Anne Boleyn


Born: c. 1507
Died: 19 May 1536 (execution by beheading)
Birthplace: England
Best known as: The beheaded wife of Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England and mother of the future Queen Elizabeth I. A former lady-in-waiting for Henry's sister Mary Tudor, Boleyn married the king in 1533 after his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon was annulled by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (Henry and Anne were married secretly first, then publicly in 1534). Princess Elizabeth was born later that year. By 1536 the king had grown disenchanted with Boleyn; she was charged with adultery and treason, imprisoned in the Tower of London, and then beheaded on 19 May 1536. (Shortly before dying she made a now-famous quip: "I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck.") Boleyn's date of birth is unknown, but generally agreed to be sometime between 1501 and 1507.

Extra credit:

According to legend, Anne Boleyn had a small sixth finger on one hand; no firm evidence exists to affirm or deny that claim… She was played by Natalie Portman in the 2008 film The Other Boleyn Girl; Eric Bana played Henry VIII.

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