Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Question from Nassa - Why didn't Henry VIII give Anne B. another chance


I would like to find out, maybe this has already been addressed, but I have failed to find a similar question here, why didn't Henry VIII give Anne Boleyn another chance to get pregnant and eventually deliver a son? Why wasn't he willing to try further?

Many thanks for the answer.


  1. No one can ever know for sure, but It is my belief that Henry simply was not willing to wait any more for her to try. Anne was constantly pregnant over the span of her three years on the throne, and had only one living child to show for it, the female Elizabeth. Anne also miscarried a son some time in 1536, and it angered Henry. Perhaps in Henry's mind, she was unworthy of a second chance.

  2. Nassa, this is an excellent question.

    He did. Anne became pregnant at least 2 times after Elizabeth was born. The first time resulting in a stillbirth (That was rumoured to be a boy, but disformed) and the second time resulting in a miscarriage that Anne attributed to being devastated upon hearing the news that Henry had become severely injured during a jousting incident. However, I certainly believe part of the actual reason (for the second miscarriage) was because Henry was starting to favor Jane Seymour, and Anne did in fact walk in on Jane sitting on Henry's lap (this was accuratley depicted in "The Tudors") One must also remember, a woman cannot be in extreme distress throughout her pregnancy. Anne had many problems: there were many people whispering in the king's ear hoping to be rid of Anne. Jane Seymour was also younger (and Henry probably presumed more fertile) than Anne. Anne was also growing increasingly worn out from worrying about her husband's fidelity. This kind of extreme stress made it even harder for a woman to concieve.

    Plus, and I think this is key* Henry, was, notorious and infamous for being fickle!

    On a closing note, it has been rumoured that Anne was pregnant at the time of her execution but most scholars doubt that as she most likely would have informed Henry in the hopes of staying alive. I suppose you never know!

    I hope this helps.

  3. Thank you for the answers. I know it might sound immoral, but could she not arrange to cover up her miscarriage and "adopt" someone elses newly born at the time when she was due herself, especially having such a powerful family at her side that could assist her?

  4. That would have been very dangerous to do, especially considering that there were already whispers that Elizabeth wasn't Henry's, but in fact one of her supposed lovers. Of course, Elizabeth was in fact, Henry's, as it was often remarked later in her life that she resembled him greatly.
    The bottom line is Henry got rid of Katherine because she did not give him a son, then did the same with Anne. If Jane had not bore him a son, he would have probably left her, too.

  5. Another chance for what?

    There was a reason that people in King Henry's circle didn't like her. She was treacherous, conniving and deceitful. And most importantly she could not produce a male heir which is what Henry wanted the most.

  6. It may be completely true that Henry was growing tired of waiting, but there are several interesting theories from historians to support the idea that there was more to it than Henry's impatience for a son. The problem is, they contradict each other, so you'll have to take your pick! She had enemies at court, as Jenna points out, and this comes into play in at least one theory. Foose and some others (Beardedlady maybe?) here have mentioned them before, so please check out those posts. Great reading!

  7. Well she wasnt CONSTANTLY pregnant, she was pregnant twice more - now Catherine of Aragon she WAS constantly pregnant sometime concieveing just a month or so after a birth

  8. I think one of the motivating factors in Henry's decision to rid himself of Anne was that because of the question of the legality of his marriages to Katherine and Anne, any children from the union would always be tainted by the question of legitimacy. However, with both Katherine and Anne dead, he was free to marry again, and the marriage and any resulting offspring wouldn't be under a cloud of suspicion.


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