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Old 11-24-2019, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Siena,Tuscany,Italy
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I find her neither attractive nor unattractive,her portraits looks plain in the Renaissance portraits
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:28 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
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I remember reading somewhere that Henry, who of course had had this not-very-like likeness presented to him, expected someone like the young wives he'd had before, and was instead presented with someone he described, among other things, as being smelly.

Now, this was probably true, given the cleanliness standards of the day, but was also probably a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Actually, it's been much inferred in academic circles through the years that Anne Bolyen had Catherine of Aragon poisoned, Anne Boleyn was beheaded, Jane Seymour died in childbirth, Catherine Howard was ALSO beheaded for screwing everything in sight, and Catherine Parr died in childbirth but not having Henry VIII's child.

I'd say Queen of England under his watch was a slippery slope.
I've heard the speculation but I haven't seen any real evidence that Catherine of Aragon was poisoned. Either way, she didn't die a particularly young death for those days. Some say she died of heart cancer, others say she was poisoned, but we simply do not know one way or the other. All of this speculation is based on the autopsy which stated that her heart was completely black upon death. Both heart cancer and poisoning could cause that.

I never said he was a good catch or that it was easy being his wife, but the life expectancy for ANYONE, especially a woman of childbearing age, was low those days.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ComeCloser View Post
From what I understand, Henry had a preferred type. He liked young petite women with smallish breasts. Anne of Cleves was not considered ugly - then or now. She was a shapely woman with a healthy rack and did not fit into Henry's preferred type.

Henry was a King, and used to getting what he wanted, but by the time Anne of Cleves was being considered, he was older, fatter, had smelly festering sores on his legs - and by now being his wife was not considered to be the healthiest thing a woman could do.

If I remember correctly, she made some kind of deal with him and returned home slightly wealthier than she had been when she left. It was not without cost to her. She had to bear the blame of his inability to consummate their marriage.
Henry VIII preferred young slim women with small "perky" breasts.

Anne of Cleves was a big German girl with "slack" breasts which not only did the king find unattractive he hinted they indicated she wasn't a virgin.

Not speaking nor understanding much English Anne of Cleves was largely ignorant of her husband's dissatisfaction with her, and his desire, plots, schemes to rid himself of her as his wife.

Princess of Cleves did understand what happened to Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII couldn't divorce Anne of Cleves because he had married her under English law. There was no indication of adultery, pre contractual marriage or anything else that would allow Henry to have his marriage annulled.

Anne of Cleves likely wasn't that turned on by Henry VIII, but knew she was on firmer ground than Catherine of Aragon. Duke of Cleves was a *VERY* powerful European monarch at that time; had Henry tried to pull any stunts by returning his sister as "damaged goods", it would have surely meant war, with much if not all of Europe taking sides with Cleves.

Princess of Cleves had she returned to "Germany" would have been seen as just that; damaged goods and likely no one else would go near, so she played her hand rather well.

Henry VIII turned his former wife into his "sister", with generous settlement including titles, castles, precedence at court, etc... Anne of Cleves would find herself in a very unique but envious position; a "free" woman not under direct control of a father or husband, with plenty of money and security.

Last edited by BugsyPal; 11-26-2019 at 08:42 PM..
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Gerobime227 View Post
Any clues or thoughts as to why? And I get beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but were Anne of Cleves as a young woman around today, do you think most people would still view her as unattractive?
First off those portraits sent out by court painters were not photos; license was often taken with subjects to make them appear more attractive than they were in real life. For instance we really don't know what Elizabeth I actually looked like; all portraits of her were done by a royally sanctioned pattern. Any artist found deviating from those rules/laws found themselves in very hot water, and the offending painting/drawing was confiscated and likely destroyed.

Henry VIII despite being old, grossly obese, and with a leg would that was festering (the stench....) fancied himself still Jack the Lad. In HM's mind he was still the young dashing Prince Harry of his youth, steeped in courtly romance and love.

Anne and Cleves and Henry VIII's first meeting was simply put, a disaster. That set the mood for rest of their marriage which from that point was really doomed from start.

The king and his gentlemen dressed up as bandits, then "surprised" Anne and her ladies. Henry's first three wives understood this game being well versed in chivalry and courtly love. Anne of Cleves had a *VERY* sheltered upbringing. Other than domestic arts her mother saw to it she learned very little else. Princess of Cleves did understand royal protocol, thus when Henry and his "bandits" entered her presence she and her ladies she ignored them.

" When Henry surprised her by barging in her rooms, Anne didn’t know who he was or what his intentions where and when he tried to kiss her, she was naturally frightened and pushed the stranger away and spoke strong words against him. This clearly stung. After he came back, Anne realized her mistake and tried to make things better by engaging in idle chapter but the damage was already done."

Long story short soon as Henry clapped eyes on Anne of Cleves he found her appearance wanting, and things just didn't get any better. King went ahead with marriage as matter of state, but heads would have to roll (and they did) for getting him into this mess.

One main reason however for getting rid of Anne of Cleves was Henry already had his eye on someone else; the young maid Catherine Howard. She was everything Princess of Cleves was not; thin, fair, witty, etc...

Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII: The Short Life of a Marriage - Tudors Dynasty

Having divorced (and basically murdered by neglect and hatred) one wife, then killed another by judicial murder, it came quite easy to Henry VIII to get rid of yet another queen; Anne of Cleves.

Henry VIII was never likely going to harm the Princess of Cleves; William, Duke of Cleves was a very powerful monarch in Europe, and likely would take great offense to his sister being badly used. It surely would have meant war for England, with all of Europe lined up against. However Anne wasn't exactly sure what her husband would do; and his track record including beheading AB didn't exactly instill confidence.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
Yes, I'm sure that played a role too. Her powerful family could have protected her if Henry decided to do something horrible. I'm sure not having to share a bed with Henry anymore was also a sigh of relief for Cleves. I believe after Anne of Cleves, he didn't have any more wives from royal families, because the royal families of Europe didn't want their daughters to marry him. If I'm not mistaken, his last two wives were commoners. They probably would not have been allowed to refuse his marriage proposal.

Henry VIII was never going to harm Anne of Cleves; though the good lady couldn't be 100% certain, hence she cut that deal.

Duke of Cleves was one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe at the time; William, Duke of Cleves was never going to stand for his sister badly used and cast aside like damaged goods. If not outright war (with all of Europe likely taking sides with Cleves against England), the DofC still had plenty of ways to make England's (and thus Henry VIII's) misery his life's work.

This was one reason was as part of agreement Henry forced Anne of C to remain in England, and to write her brother basically saying she was being very well treated. The king did not want his former wife to "play the woman", going back to Germany and spread all sorts of gossip. Especially tidbits about how the king couldn't marshal his troops to consummate the marriage.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Henry VIII was never going to harm Anne of Cleves; though the good lady couldn't be 100% certain, hence she cut that deal.

Duke of Cleves was one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe at the time; William, Duke of Cleves was never going to stand for his sister badly used and cast aside like damaged goods. If not outright war (with all of Europe likely taking sides with Cleves against England), the DofC still had plenty of ways to make England's (and thus Henry VIII's) misery his life's work.

This was one reason was as part of agreement Henry forced Anne of C to remain in England, and to write her brother basically saying she was being very well treated. The king did not want his former wife to "play the woman", going back to Germany and spread all sorts of gossip. Especially tidbits about how the king couldn't marshal his troops to consummate the marriage.
I don't know if any kind of deal was struck but one probably was. Anne ended up being the most well off of any of his wives being given castles, servants, and was treated royally the rest of her life. Catherine of Aragon was denied any of these things although her mother was Queen Isabella of Spain, was mother to Mary, Henry's only surviving child at the time, and Spain was the most powerful nation in Europe. Cleves never came close to having the military might of Spain. If the countries of Europe especially Spain wanted a war with England they didn't need another excuse after what he did to Catherine, much less being seen as practically the anti-Christ for forming his own anti Catholic church.

It's my understanding Anne of Cleves never made any demands of Henry. She never crossed him in any way. She gave him the annulment without asking for anything in return. She simply would have gone back to Cleves, marriage unconsummated and seen as just another one of Henry's abused wives through no fault of her own. As a reward, Henry gave her property, servants, made her his unofficial sister and anything she needed to have a wonderful life in England and remained good friends with her for the rest of her life.
Contrast this with what happened to Catherine who fought the divorce in every way possible. Catherine had been his loyal wife for many years. Catherine wasn't even allowed to see Mary, her only child, even though Catherine was one of the most respected woman of royal lines in Europe and was a popular queen even in England.
Henry wasn't afraid of Spain, nor the Roman Catholic Church so I don't think he had any fear of The Duchy Cleves.

Last edited by marino760; 11-27-2019 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I only remember one thing that I read years ago and it’s that she was snaggle toothed. Iow, she had Billy Bob teeth. Another thing I read last week though I don’t think it mentioned Anne specifically, is that many royals were so inbred that they had very disfiguring characteristics and one was that some had such overdeveloped jaws that they couldn’t even talk or eat without drooling.
That was the Habsburgs, it's actually called the Habsburg Jaw. Nothing to do with Anne of Cleves as far as I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
"Anne was not from Flanders anyway, something that Henry VIII was well aware of."

https://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/a...flanders-mare/
Not saying he did say that, but she doesn't have to literally be from Flanders to be called a Flanders mare... it was supposed to be a reference to her size/body type, nothing to do with where she was from.

Something I believe Henry did actually say about her was that she had a brown complexion, which he didn't like. And after their wedding night, he complained about her saggy breasts and "other parts" that made him question her virginity, though by then he may have just been looking for legal excuses to annul the marriage.

I think Henry's dislike of her was as much emotional as it was physical - every other one of Henry's wives were women he knew first and fell in love with (as much as a narcissist can love anyone else but themselves). An arranged marriage was never going to work for him.

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Originally Posted by FlaLadyB View Post
"In contrast to the petite stature of Henry’s first three wives, she was tall, big-boned and strong-featured. Her face was dominated by a large nose that had been cleverly disguised by the angle of Holbein’s portrait, and her skin was pitted with the marks of smallpox."

but

A contemporary depiction reveals the king as a grotesque figure. His beady eyes and tiny, pursed mouth are almost lost in the layers of flesh which surround them. He appears to have no neck, and his enormous frame extends beyond the reaches of the canvas. “The king was so stout that such a man has never been seen,” reported a visitor to court. “Three of the biggest men that could be found could get inside his doublet.” On balance, Anne had far more reason for complaint than her prospective husband.
It doesn't matter - he was a king, and she was the daughter/sister of the ruler of a rather small, foreign Duchy. And he was a man and she was a woman. In the perspective of that time period, she had no room to complain, and frankly it could have been stupid for her to do so (even putting aside Anne Boleyn's beheading, a woman's job was to make her husband happy especially in an arranged marriage which was politically important). Also, I thought I read that the smallpox marks weren't actually true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Actually, it's been much inferred in academic circles through the years that Anne Bolyen had Catherine of Aragon poisoned,
Just because some modern academics theorized it doesn't make it true. What primary sources suggest or even hint at this? As far as I know, there are none. By the time Catherine died, Anne Boleyn was already married to Henry and had given birth to Elizabeth. Despite Anne holding poor public opinion, Catherine literally had no power so there was no reason for Anne to feel threatened by her. There wasn't really any reason for Anne to have her killed at that point. If she was going to do that, it would have made a lot more sense to do it much earlier on. Anne and Catherine actually died the same year, Catherine in January and Anne in May. I can't remember exactly when Anne and Henry's relationship started to deteriorate but even if it had begun when Catherine died, it's unlikely Anne would have Catherine killed out of fear that Henry would go back to her since Catherine had already proven a failure to provide a son. He was never going back to her, he would only ever move on to another woman. Anne was smart enough to know this, and know that her concern should be for the young women surrounding him, not the old ex-wife he hadn't seen in years.
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Old 11-27-2019, 05:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I don't know if any kind of deal was struck but one probably was. Anne ended up being the most well off of any of his wives being given castles, servants, and was treated royally the rest of her life. Catherine of Aragon was denied any of these things although her mother was Queen Isabella of Spain, was mother to Mary, Henry's only surviving child at the time, and Spain was the most powerful nation in Europe. Cleves never came close to having the military might of Spain. If the countries of Europe especially Spain wanted a war with England they didn't need another excuse after what he did to Catherine, much less being seen as practically the anti-Christ for forming his own anti Catholic church.

It's my understanding Anne of Cleves never made any demands of Henry. She never crossed him in any way. She gave him the annulment without asking for anything in return. She simply would have gone back to Cleves, marriage unconsummated and seen as just another one of Henry's abused wives through no fault of her own. As a reward, Henry gave her property, servants, made her his unofficial sister and anything she needed to have a wonderful life in England and remained good friends with her for the rest of her life.
Contrast this with what happened to Catherine who fought the divorce in every way possible. Catherine had been his loyal wife for many years. Catherine wasn't even allowed to see Mary, her only child, even though Catherine was one of the most respected woman of royal lines in Europe and was a popular queen even in England.
Henry wasn't afraid of Spain, nor the Roman Catholic Church so I don't think he had any fear of The Duchy Cleves.
Unlike Anne of Cleves, Catherine of Aragon fought Henry VIII in a long drawn out battle she never was going to win. As we all know the king didn't like people who crossed him, much less a woman. So he acted quite cruel and very harshly towards his (then) wife.

Henry VIII (like his daughter Elizabeth after him) had a very convenient conscious, bad things were always someone else's fault. In case of Catherine of Aragon's treatment blame was shifted to Anne Boleyn who "bewitched" the king and lead him astray from his sainted legal wife. BS! Henry got tired of Anne and her mouth, plus she failed to deliver the goods; male heirs.

Had Catherine of Aragon complied with Henry's demands (naming herself not a virgin at time of marriage, making their daughter Mary a bastard....), things might have gone differently. But Catherine had already been in England for a few decades and was queen. More so she was a daughter of Spain, she knew who she was and wasn't going to be turfed out by a cheap *****, AB.

Anne of Cleves was largely ignorant of sex, marriage, and even English language. She truly was nearly clueless at first why Henry wanted to get rid of her, and that gave an advantage.

Anne was never crowned queen, nor did she have any deep seated desire to remain married to Henry. The princess as given excellent advice in how to handle things including her husband. By being supplicant and not fighting Henry as Catherine and Anne had done, the king proved he could be kind and generous, which he was.

In short Anne gave Henry a way out of a marriage that allowed him to save face, and go after the new young thing he was eyeballing.

Anne of Cleves goes down in history (and rightfully so) as the woman who played Henry VIII, or at least managed to get the best of him and escape with her life.


"Before long, though, perhaps fearing a similar fate to Catherine of Aragon or, worse still, Anne Boleyn, Anne resolved to take a pragmatic approach. The marriage was duly declared illegal on 9 July, and the annulment was confirmed by parliament three days later. Anne wrote a letter of submission to the king, referring to “your majesty’s clean and pure living with me”, and offering herself up as his “most humble servant”.

Anne was to be richly rewarded for her compliance. She was given possession of Richmond Palace and Bletchingly Manor for life, together with a considerable annual income. This was further boosted by her right to keep all of her royal jewels, plate and goods in order to furnish her new properties. Moreover, she was to be accorded an exalted status as the king’s ‘sister’, taking precedence over all of his subjects, with the exception of his children and any future wife that he might take."

https://www.historyextra.com/period/...-tracy-borman/

All letters and papers related to events surrounding Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves are still kept in archives of Parliament. This includes "divorce" or "annulment" papers along with settlement agreement.

So generous was Anne of Cleves settlement that years later Henry's heir, Edward VI complained about what it was costing his purse. The king's "sister" out lived him by ten years or so, all the time collecting what was due her via that settlement including living in those various castles fully staffed with servants and other associated costs.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:14 PM
Status: "Delusion starts when truth no longer matters." (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: The Ozone Layer, apparently...
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Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
I remember reading somewhere that Henry, who of course had had this not-very-like likeness presented to him, expected someone like the young wives he'd had before, and was instead presented with someone he described, among other things, as being smelly.

Now, this was probably true, given the cleanliness standards of the day, but was also probably a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Hardly the pot calling the kettle black.

"He suffered from headaches, and although the wounds Henry sustained to his legs initially healed, ulceration reappeared shortly afterwards, being particularly unpleasant and difficult to manage during 1536–1538. The year of 1536 has been described as an ‘annus horribilis’ for the King:9 his injuries, the loss of his potential heir, the death of his illegitimate son (the Duke of Richmond) and accusations of Anne's adultery made him increasingly unpredictable, irascible and cruel, and prompted him to brutally rid himself of another wife.

By now his ulcers appear to have been bilateral, purulent and seeping, and Henry himself wrote to the Duke of Norfolk, excusing himself from travelling and confessing: ‘to be frank with you, which you must keep to yourself, a humour has fallen into our legs and our physicians advise us not to go far in the heat of the day’. Transient superficial healing of the fistulous communications between abscess cavities and skin inevitably led to episodes of sepsis and bouts of fever: ‘and for ten to twelve days the humours which had no outlet were like to have stifled him, so that he was sometime without speaking, black in the face and in great danger’ (Castillon to Montmorency from the English Court). Henry's physicians attempted to keep these fistulae open to allow drainage of the ‘humours’, often lancing the ulcers with red-hot pokers; a therapy unlikely to have improved the King's ill-temper."

"Henry's legs remained persistently and badly ulcerated, but his overwhelming desire was to safeguard the succession of the Tudor dynasty and the stench did not curtail his quest for an heir. His spirits were eventually buoyed by the birth of his son, Edward VI, and then dashed by the death of his wife, Jane Seymour, 12 days later from puerperal sepsis. Two further marriages followed in quick succession; a political match with the plain Anne of Cleves and a fateful liason with the pretty young Katherine Howard."


I read somewhere that you could smell the odor of the sores before even entering the room Henry was occupying. If what you read was accurate, then Anne was taking the blame for more than just his inability to consummate their marriage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
She never returned home - she lived in England till her death at age 42. She seemed quite content with her settlement and her lifestyle after Henry. She was well regarded in her adopted country.
I did not state that she ever left England, but history states that she was sent to the country (as in rural area away from the King's court). She obviously went to her home.

"Two further marriages followed in quick succession; a political match with the plain Anne of Cleves and a fateful liason with the pretty young Katherine Howard. Both were rapidly despatched, Anne divorced to the country and Katherine to the Tower. "
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