Anne Boleyn was one of the most notorious women of Renaissance England, and that's why she's awesome, also headless.
Just The Facts
- Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII.
- She was the mother of arguably the most influential monarchs of England, Elizabeth I.
- It was thought she was a witch because of her neck mole and sixth nubby finger.
Bullen Family Whores Out Daughters to King of England
The Boleyn family was originally known as the Bullen family, a lesser noble family connected with the Howard family, one with substantially more power in Henry's court. So the Bullens, henceforth referred to as the Boleyns, thought "Hey, you know what would be a good idea? Forcing our oldest daughter, Mary, to sleep with the married Henry VIII, and see where that will get us." Actually, it advanced the Boleyn family pretty far: Anne's father earned more honors and titles in court, because apparently Mary was a really good fuck, and it seems totally logical to advance the father in that situation, which begs the question, does this make her dad a pimp?
But in Henry's insatiable lust for buxom women he grew tired of Mary and eventually caught the eye of her younger sister Anne, and the rest was history.
Not actually. But kind of.
Anne was actually secretly married to a man named Henry Percy, but Henry, in his penchant for douchebaggery, forced the marriage to be annulled. He then began to send her creepy-ass love letters and extravagant gifts in the hopes of taking her as his mistress.
Anne Gets Shit Done
Nay, nay. The artful Ms. Boleyn wouldn't have it, and sent many gifts back, infuriating the king and goading him into a furious pursuit of her virginity. Anne refused to be his mistress, and with audacity comparable only to someone really audacious, proclaimed that she would not submit her body to his Royal Love-Making until she was his lawfully wedded wife. And then some serious shit went down. You know, like Catholicism.
So now Henry had to divorce his frumpy, Spanish, thoroughly Catholic and arguably cougar of a wife, Catherine, in order to marry Anne. Only problem was, you can't get a divorce in the Catholic religion, and, oh, shit, the Pope, who could grant an annulment, was under the political influence of Charles V, who was the nephew of, you guessed it, Queen Catherine.
Catherine had only born him a useless (and fucking crazy) girl, Mary, who would come back to haunt the English population in years to come. Henry tried to annul the marriage based on the fact that Catherine was in fact married to Henry's older brother, Arthur, before he died. Apparently, according to whatever scripture Henry was citing, that was a no-no, and the reason that he and his wife had never had any sons. Solid argument, Henry, but really, carry on, your reasoning is flawless.
This Sounds More Like a Tabloid Story Than History
Not succeeding in ridding himself of his wife, he proudly proclaimed, "Fuck it! I'll just make my own church! Then I can do whatever I want!" This seems reminiscent of the behavior of an eight-year-old child.
The ensuing creation was known as the Church of England, a real slap in the face to the Pope, as it was essentially the same church, except that Henry ran it, and could now divorce the unwanted Catherine and marry the youthful and fecund Anne.
So Catherine was sent away to live out her days in some moist and moldy castle, where she eventually died, and Anne became pregnant with a child that was obviously a boy. Obviously a boy because Anne promised him a boy, right?
Wrong. She gave birth to a baby girl with the same red hair as her ass-hole dad, named Elizabeth, after the mothers of both Anne and Henry.
This is when things really started to crumble for Anne. With a female child and a couple of miscarriages, of which at least one was a boy, Henry was quickly losing interest and began sleeping around like a college freshman.
Thanks, Henry! Peace out!
So, what options did Anne have? Either get pregnant with a boy really quickly by Henry, or get pregnant with a boy really quickly by somebody else. Whether or not she actually committed adultery against Henry is unknown, but she was accused of it, and then things got ugly.
Henry accused Anne of treason in the form of multiple accounts adultery including one with her brother, George. Um, ew. Again, Henry, your logic is a force to be reckoned with. After failed attempts to combat the charges-- because let's face it, Henry had moved on already--she was sentenced to death, as were her alleged lovers.
Henry, a man of letters and compassion, was willing to grant Anne one last favor. Instead of beheading by a blunt axe and a clumsy axman, he allowed her beheading by a nice and sharp sword, something Henry was probably familiar with, as his sword had probably been beheaded many times.
Henry went on to have four more wives, killing only one more, and died an obese, stinking, gouty and bitter man. Anne, however, remains the most notorious and probably the most influential. Remember her daughter? What's her name...Elizabeth? Oh, yeah, her. I hear she was pretty badass.