Anne Boleyn was the second and perhaps the most famous of Henry VIII’s six wives. Despite not being able to provide the king with the son that he so desired, she did give him a daughter that went on to become one of England’s greatest queens; Queen Elizabeth I. Anne was no stranger to the royal courts as she had served as lady-in-waiting to a number of crowned heads, including Henry’s first wife Catherine.
Anne Boleyn: Facts about her Life
Born sometime between 1501 – 1507 Anne was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn a diplomat in the royal court, and Elizabeth the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. She was one of three children and practically all of her childhood was spent in the royal courts of Europe. On her return to England in 1522 she was appointed to Henry’s court as lady-in waiting to Catherine of Aragon. Anne was a beautiful woman and had many admirers and was at one point engaged to be married to Lord Henry Percy before she caught the eye of the king.
Did Anne Boleyn’s Children become a monarch?
Henry was having an affair with Anne while he was still married to Catherine, the fact that Anne fell pregnant forced the king to find a way to have his marriage dissolved. Henry and Anne’s wedding took place in secret, and their baby, England’s future queen was born in September 1533. Anne fell pregnant a further two times but unfortunately she miscarried in 1534 and 1536. Upon hearing that one of the children that was lost was the son that he so desperately wanted, he proclaimed that his marriage was cursed and started to look for a way out.
What was special about Anne Boleyn’s Fingers?
One of the most distinctive things about Anne, other than her beauty is the report that she had a sixth finger on her left hand. To many people this marked her out as being a witch and unworthy of trust. Rumours were spread that she had the king under some kind of spell, all of which was used in her trial.
Not only was she accused of witchcraft she was also accused of having had no less than five affairs while married to the king, one of which was claimed to have been with her brother Lord Rochford. All of the charges against her were lies of course, but they lead to her imprisonment and ultimate execution; providing the king with a way out of the marriage.
Story about Anne Boleyn’s Ghost
Anne was arrested on May 2nd and taken to the Tower of London to be imprisoned. Her execution was set for the 19th of May. When the day came she was lead from her quarters onto Tower Green where the execution was to take place. It was usual practice for the executioner to use an axe for a beheading, but in consideration of Anne’s royal status she was granted the small mercy of having a French swordsman cut off her head instead.
She became the first queen to be executed in public. Such a terrible death is believed to have left Anne’s spirit walking the halls of the Tower of London, and there have been many reported sightings of her ghost, some of which claim that she carries her severed head beneath her arm.