Thursday, September 09, 2010

Question from Michelle - Divorce from Anne Boleyn in 1534

Hi Everyone:

I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with the rumor that Henry questioned Cranmer and Cromwell about the possibility of a divorce in late 1534? I found a reference to it on Wikipedia. The citation came from Henry VIII and His Court by Neville Williams.

Does anyone have any info on this rumor?

Thank you for any info you can provide.



  1. I have heard that Henry questioned divorcing Anne based on the fact that he had had a sexual relationship with her sister (sound familiar?) He was aparently advises that having used that excuse once, it probably wouldn't fly a second time around. Cranmer, nasty little piece of work that he was convinced Henry that Anne had committed treason by cuckholding him with everyone from his good friend, to a lowly musician and ever her own brother. So it is my impression that divorce was mentioned but not taken seriously

  2. I really doubt it was taken seriously. Considering it make him a hypocrite doing all he did to marry Anne. She had only just lost her second child, so there was no real cause for alarm. It was common to have a misscarriage or stillbirth.

  3. Wasn't it Cromwell who put up the adultery charges?

    'Course, it could be said that Cranmer was still a 'nasty piece of work'. Definitely a 'yes' man.

    I looked through Eric Ives excellent bio of Anne and, altho it was just a quick skim, found no mention of a divorce rumor for 1534. There was tremendous friction between Henry and Anne, according to the Spanish Ambassador. However, Chapuy's 'spin' was almost always geared towards blackening Anne's position. He liked to take innocuous court customs and proceedings and turn them into events of 'bad blood' between King and Queen.

  4. Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help. :)

  5. Katja Stroke-AdolpheSeptember 17, 2010 5:57 PM

    Henry did annul his marriage with Anne as well as executing her. It was on the bases that Kate mentioned, His relationship with her sister. Cromwell got her executed because the king wanted to be rid of her and Cromwell tried to stay in power as long as he could. The king had to have an annulment to make Elizabeth a bastard.

  6. Didn't he also try get Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland to say that there had been a pre-contract between him and Anne Boleyn therefore making Anne's marriage to Henry VIII invalid? But Percy wouldn't budge?


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