The Tudor Society
  • Anne of Cleves – Heather R Darsie – Expert Talk

    In this month’s expert talk, Heather R Darsie, author of “Anna, Duchess of Cleves”, looks at what Anne of Cleves’ early life in Germany was like.

    Join Heather in the Tudor Society chatroom for a live Q&A session on Anne of Cleves on 23rd January.

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  • 11 December – A lavish reception for Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 11th December 1539, Anne of Cleves and her retinue were received at Gravelines, just a few miles outside of Calais, by Lord Lisle, Deputy of Calais.

    Anne of Cleves was on her way to England to marry King Henry VIII, but her journey had been rather slow and she was about to be delayed even more.

    The reception was rather lavish, with everyone dressed up to the nines. Enjoy a contemporary description from a Tudor chronicler in today’s talk.

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  • 4 September – A marriage is agreed between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

    On this day in Tudor history, 4th September 1539, William, Duke of Cleves, signed the marriage treaty promising his sister, Anne of Cleves, in marriage to King Henry VIII.

    Anne would of course become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out all about the marriage agreement and its terms, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 16 July – The death of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    On this day in Tudor history, 16th July 1557, forty-one-year-old Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, died at her home, Chelsea Old Manor. She’d been ill for a few months.

    Anne of Cleves was a warm and generous lady, something which is shown in her last wishes with the bequests to her household, friends and stepdaughters.

    Find out more about her bequests and her funeral arrangements in today’s talk.

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  • 20 June – Anne of Cleves is cross about Catherine Howard

    On this day in Tudor history, 20th June 1540, Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Queen Anne of Cleves, complained to her advisor about her husband’s interest in one of her maids of honour, a certain Catherine Howard. What was going on and what happened next?

    Find out more about the final weeks of Henry VIII’s and Anne of Cleves’ marriage in today’s talk.

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  • 28 April – A man involved in the falls of two queens

    On this day in Tudor history, 28th April 1548 (some sources say 6 May), courtier, diplomat, soldier and Keeper of Oatlands Palace, Sir Anthony Browne, died at Byfleet in Surrey. He had been one of Henry VIII’s most important and richest courtiers and was also involved in the falls of two queens: Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves.

    Find out more about this man and how he was involved in the falls of the two Annes in today’s talk.

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  • 1 January – Henry VIII’s disastrous meeting with Anne of Cleves

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history talk”, Claire Ridgway, author of several Tudor history books, puts you out of your misery from the cliffhanger she left you with on 27th December, by telling you all about Henry VIII’s first meeting with his bride-to-be, Anne of Cleves, on 1st January 1540.

    This meeting between King Henry VIII and the woman who would soon become his fourth wife, was a bit of a disaster, but exactly how much of a disaster was it? The accounts differ and in the video I share two slightly different contemporary accounts, one given in a chronicle and one shared in the annulment proceedings a few months later in 1540.

    What happened on New Year’s Day 1540 at Rochester? Find out all about Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves’ first meeting in today’s talk.

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  • 27 December – Anne of Cleves arrives in England

    On this day in Tudor history, 27th December 1539, Anne of Cleves landed at Deal in Kent in preparation for her forthcoming marriage to King Henry VIII. Anne of Cleves would be King Henry VIII’s fourth wife.

    Find out more about her journey, the background to it, and what happened next, in today’s talk.

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  • 22 September – Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    This day in Tudor history, 22nd September 1515, is the traditional birthdate of Anne of Cleves, or Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg, a woman who would become King Henry VIII’s fourth wife and queen consort, but only for six months!

    She may have only been queen for six months, but Anne of Cleves outlived Henry and all of his wives, and seems to have had a very good life.

    Find out more about her and how she came to be Henry VIII’s queen in today’s talk.

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  • The extraordinary story of the Anne of Cleves Panels – Sarah Morris – Expert Talk

    We are thrilled to have Sarah Morris with us this month as our guest expert. Sarah talks about the Anne of Cleves panels and that fact turned out to be stranger than fiction … enjoy!

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  • 9 July – Anne of Cleves, “right entirely beloved sister”

    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.

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  • Claire Chats – Anne of Cleves Books

    I’ve recently started researching Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, and as well as using contemporary sources, such as Tudor chronicles, ambassadors’ dispatches etc., I also look at secondary sources to see what other historians say about the person and to look at the sources they rely on. I love these research journeys and the different tangents and branches I end up following.

    I thought it would be useful to Tudor Society members if I shared some of the books that I have found useful or have bought and will be using for my research into Anne and her life, so here you are!

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  • 6 January

    Happy Epiphany! In today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video, I talk about the wedding of Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII, an event that took place on this day in 1540.

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  • The will and funeral of Anne of Cleves

    Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, died on 16th July 1557 and was buried on 4th August 1557 at Westminster Abbey.

    While I was looking for some information on her funeral, I found a wonderful resource, Samuel Bentley’s Excerpta historica, which not only has a detailed account of Anne of Cleves’ funeral, but also has a transcript of her will.

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 3: 1540 – 1557

    In today’s Claire Chats, I finish our series on Anne of Cleves by looking at her life following the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII until her death in July 1557.

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 2: Her marriage to Henry VIII and its annulment

    In today’s Claire Chat’s video talk, I look at Anne of Cleves’ marriage to Henry VIII and what happened between 6th January 1540, her wedding day, and 28th July 1540 when Henry VIII married Catherine Howard, his fifth wife.

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  • Anne of Cleves Part 1 – September 1539 to 6 January 1540.

    As tomorrow is the anniversary of Henry VIII’s fourth marriage, his marriage to Anne of Cleves, I thought I’d start a series of Claire Chats video talks on the marriage.

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  • Quiz – Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII, but how much do you actually know about her? Test your knowledge and have some fun with our Sunday quiz on Anne – good luck!

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  • Happy birthday to Anne of Cleves

    As today is the anniversary of the birth of Anne of Cleves on 22nd September 1515, I thought it was fitting to share some links to Anne of Cleves resources here on the Tudor Society site and to also share some recommendations for further reading.

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  • Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of Henry VIII

    Today is the anniversary of the death of Anne of Cleves and to mark the occasion Claire looks at some texts associated with her.

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  • Anne of Cleves wordsearch

    As today is the anniversary of the annulment of the marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves on 9th July 1540, I thought we would mark the occasion with an Anne of Cleves wordsearch as our Sunday fun.

    Print it out, grab a drink and snack, and have a few minutes fun. It’s not too hard, I promise!

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  • Anne of Cleves

    Anne of Cleves was born on 22nd September 1515 in Dusseldorf to John III, Duke of Cleves, and his wife, Maria. Like Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon, Anne was born into a highly influential and politically active family. Her sister Sybille was married to the Elector of Saxony, and her brother, Wilhelm, became the future Duke of Cleves-Burg, and would be instrumental in negotiations regarding her future marriage.

    Anne was born during the volatile reformation period, resulting in reforms against traditionalist Catholicism, which was spreading through western and northern Europe. Her mother has been described as a conservative Catholic, however, her sister Sybille’s husband was a renowned Lutheran, often given the epithet ‘champion of the reformation’, and a good friend of its founder, Martin Luther. Anne was originally intended to be married into the House of Lorraine when she was eleven in 1527. There were numerous negotiations regarding the union, but nothing was cemented, and by 1535 all official wedding discussions had essentially been rejected, leaving the desirable duke’s daughter available on the European marriage market. Henry VIII and his council were searching for a new wife after the death of Queen Jane Seymour in 1536, with rumours of a possible union with the Duchess of Milan. The French had aligned themselves to the Habsburgs and signed a ten-year truce in 1538 (although this never lasted), cementing a union between Europe’s two major Catholic powerhouses. Cromwell, Henry’s leading minister at the time, suggested a counter alliance with a Lutheran house in Germany, even though Anne’s family were relatively mild in their reformist views. Cromwell was aware that England was potentially vulnerable to a Franco-Habsburg invasion, and influenced the king that negotiating with the newly appointed Duke Wilhelm (Anne’s father had died in 1539) would be a successful diplomatic adventure, that would ensure the prosperity of England against foreign invasion.

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  • June 2017 Tudor Life Magazine – Anne of Cleves

    The full edition of our giant 62-page June edition of Tudor Life Magazine. It’s a fantastic look into Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

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  • Anne of Cleves – If by land or by sea

    Thank you so much to our regular contributor, Heather R. Darsie, for writing this article on Anne of Cleves for us. Heather is working on a biography of Anne at the moment and is researching her using the German archives.

    Anna von Kleve, known to English speakers as Anne of Cleves, left her homeland in December 1539 to join her new husband, Henry VIII of England. The two had been married by proxy a couple of months earlier, in October. After Henry successfully negotiated the marriage alliance with Anna’s younger brother Wilhelm, Duke of Cleves since early 1538, there was the simple matter of getting Anna to England. But which way to take, a sea route or over land? Both options would take Anna through Imperial and French territory, which was no small matter at the time.

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  • Anne of Cleves Quiz

    Today’s quiz is on Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife – good luck!

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  • The Cousins of Cleves by Heather R. Darsie

    Anna von Kleve, from the line of von der Marck (Germanic) or LaMarck (Francophone), fourth wife of Henry VIII and most commonly known as Anne of Cleves, is known to have shared the lineage of King Edward I of England with Henry’s other five wives. While an interesting anecdote, Edward I, or Edward Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots, died in 1307. In 1539, when Anna came to England to be Henry’s queen, she had many well-known powerful relations, distant though they were. Below, we will go through the genealogy of some of Anna’s royal connections.

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  • 22 September 1515 – Birth of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife

    On this day in history, 22nd September 1515, Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg, or Anne of Cleves as we know her, was born near Düsseldorf. She was the second daughter of John III, Duke of Jülich, Cleves and Berg, an important German ruler, and his wife, Maria of Jülich-Berg.

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  • The Annes of Cleves, Part II: 1541 to 1632 by Heather R. Darsie

    For Part II of the Annes of Cleves, we’ll learn a little bit more about Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves; her niece, Anna of Cleves; and Anna, Duchess of Cleves. Throughout the article, I will address them as Anne, Anna of Cleves, and the Duchess, so as to help in understanding who is who.

    Anne of Cleves, born in 1515 in Germanic territories of the Holy Roman Empire, married Henry VIII of England in 1540. Her marriage to the King lasted only about six months before he divorced her. Due to Anne’s congeniality, Henry settled a good income and several properties on Anne. She remained in England until her death in 1557, where she enjoyed a relationship with Mary I of England, who was only six months Anne’s junior, and with Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth and Anne rode together in the chariot just after Mary I’s during Mary’s triumphant ride through London as the new queen. Sadly, Anne passed away just over a year before her other stepdaughter, Elizabeth I, become queen.

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  • The Annes of Cleves: Part I, 1435 to 1540 by Heather R. Darsie

    The name “Anne of Cleves” conjures up thoughts of Henry VIII’s allegedly unattractive, unfashionable fourth wife. However, over the span of almost 200 years, there were five women known as “Anne of Cleves”. First, we will meet Anne of Burgundy, who by marriage became an Anne of Cleves. For purposes of this article, we will refer to her as “van Kleef.” Next, we will meet the daughter of Johann II of Cleves, aunt to the famous Henry VIII’s fourth wife. We will call her “von Cleve” throughout this article. Finally, we will quickly look into the early life of Anne of Cleves, the most well-known to the English-speaking world.

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  • Anne of Cleves Quiz

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Anne of Cleves on 16th July 1557, so I thought it would be good to mark the occasion with an Anne of Cleves themed quiz. How much do you know about this Tudor queen consort? Test yourself with this fun quiz.

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