Anne Boleyn
Spouses Edmund Tudor, Duke of York

m. 1525

Edmund, 2nd Duke of York

Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Orleans
Arthur, 1st Earl of Richmond
Emma of York, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary
Cecily of York, Queen of Denmark

House House by Tudor (by marriage)
Father Sir Thomas Boleyn
Mother Lady Elizabeth Howard
Born c. 1507
Hever Castle, Kent, England
Died 19 May 1564 (aged 56 - 57)
York Palace, England
Burial Westminster Abbey, England
Religion Roman Catholic, later Anglican

Anne Boleyn (c. 1507 - 19 May 1564) was the second wife of Edmund Tudor, Duke of York. The daughter of a knight, the marriage was extremely controversial, as her husband was third (or possibly second) in line for the throne. It was also a blow to the king, who had intended to keep her as a mistress. She was considered the catalyst for the Reformation as she introduced Henry VIII to his second wife, Anne Shelton.

Early Life

Anne Boleyn was born at Hever Castle, the youngest child of Elizabeth Howard and Sir Thomas Boleyn. Her maternal family was the infamous Howard family, her mother being the eldest daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Her father was from an upstart merchant family that was quickly gaining royal favor. She was educated in Netherlands with Margaret of Austria and may have met her husband's first wife while she was educated there. She was also apart of the party that escorted Mary Tudor to France, and when Louis XII died, she remained in the service of Queen Claude. She would be recalled to England in 1521, to marry her cousin, James Butler.

Return to England

While waiting for her father to find a suitable marriage for her after the failure of the marriage to James Butler she was sent to the Duchess of York's household. She was not there long before being sent to Queen Catherine, with the Duchess remarking, "The Queen enjoys sending me her left over servants, how about she have one of mine?" Anne held no grudge against the Duchess and was happy with the move to the Queen's service. She was also briefly an attendant of Princess Mary, and the two were quite friendly with one another. Anne made friends with the Duke of York as well, making sure to always be seen with him with at least two other people around.

Duchess of York

Edmund was extremely depressed following the death of Isabella of Austria. Anne was entrusted to care for his two daughters, and she and Edmund became much closer. However, Henry VIII was tiring of her sister Mary and wished to make Anne his new mistress. Anne refused to become a mistress and introduced him to her cousin, Lady Anne Shelton instead. In 1525, Edmund and Anne married, making her the new Duchess of York.

Birth of a Son and Other Children

In late 1525, Anne gave birth to her first child, Edmund, who later became the second Duke of York. He was followed by six younger siblings, four of whom lived to adulthood. Anne's children were very important for dynastic alliances because the king could not afford to marry off his daughters Mary and Anne, as they were his only heirs. His attempts to marry off Edmund's eldest two daughters were in vain, and both girls married Earls. Anne's three daughters were used to secure alliances: Elizabeth married the Duke of Orleans, Emma married Louis II of Hungary, and Cecily married Frederick II of Denmark.

Relationship with Margaret of York

When Margaret was a child, she and Anne got along very well, even in the early years of Margaret's marriage. However, after the birth of Margaret's third child, she accused Anne of favoring her daughters over herself and her elder sister Joan. Anne was hurt by the accusations, lamenting that she thought of Margaret as her own daughter. Margaret would hear none of it, and refused to see Anne. Margaret would later be locked away by her husband for her supposed insanity.

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