Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves, the daughter of John, Duke of Cleves, was born in 1515. Jane Seymour, the 3rd wife of Henry VIII died in 1537. Henry now began to look for another wife. His Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell, wanted England to form an alliance with the Protestants in Saxony. One way Henry could do this was by marrying Anne of Cleves.

In 1539 Henry was sent paintings of Anne but he suspected that the artist had exaggerated Anne's beauty. Henry therefore sent Hans Holbein to Saxony to paint her picture. On the evidence of Holbein's painting. Henry decided to sign the marriage contract. However, when Anne arrived in England for the wedding Henry was very disappointed with her. Although he agreed that Holbein had captured her physical likeness. Henry did not like her personality.

Henry divorced Anne in 1540 and married Catherine Howard. Anne was granted a pension and lived in England until her death in 1557.