On this day in history, 9th July 1540, Anne of Cleves went from being Henry VIII's queen consort to being his "right dear and right entirely beloved sister" after their marriage was annulled.
Why was their marriage annulled? How did Anne of Cleves react to the news? What happened to her and Henry VIII afterwards?
I explain the situation in today's talk.
Also on this day in history:
- 1539 – Execution of Sir Adrian Fortescue, courtier and landowner, on Tower Hill. He was condemned for treason by act of attainder, but it is not known what he had done to deserve this. He was beatified in 1895 as a martyr, but historian Richard Rex points out that he is unlikely to have opposed Henry VIII's supremacy because he was a cousin of Anne Boleyn.
- 1553 – Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, preached at St Paul’s Cross denouncing Henry VIII’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, as bastards. The congregation were “sore annoyed with his words”.
- 1553 – The Duke of Northumberland officially informed Lady Jane Grey of Edward VI’s death in front of the Council and nobles, going on to explain the terms of Edward’s will which named Lady Jane Grey as the heir to the throne. Lady Jane Grey accepted that she was Queen.
- 1553 – Mary (future Mary I) wrote to the Privy Council stating her claim to the throne and demanding their allegiance.
- 1575 (9th-27th) – Elizabeth I was entertained at Kenilworth Castle by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. It was a special visit in that it lasted nineteen days and was the longest stay at a courtier’s house in any of her royal progresses.
- 1586 – Death of Edward Sutton, 4th Baron Dudley, soldier and landowner, at Westminster. He was buried in St Margaret's, Westminster. Sutton served as a soldier in Henry VIII's reign in Ireland and Boulogne, and in Edward VI's reign against the Scots. He was made a Knight of the Bath at Mary I's coronation, and then given Lordship of Dudley Castle, where he entertained Elizabeth I in 1575.
Item: King incapable in bed. King blames wife for him being incapable in bed. Item. King chases young woman with whom he is not incapable in bed. King annulment granted to allow him to marry again and definitely be capable in bed.
King makes up a tale to explain why he wasn’t capable in bed and again blames poor wife for his own problems.
Thankfully for incapable King said Queen agrees for the package of several houses and palaces and a load of cash.
Here’s a glass to Anne of Cleves the wisest of Henry Viii’s six wives.