My crackpot theory re Henry's rejection of Anne of Cleves | The Six Wives | Forum

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
My crackpot theory re Henry's rejection of Anne of Cleves
July 18, 2011
8:07 am
Avatar
Catalina
Scotland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I was thinking today about Henry's rejection of Anne of Cleves. And a thought crossed my mind that perhaps he rejected her because he wasn't truly over Jane?  Maybe he just wasn't ready for another marriage?

I realise this is prob a silly theory as he didnt seem to have any problems in marrying Catherine Howard.  But was just a thought. Because going by the portrait that Henry saw of her, she certainly isn't a 'Flanders Mare'. And he was happy enough to go ahead. But maybe upon actually meeting her and marrying her he just wasnt ready because he wasn't over Jane? Although 'sentimentality' certainly wasn't his middle name. And the period between him marrying and divorcing Anne and marrying Catherine Howard perhaps gave him more time to come to terms with Jane's death.

Any thoughts?

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 18, 2011
9:43 am
Avatar
Elliemarianna
Corsham, Wiltshire
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 316
Member Since:
June 7, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Supposedly Holbein was flattering to Anne of Cleaves in the portrait Henry received. When he saw it he confessed he 'loved her' and couldn't wait to meet her – he and his friends burst into her chambers in disguise, way before their planned meeting to 'encourage love'. It didn't go well – Anne was confused and didn't understand what Henry was doing… He took offence and left. He claimed the portrait was a lie and that she “liked her not”. He looked for a way out of the marriage but it was too late – he needed the marriage politicly, so went ahead. They married, and on the wedding night, he 'tried' to consummate the marriage, but found her (as he thought) not a virgin, due to her slightly (saggy?! If that's the right word) Breasts, and fuller tummy. Needless to say it didn't happen, he kissed her goodnight, and fell asleep. Anne was very innocent and believed herself pregnant due to him kissing her, so I imagine she didn't do anything to encourage Henry sexually either. Either way, he wasn't attracted to her, so I feel that's why he sought a divorce, as he did with Katherine when she began to become less attractive. He would of married someone else had they not been put off by his marital history.

"It is however but Justice, & my Duty to declre that this amiable Woman was entirely innocent of the Crimes with which she was accused, of which her Beauty, her Elegance, & her Sprightliness were sufficient proofs..." Jane Austen.

July 18, 2011
10:10 am
Avatar
Catalina
Scotland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I guess I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here.  Yes given his personality the fact that she 'didnt get' the whole charade where he disguised himself probably wounded his pride and lo and behold 'the toys were thrown out of the pram'.  I guess I was probably trying to judge this too much by modern standards, i.e. I know myself that when a relationship of mine has broken down that I have rejected people that have asked me out purely because I wasnt ready – not because of them as a person or their suitability as a partner. But I suppose he was a king and another marriage was expected of him.  But regardless of that, I just for a minute thought perhaps he was just too hung up on Jane as his perfect queen given that she had given him his long anticipated son.

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 18, 2011
10:16 am
Avatar
Catalina
Scotland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Another thing that always intrigues me re the portrait is that if it had not been a true likeness and Holbein had embellished it in order to make him agree to a marriage, would Holbein not have suffered the consequences?  This is what leads me to believe the portrait must have been a fairly good likeness, but Henry for whatver reason decided she wasnt to his liking.  Which is why I put forward my 'not ready' theory.  But the fact Anne rejected him instead of falling into his arms when he appeared in disguise would appear to be exactly the sort of thing that would have wounded his pride.

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 19, 2011
12:37 am
Avatar
E
Member
Banned
Forum Posts: 256
Member Since:
May 19, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I saw a different pic on AoC, I think it was at Hever… Her nose was much larger and really made a difference to her face.. x rays have been taken of the Holbein to reveal a larger nose also. I would have thought Holbein would have had a bit of a smack too- did he leave England in this period? Maybe he took a holiday till the Kings wrath had subsided- particularly in view of the fact that Cromwell lost his head due to this marriage..

I believe that H8 (hehe H'ate) was initially rejected by AoC who was confused at their first meeting and wondering why this unannounced stinky fat old man was kissing her. I think, through her, he saw himself exactly as he really was- and didn't like it one little bit. I believe this is why he had such an instant dislike of her..

This is based on something I've read about their first meeting.. which is the same account as Ellimariana.. I can't remember where I've read it…

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

July 19, 2011
1:05 am
Avatar
Catalina
Scotland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I found this portrait of her, apparently dating to the 1530s http://www.hrp.org.uk/Assets/A…..%20(asset).jpg

Methinks Holbein was a bit economical with the truth perhaps? 

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 19, 2011
10:55 pm
Avatar
Bella44
New Zealand
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 933
Member Since:
January 9, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Ooh – I've just come across this thread now!  And can I say that, yes, I think AOC had a large nose too?!  I think Holbein  by painting her full on managed to hide that little imperfection.  Although why Henry should be upset by that little thing after Jane Seymour beats me!!!!

But I don't think it was just AOC's looks that put Henry off.  It was her dismissal of him after his sad attempts to impress her at Rochester and as you say E, it was probably one of the few times he saw himself as he really was through her eyes.

I've often wondered, if Anne was French or Spanish instead of from one of the German states, if Henry would have treated her the same way?  If maybe a little bit of English xenophobia (no offense to anyone from England!) didn't come into play?  Spain and France were always who England was competing against and trying to outdo whereas Cleves may have been seen by some as more of a backwater and anyone from there was perhaps viewed by people as being not as good and therefore more dispensable? 

July 20, 2011
7:25 am
Avatar
Anyanka
La Belle Province
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2337
Member Since:
November 18, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

ITA. AoC not falling into the normal pattern of behaviour he was used to must have shocked H8. Especially if she implied he was no longer the handsome young man of his imagination but an older, lamer man.

 

He certainly didn't want to totally alienate the Germanic states by executing Anne but I'm sure her equal eagerness to the annulment came as a big surprise to him.

It's always bunnies.

July 20, 2011
7:46 am
Avatar
Anyanka
La Belle Province
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2337
Member Since:
November 18, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Catalina said:

 But I suppose he was a king and another marriage was expected of him.  But regardless of that, I just for a minute thought perhaps he was just too hung up on Jane as his perfect queen given that she had given him his long anticipated son.


Definately, he knew another marriage was expected of him and he, of all people, was aware of the value of a Duke of York in the hand.

 

There were several problems with an immediate re-marriage

 

1) he didn't have a new woman waiting her turn

2) there was a lack of suitable French or Spanish noblewomen who were prepared to marry him

3) the sheer amount of time it took to get anywhere making negoiations tricky if the ambassors had little freedom to make offers and counter-offers.

It's always bunnies.

July 24, 2011
6:39 am
Avatar
E
Member
Banned
Forum Posts: 256
Member Since:
May 19, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Catalina said:

I found this portrait of her, apparently dating to the 1530s http://www.hrp.org.uk/Assets/A…..%20(asset).jpg

Methinks Holbein was a bit economical with the truth perhaps? 


Wow! Shes still more attractive than the seymour though!

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

July 25, 2011
12:19 am
Avatar
Catalina
Scotland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I love this portrait of her :

http://tudorhistory.org/cleves…..leves3.jpg

Ok the hood is pretty awful but ignoring that and just looking at her face, I think she is really striking. Wonder how accurate a likeness it is, no wonky nose here.

'If honour were profitable, everybody would be honourable'  Thomas More

July 25, 2011
6:57 pm
Avatar
Impish_Impulse
US Midwest
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 595
Member Since:
August 12, 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Catalina said:

I love this portrait of her :

http://tudorhistory.org/cleves…..leves3.jpg

Ok the hood is pretty awful but ignoring that and just looking at her face, I think she is really striking. Wonder how accurate a likeness it is, no wonky nose here.


Her eyes look very soulful in this portrait.

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

July 26, 2011
4:39 am
Avatar
Anne fan
Leicestershire
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 10, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

E said:

I saw a different pic on AoC, I think it was at Hever… Her nose was much larger and really made a difference to her face.. x rays have been taken of the Holbein to reveal a larger nose also. I would have thought Holbein would have had a bit of a smack too- did he leave England in this period? Maybe he took a holiday till the Kings wrath had subsided- particularly in view of the fact that Cromwell lost his head due to this marriage..

I believe that H8 (hehe H'ate) was initially rejected by AoC who was confused at their first meeting and wondering why this unannounced stinky fat old man was kissing her. I think, through her, he saw himself exactly as he really was- and didn't like it one little bit. I believe this is why he had such an instant dislike of her..

This is based on something I've read about their first meeting.. which is the same account as Ellimariana.. I can't remember where I've read it…


Sounds like Starkey to me! The conventions of courtly love meant the woman should recognise her suitor in disguise to prove true love. Anne hadn't been educated in very much at all, other than needlework, so didn't get it. As a result, she behaved properly by not letting this 'merchant' get too close to her. Henry still thought of himself as the handsomest prince in Christendom, so it was a very rude awakening. As Holbein appears to have painted the miniature of Catherine Howard in the jewels Henry gave her as a wedding present he doesn't seem to have been away from court for too long!

July 27, 2011
5:16 am
Avatar
E
Member
Banned
Forum Posts: 256
Member Since:
May 19, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I wonder why Holbein escaped the anger of H8?…

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

August 1, 2011
12:51 pm
Avatar
Anne fan
Leicestershire
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 10, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Too good at creating images of himself that Henry liked! Also, didn't he die of plague in the 1540s?

August 1, 2011
12:51 pm
Avatar
Anne fan
Leicestershire
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 123
Member Since:
February 10, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Anne fan said:

Too good at creating images of himself that Henry liked! Also, didn't he die of plague in the 1540s?


I mean creating images of Henry, not Holbein. Doh!

August 1, 2011
10:03 pm
Avatar
Bill1978
Australia
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 476
Member Since:
April 9, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Been meaning to post this thought for a while but kept getting distracted. I like your crackpot theory Catalina. It does make an element of sense. And is very plausible.

August 3, 2011
2:14 am
Avatar
E
Member
Banned
Forum Posts: 256
Member Since:
May 19, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hehe! I read it the way you meant it- to busy painting Henry the way Henry liked it! Catelina- She's absolutely gorgeous in this portrait isn't she?  That's one of my fav pics of her. If I were a man and received this portrait- I'd propose too!

"A fresh young damsel, who could trip and go"

April 2, 2012
3:22 pm
Avatar
Boleyn
Kent.
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 2285
Member Since:
January 3, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Personally I can’t see anything wrong with AOC, her German dress of course did nothing for her. As for the meeting in Rochester castle. I actually wonder if Henry’s lackeys actually told the truth to her about Henry’s appearence. I know that she knew little to no English, didn’t play a musical instrument, sing or play any games, as Anne’s brother felt that education etc were not neccessary for a woman.
Being in a tiny part of the Germanic provices I don’t expect her brother and his court actually had much to do with the big wigs, such as France and Spain. Although Anne was taught how to play a few card games on the boat over. Perhaps the reason she wasn’t told the truth about Henry’s appearence was because he’d been rejected by 2 or maybe 3 of the bigger wig princesses, and basically things were desperate back at base camp, with only one son as the heir.
I don’t even know if Anne had even seen a portrait of Henry. If she had I’m sure it would have been one that was done when he was young and fit. Small wonder then that she was so revolted by what she saw in Rochester.Henry’s lackeys really could say Henry was a stinking old walrus who thinks his farts don’t smell, otherwise they are liable to find themselves a head shorter,
So to be honest the whole marriage business was built completely on a bed of lies, or half truths. Cromwell too was deceived as he too must have heard reports that Anne was prettier than she actually was.
Henry said she stunk to high heaven, Well he wasn’t exactly smelling like roses in fact far from it he probably smelt like the stuff they put round roses to nourish them.
Perhaps if Anne was given a crash six month course in Cleves with English ladies teaching her the why’s and what’s of English court etiquette things would have worked out differently for her.
But fair play to her in settling for second best. Being Henry’s adopted sister and having a good pension plus living in England even through it meant she had to cast off her brother in Cleves. One wonders why she didn’t send for her sister though?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

April 2, 2012
7:48 pm
Avatar
Mya Elise
Ohio,US
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 781
Member Since:
May 16, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

(* I refer to Anne Boleyn as Anne & Anne of Cleves as Anna* )

Maybe it does have something to do with Jane, never considered that before. But my theory has always been that people wanted Henry to remarry so badly that they said anything and everything about Anna to get him to agree quickly. They probably made her seem like the most beautiful, charming, pure woman in the entire world which isn’t fair to Anna. I think they kept getting Henry more excited and excited until he couldn’t take it anymore and went to see her and when he did I think his expectations were sky high. And the fact that Anna didn’t respond to him the way he expected her to didn’t help his opinion of her. Her expectations were probably high too, she was probably told that she’d be marrying a handsome gentleman and when she saw an obese old man she was probably visibily confused. I don’t think it was Anna’s fault either – I think Henry should of pushed on an arranged meeting before agreeing to a marriage. He was King for Christ’s sake, he could do as he wished. It was yet another unsmart move by Henry. It was a disaster from the start and I’m glad Anna managed to survive with her head intact.

• Grumble all you like, this is how it’s going to be.

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 214

Currently Online:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Anyanka: 2337

Boleyn: 2285

Sharon: 2115

Bella44: 933

DuchessofBrittany: 846

Mya Elise: 781

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 0

Members: 427592

Moderators: 0

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 13

Topics: 1712

Posts: 23076

Newest Members:

DennisDorie, vitushatault, oghmaniusVom, Urocchxae, Puimignog, Emma3456

Administrators: Claire: 959