16 July 1557 – Death of Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves engravingOn the 16th July 1557, Henry VIII’s last remaining wife, the 41 year old Anne of Cleves, died at Chelsea Old Manor after a few months of illness. She had outlived not only Henry’s five other wives, but also the King himself and her step-son King Edward VI. She had survived marriage to Henry VIII, which was an achievement seeing as Henry executed wives 2 and 5, and actually came out of the marriage quite well – property, money, friendship with the King and his children… What a shame that she is mostly remembered as “The Flanders Mare”, the ugly one, rather than for her pragmatism, intelligence and warmth!

I have written a number of articles on Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, so do read more about her. I’d particularly recommend “Anne of Cleves – Flanders Mare?” in which I challenge the many myths about her.

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8 thoughts on “16 July 1557 – Death of Anne of Cleves”
  1. She was a survivor, and perhaps the smartest of them all when it came with dealing with Henry…let’s hope that Anne of Cleves starts getting the credit she deserves!

  2. Poor A of C – she was a wonderful woman that often gets over-shadowed by the other wives – no, she was an amazing woman!

  3. May the German Princess Rest in Peace!!!
    She was probably the luckiest of the six wives.
    One the reasons I’d love to go back in time to the court of Henry VIII. is to see if Anne of Cleves was really that ugly. I seriously doubt it! (Maybe because I’m half german myself :-D)

  4. Has anyone any idea what Anne died from. I know in those times 41 was considered quite old, but it is a shame that she didn’t live to a greater age and get to see her 3rd step child, Elizabeth, sit on the throne. Wasn’t to be though…

  5. Next to our Anne, Anne of Cleves was my favorite. She was not The Most Happy, but certainly The Most Lucky – she outlived Henry, didn’t have to sleep with him (shudder), managed to outlive him, and everyone other than Henry admired and respected her.

  6. I admire both her and Mary Boleyn … as they both outlived Henry. I think that Anne of Cleves and Mary Boleyn do not get enough credit, living in the shadows of the others.

  7. I just love your site, Claire, I have long loved the Tudors; finding them quite fascinating. But I am disappointed that movie makers only focus on Henry the VIII or ElizabethI. What about Henry the VII who started the Tudor line? What he went through as a child and as a young man must hold some merit. I mean he went into battle against a seasoned warrior when facing Richard III. Then even after becoming King, he had many battles to face to hold onto his crown. So tell me why is there never anything about him and his Queen Elizabeth of York? She too had much to suffer and go through before she became Queen of England. Surely that is worthy of a movie as well. Does anyone agree with me?

  8. Not to get off Anne of Cleves,she was given state funeral,if you get some free time,would like to know when Queen Elizabeth 1 took the throne,why did she not give her dead mother a proper state funeral she was the Queen?Queen Anne did die for her child to insure she would sit on the throne?

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