Anne Boleyn is Born

Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII, the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right.

Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. The daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, Anne was of more noble birth than Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's later wife, but much less than her predecessor, Catherine of Aragon. She was educated in Europe, largely as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Claude of France.

Anne was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, later first Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormonde (an earldom re-created for him as the maternal grandson of the 7th earl), and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Boleyn was a respected diplomat with a gift for languages; he was also a favourite of Henry VII, who sent him on many diplomatic missions abroad. A lack of parish records from the period has made it impossible to establish Anne's date of birth. Contemporary evidence is contradictory, with several dates having been put forward by various historians. An Italian, writing in 1600, suggested that she had been born in 1499, while Sir Thomas More's son-in-law, William Roper, indicated a much later date of 1512. However her birth was most likely sometime between 1501 or 1507. As with Anne herself, it is uncertain when her two siblings were born, but it seems clear that her sister Mary was older than Anne. Mary’s children clearly believed their mother had been the elder sister. Most historians now agree that Mary was born in 1499. Mary's grandson claimed the Ormonde title in 1596 on the basis she was the elder daughter, which Elizabeth I accepted. Also, Mary was married first, and by custom, the eldest daughter would always be married off before the younger. Their brother George was born some time around 1504.