shocked. As much as it might have been strange to wear a dress from a queen who was beheaded, it was normal. In other words, it is possible that Anne Boleyn's clothes became the property of Jane Seymour, who married Henry 11 days after the execution of his second wife. It is possible that Jane did not wear them, as Anne loved French fashion, which highlighted her attractiveness and sensuality, while Jane was known for her 'raw' approach to dress.
If Anne's clothes were kept, it is possible that other wives of Henry inherited them. But there is also another version - after Anne was beheaded, Henry ordered all images of her to be destroyed, and also to get rid of her clothes.
And what about Anne's jewellery? The characteristic necklace with the letter "B", as well as a brooch with the initials "AB", a necklace with the letter "A" was given to her daughter, Elizabeth. The other jewels must have been given to the other queens or sold. According to Alison Weir, Anne's pearl necklace currently adorns the crown of Queen Elizabeth II, but there is no confirmation of this information.
Interestingly, in a portrait depicting Henry VIII's family at Hampton Court, we see Elizabeth Tudor wearing a necklace with the letter "A". We can only imagine the reasons she wore the necklace: as a memento of her mother? Or perhaps a more symbolic meaning: to point out that Elizabeth is the fruit of Anne's betrayal? Or a tribute to Henry's second wife?
It was also customary to 'remake' the pieces for the next Tudor sovereign. Catherine, for example, had her jewels stripped for Henry to give to Anne when she became queen and this obviously did not please her, and she responded by saying that it would be a sin for her jewels to adorn 'the scandal of Christendom'.
Some items belonging to Anne Boleyn are preserved to this day:
|Coin of 1534 - the only surviving coin, which shows Ana, but is badly damaged.
|Clock that Henry gave to Anne, with the inscription "Dieu et droit seg" (God and my right) and its motto "The Most Happy".
|Book of Hours: one of them is in the British Library, two others in Hever Castle.
|Ring, belonging to Elizabeth, showing a miniature of her and Anne.
The violence of Henry VIII's passion for his wife's maid of honour is evidenced by the string of love letters he wrote to her. They are all handwritten. Indeed, their very existence is evidence of passion, for the king had a great dislike of writing letters, and very few other handwritten missives of his remain, with the exception of notes addressed to Wolsey.
In all, there are 17 letters; none of them is dated. Although various internal references help to place the letters in some sort of order, this can only be approximate. Nine are written in French, probably as a security measure, as few Englishmen enjoyed the fluency in that language that Anne and Henry possessed. The king's letters mysteriously ended up in the Vatican Library in Rome, where they appeared in the late 17th century and are still found today. Anne Boleyn's replies have completely disappeared. No doubt - again for security reasons - the king destroyed them.
Strangely, Henry repurchased from Thomas Trappers a gold cup "with a Queen Anne sapphire on top of the cup and with other jewels of hers inside". Ives says that Henry also kept with him a gold jewel, bearing the letters "HA "with small emeralds, pearls and a diamond.
This raises the question of why Henry repurchased jewellery from Anne, was he trying to relive what was lost? Did he want to remember her, the passion and love they once shared? Did he have some good memories of their time together and wanted a physical connection to it? Did he feel any guilt about the manner of her death? Did Ana still have a place in his heart after all that had happened? Or did he simply enjoy those pieces?
FRASER, Antonia. The Six Women of Henry VIII. Translation by Luiz Carlos Do Nascimento E Silva. 2nd edition. Rio de Janeiro: BestBolso, 2010.