Henry Tudor + Anne … Of Cleves
Family Group Information
|Marriage|| 6 January 1540|
At this time, Henry wished to marry once again to ensure the succession. Cromwell, now Earl of Essex, suggested Anne, the sister of the Duke of Cleves, who was seen as an important ally in case of a Roman Catholic attack on England, for the duke fell between Lutheranism and Catholicism. Hans Holbein the Younger was dispatched to Cleves to paint a portrait of Anne for the king. Despite speculation that Holbein painted her in an overly flattering light, it is more likely that the portrait was accurate; Holbein remained in favour at court. After regarding Holbein's portrayal, and urged by the complimentary description of Anne given by his courtiers, the king agreed to wed Anne. On Anne's arrival in England, Henry is said to have found her unattractive, privately calling her a "Flanders Mare". Henry wished to annul the marriage so he could marry another. The Duke of Cleves had become engaged in a dispute with the Holy Roman Emperor, with whom Henry had no desire to quarrel. Anne did not argue, and confirmed that the marriage had never been consummated. Henry was said to have come into the room each night and merely kissed his new bride on the forehead before retiring. The subject of Anne's previous marriage arrangements with the Duke of Lorraine's son eventually provided for the answer, one complicated enough that the remaining impediments to an annulment were thus removed. The marriage was subsequently dissolved and Anne received the title of "The King's Sister", two houses and a generous allowance. Cromwell, meanwhile, fell out of favour although it is unclear exactly why, for there is little evidence of differences of domestic or foreign policy; despite his role, he was not officially accused of being responsible for Henry's failed marriage. He was subsequently attainted and beheaded. Cromwell had been amongst enemies at court and the failure of the marriage to Anne allowed Cromwell's greatest rival, the Duke of Norfolk, to offer up his niece – Catherine Howard to the king. Charges of treason, selling export licences, granting passports, and drawing up commissions without permission were all laid at Cromwell's table, and may have been accompanied with blame for the Cleves failure, and the failure of the foreign policy it accompanied. The office of Vicegerent in Spirituals, which had been specifically created for him, was not filled. Shortly after, the religious reformers Robert Barnes, William Jerome and Thomas Garret were burned as heretics, innocent of the crime attributed to them.
|Last change|| 9 September 2012 - 20:15:54|