Monday, August 5, 2013

UK Trip #33: Hever Castle: How Another Queen Got The Castle

We were fascinated to learn that Hever Castle once belonged to Henry VIII's second queen, Anne Boleyn, and eventually wound up being owned by his fourth Queen because she was "ugly" and he "should never have married her." 

       HOW HEVER CASTLE CHANGED HANDS - After Anne Boleyn was executed, Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. Jane died of a fever, and Henry was heartbroken.   Henry's next marriage would be one for political reasons, and was strongly recommended by Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's chancellor. He urged the king to marry Anne of Cleves from Germany in order to help country relations.
Anne of Cleves painted by Hans Holbein

       The artist Hans Holbein the Younger was dispatched to paint portraits of Anne and her younger sister, Amalia, both of whom Henry was considering as his fourth wife. Henry required the artist to be as accurate as possible, not to flatter the sisters.  Based on the painting,  negotiations with Cleves were in full swing by March 1539. Cromwell oversaw the talks, and a marriage treaty was signed on October 4, 1539!
   Henry preferred his queens to be educated and culturally sophisticated, but Anne lacked these. In fact, Anne received no formal education. Anne's skills were in needlework and she liked playing card games. She could read and write, but only in German. Nevertheless, Anne was considered gentle, virtuous and docile, qualities that made her a suitable candidate for Henry.

    Historians have noted that Henry thought Anne looked nothing like Holbein's painting and thought Anne "ugly." Yet, despite Henry's vocal misgivings, he married Anne (for political reasons) on January 6, 1540 at the royal Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, London.

Anne of Cleves got Hever Castle in a settlement

Anne of Cleves  (September 22, 1515 to July 16, 1557) was Queen of England from January 6, 1540 to July 9, 1540 as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort.
   In fact, by June 24, just 5 1/2 months after the marriage, Anne was commanded to leave the Court. On 6 July she was informed of her husband's decision to reconsider the marriage.Their marriage was annulled and Anne was given Hever Castle. She was also from then on, to be referred to as "the Kings beloved sister."
   She lived to see the coronation of Mary I of England, outliving the rest of Henry's wives.

Saying goodbye to Hever Castle
SAYING GOODBYE - We said goodbye to Hever Castle and some interesting history. George Boleyn's ghost continues to linger in the castle. He apparently wants to stay there and "share his story" with anyone who will listen to him. 

Hever Castle from the gardens

 After leaving Hever, we got back in the car and stupidly followed directions from the GPS. It made for a white-knuckle drive that was hellish through back roads, farms, fields and twisting, over grown roads until we managed to get to the freeway!


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next