#WednesdayFact – Anne Boleyn was pregnant three times

Natalie Dormer as a pregnant Anne Boleyn in "The Tudors"
Natalie Dormer as a pregnant Anne Boleyn in “The Tudors”
Did you know that Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, was pregnant three times during her marriage to Henry VIII?

And did you know that we don’t know what happened with the second pregnancy?

Anne Boleyn’s first pregnancy was in 1533. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, a girl who would grow up to be Queen Elizabeth I, on 7th September 1533.

Then, in April 1534, Anne was described as having “a goodly belly” by Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, and a trip to to France for Henry VIII to meet with Francis I was postponed in July 1534 because the queen was “so far gone with child she could not cross the sea with the King”. However, there is no mention in the records of Anne preparing for the birth of her child by taking to her chamber, and, indeed, no mention of the birth. It’s a bit of a mystery.

Anne’s third pregnancy sadly ended in a miscarriage on 29th January 1536. Anne was said to have been about 3 1/2 months pregnant at the time. It was to be her final pregnancy, for she was executed on 19th May 1536.

You can read more about the pregnancies of Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon in an article here, and more on Anne’s second pregnancy in my article Anne Boleyn’s mystery pregnancy.

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4 thoughts on “#WednesdayFact – Anne Boleyn was pregnant three times”
  1. There is a paragraph in the book THE CONCUBINE by NORAH LOFTS
    spoken by Anne’s Country born maid after an early loss.” in the country if a cow slips her calf they try him with another cow and her with another bull…that way the bad breeder is fixed and the other goes for beef.given His Grace’s history….”
    I always felt Heny was a very bad breeder and should have gone for beef

    1. Well there could have been a problem with Anne but it is very sad and tragic that she lost her babies, Norah Lofts novel ‘The Concubine’ is one of my fav historical fiction books about this most doomed of Englands queens, I think in the novel Anne’s maid was Emma Arnett, her biography of Anne to reads more like a novel and suggests she could have gone over to the dark arts and like all of Satans followers, is deserted at the end and left to fall into a sink of unfathomable darkness, her second pregnancy in which she is described by Chapyus as having a ‘goodly belly’ is shrouded in secrecy, she must have miscarried and both king and queen were so distraught they did not wish to proclaim it, had not Henry been here many times before with his first queen? It does explain the growing tension between the two which did not help with Anne’s overbearing nature, her outbursts of ill temper and her nagging at the king whenever he took a mistress, her final pregnancy which ended in another miscarriage sealed her fate, yet the king was cruel to have her executed, a woman should not be murdered because of her failure to breed and she had several more years of childbearing ahead of her, if there is such a thing as a god and heaven, then this king had a lot to answer for when he finally met his maker.

  2. I wonder what happened when she miscarried her final time it was announced a son on her second supposed pregnancy no confinement no actual pregnancy announcement no stillborn announcement or burial. All Katherine’s were announced

    1. Maybe the second time it was a phantom pregnancy, Anne had given the king a daughter now she was under increasing pressure to give the king a son, as in the case of Mary 1st such longing can sometimes bring on the symptoms of a pregnancy, swollen breasts nausea the belly growing bigger, it’s such a shame Henry’s queens were under such huge pressure to give him sons, and of course medical knowledge was zero in that age when they still believed menstruating women could turn the milk sour, plagues and poor harvests were a sign of gods displeasure, it was all down to the woman how her child turned out, what sex it was, the health of her baby, it put enormous pressure on the female consort, and with someone like Anne a highly strung easily irritable lady, it was a catastrophe because she had promised him sons, his discarding of Katherine break with Rome their long awaited marriage, had all been down to his urgent need to leave his kingdom a prince on his demise.

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