Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boleyn, Anne (1507-1536), second wife of Henry VIII. of England, daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. She spent three years of her early youth at the French court, and on her return to England her hand was sought by Henry Percy. This match was broken off by Wolsey, probably at the king's suggestion, and the king himself began to woo her, she being then a maid of honour of Katherine of Aragon. She was already Henry's mistress, and kept almost the state of a queen when the divorce of Henry from Katherine of Aragon was pronounced in 1533. The Princess Elizabeth was born in September, 1533, Anne Boleyn having been crowned and publicly married in April of that year. In 1536 the birth of a still-born child roused the superstitious fears of the king and gave an impetus to his passion for Jane Seymour. The queen was arrested on a charge of adultery with divers people, including her own brother, and of conspiring against the king's life, and having been adjudged guilty, was beheaded on the 19th of May - those accused with her being also executed. The question of her innocence or guilt can never be settled, since none of the evidence remains. In answer to a proposal of Henry that she should confess on the chance of receiving pardon, a letter she wrote from the Tower strongly affirms her innocence. The fact that her father and her uncle were instrumental in her death does not prove that they believed in her guilt. Dread of Henry's anger and the fear of losing their possessions and lives may have been their governing motive. Little is known of Anne Boleyn's married life, further than that she countenanced the Reformers and interested herself in the translation of the Bible.