Sunday, August 01, 2010

Question from Andrew - Later relationships of Anne of Cleves

I have read that Anne of Cleves was thought to be a lesbian and had affairs with men and women after the annulemtn fo her marriage. Is there any truth in this?

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Kate said...

I have never read anything of that kind, however that doesn't mean it isn't so. My reasearch shows Anne to be a bright but incredably naive young woman, thinking that kissing was consumation etc... She was very loving and motherly toward all Henrys children and embraced her role as his most beloved sister with grace and aplomb. Her situation would have been far less tollerable if she had returned to Cleves. Her brother was a tyrant. All accounts have her living out a regal and happy retirement, never remarrying and without a breath of scandal touching her.

Foose said...

In Letters & Papers for Queen Mary's reign, in August of the year 1556, there is recorded a curious letter from Anne of Cleves' brother:

William, Duke of Cleves, to Queen Mary. Sends Arnold à Lewen, licentiate of laws, to request her Majesty's authority may be exercised in the expulsion from England of two domestics of his sister the Lady Anne, viz., Jasper Broickhusen with his wife Gertrude, (who by her marvellous impostures and incantations seems to have driven his sister mad,) and one a native of Wylick. Every exertion has already been used, not a stone left unturned, to have them removed from her service, but in vain; wherefore the necessity for this application.

I can't find any more information about this incident, or what form Anne of Cleves' alleged madness took, but it's interesting and perhaps suggests an "inappropriate relationship," although there's no evidence it was a same-sex love affair.

Sarah said...

There were ridiculous rumours that she had had ttwo illegitimate children by Henry VIII