1 September 1532 – Anne Boleyn is created Marquis of Pembroke in her own right

The letter patent creating Anne Boleyn as the Marquess of Pembroke.

On 1st September 1532, Anne Boleyn was created Marquis of Pembroke, a title in her own right, at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The purpose of the granting of the title was to “fit” Anne for the European stage, in readiness for the couple’s upcoming meeting with King Francis I of France. Despite years of trying, Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon had still not been annulled so Anne was still Henry’s queen-in-waiting. It was important that she be given a status befitting of England’s future Queen and be recognised as Henry’s consort.

You can read a contemporary account of the ceremony, and also a valuation of the lands granted to Anne as part of her title, in my article from 2012 – click here.

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One thought on “1 September 1532 – Anne Boleyn is created Marquis of Pembroke in her own right”
  1. Raising Anne Boleyn to the nobility was controversial not just as it was unusual to ennoble a woman in her own right but because of who she was. Anne was his mistress, the other woman that he was planning to marry, the last person anyone at court would have wanted raised to the nobility. The old nobility were inverted snobs who had been seriously put out by the raising of new men like Charles Brandon to the peerhood. Just what they thought of this action is anyone’s guess but it could not have been a popular move.

    However Henry was not to be argued with so the move would have to be accepted. It was unusual to ennoble a woman in her own right but not unheard of: the title to the Willoughby lands had been and world continue to be inherited by male and female equality. Still it was rare, but that was not the problem here. Henry was making a political point raising Anne so high, publicly declaring his intention to court her openly, not merely as his official mistress but as his future wife. Henry is making provision for their future children, legitimate or otherwise. Note also the title….Pembroke. This is a royal title one that belonged to his grandfather, then Jasper Tudor and to his grandmother. His father`s own title of Richmond had even been given to his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. With this patent carries with it a great deal of money, Anne would certainly be rich.

    I love the art on the patent document, rich in colour and very beautiful. The blue falcon badge really shows the quality of producing such manuscripts.

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