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Anne and Henry's Relationship
July 31, 2013
3:37 pm
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Louise
Hampshire, England
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I’ve been thinking. Yes, I know that’s a worrying prospect, but here goes!

Henry started showing an interest in Anne around 1525/26. His letters show he was in love with her by mid to late 1527. They consummated their relationship towards the end in 1532 and were married in January 1533. By May 1536 he had consented to her judicial murder. Ten years in total from his initial interest in her to her death.

I’ve always wondered at what point his feelings for her cooled and at what point their relationship went sour. In April 1536 he was still calling her his ‘best beloved wife’. Ives uses this to suggest that meant Henry was still committed to Anne, and she still had his love and support. But after all he’d done to marry her he would hardly say, ‘oops I’ve made a mistake and I’ve gone off her.’

We hear time and again that he broke with Rome and the Pope so he could marry her. But did he do all that for Anne, or more importantly did he do it because he needed a legitimate son? I’ve no doubt he believed he loved Anne. He was besotted by her. But to break with Rome and risk his soul through excommunication for the love of a woman? Really?

The Pope wouldn’t give him what he wanted, whereas previously Henry had always got what he wanted. For the first time he was told ‘no’. It didn’t go down very well. He was being dictated to be foreigner’s who were telling him what he should and shouldn’t do, and what he could and couldn’t do. Bet that went down even less well. Breaking with Rome, and the creation of the Church of England, because of the love of a woman, or because it was simply a way of getting his own way and sticking his fingers up to Joe Foreigner (so very British when you think about it)!

So he did all that, and he got his own way, and he married Anne. He’d won!! He’d set all the religious upheavals in motion, and whether he tired of her in April 1536, or September 1533 or July 1534 or whenever, was completely irrelevant. By then it may very well have had nothing to do with Anne at all. It was about winning and besting the Pope and the rest of Europe who dared to challenge him. Once he’d set the thing in motion he couldn’t back down. He would have lost face, and he wouldn’t have risked that.

Admitting he wanted out of his marriage to Anne would mean he would lose face. To go through all that and then say he wanted out because he had fallen out of love with her would have made him look foolish. If she had given birth to the longed for son, Henry would have stuck with Anne no matter how he felt about her. But she didn’t. So if Henry wanted out of his marriage, not only would he be admitting he had tired of her, he would also be admitting that one of the reasons he wanted out was for the very reason he had got rid of Catherine; the lack of a son. He would have been the laughing stock of Europe.

So he didn’t admit he wanted to get rid of Anne. He didn’t admit he was tired of her. He didn’t admit he was disappointed in her failure to produce the longed for heir. People question why, if he thought she was innocent, Henry would have allowed a charge of multiple adultery to be brought against Anne. Why put himself in the position of cuckolded husband? How embarrassing for the King of England. But it gave him a justifiable reason to get rid of her. He wasn’t getting rid of her because she hadn’t produced the heir, just as with Catherine, and he wasn’t getting rid of her just because he was fickle and had fallen out of love with her; he was getting rid of her because she was an evil vile wanton whore who had committed adultery with five men including her own brother. No one could blame him for wanting to get rid of such a woman. The extend of the charges against poor Anne meant Henry wasn’t a mere cuckold. She wasn’t just an adulterous wife, she was a monster, and Henry was to be pitied married to such a creature.

He would have been a far greater mockery, and been ridiculed far more, had he admitted that after all he had done to marry her, he no longer wanted her, particularly as one of the reasons for that was the very reason he had got rid of Catherine. I think the plot against Anne was a cold, calculated plan, partly for Henry to save face and not look a fool in front of the whole of Europe.

So when did his affection for Anne cool? If what I’ve said above has an element of truth to it, then it could have cooled long before April 1536, but he didn’t want the embarrassment of admitting it. He could stick with it for the sake of a son, but once he came to believe that wouldn’t happen the gloves came off, particularly when he heard allegations that Anne and her brother were laughing at him behind his back. So throw revenge into the mix. He killed two birds with one stone. He may have risked being labelled a cuckold, but he did so to avoid a greater humiliation, and to get rid of a woman he had come to loath.

The only question for me is at what point did his feelings for Anne cool, and at what point did those cooling feelings turn to a loathing sufficient enough for him to have her murdered? I think the latter was around April 1536 when he believed she laughed about him and his virility, but what about the former?

July 31, 2013
3:46 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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I think that once Henry & Cromwell realised Anne would call them out on their greed, hypocrisy & lies regarding the use of funds from the dissolution of smaller monasteries, she was doomed.

July 31, 2013
6:03 pm
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Boleyn
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I think Henry’s passions toward Anne started cooling when she gave birth to Elizabeth. He forgave her for it, but I don’t think he ever forgot it, after the first miscarriage his hated for her started to smolder. If she had gone on to have a son, then maybe she would have regained a little of what they once shared, and of course she wouldn’t have lost her head. But I don’t think Henry would have ever loved Anne with the same passion that he once did, and I feel that in the end she would have been like K.O.A his wife and Queen in name only, and shown off as his beloved wife and Queen when times dictated it, but for the most part largely ignored and forgotten.
Henry’s passion for Anne went stone cold in my opinion after K.O.A died, Anne’s last pregnancy and the chance of giving Henry the long wanted son was Anne’s only hope, as I think she was aware of Henry’s loathing of her long before K.O.A’s death.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

July 31, 2013
7:51 pm
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Sharon
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I think Henry’s ‘affections’ for Anne started changing after Elizabeth was born. Although I’m not sure if he was totally disappointed with Anne when she had a girl. She became pregnant soon after their sexual relationship started. That had to be a plus in Henry’s book. Elizabeth was a beautiful, healthy child. Another plus. At that time there was probably little doubt that Anne would get pregnant again soon and give him his longed for son.

With the next child/miscarriage, Henry starts to add up all the things he disliked about Anne. Where in the beginning he sought her advice, he now disliked the fact that she interfered in matters of state, and his feelings start to change. He is fed up with her sticking her nose where he doesn’t think it belongs. He harbors a dislike for what he sees as her meddling. If Anne was in anyway upsetting Henry (besides miscarrying) that would only add to his change of heart. If she thought she was still an advisor, and Henry wished she would stay in her place and be quiet, the affection he once held for her was replaced with resentment, which festered and turned to hate.

There was so much more to Henry’s change of heart towards Anne than just her inability to give him a son. He was married to KOA for 20 years+ and yes, he annulled the marriage because she did not give him a son, and he treated her horribly, but he never showed the same amount of animosity towards her that he showed towards Anne. He never hated KOA.

July 31, 2013
9:14 pm
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Boleyn
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I agree Sharon. Whatever Henry did to K.O.A and he did treat her shamefully, he did have a lot of respect for her. I think that when K.O.A died, Henry began feeling a great deal of guilt and sorrow at her passing. Although he and Anne celebrated the fact that she was dead I believe he started to see things in Anne which were not considered as seemly behaviour in a Queen. He started to make comparrisons between K.O.A and Anne. I suppose the best way to describe that is, If Henry asked K.O.A to jump she would jump and not question the reason why. If Henry asked Anne to jump she would ask him how high and why.
I wonder what Henry’s feeling were on recieving K.O.A’s last letter, did he keep it? or did he just throw it away? That letter may have also played apart in turning Henry’s mind against Anne. After all the crap he had thrown at K.O.A, banned her from seeing her daughter, shutting her away, and not letting her see anyone. She wrote him a love letter of sorts. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.
That sentence must have meant something very meaningful to him.
I think in the end it was purely Henry’s guilt trip on how he treated K.O.A that killed the love he had for Anne, and he looked for a scapegoat to take that blame away from him, unfortunatly that scapegoat was Anne.
Henry always blamed others for his own problems real or imagined, basically because he couldn’t bear the thought that everybody around him saw him for what he truly was. A horrible cowardly little turd.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

July 31, 2013
9:45 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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Great posts, both of you.

July 31, 2013
11:58 pm
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Mariette
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Louise said
The only question for me is at what point did his feelings for Anne cool, and at what point did those cooling feelings turn to a loathing sufficient enough for him to have her murdered? I think the latter was around April 1536 when he believed she laughed about him and his virility, but what about the former?

With regard to the former, I suspect Henry’s feelings for Anne first cooled after her first miscarriage in 1534 and totally agree with you about the latter.
Good luck with the book by the way! I knew you could do it.Smile

Sharon said
I’m not sure if he was totally disappointed with Anne when she had a girl. She became pregnant soon after their sexual relationship started. That had to be a plus in Henry’s book. Elizabeth was a beautiful, healthy child. Another plus. At that time there was probably little doubt that Anne would get pregnant again soon and give him his longed for son.

That their first child was a girl was no doubt a setback in Henry’s plans but Elizabeth was a healthy child and Anne was likely to fall pregnant again quickly and so was probably still secure in Henry’s affections.

Boleyn said
Whatever Henry did to K.O.A and he did treat her shamefully, he did have a lot of respect for her.

Did Henry really respect KOA or was he holding back out of fear of what her nephew would do?

August 1, 2013
2:26 pm
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Louise
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Thanks, Mariette. I only hope there’s enough interest in George for people to buy it. It would be great to change people’s views of him. Fingers crossed!Smile

August 1, 2013
9:44 pm
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Anyanka
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Louise said

Thanks, Mariette. I only hope there’s enough interest in George for people to buy it. It would be great to change people’s views of him. Fingers crossed!Smile

I’d buy it in a trice..

It's always bunnies.

August 1, 2013
11:13 pm
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Mariette
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Anyanka said

Louise said

Thanks, Mariette. I only hope there’s enough interest in George for people to buy it. It would be great to change people’s views of him. Fingers crossed!Smile

I’d buy it in a trice..

Me too!Smile

August 2, 2013
3:14 pm
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Boleyn
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Yes and me too. I will look forward to reading it. Good for you Louise I knew you could do it.

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

August 18, 2013
7:56 pm
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lovehistory
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Hello, I am new to this site and the fascinating History. I believe that Henry was completely absorbed with Henry. He had gotten his way his entire life, why not dispose of anything or anyone as he pleased. His power was the strongest in the land and he wanted a son. When instant gratification did not occur, after all he went through to get rid of Catherine of Aragon he was enraged !!! Anything he had felt for Ann went out the window. Virility, might have played a part, the great King Henry could not produce a son and he was FURIOUS.

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