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|[[Image:[]|210px|alt=|'Duchess of Exeter']]|
|'Duchess of Exeter'|
|1st Duchess of Exeter (more...)|
|Reign||3 August 1562 - 12 November 1609|
|Successor||George Veldon, 2nd Duke of Exeter|
|Spouse|| George Veldon, 1st Earl of Winchester
m. April 1563
|Issue|| Rose Veldon|
|House|| House of La Marck (by birth)|
House of Veldon (by marriage)
|Father||William, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg|
|Mother||Sophia, Duchess of Guelders|
|Born|| 12 June 1541 |
Duchy of Guelders
|Died|| 12 November 1609 (aged 68) |
Richmond Palace, England
|Burial||Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey|
Like her three elder sisters, Anna of Cleves was raised in England after her mother died, months after the birth of her and her elder twin sister. From birth, it was clear that she was the more robust of the two. As a young child, she and Sophia were inseparable, and when Sophia fell ill at the age of 12, Anna had to be restrained from entering the sick room. Sophia died months later, from what appears to be smallpox and Anna fell in a deep depression. She was treated with regular bleeding, but she could not shake the depression. In 1554, she was sent to an asylum under the name Anne Exeter. Like her sister, Isabella, she was tutored by Lady Cromwell,
Life in the Asylum
Anna spent her teenage years in the asylum, but after a year, it was clear that Anna was not mad. Her aunt, Anne of Cleves, sent her tutor to the asylum so that she could still finish her education, however,Lady Cromwell had always disliked Anna, so she did not report Anna's condition to Lady Anne. Her education was finished after two years, and Anna volunteered to help care for the mentally ill. Her life throughout this period is largely undocumented until she is visited by Isabella, after her sister had become Queen of England. In 1562, she was officially introduced to the court.
Anna arrived to court at the height of Marie de Meleun's power. She was a moderating influence at court to counteract the heavy-handed approach of Ruth Howard. Edward had strong affection for his sister-in-law because of her flattering ability and created her the Duchess of Exeter in her own right, making her the only woman to be created a Duchess and the second woman to be raised to the peerage, after Anne Boleyn. She was betrothed to George Veldon in late 1562 and after he was raised to an earldom, she married him. She and her husband got along well, except when the king summoned Parliament. In Anna's marriage contract, Edward failed to specify if she would be allowed to attend Parliament or if her husband would go in her stead. She refused to give up her rights as a peer of the realm and also refused to allow her husband to retain her titles if she were to die before him.