25 January 1533 – The Secret Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn


On this day in history, 25th January 1533, St Paul’s Day, King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony at Whitehall.

Nicholas Harpsfield, the Catholic apologist writing in Mary I’s reign, recorded:

“The first whereof was that the King was married to [the] Lady Anne Bulleyne long ere there was any divorce made by the said Archbishop [of Canterbury]. The which marriage a was secretly made at Whitehall very early before day, none being present but Mr Norris and Mr Henage of the Privy Chamber and the Lady Barkeley, with Mr. Rowland the King’s chaplain, that was afterward made Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. To whom the King told that now he had gotten of the Pope a lycence to marry another wife, and yet to avoid business and tumult the thing must be done (quoth the King) very secretly; and thereupon a time and place was appointed to the said Master Rowland to solemnize the said marriage.”

The marriage was kept secret for sometime because Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon had not yet been fully annulled.

You can read more about the marriage in my article 25 January 1533 – Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Notes and Sources

  • A Treatise on the Pretended Divorce between Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon, Nicholas Harpsfield, p234-235

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