Execution of Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial
Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial

Historical Context

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII, who famously had six in total, and was perhaps the most famous. In 1523 Anne was to marry Henry Percy, the son of the Earl of Northumberland, but this was broken off. She was, at this time, a maid to the court of Henry VIII's wife Catherine of Aragon, and the king began courting her in early 1526.

Henry's interest in his wife's maid of honor was a turning point in English history. When the Catholic Church refused to accept his annulment to Catherine of Aragon, and his marriage to Anne on 25 January 1533, Henry broke off relations with the Pope and established an independent Church of England.

The happy marriage was not to last, however. Anne gave birth to a daughter, the future Elizabeth I, and Henry was disappointed when she had three miscarriages and no son. A mere three years later he was courting the love of Jane Seymour.

In May 1536 Anne was arrested and imprisoned on charges of high treason, and found guilty in a trial by jury that contained her former fiance and her own uncle. She was beheaded four days later at the Tower of London, and Henry VIII was betrothed to Jayne Seymour one day later.

Drawing Info


Artist: Unknown
Location drawn: Tower of London, England

Source: History.com

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